Saturday, January 23, 2010

Homey and Rainy with Cookies

Today Husband had the day off, and neither of us was sick! The forecast was for a few hours' break in the rain, so our plan was to prune rosebushes. When the rain let up, we were ready, and pruned the two tea roses "by committee" as B. said, afterward piling up weeds carefully pulled away from struggling ranunculus.

Then we brought in a fresh supply of firewood and re-positioned the tarps that always get blown off in storms. Little patters of rain came on just as we were finishing that job, and I thought our yard work was finished for the day.

But no sooner had I got a good fire going, and iced my aching elbow, than the sun came out! I ran out to at least get a start on the climbing roses. They seemed to take forever the last two winters when I carefully cut and trained their branches.

Today I was gleefully shocked to get them both done in an hour or so--before the rain began again! Maybe it's because I am more ruthless now that I've seen how the later growth is always so lush. It seemed like such a gift from God, to just have a "normal" day without sickness or weather standing in the way of my work.

We were expecting son P., coming from the airport with his Special Friend just in time for dinner. And B. had been hinting around about how some people like to bake cookies on rainy days. So I got on the ball and made cookies, soup and toasted almonds, all while keeping The Home Fires Burning. Wheee! I felt sorta like my old self.

I decided to make the cookies with some of the non-wheat flours I have around. They are wheat-free but not gluten-free, because spelt flour does contain gluten.

Wheat-Free Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies

3 cubes butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon walnut flavoring
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups white spelt flour
1 cup whole spelt flour
1 1/2 cups oat flour
1 12-oz package chocolate chips
3 tablespoons finely-ground decaf coffee beans
1/3 cup cacao nibs
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

Mix as for any cookies. I baked them about 13 minutes per insulated cookie sheet, at 375°, but I think I might try 350° if I make them again, to see if I could get them to be a little softer. They had a slight crispiness to the outside. The flavor was wonderful, and everyone loved them. I used a normal white-flour recipe I'd used before and changed and added things this time, cutting back on the sugar as well as adding all those crunchies. If you make it with white flour you might not need as much; I had increased the flour by 1/2 cup because they say that spelt flour doesn't absorb as much moisture.


Pom Pom said...

YUM! Can I come over and swim?
Way to go, GJ! I'm so glad you had such a fun, fun day.

Deborah said...

Mmm, delicious! I'm glad you were all healthy today and that you had some sunshine too!


Gumbo Lily said...

So nice to accomplish tasks in our days and I'm glad you had a break in the rain for it. Cold, rainy, snowy weather definitely calls for cookie baking!


Annesta said...

thank you so much for visiting my blog. I will keep you updated on the renovation project. your encouragement is much appreciated.
blessings and peace to you

Cathy said...

I like the name of your blog, it puts peace and joy in my thought patterns.

Thank you for your comment regarding simmering smells. Wood stoves have such a worthy smell all their own and adding the pot of spices on the top, yes wonderful!

Question about the gluten free cookies, is this due to an allergy?

GretchenJoanna said...

First, Cathy, the cookies are *not* gluten free--they are merely wheat-free. As to why, over the years I have tried to use many grains other than wheat for various reasons, mostly to provide more variety in the diet. Our American diet is so heavy on wheat, and now corn, and it appears that might cause a sensitivity to develop, or at least make for an imbalance in nutrients. Lately the Blood Type Diet makes me want to avoid wheat, but I am not very successful. I don't think anyone in our family has had a true allergy to wheat.

amy said...

Well done ...I love productive days like that! Your cookies look fabulous ...thanks for sharing =-)

Cathy said...

I must practice what I preach to my children. I read wheat free, my brain attached to gluten free, even though it was plainly stated. And I might add you did a very good job making it plain!!!! Oh My! Thank you.I asked about the wheat free because I have a friend that has pinpointed that eating wheat makes her feel bad, we were thinking it was possibly the gluten.