Finally: a gluten-free recipe for my favorite Christmas cookies. With thanks to the SAVEUR test kitchen who came up with a gluten-free version of a very similar cookie, I was able to create this gluten-free version of pecan puffs. They hold their nice round shape in the oven, and melt instantly in your mouth with a puff of powdered sugar and rich nutty flavor. I served these cookies on Friday at my annual Christmas cookie (and charades) party, and they were a big hit. The little bit of chestnut flour in there gives them a nice wintery smokiness. They don’t keep quite as well as their wheat-full versions do though, so go ahead and gobble them all up within a couple days (that shouldn’t be too hard to do).
Gluten-Free Pecan Puffs
Adapted from SAVEUR’s Gluten-Free Vanilla Crescent Cookies
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies
6 oz pecans, finely ground
13 Tbs unsalted butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup confectioners sugar, plus more for finishing the cookies
1 1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1/3 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup chestnut flour
generous pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 325°.
Cream the butter and the 1/3 cup confectioners sugar until soft, then stir in the vanilla.
Stir the pecans, all the flours, and the salt into the butter mixture, and mix well.
Roll the dough into 2 tsp size balls and place evenly on a parchment-paper lined cookie sheet.
Bake until the cookies are just barely starting to brown, about 15 minutes.
While still warm, roll each cookie in the confectioners sugar then let cool completely on a cooling rack.
I like to dust all the finished cookies with a bit of extra confectioners sugar through a fine sieve for a smooth finish before serving.