They say that you shouldn’t go to the grocery store hungry. I understand the logic behind that old adage but isn’t that when buying provisions is the least tedious and the most fun? Every aisle holds so much potential for deliciousness. Plain old broccoli sounds utterly mouthwatering. Bananas feel magical. Bread could make me faint. (Well, that’s always the case.) Hungry supermarket cruising is exactly what credit cards are made for.
The other day I popped to the store directly after a
particularly tough body conditioning class at the gym. My body was conditioned for snacks (Let's be honest - I really only work out so that I can eat more.) but I was there to pick up baking supplies. I know that usually the alternate flour
aisle isn’t the stuff of food dreams. No one swoons for black bean
flour or flaxseed meal. But I have to tell you - I was completely swept away.
So. Many. Options! I’m pretty new to gluten free baking and usually I’d make a
beeline for the almond or coconut flour. I nearly whooped out loud when
I saw the shiny package of hazelnut flour. Hazelnut flour had never even occurred
to me before. How insanely tasty can a flour be? A flour made of sweet, heavenly hazelnuts. Yes, please. I’m sure I was drooling. I probably just needed some protein. The bag went right into my basket despite the slightly troubling price tag. I get it. Hunger causes temporary blindness. Well, hunger has also been known to cause fights so I consider myself lucky.
What should I make? I think that hazelnut and chocolate have been going steady for way too long. We all know it’s true love. They’re very committed to one another. But hazelnut has a lot of other potential suitors. Fruit’s looking good this summer. He’s been working out. And spice? Spice is such a nice guy. I just want hazelnut to see what else is out there.
Fruity jam thumbprints with cinnamon felt right. I happened
to have a delicious batch of Going On Vacation and I Have to Clean Out the Fridge Jam (strawberry, sour cherry,
blueberry, raspberry) that worked nicely. Jam grows on trees at our house.
These guys are a bit rough around the edges but have excellent salty roasted nut, buttery, tartsweet jammy goodness happening. If finding hazelnut flour is tricky in your area, you can easily make your own. Just toast the whole nuts at 350° until the skins are lightly colored and flaky. Transfer them to a dishtowel and rub the heck out of them until the skins come off. Once they’re cool, whizz them up in the food processor until finely ground. Stop before you have hazelnut butter. Unless you want hazelnut butter. I might want hazelnut butter. Nope. I want cookies!
Gluten Free Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies
Makes 24 cookies
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
2 large egg yolks
2 cups hazelnut flour
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup jam
1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, mix butter and
sugar until combined. Stir in egg yolks. Add hazelnut flour, cinnamon, and
salt and stir to combine.
2. Scoop level tablespoons of dough onto two baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Roll the dough into balls and then make indentations in the center of each ball with a small measuring spoon or the handle end of a wooden spoon. Add a ½ teaspoon of jam to each indentation.3. Bake until cookies are set and golden around the edges, 16 to 18 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cool on baking sheets on a wire rack for 5 minutes then transfer cookies to the rack to cool completely.