Dessert of the Month: Gluten-Free Jam Dot Cookies

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When made with different colors of jam, these little cookies are reminiscent of a pretty collection of jewels. They satisfy both the need for something nutty and crisp and any desire for big fruity flavors -- all in one bite. The combination of whole-grain flours, ground coconut and maple complement the assertive flavor of toasted hazelnuts perfectly. Choose your favorite jams and try experimenting with unconventional flavors like fig and black currant or with citrus marmalades.

Gluten-Free Jam Dot Cookies

Makes about 15 (2-inch) cookies

I used pure fruit jams (without added sugar) from St. Dalfour. They are available from Whole Foods and many supermarkets and health food stores. Oats are naturally gluten-free, but if you want to be sure there are no traces of gluten from cross-contamination, be sure to purchase those that are certified gluten-free.

1 cup toasted hazelnuts, divided
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
¼ cup dried unsweetened coconut
2 tablespoons coconut flour
¼ cup millet flour
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons brown rice flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup extra virgin coconut oil, melted
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon brown rice syrup
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Cherry, strawberry, blueberry and apricot jam to fill cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Add ½ cup hazelnuts to a food processor and pulse to roughly chop. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside. Place oats, dried coconut, coconut flour and remaining ½ cup hazelnuts in food processor, grind until fine and add to bowl with hazelnuts. Stir in millet flour, brown rice flour, and baking powder and set aside.

In another bowl combine coconut oil, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, vanilla and salt, and whisk to emulsify. Pour into dry mixture and stir until combined. Allow mixture to sit for 10 minutes before rolling into 1½ inch balls and placing on prepared tray. Gently press your thumb into the center of each cookie, squeezing together any large cracks around the edges. Fill each indent with about a teaspoon of jam.

Bake for 12 minutes or until jam is bubbling and cookies are golden brown around the edges. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the tray for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Amy Chaplin is a chef and recipe developer in New York City. Her cookbook At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen will be available fall 2014. She blogs at Coconut & Quinoa.

Photo by Stephen Johnson

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