Cooking is complicated for me and has only gotten more complicated over the last year. Not the actual act of cooking, because I can follow directions and all that (well, most of the time I can). The complicated part is figuring out what I can make that EVERYONE in our house can eat. My mom, oldest daughter, and I all have Celiac Disease. My mom, husband, and son are lactose-intolerant. My baby has an egg allergy (along with a whole host of food intolerances). Gluten-free cooking I am fairly used to after 14 years of living this, but all these new issues for the baby? How on earth can I manage to make something that everyone can eat AND like?
Pity Party Time
With each new complication to life I’ve had myself a pity party. Since Isabelle is still breastfeeding I can’t have what she can’t have. So I grieved. I grieved having to give up yet another food for her sake. Then I moved on and figured out something I can cook that meets those specifications. After all, my goal is to fearlessly tackle the challenges of motherhood, and food allergies and intolerances are some of the challenges I face. My goal is that my baby doesn’t have to ‘do without’ as she grows. I want her to get to lead as normal of a life as possible, and that includes treats and baked goods. So, I was determined to find a way to bake treats that were free of gluten, dairy, soy, almonds, chocolate, bananas, eggs, and rice (she has a few other intolerances, but leafy greens are a bit irrelevant to cookie baking).
Time To Move On
Anyone know where I can find a magical unicorn? Finding one of those felt less difficult than figuring out a treat that I had the skills to bake, that tasted great, and that met all of our needs. BUT, I was determined to find a way to bake treats that were free of gluten, dairy, soy, almonds, chocolate, bananas, eggs, and rice. Oatmeal cookies have always been one of my favorites and since the rice-free, GF flour mix I created is heavy on oat flour I figured these would be the perfect cookie for my experiment! I mustered up all the courage I could (baking experiments still make me a bit nervous), grabbed the oatmeal cookie recipe that has served us faithfully for years, and set to work. Thankfully I have a house full of willing taste-testers, so I had plenty of opinions to help judge my success. 🙂 The verdict is in and these cookies were a BIG hit!
- 2 cups Rice-free Flour Mix
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup Earth Balance margarine (soy-free version), softened
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp Bob's Red Mill Egg Replacer
- 4 1/2 Tbsp coconut milk (from the carton, not can), divided
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 2 cups dried fruit (I like dried cranberries)
- 2 cups oat flour
- 2/3 cup sorghum flour
- 1/2 cup tapioca flour
- 2 tsp xanthan gum
- Mix your Rice-free flour mix. Feel free to make a double or triple batch to keep on hand.
- Preheat oven to 350*
- Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a bowl whisk together first four ingredients.
- Beat margarine and both sugars in a stand mixer until light and fluffy.
- While the margarine mix is going, combine egg replacer with 4 Tbsp of coconut milk. Mix it well and let sit for 1 minute, then stir it again.
- Add egg replacer, vanilla, and 1/2 Tbsp coconut milk to margarine mix and beat till fully combined.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to mixer and beat until thoroughly mixed.
- Stir in oats and dried fruit by hand.
- Drop cookie dough by tablespoon (or with a cookie scoop) onto parchment-lined pans.
- Bake for 10-14 minutes (10 minutes will produce fairly soft cookies, 14 minutes will make crunchy cookies). **NOTE: These cookies won't look fully set when you pull them out)**
- Cool cookies on pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.