Saturday, April 2, 2011

Gluten Free Chocolate Kiss Cookies

I hit the ground running this semester, and things don't seem to be slowing down. It's all good though, since everything I'm doing is exactly what I want to be doing.  I'm finishing up a research project on men and domestic violence work; preparing to spend the month of May in China teaching social work and conducting research; interning as a clinical sexuality counselor; teaching an after-school sexuality education class; getting ready to graduate with two Masters degrees; and getting married in July.  This is turning out to be the busiest year EVER!!!  Although I'm feeling pretty content with the way my life is turning out, I do hope things slow down after the wedding.  I'll be needing some serious R&R come the end of Summer, and I don't think a couple week honeymoon will cut it (although it'll be a great start)!

During times like these, I find it a matter of self care to give in to my chocolate addiction.  The following cookie recipe uses Hershey's Kisses. It comes from one of my favorite cookie books: HERSHEY'S Classic Recipes. According to this link: "GF Candy Database" and other sources, Hershey's Kisses are gluten free.  However, as with most products coming from huge factories, there is a slight chance of cross-contamination.  Now I've never had a negative reaction to Hershey's products, if you are worried about it, or have an extremely sensitive system, simply replace the kisses with chunks of your favorite GF chocolate. Be prepared, because this one is messy!

Chocolate Kiss Cookie Ingredients
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. all natural vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 2/3 cup all purpose gluten-free flour (I use Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 1 bag (9 ounces) Hershey Kisses (or chocolate chunks)
  • Powdered sugar

Baking Directions
  1. Beat the butter, granulated sugar and vanilla in a large bowl until creamy. 
  2. Mix the flour and cocoa, then gradually add the creamy butter mixture. Beat until blended.
  3. Add the pecans and incorporate.
  4. Refrigerate the dough for about an hour, or until it's firm enough to handle.
  5. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. 
  6. Remove the wrappers from the Hershey's Kisses (or cut chocolate into 1/2 inch chunks). Mold about a tablespoon of cookie dough around each piece of chocolate, making sure to cover completely in order to shape it into a ball.
  7. Place each cookie dough ball onto ungreased cookie sheets, about 3 inches apart.
  8. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until dough appears set.  Remove from oven and cool for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks.
  9. Once cooled, dust with powdered sugar (optional).

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