Although the holiday season is already upon us, I wanted to share my frustration with everyone in the gluten free community. In my pre-celiac days I was an avid baker. I never really cared for cooking, but I always really enjoyed baking. The humorous part of that is that I have type 1 diabetes (it's been 20 yrs already), which did not always allow me to indulge in the sweets and treats I baked as much as I had wished I could.
"Everything in moderation". That used to be my saying when it came to sampling my own baking. I would truly sample and not indulge, even though believe me it was surely tempting. However now that I am gluten free, my old adage of "everything in moderation" has been forever altered. I don't even know what the new version is exactly, but I know that I cannot and will not eat gluten, even in moderation. I know that even a small amount or a "sample" of something filled with gluten would be more dangerous than pleasant and hence it is not something I would do, even in moderation. Yeah yeah my one year wedding anniversary was an exception to this rule but your one year wedding anniversary only comes around once, so I did what I did and now that's done with.
Back to business...I still enjoy baking, but I have been increasingly frustrated with failed attempts at gluten free variations of once loved "normal" (aka non-gluten free) baking. Don't get me wrong, the pre-packaged stuff always turns out awesome, but I prefer to make things from scratch when I can. One example, who doesn't love a good sugar cookie, at the holidays or anytime for that matter? Well, when I pulled out the old recipe and simply switched the regular flour for my handy dandy gluten free flour....ick! The consistency was completely off and it was a big mess to say the least. And yes I did follow the instructions on the gluten free flour blend and I added in the requisite amount of xantham gum for cookies.
What did I do wrong? Why did the gluten free cookies look, smell and bake like garbage? Honestly the first recipe I made, once baked the texture was like cake, not cookies and not good cake either. It smelled funny and it just wasn't good. The only one who enjoyed them was the dog (ironically his name is Cookie) and he'll eat almost anything. The second recipe I tried (cream cheese cut out cookies) was sticky and messy and at the time I am writing this post, I haven't even baked them yet...I am fearful that they'll be a disaster just like the others were and I would end up being further frustrated and upset by another failed attempt at baking, something I once considered fun, relaxing and enjoyable.
I know that in searching online for gluten free cookie recipes there are loads. I have found many that sound appealing, but I admit I am almost instantly turned off when I am told to mix a variety of different types of flour. The reason I find this so discouraging is because I do not have those various flour types just sitting around waiting to be mixed. I guess maybe it's time for me to suck it up and just spend the money and buy the different types of flour and make my own mix, well based on recipes I've found online.
Maybe I'm being silly, but I find myself frustrated at times when gluten free variations of once loved foods are just not as good as the real thing. I will not give up, I will persevere and I will find a recipe for gluten free cookies that works and tastes great. I will!
Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta