Monday, August 31, 2009

Gluten Free Tea for Two

When you are in the mood to decorate these little goodies are a great alternative to sugar cookies. There is no doubt, that in a crunch, a drop cookie is the way to go. But there is something that just can't be beat about rolling out a bunch of dough, pressing it into shapes, and later when it has cooled, slathering them in icing. 

These cookies are incredibly soft and chewy and don't need to be iced at all if you prefer a less rich cookie. Both ways, these are great for afternoon tea. 


1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup apple sauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 egg substitutes
3 cups wheat free flour
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup cocoa powder


In a mixer, beat the oils, apple sauce, and vanilla together. Add the sugar. Using a sieve, sift in the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, and cocoa powder. Mix together. Add the prepared egg replacer. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and allow to harden up in the fridge for a bit. 
Roll the dough into a 1/4 inch thickness onto a floured surface. Cut into shapes and baked on a greased sheet for about 8 minutes. Cool before icing. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Everything Free Ice Cream

This ice cream recently came to my attention via. several other blogs, to whom I owe incredible thanks. After taking dairy out of my diet, I sullenly moved to sorbet, which while I appreciated the health benefits, I've truly never enjoyed as much real ice cream. In addition, sorbet does not take to toppings and sauces the way a bowl of vanilla can. 

This little treat, on the other hand, is made with banana, which baked and on its own takes to just about every flavor you'd want to add to ice cream; chocolate, caramel, peanut butter, vanilla, strawberry, I even swirled in some cookie dough. 

There really is no recipe for the base, just keep in mind that one banana will give you about 1/4 cup ice cream. 

For chocolate, I added 1 tbs. cocoa and 1 tbs. sugar for every banana. This made a not too sweet, but very chocolatey ice cream. 

To make the basic ice cream: Cut very ripe bananas into large pieces. Freeze completely. Put into a blender and whir about until creamy and custardy. Store in an airtight container in the freezer. 

Monday, August 24, 2009

Decorating Cakes

Decorating cakes without buttercream or royal icing can be a challenge and is one of the reasons wheat and dairy free bakers often make do with cupcakes instead. There are some occasions that require a sheet cake covered in mildly distressing colors of icings. 

The following recipe is how I decorate my cakes when such an occasion arises. 


1/4 cup vegan margarine, unsalted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbs - 1/4 cup vanilla soy or rice milk
3 - 5 cups vegan icing sugar


In an electric mixer, combine the vanilla and margarine, whirring together until creamy and smooth. Add a few tablespoons of milk. Then add your icing sugar. Alternate the icing sugar and milk until you've reached a consistency that is thick enough to pipe and spread. If you can, use gel food paste as it doesn't change the consistency of the icing as much as the little bottles do. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Ultimate Snack Mix

Before I started caring about the newspaper, my breakfast reading material was the side of cereal boxes. When I was quite young, this mostly consisted of games and other child friendly fare, but when my parents did an abrupt turnaround and enforced healthy eating, the sides of cereal boxes became seriously dull; filled with facts about nutrition and vitamins. Sometimes, there would be a recipe, that even as a child I found totally unappealing. Despite this, cooking with cereal has become one of my favorite ways to whip something up in a hurry. And, unlike many prepackaged foods, I find the breakfast category of the allergy aisle respite with options. 
The japanese rice cereal is a replacement for pretzels, which are hard to find without yeast (my other allergy).

This recipe is the amalgamation of several; but do read the packages carefully to make sure the brand you are purchasing is devoid of what ails you. 

This recipe yields a substantial amount that you might not personally require. I prefer to make a large batch however, in order to have on hand when snack cravings hit. 


4 cups Japanese rice chips
4 cups popped popcorn (or about one microwave bag)
5 cups gluten free, vegan corn cereal
1 cup toasted soy beans
vegan chocolate chips
dried cranberries
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vegan margarine or canola oil
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla


Grease a large roasting pan with canola oil. Add the cereal, soybeans, popcorn, and rice chips and stir together gently. 

In a small sauce pot, combine the brown sugar, margarine, and corn syrup. Stirring, bring to a boil and then leave without stirring for two minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla and baking soda. Pour over the cereal mixture and coat with a wooden spoon. 

Bake this at 250 degrees for 1/2 hour, stirring every ten minutes. Allow to cool completely before adding the chocolate chips and cranberries. 

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Vegan Nutella

In my previous life, I was known to eat spoonfuls of Nutella for dinner. Its absence is sorely missed, but with a bit of tweaking, I've put together a replacement. It isn't quite as good (no preservatives, I suppose) but the chocolate to hazelnut ratio is there and the skim milk powder that I could never quite taste in the original is just as subtle when replaced with soy. 


4 cups hazelnut, pre skinned
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla


First, make a caramel out of the sugar and water by combining them in a heavy bottomed sauce pan. Heat over medium heat until a light amber in color. Now, just like brittle, pour the caramel onto a line cookie sheet in a super thin layer. Allow this to cool. Break the cooled brittle to pieces and pop into a food processor. Blend like crazy until all the caramel has formed into  lovely, caramelly sand. 

Meanwhile, you can roast the hazelnuts. Don't make them too dark, watch them carefully! When theses are room temperature, put into the food processor and pulverize until you have hazelnut butter. Add the caramel bits, cocoa, and vanilla and whir together. 

I prefer my nutella at room temperature, though I know the sides of jars always recommend refrigerating them. So officially, this will last for a few months in the fridge, while as for me, I keep it just as long on the counter.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Wheat Free and Vegan Peach Cake

I'm not really one for fruit desserts, but the bounty of summer requires stamina and creativity. Peaches, which are really just starting their season now take particularly well to being baked. Their juiciness creates an almost custard like layer of batter around them and the cake stays nice and moist. The recipe below is for one layer of crumb and one layer of peach. If I am swimming in peaches, I often make two layers and one and half batches of the crumb. 


1/2 cup vegan margarine or coconut oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup wheat free flour


1/2 cup coconut oil
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 egg replacer
1 cup wheat free flour
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
4 peaches, peeled and thinly sliced


First make the crumble: combine all the ingredients in the food processor until a coarse meal forms. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar and coconut oil until well combined. Add the vanilla and beat in. Add the egg replacement. Using a sifter, add the flour, baking powder, and xantham gum. Beat until just combined. Pour the batter into a lined high-sided 9 inch pan. Layer the peach slices on top and then pat down the crumble. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Wheat Free Vegan Carrot Cake Cookies

This recipe is similar to a whoopie pie or some might say a muffin top. You could forgo the icing and serve them as is, but I like to serve them in a stacked pyramid after a nice, outdoor supper, along with fresh fruit. These are wonderful for the summer because unlike a traditional cake, they only take about fifteen minutes in the oven so you won't heat up the house for too long, but you get the wonderful taste of a full carrot cake.

I like to make mine quite small, but make them as large as like you like. 


1/4 cup apple sauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbs molasses
1/4 white sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/8 cup wheat free flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 egg replacement
1 cup finely grated carrots 


In a mixer, combine the sugars, molasses, canola oil, and apple sauce. Add the grated carrots and vanilla and whir together. Sift the flour, cinnamon, ginger, and baking soda into the carrot mixture. Add the egg replacement. 

Using a spoon, make uniform-ish drops of dough on a pan lined with parchment. Don't crowd them or they won't puff up. Bake at 375 degrees for about fifteen minutes. Allow to cool completely before icing. 
These will last three days uniced, so ice only right before serving.  


3/4 cup vegan cream cheese
1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups vegan icing sugar


In the mixer, combine the cream cheese and coconut oil with the lemon juice and vanilla. Add the icing sugar by the 1/4 cup and adjust to your preference. If you would like to use a little less sugar, honey adds a wonderful dimension. Place the icing in a container and pop into the fridge for 1/2 an hour.