I’ve got Gluten Free Swedish Cardamon Almond Rusks over at the Balanced Platter today. I hope your like them as much as I do!

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My grandmother baked a lot around the holidays, filling the house with the smells of ginger, vanilla, rosettes, and cookies.  While baking gluten free versions of her recipes with my family now, I am drawn back to memories of her kitchen. The scents that are the strongest pull in my mind are almond and cardamon. My grandmother was from a Swedish family, so almond-flavored goodies kissed with cardamon were definitely a high point on the cookie tray. Grandma made the most wonderful cookie we called “Cardamon Toast.” It was a variation of Mandelskorpor, a Swedish almond rusk similar to biscotti. She always added cardamon to the traditional recipe, so I do, too.

Now that my family is gluten and dairy free, I make a different version with my kids. This grain free version is lovely with tea, eggnog, or a strong cup of Swedish coffee just like Grams would have liked. Crisp, and slightly sweet, the almond flavor really shines. I usually keep them plain, but for gifts or for Christmas, I might dress them up with a simple drizzle of vegan white chocolate or a tiny bit of powdered sugar glaze with a touch of almond flavoring.

Gluten Free Swedish Cardamon Almond Rusks are a wonderful snack to keep around during the holidays. They keep well, so they can be made ahead of time. With a stash on hand, you are ready with a treat for last-minute visits from friends and family. These lovely little crisps also travel well, making them perfect for gift giving.

Other Cookie Recipes for Holiday Baking:

Gluten Free Swedish Cardamon Almond Rusks

Makes about 26 rusks

  • 3 cups packed blanched almond meal or flour, finely ground preferred
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca or arrowroot starch
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
  • 1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup, brown rice syrup or honey, or coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon gluten free vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon gluten free almond extract
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons unsweetened plain almond milk
  • 1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds, optional
  1. If using coconut sugar as your sweetener, put coconut sugar into a bowl with 4 tablespoons almond milk to soften while assembling dry ingredients.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking pan with parchment or silicone baking mat. Set aside.
  3. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a food processor, combine almond flour, tapioca or arrowroot, cardamon, baking powder, and salt until well blended. Add sweetener of choice, vanilla, almond extract and up to 4 tablespoons almond milk (if using coconut sugar, this will be already mixed into the sweetener). Mix until mixture comes together. The dough should be sticky and come together into a ball. Depending on sweetener used and the brand of almond meal, you may need to add more almond milk for the dough to come together. Add two teaspoons at a time, mixing well after each addition until dough holds together. If using sliced or slivered almonds, add them and mix.
  4. Divide the dough in half and place on the prepared baking sheet. Using wet hands, shape each half of the dough into a log about 8″ long and 2″ wide. Bake  at 350 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes. When done baking the logs will be firm to the touch and a light golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Lower oven to 250 degrees F.
  5. After cooling, use a serrated knife to slice the logs into 3/4″ slices. I slice them straight across making short rusks like Grams, and not on the angle, as with biscotti. Place slices back on the baking sheet, cut side down, and baking in oven at 250 degrees F for 10 minutes. Turn rusks over and bake for another 10 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave in the oven until baking sheet is cool.