Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Cookie

I went back through my travel journals to find out when I began “inventing” The Cookie. And it was on the trip to Yellowstone in 1998. While I was paying attention to my carb levels, to manage my blood glucose, I was not yet diagnosed as being gluten intolerant. An early version of the recipe that I found in my file used white and whole wheat flours, along with rolled oats. It was basically an oatmeal raisin bar, but I cut the amount of sugar and butter, used applesauce for the lost fat, and was pretty careful with the amount of raisins. I have never had a problem with nuts—and love them, and walnuts and almonds are good for diabetics who don’t have allergies—so there were plenty of walnuts. A big batch of these kept me satisfied for our week on the road. They were “Aunty Katy’s Special Cookies” so the children of the families we were traveling with had to eat their own mothers’ makings!

Over the next few years The Cookie evolved. As I learned more about the benefits of fiber in managing blood sugars, I added flax meal. Not flax seeds. Whole flax seeds are not digestible by humans—so all that noise about their health benefits is, well, just noise. And there is some argument about the omega-3 oil benefits obtained if the meal is cooked. Since I’m getting plenty of omega-3s in my diet, I don’t worry about that and just go for the powerful fiber boost flax meal gives my baked goods.

The mashd pumpkin, squash or sweet potato adds fiber and contributes softness. Agave nectar adds a bit of moisture and softness. I find honey is a bit too much glucose, but half molasses and half agave are great for a ginger cookie variation. Using peanut oil (or other vegetable oil) also contributed to softness, especially with the challenges of gluten free baking.

Variety is essential in my cooking life. I rarely create a recipe that does not grow a plethora of variations: change the fruit; change the nuts; change the sweet taste; change the spices. The Cookie has a basic formula; then the imagination takes over. So herewith, I present the basic recipe. Let me know when you come up with your favorite version/s!


Note: I only have sketchy nutritional information for these. I am learning to use the software that will give more detail and will post on that soon. In the meantime, know these are “safe” for celiac and have about 19 carbs per cookie with 4 grams of fiber.

½ c coconut flour
½ c sorghum flour
½ c flax meal
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp sea salt

¼ c dried fruit, cut into small pieces
OR ½ c fresh fruit, cut into small pieces (i.e. apples, or pears; blueberries can be left whole)
½ cup chopped nuts (optional

½ c mashed pumpkin, squash or sweet potato

¼ cup melted butter (or vegetable oil)
¼ cup agave nectar OR honey OR maple syrup
1 c buttermilk (or coconut or almond “milk”)

Mix fruit and nuts into dry ingrediants
Mix mashed fruit with fat, sweetening and milk option

A bit more sorghum flour, or a bit of water may be needed to get a good texture
for forming the dough into balls about 1 ½ * inch in diameter.** Place on parchment paper lined baking sheet; flatten slightly with wet fingers, then sprinkle with a little coarse sugar.

Bake at 350º about 10 minutes. Watch carefully as they go from “done”--dry looking and golden on the bottom--to “burned” very quickly.

Best if stored in the freezer.

*This makes the size cookie I eat for my morning carbs…for a “dessert cookie” you might want to make them ½ that size.

**May be better if chilled for 6 hours to overnight. They are a bit harder to form, but I have a small scoop that works well. I think the chilling may “blend” the flavors a bit better


  1. mmmmmm - i love the idea of adding mashed pumpkin!! the other day i tried to buy canned pumpkin in the grocery store and they told me they only sell it seasonally! it was terrible - i wish that pumpkin wasn't only thought about as a "holiday" food - it is so good for you :)

  2. My husband makes fabulous pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving and there is always leftover steamed pumpkin -- even a small sugar pumpkin yields a quantity of unused moosh. He divides it in usable portions and sticks it in the freezer. That said, some years I'll find a forgotten container that has lingered from Thanksgiving way, way, way past. Don't forget to mark the date on it :-)

  3. I have only 1 important comment, "Where are the samples?" I enjoyed reading how the cookie has evolved. I am writing my essay on pumpkins and will be sharing more about using fresh sugar pumpkins in season and putting some up for the winter.

  4. Other than my past experience that everything you make is delicious, I can't imagine what these taste like. I should make some. No, better yet, you should make some for me!! Didn't those kids every get even a little taste?