I have to confess...I love anything made with nuts. Nut-crusted fish. nuts sprinkled in salads, nuts in quinoa, chocolate covered nuts...you name it. And I love eating handfuls of nuts: cashews, pistachios, almonds, pecans, walnuts, peanuts. Fortunately, no one in our household has any (known) nut allergies!
I'm particularly intrigued by using nut flours -- like almond flour -- in baked goods. Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix, which is our family's favorite gluten-free pancake mix, includes almond meal, which is probably one of the reasons we find it so delicious. Typically almond meal lends moistness and a subtle wonderful flavor to gluten-free baked goods -- and I like knowing I'm getting fiber and protein, too. So when I recently read about a new bakery called Dolcetti that offed a range of flourless gluten-free cookies inspired by an old Italian recipe using nut flour, I just had to try them.
Dolcetti's artisan nut cookies are, in short, amazing. They're sold at a handful of places in the San Francisco Bay area, but fortunately for the rest of us, you can purchase them online (3-bag minimum order).
These are small, two-bite cookies that don't make you feel guilty when you eat a few. And let me tell you, I lost count when I first tried them. I simply could not stop. My intention was to have just one of each variety, which quickly became two of each...and so on!
Our family tried their Almond, Pistachio, Hazelnut Chocolate, and Peanut Chocolate varieties. They were all incredibly moist, full of a range of interesting flavors, with just the right amount of sweetness. The only one we haven't tried yet is Macadamia Coconut (sounds great!) All varieties are made exclusively from nut flour that the company mills itself using fresh roasted California nuts. This is done without heating, and the processing doesn't require any added oils or fats. Beyond being gluten-free, they are also dairy-free and have no cholesterol, no preservatives, no artificial ingredients, no soy, and no trans fats. They are just pure ground nuts mixed with a few other all natural ingredients.
These are small cookies that are a really nice treat to keep on hand for when you just want a little something sweet, without too much guilt. At $7-$8 per bag, they aren't cheap...but again, they are so unique (true "artisan crafted" treats) and certainly healthier than your typical cookie. Plus, I just like the idea of supporting small businesses that serve the gluten-free community. So spread the word to your GF friends. Or better yet, send some Dolcetti cookies to someone special (GF or not!). A box of assorted flavors would make a wonderful gift for anyone. (They also have an amazing GF chocolate hazelnut pound-type cake/loaf that will be available to order by the end of the month.)
The company does a very nice job with presentation. The cookies come wrapped in cellophane bags with a label indicating the flavor. Each bag of cookies is 5 oz, which typically means 10-13 cookies. They're shipped via USPS to arrive within 24-48 hours after the baking process. And the cookies stay fresh for several weeks if resealed in a Ziploc-type bag at room temperature (or up to 6 months if frozen).
Okay, all this writing about Dolcetti cookies has got me craving them...time to go pop one...or two...or three!