What Life Dishes Out A Gluten Free and (almost) Vegetarian Cooking Blog

November 1, 2010

Snickers Bar Trifle – The Perfect Halloween Birthday “Cake”

My husband loves Snickers Bars.  You probably won’t believe me when I tell you that his breakfast each morning is usually a half a Snickers and a Banana.  Really.

So, for this birthday (which falls on Halloween – and for those who know him well, this explains a lot!),  I decided to incorporate his favorite candy into the dessert which would bear the 40-something candles he’ll be blowing out.

Just because this is sort of  Halloween themed with the candy ‘n all, doesn’t mean that you can’t make this for any Birthday or other special occasion.  Trifles are incredibly easy to do – yet they look spectacularly fancy – and can be varied to include your favorite candies, fruits, or other flavors. 

Late this summer, when my garden Raspberries were abundant, I made a Gluten Free Rasberry Chocolate Trifle for a Labor Day picnic we attended.   The base was GF Brownies, soaked in Raspberry Sauce, layered with Chocolate Pudding and Whipped Cream, then topped with fresh garden Raspberries.   It disappearred in a flash and nobody, but nobody, ever realized it was gluten-free.

The first Trifle I ever tasted years ago was one consisting of chocolate cake soaked in Kahlua, layered with pudding, whipped cream and crunchy heath bar pieces.  I thought I must have died and gone to Heaven.

Instead of cake, this trifle starts with my favorite Gluten Free Brownies.  I like the texture that the Brownie chunks provide, contrary to the mushier mouth feel that you get with the crumbled chocolate cake which is typically used.

What you’ll need:

Prepared Brownies (I used about 3/4 of an 8 x 8 inch pan)

Instant Chocolate Pudding  (2 boxes or enough to make 4 cups)

4 cups Milk

1 Pint Heavy Whipping Cream

2 Tbsp Sugar

1 tsp Vanilla

3 Snickers Bars

Caramel Sauce

What to do:

Cut Brownies into about 1 inch cubes, and set aside.

Prepare your Pudding.  

I used Trader Joe’s Instant Chocolate Pudding. 

Isn’t that a cool retro box?  Plus, it’s Gluten Free!  And super easy to make.

You need 4 cups of cold Milk.

Pour Milk into a large bowl.

Add the pudding mix.

Stir with a wire whisk.

At first, it won’t look very appetizing, but it will get better.  Just keep stirring and scraping the sides of the bowl with your whisk for two minutes.

Then set aside to thicken.

After five minutes, whisk briskly to smooth out the pudding.

If you aren’t assembling your Trifle right away, cover the bowl and place in refrigerator.

Now, place the unwrapped Snickers bars onto a cutting board.

Chop into small pieces.

Make your Whipped Cream.

Pour Cream into a medium bowl.

Add Sugar…

…and Vanilla.

Beat, using an electric mixer on high speed.  This is one of the rare jobs that I shun my big KitchenAid Stand Mixer for in favor of my small hand mixer. 

Beat until soft peaks form.  You don’t want to overmix, or you’ll end up with Butter instead of Whipped Cream, and believe me – that can happen really fast! 

Soft, fluffy, even pillowy would be words to describe the texture you are going for.  Perfection!

Now that you have everything prepared: Brownies, Pudding, Snickers and Whipped Cream – it’s time to assemble.

But wait! 

I forgot the Caramel Sauce! 

Depending on the sauce you are using, you might need to warm it up a bit, so it’s a pourable consistency.  But you aren’t going to want it more than slightly warm when you assemble the dessert.

Off we go!

Start by crumbling the Brownie pieces into the bottom of a Trifle Bowl.

Drizzle with a few (or more!) spoonfuls of the Caramel Sauce.

Then, top with about half of the Pudding.

Spread the pudding evenly right out to the edges. 

See the layering effect we’re going for here?

Now, top with half the Whipped Cream.

Then, half the Snickers.

Wash, rinse, and repeat.

Okay….hold the washing and rinsing part (we’ll save that for the dishes when we are all done), just do the repeat part. 

Again, Brownies and Caramel Sauce,

Pudding and Whipped Cream.

Then, the remaining Snickers to finish it off!

This really is so easy and everything can be made ahead and assembled just a few hours before you are serving the dessert.  You will want to let it chill for a couple hours before serving, though.

Now you know what to do with all that leftover Halloween Candy, right?  :-)

October 24, 2010

Gluten Free Banana Nut Bread (Lower Fat Version)

Filed under: Breads,Desserts — Tags: , , , , , , — admin @ 9:14 am

For a quick bread, this is pretty low fat.  The original recipe comes from a King Arthur Flour Cook Book that’s been in my pantry for years.  I’ve used low fat Buttermilk in place of full fat Sour Cream which insures the bread remains moist despite only 1/3 cup oil in the batter. 

I was going to make Pumpkin Bread again, but these bananas were calling out to me.

They look much worse that they are because we store our bananas in the refrigerator.  Some people say that’s a no-no, but I find that as soon as the bananas reach the perfect ripeness – which in and of itself a contentious matter at my house (just a touch of green left according to me but spotted with brown according to my husband) – placing them in the refrigerator will cause them to stop ripening, so you can enjoy the perfect texture and ripeness you like for at least a few days.  Oh, they won’t look very good, since the outside will begin to brown despite refrigeration, but the interior will still be perfect days later.  Try it.

Unlike with most of my baking, I decided to include the walnuts my children detest since I just can’t fathom Banana Bread any other way!  Spawn #1 still ate it, but he picked the nuts out of his slice.  Crazy Boy!

 What you’ll need:

2 Large Eggs

1 cup Sugar

1/3 cup Canola Oil

1 cup mashed (very ripe) Bananas

2 tsp Vanilla

1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Baking Solda

1 tsp Xanthan Gum

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Nutmeg

2 2/3 cups Gluten Free Flour Mix (I used Brown Rice Flour Mix – see below*)

1 cup Buttermilk (or Yogurt or Sour Cream)

1 cup chopped Nuts

(*Brown Rice Flour Mix: 2 parts Brown Rice Flour, 2/3 part Potato Starch, 1/3 part Tapioca Starch)

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Oil a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and line with Parchment Paper.

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together well.

In bowl of mixer, beat together Eggs, Sugar and Oil. 

Blend in mashed Bananas and Vanilla.

Add flour mixture and mix until combined.

Add Buttermilk and mix again,  just until combined.

Stir in nuts.

Spread in prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

Bread is done when a toothpick inserted in center of the bread comes out clean.

Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

Slice and serve spread with butter or whipped cream cheese! 

Sure, to you that may seem to defeat the purpose of the lowfat bread but in my view, making a lower fat version of anything is the perfect excuse to compensate with the toppings!  For example: At Starbucks, I always order a Venti Decaf Nonfat Cafe Mocha topped with Whipped Cream!  Come to think of it, that would be a very tasty accompaniment to a slice of this bread!

Oh..and while your enjoying that little slice of Banana Nut Heaven, would you mind chiming in and telling me…who’s right about the Bananas?  Me? Or my husband?  When do YOU think they are the perfect ripeness?

October 13, 2010

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Filed under: Breads,Desserts — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 7:14 pm

I was wrong.

When I’d posted the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins recipe a few days ago, I’d said:

“I did alter the spices in the recipe, since it calls for not just Cinnamon and Nutmeg (which are also used to flavor my traditional Pumpkin Bread) but also Ginger, Cloves and Molasses.”

But my traditional Pumpkin Bread recipe does NOT have Cinnamon in it!  I had remembered it wrong, and when I set out to convert that original Pumpkin Bread recipe to gluten-free today, I realized my error. 

Will you ever forgive me?

Instead of Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Molasses, this bread is flavored with Nutmeg and Vanilla only.  It’s a quite a bit different flavor (the gingerbread-iness isn’t there) and now that I have sucessfully converted this recipe, dare I say it’s even better tasting than the muffins!  In fact, after conversion, there is no discernable difference between this bread and the traditional gluten-filled recipe that my younger son often begged for.  I just love when that happens!

He wouldn’t even let me finish photographing this bread before he nabbed a second slice!

Here’s what you’ll need:

1/2 cup Canola Oil

1 1/3 cup Sugar

2 large Eggs

1 cup Pumpkin (I used canned Libby’s again)

1/3 cup Water

1 2/3 cups Brown Rice Flour Mix* (you can use All-Purpose Flour if you are a gluten-eater)

3/4 tsp Xanthan Gum (only required for Gluten Free version)

1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Baking Soda

3/4 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Nutmeg

3/4 tsp Vanilla

1 cup Chocolate Chips

1/2 cup Walnuts or Pecans (if desired)

(*Brown Rice Flour Mix: 2 parts Brown Rice Flour, 2/3 part Potato Starch, 1/3 part Tapioca Starch)

What to do:

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan, and line bottom with parchment.

Combine Flour Mix, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Salt and Nutmeg in large bowl.

Whisk to combine, then set aside.

Place Oil and Sugar into large bowl of mixer.

Mix together until creamy, then scrape down sides of bowl , then beat in Eggs, Pumpkin, Water and Vanilla.

Add the flour mixture.

Mix until combined, then add Chocolate Chips (and Nuts, if desired).

Pour batter into pan and bake for 55-60 minutes or until tootpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean.

Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

Let cool completely, then wrap in plastic wrap and leave on counter overnight.  

It’s going to be difficult to wait, but this will be much tastier and much easier to slice the following day. 

Get up early, slice and serve for breakfast with your morning coffee.  This bread is ridiculously moist, so you won’t need any butter or other adornments.  Enjoy!

October 12, 2010

Homemade Chunky Cinnamon Applesauce

Filed under: Desserts,Fruit,Recipes,Vegan,Vegetarian — Tags: , , , — admin @ 11:44 am

Warning: After tasting this, you will never buy the jarred stuff again!

Thank goodness, it’s easy enough to make your own!  Since it’s Apple Season, it’s inexpensive to make as well!

You might even be able to get some damaged apples for a song this time of year and since you’ll be peeling them, who cares about any bruises or blemishes on the skin? 

I used pretty apples this time, though.

It is fairly important to use a variety of apples for this recipe.  Since you are cooking them, and you want this to be chunky, some of the apples will turn to mush and some will retain their texture and shape.  Make sure to have at least 1 or 2 Granny Smith or any other apple variety you might use in a pie.

You’ll need:

9-10 Apples

Sugar (to taste – I use about 1/4 – 1/3 cup)

Cinnamon (to taste – I use about 2 Tablespoons)

2 – 3 Tbsp Lemon Juice

1/3 cup Water

What to do:

Wash apples.

Peel, core and slice apples. 

Do you have one of these gadgets? 

If not, I would highly recommend getting one.  They aren’t expensive – I bought mine for less than $8 at Meijer in a half-off sale a few years ago – and they do the job in a jiffy and entice helpers to come into your kitchen to share the work with you!

Here is my Sous Chef at work.

The  slicer cuts the peel into one long – and fun – continuous strand, perfect for slurping.

So, once your coring-peeling-slicing is done by the super-gadget, your apples will look like this.

 

The leftovers will look like this.

This is going to make some chickens I know very, very happy!

Now, cut the apples into pieces.  Just quarter each apple.

And viola!  They’re not too big.  They’re not too small.   They’re just right!

Place all apples into a large saucepan, and add lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and water.

Toss together, then cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Cook until apples reach the texture you desire.

You can serve this warm – it’s AWESOME over Vanilla Ice Cream – or let cool before eating. 

How about using this to top your favorite Pancakes or Waffles for breakfast?  Mmmmmm.

This will keep in the refrigerator for several days – IF it lasts that long!

October 9, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (Gluten Free, Of Course!)

Filed under: Desserts,Muffins & Quick Breads,Recipes,Vegetarian — Tags: , , — admin @ 6:41 am

Well, another very busy workweek is behind me, and I’m feeling the guilt of not having blogged since last weekend’s Layered Fiesta Dip.  It’s not that I haven’t cooked this week, but I haven’t made many new things and certainly haven’t had any free time to talk about it!  

Early this week though, before the mad rush of work took over my time, I did make these muffins.

 

Since it’s officially Autumn now, and there is no longer any way I can remain deluded about it, my taste-buds are beginning to crave one of those familiar Fall favorties – pumpkin!  Spawn #2 is crazy about my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip bread, but it’s not a gluten-free recipe and I was determined to give him the taste he was looking for in a treat that Spawn #1 could enjoy as well. 

I thought about converting my tried-and-true recipe into a gluten-free version, but I really didn’t have the time to experiment.  After all, if the conversion flopped, I would be faced with my Spawns’ dissapointment and no extra time to make up for it.  I was determined not to let my babies down! 

So, I brought out The Cookbook.

There has yet to be a recipe from this book that hasn’t worked for me.  We love Annalise’s  Blueberry Muffins and her Chocolate Fudge Cake, the latter of which I haven’t posted for you yet but really, really need to do so soon!  Even when I change up the recipes a bit, I have success, like with my Rosemary and Sea Salt French Baguette

So, I decided to give her Pumpkin Muffins a try.  I did alter the spices in the recipe, since it calls for not just Cinnamon and Nutmeg (which are also used to flavor my traditional Pumpkin Bread) but also Ginger, Cloves and Molasses.  I was a little fearful of a very Gingerbread-y tasting Pumpkin Muffin and – I don’t know about you but I’m just not ready for Christmas flavors yet! 

So here’s what I used in my version of these muffins, which turned out beautifully by the way!  Of course, if they hadn’t, I wouldn’t be posting them here.  That is my continued promise to you – I’ll never post a lousy recipe! :-)

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups Brown Rice Flour Mix (*see below)

1 cup Sugar

1 tsp Baking Soda

3/4 tsp Xanthan Gum

3/4 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Cinnamon (I increased this from the 1/2 tsp the recipe called for since I was omitting other spices)

1/2 tsp Nutmeg

2 Large Eggs

1/4 cup Water

1/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp Canola Oil

2 Tbsp Molasses

1 cup Pumpkin Puree (I just used the canned Libby stuff)

1 cup Chocolate Chips

*(Brown Rice Flour Mix – 2 parts Brown Rice Flour, 1/3 part Tapioca Starch, 2/3 part Potato Starch)

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray muffin cups with non-stick cooking spray.

Man, is my pan ever stained and old!  Well it still works, so I’m okay with it if you are. 

Next, place all dry ingredients (except chocolate chips) together in a large bowl.

Whisk until combined.

In bowl of electric mixer, combine all wet ingredients.

Mix until well combined, then add dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Don’t overmix.

Now, mix in chocolate chips.

Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin tin.  I love my spring release scoopers for this task!

Once filled, place in 350 degree oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.

The muffins are done when a toothpick inserted in one of the center ones comes out clean.

Remove from pan immediately to a wire rack.  I use a soup spoon to gently lift the muffins out.

Let cool before serving. 

These muffins were very tasty, and even better the next day with my morning coffee once the chocolate chips firmed up.   The Molasses did give these a slight Gingerbread flavor that I don’t get with my traditional Pumpin Bread and I’m really glad that I left out the Ginger and Cloves because that probably would have been over-the-top.  Nonetheless, nearer to the Holidays, I’ll try this recipe as written when I can better appreciate those flavors! :-)

August 9, 2010

Ree’s Blackberry Cheesecake – The Gluten Free Edition

Filed under: Desserts,Recipes — admin @ 4:58 pm

When I saw the photo of this cheesecake over at The Pioneer Woman Cooks, I just knew I’d be converting this recipe to Gluten Free, even though I’d never made a cheesecake before.   Although I wouldn’t say that my results were a total success – only because there are still a few changes I’d make to improve it next time – this was definitely a winner.  Tonight’s dinner guests at our house happily gobbled up their slices, and there were even a couple second helpings being passed around for the fast growing teenage boys in the group!

Rather than list the recipe or take you through the full step-by-step  – because you can just follow Ree’s recipe and step-by-step photos here – I’ll just tell you the changes I made to convert this recipe to be friendly for the Gluten intolerant, and I’ll point out the changes I’d make to the recipe next time to improve the results.

First, for the crust we obviously didn’t use Nilla Wafers as Ree did.  Instead, I used my Gluten Free Graham Crackers

I used enough Grahams to make about 2 cups of crumbs, plus the 1/2 cup of pecans.  However, I think next time I’ll cut back on the melted butter just a bit, and maybe use just 3/4 of a stick.  My crumbs were a bit too moist and I even experienced butter dripping from the bottom of my springform pan into the oven, which I ended up catching with a cookie sheet on the rack below. 

Ree tells you to mix the eggs into the filling and to “beat them senseless”.   But what I found is that my cheesecake rose too high – like a souffle – and then fell.  The eggs should be blended well into the cream cheese/sugar mixture, but it should be done on lower speed so as not to beat too much air into the batter.

Additionally, Ree’s recipe calls for a baking time of 1 hour, 10 minutes.  I think I should have pulled this out of the oven at about an hour instead.  My cheesecake top was way to brown when I pulled it from the oven.   After consulting the cheesecake experts online, I found that you really want to turn off the oven just before the cake looks set in the center.  The edges should be browning, but the center should still appear soft since the cake will continue to cook after you turn off the oven.  Just watch the baking time and turn off the oven when it looks like Ree’s photo of the baked cheesecake. 

(I won’t show you a photo of my baked cheesecake before I topped it, as it may be too traumatic an experience for both of us.) 

When I cooked the Blackberry topping, I found that I needed to add 1 Tbsp of Gluten Free Flour (I used Brown Rice Flour) to the berry mixture so that the liquid would thicken up and become syrupy. 

Really, the saving grace for my cheesecake ended up being that berry topping.  I actually had planned to serve the topping separately in case somebody didn’t like berries, but instead I poured the topping onto the cooled cheesecake and it camoflauged my overcooked cake top very well.  

Once it was topped, I chilled the finished cheesecake a few hours before running a knife around the edge and releasing it from the springform pan just before serving.

Everybody thought the cake looked delicious and I thoroughly tortured our dinner guests by making them wait through a complete photo session before serving up their slices!   They all claimed it was worth the wait, though! 

August 7, 2010

A Camping Necessity – Gluten Free Graham Crackers

Tonight, we’ll be camping out for the first time this summer.  We’re not really going anywhere, since we rarely like to leave The Compound, so we’ll instead be setting up our tent right here in the yard. 

No camping experience would be complete without a bonfire, and no bonfire would be complete without S’mores!

So, today I’m making Gluten Free Grahams for our S’mores.  Would you like to join me?

You’ll need:

2 Cups Gluten Free All Purpose Flour*

1/4 Cup Brown Rice Flour

1/2 Cup packed Brown Sugar

2 tsp Cinnamon

1 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum

7 Tbsp Butter

3 Tbsp Cold Water

3 Tbsp Honey

1 tsp Vanilla

Sugar

*Note: I normally use a blend of 2/3 Cup Garbanzo Flour, 2/3 Cup Tapioca Starch and 2/3 Cup Corn Starch, but I was out of the Garbanzo Flour so I substituted 2 Cups of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour, which is a Garbanzo based blend.  I didn’t notice any difference in the result!

 

What to do:

Line 2 Cookie Sheets with Parchment Paper and spray the paper lightly with Cooking Spray.

Combine Flours, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Salt and Xantham Gum in a large bowl with a wire whisk.

Cut Butter into small pieces.

Using a Pastry Cutter, cut butter into flour mixture. 

I usually give up and start using my hands to combined the butter and flour mixture.  Then, I finish up by using a wire whisk again. 

When ready, it should look like this:

Now, pour in water, honey and vanilla and using a wooden spoon stir ingredients until the mixture is well combined and forms a ball. 

You may need to add a bit more Water, or more a bit more Brown Rice Flour if your dough is too dry or too sticky.

This is what you are going for:

Divide dough into two parts, wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.  I actually skipped cooling the dough today, but it does make it a bit easier to work with.

You can form your Graham Crackers (my kids say they should really be called Graham Cookies!) a couple different ways. 

Using another lightly sprayed piece of Parchment, roll the dough into a large rectangle on the cookie sheet between the paper.

Carefully peel off the top layer of parchment, and using a knife, score the dough into squares. 

Remove the rough edges of the dough  (you can save the scraps to form more crackers).

Using a serving fork, prick a few rows of holes in each cracker.  Then sprinkle lightly all over with Sugar.

Alternatively, for round crackers, you can roll 1 inch balls of dough and place on lightly sprayed parchment. 

Using another sprayed piece of Parchment and a flat bottomed bowl, press each ball into a circle.

Prick with a fork and sprinkle with Sugar.

This is also a great way to use up those rough edges you removed from making the square crackers.

Bake in a 325 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.  The individual round cookies will take less time that the large sheet.

Remove from oven and re-score along your previously cut lines by pressing straight down with a knife.

Remove to a wire rack to cool.

The edges are going to be crisp, but the centers remain a little soft, which I actually really like, especially for the S’mores because they don’t crumble apart when you bite into them like traditional gluten-filled boxed cookies.   If you prefer a crispier cracker, you can roll them thinner and/or bake them a bit longer. 

My Gluten-Intolerant friend took some of these Grahams to her workplace to share and even the Gluten-eaters were asking for the recipe! 

If you  – by some miracle – have any of these Grahams leftover, you can throw them in the freezer to save for making Graham Cracker Pie Crusts.  I actually have a bag in my freezer from a previous batch which I am expecting to soon turn into a Gluten-Free version of  The Pioneer Woman’s Blackberry Cheesecake .  Doesn’t that just look dreamy???

July 22, 2010

Garden Abundance = Gluten Free Zucchini Bread

Filed under: Breads,Desserts,Muffins & Quick Breads,Recipes,Vegetarian — Tags: , , , — admin @ 9:25 pm

I’ve been trying to think of somthing new to do with all this Zucchini that is overtaking my kitchen.  We have made my Zucchini Au Gratin a few times over the past week, and although it IS tasty, we are ready for something new.  I gave away a big bag of Zucchini to a friend today, but I still have more than I can ever hope to use.  So, for the first time since going Gluten-Free, I tried Zucchini Bread. 

This recipe comes from The Gluten Free Homemaker.  I always have some trepidation when trying a new recipe, as I am not fond of failure.  Who is, right?  And when these loaves came out of the oven, I wasn’t quite sure how they’d be, because they seemed a little on the “short” side.  But I need not have worried.  Once I let the loaves cool a while, cut off a slice, slathered one of them in butter and took my first bite, I was pleasantly surprised.  This is without a doubt, one of the best Zucchini Breads I’ve tasted.  It’s not super moist, but the crumb is just right and the crust has a caramelized quality that is enticing. 

Here’s the ingredient list as I found it on The Gluten Free Homemaker’s site:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2/3 c. oil 
  • 1/2 c. apple sauce
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 c. shredded zucchini, packed (~1 large)
  • 1 c. brown rice flour
  • 1 c. sorghum flour
  • 2/3 c. potato starch
  • 1/3 c. tapioca starch
  • 2 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1 Tb. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

You can also add 1 cup of nuts, if you want this to be even better.  I, unfortunately, have to bend to the taste of my children whom prefer that I make my quick breads without nuts.  It’s a woeful life that I lead.

The only change I made to the recipe (besides the omission of the nuts) was to add an extra teaspoon of vanilla, because in my book, you can never go wrong with extra vanilla! :-)

First, preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Oil (or spray) 2 – 9″ x 5″ loaf pans and line with parchment paper.

Grate Zucchini.  You’ll need 2 small Zucchinis, or 1 1/2 medium Zucchinis or 1 large Zucchini. 

I used my twenty-some year old food processor/blender attachment, which incidentally works much better than the new, and soon to be returned to Costo, Cuisinart Mini Food Processor my husband just bought me.

This is the texture you are going for.  You don’t want it wet, just grated.  A box type grater on the large side should work fine.

Measure out 2 cups (packed) of the Zucchini and set aside.  You can freeze any leftover for making this bread during the off-season.

Measure all dry ingredients into a medium bowl, then whisk together until combined.

Place all wet ingredients, except Zucchini, into a large mixing bowl.

Blend until well-combined.

Add Zucchini, then gradually add dry ingredients until just combined.

Batter will be thick and heavy. 

Add nuts now if you are not as swayed by your picky children as I am.

Divide into prepared pans.

Bake for 45- 50 minutes (45 minutes was the time that I pulled mine out) or until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean.

Cool for 5 minutes in pan, then loosen with knife and remove to a wire rack.

Let cool 10-15 minutes more before slicing and serving.

Be sure to spread a bit (or more than a bit!) of butter on your slice!  Enjoy!

July 6, 2010

It’s Peachy Keen! Gluten Free Peach Cobbler, that is.

Filed under: Desserts,Fruit,Recipes,Vegetarian — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 1:51 pm

(Edit: I’ve chosen this Peach Cobbler photo as my entry into Simply…Gluten Free’s GF Food Photo Contest.  I’m anxious to see all the tasty-looking photos of Gluten Free recipes when Carol posts the round-up on September 30th!  Wish me luck!!!) 

During a recent trip to my local fruit market, I found peaches on sale.  The sign actually said “We’re Practically Giving These Away”  and they were!  Only 49 cents a pound!  Well, I’m usually really more of a nectarine gal (just somthing about the fuzz, I guess), but I just had to fill up a bag to bring home.  These gems sat on my counter in a bowl for a few days and each day while I worked nearby, I’d catch a waft of their aroma.  I knew they were ripe and ready.  But what to make?  I thought about peach muffins, but finally decided on a cobbler.  Now, I’ve never made a cobbler before that I can recall – gluten free or otherwise – but I have done crisps and of course they are very similar.  So, I glanced at a few recipes to get some ideas and set to work on that night’s dessert:

First, wash 10-12 ripe peaches.

Butter an 8″ x 8″ baking dish (or a deep round pie plate) and set aside.

Peel and slice peaches.  To do this easily, I simply cut each fruit in half, twisted to pull the halves apart, and popped the pit out with my thumb.  Then I halved each half again, and carefully peeled the skin off each quarter before finishing slicing.  I lost very little peach this way, as opposed to using a knife to try to peel them.  Of course, it really helped that the peaches were plenty ripe!  Once they are sliced, place into a bowl adding 1/2 cup sugar and 1 Tbsp brown rice flour mix*.

 

Mix gently to combine.

Then pour into your buttered pan.

In a small bowl, combine 1 cup brown rice flour mix, 2 tsp sugar, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp Xanthan gum, 1/4 tsp baking soda and 1/4 tsp salt.

Cut 4 Tbsp. cold butter into small pieces, like this:

First using a pastry cutter, then your fingers, cut butter into flour mixture.

You’ll want it to resemble coarse cornmeal, like this:

In a glass measuring cup, combine 1/2 cup buttermilk (or regular milk mixed with 1 tsp lemon juice) with 1/2 tsp vanilla.  Pour into flour mixture and mix gently to just combine.  It will look lumpy, but do NOT overmix.

Scoop dough mixture onto top of peaches, leaving some areas naked.   Drizzle 2 Tbsp melted butter over exposed areas and then sprinkle the whole top with 2 Tbsp brown sugar.

Let sit for 20-30 minutes while you preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place into oven and bake  40-45 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the peaches bubbly.

Remove from oven and cool until just warm.

To serve, scoop a generous portion into a bowl and top with vanilla ice cream.  SO YUM!

To demonstrate how good this actually is, I had this for breakfast again this morning, after having it for dessert last night!   I just popped my bowl into the microwave for about 20 seconds to warm the cobbler, before scooping the ice cream on top (Breyer’s French Vanilla is the best!).  When the smooth vanilla ice cream starts to gently melt over the sweet peaches and crumbly topping, I just cannot wait for that first spoonful!

Ingredient List:

10-12 Ripe Peaches, peeled and sliced

1/2 Cup Sugar

1 Cup plus 1 Tbsp Brown Rice Flour Mix*

1 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Xanthan Gum

1/4 tsp Baking Soda

1/4 tsp Salt

2 tsp Sugar

4 Tbsp Butter, cut into pieces

1/2 Cup Buttermilk (or milk with 1 tsp lemon juice stirred in)

1/2 tsp Vanilla

2 Tbsp Butter, melted

2 Tbsp Brown Sugar

*All Purpose Brown Rice Flour Mix:

(from www.foodphilosopher.com)

2 Parts Brown Rice Flour

2/3 Part Potato Starch

1/3 Part Tapioca Starch

Combine well with a wire whisk and store in a sealed container.

June 29, 2010

Gluten Free Cream Puffs

Filed under: Desserts,Recipes,Vegetarian — Tags: , — admin @ 12:55 pm

I adapted this recipe from a regular wheat flour recipe I’ve been using for years.  When I first mastered the Cream Puff, I felt like such a gourmet.  But this really is  a simple recipe with a very short list of ingredients.  It just takes a few steps to get to the finished product; golden brown puffs that can be sliced and filled as you desire. 

These freeze exceptionally well.  I like to take one out, let thaw for just a few minutes, then slice and fill with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Then, I pour on warm hot fudge and top with whipped cream.   The  taste of a Hot Fudge Cream Puff Sundae takes me back to my youth and trips to Sanders at the Mall.  

Is it wrong that I fed my children these for lunch today just so I could take this photo?

I knew you’d understand.

Edit:  It seemed apparent that they loved the puffs by the way they disapeared so quickly from their bowls.  But since I figured that might have been the result of them rushing to eat them before they thought I might change my mind about ice cream for lunch (LOL), I asked them later how they compared to the gluten version.  They BOTH said they were BETTER than the original!  So there you go!!

Here’s what you need to make your children happy with ice cream puffs for lunch:

1 cup Water

1 stick butter

1 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup GF Flour Mix (I use Annalise Robert’s Brown Rice Flour Mix*)

1 tsp Xanthan Gum

4 eggs

Here’s what to do:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Sift together flour and Xanthan Gum, set aside.

Place water, butter, sugar and salt in a large saucepan over medium heat. 

Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a rolling boil.

Leaving heat on, add flour mixture to saucepan all at once, stirring briskly with wooden spoon the entire time. 

Keep stirring quickly until mixture forms a ball. 

 

Remove from heat and using electric hand mixer on medium, add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 

The dough will look chunky at first, but eventually will form a smoother paste once all the eggs are added and well-incorporated.

Scoop dough onto cookie sheet (I use a spring action scooper) into 9 mounds.  You can wet your hands and shape the dough more nicely into rounds, if you desire.

I hope you will forgive me, because I forgot to continue taking photos at this point.  I just got too caught up in the cream puff excitement, I suppose. 

Bake for 40 minutes at 400 degrees until golden brown, then remove to wire rack to cool.

I haven’t had lunch yet, so I think I’m going to have a sundae, too.  

I did walk this morning so that’s cool, right???

———-

*Brown Rice Flour Mix

2 parts Brown Rice Flour

2/3 part Potato Starch

1/3 part Tapioca Starch

Mix together with wire whisk and store in an airtight container.

I also posted this recipe over at Tasty Kitchen.  You can find lots of great user-submitted recipes, gluten-free and otherwise, at this awesome site, created by The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond.  You’ll probably make some new friends while you’re at it!

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