Welcome to my blog, through which I hope to be able to share my experiences of gluten free cooking, baking, experimenting and eating.
When my daughter was diagnosed (age 6) with Coeliac Disease, our world of eating changed overnight. From breads, pastry and pasta to cakes, biscuits and puddings.......... suddenly most of what we knew was 'off the menu'. I think I must have tested every available gluten free product on the market, seeking out replacements to try and keep things as normal as possible. I was disappointed to find that what was available was often dry, crumbly and flavourless.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, I decided to turn my kitchen into a laboratory, turn all I knew about cooking on its head and start creating!

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Chewy Toffee Apple Cookies - gluten free


Toffee apples somehow seem synonymous with Autumn................ Fresh crisp apples, dipped in sweet shiny toffee. The childhood joy of crunching through the glassy caramelised sugar into the sharply contrasting apple is one of those memories that stays with you.


My daughter, who turns her nose up at apples in the fruit bowl, can't resist the opportunity of a toffee-apple treat and every time she has one, it transports me straight back in time.


These toffee apple cookies take that iconic flavour combination and mingle them together in a perfectly chewy, cinnamon-spiced biscuit, setting the slight sharpness of the apple against the rich, caramel sweetness of toffee.


They contain real dairy toffee, carefully chopped and melted through the baking process so that they remain soft and decadent. The cookies are also made with a combination of coconut palm and soft brown sugars, which add to the caramel deliciousness yet save them from becoming too sweet.


Rather than use fresh apple which might add too much wetness to the mix, I have used freeze-dried apple cubes which I source on-line from a company called Healthy Supplies. I use a lot of freeze-dried fruit in my cooking, partly because it can be used without the risk of creating a 'sog' factor, but mainly because the process of freeze-drying seals in an intensity of flavour which can be easily stored in the cupboard ready to zing-up any number of recipes without the loss of natural fruitiness.


Freeze-dried apple cubes are just perfect for these cookies............. Tiny hidden bites of chewy apple-sharpness which I have warmly laced with cinnamon spice to leave a comforting wintry tingle on the tongue.

I am so thrilled with these that I am sharing them with two challenges this month..................


Tea Time Treats, hosted by Karen from Lavender & Lovage who collaborates with Kate from What Kate Baked to tempt us into sharing a monthly array of delicious tea time goodies. November's challenge is to come up with creative treats containing dried fruit, so these cookies seem a perfect offering...........


I am also entering them for the Biscuit Barrel Challenge hosted by Laura over at I'd Much Rather Bake Than.... who has chosen Festive & Party as this month's theme. These cookies are perfect for all sorts of wintry celebrations and make a delicious edible gift too!


Chewy Toffee Apple Cookies (makes about 30 cookies)

Ingredients                                                  

175g plain gluten free flour (I used mix A from this post)
25g corn flour                        
25g tapioca flour
65g ground almonds
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon GF baking powder
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
2½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
150g unsalted butter - room temperature
100g soft light brown sugar
125g coconut palm sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg - room temperature
50g freeze-dried apple cubes
80g dairy toffee - chopped into tiny pieces
tiny white chocolate stars and edible glitter to decorate (optional)

Method

  1. Weigh and mix together the flours, almonds, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl, making sure any lumps are broken down. Set aside. 
  2. Cream together the butter and sugars in a large bowl using an electric whisk until pale and fluffy.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until thoroughly combined.
  4. Fold in the flour mixture, apple cubes and chopped dairy toffee using a large metal spoon or spatula until the ingredients are evenly mixed.
  5. Place the mix in the fridge to chill for half an hour.
  6. Line about 4 baking sheets with baking paper (or batch-bake if you do not have enough baking sheets).
  7. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C / 350 F / Gas 4.
  8. When chilled, remove the biscuit dough from the fridge and spoon into small rounded mounds on the baking sheets (making sure you leave plenty of room between each for spreading). You can use a cake pop scoop to get even-sized mounds if you have one.
  9. Gently flatten the top of each mound very slightly using the palm of your hand.
  10. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until just beginning to brown and crisp at the very edges. Be very careful not to over-bake as you want the cookies to remain soft in the centre. To ensure an even batch, swap the trays of cookies round in the oven half way through baking.
  11. When cooked, remove from the oven and leave on the tray for 10 to 15 minutes to cool and harden slightly. Immediately after removing from the oven, decorate with white chocolate stars (if you are using) so that they melt slightly and stick to the cookie.
  12. When cooled enough to move without them breaking, transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
  13. Decorate with edible glitter (if using) and share!

Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013 unless otherwise indicated

10 comments:

  1. Just mouthwatering...looks easy and delicious!

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    1. Thanks Kalyan. They are really simple and definitely delicious!

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  2. Apples and toffee just makes my mouth water every time I think about it. And in a cookie, just sounds like pure heaven! They look perfectly chewy and delicious - I want one!

    Aimee / WallflowerGirl.co.uk

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    1. Aaaww.... Thank you Aimee. They are pretty yummy! Just the right combination of apple, toffee and spice!

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  3. These sound fantastic and just what I have been looking for because my mum is trying to use up apples at the moment and is bored of making cakes with them. Thanks for sharing them with the Biscuit Barrel challenge!

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome Laura. They are quite addictive once you start eating them, so I would definitely recommend them!

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  4. I would love to try these even though I don't follow a gluten free diet - they look incredibly tasty and real tea time treats! SO seasonal and SO festive looking too! Karen

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Karen. I see no reason why they wouldn't work with wheat flour, for those who can eat it (although I am unable to test I am afraid)! They have been greeted with eager enthusiasm by everyone who has tried eating them, so worth a try!

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  5. These look wonderful Kate. I can't resist anything apple and cinnamony. Beautiful photos too.

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  6. Thanks Katie. Neither can I! The combination always tastes so comfortingly autumnal......

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