Reinventing The Old, Adapting the New

Gluten-free Almond Tea Bread

Gluten-free Almond Tea Bread

Some of the best recipes are passed down from generation to generation. We all have them, written on scraps of paper, and old index cards…tattered, yellowed and filled with memories. Most of those recipes, we can make by feel…a handful of this, a heaping spoonful of that. The recipe will vary slightly each time, but the heart of it is always the same.

Martha's Aunt's Mandelbread

Martha’s Aunt’s Mandelbread

We were out in the desert again this weekend to celebrate my mom’s birthday. As always, she had something prepared for me to shoot. She has beautiful light in her kitchen and I wish I could capture it in a bottle and take it back to my too-shady house. This first recipe for Mandelbread,mom got from her friend Martha, who got it from her aunt. It’s one of those word-of-mouth recipes, that someone eventually scribbled down. Martha changed it…My mom has changed it, as everyone who inherits a recipe does. Since I’ve convinced her to try going gluten-free, Mom’s begun adapting her favorite recipes using the gluten-free flour mixture. She apologized…”I don’t know how much of the chips I add. You know, just a handful of each…until it looks right.” In any case, she was excited for me to try the recreated recipe, and we both agreed, no one would be able to tell the difference between her version and one using regular flour. IMG_7099

Martha's Aunt's Mandelbread, circa 1900 (adapted by my mom, Jonne' to be gluten-free).
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups unbleached flour (or gluten-free flour mix)*
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped
  • 2 handfuls chocolate chips
  • 1 handful each, butterbrickle chips, butterscotch chips and white chocolate chips.
  1. Whisk together eggs, oil, sugar, orange juice and vanilla in a bowl.
  2. Whisk dry ingredients together in a bowl
  3. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients.
  4. Fold in nuts and chips
  5. Form dough into a long rectangular loaf. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F. Remove from oven and slice diagonally. Put sliced bars bake in oven and bake at 300 degrees F. for 30 to 40 minutes until dried and crisp.

This second recipe I found in the October, ’12 issue of Cooking Light. I go weak at the knees for anything with almond paste, so I brought the recipe out to my mom’s to make, hoping we could make it gluten-free. When I woke up yesterday morning…mom had already adapted the recipe and made it! All I had to do was snap a picture…well and sample it…to make sure it was good enough to post…It was! gluten-free flour mix)* IMG_7092
Gluten Free Almond Tea Bread
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Gluten Free Almond Tea Bread.
  • Almond Bread (But it's more like a Tea Bread or Pound Cake) Adapted from Cooking Light
  • 1 cup almond flour*
  • ½ cup gluten-free flour mix* (or all purpose flour)
  • 1½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 (7-ounce) package almond paste
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ cup 2% milk, divided
  • ¼ cup sliced, toasted almonds
  • ⅓ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • Dash of salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spoon flour into dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder and salt, stirring well with a whisk. Place granulated sugar, butter, oil and almond paste in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well combined (about 3 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition; beat in almond extract. Beating at a low speed, add flour mixture, and ½ cup milk alternately to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; beat just until combined.
  3. Scrape batter into a 9x5 inch metal loaf pan coated with baking spray or greased; sprinkle with sliced, toasted almonds.
  4. Bake at 350* F. for 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs.
  5. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool.
  6. Place powdered sugar in a small bowl add 1 tablespoon orange juice, and dash of salt; stir with a whisk until smooth. Drizzle glaze over top of bread; let stand until set.
  7. * Gluten free baking mixes can also be found at most health food stores, Williams Sonoma and King Arthur's Flour.

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Chocolate Chip, Cherry, Almond Biscotti

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Almond Cupcakes with Cherry Almond Cream Cheese Frosting.

Almond Cupcakes with Cherry Almond Cream Cheese Frosting.




    • says

      Hi Bunche, It’s an adaptation. I wrote that throughout the post, that these recipes were adapted. My mom got the recipe from a friend, who got it from her aunt. Each one had made changes to make it uniquely their own.

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