Monday, November 23, 2009

Gluten-Free Cashew Gingersnaps

This recipe is basically a tuile batter: an egg-white based cookie that uses a little flour or ground nuts for structure. They harden as they cool, so they're sometimes spread thin, then rolled up like a cigar fresh out of the oven and filled with a ganache after they cool, or sometimes they're made into squiggly designs and stuck vertically in a mousse or ice cream, restaurant-style.

I'm not much of an artist, but I can write fairly well with tuile batter.

Recipe: Gluten-Free Cashew Gingersnaps
There's not a whole lot of ginger in this recipe, but there's no flour to mute it so the flavor is pretty pronounced. The cashews offer a neutral buttery flavor that goes well with the ginger, but almonds would work well, too. The batter can be stored in the fridge for a few days, but after baking they'll soften to the point of chewiness after a few days.

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cashews
3 egg whites
1/4 tsp cider vinegar
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cardamom
1/8 tsp salt

Sesame seeds, to garnish

Preheat oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and puree until mixture is mostly uniform and frothy in appearance with small nut chunks. Transfer to a quart-sized zipper-seal bag. Snip one corner and pipe into desired shapes, then sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bake ~10 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch. [The cookies will harden as they cool.] Transfer paper with cookies to a cooling rack -- do not attempt to remove cookies until cool. If they're still flexible at that point, you can put them back in the [off]oven and the residual heat should dry them out.

Store in an air tight container.

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