Today I'm sharing an easy Nourishing Traditions gluten-free cookie recipe, and also some interesting info from that same cookbook about using arrowroot flour in recipes. You don't think all that sounds like an exciting post? Well maybe not unless you’re like me – I love sweets AND any chance I can find to cram nutrition into a cookie! 🙂
(Looking for where to find Arrowroot Flour? Or maybe you're looking for the Halloween recipe variation below: scroll down for “Witch's Fingers”!)
My friend, Kathy, brought these to a local Weston Price chapter meeting and I’m glad I could try them, because it’s a type of cookie that I wouldn’t have believed how good they are until tasting myself. Kent liked them, too, but said they reminded him of a Christmas cookie…oh well, now you have a new Christmas cookie recipe. This is from the Nourishing Traditions cookbook (see my resources page for where to find that book and other Real Food books). They have the texture of a peanut butter cookie, but are gluten-free, and also have much less sugar. Not only that, the sugar called for is unrefined! All that might sound like the makings of a dry, tasteless cookie, but they are really good, and SUPER simple and fast to make. Guess what else? The recipe calls for Arrowroot flour.
Read what Nourishing Traditions says about arrowroot flour (or scroll down to skip to the cookie recipe):
“Arrowroot flour, the only starch with a calcium ash, is a nutritious food, obtained from the fleshy root stock of a tropical American plant. It is an easily digested food well fitted for infants and the convalescent.
It resembles cornstarch in being white, fine and powdery. When heated in water in certain portions, it thickens to form a jelly, an excellent thickening agent. It is also considered more desirable for gravies, sauces and pastries than some of the more common starches and flours. It is used primarily for food in dietetic use, where it enjoys a reputation for smoothness and palatability.
Arrowroot was once widely used in baby formulas as a superior carbohydrate, experience having shown it agreed with babies better than any other starch or sugar. We now find the reason. It is the only starch product with a calcium ash. In this regard, the calcium chloride, in the form of calcium found in arrowroot starch, is very important in the maintenance of proper acid and alkali balances in the human body.
Arrowroot only thrives on tidal flats where the sea minerals are available. Its known health-building properties may be due to trace minerals from the sea, as well as from the calcium it gets from the sea water. If it is used in ice cream formulas in place of cornstarch, arrowroot imparts a vanilla-like flavor, a smooth texture. Arrowroot as it comes to you is not a refined product; it is simply the dried and powdered root.” Royal Lee, DDS, Journal of the National Academy of Research Biochemists
Gluten-Free Almond Cookies made with Arrowroot Flour
NOTE: The recipe below is for a single batch, but I could fit a double batch in my 10-cup food processor – it just took a couple times of stopping to push the dough down a bit. A single batch makes about 2 dozen, and I could fit that amount on each stainless steel cookie sheet, because they don’t spread out too much as they bake.
- 1 1/2 cup crispy almonds (Recently I didn't have crispy almonds on hand, but only had crispy peanuts, and it was so good!)
- 1/2 cup softened butter or coconut oil – I used half of each (Read about all the benefits of getting more coconut oil into our diets and where to buy coconut oil.)
- 1 cup Arrowroot Flour
- 1/2 cup palm or coconut sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Grated rind of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Organic jam to press into the middle, or whole crispy almonds – 1 for each
Place almonds in food processor and process to a fine meal. Add remaining ingredients, except the jam or extra almonds, and process until well blended. (At this point I added a little water because my dough seemed too dry.) Form dough into walnut-sized balls and place on buttered cookie sheets.
There are more variations listed in the Nourishing Traditions cookbook, but here are a few:
- Press an almond into each. Bake at 300* for a total of about 20 minutes. After 5 minutes in the oven, press cookies down lightly with a fork and finish baking. Let cool completely before moving to an airtight container. Store in refrigerator.
- Bake for 5 minutes at 300*, make an indentation in the cookie (I used my thumb), and fill with a little bit of jam. Bake another 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. I think raspberry tastes best, but Kent likes strawberry.
- Our 10 year old suggested a chocolate kiss in the middle instead of jam, and this would also be good as a Christmas cookie.
WITCH'S FINGERS from a reader and guest-poster, Barb:
- 1 ½ c. crispy almonds
- 1/2 c. softened butter or coconut oil
- 1 c. arrowroot or 7/8 c. bulgur flour
- 1/2 c. palm or coconut sugar
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- Grated rind of 1 lemon (I don’t use this)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. almond extract (I don’t always use this either, sometimes I just double the vanilla)
- About 18 crispy almonds
Place almonds in a food processor and process to a fine meal. Add remaining ingredients, except 18 almonds, and process until well blended. Form dough into fingers and place on buttered or parchment lined cookie sheets. Press an almond into each for a finger nail. Bake at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes. Let cool completely before removing to an airtight container. Store in the fridge.