Married to the Empire

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

When Chocolate Makes You Sick... have to find other alternatives for when those chocolate cravings hit. Thankfully, I'm not one of those women who needs chocolate, but once in a while, I'd really like some. It's rarely worth the migraine that it causes, so I've had to work around it. If a recipe calls for chocolate chips, I might use peanut butter chips instead. Sometimes white chocolate (which contains no cocoa, which is what triggers the migraines) can be substituted, but it's often a tad too sweet for recipes. What to do?

Well, there's carob. Ordinarily, I find carob to be vile, but that's because I'd only tried it in waxy, chip form. That disgusting stuff doesn't even begin to come close to tasting like chocolate! I really wanted to make these no-bake cookies, so I decided to try again, this time with powdered carob.

I bought a high-quality version, and it actually smelled quite good when I opened the tin. I mixed up the ingredients, substituting carob for cocoa, and made these:

The verdict: actually pretty good. Chocolate would be better, but these are an acceptable substitute. The powdered carob is a billion times better than those nasty carob chips! Even my husband, who was very hesitant to try these, said they aren't bad.

No-Bake Cookies

1/4 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup cocoa (or powdered carob)
1/2 cup milk
pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 cups oatmeal

Combine sugar, cocoa, milk, and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the mixture starts to boil and cook for 1 minute. Add vanilla, salt, peanut butter, and oatmeal and quickly stir until combined. Drop teaspoons onto parchment paper and let cool.

And because I'd promised Beth my macaroni and cheese recipe, yet I kept forgetting until she just reminded me (sorry!), here's that recipe, too:

Macaroni and Cheese

1 pkg. (7 oz.) elbow macaroni
4 Tbls. butter
3 Tbls. all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (sharp cheddar is great in this)
2 tsp. spicy brown mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Melt butter in a large saucepan. Stin in flour until smooth, then gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Reduce heat, then add cheeses, mustard, salt, and pepper. Stir until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth. Drain macaroni; add to the cheese sauce and stir to coat. Transfer to a greased, shallow 3-quart baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.


Beth said...

Thank you! And don't worry about not getting to it sooner, I know how busy we get. My son will be thrilled to try it, I will report back once we try it. :)

Amy W said...

P.S. this reminds me of a prank that my friend & I played on my brother when we were in high school. Made the no-bake cookies shaped like p-o-o-p and left one in his bed. I never laughed so hard!

ann said...

I saw that on your facebook page, I'm so glad it worked out for you. I'm sorry chocolate gives you migraines.

Thirsty said...

I'd be curious to learn whether 1/2 cocoa and 1/2 carob (or some other split) would still cause the migraines. You'd get a little cocoa taste, but possibly less of the side effects.