Sunday, September 14, 2014

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Oatmeal Cookie Bars

...but not sugar free.

These are bars because I was too pressed for time to make individual cookies. I used the recipe on the inside lid of the Quaker Oats canister, "Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies," except I made so many substitutions that my daughter thought I should make a note of what substitutions I made. I was scared that they were going to taste terrible, but they were pretty good!

First the recipe calls for mixing the butter and sugars.
The recipe says, "1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 6 tbsp. butter, softened." I used Coconut Oil instead of the half cup. Then, I tried to figure out what fraction of a cup 6 tablespoons is and it's roughly 1/3, so instead of the extra 6 T. of butter, I used molasses.
I heard it is good for people low on iron, so sometimes I remember to use it in baking. It has a strong smell though, hence part of my nervousness.

The next two ingredients are 3/4 cup of packed brown sugar and 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, I changed the ratios a bit and used 1 whole cup of packed brown sugar and slightly less than 1/4 cup of raw (turbinado) sugar. They were in little packets and I opened 9 of them and they almost filled the one fouth measuring cup. Then you cream the 'butter' and the sugars.

Next you add 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Oops, we didn't have any eggs. Forgot to check for that before starting the recipe. Never fear, the Costco sized bag of Chia Seeds is still in the cabinet! Costco has a good price for a large bag.
Three tablespoons of water (lukewarm) and one tablespoon of chia seeds equals one egg.
So, I doubled that into a little bowl and let it sit while I mixed the dry ingredients in a different bowl.

Next, it calls for 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour. I usually use half rice flour and half corn flour for avoiding wheat. You could also use the more grainy cornmeal, but I would use less of it and not 50/50 with the rice flour. I've had pretty good luck with this substitution, though some things do turn out crumbly.

No substitutions for the 1t. baking soda, 1 t. cinnamon, 1/2 t. salt.
I did add 1/4 t. nutmeg though I didn't actually measure it, just a little sprinkle.

Stirred up the dry ingredients, including the 3 cups of Oats. Then, used the hand-mixer to blend the coconut oil/sugars with the chia seeds and vanilla.
Then, stirred them both together with a spatula. It was looking a little dry and sadly, we didn't have any raisins! One Cup raisins!
But, I had some very ripe bananas, so I put 2 of them in the bowl that had had the dry ingredients and blended them with the hand mixer and stirred that in with the cookie batter. No nuts, sadly, but I split the batter in half and added carob chips to one half.

For my birthday, earlier this year, I bought a bag of carob chips at an upscale grocery store, it cost $7 for the regular sized bag, which is probably 2 cups. I ate them plain a little at a time. They were soooo gooooooood! I hadn't had carob in years. Then, I saw them at the outlet grocery store for $2/bag! I couldn't believe the price difference and I bought five bags. When I got home, I opened one bag to have a little taste and I about gagged, it tasted so bad compared to the more expensive ones. So I haven't used them much, but they tasted good in this recipe. I think I used half a cup, since for the whole batch I would have used a whole cup.

Anyway, that's about it. You can tell from the pictures that I used two round cake pans. No need to grease the pans. For bar cookies, they need to bake about 30-35 min. at 350ºF.

I don't think Picky Eater #1 tasted them, but all the other kids ate them as well as my husband.
I call that a victory.
Here is where you should find the original recipe side by side with the substitutions in a nice recipe looking format, but it's late and I'm going to bed instead. Perhaps later...


Scorchi said...

I'm so glad you posted that! I can't believe all the substitutions you make, but you should create a recipe book!!! I bet people would buy it.
And I also think you should put a post on pinterest for the recipe! I was going to try it, but I can't get most of the ingredients here, so, oh well.

douglas moore said...

Looks tasty, if I ever stop burning water as a really inexperienced cook in my own kitchen I'd try to make them.

Demi said...

I didn't know that about chia seeds for eggs. So excited to try that out, you know right now, during my husband's Vegan lent!

SillySlang said...

Did you know that you can also use ground flax seeds in the same ratio for an egg substitute? It's best to buy whole flax seeds (keep them in the fridge) and grind them fresh in a coffee grinder.
Since I wrote this blog, I got tired of everything tasting like corn all the time and my friend hosted a class on using Buckwheat as a grain alternative. It isn't wheat, despite it's name, it's a seed and behaves pretty much the way that whole wheat does, so you can use whole wheat recipes instead of searching out specifically buckwheat recipes. If you aren't using whole wheat or buckwheat recipes, then you just have to add a little (or a lot) extra liquid.

I usually buy the buckwheat groats and grind them in the coffee grinder along with the flax seeds. And sometimes I put oats in the coffee grinder to turn it into flour.