Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Old-fashioned Oatmeal Cookies

These cookies I rate check ++ . (My highest rating). I and the girls really enjoy them! They are really good even when they are room temperature.

As a side note, I made these cookies for my daughter to have for her church class, as the other kids were going to have cookies that day. They were wrapped, as were the other kids cookies, by my friend who was in charge of the activity. My friend wrote a little note on my daughter's cookies, saying she had made the cookies especially for the girls to be able to have them. My daughter's teacher afterward came to me and said, "there was a note saying Emily could have this, but I told her she needed to wait until I checked with her mom. They look so wheat!" Yay! That's a compliment. They look normal and taste normal! It's also a blessing that Emily has teachers who are so careful about her allergies. : )

I used a recipe from a container of Quick Oats, Ralston Foods brand. The recipe is called Family Favorite Oatmeal Cookies. The only adaptations I needed to make were to substitute the wheat flour with half oat/half rice flour, and to substitute the eggs. Shortening was called for in the original recipe, so no substitution for dairy was needed.

Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar*
Substitute for 2 eggs- I used 4 T. applesauce and 1 T. flaxmeal mixed with 3 T. cool water,then added 1 tsp. baking powder to the dry ingredients.
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup rice flour
3/4 cup oat flour**
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups Quick or Old Fashioned Oats
raisins(or dairy-free chocolate chips)

Cream shortening and sugar until fluffy. Add egg substitute and vanilla. In separate bowl, combine flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder(if substituting for egg), and salt. Then add to the sugar mixer. Add oats, then raisins or chocolate chips last. Bake 350 10-12 minutes. Let stand until firm enough to move to racks; maybe 5 min.

Note: You can first cook a single cookie onto a sheet to check for consistency. Then you can add more liquid or more flour as needed. (Careful-small amounts make a big difference)

* I actually don't have brown sugar in stock in my house right now, I've just been adding a bit of molasses to the recipe when I want brown sugar. I added probably 1 tsp. molasses to this recipe, and just used 2 cups sugar.

**grind old fashioned rolled oats or quick oats in a blender (not instant oatmeal)

Our family's Thanksgiving Meal

Ok, this is a funny time for posting about Thanksgiving, but I thought I ought to follow up the last post with what I ended up fixing for the holiday. It turned out very well- relatively simple, filling, and good.

I prepared the day before a coconut chocolate pie(see another post) and also tried a sweet potato pie, using my mom's pumpkin pie recipe and just substituting coconut milk for evaporated milk, sweet potato puree for pumpkin(just cause I had a bunch of sweet potatoes in the house I had gotten on a really good sale), and I'm thinking I may have substituted gelatin for the eggs(see egg substitution). The crust was a pat-in-the pan experiment, where I substituted oat flour for wheat flour. You can look for a pat in the pan pie crust recipe and then substitute the things you need to. I think my recipe was basically just oat flour and shortening. It turned out, though it is much more rich than I'm used to (I grew up on low-fat, whole wheat pie crusts). The pies were good, but after the yummy and filling meal, I was thinking, why do we even have dessert? Of course, some may not ever wonder that : )

The meal ended up including: a turkey, which I just rubbed some seasonings on and let bake while we were out hiking. Mashed potatoes, which, instead of adding butter/milk/ and that sort of thing, I added some coconut cream(I keep little ice cubes of it in the freezer). I used some of the potato water the potatoes cooked in when I whipped the potatoes, too- just to get a good consistency.

The gravy turned out really flavorful- really, it was the best dairy-free gravy I had made before. My sister was impressed at how good it could be. It was made from some of the turkey drippings, some drippings from a steak my husband had recently cooked with onions and soy sauce/and/or worcestershire sauce), and some vegetable water I had saved in the freezer. (Sorry I have no recipe, but you can get the hang of the concepts. Vegetable water makes more flavorful gravy than plain water. So when you boil potatoes, or steam or blanch broccoli, or boil drumsticks, save the water and freeze in containers. You can also make chicken/beef/or vegetable broth/stock in large batches and freeze that. I think I've done that once; I just find it convenient to save vegetable water or meat drippings when I have them as a part of my cooking meals. When I have flavorful meat drippings, I sometimes pour them into a glass jar in the fridge, scrape off the fat when it's solidified, and then freeze the drippings for later use.

Back to the meal- so, turkey, gravy, potatoes, green beans, I think I had, and that's all I remember. I may have add apple slices or something. But, we all really enjoyed it and filled ourselves, so that we had to wait until later for dessert.

This was my first Thanksgiving meal that was made without any of my girls' allergens in it. It was neat to see how we could have a meal that everyone really enjoyed, without using dairy, wheat, eggs, or nuts! Of course, at the times our family joins with many other family members, we expect to just bring separate food for the girls. But when we have our own small family gatherings, we know we can prepare the food so we all can enjoy it all!