Category Archives: Gluten Free

Fudge. Fudge? Fudge!

Full of guilt for not posting in ages, I finally logged on today with intentions of writing and skimmed my feed.  I read the first bit of a few posts and a surprising number of them began with ‘Well, I’ve been a bit quiet lately because of, you know… life’, and I started to feel a little less guilty about disappearing myself. I’m pretty sure my fan base consists of only my mom and my girlfriend at this point, but hey, its a start!

I’ve had some time to bake a few new things lately and they’re worth posting for sure. Plus, chocolate looks so good in pictures!DSC05795a

This past long weekend I made some fudge from a recipe I’ve been saving for too long.  I say too long because if I had known what I was missing this whole time, I would have made it the day I found the recipe.   Fudge is amazing in its regular sugar filled creaminess, but it has long since started to hurt my teeth just looking at it. Now, fudge is just a distant memory of a love for sweetness no longer realized.  /le sigh.  However, after this recipe my faith in fudge has been restored. It isn’t exactly the same as the original, but it will make you forget about it.

First of all, its dairy free. ❤ for lactose intolerant people, like me. Also, no processed sugar and it’s gluten free! wheeee!

OK, OK, OK! Without further babble, here it is:

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Fudge (AKA Raw, vegan, gluten-free fudge)

Layer 1:
2 cups cashews – (raw if you can find them but otherwise, roasted, unsalted – preferably organic)
2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut – organic
240g (approx. 10 large dates) very soft medjool dates, pitted *
1 cup raw organic cocoa powder
1/2 cup maple syrup
pinch of sea salt

Layer 2:
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup extra virgin unrefined coconut oil
1/2 cup raw organic cocoa powder

I used my large and small food processors for this recipe.

Starting with the large food processor, add the cashews and process until very finely ground. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t turn into butter.

Add the coconut and process again until well combined.  The recipe suggests it should be fine in texture, but it doesn’t mention that it will also be clumpy and sticky. It threw off my definition of ‘fine in texture’… 

Add the dates and process into a soft paste. I soaked my dates for 20 or so minutes to make them softer. Not sure if this was necessary, but it helped me peel them a bit, since the peel sorta freaks me out… I have a love hate relationship with dates. 

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Mine never really formed a soft paste…

Add cocoa and process again.

Lastly, add the maple syrup and a pinch of salt and process until a creamy texture.

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Firm… but creamy.

Press into a parchment lined pan or mold, (I used a 9 x 9 pan) and place in the fridge while you make the “ganache” for the top.

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In the mini food processor process the maple syrup and coconut oil until combined.  I have a feeling this is supposed to be fluffier, but it was 31°C when I made this and my oil was nowhere near solid.

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Scrape down the sides and add in cocoa powder. Process until smooth.  Pour over the first layer and refrigerate for at least an hour. Keep leftovers (if they survive) refrigerated.

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I think I’d really like to add some crushed coffee beans to the top. Cause everything needs coffee. But until I do that, I’ll just have to eat it with my coffee. 🙂

 

*Edit:
My mother took my “approximately 10” very literally, and even though she had tiny dates, used only 10. which turned out to be barely 50g.  They were tasty squares, but not what I would call fudge. Use as many as you like but the fewer used the less creamy and ultimately fudgey yours will be.

Mo’ Staches

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Movember is upon us again! Its still early, but I’ve been up to my knees in staches since a few days before the month started.

My plan was to start the cookie baking on the Tuesday before the 1st .  Get the dough done and bake a few batches, too. But, low and behold… I was missing my ‘stache cookie cutters! /despair

After a good hour of tearing apart my pantry and periods of standing in the centre of my kitchen lamenting my forgetfulness through some cathartic cursing, I remembered that I had lent them to someone last year. I managed to pick them up from her on Wednesday and although my plans were a day behind, it all worked out. Although, I can’t say I saw a lot of my bed…

Again this year I was making them for a Mo bake sale we do at my office but I was also selling them at a Movember event: Close Shave 2: The Next Generation. (Pictures here!) I think Nov 1st was a pretty good day for the Mo campaign!

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This weekend I got in the mood to make meringue cookies, so why not meringue moustaches! I used my chocolate macaron recipe and my trusty Fuzzy Ink cookie cutters and was pretty surprised with the results.  At first I actually tried to make the staches freehand… but I didn’t have the right tip for what I had envisioned, so I went for the cookie cutters to help with the shape.


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They’re a little rough looking, but still pretty awesome! Some of them even have a bit of a pied.  They’re perfect texture, crispy with a little soft in the centre. If I make these again, I would use star tip to give them a bit of a moustachey texture… But these are just for me to munch on, so fancy isn’t a requirement.

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Gluten free sugar cookies: test batch #1


Back in August a friend sent me a blog post about a Star Trek themed improv comedy show in Toronto. I take my Star Trek pretty seriously.  I forwarded it on to a friend of mine and she grabbed tickets and we went. It was kind of a no-brainer.

It was pretty funny and we went again, and I’m pretty sure we’re going to become regulars. I can certainly spare one night a month to drink Romulan Ale and answer Star Trek quiz questions! 😀

Somehow I volunteered myself to make Movember cookies for their non Star Trek themed Movember show.  So, once again this November I will be knee deep in mustache cookies between this and my office!  This offering of cookies was met with a gluten free clause and a deal was (well, sorta) struck! (Really I just said I would instagram them some pictures of my cookies!)

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Thankfully for me, October comes before November and I have an entire month to perfect a gluten free sugar cookie. And, oh, what a month indeed!  I have new, adorable zombie cookie cutters to test out… well, I’m pretty sure the cookie cutters will work, lol, the challenge rests with my ability to decorate it in a sufficiently descriptive manner. I also have Star Trek cookie cutters, a birthday present from my favourite lady.

zmobies!!!

Star Trek

I’m currently in the middle of a batch of my first gluten free cookies. And I’m feeling discouraged.

When I say middle, I mean the ‘put it in the fridge’ part of any sugar cookie recipe. I’m not optimistic about the results when I take it out, however. I’m afraid it will be like that time I accidentally doubled the butter and had a gooey mess and a few blobtastic cookies (pictured below).

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My dough is way too soft. I had this happened with gluten free pizza crust, in that it was sort of a paste that I had to almost spread onto the pizza stone, but it turned out great when baked. However, this doesn’t work so well in the world of sugar cookies. Particularly cookies that want to be shaped like the Enterprise.

*time lapse* 45 minutes later and the dough is still squishy. I’m going to try the freezer soon. 😛

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*time lapse* Took some of it out of fridge after just over an hour. The dough seemed firm, but it all but melted after barely 10 minutes on the table. I got 4 cookies before critical failure set in and I put the goo back in the cold.

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Thats it for me tonight.  I’ll deal with the rest on Friday. Maybe after 48 hours in the fridge it will be more agreeable? Probably not.

I think the failure here is not enough flour. The whole flour mix should be put in to the recipe, not just 2 1/4 cups. Oooo… I’m going to go mix in the rest of the flour mix to my softened dough.

Here’s the recipe – someone else might have more luck.

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1 cup sugar (I used brown)
1 cup butter, softened
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cup flour mix
1l4 tsp salt

*Flour Mix is 2 cups rice flour, 2/3 cup potato starch, 1/3 cup tapioca flour, 1 tsp xanthan gum. Whisk together and use what’s needed in the recipe, store the rest.

On medium speed, beat the sugar and butter together in a large bowl until creamy.  Add the eggs and vanilla. Continue beating.  Add flour blend and salt, and beat on low until well mixed.

Cover and refrigerate 1 hour, or until firm. (I’m currently taking this step very seriously!) 

The recipe doesn’t specify making discs and putting it in plastic wrap or any of that… it would be way too gooey anyways.

Roll out dough to 1/4″ thickness on floured surface.  Cut out desired shapes and bake at 350°F for 8-12 minutes.

***UPDATE***

I decided to go to the bar on Friday after work instead of going home and rolling out these cookies, so the dough stayed in the fridge until Sunday.

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It was much firmer and ready to be rolled out, but after rolling, the leftovers had to go back into the fridge again for a while… I think about 2 hours.  I made an Apple Crisp in between.

They were very soft even after baking and a few of my Enterprises performed impromptu saucer separations. 😦
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I’m also not sure about the flavour… At first it is mostly standard sugar cookie goodness, but there is a strange bitterness at the end and it leaves a funny aftertaste in the mouth.  All in all, I’m not thrilled with this recipe. So, on to the next one!

*UPDATED UPDATE*

After eating these cookies and testing them out on a few people, I rescind all prior complaints about them. So long as they are just lightly browned they do taste great!  They’re very soft and buttery but mild in flavour and they melt in the mouth. Very tasty dipped in coffee too! 🙂

No-Guilt Cookies

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Yea, thats right.

They’re great and they are easy and healthy.  No added sugar, and you can add whatever you want to the mix to suit your pantry contents.

I eat these for breakfast, they make a great snack and as I was writing this my mind wandered into all the things you could do to them to make them all sorts of wonderful! Looks like I’m going to have to make these again soon 🙂

Banana Oat Cookies

3 Large, ripe bananas, well mashed
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil – barely warm, not solid or olive oil
2 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup almond meal
1/3 cup coconut, finely shredded, unsweetened
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
1 tsp baking powder
6-7oz dark chocolate, chopped

In a large bowl, combine the bananas, vanilla extract and coconut oil. Set aside.

In another bowl whisk together the oats, almond meal, shredded coconut, cinnamon, salt and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined.

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Fold in the chocolate chunks (and whatever else you like).

Drop spoonfuls of dough onto lined baking sheets. 

Bake for 12-14 mins. (I find these can’t really be overcooked, and I like ’em best over rather than underdone).

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