Giving Gluten-free a Go (for one recipe)...Works for Me Wednesday

I'm going to be totally honest with you.  Gluten-free scares me. 
To be more precise, it intimidates the HECK out of me.  Rice flour, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, teff, millet...when I read about these ingredients, I feel like I should apologize for blogging about all-purpose flour.  It's so, ya know, *mundane.* ;)

You're talking to a girl who dips into her flour canister almost daily.  You're talking to a girl whose house is covered in a light dusting of flour.  You're talking to a girl who panics when there are less than 2 bags of all-purpose flour in the house.

You're also talking to a girl who has a friend with Celiac Disease. When she and her family were visiting town a couple of years ago, they popped in for dinner.  Y'all, I was so nervous.  I ended up making ice cream for dessert which was the only thing I could think of that was gluten-free.

So, I was delighted to meet Elana Amsterdam from Elana's Pantry last December at the Girl Hunter Weekend.  Elana is cool, funny, smart, beautiful; you'd like her.  She did not make this ol' all-purpose flour girl feel intimidated. As a matter of fact, she inspired me to break out of my comfort zone. She has 2 cookbooks: Gluten-Free Cupcakes: 50 Irresistible Recipes Made with Almond and Coconut Flour and this one...
{Now, does that cover make you want to dive into gluten-free baking, or what?!?}

Elana was nice enough to let me share her chocolate chip cookie recipe from the book here on the blog.  The cookies are soft and wonderful with a great texture from the almond flour and big chunks of chocolate throughout.
PS...did you know that all food bloggers must have a stash of baker's twine to tie cookies?  
Really.  It's in the handbook.

I followed the recipe *almost* exactly, except I mistakenly bought the wrong kind of agave nectar (more on that in a minute).

You'll need these ingredients...
....will you please pretend you see vanilla extract in that picture?  Thank you!

 A close-up of almond flour...dontcha wanna reach right in that bag?

Let's get gluten-free, y'all!

Elana's Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Cookies
{adapted and used with permission from The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook}
  *makes 15-16 large cookies*

 2 & 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1/2 cup light agave nectar (if you buy the amber, please see my notes below)
1 TBSP vanilla
1/2 cup coarsely chopped dark chocolate (I used Lindt 70%)

Preheat oven to 350.  Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, stir together the almond flour, salt, and baking soda.  

In a separate bowl, whisk together the grapeseed oil, agave nectar, and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined. 

Add the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until combined.

Fold in the chopped chocolate and refrigerate the dough for 20 minutes.

Use a 2 TBSP cookie scoop to scoop the dough onto the prepared cookie sheet.  The cookies will spread, so leave 2 inches between each cookie. 

Bake for about 9 minutes until lightly golden.  Let the cookies cool for 20 minutes on the sheets. Serve warm or remove to wire racks to cool completely.

**If you mistakenly use amber agave like I did, the agave has a distinct deep, molasses flavor when the cookies are warm (they're still yummy). The next day, the amber agave mellows and the cookies are brilliant.  I might have inhaled two this morning...possibly three.  Shh...**

Having some delicious gluten-free recipes up my sleeve?  Works for me!

Thank you, Elana!!!

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