Sunday, February 21, 2016

Gluten Free Cookies



Gluten free eating first started as a solution for those suffering from intolerance and allergies to gluten. But the last few years, it's become more mainstream with the 'health brigade' adopting it as their latest trend. I've personally stayed away from any gluten free baking so far, largely because I've no health reason to and I love plain flour based dishes way too much. But when a blogger friend asked if I would like to try baking with a new raw banana flour, it seemed like an intriguing flavour to try.

Noticing how dark coloured the flour was, I knew anything vanilla based was out for this experiment. So I decided to bake my favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe, substituting the entire plain flour with recommended quantity of raw banana flour. I also added some coconut to up the flavour quotient, and out came the cookie that looked just like the original.

And how was the flavour? Quite nice actually, although it does taste different from your regular cookie. The banana flavour is prominent which means that coconut was hardly noticeable. Kadhali folks tell me that if you mix the banana flour with another gluten free flour (like almond), you do not notice the banana flavour at all so I might try that next. In the meantime, make sure you make a small batch - my recipe makes a dozen - because these cookies stale faster than the regular version. You can keep them a couple of days in the fridge but make sure to heat them a bit in the oven if not eating the same day.

Ingredients
50 grams butter
50 grams dark brown sugar
80 grams kadhali raw banana flour (substitute with 120 grams plain flour if not baking gluten free)
2 tbsp coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla essense
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp toasted, desiccated coconut
2 tbsp dark chocolate chips

Take the butter out of the fridge and leaving it to soften. After an hour or so, cream this soft butter with 50 gms sugar. Now add coconut milk and vanilla essence. Beat everything until light and fluffy. Mix together raw banana flour and baking soda, then add to the bowl with butter/sugar and mix well. Finally, fold in toasted coconut and chocolate chips.

Set the oven to preheat to 180C and line a small baking sheet with parchment. Now wet your hands with cold water, and roll a walnut size piece of dough into a ball. Place on the baking tray and press with a fork to flatten. With my dough, I got 12 cookies. Bake the cookies for 15-20 minutes until they look crisp and cooked through. Leave to cook for 10 minutes or so on the baking sheet, then move to a wire rack to cooled them completely.

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