Merry Christmas readers! (If you celebrate of course.)
In my family, nothing says the holidays like Christmas cookies. In fact, last night, one of my cousins proclaimed that she wasn’t going to eat much dinner because she was saving all her room for cookies. “I look forward to them all year!”
I, too, once had a slightly worrisome obsession with Christmas cookies. You see, every year at this time, I’m surrounded. My aunt makes dozens and dozens of 6-7 different types. A few other family members also partake in the baking, and then there’s my grandma. She makes so many, they fill an entire 6-foot tall freezer! There’s bird’s nets, peanut butter blossoms, oatmeal raisin, chocolate chip, snowballs, sugar cookies, kookoo cookies (a chocolate cookie topped with a marshmallow, with a recipe to come on here soon!), a few more that I don’t recall the names of, and all on top of nut bread, cheese roll, and on and on….
Yup, all things I can no longer enjoy.
Upon arriving home this year, one of the first things my mother asked me was, “So you can’t have any cookies?” as if this news and blog were brand new information to her. Sometimes I think my family has taken it harder than I did! “Oh Natalie,” they start, oh-so solemnly, “that must be so difficult.”
But then I think back to last year and remember my addictions. For starters, I could never have just one cookie. I’d eat one, which led to more than I can admit to or count (basically until I was ready to explode). Then the moment I wasn’t full anymore, I’d stuff my face some more. I think I dreamed of cookies, as the moment I woke up, I’d have several for breakfast. It was legit out of control. (No, I really don’t know how I didn’t weigh 200 lbs. Maybe the reason I didn’t lose weight like most people after giving up gluten is because I was one of the opposite types that lose weight when eating gluten with an intolerance. Who knows.) In any event, it’s no wonder that last year, after stuffing my face like a kid that just came home from fat camp, I was breaking out in rashes left and right and suffering severe stomachaches. It was last year during my annual trip home for the holidays that I decided to start the elimination diet that ultimately (in a long, roundabout way) concluded for me that gluten and I were no longer friends. So in a way, those cookies changed my life.
But of course, I’m not going to sit around feeling sorry for myself. I honestly never did mourn the loss of gluten because I was SO HAPPY to celebrate the gain of my life—no more migraines, no more stomachaches, no more rashes or acne, no more bloating and overall discomfort, no more fatigue, no more insomnia. Again, I say, no food (not even a cookie) is worth any one of those symptoms. Thus, resisting them this year has been surprisingly easy.
However, there was one thing I was worried about: Every year for the holidays, I make cookies for my co-workers. I started the tradition 8 Christmases ago, never expecting the type of reaction I got. People gushed over them, causing my list of recipients to grow longer each year. Truthfully, I love the joy the cookies bring because it reminds me of the joy my family’s cookies once brought me. I love making and gifting them. This year, I was worried they might not turn out as well, and the tradition would die. Unfortunately, I was also sick, so I didn’t have quite the energy to put into experimenting and making them awesome.
But one item on my sweets list was an absolute must for a gluten-free makeover—my Oreo truffles. You can find the recipe all over the Internet (I first grabbed it from Kraft magazine many years ago). It’s as SIMPLE as can be, involves three easy-to-find ingredients, but I swear to you, people will think you are God’s gift to chocolate for making them. One year, I opened the office fridge to find a note taped to someone’s goodie bag that threatened to hunt anyone down who took them. I’ve literally been chased down the hall for these bite-sized bundles of joy. In fact, I’m honestly afraid to post the recipe here for fear my friends will all realize how ridiculously easy these really are and I’ll burst their mirage of my baking skills!
But, in the spirit of Christmas and giving, I’ll share I’m happy to report that making these gluten-free went completely unnoticed by my co-workers. So many of them actually said to me, “I can’t believe you can’t eat these; so sad!” HA! That’s what I call a g-free baking success.
Gluten-free Oreo Truffles
|Prep time||35 minutes|
|Allergy||Egg, Fish, Peanuts, Shellfish, Soy, Tree Nuts, Wheat|
|Dietary||Gluten Free, Vegetarian|
- 1 box of approximately 30 gluten-free oreos (I highly recommend Trader Joe's Gluten-free Joe-Joe's. They taste just like the original oreos, which keep these truffles at their best.)
- 6oz cream cheese
- 8oz Baker's semi-sweet chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips