Yet more birthdays in the month of September... My best friend's birthday is today and to add to the baking challenge, she doesn't eat wheat!!
Now i have never used gluten free flour before and was a little concerned that with cupcakes, the sponge wouldn't rise well, so i decided upon some cookies adapted from Nigella Lawson's 'How to be a Domestic Goddess'
The actual recipe is for White Chocolate & Pistachio Biscuits (page 205 of Domestic Goddess) which does sound completely yummy, but as i'm a little short on pennies i decided to go for hazlenuts instead.
Ingredients: 100g unsalted butter 125g caster sugar 100g soft brown sugar (i used the light brown variety) 1 teaspoon of organic vanilla extract 1 large egg 150g gluten free plain flour (you can get this from Doves Farm) 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 100g ground hazlenuts 125g whole hazlenuts 125g organic white chocolate
You will also need 2 lined baking sheets
Note on the ingredients - i always choose organic ingredients where i can as i believe makes the result much tastier. You can get some really lovely organic white chocolate with Madagascan vanilla extract from Green & Blacks and organic vanilla extract from M&S. Lastly, i did use gluten free plain flour for the recipe, but the original recipe is made with normal plain flour.
Now the recipe does state that it makes for around 36 cookies, HOWEVER...i found this to be too much and despite using less mixture the cookies did get a little squashed together.
Anyway, with that in mind, preheat the oven to 180c
Firstly mix the butter, caster sugar and soft brown sugar together until soft and creamy. Next you need to add the vanilla extract along with the egg, then the bicarb and gluten free flour. Whip these ingredients until you get a smooth dough.
Finally, add the ground hazlenuts, whole hazlenuts and chopped white chocolate and stir in well to get an even mix. Here, i think its best to use halved hazlenuts rather the whole as i think it would make the cookies look much prettier.
Then to make the cookies you need to pinch off the dough and create walnut sized balls with your hands. Nigella certainly isn't lying when she says they need to be well spaced and i think this is the most important part of the recipe to follow loyaly!!
When you have between 24-36 cookies (depending on the size of your baking trays) pop in the oven for 10-12 minutes. The cookies will be done when they are a pale golden colour, slightly darker around the edges.
Once baked, leave to cool on the baking tray for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
As these were for a birthday i used a cheapish cake tin from Tesco and wrapped the cookies in tissue paper to make them more present-like.