Posts tagged ‘baking’
The following post is from National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) volunteer Annette Marie of Best Life Gluten-Free.
I had no desserts or snacks on hand today, and for me, that’s a horrible situation! I have a tremendous sweet tooth. So…out came the measuring spoons, cups, and other essentials.
There are certain flavors that go so well together…and these two are a perfect example: Cranberry and Orange.
I had a Cranberry-Orange Scone that was commercially made, gluten-free of course, and loved those tastes together. So, rather than spend $5.00 on one (“gulp!”), I decided to experiment on a recipe at home. And you know what? It didn’t involve that much work or even that much time.
So, if you have the desire, and a little bit of time, try my scone recipe. And I’ll bet you can even change up the flavors once you’ve made this recipe and come up with something special that you’ll like just as much as I love these.
Gluten-Free Cranberry Orange Scones
- 2 cups All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Blend (such as Arrowhead Mill), plus additional for dusting your board or surface.
- 1 tsp. xanthan gum (Omit if already added to flour blend)
- 1 stick cold sweet butter (8 Tbsp.) cut into small pieces. Keep cold until ready to begin adding.
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup heavy cream (If you like, use ¾ cup Half &Half instead of milk & cream)
- 1 egg1 tsp. gluten-free pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. orange juice- from a fresh orange
- 1 Tbsp. orange zest – from same orange of course.
- 1/3 cup cranberries – dried
- Small amount Demerara sugar for sprinkling on top.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line your baking or cookie sheet with parchment paper. No need to grease or spray.
- In large bowl, place all dry ingredients. Mix by hand just to make sure they are all incorporated together. Add the zest and combine.
- Take out the cold butter and “cut in” to the dry ingredients with pastry cutter tool or forks. Don’t use mixer here.
- In another smaller bowl, hand blend the wet ingredients including the egg and orange juice.
- Add the wet to the bowl with the dry. If you use a hand mixer, don’t beat too much. Once it gets a little stiff, stop and use clean hands. Form 2 balls. It should be easy to do this, since the batter will stick. If you feel it’s really too dry and doesn’t “stick together,” add a drop or two more milk. But not a lot of additional milk.
- On the dusted surface, place the two balls and flatten into 2 discs. They should be about 7-8 inches wide.
- Brush top with a little bit of milk and sprinkle with Demerara sugar.
- Cut with a sharp knife into triangles and using a flat spatula, gently lift off board and place on the parchment paper on your baking sheet.
- Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until light golden in color.
- Cool on the paper, and store in air-tight container when cooled. (Don’t cover while warm or moisture beads will form inside.)
This is really easy to do, and makes a great breakfast treat on a weekend morning! Actually, it’s a nice treat at any time of day!
Annette Marie of Best Life Gluten-Free
Annette is a native New Yorker, now living in New Jersey. Since she was diagnosed with celiac disease well after the age of 50, Annette has made it her mission to raise awareness in the hopes that others won’t have to live for years with unexplained symptoms as she did. Some of Annette’s recipes are inspired by traditional Italian recipes, but she adds other original gluten-free recipes to the mix. Her “semi-homemade” and from “scratch” recipes are meant for busy families eating gluten-free. For more of Annette’s gluten-free recipes, visit her blog at www.BestLifeGlutenFree.com.
New to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) team, Healthcare Relations Intern Josh Goldberg has developed an interest in all things celiac disease and gluten-free related. Eager to get more involved, Josh took to the kitchen to put his gluten-free baking skills to the test. Read on for Josh’s account of his first try at gluten-free baking.
Savory Avocado Coconut Cookies.
I glared at my monitor incredulously. It sounded like the sort of thing you would make on a dare. I had wandered into this recipe while searching for something gluten-free to bake. If I had a lick of common sense, I would have stuck with something a little more traditional for a dessert. My eyes darted down to the ingredients and baking steps. The recipe only required three ingredients: a large avocado, coconut flour, and some salt. All I had to do was mash up the avocado, mix it into the coconut flour and salt, toss the concoction onto a tray, and leave in the oven for a bit.
Savory Avocado Coconut Cookies. Three ingredients. Seven steps. What could go wrong?
I scrambled over to Whole Foods and picked up the necessary ingredients. Once I got home, I pre-heated the oven and got to work. The avocado peel came off easily and I attacked the fruit with all the precision of Norman Bates. Some of the resulting mess ended up on the floor where the cat sniffed it curiously and then retreated. I tried not to think of it as a bad omen and dumped the appropriate amount of coconut flour into the avocado’s bowl.
After the salt was added, I grabbed a big spoon and started to mix. It felt like I was pushing sand. The flour and avocado were adhering to one another, but the product was crumbling and barely clumping. It took a good long while to bunch the mixture into what can only be described as The World’s Saddest Cookies. Despite their less-than-perfect appearance, the bright green of the “cookies” brought me some level of optimism. I pursed my lips and guided the cookie tray into the oven. Surely, the baking process would instill some flavor into these little green lumps.
All signs should have pointed to me lowering my expectations for the cookies. I caught a sniff of the coconut flour and began thinking about sharing these cookies with my family. I would now have a signature dessert that I could bring to my in-laws when we ate at their residence. Their fears of the bizarre-looking cookies would dissipate with a single taste. I would be the new gluten-free baker on the block. The thought was as savory as I hoped the cookies would be.
I vaulted off the couch and grabbed the tray with a gloved hand. The little green lumps that I had sent in were now…little green lumps with a tan. I could still smell a hint of coconut, so my hope for a good, savory flavor remained intact. After giving the lumps time to cool, I brought my fiancé into the kitchen to take a taste test with me. She was surprised by the appearance of the cookies, but tentatively took a bite with me.
I didn’t even have time to ask her if she liked them before she placed what was left of the lump in my hand and ran to get a drink of water.
Dejected, I got in touch with my stepmother-in-law. My fiance’s father and sister were diagnosed with celiac disease over ten years ago and it largely fell to her to figure out how to cook and bake without gluten. Surely, she would give me some guidance as to what went wrong with the recipe or my cooking method. My stepmother-in-law listened to my story and shrugged. She had recently spent a Saturday making cookies of her own. She made the cookies multiple times with different ratios of ingredients to get the right level of consistency and texture, but the end result was the same. This woman, who had been cooking and baking gluten-free for so long, still struggled to perfect a recipe.
I was stunned. Having eaten with my in-laws on numerous occasions, I knew her cooking was top-notch. My stepmother-in-law noted my surprise and told me that cooking and baking is a constant learning process. You rarely ever get the recipe right the first time. The issue is compounded in gluten-free baking. It is important to not be discouraged when a recipe does not go as planned. Instead, take stock of what you have learned and incorporate it into your next try. The reward of having a go-to baking recipe is worth the effort.
My discussion with my stepmother-in-law soothed my bruised ego. She had spent an entire day on a cookie recipe that went nowhere and I was upset over one simple recipe gone awry. I went back over the avocado coconut cookie recipe and checked some similar, more complex recipes. It turns out that I need to add some additional binding agents to the recipe to bulk up those green lumps. It would also help to add chocolate to enhance the flavor. My lesson has been learned. I don’t feel embarrassed about the experience anymore. I feel empowered.
Savory Avocado Coconut Cookies. I’ll give you another try…someday.
Healthcare Relations Intern, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness
The following is a guest post by Jaqueline Yngvason, a freelance food stylist, culinary producer and host of an online cooking show. Jaquy has celiac disease and multiple food allergies and is determined to bring awareness to these special dietary needs.
Since I can remember, growing up meant weekly visits to the emergency room, handfuls of pain medications and strong shots. In my half Icelandic, half Ecuadorean world, this seemed normal, but I would grow up to find out otherwise. While my brother and sister were outside playing with their friends, I was forced to hide from the sun, spending a large portion of my time sick in bed with excruciating migraines.
At the age of 16, after years of going to countless doctors who couldn’t seem to figure out what was wrong with me, I finally found out that I was sensitive to gluten. It wasn’t until I was 24 that I was fully diagnosed as having celiac disease. After that, my relationship with food was forever changed. I had to turn away from all of the foods that I loved and savored; wheat, eggs and dairy had to go, or I would continue to feel sick all of the time.
When I was first diagnosed with gluten sensitivity, there wasn’t much information on the subject and I was pushed to experiment and learn how to cook for myself to avoid eating out and getting sick. It was then that cooking went from a hobby to a healthy obsession, finding inspiration in recreating dishes that I once loved and transforming them in to something I could safely eat.
Shortly after college, not being satisfied with the current state of gluten-free awareness, I started my own health company to teach others in need. Feeling that I still had a lot to learn about proper handling of food and technique, I enrolled in culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in Oregon. Looking back, for someone like me, going to a French culinary school may not have been the most logical choice. But, I was a newly diagnosed celiac, and I wanted to learn the only way that any chef does from cooking… by tasting.
If you don’t know much about French culinary schooling, let’s just say they didn’t understand how to deal with my multiple food allergies. I ostracized by my teachers and peers, and encouraged to drop out because I did not belong. But like all hurdles in my life, I pushed on and became stronger. Going into baking and patisserie classes wearing a breathing mask, goggles and latex gloves to protect myself and further my culinary knowledge was necessary. I would find a way to flourish no matter what they threw at me, all in the name of furthering my awareness of food. Living with severe food allergies is strangely similar to boxing; no one gets to the top without taking a beating.
After culinary school, I headed to another place that left me feeling isolated: the Food Network. Again, I pushed through and went from being an intern to producing some of the Food Network’s top shows and food styling major commercials all in under one year.
Currently I live in New York City, working as a freelance food stylist, culinary producer and allergy friendly cooking show host (see one of my videos above!), always working to share my knowledge and learn from others along the way. Looking back at all of the pain and suffering I subjected myself to, I now know that it wasn’t all for nothing. Being gluten-free and having celiac disease isn’t a curse or a fad; it’s a blessing, and with the proper knowledge and understanding, you can live an extremely fulfilling life using food in a positive way.
My goal in life is to spread celiac and food allergy awareness to those similar to me who feel isolated and alone. The world can be changed through food, making it a better place not just for those with celiac disease, but for everyone.
After pulling long hours leading up to Appetite for Awareness last month, you’d think our staff at the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) would take some time to wind down. Not the case.
We immediately went full throttle on our next activity, which was hosting a Gluten-Free Culinary Workshop leading up to the Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE), an annual meeting for food and nutrition professionals run by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association). Planning had already been underway for months, and all the pieces were in place:
- A Gluten-Free Baking Workshop with Chef Richard Coppedge, CMB, author of Gluten-Free Baking with The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and a professor at CIA.
- The Ancient Grains Challenge, featuring a “Chopped” style cook-off between teams of dietitians.
- Educational sessions, including “Current Understandings of Gluten-Related Disorders” and “Case Studies: Living with Celiac Disease,” led by NFCA’s Alice Bast and Beckee Moreland, respectively.
I eagerly volunteered to help out and take photos and video at the workshop. (A chance to spend some one-on-one time with dietitians and top chefs? Please, I’m there.) So, bright and early last Saturday morning, I pulled up with a car full of goody bags and made my way up to the Academic Bistro at Drexel University.
Even with all the details our VP Jennifer had provided, I still wasn’t prepared for how active this day would be. After spending the first few hours mixing huge batches of gluten-free flour blends and setting up our impressive ‘pantry’ of ingredients and fresh produce, it was time to step back and put the dietitians to work.
Our participants were from the Food & Culinary Professionals Dietary Practice Group (FCP DGP), a subgroup of the Academy. They already had a basic understanding of gluten-free food and cooking, but they came eager to learn even more. I think had just as much fun watching them as they did participating.
Gluten-Free Baking Workshop
Our baking workshop started off with an introductory lesson from Chef Coppedge. It was clear that he’s an experienced teacher, as his presentation was brief, yet informative. He brought good energy to the room and gave us a few chuckles as he talked. My favorite tip: Use seltzer water to make your dough lighter and fluffier, but don’t leave it overnight or it will over-ferment and deflate upon cooking.
Then it was time to hit the kitchen. The dietitians whipped up gluten-free goodies like jalapeno & cheese muffins, spritz cookies and – my favorite – peanut butter and chocolate cupcakes. The hard part was figuring out which of the four gluten-free flour blends to use for each recipe. While the dietitians were mixing and measuring, Chef Coppedge was there offering quick tips. Best of all, they got to bring home a sample of what they baked. And the smells? Heavenly.
Ancient Grains Challenge
Across the hallway, our participants had to think on their feet as we presented them with pre-cooked gluten-free grains (amaranth, buckwheat and quinoa) and challenged them to make a fresh and healthy meal. For the additional ingredients, we had an impressive display of fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs, plus sauces, broths, beans and more, to complete their dishes.
To determine the winner, we recruited a diverse panel of judges:
- Alice Bast, Founder and President of NFCA.
- Chef Garrett Berdan, RD, a registered dietitian and chef who is part of the White House’s Chefs Move to Schools program.
- Chef Charles Ziccardi, Assistant Teaching Professor of Culinary Arts at the Goodwin College of Professional Studies at Drexel University.
NFCA Board Chair Dorothy Binswanger even stopped by to assist with the judging – a deliciously good decision, as it turned out.
The Ancient Grains Challenge went above and beyond our expectations. The dietitians were incredibly imaginative and resourceful, and their dishes had wonderful flavors. Among the finished plates, there were breakfast/dessert porridge with berries and a touch of orange zest; homemade soup with a side of bean salad; and ‘croutons’ made out of gluten-free grains and flax seed.
To make the challenge even more realistic, some of the ingredients on the table were not guaranteed to be gluten-free, such as a broth that wasn’t labeled gluten-free and some premade sauces that required verification with the manufacturer before using. For the most part, the dietitians were cautious about choosing ingredients that were clearly gluten-free. On a few occasions, they asked about questionable ingredients, which became a teaching lesson as our VP Jennifer walked them through the process to verify the ingredient. When in doubt, they left it out.
While the hands-on activities proved to be learning opportunities, NFCA’s workshop also balanced those active moments with some thoughtful discussions. The morning session on gluten-related disorders prompted good questions from the audience, and the dietitians left with a better understanding of the disease spectrum.
In Beckee’s session, the dietitians discussed a variety of perspectives and scenarios related to gluten-free needs. There was an 8-year-old with celiac disease struggling with her school lunch program; a 19-year-old newly diagnosed and figuring out how to eat gluten-free at college; and a chef who was catering a gluten-free event. The case studies sparked plenty of “A-ha” moments as the dietitians worked through these real-life applications.
So, to make a long story short, it was a winning day for all involved. My favorite part was chatting with the chefs and dietitians during and in-between each session. It always amazes me how a group can have similar interests and skills, yet put them to use in such a variety of ways.
Bravo to the dietitians for putting in an A+ effort at our Gluten-Free Culinary Workshop. We hope to “see” you again during our upcoming webinar on October 31!
For more photos from the workshop, visit NFCA’s Facebook page.
[You’re ready to bake from scratch, but don’t know where to start. Fear not! Shauna James Ahern, better known as Gluten-Free Girl, is here to share her tips and tricks for baking delicious gluten-free goods.]
1. Let go of your expectations.
2. You have to combine flours.
3. Learn to bake by weight.
5. Psst! Here’s a secret. Most baked goods are actually better without gluten.
[If you’re new to the gluten-free diet, you probably have yet to try gluten-free baking. (Yes, we all know xanthan gum bears a rather intimidating name.) Fortunately, there’s a little wonder known as gluten-free cake mix that can do much of the work for you.
Anne Byrn, better known as The Cake Mix Doctor, discovered just how versatile gluten-free cake mix can be when she was creating recipes for her first gluten-free cookbook. We hope her story, and her simple 5-step recipe, will inspire you, too!]
While working on The Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten-Free, I was making gingerbread out of a yellow gluten-free cake mix, adding apple cider, molasses, cocoa powder, ginger, nearly the kitchen sink! The taste of that gingerbread reminded me of my grandmother’s gingersnap cookies, and all of the sudden the most wonderful and nostalgic flashback came into my mind. I was 12 years old and in my grandmother’s kitchen snatching a cookie from the cooling rack.
So, I thought, could I turn this gingerbread recipe into a cookie? I grabbed a clean mixing bowl and wooden spoon, poured a fresh box of cake mix into the bowl and carefully added just one egg, vegetable shortening, molasses, ginger, and other spices. Dropped onto baking sheets, these cookies baked up crisp and spiced with ginger.
There is something unexpected and magical about rice flour and what it does to cookies. Rice flour makes it possible for you to turn a gluten-free cake mix into light, crisp cookies. And because it is flavorless, it is a blank canvas allowing big, bold flavors such as ginger to come through.
(From The Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten-Free, by Anne Byrn)
Makes 2 dozen cookies.
Prep: 10 minutes
Chill: At least 2 hours
Bake: 9 to 11 minutes
Cool: 10 to 16 minutes
- ¼ cup molasses
- ¼ cup vegetable shortening
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 package (15 oz.) yellow gluten-free cake mix
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- Place the molasses, vegetable shortening, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until just combined, 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the egg. Increase the mixer to medium and beat until smooth, 30 seconds. Set the molasses mixture aside.
- Place the cake mix, ginger, cinnamon and cloves in a small bowl and stir to combine. Add the cake mix mixture to the molasses mixture, a little at a time, beating on low speed until everything is just combined, 30 to 45 seconds. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place the cookie dough in the refrigerator to chill for 2 hours or overnight.
- Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Set aside 2 ungreased baking sheets.
- Place the sugar in a shallow bowl. Form the cookie dough into generous 1-inch balls. Roll the balls of dough in the sugar and arrange them on the baking sheets, about 4 inches apart.
- Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake the cookies until they are crisp around the edges, 9 to 11 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the cookies cool for 1 minute. Using a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough, if any.
I’m always prepared to bring an appetizer, salad or main dish to social gatherings and holiday functions. Like many with celiac disease, I quickly learned that if I wanted to eat a safe gluten-free meal, it was up to me to tote along at least one item I knew I could eat.
But dessert? Despite my sweet tooth, more often than not I have opted to forgo dessert simply because baking and I are not friends. So fruit has served as my go-to pick, and the nutritional benefits are always a plus. Alas, sometimes a fruit salad, no matter how fresh the ingredients, just won’t cut it. This Christmas, I wanted to join my family at the dessert table with something more substantial than pineapple and berries, even if topped with whipped cream.
Enter these no-bake coconut balls.
I’m sure you can guess that a recipe with minimal ingredients and without an actual “baking” process were both requirements. Fortunately, I stumbled across this simple recipe while performing the perfunctory Google search: No Bake Coconut Balls
The recipe called for nut butter plus chocolate chips or nuts of your choosing, but I opted for a combination of the two. My secret ingredient? Justin’s Nut Butter. This brand has been a pantry staple of mine for the past 2 years so I knew that their Chocolate Peanut Butter flavor was delicious. (If you are not already familiar with their line of nut butters, please head to your local grocery store immediately).
Not only did they fulfill my sweet tooth, but my family was impressed too. Who said you need flour to “bake” Christmas cookies?