Gluten-Free Christmas Cookies (Year 2)

The original purpose of this “blog” was to have a place to store my favourite recipes. It has since turned into somewhere to post my teaching schedule. This means that I haven’t been posting much content. I’m not saying that’s going to change, but I felt the need to put these few recipes up as good recipes are worth sharing!

Today was a day of retail therapy. I could call it Christmas shopping, but only some of the purchases were presents (for others). Finally, I tore myself away from shopping to attempt some gluten-free baking. I had found this recipe a couple of weeks ago and, after some additional searching, decided to give it a shot — good choice! These babies melt, like actually melt! I guess a pound of butter will do that to a cookie… These are definitely NOT healthy, but that’s ok — life is all about balance right?

I followed her recipe pretty much exactly (unheard of for me, I know).

Gluten-Free Shortbread

Velma’s Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookies
3 C White Rice Flour (I used Bob Red Mills)
1 C Corn Starch
1 C Icing Sugar
1 lb Softened Butter

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
Sift the dry ingredients together
Cut in the butter — in chunks
Throw caution to the wind and get your hands in the bowl! Kneed the dough until it forms a large, sticky ball
Pinch off small pieces and roll into balls, place balls on parchment paper lined cookie sheet
Press down with a fork and bake for 20 minutes — rotate at the 10 minute mark
Let cool for a moment before moving to cooling rack — I just transferred the parchment paper over to the cooling rack
Enjoy sparingly! They might feel light and fluffy, but they are anything but!

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Gluten-Free Cranberry Almond Biscotti (secret ingredient below)

Uh, so, this happened this weekend!

Almond Biscotti

I realized I needed to get some Christmas baking done so I started a bit of research to see what could be easily done gluten-free and I found these little gems (which I made a few changes to. The original recipe can be found here).

The last time I made biscotti it was with wheat flour and I couldn’t find my friend’s recipe so I was a little nervous.

Apparently being nervous baking is a good thing because these turned out mind-blowingly good (if I do say so myself)! Are you ready for this?

Gluten-Free Cranberry Almond Biscotti

3 C Almond Flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill because it’s all I can find, and the meal-like consistency was perfect for these)
Pinch Salt (I used a fine sea salt)
1/2 tsp Baking Soda

2 Eggs
1 Tbsp Vanilla (yes, a full tablespoon! So good!)
1/4 C Liquid Sweetener (I used some Agave because I have some I’m trying to use up, and I didn’t want to use my honey)

1/2 C Dried Cranberries (approximate measure…I just dumped some into the mix until it looked like a reasonable amount)
And the secret ingredient…
Secret Ingredient

Melted white chocolate (Boom! Life changed! Thank you Carrie and Brooks for this secret) I used that much (less the pieces that ended up in my mouth…and the leftovers in the bowl after adding to the mixture).

Instructions
Pre-heat oven to 325
Melt the chocolate (you can use white, milk, dark, combination, go crazy, it’s chocolate and Christmas!)
Combine the Almond Flour, Salt, Baking Soda
Whisk the Eggs and Vanilla until fluffy (I used my hand blender’s whisk attachment; add the Agave and melted Chocolate and quickly whisk again to combine
Mix dry and wet
Add Cranberries
Transfer onto a Parchment-lined cookie sheet and form into a log (the mixture is quite sticky so I ran my hands under cold water to help form the log)

Bake for 30 minutes
Remove and let cool for 20 minutes
Slice and return to the oven for 15 minutes
Flip and return to the oven for a final 15 minutes

I packaged mine back like this for gifts.

Gift

I ate a lot of them…must make more!

Alternatives
1. Add dry-roasted pistachios
2. Dip in melted chocolate
3. Add slivered almonds
4. Milk/dark chocolate with mint chocolate dip
5. Let your imagination run wild!

Three Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies…Alannah’s Way

So apparently I bake when I’m bored! Having a quiet Saturday evening and was craving something sweat. After having a moment of weakness at Whole Foods the other night, I have some gluten-free “Oreos” in my cupboard, but I’d really rather eat something I’ve made. So last night I cracked open Oat and Raisin recipe again and tonight I went for Peanut Butter…

I had made a version of three ingredient peanut butter cookies in the past, but apparently didn’t post the recipe, so I found the following, basic recipe:

1 C Peanut Butter
1 C Sugar
1 Egg

And I changed it:

1 C Nut Butter – Peanut & Mystery (because that’s what I happened to have in the fridge)
1/2 C Organic Cane Sugar
1 Scoop Vanilla (Whey Gourmet Naturelle) Protein Powder
1 Egg
Chocolate Chips

Roll into balls and flatten with a fork, bake at 350 for approximately 10 mins.

I definitely feel better eating these over the craptastic, overly refined “Oreos”, but I know I still shouldn’t eat the whole batch 😦

 

Rediscovering my love of baking with gluten-free blueberry muffins!!

Last night I had a shocking craving for my godmother’s blueberry muffins my mum used to whip up for me, but since going gluten-free I haven’t been very pleased with the muffin selection out there…and then this recipe happened…and now everything has changed!

These muffins are moist and fluffy, and oh so yummy!!

I made a few tweaks to the original muffins:

Gluten-Free, Yogurt, Flax, Blueberry Muffins

2 Eggs (yes, I use organic free-range)
1/2 C Extra Light Olive Oil (I had Coconut Oil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil on hand so I used 1/3 C combination of those instead – I don’t think the full 1/2 C is really needed)
1 1/4 C Packed Light Brown Sugar (I had regular Brown Sugar and Organic Cane Sugar so I used 1 C combination of those, not packed – these definitely don’t need the extra)
2 tsp Vanilla
1 C Sour Cream or Plain Yogurt (I used Fat-Free Greek)
2 C Pamela’s Ultimate Baking and Pancake Mix (I don’t usually like gluten-free flours, but Pamela’s is AMAZING!)
1 C Fresh or Frozen Blueberries
(I added approx 1/3 C Ground Flax)

Preheat oven to 375 and line a muffin tin
Mix Eggs to Yogurt until smooth, add Baking Mix and beat until batter forms, fold in Blueberries
Scoop into tins and bake for 20-25 mins, until golden and a toothpick comes out clean
Cool on a wire cooling rack

I’m nervous about how they’ll be tomorrow, but I can’t eat anymore right now because it’s already past my bedtime…well, maybe just one more… 🙂 Enjoy!!

Gluten-Free Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies!!

I don’t think this batch of cookies will last as long as it takes me to post the recipe!

These are the most “real” gluten-free I’ve had to date 🙂

I try to avoid using gluten-free flour mixtures because they can spike your blood-sugar more than regular flours so I found this recipe from Shockingly Delicious, and tweaked it a bit.

1/3 C Earth Balance
1/3 C Sugar (I used mostly brown with a bit of Organic white)
2 Tbsp Liquid Egg White
1 tsp Vanilla
1 C Gluten Free Oats (Bob’s Red Mill)
1/4 C Ground Flax
1/3 C Almond Flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder (I love Whey Gourmet Naturelle for my baking)

Melt Earth Balance and Sugar
Mix in Egg White, Vanilla, Oats, Ground Flax, Almond Flour, Cinnamon and Protein Powder
Chill in fridge or freezer (this is IMPORTANT)
Once chilled, place balls onto parchment-covered cookie sheet (I didn’t press them down at first, but noticed they were browning before they should be so pressed them down a bit about 5 minutes in)
Bake for 15-25 minutes at 350 degrees, rotating about half-way through
Remove and allow to cool, as hard as this will be to do!

A Labour Day in the Kitchen

After an exciting three nights in Whistler competing in the Meet Your Maker 50 relay, I got home EARLY this morning and emerged from my kitchen many hours later!

What came out of my experimentation…

  • Steel-Cut Oat Muffins — adapted from Busy But Healthy (adapted from sugarfreemom.com)
  • Raw Cinnamon Buns — from Health Damy
  • Potato Salad

Steel-Cut Oat Muffins

My typical breakfast has been home-made granola and plain greek yogurt for the past…MANY years. So in a quest to switch it up a little, I found this beauty, which I altered slightly in an attempt to make a half batch and not use applesauce (mine had been sitting in  my cupboards for longer than I care to remember).

1 1/4 C Steel Cut Oats
1 tsp Cinnamon
2 Tbsp Ground Flax
1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
Pinch Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1 Mashed Banana
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 C Milk (I used Rice Milk)
1/2 C Water
1 Egg White

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 Minutes
Combine dry ingredients, combine wet ingredients; mix together
Fill muffin cups — I put Strawberry Jam in the middles; to do this, fill 1/3 muffin cup, add dollop of jam, add more batter

Raw Cinnamon Buns

My wheat-weakness is Cinnamon Buns so this recipe has been on my “to-try” list for a while now and I finally got around to it…and…although good, they won’t be replacing the real deal any time soon! But they ARE good. 

I followed this recipe pretty closely so I’m not going to write it out; however, the change I’d suggest is to cut down on the sugar!! I don’t think I’ll use any Agave next time as the dates are sweat enough.

 

 

 

Potato Salad

I always forget how much I LOVE red potatoes! Potatoes aren’t a staple in my diet, but I definitely have a soft spot for them and summer, although it’s nearing an end, just screams red potatoes!

3 Hard Boiled Eggs
6 Cooked Red Potatoes
1 Small Red Onion
3 Green Onions
1/2 Bunch Kale

Place chopped Eggs and Red Onion into a bowl
Mix in HOT cubed Potatoes — adding them hot soften the Red Onion just enough and really helps the flavours
Add Green Onion and chopped Kale

An Evening at Home

I’ve been running around, a lot, recently and tonight, instead of going to a yoga class (as I had hoped to), I made the decision to spend some time at home; making some food I keep meaning to make — zucchini pasta with home made pesto followed up with a blueberry-strawberry crisp 🙂 I feel like I made a good decision!

Pesto
1 Large Garlic Clove
3 Tbsp Shaved Parmesan
1 Bunch Basil — I used one of the packages from Safeway
3 Tbsp Toasted Walnuts —I wanted to use the traditional Pine Nuts, but my local Safeway didn’t have any and I didn’t want to go to another store
5 Tbsp Olive Oil

Place Garlic, Parmesan, Basil, Toasted Walnuts into food processor and let it run
Scrap down the edges
Drizzle Olive Oil into the bowl while the food processor is running
**Adapted from the Cuisinart Food Processor Guide

Zucchini Pasta
Peel skin
Using a peeler, peel one area until you get close to the seeds, then work your way onto the next side
Place “pasta” into lightly oiled frying pan and soften
Add 1 Tbsp of Pesto and warm —stir a few times
**I wouldn’t suggest this as a full meal, but definitely an amazing side dish for some white fish or something

Blueberry-Strawberry Crumble
1 C Frozen Blueberries
1/2 C Frozen Sliced Strawberries
1/2 tsp Cornstarch
1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/3 C Earth Balance —or Butter, or whatever you use
1/3 C Brown Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 1/2 C Oats —I use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free

Pour Berries into a baking dish —I use a 4×4 CorningWare one for these proportions
Sprinkle and stir in Cornstarch
Sprinkle with Pumpkin Pie Spice
Melt Earth Balance and Brown Sugar
Stir in Cinnamon and Oats
Pour Oat mixture over Berries
Cover with tinfoil and bake for approximately 15 minutes at 350
Remove tinfoil and bake until golden —approximately 10 more minutes

Grain-Free Protein Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Are you ready for the sharing to begin!? I’m IN LOVE with these cookies and have adapted the recipe from Detoxinista.

1C Nut Butter (I use a random combination of smooth peanut butter, almond butter and cashew butter)
1/3C Honey (I love honey so am totally ok using the full amount, but I’m sure you can mix and match with Agave and/or Stevia)
1 Egg (you can also use a Flax Egg, but I haven’t experimented with that yet)
1/2tsp Salt (if your nut butters are unsalted)
1/2tsp Baking Soda
1/2C shredded Coconut (optional and no modifications are necessary with omitting)
1 scoop Protein Powder (I used Natural Vanilla by Whey Gourmet and added about a tablespoon of  Original Coconut Milk to avoid the cookies becoming too dry)
1/2C Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350. Combine everything but the chocolate chips – I throw it all into a bowl and use the whisk attachment of my hand blender to combine. Fold in the chocolate chips. Scoop onto a greased or parchment covered cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 mins (until golden), rotating half-way through. Leave on the cookie sheet to cool as they come out of the oven very soft!I tested them on my friend’s fiance and they passed with flying colours!