Craving the perfect, easy cookie recipe? Plus one that’s gluten and dairy-free? And not just a boring chocolate chip cookie? You’ve come to the right place! These chewy, decadent gluten-free dairy-free almond dream cookies are a delicious indulgence.
Dreamy Almond Cookies
True Confession: I love dessert! And when I realized that I have both gluten and dairy intolerances, my options became more limited. So for the past three or so years, I’ve been on a quest for the perfect gluten-free cookies; cookies that are easy to bake, yet light, chewy, and delicious.
As much as I love chocolate chip cookies, I wanted to find a recipe that was a little more unusual, yet just as delicious. French meringue kisses are another favorite of mine, and naturally gluten-free, but they can be a little temperamental when you’re baking them, and I wanted cookies with a little more depth.
The following recipe combines the best of both traditions. It’s light, chewy, and delicious, with just a hint of crunch on the outside. The recipe also allows for some moderate variations and even a hint of chocolate. So enjoy!
Almond Dream Cookie Secret Sauce: The Almond Paste
You can easily buy store-bought almond paste* for these cookies, but it’s both expensive and often has a strong and artificial almond extract flavor to it. This no-bake recipe to make your own only requires three (and up to five) ingredients, and is significantly cheaper. Even if you don’t later incorporate it into these cookies, you can save your homemade almond paste in the refrigerator or freezer and eat on its own, or infuse into another recipe.
Almond Paste vs. Marzipan
*A little note: almond paste and marzipan are not the same thing, though they have the same base, and marzipan sounds fancier. Traditionally, marzipan includes a splash of rosewater, whereas almond paste doesn’t. Also, marzipan uses an almond paste base but bumps up the number of egg whites and ratio of sugar, so it’s easier to spread and is often molded into fruits or other candy decorations. You can also use marzipan as a substitute for fondant.
If you’d prefer a homemade marzipan recipe, try the following twist. Add in four more egg whites, six cups of sifted confectioner’s sugar, a teaspoon of vanilla, and a teaspoon of rose water.
Awesome Almond Paste
- Food processor
- 3 cup almond flour You can buy ahead of time. Bob's Red Mill, Costco, Whole Foods, and other brands make great options. You can also make your own by putting blanched almonds in your mixer or food processor.
- 3 cups confectioner's sugar Sift ahead of time for a finer texture, or just put directly in your blender/food processor
- 2 egg whites lightly beat ahead of time for best results.
- 1 tsp almond extract optional
- food coloring optional
- Combine almond flour and confectioner's sugar in a blender and set aside.
- Lightly beat eggs, either with a fork or hand blender.
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor or Vitamix. Mix on high for about a minute until the almond paste is smooth and creamy.
- If desired, add food coloring and dye your almond paste different colors.
- Either use immediately in cookies, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a month, or up to six months in the freezer.
Almond Dream Cookies
Once you have your almond base, you’re ready for the next step: the perfect almond cookie! The key to perfecting this recipe is patience- since you’ll have to let your cookies chill in the refrigerator for a while. But trust us, the final result is worth it!
Almond Dream Cookies
- 2 baking sheets
- parchment paper
- mixing bowl
- 2 cups almond paste Room Temperature. Can use store-bought or from recipe above
- 2 egg whites
- 1/2 cup sugar can use up to 1 cup if you like really sweet cookies
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp almond extract if desired
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper or grease.
- Blend almond paste, sugar, and salt until crumbly.
- Add in egg whites, one at a time.
- Scoop dough into small balls onto pans. It's okay if they look kind of flat; they'll perk up.
- Dust with powdered sugar, then set the uncovered baking sheets in the refrigerator for at least two hours, up to 24.
- When your mixture is chilled, preheat the oven to 325 degrees, and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Almond Cookie Variations
Almond Dream Chocolate Chip Cookies: Just gently fold about 1/2 to 1 cup of chocolate chips into your dough and follow the recipe accordingly. The Enjoy Life brand has allergy-friendly chocolate chips that will work well, and for added texture, use a mixture of the mini chocolate chips and chocolate chunks.
Rose or Lavender-Infused Cookies: Incorporate a teaspoon of rosewater or a couple of drops of rose or lavender essential oils into your almond paste for a fun floral variation. A little bit goes a long way, so be careful with your flavors!
Rainbow Cookies: Add food coloring to the almond paste for a fun and festive variation. You could do pink for Valentine’s Day cookies, green for St. Patrick’s Day cookies, or a variety of pastel colors for Easter.
What are your favorite variations? Let us know in the comments, or share it with your family and friends on FamilyApp!