I’m officially proclaiming these cookies… healthy! They don’t have any butter, oil or flour – but don’t worry, they taste decadent anyway. Both the “flour” and the fat in these cookies come from almonds (hence the title), which are full of nutrients like calcium, vitamin E and healthy fats. I was inspired to make my own almond flour from a recent Cooking Light issue that featured the idea in a recipe that might have gone unnoticed by most people, but likely drew the excited attention of those who can’t eat gluten since it had “flourless” in the title. While I liked those cookies, I felt like they could be improved upon and spent far too much time making cookies to develop this recipe.
While I was home in New York for the holidays, my mother was trying to avoid lactose and was really excited she could eat the almond cookies I had brought along. She was sadly missing some her favorite holiday treats (as was I), particularly some special linzer tarts and had the idea to blend a linzer tart and the almond cookie. It was a lot more fun to experiment in her kitchen because she cleans up behind me and offers more honest feedback than Tyler, who is known to say a ridiculous number of times: “This is the best thing you’ve ever made” (though I never tire of hearing that). I’ve shared these cookies with lots of friends so far, and they’ve assured me that even if you don’t need to eat gluten free, you are going to love these.
- 2 cups of whole blanched almonds
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- The zest of one lemon
- 1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
- Filling: Seedless jelly of your choice, you’ll need about 1/3 of a jar
- Optional: Dust with confectioners sugar before serving
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees
- Add the almonds to the food processor and blend on high until they turn into almond flour with an even consistency (i.e. no large chunks hidden at the bottom)
- Add the remaining dough ingredients and pulse until the mixture start to gather up and look like a wet dough
- Form the dough into a ball, if it feels too dry you can add a tablespoon of water
- Using a small cookie scoop to measure out the dough and roll each scoop into balls
- Place the cookies on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper, at least two inches apart
- Using the back of a teaspoon measuring spoon carefully making an indent in the center of each cookie. Its the same idea as a thumbprint cookie, but I find the teaspoon is the right size and helps the cookies stay more consistent.
- Using a 1/4 teaspoon measuring spoon, scoop a rounded spoonfull into the center of each cookie. Be careful not to overfill or it will make a mess while baking
- Bake for about 14-16 minutes, until the sides have set up and are just starting to turn golden (if they start to turn brown, they will be too crispy and I like these a bit soft)
- Let the cookies cool at least 5 minutes on the baking sheet before moving and dust with powdered sugar before serving