Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Wheat Free Wednesday

Jecilyn had a Grandparent Tea at her school this week. Parents were asked to bring in a dozen cookies for the tea. I remembered that last year there were a lot of grandparents who couldn't eat the cookies because of diabetis. There are also some children at the school with allergies to eggs and milk...and one little boy who can't eat gluten or sugar. Also, Pop Pop Al and Aunt Teffie need to watch their sugan intake. So, I was on a mission. I thought that I would attempt to make a cookie that was safe for everyone...No wheat, gluten, eggs, milk, cholesterol, or sugar. This was going to be a challenge...but I was up for it. (Of course, I also bought some premade cookie dough just in case.)

I decided that Oatmeal Raisin Cookies would probably be the best way to go. I started by scouring the internet for recipes which substitute Agave Nectar in place of sugar. The first recipe I found was Elise at Simply Recipes . At the bottom of this recipe was a link to this one at Altered Plates. This recipe includes instructions for using Agave Nectar in lieu of the sugars. Great! Now, all I had to do was get rid of the wheat, gluten, milk and eggs....No problem! Ha!

So, I used 1/2 cup of Earth Balance Buttery Spread to replace half the butter. I also used Spectrum Naturals Organic All Vegetable shortening to replace the remaining half of butter. .

All right...I'm on a roll. This is easy! The original recipe called for 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour. Gluten free flour is SO expensive. So, I made some oat flour (Stuck some oatmeal in a food processor!). I used about 1/2 cup of that. Then, I used a cup of Whole Food's 365 Organic Gluten Free All Purpose Flour.

Ok, now, all I need is an egg replacement. This is an easy one. I've done this before. No problem....Or so I thought. I tried to use Knox Unflavored Gelatin and warm water. I'm disgusted by gelatin since my dear friend Beth educated me on just what that is... GROSS! If you want to know, click here....I'm not going to tell you! But, I've used it before...so, I'll try it again. NOPE! I'm not sure exactly what happened...but I ended up with a great big ole nasty gelatinous blob of disgustingness. OK, no big deal. Plan B. Scoop out the aforementioned nasty blob and move on.

It's funny. At this point, I thought What Would Emily Do? Emily Hendrix is the author of Sophie Safe Cooking. As you may remember, she is my inspiration for trying to cook and invent my own recipes! Anyway, I thought about it. Emily probably would have used Apple Cider Vinegar and Baking Powder. As I stood and stared into my pantry...I decided that I'd just use white vinegar. I didn't want the flavor to change too much.

Ok...now, I've got all the ingredients mixed and in the bowl. They smelled really yummy...but they looked disgusting. They were VERY sticky and difficult to shape. I felt like there was more dough left on my hands than on the cookie sheet. Hmm. I'll just stick them in the oven and wait it out...

Patience is a virtue. It's just not one I have. I started messing with the batter while the first batch was cooking. I added some more gluten free flour. I just shook it in. And, then some more. Then, I played with the dough and it seemed to be a good consistency. Ok! This is good! So, I took the first batch out of the oven. I tasted one. They were actually REALLY GOOD. The subsequent batches were good too...but not as good as the first. Oh well...

Everyone that tried them said they liked them. Treavor absolutely loved them! I let him eat them for breakfast two days in a row. I figured, they contain only natural and healthy ingredients. Way better than petroleum laced Lucky Charms or Pop Tarts some kids get! Here's the recipe the way I made them:

Ingredients
1 cup gluten free flour (Whole Foods 365 Organic Brand)
1/2 cup oatflour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger,
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread
1/2 cup Spectrum Organic All Vegetable Shortening
1 1/2 cups Agave Nectar (I used Trader Joe's Brand)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons vinegar
3 cups rolled oats (I used Quaker Quick or Old Fashioned. Do NOT use instant.)
1 1/2 cups raisins

Method
1 Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper or waxed paper. (I didn't do this--I used Pampered Chef Baking Stones!)

2 Either by hand or with electric mixer, beat buttery spread and shortening until creamy. Add agave nectar; beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat vinegar and 2 teaspoons of baking powder.

3 Mix flour, salt, baking powder, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, cinnamon and allspice together in medium bowl. Stir dry ingredients into the "Butter" and "Sugar" mixture. Stir in oats, raisins and optional walnuts.

4 Working with generous 2 tablespoons of dough each time, roll dough into 2-inch balls. Place balls on parchment-lined cookie sheet, leaving at least 2 inches between each ball.

5 Bake until cookie edges turn golden brown, 22 to 25 minutes. Let cool on cooling at least 30 minutes before peeling cookie from parchment.


If you try them...let me know. Thanks to Deb at Altered Plates and Elise's Simply Recipes for the recipe!!!!

6 comments:

Deb Schiff said...

Good for you! Congrats on getting the recipe right for your family and friends. Yay you! Sending you a few pats on the back over the internet. :)

Nettie said...

I can testify that the recipe is delicious. Or at least the half of cookie I got to eat was. I got only half because my wonderful god son loves them so much when he saw me eating mine he begged for it. And I cannot turn down that handsome little boy.

Traci Lyn said...

Thanks!!

Outraged_Richard said...

I saw you used Agave! I enjoy that very much. It seems like you are really jumping head first into the food allergy business.

Speaking of sweeteners, have you read some about sugar? There is a paperback called "Sugar Blues" and worth a read. There are some reviews worth checking out at Amazon.com.

Sugar and corn syrup are really junk, as you know. There are so many other healthier sweeteners: agave, honey, fructose, stevia.

And really, why do we need to douse foods with sweeteners?

Hey, if you are trying to isolate allergies and get products with simple ingredients, I used to eat Canola butter which was just a few ingredients (Giant carried it, Trader Joe's might.)

And have you looked at Quinoa? Kids like the taste. It is a much lighter grain than wheat, corn, oats, and much healthier. I like it as a breakfast food fixed like oatmeal. Good for those with allergies.

Teresa said...

Thanks for your help in finding a friendly cookie. I just want to let you know that on the recipe baking powder is mentioned twice. You might want to change one of them to baking soda when you can pull your self away from other great recipes.

Traci Lyn said...

Thank you Teresa! It's been a while since I've made these...and I'm really bad at writing things down. I may have meant baking soda... In any event, the reason I mentioned it twice is that the dough itself has baking powder...but I also used it with vinegar to replace the egg. I mix the "egg replacer" together and then add it as if I was adding the egg... Sorry for the confusion...And, again, I MAY have meant baking soda...UGH! This is why I've not written a book yet.
Also, you may want to reduce the amount of shortening a bit. IT's REALLY sticky!!! Good luck! Let me know if you try them!