Healthy Obsessions The Adventures of a Mild Obsessive Compulsive

Tag Archives: Baking

Accidental Gluten Free Beignets

beignet crop2

I was trying to make cannoli. Turns out this particular pastry dough puffs up more than I expected when it’s fried. So I had these poofy cannoli shells, which were way too rich for the cannoli filling. Turns out, coating them with powdered sugar makes them taste like beignets. So I’ve been playing with this recipe for a week now. It’s based off the croissant recipe I got from Gluten Free Gobsmacked.

2 sticks of butter
1/3 cup + 1 Tablespoon GF cottage cheese
1/3 cup + 1 Tablespoon GF cream cheese
1 cup GF Flour*
2 Tablespoons of sweet rice flour
1 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum
½ teaspoon salt (if you use unsalted butter)
¾ teaspoon cream of tartar
¾ teaspoon baking soda
3 Tablespoons sugar

Mix up the dough, roll it out or shape it by hand. If you’re rolling it out, make sure to flour your surface and the rolling pin. Then cut it into rectangles (or whatever shape you want).

I used a sauce pan for the frying, since it has high sides and contains the oil spatter better. You want the frying oil at least an inch deep. I’ve used toasted pistachio oil (which was awesome) and grapeseed oil.  Heat the oil on medium until it’s hot enough to fry the dough (I use a small test piece of dough to be certain). Then start frying up the pieces of dough.

You’ll want to flip the dough over once the bottom portion has turned golden brown. Remove it once both sides are golden brown and place it on a cooling rack covered with paper towels; the paper towels absorb any excess oil.

Use a baking dish (bowl or plate or whatever) filled with powdered sugar to coat the beignets. This seems to work best while they’re quite warm, but not too hot to touch. Coat one side and then flip them over. Or sift more powdered sugar on top.

If you roll the dough thinner and add cinnamon to the powdered sugar, they’re not far off from churros.

 

*I used Glutino/Gluten Free Pantry’s all purpose flour mix.

Best Gluten Free Products I’ve Found

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This list is for a friend who just went gluten free to see if it would help his health. I was telling him about all my favorites and realizing I hadn’t made an updated list. So. (And yes, many of the links below are affiliate links.)

Box Mixes:

I have never found a gluten free cake mix that was okay without doctoring it. All of them require something. The Betty Crockers, at least, are simple. I really dislike the Bob’s Red Mill mixes. Most of them are garbanzo bean based, which is a strong and unpleasant flavor for sweets. Most mixes have corn starch.

Trader Joe’s mixes are mostly from Bob’s Red Mill. So, I avoid them.

Pasta:

  • Jovial Organic Brown Rice Capellini — the only gluten free capellini I’ve liked. All their pastas are good. Wholefoods carries this brand.
  • Schar Gluten Free Anellini — pasta for soup. I use these in place of pastina or acini di pepe. All their pastas are good, but they do have corn (if you’re not avoiding corn, no worries). I’ve seen Schar products at Safeway,Wholefoods, and Nob Hill. But very inconsistent selections.
  • Conte Cheese Ravioli (frozen) — you can order these online, but don’t. Link is only for reference. Wholefoods and some Safeways carry this. Under cook by at least one minute, if you don’t want it falling apart. They have other great frozen pastas.

Cookies:

  • Schar Chocolate Hazelnut Bars — BEST gluten free chocolate wafer cookie out there–by a long shot. I’ve only seen this at Nob Hill or online.
  • K-Toos — best oreo equivalent (most taste like cardboard, this tastes like cookie). Best dipped in milk.
    Wholefoods.
  • Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Crispy Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies — similar to Nantuckets. I like these better, though.
  • Glutino Lemon Wafer Cookies — these are great. Avoid the chocolate ones like the plague. Many stores carry these.

Bread:

  • Udi’s gluten free sandwich bread — take your pick of flavor, but remember to toast the bread. All gluten free bread is better toasted. Lots of grocery stores carry this.
  • gluten-free-ciabattas-plain-largeRudi’s Gluten Free Ciabatta Rolls — I’ve only seen these at one Safeway in Mountain View, but they are far and away the best dinner roll I’ve found. Again, toast them. They are actually the best gluten free bread I’ve found of any kind.

And… there are more, but that’s it for now. I’ll try to do another post continuing the list.

Accidental Brownies — Gluten Free!

I accidentally made brownies the other day… My ex had just brought all my stuff over, so I was feeling like  being a bit self indulgent and decided to make frosting… and failed. Which is ridiculous, because making frosting is easy. But between using a new cocoa powder and overwhipping the butter… the frosting looked more like brownie mix than frosting. And I figured, well, why not?

So I added a few things… and the brownies were awesome. They had a chewy top and corners, but a very soft and rich center. Reminded me of the Ghirardelli mix I used to make in the days of gluten.

 

Accidental Brownies

2 ¼ sticks butter
6 — 8 tbsp cocoa powder
less than a box of powdered sugar*
two eggs
1 cup gf flour
chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla extract

  • Mix butter, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and vanilla together in food processor or stand mixer.
  • Taste for sweetness (this makes a more bittersweet brownie, if you want it sweeter, add more powdered sugar)
  • Mix in eggs
  • Mix in flour
  • Pour into greased & sugared 9 x 9 pan (I use granulated sugar instead of flour to get a crunchier crust)
  • Bake at 350 for 30 — 40 minutes

 

*”Less than a box of powdered sugar” is my favorite instruction ever from my mom. It usually translates to 3/4 of a box.

Five Gluten Free Cookbooks (that will make your life a lot easier if you’re a celiac)

A few folks have been asking me which gluten free cookbooks they should get (either for themselves or as gifts for someone else). Here are some of the best gluten free cookbooks I’ve found:

  1. Healthy Gluten-Free Cooking: 150 Recipes for Food Lovers – This one is from the Ballymaloe Cooking School in Ireland, and I stumbled across it when I was searching for an Irish Soda Bread recipe. Every recipe I’ve tried from this book has been a success. The Irish Soda Bread recipe is wonderful.
  2. Gluten-Free Baking Classics – The title says it. This book gives you a great and simple overview of how gluten free flours work, where to find them, and what other things (like, say, xanthan gum) you’ll want to have on hand.
  3. The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook – Tons of great recipes in here that work not only for celiacs, but also for anyone on a low carb diet. If you sub honey in place of agave nectar, you can adapt many of these recipes for SCD, too. It would also probably work well for paleo diet folks. (The author has recently gone paleo, and she has a website with tons of additional recipes).
  4. The Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten-Free – Confession, I don’t own this one. I own the original gluten-full version, but lordy do I lust after this one. It has great ratings on Amazon (4.5 stars from over 50 reviews). The original was wonderful and it looks like this one will be, too.
  5. Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet – This book is the bible of SCD, and it’s a good one. It’s not aimed specifically at celiacs (although the diet was originally developed to treat celiac disease) but it has great recipes. The pizza crust in this one remains my absolute favorite of the various recipes and mixes I’ve tried.
Five great books, and there are dozens more waiting to be discovered or written. But this is a good place to start.

Gluten Free Blondies

Blondies are kinda a cross between a chocolate chip cookie and a brownie. Some recipes call for coconut (no thanks) or dried fruit (why?) but the best (in my opinion) is just plain chocolate chip. Chocolate chip cookie + brownie = awesome.

So I made some:

gluten free blondies

I snagged the recipe from Gluten Free Betty (highly recommend you check out her site). The main difference is that I baked the blondies by about 10 minutes less than she did. I find that with gluten free stuff, I really want to encourage the gooey elements since gluten free baked goods tend to dry out and go stale rather quickly.

The recipe:

1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon xanthum gum
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups gluten free flour mix*
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

  • Mix melted butter and sugar together
  • Add eggs & vanilla, mix
  • Add dry ingredients, mix
  • Add chocolate chips (as many as you like)
  • Grease 9 x 13 baking pan
  • Pour (or scoop) batter into baking pan
  • Bake at 360 degrees F for 24 – 30 minutes
  • Cool & then serve

*You can use whichever gluten free flour mix you prefer, just be careful if there’s already xanthan gum or baking soda/powder in your mix and adjust accordingly. The original recipe calls for the mix from Gluten Free Baking Classics by Analise Roberts, which is excellent. I’ve also used this mix from Gluten Free Gobsmacked. Both work well, but I find I can’t handle the corn starch in the latter anymore.

Be careful to get a finely ground rice flour for whichever mix you make. The first time round I used too gritty a grind (Arrowhead Mills, while often wonderful, has too coarse a grind of white rice flour for my preference. Left me feeling like I had a mouthful of sand. Tasty sand, but sand nonetheless.) Second time around, I used Bob’s Red Mill Brown Rice Flour, which was finer ground and much better.

Gluten Free Thanksgiving

gluten free thanksgivingSim and I took over making the Thanksgiving meal this year, since my mom is still sick after the chemo. It was an herculean task, but we managed to pull it off.

It was also nearly gluten free. My mother did make some gluten-full stuffing, which she very carefully kept segregated away from everything Sim and I were making so as to avoid contamination.

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Black Friday Deals For Those of Us Who Have to Bake at Home

Good Amazon deals going on for those of us who need to bake at home. Most of these should be going on Fri-Monday (you know, the whole Black Friday – Cyber Monday thing).

  • KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Stand Mixer – $499 down to $299 plus a $50 rebate = $249. If you’re thinking of getting one, this is a good deal. Just remember to mail in the rebate forms.
  • Breadman TR875 2-Pound Breadmaker – $129 down to $99. I’m seriously tempted. I’ve seen a bunch of gluten free bread machine bread recipes lately…
  • KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Mixer, White or Black – $349 down to $233 plus a $30 rebate = $203. This is the same model I have in my kitchen, just a different color. Except I got mine at $249 a year ago. This is a very good deal. All of the colors are on sale, but only Black and White are this low. Again, you need to mail in rebate forms. Always mail in your rebate forms.
  • Pamela’s Amazing Bread Mix, 25-Pound Bag – $48 on Amazon Warehouse. Down from $55 earlier in the week. Going for $69 on the regular Amazon site. If you’re a Pamela fan, this is a great deal. That’s less than $2 a pound. Rare in gluten free mixes.

Six Gifts for the Recently Diagnosed Celiac in Your Life

Friends and coworkers seem to be coming out of the woodwork lately asking me what they can feed/give a recently diagnosed celiac relative (amazing how many of us there seem to be wandering around). And seeing as the holidays are fast approaching, I decided to write up a  list of several things that can be incredibly helpful gifts for a celiac just starting out on a gluten free diet.

  1. Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic – Did you know that Sweden had an epidemic of celiac disease among children born in the 1980s and 90s? This book tells you how and why it happened. Did you know that celiac patients are at higher risk for Lupus and Diabetes? This book goes over the research. This book was first on the list of resources my celiac doc gave me (and first in this list I’m making) because it gives a superb big picture overview of Celiac Disease.
  2. Gluten Free Living Subscription – I recommend this one because I know how much I want it 🙂 It’s a quarterly magazine covering the gluten free lifestyle, the latest medical developments, recipes, events…
  3. Read more →

What to do With Whey?

Currently draining store-bought greek yogurt so as to make more yogurt ice cream (with a friend who was excited after having a spoon from the last batch and wanted to try making some).

This means that I’m left with about a cup or so of whey. And I’m trying to figure out what to do with it. I’ve heard that it can be used in baking, but I don’t know how…  And that it can be used to make ricotta, although I’m guessing 1 cup isn’t enough to make much. I’d hate to let it go to waste.

Suggestions?

Gluten Free Pound Cake

I am crazy busy today so instead of a detailed, well thought out post, I give you a recipe for pound cake. My friend Wendy and I made this in early October (or was it late September?) At any rate, it was incredibly popular with my gluten eating friends, to the point that one of them says it’s the best pound cake he’s ever had.

It’s very dense and moist, and goes beautifully with whipped cream and berries or ice cream or chocolate sauce. It doesn’t taste like the Sara Lee frozen pound cakes that I grew up on, so don’t expect that. But it does have a great pound cake crust. I snagged the recipe from The Happy Tummy.

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