Recipe Image
Carol Kicinski
Give your loved ones some kisses this Valentine’s Day – in the form of gluten-free cookies!

Give kisses this Valentine’s Day – in cookie form

Author Byline Image   Valentine’s Day is right around the corner (sheesh, how did this happen?)! This year, I am giving the people I love lots of Valentine’s Day kisses – in cookie form.
   These gluten-free sweet treats are light, tender cookies studded with maraschino cherries and topped a chocolate kiss.
   While these cookies are simple to make, there are a couple of little tricks that will make your life (or at least your cookie making) a bit easier.
   First of all, make sure to dry your cherries well with paper towels, you don’t want to tint your dough too pink nor do you want any extra liquid.
   Secondly, make sure that all your chocolate kisses are unwrapped before the cookies are finished baking; you want to top the cookies with the kisses as soon as they come out of the oven. If you let the cookies cool too much, they have a tendency to crumble when you are trying to get that kiss in there. Don’t worry, once the cookies cool, they won’t crumble on you.
   I also stagger my starting time for baking the cookies. I get all my cookie dough placed on the cookie sheets, put one
Gluten Free Valentine Kisses Cookies
Makes 3½ dozen
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose gluten free flour (with xanthan gum)
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
4 ounces Solo Almond Paste
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup sugar, divided use
1 large egg white
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon pure almond extract
½ cup maraschino cherries, stems removed, dried and coarsely chopped
42 Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Kisses
   Preheat oven to 325 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
   In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer (preferably fitted with the paddle attachment), beat the almond paste, butter, and ¼ cup sugar together for 3 minutes or until very light and fluffy. Add the egg white and extracts and beat well. Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixture slowly. Mix until combined. With a spatula, stir the chopped cherries into the dough.
   Place the remaining ¼ cup of sugar on a plate. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls (a #60 ice cream scoop works well) and roll the dough balls in the sugar. Place on the prepared pans, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake for 15 minutes or until the dough looks just set but has not started to brown. While the cookies are baking, unwrap all your chocolate kisses.
   As soon as the cookies are done, place a kiss on top of each cookie, gently pressing the kiss into the cookie. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes then gently move to a wire rack to finish cooling.
sheet in, wait 5 minutes then put in the second sheet. This gives me enough time to get all my cookies topped with kisses without having to worry about them cooling too much.
Last but certainly not least, make sure your kisses are gluten free! According to Hershey’s, only the regular bite sized plain milk chocolate, filled caramel and filled cherry cordial kisses are gluten free. To be
safe, it’s always a good idea to double check Hershey’s website to ensure the variety you want to use is gluten-free, as formulas may have changed since I’ve checked.