I have always considered myself quite a nice person. I like food of all shapes, flavours and colours. From every country and continent. I don’t discriminate, I am an equal opportunity eater. It’s only the doctors who say I’m intolerant. And certain foods who refuse to tolerate me. They certainly refuse to recognise and respect my right to eat them without major physical discomfort and distress.

Gluten and lactose are not my friends.

Despite the negative attitudes surrounding me from many of those I love best, (cakes, ice cream, hot toast) I decided to become a chef. Not always easy when you live in a bread and milk filled world. I like to think that this has helped me become a better person as I embrace my differences and refuse to let the gluten get me down. I believe InTolerance. I am the InTolerant Chef.

Food should not be about what you can’t eat, but what you can and what you enjoy eating. This blog is about my journey of cooking and eating and discovery. It’s not a definitive guide to allergy awareness nor do my intolerances make me an expert. Your body is your responsibility, not mine. I only know what works for me.

I can tell you this..... No glutens were harmed in the making of this website.

July 9, 2011

A Bit On The Side

When you go to a cafe, do you like to get a little treat on the side of your Lactose free-Weak-Decaf-Coffee?

I've come across tiny meringues, little chocolates, and of course- biscuits aka cookies. Now I think it's always exciting to look at, but of course I have to leave it there :(

However, the cafes certainly mean well, and at one cafe I worked at it was my job to make the little 'freebies', several hundred at a time. The biscuits had to be quick, cheap, easy, and of course yummy! After a bit of trial and error, I decided the best option was to use a cookie press.

Have you used these before? They're like a caulking gun for builders, but of course for cooks and cookies! You fill the cylinder body with a nice soft dough and depress the plunger which releases a measured shot through various shaped nozzles. This means you can pump out lots of cookies in a very short time and they have the added advantage of uniformity of shape and size, very important when every customer should be loved equally!

I love having good quality InTolerant options available at the major supermarkets!

Cookie Press Cookies (3 dozen)

1/2 cup Castor Sugar
185g Butter/Nuttlex
1 Egg
2 cups gluten free Plain Flour
1/2 teaspoon gfree baking powder
1 Tablespoon Lactose free Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Pinch of Salt

Cream the butter and sugar together.

Add in the egg and milk, and I like to put in the baking powder and salt now too as it mixes in evenly. Beat through for a second or two.

Add in the flour and mix on very low speed until combined.

Now is the time to divide the dough and add in any extra flavourings. I usually just knead it in by hand.

Bring the dough together and roll into a shape that will fit into the cylinder body of the cookie press. Let it rest for about 20mins just to firm up a little.

Put the dough in the press and cookie away! Now DON"T WORRY IF YOU DON"T HAVE A COOKIE PRESS, you can just roll out little balls of the dough and press it down gently with a fork. It works just as well, it's just not quite so fancy!

This is such a nice basic recipe and just about any extra flavourings can be added to change it up and various yummy things sprinkled on top before baking. About the only thing you can't put in a cookie press are chunks. They just won't fit through the holes. So no chocolate chips, or fruity bits, sorry, but cocoa and purees are fine for flavour.

Don't worry that you'll have hundreds of biscuits either, the dough freezes fantastically whether in a big lump, or carefully spritzed out on sheets ready to pop in the oven at a moments notice.

The basic recipe has a good shortbread style flavour with a nice crisp bite. It can even be dunked quickly into your coffee, win-win!

Here I've made 3 variations, the palest is just plain, the brown has cocoa powder added, and the one in the middle has spices. You can also give the raw biscuits a very light spray or brush with water, and top with pretty coloured sprinkles too.

Editorial Note:
Now while the little bit on the side of your coffee is cute and all, I have to admit I think it's not always so good for business- before you shout me down just think about it for a sec; while drinking your beverage of choice you might fancy a little something something, just to take the edge off your sweet tooth or to tide you over to lunch... that little biscuit is probably juuuuuust enough, and free! But now you won't look longingly across at the lovely array of cakes or bigger bikkies on the counter, be tempted and spend a couple more dollars. There's only so much you'll spend on a cup of coffee, so factoring in the price of a free cookie isn't really an option, even if it's low cost to produce; so an extra sale is always welcome. I would rather reward my customers by putting that money spent into a better quality coffee or lower prices over all.
This is the business side of me speaking, not the customer side though, just want to clear that up :)

So Dearest Readers,

would you travel further to a cafe just for the free little biscuit, or would you have a different cafe-choosing-criteria?


  1. These cookies remind me of growing up - we always used a cookie press around Christmas time and just covered the cookies in green & red sprinkes :) I don't have one now but I might just have to make these without one!

  2. Too often I have to pass on the Tiny teddy,

    but I'd rather good coffee than a free bikkie!

  3. Hehe depends on how good the biscuit is! That first picture is very cute too :P I also like it when they give you freckles too!

  4. Who dosnt like something for nothing but Id rather the better coffee than a bad coffee and a free biscuit.Where can I get one of those in Brisbane and how much do they cost?

  5. Interesting practice! Here in the US I have never seen a 'cookie' served with coffee. In my neck of the woods (Kansas) you buy a piece of pie or a cinnamon roll to go with your coffee in the mom-n-pops cafes.

  6. I'm sure I have a cookie press somewhere, but I've never used it. I'm going to seek it out and give it a go, thank you as always for the inspiration!

    I think the question re the free cookie is an interesting one - as a customer, I think it makes you feel a little loved. I especially like it when it's done sporadically - "oh here, try this, we've got a new line of counter treats in, let me know what you think.." rather than something automatic. Does that make sense?

  7. Oh very cute. And I think these do add just that "little touch" to show that we are special to a bar/restaurant/cafe :)

  8. Nice! I feel the same, I'd prefer a really good coffee. Also, in my experience the free cookies or biscuits normally aren't very good, and I regret eating them. These look delish though, and such cute shapes!

  9. Love the first pic, so retro :) I wouldn't travel for the biscuit, more for the quality of the coffee. But I'd love a sneaky side cookie as a surprise!
    Heidi xo

  10. IO am intrigued by that cookie press! What a useful gadget for making cookies en masse!

    Re treats - I cannot generally eat them so Mr BBB ends up with 2! I went to 2602 in Ainslie the other day and they filled the top of my coffee cup with mini m & ms . I thought that was a little strange

  11. I don't know about the free bickie but I would for a complimentary coffee or even a complimentary compliment! Maybe, instead of the bickie, they could include a little card on the side with something nice written on it, like "Your smile lights up your whole face!" Now, for that I would go out of my way!

  12. I love that first pic! :D

    I always have to leave the little biscuit next to the cup, or I give it to somebody else. Sometimes there are chocolate-covered roasted coffee beans now, those are quite fancy if you like that. Your biscuits look so cute! My parents currently plan to switch to gluten-free as well, so may I forward some of your recipes? My mom is such a baker, and dad loves his sweet treats. :)

  13. I doubt that the absence or otherwise of a little bikkie would make much difference to my cafe choice. The quality of the cup of tea is my main concern - it is just so difficult to get a decent cup of tea in these coffee obsessed places.

  14. I have a cookie press, which I thought I would never be able to use again - since going gluten free, so thanks for this.
    As for how to choose a cafe?... I get out so seldom that I gaze around like a hillbilly in awe at such sophistication.... and I can never eat the free cookie anyway :-)

  15. I try to make my coffee and tea at home - its so much cheaper that way. And even though I make desserts at home, there's something so tempting about little sweets in shop windows!
    Your biscuits look really tempting, and I imagine they'd be really delicious.

  16. I would not go because they added the cookie. In fact, I'd stay away because of it. I'm so sensitive to gluten that it would not be a good idea to have it on my saucer. Now if it were one of those lovely gluten-free cookies of yours, that would be another story. ;-) Love the poster and the last photo!


  17. That gun looks cool! I prefer a little chocolate with my coffee - maybe a truffle? The chocolate and coffee combo is a winner for me.

  18. Ok, that's it. I'm stealing this recipe and trying it ASAP! I bought a cookie gun similar to this a few months ago but failed miserably to make good cookies come out of it =( It came out all long and weird..

  19. My Mom totally has that cookie press!! She always uses it for all kinds of fun treats, especially during the holidays! And I have to agree with Christie's comment. Coffee is my favorite treat to indulge in with my coffee!! ;) But, that is probably because I can eat chocolate with anything!

  20. Hello Sweeties!
    School holidays are here, but the weather is not much fun for playing outdoors at the moment. Perfect for littlej's cooking lessons though. Nothing better on a cold morning than cranking up the oven and warming our hands on it!

    Glutenfreelyndsey- Hi!How cute, and luckily they work just as well without one too.

    Fiona- I'm with you!

    Lorraine- Maybe if they made you some of these it would be worth while :)

    Simcha- Maybe you'll get one for your birthday- if you're very good!

    Judy- Yummmmm..... Pie.......

    Celia- I hope you can find it and try, the boys might like to make them as the press looks kinda like a 'real' tool, BigJ likes this one. And a free sample is always exciting- I'm always happy to give someone my opinion :)

    Msihua- It's always nice to feel special isn't it

    JasmyneTea- That's why they're free! But these ones are great of course :P

    Heidi- It's a card I got at Dymocks. I collect cute little foodie ones. I like quirky!

    Lisa- M&m's, I've not come across that before, at least it's memorable!

    Suetea- What a great idea! Maybe instead of Fortune Cookies we could have Compliment Cookies? I'll need you to write some for me!

    Kath- Oooh coffee beans, what a great idea! And of course I'd be flattered if your mum uses my recipes. I hope they find it an easy transition, and feel better for it too.

    Amanda- I agree with you! That's why I have coffee as I hate paying big bucks for a cup of luke warm water with a stale teabag on the side. Yuck! I go to a nice tea house for a real cup of tea when I want a treat. My favourite is Earl Grey, what about you?

    Ninehundred- Dust it off and get it going girl! I know what you mean, I'm like that when I get to the shopping mall!

    IndieTea- Thanks! If you make your own cookies and have a nice coffee maker at home you're better off anyway, make your friends come to you! I love to window shop at bakeries and patisseries, the gluten doesn't stop me looking!

    Shirley- Most cafes don't even use separate tongs when serving the gluten free cakes either! Have you been caught out that way too? Thanks, the cup was a MDay pressie from MiddleC.

    Christie- Chocolate and coffee is always a fantastic combo isn't it. I wish you hadn't mentioned them- I want a truffle now! The guns are lots of fun!

    Lucy- My gun has little pre-set measurements that it squirts out, maybe yours is different? I hope this recipe makes a difference, let me know if it does.

    Kim- I love how you can make so many shapes for every occasion. Coffee and I have yet to find a reason NOT to have chocolate, have you?

    Now as promised..... The winner of the Scanpan knife is...... Muppy!!! Ta Daaa!! Please send me an email with your detail Muppy so I can get it out to you.
    Sorry everyone else, I wish I had one for all of you, but the Paw has spoken. I still have a few goodies up my sleeve for the future though so don't give up!


  21. These are gorgeous! I really want a cookie press :)