What If Santa Has Celiac?
Last year I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I've been amazed at how many people I've encountered with the same or similar affliction. If you hang out in the gluten-free section of the supermarket you'll make lots of friends. Everyone's eager to share in this community and it's one of the nicer aspects of the disease.
Another interesting development from the diagnosis, is that my kids have become fascinated with what ingredients are in food, how the digestive system works and what it takes to make choices in your life when you are your only enforcer.
One of our holiday traditions is to make homemade cookies for Santa and the reindeer. We were getting ourselves pumped for the holidays when my son asked, "What if Santa has Celiac?" Good point!
I got in touch with our friends at Sans Bakery for a good, gluten-free cookie recipe. We love these delicious Ginger Chew Cookies and adore the girls at Sans Bakery. This recipe yields the chewiest, sweetest, most delicious cookies that even the discerning palate of Celiac Santa won't be able to tell they are sans-wheat!
If you want to give them a try but don't fancy baking, all of their products can also be bought online!
Another one of our holiday traditions is leaving a note for Santa when he comes to visit and he, in turn, leaves one for the kids. We usually leave a huge piece of craft paper out for him to write his note back. Santa is always effusive in his praise of all the kids have accomplished in the last year. I keep all the notes in a secret place and look forward to showing these to the kids when they are older and the magic of Santa is no more.
This year we're leaving a note with a little more staying power. We discovered a trick using Sharpie pens and dinner plates. We've written our notes directly on the cookie plate that we intend to leave out overnight, so that Santa will know that the cookies are gluten-free and safe for him to eat. After he eats all of his cookies, Santa will write his note to the kids on a matching plate, before flying off to the the next house. My evil plan is that someday I’ll have a collection of plates, showing our correspondence with Santa over the years, and they will be used to serve our Christmas dinners.
P.S. We do not use expensive plates for this activity! The ones below will do the job just fine.
DIRECTIONS TO MAKE YOUR OWN PLATE FOR SANTA AND THE REINDEER
BUY a white plate.
WRITE your message on the plate with a Sharpie. Don't be afraid to use colored Sharpies to really get your message across!
BAKE your plate in the oven for 30 minutes at 150 degrees.
GLUTEN-FREE GINGER CHEW COOKIES
Click Here to Download and Print Recipe >>
(Note: there are some unusual sounding ingredients due to the dietary nature of this recipe. Don't sweat it, they can all be found at you specialty grocer, health food stores and of course, Whole Foods)
• ¼ cup palm oil or vegetable shortening
• ½ cup butter (room temp)
• ¾ cup brown sugar
• 1 large egg
• ½ cup black strap molasses
• 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 1/3 cup tapioca starch
• 1 cup garbanzo bean flour
• ¾ cup sorghum flour
• ½ tsp xanthan gum
• 2 ½ tsp ground ginger
• 1 ½ tsp baking soda
• ½ tsp cinnamon
• ½ tsp nutmeg
• ½ tsp salt
• ½ cup chopped crystallized ginger
• 1 cup turbinado sugar
COMBINE palm oil, butter and brown sugar in a mixer until blended
ADD egg, black strap molasses, grated ginger and vanilla extract
IN SEPARATE BOWL, MIX tapioca starch, bean flour, sorghum flour, xanthan gum, ground ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt
COMBINE wet and dry mixtures on low setting to prevent flour spilling out
AFTER COMBINED ADD crystallized ginger and mix until combined
SCOOP out dough and ROLL into a ball
COAT in turbinado sugar and PLACE on cookie sheet with 2" spacing
BAKE at 350 degrees for 11 - 12 minutes