Gluten-Free Vanilla Horns (on left)
16 tablespoons sweet margarine
½ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups potato starch
2 cups finely ground almonds
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream 16 tablespoons of sweet margarine which has been softened with ½ cup of granulated sugar on a medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat into two teaspoons of vanilla.
In a bowl, whisk together 1-1/4 cups potato starch with two cups of finely ground almonds. With the mixture on low speed, add potato starch and ground almond mixture to the margarine mixture and blend just until a dough forms around paddle.
Break off tablespoons of the dough, form into a horn or crescent shape and arrange on a baking sheet leaving 1” in between. Bake 10-15 minutes until lightly golden.
With a spatula, remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool. When cool, dust with confectionery sugar. Store in layers separated by wax paper in an air tight container or serve immediately.
Chilled Chocolate Loaf (on right)
½ pound semisweet chocolate, cut in small pieces
¼ cup vanilla
16 tablespoons (1/2 pound) soft unsalted butter
2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs, separated
1-1/2 cups ground almonds (about five ounces)
Pinch of salt
12 meringues, crumbled
½ cup heavy cream, whipped (optional)
Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 1-1/2 quart loaf pan with vegetable oil and invert the pan over paper towels to drain. In a heavy 1 to 1-1/2 quart saucepan, melt the chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly. When all the chocolate is dissolved, stir in the rum and remove the pan from the heat. Cool to room temperature.
Cream the soft butter by beating it vigorously against the sides of a large heavy mixing bowl until it is light and fluffy. Beat in the sugar and then the egg yolks, one at a time. Stir in the ground almonds and cooled chocolate. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites and salt with a rotary beater or wire whisk until they are stiff enough to cling to the beater in soft peaks. With a rubber spatula, fold them into the chocolate mixture, When no streaks of white show, gently fold in the crumbled meringues, discarding the crumbs. Spoon the mixture into the greased loaf pan and smooth the top with a spatula to spread it evenly. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least four hours or until the loaf is very firm.
Unmold the load an hour or so before serving time. To do so, run a sharp knife around the sides of the pan and dip the bottom into hot water for a few seconds. Place a chilled serving platter upside down over the pan and, grasping both sides, quickly turn the place and pan over. Rap the plate on the table; the loaf should slide out easily. If it does not, repeat the whole process. Smooth the top and sides of the unmolded loaf with a metal spatula, then return it to the refrigerator. Just before serving, sieve a little confectioners’ sugar over the top. Cut the loaf into thin slices and serve it, if desired, with whipped cream.