Spumoni is a funny name for an interesting combination of flavors. DeLuca’s Restaurant in Lansing was the only place I knew that offered this ice cream made of three unique flavors. I always wanted to try this blend of chocolate, cherry and pistachio ice cream. Somehow, I never got around to ordering it.
Between Christmas gifts and my February American Gluten Free box, I had a collection of pistachios, dried cherries and bittersweet chocolate chips. Since it’s cold here in Michigan (and I have a head cold that won’t go away) I wasn’t up to making my own spumoni ice cream. However, I imagined these ingredients would make for an amazing cookie. The blend of saltiness of the pistachios along with the sweetness of the chocolate makes for a blend of flavors that won’t soon be forgotten.
Therefore, gluten-free spumoni cookies were born!
I based the recipe for these gluten-free spumoni cookies off the back of Ryze Gluten-Free Flour Blue Bag. Ryze Flour is made completely from rice. It contains no refined starches, gums, or genetically modified ingredients. Ryze makes two different blends. Their Yellow Bag is better for muffins, cake, brownies and quick breads. The Blue Bag is better for cookies, pastries, biscuits and cinnamon rolls. In the gluten-free world, there isn’t any one individual flour that’s a one-to-one replacement for wheat flour. To get the right protein profile, different types of flours are mixed together. Somehow, Ryze has managed to mill and process this flru blend made of rice alone. There might be a wee bit of magic in this flour.
So, I used Ryze’s basic chocolate chip cookie mix and added chopped pistachios and chopped dried cherries. I suppose you could leave them whole, but I like cookies that have a bit of each taste in every bite. When making a cookie dough, it’s always best to refrigerate your dough prior to baking. It helps the butter to firm up to help the cookie hold its shape. It also allows the flavors of the ingredients to meld together. I found that this cookie dough, when refrigerated, doesn’t spread as much as others. Therefore, after scooping out dough, pat the cookie into a round shape to get the well baked cookie. Otherwise the cookie stays in a round heap.
These spumoni cookies are loaded with fruit and nuts, so that makes them healthy, right? Doesn’t this mean you could eat them for breakfast? They’d definitely be great for an after school snack, with a cool glass of milk. These cookies, which are a blend of sweet and tart, remind me of one of my favorite children’s books, The Watson’s Go To Birmingham. Written by a Flint native (whose sister-in-law lives in my neighborhood), this Newberry award winning book combines memorable moments of laughter with poignant stories of a distressing time in our country’s history. The book is intended to teach children about the events that happened at 16th street Baptist Church in Birmingham. However, I think it speaks to the heart of any person, regardless of age. We seem to again, no-still, have similar times in our country when people are judged by the color of their skin and not the content of their character. Maybe we all just need to sit down with a good cookie, a good book, and remember that it’s the combination of our different flavors that make our country such a delectable place to live.
Gluten-Free Spumoni Cookies
2 cups Ryze Flour Mix (Blue Bag)
1 tsp baking soda
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp LorAnn Oils Princess Cake and Cookie Baking Emulsion*
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup chocolate chips,
1 cup pistachios, chopped
1/2 cup chopped dried cherries
1. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with salt and vanilla. Add in sugars and beat well until mixture is smooth. Add eggs and mix well.
2. Add baking soda and half of the flour. Beat batter after each addition.
3. Fold in chocolate chips, chopped pistachios and chopped dried cherries. Mix with spoon until distributed throughout.
4. Refrigerate dough for 1-2 hours until well chilled.
5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Using a large tablespoon, scoop dough and roll into balls. Using hands, gently flatten dough balls into a disk shape.
6. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 11 minutes. Remove cookies from oven and let cool, on cookie sheet, for 2 minutes. Remove to rack to cool completely.