Saturday, December 21, 2013

12 Days Of Gluten-Free Christmas Cookies: #2 - Gingerdoodles


I want to thank Land O Lakes for posting the gluten version of this recipe.  I converted it to a gluten-free version that became a big hit with the parents at Louis and Curt's tennis class.  If you like ginger snaps and snickerdoodles, you'll love this combination.  They really are good.

Cinnamon Dough Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup Crisco shortening
2 extra-large eggs
1 tsp vanilla

2 3/4 cup gluten-free flour (I use Featherlight Blend from Bette Hagman, available from Authentic Foods)
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp salt

Ginger Dough Ingredients:

3 Tbsp mild molasses
1/4 cup gluten-free flour
1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/3 cup sugar (to roll cookies in)


Preheat oven to 400°F.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

Cinnamon Dough: mix butter, Crisco, and sugar together until creamy.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Combine dry ingredients and whisk or sift.  Add dry ingredients to butter mixture.  Beat at low speed until well-mixed.  Divide the dough in half, placing into separate bowls.  Set aside one of the bowls.

Ginger Dough: Add molasses to the remaining bowl of dough.  Beat until well-mixed.  Combine the 1/4 cup flour and ginger in another bowl, then add to molasses mixture.  Beat at low speed until well-mixed.

Twist about 3/4 inch pieces of each dough together and round into about a 1 1/4-inch ball, creating a marbled effect.  Roll ball in suger, covering completely.

Place balls two inches apart on cookie sheet.  Bake 8-10 minutes or until the edges are light golden brown.  Cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to cool on parchment paper or cooling rack.

I ended up having leftover ginger dough, which I just rolled as ginger cookies and they worked and tasted great.

Please let me know if these added to your holiday cheer!



12 Days Of Gluten-Free Christmas Cookies: #1 - Blueberry Cookies

Blueberry Cookies

On the first day of Christmas... nah.  Here is a new cookie added to my family's favorites list.  It was actually an afterthought to several cookie recipes I wanted to try.  Just happened to run across a blueberry cookie that looked good and decided to make it gluten-free.  It's one fruit my whole family enjoys.  These smell GREAT while they're baking!


2 cups gluten-free flour mix (I use Featherlight Blend by Bette Hagman, available through Authentic Foods)
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp xanthan gum

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup Crisco shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 cup fresh blueberries


Cream the butter, shortening and sugar together until creamy.  Add egg, milk, vanilla, and lemon zest.  Blend well.

Combine the dry ingredients and sift or whisk.  Blend into the sugar mixture. Batter will be somewhat stiff.  Carefully fold in the blueberries.  Remove dough from bowl and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.  Chill for at least 6 hours or overnight (I did overnight - worked great).

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Drop about 1 1/2 tsp of dough onto parchment paper-covered cookie sheet, about 1 - 2 inches apart.  Bake 8-12 minutes until lightly browned.  Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before removing.  Let cookies cool on parchment paper or cooling rack... although it will be hard not to eat them while they're warm!

It's nice to find an unexpected gem of a cookie any time, but especially at Christmas!



Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Here is one for the holiday...ANY holiday!  This is one amazing cookie.  Even my mom loves them.  In fact, I took her some from my initial attempt to make these, and she actually hid them so no one else would eat any!  She said she had one a day to make them last.  She has actually asked me for the recipe.  I was stunned.  She's the one who helped teach me to cook and bake!!!  So I am honored to include a recipe that my mom thinks is super delicious. I am baking a batch just for her on Friday.  She won't have to hide any...

Additionally, I gave this recipe to my dear friend Melissa, who is a baking fiend like myself.  She and one of her friends had a baking day to relive stress, and they also really enjoyed, and might I add, raved over how good the cookies were.  

We took some to the tennis club where the boys play, and everyone was so complimentary, I knew I had a winner.  There were a few squabbles over who deserved more cookies.  It made me happy they were fighting for them.  Please try these for the holidays, and I bet you won't stop there!  :  )



1/2 cup crisco shortening
1/2 cup butter, softened to room temp
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 extra large eggs, at room temp
2 teaspoons vanilla

3 cups gluten free flour blend (Feartherlight Rice Blend)
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups uncooked regular oats
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
2 cups (12 ounce bag) white chocolate chips, I use Guittard (they are GF and you can check on-line to order...I purchase bulk amounts!!  ; )


In a bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients EXCEPT for Oats, white chocolate chips, and pecans.  Set aside.

Beat together butter crisco, and brown sugar.  Once fluffy, add the granulated sugar.  Beat well, and then add eggs.  Beat only until mixed in well.  Then add vanilla.  Mix until thoroughly blended.

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet. Beat until blended.  Stir in the oats, white chocolate chips, and pecans.  It might seem very thick and dry, but it is fine.  Takes a little muscle to power through the last few stirs to get everything evenly mixed.  

Drop by tablespoons onto parchment covered cookie sheets.  16 cookies to a sheet.  Bake at 350 for 6 minutes, then rotate cookie sheet and bake for additional 4-6 minutes depending on desired texture.  I like to have them lightly golden.  It took about 11 minutes all together for my tastes.  Just keep an eye on them until you are comfortable with the time and texture you want.

Cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheet, then remove to rack or parchment paper and let cool completely.  

This makes about 5 dozen cookies.  Keep stored in air tight container.  Lasts several days...theoretically... ;  )




 Delicious, warming, sweet, moist, seasonal, 'best cookie I ever ate,' 'can't stop eating them.'  These are just some of the adjectives and comments I received after coming up with a SWEET POTATO COOKIE recipe that is both gluten free and super delicious.  

I guess I am partial, in that I love sweet potatoes in just about any form.  But, these cookies have been a really nice addition to our family's cookie collection.  Easy and tasty...what more could we want, eh?

Sweet Potato Cookies


2 cups of gluten free flour, as always for cookies I use 
Featherlight Rice Blend
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/3 cup crisco shortening
1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 extra large egg, at room temp
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sweet potato puree


You can buy canned sweet potato puree, or you can do what I do.  I bake 2 medium sized seet potatoes in a shallow baking dish, skin and all, at 350 degrees for an hour or hour and a half.  I let them cool completely.  The skin easily is removed, and then I mash them with a potato masher.  How easy is that!  And it is just good-for-you whole sweet fillers.  Remember to mash well!  No lumps!  :  )  Also, make sure to remove any 'eyes' that might be under the skin of the potato.  You'll need a cup for this recipe.  Any left over, just add a bit of butter or maple syrup and warm up for a quick side dish that is healthy and scrumptuous.

I bake these at 350 to 375 depending on oven.  I like the 350 setting to control the eventual 'doneness' of my cookie.

So, to the directions.  Blend the dry ingredients all together in a bowl.  Whisk well to blend.  

In a mixer, cream the butter, crisco, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light anf fluffly.  Add the egg and vanilla.  Mix well.  Add the mashed sweet potato.   Blend until well incorporated.  Add in the dry ingredient blend, slowly, until well combined.  

Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Drop by tablespoons (heaping) onto the sheets.  I do 16 on a sheet.  Keep them spaced apart by about 2 inches.  Bake until they are lightly golden around the edges...I like them a bit darker, but i make each batch a bit different to appeal to the kids who like them lighter and more moist.  I say to keep a watch on the time.  I turn the sheets after 8 minutes and then reset the timer for 5 minutes and keep an eye on them until they are at the desired golden color.  

I eat them as they are, as well as ice them with my favorite vanilla icing.  **See my earlier post for 'Dot's Vanilla Icing/Frosting'.  

   The guys just love them, and Steve took some to work where they were a big hit.  Thanks to Bob and Russ for your kind words concerning these particualr cookies.  I'll send more!!  ;  )

Hope if you try these, you will enjoy them as much as we do.  Let me know if you do!  Thanks.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Steve's friend Russ kept complaining that I didn't have any new posts.  What to do?  I decided to blend some flavors of the holidays and create my favorite dessert: a cake.

This recipe was inspired by one that I found while researching gluten-free chocolate chips.  Both the texture and flavor of this cake turned out just the way I had hoped.  Hope you like it!

Vanilla Almond Bundt Cake - Gluten-Free


1 cup butter, softened
1 2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 extra large eggs

----- Dry ingredients ----
1 3/4 cup gluten-free flour blend (I used Bette Hagman's Featherlight blend)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp xanthan gum

1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup slivered almonds
2 cups vanilla milk chips (I used Guittard Choc-au-lait vanilla milk chips, they are gluten-free as of this posting)


Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease and flour a bundt pan or tube pan (I prefer using a bundt pan).

Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy.  Add almond and vanilla extracts.  Then add eggs, one at a time.  Sift dry ingredients.  Add alternately with milk in three additions to butter / sugar mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.

Pour batter into greased pan.  Sprinkle slivered almonds and vanilla milk chips evenly over the top of the batter.  (This will sink down to form a layer that will be just under the top crust of the cake when finished baking.)  Bake about 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cake stand on cooling rack for 15 minutes.  Carefully turn pan over onto cake plate and gently lift off.  Allow cake to cool completely before cutting.  Stores well at room temperature.  Keep tightly sealed.

This one turned out really well - give it a try!


Saturday, September 1, 2012


Yesterday, Louis turned 11.  I can't believe it.  It seems like just yesterday he was toddling throughout the house.  Congratualtions Louis, on another wonderful birthday.

I made Louis the dessert he requested.  My chocolate cupcakes with vanilla/cream cheese frosting.  It is a gluten free recipe, and I will post the recipe if any interest arises.  Let me know.

Love you, Louis!!!



This One's For Russ!

Let me first say, Steve has deigned these potaoes 'okay'.  My reaction to this is...well, over reaction.

If I were to go to a French restaurant, and order a side of 'purple mashed potatoes', I would expect to get something Provencal in nature.  Russ, a co-worker of Steve's, dined at a Vegan-esque type of dinery in Buffalo and was blown away by the purple mashed potatoes.  He then presented me with a challenge.  To make something that was as yummy as those from the restaurant in Buffalo!  Well, as someone other than me once said, "I love a challenge!"  I contacted the restaurant, thinking they might divulge their recipe.  But, they told me I was dreaming if I thought they would tell me the recipe I sought...actually, they thanked me for my interest, and said they don't share their recipes because they are so special and want people coming back for more.

So Russ, here it is.  My version of what I would consider gourmet. yet easy to make, purple mashed potatoes.  Ignore Steve's palate comments, and try them out for yourself.  Let me know what you think.  I'm sending some in Tuesday since Steve will see you then.  Give me your honest opinion...I only over react to Steve!  ;  )  I think they are truly delicious and what I would expect to get at a quaint French restaurant in Paris.

Purple Mashed Potaoes

3 lbs purple potatoes (found 'em in the bulk potato section at Wegmans)
3 Tbsp butter
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whole milk or heavy cream
4 oz chevre cheese (goats' milk cheese, gives it a tang*)
1 whole bulb of garlic
several sprigs of fresh thyme
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste

* If you don't want it tangy, use 4oz of cream cheese or any other soft cheese of your choice.


Preheat oven to 400°F.  Slice off the tip of the head of the garlic bulb, exposing the cloves.  Place the garlic in a small baking dish such as a breadpan.  Drizzle the bulb with the olive oil and lay the thyme sprigs all around it.  Cover with foil.  Roast until very soft, 30-45 minutes.  Uncover and let cool.

About 20 minutes before the garlic is done, peel the potatoes and cut them into 1-inch cubes.  Place them in a pot of well-salted cold water and bring it to a boil.  Boil until the potatoes are fork-tender, 10-20 minutes.  Drain well.

Return the potatoes to the pot and squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins into the potatoes.  Using a fine sieve, strain the thyme-infused oil over the potatoes, discarding the thyme.  Add the butter, sour cream, milk, and cheese.  Mash to desired consistency; salt and pepper to taste.

Serve piping hot.  Optionally, garnish with a whole chicken leg and thigh!  (Sorry, Russ, but I'm a carnivore!)

Hope you like them, Russ!  Let's make your next challenge a different color!

- Scott