Monday, February 4, 2013

"I like my cookies flat, and my women round"...

Thus I husband!
Sorry dear...I'm not a fan of EITHER of those.
I spent many a year, round...and I can attest that not only do blondes NOT have more fun, but it is also better to be the beanpole..than the BEAN.
My great-grandmother made it to 92 being a beanpole and she would have lived a lot longer had an unfortunate accident not taken her down.  On the contrary, I also had a family member of the round variety who left this world early with diabetes and gout, among other things.

As for COOKIES!  Nothing grates my gastronomic sensibilities RAW more than an inordinately flat cookie...or likewise, a puffy cookie.  Lace cookies?  They're supposed to be flat!  They're special.  Macaron?  They're supposed to be puffy!  They're special, too.

What I'm talking about is the queen mother of cookies...the chocolate chip cookie.  After going wheat/gluten free...there are a few pleasures of the modern food supply that some, mainly my darling husband, miss dearly. crust...COOKIES.  Let me tell you, there are remedies for all of these missing food woes...but I'm going after the almighty cookie today.

Obviously, everyone has their favorite...whether puffy, flat, crispy, gooey!  I happen to like firm, crispy on the edge cookies that are not the unevenly mixed "butter too soft" flat and greasy type, nor the puffy "too much baking soda" variety.   I also don't eat wheat.  Modern wheat, that is.  We just bought a bag of the ancient variety Einkorn wheat that I'm looking forward to working with, but until then, this is how I made what I consider to be a lovely, gluten-free cookie.
Husband and toddler approved!

Coconut Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies - Gluten-Free
This is a Sally Fallon Nourishing Traditions recipe that I've tinkered with.  I'm not a fan of the flavor/consistency of heavy amounts of arrowroot starch, so I cut it in half with a homemade gluten-free flour mixture from The Perfect Health Diet. I also added coconut oil and a splash of maple syrup as the dough was very dry, and I was going after that classic cookie dough consistency.  (It was still dry after my additions but I decide to just BAKE IT, but this is not the "Tollhouse" afterall!)  The chocolate chips and almond extract were also my additions to the original recipe as I love almond flavor and wanted some lovely chocolate in there as well.  Use soy lecithin-free chocolate for optimal healthiness!

1-1/2 cups *sprouted almonds
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1/2 cup arrowroot starch
1/2 cup *gluten-free flour
1/2 cup rapadura or coconut sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
Grated rind of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup unsweetened, dried fine-shredded coconut
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Place almonds in a food processor and process to a fine meal.  (You could also use store-bought almond meal in a pinch, but I'm not sure of what amount 1-1/2 cups of almonds works out to be.  Start with 1 cup and add more if needed.)
Add remaining ingredients EXCEPT for chocolate chips.  Process until well blended.  Stir in chocolate chips and roll (squeeze) into walnut sized balls.  Place on parchment paper (I use stainless steel baking sheets) and press cookies down with a fork (or your palm like I did) and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until they're lightly browned.  Let cool completely before removing from parchment paper as they are very crumbly until they set.

*Gluten-Free flour - mixture from "Perfect Health Diet"

2 cups rice flour (buy in bulk from Whole Foods, or I buy from Ambica, an Indian grocery store)
2/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca starch

*Sprouting Almonds
*Most* almonds in the USA are required to be fumigated with chemicals to make them "safe" to eat.  This is probably not the almond's fault, but rather the mass farming, storage and mishandling of them that makes them 'bad'.   Supposedly, organic almonds are only steam pasteurized but since companies aren't required to be honest about much these days, it's hard to know what you're actually getting unless you get them from a trusted source.  We're fortunate to be able to buy raw almonds from a farmer in California...but organic almonds from the store used in moderation should be just fine!

To sprout almonds, soak them in salted water for about 12 hours.  Sometimes I let them sit in the strainer for the rest of the day to get them good and sprouted!  When they go in the water they look flat and wrinkled up, then they are larger, round and puffy after soaking.  Also, a little white "nub" will push through at the narrow end.  Drain and dehydrate at low temp for as long as needed, sometimes it takes a few days.  You can also dry them out in an oven but don't go over 150 degrees.

Enjoy, thanks for reading!

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