Recipe – Gluten-Free Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Lazy days and chocolate chip cookies go great together.  Sean returned to work today, and the kids and I decided to take it easy.  We have two more days at home, and then we have a weekend family get together.  Today was a good lazy day, one that required pajamas, movies, popcorn, and chocolate chip cookies.

I love to bake, which is quite funny because I was a terrible baker when Sean and I got married.  My mother has always made everything that she bakes look and taste delicious.  When my bread, cookies, and pies started looking and tasting even close to hers, I felt like I had accomplished my baking goals.  And, I had, until I received Ethan’s food sensitivity test results.  Then, I knew that I had only just begun.

The other night, I took out my first batch of gluten free chocolate chip cookies, and Sean said, “Do you kind of feel like you are starting over?”  Yes, I do.  Yep, the cookies were flat and ugly.  They tasted really good, but they were certainly not presentable, not in the very least.  It does feel like I am starting over, in a way, but this time I feel more equipped to know where to begin.  And, I have good recipes to follow.  It is just a matter of substituting things here and there and discover what all mixes well together.

Ethan is my little baking assistant, especially when it comes to sweets.  He has a major sweet tooth, just like his momma.  So, I knew that I had to start finding or creating good recipes as quickly as possible because I really did not want him to feel like he was having to give up everything.  So, I have been practicing, experimenting, and taste-testing.  Ethan must have known that these would be THE cookies.  He anxiously awaited tasting them cookies, going so far as to watch them in the oven until his legs got tired, and then he just squatted and watched them from the floor.

Recipe: Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Alton Brown’s The Chewy Gluten Free

Gluten-Free Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gluten-Free Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies were adapted from Alton Brown's The Chewy Gluten Free.

Ingredients

1 cup organic shortening

2 cups plus 1 Tablespoon Authentic Foods brown rice flour

2 Tablespoons cornstarch

2 Tablespoons tapioca starch (also called tapioca flour)

1 teaspoon xanthan gum

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/4 cups light brown sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup dairy and nut free chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare baking sheet by lining with parchment paper.
  2. Cream the shortening with the sugars.
  3. Add the eggs and vanilla, mixing until combined.
  4. In separate bowl, mix together the brown rice flour, cornstarch, tapioca flour, xanthan gum, salt, and baking soda.
  5. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture into the egg mixture.
  6. Add the chocolate chips.
  7. Shape the cookie dough into balls (I used a cookie scoop).
  8. Place them on the prepared cookie sheet.
  9. Bake for 13-14 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven and let cool on the pans. If your family has more patience than mine, you can remove them from the pans to a wire rack to finish cooking. My family, however, devoured the cookies straight from the pan, only leaving a few for me to photograph.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/07/26/todays-recipe-gluten-free-chocolate-chip-cookies/

These cookies were a hit.  Gabriel said, “These are the best cookies I have ever had.”  High praise from my little food critic.  I do not think that I would call them the best cookies that I have ever had, but, for gluten free, I think that they are really, truly good.  And, I am beyond happy that my children are still standing together with this gluten, dairy, and nut free journey that we are on.  It makes me want to try hard, cook even more, and continue to persevere.  Because, seeing their smiling, appreciative faces is all that this momma needs to bring a smile to her face on this lazy, peaceful day.

Oh, and I almost forgot…today’s menu…

  • Breakfast – Cereal and rice milk or granola, apples, bananas, and cashew butter
  • Lunch – Noodle soup
  • Dinner – Grilled chicken, homemade baked fries, mixed vegetables, fruit
  • Snack – Popcorn and juice

Success!

Today was a successful cooking day, and that made me so happy!  The kids all ate all of the meals without any complaints.  I managed to make some of their favorite things with some minor tweaks, which allowed them to see that our new food journey is not going to change our whole lives.  Cooking and eating together has always been such an integral part of our family.  It is very important to me to continue to make meal time fun.

I am just so proud of them all for being willing to go on this journey together.  Summer, our youngest, is the pickiest eater of the three, and she has handled the transition amazingly well.  Of course, the fact that I have rewarded them with popsicles (made with real fruit) has probably helped.  She has not eaten everything, but she has tried everything.  And, she has accepted that there is not a sandwich as a back-up when she does not like what we are helping.  Fortunately, she does like fruit and nuts, so she always has those options.

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Gabriel, our oldest, has been eating like a champ.  He is a good eater, but he, like me, has a fondness for sweets and things that are not always the healthiest.  But, today, he did great.  He ate so incredibly well, even finishing his entire salad.  Yeah!  He discovered that he really, really likes goat cheese.  He also loved the corn/rice pasta tonight.  He said that he could not even tell the difference.

Ethan, our middle child who has the food sensitivities, has just taken it all in stride.  He is so laid back about most things, and he will usually eat what is on his plate.  However, in the past couple of months, his eating habits had become a little poor, for him, at least.  And, he wanted peanut butter sandwiches, pasta, and cow’s milk all of the time.  Before we did the food sensitivity test, the doctor told us that the things that Ethan would be sensitive to were likely the things that he liked the most.  He was right!  Honestly, I was so hoping that he would not be intolerant to cow’s milk, cheese, peanuts, wheat, yogurt, and gluten.  I had hoped that he would not be sensitive to any of them, but my heart knew that it was very likely that he would be to some of them and quite possibly all of them.

So, day two is complete.  I find myself wondering when I will stop viewing this journey as days and start viewing it as a lifestyle change, which implies that it is quite possibly how we will eat from now on.  Since Ethan does not have food allergies, he can eat the foods without having life-threatening complications.  But, there are still health concerns.  Most people who have food sensitivities experience things such as bloating, reflux, and headaches.  Ethan has suffered from all of them.  And, before I beat myself up, I have to remind myself that we have taken him to GI doctors, family practice doctors, neurologists, ENTs, etc.  We have done everything that we could possible do, going so far as to write up all of his symptoms and medical history so that we could give it to all of the doctors.  At some point, I will write a blog post (or several) detailing all of the doctor’s trips that led us to the one doctor who has changed our lives by believing in our sweet youngest boy.  We could be discouraged about all of the wasted appointments and the years that we went without answers, but, instead, we choose to be encouraged and believe that every step in our journey has had a purpose.