Looking for really nice and gluten-free cookies for the holidays? Here are two recipes that will impress even those who don’t need to go GF.
Of course, other than cookies, there are other gluten-free offerings which I will be serving, among them, quinoa-based dressing, rice pudding, cranberry relish and chiffon, (recipes in previous posts).
In a hurry, I decided that I could cheat by rising the temperature; unfortunately, that was a mistake, as they browned a little more than they should have. Leaving them in the oven for longer at lower temperatures will give you an even nicer presentation, however, depending on the sugars used, the colors could be darker, but none of these affect the flavors.
Both recipes are easy and need no prior refrigeration, rolling, cutting or icing/decorating afterward. A few sprinkles, jimmies, dates or nuts on top before baking is all that is needed to make them a little fancier.
Also, both recipes feature dates. You may wish to experiment with well-drained maraschino cherries, Crasins in your favorite flavor or other dried fruits, feel free to do so. (I will be!)
Also, going with margarine in the second recipe makes both dairy-free.
Whites of two large eggs
1/2 cup sugar, (white, coconut, date, combination or equal in stevia baking mix)
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup chopped dates
Assorted sprinkles, (if using)
or extra dates or walnuts for decoration
Beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the sugar(s) and vanilla slowly and mix until the egg whites are solid white but not dry.
Fold in (or gently mix by hand) the nuts and dates.
Drop by small spoonfuls onto liberally greased baking sheets,(or use baking spray).
Decorate with sprinkles or extra nuts/dates.
Bake slowly in a 290F oven for about 2 ½ hours; (check after 2). You want them to be quite dry. Remove to rack gently and allow to cool completely. Place in airtight container.
Pineapple, Pecan and Date Drop Cookies
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup light brown sugar,(or date or coconut sugar)
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla or natural butter flavor
or 2 tsp brandy
½ tsp cinnamon (optional)
1 ½ cup chopped pecans
1 ¼ cup chopped dates (or other semi-dry fruit)
1 – 15 oz can crushed pineapple in juice, well-drained
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
2 cups or equivalent of gluten-free flour, (I used 1 full cup quinoa flour and 1 scant cup banana flour)
Beat the butter or margarine, sugar(s) and eggs until light. Add the flavoring, baking powder and baking soda; beat well.
Add the pineapple, dates and pecans, beat on low or mix well by hand.
Beat in the flour(s).
Note: Quinoa, chickpea and some other flours have strong flavors of their own, which is why I mixed them in this recipe. Flavoring is essential, and a little cinnamon is very helpful in disguising the flavor of the flours.)
Let sit for 5 minutes.
Drop by small spoonfuls onto baking sheets which are greased or lined with baking parchment. Flatten slightly.
Sprinkle with jimmies, colored decorator sugars, extra nuts, dates or pieces of fruit used.
Bake in a 300F oven for 1 hour (or longer). The dough is wet and you want these cookies to dry out in the low heat of the oven, browned on the bottom and not soft. They may appear tough, or overly dry when cooled, but will soften when placed in an air-tight container. As with tea breads and other baked goods with fruit, these taste even better after the flavors develop in a day or two.
I hope that you have a wonderful holiday season, whatever you choose to celebrate and a wonderful 2020!