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It’s about time for some treats so we whipped up these Gluten-Free Chewy Almond Cookies to munch on. What makes these Chewy Almond Cookies gluten-free? A combo of Bob’s Red Mill Blanched Almond Flour and Corn Flour —gives these cookies their richness and texture without any gluten in the mix.
Our Chewy Almond Cookies are (loosely) based on Italian Ricciarelli, the famed little almond cookie from the city of Siena in Tuscany. Siena is in a beautiful, hilly region of Italy and has so much going on in terms of art, food, and history that is was declared a World Heritage Site in 1995 (should we plan a visit?). While Ricciarelli are typically served coated in powdered sugar during winter holidays, we changed the game up quite a bit by adding corn flour and serving them up in summer. Christmas in July? Why not! We also used coconut sugar instead of granulated sugar because we preferred the flavor and instead of coating these Gluten-Free Chewy Almond Cookies in the traditional powdered sugar, we took a healthier spin by adding crushed almonds on top as the perfect crunchy balance to the chewy, soft cookies.
These Chewy Almond Cookies are sure to make you smile. They’re not overly sweet and the almond flavor comes on slow and lingers after you’ve finished your final bite thanks to the make-it-yourself almond paste you’ll be learning about. The almond paste is made in a food processor and you have to blend it for QUITE a while (about 20 minutes), but that’s how the magic happens. You can also buy almond paste at the store, but why not go for magic? Homemade almond paste is way better and even though it needs to blend a while, it’s real easy to make.
Also, get a load of this two-for-one. Our recipe makes 24 Gluten-Free Chewy Almond Cookies, but we’ve got a suggestion: split that dough in half to make 12 cookies and use the other half of the dough to get you a head start on our Almond Cookie Coffee Cake. That’s right, you can have your coffee cake and eat cookies too. Our Almond Cookie Coffee Cake uses half this Chewy Almond Cookies recipe as a gorgeous crumbled cookie top that you’re going to love. Now let’s get to it.
almond paste ingredients
- Bob’s Red Mill Blanched Almond Flour: This gluten-free almond flour should be gently spooned into your measuring device to keep it from packing and settling together. That’ll make sure you have just the right amount.
- Granulated Sugar: We used granulated sugar here and coconut sugar in the cookies themselves, so be sure to note the difference!
- Almond Extract
- Bob’s Red Mill Corn Flour: because Bob’s Red Mill just doesn’t quit when it comes to our favorite baking ingredients.
- Coconut Sugar: Traditional Italian Ricciarelli calls for granulated sugar, but we couldn’t resist the flavor of coconut sugar in our take.
- Baking Powder
- Egg Whites
- Vanilla Extract
- Crushed Almonds
Food Processor Mixing Bowls Baking Tray and Silpat
We’re going to start by making this dreamy, homemade almond paste. This step requires a little patience, but it’s super simple.
In your food processor, combine 3 Cups Bob’s Red Mill Blanched Almond Flour, 3 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar, and 1 Teaspoon Almond Extract, then blend those together for 5 minutes. Open it up and scrape the sides (anyone remember the “blend, scrape, repeat” mantra from our Healthy Hazelnut Chocolate Spread? It’s back!). Blend for another 5 minutes and scrape the sides again.
Do this for a total of 20 minutes, scraping the sides at 5 minute intervals. Be sure to scrape the sides after your final blend to get ready for step two!
Now that your almond paste is ready, it’s time for dry ingredients. Into the food processor, add 1 Cup and 2 Tablespoons Bob’s Red Mill Corn Flour , 3/4 Cup and 2 Tablespoons Coconut Sugar, 1/2 Teaspoon Salt, and 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder. Pulse the ingredients together a few times to combine.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
Transfer your mixture from the food processor into a large bowl. Add 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract and 2 Egg Whites, then stir until it’s clumpy. Once you’ve got that clumpy texture, get your hands in the mix! Make sure they’re washed and clean, then use your hands to knead the mixture into a ball of dough. The warmth of your hands will help this come together so you can achieve that perfect chewy texture.
This is the time to decide if you’re going to make 24 Chewy Almond Cookies or just 12 cookies so that you can use the other half of the dough to make our Almond Cookie Coffee Cake. We’re not saying there’s a wrong choice here, but there IS a right one…(make the coffee cake! It’s delicious).
On a lined sheet pan, form balls of dough that are about 1 oz each. This will give you nice bite-sized cookies. If you’re using the whole batch, make a total of 24 balls. If you’re using half a batch so you can make Almond Cookie Coffee Cake with the other half, make 12 balls. These babies don’t spread too much so you only need to space them about an inch apart on the pan.
Once they’re all lined up, top each cookie with some crushed almonds. Lightly press the crushed almonds into the dough to make sure they stick. Bake at 325 for 13-15 minutes, turning halfway through your cooking time. You’re all set. Allow them to cool and then eat ’em up!
Gluten-Free Chewy Almond Cookies
These Gluten-Free Chewy Almond Cookies are our spin on an Italian Ricciarelli, made with homemade almond paste (it's easy), corn flour, and coconut sugar!
Almond Paste Ingredients
- 3 c Bob's Red Mill Blanched Almond Flour Spooned into measure
- 3 T Sugar Granulated
- 1 t Almond Extract
- 6 oz (1c + 2T) Bob's Red Mill Corn Flour
- ½ t Salt
- 5 oz (3/4c + 2T) Coconut Sugar
- 1 T Baking Powder
- 2 Egg Whites
- 1 t Vanilla Extract
- ¼ C Crushed Almonds
- In a food processor combine all ingredients.
- Blend until a paste forms, scraping down sides every 5 minutes or so. (This will take about 20 minutes.)
Combine almond paste, corn flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder in a food processor and blend well, until an even uniform mix has been achieved. This could be mixed by hand in a large bowl if necessary.
- Move mixture to a large mixing bowl, if using food processor to mix, then add the white part of 2 eggs and vanilla, mix together until a solid mass of dough has formed.
- Preheat oven to 325℉.
- On a lined sheet pan, form roughly 1oz balls, if using the whole batch about 24, half batch will get 12.
- Space them about an inch apart, not much spreading will happen.
- Top with some crushed almonds, lightly pressing down to help them stick.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes, turning halfway through.
- Allow to cool then enjoy!