Well guys, I finally did it…I have been swept up by the mass hysteria and have outlawed gluten from my diet. GASP!!! How can this be? (You may wonder.) The simple thing of it is, I have long suffered various chronic digestive symptoms that typically were not crippling enough to warrant any serious evaluation.
Since learning about gluten and researching gluten-intolerance (not to be confused with Celiac disease, which is more serious), I’d begun to have a nagging feeling that I fit the profile of someone gluten intolerant.
A 30 day gluten detox is the recommended method of self-diagnosis, since it is really difficult to actually test for gluten intolerance. I have so far completed about 2.5 weeks, and I haven’t felt this good in a long time. Nothing has changed about my diet, except I have eliminated all gluten.
After this trial period, I am not sure I will avoid gluten 100% of the time, but I don’t see myself going back to a glutenous diet anytime soon as the benefits I have felt lately from being gluten-free are significant.
So Valentine’s Day was last week, and of course I wanted to make something for my boyfriend. Even if I didn’t have a boyfriend, I would’ve wanted to make something, because I am a sucker for festivities. Since Valentine’s Day is symbolized with hearts and chocolate I decided to find a way to make heart-shaped cookies with Nutella that were ALSO gluten-free…
(btw…Nutella is gluten-free)
I based this recipe from a recipe for Linzer cookies from Gluten Free Canteen.
For the cookie:
- 1.5 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large egg yolk plus 1 egg white
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon pure lemon extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups GF flour (Since I am new to this GF baking I played it lazy and safe and purchased a GF flour mix from Wal-Mart, but you can make your own mix if you are more industrious. This is something I hope to do eventually!)
For the filling
- A jar of Nutella (how much you use for the cookie filling is up to you)
- Cream butter. Add sugar and salt and mix until smooth.
- Add in eggs yolks and then whites, one at a time. Then add spices and flavorings.
- Add flour. Mix until everything is blended.
- Wrap dough in plastic wrap (form dough into a disc) and refrigerate dough overnight.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350.
- Let the dough sit at room temperature for 15-20. This will soften the dough so you are able to roll it out.
- Dust a rolling-pin and work surface with GF flour. Roll out the dough so it is about 1/4 inch thick.
- Cut into heart shapes. Place onto ungreased baking sheet.
- Bake for 7 minutes.
- Cool cookie completely, then sandwich about 1 teaspoon of Nutella between two cookies.
I loved how these cookies turned out. They were light and delicate, I think because of the presence of rice flour in the dough. The lemon extract and cardamom also lend a delicious fresh taste. I happened to have some cardamom I ground myself from pods, and I think that the freshness of that spice was noticeable!
I gave my mom some to try, and she was very impressed with them. All the “samples” I gave her disappeared quickly.
The bf also enjoyed the ones I gave him, as pictured below:
(the elephants I made with extra dough)
Until next time,
Madeline aka The Hopeful Hestia