Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

peanut butter cookies

 

I made these cookies over the weekend and they were so easy and tasted so good.  They were great warm out of the oven or a few days later.  They stayed soft and slightly chewy and that little hint of coarse sea salt was devine.

 

Ingredients:
2 cups natural peanut butter
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large egg, lightly beaten
Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place the racks in the upper and lower third of the oven.

In a medium bowl, mix the peanut butter, sugar, vanilla and egg until well combined. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the mixture about 1 inch apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Flatten the mounds with the tines of a fork, making a crosshatch pattern on the cookies. Sprinkle coarse salt on top of the cookies.

Bake until golden around the edges, about 10 minutes, switching the position of the sheets halfway through baking. Transfer to racks to cool. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Makes about 26 cookies.

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Aldi Gluten Free Products

Aldi Live Gfree

I’ve shopped at Aldi a few times over the course of the last few years, but this week’s ad featuring tons of gluten free products brought me back in the store.  I purchased some brownie soft-baked cookies, strawberry breakfast bars, crackers, blueberry frozen pancakes, and corn fusilli pasta.  These are only a few examples of the products available and they are at much better prices than you will find at other stores.  If you’ve never been to Aldi before be prepared to spend some money on renting a grocery cart ($.25 gets you a cart and you get it back when you return the cart), you’ll also need to be prepared to pay for bags or else bring your own bags.  You will bag your own groceries too…..all these things keep the prices low at Aldi stores.

If you are looking for some bargain gluten-free products to try definitely check our ALDI.

 

Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Cheddar Bay Biscuits

 

You remember those yummy biscuits they serve at Red Lobster?  You know the ones that tasted so yummy you could make a meal out of just those, well I found a good gluten free recipe that tastes very close to the real deal.  Try them at home and let me know your thoughts.

 

Ingredients:

2 cups Gluten Free Bisquick

5 tablespoons cold diced unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar jack cheese
3 eggs
2/3 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon Old bay seasoning
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400° F. First step is the wet ingredients for the biscuits. Mix eggs and heavy cream together, stirring until eggs are broken and everything is well blended. In a separate bowl add your 2 cups of Gluten Free Bisquick and add in cold butter using a pastry cutter or I used a large fork. Blend together until you have a coarse crumbly mixture and the butter is not visible. Add cheese into the dry mixture then add your wet ingredients until a soft dough forms.

Now make the seasoned butter which makes these taste so much like the Red Lobster version. In a new bowl blend melted butter, Old Bay seasoning, garlic powder and parsley, set aside to use later.

Drop the biscuits onto a cookie sheet and round the edges I used a regular spoon. Bake for about 12 minutes then take the biscuits out and brush on  a thick layer of the seasoned butter then bake for an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Biscuits should be a light golden brown color. This made about 22 biscuits. These are best served immediately but also delicious the next day.

Pillsbury Gluten Free Cookie Dough

 

Pillsbury

The dough boy has come out with three gluten-free products:  chocolate chip cookie dough, pizza crust and pie crust.  I decided to try the cookie dough over the weekend.  The tub, found in your grocer’s refrigerated case, cost around $4.50 and will make approximately two dozen very small cookies.  The instructions on the tub tell you to scoop the dough by the tablespoon onto a cookie sheet.

After baking, this is what you get – tiny bite size morsels of yumminess.

Cookies

 

If you were a fan of the pillsbury cookie dough prior to going gluten-free then you should enjoy this product.  The taste and texture are very similiar if memory serves me.

After doing some research it would appear that Pillsbury does not make these products in a gluten-free dedicated facility; therefore if you have been diagnosed with celiac disease these cookies may have trace amounts of gluten in them.  For those that have gluten insensitivity these cookies might just hit the spot.

Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread

I made this butter slightly salty shortbread cookies over the weekend and I was really pleased with how they turned out.  The key to making these cookies stay really pretty is chilling the dough before rolling it out and chilling the cookies for a few minutes before baking them in the oven.  You could add finely chopped pecans, lemon zest, finely ground lavender or a host of other flavorings to this dough so be creative.

Ingredients:

  • 5 1/3 ounces (1 1/3 cups) white rice flour
  • 2.5 ounces (1/2 cup) sweet rice flour
  • 2 ounces (1/2 cup) cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (this prevents the cookies from spreading)
  • 7 ounces (14 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 5 1/4 ounces (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. In small bowl, whisk together white rice flour, sweet rice flour, cornstarch, salt, baking powder, and xanthan gum. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar, and vanilla extract together, on medium-low speed, until a thick paste forms, about 30 seconds. Shut off stand mixer. Add dry ingredients. Turn on mixer and mix until a dough forms, about three minutes.

Lightly white rice flour your countertop. Turn dough out onto counter and shape dough into a disk or log shape. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.  Once chilled use a rolling pin to roll dough out, about 1/4-inch thick. Make sure you measure this.  I though I had rolled it out to this thickness, but when comparing it to a ruler my dough was 1/8 inch thick.  Cut using a cookie cutter dusted with flour and place cookies on prepared baking sheet, about two inches apart. Chill cut cookies for 5-10 minutes before baking.  Bake until cookies are lightly golden brown on the edges and aromatic, about 20-25 minutes.

 

Ali’s Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ali's

My co-workers were so kind as to bring back a gluten-free cookie for me try today.  This was one big cookie.  It was about 3 inches wide and about an inch thick.  This cookie was moist and filled with great chocolate chip flavor.  It reminded me of the gluten filled cookies I used to enjoy.  I could certainly taste that this cookie was fresh and it was filled with semi-sweet chocolate goodness.   Upon visiting Ali’s website I noticed that some of her cookies were featured on Rachel Ray.  Not all Ali’s cookies are gluten free, but she does ship one dozen chocolate chip cookies or a 12″ gluten free cookie cake that can serve 12-14 people.

If you get a chance check out her site SHIPACOOKIE.COM.  It will be well worth your time.

 

Cookie

 

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Cream Cheese

There is nothing better on a spring day than a great big dollup of cream cheese frosting topping a wonderfully moist carrot cake.  This cake is gluten free, but you’d never know it.  This treat is packed with flavor and will have you coming back for a second or third slice if you’re not careful.  My nine year old son who usually doesn’t like any kind of cake gobbled down a slice and asked for more.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour mix (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 3 cups freshly grated carrots
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 cups gluten-free powdered sugar

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350° F

Use two round 9-inch cake pans, one 9×13 pan or 36 muffin cups for this recipe. If using round cake pans, lightly grease and place a circle of parchment in the bottom of the pan for easy removal. Use paper lining cups if making cupcakes.

  1. Cream sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl with an electric beater or stand mixer. Add oil and vanilla and beat just until smooth.
  2. In a separate bowl combine gluten-free flour mix, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat until blended.
  3. Stir in grated carrots and nuts. Pour the batter into prepared pans.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
  5. While cake is cooling place butter, cream cheese and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and beat on high until smooth. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth and creamy.
  6. When cake is cool frost all over.

Uncle Maddios Gluten Free Pizza

Maddios Pizza

A new Uncle Maddios opened near my office and when I visited their website I noticed they offered gluten free pizza dough. Today I decided to give them a try for lunch.  When I walked into the restaurant I smiled because they were playing Frank Sinatra over the speakers, good taste I thought.  I was also met with a nice welcome greeting as I entered (similiar to Welcome to Moes!).  I placed my order and was impressed at how the staff handled the gluten free aspect.  The female employee who took the order immediately announced to her team “Gluten Free.  Changing gloves.”  Everyone on the line communicated they heard the order and then she proceeded to get the crust and make the entire pizza with her fresh gloves.  The pizza was placed in the oven and in about 5-6 minutes I had my gluten free pepperoni, portabella mushroom and extra cheese creation.  What’s interesting about Maddios is that you choose your crust, sauce and toppings so it’ s all custom made to order for you.

Now was it the best gluten-free pizza I’ve ever had?  No, the crust was thin and crispy, but I could definitely tell it was gluten free.  The sauce was a little bland and the toppings were decent.  If you are in the mood for a decent quality gluten-free pizza on the go I would say try out Uncle Maddios.  The service and staff I experienced will definitely bring me back.

Maddios 2

Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint on Urbanspoon

Let’s Go Against the Grain

Garlic Bread

My Mom recently visited my Aunt out in Colorado and came back with a gift for me.  It was a crusty delicious baguette and get this….it was gluten free!  I had not heard of the company that made this heavenly baguette, but they are called Against The Grain.  These products do not contain wheat, soy, corn yeast or rice.  Against The Grain also has a couple of products that are dairy free too.  They create more than just baguettes.   They have bagels, rolls, pizzas and pizza crusts too.  All of their products come in a variety of flavors and can be found in Whole Foods stores as well as other locations.

I made garlic bread with our package of baguettes and my family couldn’t tell that this product was gluten free.  If you haven’t tried Against The Grain yet I highly recommend checking them out.  You can find a location near you at Against The Grain.

Homemade Ricotta

 

Who wants to make their own cheese?  When people talk about making their own ricotta cheese from scratch I figured it would be some long complicated process.  Boy, was I wrong!  This is a really easy step by step recipe that results in some fresh creamy ricotta that you will really enjoy.  This just takes some time and patience and then you will be able to say you made your very own cheese!

Ingredients:

4 c whole milk

1/2 c heavy cream

1/4 tsp kosher or sea salt

1 1/2 T fresh lemon juice

Combine the milk, cream and salt in a very large pot or saucepan.  Line a colander with cheesecloth and set inside a large bowl.  Bring the milk mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat stirring occassionally with a spatula.  Don’t let the mixture scald.  Once the milk has reached a steady simmer add your lemon juice and stir gently.  Stir quickly just to blend.  Let the mixture sit for a minute or two (turn down the heat slightly so it continues to simmer but doesn’t reach a boil).  Stir with spatula for another minute.  Once it looks like the mixture has seperated into curds and whey (cheese curds and liquid) it is ready.  Drain the mixture in the colander lined with cheesecloth and let it drain at room temperature for one hour.  Transfer your ricotta cheese to an airtight container and then refrigerate.