Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Gluten Free Spritz - Yummm!



  • 1 1/2 cups butter (yes, I used the real stuff for this recipe)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tspn almond extract
  • 3 1/2 cups gluten free flour blend (I used Arrowhead Mills AP Baking Mix)
  • 1 1/2 tspn Xanthan Gum

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cream butter, sugar, egg, and extract in mixing bowl. When mixed is creamed, slowly add in flour and Xanthan Gum mix. Use cookie press to press desired shapes onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 9-10 minutes. (Keep an eye on them, don't let them brown! The bottom will be burned if the tops brown) Remove from baking sheet and allow to cool for two minutes on a baking stone. Remove to wire rack and allow to thouroughly cool.

My new toy!


My wonderful husband came home this evening with a large box in tow! In it, a KitchenAid Professional 600 stand mixer.

I am in heaven!! This thing is just like a mini Hobart, I'm very accustomed to using them in the bakery and production shop at school.

I simply could not wait to use it, so I made a batch of Spritz using my grandma's recipe, but adding a little bit of Xanthan Gum to compensate for the use of gluten free flour. The turned out great. No one could ever tell the difference, seriously!

GF Rice Treats

One would not assume that something as innocent as a Rice Krispy Treat would be off-limits to a kiddo with Celiac Disease. After all, it's just rice cereal and marshmallows, right?

Well, yes... and no. Traditional Rice Krispies do contain gluten, in the form of barley malt, rendering them a total no-no. So, what's a mom to do when her 7 year old is begging for them? Improvise! Absolutely!

Chocolately Gluten Free Rice Treats
  • 6 cups Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Cereal
  • 2 cups Cocoa Pebbles
  • 1 package Jet Puffed mini marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup dairy free margerine
melt margerine and marshmallows in heavy pan. add to cereal mixture and press into 13x9x2 baking pan. (grease pan well if pan is not a non-stick pan) Cut into squares, and enjoy!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Baking... back to the basics.

I love to bake. I've been baking since I was a little girl, standing on a step stool in my grandma's kitchen. Flour, sugar, butter... yum. Chocolate. Fruit. Nuts. Yum.

I continued to love to bake all through my youth, adolescence, and early adulthood. Then I got married and had kids. And, my second born was diagnosed with food allergies, particularly to nuts, eggs, and dairy. It's kind of difficult to bake without those items. So, I stopped baking. Period.

When B was days away from her 5th birthday, she was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, an autoimmune disease which causes the body to attack 'itself' in response to the ingestion of gliadin, the protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Ok, so it wasn't bad enough that I had to learn to bake without eggs and dairy.... now I could not use wheat flour either. What other options did I have?

In response to my child's extreme dietary needs, I became obsessed with food. I realized that the Culinary Arts, particularly the art of baking, was calling my name.

I just completed my first semester in the culinary arts program at Johnson County Community College and am very eager to start my second. Fundamentals of Baking taught me a lot about the science behind baking. It is with this newly gained knowledge that I will proceed forward to really start experimenting with alternative grains.

My love of baking is rekindled, now my desire to go beyond is taking over. I'm really excited about it. I'm constantly on the search for gluten free baking recipes, tips, flour mixes, etc. Becoming a part of the Iron Cupcake - Earth challenge is really going to test my abilities.

Update...

Wow, I'm really and truly a terrible blogger. But, I want to get better at this, especially as my love of all things "baking" grows, exponentially. I've been busy... I think it's safe to say "everyone" is busy during the holidays. Plus, I've had finals.

My grades for this semester were decent. I earned an A in Fundamentals of Baking, an A in Restaurant Sanitation and Safety, and a B in Professional Cooking. I was a little bummed about that particular grade, but satisfied with the knowledge that my Chef really doesn't give many A's at all. He's a great Chef, but he grades harshly... for a reason. He wants to turn out "the best" - not just adequate Chefs. =)

I've been experimenting, a lot, with gluten free flours, egg replacers, and all sorts of ingredient trials. I've decided to enter the Iron Cupcake - Earth baking challenge. I'm really excited about it, especially since my cuppy-cakes will all be sans gluten!

I learned about the challenge recently and I'm simply too enthralled with it NOT to join up!
I really can't wait for the new challenge to start!!!