Sunday, February 19, 2012

Baking Without Flour……Huh?

Flourless baking sounds like an oxymoron to me. When I saw that title in a cooking magazine, I wondered how one bakes without flour. I mean, I’ve heard of gluten-free diets, but hadn’t thought much about the subject, and certainly hadn’t ever considered baking cookies, cakes or bread without flour. It was an intriguing idea so I dove right in, to reading recipes, that is.

I don’t need to avoid wheat because of allergies, but recipes without evil white flour are bound to be a good thing. White flour adds pounds and strips our bodies of vitality, or so we’re told. White sugar, well, that’s not great either, but we’re always going to have a little sugar in our lives, aren’t we. And how much better to have the “real thing” rather than high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners?

I have found several recipes for baked goods without flour that sound yummy. Mind you, I haven’t actually baked any of them yet but I’m going to. And I’d like you to join me in a baking challenge, not for prizes or recognition, of course, but just for fun. Let’s all make these Almond Butter Cookies and report our results back here on Monday, February 27.
The following recipe is from Nicole Spiridakis, who writes about food on her blog,  She says these Almond Butter Cookies are addictive and also that peanut butter or 1/2 cup of roasted peanuts may be substituted for the slivered almonds. But for our purposes, so that we’re all baking the same thing, let’s stick with the almonds.

Almond Butter Cookies
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies
1 cup almond butter
1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a baking sheet with butter and set aside.
In a large bowl, stir almond butter and sugars together until well combined.
Add egg, baking soda, maple syrup, vanilla and salt and mix well. Stir in the almonds and chocolate chips.
Using a teaspoon, scoop out small, walnut-sized amounts of dough and roll them in your hands to form a ball. Place on cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool for 5 minutes. 
I’m really looking forward to making these cookies. I hope you will join me! And if we get into this flourless baking thing,  I have other recipes to share with you from the above blog: Lemon Cornmeal Cake, Hazelnut Chocolate Cake, Caramel Pots de Crème.
Now if we can find a recipe for Southern Buttermilk Biscuits without flour we’ll be in great shape!


  1. I hold out no hope for Flourless Southern Buttermilk Biscuits, just as I could never make a good scone with only ground up oats, but I have made a Flourless Peanut Butter Cookie. It is quite similar to the Almond Butter recipe you have. (It is possible to leave the egg out of the Peanut Butter ones - makes it more tender.) I will join you in making this recipe, with one reservation. I have trouble finding some food items in Tulsa. I took for granted that I could pick up freshly ground peanut or almond butter at the Fred Meyer chain in Seattle or Portland. I even ground it myself, before the movers lost my Cuisinart. (Or sold it. With my Laptop.) So, I'm in - but might be a little late, if I have to wait until I go to Seattle for a dental appointment to pick up my almond butter. Or just accept the fact that I have to buy a new food processor. (And Laptop.) (It's only been a year.)

  2. Beryl, whenever you can make the cookies will be fine! If I can't find almond butter I'll be making my own with the food processor. So sorry about your laptop and Cuisinart. Those are expensive items to lose. If you want, you can just use peanut butter instead. Results can't be that different, can they?

  3. I'll check Whole Foods tomorrow. The only recipe that I consistently switch between the two nut butters is my famous Peanut Butter Frosting, and it is a totally different taste. The Peanut Butter Frosting is perfect on Spice Cake, while the Almond Butter Frosting works sort of like Marzipan and is good on Orange or Lemon Cake. Both work on Chocolate, but then, what doesn't?

  4. OK, these cookies are very tasty - a little reminiscent of the French Macaron. Actually quite a lot reminiscent of them. Just sandwich two of them with ganache. When I make them again, I will leave out the maple syrup. I don't think it added anything except stickiness and over-sweetness. And I will have to find my Silpat mats, since leaving them on the sheet for 5 minutes resulted in having the cookies permanently affixed to the "non-stick" surface. The next batch, I only waited 1 minute and had much better luck - turning them upside down to cool, since the bottoms were still really sticky. I'll post pictures on my blog and send you a link. Thanks for a fun idea!

  5. Beryl, am so impressed that you're already made them. I am glad to know they taste like the French macarons, as I love those! Thanks for sharing your experience with them. and tips about the maple syrup and their tendency to stick. Looking forward to seeing the pictures on your blog. I will be making them over the weekend and we'll compare! Thanks!


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