Monday, May 4, 2009

Gluten Free Girl Scout Samoas (Caramel deLites)

Samoas were my favorite type of girl-scout cookie before going gluten-free. Now I haven't had one in over two years. When I saw a recipe for homemade Samoas, I knew I had to make a batch that was gluten-free.

These take a while to make and are completely terrible for you but it's so worth it!

  • 1 cup Butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 2 cups Gluten-Free Flour*
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 tsp Xanthan Gum
Caramel-Coconut Topping:
  • 3 cups shredded Coconut (sweetened or not)
  • 12 oz Caramels (I used Milk Maids)
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 3 tbsp Milk
  • 8oz Semisweet Milk Chocolate
* For the flour mix, I used Bette Hagman's Mix with great success: 2 parts garfava flour, 1 part sorghum flour, 3 parts cornstarch and 3 parts tapioca flour. Feel free to experiment with your own mix.

  1. Cream together butter and sugar.
  2. Mix in flour, baking powder, salt and xanthan gum at low speed.
  3. Stir in vanilla. If dough is too dry, add milk 1 tbsp at a time. If dough is too sticky, add flour 1 tbsp at a time. I ended up adding about 3 tbsp extra flour.
  4. Roll dough to slightly less than 1/4" thick between two pieces of well floured parchment paper (I used sweet-rice-flour).
  5. Using a circle cookie cutter about 1.5-2" in diameter, make rounds out of the flattened dough. Use a knife to cut out the center of each round. The end result should look kind of like a flat doughnut.
  6. Reroll left over dough and continue making rounds until no dough remains. Keep rolling surfaces well floured.
  7. On a parchment lined baking sheet, bake cookies in preheated oven at 350F for 10-12 minutes or until the edges start to brown.
  8. When removing them from the oven, it is very important that you do not break them. They will be very fragile until they cool. Allow to cool completely before topping with caramel coconut mixture.
  9. Lower oven temperature to 300F. Spread coconut evenly on parchment lined baking sheet and toast for 20 minutes. Stir every 5 minutes until coconut is evenly browned. Cool on baking sheet.
  10. Unwrap caramels and place in a large microwave-safe bowl with milk and salt. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stirring every 45 seconds or so until well combined.
  11. Fold in shredded coconut.
  12. Using a high quality silicone spatula, spread caramel mixture even onto cooled cookies. You may break the cookies doing this, but do not worry, the caramel will hold it all together when cooled. Reheat caramel mixture as necessary while spreading.
  13. Allow caramel mixture to set.
  14. Melt chocolate in microwave, stirring every 40 seconds or so to prevent scorching.
  15. Turn cookies upside down on parchment paper and spread a thin layer of chocolate on bottom of cookies. Transfer cookies top-down to fridge to harden chocolate before proceeding to next step.
  16. Using the remaining melted chocolate (or melt more), pipe topping onto cookies. I used a plastic bag with a small hole cut in the corner.
  17. Allow chocolate topping to harden before storing in airtight container.
You probably don't want to know the nutrition information... I ended up with about 22 big cookies: 287 calories, 146 from fat, 17g fat, 11.1g sat fat, 23mg chol., 35g carbs, 2g fiber, 24g sugar, 2.2g protein. Yikes!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Banana Maple Pecan Muffins (Gluten-Free)

If you ever had wondered what to do with overripe bananas, you can stop now. I have come across banana bread nirvana. Original recipe credit goes to Chris on the Delphi forums.

I bought about 20 pounds of bananas from Kroger for $1.00 and have been trying several recipes to use them up. I made 2 different banana breads and some banana butter. The first banana bread I made turned out rather dry and tasteless; the banana butter fixed that but I was still searching for something more. This particular recipe was my favorite creation by far and my favorite banana bread to date. I delivered 8 of these fresh out of the oven to my mother and her coworkers (about 10 minutes away, I drove quickly).

I doubled the recipe and ended up with 39 regular sized muffins. After baking the first half of the batter, I ran out of pecans for the topping. To top the remaining muffins, I devised a cream cheese frosting. Both toppings are absolutely delicious. I made one or two muffins with both toppings and they were especially sinful. This could probably be made into a loaf instead of muffins, but the batter is rather dense and would probably not work well.

  • 3 ripe Bananas
  • 1/3 cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 cup chopped Pecans
  • 2 cups Gluten-Free Flour*
  • 1 tsp Xanthan Gum
  • 1 cup packed Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (equal parts cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger)
  • 2 tbsp Dry Buttermilk Powder
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 cup Water
Maple Pecan Topping:

  • 3/4 cup chopped Pecans
  • 1/4 cup Pure Maple Syrup
Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 6oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 cup packed Brown Sugar
* For the flour mix, I used Bette Hagman's Mix with great success: 2 parts garfava flour, 1 part sorghum flour, 3 parts cornstarch and 3 parts tapioca flour. Feel free to experiment with your own mix.

  1. Combine mashed bananas with 1/3 cup maple syrup and 1/2 cup pecans. Mix well and set aside.
  2. Combine flour, xanthan gum, sugar, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice and dry buttermilk. Alternatively, if you do not have premixed pumpkin pie spice, use equal parts cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg (I used extra cinnamon). Mix together well.
  3. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients. Combine eggs, oil, and water in separate bowl. Pour into center of dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon just until dry ingredients are incorporated.
  4. Use a spatula or knife to make three or four "troughs" in the dough/batter. Spoon banana mixture into troughs. Gently fold bananas into dough with knife.
  5. Spoon dough into muffin cups. If using maple pecan topping, sprinkle muffins with maple pecan mixture prior to baking. If using cream cheese frosting, beat ingredients together and spread on tops of muffins after they are baked, not before.
  6. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until they test done. Try not to underbake, I baked mine for a little longer, maybe 22-23 minutes. Makes about 18 good sized muffins.
Be sure to post a review of my recipe on Recipezaar:
You probably don't want to know the nutrition information...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Bull's Eyes

I haven't had a Goetze's Bull's Eye caramel in over 2 years. For some reason, they have wheat in them. I have tried searching for a copycat recipe that I could modify to be Gluten-Free but came up empty handed. I could only find copycat recipes for some sort of BBQ sauce (not exactly what I had in mind). So instead I made my own! I used a recipe for caramels and a separate recipe for the cream filling. The resulting caramels from this recipe are much more creamier than authentic Bull's Eyes and I think they taste better for it. These are also terrible for you, so don't eat too many.

  • 2 cups Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 cup Condensed Milk
  • 2 cups Light Corn Syrup
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 2 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Butter, softened
Cream Filling:
  • 1/8 oz unflavored Gelatin (1/2 an envelope)
  • 2 tbsp Cold Water
  • 1/2 cup Shortening
  • 2 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Powdered Sugar, for dusting
  1. Prepare a 9x9 pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Combine the cream and condensed milk in a small saucepan and place the saucepan on a burner set to the lowest heat setting. Do not allow to boil, just keep warm.
  3. In a medium-large saucepan combine the corn syrup, water, and granulated sugar over medium-high heat.
  4. Stir the candy until the sugar dissolves, then use a wet pastry brush to wash down the sides of the pan to prevent sugar crystals from forming and making the candy grainy.
  5. Insert a candy thermometer and reduce the heat to medium. Allow the mixture to come to a boil and cook until the thermometer reads 250°F.
  6. Add the softened butter and the warm milk-cream mixture. The temperature should decrease about 30°F.
  7. Continue to cook the caramel, stirring constantly so that the bottom does not scorch. Cook it until the thermometer reads 244F, and the caramel is a beautiful dark golden brown.
  8. Remove the caramel from the heat and immediately pour into the prepared pan. Do not scrape candy from the bottom of the saucepan. Allow the candy to sit overnight to set up and develop a smooth, silky texture.
  9. When you are ready to cut the caramel, place a piece of waxed paper on the counter and lift the caramel from the pan using the foil as handles. Flip the top of the caramel onto the waxed paper and peel the foil layer from the bottom of the caramel.
Cream Filling:
  1. Dissolve unflavored gelatin in cold water.
  2. Set in heat proof cup in pan; Simmer until clear.
  3. Let cool.
  4. Cream together shortening, powdered sugar, and vanilla.
  5. Add cooled gelatin and beat for 10 minutes.
  6. Here comes the time consuming part. Cut a large amount of wax paper rectangles. Try around 3" x 3", adjusting once you get the hang of it.
  7. Take a small piece of caramel, about half of a cubic inch, work into a doughnut shape.
  8. Take a small amount of cream filling, about the size of .5" diameter sphere, and press into center of caramel. Dust caramel with powdered sugar. This will prevent the caramel from sticking to the paper and your hands.
  9. Shape the caramel into a less flat figure and place into center of wax paper square. Wrap paper around caramel.
  10. It will take you a few tries to get the technique down. Don't worry about less than perfectly shaped caramels, just eat them! (My stomach hurt after making these, heh).
  11. I ended up with 105 caramels and used about 4/5 of the cream filling. It took me 2.5 hours alone to wrap all of them. I'd recommend enlisting some help. Try bribing some children with promises of candy...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Gluten Free Grasshopper Cheesecake (Chocolate Mint)

Having nothing to do at work is going to make me fat. I sit there all day browsing the internet and poking around on Recipezaar making lists of tasty sounding recipes to try. Anyway, this year's St. Patrick's Day is my friend's 21st birthday. He isn't actually Irish, but everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day! So I decided to make him a cheesecake (or is it really for me?).

Here is the recipe I chose to base my cake off of: Grasshopper Cheesecake. I made a few changes along the way, which are all detailed below. My buddy is mildly allergic to chocolate, so I tried to keep as little chocolate on one half of the cheesecake as possible. My crust was half graham cracker and half chocolate and 100% gluten-free. I recommend making it with a full chocolate crust. To the cake!

  • 1 1/2 cup Chocolate Cookie Crumbs (I used Kinninkinnick Kinnitoos)
  • 8 pieces Andes Thins Creme de Menthe Chocolates
  • 1/4 cup Butter
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon

  • 1 lb Cream Cheese*
  • 1 cup Sugar, divided
  • 1/3 cup Green Creme de Menthe*
  • 3 tbsp Creme de Cacao
  • 2 tbsp Flour (gluten-free*)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 6 Egg Yolks
  • 6 Egg Whites
  • 1 cup Sour Cream*
  • 16 pieces Andes Thins Creme de Menthe Chocolates, coarsely chopped

  • 1 cup Sour Cream*
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 3 tbsp Green Creme de Menthe*
  • 1/4 cup Andes Thins Creme de Menthe Chocolates, finely grated

  • I used low fat creme cheese and sour cream and the cake came out great.
  • If you don't have green Creme de Menthe, add some green coloring to the batter and use clear Creme de Menthe.
  • For the 2 tbsp flour, I used Bette Hagman's Bean Mix: 2 parts garfava flour, 1 part sorghum flour, 3 parts cornstarch, and 3 parts tapioca flour. Feel free to substitute with your own mix.
  • Make sure the eggs and cream cheese are room temperature before mixing.
  1. Combine chocolate cookie crumbs, Andes Mint crumbs, butter and cinnamon. Mix well.
  2. Press into bottom and about 1 inch up sides of 9 inch springform pan.
  3. Put cream cheese into mixing bowl and beat until creamy.
  4. Add 3/4 cup sugar and mix well.
  5. Stir in Creme de Menthe, Creme de Cacao, flour and salt.
  6. Beat until well blended.
  7. Stir in egg yolks, sour cream and beat until smooth and well blended.
  8. In separate bowl, combine egg whites and 1/4 cup sguar. Beat until whites stand in soft peaks. Be 100% certain that there is not 1 tiny speck of yolk in the whites.
  9. Fold beaten eggs whites and coarsely chopped Andes Mints into cream cheese mixture by hand.
  10. Pour batter into crust and bake until toothpick or knife inserted into middle of cake comes out almost clean, or about 1 hour, in oven preheated to 325F. The top will puff up. Do not worry; this is normal.
  11. Do not overbake and don't worry about cracks.
  12. Remove from oven and place on wire rack. Cool for five minutes and run slim knife around outer edge of pan.
  13. Let cool for about 2 hours and place in fridge for 4 hours.
  14. Prepare topping by mixing together remaining cup of sour cream, 1/4 cup sugar and 3 tbsp Creme de Menthe. Mix until sugar is fully dissolved.
  15. Pour topping onto fully cooled cake. Spread topping evenly, being sure to cover any cracks.
  16. Bake in oven preheated to 350F for about 10 minutes or until topping is firm. DO NOT BROWN.
  17. Sprinkle grated Andes Mints onto cooled cake.
I used a piece of paper to block part of the topping and made a 4 leaf clover design. Use your imagination.

Nutritional information:
12 Servings @ 2.35" each

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cheesecake

I was bored at work (hard to believe) and was poking around on Recipezaar. I somehow stumbled across the cheesecake section. Bad idea. I found three or four recipes that I have to try now. The recipes were: I decided to start with the Peanut Butter Cheesecake. I had a hard time choosing between this recipe and this one. I ended up choosing the latter; the first simply looks too sinfully decadent. Maybe another time... Anyway, keeping with my quest for making recipe's more healthy, I substituted lower fat cream cheese and lower fat sour cream. The taste difference is negligible and I'm sure my stomach will appreciate any decrease in calories, however small.

Crust: Filling:
  • 3 8oz packages Cream Cheese, softened (low fat works great)
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Sour Cream (low fat works great)
  • 3 large Eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 cup Chocolate Fudge Topping
  • 6 Reese Peanut Butter Cups
  1. In a bowl, combine cracker crumbs, cookie crumbs, sugar and butter
  2. Press on the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a greased 9 inch springform pan.
  3. Bake at 350º for 7-9 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
  4. In a microwave safe bowl, heat peanut butter on HIGH for 30 seconds or until softened. Spread carefully over crust to within 1 inch of edges.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and sour cream until smooth. Add eggs and beat on low speed just until combined. Stir in vanilla. Pour one cup of cream cheese batter into a bowl and set aside. Pour remaining filling over peanut butter in crust.
  6. In a microwave safe bowl, heat 1/4 cup hot fudge topping on HIGH for 30 seconds or until thin. Fold into reserved cream cheese batter. Carefully spoon over filling and cut through filling with a knife to swirl being careful not to disturb peanut butter layer or the crust.
  7. Bake at 350º for 55-65 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen but do not remove sides. Cool 1 hour longer on wire rack.
  8. Microwave remaining hot fudge topping for 30 seconds or until warmed. Spread over cheesecake. Garnish with peanut butter cups.
  9. Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan and serve.
I spread some chunky peanut butter around the perimeter of the top. The design is up to you, but I arranged my peanut butter cups in a spiral pattern on the top. Enjoy!

Nutritional information:
12 Servings @ 2.35" each

Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread

I was poking around Recipeezaar the other day and came across a few recipes for Pumpkin Bread. I decided I had to have some so I started searching for a gluten-free recipe. The recipe I ended up using is based off of this one: Here. I always try to make my food a little bit healthier than the recipe says. In this case, I decreased the oil from 1/2 cup to 1/4 cup and increased the applesauce to 1 full cup. Also, in line with my belief that everything is better with more cinnamon, I doubled the cinnamon and sprinkled some on top of each loaf/muffin.

Recipe makes 6 5.75" x 3" x 2.5" loaves. I made 1 medium sized loaf (slightly larger than 5.75" x 3" x 2.5"), 2 mini loaves and 12 muffins. These came out very moist and delicious. I did not experience any deflating as is typical of GF breads. I gave some to my car-pool buddy and he said it tasted like regular glutened bread! Success!

  • 4 cups Flour (gluten-free)*
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Xanthan Gum or Guar Gum
  • 1/2 tsp Clove
  • 1 tsp Allspice
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 cup White Sugar
  • 2/3 cup Brown Sugar
  • 15 oz Pumpkin Puree (such as Libby's)
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 1/4 cup Canola Oil
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 1 cup Nonfat Milk (or water)
* For the flour mix, I used Bette Hagman's Mix: 2 parts garfava flour, 1 part sorghum flour, 3 parts cornstarch, and 3 parts tapioca flour. Feel free to experiment with your own mix.

  1. In large mixing bowl, beat eggs.
  2. Beat in sugar, pumpkin, applesauce and oil.
  3. Whisk together all of the dry ingredients and beat in 1/2 at a time. (I beat in all of the spices and half of the flour at once and then beat the remaining half of the flour)
  4. Slowly beat in milk until mixed and there are no flour lumps. Optional: Add 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips.
  5. Pour batter into 6 greased and floured small loaf pans until each is about 2/3 to 3/4 full. Be aware that the loaves will rise several inches.
  6. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon on top of each loaf.
  7. Bake in preheated oven at 350F for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted into middle of loaf comes out clean. If making muffins, cook at 350F for about 30-35 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool. Turn loaves upsidedown to remove from pan.
I ate 3 of the muffins straight out of the oven while they were still piping hot. The next day I made some apple-butter which complimented the bread perfectly. I stuck the remaining muffins in a bag along with the larger loaf and have been eating it for the past week. I froze the 2 mini loaves, hopefully they thaw well.

Nutritional information:

Be sure to post a review of my recipe on Recipezaar: