It’s that time of year again – time for Christmas cookies!! This year, like every other year, we’ll be traveling for at least part of the holiday. Thanksgiving is with my parents in Rochester, MN and post-Christmas (hospitals don’t shut down for holidays!) will be with Jacob’s family in St. Louis. Needless to say, there will be plenty of goodies to go around. In order to have “safe” treats, I typically bake up a storm.
The other day, I asked Jacob to make a list of cookies he wants. And wouldn’t you know, he gave me a list of 7 different cookies!!! At the top of his list were ting-a-lings (typically made with melted butterscotch and white chocolate chips mixed with corn flakes**). However, ting-a-lings are definitely NOT safe … between the sugar and food coloring, it just wasn’t going to happen. But I don’t give up that easily! After hours of searching, I finally found a gluten-free AND sugar-free cereal. It’s corn flakes sweetened with juice concentrate. Wow!
1 bag Nature’s Path organic, juice-sweetened corn flakes
Smucker’s Natural creamy Peanut butter (Commercially available peanut butters without sweeteners. It’s just simple peanuts and salt.)
Now for the ting-a-lings … I decided to make some homemade chocolate and mix it with peanut butter (similar to puppy chow). The cookies turned out softer than I would have liked. They tasted okay, but it wasn’t the same. Then it hit me – this is exactly like puppy chow, but with corn flakes instead of rice squares (e.g. Chex). It just needed some powdered sugar. But … Jacob can’t have sugar. Hmm. I typically use Stevia (Rebiana) for sweetener. The baking dose of Stevia combines it with maltodextrin. In recipes that call for less than 2 cups of Stevia, you can substitute it cup-for-cup. However, for recipes that call for more than 2 cups or recipes that are primarily sugar-based (e.g. frosting), you must blend alternative sugars or the maltodextrin will cause a bitter flavor … not something you want in a sweet or savory dish.
Instead of Stevia, I decided to coat the cereal mix with dextrose (corn-derived sugar). It turned out great!! An experiment for ting-a-lings that turned out into something completely different … but oh so yummy!! I don’t think this will last long.
**If you’d like the recipe for the original ting-a-lings, let me know and I can send it your way