Living without gluten, casein, soy, eggs and peanuts. Living with ASD and ADHD. Life is good!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Sourdough Biscuits (Gluten Free & Vegan)

It's Thanksgiving week and we are having winter weather!  Brrr!  It's time to turn on the oven and bake!  These humble biscuits are good any time and my whole house loves them.  They're so good I'm going to make them for Thanksgiving dinner too and skip the stuffing and cornbread.  We won't skip pie, though.  Last year it was pecan pie and pumpkin pie.  This year it will be apple crumb pie.  Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.  Stay warm.

Sourdough Biscuits
These are cowboy sourdough biscuitsI can't seem to find the original recipe and in all likelihood I took elements from a few to cobble this together.  These are good anytime biscuits that go with everything, though I am partial to serving them with Tex Mex Pinto Beans.

3/4 cup all-purpose GF flour blend (I like High Protein)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup fed sourdough starter
1 tbsp. olive oil

Sift together the flour, salt, sugar and baking soda.  Pour in the sourdough starter and mix well.  Cut into the dough with the side of your spoon and mix, making sure all the dry ingredients are incorporated.  The dough should not be sticky, but should be able to stick together without crumbling apart. If your dough is too sticky, add flour a tablespoon at t time until the desired consistency is reached.

Form dough into balls of equal size.  Dip the balls into the olive oil, turn oiled side up, then place into one 8" cake pan or cast iron skillet.  Let rise 30 minutes. 


Heat the oven to 400 degrees and bake the biscuits for 20 minutes.  Let cool in pan until warm, then serve immediately.  Makes between 6 - 8 biscuits.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies (Gluten Free & Vegan)

Are they little cakes?  Are they big cookies?  Who cares?*  These little treats aim to please and trust me, they do.  The original recipe comes from Penzey's, who recommend marshmallow creme in the filling to make it fluffy.  I can't find a gluten free, dairy free, soy free equilavent so I left that particular ingredient out.  I was just overwhelmingly pleased to be finally able to use a cream cheese alternative in my baking!  These pumpkin whoopie pies are perfect for this time of year.  They are so good I may even make them again for Thanksgiving instead of pumpkin pieMaybe.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cloves
1/2 cup palm shortening

1/4 cup applesauce
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups all purpose GF flour blend

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchement paper, set aside.

In a large bowl stir together the brown sugar through the cloves until well blended.  Add the shortening to the bowl and beat until creamy.  Add the applesauce and pumpkin puree and beat until combined.  Stir in the flour blend until incorporated.

Drop batter by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheet.  With a back of a spoon or your finger, smooth the tops.  Bake 15 - 20 minutes or until the cookies are firm and the bottoms are lightly browned.  Cool the cookies 5 minutes on the baking sheet before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cookies are cooling, prepare the filling.  Beat together 1/4 cup Daiya plain cream cheese and 2 tbsp. Earth Balance Soy Free Margarine.  Add 1 cup powdered sugar and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract.  Whip until thoroughly combined.  Spread 1 - 2 tbsp. filling onto the flat bottom of one cookie and top with another cookie.  Serve immediately (as if you could wait!).  Store whoopie pies in the refrigerator.

*You can make these without the filling and they will be really yummy pumpkin cookies on their own.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Ganache

We celebrated DH's birthday the other week.  It was the big 4-0 and I felt that we should be irreverent about it (totally sticking our tongues out at this particular milestone).  One of his presents was a book titled Fart Proudly (featuring satirical writings by Benjamin Franklin).  After that, I had to make up for it by making him a yummy birthday cake. I looked at a Penzey's recipe and said "hey that looks good", and since DH didn't have a yen for anything in particular, I got to play.  The cake turned out really good.  So good, in fact, that DH ate half of it himself in one sitting and I was caught sneaking frosting on the sly.  I will make this cake whenever possible and share it with as many people as possible, it's so good.  Please see the original recipe for what looks like a decent cream cheese frosting recipe (you can use Daiya's cream cheese!).  I was short on time, so I frosted a warmish cake with a cream cheese ganache, which I will not change in the future because it was fabulous.

Great Chocolate Cake
3 cups GF flour blend (I used 1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Rice and 1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Sorghum)
1/2 cup cocoa powder (not dutch)
2 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. salt

1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup coconut milk
3/4 cup hot water
1/4 cup brandy
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease one 9x13 inch baking dish with palm shortening, set aside.  In a large bowl, sift together the flour through the xanthan gum.  Make a well in the center and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the oil, applesauce and sugar.  Add the coconut milk and stir.  Add the hot water, brandy and vanilla and whisk gently to combine.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk well to combine, scraping down the sides as necessary.  Pour into the prepared baking dish.  Bake about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove to a wire rack to cool before frosting.

Cream Cheese Ganache
1 cup Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup Daiya Plain Cream Cheese
1/4 cup coconut milk

Put all ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat.  Stir until the chocolate begins to melt - keep stirring constantly until almost all the chips are melted (add more coconut milk a tablespoon at a time if the mixture seems too thick).  Then remove from the heat and stir until completely melted.  Chocolate has a low melting point, and it will continue to melt away from the heat - be patient and don't be tempted to turn the heat up or the chocolate will burn.

When the frosting is smooth, pour it over the cake and smooth it evenly all over the top.  Let cool before slicing.

(This cake will make your mouth smile.  I promise.)