Thursday, September 16, 2010

Jules Cookie Mix Made Allergen-Free

I love that there are so many new gluten-free baking mixes available on the market today, but those who eat allergen-free know that these mixes often require adding milk, or butter, or … ugh… eggs. Yes, replacing the eggs is by far the toughest part of this equation. I feel like I am doing a science project every time I try, and I get a bit obsessive about making it work.

I was excited when Jules starting making their cookie mix available for purchase, as I really like the Jules flour mix. What I learned from my experiments is that there is a wrong way and a right way to make these cookies, and I want to tell you about both of them.

The cookie mix starts out allergen-free, but the recipe requires 8 tablespoons butter, 8 tablespoons shortening and 2 eggs – all which require replacements.

The wrong way

I used 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) Earth Balance shortening, and ½ cup of applesauce (for the eggs). I followed the package directions in terms of mixing ingredients, and refrigerating for two hours before forming the cookies. My cookies spread really fast, and I needed to bake them far longer than the recommended time (about 18 minutes versus 8-10 minutes).

The result was very oily and crumbly. On the plus side these weren’t throw away cookies – they tasted great – but were not suitable for serving guests or bringing to a bake sale.

I zeroed in on the eggs as the problem and decided that using a traditional egg replacer may be a better choice. I also e-mailed the folks at Jules who suggested that I freeze them for two hours prior to baking.

The right way

I used 8 tablespoons Earth Balance soy-free buttery spread, 8 tablespoons Earth Balance shortening, and Ener-g egg replacer (3 tsp. powder mixed with 4 tbsps. water for the equivalent of two eggs). I froze the dough for two hours. And (drumroll, please) – yes! They worked! I still needed to bake them longer (about 14 minutes), but they made a really nice cookie that tasted great and held together.

They look much better, don't you agree?

You do need to add your own extras to this mix. In both versions I made chocolate chip cookies. I do also want to mention that this is a super-sized cookie mix. I made two trays and I still have half of the dough in the freezer for another day.

Has anyone else tried them yet? What do you think?

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