Easy DIY Kids Crafts & Recipes: Gluten-Free Mandarin & Chocolate Chip Cookies

Not Cardboard!

I’ve found a gluten-free cookie recipe which yields cookies that don’t taste like cardboard. Hallelujah! I’m not a fan of several recipes from Gluten Free Baking by  Michael McCamley,  but I liked this one. The cookies have an all-over chocolate taste with a hint of citrus that complements the chocolate chips.

Happy baking, hon! 

Gluten-Free Mandarin & Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces gluten-free semisweet dark chocolate (or gluten-free chocolate chips)
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons butter, plus extra for greasing (I used margarine.)
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 2 cups gluten-free, wheat-free all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 Tablespoon gluten-free unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free baking soda
  • juice of 1/2 mandarin orange
  • zest of 2 mandarin oranges

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
  2. Break or chop chocolate into small chunks and set aside one-quarter of the chunks to top the cookies. (I used chocolate chips so I didn’t break anything up.)
  3. Cream together the sugars and butter in a bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the egg. Add flour, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, baking soda, chocolate chunks, and the orange juice and zest.
  4. Bring the mixture together by hand, forming a ball, and invert onto a floured surface. Divide into 8-10 circles, using about 2 tablespoons of cookie dough per ball. Tip: The mixture is dry and messy, so I add small amounts of warm water until the batter is mixable. Then, grease hands with vegetable oil, combine ingredients, and pinch out batter to make individual cookies.
  5. Place circles on baking sheet, allowing space in between for each cookie to spread. Flatten each cookie slightly and sprinkle with reserved chocolate chunks or chips.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes, or until just firm to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool o a wire rack.

Yield:  10 cookies

Time for Pie (Gluten Free Dough)

Gluten Free Baking cookbook by Michael McCamley.
Gluten Free Baking cookbook by Michael McCamley.
Inspiration Photo.
Inspiration Photo.

Do you need a good gluten free dough recipe? 

This gluten free pastry dough recipe can be used for pie, quiche or other baked goods.  In this post, you’ll find ingredients and directions for making an Apple Pie as well as a link to a How To video I posted on You Tube.

Raw gluten free pastry dough doesn’t have the same sweet, buttery scent of regular dough but, once baked, the crust is flaky and delicious. Trust me, when this is served, there are no leftovers!

Happy baking, hon.

My Gluten Free Apple Pie.
My Gluten Free Apple Pie.

Click HERE to watch–Ta Dah!–my second, and short, How To Video.

Gluten Free Pastry Dough Ingredients

3 2/3 cups gluten-free flour, plus extra for dusting

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 stick butter, plus extra for greasing (I used Crisco vegetable shortening.)

1/2 cup milk (I used almond milk)

Apple Pie Filling Ingredients

6 cups apple slices (I use a combination of Granny Smith and other varieties)

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

approximately 1 Tablespoon flour

dash salt

1 egg, beaten (used to brush on top of crust before baking)

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degress F.

2.  Combine apples, sugar, lemon juice, salt and spices.  This mixture will give off a lot of liquid so use a slotted spoon when spooning into pie crust, allowing you to spoon the apple mixture without the excess liquid.

3.  To make the pastry dough, combine the flour, xanthan gum, and confectioner’s sugar in a large bowl. Rub in the butter (or vegetable shortening) with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Add the egg and milk (or almond milk) and combine to make the dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

4.  On a gluten free floured surface, divide the dough in two and roll each piece out to form a large circle*–one to line the pie plate and one to go on top of the pie. Line the pie plate with one of the pasty circles and add the apple filling.

5.  Add the second pastry circle as a lid and, using a fork, crimp the edges of the pasty all the way around. Pierce the pie in the middle a couple of times to let out steam during baking.

6.  Brush the top of the pie with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden.

Serves 8

*I rolled out the dough by a)pressing dough ball down to flatten it, b)sandwiching dough between two pieces of wax paper, then c)rolling the rolling pin on top of the wax paper.  (Demo can be seen in the video.) If the dough sticks to the wax paper, you can spray the wax paper with non-stick spray.

**You can make this pie ahead and freeze it.  Let pie cool completely before wrapping in saran wrap and aluminum foil.  A couple of days before serving, defrost at room temperature.

Serving options:

Serve warm–after removing from oven, let cool about 20 minutes.

Serve room temperature–cool completely.

Rewarm defrosted pie– warm in a preheated 250- 275 degrees F oven, uncovered, until desired temperature.

Gluten Free Pie Crust (Recipe and Video)

Gluten Free Baking cookbook by Michael McCamley.
Gluten Free Baking cookbook by Michael McCamley.
Inspiration Photo.
Inspiration Photo.

One of my daughters is gluten free, but she loves pie and quiche. I’ve found a great recipe for pastry dough. It’s tasty. Really!

The odd thing about baking gluten free desserts is that the ingredients smell completely different than baked goods made with flour. Before baking, the gluten free pastry dough doesn’t have the same sweet, buttery scent of regular dough but, once baked, the crust is flaky and delicious.

This recipe for Gluten Free Pastry Dough can be used for pie, quiche or other baked goods.  I included the ingredients and directions for Apple Pie.

 Happy baking, hon.  And Happy Holidays!

My Gluten Free Apple Pie.
My Gluten Free Apple Pie.

Click HERE to watch–Ta Dah!–my second, and short, How To Video.

Gluten Free Pastry Dough

3 2/3 cups gluten-free flour, plus extra for dusting

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 stick butter, plus extra for greasing (I used Crisco vegetable shortening.)

1/2 cup milk (I used almond milk)

Apple Pie Filling

6 cups apple slices (I use a combination of Granny Smith and other varieties)

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

approximately 1 Tablespoon flour

dash salt

1 egg, beaten (used to brush on top of crust before baking)

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degress F.

2.  Combine apples, sugar, lemon juice, salt and spices.  This mixture will give off a lot of liquid so use a slotted spoon when spooning into pie crust, allowing you to spoon the apple mixture without the excess liquid.

3.  To make the pastry dough, combine the flour, xanthan gum, and confectioner’s sugar in a large bowl. Rub in the butter (or vegetable shortening) with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Add the egg and milk (or almond milk) and combine to make the dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

4.  On a gluten free floured surface, divide the dough in two and roll each piece out to form a large circle*–one to line the pie plate and one to go on top of the pie. Line the pie plate with one of the pasty circles and add the apple filling.

5.  Add the second pastry circle as a lid and, using a fork, crimp the edges of the pasty all the way around. Pierce the pie in the middle a couple of times to let out steam during baking.

6.  Brush the top of the pie with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden.

Serves 8

*I rolled out the dough by a)pressing dough ball down to flatten it, b)sandwiching dough between two pieces of wax paper, then c)rolling the rolling pin on top of the wax paper.  (Demo can be seen in the video.) If the dough sticks to the wax paper, you can spray the wax paper with non-stick spray.

**You can make this pie ahead and freeze it.  Let pie cool completely before wrapping in saran wrap and aluminum foil.  A couple of days before serving, defrost at room temperature.

Serving options:

Serve warm–after removing from oven, let cool about 20 minutes.

Serve room temperature–cool completely.

Rewarm defrosted pie– warm in a preheated 250- 275 degrees F oven, uncovered, until desired temperature.

Gluten Free Spinach Tomato Cheddar Quiche

IMG_5494

Call me a quiche snob!

I can’t bring myself to buy quiches that have 25 plus ingredients, many of them unpronounceable. Sure, I eat my share of processed food. But why buy something when a) the recipe is easy to follow, b) all the ingredients are familiar, and c) the homemade version is healthy and delicious? Plus, quiches freeze well. I’m always happy to pull one of out of the freezer, add some salad and/or soup and call it a meal.

One of my daughters is gluten free so this was my first attempt at making gluten free pastry dough. It was definitely more work than making regular pastry dough, which is a cinch if you have a food processor. I was surprised how well the gluten free dough held its shape. If you want the recipe for regular pastry dough, click here and you’ll link to a previous post,  Broccoli Cheddar Quiche.

Happy cooking, hon!

Gathering Ingredients
Gathering ingredients.
Dried beans weigh pastry dough down while bakes for 10 minutes.
Dried beans weigh pastry dough down it while bakes for 10 minutes.
Shredded cheddar and steamed spinach.
Shredded cheddar and steamed spinach.
Steamed spinach and chopped tomato.
Steamed spinach and chopped tomato.

 

 

 

 

 

Ready to go in the oven.
Ready to go in the oven.
Gluten Free Spinach Tomato Cheddar Quiche ready to eat.
Gluten Free Spinach Tomato Cheddar Quiche ready to eat.

GLUTEN FREE PASTRY DOUGH (single crust)

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 stick butter, plus extra for greasing

1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup water

pie weights or dried beans (I bought a bag of navy beans, these can be used again after weighing down dough in oven.)

Directions:

1.  Grease a deep 9-inch tart or pie pan.

2.  To make pastry dough, place the flour, xanthan gum, and salt into a bowl. Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until it resembles fine bread crumbs.

3.  Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the egg and a little water. Using your hands, mix in the dry ingredients to form a dough. Invert it onto a gluten free floured surface and knead well. Wrap it in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.

4.  Roll out the dough and use it to line the prepared tart pan. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

5.  Remove the dough from the freezer, line with parchment paper, fill with pie weights or dried beans, and bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove parchment paper and weights and let the pastry cool slightly before adding filling.

SPINACH TOMATO CHEDDAR QUICHE FILLING

Ingredients:

10 oz. shredded Cheddar cheese

2 Tbsp. flour

1 (10 oz.) pkg frozen spinach, steamed

1 medium tomato, cut into chunks

3 eggs, beaten

¼ to ½ cup half & half or a little milk

Dash of pepper and dash or two of nutmeg

Directions:

1.  In a large bowl, toss cheese and flour together.

2.  Cook spinach according to directions; drain well.

3.  Add spinach and tomato to cheese.  Add eggs to spinach/tomato/cheese mixture.  Add half & half (or milk).  Add pepper and nutmeg; stir.  Mix well.

4.  Pour into piecrust.  Sprinkle nutmeg on top.

5.  Bake 45 to 50 minutes until golden brown.  (Hint: If crust is browning and middle of quiche isn’t set, use a pie rim cover or tin foil to cover perimeter of crust until quiche is done.)

Serves 6 to 8.

*Source for gluten free pastry dough:  Gluten Free Baking by Michael McCamley