conquered

I have done it.  I feel like I won the (health food junk food) lottery.  Behold…

chocolate chip  macadamia nut cookies in all their gluten, dairy, corn, egg and peanut free splendor.

And a view under the hood…

Yes, they taste exactly as good as they look. I made them for a small dinner party we’re having tonight and it has taken me a great deal of will power to keep myself from gobbling them all up.

This is the recipe I mentioned the other day. I made the following further changes which have been obviously successful (see above).

  • used palm shortening instead of the coconut spread – I am very very pleased this worked
  • used a total of 1.5 tsp of ground chia seed and 4 Tbsp (a quarter cup) of water in place of the egg
  • cut the molasses in half and used the full tsp of vanilla – perfect flavor
  • used the Tierra Farm chocolate chips which are responsible for that level of gooey, ooey, corn free chocolaty goodness you see trying to escape from that cookie (Note: these are found in the bulk section of my local HFS – I usually do not ever get things in the bulk section because of cross contamination concerns, but the items around it were benign enough and I haven’t reacted to them so FOR US, I’m considering them safe. If you choose this path, proceed with caution)
  • after increasing the flour mix by 2 ounces, I’ve cut it back by an ounce, yet I haven’t decided if this was a good decision or not – the last batch seemed a titch dry, but the batter for this batch seemed a little wet when I was rolling them into balls so I’m not sure, more experimenting I guess (insert sarcastically sad face)

I have honestly been trying for a long time to make the perfect (mostly) allergen free cookies.  Figuring out how to get the texture without the egg was critical – I succeeded in making a lot of flat, spread out, greasy, but great tasting, cookies.  Horray for chia (which I much prefer over flax as an egg replacer, for the record).

Now I have to go make pizza dough and tidy up the house.  Have a happy weekend!  If you need me, I’ll be the one in the sugar coma.

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I found a unicorn

You see that right there? That my friends is a chocolate chip cookie. But not just ANY chocolate chip cookie. That cookie up there has no gluten, dairy, corn, soy, nuts or eggs in it. Nada. And they are straight up delicious. Reminds me of a Chips Ahoy Cookie, but soft. There’s something still just a titch off, something lost in translation likely. I don’t love the flavor, personally, but the texture is fabulous. It’s based off of this recipe here, which is based off this recipe here.

Here’s what I did differently:

  • used my flour mix and used 8 oz instead of 6 oz called for in the recipe
  • replaced the egg with 1 tsp chia and 3 Tbsp of water
  • cut the vanilla to 1/2 tsp
  • used the new Earth Balance Coconut Spread instead of butter
  • used Enjoy Life chocolate chips (never again, I broke out almost immediately, there’s corn in them there chips…)

What I did that I think helped (as opposed to my previous, very failed, attempts at allergen free cookies):

  • beat my oil and sugar mixture until it got fluffy (patience grasshopper…)
  • weighed out the sugar, flour mix and Coconut Spread
  • refrigerated the dough for at least 8 hours

What I want to try next time:

  • cut the molasses in half – I think it was too much for my taste
  • use a full tsp of vanilla
  • try palm shortening instead of the spread (which has natural flavors and canola oil, two things I’m not keen on)
  • use Tierra Farms chocolate chips (they have non-GMO soy lecithin, but I don’t seem to react)

I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, I have a batch in the fridge with NO molasses that I’m going to try to swing as snickerdoodles tomorrow. Hopper told me today she loves everything I cook. Best. Compliment. Ever.

*Flour Mix

2.5 cups brown rice flour (I’ve used buckwheat and amaranth in the past)

1.5 cups millet flour

1.5 cups tapioca starch OR potato starch

1 Tbsp + 1 tsp guar gum

snack

I wasn’t sure my banana muffin recipe would transition well to bread, so I used some mini-loaf pans I had.  They came out perfectly.  I ate one (yes, all by myself!), one for a friend and her gluten-free family and I managed to save one for the man who should be rolling in in the next couple of hours (I had to make another cookie pie to keep myself from eating his loaf – hush, the cookie pie is healthy, remember?).

After leaving later than expected today and his car breaking down in the Bronx (!) he will come home to freshly made lentil soup to fill his belly and after capping that off with a slice of this yummy bread he’ll snuggle in with me and the baby.  Hopefully Mack will let us sleep in just at titch in the morning.

recipe: chocolate chip cookie pie

I technically made this last weekend as well as today, so I’m back posting.  It’s my blog so, you know, my rules. 

We’ve all totally lost our minds over this pie.  It’s not exactly a pie, it’s supposed to be blondies, but I’m a renegade not exactly a rule follower when it comes to recipes, so I call it a pie, and so it is.

The recipe I started with is here at Chocolate Covered Katie – a blog that I’ve developed a deep appreciation for over the last few months.  Healthy and dessert are not usually two words you find hanging out together, but her recipes are healthy and the ones I’ve tried (and inevitably tweaked) are complete awesomeness.  She also has a Deep Dish Cookie Pie recipe, but it calls for oats and I react to the Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free oats so no oats, and no Deep Dish Cookie Pie, for me.

I’m posting my version of the cookie pie here with a few tweaks and my method, which is slightly different as well.  I even took pictures (look at me flashing all that forethought around like I know what I’m doing).  The best part about this particular cookie pie is that it’s just me and the baby this week and, well, chocolate isn’t for babies.  (insert maniacal laughter here)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

2 cups cooked chick peas (I used dried/soaked/cooked, you can use canned, be sure to drain and rinse and note that one can is only about 1.5 cups, which is what is called for in the original recipe)

1/4 cup ground flax seed

1/2 cup brown sugar (or 1/2 cup white sugar + 1/2 tsp molasses)

1/2 tsp cream of tartar + 1/2 tsp baking soda (or 3/4 tsp baking powder + 1/4 tsp baking soda)

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup fat source (she recommends nut butter, I’ve used 2 Tbsp coconut butter + 2 Tbsp sunflower oil and 2 Tbsp coconut butter + 2 Tbsp coconut oil – both work well)

1/3 – 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I’ve discovered Enjoy Life are not corn free, Tierra Farms appear corn free, but do have non-GMO soy lecithin)

My method:

Preheat your oven to 350 F.  Prepare an 8 inch pie plate by tearing a piece of parchment the size of your plate and setting it on top of the pie plate (don’t bother trying to get it to set in, it will be an exercise in futility, but don’t fret, it will magically work out in the end).

Toss two cups of chick peas in Vitamix, blender or food processor and blend well.  I prefer this as opposed to Katie’s suggestion of blending it all together because it’s easier to get the plain chick peas out than if you put it all (except the chocolate chips) in the Vitamix/food processor.  More chick peas = more dough = more cookie pie. The math is simple, really.

Put blended/processed chick peas in a bowl.  Add the rest of the ingredients being careful not to pour your vanilla extract in the same spot as your baking powder.  The moisture of the vanilla will start the bubbling action of the baking powder and you’ll lose that benefit (rendering the addition of baking powder moot).

Mix all of the ingredients with a hand mixer or fork.  When well blended, fold in your chocolate chips.  Scrape your batter into a nice ball.  Remember that parchment sitting on top of your pie plate, plop your dough ball into the center of that and press the dough out to the sides.  I never press all the way out to the edges of the plate, it’s not necessary.  My pies end up being about 7″ across.

Put in your preheated oven for 40 minutes.  Cool for about 10 minutes.  Cut into 8 pieces, or just take a spoon to it, your call.  It’s lovely with a dash of So Delicious Vanilla Bean coconut milk ice cream.


recipe: let them eat cake

We have a lot of food allergies and intolerances in this house and the list grows by the day (for me anyway). Recently I’ve had to get serious about cross contamination and cut out eggs so that meant my go-to Namaste chocolate cake mix was no longer an option.  Weep with me.  This past weekend with Hopper’s birthday, everyone around me was eating cake cake cake that I couldn’t eat even though I made it.  Ouch.

By Sunday night I was seriously craving some chocolate cake with white frosting.  I was prepared to scour the internets for a vegan cake recipe that I could make gluten-free.  No reason to look far, the first link in my search was the winner.  I tweaked it, because I’m an intuitive cook and I always tweak things.  My tweaking is based on this recipe, which is essentially another iteration of the “Wacky Cake” recipe that has been around for years.  The frosting recipe is one I’ve been using for quite some time and don’t remember where it came from.

Vegan Chocolate Cake

gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, corn-free, nut-free, egg-free, but NOT taste-free!

1.5 cups flour mix*

2/3 cups sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp ground chia seeds

1 cup So Delicious coconut milk (you can use water)

1 tsp vanilla

1/3 cup of oil (I used sunflower)

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

The recipe called for a 8×8 pan, but I broke both of ours recently, so I used a 6×9 pan and it came out great. It also calls for mixing right in the pan, but I didn’t and it came out just fine. I made sure my pan was ready so I could mix, pour and get it in the oven fast.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  I don’t always fully preheat, but I think it’s important to for this recipe because you want the cake in the hot oven as soon as possible so you can take full advantage of the chemical reactions that create the wonderful cake fluffiness.

Grease your pan with a bit of oil or shortening.

In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients.  Pour in the wet ingredients and mix well.  The batter will be thin.  Pour immediately into your greased pan and pop into the oven.

Cook for 30 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.  Let cool completely.

The comments in the original recipe indicate it can be doubled but I have not tried this yet.

Vanilla Frosting

gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, corn-free, nut-free, egg-free

1 cup powdered sugar (Whole Foods brand is cut with tapioca starch instead of corn starch)

2 Tbsp + 2 tsp palm shortening (I use Spectrum brand)

1 Tbsp milk substitute of your choice

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Blend until smooth.  If it’s too thin, add more sugar.  If it’s too thick, add a bit more milk and/or shortening. Frost on your cooled cake.

For added deliciousness, refrigerate your frosted cake.  Oh. My. God.  I discovered this by accident because my frosting came out a little thin, but in the process of making it I’d broken my mixer (sigh) so there wasn’t much to be done to remedy it.  The Man, who had leftover cake from the party with eggs in it that he could eat, kept eating mine out of the fridge because it was that good.  That. Good.   The whole cake was gone in a day between the two of us.  Chill out, it was small.  Ahem.

Enjoy!

*Flour Mix

adapted from this recipe

2.5 cups brown rice flour

1.5 cups millet flour

1.5 cups tapioca starch OR potato starch

1 Tbsp + 1 tsp guar gum

2 tsp salt

3 Tbsp baking powder

I make up a bunch of this and keep it in a canister on the counter.  1 cup mix + 1 egg + 1 cup milk makes lovely pancakes.