On Wednesday, April 30th, I got to do something I thought I would never do and it was such an honor! I got to be a ‘participating restaurant’ at a fundraiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation called Gourmet Tasting for a Cure. No, I haven’t opened up a restaurant or a bakery (although opening up a gluten free baker is my dream) but I was asked by a friend who is involved with the Long Island Chapter if I would be interested in having my own table at the event. How could I say no?!?! I got to bake my favorite gluten free and dairy free desserts, make them pretty and watch as people gushed over my food and thanked me for making gluten free sweets that their friends and family could eat. Until recently, I had no idea that there is even a connection between type 1 diabetes and celiac disease but it turns out, they share some of the same genes and many people with type 1 diabetes also have celiac. So having gluten free desserts at a fundraiser for type 1 diabetes was a great surprise for everyone and it felt incredible for me to be the baker that brought it there.
Wondering what I baked??? Yeah, I know you are. My full menu was: Lemon Poppyseed Muffins with Coconut Cream Frosting, Maple Meringue Cookies, Macadamia Nut and Dried Cherry Fudge Clusters, Almond Joy Lollipops, Pistachio Shortbread Cookies with Strawberry Preserves and Freeze Dried Strawberry Powder and Chocolate Mousse Cups with Maple Candied Walnuts. While I won’t be sharing all of these recipes on my blog, I wanted to share the most popular recipe of the night, which was the Pistachio Shortbread Cookies with Strawberry Preserves. PS. If you are interested in buying gluten free desserts from me, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s get down to the business of these crunchy sweet and salty cookies with easy homemade strawberry preserves. I mixed together the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, salt and crushed unsalted pistachios. I left a few larger pieces of pistachio so you could see them in the finished cookie. So pretty!
Separately, I mixed together the melted coconut oil, pure maple syrup and vanilla extract. I mixed the wet and dry ingredients together until a dough was formed.
I pressed the dough into a casserole dish lined with parchment paper and froze the dough for 30 minutes.
I removed the dough from the freezer then picked up the dough using the parchment paper and placed it on a flat surface. Using a ruler for perfect square cookies, I cut the dough into 1 inch pieces. You can certainly make them larger and use whatever shape you want. You can even use a cookie cutter for fun shapes.
I placed the square dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and baked the cookies for 10-12 minutes, until browning around the edges. I cooled the cookies for at least one hour, to cool completely and get crunchy.
In the meantime, I made the strawberry preserves, which was so simple but so much tastier than store-bought preserves. You can certainly use frozen strawberries for this but there’s nothing better than fresh sweet strawberries!
I simmered the fresh strawberries, coconut sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan for 30 minutes and that was it! Look at that beautiful texture.
And then it was time to assemble! You can eat these cookies on their own but the strawberry preserves seriously take them to the next level. I even topped the cookies with a bit of fine strawberry powder made from dehydrated strawberries. I am definitely addicted to these cookies!