Gluten Free Graham Crackers

 

 

These graham crackers make a tasty snack on their own, and they are also sturdy enough to use for s’mores. They will stay fresh for several days in a sealed container on the counter.

 

They are baked similar to biscotti so that you get nice, crispy cookies, even if the dough is rolled out on the thick side. The crackers are baked and removed from the oven. The oven is turned off, and the crackers are returned to the still-warm oven to finish drying out. The original bake time will vary based on the actual thickness of your crackers, so keep a close eye on them.

 

This recipe is my favorite iteration, but some basic substitutions will still yield a tasty result. I made a version with no oat flour (increase flax seed to ½ cup and omit oatmeal), and you can also use all butter instead of a mix of butter and coconut oil. The sugar can also be adjusted to taste. You may need to adjust the amount of milk that you add to make a nice pliable dough.

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Hostess-Style Chocolate Cupcakes

gluten free chocolate cupcakes

Whew! I just finished my first year teaching at a wonderful school. There is one thing I’ve heard talking to teachers: it doesn’t matter if are teaching second grade or twelfth grade, public or private school – the first year is a doozie. And it was, but I’m hoping that I’ll have more time to share recipes with you on the blog going forward.

 

These cupcakes are a nostalgic treat that everyone will love. They do take some time to assemble but they are worth it. The prep is reduced by using another cake box hack, and if marshmallow fluff is available and meets your dietary requirements, you can use it instead of making your own filling. If you have some of the chocolate icing in your freezer, the assembly gets even faster.

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Gingerbread

Gluten free gingergread made with fresh ginger

This gingerbread is made with fresh ginger. I adapted Maxie’s supper club’s fresh ginger cake recipe (here) so it is gluten-free. You may be wondering if it is worth it to mince up all that ginger – I say yes! The fresh ginger flavor is incredible.

If you buy more ginger than you need, finish peeling it and then store it in the freezer in a baggie. It can be grated while frozen, or it will start to thaw quickly and you can slice it up for your stir-fry.

You don’t want to use blackstrap molasses, but most other varieties taste great. I have made this cake with Brer Rabbit full flavor, Brer Rabbit mild flavor, Grandma’s original, and Grandma’s robust, and all will give you good results.

 

Yield: One 8” x 8” cake

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 3/4 c. white rice flour (115 g)
    2/3 c. potato starch (100 g)
  • 1/2 c. tapioca flour (65 g)
  • 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

 

  • 1/2 c. packed freshly minced ginger

 

  • 3/4 c. molasses
  • 3/4 c. granulated white sugar (150 g)
  • 2/3 c. oil

 

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda

 

  • 3/4 c. water

 

  • 2 eggs

 

Optional:

 

  • nonstick cooking spray
  • powdered sugar or whipped cream

 

Other Equipment:

  • 8” x 8” x 2” square pan
  • parchment paper
  • mesh sieve
  • medium sized sauce pot
  • whisk
  • rubber spatula

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Stuffed Strawberries

Gluten free stuffed strawberries - cream cheese and whipped cream

Here is a cool, no-bake summer dessert – and it doesn’t even need Jello or Cool-Whip. These little guys are stuffed with a slightly sweet whipped cream and cream cheese filling. The cream cheese stabilizes the whipped cream, so the shelf life is much longer than for plain whipped cream. If you don’t feel like individually stuffing berries, just serve the cream as a dip along with a variety of fresh fruit.

 

This dessert looks the prettiest when you use small to medium sized strawberries.

 

Yield: About 2 – 1/2 cups of cream filling

 

Ingredients:

 

  • Strawberries (filling recipe makes enough to fill up to 2 pounds)
  • 4 oz (114 g) cream cheese
  • 1/4 c.(50 g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (recommended: Nielsen-Massey vanilla bean paste)
  • 3/4 c. heavy cream

 

Other Equipment:

 

  • small knife for hulling berries
  • electric mixer fitted with a whip attachment
  • pastry bag fitted with star tip

 

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Fudgies… or No-Bake Cookies – A geographic and cultural debate!

gluten free fudgies

The proper name for these cookies is a matter of some debate in my household. My husband – and most of the country, as far as I can tell – calls these cookies “no-bake cookies.” In my family, these cookies go by one name and one name only – “fudgies”. My grandmother was a bona fide cookie lady for many years, making cookies at a high school cafeteria in Massachusetts. She called these fudgies, and I don’t know about you, but I’m not arguing with a cookie lady!

 

Another reason why these cookies should be called “fudgies” – you cook the base as you would cook a fudge candy. This is the reason why some people have difficulty with the cookies coming out dry and crumbly, or so soft that they never firm up. Most recipes specify a cooking time, which can vary from one to five minutes, and your results can vary wildly based on the size of the pot you use, or if you scale the recipe up or down. If you want to avoid dry or mushy fudgies, it’s time to haul out the candy thermometer. Fudge is cooked to 240ºF (soft ball stage), but I prefer to slightly undercook the sugar mixture to 220ºF. This results in a slightly creamier, glossier cookie.

 

Using a candy thermometer sounds like a pain, but you may only need to use it a few times, and you can record how long you needed to boil the sugar mixture. Just keep in mind that if you double or half the recipe, or use a different sized pot, your timing will probably change. A candy thermometer is the only way to guarantee consistent results every time.

 

Ingredient note: This recipe contains gluten free oats. Some people on gluten free diets cannot tolerate oats, even if they are certified gluten free. If you are sharing these cookies, please let any GF dieters know that they contain oats!

 

Yield: 30 cookies using #40 portion scoop

Ingredients:

  •  2 c. white sugar ( 400 g)
  • 1/4 c. cocoa powder (20 g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick or 114 g)
  • 1/2 c. peanut butter (140 g)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  •  3 c. old fashioned gluten free oats (285 g)

Other Equipment:

  • parchment paper or waxed paper
  • cookie scoop
  • candy thermometer
  • 6 Qt pot
  • rubber spatula

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Butternut Squash Soup

gluten free butternut squash soup

 

This is a simple soup that comes together quickly, but the squash takes a while to roast and cool. The roasting can be done a day in advance if you are pressed for time in the evenings.

Yield: 6-7 cups

 

 Ingredients:

whole butternut squash (2-3 lbs)
4 cups GF chicken broth, divided (recommended: Kitchen Basics brand)
1 medium onion

2-4 tablespoons olive oil

white pepper

salt ground cayenne pepper

nonstick cooking spray

optional: sour cream

 

Other Equipment:

baking dish

immersion or stand blender

6Q pot

mesh strainer

spatula

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Oatmeal Flax Muffins

Gluten Free Oatmeal Flax Muffins - www.cookiesandquilts.com

 

These muffins pack in fiber and iron, and have a delicious cinnamon molasses taste.

 

This recipe use milled flax seed, not whole flax. Milled flax seed looks like this:

milled flax seed

Milled flax seed from Hodgson Mills

 

You can find milled flax seed in the health food flours sections of the grocery store. I purchase Hodgson Mill brand, which is labeled as gluten free.

 

Ingredient note: This recipe contains gluten free oats. Some people on gluten free diets cannot tolerate oats, even if they are certified gluten free. If you are sharing these muffins, please let any GF dieters know that they contain oats!

 

Yield: 10 muffins

 

Ingredients:

  •  1 c. certified gluten free oats (95 g)
  • 1 c. buttermilk

 

  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/3 c. white or brown rice flour (50 g)
  • 1/3 c. tapioca starch (35 g)
  • 1/3 c. potato starch (45 g)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 c. milled flax seed (26 g)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. light brown sugar
  • 1/3 c. oil
  • 2 Tablespoons molasses
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • raw/turbinado sugar (optional)

 

Other Equipment:

  • 12 cup muffin pan

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Brownies

I’ve owned two of Marcel Desaulniers’s cookbooks, Death by Chocolate and Desserts to Die For, for ages- they date back to my pre-diagnosis days. I gave them a fresh look a few years ago, and discovered that lots of his recipes are free of flour as written! Who needs flour with that much eggs, chocolate and butter?

 

His brownie recipe did contain a small amount of flour, so I modified it to be gluten free… and added some more chocolate. You’ll notice that the recipe below has some options. This is because, if you use corn starch and omit the xanthan gum, you have a recipe that requires only ingredients that are readily available at any grocery store. Just be aware that it is best to buy fresh containers of baking powder, corn starch, and cocoa, instead of using opened containers that have been in a gluten-containing kitchen. Starting fresh will avoid any possible contamination with the wheat flour bin.

 

So… the really important question for all brownie recipes: Fudgy or cake-like? Well, if you include the xanthan gum and use tapioca flour, the brownies are most definitely fudgy. If you omit the xanthan gum, then the texture can best be described as smooth and truffle-like. These brownies taste great with regular Baker’s chocolate, but if you really want to indulge, Scharffen Berger’s 3 oz. semisweet and bittersweet bars say “gluten free” right on the wrapper.

 

Yield: 8” x 8” pan of brownies, 12 servings

 

Ingredients:

  •  4 Tablespoons butter (half-stick or 57g)
  • 3 oz. semisweet chocolate (85 g)
  • 3 oz. bittersweet or unsweeted chocolate (85 g)

 

  • 1/4 c. tapioca flour (32 g) or corn starch (35 g)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder (10 g)

 

  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar (200 g)
  • 1 teaspoon GF vanilla
  • 1/4 c. sour cream
  • nonstick cooking spray (optional)

 

Other Equipment:

  • 8” x 8” x 2” baking pan
  • parchment paper
  • double boiler (see instructions for description)
  • mesh sieve
  • electric mixer fitted with whisk or balloon whip attachment

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Yellow Cupcakes

These cupcakes were one of my first (successful!) gluten free baking attempts, and they are a great place for anyone to start. I found the recipe on A Gluten Free Guide , and it follows in the great tradition of doctored cake mixes. That’s right, these cupcakes “cheat” by using a boxed GF cake mix as a base. No tracking down multiple flours, no covering your entire kitchen in tapioca flour dust, and these things are pretty much foolproof.

The chocolate frosting recipe can be found here.

Ingredient note: This recipe calls for orange juice, which I don’t always have available (you know, for those cupcake emergencies). I keep a container of orange juice concentrate in my freezer, and scoop 2-3 tablespoons into a measuring cup, and add enough warm water to bring the total volume to the 3/4 c. required for this recipe.

Yield: 18-21 cupcakes

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 package gluten free yellow cake mix (Betty Crocker brand and Gluten Free Pantry brand both work well)
  • 1 package (3.4 oz/96 g) Jello instant vanilla pudding
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 c. orange juice
  • 1/2 c. oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoon vanilla (recommended: Nielsen-Massey vanilla bean paste)

 

Other Equipment:

  • 2 – 12 cupcake pans
  • cupcake liners
  • #40 portion scoop (optional)
  • hand-held wish or electric mixer
  • spatula

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Chocolate Icing

This chocolate icing recipe is based on the Pioneer Woman’s  sticky chocolate icing. I scaled it up a bit since the original recipe left small amounts of sweetened condensed milk languishing in my fridge.

This batch makes enough icing to frost two batches of yellow cupcakes (recipe here). This stuff freezes well, so after frosting your cupcakes, scoop the rest of the icing into a resealable container, let it cool, and then freeze. When you make your next batch of cupcakes, just microwave the frozen icing and stir it every minute. As it softens, shorten the time between stirs to 30 seconds.

 

Sometimes the icing doesn’t always last until the next batch of cupcakes…

 

Yield: ~ 2 c. icing (enough for two batches of 18-21 cupcakes)

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 14 oz. (396 g) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 8 oz. (226 g) semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 Tablespoons butter

Other Equipment:

  • medium sized saucepan
  • spatula
  • small spoon

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