Pass the Cookie, Keep the Milk

A cookie made without butter, it turns out, can be an improvement.

While food allergies are something of a modern phenomenon, food preparation according to strict kosher standards is about as old of an active practice as there is. Only in this strange new world could a bakery emerge catering to both groups of finicky eaters. Launched in June, the Pipersville based Nomoo Cookies (now called Fat Badger Bakery) is the brainchild of David Bader, who was inspired to feed his kosher friends dessert, and Gretchen Dossa, the mother of a daughter saddled with a severe milk allergy.

Together, they bake eight kinds of preservative-free cookies—just cookies—with dairy-free and kosher ingredients and equipment. (They’re also peanut-free, but that seems to be more of a byproduct of the dairy-free and kosher baking than a concerted effort.) Irreverent names hint at—or distract from?—the uncommon ingredients. Almond Oy! is a sort of-wholesome update of old faithful, the chocolate chip cookie. This one’s packed with almonds, shredded coconut and dark chocolate chunks. Ginger Slap, made with crystallized ginger, is as spicy as the traditional iteration, but unlike the original, it’s moist and chewy. And Sugah Sugah may actually be an improvement over mom’s sugar cookie. Nomoo’s uses orange and lemon zest and Madagascar vanilla extract.

Basically, you won’t notice the lack of butter. But those are all safe choices. Move beyond your reference points and you’ll be rewarded. Nomoo’s original recipes are its best. Keep in mind neither Bader nor Dossa had any prior professional baking experience. They are home cooks going on what tastes good to them. The nutty and hearty Open Sesame is made with tahini, toasted sesame seeds and almond and vanilla extract. The airy Flyin’ Hawaiian tastes like concentrated coconut. And, the cookie equivalent of flourless chocolate cake, the Choco-Lift, features Belgian Callebaut chocolate and espresso from a neighbor, The Coffee Scoop.

Every batch is baked to order. (For now, they’re only sold online, at fatbadgerbakery.com, in packs of 12 for $19.95.) And because they’re not weighed down with preservatives, the shelf life’s brief, like a couple of days. Will Dr. Oz be endorsing them as miracle cookies any time soon? Probably not. But you can feel a little less guilty after losing yourself in a box. “It’s still a cookie, still a dessert, and you can’t get away from that,” Dossa says. “But we’re using good ingredients: Earth Balance in place of butter, which has no hydrogenated oils; premium nuts; excellent chocolate. This is not an overprocessed food.”

Read the original article on Main Line Magazine (PDF).