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Fourth of July dessert: Gluten-free Chocolate Chunk cookies fuel for the fireworks

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Folks looking for gluten free dessert options that appeal to everybody this 4th of July should look no further than this recipe compliments of the Exotic Car Examiner Kae Davis. Featuring the one of the best chocolate chip recipes we’ve eaten in a long time, it comes as a surprise that these cookie treats are absolutely friendly to all tummies and taste buds equally — and can be eaten by those with Celiac disease related stomach sensitivities or wheat allergies.

Kae Davis is the Exotic Car Examiner shown here with her favorite red Maserati Quattorporte

Kae Davis is the Exotic Car Examiner shown here with her favorite red Maserati Quattorporte

Gluten Free Cookies Fuel the Exotic Car Examiner

Hello, Baltimore Washington DC Metro and Dulles Technology corridor  chefs and cooks! My name is Kae Davis, and I am the National “Exotic Car Examiner“. Dear friend Dara Bunjon, my favorite food writer here in the Mid-Atlantic region (a.k.a. the Baltimore Dining Examiner) and I got to talking the other day about the holiday ans what kind of goodies we’d be serving to friends and family at various picnics and potluck barbecues we’ll be attending. When she asked me what kind of treats and items I like to make and eat for Summertime fun or special events like the 4th of July weekend, the first thing I though of was my favorite cookie recipe.

Chocolate chip cookies have been a favorite food of mine since I was a little girl, and when delicious they never have ceased to put a smile on my face every time I eat them. Having found out this past few years that we have food sensitivities in our family that create problems for allergy sufferers, we’ve be put into the challenging cooking situation of learning to prepare as many recipes as we can that at “Gluten Free”.

Obviously, when you realize that you are supposed to avoid cooking with or eating anything that you would normally prepare with white flour, the immediate reaction is one of mourning. I thought my cookie fetish was going to suffer terribly — and I would lose my most portable car-friendly treat that I can take with me for snacking to any road rally and my most comforting “late night with an ice cold glass of milk at home for dipping (not drinking and driving)” treat.

That’s when the clever culinary skills of my son Drew and his avid foodie researching, what he calls “scientific investigation”, came into play. Searching out all of the gluten free pre-made products in stores proved expensive and frustrating, as so many cookie products tasted, for lack of a better or more expressive word, sandy.  That is, until we finally found a product we could work with and doctor up a bit in the kitchen witch process; by adding and subtracting, we finally came up with these delicious treats — well, more he than me. My job in the process is sidewalk supervisor and sampling bites of things exponentially when good or making faces and saying, “That’s not me” when, again, for lack of a better food critic word, icky.

Bottom line, when someone asks me what fuels my writing about exotic cars and all the pop culture in the auto news industry, my typical response is, “Cookies”. As such, I hope you’l enjoy preparing these to take with you in the car to any fireworks show and eating them lovingly with friends and family at any dining gathering. Don’t forget, when it’s late at night to sneak into the kitchen, pour yourself that little glass of icy milk (or soymilk), and have one for me. I recommend you eat them while reading auto news articles from my column the Exotic Car Examiner, which you can find easily by visiting http://www.autopopnews.com.

If you are looking to prepare a delicious home baked cookie recipe for friends and family over the 4th of July holiday weekend, here’s the list of ingredients and the recipe you’ll need to be “Gluten Free” while celebrating Independence day with red, white, and blue cookies.

INGREDIENTS to prepare 18-20 small chocolate chip cookies

1 — 13.6 oz bag of Pamela’s Products all-natural wheat-free and gluten-free “Chocolate Chunk Cookie Mix”

8 tbsp butter, margarine, or baking substitute

1 large egg or prepare egg replacer equivalent

1-2 tsp all natural vanilla bean extract

1 tsp rum or rum extract (for flavoring)

OPTIONAL (favorite addition) — 1/2 cup pecans (walnuts are okay to substitute but not quite as good)

OPTIONAL HOLIDAY DESSERT DECORATION — red, white, and blue M&M candies found at holiday party and decoration locations like Party City or crafts stores with baking and cake decoration sections OR dried cranberries and blueberries assortment with white coconut flake

Easy Hand-Mixing Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt butter mixture and let cool.
  3. Add Pamela’s Mix and egg and mix well with butter solution, followed by extracts of vanilla and rum.
  4. Dough will appear dark and slightly crumble — don’t worry… this is A+!
  5. Press together TBSP size scoops or dollops of cookie batter and place on GREASED cookie tin or baking sheet.
  6. Take a spoon slightly flatten cookie into rough intended shape; if decorating for a holiday dessert option, slightly make a rounded indention into the raw cookie top with the bottom of the spoon to create a nest.
  7. Fill dent with embed of hard shell chocolate candies or dried fruit option; if using coconut as decoration, use fork tines to gently secure flakes into the batter. Play with color or use red white and blue to decorate each cookie like you would a Christmas cookie; match or vary your decorations at your discretion.
  8. Bake for 16 – 18 minutes, checking often until you are comfortable withe the recipe. Golden to light golden brown is a good rule of thumb.
  9. Bake longer for firmer cookies, less for soft or chewey varieties.
  10. Cool cookies THOROUGHLY. If served too warm they will fall apart before they even get to the milk. Cookies “set” during cooling process. [If you are a dunker, you’ll thank me.]
Best gluten free chocolate chip cookie recipe uses baking mix from Pamela's products says Exotic Car Examiner

Best gluten free chocolate chip cookie recipe uses baking mix from Pamela's products says Exotic Car Examiner

As the year goes on, you can enjoy these gluten free treats during any season. Add oatmeal and raisins for a chocolate chip oatmeal raisin treat. Add chopped dates and extra pecans for a more savory cookie. Add cocoa powder and white chocolate chunks for a black and white “racing flag” cookie variety. Use icing, colored sugar, and rainbow sprinkles to let kids decorate the cookie for a birthday party activity. If you are hosting a party with an Italian car theme, change the candy decoration colors to red, white, and green! Make cookies a bit larger and make an ice cream sandwich using your favorite home-made or gourmet ice cream.

At the Finish Line

One final word of advice from a car girl: if you are planning to cook for a group or have a big family, you might want to plan to prepare a second of third batch separately. These cookies tend to go faster off the plate at any holiday gathering or out of the cookie jar in your home kitchen than the Ferrari F1 racing team — and they are great to dunk in all types of milk (skim, 1%, 2%, whole, soy) or coffee as an after dinner treat.

For more information about Pamela’s Products, visit http://www.pamelasproducts.com.

Baltimore area residents can find Pamela’s Products for sale at many Weis grocery stores. Check your local area stores in DC and Northern Virginia; if you can’t find the product line, order online. Harris Teeter in Brambleton Town Center is always open to ordering products on request, as well. Simply make your request to the grocery store manager.

To read more articles from the Dining Dish star writer Dara Bunjon, click HERE.

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