Have I told you that my kids are allergic to gluten? Well, they are and it’s a big bummer. Just give them a little bit and they’ll have eczema from head to toe. And since my son sometimes has asthma attacks awful enough to merit a night in the hospital, staying away from allergy triggers is really important. We’ve been cooking gluten-free for them for over a year and my poor husband has had to leave his artisan bread baking days behind. Sigh. As I said, it’s a huge bummer.
We’ve gotten accustomed to gluten-free cooking, but baking is another story. Gluten-free flour alternatives are intimidating to say the least and I was terrified of things like Xantham Gum that I had no idea how to use. Many a recipe I tried turned out inedible. Which is why I was really excited when my friend Stephanie of Mama and Baby Love came out with Grain-Free/Gluten-Free Baking, an eCookbook making it easy to learn healthy gluten-free baking. I knew it would be great because we’ve enjoyed munching on her amazing gluten-free baked goods (she even made me gluten-free lactation cookies when Gwen was born).
And not only are the recipes delicious (I’m including the Healthy Almond Joy Cookie recipe below with Stephanie’s permission), the cookbook is a great resource for any one starting out with gluten-free baking. In addition to 20 recipes for cookies, cakes, pies, and pizza crusts, Steph walks you through all the intimidating gluten-free flours and explains how to use them as well as how to bake with healthy ingredients like coconut oil. The cookbook is full of tips and tricks for gluten-free baking that would help anyone who’s starting out like me.
Healthy Almond Joy Cookies
My kids were really excited about helping me in the kitchen with some gluten-free recipes, so we started with the very first one and they turned out so good that we’re making more this afternoon.
3 cups dried coconut (opt for unsweetened)
1 cup almond flour/meal
1 cup honey
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup of chopped almonds
1/2 cup of chocolate chips
Whole almonds for tops of cookies
Just mix them all together, except for the whole almonds. Stephanie recommends using a food processor, but because I don’t have one, we just mixed the ingredients together in a big bowl and it worked just fine. Use a tablespoon to scoop out and put on a cookie sheet, then add the whole almonds on top. 4-year-old Benjamin got a big kick out of being in charge of the almonds. (In fact, we didn’t buy chopped almonds and instead let him put whole almonds in a plastic bag and crush them with a can. He loved it.) Then we just put ours in the fridge to get cold so the coconut oil hardens and they stay together. But you can also bake them in the oven for 10 minutes or in a dehydrator at the lowest temperature for 12 hours.
They are so good, y’all.
We’re loving Grain-Free/Gluten-Free Baking! And until August 14th, you can get Stephanie’s Slow Cooker Freezer Meals eCookbook half-0ff for 4.99! It’s usually 9.99. It’s saving my life right now while I settle into life with three kids and we have Thai Chicken Curry and Summer Veggie Soup in the freezer and ready to put in the slow cooker any time. Yum. You can read my review and view some recipes from it if you’re interested.
Do you bake gluten-free? Any tips or tricks to share?