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An Almanac For The 21st Century

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The BEST Cookies, Whether or Not You're An Allergic Mess

The BEST Cookies, Whether or Not You're An Allergic Mess

If you don't want to read any super cool anecdotes, you can jump straight to the recipe. I have one monster of a sweet tooth. I also have an allergy to cane sugar. I can eat any alternative sweeteners, but I have to avoid cane sugar whenever I can. It's actually better than it used to be - I used to have to avoid even trace amounts. I used to not be able to eat ketchup, for instance, and now I can. Oooooh, wow, big whoop, right? Try not eating any sauces for over two years - You'll be overjoyed to put a smidgen of ketchup on a fry.

Because I love sweets but have to adhere to ridiculous limits when it comes to what I can eat, I'm constantly on the lookout for good recipes for desserts that fall within my strict dietary parameters. In addition to avoiding cane sugar, I also can't eat gluten, and I steer clear of most dairy (my lactose intolerance philosophy is to save my dairy for cheese. So I go dairy-free everywhere else). It's easy to find recipes that fit one or two of these requirements, but all three? Very tricky. Plus, usually the recipe comes from some pin called "Eat a Treat While Still Losing That Last 5lbs, Girlfriend!" and I'm not looking for health food, I'm looking for DESSERT.

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I feel like I've made it sound like these recipes don't exist at all, but they do, you just have to hunt. Lucky for you, I like doing research, and I have a Pinterest board with some of my favorite food intolerance-friendly recipes here. I actually click through before I pin things (crazy, right?), so I know what I'm pinning, particularly with recipes. Nothing gets on that board before I know the ingredients and instructions and that they'll work for me. In fact, I think there are only about four or five recipes there that I haven't made yet. One of my favorite sites to go to for allergy-friendly recipes is Texanerin Baking. I have spent quite a lot of time scrolling through her site drooling over her delicious looking baked goods. She has officially stolen my heart, though, with her recipe for Perfect Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Is there a word for more than perfect? Because that's what these cookies are. They are supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. I have made them so many times I have committed the recipe to memory. I have made them for friends who don't have food allergies and they are obsessed with them (Frequent question: "So... are these healthy then?" Constant answer: "Well... they're cookies.") I have to have a constant supply in my house at all times because the best way to deal with an addiction is to give in to it and let it wash over you in a chocolatey waterfall.

There are so many great things about this recipe before you even make it. First of all, Erin is an American living in Germany, so all of her recipes provide measurements both in cups and tablespoons but also in grams, and temperatures are in Fahrenheit and Celsius. No messing around with annoying conversions just because you live in a different country! She also provides alternatives within the recipe, so you can use coconut sugar as your sweetener, or you can use brown sugar. Eggs or chia eggs if you're making a vegan recipe. Coconut oil or butter (I use vegan butter, as per my dairy is for cheese rule). This is basically a choose your own adventure recipe, and I greatly appreciate all the work Erin has done to create so many options for cookie lovers.

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Now for the actual recipe part! I'm going to just put the adventure I choose, so to speak, with these cookies, but for all the extra info on measuring in grams or using alternative ingredients please visit Texanerin Baking. Seriously, she is a genius, and a baking inspiration, not to mention a saint for bringing these cookies into my life.

Allergy-Friendly Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

1 cup blanched almond flour 1/4 cup coconut flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 6 tablespoons Earth Balance butter (the sticks make it super convenient!) 3/4 cup coconut sugar 6 tablespoons natural almond butter (This is a good price for almond butter, but if you buy it direct from Costco it's almost HALF the cost. I may get a membership for almond butter alone.) 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 large egg 1 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided

Directions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer or using a stand mixer, beat together the fat and sugar at medium speed until well combined, about 1 minute. (I never wait for my butter, or any ingredients, to be room temp, so I end up using my mixer to break up the butter and then use my hands to make sure it's well combined. It's cheating and it works just fine.)
  3. Beat in the almond butter and vanilla extract on medium speed and mix until combined. Beat in the egg on low and mix until well incorporated. Stir in the flour mixture until well combined.
  4. Then stir in 1 cup chocolate chips (By hand, the electric mixer part is over). Because we're using coconut sugar, place the bowl in the refrigerator for about 1 hour or until the dough is firm.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 °F and line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
  6. Roll the dough into 8 balls and place the remaining 1/4 cup of chocolate chips on the top and on the sides of the dough balls. (Sometimes I skip the extra chocolate chip step if they look extra chocolatey.) Place 4" apart on the prepared baking sheet. Press the cookies down lightly with the palm of your hand.
  7. Bake for 11-14 minutes (if using coconut sugar) or until the surface of the center of the cookies no longer appears wet. They'll be very soft but will continue to cook as they sit on the cookie sheet. (Very true! They will seem UN-baked. Let them rest and they'll firm up. Trust.)
  8. Let cool completely on the baking sheet. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
These chewy cookies tend to stick together and make a Cookie King, so I store them between layers of parchment paper. (I just cut up the paper from the tray they baked on.) The more you know!
These chewy cookies tend to stick together and make a Cookie King, so I store them between layers of parchment paper. (I just cut up the paper from the tray they baked on.) The more you know!

I eat about one of these cookies a day. The only part of this recipe I have to compromise my weirdo diet for is the chocolate chips, which just don't come in a decent sugar-free version (paleo chocolate chips do exist). I've found that my body can handle the sugar that comes in the small amount of chocolate chips that are in one cookie a day. It's all about experimenting with your body's limits! Seriously, those were my direct instructions from my allergist after some very expensive testing. Luckily, these cookies have never let me down.

Finders Keepers (Alternately: America, America, This is You)

Finders Keepers (Alternately: America, America, This is You)

Take a Break, Get a New Doctor, Cry in Her Office, Buy Yourself a Present

Take a Break, Get a New Doctor, Cry in Her Office, Buy Yourself a Present