{gluten-free} Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sierra’s learned how to say ‘cookie’ – and knows what the word means – so all I can think is: I’m in for it now. Still, as her current favorite thing seems to be bananas (‘nana!’) and she had lentils and cauliflower for dinner tonight, I think she can indulge in a nibble or two of the occasional sweet treat. Especially when the temperature here in the Kingdom is pushing 100 degrees F in March; we could all use a little reward for getting through the day. In other non-news, I’ve been oddly craving pancakes for dinner the past few days but have ‘settled’ for quinoa with beets and greens and tahini sauce with a chaser of a plate of flourless chocolate chip cookies. Pancakes tomorrow maybe.

[Riyadh from the trail/Post-sunrise miles, March 2015.]

I’ve been getting up early to run and it’s wonderfully quiet and calm during those post-sunrise miles along the trail. Last week there was a fairly big rainstorm that tamped down the dust and blew out all the sand haze long enough for me to take that photo above. Seeing the city rising out of the dunes gives me a new appreciation for the intrepid human desire to create — after all, if you think about it, it’s rather improbable that people should be living permanently in a desert. And this is definitely desert, despite the lovely trees and green spaces in our neighborhood watered by a combination of aquifer and desalination — I rarely forget they don’t grow naturally and require cultivation. North Africa’s jumble of riotous and overgrown plants that spilled over walls and broke up sidewalks seemingly overnight is a distant memory. Gone is the humidity that caused the paint to fall in great chunks from the unseaworthy walls of our house in Casablanca. Here, I’ve finally relented and turned on the air conditioning and have become the water pusher of the household to make sure we all stay hydrated.

When in Saudi Arabia …

Tonight I have the Kate Rusby itunes station playing, my girlie went to bed early (allowing me a few stolen hours to use as I please), I’ve set my alarm for 6:20 tomorrow morning so I can hit the trail, somehow my cavernous house has reached the perfect temperature of just-cool-enough, and I have a cup of rooibos tea lightened a bit with soy milk plus a few cookies to keep me company ’til DW returns from a business trip. Underneath the celtic fiddle is the echo of the final call to prayer of the final day of March and if you’d asked me two years ago if I’d ever become used to that sound I’d never have believed it. But things change; not only do I not mind it I almost look forward to the sounds that serve as little markers of the day and which let me know about what time it is without my having to look at a watch.

I baked these chocolate chip cookies in February and photographed them on the lovely old marble(ish) counters in my Casa kitchen. I miss those counters (though not the ants). I am nostalgic looking at these images tonight because my new kitchen is much less picturesque – alas! – though still quite functional, which is the main thing. Instead of waving to Missy the white horse and Rachid her nice driver as we eat breakfast we say ‘hi’ to the nice gardener who comes by daily to sweep up the leaves and water the scraggly grass outside the kitchen window. Some things I miss and some things I don’t and that’s how life goes.

These cookies, by the way, disappear quickly. They’re based on my standard chocolate chip cookie recipe, which owes its deep and delicious flavor to a combination of melted butter and brown sugar. For this flourless version I’ve done a blend of oat, brown and white rice, and almond flours with a touch of flaxseed to update them to be naturally gluten-free. That they’re loaded with whole grains is an extra bonus.

If/when my air shipment comes I’m going to try using 50 percent (or maybe even 100 percent) maple syrup in place of the brown sugar and tinker with the recipe a bit more to accommodate. But really these need no changes; they are pretty perfect as-is.

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  1. Just got caught up on blogs after a blog break — hope your move went well and you are acclimating to your new home. Really want to do some baking now and go for a few runs and take some pictures.

    One note on the city/country theme from a few posts ago: I toss that idea around a lot and though I would love a little farmette with some animals in a small town, I mostly love living in a city and traveling to a rural area, instead of the opposite. Soon I will be traveling to one rural area in the norther forest and later to a rural area on a coastal beach — the best of both worlds!!

  2. Helen Spiridakis says:

    Nice commentary and great photos. More….more.

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