Archives for December 2011

Got BREAD?? I do ~

I always thought it would be easy for me to be Gluten Free because I’ve never been a big bread eater. Well, little did I know how hard it would be. From the simple things like Garlic Toast or a Panini Sandwich (once in awhile). Well I have the answer to that – Johann’s Bakery.  It was amazing, for the first time since diagnosed I actually had the smell of fresh cinnamon toast in my house.  And for lunch I had the first GF Panini in a very long time.  So it was needless to say “a bread day” for me.  And I loved every bit of it. I even added a small amount of shredded parmasean cheese to the top of it while I grilled it to make the top nice and crunchy.

Cinnamon Toast that I had for breakfast  using the GF Cinnamon Bread

And here’s the Panini I had for lunch using Johann’s Original GF Bread

I original found out about this bread on Christmas morning when my step-mom makes her annual Christmas GF French Toast Bake.  Every year she finds a new bread to try.  This year was Johann’s. Which she found at Sprouts.  When I opened the bag to smell it, I couldn’t believe my nose.  It smelled just like french bread.  I couldn’t wait to share this information with all of you.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

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Day 25 of 25 – Fun with Rudolph Treats

For most of us Christmas Day is filled with family, food, presents and laughter.  At my house it also includes “craft time” with grandma.  My mom always has some sort of craft for the girls (my nieces) to do when they come visit.  This year I came up with the craft idea of Almond Joy Rudolph bites.  These adorable goodies are fun to make and create many laughs while making them too.

Rudolph Treats

Ingredients:
12 miniature GF pretzels halved (now mine broke so I just used the pieces that I could, which I think made them kind of “crazy/silly” looking – in a good way though)
12 fun-size Almond Joy candy bars
12 mini marshmallows halved
12 red M&M’s miniature baking bits
Black decorating gel for eyes

Directions:
Insert an end from two pretzel halves into each candy ar to form the antlers. Gently press the cut side of two marshmallow halves onto each candy bar for eyes; dot with decorating gel to help stick.

For nose, attach an M&M to the top of each candy with a mixture of powdered sugar and water to make a paste.

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Day 24 of 25 – Black & White Biscuit Cookies

Before I took on this cookie I probably should have researched it a bit first.  For any of you who are familiar with this famous New York cookie, you know that it’s supposed to be FLAT, yet somehow mine aren’t.  I’m not sure if that is from the conversion to GF flour that has something to do with it, or if I forgot something in the methodology or what the heck happened.  But I do have to say that even though they don’t look like traditional Black and White Cookies, they still taste pretty darn good.  They have a sweet biscuit taste to them and the texture is a cross between a biscuit and cake.  A little crispy on the outer edge and cake like in the middle – Nice huh? Oh, and the black side has a little som’thin, som’thin in the mix.

Black and White Cookies

Ingredients:
Cookie
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temp
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup sour cream
1-1/4 cups GF all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon flake salt

Icing
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream Liquor (added to the “black” side of icing)
1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.  Beat the butter and sugar togehter until light and fluffy. Add the egg, then the sour cream and vanilla, beating well between each addition. Add the flour, xanthan gum, baking soda and salt and mix thouroughly until combined. Beat until mix becomes more elastic and thicker.  Chill batter for about 1 hour.  Spoon batter onto the baking sheets in heaping tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart. Bake until tops are pale golden brown – about 15 minutes.  Cool completely.

For the icing, stir togehter the powdered sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, vanilla and about 1 tablespoon of the water until completely smooth. This make the white icing.  Transfer half of this mixture to another bowl, add the cocoa and the Bailey’s Irish Cream (if you so choose) and stir completely. This make the black icing.  Add water to thin or powdered sugar to thicken also by the tablespoonful.  The consistency should dribble from the spoon like honey.

To ice the cookies, turn them flat side up (if you are lucky enough to have them bake flat) and spread the white icing on half of the cookies and the black on the other half of the cookie.  The icing should be thick enough that it doesn’t melt into the cookie when you spread it.  If it disappears, add more powdered sugar to thicken.  Chill and serve.

I will of course revisit these to try to make them “flat” the way they are supposed to be, but I actually kind-of like the way these turned out.  They became my own little creative mistake and tasted really good.  Enjoy these with coffee or tea – tasty!

**recipe adapted from Gluten-Free on a Shoestring**

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Day 23 of 25 – Holiday “Spritz” Cookies

Looking back, I should have made these more exciting with Champagne or something like that.  Doesn’t “spritz” sound bubbly or effervescent or something fun??  Anywho – instead of being overly effervescent, these are light and fluffy and they actually melt in your mouth.  So I guess in a way they are effervescent and definitely fun.

Holiday Spritz Cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
2-1/4 cups GF All-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon almond extract (this is where you could substitute for something really fun)
1/2 teaspoon Xantham Gum

Directions:
Cream butter. Mix in sugar and egg. Add remaining ingredients, and mix well. Place dough into Cookie Press. Press cookies using desired shape disc onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Use your imagination and sprinkle with colored sugars, candies, anything you want to make them look pretty.  Or, just leave them as is. The possibilities are endless.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 8-9 minutes.

Makes about 4-5 dozen cookies

**recipe adapted from the box that my cookie press came in – Nordic Ware International**

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Day 22 of 25 – White Chocolate Christmas Tree Cookies

I thought these might be fun because they had the Christmas Tree impression lightly tattooed on the top of the cookie.  But I didn’t have the chocolate syrup that the recipe called for so I used caramel syrup instead and as you can see (or not see) that trees impression turned out a little faint.  So lesson learned, use the chocolate syrup to get a good impression.

White Chocolate Christmas Tree Cookies

Ingredients:
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened and divided (I used butter for mine)
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/3 cups, plus 6 tablespoons GF All-purpose flour, divided
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
2 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon chocolate syrup (I used caramel syrup)

Directions:
In a large bowl, beat 1/2 cup butter and shortening until well blended; add sugars and beat until fluffy.  Add egg yolk and vanilla; beat until smooth. Ina a small bowl, combine 1-1/3 cups flour, baking powder, and salt. In a food processor, process pecans and chocolate until finely ground. Add dry ingredients and pecan mixture to creamed mixture; stir until a soft dough forms. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill 1 to 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Shape chilled dough into 3/4 inch balls; place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten cookies with the bottom of a flat glass dipped in 2 tablespoons of flour. In a small bowl, mix remaining 1/4 cup butter, remaining 4 tablespoons flour and syrup; stir until well blended. Spoon syrup mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip. Piped tree design onto each cookie and bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are a nice golden brown.

Makes about 6 dozen cookies

**recipe adapted from Leisure Arts Presents – The Spirit Of Christmas – book 8**

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