Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Gluten Free Thin Mint Cookies

It is that time of year that I cannot go near any shopping center without having to deny myself a box of Girl Scout cookies. Thin Mints and me go way back. This is my first GS cookie season being gluten free and the thought of not indulging in a Thin Mint was just too much for me. I had to take matters into my own hands.



Patience is not one of my strong points. I love the instant gratification of handing over the equivalent of my first born to some cute little girl, opening up the package and devouring half of a row all within a few minutes time. Not the case with anything homemade. But, oh so good and worth every torturous second of the wait.

I have been absolutely amazed at the things I have been able to make, that before I would have waited to buy. Usually it is the simple things, but these . . . who would have thought.

Let's get started!

First we have to get the dough made so it can chill for a couple of hours, anywhere from 2 hours to overnight is fine. See what I mean about patience? Once the dough is made, divide it in half and roll each part into a log about 2 inches in diameter and about 9 inches long. Wrap each one in plastic wrap and place in fridge to chill.



It's time to bake. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Pull out one log, unwrap, and go dig out a ruler. Using a knife, mark cut lines every 1/4 inch down the length of your log. Now go back and slice each of your cookie discs on your marks.



Place on baking sheet 1 inch apart and bake for 10 minutes. They will still be soft, but will firm up as they cool. Let cool on sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack or they may break.



Once the cookies are at room temperature you can start making your chocolate coating. You may even want to pop your cookies in the fridge during this time to get them nice and cool for dipping.



Melt the chocolate chips and shortening in the microwave in 30 second increments and stir in between to prevent burning. Once it is melted smooth, add in your peppermint extract. Now the dipping begins.

There are many ways to coat the cookies, but I use a fork. Lower it into the chocolate, cover the top and then tap it on the side of the bowl to even it out and knock off the excess. Slide them off the fork and onto a parchment paper lined tray. To speed up the setting process you can place the full trays into the fridge. Or in the freezing cold garage like I did. I guess this arctic weather is good for something.



Now that your patience is worn to a frazzle, Dig in!! Mmmm. Ohhhh. Can you believe how stinkin' amazing those taste? Now it's time to ask yourself, "Self, why you have not been making these your whole life". GS Gluten filled or Homemade Gluten free, these are the bomb!


Gluten-Free Thin Mint Cookies Recipe

Cookie dough:
1 3/4 cup Gluten Free all-purpose flour blend
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter (12 Tbsp) room temp
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup gf dark chocolate chips- melted

Coating:
3 cups dark chocolate chips
3 Tbsp. shortening
1-2 tsp. peppermint extract - add

Instructions:
Mix butter and sugar on medium speed until creamy and fluffy. Add in melted chocolate chips and combine thoroughly. Stir in egg and vanilla.
In a separate bowl whisk together flour blend, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Add this dry mixture to wet ingredients and mix until well incorporated. Dough will be slightly tacky, not sticky.
Divide dough in half and roll each half into a 2 inch diameter log and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 2 hours in refrigerator.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove one log from fridge, slice into 1/4 inch discs, place on baking sheet 1 inch apart, and bake for 10 minutes. Cookies will be soft in the centers, but will firm up as they cool. Repeat with second log. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to cooling rack or they may break. All to cool to room temp before coating them.
Once cooled it is time to coat. In a microwavable container, melt the chocolate chips and shortening in 30 second intervals being careful not to burn it. Once thoroughly melted add in peppermint extract and stir well. Coat cookies in chocolate (see above for how I do it) and place on parchment paper to set up. To speed up the process place in fridge.

*Tips: If your dough is sticky mix in more flour one tablespoon at a time. For the coating, the more extract you use the thicker it will become, melt in a bit more shortening until it is thin enough to spread evenly over the cookie.

There you have it. It may be a bit time consuming, but not at all hard.

I hope you love them as much as we do.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Scrumptious ~ Gluten-Free Coffee Cake

I went to bed browsing Pinterest last night and became so hungry I could have eaten a horse. I knew that coffee cake was going to be my first order of business this morning. I also had potato pancakes, bacon and eggs on my mind too, but once I had my coffee and cake I was good.



This coffee cake is the best I have ever eaten (move over Starbucks). Not that I can eat their gluten-filled treats anymore. Soft cake . . . lots of crumb topping . . . still warm. Mmmm! And it just happens to be gluten free.

It is super fast and easy to make, which is a double score for me.


Scrumptious Gluten Free Coffee Cake

for cake:
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups AP gluten-free flour blend
3/4 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

for topping:
2/3 cup brown sugar packed
1/2 cup AP gluten free flour blend
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
1 tsp. cinnamon

Instructions: 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix together the shortening, sugar and egg until thoroughly combined and creamy. Stir in vanilla and milk. Add in gf flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and xanthan gum. Mix until well incorporated. Spread into a greased 8x8 or equivalent baking dish. 

For the topping, mix together flour, sugar and cinnamon. Add melted butter and stir until coarse crumb consistency. Spoon evenly on top of cake batter. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 30 minutes for the topping to set. (If you can wait that long.)

What did you have for breakfast today?

Monday, February 16, 2015

Gluten Free Fruit Pizza


I can't think of any occasion that is unworthy of the sugar cookie. Better yet, make a big ol' heart shaped cookie and let that become the crust of a fruit pizza.



I realize the cookie and the cream cheese spread are far from healthy, but hey at least there is some fruit on top. Not real convincing huh?

Okay, so maybe these are not the healthiest treats, but they are super yummy. Being the cookie monster that I am qualifies me to call all cookies super yummy. Have you noticed that about me? I think need to broaden my adjective vocabulary.

This dough is so easy to work with. Mix it up and chill according to the recipe below. You will only need half of the recipe, so you can either half the recipe or freeze what is left over for later.

Roll out your portion between two sheets of plastic wrap to about 1/4 of an inch thick. Since I baked mine into a heart shape, I baked it on the bottom side of my baking sheet so I could easily transfer it onto a plate. If you will be serving it in your baking sheet, remove the top sheet of plastic wrap and flip it right into your pan.



Bake on 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. While the cookie is cooling whip 4 oz of cream cheese with 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar until smooth with no lumps. Add in 4 oz of whipped cream, you can either whip your own or use Cool Whip, and stir to combine.

Once your cookie is completely cool, spread the mixture onto your cookie and top with sliced fruit. Refrigerate until ready to serve or dig in. I barely had the chance to even take a picture without two or three hands in it. Not one of my best shoots, but I had to work fast.

Here is the recipe for the sugar cookie base. This is the same recipe I use for sugar cookie cutout and they come out beautiful.


This just reminds me of warmer weather ahead. Come on SPRING!

Enjoy!






Friday, February 13, 2015

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

Do you need a super fast and delicious cookie for Valentine's Day tomorrow? Or for anytime really!

Welcome the flourless Peanut Butter Cookie that has only 5 ingredients and a kiss.



Ingredients:

1 cup GF peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar + extra for rolling
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
Hershey's Kisses for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all ingredients well. Roll into 1 inch balls and then roll in sugar. Place on baking sheet and flatten slightly. They will not flatten much at all during baking. Bake for 8 minutes. They will still be soft in the centers, but will firm up once cooled. Once cookies are frmoved from oven, press a kiss into the center of each one. Makes one dozen.



How is that for fast and delicious!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies ~ Big Bakery Style




I grew up eating the same chocolate chip cookie that probably dominated most cookie jars in America, the one on the back of the Toll House Chocolate Chip bag. Not that that is a bad thing, but when I discovered the deliciousness of a big ole bakery style cookie I had to say good-bye.

I spent forever trying to find just the right recipe that made big, thick, chewy cookies. I finally settled on my favorite and the title was fitting - Big, Fat Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe.

That was many years ago and has been the most requested and absolutely loved cookie in my family. I had to recreate that cookie to be gluten free. Not one similar, but that one. After a couple of attempts I got it right. Hello Beautiful!



No one can tell that this cookie is gluten free and not the same gluten filled cookie of the past. My husband actually asked me if I was sure this was gluten free. I am pretty sure I gave him the look. Silly one he is. He is also the one that shortens my cookie sheets by 1-2 cookies every time. So I just cut off that part in the pictures. Proof!



I know everyone has their favorite style of cookie, but if you are looking for big, thick and chewy this is the one for you.

Click image to print
Happy Baking!



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