C is for Cookie!

C is for cookie! (Four versions of ‘nut-butter’ cookies that are impossible to resist…including two that have no nuts at all!)

All Gluten Free and Dairy Free, 2 Egg Free Versions, 2 Nut Free Versions…Every One of them Simply Delicious!

 

When life presents us with food allergies, be it through loved ones or through our own intolerances, often our first thoughts turn to what we cannot have.  When my daughter was diagnosed with an allergy to cow’s milk proteins, it was a long trek before gaining a firm understanding as to how this would impact our lives. My first thought was no macaroni and cheese, no pizza, no grilled cheese, no cupcakes or cookies and milk…no mashed potatoes!  Then, I learned that ‘tweaking’ our food to meet her needs was not as complicated as it initially seemed, and thus my journey into a dairy free life began.

 It took several years before I was willing to expose my daughter to other types of animal milk, in fact, it wasn’t until she was diagnosed with kidney reflux that the full impact of soy in her diet was brought to my attention.  Our Doctor made it animatedly clear that an occasional soy based item (yogurt, cheese, even margarine) was okay, but for her daily intake of milk related calcium, I needed to find other alternatives.  This same doctor encouraged me to test other natural sources of milk, goats and sheep milk being on the top of the list.  Working closely with medical professionals, we were able to determine the best course of action to give her as ‘normal’ of a childhood as possible without potentially exposing her to estrogens and other chemicals or proteins that are potentially harmful to her little body. 

Similarly, my first exposure to a child with celiac bogged my mind with foods this poor child couldn’t eat (or so I thought).  The son of a dear friend, I was saddened to think of a childhood without pancakes, pizza, cakes, cookies, or even chocolate malt!  (Interesting that this list is very similar to the one conjured by my mind when faced with my daughter’s milk allergy the year before)…anyhow….It was just a short while into our conversation when it struck me that I had the perfect cookie recipe to meet his needs!  I shared this recipe with my friend, one so simple that I have had it memorized since I was in grade school (the first of four, yes four, I will share with you tonight), no flour, only four ingredients total, my friend looked at me somewhat confused and questioned “this really makes cookies?”  Not only does it make cookies, but it makes delicious cookies that are hard to resist…there are many more recipe’s I learned to ‘tweak’ in order to ensure our little friend could safely enjoy our get-togethers, and many of these have become staples in my own household now that I have been diagnosed with celiac as well. 

Following the path of helping others give their children a ‘normal’ childhood (whatever that may be), with a recent announcement that another friend’s son has been diagnosed with an egg allergy, I became interested in finding a great cookie recipe that was not only gluten free, but egg free as well.  Interestingly enough, Jennifer, the brilliant author of Simple Food Allergy Recipes, a blog that I began to follow nearly two years ago, posted a delicious milk and egg free peanut butter cookie recipe that fit the bill perfectly.  I have ‘tweaked’ the recipe below to meet the gluten free requirement of my family, though you can find Jennifer’s original recipe here

Finally, the inspiration for the nut-free ‘nut butter’ cookies below came when dwelling over the peanut allergy one of my church Primary children faces, the son of another dear friend.  I began researching different butter options and chatted with my friend directly before deciding which avenue to explore first.  When discussing what, or if there were other butters worth trying, her response was very similar to my initial reaction to exposing my own child to other types of animal derived milk products…not exploring such alternatives is more of an inconvenience right now, at this point it is not worth exposing her son to something potentially dangerous for him.  I completely understand. I did my research and found mixed reviews.  I decided to avoid soy butter, although I hear it is wonderful, simply because we do our best to keep soy to a minimum.  Sunbutter seemed like an interesting choice, one that was potentially viable, especially since most grocery stores are openly stocking this in their peanut butter isle, though this product needed some additional research. The consensus seems to be that an actual allergy to sunflower seeds (the primary ingredient in Sunbutter) is extremely rare, although you should work closely with your doctor before exposing your PA child to this alternative. 

On to the cookies!

First, let me begin with my long-time favorite recipe.  I do not recall where or when I learned this recipe, though I can tell you it is not only the first recipe I ever knew by heart, it is also the first I have shown each of my own children in the kitchen.  As mentioned above, there are only four ingredients, but believe me, these are the richest, yummiest peanut butter cookies you’ll ever make! Please note that I prefer chunky peanut butter for these cookies, but the recipe works just as well with creamy.

C is for cookie! Part 1

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

1 c Sugar

1 c Chunky Peanut Butter

1 large egg

1 tsp Gluten Free Vanilla (I prefer Adam’s Best)

Preheat oven to 375f.  Mix ingredients together and spoon by heaping teaspoon onto parchment lined cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.  Flatten in crisscross pattern with a fork.  Bake for 8-11 minutes or until bottoms are just beginning to turn golden brown.  Let cool on cookie sheet about 5 min, this will ensure cookies are baked through but remain soft and chewy!  Remove and enjoy!

Yields approximately 1 dozen cookies.

Working from this basic recipe, I was able to successfully make Sunbutter cookies that are absolutely scrumptious, although the liquidity of the Sunbutter prevented the cookies from holding the traditional crisscross pattern seen in the other three versions. Again, I prefer the chunky or crunchy version shown here, although this recipe would likely work as well with the Creamy or Organic versions available on the manufacturer website.

C is for cookie! Part 2

Easy Nut-Butter Cookies (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Peanut and Tree Nut Free)

1 c Sugar

1 c Sunbutter, Natural Crunch

1 large egg

1 tsp Gluten Free Vanilla

Preheat oven to 375f.  Mix ingredients together and spoon by heaping teaspoon onto parchment lined cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.  Bake for 8-11 minutes or until bottoms are just beginning to turn golden brown. Let cool on cookie sheet about 5 min, this will ensure cookies are baked through but remain soft and chewy!  Remove and enjoy!

Yields approximately 1 dozen cookies. 

C is for Cookie Part 3

:) This is my gluten free version of the 1950’s Bisquick recipe Jennifer shared on her page.  If you have not found Gluten Free Bisquick on your store shelves, please, speak with your store manager!  Given the relatively rural area we live in, there are many many items not available to us here in the Permian Basin.  That being said, we have had Gluten Free Bisquick long enough for me to play with several recipe’s and I am delighted to share the gluten free, dairy free, egg free, completely vegan, wonderfully chewy and simply superb peanut buttery recipe’s below.   The use of Agave Nectar in these cookies not only lowers the fat content of the original recipe, it also lowers the sugar content while keeping the delicious nature of the original recipe firmly intact.  The overall recipe is very close to traditional flour peanut butter cookies, although it translates nicely to both gluten free varieties below.

Peanut Butter Cookies (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Vegan)

1 c Crunchy Peanut Butter

1 c Agave Nectar

½ c Boiling Water

2 c Gluten Free Bisquick baking mix

1 tsp Gluten Free Vanilla

Heat oven to 375f.  In large bowl, mix all ingredients until smooth dough forms (I found that if you wait to add the boiling hot water until the very end, the ingredients mix easily with a simple wooden spoon).  Scoop heaping teaspoons onto parchment lined cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. Flatten in crisscross pattern with a fork.  Bake for 8-11 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown.  Remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack, cool for approximately 15 minutes.  Enjoy!

Yields approximately 3 dozen cookies.

For this fourth and final recipe, please ensure you follow the directions closely.  Note the addition of lemon to the boiling water.  This is in relation to the amount of leavening product in the Gluten Free Bisquick.  As noted on the Sunbutter website, when baking with Sunbutter, it is important to either adjust the amount of leavening or follow the proper precautions to ensure the natural reaction between the chlorophyll present in sunflower seeds and the baking soda/powder is prevented…I don’t know about you, but green cookies just don’t sound as appealing.  :)

 

C is for cookie! Part 4

Nuttybutter Cookies (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Peanut and Tree Nut Free, Vegan)

1 c Sunbutter, Natural Crunch

1 c Agave Nectar

2 c Gluten Free Bisquick baking mix

1 tsp Gluten Free Vanilla

1 Tbs Pure Lemon Juice and enough Boiling Water to equal ½ c

Heat oven to 375f.  In large bowl, mix all ingredients until smooth dough forms (adding the lemon juice and boiling water last, not only does this make mixing easier, this helps when the Bisquick begins to bubble-natural reaction to the lemon juice).  Scoop heaping teaspoons onto parchment lined cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.  Flatten in crisscross pattern with a fork.  Bake for 8-11 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown.  Remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack, cool for approximately 15 minutes.  Enjoy!

Yields approximately 3 dozen cookies.

Feel free to tweak these recipes to meet the needs of your family.  I hope you enjoy these simple treats and look forward to your feedback.