Sunday, January 23, 2011

For the love of Cookies

I was enjoying an afternoon with my new friend Emilie. She accompanied me on a quick trip to Ikea to return an item. Ikea is unfortunately never that quick so we waited in the return line where the smell of cinnamon buns were calling her. Emilie is from Canada and a vegetarian. She has not made any distinctions yet about food other than she just feels the mistreatment of animals for our food supply is so wrong that she is casting her vote for the animals by not eating any.

Emilie has hearty Canadian genes that enable her to eat anything she pleases with few visible consequences. I, on the other hand, will have symptoms quite quickly. One little cookie could give me blisters or other skin eruptions that first are painful and then hideously ugly and can take weeks to heal. Not worth the few minutes of pleasure but oh how I do love sweets.

Cookies are just about the most difficult thing to buy already made. I have no problem baking terrific cookies like shortbread's, lace cookies, ginger snaps, chocolate chips etc. using the absolute best ingredients (search my blog for some recipes) but sometimes it would be so nice to just buy something in a store.

There used to be a brand named frukies that were terrific and fruit juice sweetened. Heaven Sent used to use rice syrup for a sweetener and Barbara's had honey grahams that were made with honey instead of molasses or other forms of sugar cane. They all folded and started using cane sugar. It's cheap.

What's so horrible about sugar cane? The cane itself is not so bad. Try chewing on it straight from the ground. It is mildly sweet and full of tough fiber. When it gets juiced and then the liquid is evaporated out to make sugar, what is left is concentrated sweetener that wrecks the human body. Forget dental cavities, one little teaspoon of white, brown, organic or not, the juice or crystals from sugar cane is equal to about 3 feet of sugar cane. It's a powerful drug that debilitates the immune system for up to six hours. (flu season anyone...)

There do not seem to be very many people out there making products with other natural sweeteners that do not cause so many problems. Nana's cookies and Michelle's bakery are the only two I've seen that didn't switch over. I'm sure there are others out there besides smaller bakeries that might have one options in their case.

I do bake cookies and freeze either dough or cookies to use later but it would be so nice to have some other options as well. Emilie and I soothed our sweet cravings sans cookies with a fruit kanten and tofu maple whip at a local restaurant. She was surprised at how sweet simply cooked fruit could be. Still it would have gone so well with a crispy cookie.

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