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Recipe from Beth Hillson
Makes 20 to 22 cookies

These shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate make for delightful treats and great holiday gifts. They look just like the Keebler Cookies but taste even better! I used RYZE Blue Flour Blend in place of my own blend. I discovered that this blend makes fabulous cookies – better than any other flour blend I’ve tried. So, maybe I’ve given away Keebler’s trade secret (not), but this little discovery about RYZE is just between us gluten free bakers. If you prefer, omit the chocolate step and use this recipe for cutout holiday cookies.

2 cups RYZE Blue Flour Blend
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
16 ounces chocolate chips, melted*

For the Cookies:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine RYZE flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Beat butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla and beat to combine.

On low speed, slowly add flour mixture, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl until a soft dough forms.

Turn dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Cover with a second sheet of plastic wrap and roll to 1/4-inch thickness.

Use a 2 ½ inch biscuit or other circle cutter to cut out cookies. Use a ¼ to ½ inch circle to cut out the centers. Gather the extra dough from around the sides of the cutouts. Slide the piece of plastic with the cut out cookies onto a cutting board or the back of a baking sheet and refrigerate for 15 minutes so the cookies can be lifted without tearing.

Place cookies on prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes until edges are just barely golden brown.

Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

Gather remnants of dough into a ball, roll out and cut into more circles as above.

To make the Fudge Stripes and Bottoms:

Spread wax paper on your countertop. Dip bottoms of cookies in melted chocolate, allowing excess to drip off before placing on wax paper.

Once all of the cookies have been coated in chocolate on one side, transfer the remaining chocolate to a small pastry bag fitted with a small, plain tip or a plastic baggie with a hole snipped off one corner.

Drizzle each cookie with stripes. Let chocolate firm up before serving cookies.

*Here’s a tip for melting the chocolate: Melt ¾ of the chocolate in a large heat-proof bowl over boiling water. Remove from the heat and add 1 to 2 teaspoons of the hot water (or more) until chocolate is smooth but not too thin. Add remaining chocolate to melted chocolate and stir until smooth. Add more boiling water if necessary.

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.

A Recipe From Beth

Tate’s Bake Shop GF Ginger Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches
One Serving

I’m okay taking shortcuts when the results are delicious and impressive.  And during the holiday season, I’m all about doing things the easy way.  This fun dessert is exactly that — bursting with flavor and embarrassingly simple.  I start with two top notch ingredients — yummy tasting Ginger Cookies from Tate’s Bake Shop and exquisitely rich ginger ice cream from Bart’s Homemade Ice Cream.  My guests assemble their own ice cream sandwiches.  I sit back and collect the ooh’s and ah’s.

First, let me tell you a little bit about the amazingly talented baker behind these cookies.  If you visit Southampton, NY with its charming beach community and New York chicness, you’ll come upon a little bake shop called Tate’s.  It’s legendary around the Hamptons.  Creator, Kathleen King, has been baking here forever.  Long before she decided to turn her amazing cookies into gluten free gems,  I was making over recipes from her first cookbook so I could enjoy the gluten free versions.

Now Tate’s Bake Shop makes a gluten free line of cookies (in a dedicated facility) that will knock your socks off.  I was beyond excited to receive a gift basket of their goodies.  The butter, the crunch.  Wow.  My friend, Gail, had just served Tate’s Ginger Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches with ginger ice cream at a dinner party. The cookies are peppered with bites of crystallized ginger.  I was over the moon.  I had to recreate that “recipe” for you here.

ginger zinger ice cream sandwich

2 Tate’s Ginger Zinger Cookies
1 scoop (about ¼ cup) Bart’s Homemade Ginger Ice Cream (it says GF on the label) or another good quality ginger ice cream
Warm Hot Fudge Sauce, if desired

Soften the ice cream a bit then spread it over the flat side of one cookie.  Top with the second cookie (flat side pressed onto the ice cream.  Dip in warm hot fudge sauce if you wish.  Eat every morsel!  Ask for more!

A Giveaway Giveaway Goodies from Tate's

Tate’s has offered to send a gift basket of gluten free goodies to one lucky person reading my blog.  Just send me an email at beth@glutenfreemakeovers.com to be entered in this giveaway.  Hurry.  You’ll have to reply by December 31, 2014.

 

My friend Pat sent me her recipe for Fruit Rocks.  It called for all-purpose flour.  That was the easy part.  It also called for a supermarket’s worth of candied fruit, chopped pecans and dates.  The amount seemed like a lot for the quantity of flour.A Miniature Fruitcake Only Better

To my delight, I met Pat and her husband at a cooking class I did in Atlanta in March.  She brought me some of her fruit rock cookies made gluten free.  They were yummy, but very dense.  Chockfull of fruit and nuts, they reminded me of fruitcake.  But they were crumbly, too.  My baker’s instinct told me, indeed, there was too much fruit.

Upon researching this old fashion cookie, I discovered a number of variations.  Some were listed as Russian Rock Cookies.  Others were called Christmas Rock Cookies.  One called for cocoa, another for lemon juice, a third for raisins.

I kept many parts of Pat’s recipe – – the candied cherries, chopped dates, and pecans.  I added cocoa but did not add raisins. Then I created a flour blend – – an enhanced version of my cake and pastry flour from Gluten-Free Makeovers and increased the fat a bit, but not as much as one of the other recipes would have added.  It seemed like the cookies should be delicate, but sturdy enough to keep the chopped fruit suspended.

The results were delicious. These are like “loaded” miniature fruitcakes only better.  The flavor and texture will keep you coming back for more.

One batch makes enough for all your holiday gifts.

Fruit Rock Cookies (makes about 96 cookies)

1 cup white rice flour
1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup cornstarch (or tapioca starch)
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
¾ pound (12 ounces) chopped pecans
1, 4-ounce container red candied cherries, chopped
1, 4-ounce container green candied cherries, chopped
½  pound candied peel and fruit mix
½  pound chopped dates
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter or dairy-free alternative, at room temperature
6 tablespoons Earth Balance organic shortening, at room temperature
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 4 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Set aside.

Blend flours, cornstarch, xanthan gum, salt, cocoa powder, baking soda, and spices.  Whisk until cocoa is evenly dispersed.  Remove ½ cup of flour mixture.

Combine chopped pecans, cherries, peel and fruit mix, and dates.  Toss with reserved ½ cup of flour blend.  Set aside.

Cream sugar with butter and shortening until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat until fluffy.  Add the remaining flour mixture to butter mixture. Stir in lemon juice and vanilla extract.  Add water and stir until mixture is smooth.

Fold fruit mixture into batter, mixing thoroughly.  Drop by teaspoon onto prepared baking sheet, about one inch apart. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes. Do not over-brown.

Store cookies in jars for up to a week or freeze for later use.

“I have a friend who is new to the gluten free diet.  She wanted to do these Candy Cane Cookies for her family at Christmas.  Needless to say, these traditional favorites are not the same when you make them gluten free.  If you can help my friend, Charlotte, I would appreciate it.  Thank you,” writes Marie from Maryland.

Marie sent me the original recipe from a Gold Medal Flour cookbook.  Initially I thought the gluten-free version of the cookies would not be sturdy enough to maintain its shape without crumbling.  Isn’t that always the challenge when making gluten-free baked goods?  Then I remembered a recipe I made over last year for Spritz cookies.  I remembered the challenge was finding a blend and a balance of ingredients that created structure but still tasted delicious and was not crumbly.  The problem is that Cut Out cookies, Spritz cookies and Candy Cane cookies spread and lose their shape if you make them following a one-to-one substitution.  I needed a special blend, a delicate balance.

So what I did it.  I added a little more flour blend than the original recipe calls for (about 2 tablespoons more) just as I had for the Spritz cookies.  And I added ¼ cup additional confectioners’ sugar.  It not only adds more sweetness but also, the added cornstarch helps add structure.

The result was these light, rich, cookies that are both sturdy and delicate.  They are fun to make so invite extras into the kitchen to help form the canes.    Enjoy!

Candy Cane Cookies
Makes 40 to 48 cookies

1 cup white rice flour
¾ cup sorghum flour
½ cup cornstarch
1/3 cup tapioca starch
1 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 sticks) unsalted butter, softened (or dairy-free substitute)
½ cup (1 stick) Earth Balance or other organic shortening
1 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
1 large egg
1½ teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon red food coloring*
½ cup crushed candy cane candy
½ cup granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 3 to 4 cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine rice flour, sorghum flour, cornstarch, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, and salt. Whisk to combine. Sift and set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream the butter, shortening, confectioners’ sugar, and egg until fluffy.  Add flavorings and beat briefly to combine.  Add the flour mixture and beat briefly to combine.  Divide dough in half.  Blend food coloring into one half.

Roll a 4-inch strip (using 1 teaspoon of dough) from each color.  Roll the strips back and forth to smooth the surface then place strips side by side and press together lightly.  Twist like a rope by rolling together or twisting like a rope.  Experiment to see which method works best for you.  Just be careful not to blend the two strands or the candy cane cookies will look more marbled than twisted.

Place on prepared cookie sheets.  Curve the top down to form the handle of the cane.  Bake 9 minutes, until lightly browned.  While still warm, sprinkle with candy-sugar mixture.   Cool completely before storing.

*Natural food coloring is available through IndiaTree.com

TIP:  Instead of crushed peppermint candy and granulated sugar, dust with red or green sanding sugar when the cookies come out of the oven.