Uh oh. The latest rash of flour purchases has finally pushed (the contents of) the baking cupboard over the edge. Jostling for position on the top shelf now are all of the following:
- plain white flour
- self-raising flour
- strong white bread flour
- wholewheat flour
- rye flour
- buckwheat flour
- 2 different kinds of maize flour
- corn starch
- tapioca starch
- rice flour
- manioc flour
- chickpea flour
…not to mention the cornmeal, oatmeal and 5 different kinds of sugar. Ok, so it’s not quite the equivalent of Imelda Marcos and her shoe fetish but it does tell me that I need to get to work further down the baking production line!
With that in mind, I did undertake my first gluten-free baking experiment, making some rice cookies from the wonderful new Cornucopia At Home cookbook (for those who don’t know, Cornucopia is a vegetarian eatery in Dublin that’s been catering, not only to veggies, but to those with various allergies and food intolerances for many years).
The book gives a basic rice cookie recipe which you can vary as you like with the addition of nuts, chocolate chips and whatever flavourings take your fancy – for my first outing I made the basic recipe plus walnuts, and was pretty pleased with the results. These are cookies which are defiantly gluten-free – they don’t even pretend to rise or stretch but are comfortable in their own status as dry, crumbly, shortbread-like biscuits, just the thing to have with a nice cup of tea.
Rice Cookies With Walnuts
The Cookie Bits:
- 225g rice flour
- 100g caster sugar
- 100g butter or a veg-based margarine for dairy-free cookies
- 1 egg
- 0.5 tsp vanilla extract
- 50g chopped walnuts
- One large baking tray, covered with a piece of baking parchment
- Cream the butter or margarine and sugar with a wooden spoon or electric mixer.
- Add the egg and vanilla and beat ’til smooth.
- Fold in the rice flour and walnuts to make a soft dough.
- Sprinkle some rice flour on the baking parchment.
- Form the dough into balls, place on the tray, then flatten to a height of about 0.5cm.
- Bake at 180C for about 20 minutes, until golden.
- Allow to cool on the baking parchment for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.