Today's our street's annual block party. There is always a table of treats, and unless I have brought something, there usually isn't anything gluten-free. I know that statistically speaking, of the hundreds of people that come to this party, there are others that have celiac, who are gluten-intolerant, or who deal with autoimmune disorders that are exacerbated by wheat and gluten. And even if there isn't another person on the block that is "out" about being on the gluten-free diet, I'm happy to make something for the table as an awareness-builder or to accommodate the gluten-curious among us. Last year I took some not-very-attractive zucchini bread muffins and labeled the plate with blue tape and a sharpie, and they mostly went untouched. This year, my culinary/political statement is getting an upgrade: Delicious and attractive and beautifully-gf-labeled (thanks, glutenfreelabels.com!) Xocai Healthy Dark Chocolate thumbprint cookies. They were pretty fast and easy to make, and since I'm a cheerleader for Xocai, I'm always happy to spread the word about the antioxidant powers of Xocai's quality dark chocolate products.
My family loves these. I had to declare this batch off-limits until the block party begins. They are light and fluffy and (always the key test from the gluten-eaters) indistinguishable as gluten-free.
3/4 cup gluten-free flour blend
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 t. salt
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1/8 t. xanthan gum, if your flour blend doesn't already include it
1/4 cup butter, cubed and chilled
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1 T. almond milk, milk or milk substitute of your choice
5 Xocai nuggets, or6- 8 Xocai X Power Squares
Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease it.
Combine all of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the butter and cut it into the dry ingredients until the butter bits are the size of peas. Add the vanilla, egg and milk and beat using a mixer until it's smooth. It's pretty sticky and you'll need to scrape batter out of the beaters.
Drop tablespoon-sized circles of cookie dough onto your baking sheet 2 inches apart. Cut your nuggets into 2-3 pieces and push the chunks into the middle of your cookie circles. Alternatively, snap Xocai Power Squares in half and push half a square into each (squares are easier to snap than nuggets are to cut!)
Bake for 12 minutes or until the cookies are slightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool on the pan for 3-4 minutes, then transfer them carefully to a cooling rack.
Makes between 12-15 cookies. You should probably consider doubling the recipe if you want to have any for yourself.