Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Gluten Free Recipe - GF Lemon Drop Cookies

At long last, I have FINALLY found a GF sugar cookie recipe that I like!  Let us all shout for joy! It took a little work, tweaking a couple of different recipes to get one that worked for me, but let me tell you, these are good.  I'll first share the recipe for the standard drop sugar cookie and then the modification to turn them into lemon drop cookies.


First off, your ingredients...

- 2 sticks (one cup) softened butter
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 2 cups asian white rice flour
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1/3 cup sweet rice flour
- **1 cup - 1 1/2 cups GF baking blend **
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
- 1/2 tsp. salt

Alright, alright, alright.  Let's get this going.

- Preheat to 350 degrees and line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.  DON'T FORGET THE PARCHMENT PAPER.
- Mix your butter and sugar really, really well.  Beat the eggs in, one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl in between.  Go ahead and throw in your vanilla too and mix it in.
- In the meantime... mix your rice flour, cornstarch, sweet rice flour, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt.

** OK, here's the tricky part.  I've found that recipes that work for other people, don't work well for me because of the flour content.  I added at least a cup of the GF Baking Blend that I know and love to the recipe to get the texture of the dough that I need.  You can try using just more white rice flour instead of the baking blend.  I recommend that you try it and bake it, a little at a time until you get the texture of cookie that you  are looking for.  If the dough is too gooey, your cookies will just melt and you'll end up with something that looks a lot more like a stained glass window than a midnight snack.  You want your dough to be the consistency of Play Dough.  For reals....

See this?  This is BAD.  You don't want your dough to look like this. Too gooey.

See this?  This dough is much thicker.  It balls up a little when you mix it in the mixer. I think I ultimately added 1 1/2 cups of Baking Blend to the original recipe.  It's a firmer dough that will hold up to the heat.  Do what you've gotta do to get to this texture, just keep track of what you're doing so that you can write it down :)

- OK, at this point, you can roll your dough into balls, place on that parchment paper and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.  

Before and After

- If you want, just stop right here.  These are fantastic cookies.  They are perfect topped with some pink frosting and sprinkles.

Now, the modification to make LEMON DROP COOKIES...

You'll need...

- Half a bag of lemon drops, pulverized.
- The zest of two lemons
- The juice of one lemon mixed with about a cup of powdered sugar - for the glaze.

- After you get your standard sugar cookie dough prepared, smash up about half a bag of lemon drops.  Then throw them in the mixer along with the lemon zest.

- Bake them for 10-12 minutes at 350.  Make sure you've got that parchment paper on those cookie sheets.  Remember that you're melting hard candy and it can make a big, sticky mess.  In the end, you should end up with something like this...

- Allow them to cool for a couple minutes before pulling them off the cookie sheet.  Place on a separate piece of parchment paper to cool and brush on some of that lemon juice and powdered sugar glaze that you whipped up.


Then, dig in.  This dough refrigerates well, but you'll have to let it warm up a bit before you can form it into balls.  Good luck!  And enjoy!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Gluten Free Recipe - GF German Pancakes

For Sunday morning breakfast today, we made German Pancakes. Or Fluffy Omelet, if you grew up in Las Vegas. Or Pop-up pancakes, as we've been calling them lately.
When I met my husband, he kept talking about how much he loved it when his mom made German Pancakes for breakfast and I had no idea what he was talking about. When I finally made it to a family function wherein his mother served "German Pancakes" and I realized that he had actually been referring to Fluffy Omelet all that time, it became clear to me why he loved them so much. I don't care what you call them, they be good.

I actually adapted this recipe from THIS ONE found in the Living Without magazine. It tried to pass them off as herb crusted dinner rolls. They weren't bad that way, but with only a slight modification, they make a WAY better breakfast food.

Here's what you do...

- Preheat to 425. Very important, that pre-heating is. Especially in this recipe because you're going to want to throw your 12 cup muffin tin in that oven to get it good and hot as well.

Then, make your batter.

4 eggs
1 cup of milk
1/3 cup tapioca starch
2/3 cup asian rice flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2-3 Tbspns. melted butter

- Whisk your eggs and milk well
- Whisk in the flours and salt
- Whisk in the melted butter right before you pour into your muffin tin
- Pull out the preheated muffin tin, grease lightly (don't forget or they'll get stuck)
- Fill each cup about 3/4 full, the batter fits the 12 cups just right

- Bake for about 20 minutes. Turn on your oven light to watch for the brown tops, but however you are tempted, you must restrain yourself from actually opening the oven or they could fall early. Like a souffle. And no one wants that to happen. At the end, you'll end up with a little something like this...

Only, possibly a less garish yellow. Sorry about that.

I really like the little muffin sized ones because they are perfect for portioning, and they make ideal little syrup boats on your plate.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Gluten Free Recipe - Meringue Macaroons

Fact: There are certain people in this world that LOVE coconut.
Fact: I am one of those people.

Last week, my sister and I had a hankering for some coconut, so she went to our local Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market and returned with a bag full of it. We were going to make macaroons, but never got around to it. Probably because I'm pretty lazy these days (being pregnant and all) and it takes a whole lot of motivation to get get me to do anything at all.

This week, my sister was hanging out at my house, dug out that bag of coconut and made the macaroon recipe on the back of it. And you know what? The recipe on the back of that Great Value bag of shredded coconut turned out to be a big winner!

I'm calling these Meringue Macaroons because they really have that egg white-y, crispy texture to them. There isn't ANY flour in them at all and as long as you have coconut in the house, you'll have everything you need to make them.

Meringue Macaroons

1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
2/3 cup sugar
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt

That's all. Serious.

Pre-heat to 325.
Beat your egg whites, vanilla and salt until you get soft peaks.
Beat in the sugar until stiff.
Fold in the coconut.

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crispy and lightly browned. And look forward to these....

The texture and flavor is really light crisp. We wanted to eat them with some sherbet, or sorbet, or something cold, and fruity, and summer-y. You must be warned, though. The sugar and egg whites are merely a vessel by which one can consume otherwise straight up coconut, so if you don't REALLY like coconut, these might not be the cookies for you.

My daughter grabbed one, took a nibble, told me they were good and then immediately retracted that statement and said "Actually, these aren't good. Can I put something on them? Like craisins?"

Oh well. More for me.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Gluten Free Recipe - GF Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

At my house, breakfast for dinner is kind of a big deal. Do you know the feeling? I could spend hours in the kitchen, making a delicious meal, and when I finally get my family seated and served, the kids just end up wishing that I'd just made them pancakes instead. This is why, at least once a week, I don't even bother with dinner and instead, opt for brinner. Brinner makes life better.

When I'm feeling REALLY fancy, like today when we ate brinner for our one and only Sunday meal I plan to prepare, I'll make gourmet brinner. Gourmet brinner consists of Cinnamon Roll Pancakes.

Good golly, these are tasty.

I got the cinnamon goo and cream cheese syrup recipe from HERE.
And the GF pancake recipe from HERE.
But, as usual, I'll post the recipes here too.

First things first.
Start with your cinnamon goo and syrup before you make your pancakes.

Cinnamon Goo
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) hot butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Mix them all together and pour it into a plastic baggy. You'll snip off the corner and squeeze it into your cooking pancake. Like cake decorating. Or something.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of hot butter
3 oz. softened cream cheese
3/4 cup of powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla.

Wisk them all together and set aside to serve.

Easy peasy.

Now for the pancakes. This is totally my favorite GF pancake recipe to date. They're a tasty treat and they require no special GF flour cocktails. They're my go-to "i don't have anything to make for dinner" quick fix.

Just remember that...
1- buttermilk is a big deal. I've used regular milk and vinegar to substitute, and they just aren't the as big and thick and fluffy.
2- don't forget the baking soda! I did that today. Baking soda es muy importante.

Gluten Free Pancakes
1 1/2 cups asian white rice flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 T sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp, xanthan gum
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
4 T melted butter

You know the drill... wisk together your dry ingredients first. In a separate bowl, wisk together your wet ingredients. Then combine it all together, and let it rest for a couple minutes. The batter'll be good an thick, like so...

I had my iphone handy while I was cooking, so I have to apologize for the photos. Instagram was the best I was going to do today.

Pour the batter onto your hot pan or griddle. Since the batter is pretty thick, I have to spread it out a little when I pour it on. I've found that the batter has plenty butter in it already, so I don't butter my griddle again.

Once they start cookin' up, swirl in your cinnamon...

I should have put more. It's so good!

Then give them a good flip...

Yum. That cinnamon makes a mess. I have to take a paper towel and wipe down my griddle between batches, but it's worth it.

Then serve them on up, smothered in your frosting/syrupy goodness.

And enjoy.
I don't eat GF when my husband isn't around, but it is true that I haven't eaten a really good, homemade cinnamon roll in, probably, the better part of a year. That said, I have to confess that these pancakes totally, completely satisfy the emptiness I feel inside when I crave homemade cinnamon rolls smothered in cream cheese frosting... and can't have them.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Gluten Free Recipe - GF Chocolate Chip Cookies

I've tried so very many recipes for GF Chocolate Chip Cookies. SO many. And I've finally found the one! By Jove, I've got it! I started with THIS recipe, but I modified it. I always have to adjust the flour and xanthan gum content in baking, I think it's got to do with our altitude up here, but everything just seems to need more flour. After I adjusted the ingredients, I got a nice gooey chocolate chip cookie. It is BY FAR the best GF chocolate chip cookie I've had. Here you are....

1 cup softened butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla

Cream in your mixer for a few minutes, then throw in

2 3/4 cups GF flour blend (click for recipe)
1 t baking soda
1 t xanthan gum
1 t salt

after those are mixed in, add your chocolate chips

You want to make sure that your dough isn't too gooey. You don't want it too stiff, but stiff enough to see where your spoon has scooped the dough out of the bowl. Does that make sense? It does, right?

Put the dough straight on your baking sheet and bake at 350 for 7-10 minutes. I took mine out at 8 minutes. Get em' outta there before they look done, that way you'll get your crispy outside and gooey middle.

And make sure you pull them right off of that cookie sheet or they'll start to stick. The time it took to take this picture was a little too long. One of them broke. Sad. I ate it anyway.

I always put them on a paper towel because I feel like it draws the unnecessary grease out of the cookie. It's psychological, I know, but it helps me justify eating so dang many.

Try these. They be good. I generally make a batch of cookie dough and keep it in the fridge so that I only make as many as we are going to eat in one sitting, but I made extra last night and they were even good this morning after sitting in a Tupperware all night.

Thank goodness. I don't know how much longer I could have lived eating only mediocre cookies.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Delicious Food that Happens to be Gluten Free - GF Penne Alfredo

After what seems like a long break, I finally got myself together and made my family a real dinner tonight. Hooray for real dinner! Granted, it was a super duper easy dinner, but whatever. I made it and we were fed.

First off, my mom found me this amazing pasta at the Costco in St. George. It's good. Like, really actually very good. I can't find it anywhere here, which is sad. It seems as though southern Utah is some sort of GF mecca and that you can find all sorts of things down there that you can't up here. It just ain't right. It was around $7 for 6 pounds of pasta (3 bags of fusili and 3 bags of penne) and she bought me, like 5 boxes of it. I will be eating pasta salad this summer!

Thank you much, Sam Mills. The Corn Master, you are.

So tonight, I cooked me up a bag of this shtuff, only the penne kind. It cooks up just like normal pasta. While it was cooking, I grilled up a couple of chicken breasts seasoned with garlic salt and pepper and then I sliced them up all nice.

Yesterday, I bought me some alfredo sauce from my Costco (which does not carry my new favorite pasta) and today, I scooped some into a sauce pan to warm it up. I also generally keep a jar of their ready made pesto in the fridge because my husband's life isn't really complete unless he has pesto available to him at any given moment in time. Who can blame him? I mean, we're talking about pesto!

So anyway, I always add a little pesto my alfredo sauce - because it makes it more better - and when it was warm, I poured it over my GF pasta, tossed in my grilled chicken, grated a little fresh asiago cheese that I was lucky enough to have in my fridge and served it with sauteed broccoli and zucchini.

So fast, so easy, so good, so great for summer.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Delicious Food that Happens to be Gluten Free - Pretty Stinking Good Guacomole

So, I don't like guacamole. This is a true fact. I don't like avocados because there's something about them makes me gag when I try to swallow. I've spent a lot of years of my life pretending that I've got an avocado allergy to escape the inevitable criticism that follows when people see me avoiding the precious fruit.

Then, one day, my sister and brother in law took us to a Jazz game. I know. What's the connection to guacamole? I'm getting there.

See, my brother in law has a fancy job and gets fancy perks like box seats to Jazz games and in that box... there was this guacamole. It was amazing. It was unreal. I gorged myself on guacamole. The chips were merely vessels for guacamole because eating it with a spoon wouldn't have been socially acceptable. My sister had prepared me for it, so, in the event that I would want to recreate it later, I took note of the ingredients before they mixed it all together. I'm glad I did that. That was smart. I'm glad when I do smart things.

This is what I used....

2 avocados, peeled and quartered
1 diced tomato
1/2 onion diced
Juice of one lime
handful of chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp sugar

Here's the trick to this shtuff. DON'T pulverize your avocado. throw everything together on a large plate of platter or something else that happens to be wide and flat and with a couple of forks, just chop and stir it together. It makes such a yummy, chunky dip. I may have eaten it for dinner on Monday. And I think maybe I'll make it for dinner again tonight. My eyes have been opened and I hope that all my past avocado avoiding sins will be forgiven.