Holiday Photo Overload!

qGluten-Free Rum Balls

photo4 Gluten-Free Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

1 Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies

7The Before

m Gluten-Free Lemon Meringue Pie

photo 2    Gluten-Free Checkerboard Cookies

Recipes coming soon!

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Life Update and a Product Review: Enjoy Life Crunchy Cookies

Oh, I am a bit behind here. It seems that, in life, you are either behind in work/things that need to be done, or behind in everything else. I think this falls into the “everything else” category. My apologies. As some of you may know, I finished grad school in May and since I started working full-time (real-job time!) I haven’t had much time to write.

Also, in an effort to um, er, downsize, I have enacted a moratorium on baked goods, excepting those on Thanksgiving and Christmas (upon which there will be baked goods. I’m very excited to show you them). I did manage to sneak some pumpkin bread in there but I figure, if it’s made in the bread machine it can’t be all bad. And pumpkin is oh so good for you.

And since I didn’t technically bake these cookies I’m about to review, they don’t count – yep, I’m pretty sure they don’t. Plus, they were sent to me gratis, and therefore can’t be wasted.

So for the stats: these cookies come in four varieties: double chocolate, chocolate chip, vanilla honey graham, and sugar shortbread. They are indeed lightly crispy, and quite large for the typical boxed-cookies, which makes me happy, at about 100-120 calories a pop for two.They are free of all the allergens, as Enjoy Life products are.

(Tip: if you like your cookies less-crispy, open the box and come back in a few days; they will soften up a little)

These make a lovely snack, dessert, coffee-partner. I just tried the sugar version yesterday and even though the chocolate ones are very good, I think the big sugar crystals on these won me over. (Very bad tasty with Nutella.)

However, with the holidays coming up, I am confident that these cookies would be a great ingredient in recipes that call for a cookie crust/cookie crumbs, etc.  Their texture is very well suited for grinding, and firm enough to stand up in baking.

Another related tangent that I need to share: my grandma makes the best rum balls. Ever. In all creation. Every year she makes a whole batch of them and then they sit out in a big tin on the counter, getting better each day, as rum balls do. Since her house is about 10 feet from mine, I used to furtively sneak into the kitchen – when people were conveniently elsewhere – and shove a couple in my pocket for good measure.

If you aren’t familiar, they are basically crushed Nilla wafers, rum, powdered sugar, and walnuts. They are German, as am I. Many recipes call for cocoa powder, but I think they’re better without it. No need for baking, which keeps the alcohol…intact. They are amazing little spicy balls of cookie dough, and of course off-limits to me now.

As yet I haven’t tried to recreate them gluten-free, but this year I really want to. And I think I might have to try it with the vanilla honey graham version here.

Has anyone tried to make some sort of unbaked cookie with gf cookie crumbs? Let me know!

One week till Thanksgiving!

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Date-Oat Cookies

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I have a confession: I love dates. Probably more than I should. But what’s not to like? They’re good for you, and one of the few items grown on a tree that tastes better than candy. Perfect for baking.

Now that the weather has finally started to warm up, you might be thinking that heating the house up for a cookie is not the best idea, but trust me, once you try them, you will.

This recipe does make for a pretty sweet cookie but the dates and oats make it a bit healthier. I also like to cut the butter in half by using either applesauce or mashed banana. I’m rather fond of using Splenda (though I know many of you are not) so I’ve also used half-sugar, half-Splenda in a few versions.

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Gluten-free Date-Oat Cookies

   If you are thinking there isn’t much flour in these, you’re right! It makes for a wonderful, moist cookie. Makes about 12; I always double the recipe.*

  • 3/4 cup flour: I used half brown rice, half sorghum
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) Earth Balance or butter-substitute, cut up -0r- 1/4 cup Earth Balance and 1/4 cup applesauce or a ripe mashed banana
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 gluten-free oats
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pitted-dates

DSCN6897Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Use a pastry cutter (or fork – it took me years to actually buy a cutter) to cut in the butter until batter resembles fine crumbs. If you’re substituting half of the butter, mix in the applesauce/banana now.

Add in the egg, mixing until just blended, Mix in the sugar, oats, and dates. Batter will be sticky and wet.

DSCN6903Drop tablespoons onto a parchment-covered baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on the baking sheet until cookies are firm enough to be transferred to a rack. As with most GF cookies, they can be delicate until cooled. Store in the fridge. Yum!DSCN6915

* Recipe adapted from Cookies:1001 Mouthwatering Recipes from Around the World. Not a GF or DF book, but full of amazing cookies ideas!

GF Gingerbread Cookies

DSCN6815Funny – right now America’s Test Kitchen is on, and they’re talking about bread-making and the different types of the flour, how gluten is formed, etc. If there ever was a conversation lost on me…

BUT ANYWAY….COOKIES!

 

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies!

* Recipe adapted from McCormick *

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups GF flour: I used 2c Bob’s all-purpose, 1c coconut flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamonDSCN6799
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) Earth Balance buttery sticks, softened
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon GF vanilla extract

Directions:

Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in large bowl. Set aside.

DSCN6778 Beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Try not to eat.

DSCN6785 Add molasses, egg and vanilla; mix well.

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Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed.

DSCN6793 Press dough into a thick flat disk.

DSCN6795 Wrap in parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 4 hours; I left them overnight.

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Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness on lightly floured work surface or between two sheets of parchment (makes your life easier, I promise). Cut into desired shapes.

DSCN6809 Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Be careful with the dough: it can be a little easy to break once cut in shapes.

Bake 7 to 10 minutes or until edges of cookies are set and just begin to brown. DSCN6814

Cool on baking sheets 1 to 2 minutes.

Remove to wire racks; cool completely. Decorate cooled cookies as desired. Store cookies in airtight container up to 5 days.

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Tips: DSCN6812

  • Be VERY careful with cookies while they’re warm: they break apart rather easily before cooled. (or this happens –>)
  • Next time I might try using extra xanthan gum and see if it helps the dough stick together a little better.
  • Not just for Christmas: try cutting them into stars or moons for New Year’s cookies!
  • This recipe is easily adapted to make Gingerbread cake (also found on the McCormick website) with mainly the same ingredients.
  • Melted chocolate makes a fantastic icing, especially combined with the spicy flavor!

Gluten-Free Dreaming Copyright 2011.