This is as close to perfection as anyone can get – in my modest opinion… to finish such a pompous sentence I’ll add – when it comes to cookies! It’s actually hard to continue writing after this statement. Then again it was hard to do anything after I baked these. I spend some significant time just staring at them. They are some mesmerising cookies!
I should have been more prepared as small treats like these are not an unknown subject to me. There is a significant list of similar treats in my recipe book. You guessed, the ones that come from my family background, written down in a shabby and worn down but valuable book. There are still a few recipes from the same book I’d like to share here with you but not this one. This one was inspired by a lady whose work I admire and whose treats I can’t get enough of – Alice Medrich.
I simply loved these the first time I saw them and had to bake them – straight away. Due to the rush and lack of ingredients the original recipe asked for, I made a quite similar but not the same dessert. The ingredients I had in my pantry the first time I baked these became my first choice because we all loved them so much. We baked these cookies a few times before our final grand demonstration at a gluten free dinner party we organised for our dear friends. I had no doubt that these cookies would be accepted and loved but it still felt good when people who are highly informed about gluten free products were happy to be treated with these.
I know that the idea of tea cookies will be automatically linked to an afternoon tea party and that is absolutely right… but I’ll tell you something – these are fantastic with a glass of wine and perfectly acceptable as an after dinner dessert. So, pick your own time to serve these and be happy about it.
“Laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile!” – Mark Twain
I love this quote and it reflects so much on these cookies that I had to add it to this post because these will make you smile and the smile will last for a long time. It’s been proven many times now.
Buckwheat tea cookies
50 gr buckwheat flour
30 gr rice flour
50 gr oat flour
70 gr roasted almonds – ground
1/2 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
40 gr raw sugar
80 gr butter – room temperature
30 gr cream cheese
2 tablespoons jam (I used a mix of strawberry & raspberry jam)
powdered sugar for dusting
Heat oven to 175C and line baking tin with baking paper. Roast almonds (with skin on) for 8-10 minutes. Cool completely before grinding them using a food processor, blender, mortar & pestle or good old nut grinder.
Mix all flours in a medium sized bowl. Add baking powder, sea salt, sugar and almond meal. Stir with a wooden spoon just to combine all ingredients.
Add butter, cream cheese, vanilla paste and work on dough with fingers until it becomes nice and smooth. Sometimes I find that I need to add extra flour in order to get the dough so that it doesn’t stick to my fingers. In that case I add buckwheat flour. Just be careful not to add too much and end up with very firm dough.
Wrap the dough in a clear plastic wrap or place in an airtight container and leave in the fridge overnight.
Once ready take it out from the fridge and leave for 5 minutes on the work bench before starting to form small (app 30 gr) balls (dough this size makes app 20 cookies). Place them in a baking tin lined with baking paper, making sure to leave an extra space between cookies as they will spread a bit. Bake for 25 minutes or until you get a nice brownish colour. Handle with extra care as they will crumble easily while still hot.
They are quite nice just dusted with powdered sugar but I wanted mine with jam so I pressed the centre of the each cookie with a wooden spoon handle, half way through. It was very easy to do it and the wooden spoon handle idea- very clever!
Leave them in baking tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. Fill dented parts with jam, dust with powdered sugar and serve with a smile!