One of the programs that fall under our Community Kitchen umbrella is our in-house catering and events. We rent event space throughout Second Harvest and provide guests with an eclectic menu with a farm-to-table approach to cooking. The revenue generated goes directly back into our culinary training program, providing qualified, at-risk adults with an opportunity to attend our 14-week program without financial obligation.
We cook absolutely everything from scratch, right down to the breads, bagels, mustard and pickles, so when we started receiving requests for gluten-free baked goods, we knew a store-bought gluten-free flour just wouldn’t do.
For weeks we experimented with our own blends of rice, seeds, and nuts, all milled into flours right in our Darden Foundation Community Kitchen, but none of our flour blends ever quite lived up to our lofty expectations of a grit-free, decadent treat. Just when we were about to give up the fight and start looking into manufactured flours, we stumbled upon oat flour.
Gluten-free oats ticked all of the boxes for us – they’re affordable, easy to mill, whole grain, and best of all, they didn’t produce that gritty texture for which so many gluten-free baked goods are infamous.
Staying true to our farm-to-table approach, we encourage everyone to explore the option of including one locally-sourced item from the ingredient list below. Some of our favorite vendors are Lake Meadow Naturals, East End Market, and Homegrown Local Cooperative. We love organic whenever possible too, but conventional can be substituted for any ingredient below.
Bake some cookies, take photos, and let us know what you think!
Gluten-free ginger-molasses cookies
Source: Second Harvest Community Kitchen
Makes 24 cookies
Allergy info: soy-free, gluten-free; contains eggs, dairy, oats
- 2 cups gluten-free oats
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups coconut sugar, sucanat or organic cane sugar
- 1 1/2 sticks salted butter
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 large egg
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of a food processor place oats; process until finely milled, about 2 minutes. Transfer oat flour to a medium bowl; whisk in baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt. On a small plate place 1/2 cup of the coconut sugar; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl beat together butter and remaining coconut sugar until light and fluffy using an electric mixer on medium speed, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg and molasses until well combined. Reduce speed to medium-low; slowly mix in dry ingredients until a dough forms. Cover and refrigerate 20 minutes.
3. Remove bowl from refrigerator and form dough into 1-inch balls using a small scoop or pinch and roll by hand. Roll dough balls in reserved coconut sugar to coat.
4. Arrange 8 dough balls, about 2 inches apart, on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake one sheet at a time until cookies are firm around the edges, about 12 minutes. Remove sheet pan from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to cooling rack; let stand 20 minutes or until completely cool.
5. Store cookies in an air-tight glass container up to 1 month in the freezer, 7 days in the refrigerator, or 4 days in the pantry.
Note: if your favorite brand of organic sugar is too coarse and you prefer a finer texture for rolling the dough balls before baking, pulse the coconut sugar in a clean, dry food processor a few times until you reach the desired texture. For a grain-free version, replace the oat flour with almond flour.