Let me start out by saying that I am not a big Halloween fan. I don’t like horror movies, I don’t like feeling scared, I don’t like corn mazes, and I don’t like candy corn.
That being said, I do like some of our family traditions for Halloween. One of my favorite memories is while growing up we would go to my grandparents’ houses to trick or treat. My Grandma and Grandpa B would ALWAYS dress up. Even after us kids were older and had stopped dressing up ourselves, they were still dressing up. I just have to share these pictures.
A recent tradition is when the family gets together we have for a ‘themed’ dinner. We have Pumpkin Guts (pumpkin chili…recipe to follow soon), Salad with Juicy Bugs (cranberries), Goblin Eyes (Olives or grapes), Witches Brew (homemade root beer), etc.
We typically get pumpkin pies for dessert, but there are those in the family that don’t like it, or can’t have it because of eggs, dairy, and gluten. I usually do a cookie, and this year, I decided to make some gingerbread cookies and decorate them in a way befitting of the season.
Favorite dairy-free buttercream frosting (I just use a Wilton recipe and substitute non-hydrongenated shortening for the butter)
Preheat oven to 375˚F. In a medium bowl sift together dry ingredients (tapioca starch through nutmeg). Set aside.
In a larger bowl, cream margarine, sugar, and molasses together until combined. Divide into two portions and wrap each portion with plastic wrap, flatten slightly, and refrigerate for about an hour.
Mix together 1/4 cup of sorghum flour and 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Sprinkle a portion of this mixture on a piece of parchment paper. Unwrap one of the dough portions and place on the parchment paper, sprinkle with additional flour, and top with another piece of parchment paper. Roll out to about 1/8" thick, remove top sheet of parchment paper and cut with a gingerbread man cookie cutter. Place 1 inch apart on a cookie sheet and bake for 7-9 minutes, or until set. Let cool on pan for 3-5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Repeat with remaining dough.
Place the frosting in a piping bag (or a ziploc bag) with a #4 tip. Pipe the bones on the gingerbread men (this isn't an anatomy class, have some fun with it!).
Best part about gluten-free dough? It's not a big deal to re-roll the dough. With 'regular' dough if you roll it and re-roll it, the cookies get tough because of the gluten developing. No issue with gluten-free dough!
Springtime has finally arrived in my neck of the woods. The blossoms are popping on one of my favorite trees, the Spring Snow Crabapple.
When spring finally rolls around, one of the first flavors I go after is lemon. One of my family’s favorite recipes is Snickerdoodles. I remember a family friend once making a lemon version using lemon extract, so I figured to improve on that by using lemon zest not only in the dough, but also in the rolling sugar. These gluten-free lemon snickerdoodles are sure to become a favorite of yours.
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated vegan margarine (Earth Balance), softened
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated shortening
1 cup sugar
zest of one large lemon
1 tablespoon ground flax seed mixed with 2 tablespoons hot water
3 tablespoons applesauce
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
2/3 cup sugar
In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, starches, xanthum gum, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt.
In a large bowl, beat together margarine, shortening, and sugar until creamy. Mix in lemon zest, flax seed mixture, and applesauce until combined.
In a small bowl combine 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest and 2/3 cup sugar. Use fingertips to really mix them together.
Using a cookie scooper, form the dough into balls and roll in the lemon sugar. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, until edges are set. Let cool on pan for 3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
One of the best Christmas presents I ever got was a cookbook that my Grandma L made for each of her grandchildren containing all of her recipes. It is such a treasure. I especially like how she would write comments in them, or telling the story about the recipe.
I was looking through all of the recipes the other day and came across this recipe for Date-Filled Cookies. The part that grabbed my attention was what she wrote after.
“This is one recipe that Papa always took with him when they went on their annual Elk/Deer hunting trip. They stay very moist. If you like dates (the kind you eat), you will like this cookie.”
This gets me not only because of the comment about specifying the type of date she was referring to, but I also like the mention of Papa. Because he passed away when I was barely 4, I never really knew him, nor do I have any real memories of him. So with this recipe, I saw an opportunity, in a very small way, to connect to him.
6 tablespoons warm water mixed with 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
Place dates, water, and sugar in a small pot. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer and cook for 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in orange zest and cinnamon. Set aside to cool (I wanted a smoother texture, so I used a stick blender to smooth it out).
In a small bowl, whisk together flours, starches, xanthum gum, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Mix in vanilla extract, flax seed mixture, and orange zest. Slowly mix in dry ingredients. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough between two sheets of parchment paper until 1/4" thick. Cut into 2 inch rounds. Place a heaping 1/2 teaspoon of filling in center of one round. spread filling to within 1/2 inch of edges. Top with another round and use a fork to crimp the edges. Cook in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, until edges are set. Cool on pan for a few minutes before transferring to cooling rack to cool completely.
By One Fine Tomato
One Fine Tomato http://onefinetomato.com/
I did change the recipe a little bit (other than the obvious to make it gluten-free). I used less sugar (if you can believe it), and did away with the eggs. I also changed the recipe by adding some orange zest and cinnamon. I wonder what my Papa would’ve thought of these.