Friday, August 28, 2009

"Hippie" Cookies or "Indoor Kid" Cookies...

I'm not quite sure what to call these cookies. They are your standard chocolate chunk cookies, but with some mods. I have been experimenting this week with cutting wheat / gluten out of my diet (don't ask why), and the real bummer - or perk, depending on how you look at it - is that cookies are out of reach. I know there's a way to mix certain flours to get a blend that will bake like regular old flour, but it sounds like more hassle than I have time for right now. Fortunately, Red Mill has a pre-mixed blend that they advertise simply as gluten-free baking flour. For the quantity, it costs just slightly less than your right arm, but for peace of mind in my first go-round of staple subs, it was worth it. I decided to incorporate the flour into this recipe, but I didn't stop there....

Andrew's mom has a lot of food allergies, which include gluten, eggs, and dairy, and every time we host A's parents for dinner I have to remind myself not to bake something for dessert she can't eat. We usually do some kind of sorbet or coconut milk ice cream, but it would be nice to have more options. I thought this would be the perfect time to just go for gold and see if I can make it happen. So in addition to the gluten-free flour, I subbed the eggs with egg-replacer and the butter with a combo of canola oil and butter flavored crisco. Here are the measurements of the subs:

1 + 1/4 c butter became 3/4 c canola oil + 1/4 c butter flavored crisco.
This seemed to be the right liquid-to-dry ratio, but I hate to say this: it needed more butter flavor. I don't think I'd up the crisco at all, but I'm toying with buying imitation butter flavor, just to see what it's all about. Worst thing that could happen is a batch of cookies tastes terrible. I can live with that.

2 large eggs became the milky white concoction that the box of powdered egg-replacers recommended for 2 eggs. It worked all right, but I think I'd put 3 "eggs" in it next time, just to see if the texture is better.

I threw in chocolate chunks instead of chips (waaaaaaaaay better results than chips) and baked 'em up for 15 min. Right out of the oven they are super soft and fall apart easily. I think that's just the way the flour is, so it is best to let them cool just a little to avoid a crumbled cookie. Andrew and I split one last night and decided they're actually pretty good. No, seriously! They tasted a little nutty because of the flour, but I think if I'd added peanut butter it would have disguised all of that action and no one would know they were not traditional cookies.

Sooooo.... the only real dilemma I'm facing is what to call them. I started out referring to my little creations as "hippie" cookies because they are vegan and gluten-free, and it makes me think of self-important preachy hippies who lecture anyone they can about eating animal products (but they can eat these!!), but then I was thinking that "indoor kids" with lots of food allergies (and probably an asthma inhaler) can also eat these. So what marginalized-yet-still-living-semi-comfortably-in-mainstream-society group should I name them after?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Missin' My Mama

My mom was raised by conservative classy parents in the 1950s and 60s.

[she's the tall brunette in the back row]

Then she went to college and met my super liberal dad.

[yep. she was a hottie. nice work, pop!]

Then they graduated, married, moved to Milwaukee and met even more liberal folks through my dad's grad program at Marquette.

[gotta love my dad's 'stache]

Then they moved back to Seattle and my mom had kids who kicked up so many shenanigans that now nothing fazes her.

[wasn't my little brother the cutest baby?]

Now, at 60, she's pretty much the coolest person I know. She defaults to to prim, proper, and always appropriate, but she's not uptight. When the time is right, she will get out the blender, fill it with pina coladas, kick off her shoes, and dance around the living room with me to the soulful sounds of Aretha. She can talk to anyone. She's amazingly creative. She's laid back enough that I can tell her anything.... anything. I love that she lives 15 min away and I can pop in any old afternoon during the summer and she'll just be hanging out in the garden sipping iced tea and admiring her work.

So why the homage to my mother? She has been in NYC for two weeks taking classes at Columbia as part of her ongoing teacher training (she's a 2nd grade teacher). We're pretty close and I reeeeeeeally miss her. So, to tide me over until she's back, here are a few photos of us being goofy together:

[we used to cut our own christmas trees. i'm pretty sure i'm posing as a reindeer in this photo]

[the annual mother-daughter tea party, complete with tiaras, circa 2000]

[celebrating my bff's wedding a couple years go, doing a tipsy irish jig]

Hurry home, mom!!