Notice anything different about these walnut snowballs? They look like my favorite Christmas cookies, they taste like my favorite Christmas cookies, but there's something else. Can you guess? Alright, I'll tell you. They're 100% gluten-free...yes way!
Gluten-free baking can definitely be a challenge; I speak from experience. But I wanted to share a recent discovery that I think is going to change all that. There's a new gluten-free flour on the market that I just tested that is pretty amazing. *
Cup 4 Cup (C4C) Gluten-Free Flour was created by Lena Kwak, a chef at the venerable French Laundry restaurant in Napa, CA. I first heard about it when Thomas Keller made an appearance on The Martha Stewart Show. With Chef Keller behind it you know it's gotta be good. So I headed to my nearest Williams-Sonoma to pick up a bag.
I've tested other brands of gluten-free flour before and I have to say none have come as close to all-purpose wheat flour in taste and texture as C4C. And the best part is the ease with which you use it. As the name says, it's "cup for cup" - simply substitute C4C for the exact amount of all-purpose flour in the recipe.
The gluten-free walnut snowballs I made taste exactly like the regular ones. I couldn't believe it myself and nor will my gluten-free friends and family!
* This is my own product review. In no way have I been compensated for endorsing this product.
|2||cups walnuts, chopped fine|
|2||cups C4C gluten-free flour|
|1/2||teaspoon table salt|
|1/2||pound unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened|
|1 1/4||teaspoon vanilla extract|
|1 1/2||cups confectioners' sugar for rolling cooled cookies|
Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 325 degrees.
Mix 1 cup chopped nuts, flour, and salt in medium bowl; set aside. In workbowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, process remaining chopped nuts until the texture of coarse cornmeal, 10 to 15 seconds (do not overprocess); stir into flour mixture and set aside. (To finely grind chopped nuts by hand, roll them between two large sheets plastic wrap with rolling pin, applying moderate pressure, until broken down to coarse cornmeal-like texture).
In bowl of an electric mixer at medium speed or by hand, beat butter and sugar until light and creamy, about 1 1/2 minutes with an electric mixer or 4 minutes by hand; beat in vanilla. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with rubber spatula; add flour mixture and beat at low speed until dough just begins to come together but still looks scrappy, about 15 seconds. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl again with rubber spatula; continue beating at low speed until dough is cohesive, 6 to 9 seconds longer. Do not overbeat.
Working with about one tablespoon dough at a time, roll and shape cookies into balls. Bake until tops are pale golden and bottoms are just beginning to brown, turning cookie sheets from front to back and switching from top to bottom racks halfway through baking, 17 to 19 minutes.
Cool cookies on sheets about 2 minutes; remove with metal spatula to wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Working with three or four cookies at a time, roll cookies in confectioners’ sugar to coat them thoroughly. Gently shake off excess. (They can be stored in an airtight container up to 5 days.) Before serving, roll cookies in confectioners’ sugar a second time to ensure a thick coating, and tap off excess.