Gluten Free Cookies with Amaretto and Strawberry Jam

Confession: I have never baked cookies before today. I’ve always been a savory person, opting for soup for dessert as a kid when everyone else at the Chinese buffet would go for ice cream. When I was diagnosed with celiac disease in the early 2000s, I shrugged and gave up on desserts altogether. I loved cooking for my family and friends, but never tried baking. As you can see in my recipe archives, there are no baked goods to be had. Today, however, I woke up and thought “I want to make gluten free cookies. And I want them to have Amaretto. And jam!”

So here we are.

These are thumbprint cookies, but you have puny thumbs like I do, they could potentially be renamed “deformed thumb cookies” because there was some serious reconstructing that went on. For my first ever cookie extravaganza, I am happy with how they turned out. With 12-15 minutes of baking time, they were an extremely easy recipe to make. And my parents gave me a thumbs up (had to, sorry) noting, “we don’t even MISS the gluten.”

Thanks guys.

I’m heading to Mexico on Saturday (!) and am enjoying my last week with family by using them as my baking guinea pigs.

Gluten free cookies with Amaretto and strawberry jam

gluten free cookies with strawberry jam and Amaretto

TADA! My first cookies. Uh, don’t mind how they’re all different sizes ok?

These reminded me of the shortbread cookies my stepmum used to make during the holidays, which I could no longer eat for the last decade. They are a lighter, less dense version of shortbread because of the rice flour, but fear not shortbread lovers, they’re sufficiently close that they will trigger your nostalgia.

Ingredients

10 minutes preparation.
Makes approximately 18-20 cookies.

  • 2 cups of all-purpose gluten free rice flour (I used this blend).
  • 1/2 cup of butter (I used salted, full fat butter), at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 6 teaspoons (or one standard shot of 1 oz.) of Amaretto (I use Disaronno, since it’s what I grew up with in Montreal)
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • Strawberry jam (as needed)

* If you do not use salted butter, please add a pinch of salt to the recipe batter at the same time you add the rice flour.

Directions

  • Start by lining a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).
gluten free cookies recipe

This is what the batter looked like with just sugar and butter

At this point you might want to tell your cat to please leave the kitchen. Ours did not, and almost made away with licking off the mixing skewers. NICE TRY ZACK. We caught you.

gluten free cookies with Zack the cat

Baking with Zack the cat

  • In a mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to blend the butter and the sugar until creamy.
  • Add the egg and continue mixing until fully blended.
  • Add the vanilla extract and shot (6 teaspoons) of Amaretto and mix thoroughly, with the batter quite goopy and moist at this point.
  • Add the rice flour, baking soda, and baking powder:
gluten free cookies with rice flour

Before mixing, the batter with flour, baking soda, baking powder, egg, sugar, and butter.

  • Mix the batter with the electronic mixer until all of the flour and baking products have been combined and it is thicker.
  • Remove the mixer and use your hands to mold the batter into a giant ball.
  • Divide the batter into small balls, rolling them in your hand, approximately 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) across.
  • Place on them on the baking tray lined with parchment paper. My tray fit 4 cookies across and 3 vertically.
  • Place your thumb in the middle of the cookie to make a thumbprint-shaped crater.
  • Fill the crater with a dollop of strawberry jam. I used approximately 1/2 a teaspoon per cookie.
  • Bake at 350 F (180 C) for 12-15 minutes, until the tops of the cookies are firm when touched and the bottoms are a golden brown.
thumbprint cookies with strawberry jam

Filling in the cookies one by one before baking

thumbprint cookies with strawberry jam

Cook until the bottoms look like this.

Enjoy your gluten free cookies!

As always I love it when you send me the photos of these recipes. I’ve received reader photos of maklouba, green curry fried rice, and lots of soups from around the world. Thank you!

-Jodi