My poor little 4-year old niece most likely has celiac disease. My sister got the results of a blood test they did a week or so ago. Turns out she has very high levels of certain antibodies—an almost sure sign that she is gluten-intolerant. Early next week she will have a small intestine biopsy to determine for sure. It isn’t a huge surprise as my sister and I have had our suspicions for over a year but it has only been recently that the doctor has deemed it worth looking into. (Oh, maybe her belly shouldn’t be this distended. And perhaps it isn’t right that a 4 year old should complain of belly aches every single day.) Interestingly enough, my niece has self-eliminated a lot of gluten from her diet. She “doesn’t like” bread, pasta, crackers, cookies, cakes, etc. (And here we thought she might just be a picky eater). So while it is a chronic condition, it has a pretty straight forward remedy: avoid gluten. Luckily, there are a lot more resources these days to make such a change not quite as daunting.
Once the diagnosis has been confirmed by the biopsy, both my sister and her husband have to have blood tests done in order to see who is the carrier (it is genetic after all). I told my sister very straightforward that I hoped the gene came from my brother-in-law's side of the family and not hers. People, you know how I roll around here. A celiac diagnosis would be akin to a death sentence. I also highly doubt that a person could eat as much gluten as I do and not feel some sort of affect. (Supposedly, it can lie dormant for years on end.) I also wouldn’t be able to eat these cookies ever again. And that would be a very sad, sad thing.
These cookies are a Celiac’s nightmare. They contain whole-wheat flour and barley flour--both gluten powerhouses--with some oat flour thrown in for spice. Oat flour is often tainted by association so he’s not very helpful here either. Therefore, if you are gluten intolerant, you will want to breeze on by this particular recipe (and, quite honestly, most recipes posted on this blog). If, however, you one of the lucky ones (knock on wood), these are a fantastic whole-grain cookie. I think I actually prefer them to traditional snickerdoodles. I like my cookies to have substance in them, so that I am not inclined to eat a dozen in a sitting—traditional snickerdoodles don’t really do that for me. (*nom nom nom* “What?! I’ve eaten three just sitting here? Why don’t I feel like I’ve eaten anything?) This is even more important now that I am pregnant and I feel like I could snack 24/7. (“Am I full, or is that baby just trying to bust out of my belly? I can’t tell.)
King Arthur Whole Grain Cookbook
¾ cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 ½ cups ( 10 1/2 ounces) sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange juice (I left this out. It eliminates any "wheaty taste")
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups (4 5/8 ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats, ground for 30 seconds in a food processor (I used oat flour)
1 cup (4 ounces) whole barley flour
¾ cup (3 ounces) traditional whole wheat flour
1/3 cup (2 3/8 ounces) sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Cream the butter, sugar, baking powder, salt and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat in the orange juice and eggs, scraping the bowl, then add the oats, barley flour and whole wheat flour, beating until well combined. Refrigerate the dough, covered, overnight.
To Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets or line with parchment paper.
Prepare the coating, combine the sugar and cinnamon in a large plastic bag. (I just rolled the balls in a shallow bowl)
Drop the dough by tablespoonful, 6 pieces or so at a time, into the bag. Gather the bag closed at the top, trapping some air inside. Shake gently to coat the balls with the sugar. Place them on the prepared baking sheets and flatten to about ½ inch thick, using the flat bottom of a measuring cup or drinking glass. Repeat till you’ve used all the dough.
Bake the cookies, reversing the pans midway through (top to bottom, bottom to top), until they’re beginning to brown around the edges, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and transfer them to a rack to cool. For soft snickerdoodles, place them in an airtight container or plastic bag, once they cool. For crisper cookies, allow them to remain uncovered overnight before transferring to a storage container.
Makes 38 cookies. Per cookie (27g): 9 g whole grains, 109 cal, 4g fat, 2g protein, 6g complex carbs, 11g sugar, 1g dietary fiber, 21mg chol, 66mg sodium