There’s a wonderful recipe in Rose’s Christmas Cookies for Filbertines, hazelnut cookies that are so tender and nutty that they have been a favorite in my house for years. Their very simplicity is precious in this season of excess. However, I’ve recently discovered that I’m sensitive to gluten, so I’m embarking on the process of revamping all of my cooking to accommodate this new restriction.
The recipe calls for 1-1/3 cups of bleached all-purpose flour. Generally, my baking resources suggest substituting some combination of rice flour (brown or white), along with tapioca starch and/or xanthan gum. (Some recipes/authors suggest flour mixes that incorporate garbanzo or fava bean flour, but my husband is highly allergic to beans so that’s not an option for me.) There are also “alternative” grains like amaranth or quinoa that might be used. Before I start experimenting (which doubtless will need to occur), I wondered if anyone has explored this topic?
Also, a related issue: I’ve found in baking generally that when one leaves out wheat, a highly flavorful grain, and substitutes something mild like rice, one must increase the use of spices or other flavorings. In the Filbertines recipe, should I just increase the amount of cardamom and/or vanilla, or is there some other flavoring I should consider incorporating in order to deepen the flavors?
Thanks for everyone’s thoughts!