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Gluten Free Apple Fritters

Gluten Free Apple Fritters

These gluten free apple fritters are crispy outside, tender inside, and just sweet enough—with a simple cinnamon sugar glaze.

Two apple fritters with glaze on waxed paper one with a bite taken

Why make apple fritters?

Cooking and baking with apples is guaranteed to make your house smell amazing and lift your spirits. How’s that for a promise?

This super simple batter apple fritter batter, fried in the right oil (you only need something with a high smoke-point, like grapeseed oil and/or vegetable shortening), beats any donut, any day. Save the ground cinnamon for the glaze, though, because adding it to the fritter batter turns the inside an unappetizing brown color.

These apple fritters are made with the simplest batter that’s not that different from buttermilk pancakes, just with different proportions, of course with diced apples. And instead of cooking them on a skillet, we’re frying them.

When you fry them in oil held at a consistent temperature of 350°F, the outside of the batter begins to brown rather quickly, which creates a crispness once they cool. It also seals the inside from absorbing more oil, which prevents any sogginess, and allows the inside to cook gently.

If the oil is much hotter than 350°F, you risk burning the outside before the inside is cooked all the way through. Much cooler, and the fritters won’t brown.

Apple fritter batter in a bowl with a mixing spoon

Can I bake this batter instead of frying it?

In a word, no. When I was testing this recipe, I got the proportions wrong quite a few times before I got them right. And when I got them wrong, rather than throwing away the batter, I decided to place it in the wells of a muffin tin and bake.

When the batter was too-thick, baking it as muffins worked somewhat. I mean, we certainly ate the failures since even if the texture is wrong, the results were edible with these sort of ingredients.

For actual gluten free apple fritters, with that classic crisp outside and tender inside with fork tender apples studded throughout, you must fry in a few inches of oil.

I do not recommend making this recipe in an air fryer, either. Air fryers are powerful little convection ovens, but they’re still a form or baking. This batter is quite wet, and doesn’t bake well.

I do think there’s potential for my creating a recipe for baked apple fritter-style muffins. But it will take some doing, and I’m not quite there yet. For the time being, if you’re looking to bake, not fry, I recommend our recipe for gluten free apple cider donuts, a favorite fall recipe every year.

Apple fritters in frying oil, raw and fried

Which apple is best here?

Granny Smith apples are often my choice when I’m making an apple pie, especially one that calls for baking the apples at a high temperature, for a substantial period of time. They’re very firm and rather tart, so they hold their shape during baking like that.

Here, we’re not baking these fritters, but rather frying them. Since these apple fritters are relatively flat, and not super puffy, they don’t fry for that long.

If you do use a very firm apple like Granny Smith, just cut it into a smaller dice. That way it will still become tender during frying.

Almost any other apple, other than something like a golden delicious apple that tends to have very tender flesh, or a red delicious apple that tends to be mealy, will work at a regular dice. I really like Empire and Macintosh apples here.

Apple fritters cooling on a wire rack

What’s the best gluten free flour to use?

There is no need for xanthan gum in this recipe. To make things as simple as possible, the recipe calls for a combination of an all purpose gluten free flour (like Better Batter or my mock Better Batter blend, both discussed at the link) and cornstarch.

The cornstarch serves to lighten the flour so that the batter is properly soft, but not runny. If you’re using a higher starch blend like Cup4Cup or my mock Cup4Cup blend, in place of 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, please use 2 tablespoons more of the blend.

If you’d prefer, you can use my gum-free gluten free flour blend in place of both the all purpose gluten free flour blend and the cornstarch. You’d need 1/2 cup (70 g) of that gum-free blend, which would be made up of 46 grams superfine white rice flour + 15 grams potato starch + 9 grams tapioca starch/flour. If you use this blend, please use 1 tablespoon less buttermilk.

One apple fritter with glaze on waxed paper

Ingredients and substitutions

Dairy

In place of buttermilk, whether you’re dairy free or you’ve simply run out of buttermilk, my advice is similar. Use half milk (nondairy if you’re dairy free) and half plain yogurt (nondairy if you’re dairy-free).

“Souring” milk (nondairy or not) with a bit of acid like lemon juice or vinegar simply doesn’t make a liquid that resembles the viscosity of actual buttermilk. Resist the urge!

Egg

Since there is only one egg in this recipe, you should be able to use a “chia egg.” In a small bowl, place one tablespoon ground white chia seeds and 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, then mix and allow it to gel.

Cornstarch

In place of cornstarch, you can try using arrowroot. If you are corn-free, you’ll also need a confectioners’ sugar that doesn’t contain cornstarch.

 

One glazed apple fritter on waxed paper with a bite

Gluten Free Apple Fritters one whole one with a bite taken

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 6 to 8 fritters, depending upon size

Ingredients

For the fritters
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (53 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter) (See Recipe Notes)

2 tablespoons (18 g) cornstarch

1/4 cup (50) granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Neutral oil, for frying (I like a combination of equal parts grapeseed oil and Spectrum nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening)

1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons (3 1/2 fluid ounces) buttermilk, at room temperature

1 egg (50 g, weighed out of shell), at room temperature

1 large, firm apple, peeled, cored and diced (see Recipe Notes)

For the glaze
1 cup (115 g) confectioners’ sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon lukewarm water, plus more as necessary

Directions

  • In a large bowl, place the flour, cornstarch, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt, and whisk to combine well. Set the bowl aside.

  • Peel, core, and dice the apple into pieces that are about the size of a thumbnail. If they’re too large, they won’t become tender during frying. If they’re too small, they’ll disappear into the batter. Add the diced apple to the large bowl of dry ingredients, and toss to coat. Set the bowl aside again.

  • Place about 3-inches of frying oil in a medium-size, heavy-bottom pot or fryer. Clip a deep-fry/candy thermometer to the side of the pot or fryer, and bring the oil to a consistent temperature of 350°F over medium-high heat.

  • While the oil is coming to temperature, finish making the fritter batter. Place the buttermilk and egg in a small bowl and whisk to combine well, then add the mixture to the bowl of dry ingredients and diced apples. Mix until just combined.
    Once the oil has reached temperature, scoop the fritter batter in 1/4-cup portions into the hot oil, taking care not to crowd the oil. Working quickly and taking care not to press the batter into the bottom of the fryer pot or basket, flatten the dough a bit. Fry until very lightly golden brown on the underside, about 2 minutes. Carefully flip the fritters, and continue to fry for another 2 minutes or until golden brown on the second side. Flip once more as necessary to brown the fritters evenly. Remove the finished fritters from the frying oil, and place on a wire rack placed over paper towels to drain and cool completely. Repeat with the remaining batter.

  • In a small bowl, place the confectioners’ sugar and ground cinnamon, and mix to combine. Add 1 tablespoon of water and mix well, until a very thick paste forms. Add more water by the drop, mixing to combine well, until the glaze drizzles off the spoon. Using a fork, drizzle the glaze over the cooled fritters. Allow the glaze to set at room temperature before serving.

Love,
Nicole

Gluten Free White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Gluten Free White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

These thick and chewy gluten free white chocolate macadamia nut cookies are made with buttery nut pieces toasted until just golden brown.

White chocolate macadamia nut cookies on a white cake plate

What makes these cookies special

The buttery goodness of macadamia nuts is paired with the sweet richness of white chocolate in a toothsome thick and chewy cookie. Even if you’re not a lover of white chocolate, this is its highest and best use.

Every time I see a cookie like this, with something chunky mixed in, and the chunks of sweet chips and crunchy nuts are bleeding right out of a too-thin cookie, I cringe. Save the thin & chewy or thin & crispy cookies for the small bits and pieces, please!

With the right balance of ingredients, each at the proper temperature, and prepared with the right method, we are rewarded with the perfect gluten free white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. They’re thick and chewy cookies that are lightly golden brown all over, and only crunchy around the edges.

Macadamia nut pieces toasted on a tray

Let’s talk about macadamia nuts

Macadamia nuts are definitely not cheap, so I buy them infrequently—and always in pieces. I never use them whole, and buying them in pieces means that whoever sells them to me can sell me the already-broken ones, so they cost a bit less.

Like most nuts, you can buy them raw, roasted or unroasted, coated or uncoated, salted or plain. I always buy my nuts raw and plain.

I like to toast the raw nut pieces in a low (300°F/150°C) oven for about 10 minutes total (5 minutes-stir-5 minutes more). It intensifies their natural buttery flavor and gives them a bit of crunch on the outside.

Toasted raw macadamia nuts mimic the overall flavor and texture of a good buttery thick and chewy cookie like this one. The slightly crisp outside gives way to a tender inside. Flavor x flavor = 😍

Overhead image of array of white chocolate macadamia nut cookies

Let’s talk about white chocolate

It’s rare to find someone whose favorite chocolate is white chocolate. Much white chocolate is of poor quality and leads with sweetness.

The richness of cacao butter, which is at the essence of its chocolate flavor, can be overpowered by excessive sugar in sub-par white chocolate. There are quality brands of white chocolate, and when I chop it myself from bars, I like to use Ghirardelli brand.

In white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, though, it’s not essential to use the Very Best White Chocolate, though. Any form of chocolate chip or disk will contain stabilizers that help prevent melting—and we want our white chocolate pieces to hold their shape during baking.

Even if you’re not a lover of white chocolate, in general, it really does belong in white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. It just pairs so well with toasted macadamia nuts and the thick and chewy texture of the cookies.

Raw cookie dough disks on white paper on a tray

The reverse cream method of making thick and chewy cookies

The method described in many baking recipes calls for “creaming” the butter first, before adding the other ingredients like sugar and eggs. Dry ingredients are added last.

That method is essential for certain recipes, like a fluffy gluten free vanilla cake with a nice, open crumb. In my cookie recipes, I rarely call for creaming the butter first, especially when the recipe is for a thick and chewy cookie.

When you cream butter, you introduce quite a bit of air into the dough or batter. That’s why the butter lightens in color once it’s creamed.

I don’t want a lot of air in thick and chewy cookies. I want a crisp outside and chewy inside. So I use what’s called a “reverse cream,” where (usually room temperature) butter is added to the already-combined dry ingredients and everything is mixed in reverse order.

Reverse creaming also has the added benefit of being simpler. It also calls for less equipment and fewer dirty dishes. Those are happy accidents. :)

White chocolate macadamia cookies baked on white paper on tray

Ingredients and substitutions

Dairy

In place of butter, try using vegan butter. I really like Melt and Miyoko’s Kitchen brands. I do not recommend using Earth Balance, since it has too much moisture.

If you can’t find dairy-free white chocolate chips or chunks, you could always make your own vegan white chocolate and chop it into large chunks before using it here. Or you could use a different type of chocolate chip that is reliably dairy-free.

Eggs

There are two eggs in this recipe. You can try using a “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground white chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel) for each one.

Nuts

If you can’t have nuts, then you’re probably better off with our standard thick and chewy gluten free chocolate chip cookies. If you’d like something similar to this cookie, try white chocolate chips in place of the regular chips.

 

Stack of 3 white chocolate macadamia nut cookies

White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies closeup image on a plate and raw cookie dough in a metal bowl

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 24 cookies

Ingredients

7 ounces raw macadamia nut pieces

2 1/4 cups (315 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

1 1/4 teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar

3/4 cup (164 g) packed light brown sugar

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

2 eggs (100 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

7 ounces white chocolate chunks, chips or pieces

Directions

  • First, toast the nuts. Preheat your oven to 300°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper, and place the macadamia nut pieces on it in an even layer. If your macadamia nuts are whole, roughly chop them first. Place the baking sheet in the center of the oven and toast the nuts for 5 minutes, shake the pan to redistribute the nuts, and then toast them again for another 5 minutes or just until they begin to become lightly golden brown and are fragrant. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and set the nuts aside to cool. Raise the oven temperature to 325°F.

  • Make the dough. In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, salt, baking soda, granulated sugar and light brown sugar, and whisk to combine well, breaking up any lumps in the brown sugar. Add the butter, eggs, and vanilla, and mix well to combine. The dough will be thick, and is best mixed using the back of a large mixing spoon, and kneading the dough together with clean hands as necessary. Do not add any water. Once the macadamia nuts are cool to the touch, add them and the white chocolate to the cookie dough, and mix until the pieces are evenly distributed throughout.

  • Shape & bake the cookies. Line a new rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper, and drop 2-teaspoonsful pieces of dough on the baking sheet. In between clean palms, roll each piece of dough into a ball, then press into a disk about 1/2-inch thick. Place 1 1/2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet, and place it in the center of the preheated oven. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cookies are set in the center, very lightly golden brown all over, and golden brown on the edges. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Originally published on the blog in 2012. Photos, video, and most text new. Recipe clarified but otherwise unchanged.

Love,
Nicole

Gluten Free Garlic Bread

Gluten Free Garlic Bread

Learn how to make homemade gluten free garlic bread from scratch with maximum garlic butter flavor all over, a tender center, and a crispy crunchy crust.

Pieces of garlic bread on baking sheet with fresh parsley leaves

The best method for making garlic bread

That “garlic bread” we’ve all settled for, the one that’s made by buttering some bread, sprinkling it with garlic powder, and toasting it? That’s going to be a thing of the past once you try my method.

The best method for making garlic bread is to soak it in garlic-packed melted butter and olive oil. Then, squeeze out the excess, and bake it to perfection.

Resist the urge to sauté the garlic in the butter when you melt it. If the garlic isn’t raw when it goes into the oven, it will burn.

Instead, we make the garlic into a paste by mincing it and then pressing it with the flat side of a chef’s knife (I use a Santoku knife but you get the idea). That way, you break down the garlic without heating it, and it eliminates any sharpness of the raw garlic—and ensure that no one is going to bite into a piece of raw garlic.

Sliced pieces of French bread on a baking sheet

Why soak the bread?

If your garlic bread only has some garlic flavor on the very outside of the bread, it will probably smell a lot better than it tastes. When you soak the slices of bread in oil and butter, mixed with garlic paste and herbs, the flavors will make it past the very outer layers of the bread.

If you didn’t squeeze out the excess garlic butter from the slices, the bread wouldn’t crisp properly during baking. We want flavorful bread that’s soft in the very center, but crispy on the outside. This is how you make that happen.

Sliced French bread being dipped in garlic butter

What sort of gluten free bread can you use?

I didn’t cook anything as a kid—except perfect garlic bread, using this method. The difference now, of course, is that to make gluten free garlic bread, you need the right gluten free bread.

Since garlic bread is typically made with French bread, I prefer to make our recipe for gluten free French bread for use in this recipe. It has the perfect texture and shape—although I shape it without tapering the ends as directed in the original recipe so that I get more perfect slices from the loaf.

If you don’t want to go through the trouble of making homemade French bread for this recipe, you can of course use packaged gluten free bread. I recommend using something sliced thickly (like packaged gluten free hamburger or hot dog buns), or that you slice yourself after you buy it.

If the bread you’re using is too thinly sliced, it won’t ever reach the right balance of crisp outside and tender inside. Bread that’s sliced too thin also can’t soak up as much garlic butter without getting soggy.

Spaghetti on a white plate with a fork and a piece of garlic bread

Ingredients and substitutions

Dairy

For instructions on how to make the gluten free French bread without dairy, please click see the Ingredients and substitutions section of that recipe. To make the rest of this recipe dairy-free, use your favorite nondairy butter substitute.

Any butter substitute that adds flavor, and not just fat, should work. If you use Earth Balance buttery sticks, reduce the kosher salt by half since it’s already quite salty.

Herbs

I like this recipe with dried parsley since it’s a relatively neutral herb that adds a bit of flavor without competing with the garlic. Oregano and/or basil are also nice.

 

Broken piece of garlic bread next to spaghetti on a white plate

Garlic bread on a plate with spaghetti, French bread slices on a baking sheet, garlic bread baked on a tray on brown paper

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 16 slices

Ingredients

1 recipe gluten free French bread (see Recipe Notes)

4 to 6 cloves fresh garlic (see Recipe Notes)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

6 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter

3 tablespoons (42 g) extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon dried parsley (see Recipe Notes)

Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for serving (optional)

Directions

  • Prepare the gluten free French bread dough according to the recipe instructions (linked in the ingredients list above). Modify the shaping technique in the recipe slightly to create loaves that are cylinders that are uniformly thick all the way through, with blunt edges (instead of tapered). Proceed with the recipe as written, including rising, slashing, and baking—but don’t bother throwing ice cubes in the oven at the start of baking and bake at 450°F for a slightly less crisp crust. Wrap the hot loaves of bread, fresh out of the oven, loosely in a tea towel and allow them to cool completely. This will prevent the crust from maintaining its crispness.

  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside. Once the loaves of bread are cooled, slice the loaves by cross section on the bias (i.e., at an angle) into pieces about 3/4-inch thick. You should get about 8 slices from each loaf. Place the slices cut side up on the prepared baking sheet.

  • Prepare the garlic. Place the fresh cloves of garlic on a cutting board, cover with the broad side of a wide cutting knife, and press firmly with the palm of your hand. This will make peeling and mincing the garlic much easier. Peel the paper away, gather the cloves together, and mince as finely as you can. Add the salt to the minced garlic, and place the flat side of the knife on top. Press and drag the the knife over the garlic to create a paste.

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Melt the butter in a small saucepan on the stovetop or in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave. Do not brown the butter. Add the olive oil to the melted butter, and mix to combine. Add the minced garlic paste then the dried parsley, and mix to combine completely. One at a time, place each slice of bread in the butter and oil mixture, turning over to ensure that both sides are soaked completely with as much of the garlic as possible. Squeeze the slice of bread with the tips of your fingers to release most of the excess, and return the bread to the baking sheet. Once all of the bread has been soaked and squeezed, spoon the remaining garlic and herb paste on top of the slices of bread, and spread into a thin layer.

  • Place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, using tongs or your can’t-feel-the-heat fingers (just me?) to flip each slice over. Return to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes or until the underside is beginning to brown and the edges are golden. Remove from the oven and let sit for a couple of minutes before serving. The garlic bread slices will soak up some of the butter mixture that’s leaked during baking. Serve warm, sprinkled with the (optional) chopped fresh parsley.

Love,
Nicole

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