Gluten Free Peanut Butter Banana Cookies
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Now … on to a very important matter at hand: These gorgeous gluten free peanut butter and banana cookies are just the thing to round out our gluten free Christmas cookie … more »

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Banana Cookies

Now … on to a very important matter at hand: These gorgeous gluten free peanut butter and banana cookies are just the thing to round out our gluten free Christmas cookie offerings. Peanut butter cookies tend to be crunchy, since, well, that’s mostly how peanut butter behaves in baking. Bananas, on the other hand, tend to make baked goods soft and fluffy. Elvis taught us all a lesson about the deliciousness of peanut butter and bananas together, but did The King know that baking with them both together makes for a soft cookie that’s also chewy? Probably not.

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Banana Cookies

They don’t spread much during baking, but they do puff up in the most pleasant way. And you can just imagine how they smell during baking, right?

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Banana Cookies

A note about bananas: I happened to have some truly perfect baking bananas (quite ripe but not mushy), but I never count on that for banana baking. When I have bananas that are about to turn, I peel them, chop them roughly and place them in a single layer on a lined baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the freezer until the bananas are frozen solid, then pile the frozen banana chunks into a zip top bag and return to the freezer. They’ll keep like that for months, and they’ll thaw quickly if you need to mash them. (They’ll also make the best smoothies ever if you blend them while still frozen.)

A note about peanut butter: I usually use Skippy Natural creamy peanut butter, since I can buy big containers of it and it’s great for baking. Creamy almond butter would probably work well, too, although I haven’t tried it. I don’t know whether a nut-free nut butter alternative would work, but if you try it, let us know how it goes!

Prep time: 10 minutes       Cook time: 9 minutes       Yield: 24 cookies
Ingredients

1 3/4 cups (245 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/4 cup (36 g) cornstarch (or try arrowroot)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar

1/2 cup (128 g) smooth peanut butter

2 eggs (120 g, out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

3/4 cup (140 g) mashed ripe banana (from 1 medium to large banana)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup (100 g) coarse sugar (I used Sugar in the Raw), plus more if necessary (optional)

Directions
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set them aside.

  • In a medium-size bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, and whisk to combine well. Set the bowl aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer), beat the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the sugar, peanut butter, eggs, banana and vanilla, beating to combine well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients, and mix by hand until just combined. The dough will be thick but soft. Place the cookie dough in the refrigerator to chill for about 10 minutes.

  • Divide the dough into golf ball-sized portions (each about 1 1/2 tablespoons) and place about 1 1/2-inches apart from one another on the prepared baking sheets. Using wet hands and a light touch, roll each portion of cookie dough into a ball, place in a small bowl with the coarse sugar, and press gently into a disk about 1/2-inch thick. Press the disk on all sides into the coarse sugar so the sugar adheres to the dough. Return to the baking sheet. (If you’re not using the coarse sugar, just press into the proper size disk and return to the baking sheet).

  • Place the baking sheets, one at a time, in the center of the preheated oven and bake until lightly golden brown on the sides and set in the center (about 9 minutes). The cookies will puff up, and will spread only slightly. Allow to set on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Adapted from Gimme Some Oven‘s lovely recipe as selected by you from my Must Make Gluten Free Pinterest Board.

Love,
Me

 

P.S. Don’t forget the Gluten Free on a Shoestring Cookbooks! Your support means so much to me. And the books make great holiday gifts, too. :)

Recipe Available at: http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/gluten-free-peanut-butter-banana-cookies/
Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies—5 Ways
33

  Truth: I’ve made so many Christmas cookies on this blog before that sometimes I wonder if I’m going to run out of ideas completely. But if I’ve learned anything … more »

 

Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies 5 Ways: lemon glazed, toffee caramel, berry chocolate chip, mocha and plain

Truth: I’ve made so many Christmas cookies on this blog before that sometimes I wonder if I’m going to run out of ideas completely. But if I’ve learned anything at all in writing this blog since 2009 (!), it’s that you have to be willing to put it all out there. You know? Leave it all on the table. Creativity begets creativity! Give ‘em your best, every day. So it is in that spirit that I offer you 5-recipes-in-one. Let’s ignore the fact that I took plenty of inspiration from Betty Crocker for today’s post, and that I already knew you were into the whole thing because you told me so on my Must Make Gluten Free Pinterest board. Betty was using her boxed shortbread cookie mix, but no thanks, Betty. We don’t need your mix. We’ve got our own make-your-own mix. And we slice them like icebox cookies, rather than rolling them out. We don’t need to roll them out, no sir.

Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies 5 Ways: lemon glazed, toffee caramel, berry chocolate chip, mocha and plain

For each of these 5 recipes, we start off the same—with a gluten free shortbread cookies mix. And since shortbread cookies are pretty much the absolute simplest cookies around, that mix is dead simple: some flours, sugar, and salt. That’s it. Then, for the Berry Chocolate Chip cookies, just add dried berries and mini chocolate chips (a chocolate drizzle doesn’t hurt, but isn’t strictly necessary). Mocha cookies just call for some cocoa powder and instant espresso powder. Glazed lemon cookies are made fresh and lemony with lemonade drink mix (I used True Lemon brand lemonade drink mix, but you could definitely just use straight-up True Lemon granulated lemon crystals, or any other lemonade drink mix you like) and lemon zest, then topped with a simple lemon glaze. Toffee caramel cookies are by far the fanciest, since they are made with toffee bits, then dipped in chocolate and drizzled with caramel. I did use store-bought caramels, but you could easily use our favorite caramel sauce. Mmmm….

Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies 5 Ways: plain, mocha, berry chocolate chip, toffee caramel and lemon glazed

These recipes are all so simple, and the “plain” recipe below is really the only one you need. Use the proportions here to make them your own—for each recipe of shortbread cookie dry mix, you’ll need 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Beyond that, add 1/3 cup of mix-ins (like chopped dried fruit, mini chocolate chips, toffee bits or any other tiny mix-ins). Drizzle with chocolate, top with cinnamon sugar, sugar-in-the-raw, or mocha sugar. You get the idea!

One more tip: If you plan to make all 5 kinds of shortbread cookies, multiply all of the shortbread cookie mix ingredients by 5, and whisk to combine well. Then, measure out 270 grams of the well-combined dry mix for each recipe and proceed with the instructions as written for each. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you can make a whole bunch of cookie varieties. Talk about impressive!

Prep time: 10 minutes       Cook time: 8 minutes       Yield: 15 cookies per recipe
Ingredients

Shortbread Cookie Dry Mix
1 cup + 2 tablespoons (158 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/4 cup (36 g) cornstarch (or try arrowroot)

3/8 cup (75 g) granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Plain Shortbread Cookies
Shortbread Cookie Dry Mix (see above)

8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, softened

Mocha Shortbread Cookies
Shortbread Cookie Mix (see above)

3 tablespoons (15 g) unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-processed)

1 tablespoon instant espresso powder

8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, softened

3 tablespoons (36 g) granulated sugar

Berry Chocolate Chip Cookies
Shortbread Cookie Dry Mix (see above)

8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, softened

2 tablespoons (30 g) chopped dried berries (I used cranberries, but dried cherries would also be great)

2 tablespoons (28 g) miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted (for drizzling)

Toffee Caramel Cookies
Shortbread Cookie Dry Mix (see above)

8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, softened

1/3 cup (80 g) toffee bits (I used Hershey’s Heath English Toffee Bits—I called the company and they confirmed that they are gluten free)

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted (for dipping)

8 Kraft caramels, unwrapped, melted with 2 teaspoons milk (for drizzling)

Coarse salt, for sprinkling

Glazed Lemon Cookies
Shortbread Cookie Dry Mix (see above)

1 teaspoon (3 g) lemonade flavor dry drink mix (I used True Lemon brand original lemonade drink mix)

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel

8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup (58 g) confectioners’ sugar

2 teaspoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice, plus more by the 1/8 teaspoonful if necessary

Directions
  • First, make the shortbread cookie mix. Place all of the cookie mix ingredients in a large bowl, and whisk to combine well. Set the dry mix aside.

    Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside.

  • To make the Plain Shortbread Cookies, place 1 recipe of the shortbread cookie dry mix (270 g) in a large bowl. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the butter. Mix until all of the dry ingredients are moistened with the butter, and then knead the dough with clean hands until it comes together. The dough should be thick and smooth. Place the dough on a large piece of unbleached parchment paper and roll into a tight cylinder about 1 1/2-inches in diameter. Square off the sides of the cylinder as you wrap it in the parchment paper, and twist the edges of the parchment to close. Place in the refrigerator to chill for about 10 minutes or until firm. Remove from the refrigerator, and slice by cross-section into 15 squares, each about 3/8-inch thick. Place the squares about 1-inch apart from one another on the prepared baking sheet.

    Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake for about 8 minutes, or until set in the center and very pale brown underneath. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • To make the Mocha Shortbread Cookies, place 1 recipe of the shortbread cookie dry mix (270 g), 2 tablespoons (10 g) of the cocoa powder and 2 teaspoons of the espresso powder in a large bowl, and whisk to combine. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the butter. Mix until all of the dry ingredients are moistened with the butter, and then knead the dough with clean hands until it comes together. The dough should be thick and smooth. Place the dough on a large piece of unbleached parchment paper and roll into a tight cylinder about 1 1/2-inches in diameter. Square off the sides of the cylinder as you wrap it in the parchment paper, and twist the edges of the parchment to close. Place in the refrigerator to chill for about 10 minutes or until firm. Remove from the refrigerator, and slice by cross-section into 15 squares, each about 3/8-inch thick. Place the remaining 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, remaining 1 teaspoon espresso powder and the granulated sugar in a small bowl, and mix to combine. Place the squares in the bowl of cocoa-mocha sugar, one at a time, pressing the dough gently in the mixture on all sides to ensure that the sugar mixture adheres to the dough. Place the squares about 1-inch apart from one another on the prepared baking sheet.

    Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake for about 8 minutes, or until set in the center. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • To make the Berry Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies, place 1 recipe of the shortbread cookie dry mix (270 g) in a large bowl. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the butter. Mix until all of the dry ingredients are moistened with the butter. Add the dried chopped berries and chocolate chips, and mix until the pieces are evenly distributed throughout the dough. Knead the dough with clean hands until it comes together. It should be thick and smooth. Place the dough on a large piece of unbleached parchment paper and roll into a tight cylinder about 1 1/2-inches in diameter. Square off the sides of the cylinder as you wrap it in the parchment paper, and twist the edges of the parchment to close. Place in the refrigerator to chill for about 10 minutes or until firm. Remove from the refrigerator, and slice by cross-section into 15 squares, each about 3/8-inch thick. Place the squares about 1-inch apart from one another on the prepared baking sheet.

    Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake for about 8 minutes, or until set in the center and very pale brown underneath. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Drizzle the melted chocolate on the tops of the cooled cookies, and allow the cookies to sit until the chocolate is set.

  • To make the Toffee Caramel Shortbread Cookies, place 1 recipe of the shortbread cookie dry mix (270 g) in a large bowl. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the butter. Mix until all of the dry ingredients are moistened with the butter. Add the toffee bits, and mix until the pieces are evenly distributed throughout the dough. Knead the dough with clean hands until it comes together. It should be thick and smooth. Place the dough on a large piece of unbleached parchment paper and roll into a tight cylinder about 1 1/2-inches in diameter. Square off the sides of the cylinder as you wrap it in the parchment paper, and twist the edges of the parchment to close. Place in the refrigerator to chill for about 10 minutes or until firm. Remove from the refrigerator, and slice by cross-section into 15 squares, each about 3/8-inch thick. Place the squares about 1-inch apart from one another on the prepared baking sheet.

    Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake for about 8 minutes, or until set in the center and very pale brown underneath. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Dip half of each cookie in the melted chocolate, and allow the cookies to sit until the chocolate is set. Place the caramels and milk in a small bowl, and place in the microwave for 30 seconds on 50% power. Repeat, stirring in between, until the caramels are melted and the mixture is smooth. Drizzle the melted caramel on top of the chocolate, and sprinkle lightly with coarse salt. Allow to sit until the caramel is set.

  • To make the Glazed Lemon Shortbread Cookies, place 1 recipe of the shortbread cookie dry mix (270 g), the lemonade drink mix and lemon peel in a large bowl, and whisk to combine (working out any clumps of grated lemon peel). Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the butter. Mix until all of the dry ingredients are moistened with the butter, then knead the dough with clean hands until it comes together. It should be thick and smooth. Place the dough on a large piece of unbleached parchment paper and roll into a tight cylinder about 1 1/2-inches in diameter. Square off the sides of the cylinder as you wrap it in the parchment paper, and twist the edges of the parchment to close. Place in the refrigerator to chill for about 10 minutes or until firm. Remove from the refrigerator, and slice by cross-section into 15 squares, each about 3/8-inch thick. Place the squares about 1-inch apart from one another on the prepared baking sheet.

    Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake for about 8 minutes, or until set in the center and very pale brown underneath. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. To make the glaze, place the confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and mix well, until a thick paste forms. Add more lemon juice by the 1/4-teaspoon, mixing to combine well, until the glaze falls off the spoon slowly, in a thick but pourable glaze. Add lemon juice very slowly, as it is much easier to thin, than to thicken, the glaze. If you do thin the glaze too much, add more confectioners’ sugar a teaspoon at a time to thicken it. Dip the tops of the cooled cookies in the glaze and place on a flat surface to sit until the glaze is set.

  • Adapted from Betty Crocker’s 5 Way Shortbread Cookies as selected by you from my Must Make Gluten Free Pinterest Board

Love,
Me

 

P.S. Did you preorder your copy of Gluten Free Classic Snacks yet?! Go check out the sneak peek of what’s inside, and order your copy today! Your support means so much to me.

Recipe Available at: http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/gluten-free-shortbread-cookies-5-ways/
Peek Inside Gluten Free Classic Snacks
61

Introducing Gluten Free Classic Snacks! Everyone, this is Classic Snacks. Classic Snacks, this is everyone! I’ve been waiting what feels like forever to introduce you to one another! Gluten Free Classic … more »

Preorder Gluten Free Classic Snacks!

Introducing Gluten Free Classic Snacks!

Everyone, this is Classic Snacks. Classic Snacks, this is everyone! I’ve been waiting what feels like forever to introduce you to one another! Gluten Free Classic Snacks, my next cookbook, is coming in just a few short months (March 2015, if you preorder!). Since I just got the proofs for the book (my last chance to make any edits before the book goes deep into the bowels of production at my publisher!), I’m able to show you the actual Table of Contents (well, without page numbers since that hasn’t happened yet!). My editor thought that was a great idea, and I took the liberty of including some of the actual photos from the pages of the book itself (photos taken by the incredibly talented Jennifer May (whose name will be on the final cover and that’s a promise!), styled by the magical Erin McDowell) . Fingers crossed that no one is mad at me for that little executive decision! In the coming weeks and months, I’ll be announcing plenty of exciting giveaways designed to get you as excited about pre-ordering this book as I am excited to share it all with you!

Gluten Free Classic Snacks Table of Contents

We start off with alllllll kinds of important basic information, as you can see for yourself in the first Table of Contents page above. Ingredients, substitutions (because I know you want to know about substitutions, you tinkerer, you!), equipment (hint: precious little is necessary this time around!), tips and tricks, and (of course) Shoestring Savings info. Then we jump right into the first recipe chapter: cookies!!

Gluten Free Classic Snacks Cookies Chapter Opener

Each recipe chapter has an amazing chapter opener, like the one you see above and below. Which cookies can you spot above? It’s like Where’s Waldo, but much more important!

Gluten Free Classic Snacks Crackers Chapter Opener

Were you missing all the name brand crackers you used to love? Well, miss them no more. We’ve got you covered.

Gluten Free Classic Snacks Table of Contents

Snack cakes are in full representation in this book. FULL.

Gluten Free Weight Watchers-Style Chocolate Brownies

Just look at these Weight Watchers-Style Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies. Oh, didn’t I mention that there would be some Weight Watchers copycat recipes? *my bad* And in answer to your question: YES! Each Weight Watchers copycat recipe has only as many PointsPlus as there are in the original. Of course. Otherwise, what good is that recipe, amIright?! It doesn’t hurt that these brownies taste as good as, if not better than, any other rich, chocolate brownie I’ve ever had. Score!

Gluten Free Little Debbie-Style Star Crunch

Weren’t you just daydreaming about Little Debbie Star Crunch? I thought so. And these are not just glorified Rice Krispies treats, by the way. Just like the original, there is an actual thin cookie inside, covered in caramel-chocolate-crispies. Amen.

Gluten Free Classic Snacks Table of Contents

Breakfast and fruity treats also abound!

Gluten Free Pop Tarts-Style Toaster Pastries

Every type of Pop Tart you can imagine is in here—and they’re light and flaky and sweet and they are nothing short of amazing when you pop them in the toaster-oven. Just like the original.

Gluten Free Classic Snacks Table of Contents

We wrap up with a chapter on every type of gluteny candy imaginable—all safely gluten free. But before we get to those candies….

Gluten Free Vita Tops-Style Chocolate Chip Muffin Tops

We have VitaTops. Lots of VitaTops. How delicious are these? Don’t have the proper pan to make larger, flatter muffin-top-style cakes? Just make them as regular muffins (instructions for how to bake are of course in the book). (don’t tell but that’s what I usually do—and I freeze them in batches and defrost on the counter overnight and feel great giving them to my kids for breakfast.

Gluten Free Kit Kat-Style Crisp Wafers in Milk Chocolate Candies

I leave you with these amazingly crispy, crunchy Kit-Kat-style wafers in milk chocolate. Please excuse my melodrama when I tell you that this is the recipe that I’ve been working on (off and on of course!) for 10 years. If you google “homemade Kit Kats,” every gluten-containing recipe you’ll find will make use of something called “tort wafers.” They come in sheets and everyone just buys them, layers them with chocolate and voila. But we are gluten free! We can’t buy tort wafers. And coming up with just the right ingredients and just the right method to make gluten free tort wafers that stay crispy in milk chocolate—and aren’t hard to make? Well, let’s just say it was a proud moment. *sniff*

So now it’s YOUR turn to speak up! Do you have any questions about the New Cookbook? Wondering what equipment you’ll need? What flours? What the difficulty level of a certain recipe is? Is there a photo for a recipe you see in the Table of Contents that I didn’t show here? Ask in the comments! I will do my best to answer, and if there’s enough demand to see a particular photo, I’ll edit this post to include it. So ask away!!

Love,
Me

P.S. If you’ve haven’t pre-ordered Gluten Free Classic Snacks yet, what are you waiting for?! In the coming weeks and months, there will be giveaways galore and the best way to enter is to preorder! Details coming soon….

Recipe Available at: http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/sneak-peek-gluten-free-classic-snacks/
Easy Fudge—3 Ways
11

These 3 recipes are the very definition of “easy fudge.” They’re all 3 made with sweetened condensed milk, and so even though this isn’t strictly a D.I.Y. Friday post (you don’t … more »

Easy Fudge 3 Ways: Chocolate, Vanilla & Peanut Butter

These 3 recipes are the very definition of “easy fudge.” They’re all 3 made with sweetened condensed milk, and so even though this isn’t strictly a D.I.Y. Friday post (you don’t usually buy fudge at the grocery store, do you?), I was actually quite pleased to see that the fudge sets up best … when you use our homemade sweetened condensed milk recipe. And that was a D.I.Y. Friday post. I only made the recipes with both store-bought sweetened condensed milk and with the homemade variety made with evaporated milk. I haven’t tried any of them with the dairy-free kind, or the whole milk kind, but I have every confidence that they would work that way, too. If you’re dairy-free, try it and let us know how it goes!

Easy Chocolate Fudge

We begin with chocolate fudge, since, well, it’s a classic. It sets up quick and easy, and tastes as good as the chocolate you use. I’ve made it with more expensive bittersweet chocolate (usually Scharffen-Berger), and it’s amazing. I’ve also made it with totally cheapo Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate, and you know what? Still delicious. It’s fudge, for crying out loud.

Easy Fudge 3 Ways

The ingredients are super simple, of course. The title of the post is “easy,” after all.

Easy Peanut Butter Fudge

The peanut butter fudge has no chocolate in it, which really helps fudge set up. So to keep it from being too soft, you add some confectioners’ sugar at the end. No biggie. This one’s for the peanut butter lovers out there. I would not make this with Sunbutter or Nutella, as they’re much softer and I suspect you’d have a mess on your hands. Just my 2 cents. :)

Easy Vanilla Fudge

Ah, vanilla fudge. I am working diligently on a non-white-chocolate version of vanilla fudge (coming soon!), but this recipe is all about how to make the simplest fudge, from sweetened condensed milk. This is how you do it. Don’t forget to add the pinch of salt, though, or the sweetness can be a bit much. And don’t try to melt white chocolate chips! They seize. They really just aren’t made to melt. I used white chocolate baking disks, which are made to melt. Want a truly amazing vanilla fudge? Try using homemade white chocolate. Now that would be dreamy…

Meet you back here on Monday for a big intro to my next cookbook, Gluten Free Classic Snacks! I’ll show you the Table of Contents, the cover and a few of the most amazing food photos I’ve ever seen. Simple, unfussy, but gorgeous. I’m planning to include a few photos from the Table of Contents that I select, and then let you guys weigh in on what other photos you’d like to see, and I’ll edit the post the next day to include a few more of the most requested! I can’t wait!!

Prep time: 5 minutes       Cook time: 5 minutes       Yield: 12 pieces per recipe
Ingredients

Chocolate Fudge
11 ounces dark chocolate (or semi-sweet chocolate), chopped

12 ounces sweetened condensed milk

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Vanilla Fudge
15 ounces white chocolate, chopped (or white chocolate disks, but not chips!)

12 ounces sweetened condensed milk

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Peanut Butter Fudge
1 cup (256 g) smooth no-stir peanut butter (the kind that doesn’t separate in the jar)

12 ounces sweetened condensed milk

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups (173 g) confectioners’ sugar

Directions
  • For each type of fudge, line an 8-inch square baking pan with two sheets of crisscrossed unbleached parchment paper, each overhanging opposite ends of the pan. These will be the handles that you use to remove the fudge from the pan once it is set. Set the pan aside.

  • For the chocolate fudge, place the chopped chocolate and sweetened condensed milk in a medium-size heat-safe bowl. Place the bowl over a simmering pot of water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the mixing bowl, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. (Alternatively, place the bowl in the microwave and heat in short, 45-second bursts at 70% power, stirring in between, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.) Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the salt and vanilla, and pour into the prepared pan. Spread into an even layer and allow to cool for 10 minutes before placing in the refrigerator to chill until set (about 4 hours). Remove from the pan, slice into 12 squares and serve. This fudge is the most stable at room temperature.

  • For the vanilla fudge, place the chopped white chocolate (or chocolate disks) and sweetened condensed milk in a medium-size heat-safe bowl. Place the bowl over a simmering pot of water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the mixing bowl, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. (Alternatively, place the bowl in the microwave and heat in short, 45-second bursts at 70% power, stirring in between, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.) Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the salt and vanilla, and pour into the prepared pan. Spread into an even layer and allow to cool for 10 minutes before placing in the refrigerator to chill until set (about 4 hours). Remove from the pan, slice into 12 squares and serve.

  • For the peanut butter fudge, place the peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk in a medium-size heat-safe bowl. Place the bowl over a simmering pot of water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the mixing bowl, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is smooth. (Alternatively, place the bowl in the microwave and heat in short, 45-second bursts at 70% power, stirring in between, until the mixture is smooth. There is no chocolate that might burn, but the peanut butter will dry out if it is heated too much.) Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the salt and vanilla.  Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix to combine. The mixture will be thick. Scrape into the prepared pan and press into even layer. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before placing in the refrigerator to chill until set (about 4 hours). Remove from the pan, slice into 12 squares and serve. This fudge is the softest of the 3 kinds. For a stiffer, more stable fudge, add more confectioners’ sugar by the quarter-cup until you are satisfied with the consistency.

Love,
Me

 

P.S. Know what makes a great gift for the holidays? The Gluten Free on a Shoestring Cookbooks, of course! :)

Recipe Available at: http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/easy-fudge-3-ways/
Soft and Chewy Gluten Free Gingerbread Men
14

I have a cookie deadline coming up, and it’s no laughing matter I tell you. There are cookies to be made! Each year, I make a box of Christmas cookies … more »

Soft and Chewy Gluten Free Gingerbread Men Cookies

I have a cookie deadline coming up, and it’s no laughing matter I tell you. There are cookies to be made! Each year, I make a box of Christmas cookies for each of the people on my husband’s team at work. This year, there are 17 cookie-eaters on the list (there were 18, but one person’s freelance contract was up last week and I’m a terrible person because my very first thought was that maybe I can make about 2 dozen fewer cookies and isn’t that a relief?!). Since there are just.so.many.cookies.to.make, I scaled down the boxes this year to 4-inch squares (I buy these sweet little boxes from Jam Paper and Envelope, usually on amazon). What? I’ve got Classic Snacks page proofs due back on the 19th, you see, and they’re not going to review themselves! And I’d rather make fewer cookies and make sure they’re all special than pack the boxes with cheater cookies. These soft and chewy gluten free gingerbread men cookies are the sort of cookies you put on the top of the cookie box. They’re anything but cheater cookies. They’re gingery and cinnamony…

Soft and Chewy Gluten Free Gingerbread Men Cookies

…and they don’t mind a bit if you bite their heads off. Especially if it’s in service of showing their soft and toothsome insides. They’re generous like that.

Soft and Chewy Gluten Free Gingerbread Men Cookies - Step by Step

Don’t get upset, but the dough is sticky. I know I know it’s not great fun to work with sticky cookie dough, but just follow my directions and it’ll all be okay. All you really need to do is roll the dough out between two sheets of unbleached parchment paper when it’s still soft (it will roll out nice and easy), cut out men with a floured cookie cutter, and then place the dough in the freezer to firm up. That will make the dough easy to roll, and the shapes easy to transfer to the baking sheet. Trust me!

Soft and Chewy Gluten Free Gingerbread Men Cookies

Speaking of trust, I almost feel bad that these little guys are so peaceful and trusting. Right up until the moment when they get their heads bitten off. Or perhaps you start with the arms and legs, before you go for the head. So twisted, yet so delicious. The holidays can be confusing!

By the way, if you’re looking for cookie cutters, I seem to find the very best metal cookie cutters in (of all places) my local hardware store. I know! Crazy, right? I’m thinking about doing a post with all my favorite kitchen equipment, large and small, what brands I like best ,and where I buy everything. Like the baking pantry post, but about equipment. What do you think?

Prep time: 15 minutes       Cook time: 8 minutes       Yield: 30 cookies
Ingredients

1 1/2 cups (210 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup (109 g) packed light brown sugar

6 tablespoons (84 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

4 tablespoons (84 g) unsulphured molasses

1 tablespoon (21 g) honey

1 egg (60 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Royal Icing, for decorating (optional)

Directions
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set them aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt, and whisk to combine well. Add the brown sugar and whisk again to combine, working out any lumps. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the butter, molasses, honey, egg and vanilla, mixing to combine after each addition. The dough will be thick and sticky.

  • Transfer the dough to a large sheet of unbleached parchment paper, cover with another sheet of parchment and roll into a rectangle about 3/8-inch thick (more than 1/4-inch, less than 1/2-inch). If you are concerned that the dough will be difficult to handle, place it in the refrigerator or freezer after you roll it out to allow it to firm up. Pull back the top sheet of parchment paper, dip a gingerbread man cutter in all purpose gluten free flour or cornstarch, and use it to cut out shapes from the cookie dough. With each cut, jiggle the cutter back and forth to create a neat shape. Place the dough on a flat, portable surface like a cutting board and place in the freezer until firm (about 10 minutes).

  • Once the dough has chilled, peel back the rest of the dough from around the cut-outs and gather the scraps. Then carefully peel off the cut-out shapes and place them, about 1 1/2-inches apart, on the prepared baking sheets. Repeat the process with the remaining dough until you have used it all.

  • Place the cut-outs on the baking sheets in the refrigerator or freezer until firm (about 20 minutes in the refrigerator, or just 5 minutes in the freezer). This will help them keep their shape during baking. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake until just set, about 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the baking sheets. Decorate the completely cooled cookies with royal icing, if desired. Allow the icing to set for 24 hours before stacking the cookies.

  • Looking for crispy Gluten Free Gingerbread Men? We’ve got those, too. :)

Love,
Me

 

P.S. Remember the Gluten Free on a Shoestring Cookbooks! They make a great holiday gift!!

Recipe Available at: http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/soft-chewy-gluten-free-gingerbread-men/
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