Project FAIL: Coconut flour anything

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Most people consider me to be a pretty proficient baker. I’ve experimented with recipes ever since my mother allowed me to invade her neat-as-a-pin kitchen. I’ll never forget the time mom gave me the job of stirring a bowlful of ingredients. It was a stainless steel bowl on a laminate countertop. You know what happens when you get to stirring that thing super-duper-fast? The bowl spins! Fun! And the food spins! NOT FUN! Centripetal force took over and we had creamed corn splattered all the way to the family room. Whoops.

Or the time I took a take-n-bake pizza out of the freezer, sans-cardboard pan, and baked it. About 10 minutes in, it started to smell. Like pizza…but also like burning. Yep, oozing gobs of pizza dough/cheese/sauce were dropping through the oven grates onto the hot coil below. Did I mention mom had just cleaned the oven? Sorry mom.

But since those formative experiences, I’ve been a pretty successful cook. I’ve baked all my kids’ birthday cakes, a few wedding cakes, and thousands of cupcakes to raise funds for my favorite charity. I’ve perfected gluten-free, egg-free, and even dairy-free cake recipes to the point that NO ONE believes they aren’t “the real thing.” I can convert any recipe to a heart-healthy version for my husband, who is on a restricted diet. People consistently come to me for recipe advice.

Enter coconut flour. I have met my mortal enemy. Why, oh why did I ever purchase this evil substance?

Here’s how it started. My dad is type-2 diabetic. He’s been borderline for a couple years, never needed an insulin pump, but it’s getting worse now so he is being more careful. I wanted to make him some diet-friendly treats for Christmas, but I also wanted to avoid artificial sweeteners. So I scoured Pinterest and Google for healthy, diabetic-friendly, natural recipes. I found one for peanut brittle – one of his favorites! It was a raging success. All natural, low-glycemic, and delicious. Happy daddy. The other was grain-free shortbread, made with coconut flour. Looked good! Sounded good! Tasted NOT GOOD. You know you’ve failed when your dish is compared to paste, wet cement, Mockolate (oh how I miss Friends), and rat poison. No, I’m not kidding. It was THAT awful.

The first bite was…okay. The flavor is pretty good. I used real butter, which is a must for shortbread. Then you try to chew it. It doesn’t chew. It forms this wretched sandy paste in your mouth and you can’t swallow. You’re like that poor dog trying to lick the peanut butter spoon in the Got Milk commercial. After that, you’re running to the fridge for a drink, spitting in the sink, and/or laughing hysterically at your ridiculous tongue-smacking. No one wants another bite. Not even my 4 year old, and he likes Stinky Socks trick jelly beans. So, there you have it. Shortbread that makes you want to eat dirty socks.

Don’t make this recipe. But please, for the love of all that is grain-free, will someone PLEASE tell me how to properly use coconut flour? Because I have about a cup left, and I’m deciding whether to throw it out or bake more shortbread to leave on the doorstep for as payback to whomever stole our Christmas packages last week. Bwa-ha-ha-ha…

THE RECIPE – from The Pink Sprinkle
6 TBS coconut flour
4 TBS butter, melted
1-2 TBS honey
1/4 tsp almond extract or vanilla (I used almond)

METHOD
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl, mix all ingredients together until it is the consistency of a thick paste.
Shape into balls and place on a lined baking sheet. Press down on the tops gently (VERY gently – they crumble to bits when you look at them sideways!) with a fork.
Bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly browned on the bottom.
Let cool completely on the pan or they will crumble (they crumble no matter where you cool them!)If you’re going to attempt to consume these, keep a gallon of milk and plenty of napkins right there on the counter. Because you’ll be spitting gobs of cookie paste into the napkins, and washing away whatever remains with the milk.

Then, go make some fabulous, healthy peanut brittle instead!

Of course, I had to go and use the coconut flour in half of the Christmas dessert, peach cobbler, too. It refused, utterly refused to be crust – instead, infiltrated the poor innocent fruit below, and made a weird, glue-y, pasty, stringy glob of yuck. Just say NO. To coconut flour. The end.

In His humility! 🙂
~Monique

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