Tasty and mostly simple food for the whole family.

Tasty, healthy, simple, verstile, practical, seasonal, fun food for all to enjoy. I will endeavour to make things gluten-free, dairy-free (cow's milk only here, I'm not super-human), and low sugar as able. I hope others feel motivated to add their recipes to this collection so we can all try them. Thank you!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Russian Tea Cookies (Gluten-Free)

What are they really, these cookies?  I found many other possibilities online including Mexican Wedding Cakes, Russian Teacakes, Swedish Tea Cakes, Italian Butter Nut, Southern Pecan Butterball, Snowdrop, Viennese Sugar Ball, Sand Tarts, and Snowball and finally, Butterballs (my favorite, of course). I went with what I used to make, please choose your favorite.

These began with a recipe for chocolate chip cookies that I found on another blog. I have been pretty chicken to make gluten-free baked goods since this whole thing started.  I flopped pretty badly in my first bread-making attempt and who has the time (resources, ego...) for that on a regular basis?  This recipe met all of the necessary criteria for me to give it a try:

1) It looked easy and fast
2) I had most of the indregients on  hand and otherwise had probably good substitutes
3) I had been seriously craving something of a 'treat' at night- Gluten-free snacking is a complicated thing.
4) They are pretty low sugar, given they use agave and only 1/2 C
5) I was totally avoiding all of the cleaning that has been piling up around this house.

I think they turned out pretty darn tasty, albeit a bit greasy (I cut quite a bit of the oil from the original).  They had much more of a 'Tea Cookie' texture than a typical chocolate chip cookie, though.  I happen to like Tea Cookies, but couldn't shake the expectations and incongruencies.

After a bit of thought, I just decided to adapt the recipe into what I felt it better lent itself to and I must say it is delightful. I hope you like it!  I didn't have any white rice flour on hand today, so I used brown rice flour instead this time.  I think that in this instance, white rice flour would be better for a lighter texture but I won't complain.  As a side note, the original Chocolate Chip recipe was pretty darn tasty, too- just more of a Chocolate Chip Tea Cookie.

"Helping"- Obvioiusly a chopstick is key here for proper cookie execution.
  • 1.5 c  White rice flour
  • 1 c tapioca flour
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1 t xanthan gum
  • 2/3c canola oil (If you can have real butter here, why wouldn't you?
  • 1/2 c agave nectar
  • 3/4c finely chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Spray baking sheet with canola oil spray or line with parchment paper. 
2. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl, adding nuts at the very end. Mix thoroughly. 
3. Roll cookies into 1.5 inch balls and place on cookie sheet
4. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. 
5. After completely cooled on rack, roll in powdered sugar once (or twice if you want them super dusted)


Made about 24-30 cookies

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