Tag Archives: Dessert

Holiday Sugar Cookies

Making Christmas Cookies is one of our favorite traditions, and we always share the creativity with my Mom.  The boys love each part of it:  rolling out the dough, pressing the cookie cutters into it, and of course, adding icing and sprinkles.

We used the recipe from Jules Gluten Free and had great results.  I doubled it, making all the cookies but only icing a few.  The rest I’ll put into the freezer to pull out a little at a time so we can have fresh cookies throughout the month.  I put the  icing in individual baggies with about 1/2 C. in each baggie to pull out of the freezer at the same time.  You can find Jules’ recipe below for the cookies.  For the icing, I just use the recipe on the powdered sugar box.

This Cookies Cutter set will give you any shape you’ll need to make cut-out cookies any time of year.  They’re fun to make for any occasion – even if the occasion is just a happy day.  🙂

Holiday Cut-Out Cookies

Ingredients:

14 cup shortening (e.g. Earth Balance® or Spectrum® Palm Oil Shortening)

14 cup canola oil

23 cup granulated cane sugar

2 egg yolks

2 tsp. gluten-free vanilla extract

1 34 cup Jules Gluten Free™ All Purpose Flour (recipe for mix below)

12 tsp. salt

3 Tbs. water (as needed)

food coloring (optional)

colored sugar or frosting (optional – see below)

Directions:

Cream shortening, sugar and oil several minutes with an electric mixer, until very fluffy. Add egg yolks, vanilla extract and food coloring. Mix in the dry ingredients, adding in tablespoons of water only as needed to keep the dough together and avoid dryness (err on the side of this dough being wetter so that after refrigeration, it’s not too dry). Pat the dough into a disc shape, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough until very cold, at least 3-5 hours (overnight is best).

Preheat oven to 350 F (static) or 325 F (convection).

Lightly flour a clean rolling surface with Jules Gluten Free™ All Purpose Flour. Roll the dough to approximately 1/8 inch thickness and dust cookie cutters with flour before using to cut out shapes. You may also roll thin coils of dough of different colors and braid into candy cane or other fun shapes.

Place cookies onto parchment-lined cookie sheets and decorate with colored sugar, if desired. Bake approximately 8-10 minutes, or until they begin to lightly brown at the edges. Cool on a cooling rack and frost with gluten-free frosting, if desired.

Jules Nearly Normal Flour Mixture:

1 C. rice flour

1 C. potato starch

1 C. cornstarch

1/2 C. corn flour

1/2 C. tapioca flour

4t. xanthan gum

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Christmas Tree Brownies

Here’s a super easy and super fun Christmas Treat!  I brought these to our family Christmas, because I needed something easier to make than pie.

You start with the Betty Crocker Brownie Mix and bake it in a pie pan.  Top with icing and green sprinkles or green icing.  I brought it to the gathering this way, so that the kids could decorate their own tree with M&M ornaments and a gluten-free pretzel tree trunk.   Thanks, Betty Crocker, for this great idea!

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Smoothies

DSC_0642Smoothies are perfect for breakfast or a snack, and they’re a great way to boost nutrition.  I add fresh or frozen fruit, milk or almond milk, some vanilla protein powder, a few drops of Stevia for sweetness, and …..shhhh….don’t tell my kids this part.  I also add a couple of tablespoons of ground flax meal for extra healthy goodness.

For dessert, I make a chocolate, strawberry smoothie using unsweetened chocolate almond milk by Almond Breeze, frozen strawberries, Stevia, and …(flax!).  It’s very low on calories and very high in nutrition.  And, it comforts my sweet tooth.

It’s also really fun to serve a smoothie in a wine glass.  It tastes even better with a little class added to it.

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Key Lime Pie

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I made myself my very own Key Lime Pie for my birthday.

And, while I thoroughly enjoyed eating the whole pie by myself in 2 days flat, there was something else I enjoyed even more.

Making this pie was a momentous event for me, because it was the first time that having to figure out to make something special from my “former way of life” gluten free didn’t intimidate me AT ALL!  I had seen a recipe I wanted to try, and I just jumped in, knowing I could make it taste just as yummy with a simple substitution.

And, that, my friends, is so KEY!  (get it?…KEY?!)  🙂  Knowing how to make an easy substitution to make  a recipe gluten free is SIMPLE much of the time.

In this case, I just had to adjust the pie crust, replacing the graham crackers with GF ones.  I used a box of rice crackers by Health Valley.

DSC_0647These are delicious!  They’re so good in fact that I had to dig this box out of the recycling bin to photograph it.  As soon as the box is opened, my kids spread on the peanut butter and banana or jelly for a yummy snack, and they’re gone.  You can use these for S’mores also, or for anything which need a graham cracker-like substitute.  If you’re like me, you will buy some for your family, and then hide some so that when the pie urge hits, you will be prepared.

I used a recipe from the thepioneerwoman.com.  You can find it here.  Just use the GF crackers, and you’re ready.  It’s as easy as pie!  (sorry, couldn’t help it)

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Brownie Bake-Off

I put 3 kinds of brownies to the test in a very scientific experiment to see which would come away with the prize of “best brownie”.  To make things fair and interesting, I included 2 gluten-free brownies, 1 brownie full of gluten and sin, and 10 tasters.

DSC_0497The 3 competitors were:

red team- Betty Crocker’s GF Brownie Mix

yellow team – Betty Crocker’s regular Brownie Mix

blue team – Gluten Free Girl’s homeade recipe:  http://glutenfreegirl.blogspot.com/2007/05/brownies-gluten-free.html

DSC_0499First up – Betty Crocker’s GF Mix

They say it’s a little thick, and they aren’t kidding!

Easy to make

8×8 pan size

$4.29 a box

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This is Betty Crocker’s regular mix

13X9 pan size

$1.79

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And, this is a recipe from glutenfreegirl.blogspot.com

Really fun to make by swirling the melted chocolate into the batter

I don’t have an exact price, because I used ingredients I had on hand, but probably the cheapest option.

You get to plunge the pan in ice water after it bakes too, which I’ll bet is great fun for any brownie.

Each person got small pieces of brownies with colored toothpicks in them, then rated their favorites in order from most to least.  7 People tasted all 3 kinds, and 3 people (my 2 kids and me) just voted on the GF ones.

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………………….And, the winner is……………….!!!

Betty Crocker’s GLUTEN FREE MIX!!!!!!!

The tasters agreed that they were all good, and the scores were pretty close.  glutenfreegirl’s were a little too sweet for most people, but I want to try that one again with less sugar.  The GF mix was more fudgey, and the regular mix was more cake-like.

I still have a few tests to run before I’m settled with my favorite brownie.  I’d like to find a homeade version, mostly for a cheaper option.  But, for now, the Betty Crocker mix will be my choice for quick, easy, and yummy.  Let me know what you think too!

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