I dare you to come up with something better than coming home after a long day of work and horrible commute to find cookies on your doorstep. This may be the season of giving, but I equally enjoy the giving AND getting part of the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. This brilliant (global!) blogger party is hosted by Love & Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen. Each blogger is assigned three recipients to send cookies to (no communication pre-cookies! Bake a dozen and send them off then one day in the not so far future–*BAM!* cookies on your doorstep. I was super excited to participate in my 2nd cookie swap, though this year was a bit different as it was my first time baking gluten-free.
I signed up in early October and since then, even before I knew my bloggers (who would also be gluten-free), I stressed about what to make. I’m not one for faking foods, turning this into that, but with GF baking, there’s not much room around it. That is, until my wonderful sister-in-law innocently posted her discovery of pignoli cookies being gluten-free. Little did she know, she saved my baking butt.
I was so excited to bake a naturally gluten-free good, that I didn’t really think about what ingredients I was messing with. Powdered sugar, egg whites, almond paste–making pignoli cookies is a sticky mess and requires A LOT of patience. Thankfully, after all that hard work I was rewarded with some AMAZING cookies from some of my new favorite bloggers. Candy Cane Brownies from Sabrina at The Tomato Tart, Chocolate Almond Oat Cookies from Jessica at Kettler Cuisine and Five Spice Ginger Cookies from Amanda at HeartBeet Kitchen. They were all so delicious–I need to amp up my gluten-free baking skills!
Lemon Scented Pignoli Cookies (Adapted from Food Network) Makes 4 dozen
- 24oz gluten-free almond paste
- 1 c confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tbsp honey
- pinch fine sea salt
- 2 large egg whites
- 2 tbsp lemon powder
- 1/2 c pine nuts
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line sheet trays with parchment paper.
Crumble almond paste until very finely broken down, either with your fingers or by pulsing in a food processor. Transfer almond paste to a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment.
Beat together almond paste and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Add the honey, salt, egg whites and lemon lemon powder and beat on medium speed until the mixture is well combined and very thick, about 5 minutes.
Fill a disposable pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip with the dough. Push the dough towards the tip and cut the tip off the bag. Pipe 1-inch balls onto the prepared sheet trays. Top with the pine nuts, pressing them into the dough to secure. Bake until the cookies are golden, about 15-18 minutes.
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