I have so many cookbooks on my bookshelf, and I have a few favorites from them all. Especially Elana Amsterdam’s The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook. You can find her blog at www.elanaspantry.com . Pretty much all of her recipes use almond flour. She recommends blanched almond flour. I personally find almond meal to work well with all of the recipes I’ve tried. Since I have a habit of writing in my cookbooks, something I learned from my mother in law, I know I’ve tried 15 recipes. Almond meal seems to work for them all. Maybe it’s because I don’t know how they’re SUPPOSED to be? But then again, I’m all about flavors. If it tastes great, that’s all that matters. A happy tummy makes for a happy me.
Seriously. Delicious food makes me grin, savory food makes me relaxed, spicy food makes me giggly and desserts makes me dance (along with picadillo).
Yesterday, my husband and I were walking around Whole Foods, picking up a few things. I was trying to figure out what I was craving. I walked by fruits. Nah. Through the baking section. Eh, there’s not many pre-mixed packages I can buy that’s sugar-free along with gluten-free and dairy-free. The frozen section? Coconut ice cream didn’t appeal to me. My favorite kombucha chia drink? Didn’t jump out at me. I frowned at my husband, somewhat whining. Yes, I’m a grown woman and I whine. I confess, I’m actually a 5 years old on the inside.
Then it hit me. I wanted HOT cookies fresh out of the oven! I prayed that we had everything we needed at home. So we walked back home and put away the food.
I grabbed the almond flour cookbook and put it in my clear plastic cookbook holder. I searched through my kitchen for all needed ingredients. YES. I had everything I needed to make chocolate chip cookies. But wait a minute, I can’t have chocolate chips since they’re made with cane sugar. Mmmm… substitution time.
There it was. A cardboard container filled with raisins. Oh yum. Deliciously sweet if you eat one at a time and chew for a few seconds. The juice is actually sweeter than any chocolate. At least I think so, it’s been awhile since I’ve had chocolate.
So I made the dough, which took me approximately 10 minutes to make. Then it was 20 minutes in the fridge. The oven was warming up. My mouth was watering. Come on, come on! Finally it was time. The baking sheets were already lined with parchment paper (a HUGE time saver when cleaning up after yourself in the kitchen). I spooned on the cookie dough on the two prepared sheets.
And placed it in the oven, baking for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. The delectable aroma was beginning to waft through the kitchen.
Ding! went the timer. Or so I pretended in my head, since I can’t actually hear the timer. But regardless, I pulled out the first cookie sheet and put in the second. I forced myself to wait, promising myself a cookie in a few minutes.
And it was time.
I grabbed a hot and soft (NOT crumbly! I know, it’s gluten-free, I promise you!) cookie.
My reaction? I’ll sum it up in one word. Or rather sound.
MMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmMMMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmMMMM! (goes back for a second one… a third…)
Just because you cannot follow a recipe exactly doesn’t mean you can’t use it! No chocolate chips, but got raisins? Go for it! No walnuts, but got pecans? By all means, go right ahead! No grapeseed oil, but you’ve got a bottle of olive oil? That works. What about eggs? No eggs, ah that’s easy. 1 TBSP flaxseed meal mixed with 3 TBSP cold water and let it sit for a few minutes.
Chances are if you google for a substitute, you’ll find it. I know I have. Even for spices! Need allspice but don’t have any? Nutmeg will do. Et cetera, et cetera. The possibilities