These lightly sweet gluten free almond cookies are made just the right amount of plain Greek yogurt in place of some of the butter to make them so incredibly moist and tender that they stay fresh on the counter for days. Since they’re almond-flavored cookies, I was tempted to make them with a mix of all purpose gluten free flour and blanched almond flour but I didn’t want to complicate an otherwise incredibly simple cookie.
They taste a lot like rainbow cookies to me in taste and texture (moist and cake-like), but without all the fuss of multiple layers. Since rainbow cookies are some of my all-time favorites, a shortcut cookie like this is heaven-sent.
They’re perfect for lunchboxes, especially since they’re only lightly sweet but they’d also be the perfect cookie to take to a Labor Day cookout. They’re very easy to customize, too. Just use vanilla extract in place of almond extract, and scatter a few chocolate chips or even some coarse sugar like Sugar in the Raw on top in place of the sliced almonds.
If you’re wondering how to make them dairy-free, try replacing the Greek yogurt with strained nondairy yogurt, and the butter with a butter substitute like Earth Balance 1:1. Egg free? Since there’s only 1 egg, a “chia egg” (just google it! it’s my egg substitute of choice) should do the trick. Try it and let us know how it goes!
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1/4 cup (36 g) cornstarch (or try potato starch or arrowroot)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar*
1/3 cup (76 g) Greek-style plain yogurt (not nonfat), at room temperature
4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg (50 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
Sliced raw almonds, for scattering on top
*You can cut back the sugar to 1/2 cup (100 g) for less sweet cookies, but the cookie dough will be a bit more difficult to handle and the baked cookies will have a less smooth appearance and a less tender texture.
Preheat your oven to 350°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, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar, and whisk to combine well. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the yogurt, butter, egg and almond extract, mixing to combine after each addition. The batter will be thick and soft. Scoop the dough by rounded tablespoonful onto the prepared baking sheet, placing the portions about 2 inches apart from one another. To make the dough easier to handle, place the baking sheet in the freezer for about 10 minutes or until the dough is less sticky to the touch.* Roll each piece of dough into a ball and press into a disk about 1/2-inch thick with wet fingers. Scatter a few sliced raw almonds on top of each piece of dough, and press down gently to help the almonds adhere.
Place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the cookies are puffed and pale golden all over. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
*Make ahead option: At this point, the pieces of dough can be rolled into balls and piled into a zip-top bag and then frozen until ready to bake. The dough will not freeze solid, so it can be pressed into a disk and baked right out of the freezer. You may need to add another minute or two to the baking time.
P.S. Packing school lunches already like me? Treat your kids to the snacks they thought they’d never have with the recipes in my newest cookbook, Gluten Free Classic Snacks. Imagine the look on their faces if they open up that lunchbox and find … a gluten free Kit Kat?!