Here we are, the last week before Christmas, and I still have 3 fun cooke recipes to share with you before we put the finishing touches on our baking lists, gather all of the cookies we’ve made, and create beautiful Christmas cookie trays to take with us to our various holiday celebrations. Today’s cookie caters to those who live a gluten free life, whether by choice or necessity, and those who have tastebuds and don’t care gluten/no gluten about their cookies.
Truthfully, this is one of my favorite cookies in my 12 Days of Christmas Cookies lineup this year. And that’s not just because they are laughably easy.
Today and again later this week, I’m bringing you cookies thanks to the help of Bob’s Red Mill. Surely you know BRM. Their products are everywhere. We’ve been using their products for years, and an April family favorite is ground flaxseed, which I’ve used in several recipes over my blogging career. Imagine my excitement when BRM asked if I would be willing to use a couple of their products to make cookies for the holidays. A big hearty fan girl “YES” to that one.
Today’s cookies came about when I opened this beautiful bag of almond flour. The texture of this almond flour is labeled “super fine” for a reason: it’s like powdery snow. Light as a feather with a touch of moisture from all of the natural oil in the almonds. It’s currently a favorite ingredient for baking in my kitchen.
As you can probably guess, this almond flour is the base for these almond flour pecan sandies, but you’ll be treating it a little differently than you would all-purpose flour. You’ll start by “creaming” the almond flour with softened butter. Typically, you’d cream butter and sugar, but in order to get a smooth base for these cookies, I chose this method instead. Also, we’re sweetening with powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar, a technique I found to work really well in my easy cut-out sugar cookies (here they are in peppermint form!). By using powder sugar instead of granulated sugar, we have a lot less of a “wet” dough, but still keep the sweetness we need. Just a touch of baking powder helps the cookies rise, and of course, a little salt and some vanilla extract help round out the flavor. So that’s it: 7 simple ingredients, 8 if we count the pecan halves you’ll press into (gently) the top of each cookie.
Since these cookies don’t have eggs in them, you really only need to bake them until they’re set. Since there is a fine line between “set” and “burned” with these cookies, you’ll need to watch them a little closely to make sure you don’t miss the window. They will only need 10 minutes in the oven, at which point they will take on a beautiful golden brown color around the edges. This is how you know they’re done. If they go much further than this, they wind up crumbly and dried out. Underbake them and they will fall apart. That 10 minutes is the ticket!
As I said, these almond flour pecan sandies may be my favorite cookie in the lineup. Not only are they so easy (I made 3 batches all during nap times in 1 day!), but they only use one bowl, and they cater to gluten free and gluten full eaters alike. Hand one to a gluten eater and I guarantee they are nonethewiser to the fact that these cookies are completely gluten free.
The texture of these cookies is soft and buttery, the flavor is bold and nutty, and the pecans on the inside and outside give the crunch that a soft and buttery cookie needs to make it exceptional. Plus the sweet to salty ratio is on point! I truly loved these cookies and have already shared the recipe with a few of my celiac friends so they could get a head start on their cookie baking. One friend who taste-tested demanded the recipe ASAP and she was at the grocery store within minutes of receiving her ingredient list.
If you’re looking for an easy cookie that will appeal to the masses, this one is it. And thanks, BRM, for making that possible!
- 2 cups Bob's Red Mill almond flour
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- ½ cup finely chopped pecans*
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 20 pecan halves
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- In a medium size bowl with a handheld mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend the almond flour and butter on low speed until no more clumps remain and a soft dough forms. Turn the mixer off, add the chopped pecans, powdered sugar, salt, baking powder, and vanilla extract. Turn the mixer speed to low again and blend until a soft dough forms.
- Using a cookie scoop, gently roll the dough into balls and place on the baking sheet. Do not place more than 8 cookies on a baking sheet at a time. Gently press a pecan half into the top of each dough ball, flattening the ball of dough slightly. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, until the cookies just begin to brown. Remove from the oven and allow to rest on the baking sheet at least 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies stay fresh in an airtight container up to 1 week. Baked cookies may be frozen, up to 3 months.