Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Deanna Cookies

Deanna Cookies are Gluten Free Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies :)
Once upon a time, I updated this blog on a regular basis. Now, whenever I get around to it, I seem to be apologizing for my absence. Well, here we go again. It's been almost a year since my last baking blog post and boy has my world changed. I moved to Rancho Cucamonga, moved in with Chris, and finally started working as a full-time school counselor at a school that I love, in a wonderful, small district, and with coworkers I adore. I'd say life is going pretty darn well. It's officially 2015 and I'm a very happy person! I do miss my friends and family in San Diego dearly, but it's a quick 2 hour drive (that I know SO well from the long-distance thing with Chris) and I have managed to make it back quite frequently.

So, let's chat about cookies and my friend Deanna (who I often just call D). Deanna is a girl I met through Chris because he grew up with her husband Blake. Deanna is gluten free and we found this recipe back in 2013. One day, Chris and I were hanging out at Blake and D's house and we wanted to bake. As we rummaged through their cabinets to see what we had to use, I did a real quick internet search and found this recipe. It sounded perfect. We made them and they were divine. I think D made them a couple of times right in a row because she was so excited to find this recipe. I remember back in July of 2013 that we couldn't find the recipe. The website we got it from was gone and we had only bookmarked the page, not saved the recipe or printed it out. It was a pretty anxious time as we tried to figure out how to get it back. Somehow D managed to find it in temporary internet files or something like that...somewhere in the depths of her computer. I got an email from her with the subject "that was a CLOSE one!! so panicked!!" when she had finally recovered the recipe. Unfortunately, I have NO idea who to give credit to for this recipe because we didn't keep the name of the website or the author. So, to the internet: if this is your recipe, please let me know and I will gladly give you credit! Until then, I'm calling these Deanna cookies because they were made for her and it is much easier to say and type than Gluten Free Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies!!

Deanna, Blake, and Deanna's Dad George came over to our apartment on Saturday to watch the Panthers beat the Cardinals and eat incredible tri-tip. While they were over, Deanna was flipping through my Grady Family Recipe Book and we were chatting about various recipes. Also in this binder are a ton of recipes I have printed out from the internet. She came across a recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies and I explained that I have a rarely updated baking blog. I sent her a link and she immediately checked it out. She casually said that I should get back into the blogging. I explained that although I still bake and take the pictures, it's always the actual writing and the posting that holds me up. Until today. Deanna's birthday is on January 7th and as part of her gift, I have made these cookies AND written all about them! I guess I just needed a little motivation. :)

My Gluten Free cast of characters. 
On to the recipe! I had never purchased gluten free oats or flour on my own, so I started looking at grocery stores and realized they are gosh darn expensive!! Fortunately, Trader Joe's sells great, inexpensive gluten free products, so they were used in this recipe. I also discovered that Nestle's Toll House semi-sweet morsels and Skippy Creamy Peanut Butter both note that they are gluten free. Color me impressed! There was no doubt that I could make these cookies for D. The recipe is pretty straight forward, although it is really specific as to how long to mix things in your electric mixer. My first pan was a bit a dry and I think I overcooked them because I wasn't sure exactly what shade I was looking for in golden brown. I had the first pan in for 14 minutes, so it could have been just slightly overcooked. But I'm not sure if they could have also been overmixed. I'd have to experiment more. To be safe, I baked the subsequent 2 pans for just 11 minutes each and I think they turned out better. I told Chris that the dry cookies are just begging to be paired with a cold glass of milk!

Deanna Cookies
½ cup butter, cold but not hard
½ cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
½ cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
1 egg
1½ teaspoons vanilla
1 cup GF Flour (OR 2/3 cup millet flour + 1/3 cup sweet rice flour)
½ GF-certified oats (OR ½-2/3 cup sliced almonds)
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1½ cups chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Cream together butter, white sugar, and brown sugar for 4 minutes on medium. Add vanilla and egg. Beat mixture again for 2 minutes on medium-high. Add peanut butter. Beat again for 2 minutes on medium-high. Add flour(s), oats, baking soda, and salt. Mix again. Mix in the chocolate chips.

Butter and sugars before turning the mixer on.
After beating for 4 minutes.
Add in egg and vanilla.
Ready for the peanut butter! Such an unexpected treat in these cookies!
All the time in the mixer makes a really light and fluffy dough prior to adding the dry ingredients.
Here it is with the GF flour, GF oats, baking soda, and salt...dough is a little bit thicker. 
And what's a cookie without chocolate chips??? Answer: probably a sugar or molasses cookie! ;)
Shape the cookies into small balls. I used my Oxo Small Cookie Scoop to do this. It makes a cookie out of 2 teaspoon of dough.

I'm obsessed with cookie scoops to make PERFECT cookies.
16 perfect cookies on parchment patiently waiting for the oven.
Place the cookies on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper or a silpat. Bake for 11 minutes and remove from the oven when the top begins to turn golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool for 3-4 minutes on the pan before moving them on to a cooling rack.

They cook for about 11 minutes, just until they start to turn golden brown.
Perfect Deanna Cookies! :) Happy Birthday friend!
A great friend unpacks your kitchen with you on move-in day while the guys do the heavy lifting!
I hope you all enjoyed this first post of 2015. I hope to blog more than just once this year...but I make no promises. ;)

<3 Buttercup

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