Yes, it’s National Cookie Day, just in time for the holidays. Time to get started or at least start planning your holiday cookie baking. Maybe even time to think about hosting a cookie exchange.
I love cookie exchanges because you can get as simple or fancy with this as you want. The basics are that everyone brings a set number of cookies, the recipe and a container to bring their cookies home in. The cookies are set out on the table and there is sampling, conversation and cookies to take home.
The cookie exchanges I have attended we each brought one dozen cookies and we took one dozen cookies. I don’t know where the six dozen cookies that seems to be common now came from. You could adjust the number to fit the number of participants if you wish. You could also decide on 2 or 3 dozen cookies if you wish, which is an average size for a batch of cookies. We also took enough copies of our recipe for everyone. That’s the basics. Now if you want to provide containers for guests to take their cookies home in or have a craft time and decorate boxes or provide decorative envelopes for people to put the recipes they collect in that is totally up to you.
What I like about this idea is that it can be customized for special dietary needs and would be great for a support group meeting. You can invite all people who are gluten free, dairy free, vegan, allergic to nuts — whatever your need may be.
Try not to get too obsessed with the details. The point of this is to hang out with friends, enjoy a few cookies and recipes, relax and most of all have fun! Group activities are always good at the holidays. You never know who may need a little bit of light in their lives. You could be the one who brings it and not even know.
Oh yes it is. But at my house every day is cookie day and one of our favorites is chocolate chip. I live with a Cookie Monster. Whenever Bob walks by freshly baked c0okies cooling on the counter at least a few get devoured. I usually have homemade cookies on hand, at least in the freezer.
Of course they are gluten free and I do try to health them up a bit, but we’re not talking about nasty tasting “health cookies” here. These are real cookies and they taste good.
Who doesn’t love cookies?Cookies turn even an ordinary day into a celebration. This is my regular chocolate chip cookie recipe jazzed up a bit. Just in time for holiday cookie exchanges, this recipe is gluten free, egg free and reduced fat. Don’t be fooled by the ingredients in this recipe. These taste so good, if you don’t tell them, people without food restrictions will never guess anything is missing.
Chocolate Chip Trail Mix Cookies
2 Tablespoons flax seed meal mixed with 6 Tablespoons hot water (this will replace the eggs)
1 cup unsweetened applesauce (instead of butter)
3/4 cup agave nectar (instead of white and brown sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup buckwheat flour (don’t worry buckwheat isn’t even a distant relative of wheat)
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup cranberry almond trail mix
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut.
Combine flax seed meal and hot water. Stir and let sit until thick (consistency of egg whites).
Combine flax seed mixture, applesauce, agave and vanilla in large bowl. Mix well.
Add flours and baking soda. Stir to blend in flours.
Add chocolate chips, trail mix and coconut. Stir till well mixed.
Spoon by tablespoons onto baking sheet. Press out a little with back of spoon dipped in water if you want a flatter cookie (these won’t spread out like cookies with butter and sugar.)
Bake in 350 degree over until bottoms of cookies are browned.
This rainy day here at the lake is also election day. Bob and I voted by mail so all that is left to do is wait and see how this horrible election cycle continues to play itself out. I’ve talked before about knowing my limits when it comes to world events so today I am taking a day off from the drama and trauma and just living.
I’m coming back to those things I love that feed my soul but sometimes let others make me feel are unworthy or useless. Later I will be going into the art studio but after yoga and morning meditation I started out cooking. I love to cook. I love to eat. I’m not ashamed to admit it. We all have to eat, why not enjoy it? Now I try to eat healthy but I’m not going to pretend I just really don’t eat anything.
Now I don’t love cooking so much when under pressure to get something on the table when I hadn’t planned anything. But give me a rainy day and all the time in the world and there will be some pretty terrific smells coming from my kitchen. So far chicken soup is on the stove. Cookies are cooling on the counter.
I wish those of you in the U.S. who are voting and waiting for results as well as those watching with concern around the world a good day, a peaceful day with at least a little time spent doing something that centers and grounds you and makes your heart sing.
Wait!! Did someone say cookies?? Yes, and here they are. Enjoy!
Banana Peanut Butter Crisscross Cookies
2 T. flax seed meal + 6 T. hot water
1 c. mashed ripe banana
2/3 c. agave nectar
1 T. molasses
1/2 c. applesauce
1/2 c. natural peanut butter
1 t. baking soda
3 cups gluten free flour
1 t. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine flaxseed and hot water. Let sit till it starts to gel.
Combine next 5 (wet) ingredients. Add flaxseed gel. Stir together.
Add baking soda, cinnamon and flour. Add flour in small amounts stirring after each addition.
Scoop batter by Tablespoons onto a prepared cookie sheet.
Now comes the fun part. Make a crisscross pattern on the top of each cookies with the tines of a fork dipped in water. This is in the style of traditional peanut butter cookies. There is also another reason for this. Without sugar and fat these cookies will not spread out and get crisp like “regular” cookies would. So I flatten my cookies either with the back of a spoon or the crisscross method.
Bake until the bottoms of the cookies are browned.
Remove from the baking sheet and cool.
Interested in more of my gluten free recipes? My e-books, The Gluten Free Good Life and Have Yourself a Healthy Little Holiday are available at Espirational Books.