Category Archives: baking

Pillsbury GF Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Makes Me Smile

cookies

I was so excited to see that Pillsbury had this chocolate chip cookie dough in the cooler section of the grocery store the other day. Of course, after the awful Eat Pastry chocolate chip cookie dough experiment from Costco (it was awful, don’t buy it), I was a bit wary of another scoop-and-bake cookie dough. But, grew up with Pillsbury products and I’m willing to give anything a try at least once. (OK, smart aleck, you know what I mean 🙂 )

First off, the dough tasted pretty good on its own, before being baked. And we all know that’s one of the first things we do with cookie dough, right? This was pretty tasty and not grainy at all. I heated up the oven, scooped eight little cookie piles on the cookie sheet and waited about 10 minutes while they baked. Since I made mine a bit smaller than suggested (I like little cookie bites), it took a little less time than suggested on the package.

I tried to wait a few minutes for them to cool off, but you and I both know that wasn’t going to last long. The final analysis…YUM! I only made eight and I was glad of that only because I think I would have eaten more if I made more. I ate three and my husband and daughter finished them up quickly. They are chewy on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside. They browned up just right and had a wonderful texture, which is always a bit of a challenge when we’re talking about GF cookies. They had just the right amount of chips, which means these are quite welcome in my home. Advantages include the option to make a few at a time since it’s in a tub, and you can make them when you please. They are tasty and not overly sweet (as if a cookie could be too sweet.) Disadvantages include the cost ($5.49) and the fact that I have had better cookies, but not this easy and right out of the oven. If you’ve got kids and/or friends who may want a few cookies, this is the ticket. My husband, who is not GF, asked me to make more. And as far as cost goes, I think using a small scoop means you’ll get a lot of cookies for the money.

I bought the Pillsbury pizza dough, which is also gluten free, to try next week. At the same price ($5.49) I hope it makes a pretty decent-sized pizza. Stay tuned for that one.

Next up, I’ll be scooping some of that cookie dough into a skillet, baking halfway and topping that with a bit of ice cream. What? It’s my birthday… Who’s joining me?

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Filed under baking, cookies, cooking, dessert, gluten free, grain-free, vegetarian

GF Oatmeal Chocolate-chip Cookies-Yum!

GF Oatmeal Chocolate-chip Cookies

GF Oatmeal Chocolate-chip Cookies

With a bag of GF oats and a craving for a cookie, I began scouring the Internet for a recipe that included only what I had in the house. I found a few recipes online and did what I do best – I reworked the recipes and viola… quick, irresistible GF, oatmeal chocolate-chip cookies.

Gluten-free, Oatmeal Chocolate-chip Cookies

4 1/2 cups gluten-free old-fashioned oats (I used Bob’s Redmill)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup Baker’s sugar
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons GF vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, grind 1 1/2 cups oats into a fine meal. Mix together ground oats, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and baking powder.

2. In another large bowl, beat butter and sugars until fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Still mixing, gradually add oat mixture until combined. Fold in chocolate chips and remaining oats.

3. Scoop dough in mounds onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, 2 inches apart (about 11/2 TBS each). Bake until cookies are golden brown at edges about 12 minutes, turning halfway through for even cooking. Let cool on pan for 2 minutes, then transfer to rack.

Enjoy! This makes about 4-5 dozen cookies, depending on how big you make them.

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Filed under baking, Bob's Red Mill, chocolate, cookies, dessert, Enjoy Life Chocolate, gluten free, oats, Uncategorized, vegetarian

Kinnikinnick to the rescue with a gluten-free pie crust

Pie. It’s just something I never thought I’d miss when giving up wheat. I was never a big pie eater to begin with. But when someone says you can’t have something anymore, you want it. Am I right? I have tried making my own pie crust before and it’s turned out pretty well, although I’m not a fan of taking all that time to make one. I was thrilled when I happened upon Kinnikinnick’s frozen gluten-free pie crusts at Whole Foods, and they were on sale. But at a regular price of about $4.99 for two 8-inch crusts, that’s not bad for the GF market.


I decided to make a Quiche first and give the crust a test. I made a simple spinach Quiche and it was a hit. The crust was flaky, tasty and not too strong. It really has a mild flavor for a crust, which to me is just what I want with a crust. A slight buttery flavor is good, as is a crust that doesn’t fall apart too quickly. It’s got to hold up to the filling, and it’s about the filling, right? The Quiche  consisted of one sautéed onion, Havarti and Jarlsberg cheese, frozen and thawed spinach, 2 eggs and 4 egg whites. That’s it. Just a bit of salt/pepper/nutmeg/thyme and garlic. I baked the crust first for about 10 minutes, then layered onions, spinach, cheese and poured in the egg mixture. Bake for 35 minutes at 375 and viola! Finally a Quiche with a crust.

And since that worked so well, I decided to try a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. I used the recipe on the can of pumpkin (pumpkin, condensed milk, egg, sugar) and it was, once again, wonderful. Just a note, the recipe on the can of Libby’s pumpkin will make enough for two of these pie shells. Luckily, there are two in each box. Perfect.

Since you can never have enough pie, I also bought a fabulous cherry pie by Angel Cakes Bakery here in Phoenix. Angela makes the most wonderful pie crust of all, from scratch, and it’s gluten-free. Now, if I had my way that’s the only pie crust I would ever eat. But then I’d be calling her every week for more and I’d have to get a second job to pay for it. This was a treat and I highly recommend her cakes and pies. I’ve talked about her creativity and food before and I’ll continue to do so as long as she keeps baking. So, the dessert for the day was all set. What else do you need? Dinner, what dinner? What’s for dessert?

 

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Filed under allergies, baking, butter, celiac, cheese, cooking, crust, dessert, dinner party, gluten free, pie, quick meal, rice flour, spinach, Thanksgiving, vegetarian

Egg-free, gluten-free, white chocolate/chocolate chip slice-and-bake cookies

White chocolate/chocolate chip cookies. Yum!

Welcome to the new/old blog. I’ve decided to make the move to WordPress to have all the blogs in one place. I’m still working out the kinks, so if you find something, let me know.

In honor of your visit, I made cookies. Have a seat, pour yourself some tea and look around. How do you like the new digs? Let me know, I’d love to hear your opinion and thanks for stopping by.

White chocolate/chocolate chip slice-and-bake cookies

1 box Gluten Free Pantry Vanilla Cake Mix

8 Tbs butter, room temp

1/4 cup light brown sugar

2 Tbs orange juice

1 tsp pure vanilla extract (GF, of course)

1 Tbs ground flax meal

1-2 Tbs warm water

1 handful chocolate chips (We use Enjoy Life)

1/2 handful white chocolate chips

1. Mix flax meal with warm water and put in fridge.

2. Mix cake mix, brown sugar, OJ, vanilla in a large bowl. Since my brown sugar was a little hard, I mixed the juice and vanilla with the sugar and let it soften, then added it to the mix. If your sugar is soft, skip that part.

3. Mix in flax, which should be the consistency of egg whites now. Stir well, even though this is a thick mixture.

4. Mix in chips and using a little muscle, mix it all in.

5. Pour out cookie mixture onto a sheet of wax paper. Fold over the paper and work the dough into a foot-long/ 2″ log. Wrap well and place in fridge for 3 hours to overnight to cool.

6. When you’re ready to bake, heat oven to 350 degrees. Slice as many cookies as you want and bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly brown. I slice mine about 1/2-3/4-inch thick. Place at least 2 inches apart. (Optional-sprinkle with a bit of vanilla sugar if you have it.)

Crispy and light. Perfect with that afternoon cup of tea. Best part, you only have to bake a few at a time. Put the rest in the freezer or leave in the fridge and make fresh, warm cookies right before the kids get home from school (or finish with their homework).

Enjoy.

 

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Filed under allergies, baking, butter, celiac, chocolate, cookies, egg-free, Enjoy Life Chocolate, gluten free, snack, tea, vanilla, vegetarian

Gluten-free, vegan, buckwheat carrot muffins

I spent a glorious weekend in San Luis Obispo, CA with some dear friends and got back yesterday feeling like a child who had to leave Disney early. I wanted to stay and explore the farmers markets more, discover more hidden restaurants with lovely, knowledgeable servers and chefs who take care and creativity to new heights. These are just a few of the wonderful memories I have of this weekend, along with my dear friend who will now be the pastry chef at the Dolphin Bay Resort. (I know, pastry chef and me, go figure. She’s a fabulous chef and I’ve learned so much from her about cooking over the years.)

Spring Salad at Luna Red

We ate lunch at Luna Red in downtown San Luis Obispo and had a brilliant, light, crunchy salad that was perfect for a warm Spring day in California. With the Greekfest right next door, the music made our day even more festive. The salad was filled with pea shoots, blood orange segments, carrots, radish, mint, a light citrus vinaigrette and a sprinkle of goat cheese. Couldn’t have asked for anything better. A glass of rose and a table full of good friends made the afternoon complete. I highly recommend the restaurant.

The amazing selection of veggies at the farmers marke

One booth at the farmers market caught my eye, of course, with their big Gluten Free Goodies sign. I couldn’t resist and bought a GF carrot cake muffin made with buckwheat and a delicious quinoa salad I’ll be recreating later this week. (attempting I should say). It was filling and had a beautiful mix of savory and sweet with roasted veggies (yummy roasted carrots) and pepitas. I ate it cold right out of the container. Oh yeah!

But first up, after eating what was the best carrot cake muffin I’ve ever had (including my gluten-eating days), I decided to try and make it at home. Since Daughter has now eliminated eggs from her diet, that makes things a little more difficult, but not impossible. I do have vegan friends who I know will enjoy these also. The muffins in CA were not vegan, so this is just a small change and more of a challenge. I searched the Internet and found this recipe at She Let Them Eat Cake.com for buckwheat carrot muffins. These are already vegan, which is a plus.

I modified the recipe a bit to my own tastes, but I would encourage you to try her recipe also. And if you can’t have some of the things I’ve added, feel free to eliminate what you want. I added the almond flour and GF oats for flavor, and added the splash of juice just because it looked a little thick. This may change based on your altitude and ingredients. If you add molasses, you may not need any more liquid. But I do like the oats for texture and flavor.

Gluten-Free & Vegan Buckwheat Carrot Muffins

1 & 1/2 cups buckwheat flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup GF oats
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 cups grated / shredded carrot (you could use zucchini too)

3/4 cup agave
1 mashed banana
3/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp ground flax combined with 9 tbsp hot water (or 3 eggs)
Splash of orange juice to loosen up the mixture if you need it.
1/2 cup golden raisins

Eating these at my desk while I write this makes me very happy

1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a muffin pan with liners or grease with olive oil.

2. In a large bowl combine the first eight ingredients (dry).

3. Add shredded carrot to the dry ingredients and combine. In a medium-sized bowl combine agave, mashed banana, olive oil, and flax-hot water mixture. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Add raisins last.

4. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool to the touch.

These are quite good, and amazingly fluffy and not too dense, considering there is no egg in it. I’ve never used flax and hot water before and I was quite amused at the egg-white-like texture it creates. The mixture is quite thick and gummy before baking and that must be due to the flax mixture. What a find. I will certainly be trying this with other dishes and baked goods. This is my first attempt at gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free baking. So far, so good.

In retrospect, these could use just a little more sweetness so I think a bit of molasses and honey, or an orange glaze on top will make them just a touch sweeter and tasty. A bit of Tofutti cream cheese will make them sing for me in the morning with my tea. Try them and let me know what you think.

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Filed under baking, breakfast, buckwheat, carrots, dairy free, dessert, gluten free, muffins, raisins, sugar free, vegan, vegetarian

Coconut Cake Fit for a King

My husband had a very special birthday last week and to commemorate the occasion, I decided to get him a coconut cake. I could have made it, but he is always mentioning how much he misses his grandmother’s coconut cake and I didn’t think I could get close.

Enter Angela Saban. I’ve have tried many of her cakes and treats, all of which are gluten free and amazing. I knew it would be good, and I knew it would be closer to grandma’s than I could ever get. What I received was a beautiful, huge cake that lived up to my expectations and more. Husband was totally surprised and said it may not have been grandma’s cake, but it’s the closest he’s ever come to it. And since it was gluten free (and he is not)  I think we’ve accomplished something here, don’t you?

The cake was beautiful on the outside with a pretty ribbon on top with Happy Birthday written on it, edible blue glitter sprinkled on lightly and a generous amount of light frosting and coconut surrounding it. The cake inside was four layers high and yet it was light and sweet. The cake was not too dense and not too sweet, making it a great combo for the light whipped buttercream icing. All white, all coconut and all amazing.

The party was a combined celebration for the Husband and a wonderful 6-year-old boy who is very close to our family. My daughter made her famous gluten-free chocolate cupcakes topped with vanilla buttercream frosting and decorated with crushed K-Too cookies just for him and his friends. They loved them, and we even had a couple left to bring home and freeze for another day. The cake, as you can see, is sky high and even though there were 15 people eating it, we still had enough to leave a piece for the hostess, give a piece to my Mom, freeze a piece and eat some the next day. Angela did say it would feed 25 people and she wasn’t kidding!

And just for the record, I don’t get anything for writing this. I paid for the cake and I will be doing so again on any other occasion where I don’t have time or inclination to make a cake. I’m just trying to come up with an occasion soon!

Enjoy!

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Filed under baking, Birthday, cake, celebrations, chocolate, coconut, cupcake, gluten free, gluten-free cake, party, vanilla

Pizza Perfection Quest #3

 Pizza, oh yeah!

I knew I would have three teenagers in the house yesterday, so I decided to give pizza crust #3 a try. I am determined to find a crust that Wows everyone. And if you have to have a quest in life, this one isn’t so bad.

For this experiment, I used Bob’s Red Mill Pizza Crust Mix and Chebe’s Pizza Crust. I decided to mix them because I know Chebe has a chewy texture, but I’m not that keen on the flavor. I know Bob’s Red Mill makes a mix for most everything, but I wanted a more chewy crust. For that reason, I used the Bob’s Red Mill mix, but substituted one cup of the mix for one cup of Chebe’s mix. Everything else was the same (yeast, eggs, oil, salt, garlic powder) as the back of the Bob’s package.

The crust was less sticky than the previous mix, although still not a dough you can roll out. Mostly, just used a spatula and olive oil to spread it around.

Bake first for about 10 minutes to firm it up, then top with marinara and mozzarella and bake another 10 minutes.

Results? I thought the flavor was good, but I didn’t get much of a fluffy dough texture from this one. It was thinner than the second crust and had a nice flavor, but a little too much of the Chebe flavor came through for my taste. The two teens who had the previous pizza liked this one, but not as much as Crust #2 (same reasons). Of course, they did each have 3 pieces, so it wasn’t too shabby. The teen who hadn’t tried any of them so far loved it and ate even more.

So far the votes are in:
Crust #2 is the best so far (King Arthur)
Crust #3 runs a close second (Bob’s and Chebe)
Crust #1 follows up behind as the “Not bad, but I’ve had better” pizza. (Bisquick)

Don’t worry though, there are still a few more to go, and we are determined to try them all just for you! Got a suggestion or recipe? Let me know and we might give that one a try too!

If you try any of these, please let me know how it works out for you. Let me know here, or on the FB page.

Enjoy!

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Filed under baking, Bob's Red Mill, Chebe Pizza Crust, gluten free, pizza, vegan