10.18.2013

Foodie Friday: Gluten-Free Cookies for the Birthday Girl

So it's your kid's birthday; and you want to send your little Sally or Johnny to school with treats for all their classroom friends.  But wait....no nuts allowed at school....and your child is gluten-free....and another kid can't have eggs or milk....what do you do?  Spend hours searching online for a wheat-free, nut-free, egg-free & dairy-free recipe and then hope there's a late night grocery store you can hit up to find all the ingredients you need.  And then stay up late baking like a machine and praying your kids and all the others will eat your concoction?  Or you could try something much easier and stress free....King Arthur Flour Gluten-Free Cookie Mix!

At least that's what I did.  You may already know that our household is gluten-free, but now with Stella (our birthday girl) in school we can't send her with any nuts.  I'm used to baking with various nut flours, but that's a big no-no.  And add into the mix I've recently learned I'm allergic to dairy and eggs.  Needless to say, my fridge and cupboards are lacking the usual baking ingredients.  But I really wanted to send something special to school for Stella's birthday and I wanted to be able to enjoy a treat too.
Luckily for me I had a box of King Arthur Flour Gluten-Free Cookie Mix in the cupboard.  It's a great mix for your cookies and then you can design them however you want by adding your own special ingredients.  I was going to add raisins (my healthier choice) but Stella insisted on chocolate chips.  The next trick was to modify this mix to be dairy & egg-free.  Luckily it only calls for 1/2 cup of butter or shortening and 1 egg. I used a 1/2 cup of Earth's Balance Vegan Butter which I already had in the fridge.  But then I needed an egg substitute.  I would have used a banana as I've heard that works well, but wouldn't you know I'm also allergic to bananas!  So I found a great resource online that lists the various egg substitutes and what they are best used for.  Turns out the egg in a cookie recipe is just really for binding.  And a easy substitute is 2 tbsp of corn starch mixed with 1 tbsp of water.  So that's what I did and hoped for the best.

The mix was so easy to use and the instructions were fool-proof.  Once the dough was mixed up it looked just like cookie dough should.  Now the box recommended dropping it by heaping tablespoons to create about 2 dozen cookies.  But Stella's class is pretty big, so I used a teaspoon instead and ended up with about 33 cookies.  Pretty good for one box.

I baked them at the instructed temperature and found in my oven they took exactly 12 minutes to bake.  That was a long 12 minutes having to wait for those sweet smelling morsels to come out of the oven.  In the past I have found some gluten-free recipes to be a little more delicate than their traditional wheat counter-parts.  But these cookies weren't any more delicate than a wheat-based one.  (read: I didn't break them all getting them off the cookie sheet)
Once cooled, Stella and I decorated her special birthday cookies. 

 What 4 year old doesn't love hearts with star sprinkles?

We ended up with just enough cookies for us to have a sample before sending them off to school to be devoured.  And they received the seal of approval from Stella, Dad and myself.  And nobody would even guess they were gluten-free, dairy-free & egg-free.  So kudos to King Arthur Flour for making baking a fun family experience.  And now I can make the cookies AND eat them too!  Can't wait to try some of their other gluten-free products!
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 Disclaimer: I received this product free of charge from King Arthur Flour for the purposes of this review.  The opinions expressed are my own.

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