This is a classic holiday cookie, and my goal was to make a delicious gluten-free version. Mission accomplished! I have been on a quest to find a good gluten-free flour and I found it at Bulk Barn. It is the gluten-free all purpose flour and this was my first time using it. I can’t wait to test it out on other recipes. This recipe also includes some brown rice and almond flour. Make sure to use the blanched almond flour, not the meal. I like to buy the big bag from Costco, it is a great deal.
When I was making these I made a last minute decision to use lemon zest and I think it honestly made the difference. They have such a nice subtle lemon flavour. You can also use your favourite jams, just make sure it is a thicker variety and not too watery. I opted for a thick apricot and strawberry jam. Preserves are what are traditionally used for this recipe. If you want to make this even healthier you can use a homemade chia jam!
Once you take them out of the oven let them cool before filling or dusting them. I would suggest baking all the bottoms on one tray and all the tops on another. That way you can easily dust the confectioner’s sugar on one tray. I used a small sieve to dust it on. It really uses such a small quantity but looks so pretty! I suggest storing them in the fridge, these delicious cookies are good for up to a week.
1 cup of gluten-free all purpose flour (I used the blend from Bulk Barn)
½ cup of brown rice flour
1 ½ cups of almond flour (blanched not meal)
1/2 cup of brown sugar
8 tbsp of vegan butter (I used Earth Balance soy-free)
1 flax egg
1/4 tsp of cinnamon
1/8 tsp of ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp of ground clove
1/8 tsp of fine sea salt
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup of your favourite preserve or thick jam
1 tbsp of confectioners sugar for dusting
Make your flax egg by combining 1 tbsp of ground flax seed and 3 tbsp of water. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
In a bowl, spoon 8 tbsp of vegan butter and add the brown sugar. Beat with an electric hand mixer. Add in the flax egg, vanilla extract and lemon zest. Beat until well combined.
In a separate bowl, combine the GF flour, brown rice flour, almond flour, sea salt, cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg.
Slowly add this flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture. Stir with a spoon.
Form the dough into a 1-inch disk, cover in wrap and chill in the fridge for a minimum of an hour. You can leave it overnight.
Once you are ready to make the cookies, preheat the oven to 350F.
Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.
Remove the dough from the fridge and dust some gluten-free flour on your working surface. You can choose to do this on parchment paper. Roll the dough into ¼ inch thickness. You will probably have to divide the dough into two batches. Cut out your cookies using a cookie cutter. Use a smaller shape like a circle, heart, or star to cut a hole in the centre of half your cookies. This is where the jam will show through. Place them on your baking tray.
Bake the cookies for 9-12 minutes on the middle rack. I rotated my cookie sheet midway through. I found that my cookies turned out best at 10 minutes, but it depends on how thick or thin your cookies are. Try to make them as uniform as possible. Keep an eye and remove once the bottoms are a light golden brown.
Let the cookies cool on a cooling rack. Make sure they are completely cooled before filling with jam.
On the batch of cookies with the holes in the middle, dust some confectioners sugar on top of them.
For the other half of the cookies, flip them to their bottom side and spread a layer of jam. I used apricot for half and strawberry for the other. Raspberry also makes a classic choice. Make it extra thick where the centre will show.
Press one top and one bottom cookie together. You may have to top up the centre with more jam.