21 February 2013

Gaia Cookie via #breadandwine from @sniequist

For the next few weeks I'll be sharing with you a book I received in the mail a couple of days ago. I've mentioned it recently, encouraged you to order early and now I'm telling you -- CLICK HERE, order now and come over for dinner or breakfast or snacks. Especially today.

I've heard Shauna rave about the cookies from Gaia Cafe in Grand Rapids for a number of years. Her  books, her tweets, blog posts have not been void of their greatness. I've never been to Grand Rapids, therefore I've not been to the Gaia Cafe and have never had a Gaia Cookie. The truth is that if I were in Grand Rapids, at the Gaia Cafe, I'd not order a cookie. Why? Flour.

I am coming off of a 40 day fast, which I will write of soon, and my belly isn't happy with me. I'd never felt better 8 days ago and after this weekend I'm planning to have a very restricted diet for a long, long time. Not for weight loss  although Jonathan experienced that during the 40 days, I did not; but for energy and sleep and happy belly and less of the cranky-s. Next week, the cookies I made this morning will be off limits. Eggs, sugar and butter are on the list of foods which will be avoided.

But it's like Fat Tuesday for the entire week, upset belly and all. Naturally, I've had batter and 3 cookies already and will eat at least 3 more before the sun sets tonight. Maybe 23.

In the chapter to which the recipe follows, Shauna shares of her cooking club and their efforts to share what they have with others by holding a garage sale with the bonus bake sale. "...shortbread and pumpkin cream cheese muffins, homemade granola bars and caramel corn, dulce de leche brownies and Gaia cookies..." I'd have left the sale having pushed away my hopes of a discarded ice cream maker, in exchange for arm fulls of baked goods.

Together they raised one thousand dollars to give to the Care Center at her church. I love this. I love the way we are each gifted and our gifts, when utilized to their potential hold together the world God created. These women, gifted in the kitchen with spoons and baking powder, butter and love (it makes all the difference, truly) fed countless people. They fed them the day they shopped for bargains and they fed them through the Care Center. What are your gifts? How can you use them to make a difference? Will you?

Back to that cookie, because it is the best of the best of the best I've ever made in my kitchen. I'm not kidding. After batches of trying, I have perfected a gluten free chocolate chip cookie. It is delicious and it's mine and it can be yours if you want. Just ask. This cookie -- it tops the chocolate chip cookie. Barely, but after just one batch, it has earned the rank.
{Wish we were neighbors?}

To make it for me and for others who must avoid gluten, these are the changes:
2 C Flour: 1 C brown rice flour, 1/2 C coconut flour, sifted, & 1/2 C tapioca flour
1 C granola cereal: 1 C my homemade GF granola (I'll share that recipe later this week)
Add 2 teaspoons of xantahn gum to the dry mix
I baked them at 350 in a convection oven for 11 minutes. I let them cool on the baking sheet for 3 - 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack. Often gluten free baking falls apart. Nothing holds together like wheat flour. I've found the cooling before transferring, helps.

I'd love to hear from those who are gluten free and try this recipe. I promise you will not be disappointed. My only disappointment this morning is this -- there are 626 miles from my door to Shauna's. If I were to hop in the car and start driving, I'd only deliver crumbs. Instead, I'll eat another cookie and drive to the gym. It's freezing with a freezing rainy mix falling from the sky. It only makes sense to eat cookies and drink black coffee on my way to run like a hamster in a spinning wheel.

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In case you are wondering where the rest the recipe can be found...right here, chapter 29, what money can't buy. Or stop by my home today and I'll share.

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