Every time I step out of my comfort zone and try, and work with a new product, I am always amazed when I can conquer a difficult ingredient. I love it when I can broaden my food horizons and grow my culinary skills. My most recent venture has been trying to conquer the beast that is gluten free flour. I personally don’t need to use it, but so many of my readers have issues with gluten that I wanted to try and create some recipes that they could enjoy without trying to convert anything. Trust me, when it comes to converting a recipe that uses regular flour into a gluten free recipe it isn’t one for one straight across the board. So, today I will be giving you some tips that I have discovered when it comes to baking with gluten free flour, so you don’t have to have as many failed recipes as I have, and I will be introducing a gluten free flour that you have probably never heard of, but will absolutely fall in love with.
First, I need to tell you about this amazing flour that I came across. It is called Tiger Nut Flour. It is derived from Tiger Nuts, a treat that the founders of this company ate as a treat when they were kids after World War 2 when candy was rationed (You can find their full story here), which aren’t a nut at all, they are a tuber, like a potato. They grow best in places like Spain, and are imported to the United States for sale. So, the flour is gluten free, nut free, vegan, organic, and non-GMO. It tastes a little bit sweet, so you can add less sweetener to your recipes. What I like best is how high in potassium it is! You can also buy the whole Tiger Nuts before they are ground into flour. My husband likes the ones that have been peeled, while I like the ones that have not. They are great for a simple, fiber filled, snack. You can shop for Tiger Nuts HERE, or you can also find them on Amazon.
Now, for a few tips on baking with gluten free flour. I can’t lie, I had disaster after disaster trying to bake with gluten free flour. First I tried almond flour, then I went on to Tiger Nuts flour. I researched, and I made tiny batches of different combinations trying to figure out what was going to work. Finally, I had success. Using all the knowledge I had learned from reading, and the failures I had, I was able to successfully create an amazing cookie. One you are very familiar with. There are three tips I am going to give you. Mind you I have not conquered the entire gluten free world, just baking.
Without gluten you need something to hold your cookies together, so they won’t spread out. You need a binder. I didn’t want to use eggs, so I used a chia flax mixture in place of the egg. And you also need extra leavening.
Using more binder means more liquid. And the dough is going to get stickier. If you allow the dough to be sticky, like when you use regular flour, and your cookies will seriously spread all over the place. So, you need more flour. Your dough is going to need to be dry, and almost crumbly to stay together. NOTE: You may want to mix the dough with your hand toward the end, so you can get all the flour to combine.
Turn down the temp on your oven. Gluten free flour browns faster so the outside will get hard and the inside will stay raw. If you generally bake at 350’ f turn it down to 325’f. Works like a charm!
This recipe is one that I am sure you have seen on many Christmas cookie plates over the years. These are peanut butter blossoms, but healthier. (NOTE: If you, or someone you love, has a nut allergy you can swap the peanut butter for Sunbutter, or regular butter. Same exact amount.) These cookies are gluten free, vegan, and use dark chocolate chips instead of a Hershey’s Kiss. I used a chia/flax egg in place of the eggs (You can also use just a flax egg), they have reduced sugar, great fiber, and are loaded with vitamins like Potassium. Each little cookie is under 100 calories, and they are such healthy calories. You are going to want to share these with someone you love, or keep them to yourself. 😉 Whatever you decide to do with them just make a batch, they are so quick! Sit back, relax, and enjoy.
Perfected Peanut Butter Blossoms
By Angie Gouchenour
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon chia/flax mix (I used Carrington Farms) of you can just use flax + 2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons hot water
¼ cup Sugar 2.0
¼ cup creamy natural peanut butter (See notes above for those with nut allergies)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ cups Tiger Nuts Gluten Free Flour
16 dark chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli)
Preheat oven to 325’f
In a medium bowl combine the chia/flax mix with the hot water and the Sugar 2.0 allow to sit for 2-3 minutes to gel
Stir in the peanut butter until it is combined
Add the baking powder, and the Tiger Nuts Gluten Free Flour and stir as much as you can, then use your hands to combine all the excess flour. You want this mix to be dry, trust me.
Create 16 dough balls, about the size of a Tablespoon, and place them on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper
Lightly flatten the tops, then push a chocolate chip into the top of each cookie until the sides gently crack
Cook for 10 minutes in the preheated oven
Allow to sit for 2-3 minutes, on the pan, before transferring them to a cooling rack
Once they are cool, store in a sealed container
This blog has not been compensated for this post. I received the above products from Tiger Nuts to try for free. I only endorse products that I truly believe in.