Archive for the 'Gluten-Free' Category



Takin’ It Easy

I’m on vacation in New York, which means I am taking it a little easy with the postings (sorry) but of course I am still baking up a storm! Sadly, I did not bring my entire cupboard of gluten-free flours across the country with me, so we improvised a little when we wanted to make gluten-free cupcakes…and (gasp!) we used a gluten-free vegan cake mix! Because I am who I am, I had to drastically adapt it, but it started with a cake mix and therefore I can’t share the recipe with you. But, I can tell you what flavors were included in these cupcakes, which were scrum-diddly-umptious.

The cake mix was for a golden vanilla gluten-free cake. My friend Becca and I added about 2 cups of coconut milk instead of the 3/4 cup of water it called for, we used coconut oil instead of canola, and we added a handful of dried shredded unsweetened coconut to the batter. We had very coconutty-vanilla cupcakes, to say the least! After baking and cooling, we piped on an airy vanilla buttercream frosting, and sprinkled chopped thai basil and coconut chips over the top. The cupcakes were so fluffy and moist and the thai basil really complimented all the coconut! I have learned two lessons: 1. Baking from a boxed mix works. Very well. 2. Thai basil is my favorite cupcake addition. I might just be adding it to more cupcakes in the future!

Raspberry Maple Madness

The end of May is filled with birthdays. You’ll be seeing many cake posts here soon, as I find time to post all of the birthday cakes that I have made in the last couple weeks, and continue to make. So many friends to love, and bake for! My 25th birthday was last week, and I decided to have a week of celebrations filled with family and friends. I’ve eaten so much good food, gone on birthday-related adventures, and relaxed in the sun so much, that it was hard to find time to post! I’m starting the birthday cake posts with my own birthday cake, which I baked with my friend Julie. It is vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and delicious. So delicious.

Chai Maple Cake Ingredients:
Makes one 9-inch three-layer cake

4 cups brown rice flour
2 cups garbanzo bean flour, sifted
1 Tblsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 1/3 cups canola oil
3 cups water
3 Tblsp. unsweetened nondairy milk
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 Tblsp. plus 1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups maple syrup

Pre-heat the oven to 350º F.

Line the bottoms of three 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper, or grease thoroughly. Set aside.

Combine the brown rice flour, garbanzo bean flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the oil, water, milk, apple cider vinegar, vanilla, and maple syrup. Slowly whisk the flour mixture into the oil mixture until thoroughly combined.

Pour the batter* into the prepared pans and bake until the cake springs back when you press the center with your finger, about 30 minutes. Once the cake has cooled, you can assemble with your jam filling and frosting.

*Beware: the cake batter itself does not taste very good – it has a distinct garbanzo bean aftertaste. I was worried about how the cake would taste after it baked, but in the end it was incredible, and had absolutely no garbanzo taste. So, don’t stress if you don’t like the batter!

Filling Ingredients:

Raspberry Jam, sugar-free if you need it to be. We made our own by heating frozen raspberries in a small saucepan until they were melted. Then, we added a touch of agave syrup, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and a teaspoon of cornstarch to help thicken the jam. It came to a great consistency after it cooled. If you don’t have time to make your own, you can buy it at the store. Then, spread on top of your cooled cakes, place the cakes on top of each other, and frost with Maple Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. Top with fresh raspberries.

Maple Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:

This frosting was dreamy. I didn’t believe I could make a delicious buttercream frosting without powdered sugar, but it’s totally possible! I found the recipe on a website that…dun dun dun…I cannot find again. Dang! I’ll keep looking. I altered it only slightly and when I find the website I will add it back into this post for you – I’ll also make sure to include my additions.

***EDIT***

I found the recipe! Here it is, in all it’s glory. Just click this link. I added about 1/3 cup extra maple syrup, and at the last step I added about 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice. I also added 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, to enhance all the flavors. MAKE THIS ICING. DON’T STOP AND THINK ABOUT IT. JUST MAKE IT. IT’S DELICIOUS. I had some left over and I tasted it tonight, and it was still really good. Really, really good.

Raspberry Nut Delights

My friend Sari and her mom have made these bars for years – they are always the hit of every party, and a staple at their family’s Hanukkah parties. I personally think they are great for any function, but recently they have struck me as a perfect picnic dessert! These bars are easy to pack and carry (they travel well), and they have such a summery flavor! Take them on a picnic, platter and serve them at your next fancy gathering or tea party, or eat them for plain-old-dessert or even as a snack! You won’t be able to resist the sweet raspberry jam sandwiched between the rich buttery bottom crust and the crispy crunchy topping.

I made two versions of this recipe – one was gluten-filled, and the other was gluten-free. The recipe printed below uses regular wheat flour. However, I have listed the gluten-free flour substitutes below, and if you use the ratios that I recommend, then you will end up with a delightful version that will make any tummy happy. Both versions tasted the same, but the gluten-free version bottom crust was a bit more crumbly than the gluten-filled crust. The bars still held together well though, so no worries!

Crust Ingredients:
2 cups flour
½ cup sugar
1 cup Earth Balance margarine

Filling Ingredients:
1 cup raspberry jam

Topping Ingredients:
1 ½ cups packed brown sugar
3 eggs-worth Ener-G Egg Replacer (or other egg replacer of preference)
½ tsp. vanilla
1 ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
¾ cup dried unsweetened coconut
4 ½ Tblsp. flour
3/4 cup oats
¾ tsp. baking powder
pinch salt

To Make The Crust:
Preheat your oven to 350º F.
Mix 2 cups flour and sugar. Cut in the Earth Balance until it is crumbly. Kneed in bowl until fully combined. Pat dough in an even layer into an ungreased 15×10” pan.
Bake until light brown (about 15-18 minutes).
Let cool for 15 minutes.

Spread jam over slightly warm crust.
Reduce oven to 325º F.

To Make The Topping:
Beat brown sugar, egg replacer, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add nuts, coconut, flour, oats, baking powder, and salt and stir.
Spread evenly over jam.
Bake until top is brown and center is firm to the touch (about 35 minutes).
Let pan cool and firm up, then slice into squares to serve.

***Gluten-Free Flour Substitutions***
Use Instead of the Wheat Flour in the Bottom Crust:
1 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup sweet white sorghum flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup millet flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1 tsp. xanthan gum

Use Instead of the Wheat Flour and Oats in the Topping:
4 ½ Tblsp. white rice flour
3/4 cup gluten-free oats

Double Chocolate Coconut Stracciatella

Here’s a short and sweet post for you all on a busy Tuesday night…

It’s springtime and that means it’s definitely time to bust out your ice cream maker. Or ice cream makers (plural). The electric ones, the hand-crank ones, even the ziploc bags filled with ice that you shake for a couple hours (or have a classroom filled with children shake and throw around the room to their utter delight). Whatever your preferred method of ice cream-making is, please heed this advice, and do it. I was inspired by Double Chocolate Straccieatella with a coconut milk base (you can find the incredible recipe here), and it lived up to, and perhaps even exceeded, my expectations. Rich and creamy, very chocolatey, lick your bowl till the bitter end, kind of ice cream. I’m leaving my ice cream maker’s freezer bowl where it belongs (in the freezer) permanently from now on. Ice cream all the time, I say!

Raw Banana Pie, Take 2

It’s been a year since I made this delectable dessert; I know because last year I made it for Passover and this year I’ve done it again! This frozen treat is surprisingly sweet and you won’t feel like you need anything with processed sugar or even “real” ice cream to compete! The healthy sweetness and creamy texture of the frozen blended banana will satisfy any sweet tooth, I promise. And, if you need a chocolate fix, you can always melt down some dark or semi-sweet chocolate and drizzle it on top – I bet no one would mind.

You can find my recipe from last year here; the only changes I made this year were to add blueberries on top and leave out the lemon decoration. The strawberries and blueberries taste great with the banana, almonds, and dates, and they add a different, juicy texture to the top of the pie.

Here’s what the almond-date crust looks like before adding any filling into the pie shell. I like the uneven texture, however, you can grind your nuts into a finer and more consistent texture if you want to.

Easy-Peasy Chocolate Fudge

This chocolate fudge recipe originally came to me via my friend Jake’s mother, who made it in the form of refrigerator drop cookies, and they totally blew my mind as the most decadent, easy, and fast kind of cookie I’d ever encountered. Since she gave me the recipe, I’ve made them many many times, with a slew of different ingredients depending on the occasion, season, or friend I wanted to share it with. For this holiday season, I knew I wanted to have these chocolate morsels in my cookie gift boxes, but I didn’t want them to take the same form as usual. I decided to mix it up a little, and make it into fudge! Really, the recipe is exactly the same, but I poured the batter into a brownie pan and after it hardened I cut it into small squares. This way, it looks different from the other cookies I’ve been making, but tastes exactly the same as if it had been a fudgey drop cookie. Mmm.

The recipe is flexible – add whatever extra flavors or textures that you want. I can imagine it tasting delicious without the peanut butter and instead adding crushed candy canes and peppermint extract for the holiday season! Alternatively, add coffee (or espresso powder) into the hot melted chocolate and give your treats an extra energy kick. You could even add coconut extract to the recipe, and pat extra dried coconut onto the top of the fudge for a decorative snow-like treat.

Karen’s Refrigerator Fudge/Cookies Basic Ingredients:

1/4 cup Earth Balance
1/2 cup very heavy soy creamer, or other non-dairy milk (I use almond milk and then the fudge is not quite as heavy)
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 1/2 cups quick oats*

This time, I added:
1/2 cup smooth natural peanut butter
1/2 cup dried unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup of unsalted peanuts, for topping

If you want to make these into drop cookies, cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. If you want to make fudge, line a brownie pan with parchment paper.
Combine the Earth Balance, cream, and sugar in a two-quart saucepan. Warm over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
Remove from heat, and add vanilla and chocolate chips. Stir until the chocolate melts completely.
Fold in the oats (and if you are using them, add the peanut butter and coconut at this point too), and stir until thoroughly combined.
For cookies: Drop the batter in even, large spoonfuls onto your prepared cookie sheet and refrigerate until hardened. After they are hard, you can leave the cookies in a covered container at room temperature.
For fudge: Spread batter into your prepared brownie pan, and smooth out the top. Sprinkle extra coconut, peanuts, crushed candy canes, or whatever topping you’d like to use on the top and press it down slightly so it sticks to the fudge. Let the fudge harden in the fridge, then take it out and slice into small cubes. Like the cookies, these can be left at room temperature in a closed container until you want to eat them.

*If you want your cookies/fudge to be gluten-free, make sure you check to see if your oats are processed in the same facility as wheat or are guaranteed to be gluten-free. Alternatively, you can use quinoa flakes as a good gluten-free, and protein-packed substitute.

The Finals Crunch, Sweetened with Agave

The end of the semester somehow snuck up on me (can you believe it? It’s already December! The first night of Hanukah is tonight!) and I’m in the midst of the finals crunch at school. I have so much work it seems unbelievable, and of course this cold, rainy weather is tempting me every minute to drop my work and just cozy up and bake cookies! There’s nothing I want more than a comforting, healthy, sweet snack to eat with tea or coffee while I study and write final papers, so I took the plunge and started baking with these simple delicious treats. Of course, I got seriously distracted, and completely caught up in the pre-holiday baking whirlwind, and made a dozen or so other truly sinful sweets. Unfortunately my papers won’t seem to write themselves, as much as I hope that will magically happen overnight, so I’m going to have to wait a few days to post the photos and recipes till I actually write more and can cross things off my finals to-do list. Most of the other cookies are intensely rich and buttery, with dark chocolate, rum, sugared ginger, and icing – just what you’d expect (and want!) from holiday baking sessions. Please check back soon to see these exciting morsels! But for now, I hope you enjoy these healthier cookies which are gluten-free, refined sugar-free, protein-packed, chewy delights.

Apricot Almond Quinoa Chews

Adapted from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero

Ingredients:
1/2 cup almond milk
2 Tblsp. ground flax seeds
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3-1/2 cup dark agave, depending how sweet you want the cookies to be
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
2 Tblsp. arrowroot powder
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup quick-cooking quinoa flakes
1/2 cup finely chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
Additional chopped almonds and apricots for decorating cookies

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large mizing bowl, whisk together the almond milk and flax seeds and let sit for 1 minute.
Then, stir in the agave and vanilla until smooth.
Sift in the quinoa flour, brown rice flour, arrowroot powder, cinnamon, cardamom, baking soda, and salt.
Mix to form a thick batter, then fold in the quinoa flakes, apricots, and almonds.
For each cookie, scoop 1 rounded tablespoon of dough onto the baking sheet, keeping the cookies about 2 inches apart.
Sprinkle the cookie tops with a few chopped almonds and apricots, and flatten the tops with the back of a measuring cup.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until puffed and just starting to brown on the edges.
Remove the cookies form the oven and let them cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes.
Transfer them to wire racks to cool completely and store in a tightly covered container.
These cookies are best eaten the day they are made.

Cornbread with Miso-Tahini Spread

I don’t usually use baking mixes, but I had this one on hand and wanted to make a last-minute treat, so I whipped it out and set out to make it. It turned out moist, crumbly, and had a perfectly crispy crust because I baked it in a cast-iron skillet. The mix I used was from The Cravings Place, and it was gluten-free, vegan, and sugar-free (and super fast and easy!). The instructions suggested adding sugar, honey, or maple syrup if you wanted a sweeter bread…I had an inner debate about this, and ended up adding only about 1/4 cup of maple syrup. Lightly sweetened this way, the naturally sweet cornmeal flavor really shone through the bread and made for a wonderful appetizer. I made a Miso-Tahini Spread to go on top, using a recipe from the Angelica’s Kitchen Cookbook, which made the cornbread a little more savory. Good vegan and from-scratch cornbread recipes that I have tried before have been from the same Angelica’s Kitchen Cookbook, as well as Peter Berley’s cornbread recipe (these recipes are very similar, as Berley developed many of the Angelica’s recipes). While neither of these recipes are gluten-free, they could be easily adapted to be by substituting rice flour and xanthan gum instead of the wheat flour.

Miso Tahini Spread Ingredients:
Yield: 2 cups
1/3 cup mellow barley miso (I used a brown rice miso to make this gluten-free)
1/2 cup water
1 1/3 cups tahini

Combine the miso with the water in a food processor. Puree until creamy.
Add the tahini, and process until smooth.
Spread liberally on top of your cornbread, crackers, or anything else you might want a savory topping on.

Decadent Chocolate Pecan Pie

Looking for a chocolate-heaven-like dessert to serve at our Thanksgiving table, I found this Chocolate Pecan Pie recipe in Ricki Heller’s cookbook Sweet Freedom. She also has it online for free, here, but everything else I’ve tried from the book is delicious so it’s definitely worth checking the full cookbook out. The recipe wasn’t quite perfectly matched to the diverse dietary restrictions and needs that our guests (and myself) required, so I took the liberty of making a few minor changes. Simply, I switched the spelt flour in the crust recipe with an equal combination of sorghum and brown rice flours, making it gluten-free. Then, because I’m not eating refined sugars right now, I used unsweetened baking chocolate instead of the chocolate chips in the filling, and I used almond butter instead of cashew butter to adapt for one of the nut allergies. What I got was just what I was looking for: A rich, heavy, purely decadent chocolate dessert that would fulfill any chocolate addict’s cravings. It was also gorgeous, especially when cut into slices and the pecan pieces shone bright in the midst of all the dark chocolate fudge. If you are looking for a holiday dessert, or really any type of chocolate treat, this is definitely the recipe to try. I fully recommend it!

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Whipped Coconut Topping

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving holiday yesterday, filled with family and friends, and of course lots of delicious food. Based on my own experience, I suspect that you stuffed yourselves, although hopefully not as much as I did! But, however full I felt last night (and still this morning!), I always enjoy looking at more food, so here is a sample of what I made and ate last night.

For our feast, I made a Pumpkin Cheesecake and topped it with a rich Whipped Coconut Creme. It tasted quite delicious, although definitely more like a pumpkin pie than a cheesecake. I think if I had used a Vitamix or a more powerful food processor, I could have gotten the filling to have a more even consistency (like the one in the original recipe’s picture, here), but nonetheless it tasted great. It had a wonderful pumpkin taste, and the pecans in the crust complemented the fall flavors very nicely. We had a little bit of extra crust dough that I baked separately, and it ended up thick and tasty as a simple shortbread-like cookie on it’s own. The coconut creme was from a recipe in Sweet Freedom, for a sugar-free, gluten-free, soy-free vegan whipped cream. Dolloped on top of the pie, it was rich, sweet, and certainly very creamy, but not as light and fluffy as whipped cream should be. Our consensus was that it would have been very good as a fruit tart filling, and next time I make one I will definitely use this recipe!


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