Sunday, April 17, 2011

Gluten Free Thin Mints Style Cookies

There are some words that strike fear into my culinary heart.

Whipping egg whites. Folding with a light hand. And now a new one.  Gluten free baking.

Now mind you, it's not an official diagnosis by my doctor. Just a suggestion from one of my friends who thought that my irritability, tiredness and spaciness seemed to coincide mostly after I'd been eating something with gluten. And gave me a challenge to try going gluten free for a week. I would of course like to blast holes into the theory, except that I'm very crankily unhappy  to announce that I have more energy and concentration just after 24 hours of not eating gluten products. So, I might just have to settle for pelting said friend with dinner rolls until I feel better. Just for bringing logic into my happy food based life.

I'm really really REALLY hoping that this is just something that got triggered into going overboard because of a lot of stress. And that if I"m really good about behaving myself I might be able to go back to the real deal. But in the meantime, I'm at least going to  give gluten free baking the benefit of the doubt until the weather gets warmer for ice cream. At least to post about it. I very happily eat ice cream when it's well below zero.

As for gluten free baking, I did try making these mint cookies t with brown rice flour and wasn't too happy with them. I know that Bob's says they grind the flour super fine but it still tasted gritty to me. Didn't stop me from eating several of the cookies although I think that had more to do with the fact that they were covered with chocolate that helped console me somewhat.I have a box of King Arthur Flours multi purpose gluten free flour that I think I'll try again with the recipe to see if that would help at all. Either that, or pulverize the brown rice flour in my food processor to see if fixes the gritty issue.

Overall, these were okay. Given my preference for chewy cookies, I should have probably gone with another one from the book but I think with practice and time, I might try these one more time to see if I can fix the issues I had with it.

Thin Mints -Style Cookies
from: The Ultimate Gluten Free Cookie Book by Roben Ryberg
1/3 cup oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 egg
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp vanilla extract

12 oz broken milk chocolate bar
2 tbsp confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp mint extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheet.

In medium bowl, combine oil and sugar. Beat well. Add brown rice flour and beat well. Scrape sides of bowl down at least once during mixing. Add remaining ingredients and beat well. Beat until dough comes together. Dough will be soft and oily to the touch.

Roll small balls of dough and flatten slightly on cookie sheet. Bake 8-9 minutes or until tops are dry (mine took closer to 12 minutes in electric oven). Cool well - cookies should be crisp when completely cooled.

Melt milk chocolate in microwave, 1-2 minutes on high or until melted. Stir in sugar and mint extract and mix until creamy. Dip cookies into chocolate and place on waxed paper.

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