Saturday, August 01, 2015

The Puzzle Continues

The last six or seven months have been some of the worst of my life as far as health goes. UTIs, the flu, surgery on my eyes, amoebic dysentery have all played their part. Yesterday I had a colonoscopy as a method to help discern more pieces of the puzzle of my GI troubles. No results yet but I suspect that there will be changes coming up, some of them dietary. Might mean going gluten free. Might mean giving up nuts and seeds or dairy or maybe just fatty foods. Still thinking about it, but I might continue to bake with gluten and just not eat it myself...more for Sweetie, friends, firefighters, etc.

Earlier in the week I baked one of my favorite cookies, butterscotch bar cookies. No puzzle this time. I love the butterscotch flavor, the cake type crumb and the addition of chocolate and fruit. It makes a big pan of cookies, with plenty to share. This time  I substituted white chocolate chips for the chocolate chips and put in fresh pitted, chopped dark sweet cherries instead of the nuts. These cookies were yummy, but next time (if there is one) I think I would reduce the brown sugar to 3/4 cup and use white sugar for the additional sugar needed so there would be a bit less of the butterscotch flavor. Still, a delicious cookie and made in one pot, so hardly any washing up, especially if you line the cookie sheet with heavy aluminum foil like I did! Do be sure to check often at the end of baking. I left mine in the oven a tad too long and they do get dry.

Chocolate-Butterscotch Bars or Squares
Makes 40 squares - not sure how many bars

2/3 cup butter, margarine, or vegetable shortening, melted
1 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
3 eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
6 oz chocolate chips (I used white chocolate chips)
1 cup chopped, pitted fresh cherries 
1 teaspoon vanilla

Melt butter in a large pot. Add the sugar. Mix melted butter and sugar thoroughly. Let cool a bit. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add sifted dry ingredients, white chocolate, cherries and vanilla and mix well to combine. Spread in a greased 15" x 10" x 1" pan. Bake in moderate oven (350 degrees F) for about 25 minutes. A toothpick inserted in center of pan will come out with a few crumbs stuck to it.

Cut into 40 squares (or some bars if you prefer) while warm. Store in airtight container. Will keep a week if you don't eat them all long before that as I do.


  1. Just my 2 cents: if you were gluten intolerant (celiac disease) then you'd already know it. Upwards of 90% of the people who are going gluten free are feeling better because they have trouble breaking down Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, and Polyols (sugar alcohols). See wikipedia for a brief discussion, and Stanford for a diet which avoids FODMAPs.

    Hope you feel better soon! We should get together some time! Let us know when's good & we'll drive up one weekend.

  2. WOW, what a year. We'll keep you in our thoughts as you continue testing. I hope that what you fear won't come to pass, but at the same time, that's a simpler explanation for tummy woes than you COULD have, so maybe gluten-free wouldn't be that bad... anyway, I've found I can bake with varying GF flours - not the same way, but A way, which is more than I thought I'd be able to do, when I went low-carb...

    No matter what craziness our bodies get up to, there's always hope, and good cookies. It keeps the world turning.

  3. David, I don't think I have celiac disease, but have been told that gluten might be causing the inflammatory condition. Will check out the FODMAPs discussion, too. Truly unsure if diet changes will help, but am hoping to avoid meds, so diet may be the solution. Too soon to know. Right now going with mint-chamomile tea, lean proteins like turkey and chicken, rice, broth, cooked fruits and veg (one site said cooked is better, one said raw is better...who knows!)
    Tanita I like your attitude :) I will try GF baking if needed because I know it is not that difficult to switch.
    Thanks to both of you for good wishes. Will e-mail you with suggestions for getting together. It has been too long!