Thursday, 28 July 2011

Gluten Free Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

I've been on an experimental kick lately and I wanted to take a stab at my favorite wheat cookie - Double Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Not much to say about this recipe. It wasn't a huge success (unlike my oatmeal chocolate chip cookies) but it made a nice chewy chocolatey cookie that satisfied my cravings for both sweetness and curiosity.


1/2 cup butter  
3/4 cup sugar  
1  egg
1 tsp vanilla extract 
1 tbsp hot water 
1/3 cup cocoa powder  
1/4 rounded tsp baking soda  
1/4 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup white chocolate chips  
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips   

Cream the first 5 ingredients together. Add cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, flours, xanthan gum, and chocolate chips until mixed through. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350. The cookies should be soft when they come out. Let them sit for a bit and they will harden slightly, leaving you with a chewy cookie.

Happy eating,

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Gluten-Free Rhubarb Pie & Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Gluten-Free Pastry (from The Gluten Free Gourmet Cookbook):

1 cup white rice flour
3/4 cup tapioca flour
3/4 cornstarch
1 rounded tsp xanthan gum
3/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
3/4 cup shortening
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp vinegar
2-3 tbsp ice water

In a medium bowl, whisk the dry ingredients. Cut in the shortening. In a separate bowl, beat egg with vinegar and cold water. Stir into the flour mixture until the pastry holds together and forms a ball (she says that kneading will not toughen the dough... which, after years of baking with wheat, is so strange to me).

Form two balls, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove and roll one ball at a time between two silpats (or plastic wrap/wax paper/parchment paper dusted with sweet rice flour). To place in the pie tin, remove the top sheet and gently invert the dough and drop into the pan. Remove the second sheet. For a crust to be used later, bake at 450 for 10 minutes.
(Makes enough dough for a double-crusted pie)

Rhubarb Filling:

1 pound rhubarb, thinly sliced
2/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp millet flour (or cornstarch)
1 tbsp lemon juice

Combine all ingredients to coat each piece of rhubarb.

Once the bottom crust is pressed into the pie plate, fill with Rubarb and cover with the last ball of dough (again, rolled out between two sheets). I found that the crust was pretty crumbly so I didn't bother making a proper crust edge. I just placed the top layer of dough gently over top and tucked it in. Place in a 350 oven for approximately 45-50 minutes.

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream (technique and recipe from David Lebovitz):

The best part about this ice cream is that it doesn't require an ice cream maker. If you have one, great! Use it! But if you don't (like me), this technique is fantastic.

1 cup milk
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract

Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a medium pot until the sugar is dissolved. Meanwhile, set up an ice bath in a large bowl and place a smaller bowl inside it. Set a strainer over the bowl and pour in the 2 cups of cream. Lightly beat the egg yolks in a small bowl and slowly pour in some of the hot milk mixture while constantly whisking so you don't get scrambled eggs!

Once the yolks are warmed up, scrape them into the rest of the milk mixture and cook over low heat, stirring constantly. Keep cooking until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain the custard directly into the cream. Stir until cooled and add the vanilla extract. From here (if you don't have a machine), follow this method.

It may not be the prettiest thing in the kitchen  but it was really good.

Hope you are enjoying your summer days. They're going by too quickly!


PS. As always, if you wanted to make a wheat version of this recipe, simply use a different recipe for the pie crust. Before going gluten-free my family always used a version of this recipe (sometimes with vegetable shortening). I also recommend  all butter pastry dough.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Grandma's Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies - Gluten-Free!!

Lately I've been in search of a chewy oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe... Easy enough to find in general but not so easy to find one that is gluten-free. The only chocolate chip cookie recipe I've come across have been thin, flat, crispy, or too greasy for my liking (and they lacked oatmeal). The only chocolate chip cookies that have ever resided in my house have been Grandma's chewy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. No others.

I took my time, experimented with my favourite flours, and came up with a wonderful recipe. Even when they cooled they held onto their chewiness and didn't crisp into a hard rock

Grandma's Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten-Free)

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp hot water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp xanthan gum
2/3 cup millet flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup quinoa flour
2 cups oats
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.
Cream butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and water (the addition of the hot water may make the mixture look slightly curdled)
In a separate bowl mix salt, baking soda, xanthan gum, and flours. Slowly incorporate into wet mixture. Once combined, stir in oats and chocolate.
Using a large ice cream scoop (or spoon), drop the dough onto a prepared pan (I used my silpat) and bake until lightly golden brown (this took about 15 minutes for me since the cookies were so large. Do watch your cookies carefully though, as every oven is different).



Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad

I made this delicious pasta salad while volunteering in a kitchen one day and I knew I just had to make a gluten-free version. It is super easy and really delicious. The best part? You can adapt it to what you like. One day I added slices of spicy chicken sausage. The next, I added crumbled feta. It's up to you!

Ingredients (Adapted from Kraft):

3/4 cup Pesto
1/4 cup Miracle whip dressing
2 cups pasta (I used gluten free rice pasta)
1/2 cup sliced black olives
3 tbsp chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 tsp black pepper

Cook pasta and drain the water. Rinse thoroughly in cold water.
Combine pesto, miracle whip, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and pepper in a bowl. Combine with pasta.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Beautiful Pomegranates

Meet my new favorite fruit: The Pomegranate

(note: image from google)

It is a beautiful fruit that seems to have a bad rap. Most people don't even know how to eat it. When I first cracked one open (incorrectly), the juice sprayed everywhere, stained my cutting board, and I thought you had to eat the red part around the inner crunchy seed. I was so wrong.

The correct way to cut and eat a pomegranate:
Cut around the pomegranate (into the red skin) in quarters and pull apart. Place the sections of fruit in large bowl of water and start gently pulling the seeds from the membrane. The seeds will sink to the bottom and the skin/white part will float, making it easy to skim off. Drain, rinse, and eat the beautiful red seeds!

Throw them in a salad, make pomegranate juice, or eat them on their own. I actually find this fruit highly addictive. I'm currently seeking recipes containing pomegranates because I am so in love with them (and they are high in antioxidants!).

So go buy a pomegranate! Go!