gluten-free baking

Completely Board Post #15: Maple Pecan Cookies

Veg-am's Completely Board - Vegan Month of Food 2014

It just wouldn’t be MoFo if I didn’t bake cookies.  Cookies are probably my favorite sweet, and they’re fun to share.  And while it’s not always a popular idea with a certain sister of mine, sometimes I just want a non-chocolate cookie.  These Maple Pecan Cookies from Wholly Vegan (MoFo 2012) seemed to fit the bill.

Maple Pecan Cookies Pin

From the picture, they looked soft while still a little chewy, so I decided to use the flour mixture that I use in the similarly textured Sparkled Ginger Cookies: 1.5 tsp xanthan, 1/4 cup sorghum flour, 1/2 cup garfava flour, 3/4 cup tapioca starch, 1/2 cup of arrowroot. In case you haven’t read my posts on cookies before, instead of a using a sifter, just “sift” the flours through a fine mesh sieve.  Unless there’s something I’m missing, cleaning xanthan out of a sifter can’t be done.

My review of my version of these cookies is mixed.

The dough is super sticky and hard to work with (refrigerate or freeze it for a little while and lightly flour your hands and it helps).  Unlike the gluten version, this dough does need to be flattened out.  I flattened the cookies out some and still ended up with puffy, cakey cookies instead of the chewy ones.  I did flatten out a few toward the end and got closer to the cookie in the picture and closer to what I would want.  I also made them too big (only got 35 out of a double batch…oops) and had to cook about 14 minutes.  At the correct size, I think 11-12 minutes would have been perfect (longer than the original, but that usually is the case with my gluten free cookies)

Gluten Free Maple Pecan Cookies

Honestly, if cookies were always all about me, I might not bother again or would at least make them all smaller and flatter.  They were good, but they weren’t crazy good to me.  The best part was that lovely pecan half right in the center.

However, I took them to my church small group meeting and people seemed to love them. I’ve come to the conclusion that it wasn’t a failure of a cookie so much as a failure to reach my own expectations.  They haven’t become a new staple, but based on other people’s reviews, I would make these again occasionally.  So, try them…they might be right up your alley.

Completely Board Post #14: Mini Sausage-Cheese Scones

Veg-am's Completely Board - Vegan Month of Food 2014

I had a hard time deciding how to name this post because I set out to make one thing and ended up with something completely different.  Here’s the story…

I was inspired by this pin that was on Panda With Cookie‘s old blog.

Pin of Vegan Sausage Balls

It led me over to the I-40 kitchen for a recipe for Sausage Balls. I remember going to oh-so-many church events growing up that had the non-vegan version of these on the table.  Ten year old me thought she could live on these.  Thankfully, no one let me try.

So, I set out to re-create this treat from my childhood.  I didn’t get them.  But, I ended up with something that I think I liked even better.

First of all I had to overcome the bisquick problem.  There is a gluten-free bisquick, but there’s something in it I can’t eat (I think it’s a soy product, but I don’t remember).  So, I searched the web for a gluten free substitute.  I found this one.  Just a heads up that it actually makes a little more than 3 cups.  (For the potato starch/corn starch, I actually used a combo of those two)

Then there were the sausage and Worcestershire ingredients.  I don’t know of any vegan versions of these items that are both gluten and soy free.  So I set off to find alternatives.

For the sausage, I used the beefy variety of Beyond Meat Crumbles.  As I browned it, I mixed in 1/2 tsp sage, 1/2 tsp ground fennel, and a pinch of cayenne to give it a more sausage-y taste.

For the Worcestershire, I once again relied on my handy Google skills and found this site of substitutions which said to use “2 teaspoons soy sauce, 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice,1/4 teaspoon sugar and a dash of hot sauce for every tablespoon Worcestershire the recipe calls for.”  I used my usual substitute for soy sauce — Coconut Aminos.

So, I had all my ingredients, and I began to mix up my sausage balls.  It was SOOO dry.  John at the I-40 kitchen warned they’d be a little crumbly but would come together soon. I mixed for a couple minutes and still just a dry crumbly mess. Where did I go “wrong”?  Well, it could be that I browned the crumbles first which could have made them a little drier.  It could have been that gluten free flours are just often a little drier than all purpose flour.

Whatever happened, I knew the only way to come out with anything was to add liquid.  Out came the trusty almond milk.  I ended up using 3/4 cup before I got anything that would stick together.

What I didn’t think of is Bisquick+milk=biscuits.  I proceeded to brush a little olive oil on top to help with browning (it didn’t help that much) and pop those bad boys in the oven.  I did not end up with the greasy little sausage balls of my childhood.  What I did end up with was something remarkable: tiny little round scones.  Yes, the were sausagey and cheesy and biscuity.  Scones, I tell you, savory scones.  Next time, I may change them into a flatter shape so they look like a scone instead of being a poser sausage ball, but I won’t change anything else.  They were delicious!
Sometimes accidental food is the best food.  Ok, not usually.  But this time, it was completely true.  Below is the final recipe so that you don’t have to go through the notes above if you want to try them.

Gluten-Free Vegan Sausage – Cheese Mini Scones

Makes 35

Gluten Free Vegan Sausage Mini Scones

In a big bowl, combine:

2 c Daiya cheddar shreds
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 – 11 oz package Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles, browned with 1/2 tsp sage, 1/2 tsp ground fennel, and a pinch of cayenne (or cayenne to taste if you want more kick)
3 c gluten free bisquick substitute (despite the note on the recipe – it makes more than 3 cups)
1 t sage
1 t vegan Worcestershire (my sub = 1 tsp of this mixture — 2 teaspoons coconut aminos, 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice,1/4 teaspoon sugar and a dash of hot sauce)
1 t onion powder
a few drops liquid smoke
black pepper to taste
3/4 cup unsweetened original almond milk

Line baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350F.  Mix all ingredients except the almond milk and 1 Tbsp olive oil until well combined.  Add almond milk and mix to make a nice dough. Roll into balls (I haven’t tested flattening them into little biscuits yet, but I think that would work too to make them look more like scones) .Brush tops with remaining olive oil.  Bake 25-30 minutes.  They won’t brown much, but there’s a tiny bit of browning on the bottom and the biscuit dough will be thoroughly cooked.

Wrapping up: Apples in a Blanket and Vegan MoFo Comes to a Close

Wow!  It’s so hard to believe this month is over.

I didn’t get any questions from anyone on the blog the other day, but I’m still going to post this wrap-up interview style.  I’m just going to carry on both sides of the conversation.

What was your favorite sweet dish?
I liked all of them, and I can’t believe I’m not saying the Chocolate Peanut Butter Pillows, but I think my favorite was the Apple Butter Donut Holes

What was your favorite savory dish?
Easy.  The veggie calzone. It had that perfect Italian-y flavor that I miss most not being able to eat pizza, calzones, etc at most restaurants.

What new dishes are most likely to get added to the regular rotation?
The salad rolls are already in the rotation so they aren’t being added, but they’ll stay.  New things will probably be the Dragon Rolls (sans the tempura most of the time), the chickpea salad melt, MAT (mushroom, avocado, tomato) Lettuce Cups and Asian Style Jackfruit Lettuce Wraps.  Oh, and how could I almost forget the Breakfast Stuffed Apples?!

What did you learn that will be most helpful?
That I don’t always have to re-invent the wheel, or the dough in this case.  I made 3 different doughs this month with just little tiny tweeks of my standby pizza crust dough.

What did you learn that you probably didn’t need to know?
Frying isn’t as much trouble as I thought.

What dishes did you want to try that you just didn’t get to?
Eggrolls, stuffed pancakes and waffles, more sushi, more rice paper rolls, raw fajitas, zucchini boats… the list goes on.  And for some reason, I really wanted to try plum-rosemary hand pies.  Not sure why.  I’ve never heard of them.  They just sound good.

What kitchen failures did you encounter?
1. I tried to make ravioli 4 times. They looked lovely. They tasted awful.  I just couldn’t get the pasta dough right.  Even in my gluten filled days, I never made fresh pasta and don’t think I’d ever eaten fresh pasta.  So I just didn’t know what I was going for.  Sorry I forgot to take a picture.  The leftover green pea-kale pesto filling was pretty good, so I mixed it in some polenta and baked it in a cast iron pan.

2. Marshmallow for an attempt at s’more cookies.  I realized just as I put it on the stove that my thermometer didn’t go high enough to get the proper measurements and I apparently didn’t cook it quite long enough.

3. Onion Hushpuppy Crusted Hot Dogs.  Yep.  I attempted a soy-free, gluten-free vegan hot dog.   I realized after the fact that I had written the measurement of flours that I wanted to use down wrong and used way more than planned.  They looked and smelled fabulous.  They tasted…well…like flour.

Hushpuppy Crusted Hot Dog

But, if you already have a hot dog you can eat, the hushpuppy wrapping was great.  I used my regular hushpuppy recipe and patted it around the hot dogs. It works better if you wet your hands. 1 hushpuppy recipe was enough for about 4 hot dogs.  Fry it up until the batter is golden brown.  Onions are built in, so all I would need to do is have a little mustard for dipping.

4.  Cannoli.  The cream cheese chocolate chip filling tasted perfect, but was too thin.  I could have worked with that, but the dough was too heavy and dry.  Cannoli are supposed to be light and crispy.   I finally got the dough where I could roll and cut them out but then they continued to get drier and after the first 7 or 8, they were too dry to roll around the cannoli molds.  

Cannoli

5. Flour tortillas that are light and flexible.  Again, great flavor, too heavy a texture.  I’ll keep working on this one.

Where do you see your cooking and this blog going from here?
Well, I definitely need to lighten up on the frying and the dough.  Stuffed, wrapped and rolled food is good, but after a month it all starts to feel a bit heavy.  I’m looking forward to more soups, salads, fruits and vegetables.

I’m not really sure about the blog, but I’m thinking of a name change.  I also really want to see myself blog more regularly.  I’m thinking of a personal cookbook challenge, either using multiple cookbooks or cooking through a favorite giving gluten/soy subs.  Or a series of lighter, healthier dishes.

Any other closing thoughts as yet another Vegan MoFo wraps up?
MoFo was a lot more fun for me not expecting myself to do 7 posts a week.  I like the 5 posts a week goal.  Also, after having to quit last year with my dad’s cancer diagnosis and extended hospital stay, I had an emotional victory reaching my goal.  As always, I’m most thankful for the readers and your encouragement!

I just couldn’t wrap up the month without just one more little treat for Stuff, Wrap & Roll.  These Apples in a Blanket are lightly sweet with a little autumnal apple goodness

Apples in a Blanket

Apples in a Blanket

  • 1/2 cup garfava flour, plus more for working the dough
  • 6 Tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2  Tbsp gluten-free yeast
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup warm water (around 110F)
  • 3/4 tsp canola oil
  • 3/4  tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 small gala apple, washed, cored and thinly sliced
  • Soy Free Earth Balance for Brushing
  • Sugar and Cinnamon for topping

Lightly oil/flour a cookie sheet/roasting pan (or use parchment paper) and set aside.

Add all dry ingredients (except sugar/cinnamon for topping) in a kitchen stand mixer with a dough hook or food processor with S blade and combine well.  Add in liquids and mix until a stiff dough forms.  Using your hands, gather all the dough together.  (At this point, it will probably be a blob)  The dough is  sticky so put a very small amount of garfava flour on the outside as you form it into a ball.   Let the dough sit on a small piece of parchment or waxed paper for about 25 minutes to let the yeast work a little magic.  It will get fluffy, but still be sticky.

Preheat oven to 375.

Prepare a small work surface with waxed paper or parchment paper. This space doesn’t need to be very large, just enough to put one “blanket” down at a time.  Keep a little bowl of extra garfava flour handy for working with the sticky dough.  You don’t want to work in more flour, just have enough to coat the outside of each little ball of dough.

Core & slice apple.  I used one of the corers that cuts an apple into wedges and then sliced each wedge into 4 slices.

Toss a little garfava flour onto the work surface.  Tear off a piece of dough and pat it down lightly into the flour, turn it over and pat it down into the flour again.  You just want enough to coat the dough so you can work with it.  Pat the dough down into a circle about 2½” in diamater and a little less than 1/4″ thick.  Put the circle on the workspace, put 2 apple slices in the middle and wrap the dough around it, being careful to push the edges together to form a strong seam.  (Otherwise, they’ll open up when they bake.  They still taste good, but not quite as pretty).  Put on prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough and apples.

Melt about 1 Tbsp of soy free Earth Balance.  Using a pastry brush, brush a thin layer on top of each apple in a blanket (including the apple that’s sticking out the ends).

Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes until edges and bottom are golden brown.

In a ziploc bag, add sugar and cinnamon (6 Tbsp sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon).  2-4 at a time depending on the size of your bag.  (I did 3 in a quart bag).  Shake bag to coat each apple in a blanket.  Repeat until all are coated.

And with that, goodbye Vegan MoFo 2013.

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Happy Birthday, John Chapman: Apple Butter Donut Holes

So, you don’t know who John Chapman is? If you’re from the US, you probably learned about him in school by the name of the folk hero Johnny Appleseed. Chapman was a practicing vegetarian who is credited with establishing many apple orchards as the American frontier expanded. You can read more about him on biography.com

Chapman’s planting wasn’t as random or goodhearted as the legendary character Johnny Appleseed. It was for profit and making of apple based alcoholic beverages rather than growing tasty apples for mamas baking pies or for kids to give to teachers. But, I’m still thankful that he planted orchards that would eventually lead to the orchards we have today that provide fujis, galas, jonagolds, granny smiths, and many other delicious varieties of apples.

I discovered the other day that I had a little jar of apple butter hiding in my pantry. It was the last of several I had gotten from a friend of mine. There was also a set of pastry bags/decorator tips that my sister gave me that had not been used yet. In that set was a bismarck tip (used for filling). I had been wanting donuts. All of those together led to the birth of the apple butter donut hole.

Although I’ve lived most of my life in the homeland of the yeasted Krispy Kreme Doughnut, my donut loyalty will always lie with the heavier cake donuts of my early childhood. Naturally, I thought of the lovely sugar covered mini donuts from the even lovelier Cara of Fork and Beans. She kindly granted me permission to repost with my changes.

The only change I made in the dough itself was I switched to canola from coconut oil. I figured why waste the more expensive coconut oil if I was just going to turn around and fry it in canola anyway.

While these are technically “filled” and not stuffed, I hope their sugary goodness will convince you that they belong in the Stuff, Wrap and Roll series. If not, just ignore me. I’ll be in the corner polishing them off.

Apple Butter Donut Holes

Apple Butter Donut Holes

(makes 16)

For Donuts:

    • 1/2 c. sorghum flour
    • 1/2 c. Brown rice flour
    • 1/4 c. potato starch (not flour!)
    • 1/4 c. arrowroot powder
    • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 c. brown sugar
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
    • 1/2 c. buttermilk (1/2 Tb apple cider vinegar + 1/2 c. almond milk)
    • 1 1/2 tsp Ener-G egg replacer + 2 Tbs warm water, mixed til frothy
    • 1/4 c. canola oil + more for frying
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For Filling:

    • 1/2 cup (+/-) apple butter

For Topping

  • 1/2 cup sugar (I used organic evaporated cane juice)
  • 1 Tbsp Cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Mix dry ingredients for donuts together until fully combined.
  2. Make a well in the center of the bowl. Add all the remainder of wet ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until just incorporated.
  3. Roll into 16 equal sized balls
  4. Heat about 1/2″ to 3/4″ oil in a large skillet to medium high heat (about 375F if you’re checking the temp)
  5. In small batches, fry donut holes until golden brown. Since that’s not enough oil to completely cover them, they’ll need to be turned halfway through. Total cooking time is about 2-2½ minutes.
  6. Remove from skillet and put on paper towel lined plate.
  7. After all donuts have been cooked and are cooled enough to handle, using a pastry bag with the apple butter in it and a bismarck tip (filling tip, I used Wilton 230), put a hole in one side of the donut and squeeze apple butter into the donut until it starts to come back out of the hole. I found this easier if I put the donut hole down on a plate. When it is properly filled, you will see the donut hole become a bit larger and will also probably see tiny oil droplets being pushed out of the sides of the donut. Wipe off any excess apple butter from the outside of the donut hole.
  8. After all have been filled, fill a large zipper bag with 1/2 cup sugar and 1 Tbsp cinnamon. Shake to mix. Then working in batches of 3 or 4, shake donut holes in the cinnamon-sugar mixture until well coated. Place on a plate and serve. Or eat them straight out of the bag 😉

Note: My apple butter was homemade and possibly not as thick as some store bought ones. If your apple butter is too thick to go through the tip easily, I suspect adding a bit of apple juice or water would take care of that.

Reality check: This was my first time filling any kind of baked goods. So they weren’t all as full as the one cut open in the picture. Some had more. Some had almost none. That one was about average. There’s a learning curve. Be patient with yourself :)

On this, the 239th anniversary of your birth, I appreciate you, Johnny Appleseed.

Happy Birthday, Johnny Appleseed

 

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Fig-Cashew “Goat Cheese”-Spinach Pinwheels

I’m so glad that this year Vegan MoFo is in September so that I could catch the end of fig season.  One of my favorite salads is spinach, topped with tangy “goat cheese”, sliced figs and a sweet red wine vinaigrette.  I wanted to see how I could combine some of those flavors in slightly different way.

This is actually one of the first things I attempted this month, but for some reason I have been putting off posting.  Procrastination stops here.

I’ll tell you up front that the dough was a little harder to work with than average, but the final result was well worth it.

Mildly sweet, mildly tangy, and dare I say, buttery.  These pinwheels give you something a little different with every bite.

Fig-Cashew "Goat Cheese" - Spinach Pinwheels | Veg-am

Fig – Cashew “Goat Cheese” – Spinach Pinwheels

The Filling:

Prepare ahead the Vegetarian Times “Goat Cheese”: Do steps 1 and 2 as written.  Follow step 3 up until the point of aging time.  About 5 hours is enough here as long as it doesn’t still have liquid dripping out (mine usually only has a couple drops drain out anyway).  No need to chill or bake.

Mix the “goat cheese”, spinach and almond milk.  Set aside.

Wash and thinly slice the figs.  Set aside.

The Dough:

  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp Garfava Flour
  • 3/4 cup Tapioca Starch
  • 2 tsp Gluten-Free Yeast
  • 1/2 Tbsp Xanthan Gum
  • 3/4 tsp Salt
  • 3/4 cup Warm Water (about 110F)
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

In a stand mixer with a dough hook or a food processor with an s-blade, mix the dry ingredients.  Mix the wet ingredients and add to dry.  Mix/process until it starts to form a ball.  Remove from processor/mixer and set out to rise 20-30 minutes.  The dough will be sticky.  If you’ve done a lot of gluten-filled baking, it will seem that it’s too sticky and you should add more flour.  Don’t be tempted to do that.  This is harder to work with, but more flour will make it heavy and dry.

The Pinwheels:

Preheat the oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

To roll out the dough, you’ll need a wax paper working area.  Flour it well (use the garfava). Also do a dusting of flour on the ball of dough, your hands and your rolling pin.  As you roll out the dough, you will get some stickiness from the inside dough.  Sprinkle a little flour there too if it’s starting to stick to your pin.  Evenly roll out into a rectangle 1/8 thick.  (Sorry – I forgot to measure it, but I think it was about 12×14)

Spread the “cheese”-spinach mixture evenly across the dough.  (Don’t go all the way to back edge or it will squirt out when you roll it.  If that happens though, no big deal, just wipe it away with a paper towel. )

Evenly distribute the fig slices on top of the spinach mixture.

Using the wax paper, working from the long side of the dough, lift and roll toward the filling.  Peel the wax paper off the portion of the dough that has been rolled (this is where that initial flouring step is important).  Then continue rolling/peeling the wax paper off until you have completely rolled the dough up jelly roll style.

Slice the roll in about 3/4″ slices.  Place each slice on the parchment lined cookie sheet.  Because the dough doesn’t seem that substantial and the filling is a bit runny, you may need to shape the pinwheels with your hands a bit once you get it on the parchment.  (I honestly thought at this point that they mightn’t turn out as they were a bit flimsy)

Bake at 425F for 22-25 minutes until golden brown and filling set.  Let it cool a few minutes and then serve warm.

 

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It’s my Veggieversary – or – the One where I finally try a Pumpkin Roll.

I have a Pinterest board that I call “Would be great to veganize (and most likely deglutenize and desoyatize)”  It’s for all those recipes that I think are beautiful, but are going to take more effort on my part.  Ok, it’s really for those recipes that I’ll probably never get to.  The recipe that made me start the board over a year ago was Libby’s Pumpkin Roll.

Pretty much anything with pumpkin is going to whisper my name.  But, when you put a creamy filling inside, it is screaming loud and clear.

Since today is my 6th veggieversary, I figured it was the perfect time for me to try something big.  Something I really wanted to get right. I was setting myself up for some big baking win.  Or an epic fail.

Do you want to judge?  Check this baby out…

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free Pumpkin Roll | Veg-am

For more pumpkin goodness (and to keep from using a cream cheese analogue), I replaced the original cream cheese filling with a creamy pumpkin filling.

The filling is super sweet, so you may want to keep the pieces small.  The original recipe says 10 servings.  I estimate I’ll get about 14.   But, if you’re like my sweet-toothed mother who said she didn’t notice that it was super sweet,  you might want to stick with 10.

Yum.  Happy veggieversary to me.

Pumpkin Roll, gluten-free, soy free | Veg-am

 

Pumpkin Roll with Pumpkin Filling

Cake:

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1½ Tbsp Ener-g Egg Replacer
  • 6 Tbsp warm water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)

Pumpkin Filling:

  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1/2 cup soy-free Earth Balance
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375F.  Line a 15×10 jelly-roll pan with parchment paper.  Lightly oil and flour the paper.  Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar.

For Cake: With a fork or whisk, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in a small bowl.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer on medium speed, combine the egg replacer and water until foamy, about 30 seconds.   Add the granulated sugar and continue beating until it thickens up, about 2 minutes.  (It won’t be as thick as eggs, because the ener-g can’t be whipped in the same way, but the sugar/egg replacer come together nicely).  Beat in pumpkin until just combined.  Stir in the flour mixture until well combined and all lumps are gone.  Don’t use the beaters for this or you’ll risk gumminess. Spread evenly into prepared pan.  Bake for 15-17 minutes* (see note 3) until top of cake springs back when touched.  Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel.  Carefully peel off paper.  Roll up cake and towel together working from the narrow side.  Cool on wire rack (about an hour)

For Filling: Beat earth balance, powdered sugar, pumpkin and vanilla extract in a small mixing bowl until smooth.  Refrigerate until cake is cool.

Carefully unroll cake.  Spread pumpkin filling over cake.  Reroll cake.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

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Notes:

1. Use a non-terry style kitchen towel or you may end up with some of it on your cake.  Be sure you really sugar that towel or it will stick to the cake.
2. I don’t own a 10×15 pan.  I used a larger one and just didn’t spread the batter all the way to the edges, but did do it as evenly as possible.  It still did fine.  One edge was a little thin so it got a wee bit crispy.  No matter, it still rolled and all I had to do was slice that one end off. In fact, before serving to company, I would cut a tiny slice off the other end too because it makes for a cleaner/prettier edge. There’s nothing wrong with the ends though, so save them for later :)
3.  The original recipe says 13-15 minutes.  All my gluten-free baking seems to take just a little bit longer.  But, if you’d be more comfortable checking at 13 – go for it.


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A pre-emptive post on my wonky internet connection

My internet has been acting pretty wonky lately. Saturday was the second Saturday in a row where I had little to no connectivity. It was working yesterday, but they’re supposed to send a technician out today. In case they disconnect the service to work on it and are unable to straighten it out today, I just wanted to let you know that in honor of my 6th veggieversary being today, this happened.

“This” is a gluten free, soy free, vegan pumpkin roll with a pumpkin filling.  I’m hoping that the post, and the “real” photo, will be coming later today.

Pumpkin Roll, gluten-free, soy free | Veg-am

Calming the Kitchen

I realize a lot of people were probably cooking like crazy on Thanksgiving morning.  I, on the other hand, decided it would be a good time to rearrange a few things.  I wasn’t boycotting or anything, I’d just done most of my cooking on Wednesday night.

In the past few months I’ve been thinking of removing more and more plastic from the kitchen.  I’ve also been realizing, yet again, what clutter does to me emotionally.  So, I’m working on eliminating as much of that as possible too.

I had put most of my gluten free baking goods in half gallon mason jars (available from Ace Hardware), labeled them, and put them back in the cupboard where I had always stored my flours.

Finally, it struck me that every time I opened that cupboard, I smiled.  Something about the organization and the colors of those flours and sugar just made me happy.  Why keep that in the cupboard?

I pulled the jars down and put them on the counter where I could see them.  On my sister’s suggestion, I put them in alphabetical order (that also makes me really happy).

My cookbook collection was previously in this spot.  It was handy, but every time I took one out, I’d have a mini avalanche on my hands.  And ALL those colors.  It was visually a bit overwhelming at times.  With this move, the cookbooks are now safely on the top shelf of the cupboard.  Still easy to get to, but not staring me in the face all the time.
BONUS:  The jars don’t take up nearly the width of the counter as the books did, so we gained working space!!
There’s still more work to do in other areas, but I’m thankful this little area has been calmed!

Classics are Classics for a Reason: Chocolate Chip Cookies

In the tv world, the classics are in re-runs. Really…what could be better than Wally borrowing the Beav’s “turtle dirt” to make it look like they had taken a bath?

Today has just been one of those days.  I had three different options of what I wanted to post today (which means you get at least 3 more classics when I get them done) and none of them worked out for today.

So in true classic style,  I’m going to do a re-run from 2008.  It’s one of the few things I made in 2008 that I haven’t really changed.  They are a staple in my party attendance, party hosting and Christmas cookie baskets.  Besides, what discussion of food classics would be complete without a chocolate chip cookie?

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For the last couple months I’ve been desperate for a good chocolate chip cookie. It’s not that chocolate chip cookies are really a need, but when you haven’t had one in over a year, it surely seems that way. I finally found a recipe I thought I could work from! The 
original recipe was posted by Isa on the ppk

I deglutenized and changed a couple other things to meet my needs/preferemces. I usually have to try a recipe a couple times before I get the flour substitution just right, but I hit a winner first time with this one. My friend Sherry is often very hesitant about trying my cooking for fear that I will make her try something weird. When she tried these, she told me she didn’t really care what was in them and not to change a thing. Then she packed up a few and took them home.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about two dozen two inch cookies (I actually got 21)



















Flour mixture:
1/4 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup garfava (garbanzo and fava bean) flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch/flour
1/4 cup arrowroot
1-1/2 tsp xanthan gum

3/4 cup turbinado sugar
2/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup unsweetened rice milk
1 tablespoon tapioca flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life chips – they are vegan and soy/gluten free)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease two large metal baking sheets.

In a small bowl, mix together the flour mixture with a whisk or a fork. Be sure to combine them really well so the xanthan will be evenly mixed through. Set aside.

Mix together sugar, oil, milk and 1 Tbsp tapioca flour in a mixing bowl. Use a strong fork and mix really well, for about 2 minutes, until it resembles smooth caramel. There is a chemical reaction when sugar and oil collide, so it’s important that you don’t get lazy about that step. Mix in the vanilla.

Add 1 cup of the flour mixture, the baking soda and salt. Mix until well incorporated. Mix in the rest of the flour. Fold in the chocolate chips. The dough is a little sticky, so you’ll probably have to use your hands to get the chips really mixed in. For most of the cookies I’ve made, the gluten free version is much different from a “regular” cookie dough (less stiff, gooey-er) — they will still work.

For about 2 dozen two inch cookies roll dough into walnut sized balls and flatten to about 1 1/2 inches. They will spread just a bit. Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 12 minutes* until they are just a little browned around the edges. Let cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.

The only little tweak I’ve made since 2008, is that now  I flatten them a little before they bake.  It’s more of an aesthetic thing, so it’s not necessary, but they look more like a classic chocolate chip cookie and less like a little pillow. 



Classics are Classics for a Reason: Banana Puddin’ Pie

Continuing with the thought that classics are classics for a reason… While it’s true that we like things that have stood the test of time, it doesn’t hurt to mix it up.

Take “10 Things I Hate About You” for example. Same basic ingredients as “Taming of the Shrew”, but with a new spin on it.

It was no longer Shakespeare, but a classic in it’s own genre.

With that in mind, I give you …

Banana Puddin’ Pie

I don’t know if banana pudding is a classic in the rest of the world, but in the American south it is everywhere. So whip up this pie the next time you’re serving up burgers and slaw (more on those later in the month) or take it to your next picnic or potluck.  And if you’re in the south, by all means, drop the “g”.

Crust (using the instructions from the Old Fashioned Chocolate Pie at the ppk)

1-3/4 cups Vanilla Wafer crumbs (about 24 of the cookies)
4 Tbsp melted soy-free Earth Balance
3 Tbsp turbinado sugar
1 Tbsp almond milk

Combine all and press into a 9″ pie plate>  (I used a deep dish so there would be room within the crust for the cream topping, but a shallow dish would work too.)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Bake the crust for 10 minutes, remove from oven and let cool.

Filling
2 cups almond milk, divided
2-1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup white sugar
pinch salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
a couple dashes of turmeric, optional (just for color)
2 large, ripe bananas – sliced

In a small sauce pan, combine 1 cup of almond milk and cornstarch with a fork until cornstarch is dissolved.  Whisk in the remaining milk, the sugar and salt (and turmeric if using).  Whisking occasionally, bring mixture to a boil over medium heat.  As soon as the mixture boils, reduce heat to low and begin whisking continuously until the filling has thickened.  this should take about 7 minutes.
Stir in vanilla.

Form a layer of bananas in the bottom of crust, pour in half of pudding filling.  Then repeat with another layer of bananas and the remainder of the pudding.

Let cool for about 15 minutes, then top with a circle of parchment paper to prevent a skin from forming on the pudding.  Refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours.

Serve with your favorite whipped topping .

I used the sweetened coconut cream from Vegan Pie in the Sky – though this batch didn’t thicken like usual.  Ideally, it would have been thick and I would have just spread a layer of it on top of the pie.  Either way, it was delicious!

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