These cookies, made for a very special bunch, our three nephews, are free from a lot of things, dear neighbors ! Gluten-free, nut-free, egg-free and also guaranteed sulfite-free by Otto’s Naturals™, whose cassava flour I used in this recipe. Even though they are not laden with sugar, the bunch I have just mentioned loved them, went for seconds, thirds, fourths… I heard one of the kids saying “I ate seven!” 😮. We are talking about preteens here, folks, so I feel grand that they approved this brand-new recipe!
As I made these cookies I learned a couple of things about gluten-free baking, shared with you after the recipe.
Ingredients for some 20 cookies
– 2 TBSP ground chia + 4 TBSP water
– 70g shortening, at room temperature (I used a mixture of margarine and ghee butter)
– 70g pure cane sugar (amount can be reduced down to 60g)
– pinch untreated sea salt (Celtic salt or Himalayan salt)
– 2 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 tsp baking powder (OR ½ tsp baking soda + freshly squeezed lemon juice if you are unsure about the baking powder)
– 40g ground gluten-free oats (can be bought as « oat flour »)
– 80g cassava flour (can be ordered online)
Of course feel free to add chocolate chips, lemon peel, organic dried cranberries to this list. As we have only just arrived, I just used what I could find in my son’s pantry!
1. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 175°C / 345 °F, placing the rack in the middle of the oven.
2. In a small bowl, mix chia and water. Set aside.
3. With a fork, mix together shortening, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract.
4. Add chia slurry, ground oats and baking powder, mix again until well combined.
5. Add in cassava flour, stirring with a spoon.
6. Scoop out small amounts of dough with an oiled spoon, flatten with the “hammy” part of your thumb (oiled in order to avoid sticking) and bake for about 20 minutes and cool on a rack.
NOTE: With no egg in this dough, the top of the cookies doesn’t really change color when baking. The bottom, however, does get brown.
The regulars on this blog may have noticed a change of scenery in the photos… We are currently n New England, visiting our children and family and staying (some might even call it squatting!) with our son until the end of January. It is nice to see the younger generation growing. When our niece announced her visit for this afternoon, I was thrilled. We have always enjoyed each other’s company and have had a lot of fun times together over the years. When I decided I would be making cookies for her and her three boys, I kept in mind that two of them have a nut allergy. No fun! They never go anywhere without their Epipen. I wanted to make moist cookies but couldn’t use my regular cookie mix which includes almond meal and also sorghum flour (the only local store that carries it had run out ☹️). But I had a huge bag of cassava flour, compliment of Otto’s Naturals after I had contacted them on the sulfite subject. So at first I went on their site and did a search on nut-free recipes. They had interesting sounding gingersnaps, even if the molasses meant my husband couldn’t have any. However, instead of following the recipe exactly, I cut down on the amount of sugar and also used a chia egg, which should not have been a problem. Well, when the cookies came out of the oven, they tasted pretty dry, from which I concluded that sugar will make a difference in baking, it will add moisture to the texture of my cookies. This probably explains, at least in part, why the amount of sugar is usually pretty high in store-bought gluten-free pastries.
But I wasn’t about to feed my hockey players a treat (especially after the recent Halloween binge!) with an ingredient that I believe can bring on a set of health issues (diabetes runs in my husband’s family). So I decided to turn around and adapt one of my own cookie batters (recipe here in French). I figured that oat flour would compensate for any dryness, and it did. And why a chia egg rather than a chicken’s egg? Simply because it is easy to use when dealing with half quantities. And a tablespoon of chia is a tablespoon of chia no matter what – whereas with eggs, you have to choose between the bantam weights and the heavy weights 😄!
So you see, dear neighbors, this blog is about authentic home-grown recipes with the frustrations and failures that often come with baking gluten-free. I hope you enjoyed this post. So long!