Remember the Good Humor truck? One of my favorite ice creams (back in the days of my innocent non-vegan youth) was the Toasted Almond Bar.
It had that pleasing golden color and nutty crunch on the outside, and creamy rich vanilla ice cream on the inside. Of course, you can still get today's version, with an artificially flavored yellow center and other scary ingredients.
I like it best as a somewhat healthier vegan cookie that's thin and crisp on the outside, yet chewy in the center. [Note to self: These would be heavenly with So Delicious Coconut ice cream.]
The last time I made this recipe was for a Holiday Craft Fair two winters ago at the Unitarian Universalist Society in New Haven. I met quite a few vegans there, and several commented that they were happy to find gluten-free baked goods since they could no longer eat wheat. (oh how I can relate to that sadness, followed by the joy of discovery!) On the plus side, these cookies can also be enjoyed by those who are not vegan and haven't had to give up eating wheat.
As all my favorite recipes go, they're quick and easy to make. There are a few ingredients that are specifically for gluten-free baking (xanthan gum, rice flour, tapioca flour), but you can substitute an equal amount of regular white flour and eliminate the xanthan gum if you don't have to worry about gluten. They come out equally delicious (so I've been told!).
Gluten-free Almond Butter Coconut Chunk Cookies
1/3 cup almond butter
2 Tbl coconut oil, melted
1 organic Florida Crystals, plus 1 Tbl reserved
1/3 cup soy milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup organic brown rice flour
¼ cup tapioca flour
½ cup ground almonds, plus 1 Tbl reserved
½ cup coconut
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
¼ tsp xantham gum
Start with your mise en place
Grind the almonds into a chunky powder
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a food processor, blend together first five ingredients and set aside.
Drop 1 heaping tablespoon of batter into a rounded ball onto oiled baking sheet, pressing tops down slightly. Sprinkle each with chopped almonds.
Bake 5-10 minutes, or until batter spreads and edges begin to brown. Cool on baking sheet 1 minute before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.