How do you feel about baking or cooking for people with food sensitivities, allergies, and such? I think it is a fun challenge to make something out of the ordinary, when standard basic ingredients are out of the question, for health reasons.
Of course, eschewing ingredients – or categories, such as meat for vegetarians – may be a matter of personal taste or choice, which I always try to accommodate, too. I particularly like to find ways to bake and cook good things for those cannot tolerate wheat (celiacs, for instance) or dairy. Wheat and dairy, of course, are mainstays of baking, so the challenge can be a bit daunting in dessert preparation.
On two separate occasions recently, I needed to bake, first, for a friend who currently cannot tolerate butter or nuts and then for one who never can eat diary or wheat. The day I needed to bake them for our first friend, I found a recipe in The Cookie Book, by Catherine Atkinson, Joanna Farrow, and Valerie Barrett, for “Malted Oaty Crisps.” Malt is an ingredient I really enjoy using, especially in conjunction with chocolate (Whoppers and Maltesers and other chocolate-malted milk balls are great confections, way up there in my book of candy favourites), so I keep malt powder in my pantry – and sometimes, the chocolate-malty candies, which do not last long enough to be a staple.
Nevertheless, this one recipe called for two tablespoons of malt extract. Malt extract??? I beg your pahdon, guv’nor?!? I had never come across this before. I did not bother to seek the ingredient online, as I wanted to bake it that day – and it goes without saying that a very obscure item such as malt extract will not be lurking in one of our island’s three small food shops. The cookbook (or should I write, “cookery book”?) author was from the UK, so I imagine it is a more typical British ingredient . (I will turn to Jackie of I am A Feeder, as my go-to authority for all food-matters-in-Jolly-Old-There-Will-Always-Be-An-England. Jackie, what do you say about this malt extract matter???)
For the cookie description – and the recipe…