Thursday, December 29, 2011

OUAS: The Joy of Cookies

Supplies: green paper (Cosmo Cricket), dotted paper (Basic Grey), white paper (Crate), journaling box (Bella Blvd), label sticker (Crate), alpha stickers (Basic Grey), mini alpha stickers (Simple Stories), shiny stickers (Walmart), pen (Zig).

Here is my contribution for the current challenge at Once Upon a ... Sketch.  This time around we were to write about what we do on December 25.  At first I was stumped about what to write, because our routine varies from year to year.  Sometimes we celebrate with my husband's parents, sometimes we celebrate with my parents, and sometimes we celebrate with other relatives.  After thinking about it for awhile, though, I realized that there is one constant in all of our celebrations.  No matter where we are, and no matter with whom we are spending the day, we ALWAYS have Christmas cookies!  Lots and lots of homemade Christmas cookies!!!  So, my journaling on this page reads: "Dear Santa, I don't care what we have for Christmas dinner.  But for dessert we MUST have lots of cookies!"

My interpretation of the sketch this time around was pretty literal.  I had to make some slight adjustments in order to accomodate three photos and a smaller page size, but the structure of my page is quite close to that of the original sketch.  The only major change I made was to use the "white space" in the original sketch as the location of my journaling.

Homemade cookies have become even more important to me in recent times, because my husband has become gluten intolerant.  Doctors are not sure why, but recently many people have become unable to eat gluten, which is in wheat, barley, rye, and some oats.  I feel sorry for my husband, who often has to miss out on treats, since most baked goods contain wheat.  So, I'm building up a repertoire of gluten free dessert recipes, and I want to share my favorite one with you.  Unlike many gluten free (GF) recipes, it does not taste like cardboard!  In fact, these were the most popular cookies at my family's Christmas party this year, and they disappeared in about five minutes.  :)

Caramel Squares: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Combine 2 cups gluten free flour, 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar, and 1/2 cup butter.  Press this mixture onto the bottom of an ungreased 9x13" baking pan.  In a saucepan, stir together 1 cup of butter and 1 cup of brown sugar over medium heat.  Bring the mixture to a rapid boil for one minute, stirring constantly.  Pour mixture over crust and garnish as you wish.  (I used sliced almonds, but you could use sprinkles, chopped nuts, chocolate chips, etc.)  Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the entire caramel layer is bubbly.  Cut into squares while still warm.  (To convert recipe to European or other cooking units, see

Many gluten free recipes contain strange-sounding, expensive ingredients, like xanthan gum and quinoa.  What I like about the above recipe is that it does not contain any of these tongue-twisting ingredients.  The only special ingredient you need is gluten free flour.  I like to buy Bob's Red Mill All Purpose GF Baking Flour--it's simple and tasty.

If you don't have any gluten intolerant people to bake for, you can still use this recipe.  Simply substitute regular baking flour for the GF flour; the amount stays the same.  The caramel squares are tasty both ways.  Bon appetit!


Bente Fagerberg said...

I love your page with those cute family photos. I also like the look of your receipe,which I copied and will try one day soon! :-)
Thanks for sharing and playing along at OUAS!

Cynthia Lloréns said...

Hi sweet !!!Those look fantastic !!!
Thank you so much for all the lovely comments you have written in my blog in 2011!!!
I wish a wonderful 2012!!
Big huges and kisses with much love.

Natalie said...

What a great page - just gorgeous
Thanks for playing along at Once Upon A Sketch and have a safe and happy new year!

Natalie Elphinstone said...

What a great idea of how to interpret the challenge..... to find the similarities. It sure looks like you're enjoying your cookies in the photos. Thanks for sharing your wonderful page with us at OUAS :-)

Jasmine S said...

What a fabulous page and I love your interpretation of the sketch. What a wonderful tradition. Thanks for joining us at OUAS