Category Archives: Desserts

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

I have fallen off the food blogging bandwagon a bit. My apologies. It is not because I haven’t been cooking or haven’t had any yummy recipes to share. I actually have a list of things I want to post here. But life got busy and we had our 4th baby 8 weeks ago.  .  . another little GIRL! We are thrilled with the new addition to our family. Mary is a joy already and her sister and brothers are completely delighted with her. Here is a picture of her for those of you who care about such things.

One might ask how many pound cake recipes is allowable on a single food blog? I’m figuring you can’t have too many yummy pound cake recipes. 🙂  So, when I saw this pound cake featured on Foodgawker, I was eager to try my hand at making it gluten free. And it has been a successful recipe over and over again now. I first made it for our monthly church potluck and it was quickly devoured by everyone, no one guessing it didn’t contain any gluten.  And might I add what a pretty cake it is when it is covered with a white glaze and topped with fresh cut strawberries? Its a real beauty.

Don’t be scared by the long baking time listed on the recipe. It makes for a really moist cake with a wonderful classic pound cake crust on the outside. Of course, keep an eye on it, checking periodically. Everyone’s oven is different. If yours starts to get too dark on top, just cover it loosely with some foil.

Hope you enjoy it as much as we have!

Cream Cheese Pound Cake (Original recipe from HERE)

Makes 12 servings
Ingredients
1 ½ cups butter, softened
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
2 cups white rice flour

2/3 cup tapioca flour

1/3 cup corn starch

1 tsp xanthan gum
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions
Preheat oven to 300°F.

Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

Combine flour and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended.  Stir in vanilla.  Spoon batter into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan.

Bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour and 45 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes; remove from pan, and let cook completely on wire rack.

Cover with glaze from the original recipe Here and top with fresh strawberries.

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Pumpkin Spice Muffins (gluten free or regular)

With cooler weather hitting recently, the official beginning of fall, and my stomach returning to normal, I couldn’t wait to get some canned pumpkin and bake these pumpkin muffins. My whole family loves them and no one ever guesses they are gluten free.  Of course, they are easy to make regular. All you do is omit the gluten free flours and xanthan gum and sub all purpose. The spice combinations are spot on.  I actually doubled the amount of cinnamon that the original recipe calls for, as well as doubled the nutmeg and cloves.

My kids gobble these up so fast! I’m always shocked when we run out so quickly. I also love that they are not overly sweet. Don’t get my wrong. They are sweet as any muffin should be, but not so sweet that they should be called a cupcake. The original recipe calls for raisins or currants, but I never include those. Occasionally, though, I will throw in a few handfulls of chopped pecans, which adds great texture and a bit of protein.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

original recipe from here:

  • 3  cups Jeanine’s GF flour blend (from the art of gluten free baking. com).  I have also used 3 cups of Pamela’s GF baking mix with equally great results. If you use Pamela’s, omit the baking powder and soda.

To make this flour blend, combine 1 1/4 cups white  rice flour, 1 1/4 cups brown rice flour, 1 cup tapioca flour, 1 cup sweet rice flour, and a little less than 2 tsp xanthan gum.  I mix mine in a zip lock bag and then store it in that bag for future use.

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup dried currants or raisins (optional)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • Cinnamon/Sugar mixture for sprinkling over the top of each muffin before baking

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine flour and next 7 ingredients (through nutmeg) in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Combine canola oil, eggs, and pumpkin in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk until smooth. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Fold in currants and/or pecans if desired.

Spoon into prepared muffins tins. You can either use muffin paper liners or just spray with non stick spray. Sprinkle cinnamon/sugar over the top of each muffin.

Bake for approximately 12-15 min until tops are puffed up, lightly browned, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.

Enjoy!

Makes about 2 dozen muffins.

Pie Crust and Quiche

Pie crust? Really? Gluten Free? Yep. I first made it back in the summer, following instructions from “The Art of Gluten free Baking”.  She has so many fabulous recipes over there so go have a look around. I am using her flour blend more and more and try to always keep it on hand.

It is:

1 1/4 cups brown rice flour

1 1/4 cups white rice flour

1 cup tapioca flour

1 cup sweet rice flour

scant 2 tsp xanthan gum

Anyway, I first made crostatas with fresh blackberries and peaches (and unfortunately didn’t get a picture because we ate them so fast!). They were fantastic. The crust was indeed, as Jeanne claims, flakey and delicate. I was very surprised.

I didn’t have anything prepared for dinner last night and dinner time was quickly approaching. A quick preview of the fridge led me to decide upon quiche with the new gluten free crust recipe. The beauty of the crust recipe is that it makes enough for 2 9inch pies/quiches so I now have an extra in the fridge just chillin’ waiting on me to figure out what I want to make next.

When I was in Peru this summer with my brother and sis in law (who is also celiac) I made several batches of this pie dough and froze it in discs for her to pull out when needed. It thaws great and you still get delicious results.

So, here is the crust recipes from Jeanne at Art of Gluten Free Baking: (my notes in italics)

2 1/3 C (350g) Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix
1 TBL granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 C (8oz; 230g; 2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces (you can also use lard)
1 TBL vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar)
5-7 TBL cold water
extra tapioca flour for rolling out

Method:

Place flour, sugar, and salt into a large bowl. Mix together with a spoon until combined.  Add butter pieces to the dry ingredients mixture. With fingers, start rubbing together the butter and the dry ingredients. This will take some time. Do this until the resulting mixture looks like wet sand mixed with pebbles.  I like to do this by hand to get a feel for the dough.  You may also do this initial mixing with a food processor if you’d like.

Add the vinegar and rub into the mixture.  Add water a TBL at a time, rubbing into the mixture. You want to add enough to create a dough that holds together well, but isn’t wet. I pretty consistently use about 6 TBSP of the water, but just go slowly and get the feel for your dough.

Prepare your rolling surface. I like to roll mine out on a large cutting board b/c it makes for an easy transfer to the pie plate later.   Sprinkle tapioca flour over your rolling surface. Also sprinkle flour over your rolling pin.  When the disks are chilled, remove the first disk of dough from the fridge and place on your prepared rolling surface and sprinkle top of dough with tapioca flour.  The key to successfully rolling out gluten-free pie dough is to go slow. When I say slow, I mean SLOW. And with a light touch. If your dough starts cracking, slow down and don’t press so hard with your rolling pin.  With your rolling pin, carefully and patiently roll out the dough into a 12″ circle (it should be at least 3″ larger than the top of your pie pan). If the dough sticks to the rolling pin, add more tapioca flour.

NOTE: the dough should be cool but not too cold. It should roll fairly easily and should not break while you’re rolling it. If it does break a bit, don’t worry–breaks are easily fixed by smoothing the dough over the breaks.  If it seems too cold and you’re really having to work hard to roll it and it’s breaking a lot, step back and let it warm up a little bit before you continue. Alternately, if the dough is floppy and seems to be “sweating,” it is too warm and should be refrigerated for awhile longer.

If you have rolled your dough onto a surface like a cutting board like me you can now easily get it into the pie plate. Turn your pie plate upside down onto the center of your now rolled out circle. carefully invert your cutting board and pie plate.  Remove the cutting board and gently ease the dough into the plate so that it is all along the bottom and up the sides.  Trim any excess off.

If that doesn’t make sense you can very easily follow Jeanne’s instructions on her site. She offers great step by step pictures.

Fill it however you’d like. You can go savory like a quiche or sweet is always good too. I have made apple pie, individual crostatas, and now quiche. All yummy! This time I made the whole dough recipe in my food processor which was super easy and I thought just as good.

For my quiche recipe I just used what I had on hand.

Ham and Spinach Quiche:

6 large eggs

1 cup shredded sharp cheese

1 cup milk (I used 2%)

1 cup chopped fresh spinach

1 cup chopped ham

2 TSP spicy brown mustard

1 tsp hot sauce

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

Combine all ingredients and pour into prepared pie crust.

Bake at 375 for approximately 40-50 minutes, until browned on top and a knife inserted comes out clean. If it starts to get too brown on top cover with foil until finished cooking.

Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies

Well, I haven’t been posting much in the last few months.  And there actually is a good excuse.  I am pregnant with our 4th child  and these first 15 weeks have been quite difficult. I have hardly been able to eat, much less cook and blog about new recipes. Even the thought of cooking made me queasy.  So, in the last week, it has been exciting to feel some legitimate hunger pangs and start to long for good food again. And with the ushering in of fall’s cooler weather, my desire to cook and bake has come strong… as in I have made 4 batches of pumpkin muffins, huge pots of hot soup, lasagna, shortbread cookies, and a lemon pound cake all in a matter of days. HA! Don’t worry, I didn’t eat all that. 🙂

I came across a similar shortbread recipe a while back and remember them being very good.  I saw these posted on foodgawker today  and I decided to give them a try.  The results are perfectly pleasing. I love how simple these are to make.  Now, I do realize the last recipe I posted was also for a shortbread cookie. These are similar in flavor and texture, but this recipe held it’s shape a little better.  Both are great though. 

The recipe came from glutenfreebaking.com .  It calls for vanilla extract but I used almond extract because that sounded delicious to me. I think they would also be great with a hint of lemon and maybe some fresh lemon zest. Lots of possibilities.

The recipe on that site gives several things/tips that are important to know when making these.

1. Don’t overmix. Shortbread cookies are dense affairs. Over-mixing the butter causes their texture to become too light and crumbly. When preparing the dough, don’t cream the butter and sugar so much that it becomes light and fluffy.

2. Take your time. Since these cookies contain no eggs, there’s no moisture to coax the ingredients quickly into a dough. Once the dry ingredients are added to the butter and sugar paste, it takes a little while for a dough to form. At first the dough seems incredibly sandy–you might even worry that it’s not coming together—don’t fret like I did the first time I made a batch! The dough does come together after two or three minutes of mixing. Don’t rush it and don’t give up. The wait’s worth it.

3. Re-rolling is welcome. With no gluten to make things tough, you can roll and re-roll this dough until every last piece is used. Since these cookies are so rich, I make about two dozen 2 1/2-inch cookies from one batch, gathering and re-rolling the dough as needed to get this many cookies.

Ok, so here is the recipe.

Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies

*from Glutenfreebaking.com

1 1/3 cups white rice flour

1/2 cup sweet rice flour

1/2 cup cornstarch

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp xanthan gum (prevents cookies from spreading)

14 TBSP butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract (or other flavoring of your choice.  I used almond)

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a small bowl, whisk together flours and cornstarch, salt, baking powder, and xanthan gum. In stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment , cream the butter and sugar together, just until it forms a thick paste, about 30 seconds.  Remember, don’t beat it for long.  Add the dry ingredients. Turn mixer on an mix for about 3 minutes. I had to periodically stop the mixer and scrape down the sides. Mix until a dough forms.

2. Lightly flour your countertop with white rice flour. Turn the dough out onto the counter and shape into a disk. Roll the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut using round cookie cutter. I used a 2 inch round cutter. Place on prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart and chill in fridge for at least 10 min. This will also help them retain their shape and not spread too thin.

3. Bake until the cookies are lightly golden brown and fragrant. Surprisingly (to me), this took about 25-30 min. Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for about 10 min before removing them. I speak from experience that they will break apart if you don’t wait. Trust me, they are worth waiting for. 🙂

4. Enjoy!!

And if you are really wanting a decadent treat, after they have cooled, dip them in chocolate! I just melted some dark chocolate chips, dipped some of the cookies halfway into it, and put them on parchment paper to let the chocolate set.  Seriously, it’s delicious.

Stay tuned for a wonderful pumpkin muffin recipe!!

Shortbread (Sand dollars) Gluten Free

School is out for Isaiah. He graduated from kindergarten this week and so we are in full summer celebration mode. We have been talking about things related to summer, places we’d like to go, pools we’d like to hit up, and, of course, the beach.  We talked a lot about the elaborate sand castles we plan to build and so, today, in that vein of thinking, I made sand dollar shortbread cookies. I have been wanting to try “Art of Gluten Free Baking’s” shortbread cookie recipe for a while.  Then, I came across a picture of sugar cookies that looked like sand dollars by applying a sprinkling of cinnamon/sugar and pressing slivers of almonds into each cookie. I decided to give it a go! They turned out very delicate and buttery, with a bit of a snickerdoodle taste to them because of the cinnamon/sugar on top.  You can most definitely use these shortbread cookies for lots of things. They obviously make great jam filled cookies (as you can see in the original post on “Art of Gluten Free Baking”). You could drizzle them or dip them with dark chocolate or even use them to make a cream filled sandwich cookie.

The dough is super easy to whip up and uses Jeanne’s flour mix which I now keep on hand when I want to make her dinner rolls. My kids had a great time helping me roll out the dough and press the cookie cutters in to make the rounds. Mercy loved helping me sprinkle the cinnamon sugar and Isaiah was very careful in placing the almond slivers at just the right spots. All in all these were fun to make and equally fun to eat. 🙂

Hope you enjoy!

Gluten Free Shortbread (Sand dollars)

Shortbread recipe from “Art of Gluten Free Baking-adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

Note: This recipe uses my gluten-free flour mix:
Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix (mix together and store in fridge):
1 1/4 C. brown rice flour
1 1/4 C. white rice flour
1 C. tapioca flour
1 C. sweet rice flour (also known as Mochiko)
2 scant tsp. xanthan gum

(you can also use the gluten-free flour mixture of your choice–just be sure it contains xanthan gum. Or, you can add 1/4-1/2 tsp. xanthan gum per cup of gluten-free flour. If you use bean flour, it will add a bean taste to the cookies)

Ingredients
3 1/2 C Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 lb (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 C granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (I used almond extract to compliment the almond slivers I was planning to put on top)
extra tapioca flour for dusting

1 egg white mixed with 1 TBSP water (used for brushing on the cookies before baking)

4 TBSP sugar mixed with 1 TSP cinnamon

slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-in a medium bowl, combine flour and salt, set aside
-in the bowl of a mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until it is light and fluffy
-add the sugar, continue to beat
-add the vanilla extract
-add the flour and salt mixture to the butter mixture, beat until just combined
-remove bowl from mixer and do the final mixing of the dough with your hands
-divide into two lumps
-shape each lump into a flat disk and wrap each disk in plastic wrap
-put into refrigerator to chill (for about 15-20 minutes)

When you’re ready to make the cookies, take out your first disk from the refrigerator and set onto counter to warm up a bit
-when dough is soft enough to roll out, place dough onto a Silpat mat (or between two sheets of plastic wrap)and roll the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness.

Cut out rounds and place on parchment lined cookie sheets.  Brush each cookie round with a bit of the egg wash.  Sprinkle a small amount of cinnamon sugar over each cookie. Place 5 almond slivers on each cookie so that it looks like a sand dollar.

Bake in over for about 5 min.  Take out and gently press the almonds down into each cookie. Return to oven for another 6-8 min.  Take them out when the edges start to appear slightly brown.

Let cool on the pan for 10 minutes before removing. These are delicate cookies so if you remove them much sooner you will end up with broken cookies.

Hope you enjoy these and that they get you thinking about your fun summer adventure plans. 🙂

A Happy 4th Birthday and Rich, Dark Chocolate Cake (Gluten free or Regular)

I found a recipe online for a rich, dark chocolate cake and decided to make it for my daughter, Mercy’s, 4th birthday party. She wanted a chocolate cake with pink ruffled frosting and I wanted it to be perfect. I browsed tons of cake recipes and settled on this one from Sweetapolita. It was all I had hoped it would be and the guests at the party loved it. I have now made it gluten free and regular and you cannot tell the difference.  It is delightfully moist and holds up great to layering. I have also made it into cupcakes and they turned out great too. I just lessened the baking time a bit.

I am going to give you the gluten free version. You can go to Sweetapolita and get the regular version. For my frosting I made a cream cheese buttercream because I don’t like doing meringue frostings. I’m just not good at them yet and end up quite frustrated when they don’t whip up correctly.

You really should try this cake next time you need a good chocolate fix.  Would love to hear back from you if you do! 🙂

Rich and Dark Chocolate Cake (Gluten Free)

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup rice flour (I have used brown and white and gotten the same results with no discernible differences)

1/2 cup Potato starch

1/4 cup tapioca flour

2 cups granulated sugar

3/4 cup Hershey’s Special DARK Cocoa

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup strong black coffee (can be hot)

1 cup buttermilk, room temperature (I used 1 cup of milk mixed with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract ( I actually omitted this b/c I didn’t have any)

Directions: (from Sweetapolita with my notes in itallics)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare 2 x 9″ (or 3 x 8″ for slightly shorter layers) cake pans with butter and flour or parchment paper. (I buttered my pans and dusted them with cocoa powder. They came out beautifully). In bowl of electric mixer, sift all dry ingredients. Add all remaning ingredients to bowl with the dry ingredients and with paddle attachment on mixer, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed (you may need the plastic splashguard that comes with mixer) and pour into prepared pans. Batter will be liquidy. (I seriously couldn’t believe how liquidy this batter was, both regular and gluten free.  I was pretty freaked out that  there was no way this cake would bake up correctly. I was pleasantly surprised!)

Bake for 20 minutes and rotate pans in oven. Cakes are done when toothpick or skewer comes clean–approximately 35 minutes. Try not to overbake. Cool on wire racks for 20 minutes then gently invert onto racks until completely cool.

*If doing the ruffly cake, you will likely want to increase the cake recipe to add a third 9″ layer.

*This cake is sturdy enough to be used under fondant, stacked, etc. but also moist and tasty enough too go on its own with almost any type of frosting, glaze, etc.

Wanna see the inside of that girly ruffle cake? I thought you might. 🙂

And just for fun, here are a few more pics of the birthday party. I sure do love my little girl! I can’t believe she is 4!!!

Thanks to my friend, Sarah Mcclendon, for the great pictures!

Funnel Cakes (Gluten Free)

Do you feel a tiny bit sorry for yourself in the fall when you are at fall festivals and the air is full of the scent of fried dough?  You see the funnel cake line stretched long with people excited to pay $5 for a small plate of funnel cake bliss.  If you are like me, you wish you could have just a bite. Of course, you know that one bite would not be worth the price paid in stomach pain and misery later. But still… You remember the old days before you were diagnosed as gluten intolerant when you could partake in that classic fall festival yumminess.

Well, I know it is not fall but the idea to make these was very random. I was sifting through some of my favorite online blogs and landed for a bit on The Pioneer Woman. Such a fun blog to read. Her recipes are wonderful and her humor always gets me laughing. She had a post about funnel cakes. As I was reading she commented that funnel cake batter is really sweetened, thin pancake batter that is fried. Hmmmm… I can make gluten free pancake batter. Could I fry it and have a funnel cake?? You see where this is going.

I did some funnel cake research online. It seems that most recipes are basically pancake batter and a lot of people recommended adding an extra egg white.  I don’t really know why, but I decided to go with it. For simplicity and to easily see if I was onto something, I whipped up a batch of pancake batter using Pamelas Pancake and Baking Mix. I followed the directions but added the extra egg white, 2 TBSP sugar, and a 1/2 tsp of cinnamon because that sounded yummy to me. I also added an extra tsp of baking powder for a boost of leavening. *I found after a few test runs, that it worked better to add two extra TBSP of pamelas mix in order to have a little thicker batter.

I heated the oil, put all my pancake batter into a ziploc bag, snipped the corner, and did my best to drizzle the batter into the oil in a funnel cake shape.  I don’t have to tell you what happened because you already saw the picture. Yep, deliciousness. My kids gobbled up the first and second one I made before I even got to taste it. But when the third one came out and it had cooled beyond scorching my mouth, you better believe I had my taste. Seriously, good. Really good. I was immediately taken back to those long lines at the festival.

I know frying stuff is messy. But these really are easy. You should whip some up soon.  Have fun playing with shapes and toppings. I was thinking I could have tried funnel cake hearts or mickey mouse heads for my kids. They would have loved that.  Might be harder than I think though and they were more than happy with the regular round funnel cake.

I dusted ours with powdered sugar because that is how I have always had them. But in reading online, lots of people dust with cinnamon/sugar, drizzle chocolate sauce on them, or top with strawberry sauce and whipped cream. I don’t think you can go wrong.  I just love them the old fashioned way.

You could probably use any pancake recipe that you have and like. Like I said, I used a mix and it worked great and therefore that is what I’ll use for this “Recipe”.

Funnel Cakes (Gluten Free).

*Makes 5-7 funnel cakes, depending on how big you make yours

Ingredients:

1 Cup + 2 TBSP Pamelas Baking and Pancake Mix

3/4 cup water

1 TBSP oil

1 large egg + 1 egg white

2 TBSP granulated sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

Make pancake batter by combining all ingredients and mixing well.

Heat about 1 1/2 inches of oil in a heavy pan until it reaches about 370 degrees. Pour your batter into a piping bag with a wide tip or you can improvise like I did and put it in a large ziploc bag and snip the corner off. Pipe the batter into oil, making a free-form lattice pattern; cook until browned, flipping once.  Mine needed about 1 1/2 minutes per side, but keep an eye on them because they can brown quickly.

If you see they are getting too brown too quickly, lower your oil temp a bit. Remove your funnel cake from oil and place on a plate lined with paper towels.  Wait about two or three minutes for it to drain off some of the excess oil and then top with powdered sugar.

Continue until all of the batter is used.

Enjoy!! And please let me hear your feedback if you try them. 🙂