Last month during the Tennessee ICES Day of Sharing one of the demonstrators was a lady who has been catering weddings and special events for years. She set up a table with a generous selection of handmade chocolate candies and kindly shared her recipes.
Last week I cleaned out my freezer, which is something I don’t do nearly often enough. I never know what I’m going to unearth in there since things often get pushed to the back corners and buried underneath bags of frozen mixed vegetables.
This time I discovered a stash of leftover flour blends I put together AGES ago to make some recipes from my Gluten-Free Baking with the Culinary Institute of America cookbook. I had completely forgotten all about these, and knowing that they had been around for quite I while I figured I better try to use them up soon.
Remember that bag of almond flour Honeyville sent me? I mentioned in my initial blog post about it that I would share what I make as I work my way through all 5 pounds of almond flour, and again I find myself using another one of Elana Amsterdam’s recipes. This gluten-free tart shell could easily house a savory filling like quiche or whatever people use for savory pie fillings. But I wanted something chocolate and sweet.
I love frozen bananas dipped in chocolate, and I tend to make them often during the summer. They’re a fantastic dairy-free alternative to ice cream popsicles, and a healthier option, too. I can’t believe I still haven’t done a blog post featuring this treat, especially since they’re fairly easy to make.
In the past I’ve added coconut milk to the melted chocolate. This is to help thin the consistency for easier dipping, and also to keep the chocolate from setting up too firm when frozen. I’ve also used coconut oil for this, and both work quite well. The coconut milk will give you a softer, more ganache-like coating, whereas the coconut oil makes it harder and more like the outside of a Klondike Bar.
Yesterday I mentioned that I was trying something different. I love Elana Amsterdam‘s recipe for gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, only I make it with coconut oil instead of grapeseed oil and maple syrup (the good stuff!) in lieu of agave because I hate agave. But everything else is the same, unless I sub out a handful of the almond flour for coconut flour. This makes more of a dense, soft cookie that doesn’t spread when baked.
If you didn’t already know, Betty Crocker does gluten-free cake, cookie, and brownie mixes now. Actually, these have been around for a while, but I’m honestly not a fan of Betty Crocker. Or cake mixes in general for that matter. But if I have to use a cake mix, I’m more than likely not going to eat it, so I usually go for Duncan Hines if it’s on sale or Pillsbury, whichever is cheaper.
Last year on New Year’s Eve I posted my top 5 favorite recipes I made in 2010, and I’d like to do the same for 2011. I actually intended to share more recipes this year, and more regularly, so I apologize for the lapses in blog posts here and there.
Often I make something new, really like it and want to post the recipe, but then I never quite get around to making the same thing again or don’t have time to take all the pictures. Then there are times when I decide to make a recipe specifically for a blog post, and it’s disappointing. Sometimes I go ahead and share the recipe anyway, especially if I think I did something wrong or I feel like I’m long overdue for a post. Maybe in 2012 I’ll have enough to do a top 10, but this year I’m sticking with just 5.
I would like to point out that the gluten free chocolate chip cookies from Elana Amsterdam’s Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbookis a recipe I featured this year, and it’s without a doubt a favorite and possibly the recipe I make most often, but I’ve been making it since 2010, so I didn’t consider it for the top 5 of this year. Also, I didn’t consider any recipes that aren’t gluten-free. These are MY favorite recipes, after all; I have to be able to eat them. So, without any more rambling, here’s the countdown of my 5 favorite recipes of 2011.
Number 5 is the gluten-free Strawberry Shortcake I made for the Driscoll’s Strawberry Shortcake Day promotion. These are definitely best consumed the same day they’re baked. They get stale very quickly. I did more than just top them with strawberries, though. I also enjoyed them with lemon curd and raspberries, and they’re also pretty dang yummy smeared with Nutella.
|5. Strawberry Shortcake|
The gluten free Mud Pie was really an experiment, and I was pleased enough with the results to consider it number 4. I know it doesn’t look all that appetizing, and I do want to make this recipe again, just to see if I can improve its appearance. The crust is yummy and works with any kind of filling, so it’s a great recipe to know.
|4. Mud Pie|
The Carrot Date Muffins recipe I made in November is my 3rd favorite, only I like the way I made them better than the original recipe. They’re delicious naked, but when topped with some cream cheese frosting you’ll swear you’re eating carrot cake.
|3. Carrot Date Muffins|
In 2nd place is the Nutty Crust Peach Pie. Here’s an example of a recipe that didn’t come out very well, due to the burnt crust edges, and me subbing some pecans for almonds didn’t work out quite as well as I’d hoped. Peaches and pecans go together fine, but this crust got soggy on me, and it that’s not been an issue when I use all almonds. Still, it was delicious.
|2. Nutty Crust Peach Pie|
There’s a reason I went ahead and posted that cornbread recipe yesterday, even though I didn’t have step-by-step photos, or really any decent pictures of the cornbread muffins. I had to get that recipe up because it’s my top number 1 favorite of 2011. Here again, I like the way I made it better, but I’m not all that fond of sweet cornbread, especially when I want to make stuffing with it.
I want to know about other great recipes people made this year, gluten-free or not. Do you have a list of favorites? Please comment and let me know.
Happy New Year everybody!
I tend to do a lot of baking this time of year. In an effort to keep temptations down and as many of the holiday sweets accessible to me as possible, I started looking around for naturally gluten-free recipes. I have apps for that.