glutenfreebymarriage

March 15, 2013

GF Chunky Monkey Cookies

Filed under: baking, cookies, dessert, gluten-free — Tags: , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 10:11

chunky monkey cookies with cookie dough

I think I mentioned before, but I have a cookie problem.

I have plenty of self-control when it comes to cake, brownies or any other baked good, but put a plate of cookies in front of me and poof!  They will disappear.

Like a true addict, I can’t eat just one and instead of confronting my problem, I had the bright idea that if I made healthier cookies I could justify my cookie eating ways.

I’m not delusional enough to believe that it’s okay to eat a dozen cookies in one sitting, even if they are healthy, but I do think that the resulting recipe is a good way to sneak in some extra nutrition.

Fair warning, like a lot of my experimental recipes, this one ended up with a variety of unexpected ingredients in strange quantities.  I haven’t had any complaints and the cookies disappear pretty quickly even when I’m not in the room, but I’ll let you decide.

Ingredients:

Makes about 42 cookies

  • 1/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/4 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter*
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla*
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 apple, peeled and shredded
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts work best)

*I used butter and vanilla because I started from my basic chocolate chip cookie recipe, but am not really sure that it adds anything to the flavor.  I think the peanut butter adds enough flavor and fat that the cookies would probably work without them.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 4000
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Combine brown rice flour, tapioca flour, sorghum flour and xanthan gum in a medium bowl and set aside.
  4. In another bowl cream peanut butter, sugar, brown sugar, butter and vanilla.  Beat in egg.
  5. Add GF flour mix, oats and baking soda, mix until combined.
  6. Stir in shredded apple and carrot.  Add raisins, chocolate chips and nuts.
  7. Using a small cookie scoop, place dough on lined baking sheets and flatten with fork.
  8. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes at 4000 or until edges are lightly browned.  Cool on a wire rack before serving.

One important thing to note about these cookies is that the dough is pretty dark and it’s hard to judge their doneness based on color.  The cookies in the picture look burned, but are really almost the same color as the raw dough.  If they look like the edges are done but still feel a little too soft just leave them on the cookie sheet for a couple minutes.  Just like a steak, they will continue cooking until the pan cools.

Note: I did try adding ground flax in early versions, but it just made the cookies too dry.


So what do you think?  Now that you’ve seen the ingredients and tried the recipe, could these cookies count as a vegetable serving?

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November 14, 2012

Mocha Crumb Cake (another Cooking Light makeover)

Filed under: baking, Cooking Light, dessert, gluten-free — Tags: , , — glutenfreebymarriage @ 14:55

GF Mocha Crumb Cake

The thing I’ve always liked about Cooking Light is that most of their recipes can be done quickly with ingredients I usually have on hand, which is particularly handy when you want a quick snack.  I know the picture makes the cake look a little moist, but my gluten-free version is just as light and crumbly as the original.  A perfect snack to go with your coffee or a light weeknight dessert.  Even better, it only takes about 10-minutes to gather and mix the ingredients.

Heads Up: The recipe below is as it appeared on page 108 of the May 1998 edition of Cooking Light Magazine.  The items highlighted in yellow are the ingredients that I changed.

Ingredients:

Makes 8 servings

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup chilled stick margarine or butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup 1% low-fat milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons water

Changes:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour: Substituted 1/2 cup brown rice flour, 1/4 cup tapioca flour, 1/4 cup sorghum flour, 1/4 cup potato starch and 1 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan.

1 tablespoon instant coffee granules: I ran out of instant coffee so I substituted an equal amount cinnamon.  Not quite the same, but it did lend a nice flavor.

1/3 cup low-fat milk: Mr. GF is also lactose intolerant so I try to substitute regular milk with almond or soy milk whenever possible.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 3500
  2. Combine flour (GF substitute) and next 4 ingredients (flour/blend through salt) in a mixing bowl and cut in *butter with a pastry blender or two forks until mixture resembles coarse meal.  (Trust me on this, a pastry blender is less than $5 and well worth the cost, even if you only use it once a year.)  Reserve 1/2 cup of the the flour mixture for topping and set aside.
  3. Combine remaining flour mixture, baking powder and baking soda; add milk, vanilla and egg.  Beat at medium speed of a mixer until blended.  Spoon batter into an 8″ round cake pan coated with cooking spray.
  4. Combine reserved 1/2 of flour mixture and water; stir with a fork then sprinkle over batter.  (It will look like a lot of dry crumbs on top of the cake batter.)
  5. Bake for 30 minutes at 3500 or until the cake springs back when touched.  Cool on a wire rack before serving.

* I can’t stress enough that the butter needs to be cold.  If it’s a hot, humid day you might want to firm it up in the freezer for a few minutes after you cut it into small pieces.


So that’s it.  A very fast and delicious Cooking Light recipe made gluten-free.  The flour substitute above works quite well with any of the crumb cakes featured in the May 1998 issue.  If you want something a little different give the lemon-rosemary or banana-coconut versions a try.    (They’re both great!) Let me know if you have a problem finding the recipe and I will post it.

August 13, 2012

The real cost of eating gluten & dairy free(ish)

Filed under: Cooking Light, dairy free, dessert, dinner, gelato, gluten-free, menu planning, Uncategorized — glutenfreebymarriage @ 20:10

We all know the drill.   Healthy food is too expensive, cooking is too much trouble and living gluten free is a million times worse.   Not only is the selection of gluten free alternatives both limited and even more expensive, but having to make meals without all those convenience foods (pre-made marinades, dressings, broths, etc…) makes cooking even more of a chore.  My response is hogwash.

My food bill for this week was $47.68 and included seven days worth of breakfast, lunch and dinner for two as well as ingredients to make chocolate chip muffins and a dairy-free version of passion fruit mango gelato, and a few pantry replenishment items such as flax and sugar.  All of the food is gluten free, most is dairy free and the meal plan is for fast, easy summer dishes that most people would enjoy and everyone could make.

Breakfasts: oatmeal with unsweetened applesauce and ground flax

Snack: gluten free chocolate chip muffins

Lunch: German Bologna (yes, the label says gluten free) and American Cheese Sandwich (Ok, processed lunch meat is not generally considered healthy, but Mr. GF likes it and I hurt my back bad enough that I can’t spend too much time on my feet right now, so he gets a sandwich.)

Dinners: Since most recipe feed 4 – 6 people and there are only two of us, we generally get two meals out of a recipe.

Sunday/Monday: Summer Vegetable Stew with Basil Puree (from cookinglight.com)

Tuesday/Wednesday: Greek Tuna Wraps

Thursday/Friday: Grilled Hamburgers with Oven Fries


I meant to post this a couple weeks ago but I hurt my back and it seemed to get worse rather than better as the week wore on and it didn’t happen.  The good news is that except for the hamburgers we did manage to stick to the menu plan that week, even with me more or less flat on my back.   (No way I was going to be able to clean the grill so I substituted a hash with some leftover cooked ham I had in the freezer. )

In this case having a meal plan really made a difference.  We had all the ingredients on hand so that Mr. GF could help with the cooking without having to run to the store or break from the GF/DF diet.

July 2, 2012

EasyTropical Fruit Sorbet

Filed under: dairy free, dessert, freezer friendly, fruit, sorbet, Uncategorized — glutenfreebymarriage @ 15:17

quick & easy tropical fruit sorbet

It’s hot and when it’s hot I get cranky.  Real cranky.  The kind of cranky that only a delicious icy cold treat will cure.  Sadly,  Mr. GF is also Mr. Lactose Intolerant so that minimizes our ice cream options.  Yes, he could take a handful of lactase pills with every bite, but that gets expensive and it’s just kind of weird.  (Can you imagine having to take three or four pills just to eat a half-cup of ice cream?)  Not to worry, I have a better option.  Something that is not only dairy and gluten free, but is inexpensive, easy to make, requires no cooking and tastes unbelievably decadent.  (cue the music)

Easy Tropical Fruit Sorbet

makes 6 1/2 cup servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 15.25 oz cans Tropical Fruit in Passion Fruit Juice

Directions:

  1. Open cans and transfer contents to freezer safe bowl.
  2. Put bowl in freezer until fruit is hard, but not completely frozen.  It will be solid but just slushy enough that you can poke a spoon (or your finger) through the surface.  Freezer time varies.  My kitchen freezer would take an entire day, but my basement freezer would be about an hour.
  3. Using an immersion blender puree the semi-frozen fruit mixture until all fruit is pureed.   If you don’t have an immersion blender you can divide up the fruit and put it in a regular blender.  You will need to do it in batches to get an even blend and it needs to be done as quickly as possible so that the fruit doesn’t thaw before you are done.
  4. Transfer your semi-frozen fruit puree to serving dishes and return to freezer for about an hour.  (less if you prefer is slushy)

Notes: You can use any fruit, fresh, can or frozen.  Canned fruit cocktail doesn’t work so good, but pretty much anything else in a fruit juice, not a heavy syrup, will be fine.  Just remember that if you are using fresh or frozen you will need to also freeze some liquid with it.

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