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.”
Gluten free soft Amaretti cookies with strawberry jam
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 for the gluten free cookies:
10 minutes preparation.
Makes approximately 18-20 cookies.
- 2 cups of all-purpose gluten free rice flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 baking flour, here.)
- 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 or blueberry 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.
** If you have histamine intolerance or mast cell issues, substitute: a duck egg instead of a chicken egg, and use blueberry jam instead of strawberry jam, both to lower histamine content in the final product.
- Start by lining a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).
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.
- 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:
- 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.
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, spicy baked feta, green curry fried rice, and lots of soups from around the world. Thank you!