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Pamela's Baking Mix For Cookies

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I routinely convert regular recipes to gluten-free ones. I have no problem converting cakes and muffins using Pamela's baking mix for the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and xanthan gum, BUT whenever I make cookies with it, they flatten to about the thickness of a quarter. Although they taste good, they look HORRIBLE. What do I need to alter in the recipe to make them look as good as they taste? Since it has almond meal in it, do I decrease the butter? By how much if the recipe calls for 1 stick (or 1/2 cup)?

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We use the chocolate chip recipe on the Pamela's bag, and the cookies turn out great. With a mix I find it's better to use their recipe.

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I saw that tip about cutting back the butter, I just didn't know by how much. The chocolate chip cookie recipe on the pkg says 1/4 cup, versus the regular recipe which calls for 1/2 cup. Maybe I'll try that. Thanks!

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When we could eat dairy, I used that Pamela's mix to make cookies all the time. When I used butter it would spread all over. I switched over to shortening (trans-fat free) and refrigerated the cookie dough for 2 hours or so before baking. With those changes I got a great cookie that did not spread too much.

Butter in general tends to produce a cookie with more spread. Here is some info on butter/margarine/shortning in baking:

One reason you might use shortening in a cookie recipe is that it melts at a higher temperature, so the dough holds its shape longer in the oven, allowing the flour and eggs to set before the cookie collapses and spreads. So it is possible to produce a cookie that does not spread very much. Using butter or margarine (which has a melting point only a degree or two above butter) produces a cookie that spreads out more.

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and refrigerated the cookie dough for 2 hours or so before baking.

Oooh, good tip Colleen :D I always forget about this one.

I have heard this makes a huge difference in how the cookies come out, without any other changes.

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I also recall reading somewhere cautioning about using butter in cookies.....I think I read it in a new gluten-free cookbook I just received. I can't do dairy, and have switched to canola oil and Spectrum shortening. I just made a batch of chocolate chip cookies from Annalise Roberts Gluten-Free Baking Classics cookbook and they were just like I used to remember them....and they stayed soft. Gourmet magazine raved about them. The recipe made a huge amount. I had melted the Spectrum palm oil shortening to measure it accurately, then put it in the freezer to solidify slightly and cool it off, and in between batches, kept the dough in the refrigerator. Quite interesting.......I accidently added too much flour mixture.....and they still came out great! I was a bit discouraged when many people suggested "tweaking" recipes to your own taste, but it is true. I used Enjoy Life chips since they are allergen free.

I lowered the temp to 350 degrees....375 has always seemed too hot for me for cookies.....used a gas oven and used both metal cookie sheet and ungreased silicone baking sheet....the silicone sheet definately made better cookies.

I now have about 13 gluten cookbooks/informational books, and each day newer recipes are being developed that are simply wonderful. Donna Washburn and Heather Butt, and Michael Eberhart's (SureTalent) books) are excellent.

And let's not foget the older standby recipes...Carol Fenster and Bette Hagman...thank you, ladies!

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Ginsou,

I recently received Annalise Roberts Baking Classics and would love to know which recipes you have found to be good. So far, I 've just tried the French/Italian Bread recipe, but it doesn't compare with Bette Hagman's. It's a shame to waste a lot of good ingredients so I try to share with others what I have found that works. I saw her chocolate chip cookies featured in Gourmet, too. Authentic Foods brown rice flour (which she recommends) is not easily found around here, so I don't use my supply unless it's a recipe someone else has tried. Thanks for your help. :)

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The chocolate chip cookie recipe is on page 89 of Gluten-Free Baking Classics....the photo of the finished product is on the back cover. I used ordinary brown rice flour that I purchased at Vitamin Cottage. Many recipes in this book use millett flour, which I just ordered from Bob's Red Mill. Brown rice flour can also be ordered from Bob's Red Mill. I have other cc cookie recipes that I will also try. I've found that using liquid canola oil is not working out for me in making cookies....Spectrum seems to be the best for me.

I also just received this book, so haven't tried any other recipes yet. Next on my "gotta have" list is a good lemon pudding cake.

I've also had good luck with some Bette Hagman recipes.

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I have the Baking Classics, too, its the only gluten-free book i've bought so far - i'm kinda limited since I cant do dairy either. However, I did the chocolate chip cookies, with the flour mail-ordered from amazon (ouch, shipping costs more than the flour), and I LOVED them - I swear I've never enjoyed a cookie so much! i always kinda had a distaste for wheat anyways. Kids loved them, hubby didnt like them (slightly crumby still, but i like crunchy cookies)

I tried the Rustic flat bread - I let it rise in too hot an oven, and it fell some during baking, but I still LOVED the flavor! My kids liked it too, even tho my husband didnt.

I also made the cranberry bread, which I thought was no wheres near as good as my old cranberry bread, but the family ate it. Finally I tried the walnut bread, which was fairly tasty warm, but the leftovers were thrown out . . .

Now i'm off rice, too, which makes it all harder. I might try a few recipes using millet flour instead of rice, we'll see.

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Now i'm off rice, too, which makes it all harder. I might try a few recipes using millet flour instead of rice, we'll see.

I stopped using rice flour once I tried millet, sorghum, buckwheat, bean flours, and a few others. No grittiness, better taste, better texture. I hadn't noticed the grittiness of rice flour much at all until I tried the others though. Then it was readily apparent.

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I guess I will try using less butter. No matter how great shortening is in baking, I'd personally have my cookies look horrible than us it. The thought of it makes me sick to my stomach--but as my DH says-I'm really weird :rolleyes: Thanks for all your suggestions!

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What about the spectrum coconut oil shortening? lots of folks swear by it - i'm still using crisco, which switched to non-hydrogenated some time here . .. .

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What about the spectrum coconut oil shortening? lots of folks swear by it - i'm still using crisco, which switched to non-hydrogenated some time here . .. .

I'm going to try again tonight with Smart Balance, I've baked with it before, never cookies....I will decrease by 1/2. I can't use the coconut oil shortening either, here are some stats:

Coconut oil shortening: 120cal, 16g fat, 12g sat fat (!!!)

Butter (salted): 102cal, 12g fat, 7g sat fat

margarine (average): 102cal, 11g fat, 2g sat fat

Smart Balance (which we use regulary for non-baking): 80cal, 9g fat, 2.5g sat fat

The reason I'm so "crazy" is losing 100#, I'm too paranoid I will regain, I also work with heart patients, 12g sat fat makes my coronaries hurt! I can't even eat anything with a cream sauce, because I know what's in it-no matter how good it may taste. I know I have issues, I know I will always have issues. I realize it's just me.... One day at a time ;) I also have little self control. I can't just eat 1 cookie, so 3-4 might kill me :P

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I've actually been learning a lot lately about the bad rap that saturated fats are getting. It's like back in the 50's, someone came up with two ideas. One: cholesterol clogs arteries. Two: clogged arteries cause heart attacks. If both of these things are true, then how come it's recently been proven that cholesterol lowering drugs do not reduce the risk of heart attack? And how come heart disease rate skyrocketed when the nation mostly switched from whole butter, milk, cheese, yogurt, to processed oils and soy? How come noone pays attention to the fact that a number of essential vitamins are fat-soluble, meaning you must have some dietary fat to digest them? Or the fact that Vitamin D is one of those, and low vitamin D levels are consistently found in cancer patients?

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There's a big difference between saturated fats and transfats which are in the processed foods. The transfats are significantly worse thus the influx of the heart disease. I've found that our population is more apt to fill up on drugs to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, but the patients that I'm seeing aren't willing to make the lifestyle change needed to lower those #'s. I believe everything in moderation. If I buy a cookie at a bakery, I just buy 1. I realize that they probably aren't made as 'healthy' as I might make them at home, and I'm OK with that. BUT, if/when I make them at home, I eat them, and eat them and eat them, so I don't want to make them with something that has a ton of sat fat. This is just my opinion and the way I do things in my house. I know that this isn't for everyone. I know you need dietary fats for some vitamin absorption, and you DO need to have some fat in your dietary intake, however, in my opinion, they should be coming from unsaturated fats, oils that are liquid at room temp or lower, like olive oil, flax, canola etc... I don't personally believe in a diet that is high in saturated fat. I think more people should come to work with me and stand over an open heart and see the nastiness of the 'American' diet. It's not for me.

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Just a quick note -- Pamela's makes separate Choc Cookie Mix in case you want to try that.

The cookies are VERY tasty.

Also, I learned this tip in making Choc Chip cookies "from scratch" and it works

beautifully every time -- Use the recipe on the back of a Nestle choc chip bag,

but substitute Garbanzo Bean flour (without Fava) instead of wheat flour.

And I use 1/2 butter, 1/2 shortening for a crisp crunch cookie.

Warning though....DO NOT eat the dough when using the Garbanzo Bean

flour. :P Somehow however, the cookies taste just like regular Nestle

Toll House Cookies.

Hope this helps.

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Update:

I made my regular recipe today, used the Pamela's like I said, used 1/2 the fats-used Smart Balance instead of the butter/shortening. They turned out BEAUTIFULLY! Everyone loved them! Thanks for all your help and suggestions, I really appreciate it!

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to make baked goods fluffier, add a splash of clear carbonated soda (like sprite or 7up)...the carbonation makes air pockets that makes stuff rise :)

i use this on pancakes all the time...it really helps gluten-free baked goods :)

angie

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Update:

I made my regular recipe today, used the Pamela's like I said, used 1/2 the fats-used Smart Balance instead of the butter/shortening. They turned out BEAUTIFULLY! Everyone loved them! Thanks for all your help and suggestions, I really appreciate it!

YAY!!! So glad to hear you had cookie success :)

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to make baked goods fluffier, add a splash of clear carbonated soda (like sprite or 7up)...the carbonation makes air pockets that makes stuff rise :)

i use this on pancakes all the time...it really helps gluten-free baked goods :)

angie

Good tip, thanks for sharing.

I need to try this with my pancake mix because the pancakes with cf mixes seem to come out pretty flat. I want airy light fluffy pancakes :lol: , maybe this will do the trick!

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Yay!! I know this is an old post but I was searching for the exact question. I just made gluten free cookies for the first time (new diagnosis). They look awful and I could barely get them off the cookie sheet! The taste pretty good but are so flat. I LOVE this recipe (with wheat flour of course) but was disappointed with this new recipe. All I did was substitute Pamela's for the flour and cut the baking soda in half (1/2 tsp vs 1 tsp). I didn't do anything with the fat (has 1/2 cup butter and 1/4 cup Smart Balance). After reading this I think that's way too much.

Next go round I'll either cut back on the fat OR maybe use HER recipe on the bag and add the other ingredients I usually use and see which works better. I love to bake so this gluten-free baking thing is going to be a challenge for me as I try to tweak recipes to make them work.

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