Christmas cookies are everywhere in my kitchen. In tins, Tupperware and cookie jars. This year I tried 3 new recipes; this one is replicating a particular cookie called a Scandinavian Almond Bar. It is somewhat crunchy and somewhat addictive. My guy snuck a bunch of them while I was at church Christmas Eve! It is a traditional cookie and apparently quite popular. I don’t know how I missed them! If you are not gf just use all-purpose flour and leave out the xanthan gum too. This is one of those recipes that is yummier than it seems like at first glance. Of late, I like bar cookies; less work usually and can look very uniform if you wish. Fussy complex cookies can be exhausting; this is easy despite the long list of flours.
Scandinavian Almond Bars
1 cup brown rice flour
¾ cup gf oat flour
½ cup tapioca flour
¼ cup potato starch (NOT potato flour)
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp xanthan gum
¼ tsp. kosher salt
Directions: Blend all dry ingredients in a small bowl; use a whisk.
Next: In stand mixer bowl: place 1 cup sugar and ½ cup butter, softened; beat until fluffy. Add
1 lg egg at room temperature; beat until blended in. Add ½ tsp. almond extract (I did more like ¾ tsp)
Topping: 1 Tbsp. milk, ½ c sliced almonds
Icing: 3/4 cup powdered sugar, ½ tsp almond extract, 1-2 Tbsp. milk
Directions: Heat oven to 325. Butter a 9×13 pan. Make dough and press the dough into the pan evenly; use a sheet of parchment paper to do this; it will be very sticky. Using a pastry brush; brush milk over the dough and top with the sliced almonds. Press almonds lightly into the dough. Bake 20-22 minutes. Remove when just starting to brown at edges. Let cool for 5-7 min in pan, cut into bars with a sharp knife. If too soft; let cool a few more minutes. Carefully move them to a wire rack. Let cool completely and drizzle the icing over the bars thinly; too thick and it will be goopy, too thin and the icing will drip off. Let sit a while until icing is firm. Can be frozen once iced. Enjoy!
I’ve been making lemon squares for years; including all the years I’ve been gluten free. Tried a few recipes; okay but my clear favorite for taste and easiness to make is the one out of my beloved “Gluten-Free Baking Classics” by Annalise Roberts; cannot stress enough how reliable and tasty her stuff bakes up. This one definitely falls into both those categories.
I used the wonderful Meyer lemons my brother sends me; so delicate a flavor and perfectly scented. Use whatever lemons you have as this is a delightful treat that even your non-gf friends will clamor for.
Lemon bar with lots of powdered sugar!
“The” Lemon Squares
1 cup King Arthur basic gf blend flour
¼ c sugar
1 tsp. xanthan gum
5 Tbsp. butter.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. I put the oven shelf near the bottom of the oven. In your stand mixer, blend flour, sugar and gum; add butter which you cut up into 8-10 smaller pieces. Blend until small crumbles. While it does that spray an 8 inch metal pan with cooking spray and dust with gf flour. Pour crumbs into pan and spread evenly as possible into corners and up a bit of the sides. Press a bit but not too hard to get the best result. This recipe’s filling doesn’t go very far up the sides so just a bit up. Bake 15 minutes.
While it bakes make the filling; I use the same mixing bowel and paddle. FYI: I Have a great new paddle with a scraper edge that my guy bought me; it is fantastic at mixing batters better; far less scaping necessary. Best gift in kitchen!
3 large eggs
¾ cup sugar
2 Tbsp. KA basic gf blend flour
½ tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tsp. grated fresh lemon rind; then juice it for
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (2 lemons should do it)
½ tsp. pure lemon extract
Beat eggs in the mixing bowl after the crust goes into the pan until kinda foamy. Then add rest of ingredients and mix well; be sure the flour is blended in. Pour over the warm crust and bake for 20 more minutes. Let cool before cutting. I like to sprinkle mine with a bit of powdered sugar; 1-2 tbsp worth.
I think it tastes even better the second day. Needs to rest a bit and let the flavors ripen to their fullest.