March 31, 2008

Go Ahead Honey, It's Gluten Free: Announcing April's Theme

Naomi and I were discussing all the possible foods that could work for the April edition of "Go Ahead Honey, It's Gluten Free (GAHIGF)." Since Spring is here and everyone wants to be outside enjoying the warmer weather, we decided April's Theme will be Gluten Free Finger Foods. Let your creative side go wild and make hand held tarts, ice pops, vegetable skewers or spring rolls. Whatever you choose to make it must be held in the hand to be eaten.

The very first round of GAHIGF in February, focused on Gluten Free Tea Time Treats. It was hosted by the founder of "Go Ahead Honey, It's Gluten Free, " the wonderful Naomi of Straight Into Bed Cakefree and Dried. We could choose any food that you could serve with tea...cakes, scones, muffins or sandwiches. I made a Kronans Kaka, a cake that I had been wanting to make ever since we were given a copy of "All Things Swedish."

For the second round of GAHIGF March, we baked Birthday Treats for Kids. Hosted by the lovely Linda at Make Life Sweeter, we got to stretch our baking skills and make birthday foods for children. I made a Chocolate Marble Cake for my daughter's 9th birthday.

If you would like to participate in "Go Ahead Honey, It's Gluten Free," make and post to your blog a gluten-free finger food between April 11th and April 25th and link back to this post.

There are two rules:

1. The recipe must be gluten-free (no wheat, spelt, kamut, barley, rye, triticale and emmer). Oats are acceptable, but they must be certified gluten free.

2. The food must be held in the hand to be eaten.

Send your entry to glutenagogo AT gmail DOT com with the following information:

- Your name
- Blog name
- Blog's URL
- Recipe Name
- Post URL
- Optional: Picture of your Finger Food (150 x 150 pixels in jpg/jpeg format)

I will post the round-up on the April 28th. Happy Cooking!

March 30, 2008

Perfect Party Cake - Coconut & Kahlua Carob

A March Daring Baker's Challenge: Dorie Greenspan's Perfect Party Cake

The hostess for this month's challenge is the lovely Morven from Food Art and Random Thoughts, she chose the Perfect Party Cake from Dorie Greenspan's book From My Home To Yours. The original recipe for the Perfect Party Cake was given to Dorie by her good friend Nick Malgieri. This is a versatile cake that has a tight crumb and a light fluffy frosting. Dorie's version of this cake is lemon, but it can easily be made in any other flavor that you like.

A week into the challenge, Carrie of Ginger Lemon Girl and I decided to bake together with Esther of The Lilac Kitchen hanging out with us on email. Esther is the proud new Mama of a healthy baby boy and she wasn't up to hours on her feet in the kitchen baking. When I was choosing from the gluten free flours, I wanted the cake to be white so I selected coconut flour as the base and I chose white chocolate for the buttercream. My goal was to create a white cake that was flavorful for my son, who is a huge fan of all things flavored vanilla and white chocolate.

The cake went together easily and rose beautifully while it baked. The frosting whipped up to a frothy foam. I made two smaller cakes and filled one with mixed berry preserves. The recipe made a large quantity of frosting that I swirled around the cake in fluffy peaks.

How did the cakes taste? Overall my family thought the cake was very sweet. Their favorite bites were of the cake without the frosting. They thought that the frosting tasted good, but was way too sweet. My children weren't crazy about the fluffiness of the frosting, they prefer a stiffer frosting.

Since I felt the same way, I decided to bake this cake again and use a different sweetener and make the cake without any dairy as well. Since I had recently gotten an order from Barry Farms that contained some sweet potato flour and sorghum syrup, I decided to use these ingredients as part of my recipe.

I made the second version of the cake for Easter Supper and my family thought it tasted like a mild brownie or chocolate muffin. They enjoyed the texture and flavor of the frosting, it was firmer and lightly sweet. We had agreed that I would only frost the top of the cake, so that there was only a touch of frosting. They liked the flavor of the cake and frosting. My daughter wants me to make this frosting again, since it isn't too sweet.


1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 cup arrowroot starch
2 tsp chia seed meal
1 Tb baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup almond milk
4 large egg whites
1 1/2 cup cane sugar
4 Tb vegetable shortening
4 Tb coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

Buttercream Frosting

1 cup cane sugar
4 large egg whites
8 Tb vegetable shortening
8 Tb coconut oil
8 Tb ghee
1 oz white chocolate, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a low sided pan with parchment paper and set out 4 - 5 inch cake rings. Line the cake ring sides with parchment paper for 2 smaller cakes. Or line two 9 inch cake pans with parchment paper for 1 larger cake.

2. In a large bowl, dump in the flours, baking powder, sea salt and chia seed. Stir the mixture, until the baking powder is well incorporated.

3. In a medium bowl, pour in the almond milk and egg whites, then whisk them together.

4. In a mixing bowl, plop in the vegetable shortening, coconut oil and sugar. Then beat for 3 minutes on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy.

5. Pour in the vanilla extract and one third of the flour mixture, continue beating.

6. Beat in half of the almond milk mixture. Next, beat in half of the remaining flour mixture and until it is incorporated.

7. Add the rest of the almond milk mixture until blended and then pour in the rest of the flour mixture. Then beat for 2 minutes on medium speed to make sure the cake batter is well aerated.

8. Divide the batter between the cake rings or the 9 inch cake pans and smooth the tops.

9. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

10. Place the cookie sheet or cake pans on a cake rack and cool for 5 minutes. Slip the cake rings off the cakes and peel off the liner. Place right side up on a cake rack until they are room temperature. (Dorie notes that the cooled cake layers can be wrapped airtight and stored at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to two months.)


1. Place the sugar and egg whites into a heat proof bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Begin to whisk constantly, making sure to keep the mixture over the heat for 3 minutes. The sugar should be dissolved and it will look like shiny marshmallow cream. Remove the bowl from the heat.

2. Using the mixer, beat the meringue on medium speed until it has cooled, approximately 5 minutes.

3. Add the vegetable shortening, coconut oil, ghee and then beat until smooth.

4. Once the oils are beaten in, beat the buttercream on medium high speed until it is thick and smooth, approximately 6 - 10 minutes.

Dorie's Note: During this time the buttercream may curdle or separate - just keep beating and it will come together again.

5. Then add the vanilla and white chocolate and continue to beat on medium high speed until the frosting is shiny and smooth. Press a piece of plastic on the surface of the buttercream and set aside until you are ready to use it.

Assembling the Cake:

1. Place the first layer of the cake on a cake plate or a cake round. Spread the top of the layer with the Buttercream. If you would like to use a layer of preserves, spread the preserves on first and then gently spread the Buttercream on top.

2. Place the second layer on top of the Buttercream covered first layer.

3. Use the remaining Buttercream to cover the top and sides of the cake. Top with coconut or tiny curls of white chocolate.

Storing the Cake:

1. The cake is best the day it is made, but will store in the refrigerator. Cover it very well and bring to room temperature before serving.

2. This cake can be frozen for up to 2 months covered very well. Defrost the cake in the refrigerator.

Sorghum Cake with Kahlua Sorghum Syrup Buttercream


1/3 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup sweet potato flour*
1/4 cup carob
1/4 cup + 2 Tb arrowroot starch
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 Tb flax seed meal
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup sorghum syrup**
2 Tb vegetable shortening, melted
2 Tb cocoa butter, melted
1/2 tsp Kahlua
1/2 cup + 2 Tb almond milk


2 Tb sorghum syrup
2 Tb agave syrup
1 egg white
2 Tb vegetable shortening, melted
2 Tb cocoa butter, melted
2 Tb coconut oil, melted
1/2 oz Enjoy Life! chocolate chips, melted
1/2 tsp Kahlua

Recipe Variation Notes: Cake - I used a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 loaf pan. Buttercream - Step 1: The egg white, sorghum and agave syrup when cooked over the water bath will look like maple syrup and will not thicken. Once it has cooked for 3 minutes, transfer to the mixing bowl and continue with the recipe. Step 4: Beat the frosting for 10 minutes. Then continue with the recipe.

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* Sweet Potato Flour - I purchased the sweet potato flour from Barry Farms.

** Sorghum Syrup - I purchased the sorghum syrup from Barry Farms.

March 22, 2008

Angel Biscuits

As a Southerner, I am constantly on the look out for biscuit recipe variations. One classic recipe that I have never tried making is the one with two leavening agents. Cream of tartar and baking soda are aided by yeast to give Angel or bride's biscuits their light and airy texture. This touch means that anyone, regardless of their baking skill level, can make a successful batch of Angel biscuits.

I recently read Jean Anderson's book, "A Love Affair with Southern Cooking: Recipes and Recollections." Filled with culinary stories and recipes, her book is a fascinating look at the foods Southerners love from black-eyed pea soup with greens and ham to Tennessee whiskey balls. Angel biscuits were originally made from a soft wheat flour like the ones from White Lily or Martha White.

My gluten free variation on the Angel Biscuits owes their light and sweet flavor to a sorghum flour blend and sorghum syrup. The delicate flavor was one of the reasons my family enjoyed these biscuits so much. They were delightful served warm with a swirl of butter or lightly toasted and served with a slice of applewood smoked ham.


3/4 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup sweet potato flour*
1/4 cup + 1 Tb sweet rice flour
2 tsp chia seed meal
1 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
2 Tb sorghum syrup**
1 cup soured almond milk or buttermilk***
1/2 cup vegetable shortening or butter, melted
1 pkg. active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110 - 115 deg F)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place 12 silicone muffin cups on a cookie sheet.

2. In a large bowl, dump in the flours, chia seed meal, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Stir the dry ingredients together until the cream of tartar and soda are thoroughly blended with the flours.

3. In a small bowl filled with the warm water, pour in the dry active yeast and allow to dissolve.

4. In a 2 cup measuring cup, pour in the soured almond milk, the vegetable shortening and sorghum syrup. Gently stir the mixture together.

5. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients and quickly stir together. Then spoon the batter into the silicone muffin cups.

6. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Makes 12 biscuits.

* Sweet Potato Flour: I purchased my gluten free sweet potato flour from Barry Farms.

** Sorghum Syrup: I purchased my sorghum syrup from Barry Farms.

*** Soured Almond Milk: Add 1/2 tsp white vinegar to the 1/2 cup of almond milk and allow to sit for a few minutes before using.

March 19, 2008

Chicken Pot Pie

When I was six, my favorite meal was chicken pot pie. At least once a month or more if we could persuade her, my Mom would make us pot pie for dinner. She would line each small pie pan with crust and then fill them with chicken, carrots, peas, potatoes and sauce. Then she'd top it off with another layer of crust with pretty decorations cut into the top of the crust.

Her tender flaky crust was my favorite part of chicken pot pie. I'd break it open, eat the filling out of the shell and save the crust for last, because my Mom is a pie crust master. Anytime she'd make pie crust, she'd save the little left over bits for us. She'd lay the left overs on a cookie sheet, sprinkle them with sugar and cinnamon. While they were cooking, the sugar would melt and merge with the cinnamon for a crispy treat.

As we grew older and started participating in a wide variety of after school activities, many of the dishes my Mom made were substituted with frozen alternatives. Tasty in the beginning, but over time cost cutting changed the quality of the pot pies she would buy. Eventually, chicken pot pie became one of those supper dishes that was rarely served as we got even older, replaced by new family favorites.

I've been thinking about chicken pot pie for a , how I was going to make it dairy free. Then I noticed that Carrie's (Ginger Lemon Girl) husband Michael created a rustic chicken pot pie for them. I was inspired to change up my family's favorite recipe, the one for Chicken Pie from the Fanny Farmer cookbook.

When I served up the chicken pot pies, my husband was overjoyed. He hadn't had home made chicken pot pie since he had been a boy. My children weren't as sure about the dish as he was, however they were pleasantly surprised by how much they liked it. I was thrilled at how good the pie tasted. Just like when I was a kid, I was the last to finish and saving my crusts for the last bites. This recipe joins the ranks of the keepers at our house.



3 Tb olive oil
1 1/2 Tb gluten free oat flour
1 1/2 Tb brown rice flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup gluten free oat milk*
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tb corn starch
Salt to taste


3 baked chicken breasts, chopped small
1/4 cup minced onion, cooked
1 cup peas & carrots, cooked
Optional: 1 small peeled potato, cooked & diced


Pastry for 1 - 8 inch pie shell

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place the ramekins or small baking dishes on the sheet.

2. Warm the butter or olive oil in a sauce pan, then stir in the oat and rice flour. Stir for 2 minutes. Slowly add the chicken broth, oat milk, pepper and corn starch. Continue stirring and cook for about 5 minutes or until the mixture is thick and smooth. Taste the sauce and then add salt to taste. Remove from the heat and set aside. Begin to work on the filling.

3. In a large bowl, dump in the chicken, onions, peas, carrots and potato (if using). Stir the mixture together and then spoon it into the baking dishes until the dish is 3/4 full.

4. Spoon the sauce over the chicken mixture in each individual baking dish.

5. Lay the prepared pie crust on top of the chicken mixture and decorate with extra pastry pieces.

6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the crust is nicely browned. Makes 12 small individual chicken pot pies.

Pastry Crust

4 Tb brown rice flour
4 Tb chestnut flour
4 Tb arrowroot starch
2 Tb sweet rice flour
1 tsp chia seed meal
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
3 - 6 Tb cold water

1. In a medium bowl, dump in the flours, chia seed meal and salt. Cut the shortening into the mix with a fork. Continue cutting in the shortening until the mixture looks crumbly and has tiny balls in it.

2. Sprinkle water over the mixture 1 Tb at a time and blend with the flour. Do this 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough can be lightly pressed into a ball. Then place the dough into the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until chilled.

3. Place the dough in the center of a piece of parchment paper and then cover with another piece of parchment paper. Roll out the dough until it is about 8 inches in diameter. Using your pastry or cookie cutters, cut out dough rounds that will cover the top of your baking dishes. Cut decorative shapes out of the center and use the little shapes to decorate the top of your pastry.

* How to make gluten free oat milk: Use 1/2 cup of certified gluten free oats, 1 Tb agave syrup and 2 cups of water. Dump the oats into your food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Then add the agave syrup and pulse. Pour in the water and pulse to blend. Be careful not to pulse too long as the water might leak out from under the lid of your food processor and onto the counter. Store oat milk in the refrigerator.

March 13, 2008

Irish Soda Farls

Each year for Saint Patrick's Day, I pull out my favorite Irish Soda Bread recipe and start baking. Sometimes, we'll even eat three loaves all before Saint Patrick's Day has even arrived. After so many years of a great baking tradition, why was I contemplating changing things? It all boiled down to a new challenge, the Irish Soda Farl. The farl is a soda bread cooked on a griddle placed either in or on the embers of the kitchen fire, whereas the cake form was cooked in the oven.

Soda bread can be found in a wide variety of versions from white or brown, cake or farl, and treacle or wheaten. Every day soda breads were eaten plain and those served for tea time were made with fruits. Many may know of soda farls as the bread served with the Ulster breakfast, an awe inspiring meal of fried foods.

I was set with a new recipe for a variation on one of my favorite breads. I began baking in a blast of happiness that didn't diminish as my first batch of farls turned out simply gorgeous. Yet all was not well, if the looks on my family's faces were anything to go by. One by one they meandered over to the kitchen trash can and said they were to horrible to save for the birds. I hurried to taste them and was shocked to find my tongue assaulted by the intense flavor of leavening. The writer of the recipe I had chosen used not only soda, but cream of tartar to ensure that the farls would rise to lofty heights. This was more than human taste buds could stand, so off I went in search of another recipe.

Late in the evening, I happened upon the website European Cuisines. They have a history of soda bread, a recipe and a few handy tutorials on YouTube for anyone interested in learning how to make farls. I made a quick note of how much leavening they used in their recipe and was delighted to see a much more tasty quantity. I worked up my gluten free conversion, selected my flours and off I went to try again.

This batch turned out richly colored and very tasty, with just a hint of soda. They were the perfect accompaniment to a breakfast of scrambled eggs and sausage. My husband and I enjoyed how the tang of the soda blended with the creamy flavor of the butter we spread on the farls. Our children, however didn't care for the slight tangy flavor of the bread at all. Which we thought was interesting, because they like sourdough.

Consider sharing a batch of Irish Soda Farls with those with whom you work, volunteer or simply in need of a kind gesture on April 12th, Spread the Bread's World Day of Bread.

Hot and crisp, soda farls are a wonderful way to start the day or to enjoy at a late afternoon tea time.


2/3 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup arrowroot starch
2/3 cup sweet rice flour
1 cup gluten free oat flour
2 tsp chia seed meal
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp agave syrup
1 cup + 3 Tb buttermilk, sour milk or soured nut, seed or grain milk*

1. If you are making farls, use a heavy duty griddle or skillet for cooking. If you are making soda cake, then cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In a large bowl, dump in all the dry ingredients and stir well so that the soda is evenly distributed. Create a well in the center of the flour mixture.

3. Add the agave syrup to the measuring cup of buttermilk, sour milk or soured non-dairy milk. Stir together.

4. Pour about 3/4 of the milk mixture into the well and begin stirring. The dough should have a dry and slightly ragged appearance. Add the rest of the milk mixture to the bowl (if needed) and stir until the dough looks raggy.

5. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of parchment paper. Dust your hands with flour as you need to and work the dough just until it forms a cohesive ball. For large farls use one ball of dough, for smaller farls divide the ball into two smaller balls. Then press the dough into a circle that is about 1/2 inch high. Cut the circle in half and then cut it into quarters.

6. Preheat the skillet or griddle on medium low heat until a drop of water sizzles. Melt a bit of butter or shortening in the skillet or griddle. Then place the soda farls into the skillet or onto the griddle. Cook each side of the farls for 20 to 30 minutes. You may need to stand the farls on their edge or cut them in half to cook them all the way through. Keep checking the farls to make sure they aren't burning. If they start to burn, turn down the heat on the burner a little. Allow to cool before serving. Makes 4 large farls or 8 small farls.

* How to make soured milk or soured nut/seed/grain milk: Add 1 tsp white vinegar to 1 cup milk or non-dairy milk. If you don't have any white vinegar, then use regular milk or non-dary milk and 1/2 tsp of baking powder.

March 9, 2008

Marble Cake with Chocolate Frosting & Marzipan

This month our daughter is going to be nine. Recently, she received an early present, a book from American Girl called "Micro Mini's." The book kit will allow you to construct little foam, wood and bead furniture and accessories. As soon as she realized how small her hand crafted items would be, she decided that they needed to be enlarged so that her smallest dolls, the 3 1/2 inch Winx Fairies could use the furniture.

A few years ago the Winx Club fairies as well as the American Girl dolls, took our house by storm. No Barbie's and Bratz dolls for my girl, it's got to be the very cool and powerful Winx Club girls and the realistically and niftily accessorized American Girl dolls. These beautifully styled dolls complete with books and movies, make up much of her Birthday and Christmas wish lists.

The Micro Mini's quickly under went redesign. The new plans gave the fairies upscale living room furniture and then completed with a usable pool, bathtub and a picnic table so her fairies could enjoy a cool drink pool side. Her small project that started on a piece of newspaper on the kitchen counter took over the kitchen island before the end of the week. Now there is a design in the works for a cardboard treehouse so Winx Club girls can have have a home of their own.

At home, we celebrate with a small family party and a special cake. Each year, I try out several different cake recipes for the kids to try out and then choose which one they like the best for their birthday. Juggling my test baking this year around the intense fairy construction project, I began with converting the Boston Favorite Cake from the Fanny Farmer Cookbook to be gluten free. This cake has a marble version, my children's all time favorite cake.

This is a delicious cake tastes the best when made one day ahead of time. The frosting was easy to make and tasted so good that the kids kept taking spoonfuls off the cake plate. Overall the cake was a hit with my family, but my daughter discovered that she doesn't really care for marzipan. Her thinks it tastes like the allergy medicine she used to take, so her pieces of cake had the filling removed.

This cake is being submitted to the "Go Ahead Honey, It's Gluten Free Event" being hosted this month by the lovely Linda at Make Life Sweeter. The theme this month is Birthday Baking for Kids.



3 Tb vegetable shortening
1 cup cane sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup oat milk or other milk
3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup chestnut flour
1/4 cup sweet rice flour
1/4 cup arrowroot starch
2 tsp chia seed meal
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted


2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, grated
1 cup cane sugar
3 Tb cornstarch
1 cup water, boiling
1 Tb vegetable shortening
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt

Filling & Decoration

1 can gluten free Marzipan

Cake Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line two 8 inch cake pans with with parchment paper.

2. In a mixing bowl, dump in the vegetable shortening and cream with a paddle attachment. Slowly pour in the sugar and continue beating until the mixture. Plop in the egg yolks and vanilla extract and continue beating.

3. In a large bowl, combine all the flours, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt and chia seed meal, then stir together.

4. With the paddle attachment on slow, add one third of the dry ingredients to the creamed vegetable shortening. Then pour in one third of the oat milk. Continue to alternate between the dry ingredients and oat milk until everything is blended together.

5. In another mixer bowl, plop in the egg whites. Switch to the whisk attachment and place this bowl on the mixer stand. Beat on high until the egg whites are stiff.

6. Using a spatula, add one third of the egg whites to the batter bowl. Then gently fold the egg whites into the batter. Then fold in the rest of the egg whites into the batter.

7. Pour half of the batter into another bowl, then fold in the 1 ounce of melted chocolate.

8. Randomly place spoonfuls of the chocolate batter into the cake pans, leaving space around them. Then switch to the bowl of yellow cake batter and drop spoonfuls of the batter into the space between spoonfuls of chocolate batter. Continue like this until the pans are filled.

9. Place the pans into the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the pans to cool for about 5 minutes, before turning the cakes out onto cake racks to cool completely. While the cake cools, begin making the frosting.

Frosting Directions

10. Into a heavy bottomed saucepan, dump the chocolate, sugar and cornstarch on medium low heat. Stir in the cup of boiling water and then constantly stir the ingredients until the mixture is thick and smooth.

11. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, vanilla extract and salt. Then beat the mixture with the spoon. Allow to cool slightly before frosting the cake.

Filling & Decorations

12. Filling: On a sheet of parchment paper, place a golf ball sized piece of marzipan. Cover it with another sheet of parchment paper and roll it out until it is a thin sheet. The circle should just be big enough to cover the bottom layer of your cake.

13. Ease off the top layer of parchment paper and dust a little powdered sugar over the marzipan, so it will be easier to handle. Then lay the marzipan over the bottom layer of cake. Slowly and gently ease the top layer of parchment paper off the marzipan. Then cover with frosting.

14. Decorations: Place another ball of marzipan between the two sheets of parchment paper. Roll out the marzipan until it is about 1/8" thick. Then ease off the top layer of parchment paper and sprinkle the marzipan with powdered sugar. Gently rub the powdered sugar into the marzipan. Then using your cookie cutters create your design of flowers. Once cut, ease them off the parchment paper and place on top of the cake. To make the centers of the flowers, roll little balls of marzipan and then place in a pleasing design in the center.

March 6, 2008

Cheesy Crackers & Granola Bars

I love surfing around to the other gluten free bloggers to see what everyone is cooking in their kitchens. I always find so many inspiring things to make for my family. This month the lovely Sea over at The Book of Yum is hosting an Adopt a Gluten Free Blogger Event, a perfect opportunity for me to try out a couple of recipes I've had my eye on at Gluten Free Gobsmacked.

Recently Kate made some delightful animal shaped Cheesy Quinoa Crackers that tempted her and her husband into nibbling. I gave her recipe a whirl and varied it a little bit, since I prefer my quinoa flour blended with other grains. I used a blend of quinoa, amaranth, millet, flaxseed meal and arrowroot starch which was a still a little strong in flavor. I used the flax seed meal as a replacement for the xanthan gum and for extra fiber. I chose to use a block of year old aged English Cheddar I picked up at Whole Foods and some Neufchatel cheese, it was a perfect mate for the stronger flavored flour blend. I made some with my small animal cracker cutters and some cut in parallelograms. What did my family think? My husband and I thought they were delicious and could lure you into nibbling far too many. My son thought they were okay, however my daughter didn't get a chance to try them due to her dairy allergy.

That takes me to the second recipe I tried from Kate's blog, Peanut Butter Granola Bars. I needed to have something for my daughter to try out that was dairy free. She likes peanut butter and will gladly eat a peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwich, but her real love is peanut butter and chocolate. After getting her approval on this recipe, we mixed together all her favorite cereals, seeds, nuts and dried fruit. I used agave syrup instead of the honey that Kate used. My daughter thought the granola bars were wonderful and wants me to include some Enjoy Life! dairy free chocolate chips in the next batch I make. The rest of us thought these bars were wonderful. My husband and I enjoyed some for breakfast while he had his morning coffee and I had my Rooibos tea.

To see Kate's full recipes follow the links above for the Cheesy Crackers and Peanut Butter Granola Bars. While you are there take some time to browse around and see her other gluten free recipes.