Saturday, August 29, 2015

GF - Diabetic Friendly - Grainless cookies

I have managed to live most of my life without help of the medical community. However, a little coral cut, too close to shore when a large wave came through while snorkeling did not heal. And I dutifully showed up at the doctors who ignored it till it got worse and for months now they have been talking about taking my toe or even foot off. Thanks guys. What does this have to do with cookies and diabetes? Just hold on. So we went from ignore to panic ... go to the emergency room right now. In the past 60 days I have seen an army of doctors, most of whom are convinced I am diabetic. And I would be happy to agree, I looked the symptoms up online and self diagnosed. WebMD agrees, what more can you want. Only problem is, I am not. I have had at least eight blood draws and I am not even pre-diabetic. However, as one of the brighter doctors I have seen said, "Stephen, you may not be diabetic, but you'd best live your life as if you  are." Which brings us to cookies. Who likes cookies? Everyone.

Lately I have been experimenting with Almond flour as at least a partial substitute for grain flour. It has worked so well, I have run out. But I have two bags of raw almonds I need to use up before they turn rancid. I also have some young unsweetened coconut, (not the shredded dry sweetened kind), these are big chunks with some moisture and no added sugar. What if I put equal amounts into a powerful blender? The result was a grainy mixture. Then I added a couple tablespoons of raw ginger root. This makes for trickier blending since the ginger adds moisture; try the pulse setting. While it is possible to blend into a smooth paste, I recommend against it, the chunkier stuff has a lot more character.

This almond, coconut, ginger grainy mash is the basis for cookies. Go ahead and taste, it it a base, but even with the ginger it is bland. At this point, I recommend you take the mash out of the blender and do any additional mixing by hand, if you over blend you will lose character. Obviously the temptation is to add sweetener, but we are trying to be diabetic friendly, so that is that absolute last step with the mash. And under no conditions are we going to add salt to the mix.

The next step is the most dangerous step. Adding egg white for liquid and as binder, (not to mention low fat protein). To be successful in baking you have to get two things right, oven temperature and moisture. Oven temperature is not critical for this dish, but moisture is. Play with the mash. Can you make it an adhesive ball? With the moist coconut and the fresh ginger, I was close, but I was not quite there. BE PATIENT. Add too much egg white and you have a troublesome dough. Add a bit, mix. Add a bit, mix. Try forming a ball. When you can form an adhesive ball you are there. Do not add any more moisture.

Spice. I am big on cinnamon for this sort of thing, especially since it is a sugar regulator. However, I wanted something bolder, I chose nutmeg which also is a healthy spice. That really helped, but we still are not there. I broke out the caramel extract to taste, (make a caramel sauce, blend it with vodka or grain alcohol and store in the fridge for up to 60 days, warm before trying to use), and that brought it over the top. And now we have added our sugar with the caramel, at least most of it.

We are still missing something? Back to the dry goods cabinet, hmmm, here are some blueberries and some dried cherries. That adds the rest of the sugar, but it has nutrition and fiber to balance. I rolled the blueberries inside in a ball. For the cherries I just put a dab of dough on the parchment paper on the baking pan and stuck the cherry on top.

I heated the oven to 350 and five minutes at temperature was plenty, your mileage may vary, but as soon as it dries out and is solid it is probably done. Here is a picture, for some reason my iPhone shot it in black and white, so it must be art.

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