Gluten-Free Baking – Experiment #1

Greg has been eating gluten-free since late March.  It hasn’t been too tricky to modify our cooking to leave out gluten and other than not being able to make him sandwiches for lunch, I don’t have any complaints about cooking GF.  There are numerous cooking blogs online dedicated to gluten-free recipes.

At first glance, the world of GF baking appears intimidating.  Other than purchasing some GF pancake mix and a box of GF Brownie mix where you just need to add water and eggs, I’d only glanced longingly at the variety of rice, tapioca, and potato flour at Whole Foods.  Greg wouldn’t describe me as a particularly patient baker.  To be fair,  neither would I.  He has put up with eating several batches of mediocre cookies and other baked goods over the years, so I knew I’d need some time to pick a recipe and the time to follow directions carefully for a tasty end result.

How did we get from the end of March to the end of August with no time to bake?  First, it was a busy spring and summer with lots of teaching and playing.  Second, since we only have one window unit AC and our oven is a monster, we choose carefully which days in the summer to cook seeing turning the oven on for 30 minutes can dramatically heat up the house.

Variety of GF Products

I really wanted to bake cupcakes but decided to stick with a simpler recipe for my first attempt. I decided to make Alton Brown’s Chewy Gluten Free Cookie from the Food Network website.

Lots of melted butter.

Normally, I would generally substitute applesauce/yogurt for some of the butter/oil but until I learn how that changes the result of GF baking, I decided I should stick to the original recipe. I did have to substitute the final 1/4 cup of brown sugar with white sugar since I didn’t anticipate running out.

Dry ingredients have been sifted with a fork.

I also used my hand-held mixer instead of a mixing bowl. Someday when our kitchen is not Boston-sized, I’ll have enough counter space to own a beautiful Cuisinart Kitchenaid. I chilled the dough as instructed and prepared my baking sheets. The recipe was supposed to make 2 dozen cookies but by the time I finished balling the two baking sheets into 24 cookies, I still have about half of the dough left.

Chewy Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies - half of the batch

Since I was in the mood to be goofy, I used the rest of the leftover dough to make this for Greg. I surprised Greg with the double heart cookie. Unfortunately, less than ten minutes later, our frisky feline hopped up on the kitchen table where the cookie plate was resting and accidently knocked it off  to the floor.  =( Kitty is in trouble!

GF baking with love!

The verdict was declared to be “pretty tasty for being gluten-free.” Maybe Experiment #2 will be a bit more daring.

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