Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip CookiesIgnore the bad photography!

Adapted from Gluten Free on a Shoestring
Chocolate Chip Cookies.

I recently bought a new cooking book. The first one I have gotten from Gluten Free on a Shoestring, but I really am enjoying it. I have discovered Nicole’s recipes and began trying them out, and there are some GOOD recipes that she has designed. It makes it so easy to bake something without a premade mix. I am not a good baker, but I can find easy things to whip up! In her first book (Gluten Free on a Shoestring: 125 Easy Recipes for Eating Well on the Cheap), I have found a couple recipes that I have already tried out. So far, I have made butter cookies as well as these delicious chocolate chip cookies. In her book, she lists her chocolate chip cookies as one of the recipes that are freezable for things like once a month cookie! YES!!

Here’s the thing with these CC cookies though: I altered the recipe, just a bit. As I have been learning new recipes, I have been only making a fraction of the recipe… for two reasons: it’s only me that eats gf. Also, it’s alot cheaper. For these cookies, I had some configuring to do since I did not want to use up so much flour to try a new recipe (cookies or not!). I kept her directions for  the cookies, except for choosing to bag the dough and let it sit in the fridge before putting it on a baking pan. (I do not have room for a baking pan in my fridge) The dough was not exactly in the shape where I wanted to be molding it either. A bit to sticky and hard to shape.Much easier after it had been in the fridge.

My list:

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of “All Purpose” flour.
2 tablespoons of butter. (softened, I believe)
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 tablespoon of dark brown sugar
1 egg white
1/4 teaspoon of gluten free vanilla extract
A little over 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum (only one harder to configure)
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda.
1/3 cup of milk chocolate chips

Again, I used all of her directions. All I really did was 1/4 the recipe and alter the sugar amounts to keep my tummy happy. Now honestly, I think the milk chocolate chips rather than semi-sweet made a difference in how good they taste. Texture-wise, they weren’t what I preferred. They were really fluffy, not flat and crunchy. Still really good!

Directions to follow:

Set oven to 350 F.

1. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, and the vanilla until well blended. Add the flour, X. gum, salt, and baking soda to the wet ingredients. Beat batter well until becomes thicker and a bit more elastic.

2. In small bowl, mix chocolate chips with a small amount of flour (well that’s what I did…just enough to cover over the chips). Toss the chips to coat them. Stir chips in w/ cookie dough until its evenly distributed. Dough should be soft and thick.

3. Drop small balls of dough onto a baking pan (I used foil for cleaning purposes). Place baking sheets w/ cookie dough on them into the refrigerator to chill for about 15 minutes. Once the dough has chilled, place the baking sheets into the preheated oven and bake for 7-10 minutes (keep an eye on ’em, so they don’t burn!). Cookies may seem to be undercooked. As long as the edges are beginning to brown and the cookies are lightly brown, they’re done. They will firm up. Let them cool.

Pillsbury Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Here is my review on this much anticipated cookie dough. For someone gluten free, to have easy access to refrigerated cookie dough at a local supermarket is a pretty big deal. I mean, to not have to make cookie dough from scratch. Or buy an overpriced mix and add ingredients before popping cookies in the oven. It’s a very big deal in the gluten free community…

I have not been able to have refrigerated cookie dough in over a year (since I went gluten free).  I have been on countdown since I found out when certain stores would carry it. I did not have to wait as long as I thought. I found the Pillsbury Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough at Albertson’s the other day. I received a coupon for a free tub of the cookie dough in the mail. Since I did not have it on me, I went ahead and got it anyway ( I have since gone to two Albertson’s to hope they were still on sale to get more: my free one plus another one). Albertson’s has a little sale at one of their stores: $3.99 for the cookie dough. At Albertson’s, the regular price will be about $5.50. Maybe, Walmart will have it much cheaper when they start selling it. Target is set to start selling it pretty soon too.

Cookies turned out pretty good. It took two tries…. Since I made mine much smaller, it only took about 5 minutes for a batch to get done. I prefer bite sized cookies. They are cuter too. Pillsbury has done a good job with the cookie dough. The cookie dough is remarkably similar to that containing gluten. I followed the instructions on the tub (except the one about eating raw cookie dough). Used a piece of foil for the pan. Rolled the cookie dough into small balls and put onto the pan (much smaller than normal sized cookies). My cookies turned out to be the size I really wanted them to be. I wanted smaller cookies. So my cookies turned out to be about the size of a quarter (maybe slightly larger than a quarter). They fit nicely into the tub used for the cookie dough.

“Wild Grace”

Wild Grace
By Max Lucado and James Lund

wildWant a book to learn about grace? Want the privilege to really understand it? This is the book to really take the time to go out and buy to have the chance to dive into the beauty of grace. This book is designed to reach out to teens. Even though it is a book designed for teens, it is so enriching that I think others (outside of the teen age range) would be able to find it a treasure to be read. The language and content is very teen-oriented. It gives bright phrases, such as: “His grace is not a gentle shower washing away the problem. It is a raging, roaring river whose current knocks you off your feet and carries you into the presence of God.” The language really enables grace to be talked about as the adventure it is. God’s grace is unfathomable, but with the help of this book I am able to grasp God’s grace in a much better way.

This book really teaches what grace is in a way that teens can relate to in their daily life. It has little sections throughout the book called “your story”, where it enables the book to connect with the reader in what they may be dealing with and how it’ll relate to the chapter. It is always connected to what the chapter’s focus is. For example where the accuser is talked about in a clear and profound way, the reader is able to think and write about who the accuser is in their own life.

The book is easy to read, and very engaging. I have had a very difficult time putting the book down. What I love most about this book is the content it gives. The book, Wild Grace, really speaks out about what grace is. Grace is much bigger than the songs we sing in church and it doesn’t stop. The authors explain that God’s grace never runs out. As a teen, the reminder is much needed that God’s resources are unlimited. It doesn’t matter what we have or haven’t done. God does not leave us and His well never runs dry. God’s grace is always there, never dries up, and He is always giving us an unlimited supply of His grace.
unlimited supply of His grace.

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"Why Men Hate Going to Church"

Why Men Hate Going to Church
By David Murrow

menThis book is thoroughly interesting. The book is divided into 3 different parts: where are the men, church culture versus man culture, and calling the church back to men. It is a eye opening book that enables readers to understand why men are less likely to be involved in a church. In a quote from the book, David writes: Men, who are verbal, studious, musical, and sensitive rise to the top. They get “stage time”, while average Joes who lack these soft virtues either leave the church or become passive pew sitters.” The church has become feminized and left out the men in the process. Many characteristics of the church are reflected in a feminine way. This book offers a section to help address the issue with helping men to feel welcomed into the church, by aiding to their needs. It helps balance the church between femininity and masculinity.

This book is challenging, thought provoking, and needed for our generation! I highly recommend this book to others. It really helped me to see why men are less likely to go to church or be involved in the church. I am involved in a children/youth ministry, so this book is giving me ideas that I can put into practice. It offers many tips for the Church. It is not a book for only those serving in ministry. This is a very valuable book for anyone to read. There are sections that are valuable for wives, as they practice their faith with their husbands. It offers 10 short chapters on how the church can bring men back into the church. It is not about doing things the way we have always done them, but reaching all people for Christ!

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"Billy Graham in Quotes"

Billy Graham in Quotes
By Franklin Graham, Donna Lee Toney and Billy Graham

quotes“Billy Graham in Quotes” is composed by his son, Franklin Graham and Franklin’s collegue, Donna Lee Toney. It is a fabulous book, filled with quotes that will help you, as you contemplate various subjects as it applies to God’s Word. The quotes are organized by their categories, and there are many categories to choose from. The categories range from quotes on abortion to young people.

This book is a great resource of quotes by Billy Graham that give a biblical worldview on time, as Billy Graham brings up scripture as well as quotes by the famous preacher. The book is easy to navigate, and a great resource for when you find yourself looking for information on “abortion”, “imagination”, or something so precious as “time”. The book composes of 346 pages of quotes, using books that Billy Graham has written that state the timeless wisdom and biblical knowledge that allows others to benefit from Rev. Graham’s awesome teachings in a quick and orderly fashion. The book gives us materials to examine the truths of scriptures with Rev. Graham’s teachings through books he has written. It can be used to study a particular topic in scripture, or for a light reading. This book is useful for all settings of teaching, and will draw us closer to the Lord Jesus as we seek His face.

I felt that this book would be an excellent way to dig into the scriptures by choosing a particular topic, such as young people. It would give us scriptures as well as give us wisdom from a great teacher who has been led by the Holy Spirit. There are many ways that I believe God can teach us, and I feel this is definitely one of those ways.

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