Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Cookie FAIL

Sigh.  Gluten-free baking is, so far, WAY harder than I thought it would be.

I learned at Thanksgiving that if I want sweet treats somewhere, I'd better bring them myself or I'm gonna be screwed.  Sure, at Thanksgiving, we had my crepe cake, but that was about my only option.  So I figured for Christmas, I'd try some gluten-free cookies.

Like these.  DO NOT MAKE THIS RECIPE.  I seriously think it is missing ingredients or something, because as written, it totally did not work.  I've been wanting to try that recipe for awhile - sounds good on the surface, right??


It has to be missing ingredients, because when you mix it up as written, it is beyond crumbly.

I also tried another recipe that used chickpea flour.

Aaaaaand in both those recipes, I thought I grabbed my chickpea flour. 

Nope... .grabbed the masa harina (corn flour).  And I didn't figure it out until both doughs were made.  So I just sai "F(#@((#&# IT" and went with it.

And both batches of cookies were awful.  So awful, I tried the chickpea flour-chocolate-cashew cookies again with the right flour.

They were still awful.  I think in both recipes, it was the cornstarch.  It does not do good things in a cookie.

I shoulda just made the stinkin' crepe cake again.  Or bought cookies at the store.

I figure I have until Easter to find some recipes that DO work.  The big challenge is also trying to find recipes that do not use almond flour, since the hubby's cousin has nut allergies and it's nice to be able to make something he can have, too.

But he was not lucky on Christmas... all I had to bring was buckeyes (can't go wrong with just peanut butter, powdered sugar and chocolate chips).

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Yeah... it's still been quiet around here.

If you ever want to turn into a cranky hermit, get yourself a wheat or gluten allergy.  It works wonders.

Made it thru Thanksgiving... even though I quizzed the hubby about the mother-in-law's "stuffing practices" with her turkey and he assured me she cooked it outside the bird... yep, we arrived at their house just in time to see my mother in law pulling stuffing out of the bird.  I didn't have a horrible reaction from it, but I knew it'd mean one night of turkey and absolutely no leftovers for me.

Yep.  When you have problems with wheat, it can be to the point where if you eat turkey that comes from a bird that was stuffed, you can have a reaction.

Luckily, we're just having ham and Polish sausage for Xmas.

In the upcoming days though, I will be doing some gluten-free baking of cookies and other delights for the holidays.  I can't go another holiday without having at least two desert options, lol.

But one of the kickers of that seems to be that a lot of gluten-free cookie recipes use almond flour.  Not really an option, since we also have a nut allergy in the extended family.  It just makes things extra fun!  Lots of internet recipe searching has been happening around here.

But, to try and be useful and actually add some information to the interwebs, I am going to throw out a few tips for those out there who, like my own family, may be very new to this whole "no wheat" thing and a bit worried when it comes to the holiday season:

  • Be patient.  You are most likely to get quizzed on products, preparation details and other stuff.  It's not that we don't trust you, we know from experience that there are some products you won't trust unless you know all the brands/ingredients involved.
  • We love you for trying.
  • Things to avoid: Soy sauce (yep, that has wheat in it usually - find a gluten-free brand or use the Japanese sauce Tamari which is basically the same thing), anything that lists "natural flavors" in the labeling as those often contain wheat (those are the things that are killers to me), and if you're really going for it and trying to rely on things like cornmeal and oats -please read labels.  A lot of those products are processed in facilities that also process wheat and YES, that can be a problem.
  • Make it simple.  Really... dumb down your dishes.  Rather than the green bean casserole (yep, those condensed soups usually contain wheat) - steam some fresh beans and toss them with some browned butter - delicious. 
  • Don't be afraid to ask.  Trust me, we are more than happy to help you.