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Monday, December 17, 2012


Posted by Bryna Bear aka Gluten Free Baking Bear

     These cookies are crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside.  There is peanut butter in the cookie dough as well as the filling, but it looks like a plain chocolate cookie. I love peanut butter so the peanut butter filling would come as a pleasant surprise for me.  Use caution if you know anyone with a nut allergy or distaste for peanut butter, as the cookie would then have to be called peanut butter shock and eewww.
     As with most GF cookie dough this one is softer than the wheat version.  In this case the extra moistness makes it easier to cover the peanut butter filling completely.  I remember making these years ago, before I had to go GF and it was difficult to wrap the dough around the filling without ending up with some filling showing after they baked.
     This recipe was one I found in a magazine many years ago.  It was called Magic Peanut Butter Middles.  The vegan/dairy free version is nearly undistinguishable from the butter and eggs one, as both the chocolate and peanut butter are strong flavors that hide any butter or margarine taste.
     I realize that in Europe peanut butter is not used or liked much.  Here in the States we can’t get enough of the stuff and put it in everything you can imagine, especially baked goods.
     The marzipan recipe was a happy accident.  I wanted to make an almond filling for the rugelach I made last week.  When I followed the recipe for the almond filling in The Joy of Cooking it came out very watery and did not look at all like what I expected.  I guess I’m used to seeing almond filling from a can. 
     I decided to change gears and make marzipan out of the almond paste failure. I added more confectioners sugar and cornstarch until I got a dough the consistency of the marzipan I usually buy. I also added some almond extract for that typical marzipan candy flavor.  I formed shapes and dipped some of the candy in chocolate. 
     Much of the store made marzipan contains wheat from glucose syrup and or egg whites.  This recipe tastes just as good as any I ever bought and none was ever fresher in the store.  With a food processor it takes very little time or effort to make a batch.  Shaping the marzipan does take a bit of time.


Cookie Dough
1 cup
Sorghum Flour
¼ cup
Chickpea Flour
¼ cup
Tapioca Flour
½ tsp.
Xanthan or Guar Gum
½ cup
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
¾ tsp.
Baking Soda
Sea Salt (omit if peanut butter is salted)
½ cup
½ cup
Brown Sugar-packed
¼ cup
Peanut Butter - Smooth (I use the one that has nothing but peanuts in it - no salt; no sugar; no oils or fats added.)
½ cup
Butter – For Vegan/Dairy-Free use non-hydrogenated, non-dairy Margarine
1 tsp.
Egg – For Vegans use ¼ cup water instead of an egg.

¾ cup plus 2 Tbs.
Peanut Butter - Smooth
¾ cup
Confectioner’s sugar – sifted before measuring

     In a small bowl combine the flours, xanthan or guar gum, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.  Mix with a whisk and set aside.
     In a large bowl mix sugar, butter or margarine and ¼ cup peanut butter until light and fluffy.
     Add vanilla and egg or water and mix until well combined.
     Stir in flour mixture and blend well.  Set aside.
     In a small bowl combine the filling ingredients and mix well.  Use a 1-inch diameter scoop to measure out dough into 30 pieces.  Roll each piece into a ball and place on a sheet of waxed paper.  For 60 smaller cookies divide each scooped out piece of filling into two parts before rolling each piece into a ball.
Cookie dough (left) & filling dough (right)
scooped out onto wax paper.
     Using a scoop that measures 1 ½ inch in diameter measure out the chocolate dough into 30 pieces and roll each piece into a ball.  For 60 smaller cookies divide each piece in half before rolling the dough. Place the dough balls on to a piece of waxed paper.
Flattened cookie dough with filling ball in center.
Cookie dough gathered around filling ball
and pinched together so no filling is exposed.
Ball rolled smooth after dough is completely around filling.
     To form the cookies, first flatten the chocolate dough ball with the palm of you hand and then place a ball of the peanut butter filling in the center of the flattened circle of dough.  Pick the dough disk up and fold the chocolate dough around the peanut butter ball, gather the dough at the top and pinch to seal the dough completely over the peanut butter center.  Roll this large ball until smooth and place back on the wax paper.  Repeat until all the dough and filling are used.
     When ready to bake cookies preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
     Line baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper. 
     Place the dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart for small and 4 inches apart for larger cookies.
Balls of dough encased filling, 2 inches apart on wax paper.
The balls are covered with a piece of plastic wrap so that
the glass will not stick to the dough when pressed flat.
     Cover the balls with plastic wrap and use a glass to press down each ball into a flattened disk.  When the balls are all flattened, remove the plastic wrap and bake.
Cookie pressed flat directly on top of silpat liner.
     Bake cookies for 7-10 minutes.  The cookies will harden as they cool.
     Store completely cooled cookies in a cookie tin lined with wax paper or in an airtight plastic container.
     Unbaked dough disks can be frozen for later use.
     Makes 60 large 3-4 inch cookies or 60 smaller 2” cookies.


Marzipan Dough
8 ounces
Blanched Almonds
½ cup
1 ½ cups
Confectioner’s sugar – sifted before measuring
½ - 1 tsp.
Almond extract (to taste)
About ½ -1 cup
Corn starch
Chocolate Coating
1 ½ cups
Vegan Chocolate Chips
2 Tbs.
Vegetable Shortening (non-hydrogenated)

     Place almonds, water and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and run until a smooth dough is formed. 
     If the almond mixture is too thin and wet you can add cornstarch to thicken it.  You can add confectioner’s sugar, but it will make the dough sweeter.  Add cornstarch and/or powdered sugar a little at a time until the mixture is firm and pliable yet still a little moist.
Marzipan dough rolled flat and cut into shapes with cookie cutters.
     Form the dough into shapes.  I rolled out the dough and cut it with cookie cutters.  You can shape it with your hands into fruit, vegetables, animals or any other shape and decorate the pieces with food coloring. 
Keep dough covered so that it does not dry out.
     To cover the pieces with chocolate melt 1 ½ cups vegan chocolate chips and 2 Tbs. non-hydrogenated shortening in the top of a double boiler that is over hot water.  Stir until smooth.  Dip each piece of marzipan, one at a time, into the chocolate.  Shake off the excess chocolate and place the pieces on wax paper to cool and set. 
Chocolate dipped marzipan on wax paper
 waiting until the chocolate sets and gets hard.
     Store the marzipan pieces in an airtight container. 
I dipped some pieces half way.     


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