**Update 9/10/11: I have made these cookies several times since this blog, and have updated the recipe so that you use a a full cup of almonds, ground, instead of 3/4 cup. This makes a more roundish cookie, which I prefer, but if you want flat ones like pictured, go with using only 3/4 cup. I put pictures of the puffy kind at the end**
I have not been blogging recipes very often lately, which is more indicative of the amount of free time I have rather than the amount of recipes I have to share. I have a whole file full of pictures I need to blog recipes for, but I figured I should first get to the one I promised you in the Carrot Cake Cookies blog.
I got this recipe from my friend, Marina, along with several others in an email she called “My favorite cookies.” She didn’t point out these were gluten-free but while making them for the first time, I realized they were flourless! My favorite gluten-free recipes are those that are naturally gluten-free and don’t call for strange ingredients, both because the taste is usually better and because those strange ingredients are usually quite pricey. These cookies didn’t disappoint, in fact they pretty much astounded me. They are so soft and chewy, they almost remind me of a brownie. The flavor is outstanding.
If you won’t take my word for it, then maybe you’ll believe the Kansas State Fair judges. They gave me a blue ribbon for them in the gluten-free category and wrote on my assessment paper, “one of the best we’ve tasted of all the cookies so far!” That means they thought these puppies were better than most regular cookies with gluten, with which I whole-heartedly agree. They are really, really good, whether you can have gluten in your diet or not.
Almond Fudge Cookies
1 cup raw, unsalted almonds
½ pound semisweet chocolate
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar, plus more for rolling
¼ teaspoon salt
Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
Lay almonds on a microwave-safe plate and toast in microwave in 30-second intervals on high, stirring in between, 3-5 times until nuts are fragrant. Cool to room temperature. In a food processor, grind nuts until very fine, almost like flour. Measure out 1 cup and set aside; discard or save extra, if any, for another use.
Melt the chocolate and butter together in a double boiler; remove from heat and set aside. Beat the eggs with an electric mixer on highest speed, gradually adding the sugar and salt. Continue beating until ribbons form; about 10 minutes. Fold in the chocolate-butter mixture. Gently add the ground almonds. Cover and refrigerate overnight or 8 hours.
Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Use a cookie scoop to form the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in granulated sugar, place on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart and immediately place in the oven. Bake until the center of the cookies are no longer wet, 10-14 minutes. Allow to cool five minutes on sheet before removing to rack. Dust cooled cookies with powdered sugar or more granulated sugar if desired.
Recipe source: adapted from Marina C.