Sunday, March 27, 2011

Gluten Free Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe comes from my good friend, Peggy Cullen’s book Got Milk? The Cookie Book. I use this book all the time to make amazing gluten-free cookies. Whenever I make these and give them to people, they often tell me they are some of the best chocolate-chip cookies they’ve ever had.

When I say that they're gluten-free people often act surprised, as if removing gluten removes flavor. I guess it’s the same thing as thinking no-fat equals no-taste… but then again, that one might be true. Yeah, that was a bad example! The point is, these cookies are the bomb! Make them up, and try them yourself. I’m sure you’ll agree.

You can use any gluten-free baking mix you want, but I suggest using the recipe I list below. It is the closest thing to all-purpose flour that I’ve come across so far. I use this mixture in most of my baking projects. I’ve also experimented with bean flours, but many have a strong aftertaste. Ahh, experimentation… the key to a happy gluten-free life!

The Following gluten-free flour recipe was adapted from the book The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Fast And Healthy by Bette Hagman.

Gluten Free Flour Mix
  • 3 cups white rice flour
  • 1 cup potato flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum

Chocolate Chip Cookie Ingredients
  • 2 sticks softened, unsalted butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 3 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/5 cups gluten free flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups chocolate chunks or chips
  • 2 cups large pecan or walnut pieces

Preheat oven to 375º F.

In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer or hand mixer, beat the butter, sugars, salt and vanilla until well combined. Beat in the egg. Scrape down the bowl using a rubber spatula as it mixes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix on low speed until just absorbed. Remove the mixture from the electric mixer and add the chocolate and nuts. Mix the batter with a large and strong spoon or spatula.

Use a 1 inch ice cream scooper to make the cookie-dough balls, and drop them about 3 inches apart onto un-greased baking sheets. Bake for 9-12 minutes, or until the edges are golden. Let the cookies sit for 5 minutes before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely.

* Makes about 4 dozen *

Save some for yourself. These will disappear fast!

Find this great recipe and more in Peggy Cullen’s Got Milk? The Cookie Book.

Gluten-Free Banana Nut Bread

Who doesn’t love banana bread!? Banana bread, in my opinion, is one of the easiest gluten-free breads to make. This recipe comes from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook. My partner is a big fan of Martha’s cooking, and I’ve got to admit, this book is full of amazing recipes! Martha Stewart can seriously cook!

I often use my own gluten-free flour mix with various banana bread recipes, but I decided to try out Arrowhead Mills Gluten-Free All Purpose Baking Mix. It came out great, and was devoured quickly by my friends and co-workers. Feel free to experiment and use my own flour mixture below. I’m sure you’ll be happy either way.

The Following gluten-free flour recipe was adapted from the book The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Fast And Healthy by Bette Hagman.

Gluten Free Flour Mix
  • 3 cups white rice flour
  • 1 cup potato flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum

Banana Nut Bread Ingredients

  • 3 cups Arrowhead Mills Gluten-Free All Purpose Baking Mix
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp sea salt (or regular table salt)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tblsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups ripe mashed banana (3-4 medium sized)
  • 1 cup diced walnuts
  • ¼ cup soy, rice, or buttermilk
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350º F.

Coat two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans with cooking spray (check ingredients for gluten!) and set aside. In a large bowl whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside.

In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer or hand mixer, beat the eggs, sugar and oil until combined. Use a spatula to scrape the side of the bowl as you mix. Beat in the flour mixture until just combined; add the vanilla, banana, nuts, and milk until mixed thoroughly.

Pour the mixture evenly into the two prepared bread pans. The mixture will be soupy. Bake them until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 60-65 minutes. Transfer the loaves, inside the pans, to a wire rack to cool for 20-30 minutes. Remove the loaves from the pans and let cool completely. The banana bread can be left at room temperature, if wrapped in plastic, for a little past a week. However, you can also freeze them and they’ll keep for up to 3 months.

* Makes two loaves *

Try adding a cup or two of chocolate chips to the batter, and some coconut shaving on top!

Find this great recipe and more in Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook

*Make sure to check out my other gluten free recipes! Look out for upcoming reviews of gluten free products!

Gluten Free Chocolate Fudge Cake

Every year on my partner’s birthday I bake a cake from scratch, and even make my own frosting. It’s actually a lot of fun. When I first learned of the many challenges living gluten-free, I wondered how I’d be able to continue the tradition of making her a great cake. Fortunately I love a good challenge, and more importantly I love to bake! For the last two years I’ve made some delicious cakes! This is a recipe that was based off a recipe I found in the book Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book.

This recipe calls for making two cake layers and stacking them on top of each other. If your cakes don’t even-out completely, just take a sharp knife and trim the cakes while stacked so that the edges are flush. This will make spreading the frosting much easier. Also, the more frosting you put in the middle, if any, the harder it will be to get the two layers to stick. Don’t be afraid to get messy… in my opinion, that’s one of the fun parts of cooking. The cleaning up part… not so fun.

The Following gluten-free flour recipe was adapted from the book The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Fast And Healthy by Bette Hagman.

Gluten Free Flour Mix
  • 3 cups white rice flour
  • 1 cup potato flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum

Gluten-Free Fudge Cake Ingredients
  • 3 oz Baking chocolate (melted squares)
  • ½ cup Butter or margarine
  • 2 ¼ cup Brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp Pure vanilla extract
  • 3 Large eggs
  • 2 tsp Baking soda
  • ½ tsp Sea salt
  • 2 ¼ cup Gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 1 cup Sour cream
  • ¼ cup Dark baking cocoa
  • 1 cup Boiling water

Preheat oven to 350º F.

Grease and flour two 9-10 inch cake pans.
Boil water.

In a large mixer bowl, cream the butter till smooth. Add the brown sugar and eggs. Beat the mixture on “med-high” until it’s light and fluffy (about 5 min). Turn the mixer to “low” and beat in the vanilla and melted chocolate squares, then the baking soda, and then the sea salt. Mix the baking cocoa with the gluten-free flour. Add the gluten-free flour/cocoa mix alternately with the sour cream, beating on “low” speed, until smooth. Pour in the boiling water and stir with a spoon until blended. Pour the mixture into the two prepared pans. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Now you can either find some cake frosting that does not contain any glutenous ingredients, or you can use the following recipe to make your own creamy, delicious frosting.

Gluten-Creamy Chocolate Frosting Ingredients
  • 2 ¾ cups Confectioners’ sugar
  • 6 tblsp Cocoa Powder
  • 6 tblsp butter
  • 1 tsp Pure vanilla extract
  • 6 tblsp evaporated milk

In a medium bowl, sift together the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa and set aside. Using your mixer that is already out, cream butter in a large bowl until smooth, then gradually beat in the sugar mixture alternately with the evaporated milk. Add the vanilla and beat on “medium-high” until light and fluffy. If needed, either add more milk or more sugar based on your preference.

Wait until the cakes are completely cool before adding frosting. Place one cake on the serving plate and spread a layer of frosting on top. Place the other cake on top of it and make a solid seal. Using a rubber spatula, spread the frosting on the double-layer cake from the top down to the bottom. If you don’t get it perfectly even, who cares! It’s a home-made chocolate cake. Nobody’s going to complain as they’re scarfing down this cake, trust me!

*Make sure to check out my other gluten free recipes! Look out for upcoming reviews of gluten free products!

Gluten-Free, Lactose Free, Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

I found this recipe while watching the rotating gluten-free (GF) videos I have featured on my blog. You can watch it too by going directly to Gluten Free Cook. The one challenge the cook had when making her husband’s peanut butter GF cookies, was that they were very brittle and crumbly. I used her recipe and added a small amount of Xanthan Gum as an effective binder. The results turned out great! These are some of the best peanut butter cookies I’ve ever had, as well as the most easiest to make!

Peanut Butter Cookie Ingredients
  • 2 tsp baking soda (make sure it’s GF)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups peanut butter (natural/no sugar added is preferable)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¼ tsp xanthan gum

Preheat oven to 325º F.

Spray your cookie sheets with cooking spray (check the ingredients), or line the baking sheets with foil. Whisk up the two eggs in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, baking soda, and xanthan gum together. Add the peanut butter to the eggs and mix. Then add the sugar/baking soda/xanthan gum and mix until thoroughly combined. Use a spoon or 1 inch ice-cream scooper and drop them on the cookie sheets about 2-3 inches apart. Use a fork and press them down enough to make a textured surface. Bake each batch for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool for five minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack. Enjoy!

*Make sure to check out my other gluten free recipes! Look out for upcoming reviews of gluten free products!

Gluten Free Molasses Spice Cookies

I’m so happy the semester is over. Graduate school is pretty challenging at times. Now I have a break and will do some traveling to be with friends and family. I also have time, finally, to catch up on some of the baked good recipes I’ve been experimenting with. This cookie is from my favorite cookie book, Got Milk? The Cookie Book. This is the perfect Holiday cookie, with lots of the season’s best spices: ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon.

I used Bob’s Red Mill Wheat Free Biscuit & Baking Mix for the cookies in the photo. They flattened out a lot. When I make them with my simple homemade GF flour (instructions below) they turn out much thicker, more cakey. Either way they come out delicious! I get a lot of requests for this recipe from friends and family. These are also easy to make.

The Following gluten-free flour recipe was adapted from the book The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Fast And Healthy by Bette Hagman.

Gluten Free Flour Mix

  • 3 cups white rice flour
  • 1 cup potato flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum

Molasses Spice Cookies Ingredient

  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup dark unsulphured molasses
  • 1 cup plus 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 2 cups gluten free flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt

1) Melt your butter over low heat in a medium size saucepan. Remove butter from the heat and stir in the molasses and vanilla. Put to the side to cool.

2) In a medium bowl whisk together the flour with 1 cup of the sugar, the baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.

3) Once the butter mixture is cooled, add the beaten egg and mix well. Take a rubber spatula and fold the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until the mixture is firm enough to form balls (around 15 minutes).

4) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

5) Put the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar in a small bowl. Using a 1-inch ice cream scooper, or using a spoon, scoop out mixture and then roll into 1-inch balls. Throw the balls into the sugar and coat completely. Place the dough balls on ungreased baking sheets about 2 inches apart.

6) Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the center no longer appears uncooked. 12- minutes will produce soft and chewy cookies, whereas 15-minutes will produce crispy cookies. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for around 5 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to cool. They'll last in an airtight container for a couple of days, or freeze them and they'll last a few weeks.

Gluten Free Corn Bread Biscotti

This was the first GF biscotti I made after finding out I had celiac disease. Actually it's the first biscotti I ever made. It's funny how finding out you have some kind of dietary restriction can bring out your inner chef. Before discovering my gluten-intolerance, I never even thought about making my own biscotti. I figured it was too laborious to make the process worth it, especially since most coffee houses had an ample supply of the stuff. However, now things are much different. Go to any coffee house you know and try to find one that supplies gluten free biscotti, and if you find one, please let me know about it! It must be human nature to always want most, the things you can't have. This is especially true for people with celiac disease.

The following recipe comes from Peggy Cullen's book: Got Milk? The Cookie Book.. I know, I use her book for almost every cookie recipe, but it's only because her recipes are that good! In her book, she calls this "Thanksgiving Biscotti." Biscotti is a lot easier to make than I though it would be. Once you get this recipe down, you'll have no problem experimenting with a variety of biscotti recipes. Biscotti is simply twice-baked cookies, nothing more. You can use pretty much any pre-packaged GF Flour mixture, but I typically use the flour combination below.

The Following gluten-free flour recipe was adapted from the book The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Fast And Healthy by Bette Hagman.

Gluten Free Flour Mix
  • 3 cups white rice flour
  • 1 cup potato flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum

Corn Bread Biscotti Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup yellow stone-ground cornmeal (check the ingredients for gluten in any form)

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free flour

  • 1 cup sugar, plus a little extra for sprinkling

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1 pinch of salt

  • 1/2 stick cold unsalted butter cut into pieces

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2/3 cups dried cranberries

  • Directions
    1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Take some aluminum foil or parchment paper and line a heavy baking sheet, or coat the baking sheet with cooking spray. 
    2) Whisk up the cornmeal, GF flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Add the butter and mash up until the mixture has a gritty texture. A potato masher works great for this recipe. Or is you have access to one, use a food processor and pulse the mixture.
    3) Beat the eggs and vanilla in a small bowl.  Pour over the dry ingredients and mix to blend. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the mixture from the sides of the bowl. Add the cranberries and mix until the dough begins to clump.
    4) Turn the dough out onto a table. Gather it together and form into a disk.  Using a knife, divide the disk into two equal parts.  Lightly flour a surface and form each piece into a 12 inch log.  Transfer the logs to the baking sheet.  Sprinkle the top with sugar.
    5) Bake for 30 minutes, or until the logs begin to turn golden.  Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes. Leave the oven on.
    6) Use spatulas to transfer the logs to a cutting board. Using a large knife, cut the logs crosswise and slightly diagonal, making 1/2 inch-thick pieces.  Transfer the pieces back to the baking sheet, arranging them cut-side up.  Bake for 12 more minutes, or until the undersides of the cookies show a little color (don't burn them!).  Take out of oven and leave on baking sheets to cool completely. 
    The picture shows how I used some chocolate chips that were leftover from another cookie recipe.

    *Makes about 3 dozen cookies

    Gluten Free Southern Style Sweet Potato Bake

    I made this sweet-tooth dish for a pot luck dinner at my friend Katie's house.  It was real easy to make, and there was a LOT of it!  I am aware of how many recipes for sweets I have on my blog, but I just can't help it! I love sweet things!

    For those of you with egg allergies, feel free to omit or add egg-replacer instead.  The eggs help it expand a bit, but has no real impact on the taste of this desert.  You can also replace the pecans with any other kind of nut you prefer, or even leave out nuts completely.  Although this desert will appease those with the sweetest of sweet teeth, it comes packed with Vitamin A, Beta Carotene, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B6.  It also has a good dose of Potassium and Manganese, so you can feel a little less guilty about the sugars and carbs you'll be taking in:)

    You can use any gluten free flour you can find, or you can use the flour mixture below.

    The Following gluten-free flour recipe was adapted from the book The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Fast And Healthy by Bette Hagman.

    Gluten Free Flour Mix
    • 3 cups white rice flour
    • 1 cup potato flour
    • ½ cup tapioca flour
    • 2 tsp xanthan gum

    Southern Style Sweet Potato Bake Ingredients:

    - 4 medium sweet potatoes (yams)

    - 4 tblsp. butter

    - 2 tblsp. heavy cream 

    - 1/4 cup brown sugar

    - 2  large eggs

    - 1/2 cup milk

    - 1 tblsp. pure vanilla extract

    - 1 tsp. cinnamon


    - 1 cup brown sugar

    - 1/3 cup gluten free flour

    - 1/3 stick softened butter

    - 1 cup chopped pecans (or nuts of choice)


    • Peel the sweet potatoes and place in a medium/large pot of water. Bring water to boil, then reduce heat to medium.  Cook for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Drain and put aside.
    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    • Place the potatoes in a large bowl and mash them up with the butter and cream.  Whip in the brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and milk.  Smash it all together until smooth. Spoon the mixture into a 13" x 19" pan (or whatever you got) and even out.
    • Combine the topping together in a small bowl. Sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potatoes. Bake until brown, about 35 minutes.
    That's it. Simple as sweet potato pie! Enjoy!

    Gluten Free Chocolate Quakes

    I love these cookies!  They are easy to make, and will completely satisfy even the most ferocious chocolate craving.  These cookies are called quakes for the way the powdered surface cracks when cooking, making them look like ground that has been shaken up by an earthquake. This recipe calls for ground pecans, but you can use any nut you want.  If you want them to taste even better, slightly roast your nuts before grinding.

    This recipe comes from my good friend Peggy's book "Got Milk: The Cookie Book."  I have a lot of great cookie recipe books, but in my opinion, this is one of the best out there!  Plus I like endorsing my friends, I'm not going to lie:).

    The Following gluten-free flour recipe was adapted from the book The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Fast And Healthy by Bette Hagman.

    Gluten Free Flour Mix
    • 3 cups white rice flour
    • 1 cup potato flour
    • ½ cup tapioca flour
    • 2 tsp xanthan gum

    GF Chocolate Quakes Ingredients
    • 3 tblsp unsalted, melted butter
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 large egg, beaten (or egg substitute)
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 3 tblsp unsweetened cocoa
    • 1/2 cup GF flour (Pamela's or Bobs are good, but you can also use my mix above)
    • 1/2 tsp  Baking powder
    • 1/8 tsp salt
    • 1/4 cup finely ground pecans (or nuts of choice)
    • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    • Confectioners' sugar
    Cooking Instructions
    1. Using an electric mixer (or your speedy hand-whisking skills), beat the melted butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla on low-speed until pale in color and thickened, about a minute or so  
    2. Using another bowl, sift together the cocoa, flour, baking powder and salt
    3. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until completely combined
    4. Fold in the nuts and the chocolate chips
    5. Chill the mixture for about an hour, or until it's firm enough to handle
    6. Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
    7. Put some confectioners' sugar in a bowl (for coating)
    8. Using a 1-inch ice cream scoop (or spoon), form chilled dough into 1-inch balls and toss into the bowl of confectioners' sugar. Roll the balls around until completely coated and then place about 1 1/2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet 
    9. Bake for 12 minutes, or until the cookies have puffed and cracked apart
    10. Let cool for 5 or so minutes and then transfer to cooling rack
    11. Try not to eat too many of these. Good luck with that!

    Gluten Free Bake-Sale Brownies

    I've experimented with a lot of brownie recipes, and this is one of my favorites. It comes from "The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook."  What I like the most about this recipe, besides its brownie-yumminess, is the easy clean-up.  By layering the bottom of the baking pan with tinfoil, you end up having a relatively clean pan, and an easy way to get the brownies separated from it.  Each batch makes about 16 tiny person brownies, or 9 Trav-size brownies (or 4 depending on the day I've had).  It only takes about 10 minutes to prep, and then 45 minutes to bake.

    The brownies pictured are a result of an experiment substituting my typical GF flour combination (see recipe below), with equal parts Bob's Red Mill GF Pancake Mix.  The result was very cake-like brownies. In fact, I think using pancake mix with this recipe, instead of all-purpose flour, would make a perfect chocolate birthday cake. Or, you could pour the batter in a loaf pan and make chocolate bread, and then use that bread to make decadent chocolate french toast!  I digress...

    When made with my own GF all-purpose flour the brownies come out a lot denser; a bit more fudgey.  I love them either way!  Whether you make these with an all-purpose GF flour, or decide to fluff them up with GF pancake mix, you'll know they are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs. After removing from the oven, let them cool for at least 45 minutes before digging in. I know... the wait is torture.

    The Following gluten-free flour recipe was adapted from the book The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Fast And Healthy by Bette Hagman.

    Gluten Free Flour Mix
    • 3 cups white rice flour
    • 1 cup potato flour
    • ½ cup tapioca flour
    • 2 tsp xanthan gum

    Brownie Ingredients
    • 8 tblsp (1 stick) unsalted butter cut into chunks 
    • 3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
    • 1 cup  sugar
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract (GF of course)
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 2/3  cup all-purpose flour (or GF pancake mix)
    • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

    Cooking Directions

    • Place the oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.  
    • Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, so that the aluminum sheets make a big "plus" sign. Lightly coat the aluminum sheets with cooking spray (make sure its GF)
    • Place the butter and chopped chocolate into a small sauce pan and heat over low heat while stirring frequently. It's easy to do, so don't burn the chocolate!
    • While the chocolate is melting, whisk the sugar, eggs, vanilla, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl until combined. Pour the melted chocolate/butter mixture into the bowl and mix it all up good. Then mix in the flour until no streaks remain.
    • Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.  Sprinkle the top with nuts (or not) before placing in the oven.  Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached (about 25 minutes with all-purpose GF flour mix, or about 35 minutes when using GF pancake mix).  To be safe, start checking it around 25 minutes no matter what.  It would be shame to lose these morsels of deliciousnesss to overcooking
    • Enjoy! Maybe even better with a couple scoops of Bryers vanilla ice-cream (it's GF)!

    Gluten Free Oatmeal Raisin Spice Cookies

    Oats scared me for a while.  When I first found out what my problem was (celiac disease), the jury was still out on the safety of oats.  Soon it was discovered that the reason why so many people with gluten sensitivities had problems with oats was due to cross-contamination. Although that should have made me feel safe, it didn't.  Having celiac disease can make you pretty paranoid about what you eat! Nowadays there are a number of companies offering gluten-free oats.  The certified gluten-free oats I used for this recipe were made by Gifts of Nature, Inc.  But there are a lot of different companies doing GF oats like: Lara Scudder's Oats, Gluten Free Oats, Bob's Red Mill, Only Oats, and Gluten Free Oat Matzos.

    After making these, I gave them to a bunch of my friends.  When I handed my friend Katie a container full of these cookies, she looked at me with a bit of apprehension in her eyes.  Katie has to be GF as well, and she too was nervous around oats.  I assured her that they were safe, and that I had used myself as a guinea pig the day before and had eaten quite a few cookies without any negative reaction.  After the first cookie was slowly eaten, the next few were practically inhaled!  I love these cookies, and they remind me of how much I missed eating oatmeal and Cheerios. The following recipe came from the book: Martha Sterwart's Cookies.
    I used my own GF flour mix for these. You are going to love these cookies!

    The Following gluten-free flour recipe was adapted from the book The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Fast And Healthy by Bette Hagman.

    Gluten Free Flour Mix
    • 3 cups white rice flour
    • 1 cup potato flour
    • ½ cup tapioca flour
    • 2 tsp xanthan gum

    Oatmeal Raisin Spice Cookie Ingredients
    • 3 cups GF oats
    • 1 cup GF flour
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 2 sticks  softened unsalted butter
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 cup light brown sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract (make sure it's GF!)
    • 1 1/2 cups raisins

    Cooking Directions
    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Stir together the oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.
    • Using an electric mixer (or by hand if you like that kind of workout), combine the butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes).  Mix in the eggs and vanilla and reduce mixer speed to low.  Add the oat mixture and mix until just combined. Add the raisins last.
    • Use heavy duty aluminum foil to line baking sheets, or just coat baking sheets with cooking spray.  Using a 1 or 1 1/2 inch ice-cream scooper, drop dough balls onto baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
    • Bake until golden (about 13 minutes).  Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes on baking sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.  
    • Try not to eat enough to give you a stomach ache, and share with friends.

    Gluten Free Chocolate Emergency Cake

    If you love chocolate, you'll know what I'm talking about.  Sometimes you get this deep, almost painful hunger for chocolate.  Sometimes it's related to stress, other times not.  All you know is that when you start feeling it, a feeling I can only describe as a "longing", you must fully satiate your need. This recipe does just that and then some.  With this cake, not only do you get to enjoy moist, fluffy, chocolate Nirvana, it only requires about 15-20 minutes of prep time.  After about 50 minutes of bake time, it's just a short wait before you can top your cake with more chocolate-yumminess, and finally knock that pesky coco-monkey off your back.

    I made this cake for my good friend Erika on her 28th Birthday.  She has a problem... it's pretty bad, and fortunately I share her affliction.  She should really join chocoholics anonymous at some point, but until then I guess I'll be a real friend and completely enable her.  When I asked her what kind of cake she wanted for her birthday, she said chocolate, moist, but not too dense, fluffy, but not to fluffy, and of course, topped with chocolate frosting.  I found the following recipe and used Bob's Red Mill All Purpose GF Baking Flour.  I also used light mayo.  This is my new favorite cake recipe, and probably will be for a long time.  It's just soooo good, and so easy to make! You'll love it!

    Cake Ingredients
    • 2 cups all purpose GF flour
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
    • 2 tsp. baking soda
    • 1 cup mayonnaise
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (make sure it's GF)
    Frosting Ingredients
    • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate
    • 2 tblsp. cocoa powder
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 2 sticks of butter
    • 2 cups confectioners' sugar 
    • 1 tblsp. instant coffee (optional)
    Cake Baking Instructions
    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (f). Adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Lightly coat an 8-inch square pan/dish with cooking spray (GF of course).
    2. Whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa, and baking soda together in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, vanilla and water together. Stir the mayonnaise mixture into the flour mixture until just combined.
    3. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, while scraping the sides of the bowl.  You don't want any chocolate to get away do you?  No, of course you don't.  Smooth the top and bake until a wooden skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out with just a few crumbs attached (about 40 minutes).  
    4. Cook the cake in the pan on a wire rack for about an hour.  Now it's time to add the frosting!
    Chocolate Icing Directions
    1. Cut 5 ounces of chocolate up into chunks.  Using a cheese-grater, grate up the remaining 3 ounces onto wax paper (or a plate).
    2. Throw the chocolate chunks, butter chunks, salt and instant coffee into a small pot on low heat. Stir regularly as it slowly melts.
    3. In the meantime, prepare an electric mixer.  Whisk the two cups of confectioners' sugar with the cocoa powder in a medium bowl.
    4. Set the electric mixer on low and combine the melted chocolate with the sugar.  Once combined, increase the speed to med-high and beat until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes).
    Final Directions
    • Using a spatula or a spoon, spread the icing onto the cooled cake.  Once your satisfied with your paint job, take the chocolate shavings and sprinkle over the cake.  I kind of made a chute with wax paper and slowly poured the shavings, like chocolate rain, onto the cake.
    • Get a tall glass of milk (or soy milk) and get ready for a little slice of heaven...

    Gluten Free German Apple Pancakes

    My partner's sister and brother-in-law are in town visiting with their two kids, Grace and Mark.  We've been spending a lot of quality time playing tour-guides throughout Philadelphia over the last few days.  We've visited Reading Terminal Market, ran up the Art Museum stairs (complete with hummed "Rocky" theme), wandered around Love Park, cooled off our feet in the city fountains, spent a day on the Jersey shore boogie boarding, and spent a lazy afternoon rafting down the Brandywine.  It's been a lot of fun! On top of all that, we've been eating really well!

    The following recipe is featured on the cover of this month's Cooking Light Magazine.  Mindy's sister, Melanie, has an egg-allergy, so this recipe was a perfect fit. I used Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Biscuit and Baking Mix for the pancake batter, but next time I'm going to make it easier for myself and just use an already packaged GF pancake mix.  Being that this was the first time I made this, there are a few things I'll do differently next time.  First, I'll slice the apples thinner. Second, I'll cook the apple mixture less. Third, I'll actually follow the instructions (I never turned down the heat from 425 F. to 375 F.).  Even with all of the mistakes I made, these came out delicious! As I'm writing this, I can still smell the sweet scent of baked apples:).  I highly suggest using a pre-mixed gluten free pancake mix for this recipe, but if you like doing everything from scratch, it doesn't take much time to prepare.



    • 1/2 cup all-purpose GF flour
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tblsp granulated sugar
    • 1/8 tsp salt
    • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
    • 1 cup egg substitute 
    • 2 cups fat-free milk
    • 2 tblsp butter (melted)
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract

    Apple Mixture
    • Cooking spray (make sure it's GF)
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
    • 1 cup thinly sliced Granny Smith apples
    • 1 tblsp powdered sugar

    Cooking Instructions 
    1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, 1 tblsp granulated sugar, salt, and 1/8 tsp nutmeg in a medium bowl.  In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg substitute, milk, melted butter and vanilla. Let stand for 30 minutes.
    2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
    3. To prepare the apple mixture, coat the bottom and sides of a 10-inch ovenproof skillet with cooking spray. Mix 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp nutmeg. Sprinkle evenly over bottom and sides of pan. Arrange the apple slices in an even spoke-like patter. Sprinkle the apples with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Cook over medium heat for 8 minutes or until the mixture bubbles.  Make sure to not let it burn.  As soon as the mixture is bubbling, poor batter over the apples.
    4. Throw the pan in the oven and bake at 425 degrees F. for about 15 minutes, ten reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. for an additional 13 minutes or until center is set. Carefully loosen pancake with a spatula. Slide the pancake onto a serving platter, and dust the top with powdered sugar.
    5. Cut into 6 wedges and serve immediately. Enjoy!!

    Gluten Free M&M Cookies

    This recipe combines two of my favorite sweets: M&Ms and Chocolate Chip Cookies (CCCs)! M&M cookies are simply any CCC recipe where you substitute the chocolate chips with M&Ms (try using Peanut M&Ms with this. YUM!). I'm pretty sure that M&Ms are gluten free. Every time I surf the web I find lots of data to back that up. However, when I was in Australia I picked up a pack of Peanut M&Ms and as I was reading the ingredients, I discovered that "wheat flour" was listed. I quickly spit out my half-chewed candy and tossed the rest of the bag to my friend Damian. What would be the purpose of adding wheat flour? Thinking it had something to do with them being "Peanut M&Ms," I examined a plain M&M bag and discovered the same thing. So the whole time I was in the land down under, I was deprived of one of my favorite snacks. But no longer!!

    This particular recipe comes from the "Nestle Toll House, best-loved Cookies" book. I love this book! It has 70 of their most requested cookies, bars and brownies, making it a treasure chest for the sweet-toothed. Make a bunch of these and share. People will love you for it!

    You can use absolutely any all-purpose GF baking mix for this, but I used the flour concoction below.

    The Following gluten-free flour recipe was adapted from the book The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Fast And Healthy by Bette Hagman.

    Gluten Free Flour Mix
    • 3 cups white rice flour
    • 1 cup potato flour
    • ½ cup tapioca flour
    • 2 tsp xantha

    Cookie Ingredients
    • 2 1/4 cups gluten free flour
    • 1 tsp. baking soda
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1 cup butter (softened)
    • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract (make sure it's GF!)
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 cups M&Ms
    • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

    Cooking Instructions (for about 4 dozen cookies)
    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
    2. Mix the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.
    3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating each one until well combined.
    4. Gradually mix in the flour mixture.
    5. Stir in the M&Ms and the chopped walnuts (if you're into nuts).
    6. Using a 1-inch ice cream scoop (or spoon), drop onto an ungreased baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
    7. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until golden brown.
    8. Remove from oven. Let cool for 5 minutes, and then transfer to cooling rack.
    9. Share and enjoy:) !

    Gluten Free Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons

    I scoured through my cookbook library looking for the simplest way to make coconut macaroons, and found this easy recipe in the book: "The American Test Kitchen Family Cookbook". On my last day of our student-placement orientation, we were required to bring something in for a pot-luck lunch. I knew I wanted to offer something sweet, but I didn't have a lot of time to make it. These cookies were exactly what I was looking for.

    Some of my earliest childhood memories involved hot sand beaches, palm trees, air-boats, hunting alligators and eating fresh cut coconuts. Some people have issues with the texture of coconut, but I happen to love it. And of course, everything is better with chocolate! Although I didn't do it for the macaroons pictured, one way to remedy the stringy texture often associated with macaroons, is to first pulse the shredded or flaked coconut in a food processor. Than way it ends up more like a coconut meal. To make sure that they are nice and moist, just cover the final mixture with plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator for a while. The longer the coconut has to soak up the egg whites, the softer the end product. As far as the egg whites are concerned, I found it much easier to just buy a carton of liquid egg whites. Why waste all that yolk?

    These were a big hit with my coworkers, as well as with my partner's. I even had people tell me that they don't like coconut, but loved eating these. It just goes to show you, it's all about quality and presentation. Coconut lovers beware, these are seriously habit forming. I've given most of them away, just so I don't eat them all myself!

    • 5 cups (20 ounces) sweetened shredded or flaked coconut
    • 8 large egg whites (or 1 1/2 cups)
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/2 tsp. pure almond extract (or vanilla)
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • chocolate morsels (make sure they're GF)

    Cooking Directions
    1. Put all the coconut into a large bowl.
    2. Place the egg whites, sugar, salt, and almond extract into a mixer on medium high until light and foamy.
    3. Stir the egg mixture into the bowl of coconut and combine well. Wrap the bowl in plastic wrap and put into the refrigerator for at least 1/2 an hour.
    4. Adjust the oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly coat with vegetable oil spray.
    5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
    6. Either use a 1-inch ice cream scoop, or wet your hands and roll the coconut mixture into tablespoon-sized balls. Space the coconut balls about 1 inch apart.
    7. Bake the macaroons for 8 minutes, and then switch and rotate them in the oven. Bake for another 8 minutes, or until they are a light golden brown. You may have to cook them longer. If you under-cook these, they'll fall apart when you try to handle them (and especially when dipping them in chocolate).
    8. Let the macaroons cool completely on the baking sheet (about 30 minutes).
    9. Once the macaroons are cool, place sheets of wax paper on a table. Fill a microwavable bowl with chocolate morsels and microwave for bursts of 30 seconds at a time, being sure to stir often.
    10. When your bowl of liquid chocolate is ready, simply dip the bottoms of the macaroons in the chocolate and place on the sheets of wax paper to cool. It may take a while for the chocolate to solidify on the bottom of the macaroons, so cover them with plastic wrap while cooling to keep their insides moist.
    11. Eat and be merry!

    Gluten Free Almond Fudge Shortbread Squares

    Yes, these are gluten free. And yes, these are freaking delicious!!! This was the first time I've made fudge, and I found it easy and fun. I also liked the hands-on aspect of pressing the shortbread dough into the pans. The process was a bit messy, but messy is fun! I can totally see using this short bread dough as a cheesecake crust in the near future. Possibly Pumpkin Cheesecake?!

    For flour, I used "Bob's Red Mill Wheat Free Biscuit & Baking Mix" Bob's Red Mill "Wheat Free Biscuit & Baking Mix I used an artificial Almond extract which had vanillin in it. From everything I've read, vanillin is gluten free. But for a link to a dialogue on the topic, click here. I really wanted all natural almond extract, but hey, you've got to work with what you can get. I ended up doubling this recipe so that I would have enough to share with my coworkers during our Friday training workshop. I had WAY more than enough! I ended up sharing with my partner's coworkers, as well as my neighbors, and still had enough to contribute to my gut-building process. Beware! These are habit forming!

    Makes 24 to 36 Bars

    • 1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
    • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • 1 1/4 cups all purpose gluten free flour or baking mix
    • 1 (12 oz.) package Semi-Sweet chocolate chips (check the ingredients for gluten)
    • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
    • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
    • Sliced almonds (toasted optional)

    Baking Directions
    1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees F.
    2. Beat the butter, sugar and salt in a large bowl until fluffy. Add flour and mix well. With GF floured hands, press the dough evenly into a greased (vegetable oil sprayed) 13 x 9 inch baking pan. You many need to flour your hands repeatedly.
    3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven.
    4. Melt chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk in a heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat once all the chips have melted and stir in the almond extract.
    5. Quickly and evenly spread the chocolate mixture over the baked shortbread. Garnish with the sliced almonds and press them down into the chocolate with your hands.
    6. Throw it in the fridge and let cool for a few hours (or until firm).
    7. Cut into bars. Store covered at room temperature.
    8. Eat up and enjoy with a tall glass of milk (or soy milk)

    Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Cookies

    Here's another recipe in celebration of the mighty pumpkin. I just love the fall! There's nothing better than autumn hikes, crisp air scented with fallen leaves, followed by hot, spiced apple cider shared among friends and family:) These cookies are soft and moist like little cakes, and are alive with the tastes and smells of Thanksgiving. They are also very easy to make. I've used an electric mixer, and then made them again by hand just to get an arm workout.

    You'll love the smells that fill your home while these bake. It creates an amazing feeling of comfort, and fills your head with memories of past holiday feasts. Besides being absolutely yummy, these are actually quite healthy. You can cut the sugar in half and still have a great cookie. These are made to be shared. Enjoy!

    • 1/2 cup softened butter
    • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
    • 1 cup canned or fresh pumpkin puree
    • 2 cups all-purpose gluten free flour (I used "Bob's Wheat Free")
    • 1 tsp. baking powder
    • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
    • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
    • 1 tsp. ground ginger
    • 1/2 tsp. ground clove
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1 cup raisins
    • 1 cup chopped walnuts

    Baking Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    2. Coat cookie sheets with cooking spray (make sure it's GF)
    3. In a medium size bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth.
    4. Beat in the egg, vanilla, and pumpkin puree.
    5. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, ginger, and clove.
    6. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat well to combine. Add the raisins and nuts in two batches, mixing between additions.
    7. Drop by tablespoons onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 20 minutes until set, not browned.
    8. Transfer to cooling racks.
    9. Harvest and enjoy!

    Gluten Free Espresso Swirl Cheesecake

    This is only the second time I've been able to enjoy cheesecake in nearly three years! The first time, was while visiting Cairns, Australia at a place called Fusion Organics. It was a huge slice of delicious pumpkin cheesecake. Click HERE for a link to that blog entry. Before Celiac, I was a huge fan of cheesecake. Especially strawberry cheesecake! However, I never really understood what it took to make one. I figured it must be very complicated, and due to its richness, figured it must be loaded with some form of gluten. Although many cheesecake recipes call for a small amount of flour, you can easily replace it with GF flour. In addition, it's actually very easy to make; the only part typically containing gluten is the crust. Now the only challenge will be to limit how many varieties I'm going to make in a given year, so that I can continue to fit into my clothes.

    Although I absolutely love fresh strawberry cheesecake, I decided to try something a little different. For the crust, I processed a package of Pamela's Chocolate Chunk Cookies. I suggest using two packages. I only used one, and did not have enough cookie crumbs to fill the sides of the pie pan. You can actually use any kind of gluten free cookie you'd like. The possibilities are endless. Be creative and have fun with it. Because unlike other forms of creative expression, with culinary arts, you get to eat your masterpieces:) And I loved eating this one!

    • 1 package (9 to 12 oz) gluten free cookies
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar, plus a tblsp
    • 6 tblsp butter
    • 1 stick melted butter
    • 3 tblsp instant espresso coffee powder (divided)
    • 4 (8 oz) cream cheese packages, softened
    • 1/3 cup gluten free flour (I used Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Baking Flour)
    • 7 eggs, whisked up
    • 1 cup (1/2 pint) heavy or whipping cream
    • 2 tblsp pure vanilla extract
    • 2 oz bittersweet chocolate or 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

    • On bottom rack in oven, place a pan half filled with water (this keeps the cheesecake from getting too dry), and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
    • Throw the cookies and a tablespoon of sugar into a food processor and grind up. Set aside.
    • In a small saucepan, melt 6 tblsp of butter, then add 1 tblsp instant espresso. Stir until dissolved. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the cookie mixture. Into a 9-inch pie pan, press the crumb mixture onto bottom and up the sides.
    • In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the softened cream cheese, remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar, flour and melted butter until it's all mixed and creamy. Gradually beat in the eggs, cream and vanilla until smooth. Set aside 1 cup batter. Pour the rest of the batter into the prepared pan.
    • In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave chocolate on HIGH for 1 minute or until chocolate is melted. Stir chocolate until smooth, and then stir in the remaining 2 tblsp instant coffee until dissolved. Stir chocolate mixture into the cup of remaining batter until blended. Drop mixture by tablespoon onto the batter and swirl with a knife.
    • Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until edges are golden. Without opening the oven door, turn the heat off and let cheesecake stand in oven for 30 more minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Cover and refrigerate over night. Best if made 24 hours ahead.
    • Cut yourself a huge slice and Enjoy!

    Gluten Free Double Chocolate Biscotti

    Although this website is in a blog format, when I first decided to put this page together, my intention was to simply provide a place for people with celiac disease and/or wheat allergies to find useful information that would make their lives easier.  When people are first diagnosed with celiac disease, it can feel pretty overwhelming.  It typically calls for a complete dietary change, and a lot more home-cooked meals.  Having the ability to go out to a restaurant with friends and family taken away from you can be pretty depressing, which is why I created the gluten free restaurant menu list that is located down the left-side column.  If you know anyone with celiac disease, or wheat allergies, or food allergies in general, let them know about that list.  And if you notice a page has been outdated, or has an "error" message, let me know so I can update it.

    Besides the gluten free restaurant menu list on the left column, I also have a list of useful websites for people with gluten issues.  All of the main celiac organizations are there, as well as great sites like Traveling Gluten Free and Be Free For Me. Traveling Gluten Free is a database of gluten free eating destinations world-wide, which is a great resource for those of us who travel a lot.  Be Free For Me is a website loaded with recipes that are categorized by the food allergy/sensitivity they avoid.  It's a really cool site for anyone with any kind of food allergy. 

    Now back to the FOOD!  Biscotti has lost it's intimidation factor with me. I used to think it was so hard to make, that only expert bakers could pull it off.  I now know that biscotti has to be one of the easiest baked goods to create, and the possibilities are endless!  I decided to quiet the angry chocolate monkey that is persistently on my back, by giving this recipe a double dose of cocoa.  Any high grade baking cocoa is usually safe from gluten, but it's important to read the ingredients in your chocolate chips for things like "modified food starch," "maltodextrin," and "malt flavoring." As a rule of thumb, the higher quality the chocolate chips/chunks, the less likely they'll contain fillers.  Chocolate is perfect by itself! Why anyone would contaminate good chocolate with artificial flavors and gluten-containing fillers is beyond me; but it basically comes down to money.  The less actual food ingredients it contains, the cheaper it will be to produce.

    In this recipe, you can use chocolate chips or chunks depending on your preference.  You can also melt chocolate and coat the tops of each piece after the biscotti cools, thereby making it a triple chocolate biscotti!  However you do it, experiment and have fun with it:)  Food is all about sharing and sensual pleasure.  The joy is not only in eating the food, but also smelling it and looking at it.  Enjoy yourself, because that's what it's all about!

    Double Chocolate Biscotti Ingredients
    • 1/2 cup softened butter
    • 2/3 cup sugar
    • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 2 tsp. baking powder
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 3/4 cups all purpose gluten free flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
    • 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips or chunks

    Baking Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
    2. Lightly grease a cookie sheet and set aside (I use canola oil spray)
    3. Place the butter in a large mixing bowl, and with your electric mixer, beat the butter on med to high speed for 35-ish seconds.
    4. Add the sugar, cocoa powder, and baking powder to the mix. Beat until combined, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl to get it all incorporated.
    5. Beat in the eggs until combined, and then as much of the flour as you can before it gets too clumpy.  Remove the mixer and stir the remaining flour by hand. Stir in the chocolate chunks or chips.
    6. Shape the dough into two 9-inch long rolls.  Place the rolls on the prepared cookie sheets and flatten them slightly so that they're about 1/2 to 1-inch thick.
    7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool on cookie sheet for 1 hour.
    8. Using a serrated knife, cut each roll diagonally into 1/2 inch slices. Place the slices, cut sides down, onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
    9. Bake at 325 degrees F. for around 8 to 9 minutes.
    10. Turn the slices over and bake for an additional 7 to 9 minutes, or until dry and crisp (be careful not to burn them!).
    11. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
    12. Make a cup of coffee for dipping purposes and enjoy!

    Gluten Free Iced Lemon-Pistachio Biscotti

    Ever since I began this blog, I've been constantly learning.  Not only have I been learning how to cook better, but also more effortlessly.  It's so true what they say about practice; the more you do something the easier it gets.  I've always loved to cook, but I used to be more cautious with culinary experiments.  Partly due to economical reasons (it's expensive to burn up prime cuts of meat), but mostly because I had no real push to improve. This blog has motivated me to expand my ability to create amazing meals and deserts, and I'm loving it!  I've been learning how to make things I never thought I'd attempt, like cheesecake, fudge, and BISCOTTI. Did I mention that I love biscotti.

    I've caught the joy-of-cooking bug, and hope I'm eternally afflicted. Although I don't have any kids yet, I can imagine how hard it would be for busy parents to find the motivation to get creative with cooking. However I think it's important to try.  Turning any meal into a communal experience helps people bond in a special way.  Allowing the kids to pitch in makes it a family event that always has a happy ending (EATING!). Patterns and predictability can be comforting at times, but they can also stagnate. Personally, there is something about exploring the world of edible art that gives me a truly visceral sense of being human.

    Now onto the recipe... The only laborious part of the following recipe was grating the lemon zest. I did end up doubling the recipe so I had enough to share with my co-workers, which made the zesting process twice as long, but completely worth it.  The flavor the lemon zest adds to the biscotti is unreplaceable.  I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Mix, but feel free to use any GF baking mix you prefer.

    Biscotti Ingredients
    • 1/3 cup softened butter
    • 2/3 cup sugar
    • 2 tsp. baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tsp. natural vanilla
    • 2 cups gluten free flour
    • 4 tsp. finely grated lemon peel (ZESTY!!!)
    • 1 1/4 cups unsalted pistachio nuts

    Lemon Icing Ingredients
    • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
    • 1 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel
    • 2 tblsp. milk, soy milk, or lemon juice

    Biscotti Cooking Directions
    1. Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets and set aside (I used cooking spray).
    2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
    3. Using an electric mixer and a large bowl, beat the butter on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.  Add the sugar, baking power, and salt. Beat until combined, occasionally scraping the sides. Then beat in the eggs and vanilla until fully incorporated.
    4. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Add what's left of the flour and mix by hand.
    5. Stir in the shredded lemon peel and pistachio nuts.
    6. Divide the dough in half, and using well floured hands, shape each portion into 8-inch long rolls.  Flatten them down a bit until they are about 2 1/2 inches wide and an inch thick.
    7. Place at least 3 inches apart on your prepared cookie sheets and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown and tops have cracked. Remove from oven and cool on the cookie sheet(s) for 30 minutes.
    8. Take a serrated knife and cut each roll diagonally into 1/2 inch slices. Place slices cut side down on the cookie sheets. Lower the oven to 325 degrees F.. Bake biscotti for an additional 8 minutes and remove from oven. Turn each slice over and return to the oven for a final 9-10 minutes, or until dry and crisp (be careful not to burn them!).
    9. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Once cool drizzle with lemon icing and chow down!

    Lemon Icing Directions
    1. In a small bowl, stir together the powdered sugar, lemon peel, and chosen liquid until it reaches a drizzling consistency.  How easy is that?! 
    2. Enjoy!!!

    Gluten Free Chocolate Marshmallow Chex Bars

    One of the staples of bake sales across the country, Rice crispy treats have to be one of the easiest sweets to make. Unfortunately rice crispies contains malt flavoring, and malt contains gluten, therefore completely off-limits to celiac sufferers.  Fortunately, there is ONE name brand cereal that has gone gluten free: Rice Chex. I wrote a blog a while ago about Rice Chex going gluten free, here is the link "Rice Chex Article." This is my first experiment making cereal bars with Rice Chex.  It's basic, super fast, and most importantly, EASY.  As far as the Marshmallows go, I've found most brands to be gluten free like Kraft Jet Puffed, but check the ingredients. Experiment by adding coconut flakes, nuts, M&Ms, or substitute any other gluten free cereal in this recipe.  I brought these into work. They were very popular:)

    • 6 cups of Rice Chex (no other Chex products are GF, YET)
    • 1 cup of chocolate chunks/chips (make sure GF)
    • 1 pound bag of Marshmallows (any size)
    • 1 1/2 sticks butter

    Cooking Directions
    1. Throw the butter in a big pot over low heat until melted.
    2. Add the marshmallows and stir consistently until completely melted (10 minutes or so).
    3. Add the chocolate and the Rice Chex, stir until the cereal is completely coated.
    4. Scoop out the mixture and press into an 8" x 12" pan.  Press to compact. Place in fridge to cool.
    5. Once cool, slice into squares and chow down!

    Gluten Free Apple Butter Galette

    I don't spend that much time watching TV, but when I do I typically watch something I can learn from. I'm that much of a dork! This recipe was inspired by a segment of a show on the Food Channel called "Real Cooking." It seemed so easy and fun, that I just had to try it out myself.  I decided to experiment with the dough recipe that my Almond Fudge Bars were made with. It worked out pretty well. Being that I had only caught a snippet of the show, I really didn't know what this desert was called. However, I just happened to come across a similar recipe on The Hungry Mouse's blog, and discovered that what I was making was a kind of rustic Galette.

    A couple weeks before making this delicious desert, I did some shopping at a place called Linvilla Orchards, and picked up a couple jars of Apple Butter. I absolutely love peanut butter and apple butter sandwiches! YUMMY! The galette on the TV show used fig jam for a base, but I wanted to try apple butter. Next time I'll go with the figs.  I'm sure you can use any kind of apple with this dish, but since I was born on Cortland, NY, I decided to use my favorite apple of all, the Cortland Apple.  

    When making the crust, make sure that you spread it on well-floured parchment paper. Also, have a bowl of GF flour close by, since you'll need to keep your hands constantly floured to avoid sticking to the dough. The dough will be very thin, so to avoid tearing, use the parchment paper to lift the dough toward the filling.  It doesn't have to be perfectly formed, just try to avoid leaving any open holes in the dough.

    Galette Ingredients:
    • 4 or 5 peeled, cored and sliced apples
    • 1 tblsp cinnamon
    • 1 tsp nutmeg
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (plus a little extra for sprinkling)
    • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
    • 1 1/2 cups apple butter
    • 1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1 1/4 cup all purpose GF flour or baking mix (I used Bob's Red Mill)
    • 2 eggs

    Baking Instructions:
    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
    2. Beat the butter, powdered sugar and salt in a large bowl until fluffy. Add flour and mix well. With GF floured hands, press the dough on a floured sheet of parchment paper.  Work the dough into a circular shape (10 to 12 inches in diameter). 
    3. In a bowl, toss the apple slices with 1/2 cup sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg until well coated. Spread the apple butter into a small circle in the center of the dough.  Pile the apple slices onto the apple butter circle (you may have more than you need). 
    4. Using the parchment paper, lift the dough (one side at a time) toward the center of the apples.  Pinch the dough together as you go.  This part is a little tricky, so be careful not to create any large tears. Once you have the galette fully formed, transfer (still on the parchment paper) to a baking sheet.
    5. Whisk the eggs with a splash of water in a small bowl, and then brush the outside of the galette dough. Sprinkle the egg-coated dough with granulated sugar.
    6. Bake for 35 minutes, or until dough is golden.
    7. Serve with a couple scoops of ice cream and dig in!

    Gluten Free Double Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter Cookies

    A little over a week ago, I found myself trying to figure out what to bring to a foodie gathering being held in the home of fellow food bloggers, Messy and Picky.  Although I had never met Messy and Picky, I knew the foodie in charge of sending out the invitations.  Her name is "E" and she writes the blog, "Foodaphilia." With very little time to prepare, I whipped up a bowl of Golden Sunshine Quinoa Salad, using Bob's Red Mill Organic Quinoa, and a batch of cookies based on my favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.

    I brought my partner Mindy, and my good friend Erika along with me for the ride.  When I entered, I found a beautiful home filled with complete strangers, talking, drinking and eating. They were mostly surrounding a table displaying a wondrous banquet of food.  As we began to intermingle with the guests, I discovered that I knew another person in the crowd.  I began to chat it up with Lauren, the author of the food blog "I'll Eat You."  Lauren, E, and I had all met previously during a dinner gathering for Foodbuzz featured publishers, at Fork Restaurant in Philadelphia.

    Throughout the evening, I ate a ton of great food, tasted a variety of wines, and met many cool people.  One of the people I chatted up happened to be a food writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer.  He ended up mentioning me and my blog in his article "On the Side: Live and in person, the food bloggers munch." Thanks Rick Nichols!!!  We left the party with full stomachs, healthy buzzes, and a sense of excited anticipation for the next gathering.

    The Double Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies I whipped up in a flash ended up being quite tasty!  I used Trader Joe's brand Organic Creamy Peanut Butter, but feel free to use any GF peanut butter you like.  It's hard to go wrong with the ingredients in these cookies:)

    Cookie Ingredients:
    • 2 sticks softened, unsalted butter
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1/2 tsp sea salt
    • 3 tsp pure vanilla extract
    • 2 large eggs
    • 2 1/5 cups gluten free flour (I used Bob's Red Mill All Purpose GF Baking Flour)
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 cup pure cocoa powder
    • 3 cups chocolate chunks or chips (make sure they're GF!)
    • 1 cup natural peanut butter

    Baking Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
    2. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter, peanut butter, sugars, salt and vanilla until well combined. Beat in the egg. Scrape the bowl using a spatula as it mixes.
    3. In a small bowl, whisk together the GF flour, cocoa and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix on low speed until just absorbed. Remove the mixture from the electric mixer and incorporate the chocolate chunks with a strong spoon or spatula. 
    4. Using a 1-inch ice cream scooper, drop dough balls about 3 inches apart onto non-greased baking sheets. Bake for 9-12 minutes, or until centers no longer appear moist. Let the cookies sit for 5 minutes before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely.
    5. Grab a tall glass of milk (or soy milk), kick back, and chow down!

    Gluten Free Golden Raisin Pumpkin Squares

    Can you believe the holidays are over already!? Did anyone else notice a different feel to this holiday season?  Like what people received from each other wasn't important as the time spent? Maybe it was just me. Regardless,  my winter break absolutely flew by.  My partner and I drove to Georgia to spend time with my family.  We cooked a ton!!  It was really nice to just chill out with family for a change.  Living and attending graduate school in the Philadelphia area is great, but I have absolutely no family anywhere nearby. From there we drove to Syracuse, NY to spend time with our two great friends, Cheryl and David Vermillya.  I've known them for close to 20 years, and we've made it a ritual to spend New Years with them. Just like the last three years, we awoke on New Years Day to the smell of freshly brewed coffee (that we brought back from San Juan Puerto Rico as a gift) and the sounds of folk music. After breakfast we took a trip to Beaver Lake to cross-country ski.  There had been a small storm a few days before we arrived so there was a good base of snow waiting for us.  It was a beautiful day to be out in the woods:)

    Back to Georgia... this recipe is an adaptation of my banana bread recipe. Just like the original banana bread recipe, I cooked it until a toothpick inserted in the center came out clean.  I sliced up some small square samples and handed them out.  After the first bite I was in love. At first I didn't know what to call it. It's texture was kind of like a cross between bread pudding, a slice of pie and a brownie. And boy was it good! It was hard not eating the entire pan in one sitting, I'm not even joking. It became one of those situations where you make compromises with yourself regarding how much more you'll allow yourself to eat, or, how much longer you'll make yourself wait for the next slice.  This is how it was when it was still warm: completely, and seductively sinful! Well, at least it was to me at that moment in time:) But seriously, this is yummy! Make it, you'll love it! That is, if you have a throbbing sweet tooth and love the taste of pumpkin and golden raisins.

    My mom hooked me up with the red plate and insisted on adding a dab of fluff:)

    Recipe Ingredients
    • 3 cups gluten free flour (I used Bob's Red Mill All Purpose GF Baking Mix)
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 3/4 tsp sea salt (or regular salt)
    • 2 cups white sugar
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 2 tblsp pure vanilla extract
    • 1 1/2 to 2 cups canned pumpkin
    • 2 cups golden raisins
    • 1/4 cup soy, rice, or buttermilk
    • 1 cup vegetable oil
    • 3 large eggs

    Baking Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    2. Coat a 13" by 9-ish" baking pan with cooking spray (check ingredients for gluten) and set aside. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
    3. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer or hand mixer, beat the eggs, sugars and oil until combined. Beat in the flour mixture until just combined. Next, mix in the vanilla, pumpkin, golden raisins, and milk. 
    4. Pour the mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 60-65 minutes, or until a toothpick entered into the center comes out clean. Remove and let cool.
    5. Grab some whip cream and go to town!