It’s great to have a few “free-from” recipes up your sleeve. Gluten and dairy intolerances seem more common than ever. So if you’re having a bunch of friends around, chances are one of them will have an intolerance.
No need for your other guests to suffer though. My initial view has been that “free-from” recipes are tasteless and a poor substitute for the real thing. But once I took bite of these Gluten & Dairy Free Chai Cookies, I changed my mind.
Sink your teeth into one and you’ll see what I mean. The crisp, toasted meringue topping gives way to a chewy, chai-spiced cookie. Plus they are super easy to make! So why not make them this weekend?
Chai Spice Mix:
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½tsp ground cloves
½tsp ground ginger
½tsp ground cardamom
A generous pinch of ground black pepper
2 large egg whites
1 tsp lemon juice
200g icing sugar, sifted
Chai spice mix (from above)
250g Nature’s Choice Gluten Free Almond Flour (available from Faithful to Nature)
- Mix together all the spices to make the Chai spice mix. Set aside.
- Using an electric or stand mixer, whisk the egg whites until foamy. Add the lemon juice and whisk until soft peaks form.
- Gradually add the icing sugar and continue to whisk for a further 2 minutes until the meringue has formed stiff peaks.
- Remove 60g of this meringue mixture for the topping and set aside. Keep this covered at room temperature until needed.
- To the remaining mixture, add the spices and mix well.
- Stir in the almond flour.
- Use your hands to bring the dough together into a flat disc. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm up.
- Preheat your oven to 160°C. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
- Dust your work surface with a little icing sugar, then roll out the dough to 5mm thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut the dough into shapes, then transfer onto the baking tray.
- Repeat until all the dough has been used up.
- Take the meringue mixture that you set aside earlier and add a few drops of water to make it more spreadable.
- Use a palate knife or small teaspoon to spread a layer of meringue mixture onto each cookie.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the meringue is just starting to turn golden.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking tray.
- Once completely cooled, store the cookies in an airtight container. They will keep for 2 weeks. Makes about 30 cookies.