January 17, 2007

Gluten-Free Treats

I was struck by the fact that my daughter now has to deal with eczema. The fact which hardly made me thinking about doing any baking whatsoever.

I was very disappointed and angry: why now? After 2 years she didn't give us any symptom that she would carry the same disease as her older brother. We almost thought that she would never get eczema. Now she just has to deal with disturbed sleeps and has to get rid of the itchy sensation by scratching hard. I am so sad to look at her skin now, what a shame. Though we've cut her sugar, dairy, and wheat products, it seems it's not enough. I know this can't be cured over fortnight efforts, yet this is truly frustrating.

She loves cookies and she always enjoys every goodies I bake. Her head will nod following the rhytmn of her chewing every bit of it while humming 'mm...good, mum..niiiiiice!'. And I've missed it and I know she misses it, too. Furthermore, I'm frustrating as she often asks for it, but I don't have such goodies to make anymore. I don't want her to get sick more than she's been dealing with at present.

I always know that Healtheries has a range of gluten-free ingredients to help parents like us to be able to give children a special treat without being sick. I have been using them since my son had had eczema as soon as he was born 4 years ago, and now I had to keep them in my pantry.

Last Christmas, I had to bake her own cookies as a treat while everyone else was enjoying goodies from wheat. I was happy to see her enjoying what she couldn't be having too much these very days. I'm just hoping she'll understand. And I'm just hoping this recipe will be useful for those Mums who's having the same matters to matter like I am.

GF Peanut Butter Cookies

Actually, I didn't really measure when I baked these little goodies. I made them in a hurry. I'm writing this to be as close as to the approximate measurement. I didn't make them too sweet, but if you fancy sweetest things, feel free to add more sugar. I'd like to drizzle these cookies with dark chocolate cake, but it seems cocoa is still too rich for her as it'll intrigue more scratching at night. If your children are well -praise them- you may well be able to create something more attractive than plain biscuits.

100g unsalted butter,
100g peanut butter,
½ cup sugar,
2 cups Healtheries gluten-free baking mix,
½ cup rice flour,
1 tsp vanilla flavouring.

Cream the unsalted butter with sugar until pale and fluffy, mix in peanut butter, mix again until light. Add in vanilla flavouring. Mix well. Fold in the flours. The mixture should be heavy and thick. If you can't roll them into balls, give a little bit more flour. Roll them into balls, flatten slightly either with your fingers or with fork. Bake slowly at 140C until pale brown. Let them set on the baking tray for 10 minutes, then let cool on the wire rack. Makes 20-25.

I hadn't done any more baking since last Christmas as our orchard has been giving us plentiful of fruits. Morning and afternoon teas are forgotten to be enjoyed with batches of cookies and slices of cakes, yet this can be satisfied journey for little tummies. Moreover, they are safer for them to eat, I suppose.

But then again, I'd love to treat them something I can bake. I've been browsing old magazines that I've been subscribing for years. I came up with this recipe.

I like to use gluten-free baking mix to make biscuits as they can produce melt-in-the-mouth texture, though light handling has to be applied carefully, otherwise I would end up with working on crumbs. Using it for cakes, it different matters.

I've used the recipe of chocolate cake from the back of the Healtheries gluten-free baking mix everytime I entertain families and friends that one of them is suffered Coeliacs disease. It was a good alternative and a safe way to provide healthy choice for the sufferers, including my children. But then, satisfaction is not guaranteed. I'm used to high-risen and thick spongey cakes and can't hope too much from gluten-free baking mix. I can't probably compare them at the frist place.

However, for the sake of well-beings, I should set aside what's bothering me. It bothers me more to see them sick. This recipe is good, yet be prepared for crumbly result. I reduced the sugar, as usual.

Gluten-free Birthday Cake
Source: Pip Duncan, Foodtown Magazine
[Congratulations to Pip Duncan who had just won the New Zealand Dietetics Association's category award for Excellence of Achievement in Dietetics]

250g butter,
1 cup sugar (I reduced to ½ cup),
1 Tbs each: finely grated orange rind, orange juice,
2 eggs,
2 cups each: wheat and gluten-free baking mix, rice flour, dried fruit (I mixed raisins, sultanas, and apricots),
¼ cup milk

Preheat the oven to 170C. Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl, until light and fluffy. Add the orange rind and juice and the eggs. Mix well. Fold in the baking mix and flour alternatively with dried fruit (and milk). Pour into a depp, 23cm ring pan and place in the oven. Bake for about 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.


Bron said...

Oh this is sad, children shouldn't have to deal with such things.
However, I must say these treats do look mighty yum!

Arfi Binsted said...

yes, bron. it's really breaking my heart. i am just glad i can give her treat every now and then and experimenting with the gluten-free recipes.

caba said...

Hi, I discovered only few months ago (and I am 39!!!) that I am gluten intolerant. I had to change my diet inmediatelly, but discovered lots of other foods, including gluten-free products, available on the market. To substitute sugar, especially for kids, try cooking and sweetening with Stevia. It is a marvelous plant that tastes like sugar and is harmles for the body. The plant grows in South America and indians have been using it for centuries. It is high in fiber, but has 0 calories! For more info about the product I am consuming go to www.sweetleaf.com.