Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Best GF Chocolate Chip Cookies EVER!

No, really. These are exactly what chocolate chip cookies used to be. :D



2/3 c. melted butter

1 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. cane sugar

2 eggs

1 T. vanilla

2 1/4 c. all purpose gf flour

1 t. salt

1 t. xantham gum

1 1/2 t. baking soda

1/2 t. baking powder

1 bag chocolate chips

1 c. pecans (optional)

Preheat your oven to 375


Put your dry ingredients in one bowl.


Cream your butter and sugars.


Add eggs and vanilla.


Dry stuff into the wet stuff.


Now, the chips and nuts!




I use a 2 tablespoon scoop on baking sheets with parchment paper. This makes a lot of cookies. :D (Like 24). You bake them for 14-18 minutes, depending on humidity, etc.


Pretty cookies!


Here's the best part. We cook up a few, then freeze the rest in an ice cube tray. Once they're frozen, we pop them out and store in a freezer bag. You cook them in the toaster oven just like any freezer cookie. (Or chop it up and add to ice cream for cookie dough ice cream)


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Homemade Ranch Dressing

Hey, y'all!

I know that in general there's not a lot of gluten in ranch. What there is, however, is a ton of sugar, salt and fat in the bottled kind.

I found out how easy it is to do homemade, and never looked back.

You need:

2 cups buttermilk
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp dried chives
2 tbsp dried parsley
1 tbsp dillweed
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Mix together Mayo and buttermilk

Add in all your spices and whisk well.

This is important. Taste! I always end up adding more salt or pepper or dill, depending very much on the fat content of the buttermilk or the brand of mayo. Homemade mayo requires way more dill, chives and parsley, and organic mayo needs more salt and pepper than say, Helmann's

We store ours in a glass bottle in the fridge, but you can also store it in a covered bowl. This dressing will last almost two weeks depending on the freshness of your buttermilk.

Allergens: milk, egg

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Penuche Frosting

As promised! Almost impossible to screw up penuche frosting. I have done everything wrong to this recipe that you can do and it comes out. Yay!

Penuche Frosting

1/2 c. butter (or Earth Balance)

1/2 c. light brown sugar

1/2 c. dark brown sugar

1/4 c. cream (or coconut milk)

pinch of salt

2 t. vanilla

2 c. powdered sugar


Melt your butter, then stir in brown sugars and bring to a boil over med. heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring all the while.


Stir in cream and salt and bring back to a boil, still stirring. Then remove the pan from the heat and let cool to lukewarm. Now add vanilla.


Pop your goo in the mixer and slowly add your confectioners sugar. Try not to overbeat. If you get too thick, thin with hot water. If it's too thin, more sugar.


Ta Da. :D

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Quick, Easy Salted Caramel Sauce

This is our go-to caramel sauce that we keep in the fridge. Simple, easy, and it keeps for 2+ weeks.


1/2 c. sugar

1/2 c. light brown sugar

1/4 c. water

3/4 c. cream

3 1/2 T. butter

1 t. salt


Put your sugars and water together over low heat and bring to a boil, whisking every now and again.


When the boiling starts, stop stirring and let it boil for 6 minutes. Don't touch it.


When your 6 minutes is up, take off the heat, and stir in the cream.


Then add your butter.


And salt.


Put in a container and cool, then pop in the fridge. Ta da! Caramel sauce!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Weekday Nummy Turtle Cupcakes, Part 1

Okay, so today we were cleaning out the pantry and found a gf chocolate cake mix.

Now, let me be upfront, I'm trying to use let 'packaged' products in my life and I love exploring and doing from scratch recipes, but let's be honest. I have a life, hormones, and the periodic need for a quick cupcake that tastes like sin. My go-to almond flour chocolate espresso cake is grand, but doesn't lend itself to cupcakes.

So we looked in the fridge.

We had cream, pecans, some salted caramel sauce (part 2 will be how to make salted caramel sauce to keep in the fridge because OMG, you never know when in the month you might need caramel on hand.

So, make your cake batter according to the recipe. Mine took 3 eggs, a stick of melted butter, and a cup of water.

Then, if you're me, eject your beaters into your batter. *sigh*


Cook as per instructions. (this one is easy to type out)


Now, let them cool for just a few minutes and poke nice sized holes in the top with a chopstick.


Pour in slightly warmed up salted caramel in the holes. (And by slightly, say, 10 seconds in the microwave?)


This is what they look like filled.


Then, make penuche frosting and sprinkle with pecans  (penuche frosting will be part 3)




Look at the numniness...


These are absolutely delicious. I mean, like I Bought Them At A Bakery delicious.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

We Made Homemade Ricotta!

Y'all, this couldn't be easier.

1 gallon organic, whole fat milk

1 quart buttermilk


Big pot


Heat over medium high heat until the milk's at around 175 degrees.

That's when you get curds and whey. :D


Line a colander with cheesecloth and ladle the curds and whey in.


Drain the whey out (try not to squish the curds).


Let the cheese drain at least 15 more minutes. Then?


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour, a GF Pasta review, and a Strawberry Cupcake Recipe Review



APGF Flour.

It's maddening. It's expensive. It's a little tricky, but the good news is, it's getting better all the time.


The deal with gf flour is that you can't use just one flour to replace wheat flour. From what I can figure, you need at least three types of flour to replace wheat flour and even then, you have to sort of juggle.

For instance, garbanzo bean flour is great, but I find it *incredibly* beany. In some recipes, that rocks. In some... not so much. Some rice flour blends are too delicate for breads. Some blends need the 'teeth' of teff. Some need the lift of tapioca.


All that said, I have 3 go-to flours that I tend to use:

Store-bought: I prefer Bob's Red Mill AP flour. I like the texture, I like the price (comparatively), and I like the taste. It is made with bean flours, so if you have a sensitivity or a distaste for beans, you might try Pamela's. Lots of people like it; I just don't think it tastes as good.

Quick-and-dirty (OMG, I'm out of the good stuff and Bobs and the stores are closed and I promised the yoga teacher I'd bring cupcakes): equal parts sorghum flours, tapioca flour, and brown rice flour.

The good stuff: This is for Gee, I'm trying something for a dinner party or Someone Not Gluten Free is Coming baking. 1 1/2 c. brown rice flour, 2/3 c. sorghum flour, 2/3 c. cornstarch, 1/4 c. potato starch, 1 heaping tablespoon tapioca flour, 1 t. xantham gum.  (makes 3ish cups)

Now, I use almond flour a *lot* -- I love the texture and flavor. I'm a huge fan of tapioca flour. I use buckwheat flour for crepes. I'm currently experimenting with coconut flour and how to lighten its texture. :D But those are for speciality recipes.

For a great GF 101 tutorial, I love Gluten Free Mommy's: http://glutenfreemommy.com/gluten-free-grains-101-the-best-flour-blend/


A quick pasta review -- Tinkyada Penne.


Made baked pasta tonight -- Tinkyada was absolutely stunning. Firm, it held up to both boiling and baking. I couldn't be happier. No one would know this was gf. We boiled the pasta for 5 minutes, added sauce and parmesan. Baked covered tightly for 45 minutes and then finished off uncovered for 10.



For my birthday yesterday we tried the strawberry cupcake recipe from Elena Amsterdam's Gluten-Free Cupcakes.

It wasn't bad. Coconut flour-based, they were a lot heavier than I'd expect and wet. Also, I think I'd cut the strawberries up a little finer. I think next time I'll whip the egg whites separately from the yolks and *really* macerate the strawberries and see if I don't like the results a little more.



Look for homemade ricotta on Thursday, and then we're trying gf cannolis on Saturday. Next week, look for homemade gorditas. :D

Happy week, y'all. Much love.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

My First Baguette

Which is sort of like My Little Pony, but with the oven.



One of my cooking experiments is to learn to cook mussels. There were lovely mussels at the Whole Foods yesterday, but Lorna pointed out that, until I have a baguette recipe down, we're not spending the money for mussels.

Okay. Fine.


So, I looked at my wheaty recipe, then checked out the bread recipe in "Artisanal Gluten Free" and Jules Shepard's gf French bread recipe.



I can invent something here that's mine.

So, ingredients:


1 1/4 c. milk (I used unsweetened almond)

1 T. butter

2 1/4 t. yeast

1 t. cane sugar

1 t. salt

1/2 t. xantham gum

2 1/4 c. gf all-purpose flour (I intend to do a gf all-purpose flour post next week)


I put my milk and butter to a saucepan and heated slowly.


Then, since I don't have a baguette pan (yet), I made a fake one with aluminum foil.


When the butter's just melted, I poured yeast in and let it bubble and collide and be yeasty for 5 minutes. While this was happening, I put the dry ingredients in the mixer (you can use a  bowl and hand-mix, I bet -- I figure I have the mixer, I'm using it.)

Then, in goes the yeast mixture and I mixed that baby up.


Now, this? This feels NOTHING like my normal mix. However, I am not frightened of goo. It is only batter. I will control it with my Handy Ziploc Bag of Joy!


Now to pour my baguette. (Please ignore the fuzzy robe, I was chilly, and yes, that's new ink. Yes, there will be color. Yes, I know, it's big.)


Rising time! 20 minutes somewhere warm with a dish towel. :D

Oh, about 10 minutes into that rising time, I put a dish of water in the oven and preheated to 410 degrees. (The water helps the crust get...crusty.


Rising Bread!


I popped her in the oven for 20, then pulled her out and egg washed (1 egg, a nice plop of water) for shinytude!


13 more minutes in and viola!


Grins. What would I do differently? I think the baguette pans will be *very* helpful for the shape. Otherwise, it tastes like heaven. :D :D


I'm thinking there will be mussels in my future!

Allergens: dairy, egg, almonds (to avoid dairy: use a non-dairy spread or a natural shortening for the butter; to avoid egg: omit egg wash; to avoid almond: use soy or hemp or coconut or dairy milk)