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About Beth

Beth created one of the first gluten-free companies in the US, wrote books, and now shares 40 years of living well without gluten in her latest book, The Complete Guide to Living Well Gluten Free. She believes no one should go without because of gluten. Through her cookbooks, lifestyle book and essays, she shows us how. Travel, restaurant dining, parties, dating, raising kids – she’s been there and takes celiac disease and the gluten free diet along for the ride. Join her as she answers all your baking and lifestyle questions.

By Beth Hillsonbaguettes with Ryze Yellow

I’ve worked with RYZE flour blends (yellow and blue) for several months now.  Here are some of my findings.  The blends produce superior results in many applications, cookies, biscuits, pie crust, scones, cakes, and muffins among them. These recipes show off the best of RYZE.

For other baked goods, specifically yeast breads, pizza and some cakes, the final results seem undercooked (gummy) on the inside although the outside is fully baked.  Some other bakers have reported the same findings.  For these items, I find that adding ½ to ¾ cup of an additional flour like sorghum, millet or corn flour brings out the best of RYZE’s characteristics.

Here’s why.  RYZE is made up of a blend of rice flours.  Just like rice itself, (think, short grain, sushi, or long grain rice) some of these rice flours absorb more liquid than others.  That’s the beauty of RYZE.  The added moisture produces baked goods that remain moist for several days even when I’ve left them on the counter.   That’s amazing in itself since gluten free products dry out so quickly.

That isn’t necessarily the best when it comes to yeast bread recipes, I’ve found.  The moisture retention produces a gummy inside texture.  The fix is pretty simple.  I added sorghum flour to “tame” those hydroscopic properties.  In these baguettes, I also added almond flour and potato flakes.  The result was terrific.  The baguette recipe is one that you will want to make over and over.

RYZE is still revolutionary, even for these recipes.  Think about it.  You get the best of gluten free flour –  products with great texture and moisture – and without any gums.  I don’t know about you, but until now, I have always used a lot of gum in breads and pizza, so this is pretty liberating.

Want to try RYZE blends for yourself? 

I’m doing a giveaway to ten lucky people.  Just “Like’ Gluten-free Makeovers on facebook or send me an email at beth@glutenfreemakeovers.com and you’ll be entered to win.  I’ll tell you more soon.

Culinary Curiosity

Meanwhile, I hope you’ll make these baguettes.  Let me know what you think.   If you’ve tried RYZE flour blends, share your findings on my facebook page, too.  You can purchase RYZE flour blends at Amazon or wait for the drawing.  Perhaps you’ll be one of our lucky winners.

Honey Sesame Baguettes
Makes 3 baguettes

This might just become your new favorite go-to bread.  These chewy baguettes are full of flavor and texture thanks to a blend of RYZE Yellow flour and a few additional ingredients.  The RYZE flour adds moisture, too, so the crumb is delicate and delicious.  Cooled baguettes freeze well.

2 tablespoons ground flax seed
3 tablespoons hot water
2 cups RYZE Yellow Flour Blend
1 cup sorghum flour
¼ cup almond flour
¼ cup potato flakes
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/3 cup safflower oil or other neutral oil
3 tablespoons honey
2 large eggs
1 ½ cups warm milk or water (about 100° F)
Beaten egg to brush on baguettes
Sesame seeds, optional

Line a 3-channel baguette pan with strips of parchment paper.  Each should be a little wider than the channel.   Spray the parchment sheets with PAM spray and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the flax and hot water and set aside until mixture thickens.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large bowl, if blending by hand), place Ryze flour, sorghum flour, almond flour, potato flakes, baking powder, and salt.  Mix on low speed until well combined. Add the yeast and mix again until well combined.

Combine oil, honey and eggs, and mix.  Add egg mixture and milk to dry ingredients.

Turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat for 4 minutes. The dough should be thick and smooth.

Scoop an equal amount of the dough into each of the 3 baguette forms.  Smooth the dough with the sides of the parchment paper.

Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in a warm, moist, draft-free spot to rise for 30 to 40 minutes.

While the baguettes are rising, preheat oven to 375°F.  When nearly doubled in size, brush the top of each baguette with the beaten egg and sprinkle the top with sesame seeds, if using.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven until lightly browned.  Cover baguettes with aluminum foil or parchment paper after about 20 minutes if the tops are browning too quickly.

Remove to a cooling rack and cool completely before slicing.  Or pull apart pieces of warm bread, dip in olive oil and enjoy.

Recipe from Beth Hillson
Serves 16Fourth of July Cake

Here’s a great way to celebrate the Fourth of July.  Layers are colored red and blue with the help of Jell-O. Fresh strawberries and blueberries are a no-fuss decoration and whipped cream makes the cake look luscious. The cake can be stored, well wrapped, for 3 days in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.

Make this easy, decorative dessert for any celebration by varying the Jell-O flavors and colors to match the holiday.  This works with natural gelatin products, too.  If you can’t find the color you want, use unflavored gelatin and color with natural food dye. Add a few drops of a flavor extract of your choice, if desired.

1 recipe (2 layers) baked Perfect Layer Cake (below)
2 cups boiling water, divided
1 (3-ounce) package Jell-O raspberry or strawberry gelatin
1 (3-ounce) package Jell-O berry blue gelatin
1 (8-ounce) container very cold heavy cream, coconut cream or prepared whipped topping, divided
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries

Prepare Perfect Layer Cake.  Cool the 2 baked layers in their pans. Pierce each cake with a fork at ½-inch intervals.

Using 2 medium bowls, add 1 cup boiling water to each Jell-O flavor. Stir well to dissolve. Pour raspberry-flavored Jell-O over 1 cake layer and berry blue over other cake layer. Refrigerate several hours until firm.

Make whipped cream by beating heavy cream on medium speed, then high speed until thick. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and beat until mixture is very thick. Refrigerate until ready to use. (If using prepared dairy-free whipped topping, skip this step.)

To unmold cake layers, place each pan in a sink with hot water touching just the bottom of the pan for 15 to 30 seconds. Unmold one layer by inverting it onto a cake plate. Spread 1 cup whipped cream on top. Unmold other layer and place on top of whipped cream.

Frost top of cake with more whipped cream. If desired, use extra whipped cream to frost sides of the cake. Decorate with berries. Refrigerate about 1 hour before serving.

Perfect Gluten-Free Layer Cake
Makes 2, 9-inch layers

This makes a great layer cake that can be decorated any way you wish.  For other cakes, you’ll want to dust the layer cake pans with white rice flour. For the Fourth of July Cake, do not dust the pans.

2½ cups Cake & Pastry Flour Blend (follows)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1¼ teaspoons xanthan gum
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ½ cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¾ cup milk of choice

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two 9-inch round cake pans that are 2 inches deep.  Do not dust with flour if making Fourth of July Cake.

Combine flour blend, baking powder, xanthan gum, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Whisk until well blended. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat on medium speed 2 minutes or until batter is smooth. Mix in dry ingredients. Add milk and beat until smooth.

Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and smooth tops. Place in preheated oven and bake 23 to 25 minutes or until tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and let cool in the pans. Follow directions above to make Fourth of July Cake or let cool 10 minutes in pans and turn layers out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Baker’s Tip:  Use this recipe to make 24 cupcakes.  To make cupcakes, spoon batter evenly into cups, filling about 2/3 full, and bake in preheated oven 15 to 18 minutes or until tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes in pans before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.  Frost when cool.

Cake & Pastry Flour Blend

MAKES 2½ CUPS

1 cup white rice flour
¾ cup sorghum flour
¾ cup cornstarch, tapioca starch/flour or potato starch (not potato flour)

Whisk ingredients together. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before using.

 

Recipe by Beth Hillson
Makes 14 to 16 cookies

These yummy, not-too-sweet cookies are healthy and satisfying – great for breakfast on the go, brunch or snacking.  Blueberry Breakfast CookiesDouble the recipe, wrap well, and store in the freezer.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free blend
1/2 cup whole grain gluten-free flour (like amaranth, buckwheat, or sorghum)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon salt
1⁄3 cup packed light brown sugar, more for sprinkling on top
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 tablespoon cold unsalted butter or buttery non-dairy spread, cut into small pieces
2 large eggs
½ cup yogurt, soy or coconut yogurt plus 2 tablespoons for brushing tops of cookies
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¾ cup fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained
½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts or crispy gluten-free cereal

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Combine the flour blend, whole grain flour, xanthan gum, salt, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Mix until the brown sugar is blended into the ingredients. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

In a separate bowl using a mixer, beat the eggs, yogurt and vanilla for 1 minute.  Add to the dry ingredients and beat until smooth. Fold in the blueberries and nuts.

Using a medium scoop, scoop the dough onto the prepared cookie sheets, leaving about 1 inch between each. Use a sheet of plastic wrap to gently press and smooth the cookies into ½ -inch-thick disks. Brush with additional yogurt, sprinkle with brown sugar, and bake for 19 to 20 minutes. Serve warm.

The cookies may be reheated. These freeze well.

 

Recipe From Beth Hillson
Makes one 9-inch springform pie or two 9-inch pies

What’s easy as pie and three times more decadent?  How about a Cherry Chocolate Hot Fudge Sundae Pie nestled in a chocolate macaroon crust? I drool just thinking about this incredible treat.  Besides, the preparation is quick.  Just assemble and freeze until about 20 minutes before serving.  Your guests will be impressed!

I’ve made this as a dairy-free ice cream pie (yup, dairy-free) by using Coconut Bliss Cherry Amaretto Frozen Dessert.  However, I’ve also made it with Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream or frozen yogurt.  The results are always amazing. Perfect for all the summer picnics at hand or make this for a festive winter party, too.  Cut the crust into biscuit-size circles and layer with ice cream and hot fudge sauce in pretty glasses, too.

Macaroon Crust  Cherry Hot Fudge Ice Cream Pie log_edited-1

1 tablespoon safflower or coconut oil
1/3 cup chocolate chips, melted
3 1/4 cups unsweetened, shredded coconut
1/3 cup sugar
2 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon salt

To Make the Crust

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In a microwavable bowl, combine oil and chocolate chips.  Microwave on medium power for 30 second intervals until chips are just melted.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the coconut, sugar, egg whites, and salt, mixing until all of the coconut is moistened. Fold in the melted chocolate mixture.  Press the mixture into a 9-inch springform pan pressing evenly over the bottom of the pan and up the sides.  Alternatively, press into the bottom of 2, 9-inch pie pans. Place the pan (s) on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden and slightly crispy. Let cool completely.

To Make the Filling

2 pints Coconut Bliss Cherry Amaretto Frozen Dessert or use your favorite ice cream
Gluten-free hot chocolate fudge sauce, warmed or Hershey’s Chocolate Sauce
Pitted dark cherries, frozen or fresh, for topping

While preparing the crust, set the ice cream on the counter to soften slightly.  Spread one pint of ice cream over the cooled crust.  Smooth the top. Spread the second pint over the first layer. Spread evenly on top. (You may not need all of the second pint.)  Freeze until the ice cream is totally frozen, about 4 to 6 hours or overnight. Right before serving, drizzle with warm hot fudge sauce.  Top with cherries, if desired.

To slice, let sit at room temperature for a few minutes.  Use a large knife dipped in warm water to cut the slices. Serve immediately with extra chocolate fudge sauce and cherries.

 

From Beth Hillson

When I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 1976, I lived in Europe.  Glorious food was everywhere, but I didn’t know what I could and couldn’t eat.  Sure, I stayed away from the obvious like brioche, croissant and pizza.  (It brings tears to my eyes to think about all the goodies I missed.)  But the subtle hidden sources of gluten were a problem and for that I went to culinary school – Cordon Bleu and Dieppe Cooking School for starters – to better understand the important components of baking and cooking.  Along with learning important questions to ask (Is the fish dusted in flour? Is the sauce thickened?), I also learned to bake flaky crusts and brioche that, of course, I couldn’t eat.

Being a pioneering woman, I started to make over those recipes, maintaining the ratios but replacing the flour with rice flour and cornstarch, the only two ingredients I had in my pantry at the time.  The results were decent enough to keep me returning to my mixing bowls.  But I knew there was room for improvement – sometimes those crusts were more crumbly than flaky and rolls often bounced or served as doorstops.  I shudder to think of how many gluten free sandwiches have fallen apart in my hands depositing mayonnaise, cold cuts and chunks of dry bread in my lap.

I knew I had a long way to go to replicate those rich baked goods that Chef La Court had taught us to make in France. But I was willing to try.  After all, I reaped the benefits!

Admittedly, my Gluten-Free Pantry (GFP) mixes were light years ahead of anything else available in the eighties and nineties – revolutionary, almost.  They provided many, many celiac patients with delicious homemade breads, muffins, brownies and such, and raised the standard we came to expect of our gluten free baked goods.

Since creating GFP in 1993, each iteration of gluten free baking has come closer to perfect.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’ve consumed my share of gritty, crumbly and dry food in my quest for excellent products.  I’ve also tasted some amazing food along the way.

So, when RYZE Gluten Free asked me to try their new products (think, baking blends), I didn’t know what to expect – more gritty muffins and cookies or a product that might raise the bar once again.RYZE bags

I tried their flour in my favorite biscotti recipe – chocolate pistachio biscotti, a recipe I know is already great.  It seemed like that would be a good benchmark, a great way to compare something new with something tried and true.

I replaced my complicated flour blend with an equal amount of RYZE flour.  Yup, just one ingredient (well, actually two- whole grain brown rice and white rice), no gums, no starches.  Without starches and gums, RYZE also has a better nutritional profile than most flour blends.

I wondered how RYZE would stand up to a pantry-full of flours.  I mixed up the recipe and formed it into a log.  Then I popped it into the oven for the first baking. Here comes the tricky part.  Gluten free biscotti is difficult to cut.  I always lose some slices to breakage and crumbling.  I cooled the log, transferred it to a cutting board and began to slice.  The first slice came away whole – no breakage; no crumbled edges.  The second was the same.  I was able to cut the third, fourth, and fifth without losing a single slice.  Hmmm.  Pretty amazing.

When I finished cutting the biscotti, I baked them again, cooled them and stored them.  I brought some to my sister who is also a gluten free baker.  The biscotti recipe is really hers.  Her first question was, what did you do to keep them from crumbling?

I knew then that I was on to something– something revolutionary.

I’ve since made focaccia, biscuits, cookies and much more.  All are moist, light and have a delicate crumb.  I’ll share more recipes another time.  For now, I have to say that RYZE Gluten Free raises the bar … and lucky for all of us gluten free bakers.

Here’s my recipe to Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti and a picture of the RYZE packages.

biscotti for blog

 

Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti
Makes 20 Biscotti

I’ve made the biscotti with pistachios and with hazelnuts.  Both are equally tasty.

1 ½ cups RYZE Blue Blend
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick) softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¾ cup shelled pistachios or chopped toasted hazelnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a shallow baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk together the dry ingredients: RYZE Blend, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a medium bowl, beat the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).

Add the eggs and vanilla to the butter mixture and beat until blended.  Add the dry ingredients and beat until incorporated.

Fold in the nuts.  Knead mixture with your hands until smooth and nuts are well incorporated.

On prepared baking sheet, form the mixture into a log that is about 16 inches long and about 5 inches wide.

Bake 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven to cool for 10 minutes.  Maintain the oven temperature.

When cool enough to touch, gently transfer the log to a cutting board.  Cut into about 20 slices of even thickness.  Turn the biscotti on their sides on the baking sheet and bake 20 minutes.

Cool and store in an airtight container for several days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

RYZE has two formulas – blue and yellow.  Both are simply whole grain brown rice and white rice – no gums, no starches.  They are designed for specific types of baking, spelled out on each package.  The web site, just launched, has lots more recipes to try.  In addition, you’ll have good luck replacing your flour blend with one of the RYZE blends in a 1 to 1 replacement for all your favorite recipes.  RYZE products will be available at Amazon.com beginning in May.

From Beth Hillson
Makes 1 loaf (14 servings)rasp banana choc bread

Could anything be better than having three favorite flavors packed into one recipe?  In this loaf, raspberries, banana and chocolate blend together to make a slightly sweet loaf that is as pretty as it is delicious.  Leftovers can be sliced and frozen.  Thaw and reheat in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.

2 cups Beth’s Gluten-Free Quick Bread Flour Blend + 1 tablespoon (next)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup granulated white sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 medium bananas)
1/3 cup plain low fat yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup dark or semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup halved raspberries

Additional raspberries and chocolate chips for topping, optional

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together the 2 cups of flour blend and baking soda.

In a separate large bowl, beat the sugar and butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the banana, yogurt, and vanilla; beat until blended. Stir in the flour mixture.  Mix just until moist.  Fold in the chocolate chips.  Gently toss the raspberries with the remaining 1 tablespoon of flour blend and fold into batter.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Top with a few additional chocolate chips and raspberries, if desired.

Bake for 60 to 65 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean and the top feels firm to the touch.

Cool 15 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Remove from pan and cool completely on the wire rack.

Beth’s Gluten-Free Quick Bread Flour Blend

Several flours are interchangeable in this flour blend.  You’ll see them noted here.  I prefer using cornstarch as it produces a lighter quick bread loaf. However, potato starch produces a chewier texture in the beer bread.  Take your pick according to preference and food sensitivities.

Combine these ingredients.  Blend well, then scoop out the amount needed for your recipe.

1 cup sorghum flour (or corn or brown rice flour)
¾ cup rice flour (or buckwheat flour)
¾ cup cornstarch (or potato starch or tapioca starch flour)
½ cup amaranth flour (or quinoa, buckwheat, or millet flour)
2 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum
1 ¼  teaspoons salt

From Beth Hillson

The best thing about quick breads is suggested in the name.  With no yeast to coax into rising and no long waits or kneading, quick breads reach lofty limits via fast-acting baking powder or baking soda or both.  Once liquids and leavening touch, the action begins; quick bread goes right into the oven to maximize the chemical reaction that is beginning. Best yet, quick breads can be enjoyed by those who are gluten free and yeast free and miss their bread.  Owing to the light texture and sumptuous flavor of this bread, no one misses out!

Honey Beer Breadbeer bread for blog

Makes 1 loaf (14 servings)

This recipe produces a light and moist loaf.  You can replace the beer with an equal amount of seltzer water to turn this into a wonderful, yeast-free sandwich bread.

3 cups Beth’s Gluten-Free Quick Bread Flour Blend (next)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon white sugar, optional
3 large eggs at room temperature
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons honey
1 1/3 cups gluten-free beer or seltzer water at room temperature
2 teaspoons melted butter or dairy-free buttery spread for topping

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.

Mix flour blend, baking powder, and sugar, if used, together in a bowl.

Beat eggs, olive oil, and honey together in a separate large bowl; add flour mixture and beat with an electric mixer until you get a smooth batter. Stir beer into the batter and beat batter until smooth.  Transfer to prepared loaf pan. Brush the top of the loaf with melted butter.

Bake in preheated oven until cake tester comes out clean, about 45 to 50 minutes.

Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Turn bread out onto wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

Beth’s Gluten-Free Quick Bread Flour Blend

Several flours are interchangeable in a flour blend.  You’ll see them noted here.  I prefer using cornstarch as it produces a lighter quick bread loaf. However, potato starch produces a chewier texture in the beer bread.  Take your pick according to preference and food sensitivities.

Combine these ingredients.  Blend well, then scoop out the amount needed for your recipe.

1 cup sorghum flour (or corn or brown rice flour)
¾ cup rice flour (or buckwheat flour)
¾ cup cornstarch (or potato starch or tapioca starch flour)
½ cup amaranth flour (or quinoa, buckwheat, or millet flour)
2 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum
1 ¼  teaspoons salt

 

Recipe from Beth Hillson
Makes 36 cookies

These chewy cookies are laced with brown sugar and sweet butterscotch chips.  Adding a sea salt topping creates an explosion of flavors.  Easy to make, these are perfect for holiday cookie swaps and gifting but you’ll want these on your table for every occasion.

sweet and salty butterscotch cookies

2 cups gluten free cake and cookie blend (below)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup gluten free butterscotch chips such as Hershey or Guittard brand
Sea salt, for garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour blend, baking soda, and cinnamon. Set aside.

Place butter and brown sugar in the large mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the egg and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until combined.

Add the dry ingredients. Mix until the just combined. Stir in the butterscotch chips.

Using a spoon or cookie scoop, form tablespoons size balls of cookie dough. Top with a sprinkle of sea salt.  Press into the dough. Place on balls on prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges. Do not over bake. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack and cool completely. Store in an air-tight container for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Cake and Cookie Flour Blend

This makes enough flour blend for several of your favorite holiday cookie recipes.

2 cup sweet white sorghum flour
2 cup white rice flour
1 ½ cups cornstarch
3 teaspoons xanthan gum (or guar gum)
1 teaspoon salt

Mix to combine.  Store leftover blend in a zip-lock bag in the refrigerator.

Recipe by Beth Hillson
Makes 30 to 32 cookies

holiday sugar cookies

These rich, buttery cookies are slightly crisp on the outside with a chewy center. They have quickly become my favorite cookies; they’ll be yours, too.

Dip dough in colorful sanding sugar to turn them into beautiful holiday cookies.  Top with chopped pecans or fold chopped, toasted nuts into the batter to create another variety. Perfect for cookie swaps and gifting, you’ll be making these cookies for occasions all year long.

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1½ cups granulated sugar
1 large egg
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups cookie and cake flour blend (below)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sour cream
Sanding sugar or sprinkles (optional)

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down sides with spatula. Add egg and vanilla. Mix until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour blend, baking powder, and baking soda. Add half to wet ingredients, mixing on low speed. Then add sour cream and combine. Finally, add the rest of the dry ingredients. Mix until the dough is well blended.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Roll dough into walnut-size balls.  Dip one side in sugar (if using). Place sugar-side up on parchment-lined baking sheets, two inches apart as dough will spread.

Bake for 15 minutes, until edges start to brown slightly.

Cool for 10 minutes in pans before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Cooled cookies will keep in an air-tight container at room temperature for several days and can be frozen for up to 2 months.

TIP:  Can’t have dairy products?  Replace butter with dairy-free buttery sticks from Earth Balance and sour cream with dairy-free sour cream from Tofutti or Follow Your Heart.  For lactose-free sour cream, check out Green Valley Organics.

Cake and Cookie Flour Blend

This makes enough flour blend for several batches of your favorite cookie recipes.

2 cup sweet white sorghum flour
2 cup white rice flour
1 ½ cups cornstarch
3 teaspoons xanthan gum (or guar gum)
1 teaspoon salt

Mix to combine.  Store leftover blend in a zip-lock bag in the refrigerator.

 

Recipe by Beth Hillson
Serves 4turkey pumpkin chili

This is an easy chili that everyone will love.  Don’t tell them it’s healthy, too.  You can double or triple this to feed a crowd and up the spices if your guests like the heat. Try replacing pumpkin with butternut squash, too.  However, do not add brown sugar as the squash is much sweeter than pumpkin. Top with sour cream or cheddar cheese.

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound ground dark meat turkey
2 teaspoons fajita or taco seasoning
2 teaspoons chili powder
¼ to ½ teaspoon chipotle powder
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juice
3 cups cubed fresh pumpkin or butternut squash
2 tablespoons brown sugar (omit if using butternut squash)
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
Cooked brown rice
Sour cream or grated cheddar cheese

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; brown turkey, stirring often, until crumbly and no longer, pink, about 10 minutes. Drain and discard any fat.  Add the spices and use a slotted spoon to transfer to a plate.

Heat remaining olive oil in the pan and add onion and garlic.  Sauté over low heat until the onion is translucent.  Add back the turkey.  Stir to combine.  Add tomatoes, pumpkin, sugar and vinegar to the pan.  Cook, covered, on low heat until pumpkin is tender and has started to break apart, about 30 to 40 minutes.  Add the beans and cook an additional 15 minutes.  Check seasonings and add salt and pepper if desired.

Serve with rice and sour cream.