Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Celiac Awareness Day 2011

Today I went for my endoscopy. It was a mildly unpleasant experience--and thankfully a brief one too. According to my doctor, the endoscopy is the gold standard for diagnoses of Celiac Disease and one was necessary to confirm the results of my blood panel.

And confirm it did. Parts of my duodenum were smooth, where there should have been folds. The classic villi pattern was absent, and instead replaced with a cracked earth or mosaic pattern as is typical with Celiac Disease. And several duodenal folds had evidence of scalloping, also seen in Celiac.

So it's safe to say that I became aware of My Celiac Disease on National Celiac Awareness Day. Strange, huh?

I've been stockpiling various ingredients required in gluten free baking over the last few weeks to be ready for this moment. And when I heard that Thomas Keller's pastry chef, Lena Kwak, had created a packaged gluten-free flour to be used cup for cup in regular baking recipes (hence the name C4C), I rushed over to Williams Sonoma to buy a ($20, three pound) bag. For me sometimes convenience trumps cost...especially if it tastes good. But I had been waiting until this day--my official day of diagnoses--to tear it open and give it a try.

The true test will be a side-by-side taste test on my Nana's pancake recipe with some homemade flour mixes, C4C, and King Arthur's GF flour...and that's coming soon. But for today I needed simplicity and convenience and comfort. I needed chocolate. I needed COOKIES-and now! That's exactly why a product like C4C is so great, if not spendy. And for the record, I should mention that I have not been paid or given free products for this review.

So how were they? My daughter said they were tastier than the cookies I make with "real" flour. My son said, "They're good! Really, really good." And I concur. Quite frankly, everyone was more than a little dubious that non-wheat flour could taste this good. The flavor was outstanding and the cookies were crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside, which is exactly how I like them. So far I am extraordinarily pleased with this product, and can't wait to try it in other recipes.

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

I used C4C Gluten Free Flour available at Williams Sonoma stores or online. Try substituting your favorite gluten free flour blend to make these too!

Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Yield: 21 cookies


1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon GF vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups C4C (or other gluten free flour mix)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 cup GF semi-sweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Beat butter until with sugar until smooth. Add egg and vanilla and beat to combine.

3. In another small bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and xanthan gum. Add to the butter mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

4. Dollop cookies in tablespoon portions onto a baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake until golden brown around the edges, about 8-10 minutes. For crispier cookies, bake a few minutes longer. Cool cookies on a rack and store in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 4 days. But I seriously doubt they will last that long.

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