Tuesday, November 20, 2012

tea time & baking

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This past weekend Ryan and I were in NYC visiting a friend. I brought my film camera and snapped many photos ... only to realize the roll was only halfway done when I returned home. I wanted to develop the film right away, but I can't waste exposures like that! I can't wait to develop the photos ... plus, I might as well develop all the rolls I've had sitting around for a little while! It might cost a pretty penny. :(

I ordered more macarons from a different Etsy seller. They were somewhat cheaper, shipped out a lot faster, and I can't wait to try them! I want to make some of my own but I get the feeling that making them is beyond my current level of skill in the kitchen. I did make Russian Tea Cakes this past week, though!!! It is one of my favorite holiday cookie recipes that has translated well into gluten free baking. :)

Check out my favorite recipe after the jump!

russian tea cakes. (365/22)

Gluten-Free Russian Tea Cakes

Ingredients:
½ cup confectioner’s sugar (have extra on hand to dust cookies afterward)
½ cup almond slices
¼ cup sweetened, flaked coconut
½ cup butter, room temperature
1 tsp. gluten-free vanilla extract
1 tsp. orange zest or peel (optional)
1 cup Arrowhead Mills Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour (or your preferred brand)
¼ tsp. salt

If you do not own a food processor, start by crushing/chopping the almond slices until they are very small crumbs. Otherwise, use your food processor to get the almonds finely chopped. Mix the confectioner’s sugar, almonds, and coconut until everything is tossed well with the sugar.

Mix the room temperature butter and almond mixture until it is fully integrated. Add the vanilla and orange zest. Slowly mix in the flour and salt until fully blended and a soft dough forms. If you're doing this by hand it might take a little bit of muscle, but I've never had any issues! It's a good arm workout. ;)

Cover the dough tightly and refrigerate until cold and firm – at least 2 hours. It should not be sticky to the touch when you remove it from the fridge.

Preheat oven to 325° F.

Scoop cold dough into large teaspoon-sized balls and roll between your palms to form a round ball. Place each formed ball onto a cookie sheet 1-2 inches apart. If you roll too thoroughly the balls could fall apart. Be very gentle in forming the cookies. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown slightly. Remove to cool on a wire rack.

Sift extra confectioner’s sugar into a small bowl, and gently coat them with the sugar. This is where you must be INCREDIBLY delicate. The cookies are crumbly and if you press them into the sugar too hard they'll fall right apart. I've learned that this dough doesn't hold together as well as standard flour, but it still yields a delicious end product.

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