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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

First attempt!

Let's at least try! 

So I am trying to come up with ways to make healthier choices in my life and for my kids.  In this effort, I have become determined to try and explore some recipes avoiding bleached out refined flours and sugars as much as possible and to try and keep chemicals, preservatives and genetically modified foods out of the mix.  I even purchased some natural food color made from vegetables. 

I have poured over several healthy style cookbooks and made myself a list of cookie, cupcake and frosting recipes to work with,  make substitutions for and see what I can come up with.  Basically, what I realized is, there are gonna be "layers" to how much compromise I  may need to take for a specific look, event or even considering a specific audience.  There are some super great, totally healthy drop cookie recipes full of fiber and protein and  yummy whole grain spice cupcakes that are on the top of the charts packed with whole grains and organic natural sweeteners, but for the "decorated sugar cookie" thing I am famous for out here in these parts.....I am really still
 just working on it!  

These cutie little pumpkins are my first attempt at avoiding refined sugars and flours in the cookie recipe.  Of course any rollable frosting you can decorate with is where the compromise has to come in.  Store bought fondant is basically high fructose corn syrup---hands down.  But of course it gives us the prettiest and easiest results.  There are gonna be times I gotta cave and use it!  Here for this experimental batch though, I chose my rollable cream cheese frosting with  organic low fat cream cheese and organic confectioner's sugar.  (fyi the low fat didn't work as well as the regular)

The verdict on the cookie recipe.....ahh didn't get the highest of thumbs up from my "testers".   I had chosen to use some garbanzo bean flour to increase the protein in the cookie, and really it left an after that goes bye bye for the "sugar cookie" experiment.  But, I did use some other  organic whole grain flours and organic brown rice syrup, and I think there may be a way I can keep those in the next trial batch.  Instead of butter, I chose an organic coconut oil.  And even though coconut oil is a saturated fat, it isn't getting the bad results as animal saturated fats on how our body processes it.  These of course are just my findings in my readings and research.  I will post the recipe below that I tried out just for you to see what I did use.  It is a modified version of a vegan recipe I found in Alicia Silverstone's book

Rollable SHORTBREAD Cookies   350  10 min
(Alicia Silverstone’s  recipe modified)
1 c pastry flour, I used Bob's Red Mill gluten free flour with garbanzo bean flour
1 c  organic, non bromated, non bleached white wheat flour
1 c organic  brown rice flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 c "Olivio" extra virgin Coconut Spread
2/3 c organic brown rice syrup
2 t pure vanilla
1 t fine sea salt
put wet ingredients in mixer, combine and add in dry, make dough into ball, chill, roll, cut and bake. 

In the end, the garbanzo bean flour in the gluten free all purpose flour held an after taste so I wouldn't use that again in a "sugar cookie",  but would still consider it for some other things that have many more layers of spices and flavors.   I also would substitute something else for the coconut oil, since that too held a strong flavor presence.  I am going to try the Earth Balance organic spread next.

SO attempt number ONE!  They weren't "horrible" and I really enjoyed them BEFORE I added the frosting,  just because I personally didn't want  to eat the sugar in the frosting.  SO I bake on.......

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