What better time to start something new than at Easter? So here it goes, my first blog entry...
We are usually traveling around the holidays, but this year, we decided to stay put. This gives me the pleasure of cooking a holiday meal at home for a change. The cookies pictured above were originally created for my cousin's spring-themed wedding shower last year. My sister loved them so much that she requested I make them again year, suggesting that they would also probably be well suited as a gluten-free cookie. She was right.
GLUTEN-FREE TRIPLE CHOCOLATE BIRD'S NEST COOKIES
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, softened
3/4 c. granulated sugar
3/4 c. packed light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk
2-1/4 c. gluten-free flour blend (see note)*
1/3 c. cocoa powder (alkalized or non-alkalized) (I used Hershey's special dark, as I had it on hand, oddly enough)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
1 c. dark chocolate chips
1 c. toasted coconut
1 pkg. candy coated chocolate eggs (I usually use cadbury, but this time found M&M eggs)
1 can pre-made chocolate frosting (or if you are ambitious, you can make your own)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Add eggs and milk; beat well. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, xanthan gum, cream of tartar, and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop dough by generous spoonfuls onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake 10-11 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
When cookies are fully cooled, frost surface of cookie with a thin layer of chocolate frosting. Place two chocolate eggs on center of frosted cookie. Sprinkle with toasted coconut, pressing lightly to adhere to cookie, shaking off excess.
YIELDS APPROXIMATELY 30 COOKIES
*NOTE: I use a blend of tapioca starch, arrowroot starch, potato starch, sorghum flour, oat flour, garfava flour, and a little bit of white rice flour (too much rice flour yields a grainy texture). Various flour combinations yield different textures in gluten-free baking, but I find this blend fairly versatile. I'll post more about my flour combinations later.