Monday, February 28, 2011

Grandma Trager's Gluten Free Oatmeal Cookies

Grandma Trager's cookies have been in my family for two generations now. I have no idea who this wonderful grandma is, but I got this out of an old cookbook that I inherited from my mom when I went off to college. Most of this cookbook is filled with recipes collected from the local women in South Bend, Indiana and it threw me for a loop when I first read recipes containing ingredients such as 'oleo' and 'lard'. Granted, we've learned a lot about trans fats in the last 20 years that would make us cringe when reading these older recipes, but Grandma Trager was a genius when it came to her recipe. Actually, it isn't much different than the famous Neiman-Marcus cookie recipe that has been floating through cyberspace as a forward in most everyone's inbox since the invention of said inbox.

It has taken me a while to learn the ins and outs of different flour blends to get around to working on converting this recipe. It has some things going for it that I just didn't want to mess with, such as the cinnamon and sugar soaked oats, so you are witnessing the perfected version my friend. In fact, it was her recipe that got me started on letting the cookie dough rest for several hours before baking.

Now, when it comes to measuring the brown sugar I don't pack my sugar because I am sensitive to sugar and too much just messes with my system. If you prefer a sweeter cookie, by all means pack away, but if this is still too sweet for your pallet, just reduce the sugar down to 1 cup. I actually forgot sugar in one of my batches and I was surprised that it still made for a good cookie (of course the kids didn't eat it, but it was their loss).

I make one half batch with just chocolate chips and for the second half I add raisins because of family preferences. I have made this recipe with both coconut and walnuts. Both variations are super yummy.


2 cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Oats (1 cup ground fine and 1 cup coarsely ground)
1 cups Lundberg brown rice-milled in coffee grinder
1 cup sweet sorghum flour
1 1/2 cups golden brown sugar
2 tablespoons potato starch
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp guar gum (or xanthen)

Set aside for 10 minutes in a small bowl:
2 tablespoons flax seed-milled in a coffee grinder
6 tablespoons very hot water

1 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 tablespoon of maple syrup/honey/brown rice syrup
1/4 tsp brown rice vinegar

Stir in options:
1 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips
1 cup raisins
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts

In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients and blend with a blender. This helps to blend the flours as well as break up any lumps that are in the brown sugar.

To the dry ingredients, add the premixed flax seed and water, applesauce, oil, maple syrup, vinegar, and vanilla. Blend well using a mixer for about a minute, making sure to scrape down the sides to make sure that there is no dry flour stuck to the sides of the bowl. Using a heavy duty spoon, stir in the chocolate chips and other add in ingredients.

Cover the dough with wax paper sitting directly on top and place it in the refrigerator for at least two hours (overnight would be even better). This helps the oats and the other flours to soak up the liquid. Do not skip this step. There is something about letting gluten free cookie dough rest in the fridge that helps the flour to soak up all the flavors of the other ingredients and it helps it to bake that much better.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If using a baking stone like I do, preheat the stone with your oven. Spoon out the dough onto either a prepared baking stone or a cookie sheet with a little non-stick spray applied. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown. Store the dough in the refrigerator in between batches. Makes about 4 dozen cookies. These store well in the freezer or an air tight container in the refrigerator.

This batch has raisins.

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