Tag Archives: dessert

Fudgy Gluten Free Brownies

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I have tried many many gluten free brownie recipes.  I have tried multiple combinations of flours, using beans as a base (as in the beloved Black Bean Chocolate Cake recipe), no flour at all, etc . . . And none of them have been to my liking. Until now. While browsing foodgawker, I stumbled upon a flourless brownie recipe that uses a combination of corn starch and cocoa powder in place of the flour. I have been using corn starch in other recipes as a wheat flour replacement so that sounded genious to me.  But I still didn’t anticipate results this good. They are shockingly like gluten-filled brownies. The texture is fudgy and dense, which, in my opinion, is how a brownie should be! They have that nice crackly top and they don’t completely fall apart when cut. Woo hoo!

You really should make these for your family. Let the kids help. . . cause what is more fun that making brownies??? 

I put a combination of walnuts and pecans in ours.  But you can certainly add any filler you like.  I think dried cranberries or flaked coconut or even some chocolate chips or M&M’s would be great stirred into the batter. Or, of course, you can just leave them plain.

The recipe from The Comfort of Cooking says to use parchment paper in the pan.  Instead, I just buttered my pan and then dusted it with cocoa powder.  I did not have any trouble getting them out of the pan. Also, the original recipe says to us an 8×8 square pan. I couldn’t find mine since we are in the middle of moving so I used a 8×11 rectangular pan and I’m so glad I did. It made thick brownies and I still got 12 large brownies out of it.

Fudgy Gluten Free Brownies

*recipe from The Comfort of Cooking

Ingredients

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for the pan

1/3 cup cornstarch, spooned and leveled

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa)

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon table salt

12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate chips)

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 large eggs

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (or any other filler you like)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter an 8-inch square baking pan and line with parchment paper, leaving a bit of overhang on two sides (Buttering underneath the parchment will help it lay flat on the baking pan).

I buttered and dusted my pan with cocoa  and did not use parchment. They came out fine. I also used a 8×11 rectangular pan and still had 12 very thick, good sized brownies.

In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch, cocoa, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

In a large microwaveable bowl, microwave butter and chocolate in 20-second increments, stirring between, until melted and smooth, about 2 minutes. Stir in sugar and vanilla. Stir in eggs one at a time, until combined. Add cornstarch mixture and stir vigorously until mixture is smooth and begins to pull away from side of bowl, about 2 minutes. Stir in pecans.

Pour batter into pan and smooth top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 35 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack or trivet. Using paper overhang, lift brownies out of pan and cut into 16 squares.

NOTE:  If you want to cut brownies with clean lines and not have them falling apart, USE A PLASTIC KNIFE. (First let them cool completely) I know that sounds crazy, but the brownies stick to metal knives.  The plastic knife slides through them easily with minimal sticking and minimal destruction. 🙂

Store in an airtight container, up to 3 days

Enjoy!

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!!

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. 🙂

Pecan Pie Bars (Gluten Free or Regular): Week 5 of 10 Weeks of Cookies

In looking for a new cookie recipe to try, I came across these pecan pie bars. And since Thanksgiving is just a few days away, it seemed a fitting thing to attempt. I have always loved pecan pie, but of course, haven’t eaten any in years since going gluten free.

These are so fun because you can just pick them up as opposed to needing a fork like you do with traditional pecan pie. I altered the original recipe a bit, by subbing brown rice flour for the all purpose flour and by adding extra pecans. I hate when I see a pecan pie that is skimpy on the pecans.  So sad!

Anyway, I hope you give these a try. They were super easy to make. And everyone who tried them thought they were fabulous. Perhaps these would be a welcome addition to your Thanksgiving spread? Let me know if you try them and how they turn out.

Pecan Pie Bars (Gluten Free or Regular)

Ingredients:

Crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour (Or white or brown rice flour for Gluten Free)
1/3 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup butter (10 2/3 TBSP)

Filling:
3 eggs
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups chopped pecans (the original recipe called for 1 2/3 cups pecans but I always like extra so I increased them)

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9X13 baking dish with heavy foil and spray with cooking spray.

2.In a large bowl, stir together the flour, 1/3 cup sugar, and salt. Cut in 2/3 cup butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. You can use a pastry blender or just two knives. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the prepared pan, and press in firmly.

3.Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven.

4.While the crust is baking, prepare the filling. In a large bowl mix together the eggs, corn syrup, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons butter, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the chopped pecans. Spread the filling evenly over the crust as soon as it comes out of the oven.

5.Bake for 25-30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until set. I usually like things on the rare side and a little gooey but these you want cooked all the way through so make sure the middle is set. If the top starts getting to browned cover with aluminum foil.

6.Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing into bars with a sharp knife.

Enjoy!

Big Ole M&M Cookies: Week 4 in 10 Weeks of Cookies

This post is in honor of my sweet little girl Mercy. She really wanted to make some cookies with me the other day and specifically requested some kind of M&M cookie. We searched for recipes and ended up adapting several and kind of coming up with our own. They turned out great, with a crackly exterior and soft chewy interior. And of course, she was super happy that they were studded with M&M’s. I actually only made 1/2 of them with the candies (I ran out of them!!!) , and the other half, I loaded with chopped walnuts for the adults.  Both combinations were delicious.  I used Pamela’s Gluten Free Baking Mix for these but I am sure you could use any GF baking mix that you like. And, as the name implies, they are big. My kids squealed when I handed them these extra large cookies with brightly colored M&M’s everywhere. Mission accomplished! 🙂

Big Ole M&M Cookies (Gluten Free or Regular)

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour (I used Pamela’s Gluten Free Baking Mix)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces semisweet or milk chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used Hershey’s dark chocolate chips)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup M&M’s
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Directions

 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a medium microwave-safe bowl, place the chopped chocolate and the butter. Microwave for one minute.  Stir. Microwave again for one minute and stir well. If the chocolate is not fully melted, continue microwaving in 30 second intervals  until the chocolate and butter are well combined (don’t overheat the chocolate or it can seize and turn hard and unusable). Let the mixture cool slightly, about 2-3 minutes until it is warm or room temperature.  In a large bowl  combine the chocolate mixture, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Mix on medium speed until combined.

Gradually mix in flour mixture.

Stir in M&M’s.  I also like to reserve a handful to put on top of the cookies so that I can guarantee there are M&M’s showing all over the top of each one.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Drop dough onto baking sheets by tablespoonfuls spacing them about 1 1/2 inches apart.  Bake the cookies until they have slightly flattened and there are a few cracks on the surface, about 10-14 minutes. They will fall slightly when you take them out of the oven, which gives them a great fudgy texture on the inside.

The cookies will still be soft. Let the cookies sit for 2-3 minutes on the baking sheet before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.

It is absolutely essential that you enjoy these with some milk! 🙂 Enjoy!


Oat-less Granola Bars (Gluten Free)

I have a new GF friend who recently told me she cannot tolerate oats.  I know this is not uncommon.  She told me one thing she really really missed has been granola bars. Of course, she could buy GF oats, but they are so so expensive. So, i set out on a search for something that would be a good substitute. Thanks to “The Cinnamon Quill” I didn’t have to search long. She has just recently posted about granola bars without oats. I tried her recipe and it was a hit. I gave them to my friend who loved them! yay! I love when that happens. So if you miss granola bars, and can’t afford to spend $100 per bag of GF oats (OK OK! i know it’s not that much but it is a lot. 🙂  )  then give these a shot.

Oh yeah, these taste A LOT like the thick chewy granola bar recipe that i have already posted on here.  So if you have tried those, you will like these too.

And, again forgive my camera phone picture. 😦

Oat-less Granola Bars (Gluten Free)

*recipe from  The Cinnamon Quill

1 cup cereal, such as cornflakes or ‘Chex’
1 1/2 cups mixed dried fruit and nuts in any combination
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
2 Tablespoons flaxmeal (ground flaxseed)
1/2 cup honey, maple syrup, or brown rice syrup
2 Tablespoons almond butter (or other butter)
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
1/4 cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (optional)

*Parchment paper

Preheat oven to 350F.

1/4 cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (optional) I left these out.

Line a 9×13 inch pan with parchment paper.  In a food processor, combine all ingredients, until desired consistency has been reached. If you’d like larger pieces in your bars, pulse mixture a few times, then finish combining with a spatula.

Wet hands, then press mixture into prepared pan. The mixture will only cover about two-thirds of the pan. See a picture of this here.

Return pan to oven for 10-12 minutes more, or until they are starting to get more uniformly golden. This could take longer, depending what ingredients you used.

Bake 10-12 minutes, until mixture starts looking a bit golden. Remove from oven, then, using a very sharp knife, gently cut bars into desired size. This is more like just ’scoring’. I usually cut into about eight bars.

I did not score these like “Cinnamon Quill” did. I just left them in there until they were slightly browned (about 25-28 min), took them out, and then cut them once they had cooled for several hours. Worked fine.

Remove from oven, reinforcing any of the scoring, as needed.

Cool completely before removing; slice around each bar as you lift it from the pan.

Wrap each bar in plastic wrap/parchment/wax paper, then store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Yields about 8 bars.

Blueberry Crumb Bars (Gluten Free)

DISCLAIMER:  I know this picture is bad. . . very bad in fact. But it is the best i could do since my camera died. 😦  The alternative was to withhold this delicious recipe from you until I could obtain a camera, and that seemed very sad to me. So, I used my phone and did the best I could.

Now, on to more important things.  It’s time to use up those summer berries you have. Blueberries in particular are in season so grab some and make this soon. It is delicious.

I needed to make something for a men’s Bible study that was being held at our house tonight and thought these sounded good to try. I found the original recipe on “Smitten Kitchen“.  If you don’t need these Gluten Free then just jump on over to her page for her recipe.  You’ll be glad you did. She has fabulous pictures too!

I actually made these into “Mixed Berry Crumb Bars”  because I had 2 cups of blueberries (rather than 4 cups like the recipe requires) and a bunch of fresh strawberries. So, I just used both. I think you could make these with raspberries or blackberries also and have great, flavorful results.

Oh, and these are SUPER easy. I promise. 🙂

So, here we go.

Blueberry Crumb Bars

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder

1 tsp xanthan gum

3 cups GF flour (I used 1  1/2 cups finely ground white rice flour and 1 1/2 cups tapioca flour)

1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces)
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest and juice of one lemon
4 cups fresh blueberries (or berries of your choice)
1/2 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper.  I find that this is SOOOOO helpful in being able to easily remove the bars.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups GF flour, xanthan gum and baking powder. Mix in salt and lemon zest. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.

3. In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Gently mix in the blueberries. Sprinkle the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 45 -55 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares.  I actually let mine cool for about 30 min and then put them in the fridge for an hour. They were very easy to cut into nice even bars.

Enjoy! 🙂