FEBRUARY 3, 2012


I have been experimenting with baking using alternative grains and flours. It’s not as challenging as I thought it would. Having the right ingredients in the pantry helps. And having the right ingredients takes planning. With the help of wonderful cooks and chefs such as; Shauna, Elana, Karina, and Helene, inspiration is all around me.

I love to bake and for me, being able to recreate a lot of our favorites is the ultimate goal. I have been cooking up a storm and I am just now understanding the difference between the starch flours, the whole grains, and the ones with proteins. I am just starting to let go of the fear and experiment. This morning I made waffles that were truly better than any waffle I have ever made. Really, I am not just saying that. So light, so airy, and so perfectly tasty.

Shauna from Gluten Free Girl has been my guru and mentor. Her all purpose flour mixes are perfectly balanced and I am always surprised with the results. I make big batches and keep them in my cupboard, stored in glass containers. I have to say, the stuff that has been coming out of my kitchen is exceptionally good. My doctor(homeopathic MD), has been trying to get me off of the white stuff since 1982. I resisted. I was afraid of failure?!? It all seemed so daunting. And it is daunting, but when you have others whom have paved the way, mastered the process, and share their stories as eloquently as they do, rather than feeling overwhelmed, I am feeling empowered and excited. I have Levi to thank for this change in our diet and this new beginning.

The first thing I made was a batch of oatmeal cookies, loaded with bittersweet chocolate chunks, dried cherries, and toasted pecans. Delish! The base for this cookie can translate to many different flavor combos. I plan on doing wonderful things with this batter. And don’t be surprised if you come to my house and see containers loaded and filled with lots and lots of cookie doughs stashed in my freezer.

Gluten Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies
adapted from here
yield: about 4-5 dozen

7.5 ounces | 220 grams | 1 1/2 cups  Shauna’s All Purpose Flour
1 ounce | 28 grams gluten free oat flour
1 1/2 ounces | 43 grams sweet rice flour
1 tsp. guar gum
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. Celtic sea salt
8 ounces(16 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, room temperature
7 ounces | 198 grams | 1 cup unbleached, organic white sugar or sucanat
7 ounces | 200 grams | 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
9 ounces gluten free rolled oats
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
5 ounces chopped pecans, toasted
4 ounces dried cherries

• preheat oven to 350*. line rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
• sift the flours into a large glass bowl. add the guar gum, baking soda, baking powder, and Celtic sea salt. whisk to combine completely.
• in the work bowl of a standing mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, and both sugars until light and fluffy.
• add the eggs, one at at a time. add the vanilla.
• turn the mixer on low and slowly add the dry ingredients.
• add the oats, chocolate, nuts, and dried cherries. mix until fully combined.
• using a 2 tablespoon ice cream scooper, shape the cookies and place on prepared cookie sheets. I like to bake of a dozen or two and the flash freeze the balance of the cookie dough(already scooped and shaped). once frozen, store in a freezer safe container.
• bake for 10-14 minutes, rotating pans top to bottom and back to front, half way through the baking.
• cool on wire racks and cool before removing them from the baking sheets.
• store in an air tight container for 3 days.

Shauna’s All Purpose Flour Mix

200 grams superfine brown rice flour
150 grams sorghum flour
50 grams potato flour
250 grams sweet rice flour
150 grams potato starch
100 grams arrowroot powder
100 grams cornstarch

• sift all ingredients into a large bowl. whisk to combine. store in a glass container with a lid