Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Christmas Cookie Rant

My husband's Christmas Party for work was this weekend. 

I wanted to bring homemade gluten-free cookies. I could have made something I've made before, say Betty Crocker's Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies from the box. But no, that's not my style. Give me an hour in the kitchen and I will try to whip up a recipe that I adapted out of thin air, cross my fingers and hope for the best.

I prepped all the ingredients. Got the children settled into a project. I even consulted over the phone with my phenomenal allergy-friendly baking friend.

I was ready to make some cookies. And dang good ones at that.

Three sticks of butter. I like, I like. I used real butter instead of fake butter because I wanted them to turn out really good.

Self-concocted gluten-free flour mix. Perhaps this was the start of my troubles. These flours can be touchy.

Here you see that I'm using all of the butter instead of measuring the exact amount the recipe calls for. I was distracted by tying shoelaces or folding paper snowflakes or something like that. Quite possibly this was the demise of the whole project. Too much butter. I know you think it's not possible. But just wait and see what happens next.

But before we move on to the negative, let's take a moment to dwell in what is true and good. Butter and sugar whipped together to make a sweet fluffy cream. In fact this was pure heaven. It was the only redeeming aspect of this flustered baking experience.

They looked good going in. In fact, I was quite proud of myself.

I went upstairs to apply a little make-up to my face.

I must have gotten carried away because 12 minutes later I ran downstairs to smoke pouring out of the oven door.

Shooooot! Seriously? What happened to my perfectly rounded gorgeous little cookies?

Trying to see the bright side of this increasingly dismal story I thought they might taste decent and we could enjoy the cookies as some kind of "cookie brittle".

But there was no happy ending. They tasted awful. This picture above is of my "cookie brittle" in the trash can.

Why? Why? Why does this always happen to me when I try to bake gluten-free. I swear, baked goods have it out for me.

Clearly I'm trying to channel the old days when baking something tasty wasn't really all that difficult.

Flour. Butter. Sugar. Voila! Something tasty. Something magnificent. Something that honored the sweet tooth.

But no. Not so with gluten-free. It's dang near rocket science trying to make a yummy baked good. There are days when I'm sick and tired of it. Christmas Party Cookie Day was one of them.

So an hour late to the party we swung by Whole Foods to pick up a pre-made gluten-free cookie for the party. This was all I could find in my frantic sweep of the store.

Nothing against you KinniToos. After all, you are my favorite fake oreo and I was happy to eat more than half of you before the night was over. 

But I just want baking to be easy sometimes. Like the old days.

Later that night after we returned home from the party I heard another of my favorite Christmas tunes. The emotion in this rendition takes me away to another place. It's raw and filled with passion. All is well in the world when I hear this song. 

The Fray - O Holy Night


  1. I have a friend who swears by Authentic Foods Flour - she says it makes her grandma's chocolate chip cookies just like her grandma did. I have yet to use it but may be worth trying so the baking can be fun and tasty again!

  2. Thanks Maggie! I checked it out online. Looks great. Hopefully I'll have more success in the near future.

  3. Starting in two weeks, my deadline, I will too be gluten free. In researching this whole phenomenon, I found your blog. As I'm a passionate kitchenista too, I have been following your blog. I love your sense of humor. I baked my last OMG apple pie for Christmas... this post made me want to cry. :(

  4. Hi Lori. Best wishes as you begin traveling this most unique path. Trust me, I wouldn't be doing it if I didn't feel so darn good without gluten in my life. All the little bumps and hiccups along the way really aren't that bad. Frustrating at times, yes, but just take some getting used to. And believe me, there will be plenty of OMG baked goods, it just takes a little extra effort to find them!


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