The Cost of Being Gluten Free

WOW!  What a whirlwind month.  I have had the amazing opportunity of being with my granddaughters for 3 weeks this month.  Tiring but oh so fun.  The oldest was here the first of the month to attend Aquarium Camp.  After the first day she was planning on attending next year and her enthusiasm continued throughout the week.  Money well spent.

I had a week to rest up before I headed to their place for the week and then I brought them back home with me for a week of fun, sun and Vacation Bible School.  I have some wonderful childhood memories of attending Vacation Bible School or VBS as it is often referred to.  We had arts and crafts, a Bible story or 2, sang songs and had cookies with Kool-Aid.  This was the days before food allergies.  The staff this year had a real challenge and with the number of food allergies the children had.  They handled it very well and deserve a round of applause.  While VBS has evolved somewhat the principle is pretty much the same.  The girls had a great time and I am so thankful to all the volunteers who made this a positive experience for them.

On Thursday night it was Family Night.  A great time for family and friends to learn about the VBS process.  What the children were doing and for the children to share with their families the fun times they were having.  When there are 300 or so children enrolled there is a potential of 600 plus individuals at Family Night or even more if the grandparents attend.  

The adult helpers were asked to help defray the cost of Family Night by bringing a couple of packages of cookies.  Being gluten free I am sympathetic to the needs of people on special diets.  A package of gluten free cookies is very pricey.  A small package with maybe 18 cookies or so is well over $5.  Ouch!

Thanks to King Arthur Flour, I always have cookie dough preformed and in the freezer.  King Arthur has a cookie mix where you beat in butter, egg, water and your own add-ins.  Depending on the size of the cookie and the amount of add-ins it will make several dozen cookies.  In my opinion nothing beats a deliciously gooey chocolate chip cookie warm from the oven.  Nestles  has semi-sweet chocolate chips that are gluten free and since I love chocolate I usually buy a large bag at Costco and store in the freezer. The price of the chips is around $9. 

On the King Arthur Flour website the price of the mix is $6.95.  Often times the mixes can be purchased with 20% off or free shipping is offered making the cookies more economical than store bought gluten free cookies plus they are better tasting.  To make the cookies, simply follow the directions on the box, use a cookie scoop and form into balls which can then be placed on a cookie sheet and frozen.  When firm I put them in a ziplock baggie for storage.  Warm cookies anytime!

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
from Frozen Dough
1 box of  King Arthur Flour Cookie Mix 
1/2 cup butter, vegetable oil or coconut oil; softened
1 large egg
2 Tablespoons water
1 to 3 cups add-ins (I usually use 3 cups.)
Using a stand-mixer and large bowl beat half a box of the mix with the  butter or oil.  Add in egg and water, beat until fluffy.
Beat in the remaining cookie mix, scrapping sides and bottom of bowl to make sure it is completely incorporated.  Stir in your add-ins.
The add-ins can be chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruit or a mixture depending on dietary restrictions.

Using a tablespoon cookie scoop, form the dough into balls, place on cookie sheet and freeze until firm.  Package dough into ziplock bag, label and date.  When ready to bake, remove the quantity desired, place on parchment lined baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between and allow to defrost for 20 to 30 minutes.  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake in preheated oven for 12 to 14 minutes or until browned.  Allow cookies to cool on pan for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool.  

Cooking the well chilled dough makes for beautifully formed cookies.  

Well, VBS is over for this year.  The girls are back at home with Mom & Dad.  The house is super quite.  Yesterday we were able to take them to church with us.  It was wonderful.  Thank you Mom & Dad for allowing us to have this special time with them.

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