Had you told me one year ago that for Christmas this year, I’d be not just baking gluten-free for me but also experimenting wildly to make gluten-free versions of my favorite cookies, I would have thought you were trying to get a rise out of me.
Last year on Christmas Eve, my aunt and uncle were telling me how great their new diet was. Their naturopath got them off of gluten and dairy and all sorts of stuff and they loved how they felt. I remember thinking–with empathy because feeling good is nice–that I could never do that. I loved baking too much.
Fast forward no more than two weeks later, and I’m crawling out of the bathroom and swearing off gluten completely. It’s what’s making me so sick.
Lo and behold I feel better without it.
Granted, a diet makeover is completely different than a food sensitivity. A high vegetable, lean protein, low grain diet will make a person feel better if all that person had been previously eating was meat and wheat. That’s kind of a no-brainer.
I didn’t believe even then it could happen to me. Stranger yet, it’s been happening to me all my life.
Baking for Christmas this year has been an interesting experience and self-reflection, to say the least. These recipes are so familiar and working with the dough feels so comfortable. Even though I can’t have it, it still has the effect of comfort food.
And I know I said I wouldn’t be making gluten-free versions of everything, but godamnit after whipping up peanut blossoms for my sister and scooping up the perfectly smooth, thick dough, I couldn’t not make some for myself. Peanut butter cookie dough is dangerously addictive.
As far as experimenting–peanut butter goes so well with oats, don’t you think? I can’t believe these cookies turned out so well the first try. The only thing is, they didn’t last long enough to see how well they store.
Gluten-Free Peanut Blossoms
1/2 c butter, softened
3/4 c peanut butter
1/3 c brown sugar, packed
1/3 c granulated sugar
1 l egg
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp milk
1-1/4 c finely ground oat flour*
1/2 c tapioca starch
3/4 tsp xantham gum
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Chocolate kisses or stars, unwrapped
Cream butter and peanut butter. Add and cream sugars. Add wet ingredients and beat until creamy. Whisk together dry ingredients and mix. Chill until firm, at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 375F. Roll dough into scant 1″ balls. Bake 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and place single chocolate on each cookie, pressing gently until cookie just begins to crack. Cool 5-10 minutes on cookie sheet until set enough to transfer to wire rack.
Makes 4 dozen. Store in airtight container. If you need to store them for more than a day or two, place immediately in freezer and thaw 1 hr before serving.
*if gluten-free oats are not an option, you can sub 1-1/2c of your regular all-purpose gluten free blend in place of the oat flour and tapioca starch