Making up the new diet craze -or- Everything Free Almond Cookies

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In case you haven't figured it out already, I am a vegetarian. Not the "preachy" kind. Just the "I don't eat meat and as long as you don't give me a hard time about my food choices I will respect your food choices too" kind.

As such I don't make much of a big deal about it. I don't ask people to make concessions when I am around. However, I do appreciate more than the average person when someone keeps me in mind when planning a meal. I don't need to be able to eat the entire menu, just one thing is nice.

Therefore, I take special care to try to remember my friends with certain food allergies when inviting them over. Of course, I can't make everything-free (you know wheat, dairy, gluten, soy, the list goes on) entire menu's all the time (I am not that talented of a chef). But, I do like to keep them in mind. I know it makes all the difference to me when people keep me in mind so I like to return the favor. Good karma and all.

Plus, I like a challenge. And baking gluten and dairy free is a challenge (at least for me...the friend I had in mind when preparing these has become quite good at this task).

This is another recipe from Veganonmicon. I find that it lends itself quite well to the non-dairy aspects and I can substitute the rest to make it gluten free. The only flaw in this master plan I have developed is that I often forget that neither B or I are vegan, so technically I could use eggs. Something I have found to be very helpful when trying to hold flour together. However, I am usually done by the time I remember this. Hence these cookies are also vegan and therefore what I am now calling everything-free (dairy, gluten, and egg). If you are allergic to rice or soy I am sorry. Obviously, there is some fine print included in the new "everything free," patent pending, craze.

Almond Cookies
Makes 20-24 cookies
adapted from Veganomicon


These cookies are surprisingly moist, crumbly, and delicious. I had to make some substitutions to the original recipe. Rice flour for regular, agave syrup for brown rice syrup, extra vanilla in place of almond extract, and some proportions to get the right consistency in order to meet the everything free qualifications and the ingredients on hand. Just wanted to let you know in case you want to stay true to the original recipe.

2 1/2 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup almond meal or ground almonds
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup canola, vegetable, or peanut oil or a mixture
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup rice or soy milk
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract or use 2 tsp. if you do not have almond extract
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1/3 cup sliced, blanched almonds

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease two baking sheets.

In a medium sized bowl sift or whisk together the flour, almond meal, baking soda, and salt. In a larger bowl beat together the oil, agave nectar, soy or rice milk, sugar, extracts, and sesame oil. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and stir until a firm dough forms. Add more flour and almond meal if the consistency of the dough is too watery.

Spread the almond in a thing layer onto a plate, cutting board or counter top. take approximately two tablespoons of dough and roll it into a ball in you hands. Place the ball onto the almond and flatten it out. Veganomicon has made the amazing discovery that a flat-bottomed one cup measuring cup works terrifically for this. You should write them a letter of thanks. Then place the cookie, almond slice side up onto the baking sheet.

Once you baking sheets are full place them in the oven to bake for 12-15 minutes. The cookies should be slightly golden/brown on the edges when they are done. Allow the cookies to cook for a few minutes on the cookies sheets (but just a few, they are hard to get off if you let them sit there for too long, trust me) and then place them onto a wire rack to finish cooking. If you are having trouble getting them off the sheet without breaking allow them to cook for another minute and then try again.

3 comments:

The Cooking Photographer said... January 20, 2010 at 9:22 AM  

Lol I love new words! I do it all the time. I understand the "vegetarian problem" well. I have been one more off than on my whole adult life. Everyone but me thinks I'm a problem, ha!

I will eat a little meat now, but I can't eat much of it and be happy. It's a compromise with my husband.

Your cookies look great. I'm wondering how they taste now. I'm hoping they're good. This new free everything fad makes me run from the room with my tail between my legs.

Laura

Errin said... January 20, 2010 at 10:41 AM  

Hi Laura. The cookies actually taste pretty good. They are a bit on the grainy side, but that is a common issue with gluten free food. I think that they are better than most recipes I have tried becuase they still have a lot of flavor and are moist rather than dry and pasty.

5 Star Foodie said... January 26, 2010 at 8:55 PM  

Scrumptious cookies, I love almonds!

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