Monday, January 26, 2015

Gluten Free Vanilla Wafers

So I wanted to make banana pudding this weekend. Which snowballed into this. They're not gorgeous because I had no interest in taking the time to locate a piping bag. That's just too much for me. But they're really tasty! 

Gluten Free Vanilla Wafers
(Adapted from here)

1/2 cup of butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar 
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp real vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp Xanthan gum

Beat butter, salt and sugars together until creamed. Beat in your egg (I just used a yolk since my boys are allergic to the whites) and vanilla. 

Soft your dry ingredients together and add into your wet. Beat for a few minutes to make sure it's combined. Allow to sit for about 15-30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325°.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. I added the whole recipe to one ziplock sandwich bag and snipped a corner off. I then "piped" out quarter sized dollops onto the baking sheet, leaving a good distance between since they will spread a bit. Bake for 10-15 minutes until edges are turning golden. Remove from oven and aloe to cool on wire racks. 

Makes a TON. But they won't last long.  They're way too easy just to pop into your mouth as you pass by the cooling racks. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Cinnamon Sweet Rolls

So I love Pioneer Woman Ree. She's great and funny and I want to be her best friend.  Her recipes are really easy to convert because she doesn't use a lot of weird ingredients I guess.  She lives in the south.  All problems can be solved with butter or cornbread. Or barbeque.  Life is good. Anywho, if you've ever had her sweet rolls oh my word.  They're work but they make a billion, so it's a little less annoying.  I made a full recipe 2 years ago and ended up with 7 pans.  Seven.  

We ate them all.  Yikes.

I have had pretty good luck lately adapting recipes and I can totally blame Caitlin for making them last weekend and making me want them so bad.  So I ventured out and they came out fantastic.  First time out.  So I'll probably never get them that good again.  But that's how it goes.  Anywho, since I'm not a food blogger and just a recipe adapter-sharer here is what I did to make hers good but allergy friendly.  Bare with me, reference her photos for a guide, and take the sticky plundge.  

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Cinnamon Sweet Rolls

Adapted from Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond

2 cups dairy-free milk (we use coconut milk around here)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup olive oil (not extra virgin, you can use another type but we stick to olive oil here for corn-free)
1 tsp (heaping) Xanthan gum
1 Tbsp (heaping) psyllium husk powder
1 package of yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp)
1/2 cup millet or sorghum flour
1/2 tsp (heaping) baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

1 stick of unsalted butter
1/4 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of fair trade, organic brown sugar (trust me, this stuff really does taste way better.  It's worth it)
2 Tbsp ground cinnamon

1 cup fair trade, organic powdered sugar (sifted)--for a corn free recipe
dairy free milk
1 tsp good vanilla

Scald the milk, sugar, and olive oil over medium heat--do not let it boil.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool to medium-warmish (she says 45 minutes. I'm not that patient, I gave it like 5-10).  

Add the gluten free flour, xanthan gum, and psyllium husk powder to your mixer and mix to combine.  Slowly pour in the milk mixture on low; once combined add yeast and mix.  Cover and let rest for about an hour.

Add the millet, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the mixture.  Mix on medium for about 6 minutes until it is moving fluidly; it will still be sticky, very sticky--just like all gluten free breads it will not seem right but trust me it is.  

I have a giant silpat that I roll cookies and everything out on, which was awesome for containing my mess but your regular counter works fine.  Just make sure it's clean.  Pouring a generous amount (I used 1/2 to 3/4 cup) of flour on your "rolling" surface, seriously do NOT skimp (if you feel like you have too much, you're just right), dump your dough out of the bowl.  Using a wet hand--I just repeatedly dip my hand into water I've poured into my dirty dough bowl--spread your dough out until it's even and about 1/4" thick.  

Melt your butter and pour the whole stick over your giant rectangle, spreading it evenly.  Sprinkle both sugars and cinnamon all over the bread, I ended up using my already dirty hand to make sure it was all well mixed (Lloyd did the sprinkling).  Using a knife, you should get 12-14 rolls out of this rectangle--so depending on the size of your rectangle you do the cutting, then roll your dough right up.  You'll see I wasn't kidding about the amount of flour.  Place each one in a baking dish--I used two pie plates for this round.  

If you want to freeze them--stop here, wrap well, and freeze.  This is also where I stop to refrigerate if you want to make them a day ahead. I let mine sit for 30 minutes to a full hour at room temp while my oven did a really good preheat to 375 degrees F.  This is important for gluten free breads I've learned, they take a really long time to absorb oils and liquid. Bake for 18-25 minutes, it'll depend on the size of your rolls and your oven.  They'll be starting to brown on top.  Remove from your oven, smell the wonderful scent.

Mix up your 'icing', I add the milk slowly to achieve a good consistency.  You don't want it too thick or runny, so go with your gut and start slowly with the milk.  Pour it over the hot, delectable rolls.  Try not to eat the whole pan.  

And believe it or not this is half her recipe.  Eek! But really, if you're going to take the time might as well make a bunch and freeze them.  It really does make sense for the time/effort it takes, but it was easier to type up the 1/2 recipe I did today.  

Gluten Free Flour Blend

I've tried a bunch now and I keep using this one, so I'm publishing it separately to make it easier for when I post recipes that have worked well for me.  If you need it, here you go.

Gluten Free Flour Blend

6 cups of Brown Rice Flour
2 cups of Potato Starch
1 cup of Tapioca Starch

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Mommy Diary Take Two: 12 Months/1 Year

December 20, 2014

Dear Asher:

My delightful boy. Today we had your birthday party. It was magnificent: breakfast casseroles, lots of fruit, and Apple cider. You loved watching your friends run around and play with your toys. Even if you were not very into opening presents, you had a lot of fun. Which is ok, you are still so little in my eyes. Not an hour after everyone left you started walking. By bath time you were taking long stretches upright. You do more of what we have called "the Cupid shuffle": you walk best sideways. It is kind of funny to watch you shimmy to your desired location. We are so proud of you. So smart. So handsome. So independent. So sweet and happy. I love you beyond this earth. I can't wait to watch you grow up and become the little boy you are destined to be. I'll miss you so much at this age of discovery. You are everything.


Mommy Diary Take Two: 52 Weeks

December 19, 2014

Dear Asher:

Oh my sweet honey bear, this is our last weekly photo. It is bittersweet for sure: you are still so tiny to me yet so much bigger than when we started. You have been taking independent steps all week, just a few at a time. We all cheer you on until you invariably stretch your long body to reach whatever it is you were going for. You still talk up a storm; always pointing out 'light' as we enter a room and usually the first thing when you wake up. I just cannot fathom you being a year old. A year ago you were just inside me with your feet swishing around my belly looking like an alien. Where has the time gone? I adore you.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Dairy Free Caramel Apple Dip

Update 12/21/2014: I made this tonight with 3 Tbsp arrowroot powder and split 1/2c sugar and 1/2c brown sugar. It was perfect and the color was more caramel-like. So recipe update from the original is below! 

Confession: I'm not a chocolate person. However, before you threaten to have me excommunicated, I could stab a B for good caramel. Those ones in the plastic wrapper you are supposed to use for baking? I could eat the whole bag. My mom couldn't keep them in the house. And making your own often involved recipes with the words "candy thermometer", "soft ball stage", and the like. That is ridiculous. No one has time for that. 

Sooooooo..... I cried inside at parties with that wonderfully chemical laden caramel dip concoction was served alongside crip apples.  

I found a few recipes for dairy free or vegan caramel.  Still with the crazy thermometer. Ok, I gave up. Then I found and started with this recipe on pintrest. But, if you know me, you know I'm completely incapable of leaving well-enough alone. It's against my DNA. Seemed too easy.

And maybe it should be harder because Holy-Baby-Jesus-in-a-manger it's wonderful.  It isn't dark like standard caramel (she added a touch of molasses and I'm sure that would have darkened it up). But the taste is spot-on. I second guessed and added closer to 4 Tbsp of arrowroot powder and it thickened up a lot once cooled, but it's still amazing. So just be aware it won't seem thick enough for dip until it's cooled. But straight out of the pan would be divine on ice cream.

So here you go. 

Dairy Free Caramel Dip

1/2 C Butter
1/2 C White Sugar
1/2 C Brown Sugar
1/2 C Dairy-Free Creamer*
2-3 Tbsp Arrowroot Powder (or corn starch if not corn-free)
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1-2 Tbsp Maple Syrup (I used closer to one)
Juice from one small Lemon (approx. 2 Tbsp)
1 tsp Molasses (optional, mostly for color)

Whisk arrowroot into cream until dissolved. Melt butter and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until bubbly. Add cream mixture and all remaining ingredients, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. 

Continuing to stir, allow mixture to lightly bubble until it thickens and starts to become fragrant.  Mixture will darken slightly.  Remove from heat and pour into your serving bowl. 

Allow to cool and refrigerate if serving as dip for fruit, but can be served hot. Mixture will thicken greatly once it cools.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Cheer

Lloyd is in full holiday love.  He is talking about Santa, excited about Christmas Day, excited for Jesus's birthday, you name it. We read and watched the grinch this weekend and he about plotzed from excitement. 

He is making this season so incredible for us. He noted that our tree doesn't have a topper. He wanted a twinkle star. We have never had a topper so I figured we could trek to Kohls to find something with my coupon and $5 off voucher. As we are strolling around the ornaments section and I'm not seeing ANY toppers, he spots (with sheer, unadulterated, 3-year-old glee) a horrible golden light-up toper. It is, literally, the only topper they have. It's on clearance. With our coupon and free $5 we paid $3.

He carried it proudly around the store. Dancing. Telling all the ladies about his "twinkle star. For my tree. At my house. I decorated it."

Multiple ladies complimented him. Multiple ladies uttered the words "what Christmas spirit". Commented on his joy. 

So I let it go. And smiled. And was proud of my son. Excited with him. Helped him put it on our tree. Let him turn it up. And hugged him back as he hopped around in excitement. This is what Christmas is about. Not that my silver tree has a sparkling, sequined, giant, gold star on it. But that my son is excited beyond words to pick out a yellow twinkle star. For his tree. To celebrate Christmas.

Then he was a robot in the box. I love this age!