Gluten-Free Old-School Italian Jam-Filled Hazelnut Cookies
December 7, 2011
Good habits are hard to break.
I should know because I created one with Isaiah when he was in kindergarten. Some of you won’t believe me when I tell you that every day after school, Isaiah and I would walk to our local Italian bakery. He would stare at all of the beautifully and brightly decorated cookies with amazement—his eyes wide open. And every day—before dinner—he would get to choose five cookies. Yes, five. In retrospect, it was indulgent to say the least.
All of that changed in 5th grade when Isaiah was diagnosed with gluten and dairy intolerance. What would we do for snack? Where would we go?
The answer was simple: Home.
In my nearly five years of trading in my gluten-full flour for gluten free, I have focused on recreating Isaiah’s (and now Chiara’s) favorite gluten-full foods, including this cookie.
Just when you think you’ll never eat something ever again, think again. It really is within your reach. Go ahead. It’s yours for the taking.
Me and my ratio: After playing around in the kitchen with various ratios, this one made me (and my family) the happiest. It’s easy to remember, too. Feel free to have fun with the ratios. It will depend ever so slightly on the ratio of grains and starches in your gluten-free all-purpose flour blend. Also, just in case, I’ve included cup and spoon measurements if that’s what you’re more comfortable with.
5.5 parts flour (includes the ground hazelnuts)
3.5 parts fat
1 part egg
1¼ cups finely ground blanched hazelnuts (114g; about 1 cup whole hazelnuts)
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup unsalted butter or buttery sticks (205g; 14 tablespoons), at room temperature
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 large egg (58g), at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup seedless raspberry jam, warmed, for sandwiching
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted with 1 tablespoon canola oil, coconut oil or shortening, for dipping
Preheat the oven to 325º. Add the flour, ground hazelnuts, baking powder and salt to a food processor and pulse until well blended.
Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the egg and vanilla. Using a wooden spoon, beat in the flour mixture until just combined.
Fit a cookie press with the desired disc and fill the press with dough. Press directly onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until just golden around the edges, about 12 minutes. Let cool completely.
Sandwich 1 teaspoon warmed jam between 2 cookies. Let set.
Dip the cookie tips into the melted chocolate mixture and set on a parchment-lined baking sheet until set.