Carol's latest book, Gluten-Free Cooking for Two, is now available. Designed for small households, each perfectly-proportioned recipe serves two people. You will eliminate unwanted leftovers and reduce waste when you cook right-size meals with the 125 recipes in this book. Enjoy!! Celebrate with me!!! Gluten-Free Cooking for Two has won two awards: named one of ten "Best Gluten-Free Cooking Books in 2017" by and won a Silver Medal in the 2017 Living Now Book Awards in the "Natural, Nutrition, Organic, Vegetarian" category.
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Carol's in the kitchen, cooking up recipes for her next cookbook and

Watch for Carol on "Creative Living with Sheryl Borden," a PBS-TV show airing on your local PBS station during 2017-2018.

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My Grandmother’s Whole-Grain Canadian Haystack Cookies

A sign in my kitchen says “Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” Little do we realize how certain memories—no matter how ordinary—stay with us forever.

Canadian Cookies  are whole-grain.

Canadian Cookies are whole-grain.

These cookies are one of those memories. For reasons I never fully understood, my grandmother referred to them as Canadian Cookies. They were always piled high in a green glass dish—like little chocolate haystacks—in the hutch in her dining room. She had 12 children and 40 grandchildren, most living nearby, so there were many little visitors who knew Grandma would have these cookies ready for us. Of all my childhood memories of Grandma, these cookies are my most vivid.

This recipe is from a tattered recipe card, written in my mother’s handwriting which I’ve cherished all these years. Mom continued to make these cookies for us after Grandma died, but I wish I had asked about their origins before Mom’s death only five years later. Now that I have grandchildren of my own that story —whatever it is—seems more important.

Whole Grain, No-Bake, Quick, and Delicious
Fast-forward to today, we would describe these cookies as “no-bake” and tout their ease and simplicity—plus the fact that they are made with whole grains. Rolled oats—even when are quick-cooking—qualify as a whole grain according to the Whole Grains Council. So, even though it a sweet dessert I see no reason not to indulge once in awhile. Enjoy!

No-Bake Canadian Haystack Cookies
Adapted with permission from 1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes by Carol Fenster (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008)
This was Grandma’s treat for us when we visited her. It is no-bake, whole-grain, and quick.

3/4 cup sugar
¼ cup (1/2 stick or 4 tablespoons) unsalted butter or buttery spread
¼ cup milk of choice (I used 1%)
1 1/2 cups gluten-free, quick-cooking oats*
½ cup +2 tablespoons sweetened shredded coconut
3 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder (not Dutch-process or alkali)
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

[1] Line a 9×13-inch baking sheet with wax paper; set aside.

[2] In a medium heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, and milk over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and boil 1 minute.

[3] Remove the pan from the heat. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oats, coconut, cocoa, and salt until blended. Working quickly with a spatula, stir the oat until mixture into the saucepan until thoroughly combined. Stir in the vanilla. Drop by heaping tablespoons (or a #30 metal spring-action ice cream scoop) on the wax paper. The cookies will be quite soft, but will firm up as they cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container for up 2 days. Makes 12 cookies.

*Check with your physician about whether gluten-free oats are right for you.
Calories per cookie: 140; 2g protein; 6g fat, 2g fiber; 21g carbohydrates; 27mg sodium; 11mg cholesterol