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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Gluten Free Cinnamon Buns...

I awoke this morning to an overcast rainy day (one that was supposed to be sunny and nice mind you, as I had a garden party planned) and in all AZ's 364 sunny days a year, the one day I needed was gloomy. So, in my rebellion I decided I needed a gooey, warm cinnamon roll in protest to what should have been a glorious Saturday for gardening.
Here was my result—these really let you experience a true cinnamon bun experience like you remember (from before your gf-days).
They peel apart, layer by layer, to reveal the center most gooey heart of the roll. They have all the softness of a non-gf roll, with a bit of a chewy, crusty edge on the outside. The insides are gooey, and outside is oozy with the warm glaze (finger-lickers)...

  • 2 cups Tom Sawyer GF flour (I have only used Tom’s and get the best results. Try your own GF flour and tell me how they turn out).
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into very small pieces
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or try milk, or cream, or half-n-half)
  • 3 tbs butter, melted
  • ¼ cup cinnamon
  • ¼ cup white sugar
Optional add-ins:
  • Chopped nuts like Pecans (up to 1/2 cup)
  • Brown sugar (up to ¼ cup)
  • Raisins (up to ¼ cup)

Preheat oven to 400°.  In a mixer with the whisk attachment, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the small diced butter and let the mixer run to cut the butter into the flour. The butter should be in smaller than pea sized pieces. Add buttermilk and blend until just combined. Dough should not be too ‘sticky’. If it is, add a little more flour until it isn’t sticky, but has come together.

Place dough onto a cool surface and pat out into a rectangle shape. Brush with melted butter (liberally) and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar (liberally—the more the better I found). You can add in any optional items to make them even more gooey, and yummy if you like those items.
Then, gingerly roll the dough up. The dough is tender and it may be more of a ‘fold’ but you get the idea.

Then slice into thick rounds, and place on a cookie sheet, either non-stick or on parchment. I brushed mine with more melted butter on top and then baked! Try 15-minutes (depending on your oven). They will just begin to slightly brown on top and they are done.

While they bake, make the glaze.

  • 4 tbs cream cheese
  • 1.5 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Drizzle in enough milk to make a thick glaze
Put it all in a mixer and let it go. Add enough liquid to make it as thick or thin as you like.
Eat right from the oven while warm with glaze on top.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Homeade Salad Dressing Mix...

Does your spice cabinet look like mine? I am willing to guess it does. More of a spice cave, my dark pantry shelf is crammed with every spice imaginable.
Like you...I am often wooed at the store by a beautiful jar of herby mystery, "What does that taste like?", or the whole jar of herb you bought for the recipe you made once that took a 1/4 tsp of the herb. An now it sits there on the shelf, feeling left-out and neglected as you reach again and again for the Parsley jar next to it. Not that Parsley is the best herb in the shack, but its familiar, so it gets used. We have all been there.
So what to do with all those herbs and spices? I make salad dressing mixes. Its a great way to use up all those herbs, and making salad dressing is so easy, that if using a mix—we all know its even easier!
With a repertoire of a few different dressing bases, and a few of your own pre-made mixes—all prepared with items you already have, well, you can become the new foodie genius on the block. Gosh, if you make a few batches and packages it, say, as a hostess gift to your next dinner party, well—people may just start calling you Martha.

Ranch Mix/Italian Mix
(Mix with creamy base for Ranch, or with vinaigrette base for Italian)
  • 1 tbs dried parsley
  • 1 tbs dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried onion or garlic flake (powder may be used)
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1 tsp dried shallot (optional if you do not have)
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
Poppy Seed Mix:
(Mix with any base)
  • 1 tbs lemon pepper
  • 2 tbs poppy seed
  • 1 tbs parsley
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
I like to blend mine in a mortal and pestle, I like the manual labor of it, and the aroma of the spices and herbs wafting up as I grind them in the bowl. But you can leave your herbs and spices as they are, or whir them for a few seconds in a mini-food chopper.

Then add the mix to a base! Its simple, 1 tbs mix to 1 cup of base. Scale up for larger batches!

Creamy Base
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, or milk
  • 1 tsp mustard (any kind)
Lite-Creamy Base
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt or Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp mustard (any kind)
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice or vinegar (any kind)
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp mustard (any kind)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Gluten Free Chocolate Recipes for Valentines...

I thought I would consolidate some good recipe options for you to make for your honey on Valentines Day. Whether breakfast in bed, dessert, or anything in between, here are a few (mostly-chocolate-influenced) sure to be loved!

Chocolate Granola
Strawberry-Chocolate Smoothie
Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Icing
Chocolate Fudge Icing
Double-Chocolate Chip Cookies
Bon-Bon Cookies
Rich-Dark Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Hot Cocoa

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Allergen-free cupcake mix...

I am a scratch baker for the most part. And in the gluten free realm, I have mastered it fairly well. But when it comes to allergen free (for multiple food issues) well–that can be daunting to even the experienced baker.

Omitting eggs and dairy in baking takes one into a whole new venue of scientific experimentation that can at times, not turn out so well, or send you to the store for a lot of complex substitution ingredients.

So when I find a mix that works well for allergen free items, I like to tout its praises. I don’t know how readily available this brand is across the country, but it is stocked on most of the common big name groceries in my city. Cherrybrook Kitchen

This mix is great! Not just gluten free, allergen free! You add a few simple ingredients (oil, water, vanilla) and you have a delicious cake or cupcake. They are super-super moist and go together in very little time.
Frost this with my allergen free fudge icing, and its a winner!!