Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cookie Challenge: Teller's PB & Cheese Cookies

Now for recipe #2 of our grain-free, gluten-free cookie challenge. Yesterday's cookies (S'Murphy's Embarky Bars) were yummy - definitely a recipe I'd make again. As a matter of fact, my dogs were pretty "stupid" for them - Murphy almost impaled himself on the grooming table this afternoon because he was looking at the cookie in my hand and not the table which he was supposed to be jumping onto.
Repeat after me Murphy: "No cookie is worth a concussion, No cookie is worth a concussion".

Today's recipe is called "Teller's PB & Cheese Cookies".  What kind of dog doesn't love peanut butter and cheese? None of them I say - NONE OF THEM!!!

My goal this time is to produce Martha Stewart "pretty" cookies, something that could be carob or yogurt frosted (if I had found either in the natural foods section of Mac's Market this afternoon - which I didn't). I DID find a gluten-free all-purpose flour that (thanks to my iPhone) I discovered had high reviews for gluten-free baking. Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour is made from (of all things) garbanzo beans (Contains garbanzo flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, sorghum flour, and fava flour)! Sure, let's try it!

The Fixin's: Clockwise from the top: Parmesan, Peanut Butter,
eggs, coconut oil, salt and bean flour.
Ingredients:
2 cups peanut butter (melted)
1 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
4 cups Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour (we used Red Mill)
2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock (or water)
3 eggs
1 teaspoon salt


Method:
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine peanut butter and coconut oil while peanut butter is still warm (to melt coconut oil). Next, add water (or stock) Parmesan cheese, salt, flour and eggs (last to avoid having to temper the eggs). Mix well.

A little help.
Chill dough for 15 minutes. Turn out onto a cutting board, roll out to 1/4" thichness and use cookie cutters to cut cookies into desired shapes. Place cookies on lined cookie pan (I like release foil) 1" apart and bake 6-8 minutes. Sure it sounds easy - really - perhaps if you're good at that kinda thing. I started to roll out the dough, but neglected to save "flour" for rolling the dough out. I did manage a couple of cookie cutter impressions that, well turned my cute little sitting puppy cookie into something that resembled an acid victim. It was clearly time for PLAN B (see left), which included a B&G Cabernet Sauvignon circa 2001 and depositing dropped cookies onto the prepared cookie sheet. Seriously, Martha Stewart I am not.

Results:
What beverage complements a warm just out
 of the oven PB&C cookie? Why, a frosty cold
glass of milk of course!!!
My dogs are SOOOOO impressed to see me in the kitchen for the second night in a row - and they were SURE that I was making something for them.

I tasted the pre-mixed garbanzo bean flour - it tasted like beans - sort of weird actually. The Red Mill flour didn't take nearly as much water as I would have expected it to. I figured I'd need to add 3/4 water to flour volume and it turned out to be about 1/2 water to flour to get the dough consistency I was aiming for. I also (foolishly) expected for the dough to become a bit over-worked as I mixed it in my kitchen-aid - obviously without glutens - the garbanzo bean flour does not over-work and reach that doughy-sticky consistency the way wheat flour does.

As the cookies were baking all I could smell were bean. I'm reasonably sure that this was not my imagination tainted by my study of the ingredient list but it didn't help that the dough looked a lot like hummus. To be fair I don't cook a lot of garbanzo beans though either...

I tasted a finished cookie - and I couldn't taste the beans. The cookies were actually OK (though not delicious), if I was making them for humans I'd have added sugar or agave (and omitted the cheese) and I think the finished product would be relatively close to any other dropped dough cookie.

So what did the dogs think? They liked it! I don't think it was the same "gotta have us summa that" reaction that they had with the Embarky Bars - but I can't really tell. Golden retrievers aren't known for having the most discriminating pallet though (my guys have NEVER met a cookie they didn't like) so I'll be looking for some additional test subjects tomorrow (fair warning)...There's a certain picky bedlington that I know will offer an impartial verdict.

Oh and remember our lesson for today boys and girls.... "No cookie is worth a concussion".

EDIT - 12/15 - 10:15pm.
I'm told that my consistency problem would have been solved if I had added some Xanthan Gum to the dough - it'd have created that "worked flour" thickness - sort of a gluten texturizer substitute. I'm told 1/2 teaspoon would have done the trick....

EDIT - 12/16 - 7:30am.
Well, this recipe must have passed Murphy's test as he helped himself to four cookies from a bowl on the counter this morning. Did we learn NOTHING about cookies and concussions?

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