1 1/2 cups (210 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I like Better Batter here)
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your flour blend already contains it)
10 tablespoons (90 g) cornstarch
1 cup (115 g) confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon (90 g) finely chopped raw pecans and/or almonds
16 tablespoons (224 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Lukewarm water, by the teaspoonful as necessary
Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside.
In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cornstarch, 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar (77 g) and salt, and whisk to combine well. Add the finely chopped nuts and whisk again to combine. Add the butter and vanilla, and mix until well-combined. I find that pressing down on the butter with the back of a spoon helps to distribute it throughout the dough. The cookie dough will look somewhat sandy, and will clump in places. Add water by the teaspoonful, mixing after each addition, and mix to combine until the dough holds together when scoop or squeezed.
Scoop the dough by the heaping tablespoon (an overfull #70 ice cream scoop is ideal here, but two spoons work well, too) onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 1 1/2-inches between pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a round gently between the palms of your hands. Don’t pack the dough; just shape it. Place the remaining 1/3 cup (38 g) confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl and place the balls of dough, one at a time, in the sugar. Toss to coat completely in the sugar and return to the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for about 5 minutes or until the cookie dough is firm.
Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake until the cookies are set in the center and firm to the touch (they will be fragile, but shouldn’t be wet), about 12 minutes. Sometime between 10 and 12 minutes, the cookies will take on a slightly crackled appearance on top. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow to cool completely before rolling in more confectioners’ sugar (optional) and serving.
These cookies can be stored for at least 3 days in a sealed glass container at room temperature. For longer storage, seal tightly in a freezer-safe container and place in the freezer. For best results, don’t toss in extra confectioners’ sugar before freezing. Defrost completely at room temperature before tossing in sugar a final time.
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