the cookie diaries: lessons learned

The story so far: Once Mike perfected his vegan, gluten-free holiday cookie receipt, he turned his attention to producing batches of his traditional holiday cookies to give to family and friends. It was smooth sailing up to Traditional Batch #06…and then things got interesting. Today in the cookie diaries: lessons learned.

Another season of holiday baking is almost over, and after developing a vegan, gluten-free version of our holiday cookie (and grinding out roughly a batch a day of traditional cookies), we feel like we learned some important lessons about baking cookies and writing food blogs:

  • For vegan, gluten-free baking, our new go-to flour is Bob’s Red Mill® Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour. Once we started using it, the quality of our dough improved greatly. The secret? This flour has xanthan gum already blended in, which helps the dough achieve the stickiness that gluten provides to traditional flours. (Note: This is a free plug for Bob’s Red Mill®; we don’t have any advertising relationship with them.)
  • Be ready to improvise and always have backups: this was the lesson of Traditional Blend #06. First, we constructed the batter only to realize we had forgotten to buy one of the ingredients; luckily, we found enough in the freezer to be able to continue. Second, the plastic ice-cream scoop we’ve been using for years SNAPPED IN TWO while making the balls of dough; however, we were able to find another ice-cream scoop to complete the process.
  • Finally, after almost a year of blogging, we realize we have a lot to learn—and a lot to be grateful for. Thanks to all who have followed our progress and have liked what we’ve done. We liked the “diaries” format so much, we’re going to continue to use it—there are more receipts to come!

(Don’t forget…tomorrow we reveal our traditional cookie receipt—a holiday gift to you!)