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Archive for the ‘Baked Goods’ Category

You’ve gotta love a cookbook that makes you smile—even laugh—as you read it. Rebecca Katz’s The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen is food for the soul.

The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery

I picked it up a few weeks ago on the recommendation of some other Bauman College grads. I don’t have cancer or know anyone close to me who does, but that doesn’t matter in the least. Rebecca’s recipes for delicious, nourishing fare are perfect for anyone seeking to eat healthfully and support their immune system—whether they have cancer or not.

Along with the tasty recipes and sensational photographs in the book, Rebecca’s writing is a delight to read. Riddled with humorous stories and plenty of culinary and kitchen tips, The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen presents healthful cuisine in an engaging and “easily digestable” package. While the book caters to the physical needs of those undergoing cancer treatment or recovery, the recipes will tickle the tastebuds of foodies both ill and healthy alike.

I’m particularly eager to try the Thai It Up Chicken Soup, Middle Eastern Chickpea Burgers, and Mediterranean Lentil Salad. Before I get to any of these, however, I want to share with you an adaptation I made of Rebecca’s Anytime Bars.

In the headnotes of the recipe, Rebecca writes:

“The great thing about this recipe is that you can change the ingredients to fit your taste preferences. You can even split the batter and make half with currants and cranberries and the other half with walnuts or whatever you’d like.”

I took her advice and shook up the recipe a little bit to my tastes, including making them gluten-free. The results are scrumptious—er, were scrumptious. They’re long gone already…and it won’t be long before I’m making another batch.

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Hallie’s Energy Bars – makes 20 bars

(Inspired by the Anytime Bars found in The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen)

 1/4 cup millet flour

2 tbs. flaxseed meal

Pinch of sea salt

1/8 tsp. baking powder*

1/8 tsp. baking soda*

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 cup raw, whole almonds

3/4 cup raw pecan halves

1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup quinoa flakes or gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup (loosely packed) medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped

1 cup (loosely packed) dried Turkish apricots, roughly chopped

1 egg

3 tbs. honey or maple syrup

In a food processor fitted with the S-blade, process the millet flour, flaxseed meal, salt, baking powder and soda, and cinnamon until combined. Add almonds, pecans, and seeds and pulse 5-6 times to chop coarsely. Add quinoa flakes, dates, and apricots and pulse 10-15 times until everything is chopped and incorporated. (Mixture should still be fairly coarse.)

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg and honey. Stir in the nut and fruit mixture until evenly moistened. Press into an even layer in the prepared 9×9 baking dish. Bake at 325-degrees for 20-25 minutes until set and lightly golden brown on top. Cool completely in pan, then cut into 20 squares.

Bars will keep at room temperature for up to 4 days or refrigerated for 5-7 days.

*Note: I do not have an eighth-teaspoon measuring utensil—I don’t even know if they make those! So I just used half of a quarter-teaspoon and it worked perfectly.

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Hungry for more cookbook recommendations? Check out my post on Deborah Madison’s Local Flavors. Find more great recipes for healthy food at Amy’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.

 

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A few weeks ago when I read Heidi’s post on Figgy Buckwheat Scones, I nearly fell out of my chair in utter adoration. They were beautiful. I could almost taste them just by looking at the pictures.

I left a comment saying that I might (timidly) attempt making a gluten-free, white-sugar-free version. And that’s just what I did. And guess what? It worked! They aren’t swirled like Heidi’s and call for some different ingredients, but I think that same concept of robust, deeply flavored buckwheat paired with earthy dried figs is still there.

It’s funny how something as simple as creating a successful recipe can send you on a high for the week. When I took my first few bites of these scones and concluded that they were good, my heart swelled for days afterward. The sense of accomplishment—”look at me! I made a gluten-free scone that doesn’t taste like a doorstop!”—really got me pumped.

Several days later, I (quite cockily, I’ll admit) attempted making a gluten-free, whole grain buckwheat pizza crust. Surely, after conquering something so monumental as a whole grain scone, a pizza crust would be a walk in the park. I’ll have you know that I was humbled—brought low, you might say—by my pizza-making experience. The look on my mom’s face, bless her heart, as she was eating the pizza with me said one thing: never again, Hallie. Never again.

So I’ve decided to stick with scones for now. And soups and salads, because they are pretty hard to mess up. I’ll leave pizza for the adventurous, experienced chefs with the minds for culinary greatness. As they knead their dough and flip rounds of crust high up in the air, I’ll be perfectly happy whipping up batches of fig butter and nibbling on these scones.

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Buckwheat and Fig Butter Scones - Makes 10

Note: these scones are not super sweet. They are more like a subtly sweet biscuit with bits of fig running through them. If you’d prefer a sweeter scone, add additional honey to the fig butter recipe. You may also make additional fig butter to serve with the scones once they are baked.

1 cup buckwheat flour

¾ cup millet flour, plus extra for flouring work surface

¼ cup tapioca starch

2 ½ tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. salt

1 recipe Fig Butter (below), cold and cut into ½ inch cubes

½ cup plus 2 tbs. cream (half and half)

1/3 cup dried Black Mission figs, chopped small (stems discarded)

1-2 tbs. light or heavy cream, for brushing

Preheat oven to 400-degrees.

In a food processor fitted with the S-blade, combine buckwheat flour, millet flour, tapioca starch, baking powder and salt. Sprinkle fig butter cubes over top and pulse about 20 one-second pulses until mixture looks like wet sand with the largest butter pieces the size of small peas. Transfer mixture to mixing bowl.

With the side of a wooden utensil, scoot the flour-butter mixture to the edges of the bowl creating a well in the center. Add ½ cup plus 2 tbs. cream to the well. Gently mix into flour. When ingredients are just moistened, stir in Black Mission figs until just combined. Do not overmix.

Transfer mixture to a work surface very lightly floured with millet flour. Pat scone dough into a 10×7 inch rectangle, flouring your hands lightly if needed to keep dough from sticking to them. Cut dough into 10 evenly sized square scones. Arrange scones on a parchment-lined baking sheet spacing about ½ inch apart.

Bake at 400-degrees for 18-22 minutes until deep golden brown and crackled on top. Can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

 

Fig Butter

½ cup dried Black Mission figs, cut into quarters (stems discarded)

1 cup water

1 cinnamon stick

½ cup butter, softened to room temperature

¼ cup honey

Combine figs, water and cinnamon stick in a small pot over medium heat. Bring mixture to boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until figs are rehydrated and liquid is deep maroon in color—about 8-10 minutes.

Drain figs, reserving 2 tbs. cooking liquid. Discard cinnamon stick. Transfer figs and 2 tbs. cooking liquid to food processor fitted with the S-blade. Process for 10-15 seconds to puree. Add butter and honey. Process for 15-20 seconds until mixture is fairly smooth. If a few small chunks of fig remain, that’s okay.

Transfer fig butter to plastic wrap or a plastic baggie and form a log or rectangle out of the mixture. Seal it up and chill until ready to use.

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This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.

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I know that nuts really aren’t a seasonal food, but I still tend to associate different types with different seasons. Pecans and hazelnuts work their way into my holiday recipes at Thanksgiving and Christmas, while pine nuts tend to show up in the warmer months as I whip up batches of pesto and pasta salad with summer’s bounty. Walnuts and almonds are my go-to snacking nuts any time of the year. And pistachios? Well, to me, those just sing spring.

Usually I enjoy pistachios more in savory dishes than sweet. Their buttery texture and snappy crunch offer a lovely addition to salads of many kinds or platters of roasted vegetables dressed simply in lemon juice and olive oil. One of the pricier nuts on the market, I reserve pistachios for spare but savored use in only a handful of recipes. And yet, for the past few weeks on my trips to the grocery store I’ve eyed the pistachios every time, dreaming up some fancy way I could use them. Nothing came to me. Then, at least.

Last week when I was on my way to check out my groceries, I paused in the Whole Foods bakery section to peer into the glass case and feast my eyes upon all of the beautiful spring desserts. Three-layer carrot cakes, lemon curd tartlets, tiramisu, chocolate cupcakes, lattice-topped pies. And on the top shelf, tucked away in a corner as if they were too shy to take center stage, a cluster of tiny two-bite cakes almost too cute to imagine eating. Almost

If I could have, I would have bought a few of those little cakes on the spot and eaten them right then and there in front of the bakery case. But, cute as they were, the wheat flour and refined sugar in them simply wouldn’t do. While I’ll occasionally—rarely is a better word—make a treat or two with granulated white sugar, I avoid gluten completely. My body gets very upset if I don’t! But with the two-bite cake theme whirling in my head, I left the grocery store that day with the goal in mind to come up with a gluten-free, white sugar-free alternative that was tasty and, if I was lucky, just as cute as those little cakes in the case.

The two-bite cakes I came up with not only turned out adorable; they also gave me the prime opportunity to use luxurious pistachios in a new and different way. As you may already know if you’ve been around this blog for a while, I don’t like my “sweets” to be super sweet. In this recipe the actual cake batter is sweetened only subtly with a bit of honey. The real burst of sweetness comes from the chocolate. If you prefer a sweeter sweet, feel free to try bumping up the honey to your liking.

I can’t think of a better way to welcome the spring season than by popping down a few of these tasty morsels and heading outside for some sunshine. If you’re looking for more gluten-free, guilt-free treats to try this spring, check out “Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free” hosted by Amy of Simply Sugar and Gluten Free. Celebrate the season with delicious, guiltless pleasures!

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Two-Bite Pistachio Chocolate Chip Cakes - Makes 16 mini cakes 

1/2 cup raw shelled pistchios, chopped

1 cup blanched almond flour

1/4 cup millet flour  

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted, plus extra for greasing the pan

1/4 cup honey

2 eggs

1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Grease 16 cups of a mini-muffin tin with coconut oil and set aside.

In a food processor fitted with the S-blade, grind 1/4 cup pistachios to a fine powder. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add almond flour, millet flour, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine.

Separately whisk together coconut oil, honey and eggs in a small bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well. Fold in remaining 1/4 cup chopped pistachios and chocolate chips.

Spoon batter into the greased muffin tin. Bake cakes for 15-18 minutes until deeply golden brown. Cool completely before removing from pan. (For easy removal, run a sharp knife around the edges of each cake and gently lift out of pan.)

Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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Trail Mix Clusters

There is only one thing I love eating more than nuts, honey, and cinnamon. And that is eating all three of them together.

A few months ago I posted a recipe for Pan-Roasted Honey Nuts. Today’s recipe is somewhat similar, but is more of a wink and a nudge to granola rather than roasted nuts. I’m not one to pat myself on the back very often, but I must say: I make a killer granola. It’s full of crunchy nuts, sweet dried fruit, and a few pinches of my favorite baking spices. Of course, it has oats in it as well. Since I’ve learned over the past few years that oats and my body don’t get along very well, I only make my granola for others and never actually get to enjoy it myself. 

It is my love for granola and inability to eat it that sparked the inspiration for these Trail Mix Clusters. You could use any combination of your favorite nuts here, so feel free to tailor the recipe to your tastes. Just make sure you use raw, unsalted nuts and seeds. Also, it’s important to let the clusters cool completely before eating so that they can set up and hold together. I ate one before it was cool and it crumbled up in my hands. (I also burned my tongue.) But after letting the clusters set for about 20 minutes, they were nice and sturdy and good to go.

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Trail Mix Clusters - Makes 16

1 large or 2 small-ish egg whites

1 tbs. honey

1 cup raw unsalted walnuts, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup raw unsalted pumpkin seeds

2 tbs. raw unsalted sunflower seeds

2 tbs. raw sesame seeds

1/4 cup raisins or other chopped dried fruit of choice (such as apricots, dates, or dried cranberries)  

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk together egg white and honey in a medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix well to thoroughly coat everything with the egg white mixture.

Spoon tablespoon-fuls of the nut mixture onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until deeply golden brown and fragrant, about 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before eating or storing.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

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This post is linked to Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday.

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If you’ve been around here for a while, you probably know a few things about me by now. You know that I love to cook, that’s an obvious one. You know that I not only love to cook, but that I love to cook for others and share my love through food. You know that I embrace healthy eating and feature recipes chock full of all the healthy stuff like fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins.

You know that I have a sweet tooth and that I often satisfy it with handfuls of dates and figs or any creation that I can make with them. You know that I spend the occasional sleepless night thinking up new recipes and dreaming of old favorites. You know that when it comes to comfort foods, nothing warms me up quite like a steaming bowl of stew.

But here’s something you might not know about me: no food or ingredient or recipe—not even the finest, tastiest bowl of steaming stew—quite satisfies my soul like a good book.

I’ll admit it. The past few days I’ve done nothing but rush through my morning routine, hurry through lunch, hastily work through the afternoon, and then throw together a quick dinner all for one purpose: to get to the evening. Because it is in the evening, after the kitchen is cleaned up and the lights are dimmed and the dishwasher is humming it’s gentle lullaby, that I can curl up on the sofa with my favorite blanket and a pile of books. The long day is over. The night has come. And I can indulge in my deepest craving: my craving for words.

I drove to the library last week planning to pick-up a hold that was ready. Nearly an hour later, I returned home with a stack of novels taller than a two-year-old (I might be exaggerating just a smidge) and an eagerness to delve into each one. Some have been disappointing, others just average. I haven’t come across one yet in the pile that’s really blown me away. But with every page I turn, every chapter I finish, I’m holding out hope that sooner or later that glittering gem of a book will emerge from the stack and prove to me that the long wait was worth it.

So what does all this chatter on books have to do with a cookie recipe? Here’s the thing: when it’s single digits outside and you’re nestled up in cozy comfort by the fire in the middle of chapter twelve, you just start craving cookies. It’s almost a guarantee. Especially after dinner when that pesky sweet tooth comes calling.

That’s why I fiddled around in the kitchen this afternoon trying to nail down a tasty molasses cookie recipe. So that tonight, when I find myself winding down for the evening with a book or two in hand, I can tiptoe into the kitchen and grab a little treat to nibble on right when I need it most.

These cookies are small and barely sweet, which is just the way I like them. But if you prefer a sweeter cookie, feel free to try bumping up the honey or adding extra dates. I love the flavors of ginger and cinnamon together, although adding some other spices like nutmeg or cloves might be a tasty twist on these cookies as well.

Molasses cookies remind me a bit of the holidays, but I’m beginning to believe that the spicy flavor of these can easily satisfy a sweet tooth all winter long—not just at Christmas. I plan to enjoy these cookies throughout the upcoming weekend as I read my way through the late afternoon and evening hours. Bite by bite, chapter by chapter, page by page.

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Nutty Molasses CookiesMakes 1 dozen

1 1/2 cups almond meal/flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill)

Pinch of salt

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

2 tbs. molasses

2 tbs. honey

2 dates, pitted and roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Combine almond meal, salt, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Set aside.

In a food processor fitted with the S-blade, combine coconut oil, molasses, honey, and dates. Process until dates are pasted and mixture is thick and syrupy. Add to the dry ingredients. Stir at first with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Then knead the mixture with your hands to form a thick and cohesive dough.

Divide dough in half. Divide each half in half, so that you end up with four dough mounds of equal size. Out of each quarter of dough form three equal sized balls. Place on parchment-lined cookie sheet. Using the tines of a fork, flatten each ball to 1/2-inch thickness.

Bake for 8-10 minutes until just beginning to firm up. Cool completely before serving.

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This post is linked up to Food Renegade’s Fight Back Fridays.

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Almond Griddle-Cakes

We’ve been having a cold snap here in Madison. The past several days have only warmed up to a toasty 10 degrees by mid-afternoon. The roads are caked with ice and snow (we got dumped with 15 inches a few nights ago!), which makes it difficult to drive anywhere without fearing your death.

So I’ve been sticking pretty close to home the past week and spending an especially large amount of time in the kitchen. Something about the heat of the oven has called me to draw close to it’s warmth. I made a batch of hearty granola yesterday for a friend’s Christmas present, baked my mom a chocolate birthday cake the day before that, and have been dreaming up new creations to try this weekend. But as the sun rose this morning and temperatures climbed to a blistering 14 degrees, I let the oven rest and turned my attention to the stovetop. On the docket: pancakes.

I was inspired to make pancakes by this recipe. After tweaking a few things to my own preferences and giving the new recipe I whirl, I was quite pleased with the result: thin (but not too thin) cakes with a nice golden brown coloring and a texture that was just right, not too dense but not too spongy either. Drizzled with a bit of honey or some berry jam, these tasty morsels make a great breakfast alongside a big bowl of fruit or a just on their own as a snack.

After a bit of thought and few more bites of this recipe, I decided to call them “griddle-cakes” instead of pancakes since they aren’t exactly a clone of traditional wheat pancakes. While they still have eggs and a dash of baking soda, they do not contain white flour, sugar, or milk—and therefore have a different texture, flavor, and overall look than regular pancakes do. To distinguish these gluten-free cakes from their wheat-containing cousin, I thought it best to give them a separate title, something more fitting for what they actually are. Thus, the term griddle-cakes was born.

Warming comfort foods like pancakes—or, in this case, “griddle-cakes”—seem to taste even better on bitter cold mornings like what we’ve been having lately. So I recommend that you enjoy these when the weather is chilly and the morning is bright with rays of glittering sunshine. It makes for one sweet start to a winter’s day. Enjoy!

Almond Griddle-CakesMakes 12

2 eggs

2-3 tbs. honey

1/2 cup water

1 cup almond flour (also called almond meal)

1/2 cup millet flour

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp. baking soda

Butter or coconut oil, for cooking

In a blender, combine eggs, honey, and water. Blend until smooth. Add almond and millet flours, cinnamon, and baking soda. Blend again until smooth and batter-like.

Heat butter or coconut oil in a large skillet until melted. Pour batter into pan (I cooked about 4 pancakes at a time in my skillet). Cook until pancakes begin to bubble and turn golden brown underneath, about 1 minute. Flip and cook another minute or so. Remove griddle-cakes from pan and continue making more cakes until all batter is gone.

Serve topped with jam, pure maple syrup, or fresh fruit.

Note: these cakes cook more quickly than regular wheat pancakes. Cook only about 1 minute per side so that they don’t burn.

 (This post is linked up to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays and Friday Foodie Fix.)

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Mmm, how I love the fall.  Cool weather, beautiful colors, and delicious food!  I’ve been on a fall food kick lately whipping up recipes featuring tasty root vegetables (like this recipe) and sweet, juicy apples (like this one).  Something about fall food brings back great memories for me….raking leaves all afternoon followed by a warm cup of tea and some sort of muffin; picking out pumpkins at the country patch, then agonizing over how they should be arranged on the porch; reading The Scarlet Letter every October and–every year–loving it more than the time before.  Yep, it’s official.  Fall is my favorite season by a gazillion miles.

Yesterday, armed with a can of pumpkin puree that I just couldn’t resist buying and a free afternoon, I hit the kitchen, cranked up some acoustic guitar music, and baked my day away.  On the docket: gluten free pumpkin muffins.  One of my first successful adventures in gluten free baking a few weeks ago (read about it here) gave me the courage to take another stab at it, this time entering the realm of sweet breakfast treats everyone loves.  My goal: to create a muffin that was not too sweet (it’s a muffin, not a cupcake), full of healthy ingredients, and it had to include pumpkin (and cinnamon, of course…I rarely make a baked good without it).

For richness and added protein, I used a good amount of almond flour/meal in the muffins–which worked very well.  Because I used only a scant 1/3 cup of honey in the entire pan of muffins, I also chose to add raisins for an extra pop of sweetness.  You could also use chopped dried apricots, prunes (pitted), or–if you want to be really decadent–chocolate chips. 

When I pulled the pan out of the oven, I literally oo-ed and ah-ed aloud over the muffins.  They were a gorgeous orange color and had risen high just like a regular muffin would.  And the taste?  Pretty darn good, if you ask me.  Not too sweet, earthy in flavor because of the pumpkin, and slightly spicy because of the ginger.  If you’d like a sweeter muffin, add more honey.  I myself prefer to drizzle the actual muffin with extra honey before I eat it, as well as smear a bit of butter on it.  Fat and sugar.  What’s not to love about that?

Enjoy these muffins as a breakfast treat, snack, or as part of a brunch buffet.  Feel free to experiment with using fresh roasted pumpkin puree as well.  If you do try that, let me know the results.  Happy baking!

 

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Dry Ingredients:

1 cup sorghum flour

1 cup almond flour (also called almond meal)

½ cup brown rice flour

½ cup tapioca flour

2 tsp. baking power

1 tsp. xanthan gum

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. ginger

¼ tsp. nutmeg

Wet Ingredients:

2 large eggs

Scant 1/3 cup honey

¾ cup almond milk or rice milk (unsweetened)

¾ cup canned pumpkin puree

2 tbs. canola or melted coconut oil

¼ cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350.  Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.  Grease liners.

Whisk together the dry ingredients.  Separately beat eggs until frothy.  Add remaining wet ingredients (not raisins).  Stir wets into dries until just combined.  Fold in raisins.  Divide batter among muffin cups, filling to the top.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into center of muffins comes out clean.  Remove from pan and allow to cool on wire rack.  Store at room temp for up to 1 day, refrigerated for 3 days, or frozen for 2 months.

(UPDATE 10/19: This post is part of Slightly Indulgent Mondays.)

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Gluten-Free Drop Biscuits

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Persistence.  Patience.  Perseverance.  Stamina.  Drive.  Call it whatever you want.  Gluten-free baking takes it all.

As any gluten-free-eater would know, simply replacing regular ol’ wheat flour with a gluten-free flour–say, brown rice or sorghum flour–just doesn’t work.  You’ve got to combine about 3 or 4 different GF flours to achieve the results of all-purpose flour.  There are gluten-free baking mixes out there on the market (lots of them, in fact…I counted 10+ at Whole Foods the other day), but frankly, they just don’t make a good end product in my opinion.  Plus, they are usually based on refined white rice flour or some other refined flour that’s stripped of any nutrients whatsoever.  No, if you really want a tasty, healthy gluten-free baked good, you’ve got to start from scratch.  So, last Thursday, I donned my apron and rolled up my sleeves, preparing to do just that.

For supper, I was making chili.   (For tips on making chili, click here.)  Nice, hearty, belly-warming chili for a cool autumn evening.  And alongside, my goal was to serve a nice big basket of gluten-free biscuits.  It was a long-shot.  I’d never made a gluten-free biscuit before, just a few rice flour muffins and an attempt at millet bread (both of which failed miserably, I’m sorry to say).  Anyway, I scoured my cookbooks and the internet for a few basic GF biscuit recipes that were whole-grain and healthy.  Hard to find.  In the end, I came up with something of my own creation that is kind of a mix of a dozen or so other recipes. 

These biscuits are not like regular drop biscuits.  They are slightly more dense (although not terribly so) and a little softer (although they won’t fall apart at your touch or anything).  While a bit bland, the biscuits–once dipped in chili–tasted pretty rich and buttery if you ask me.  I think they make a nice accompaniment to a meal, but I probably wouldn’t serve them on their own with nothing to dip them into.  (Leftovers do, however, taste good spread with butter and jam.)  They are a great little morsel served with soups and stews.  Check this out for a tasty soup recipe.

You’ll notice that the recipe calls for a cup of cream.  Don’t substitute this with low-fat milk or a non-dairy milk (such as almond or soy).  Chances are you’ll end up with a dry and crumbly biscuit.  I’m learning–through much experimentation and garbage-fuls of lousy quickbreads (one of which was so bad I wouldn’t have even fed it to my poodle)–that gluten-free flours often need the fat from butter, oil, or cream to give them some depth and richness.  So please, save yourself the agony of throwing away inedibly dry biscuits and just use the cream.

Well, enough said.  Have fun making this recipe.  But here’s some advice first: go the kitchen with a thick skin.  Gluten-free baking, even if you follow the recipe down to the most minute detail, does not always turn out good results.  That’s just the way it is; there is no way around.  I know this will sound harsh, but be prepared to fail.  And then, after dumping away a pan of awful biscuits and scratching your head in bewilderment as to what went wrong, hit the kitchen and try again.  Gluten-free baking is quite comparable to life, I’ve discovered.  When things don’t go as planned and your life suddenly looks like a total disaster, you’ve just gotta pick yourself up, shake the dust from your boots, and keep on going.

Persistence.  Patience.  Perseverance.  Stamina.  Drive.  Call it whatever you want.  Life takes it all.

 

Gluten-Free Drop BiscuitsIMG_0175

¾ cup sorghum flour

¼ cup ground flaxseed meal

½ cup millet flour

½ cup tapioca starch (flour)

1 tsp. xanthan gum

2 tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

1 tbs. whole cane sugar

1 tbs. apple cider vinegar

1 cup light cream (half and half)

3 tbs. butter, melted and cooled to lukewarm or room temperature

Preheat oven to 375.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.  Whisk together sorghum flour, flax meal, millet flour, tapioca starch, xanthan, baking powder and soda, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl.  Separately, whisk together vinegar, cream, and butter.  Add the cream mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. (Do not overmix)

Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of batter onto baking sheets about 1 ½ inches apart.  (You should get about twelve 2-inch-ish biscuits.)  Bake for 10-12 minutes at 375-degrees until firm and lightly browned.

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