Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Gluten Free Fruitcake

A few days ago we received a x-mas package from my gramps, my mom and Viola.  Inside it, among other goodies, were 6 carefully wrapped mini-bundt fruitcakes.  On the outside was written "Gluten Free!."  Now normally, receiving a fruitcake in the mail might put a half-disgusted smile on my face, complete with a furrowed brow... but knowing well that my mom and Viola are amazing cooks, I knew I was in for a treat!  I wasn't wrong.  For the last two days I've been unable to control myself. I keep sneaking into the kitchen to cut off another slice. I've even pulled out the spoon and began eating the crumbs like cereal late at night.

Not only are these fruitcakes delicious, they're loaded with enough rum to warm the belly of even the coldest snowperson!  Or yetti. Or Abomidable Snow Beast. Or whom or what-ever arrives at your doorstep seeking shelter from the storm.  And a key component of what makes these fruitcakes awesome, is the missing ingredient.  You will not find one green fruit thing chunk in these cakes! One of the reasons I've avoided holiday fruit cake was the artificial taste of those green chunks.  Whatever they are...

Today I called my mom to get the recipe.  The process is impressive!  Listening to my mom explain the steps necessary to produce amazingly delectable GF fruitcake was almost exhausting. I've never baked anything that involved so many steps, but knowing the end-product, I think it's about time for that to change.

Feel free to use any kind of GF baking flour you like, but my favorite is Bob's Red Mill.
Also, if you happen to love those green fruity chunky things. Add them. I won't be eating it:)

*Thanks Viola for the recipe. And thank you too Mom for making them with her:)  Your fruitcakes are AWESOME!*


  • 4 sticks margarine or butter (softened)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 tsp vanilla 
  • 2 cups GF Flour (Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Baking Flour)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 8 eggs (room temperature)
  • 2 1/2 cups craizins (dried cranberries)
  • 5 cups pecans (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 lb. candied cherries
  • 1 1/2 lb. candied pineapple 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Using a mixer, cream the margarine and sugar together in large mixing bowl
  3. Then add the eggs one at a time, using a ladle or large spoon, continuing to mix until fully incorporated, mix in the vanilla then turn off
  4. Sift the dried ingredients together and then add slowly to liquid mixture until fully mixed
  5. In another bowl, mix together the chopped candied cherries and pineapple, the craizins and pecans
  6. Add the nuts-n-fruit to dough mixture slowly until fully incorporated
  7. Unless your mixing bowl is oven proof, transfer the entire mixture to a large oven safe crock or bowl. Make sure there is no dough along the edges of the bowl, to avoid burning, and pack down tight with the back of a large spoon.
  8. Place in oven for 15 minutes. Take out and mix together, pack down
  9. Put back into oven for another 15 minutes. Take out and mix together, pack down
  10. Put back in oven for another 15 minutes. Take out an mix together, pack down
  11. Remember to scrape the sides!
  12. And one more time for good measure...
  13. Then transfer into cooking sprayed, or olive oil coated bundt molds, loaf pans, etc. and dust with GF flour.
  14. Pack the mostly cooked dough mixture into the molds and pat down tightly again.  Return to the oven and bake for another 30 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean)
  15. Remove from oven. Allow to cool, and then using double layer squares of heavy duty aluminum foil, place each fruit cake into center and then drizzle spiced/dark rum over the top and immediately wrap tight with aluminum foil
  16. Set them aside to age for a day or so
  17. Get ready for something special - because you're going to love em'!

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Blossoms

The snow is falling outside. People are sliding all over the roads attempting to get to wherever they're going.  Lawn chairs are being fished out of storage for the impending parking space wars to come. I'm relaxing with my family and enjoying the atmosphere of content inactivity. Last night we had a few friends over for annual x-mas dinner party. Ping pong, guitar hero, x-mas movies, gifts exchanged, and lots of food and drink to overindulge in.  I baked two batches of cookies. The recipe for the first, the GF Peanut Butter Blossoms, is listed below. The other batch I'll post later. Both Awesome!!

These cookies were sooooo goood!  A few minutes out of the oven, when you take a big bite, and the chocolate kiss on top melts in your mouth and warms your throat... it's a little bit of heaven...  Valhalla.... or wherever you hope to go when you die, wherever that it, you are there. if only for a few seconds. a few perfect seconds. Yum!

It's simple, just basic GF Peanut Butter Cookies with chocolate kisses buried in the top.

  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 2 cups peanut butter (natural/no sugar added)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • a bag of chocolate kisses

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 deg. F.
  2. Unwrap around 36 chocolate kisses from their foil. You may need more, you may need less.
  3. Coat your cookie sheets with cooking spray (check the ingredients), or line the baking sheets with foil. 
  4. Whisk up the eggs in a large bowl. 
  5. In another bowl, mix up the sugar, baking soda and xanthan gum. 
  6. Add the peanut butter to the eggs and incorporate. Then add the sugar/baking soda/xanthan gum and mix thoroughly.
  7. Using a spoon or 1 inch ice-cream scooper, drop dough onto cookies sheets roughly 3 inches apart. Take a flat bottomed glass and smush down the cookies. *I used a glass measuring cup and hammered them all down.
  8. Using a fork, make some hatch marks on the top of each cookie.
  9. Bake each batch for 14 minutes, remove from oven and press one chocolate kiss into the top of each cookie. Return to the oven for two more minutes. Remove and let cool for five minutes. Afterward, transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack.

Gluten Free Amish Molasses Cookies

Wow the holiday season is sooo busy! It's like everyone has parties on the same days.. we're working harder, spending more, getting less sleep and eating a TON of awesome food! It's crazy, but I love it! On Saturday my friend Claudia and I spent the day exploring Amish country around Lancaster. It was a beautiful day for it! We stopped in a ton of little shops; antique places, quilt places, candy stores, bakeries, and old-fashioned country style restaurants. It was nice:)

After saying goodbye to Claudia, I settled into my kitchen and browsed through the Amish Cookie Book I picked up earlier in the day. These Molasses cookies were chosen for their ease and classic holiday flavor. I used Bob's GF Baking mix for these and they came out great! Make sure they're cooked through though. The first small batch I baked came out a bit doughy:( Also, feel free to throw in a little ginger and/or walnuts to spice it up. That's what I'm going to do the next time with these;)

  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening (make sure it's GF)
  • 1/4 pound light brown sugar
  • 2 cups dark molasses
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 cups gluten free baking flour
  • 1/2 tblsp baking soda

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cream the vegetable shortening and brown sugar.
  3. Mix in the molasses and buttermilk
  4. Stir in the flour and baking soda until fully incorporated
  5. Using a 1-inch ice-cream scooper (or a spoon), drop dollops onto greased or non-stick cookie sheet about an inch or so apart.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  7. Transfer to cooling racks and get your cup of milk ready!

Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Cookies

I just had my last weekend class for the semester, and boy is my mind exhausted. Spending 8+ hours with very smart people, making sure to be on top of your game, is always a challenge, and always tiring. I loved it though! I guess I'm just a big nerd, but I love group learning:)

Since it was Halloween weekend, and we were all stuck in class with each other, we were encouraged to bring in treats to share. I brought these cookies and a gallon of apple cider. The cookies, which my partner whipped up with a recipe I found while I set up the outdoor Halloween decorations in hopes of terrifying the local kids, came out FREAKING AWESOME!! Thank you Mindy;) I absolutely loved em, as did everyone else who tried em! These would be the perfect cookies to bring for Thanksgiving.

To get the icing to coat the tops just right, you need to wait for the cookies to completely cool first. I know that this may be difficult to do, especially with the scent of warm cookies in the air, and your mouth watering, but trust me... these actually are better chilled. Once cooled and drizzled, I'd advise layering the iced cookies between parchment paper to keep it all sticking together.

Mindy smartly decided to add walnuts to my recipe, but feel free to omit them if you wish. However, they do give these cookies a nice chunky character. Either way, I'm sure you'll dig these!

Here's a recipe for the Gluten Free flour baking mix I whipped up.

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

Cookie Ingredients
  • 5 cups Gluten Free Flour (I made my own, but feel free to use any brand you choose)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups walnut chunks

Glaze Ingredients
  • 4 cups confectioner's sugar (aka powdered sugar)
  • 6 tblsp milk
  • 2 tblsp melted butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together a cup of softened butter and the sugar.
  4. Add the pumpkin , eggs and 1 tsp vanilla. Beat until creamy (either with an electric mixer, or some serious arm power).
  5. Incorporate the dry flour mixture into the wet pumpkin mixture and then stir in the walnuts.
  6. Drop by spoonfuls onto a non-stick baking sheet, slightly flattening them as you go, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until edges are lightly toasted.
  7. Remove from oven and let each batch cool completely on a cooling rack before drizzling with the icing. To make the icing, simply whip together all the ingredients until nice and creamy. Use a fork to drizzle.
  8. Wait till the icing dries and layer cookies between parchment paper sheets in a large bowl or pan.
  9. This recipe makes a TON of cookies, so be prepared to share. Enjoy!!

Gluten Free Rum Boulders

I brought these goodies to my friend's birthday party (along with some rum nuggets) and they were a hit! Mindy and I had a bottle of Appleton Rum that we brought back from Jamaica, so I figured what better way to put it to good use. I was pretty heavy-handed with the rum, so feel free to use less.  I wrote about Rice Chex going gluten free a while ago, and now there are a number of GF Chex cereals.  I love the Honey Nut, Cinnamon Chex and Chocolate Chex cereals, but Corn Chex is great as well.  It's so great going to a normal grocery store and being able to pick up mainstream GF products. What a difference a few years can make!

I used half a box of Chocolate Chex to make these Rum Boulders, but feel free to experiment with any of the Chex cereals.  Also, I used ground walnuts, but these would be great with ground or crushed almonds as well.  These keep well when wrapped up and put in the fridge, and can be a great alternative to a drink after work:)  And if you want, you could always spread the mixture out in a shallow pan and have yourself some GF Rum Bars to bring on the hiking trails.  Enjoy!

  • 14oz can of condensed milk
  • 1/2 box of Chocolate Chex Cereal (crushed)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (crushed or ground)
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins 
  • 1/2 cup rum
  • 1/3 cup cocoa 
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut 

  1. Place golden raisins and rum in a bowl and set aside to soak.
  2. Mix the crushed Chex with the walnuts, condensed milk, cocoa, coconut, rum and raisins together. If mixture is too sloppy or gooey, add more cocoa and coconut.
  3. Using a couple of spoons, shape the mixture into double bite-size mini-boulders and place on wax paper or in paper cupcake holders. (I used the mini ones)
  4. Place in fridge to set for about an hour. 
  5. Transfer to airtight container.
  6. Dig in and enjoy!  Don't eat too many of these though, I did and ended up with a slight hangover.

Gluten Free Hulled Hemp Seed Crisps

Every so often I get a package in the mail, chock-full of gluten free goodies to test out.  For example, I recently received an array of GF snacks from Kays Naturals.  I had a great time testing their products out, and discovered a few favorites (I'll be posting a product review on Kays soon). If you've been reading this blog, then you know how often I use Bob's Red Mill products.  It's no secret that I love their products.  Once they realized what a big fan I am, they began sending me goodies to try and experiment with.

One day I received a bag of Hulled Hemp Seeds.  At first, I had no idea how I was going to use them, but after doing a couple of Google searches, I had a few ideas.  This following recipe is my first experiment using Hemp Seeds in a recipe.  Hemp seeds are actually really good for you.  As stated on the Bob's Red Mill website, "Hulled hemp seed is high in Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids, and an excellent source of protein containing all of the essential amino acids."  Of course, being the sweet-tooth that I am, I had to begin my hemp seed experimentation by whipping up some cookies.  However, in the future I plan to incorporate them in breads, muffins, and possibly as a crunchy breading for fish or chicken.

These cookies were super-yummy!  They were a bit crumbly, but melt-in-your mouth delicious. Enjoy!

Next post: Chongqing Flashback Part 1

Prep Time: 5-ish minutes
Baking Time: 10-15 minutes depending on your oven


Baking Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Lightly grease a cookie sheet and set aside (I used cooking spray)
  3. Mix together the brown sugar, large egg and butter in a bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the GF flour, cinnamon, and shelled hemp seeds.
  5. Mix together the dry and wet ingredients until fully incorporated.
  6. Spoon mixture onto cookies sheets.  Leave about 3 inches between each drop since they spread out!
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the edges are crispy. Cooking time depends on the oven being used, so keep an eye on them.  You don't want to burn these sweet treats!
  8. Grab a mug of soy, rice or cow milk and chow down:)

No-Bake Gluten Free Cocoa Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Try to say that title 5 times fast:)  I love these cookies!!!  These cookies have been a part of my life for a long time. I think the first time I had these I was 7 years old. I watched my Aunt Vic mixing the ingredients together in a cast-iron bowl on an antique wooden stove.  The smell of the bubbling chocolate potion was maddening. I remember salivating as she ladled the gooey dough onto wax sheets to cool.  I must have eaten a dozen at least! I think I eventually crawled off to some dark corner, uncomfortably intoxicated with sugar, and drifted into a narcotic coma.

Afterwards I begged my mom to get the recipe. Throughout the years as I grew older, these cookies continued to make their presence felt. Looking back, and knowing how much sugar goes into these, I can understand why my mom didn't make them as much as I would have liked; these are the antithesis of diet food:)  But they are soooooo worth it! 

I've been craving these lately for some reason. This is actually the first time I've made them myself. Knowing my weakness with these little drops of evilness, I strategically cooked up a batch the night before a case conference where I intern. That way, I could spread out the sugar, and avoid putting myself into some kind of diabetic coma. They didn't last long, but I kept a little stash for myself.  Actually, I'm going to get one right now...

Oh yeah        these rock!


Cookie Ingredients
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. all natural vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp. cocoa 
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 3 cups oats (I used Bob's Red Mill GF Whole Grain Rolled Oats)

The Process
  1. In a medium saucepan, throw together all the ingredients except the peanut butter and oats. 
  2. Cook over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and throw in the peanut butter and oats. Stir it up good.
  4. Clear your countertop or kitchen table, and rip off a couple long sheets of wax or parchment paper.  
  5. Using a 1" ice cream scooper, or a spoon, drop the warm mixture onto the sheets about 3 inches apart.
  6. Let cool for about 20 minutes. 
  7. Devour!