Cookie Exchange: The Perfect [GF] Chocolate Chip Cookie

Are you ready for this one? A perfect (as in the real deal) Chocolate Chip Cookie, in GF form.

It’s taken me awhile to attempt this classic. I made it today for a Christmas Party/Desert, and I knew I’d succeeded when I heard those words from a surprised guest:

They’re gluten-free? But they are so good . . . I would never have known.

GF Chocolate Chip Cookies

Whisk together:
2/3 C. brown rice flour
2/3 C. sorghum flour
1 and 1/3 C. tapioca flour
3/4 tsp. Xanthan Gum
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt

In a separate bowl, cream:
1 cup organic butter, softened* (see note below)
3/4 C. packed organic brown sugar
3/4 C. organic granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 large egg

Add half of flour mixture to wet mixture, work in with beaters, then work in the rest of the flour. Add:

1 bag (12 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Drop in rounded spoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet (I use my baking stones). Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes, or when you begin to see the edges browning. Remove from oven and let stand on baking sheets for 2 minutes, then remove to racks to cool.

Yields 3-4 dozen cookies, depending on how large you like ’em. (I make mine like prizes: 3 dozen is all I got out of one batch.)

* The key to perfect cookies is to have butter at the right temperature. Leaving butter on the counter for about an hour will cause the butter to be soft enough to cream yet firm enough to hold the cookie in shape while it bakes. Melted butter is a disaster: flat cookies. Cold butter won’t cream.

Six and Twenty Blackbirds, Baked in a Pie

OK, so I didn’t have black birds, just a turkey. But turkeys have a lot of meat, so after the initial roasted turkey meal, I usually do a lot of soup, sandwiches, and an occasional casserole.

But after such success with my GF pie crust, I decided to make a turkey pot pie.

Oh Yum.

I sauteed onion in butter, added GF flour, salt and pepper, simmered with turkey bone broth and some leftover GF gravy. I layered this in a GF pie crust with cut up turkey dark meat and peas and carrots. Baked until golden and flakey.

That’s comfort food.

 

Fantastic (Gluten Free) Pie Crust

Just made this pie crust for Thanksgiving; used it for a single crust pumpkin pie, and a two crust peach pie. It was so fantastic my mother preferred it to her white flour pie crust.

Fantastic (Gluten Free) Pie Crust
(adapted from a recipe by Jo Ella Sellers)

In a medium size bowl, whisk together:

 

Cut in until the size of beans:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/2 cup beef tallow, duck fat, or lard

 

Beat the egg using a fork, then add with the vinegar and ice water:

Stir into the flour mixture, forming a ball. You may kneed this a bit, since this dough can stand handling. Wrap the dough in seran and refrigerate for 1 hour or more to chill. Divide the dough into 2 pieces, which will each be a pie crust. Roll with a little sweet rice flour between two pieces of seran. It is easier if you have a small rolling pin. Remove the top layer of seran, invert into the pie plate, then remove the remaining seran. Crimp edges, and bake as the pie recipe directs. (I did not prebake before pouring in the pumpkin pie filling and baking.)

For a baked crust, prick the pastry with a fork on the sides and bottom. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 for 10 minutes, or until slightly browned. Cool before filling.

Makes enough pastry for two 9 inch pie shells, or one two crust pie.

Baking Sucess: Date Nut Bread

Mmm . . . my family’s traditional holiday bread, in a gluten free, cane sugar free version. It’s just as yummy as the original.

Date Nut Bread

1 and 1/2 cups dates (pieces rolled in oat flour)
2 and 1/4 cups boiling water
1 TBS soda
Cover dates and soda with boiling water; set 30 minutes.

1 and 1/2 cups tapioca flour
1 and 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1 and 1/2 cups sorgum flour
1 TBS xanthan gum
Whisk flours and xanthan together with a wire whisk.

3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup xylitol (if you don’t have xylitol, you can substitute another 1/4 cup maple syrup)
3 TBS butter
2 pastured eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp fine sea salt
Cream sweeteners, butter, eggs, vanilla and salt. Add part of date mixture, then alternate between flour and date mixture until it is all incorporated.

Then add:
1 cup chopped walnuts, preferably soaked and dried

Pour into well greased loaf pans. Bake at 300 degrees. For smaller pans (mini) bake about 1 hour, and larger (normal loaf size) pans about 1 hour 20 minutes. After removing pans from oven, allow to set about 5 minutes before turning onto a baking rack to cool. When cool, wrap in food wrap, and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. It is delicious served with either cream cheese or butter.

This batch was my remake. Want to read about my first batch, and see what happens if you bake the larger pans for only an hour? See Baking Failure: Holiday Bread. It’s not pretty. 🙂

Baking Fail: Holiday Bread

It’s so disappointing; after all the work of sourcing the best ingredients, converting a family recipe to gluten and sugar free, measuring, stirring, the anticipation while it bakes . . . and it fails.

Actually, I failed. Failed to fully read the instructions, the little added-on-note at the bottom of the card which said bake large pans longer.

Here is my Date Nut Bread:

I thought it was baked all the way through when I took it out, but realized my error when it began to fall in the middle.

And let me tell you, once you’re at this point, you can’t go back. I tried putting the loaves back in the oven, and when that wasn’t baking the gooey top, I tried broiling them. Nope; darker tops but still gooey on the inside.

At this point, we are eating the sides, bottoms, and ends of the loaves. It’s delicious, but not pretty. To have bread worthy of taking to the family Thanksgiving weekend, I’ll try again. And this time I’ll follow the instructions.

Do you have a memorable baking or cooking fail?

Apfel Struessel Kuchen

What better way to end a full German meal than Apfel Struessel Kuchen? I made a gluten-free version of this classic today, and it was delicious. My [non-gluten-free] husband was in heaven.

Here’s what I did (original recipe from my sister-in-law, Kirsten):

Apfelkuchen Sehr Fein
1 stick plus 1 TBS Butter
1/2 plus 1/8 cup Sugar
3 eggs
1 and 3/4 cups My Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (if you eat gluten, then 1 and 3/4 cups white flour, and delete the xanthan gum)
1 shy tsp. Xanthan Gum
1/2 vial of Bittermandel flavoring (this is a potent flavoring from Germany; substitute 2 tsp. almond flavoring)
2 tsp. Baking Powder
2.5 Granny Smith apples – peeled and cut into chunks (less than inch cubed)
Cream butter and sugar in one bowl, and whisk dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Then add the dry ingredients, flavoring, and eggs to butter and sugar and mix all together. Add the apples to the dough; it will seem that there is barely enough dough to cover the apples. Smooth into a greased 9 x 12 pan, and add streussel on top.

Streussel

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
3 Tbsp butter
Mix together with mixer first and then kneed with your hands ~ you may need to add more butter or flour to get the right consistency to form the streussel. Clump with hands and strew onto the cake, leaving small clumps.
Bake about 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool before serving.

Soup and Scones Weather

Mmm…raindrops on the window, and soup on the stove. Fall is so cozy.

The secret to really rich soup? Sautee the veggies long and low in butter, onions first. The carmelization of the sugars in the veggies will give the broth wonderful flavor when you add the stock and/or water.

I love biscuits with soup, and have a fabulous gluten free recipe which I’ve developed. I make them as scones, since it’s faster/easier/cleaner than rolling them out.

Here’s the GF Biscuit-Scone recipe:

In food processor, with blade add:
2 cups My GF All Purpose Flour -scooped, not sifted (equal parts sorgum, brown rice, and tapioca flours)
1 TB baking powder
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1/4 tsp. baking soda

Whir together, then add:
7 TBS cold butter, cut into pieces

Whir to cut butter into flour, then add:
1 egg
1 cup plain yogurt or kefir

Whir until combined, should resemble wet biscuit dough.

Turn out as a solid lump onto a baking stone, or a grease cookie sheet. Press into a circle, about 9 inches in diameter. Using a butter knife, cut the dough like a pizza into 8 equal wedges. This scoring will allow the biscuits to be divided after baking.

Bake 22-25 minutes at 350.

Serve hot with good butter, jam or honey.

Gluten Free All Purpose Flour

For those of you who are trying a gluten-free diet, here is the flour combo that I’ve developed to substitute for all purpose wheat flour in quick breads, cookies, and cakes.

Gluten Free All Purpose Flour

whisk together

1 part organic brown rice flour
1 part sorghum flour
1 part tapioca flour

Xanthan Gum is required in all recipes with this flour, and should be whisked in prior to adding the flour to other ingredients. Here are the amounts needed for different types of baked goods.

Add per cup of All Purpose Flour used:
1/4 tsp. for cookies
1/2 tsp. for cakes
3/4 tsp. for muffins and quick breads
1 to 1&1/2 tsp. for breads
2 tsp. for pizza crust

Good Fat Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookie to Die For (Gluten Free!)

I just made the most fantastic, tender yet crisp-edged and crumbly, peanut butter cookies. They are gluten free. They also have good fats. (And they do have sugar in them, so they are a “once in a while” treat.)

OK, so fat has a bad reputation, but the healthiest peoples of all time have savored fats and oils. We all need a balance of saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats. The difference between good fats and bad fats is the processing.

  • boiled and bleached coconut oil: bad
    VS.
    virgin unrefined coconut oil: good
  • butter from stall kept/medicated cows: bad
    VS.
    butter from grass fed healthy cows: good
  • Olive oil from sprayed fruit, heated process: bad
    VS.
    organic cold pressed olive oil: good

And of course, your kitchen is the final process: if you heat your oil above what it can handle, it quickly becomes a toxic fat. To read more about fats, check out this article on the Weston A. Price site: The Skinny on Fats.

So, give me the peanut butter cookie recipe already, right? OK, here it is:

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

Preheat convection oven to 320 degrees, or set it at 345 degrees if your oven is like mine and automatically heats the oven 25 degrees less when in convection mode. Why 320? Peanut oil should not be heated above this temperature.

In medium bowl, mix together:
1 cup organic sugar
1 TB molasses (or decrease sugar to 1/2 cup, add 1/2 cup brown sugar, and omit molasses)
1/2 cup organic creamy peanut butter, at room temperature
1 stick organic butter, at room temperature (or 1/2 cup Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, and over-measure the salt)
1 large pastured egg

In separate bowl, whisk together, then add to wet ingredients:
1 and 1/4 cups Bronwyn’s Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (see below)
1/4 tsp. Xanthan Gum, heaping
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2  tsp. baking powder, non-aluminum
1/4 tsp. unrefined fine salt, such as RealSalt

When fully mixed, spoon out tablespoon sized pieces of dough, and roll in the palms of hands just until round (don’t handle too much or they begin to melt). Then roll tops in:

extra organic sugar for rolling

Two happy cookie-rolling helpers!

Place sugar side up on a baking stone. Use a fork to press a criss-cross pattern in the tops. The whole roll/ sugar/fork process is really fun for kids to help with!

Place full stone in your oven. Again, the oven should be 320 degrees and blowing, for an “equivalent” temperature of 345. This will not actually damage the peanut oil, but will allow the cookies to bake correctly. Leave them in for 10-12 minutes, or until you can see the edges starting to turn golden. Remove from oven, and leave on baking stone/tray for at least 5 minutes, until they have set, then move to cooling racks.

Makes approximately 30 cookies. Enjoy with a tall glass of cold, fresh, raw milk!

Bronwyn’s Gluten Free All Purpose Flour

1 part organic brown rice flour
1 part sorghum flour
1 part tapioca flour

Xanthan Gum is required in all recipes with this flour, and should be whisked in prior to adding the flour to other ingredients. Here are the amounts needed for different types of baked goods.

Add per cup of All Purpose Flour used:
1/4 tsp. for cookies
1/2 tsp. for cakes
3/4 tsp. for muffins and quick breads
1-1 and 1/2 tsp. for breads
2 tsp. for pizza crust

I am linking to linky parties at theinspiredroom and at FunkyJunkInteriors.

High Protein Waffles

This waffle recipe has fast become a favorite at our house. I love it because it is a healthy soaked whole grain, gluten free*, full of protein start to the day. My husband and children love it because you would never know that it is healthy, gluten free, or full of protein; it just tastes light and delicious.

12-24 hours before: soak 1 cup organic rolled oats in 3/4 cup whey (or 1 cup yogurt if you don’t have just whey). This should be done at room temperature or warmer, in a glass bowl, covered with a clean dish towel.

Morning of: in blender, mix together 4 large eggs (I use duck eggs, so if you have medium sized eggs, bump it up to 5 eggs) and 1/2 cup cottage cheese. Add soaked oats, and blend until oat pieces have been ground smooth. Blend in 2 tsp. non-aluminum baking powder, and 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt.

Pour from blender pitcher into a hot waffle iron. Remove when cooked, and enjoy with butter and organic grade B maple syrup. Or, if you’re sending breakfast out the door with someone, you can make two breakfast sandwiches from a waffle by layering a fried egg and filleted cooked chicken sausage between two quarters of waffle drizzled lightly with syrup. Mmm . . . yummy either way.

Yields 5 round “Belgian” waffles. Each waffle has 12 gms. of protein.

Note: The best way to do this recipe is with 24 hours prep, so the oats are nourishing you without stealing minerals from your body.  (Unsoaked grains, legumes, and nuts have a great deal of phytic acid -which human digestion can’t handle as well as ruminants- which actually steals important minerals, like calcium, from our bodies!). You can read more about this in this article from the Weston A. Price Foundation: Be Kind to Your Grains and They Will Be Kind to You.

However, if you’re in a hurry, or forget to soak the night before (as often happens to me!), then skip the yogurt/whey and increase the cottage cheese to 1 cup. Still just as delicious, and high in protein. And then start the soaking habit next time.

Get more tips on this recipe and see pictures on soaking oats here.

*Oats do not intrinsically have Celiac-causing-gluten in them, however, many oats are contaminated with gluten from other grains. If you have Celiac Disease, it is always wise to choose only Certified Gluten Free Oats.

You may also enjoy the ideas in Breakfast: Off to a Great Start.