Saturday, February 12, 2011
Sweets for my Sweets
Cookies, cookie dough, chocolate; I'm good. My three little guys love cookies as much as I do, and I would bake them every day just to see their eyes light up as they traipse into the kitchen, following the smell of baking cookies and get a bit of dough or a fresh baked morsel. But real life means I don't have time to bake fresh cookies all of the time, so when I do it's a special treat. Haden, my oldest cookie lover has a shopping list of food allergies, most of them severe, so baking has always been a challenge. So when I come across a recipe that looks like it will easily adapt to gluten/wheat free, egg free, dairy free, nut free I'm game.
I came across this yummy recipe when I finally asked my friend Amy (who has baked these cookies for years) for a copy. She gave me the recipe and I was double excited to see that it was our friend Anne's grandma's recipe, and "the best cookie of 1930-35" to boot. I love old recipes, and find especially in the case of allergies that they are the most easily adapted, probably because they are usually simple, and have natural, easily accessible ingredient lists. I submitted this recipe in it's original state to my friends e-zine and blog, Mermaids of the Lake. I also said I'd share the revision if it turned out good. Yes it did! My first batch I taste tested on my friend Amy, my friend Funky Junk Jennifer, and my extended family. They met to rave reviews, so I thought they would make great Valentine cookies. I'll include my allergy notes to let you know how it can be modified...enjoy!
Temp. 350 degrees; Time 10-12 mins. (varies on thickness of cookies
1 Cup brown Sugar-packed
3/4 Cup Shortening (I've been able to use both Crisco and a natural brand shortening for Haden's particular allergies.)
1 Egg (I use Ener-G brand Egg Replacer; we call it fake eggs at our home.)
4 Tblsp. Molasses (I mix full and mild flavored.)
2 1/4 Cup Flour (We use brown rice flour that I order online-see below- but you can use the flour(s) that work for your allergy and that you like best for baking.)
1/4 tsp. salt (I just never add salt=).)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cloves
2 tsp. baking soda
*Chocolate chips; broken chocolate bars to taste. (This is my own addition. Why, you ask? Because the incomparable baker at Cake in Spokane, WA makes these amazing molasses ginger cookies with chunks of chocolate and now I have to have one every time I get out to Chaps/Cake. If they aren't there, I cry.)
Mix first 4 ingredients together thoroughly. Measure and blend dry ingredients together and add to first mixture; stir well. (Note: So, I'm sure this was doable without stand mixers back in the day, but my mixture gets very thick due to the ingredient substitutions, so I'm grateful for my Kitchenaid. However, it would have been good to lock it in place so that the stick of molasses coated shortening wouldn't fly out and land on my white sweater today.)
Chill. (I drew a smiley face by this on my recipe to remind me to chill out, too. I wait about an hour for the dough, or when I can get to baking.)
Roll dough in 1&1/4 inch balls; roll in sugar. (Oh, man, I just realized I forgot to roll my whole batch in sugar this time. I also used a vintage scalloped heart cookie cutter as well as a smaller heart cookie cutter pressed into flatted the balls to make a few heart cookies to surprise my boys.)
Place balls 3 inches apart on baking sheet. (I put down a layer of parchment paper ala Martha Stewart to make it easier to remove these gluten free cookies.)
Bake until set but not hard. (Now this is not always easy to gauge with this recipe, but the past two times I've found that about 10-14 minutes was about right. Just make sure if you alter the recipe to leave them on the baking tray to cool before you transfer to cooling rack or you will likely have some broken hearts. Brown rice flower and fake eggs make the cookies more prone to crumbling.)
I also chose to double the recipe this time to yield more yumminess.
Enjoy. And I cannot wait until tomorrow when my boys eyes light up as they see the cooling rack full of heart shaped cookies just for them. Sweet.
http://www.allergygrocer.com - This is my source for brown rice flour that has not been cross-contaminated by other flours (for example nut flours). I also order one of the two types of chocolate chips Haden can have-Barry Calledut chocolate chips from here, usually in 5 lb. bags.
Rosauers, Huckelberry's & Fred Meyer (Spokane stores)-I buy Enjoy Life brand rice milk chocolate bars (the one kind Haden can have) and Enjoy Life chocolate chips baby ones) at these stores. Our biggest challenges are finding packaged items that are not made in plants with Haden's allergens, but these are our constants.