Tag Archives: Gluten Free

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!

Kickin’ Cashew Chicken

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I have been looking for some new recipes to try. We have been in quite a rut food-wise and I was hoping for some new flavor profiles to enter our doors.

Then I saw this recipe on Foodgawker. It looked relatively healthy, simple, and naturally gluten free so I decided to give it a shot. It was definitely a winner in our house! Even the kids loved it.I love the flavors and the added crunch of cashews thrown on each portion at the end. Delicious!

It is not really very spicy, though the name seems to imply that. I actually added a few dashes of red pepper at the end because we love spicy around here.

I am pretty sure you will love this!

KICKIN’ CASHEW CHICKEN (Naturally Gluten Free)

*recipe courtesy of “Pinch of Yum”

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (I used 3 TBSP because I wanted a stronger tomato flavor and color)
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon plain yogurt (I used nonfat Greek)
  • 2 tablespoons oil (I used Olive Oil)
  • 1 lb. cubed raw chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1 1/4 cup water
Instructions
  1. Peel and quarter the onions. In a food processor, process the onion pieces for about 1 minute or until a smooth puree forms. Add the next 8 ingredients (through oil) to the onion mixture and process for another 1-2 minutes.
  2. In a heavy pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Pour the spice mixture from the food processor into the pan and fry for 2 minutes. The lightly cooked spices will start to give off a nice aroma.
  3. Add the cubed chicken breast, half of the cilantro, and the golden raisins. Stir-fry for another 1 minute.
  4. Add the water and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Serve over rice and garnish with remaining cilantro or cashew pieces.
Notes from “Pinch of Yum”:

I like the sauce to have some texture so I don’t process it all the way (check out the texture in the pictures).

I love cilantro and spices, and these amounts reflect my preferences. If you’re hesitant, reduce the amounts. (And actually, the sauce is not all that spicy. There are lots of flavorful spices, but it’s not firey-hot-get-me-a-glass-of-water spicy.)

For a more veggie friendly dish, add broccoli, peppers, potatoes, or peas!

 

ENJOY!

 

 

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!

Sweet Pork Tacos with Cilantro Lime Slaw (Gluten Free)

Doesn’t that sound yummy!?? Oh it is. This combination of sweet pork and crunchy cilantro lime slaw is killer.

I found the recipe through Our Best Bites. They were doing a series on another crafty blog called Make it and Love it.  As soon as I saw the recipe, I put all the ingredients on my shopping list. I love that I can make the meat in the crock pot, do the slaw earlier in the day and then let the flavors marry, and assemble simple tacos when the dinner time craziness begins. The kids and husband loved these!

So, head on over to Make it and Love it HERE and make this for dinner sometime soon. In order to ensure it is gluten free, just make sure your Enchilada sauce is GF and use corn tortillas. I also added some halved cherry tomatoes to our tacos.  So good.

And if you are crafty, have a look around that blog. I’m amazed at what that lady does with fabric and craft supplies! I am not gifted like that. If you are, have a blast and make some of her fun things.

Enjoy your dinner!