Sunday, December 23, 2007

Layered Peanut Butter Bar

Okay, so I know I promised Monster Cookies...but I LOST my recipe!!! I will find it, I promise! But not in time for Christmas.

Yesterday in the mail, I received a Betty Crocker 2008 Calendar. Honestly, it's a cruel joke, right? Every other recipe on the calendar contained one of their cookie mixes or known flour containing ingredients! YEAH, RIGHT! Well, truly, for me, now I look at a recipe and say to myself "How can I make THIS gluten-free" and set out to do that!

Well, one recipe just really caught my eye as and absolute must try! It was a Layered Peanut Butter Bar. So I made it. To take to my parents house on Christmas Eve. The only modification I had to make was to the Peanut Butter Cookie Layer. Which, instead of their Peanut Butter Cookie Mix, I used my 2 Cups of Peanut Butter Cookie Batter.

I pressed the cookie batter into the bottom of an 8" square pan, baked and then added the rest of the layers according to Betty Crocker's Recipe. there ANYTHING better than peanut butter and chocolate?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Cookie Baking - Ultimate Snickerdoodles I used to have this recipe, which is actually posted here at my old blog. I had thought about trying to adapt it. And then I remembered just how much I loved the Star Cut Out cookie from Land O Lakes list of gluten free recipes. make my Ultimate Snickerdoodles this year, I used Land O Lakes Gluten-free Star Cut Out Cookie recipe and I added 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon to the dry ingredients.

I also rolled into balls and rolled in cinnamon sugar (1/4 sugar, 2 tsp ground cinnamon), instead rolling them out and making shapes.

I greased the bottom of a flat-bottomed glass and pressed the cookies to about 1/4" thick.

Baked for 14 minutes at 350. I was using a stoneware pan, however, so cooking time might need to be adjusted slightly.

I got about 4 dozen 1 1/2" cookies out of it...and they were melt in your mouth delicious!

In the picture in the post below, they are the center cookie.


Christmas Cookie Baking - Peanut Butter Cookies

I'll admit that the thought of not being able to bake Christmas cookies hit me in January last year when I started my gluten free life. I was afraid I'd never taste a chocolate chip cookie, or a snickerdoodle, or even a peanut butter cookie.

Well, I should not have been afraid at all, I was able to make Christmas cookies. As a matter of fact, I've been baking for the last 6 hours! All to make this beautiful tray for my husband to take to work for his workmates. A joy he relishes all year long. And this year, I'm grateful I did not disappoint him by buying cookies to put on the tray.

The first thing I did was mix up a big batch of gluten free flour which was based on the Land O Lakes recipe. I did not have enough potato flour, so this is what I did:

6 Cups White Rice Flour
1 Cup Tapioca Flour
1 Cup Potato Starch
1 Cup Corn Starch
1 Tbs. Xanthan Gum

I mixed this all up in a big bowl and set aside because I knew I'd be making four different types of cookies. Okay, the Seven Layer Bars didn't need the flour, so now I have a little bit left for baking again later in the week.

I'm going to start with the Peanut Butter Cookie, because I have to say that it was my favorite. Favorite one to make, favorite one to smell baking and also my favorite because I did not use the flourless recipe for the first time this year. I actually used flour. I know we all smile and eat our gluten free flourless peanut butter cookies and pretend we don't miss the texture. I've done it for a year. I will no longer.

For the normal Chocolate Chip Cookies, I used the recipe available at Land O Lakes. It turned out really well, very "tollhouse" like, for sure. I am really pleased with this flour blend and how recipes turn out when I use it. Bravo Land O Lakes for recognizing us! We so appreciate you! If you haven't tried these cookies, you should give them a try!

I took my recipe for Peanut Butter cookies and used Land O Lakes flour blend and they turned out awesome. MMMMM...Awesome!!! I also liked that I didn't need to do the tedious task of squashing with a fork dipped in sugar!

Peanut Butter Cookies

1/2 Cup peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 Cup gluten-free flour blend
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum (in addition to what's in the flour)

Sift together gluten-free flour blend, salt, baking soda and Xantham gum and set aside.

Cream peanut butter and butter in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Add sugars and continue to cream together. Add egg and vanilla. Slowly add dry ingredients and mix well.

Drop by rounded tablespoonful (I used a small cookie scoop) onto a cookie sheet about 2" apart.

Bake for 10-13 minutes until lightly browned around the edges and the center is set. They will be slightly puffed but they will flatten upon cooling.

Cool on cookie tray for about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from tray to cooling rack and allow to cool completely before moving again.

Enjoy! :D

I will post Ultimate Gluten-Free Snickerdoodles tomorrow! :D

Monday, December 10, 2007

Party Popcorn

Okay, so this is a last minute, makeshift gift for some teachers for my kids. I miscounted and had to come up with something quick.

Thanks to watching "Pairings" on Fine Living last week, I learned a new trick regarding popcorn. I did not like her choices for seasonings for it, so I made that a little my own.

It's a nice twist on homemade popcorn, and put in festive bags, makes a nice gift for a neighbor, or acquaintance.

Party Pop

1/2 Cup Whole Kernal Popcorn
3 Tbs Canola Oil
2 Tbs Butter
Season Salt Blend* (recipe to follow)

Season Salt Blend:

1 Tbls sea salt
1 Tsp Sugar
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp - 1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp red pepper
1/4 tsp white pepper

In a large skillet that has a lid, heat to medium high heat, add oil and butter. Cook until butter is melted and bubbly. Add season salt blend and mix well. And popcorn. Cover.

Continue to cook over medium high, once it starts popping, shake constantly. Allow to pop until there is about 1 to 2 seconds between pops.

Remove from heat and allow to finish popping before removing lid. Dump into a large bowl and mix well to make sure all the popcorn is coated well.

Allow to cool before packing into plastic bags. OR Enjoy for yourself!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Seven Layer Bars

I have to admit, I was slightly afraid of making this one this year. My fears were finding the ingredients gluten free that didn't cost an arm and a leg. These are one of my husband's favorite cookies, and one that is usually eaten before any others when I make a tray and send it with him to work.

Traditionally, they would be made with a graham cracker crust on the bottom. Today, I substituted the Mi-Del Arrowroot Animal Crackers. Adding a touch of honey seemed to mimic the flavor nicely. Yes, I do know that somewhere out there is gluten free graham crackers - but I'm saving tracking them down for Nanaimo Bars (Recipe will come as soon as I'm confident they'd be totally gluten free - another of my husbands favorites).

I toyed with the idea of making my own gluten free graham crackers BEFORE making this recipe...but I quickly dropped it! :D

Please make sure to check the "gluten-free" status of all of your ingredients. This list can easily get you glutened if you don't read the ingredients. There are many NON Gluten Free brands out there - so make sure what you choose IS gluten Free. I used ALDI brand for all of mine. While they do not have a gluten free list, they have announced they will label if it contains Wheat, Barley and Rye...and I have not reacted from any of their products that are truly gluten free, so I gave them a try.

So...Here we go...

Seven Layer Bars

1 1/2 Cups cookie crumbs (I used Mi-Del Arrowroot cookies)
1 Tbs honey (do not use this if you use a fake grahm cracker cookie)
1 stick butter (1/2 Cup)
1 Cup Chocolate Chips
1 Cup Butterscotch Chips
1 Cup chopped walnuts
1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 Cup Flake Coconut (BE CAREFUL, there are MANY brands that use flour to keep it from flaking!)

Melt butter. Mix butter and honey and cookie crumbs in a into the bottom of an 8" or 9" square pan.

Spread chocolate chips over top. Then the butterscotch chips, then the walnuts.

Pour sweetened condensed milk overtop in an even layer - cover as much as possible. I didn't end up using the whole can - but just about.

Sprinkle coconut overtop, spreading as evenly as possible.

Bake in a 350 oven for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool completely, the refridgerate. Cut into 1" squares. Enjoy!

They are VERY RICH... :D