Serious Eats: Recipes

Gluten-Free Tuesday: Salted Marcona Almond Cookies

[Photographs: Elizabeth Barbone]

While munching on a handful of slightly salty marcona almonds recently, I thought, "I need to bake with these." What the heck took me so long? As a lover of salty-sweet desserts (chocolate-covered pretzels? salted caramel brownies? yes please!), I set out to create cookies with the marcona almonds.

But my favorite salty-sweet desserts are still more sweet than salty, so I needed a cookie that stood up to the almonds without overpowering them or being overpowered by them.

The result: part brownie, part cookie that highlights the salty almonds but is still a dessert in a decidedly rich, chocolate body.

During testing, I made a batch with almond paste in an attempt to boost the almond flavor, but it was too almondy and the chocolate was lost. (Plus, if you're allergic to almonds, you can omit the marcona almonds from the recipe. With almond paste, making them almond-free wasn't an option.)

Thanks to melted butter and chocolate, the dough comes together quickly. (I even whipped up several batches using a fork.) After mixing, the dough resembles brownie batter; so be sure to chill the dough before baking. Once it chills for four hours, roll it into balls. I like a single almond pressed into the center of each cookie. If you desire a more robust almond flavor, stud the cookies with several almonds before baking.

About the author: Elizabeth Barbone of GlutenFreeBaking.com joins us every Tuesday with a new gluten-free recipe. Elizabeth is an alumna of the Culinary Institute of America and Mount Mary College. With her solid professional baking background, Elizabeth is known for creating gluten-free recipes that taste just like their wheat counterparts. She is the author of Easy Gluten-Free Baking.

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