Need a unique, yummy cookie to impress some gluten intolerant friends? Here is our recipe for Almond and Moringa Gluten-Free Pinwheels. This recipe is adapted from the Pistachio Pinwheels in Claire Saffitz’s cookbook, Dessert Person.
I have always been a huge fan of Claire Saffitz and when I saw the recipe for these cookies, my first thought was how good would this be if that green dough was baked with green tea? Well not green tea like hojicha or sencha, more like green tea as in matcha. Expect we’re not using matcha, we’re using the other powdered superfood tea, moringa!
Here’s what’s up:
- What Exactly is Moringa
- What You Need To Bake: Tools & Ingredients
- How To Bake: Method
- Vegan Alternatives and other dietary restrictions
I am a fan of almond flour but don’t often find great recipes, so for anyone else in the same predicament here we have some delicious gluten-free cookies with almond flour! So here is my version of a delicious cut and bake pinwheel, adapted with moringa and safe for those with gluten intolerance.
What is Moringa Tea Powder?
But first let’s get a little background, what exactly is moringa?
Moringa is a powdered tea derived from a tree native to India, the Moringa oleifera, which is also called the “miracle tree.” And a miracle it is!
The leaves of the moringa trees are chock full of antioxidants, nutrients, and healthy fatty acids. It is said that moringa can aid in curing over 300 ailments and clinical studies have found that moringa is great for improving cholesterol, blood sugar imbalances and inflammation.
In appearance, moringa seems comparable to matcha, but when you look a little deeper you’ll find just how different they are:
Moringa lacks the bitter undertones found in matcha that turn many away from the powdered tea fad in the USA. Moringa is also much richer in fiber, protein, vitamins and antioxidants. You thought matcha was a superfood, moringa knocks it out of the water!
For more about the wonders of the miracle tree tea, check out our all about moringa blog, Moringa: The Energizing, Caffeine-Free Matcha Alternative (roll credits lol).
Now, let’s get baking!
What You’ll Need: Ingredients & Tools
Makes: About 30-32 cookies
Preparation Time: About 1 hour, plus chilling time of 1 hour and 10 minutes
First let’s tackle the ingredients:
- 3 - 4 tsp Superior Organic Moringa Tea Powder, depending on your taste
- ¾ cup (170g) unsalted butter cut into ½-inch pieces and at room temperature
- Roughly 14 tbsp (110g) of confectioners sugar
- 1 ⅓ cup (150g) almond flour
- Yolks of 2 large eggs
- 1 cup (130g) gluten free flour of your choice (options below)
- Pinch of kosher salt
- ½ tsp almond extract
All ingredients, ready to go!
- Standmixer; or if you don’t have access to one you can use an electric hand whisk and a big bowl
- Additional medium sized bowl
- An 18” by 12” baking sheet; this dough is refrigerated so make sure you have room for the baking sheet in your fridge! (and that your baking sheet can fit)
- Parchment paper
- A spatula
- Measuring cups and spoons
How to choose gluten-free flour for baking
For best results when baking with gluten-free flour, you should choose a flour that is finely ground and overall flavorless. Here are some great options:
- Brown rice flour
- Chickpea flour
- Gluten-free all purpose flour
- Arrowroot flour
- Oat flour
For this recipe I used brown rice flour with some pretty great results but feel free to experiment. Each flour alternative may add its own texture or flavor profile which could make for a yummy pinwheel cookie, or may lead to some less satisfying results.
A Note on Almond Flour: This recipe calls for 1 ⅓ cup of almond flour to be added into one of the doughs (you have to split the dough in two so you can get the awesome swirl!). I would recommend not using all almond flour for this recipe because it may make for a much more crumbly treat.
Now Let’s Bake!
Making the Base Dough
In your stand mixer, add room temperature butter and slowly add confectioners’ sugar, mixing until the mixture is smooth and creamy, making sure to scrape down the sides every so often. Begin mixing on a low speed and add confectioners’ sugar in small batches to avoid a powdered sugar explosion.
Creaming together the butter and sugar
Add the egg yolks and almond extract and mix on medium speed until fully combined.
Need to do something with your egg whites? Check out another MA moringa powder recipe for Moringa Sauce! It was developed to go with a meat dish but goes great with an egg white omelette. You’ve already got our organic moringa powder so why not enjoy it twice?
Add in your egg yolks
Add your choice of gluten free flour and salt to the dough, incorporating the flour ¼ cup at a time to prevent clumping. Scrape down the sides as you go, mixing until you have uniform dough.
Making the Almond Dough
Transfer roughly ⅔ of the dough to a medium sized bowl and add in the almond flour. Mix gently with a spatula until fully combined.
Scrape the almond dough onto your parchment lined baking sheet. Roll the dough out into a long rectangle, about ¼-inch thick. Refrigerate the sheet of dough until firm, about 10 minutes.
Making your moringa dough. Look how green!
Making the Moringa Dough
While the almond dough is chilling, scrape the remaining dough into your medium bowl and add the moringa powder. Work the tea powder into the dough until fully combined. I would once again recommend that you use a spatula and not your hands to combine unless you want to walk away looking like you went toe to toe with Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street.
Combine and Bake!
Remove the almond dough from the fridge. Begin to add tablespoon sized portions of the moringa dough on top of the dough slab. Spread the moringa dough across the almond, leaving a ½-inch border along the longer ends of the almond dough rectangle, this will help with rolling.
Towards the end of your dough's stint in the fridge, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper (you can re-use the parchment used to roll out the dough to create less waste!)
If you have a fan oven check out MA’s Jasmine Tea and Honey Cake recipe for a conversion guide.
Remove the log from the refrigerator and place on a cutting board. With a sharp knife cut the ends of the dough log off to reveal the pinwheel’s spiral pattern. Cut the log in half crosswise, then cut each half in half. Cut each of those four pieces in half so that the dough log is now cut into eight even sections. From there cut the eighths into 5-6 even slices.
Place the cookie on the lined baking sheet, evenly spaced and place in the oven to bake, about 10-15 minutes.
Remove from the oven when the bottoms of the cookies begin to brown. Allow the cookies to cool, roughly 5-10 minutes, then enjoy!
Vegan alterations and other dietary restrictions
This recipe can be made vegan with vegan baking alternatives like margarine over butter and an egg substitute. I’ve linked the vegan alternatives that I like to use, but I’ve found that for this recipe, which is already so delicate due to the flour substitutes, does not always translate seamlessly into a vegan version.
If you're looking for more vegan-friendly moringa recipes check out our recipe for Moringa Powder Vegan Protein Shakes!
A Note on Keto & Paleo: In regards to dietary modifications, this recipe can’t be made keto or paleo because its use of confectioners’ sugar is integral to the cookies’ texture. Unlike brown sugar, confectioners’ sugar cannot be easily replaced by maple syrup or honey, which is necessary to make the recipe paleo, because the moisture content is completely different. So unfortunately that means that even if you were to use all almond flour, the recipe would not fit into either of these diets.
I'm enjoying my pinwheels with some of Shakespeare's sonnets in honor of National Poetry Month!
A Note from Anna
Hope you enjoy these fun, gluten free cookies! The moringa adds cool color but also a wonderful flavor to the cookie! Not to mention it’s chock full of fiber and protein, which might ease a bit of guilt from eating a whole plate of them.
I enjoyed my batch with a nice cup of MA’s "The Purist" Rare Purple Tea with a little lemon. The tea’s flavor with a hint of citrus is a fabulous compliment to these nutty earthy cookies. And don't just take it from me, I shared these with friends and family and they agree! In fact, my dad, who doesn't have much of a sweet tooth, said that these might be some of his favorite cookies. So trust me, they are great for even the toughest people to please.
And now that it's getting warm and the weather is almost optimal for safe outdoor gatherings, why not throw a little tea party? This is the perfect tea cookie recipe for a spring garden party with gluten intolerant friends!
Now cut yourself a slice and enjoy!!!
Our favorite superfood and the ultimate matcha powder substitute: moringa has more antioxidants than Matcha
Overtones of black plum and a mildly woody nose. Like a tannic green tea, with an incredibly sweet aftertaste in the throat that reminds of most of a boiled sweet
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All of the information regarding the herbs, botanicals, minerals, vitamins, etc., is information drawn from traditional use data or academic research and should be regarded as such. If you, the reader, has a health or medical concern, please consult your healthcare professional. The information found here is not meant to diagnose, treat, prescribe or cure and has not been evaluated by the FDA. This information is for educational purposes only.
I adapted this recipe from the marvelous cookbook: