Thursday, April 22, 2010

Shutter Bug

How cool is this idea for a rotating display of your most current photo prints?

image via Hooked On Houses

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Gluten Free "healthy" cookies

A friend asked me to share this recipe, so I decided to do so here! My family and I are not strictly gluten-free. We tried it for a bit and I found that my boys just weren't eating. So we introduced whole wheat bread and the occasional pizza back into our diets. But I try to do everything else gluten-free in order to limit our exposure. Hope you all enjoy this recipe! Even non-gluten-free eaters have complimented these cookies, and it is always great to sneak some extra nutrition into something we KNOW our families will eat.

It is adapted from the Sneaky Chef's Unbelievable Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe.

Part 1: White Bean Puree

1 15oz. can of white beans (great northern, cannellini, navy or butter)
2-3 Tbs. water

Rinse and drain the beans. In a blender or food processor, put in some of the water and the beans and blend until very smooth. Add more water as necessary, but not too much. You want a peanut butter consistency.

I put my purees into ice cube trays and freeze them (storing them in a large freezer bag when solid). Each of my cubes is equal to 2 Tbs. It is helpful if you know how much each cube is equivalent to.

Part 2: the Cookies

Please note that I use a kitchen scale for doing my gluten-free conversions because it is better to substitute by weight than by volume. I got my manual scale at Target for 15 bucks and I use it all the time. You can also buy expensive electric scales for exact accuracy, but I have had great success with mine. As of yet, I have not managed to measure my flours by volume, but will update this blog post if I have a chance to do so.

for a grand total of 5 1/3 oz. flour:
just over 1 oz coconut flour
just over 1 oz quinoa flour
3+ oz all-purpose gluten-free baking mix (I currently use Pamela's Baking & Pancake Mix but have also had similar results with Whole Food Market's 365 Gluten-Free All Purpose Baking Mix--which I understand is undergoing a label change and is unavailable-- and good texture, but not as good taste, with Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats
ground fine in the food processor (alternately, you could use gluten-free oat flour)
2 Tbs. almond meal Omit if allergic (alternately, you can finely grind blanched, slivered almonds in the food processor)
1 tsp. xanthan gum
10 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened OR 5 oz coconut oil
1/4 cup sugar OR 2 Tbs. applesauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
OR 2 Tbs. molasses
2 lg. eggs
(we use Ener-G Gluten-Free Egg Replacer instead)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup white bean puree
(see above, if frozen, thaw out in microwave)
1/3 cup gluten-free semi-sweet chocolate chips
Optional nutrition booster: 1 cup chopped walnuts or dried berries/raisins

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients up to and including the xanthan gum. In the bowl of a mixer, mix the butter or coconut oil and sugars/sugar substitutes until creamy. Beat in the eggs, vanilla and white bean puree. Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed. Stir in chocolate chips and optional nuts/berries. Take small spoonfuls of dough and lightly form into a ball, then press them down onto a greased baking sheet to lightly flatten them. Space about 1 1/2" apart. Bake for 12-15 mins. Move to rack to cool.

My VERY picky boys love these cookies so much. We make them multiple times a week, they love to help with the measuring and mixing, and they eat them all up very quickly! Enjoy!