Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Gluten Free Lofthouse Style Sugar Cookies

Turns out, a wheat sensitivity runs in the girls in our family.  All of us.  And since there are quite a few gluten sensitive folks at church and we have a potluck coming up, I've been experimenting with some new gluten free recipes rather than just falling back to spelt.  I have been very happy with all of them so far, which include a chocolate chip from Barefeet in the Kitchen, a Nutella chocolate chip oatmeal cookie, and a frosted Lofthouse style soft sugar cookie.  Those last are the ones I will share today since they are so popular in all the grocery stores but have such a horrendous ingredient list.  I have made gluten full versions of these that are also delicious, but a good gluten free version is harder to turn out.  Even hubby said these were great.  Be sure to chill the dough for a few hours in order to properly hydrate the flours or the cookies will tend to be gritty.  The dough may be a bit soft at first, but it will firm up nicely in the fridge.

Gluten Free Iced Soft Sugar Cookies
makes 2½ dozen

1 cup butter, melted
1 cup evaporated cane sugar
½ cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup sweet sorghum flour
1/3 cup millet flour
1 cup sweet rice flour
1 cup oat flour
1¾ tsp baking powder (gluten free brand)
¼ tsp fine sea salt
¼ tsp xanthan gum
2 large eggs
2 tbsp sour cream
2 tsp vanilla
½ tsp almond extract

2½ cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp + 2 tsp butter, melted
1½ tsp vanilla
3-4 tbsp milk
optional: food color and sprinkles

Combine all the flours, baking powder, salt and xanthan gum in a bowl and set aside.  Melt butter and mix in the sugar.  Chill in the fridge for 10 minutes.  Mix in the eggs, one at a time, then add the sour cream and extracts.  Beat for a minute.  Add the dry ingredients in a few batches and mix well for a minute or so.  The dough should be soft but not incredibly sticky.  Shape the dough into a long log on a piece of plastic wrap or waxed paper, and roll up to cover.  Chill in the fridge for 3-4 hours or overnight until quite firm.

Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Take out the chilled dough and slice off rounds about ½" thick and set about an inch apart on the baking sheet.  Rotate the log as you cut to maintain the round shape.  My log was about 2½" in diameter.  Bake the cookies for 8-11 minutes until puffed and set but not browned.  (My oven took exactly 11 minutes for my size cookies.)  Remove and let set on the baking sheet for a minute or so to firm up before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the icing by combining the powdered sugar, melted butter and vanilla.  Add milk until the icing is desired frosting consistency.  Add food color if desired and frost the cooled cookies with about 1½ tsp of icing each.  If using sprinkles, frost the cookies individually and sprinkle each one as you go or the icing will crust over and not hold the sprinkles.

Now, these cookies are fine like this, but they are even better if you can let them rest for a few hours or overnight in an airtight container in the fridge.  Then they will be really soft and moist like the store variety.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Corn Free Chocolate Pudding - no cook

I have tried unsuccessfully, so far, to come up with a cooked pudding that does not use corn starch.  Tapioca starch is too gummy and arrowroot does not like dairy.  I know a blend is the way to go, so I am branching out into blends of starches and maybe some wheat free flours.  I'll keep working on it.  But in the mean time, I loved this avocado based chocolate pudding that I first saw on Comfy Belly, years ago.  I used more sweetener to taste but that is up to your personal sweet tooth!  I can tell you that this pudding makes the most amazing chocolate mousse when you fold in some whipped cream.  Oh my goodness, decadence.  Try out this super rich and satisfying treat, it's got lots of healthful fat and vitamins in it.  ☺

Instant Chocolate Pudding
Makes 3 servings

2 medium avocados (about 2 cups worth)
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ cup maple syrup (anywhere from ½ c +2 tbsp to ¾ c + 2 tbsp works)
1 tsp vanilla
Mini chocolate chips for garnish (or fresh berries!)

Optional: sweetened whipped cream to fold in to finished pudding for chocolate mousse.

Add avocado, cocoa, syrup and vanilla to a food processor.  Pulse to combine.  Scrape and mix again until fully combined and creamy.  Scrape pudding into a bowl and chill for an hour.  Or less.  Garnish as desired or fold in whipped cream for an even more decadent treat!

I don't have a pretty picture of the mousse, it didn't last long enough to make it to a bowl or cup!  But here it is in process:

Adapted very closely from Comfy Belly.