Put the almond in the cocoa powder and eat it all up

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What?  That doesn’t work? Fine.

We continue our adventures with gluten free baking this week.

In general, my weekly trips to Trader Joes are precise,  surgical and leave little room for casual perusal.  Experience has taught me that unless I show up at a specific Trader Joes right as it opens on Sunday morning, the shopping experience will leave me wanting to poke someone’s eye out with one of those little toothpicks they use to serve the samples (see blog name for explanation).

Every once in a while (like once a year), I get lucky and it seems like the only people in the store are me and the friendly staff.  This happened recently and I actually paused to look around the nut butter section while picking up the sun butter for last week’s post.  This was probably a bad idea on my part because what did I spy with my little eye?  None other than Nutella’s American cousin: Cocoa Almond Spread.

For reason’s I’ve just explained, I’d never seen this concoction before and knew immediately that I had to make something with it (this has absolutely nothing to do with a strong desired to sit down with the jar and a spoon…how dare you suggest this).  The spread has the same consistency as almond butter (duh).  Thicker than nutella.  It’s also less sweet than the hazelnut version (though still sweet enough to reduce the sugar in the recipe).

As soon as I got home, I pulled my almond flour out of the freezer and got to work using the sun butter blossoms recipe as a blueprint.

The almond flour obviously behaved very differently than the corn flour and, with about a tablespoon and a half of dough, I go beautiful, perfectly round 3 1/2 inch cookies.  They had a nice texture reminiscent of their fancier kin, the macaron.

Seeing the finished versions cooling on their wire racks sent my brain to a singular place.

That’s right, these made the perfect ice cream sandwich cookies.  You could also spread a nice layer of the cocoa almond butter on the inside of a cookie, top it with another and you’d have yourself an excellent sandwich cookie.

Soundtrack

Ray LaMontagne

Cocoa Almond Cookies

recipes makes about 18 (1 1/2 dozen, is easily doubled)

Ingredients

  • 1 C cocoa almond butter
  • 1/3 C sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 C almond meal/flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line 2-4 baking pans with parchment paper
  2. Using a standing or hand mixer, cream together the sugar and cocoa almond butter for two-to-three minutes.
  3. Beat-in the egg and vanilla until batter is smooth.
  4. By hand, sift-in flour and baking powder and then fold until the flour is just combined into the batter.
  5. Roll batter into balls using about 1 1/2 TBS (less if you want a smaller cookie).
  6. Set balls on lined baking sheets about three-inches apart.  Cookies will spread significantly (diameter will nearly triple).
  7. Bake 8-10 minutes until cookies appear set.
  8. Slide parchment off of cookie sheets and allow cookies to cool on the parchment.
  9. Ice cream optional!

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