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Baking frenzy

My son had something very important he needed to do on the computer, something involving Dr. Who and requiring a good Internet connection, which we do not have at home.

So we borrowed my friend’s house. And since we were borrowing her ethernet computer cable, we borrowed her kitchen as well.

My husband has celiac, and tends to get sick if I bake wheat products in the house. Careful as I am, a little wheat dust almost always gets onto something, and a little wheat is all it takes to make him really sick.

At home I bake gluten-free pies and breads, but every once in a while the kids get mournful. No one wants to hear a child sighing, “Mom, remember when you used to make us lemon bars?”

So my son packed up his laptop and I packed flour, sugar, raisins, oats, molasses, spices, eggs and we headed over to Kristen’s house.

I started with cookies. First up, Molasses Spice Cookies, my son’s favorite. My recipe is pretty similar to Caroline Lee’s, which you can find here.

While the molasses dough was chilling, I made chocolate chip cookies, because my daughter is coming home for Thanksgiving. I have a pretty basic recipe, but I used extra large, extra dark chocolate chips, and added almonds and raisins and a handful of oats.

I baked all the cookies, and when my son wasn’t ready to leave, I made three loaves of almond quick bread. After that we had to go home because I had run out of flour. Next time I’ll bring an extra bag.

Here’s how I made those chocolate chip cookies.

1 stick butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/8-1/4 cup milk
2 1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup oats
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup raisins

Beat butter and sugar, add and beat in eggs. You can use a stand mixer, but I used a fork.

With a whisk, mix together flour, salt and baking soda (you can sift them together instead, but I didn’t have my sifter with me and I did find Kristen’s whisk). Stir in oats.

Stir the dry ingredients into the wet. If the dough is too stiff to mix, add as much milk as it takes to make the dough workable — not too wet. Fold in chips, nuts and raisins.

Roll 1 1/2 inch balls of dough with your hands, place on ungreased baking sheet. (I used some of Kristen’s parchment paper).

I baked the cookies for 8 minutes at 350 degrees, but I think my friend’s oven runs a little hot. At home, it takes closer to 10 minutes. Take them out when the edges brown and the tops are still soft, and let them sit on the hot baking sheet for a couple of minutes. Then transfer them to a wire rack to cool.

The recipe made about 60 cookies, enough for eating, freezing and leaving a few for Kristen.

Margaret Hartley is the Gazette’s Sunday editor and features editor. Reach her at href=""popup="800,600"> or @hartleygazette on Twitter.

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