With this made-in-Canada gluten-free flour, Gwyneth Paltrow’s oatmeal raisin cookies are even more heavenly. (RECIPE)
BUY RIGHT | Everywhere you look these days in supermarkets, on restaurant menus and in deli display cases you’ll find gluten-free options. This is great for anyone with celiac disease, a serious gastrointestinal disorder marked by an inability to absorb the protein gluten. It’s good news, too, for those simply sensitive to wheat or who have “wheat belly,” extra body fat carried in the mid section and attributed to the wheat strains grown today (they supposedly contain more protein than they once did).
My good friend, architect/pro baker Teresa Syrnyk (she turned the fruitcake world on its head a few years ago with her incredible product Nutenfru), was recently informed she has celiac disease, a diagnosis that’s got to feel like the kiss of death to someone who loves baking. “I’ve been baking since I was nine years old, so of course I’d have wheat in my life if I could,” she told me recently, before sharing a few of the bright spots in her search for good gluten-free products and baking ingredients.
One of these is Cloud 9 all-purpose gluten-free flour, produced by Cloud 9 Specialty Bakery in New Westminster. She has used it a few times now, including as a substitute for spelt in the super healthy oatmeal raisin cookies in Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook My Father’s Daughter (see recipe below). I’ve tasted Syrnyk’s version of these cookies and they’re out of the park!
Cloud 9 Vs The Other Guy
Typically, gluten-free baking mixes are a combination of flours, and Cloud 9’s is no different, though it stands out for its inclusion of xanthium gum, an ingredient Syrnyk says is really important: “It’s what gives the baking its gluten-like stretch—otherwise it would crumble.” Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Baking Flour, another mix Syrnyk has tried, combines different flours than Cloud 9. It does not contain xanthium gum; you need to add it. Cloud 9 is conceivably more bulletproof, she says, because they incorporate that ingredient for you.
Gwyneth Paltrow Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Made Gluten-Free By Teresa Syrnyk
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 cup toasted walnuts
1 cup quick cooking gluten-free rolled oats (not instant and not steel-cut), divided*
1 3/4 cups Cloud 9 all-purpose gluten-free flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup real maple syrup
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Place raisins in a small bowl and cover with boiling water to plump them.
Meanwhile, finely grind walnuts and 1/2 cup oats in a small food processor. Combine with the remaining dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix together the wet ingredients in a small bowl and add to the dry-ingredients bowl. Stir to combine. Drain the raisins and fold them into the batter. Drop the mixture by large spoonfuls onto the baking sheets.
Bake for 13-15 minutes until browned. Remove to a cooling rack.
* While rolled oats are intrinsically gluten free, oats processed in a facility where gluten is found could be compromised. If you are true celiac, you must use certified gluten-free oats; if you’re not, Quaker oats are probably okay. —C. Rule
In New Westminster, Cloud 9 Specialty Bakery is located at 1025 Royal Ave., 604-249-5010. To find out where Cloud 9 products are sold, visit cloud9specialtybakery.com. Find My Father’s Daughter by Gwyneth Paltrow at chapters.indigo.ca
Photos: Jetsettingbabies.com, Cloud 9 Specialty Bakery, Grand Central Life&Style