Before the diagnosis I baked a lot. Afterwards... it's been harder. For one thing, I'm not big on substituting fake for real in my food-- if I want to go vegetarian for awhile (which I do periodically for ethical and health reasons) I don't eat tofu flavored like meat, and as a person living without gluten, I'm not big on the products that are supposed to taste just like something else. Also, I've been on a rather tight budget (again not an insurmountable hardship, but something that's on my mind), and gluten-free baking can be much more expensive than its more mundane counterpart-- especially if you're going to have to experiment a fair amount.
Anyway, as in everyday cooking, the baking that really works for me is made up of recipes that are "naturally" gluten free-- the ones that don't require any substitutions to make them into something I can eat.
I've been remembering vaguely an almond cookie with the consistency of biscotti, but I don't remember which recipe it is... Devin (who adores biscotti) has been asking me to get on with making it. Below you'll find the recipe that I tried this morning; it does not result in biscotti, but it does create a really fabulous, chewy cookie that delighted five out of five tasters at lunch.
I suspect Ms. Greenspan has a better equipped kitchen than I, or at least one with more counter space. In any case, these were the version I made this morning, and with Devin grinding the almonds while I beat the egg whites, it took maybe twenty minutes, including cooking time.
8.5 oz plain almonds
1 cup sugar (we used unbleached cane sugar)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Grind the almonds and sugar into a sandy consistency. Add the cinnamon.
- Lightly beat the egg whites until frothy, but still transparent. Add the vanilla and stir.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones slowly while lightly mixing until batter is equally sticky-- don't overdue it; it should still resemble sand, just sand after the tide's come in.
- Scoop out the batter using a spoon, and make 24 cookies on the prepared cookie sheets, about an inch apart.
- Bake for 15 minutes, turning the cookie sheet in the oven every five minutes (front to back, and switching top and bottom); cookies are done when they're crispy on the edges.
- Scrape the cookies off the parchment paper with a metal spatula (or slotted spoon if you're me and realize the spatula is in the dishwasher having recently been used for scrambled eggs), and cool on racks until room temperature.