Friday, September 28, 2012

The Intentional Cook: Iain-friendly cookies

This is the first of what may be a new series called The Intentional Cook. (Don't you love how non-commital I am?) In an attempt to make tasty food that accommodates our family's multiple food allergies and sensitivities, I have been forced into a creative and intentional method of cooking. Gone are the days of opening this, snacking on that... Here to stay are the days of planning, preparing and savoring healthy, "friendly" food.

Today's feature is egg/dairy allergen-free Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies that taste good. 

There are many recipes for allergen-free cookies, but before you send any links, check the ingredients. There are two key ingredients that create the flavor, texture and appeal of delicious baked goods: butter and eggs. Think about it. You know I'm right. When it comes to cookies you could throw vanilla in there for a 3rd, brown sugar for a 4th, etc. but really, butter and eggs are the foundation for tasty success. So you see, when I attempt to bake while accommodating allergies to these very ingredients the result is, well, disappointing - not for the 1 and 4 year old allergic recipients who are thrilled to have a tasteless hockey puck of sugar, but for their mother who knows exactly what they're missing. After a bit of experimenting and some divine inspiration, I think I have solved this problem!

Without further adieu, here's the recipe, adapted from Cook's Illustrated cookbook.

Heat oven to 325 and line cookie sheets with parchment

Combine and set aside:
2 cups + 2 Tbs flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

In a separate bowl beat together:
12 Tbs melted coconut oil*
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Mix in:
3/4 tsp egg-replacer powder
1 Tbs water
2 egg yolks (thoroughly separated from whites!)**
2 tsp vanilla

Gently combine wet and dry ingredients. 
Stir in 1.5 c Trader Joe's brand chocolate chips***

Place 1/4 c size blobs of dough onto cookie sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes (my oven required about 17 minutes). Cool cookies on the sheet. Obviously these are large cookies.

*Coconut oil is the butter substitute. Some people are allergic this, so do be careful. Yes, this will lend a tasty hint of coconut to your recipe. 

**The white of the egg contains the protein that causes the allergic reactions in *most* individuals with egg allergies. The egg yolk contains the flavor and fats of the egg. If the egg is well-seperated, the yolk is safe *for most people* to bake with. (I save the white and add it to my breakfast omelette for an extra shot of protein. I'm not allergic.)

***Most brands of chocolate chips contain milk products. Trader Joe's does not and is only about $.50 more expensive than regular chocolate chips. Hurray!