The busy holiday season finds me wishing for more time to bake all my favorite goodies. There’s never enough time to bake them all, but this Festive Holiday Gluten-Free Almond Puff makes the list every year.
When I bake this flavorful treat, the wonderful almond aroma reminds me of my mom making this same recipe when I was growing up. Well, almost the same recipe. Back when she first started making this almond puff, there wasn’t a need to use gluten-free flour or xanthan gum.
Looking back, I’m amazed at how she was able to make it in the morning while getting ready for work. She’d mix it up, bake and decorate it, and take it with her to work (still warm from the oven) to share with co-workers.
The directions are really easy, but the puff needs to bake for 60 minutes. I’ve managed to bring it in to work warm a couple of times, but I usually make it the day before. It will last a few days in an airtight container in the fridge.
During the holidays it’s fun to make this pastry in the shape of a wreath. Instead of pressing the dough into 2 3″ wide strips, you can form the dough into semi-circles and join the ends together.
While the pastry is baking, you have time to mix up the powdered sugar icing, chop the nuts, and cut up the maraschino cherries. There’s something about the redness of the cherries that makes me think of Christmas. If you’re not a fan of cherries, you could use colored sprinkles to make it festive.
My mom has been making this almond puff for as long as I can remember, but the original source of the recipe is unknown. You can easily substitute regular flour and omit the xanthan gum if gluten isn’t a problem for you.
As I mentioned earlier, you can make this ahead of time and serve at room temperature. However, there’s nothing better than the taste of this treat warm from the oven.
If you’re looking for a buttery flaky pastry that’s not real sweet, give this Festive Holiday Gluten-Free Almond Puff a try. It’s sure to become a tasty tradition. Happy baking!
Follow my Gluten Free Desserts board on Pinterest.
- 2 cups gluten-free flour, divided
- 1 cup butter, divided
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 3 eggs
- 3 teaspoons almond flavoring, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon shortening
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon almond milk
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
- 10 maraschino cherries, cut up
Preaheat oven to 350 degrees.
Using a pastry cutter or two forks, cut 1/2 cup of butter into 1 cup of flour until mixture resembles small peas.
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of water over the coarse mixture and, using your hands, form into a ball of dough.
Split the dough in half and press out into 2, 3" wide strips, on an ungreased baking pan.
In a medium saucepan, bring the remaining 1/2 cup of butter and 1 cup of water to a boil and then remove from heat.
Stir in the remaining cup of flour and xanthan gum.
Add in the eggs, one at a time, incorporating each egg before adding the next.
Stir in the vanilla and 1 teaspoon of the almond flavoring.
Spread on the prepared dough and bake for 60 minutes.
While the almond puff is baking, make the powdered sugar icing. Combine the shortening, almond milk, remaining 2 teaspoons of almond flavoring, and the powdered sugar and stir together until smooth.
Remove the almond puff from the oven and allow to cool slightly on the pan.
Spread the powdered sugar icing over the almond puff and decorate with the walnuts and maraschino cherries.
If you want the finished pastry to look like a holiday wreath, press the 3' wide strips into semi-circles and connect the ends to form a round shape with a hole in the center.