In a continuation of this past Daring Cooks’ challenge, I decided to incorporate my homemade nut butters into several sweet recipes. One such recipe seemed only natural – a nut butter cookie! I saw a post for flourless peanut butter cookies over at Gluten Free Easily a while back, and so I decided to consult that recipe as a guideline. However, I had a good deal of almond butter left over, so I wanted to make almond butter cookies instead.
Of course, I could have simply substituted the almond butter for the peanut butter, and followed the rest of the recipe as is. But what fun is that? Instead, I looked for a more complex flavor. I sought to use a touch of almond extract to really bring out the flavor of the almonds, and I went for an even depper flavor in the sweetener. Instead of brown sugar, I used piloncillo. Piloncillo, also referred to as panela, is a common sweetener in Central and South America and is usually sold in a solid block (mine was shaped like a cone), and is essentially nothing more than cane juice that has been boiled down. (Indian jaggery is similar.) The flavor is somewhat similar to brown sugar, but has lovely notes of vanilla and molasses. Because it is in a solid block, I opted to grate the panela using a cheese grater.
The result? These cookies were soft, slightly chewy, and oh-so-delicious. The kids devoured the first batch I made – always a sign of a good cookie! I made another batch a few days later and gave them to my sister and brother-in-law to enjoy (along with a few meals). You see, they became parents to twin girls on July 6 – and as we all know, cookies are the last thing new parents have time to prepare (but are very much needed – at least, in my opinion!).
Flourless Almond Butter Cookies, adapted from Gluten Free Easily
1 c almond butter
1 c grated piloncillo (can substitute brown sugar or coconut sugar)
1 t baking soda
1/2 t vanilla extract
1/2 t almond extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together well. Grease or moisten hands slightly and form dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls on parchment-lined cookie sheet. (Don’t press these down) Bake 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown and cookies look “set”. (they won’t look done.) Allow the cookies to rest on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes. Remove carefully and allow to finish cooling on a rack.
Makes 2 – 2 1/2 dozen cookies.