Affairs of Living

Gluten-free, allergy-friendly, whole foods recipes

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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

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Wednesday
Nov212012

Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (gluten-free, low sugar)

Cashew Butter Cookies (gluten-free)

I bake a lot. When I'm stressed, I bake. When I'm sad, I bake. When it's chilly outside, I bake. When I'm bored, I bake. It's a little excessive sometimes, actually, but much to the benefit of my the people in my life. The other day, sure enough, the urge struck and I needed to satisfy it. I hadn't tried my hand at a nut butter cookie for a while so gave it a go. After some research and brainstorming, I whipped together this recipe and it was a total hit! Not only is the dough totally bomb, the finished cookies are both beautiful and delicious. Crisp on the outside, soft and a little chewy on the inside, and with a nice subtle cashew butter flavor. And best yet, they stayed a little chewy and moist for three days. None of that dry, crumbly cookie business here. Instead of sweetening it with a ton of cane sugar, I used a combination of coconut sugar and maple syrup. This combination creates a great flavor that isn't too sweet and carries far less sugar and calories than a traditional recipe.

I took some of the cookies to school the other day and shared them with my fellow acupuncture students. Everyone loved them! In fact, a couple of people declared that they wouldn't have ever guessed they were gluten-free. I hope you like them as much as I did. 

Cashew Butter Cookies (gluten-free)

Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies 

yield: approximately two dozen cookies

This recipe calls for a blend of four flours, which may seem like a lot, but it makes a great mix. Sorghum and brown rice flours are both easy to find and affordable. Arrowroot flour and arrowroot starch are the same thing, but just go by two different names. Same with tapioca flour and tapioca starch. Arrowroot and tapioca are interchangeable in this recipe, so feel free to use whichever you have in your pantry. There is not a substitute for sweet rice flour, so try to get your hands on some. Look in the gluten-free flour section, or for the best deal, the Asian food section of your local grocery store or better yet, an Asian grocery store. Sweet rice flour is also known as glutinous rice flour, but don't be scared - it doesn't contain gluten! Sweet rice is often called glutinous rice because it is really sticky stuff. That's why the flour is so great - it helps hold things together and keep things moist and chewy. 

  • 1 cup sorghum flour
  • 3/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup sweet rice flour
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot starch/arrowroot flour or tapioca starch/tapioca flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup smooth roasted cashew butter (feel free to substitute equal amount of another nut butter)
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar (feel free to substitute an equal amount of granulated palm sugar or another variety of granulated sugar)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla extract
  • 1 10-ounce bag chocolate chips 

In a medium bowl, whisk together flours and starch, baking powder and baking soda, and salt until light and well-mixed. Set-aside

In a large bowl, cream together butter and cashew butter until smooth with a handmixer or in a standing mixer. Add coconut sugar and maple syrup and continue to mix until smooth. The coconut sugar will not dissolve the same way and get totally creamy like granulated white sugar, so don't be surprised if there are small gritty pieces of coconut sugar. That's okay! Then add eggs one at a time and vanilla. Mix until everything well-incorporated. 

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients gradually, mixing on low and scraping sides as necessary, then turning up to a higher speed to fully incorporate all the ingredients. Then add chocolate chips and mix one final time.

I think the dough bakes up better after it has had the chance to rest for a few hours, or even better, a whole day or two or three, in the fridge. Something magical happens to cookie dough as it continues to sit, the flour absorbs the moisture and I think it results in a chewier cookie. So at this point, I suggest covering it with plastic wrap and putting the bowl in the fridge and letting it hang out for a bit. But if you want to bake it right away, that's fine too!

When ready to bake, pre-heat oven to 350º F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and scoop dough by the heaping tablespoonful onto the baking sheet. Bake for approximately 12 minutes, or until edges are just browned and the middles are still slightly soft. Let cool on a baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack. Bake in batches until all the dough is gone!

Store in a tightly sealed container or plastic bag for up to 3 days. 

Friday
Nov252011

Honey-sweetened Gluten-free Mesquite Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt

Gluten-Free Mesquite Chocolate Cookies with Sea Salt
It's happened: winter is slowly setting in on Minnesota. Last week Saturday the yards and streets took on the familiar white layer of fresh snow. Within a few days the snow had melted, which was good - the abundance of fallen leaves on the grass dyed the snow a strange yellow color. It looked like packs of dogs descended upon the neighborhood and lifted their legs on every inch of snow. Hopefully everyone will rake up their leaves so that unfortunate discoloration doesn't repeat itself when another inevitable snowfall arrives.

 

Yellow snow aside, I experienced a surprise flutter of excitement with those first flakes. My relationship with Minnesota winters is historically a tenuous one, but I feel differently this year. My body is healthier and stronger, cold weather doesn't seem like torture, and I'm actually looking forward to talking walks on bright winter days and hearing the crunch of snow underfoot. I just moved back into the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis last week, my favorite neighborhood, and the beauty of this place in the winter is making me giddy. This is my third time living in Seward since moving to Minneapolis in 2004, and I feel like I'm returning home. Literally - I lived in a duplex directly across the street  from 2005-2006 and lived in another duplex two blocks north from 2007-2009. Seward is the kind of neighborhood where people bike and walk all year round, where the ice rink in the park is regularly used, and where freshly made snow people line the front yards. The neighborhood is nestled between the Mississippi River and railroad lines, and the quaint houses reflect its modest, blue-color upbringing. My favorite food co-op is three blocks from my front door, bike paths abound, a community park and a Montessori school are on the other side of my block, and people wave when they pass each other in cars. It's wonderful. Once the snow falls again, I'll take some photos. 

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