Shhhhhh…… Don’t tell the big kids, but we have a trip to the Zoo planned for tomorrow. The weather should be nice and Kevin and I thought we should do at least one more something before the start of the new school year on Tuesday. We haven’t told them yet, and will likely not tell them until tomorrow morning.
But with all things now, even a trip to the Zoo requires a
little lot of prep work and planning. We will definitely need to take snacks and a lunch with us. Sadly, while a wonderful place for animals, the Zoo doesn’t really have any food options for gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar and dye free kids and adults. The closest we can possibly get is maybe an order of french fries, but even those are likely to give the Mommy of the bunch a tummy ache, because they are likely fried in the same oil as the other bits of gluten full goodness. This very un-intentional glutening results in a stomach ache for me, and not a lot of fun for anyone the rest of the day.
So, we bring our own. Thankfully the Zoo is one place where bringing in your own foods is NOT frowned upon. It’s quite common actually. What will we bring?? I’m thinking: Sandwiches – likely peanut butter and jelly on homemade GF bread; fresh fruit – grapes and berries maybe; chips – either plain tortilla chips or possibly good old Lays potato chips; bottled water (because seriously who is going to pay $2.00 for something you can get at the grocery store for $0.50 and Juicy Juice 100% juice boxes as a treat; “Oreo” cookies – as an extra something special; and Granola bars – homemade, GF and free of refined sugar for snacks.
Easy enough?? Sure, I’ll just whip out a loaf of bread, a batch of cookies and frosting and a batch of granola bars tonight. No really I will.
Actually a combination of two recipes is what will I’ll use to make these cookies.
For the cookie, I’m using a chocolate cookie recipe that was originally for ice cream sandwiches:
7 tablespoons butter, melted (Earth Balance it is for the butter)
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powdered (or dark chocolate cocoa powder)
2/3 cup sugar (Evaporated Cane Juice)
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup gluten free flour mix (rice or bean based)
OR – in place of the GF flour mix use:
1/2 cup rice flour + 1/4 cup tapioca starch (I’ll use our Better Batter AP Flour)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Line a large cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Butter the parchment or spritz with oil. (spray large jelly roll pan with non-stick cooking spray)
- Mix melted butter (Earth Balance) and cocoa powder together until smooth.
- Add sugar and blend again until smooth.
- Add vanilla and eggs. Blend again until smooth.
- Add gf flour (or flour/starch) and beat together for 2 minutes. Mixture will be like thick brownie dough but should not have any lumps.
- Using a spatula dipped in water, spread the cookie batter to 1/2″ thickness into a large rectangle (about 12″ by 10″ or larger). If the dough sticks to the spatula, dip the spatula into cool water and continue spreading. Try *not* to get the dough “wet” or have standing water on top.
- Bake the cookie at 350F for 15 – 18 minutes or until firm/set but not crusty on top. (It will harden as it cools.)
- Working quickly once the cookie is out of the oven, either (1) use ice cream sandwich molds (follow instructions from manufacturer), (2) cut the rectangle in half so that the two sides can fit one over the other or (3) cut out your sandwich shapes with your favorite cookie cutter and set them on a cooling rack. (I cut my heart shapes out and let them cool while I readied the ice cream.)
1 cup arrowroot powder
1 cup agave nectar or maple syrup
4 teaspoons non-alcoholic vanilla
2 teaspoons almond flavoring (non-alcoholic)
The original recipe also called for beet juice to color it, but since we’re making “Oreo’s”, I will just leave the frosting plain.
Once the cookie shapes are cool, I will sandwich them together with the frosting and wrap in waxed paper and store them in an air tight container.