Monday, January 23, 2023

Otto's Naturals Grain-Free Ultimate Cookie Mix

cookies and oat milk
Here at Casa Minx, the annual Baking of the Holiday Cookies has long been one of our favorite Christmas traditions. We make rolled sugar cookies, snickerdoodles, oatmeal cookies, and a double batch of chocolate chippers. Sometimes I add an oddball, like biscotti, or last year's chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons. My brother helps out and gets to take half home, the rest we nibble into January or February or however long we can make them last. In recent years, they've lasted a good long time, as I've taken to wrapping about 1/3 of them in foil and tucking them in the freezer for a rainy day. I know you're thinking, "how do they have the strength not to snarfle up ALL the cookies right away?" It does take some willpower, believe me. Also, we tend to start Whole30 sometime in early January. It's the only diet that works for me, and it doesn't allow wheat. Or sugar. Or dairy. By packing up the cookies, I reduce temptation to cheat.

I'm not sure if it's related in any way, but after several years of giving up dairy periodically, I am now lactose intolerant. I must have perpetrated some real evil over my lifetime to deserve this punishment. Even semi-sweet chocolate morsels contain milk, as do most chocolate candy, cake, and cookies. And as mentioned above, cookies also contain wheat. Rather than give up on the joy of cookies entirely, even when dieting, I have found a work-around for my problem: Otto's Natural Grain-Free Ultimate Cookie Mix, which can be found in the fancy organic/special diet/gf aisle in many grocery stores. It's made with cassava flour, which makes a pretty darn good substitute for wheat flour in many things, plus the usual brown and white sugars and baking soda called for by a standard chocolate chip cookie recipe. It only requires an egg, a soupcon of vanilla, mix-ins like chips or nuts, and a fat. The traditional fat for cookie baking is butter, but I know many families use margarine. I grew up in a no-margarine-ever household. To my palate, the butter substitutes of my youth were nasty. Today, however, there are a few tasty faux butters on the market. My personal favorite is Earth Balance, which comes in stick form as well as the usual tub. So not only can I have gluten-free cookies, they can be dairy-free as well. I even found non-dairy chocolate chips in the form of 72% cacao from Ghirardelli. (They also make 100% cacao chips, but they don't have any sugar in them. While they're not particularly bitter, they might still be a rude surprise in a chocolate chip cookie.)

If by some miracle there are cookies left by January 1, I still need to tuck them away as they contain the very non-Whole30 sugar. A bag of Otto's cookie mix only makes about 4 dozen small cookies, however, which are pretty easy to destroy in 2 weeks. In fact, I don't know how well they freeze, so I'm not even going to try. 

raw dough
Chocolate Walnut Cookies (non-dairy, gluten-free)
You may make these cookies at any time of the year. I make them for Christmas. They're not super sweet, and they taste great with an ice cold glass of oat milk (or the milk-like fluid of your choosing).

1 large egg
1 4-ounce stick Earth Balance, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 bag Otto's Naturals Grain-free Ultimate Cookie Mix
1 tablespoon pure cocoa powder
3/4 cup non-dairy chocolate chips (I used 72% cacao Ghirardelli)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

In a medium bowl, beat the egg into the cooled margarine with a fork until combined. Stir in the vanilla, cookie mix, and cocoa, and mix well. The dough will not hold together in the same way as standard cookie dough and will appear a bit loose. Stir in the chips and walnuts. 

Preheat oven to 350F. 

Scoop a heaped half tablespoon of dough at a time, pressing into a ball. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and flatten slightly with your palm. They won't spread very much, if at all. 

Bake 10-12 minutes. Allow cookies to cool several minutes on the sheets before moving them to racks to cool, as they are somewhat fragile while warm. Cool completely before storing in a lidded container.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

* Any products in this post that are mentioned by name may have been provided to Minxeats by the manufacturer. However, all opinions belong to Minxeats. Amazon links earn me $! Please buy!

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