Sunday, December 28, 2014

Adventures in Gluten Free Baking... Holiday Goodies!!

For the past 3 years, I have watched in agony as others have devoured the delicious holiday treats during the Christmas season.  With Celiac disease, I am so limited as to what I can consume, and it puts a lot of pressure on me to make everything I eat myself...  But this year, I was determined to have a Gluten Free Christmas meal and desserts.  Mission accomplished!  Here is a picture of all of the delicious treats I was able to accomplish this year, my gluten free friends will all drool!  You see, gluten free baked goods don't often look as good as they taste... just par for the course I suppose...   

Here are the recipes that I used.  However, please be advised that with gluten free baking - if you don't use the same flour configuration, then the consistency and taste of your baked goods will vary greatly.  As with all gluten free recipes, you will want to verify that all ingredients that you use are free of gluten, even if not mentioned in the ingredients in the recipe.  

Chewy Gooey Flourless Chocolate Cookies {courtesy of Recipe Girl}
3 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 to 4 egg whites at room temperature {I start with 2 and go from there, 4 isn't usually necessary}
1 TBS pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips {bittersweet are recommended, but I use semi}
A Silpat for your baking sheet or parchment paper  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line your baking sheets with Silpat or parchment.  If you use parchment, give it a spray with non stick baking spray.  {I only use Silpat's with this recipe as anything else doesn't give up the cookie and it just crumbles on me}.

In a large bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, cocoa, and salt.  Whisk in egg whites starting with just two, vanilla extract, and beat until batter is just moistened.  Add egg whites as needed but batter should be a thick and brownie-like consistency.  Gently stir in chocolate chips.

Spoon batter onto prepared baking sheets, small spoonfuls, evenly spaced.  Bake about 14 minutes, until tops are glossy and lightly cracked.  Cool completely, then peel away the Silpat or parchment to release the cookies.  Store in an air tight container.  

Cookies and Cream Fudge:
16 chocolate sandwich cookies broken in pieces { I use Glutino so this recipe is gluten free} 
1 can sweetened condensed milk, varies by brand but is usually 12 to 14 ounces.
2 TBS Butter
2 2/3 cups white chocolate chips {will be more than one bag}
1 tsp vanilla

Line 8x8 baking dish with tin foil.  Place half of the broken cookies on the bottom.  In a large saucepan, combine condensed milk, butter, white chips, and melt over low heat until completely melted and smooth.  Remove from heat, stir in vanilla.  Pour over cookies, and sprinkle remaining cookies on top.   Cool in the fridge 3 to 4 hours.  Pull mixture out of the pan via the tin foil, place upside down on a cutting board, and remove tin foil.  Cut in pieces...  

Peppermint Bark:
1 package white chocolate bark, cut into shavings and small pieces
2 cups white chocolate morsels
1/2 package Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips

Prepare a cookie sheet, line it with wax paper.  Combine first two ingredients in a large saucepan, and melt over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Do not over cook or turn up the heat.  As soon as it is melted, it is done.  Even small pieces of unmelted chips won't show or matter.  Immediately pour the melted chocolate onto the cookie sheet, spreading with your spatula to make a rectangle shape.  Pour the Andes Peppermint baking chips over the top.  When they have started to melt, take your knife or spatula and smear the red coloring around for decoration.  Cool in the fridge completely, about 2 hours.  When it is done, break the chocolate into random pieces...  Store at room temp or in the fridge.  So good! 

Flourless Peanut Butter Blossoms:  {Recipe found on Pinterest and postings in our Celiac Facebook group}
1 Cup Peanut butter {I use smooth and creamy}.
1 cup sugar {plus a little in a bowl for rolling dough in}
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, prepare cookie sheet with parchment or Silpat.  Combine all ingredients until smooth.  Roll small balls in sugar and place evenly on prepared baking sheet.  Cook 12 minutes, remove from oven and immediately place unwrapped Hershey's kiss chocolate piece in top ad lightly press until desired blossom shape has been formed for each cookie.  Store in air tight container.

Mexican Wedding Cookies {Recipe modified for GF from Martha Stewart's original recipe}

1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup flour {I used Cup for Cup brand}
1/4 cup cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1 egg
1 1/2 stick salted butter {3/4 cup}
1 tsp vanilla
Powdered sugar for rolling, about 2 cups

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Prepare baking sheet with Silpat or parchment paper.  Cream sugar and egg in a mixer.  Add in flour, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla.  Stir in pecans until just combined.  Bake at 325 for approximately 20 minutes.  Baking times will vary based on your altitude, climate, and the type of flour that you use, so keep an eye on them towards the end.  When the cookies are done, remove from the oven and toss each one in powdered sugar, returning to the baking sheet.  Then coat them a second time for good measure ;-)  Store in an airtight container.  Most gluten recipes don't call for an egg, but I find it is necessary in a GF version for better binding.  

Hope all my fellow Celiac's are able to enjoy some delicious treats!!  Now, on to the next challenge :-)  Gotta stay positive and push forward peeps!!!