We truly hope that you were blessed with peace and joy as you celebrated Christmas with family and friends this past weekend! We personally get to continue celebrating together over the New Year’s weekend and we couldn’t be more excited! I’m pretty sure these Gluten Free Almond Caramel Cookies will make an appearance. They are one of many favorites!
As you can imagine, we have an overabundance of food and treats whenever we get together, since we both love to cook and bake. After eating so well these past few weeks, do we have room for more? Yes and yes! You will want to make room for this amazing new gluten free cookie recipe!
Break Out the Food Processor
This recipe calls for grinding your own almond butter. Now, before you collapse in shock, know that it’s amazingly easy if you have a food processor. It just takes a bit of time. Our favorite food processor is this Cuisinart. It’s a workhorse in the kitchen and worth every dollar and every inch of space it takes.
If you don’t have one, you can still make this recipe! Simply sub in 4 ounces (3/4 cup) of chopped almonds and 9 ounces (1-1/4 cup) of store-bought almond butter for the 13 ounces of almonds listed in the recipe. Try to find almond butter in which the only ingredient is almonds, as this will give you the best results.
If you are grinding your own, they go from chopped to a coarse flour consistency pretty quickly. After that, it will turn crumbly and stay that way for what feels like forever. It may come together into a large ball or stick to the sides of the food processor. If so scrape down the sides of the processor bowl. Finally, about 8-10 minutes later, the almonds will release their oils and make the final shift into a smooth but stiff almond butter with a paste-like consistency.
Yes, YOU Can Make Caramel!
Another possibly intimidating element to these cookies is making your own caramel sauce. Don’t worry! It’s simple! It does require a candy thermometer. Our favorite for candy making is this one – it’s inexpensive and clips onto the side of your pot.
Simply follow the directions closely and don’t walk away. Keep a very close eye on the pot while the sugar is browning, swirling the pot gently to keep the color even. Don’t use a utensil to stir during this initial boiling stage or the sugar will crystallize (clump up and become crumbly) and you’ll never get a nice caramel sauce.
Once the sugar is a nice golden brown, turn off the heat and carefully add the cream. This will cause a lot of bubbling, so stand back and be very careful. Now you can stir it with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon.
Make sure the butter is melted and the cream and sugar are mixed together completely, then turn the heat back on and clip on your candy thermometer. The caramel will start to boil. Just leave it alone and wait for the right temperature. Place a clean glass jar (at least 1 cup capacity) and a small plate sprayed with nonstick spray beside you on the counter.
Waiting for the right temperature always feels like it’s taking forever, but it can jump up quickly and get too high, so you have to be watching it closely. As soon as the temperature reaches 240 degrees F, pour the caramel into your jar. Resist the urge to scrape the pot into the jar. Instead, scrape the sides and bottom of the pot quickly onto the plate you sprayed. Let it cool and enjoy this chewy caramel separately! Drizzle the sauce from the jar onto your cooled cookies.
If making your own caramel feels like too much, or you are simply short on time, buy a jar of caramel sauce or melt down some Kraft caramel squares to drizzle over your cookies. These options work great and taste delicious, too!
These cookies are the ones you’ve been looking to add to your normal collection. They are not the typical offerings but filled with flavors everyone will love. The almonds and caramel are a perfect match, and the chewy texture of this cookie is amazing. Everyone will love them!
Gluten Free Almond Caramel cookies are so versatile, too. You can try some new techniques or go the more straightforward route by using store-bought almond butter and caramel sauce. Any option you choose will be delicious!
Are you still building cookie platters? How about one for New Years? Whip up a batch of these. Add 2-3 other options and you are all set for a celebration! Try the following recipes to round out your platter:
- Gingerbread Blondies (try cutting these into stars or snowflakes with a cookie cutter!)
- Soft Pumpkin Cookies
- Soft Cinnamon Almond Cookies
- Dark Chocolate Pecan Cookies
- Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies
Gluten Free Almond Caramel Cookies
For the Cookies:
- 4-1/2 ounces (1-2/3 cup) almond flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt (or 1/4 teaspoon table salt)
- 13 ounces (2-1/2 cups) raw almonds
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 6 ounces (3/4 cup) packed brown sugar
- 3-1/2 ounces (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the Caramel:
- 5-1/4 ounces (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt (or 1/4 teaspoon table salt)
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together the almond meal, baking powder, and the salt; set aside. Place the raw almonds in a food processor and process until coarsely chopped. Remove approximately 3/4 cup of the chopped almonds and set aside.
- Continue to process the remaining almonds until you have a thick almond butter paste. This will take 8-10 minutes altogether. After around 5 minutes, your almonds will be ground and crumbly. Scrape down the sides of your processor and continue. Do this whenever the almonds stick to the sides so that the blade engages more fully with the almonds.
- Place the almond butter, unsalted butter, and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on medium speed with the paddle attachment until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in the egg and the vanilla. Add the almond flour mixture and reserved chopped almonds, then mix on low until combined.
- Scoop out tablespoon-sized balls and place them two inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake in your preheated oven for 6 minutes, then gently flatten the cookies with the bottom of a glass or with a large, flat spatula. Bake for an additional 6-8 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Let cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes then remove to wire racks to cool completely.
- While the cookies are cooling, make the caramel sauce. Begin by combining the sugar, water, corn syrup, and salt in a high-sided heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture just barely begins to simmer. Stop stirring and boil until the mixture turns a dark golden brown color. To ensure even browning, swirl the pan occasionally without touching or stirring the liquid.
- When the color is dark golden brown, remove the pan from the heat. Immediately and carefully add the cream, which will cause the mixture to bubble vigorously. When the bubbling subsides, add the butter and stir until the butter and cream are fully combined with the sugar mixture. Clip on a candy thermometer and return the pan to medium-low heat. Boil the caramel until the temperature reaches 240 degrees F. Pour immediately into a glass jar or other heat-proof container. (Avoid scraping the sides and bottom of the pot into your jar, as the caramel remaining in these places will be more firm. You can scrape this remaining caramel onto a small plate sprayed with cooking spray to keep the caramel from sticking. Cool and eat this portion on its own!)
- Using a spoon, drizzle your caramel sauce over the cooled cookies.
- Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for one week or freeze for one month. If stacking, place waxed paper between the layers to keep the caramel from sticking. Store any extra caramel in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one month.
- If you prefer, you can substitute 4 ounces (3/4 cup) chopped raw almonds and 9 ounces (1-1/4 cup) store-bought almond butter (preferably with almonds as the only ingredient) for the 13 ounces (2-1/2 cups) raw almonds. Simply skip the step of processing the almonds in the food processor.
- Store-bought caramel sauce, or melted store-bought caramels, is a quick and easy substitute. These cookies are also delicious without the caramel. Choose the option that works best for you!
- This recipe is inspired by Martha Stewart’s Cashew-Caramel Cookies