Gluten free. Vegan. Paleo. Dairy free. Egg free. Nuts free. Like it or not, these words immediately pop into my head when I offer my homemade food to others. I grew up in a family without any allergy concerns or diet restrictions, religious or cultural. If you like stereotypes, Chinese people would eat anything with four legs and the back facing the sky. That is not too far from the truth with the way I was brought up. I am thankful that my parents taught me to be an adventurous eater with seemingly seamless effort. I didn’t realize how much this carefree attitude towards food opened me to so many unique culinary experience until I became more familiar with these diet buzzwords. The more I cook for others, the more I learn to respect the trust they place in my hands.
It’s easy to fall under the trap of a more negative mindset. Of course the limitations make cooking and baking that much more challenging. However, cooking for others is an expression of love. I want people to enjoy my food without worry, knowing that they have not misplace their trust. When I think about it this way, the limitations become my own personal concerns rather than annoyances.
I quickly realize something with every successful attempt in cooking or baking for specific diet restriction. My friends are extra appreciative of the effort. People often say it’s the thought that counts the most and I absolutely agree. Whether or not your diet is of your own choosing, the fact remains many mainstream food are off-limit. This is particularly hard when a craving from the life “before” hits your “after” self. Fortunately, as we become more familiar with different diet restrictions, the choices also broaden. Nowadays, there are so many resources catering to specific needs that you are much more likely to find a recipe/cookbook/blog/product/ingredient hitting the spot.
I bookmarked Joy The Baker’s Bacon Peanut Butter Cookies for quite some time. It is a twist on the flourless peanut butter cookie that we see on the back of peanut butter jar for years. I find it mildly amusing that marketing didn’t make a huge deal about it being gluten free. It is an old standby in the gluten free baking repertoire but the addition of bacon made this cookie in vogue. Personally, I love the nice balance of sweet and savoury (uh, meaty!) though it can be a dividing factor. The taste reminds me of traditional Cantonese mooncake. The dough is a bit crumbly and fussy to work with but not terribly so. I recommend that you plan ahead if you want to give this recipe a try. Six slices of bacon render A LOT of fat…smoky tasty bacon fat. Surely you wouldn’t want to waste it, right?