Thursday, December 2, 2010

A-Oh, The Cookie Crumbled

My food plan is for life. It has to be. Without it I will gradually (or quickly) return to the behaviors and foods that were choking off my life when I weighed 385 lbs. I have experimented more than enough through the years. If the results of my experiences can help anyone else lose their excess weight and keep it off I will know that every pain I felt and any failure I lived through had a real purpose. I choose not to tempt fate by taking holidays from my food plan. I have tried over and over again to have 'just one and each time I fail to stop. The last time I tried to have 'just one' I had a year of failing to loose the 35 pounds I gained while trying to un-ring that food bell. Now I adapt recipes to fit my food plan or I do not  have the food.

I am such a food addict. Tomorrow evening we are going to a party where the dinner is catered but everyone is supposed to bring an appetizer or a dessert. I am already bringing my own dinner because I know the menu for the event and there is literally nothing on it I will eat. I do not eat cheese, butter, white flour or sugar. The salad is covered in Gorgonzola, the pasta is made of white flour, the chicken is breaded and in a butter sauce and we do not need to go into the desserts that others will bring. A minefield in the making. 

I could bring a platter of fresh fruit. But no, I wanted to make cookies: Milk fat free, sugar free, wheat-free cookies. To complicate matters even more, I choose to make a family Christmas favorite: Kourabiedes (Greek butter cookies). The main ingredients for this cookie are powdered sugar, butter and white flour. I was thinking this will be an adventure in keeping the pounds off while baking. What was I thinking??

The first step was to find suitable substitutions for the ingredients I do not have on my food plan. Here is the original recipe and the substitutions:

  • 2 cups butter, softened - I used 2 cups of a vegan spread that mixes and bakes like butter but does not taste like butter so I also added 1 Tbs of Molly McButter
  • confectioner's sugar - made my own by grinding corn starch, Splenda and Truvia in a food processor until it all formed a powder not unlike powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk - no change
  • 2 Tbs brandy or cognac - no change
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract - doubled to 1 tsp to make up for missing flavor in the 'butter'
  • 4 cups all purpose flour - I used 4 cups brown rice flour
The ingredients mixed up like the traditional recipe and the cookie dough formed like the traditional recipe. It baked a little faster than traditional and unlike the traditional recipe there was some spread to the cookies and instead of baking as little lopsided balls they spread like many other cookies you might bake. They came out of the oven and rested a few minutes and then came the time to take them off the cookie sheet and coat them in powdered "sugar." 

I think the problem is the brown rice flour although it could be a combination of things. Whatever the cause, each and every cookie crumbled as though made of sand. I do not mean they chipped or broke. They literally crumbled into little piles of food-plan-approved cookie crumbs. the largest piece to survive was about the size of the top of my index finger. The crumbs tasted okay but there was no point in keeping the crumbs. These were to be cookies to bring to the party. I tossed them out and tomorrow I will purchase a fresh fruit and vegetable platter and let go of baking for this event. I am amazed that I did not decide to keep and eat the crumbs. There was a time when nothing baked could go to waste in our home. I could have 'saved' them to go on yogurt for the next few days but they lacked visual appeal and I 'tossed my cookies' out in the trash. 

I guess that is the way the cookie crumbles when you are keeping the pounds off. I hope tomorrow I do not wind up crying over spilled skim milk. 

~Jane

1 comment:

Vickie said...

I smiled all the way through this post.

Been there. Done that.

I think we go through a lot of phases and this post describes several of them.

It is sort of like being (happily) in one's 50's and smiling at what one used to do in one's 30's, the hardest possible way.

Cute post.