Walnut Roll Gift Cookies
Gluten-free, very low lactose, FODMAP friendly
These lovely rolls can be clear-wrapped and decorated with ribbons or sprigs of Christmas greenery, then sliced into cookies. Like all gluten-free baked goods, they age more rapidly than conventional products—so freeze or use them within 2-3 days.
- 1 ½ cups sweet rice (sticky rice) flour
- 1 ½ cups sorghum flour
- ¾ cup tapioca starch
- ½ cup millet flour
- 2 ½ tsp xanthan gum
- 1 ¼ cups and 2 ½ Tbsp sugar (divided)
- 1 ¼ cups walnuts
- ½ lb (2 sticks) butter
- 1 cup unsweetened, unflavored almond milk (divided)
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp yeast
- 3 egg whites (divided)
Prepare two baking sheets with shortening or oil. Heat oven to 350 F.
- In small bowl, mix sweet rice flour, sorghum flour, tapioca starch, millet flour, and xanthan gum. If the flours have been refrigerated, warm slightly.
- In blender or food processor, combine 1 ¼ cups sugar and 1 ¼ cups walnuts. Pulse briefly to grind the nuts into small chunks, but not to powder.
- Warm gently together the butter, ½ cup almond milk, and salt. The butter doesn’t need to melt, but if it softens a bit, it will mix better with other ingredients.
- Warm the other ½ cup almond milk to about 100 F, then stir in the 2 ½ Tbsp sugar, then the yeast. Let set until it bubbles, about 5 minutes.
- In large mixing bowl, mix the butter mixture with the yeast mixture until mostly smooth. Add 2 of the egg whites, slightly beaten (reserve the third egg white for brushing the rolls before baking). Immediately add flour mixture and then beat about 2 minutes.
- Divide dough in 4 equal portions. Place one portion between two wax-paper rectangles and roll it out into a rectangle about 1/8 to ¼ inch thick. Trim off ragged edges and place them at the dough circle’s four “corners,” then re-roll, to make it more rectangular.
- Remove top layer of wax paper. Sprinkle rolled dough evenly with a scant ¾ cup of the walnut-sugar mixture. Replace the wax paper, and roll gently to embed some of the nut mixture into the dough.
- Now for the tricky part. Starting at one narrow end of the rectangle, curl the edge under to form the middle of a roll. Lift the wax paper at that end, as if you were rolling sushi, and keep it rollng. Keep the roll as tight as possible. When you reach the other end, STOP. This dough is very fragile. Use a spatula (and maybe an assistant) to transfer the roll, seam side down, to the prepared baking sheet.
- Take the other three portions of dough, roll out, sprinkle, press in the nut mixture, and sushi-fy each of them. Place 2 on each prepared baking sheet.
- Lightly beat the remaining egg white in a small bowl. Brush each roll with beaten egg white.
- Bake at 350 F for 25-30 minutes, until nicely browned.
- Remove from oven and cool on wire rack, then wrap rolls separately in clear wrap.
- These are best made one day ahead, so the dough can mellow slightly before slicing it into rounds. Or – freeze the intact rolls until you’re ready to enjoy or give as gifts. Thawing is best done in the refrigerator, to reduce condensation.
- Makes 4 rolls, each of which yields about 10-12 cookies.