Monthly Archives: November 2011

How To Make Just 6 Chocolate Chip Cookies (gluten-free)

6 Chocolate Chip Cookies... the whole batch.

When I first moved to NYC, I lived in Manhattan with three guys I graduated college with.  After that apartment, my boyfriend of the time lived with two other dudes down in Brooklyn, and I’d stay with them often.  For a while after that the boyfriend and I lived in Queens, and his brother crashed with us for a few months.  When I wasn’t home during those raucus years of my twenties, I’d be going from show to show with casts full of eager eaters.

The point of that little history: I always had someone around to eat the batches of sweets I whipped up.

But now I’m a single gal, and my roommate doesn’t contribute enough by far in helping me rid the apartment of all things that come out of my kitchen.  I pawn sweets off on my upstairs neighbors after walking our dogs, while we have a glass of wine or talk food (love the chefs in my building).  But what I don’t give away, I eat.  Which means no matter how few I eat, I still eat too many.  For someone who’s 5 foot 2 and has hypoglycemia and gains weight easily.

Sometimes you don’t need three dozen cookies staring at you while typing an article about Third Wave Feminism (after having come out of the kitchen barefoot and covered in flour)  or while watching Bored to Death or The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs (which you should be watching if you’re not…).  You just need a few.

So here’s how to do just that.  How to make just 6 gluten-free chocolate chip cookies.  That are rich, and sweet, with just enough chocolate and a boost of flax (both for fiber and to bind the cookies together since we’re not using eggs), and a bit of extra protein from some nuts (optional, of course).

When you don’t want a whole batch but are craving something sweet…

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, soft
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp dark or blackstrap molasses
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot or tapioca starch
  • 1 Tbsp flax meal
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp chocolate chips
  • 3 Tbsp slivered almonds, pecans, walnuts, oatmeal etc.

Method:

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine flour, flax, xanthan gum, salt and baking powder in a small bowl.

In the bowl of a mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy and smooth – about 2 minutes.

Add molasses and beat to combine.

Add the flour mixture in a beat on low until together.  Continue to beat on high for about 2 minutes.

Add the chocolate chips and nuts and beat in to combine.

Use your hands to proportion 6 cookies, and place evenly on cookie sheets, flattening slightly.

Bake for 18 minutes, cool slightly before serving.

Notes: make sure you beat this batter well so that the butter softens completely and the sugars dissolve in, otherwise your cookies will flatten horribly.  I used organic white sugar, which melts better than palm or sucanat in this recipe.

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Spicy Mexican Mulled Red Wine Cocoa – The Dusty Baker Goes Camping

Definitely not New York City


Now and then it’s a good thing to listen to those around you who know you well.

I love my work.  I love my time in the kitchen, this blog, writing for websites, writing articles and working with Easy Eats Magazine, which has been an incredible trip so far.

But I’ve recently been made aware that unless someone demands that I turn off for a little bit and just enjoy… well, I don’t naturally do it for myself.  I so love how I fill my time that it seems I’ve forgotten the joys of an entire day without a computer, a smart phone, a fully stocked baking kitchen, or a to-do list.  So last weekend my father and brother intervened and forced me to leave my computer and phone at home and spend the weekend in the hills of Vermont with nothing but a grill, campfire, a few ATVs and rocky trails, and some pretty awesome people.  Tough love, right?

Mitra in her smoking jacket, perfectly at home in the wild.

At first light Saturday morning I jumped in a van with the Dusty Brother, Mitra, my cousins Brien and Tanya and their daughter Maria.  We had the ATVs strapped onto a trailer, a huge pile of wood, a mess of groceries and way too much booze for four adults.

And, by George, it was an incredible weekend.  Cold, but not frigid.  We stayed in the framework of a house my father and the boys were in the process of building: no electricity or running water, but some basic kitchen equipment, a propane grill and rooms with mattresses on which we layered sleeping bags and warm blankets.

My brother introduced me to the thrill that is racing ATVs through rocky mountain paths – they were definitely rough.  But the childhood drive to keep up with my baby bro led me to maneuvering a huge machine through mud puddles, between low branches, and up an intense, rocky, uneven hill that definitely inspired an inner pep talk before I got the courage to plow up it (in fairness I had totally made Dusty Bro drive the thing DOWN for me cause I totally thought I’d flip the thing, and he gave me no choice but to go back up alone – which I did, better than him, if I say so myself).  We raced down the windy streets at crazy speeds and came home muddy and exhausted.  I want to do that every day.

Food was never far away, and I found incredible peace cooking simply: a skillet apple pie, hot toddies, roasted Brussels Sprouts and potatoes, a breakfast of steak and eggs, and a little improvised concoction I’m calling Spicy Mexican Mulled Red Wine Cocoa, that kept us warm and dizzy as we toasted by the fire.

Warming, sweet and pungent, it was inspired by Paul A. Young’s Adventures in Chocolate.  I saw his demo at the NY Chocolate Show and fell in love with his recipe.  I’ll be making it soon in full at my holiday dinner.  But for this trip I merely used what I had – some crushed Mexican chocolate I had spiced up for an article, a good bottle of red wine, some dark chocolate left over from S’Mores and some decaffeinated tea bags that were seasonally spicy.  The result was rich, warming and festive – perfect when the sun went down early and the darkness brought on a bitter chill the weekend before Thanksgiving.

Cousin Maria and Mitra

Dusty Bro at the "stove"

Me cooking (Maria playing with my camera)

Mother Gaia in a plastic cup

Spicy Mexican Mulled Red Wine Cocoa

Prepare in Advance:

Crush two disks of Mexican chocolate into a fine powder.  Add a dash or two of cayenne pepper, two dashes of cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg.  Preserve in an air-tight container.

Bring on the trip:

  • The Mexican cocoa
  • 1 large bar of dark chocolate
  • 3 chai, ginger or some sort of spicy teabags
  • 1 bottle of dark red wine
  • some sugar
  • water
  • A medium saucepan
  • Hot cups

Method:

  • In the saucepan, combine the cocoa and enough water to just dissolve it.
  • Put the saucepan on heat, and add enough wine to cover the bottom of the pan.  Heat to steaming.
  • Add teabags, and let infuse for about 15 minutes.
  • Remove teabags, add the chocolate (chopped) and stir until it dissolves.
  • Add the rest of the wine, and bring up to a steam (don’t simmer, as you want to keep the alcohol in!)
  • Serve and enjoy around a blazing fire.

50 Nonprofits to be Grateful for This Thanksgiving

50 Nonprofits to be Thankful For This Thanksgiving

I am thankful for…

My family – they’re such good people with huge hearts, and a bale full of fun.

My friends – like family, known for so long, and a bucket full of laughs.

My dog Mitra – she’s the bees knees (do bees have knees?).

This blog / selling my first article to my favorite food mag / working for my new favorite gluten free food mag / filming the DB cooking show / working with some stellar people.

My apartment and my roomate.

Seeing the hard work of my talented friends come into fruition as we work our tushes off.

People in my life who give back generously.

Click on the image above to a list of 50 incredible Nonprofits you can give back to this holiday season.

Happy, Happy Holidays.

Wishing you much peace, love and a sweet, sweet life.

– Dusty Jacqueline

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