Cookie-A-Day- Day 12: Thumbprint Cookies

One of my all-time favorites, the Thumbprint Cookie.  I loved to make these as a child.  I loved to press my thumb down into the middle of the cookie.  Filling a warm cookie with jelly or jam and a glass of ice cold milk made the best bedtime snack. 

This year I am adding a healthy twist to the Thumbprint Cookies – I am replacing the walnuts (not that they aren’t healthy) with flaxseed meal.  I saw a recipe on Eating Well called “Fig & Flax Thumbprint Cookies”, so I decided to add the flax twist to my own. 

Here is my traditional recipe:

Thumbprint Cookies

1/2 cup softened butter or margarine
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
2 eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour (gluten-free flour mix – Bette Hagman’s)
1 or 2 tsps xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups finely chopped nuts
Your favorite jellies / jams

Heat oven to 350. Mix thoroughly butter, shortening, sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla. Work in flour, xanthan gum, and salt until dough holds together. Shape dough by teaspoonfuls into 1 inch balls.

Beat egg whites slightly. Dip each ball into egg white, then roll in chopped nuts. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet. Press thumb deeply into center of each. Bake about 10 minutes or until light brown. Immediately remove from baking sheet; cool. Fill thumbprints with jelly / jam before serving.

 

Make sure to check back tomorrow for the updated version!  :) 

 

Cookie-A-Day- Day 11: Lemon Cornmeal Cookies

These cookies caught my eye when I was browsing the Cooking Light website.  Jon loves lemon cookies, bars, cake, etc.  He was thrilled when he left for school this morning that I was making these today.  These turned out really good.  They have a unique texture due to the cornmeal in them.  The lemon flavor is slight, but pairs well with the ginger.  A nice after dinner treat! 

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  • 1  cup  gluten-free flour mix – I used Carol’s Sorghum Mix (about 4 1/2 ounces, which was less than a cup)
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/3  cup  yellow cornmeal (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/2  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground ginger
  • 3/4  cup  plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 6  tablespoons  butter, softened
  • 1  large egg
  • 1  tablespoon grated lemon rind (one lemon made a little less than 1 TBSP)

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Combine flour and the next 4 ingredients (through ground ginger); stir with a whisk. Combine sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Scrape sides of the bowl occasionally. Add egg; beat well. Beat in grated lemon rind. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, and beat at medium-low speed just until blended.

3. Spoon about 1 1/2 teaspoons batter 2 inches apart onto 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes (I checked mine at 10 and they were done) or until lightly browned and almost firm. Remove from oven. Cool on pans for 2 minutes or until firm. Remove from pans. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 55 /per cookie (based on 36 cookies)

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If you want to help support & raise money for Celiac, make sure to use #healthytummy in any tweets you do through 12/16.  There is more info here.

 

Help Raise Money for Celiac Disease

Pay attention!  Starting December 10th (okay, I am a little slow here) – December 16th, each time #healthytummy is used in a tweet, Attune Foods will donate $1 to the Celiac Disease Foundation up to $3,000.00!!  So, get to tweeting!!  You can find more information here

 

Cookie-A-Day – Day 10: Gingerbread People

Well, after the last 3 cookie recipes being flops, I finally had a success!  It is about stinkin’ time!  Since I was feeling a little insecure about my baking, I decided to use a recipe from Carol Fenster’s 1,000 Gluten-free Recipes to make these cookies.  Carol’s recipes have always worked very well for me, so I went back to the tried & true.  I was not disappointed!  I wish I could share the recipe with you, but it is copyrighted.  You can probably get the cookbook from your library & try some of the recipes out if you are unsure of the purchase, but let me tell you that this is one amazing cookbook (no, I am not getting paid to say that).  The pizza crust that I raved about here is also one of Carol’s recipes.  :) 

Look…..they worked!

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The army:

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Once the cookies cooled, I whipped up a quick frosting/icing & we got busy. 

Frosting

1-2 cups powdered sugar (depends on how much frosting you want to make)

1/2 – 1 tsp vanilla (again, depends on how much sugar you use; start with less & taste – you can always add more)

1-3 TBSP milk (start with 1 TBSP, stir and add more milk until you get the desired consistency)

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My little helper – concentrating so hard:

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Jon’s handiwork:

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Up tomorrow: Lemon Cornmeal Cookies – YUM!  I can’t wait.  I am well stocked with parchment paper, so I hope to avoid future disasters!

In case you missed any of the earlier days of “Cookie-A-Day”

Day 1 – Russian Teacakes

Day 2 – Sweet Potato Oatmeal Raisin

Day 3 – Dark Chocolate Snowstorms

Day 4 – Pecan Shortbread

Day 5 – Spritz Cookies

Day 6 – Gingersnaps

Day 7 – Almond Cranberry Bites

Day 8 – Peanut Butter Cookies

Day 9 – Festive Candy Cookies

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Looking for fudge recipes?  Check out my Remarkable Fudge & Peanut Butter Fudge recipes. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Gluten-free Pita Bread

Yes, I said “Gluten-free Pita Bread”.  I did not stutter.  I about fell out of my chair when I heard there was such a product on the market.  I knew that I had to get my hands on some ASAP!  I emailed Rami at GFL Foods, Inc and they happily shipped me out a package of gluten-free pitas to review (the pitas were sent to me at no charge; I am not being paid to write this review).  You can purchase the pitas at www.glutenfreepitas.com , which is very easy to remember. 

Jon was thrilled the day these showed up on our doorstep.  We have now plowed through our package & I am here to report the many different ways we used the pitas.  We have filled them with BBQ pulled pork, taco meat, lunch meat & cheese and used them as pizza crusts!  Here is a couple photos of the pitas filled with taco meat.

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These gluten-free pitas are so easy to prepare.  Once they arrived, the instructions said to place them in the freezer.  To prepare, simply place in the microwave for 30 seconds & fill with the filling of your choice.  For the most part these pitas held up very well to the different fillings that we used.  They did crumble a little when used as a pizza crust, but that could be due to the additional heating to melt the cheese on the “pizzas”.  The taste was great & complimented all of the different foods well.  I would highly recommend these pitas.  The only con I could really find was the price.  The cost is $9/bag of pitas + shipping.  I realize that gluten-free foods cost more to make, as the ingredients cost more.  To my knowledge, I don’t think there is another gluten-free pita on the market, so if you want one, this is the place to get them!

Thanks to Rami & GFL Foods, Inc for giving me the opportunity to sample & review these awesome pita breads. 

 

Weekly Menu Plan – December 13, 2009

This week has been full of baking disasters – 3 to be exact.  I posted about 1 of them here, the other 2 happened on Saturday.  Saturday I set out to make Sugar Cut-outs and Shortbread.  The cut outs all stuck to my non-stick cookie sheet.  I suspect that my running out of parchment paper & opting to carry on was a mistake.  Live & learn.  I did try the last 5 cookies on foil sprayed with Pam and they worked much better.  So, it wasn’t the recipe as much as it was the method that I chose to bake them – cutting corners because I ran out of the parchment.  Note to self: stick dough back in fridge & go to the store next time.  ;)  Now, the shortbread.  Not sure what happened there.  I took a recipe from Real Simple (ha ha….that makes me laugh seeing as this was far from simple for me…LOL) and converted it to gluten-free.  Normally I have no trouble converting recipes, but this just did not work.  It looked very pretty in the pan, but upon removing it, it crumbled.  LOL!  I have more cookie crumbs in my freezer than I know what to do with!  The shortbread & the sugar cut-outs both taste amazing, they just aren’t pretty.  I have renewed faith this morning, though, and am planning on making Gingerbread Cookies with Hannah.  Wish me luck!  I am going with this saying- “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” 

Onto the menu plan for the week.  No more talk of failures.  Heather of Celiac Family is hosting the gluten-free menu swap this week & the ingredient of the week is cinnamon!  I love cinnamon!  I used cinnamon daily.  I put cinnamon in my coffee with a touch of unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze; I sprinkle cinnamon on my apples & pears; I sprinkle cinnamon on my almond & pumpkin butter creations.  One of my favorite recipes that has cinnamon in it is Snickerdoodles

I just got back from the grocery store with some fun produce finds.  I was shocked to find blackberries on sale for $1 again!  Here it is, December, and the blackberries are plentiful!  I also picked up 5 lbs of clementines.  I have a sneaking suspicion that I am going to be eating all 5 lbs alone.  I gave Hannah one for lunch & she didn’t like the “white skin” part.  Jon refused it and I don’t think Aaron likes them either.  Oh well, more for me, right?  I wanted to grab grapes, but not at $2.99/lb.  I was also disappointed at the price of broccoli – $2/head!   While I am enjoying the blackberries & root veggies, I really miss peaches, plums and watermelon. 

 

Sunday – Rotisserie chicken, basmati rice, fresh green beans & salad

Monday -Sweet Thai Salmon, baked sweet potato, asparagus & salad

Tuesday – Mexican Pizza, refried beans, white corn & salad

Wednesday- BBQ Chicken Breast, parmesan potatoes, sugar snap peas & salad

Thursday -Shrimp Scampi Alfredo, brown rice pasta & salad

Friday -Calzones (hoping Shriley at Gluten-free Easily posts her stuffed pizza by then ;) ), veggies & salad

Saturday -Roasted root veggies with chickpeas, marinutta sauce & goat cheese, salad

 

Baked Goods

Bread

Bagels

Brownies

Lots of cookies (hopefully no flops this week)

Candy/fudge

 

As always, don’t forget to check out Orgjunkie for lots of great menu ideas. 

 

I hope you all have a great week!  Here are a couple of the fudge recipes I plan on making this week – Remarkable Fudge & Peanut Butter Fudge.

 

 

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Cookie-A-Day: Day 9 – Festive Candy Cookies

I started out my day yesterday with hopes of changing up my Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe to make it a little more festive.  I thought that adding Mini M & Ms to the cookies would make them more festive.  I got that butter out when I was making breakfast in the morning to let it soften.  The recipe calls for melted butter, but I have never had success when melting the butter (gluten-free or not gluten-free).  I didn’t get around to mixing the dough until 4:00.  Here is how the first tray turned out:

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After this, I promptly stuck the dough in the fridge to chill, hoping that would help.  Not my luck.  A little better, but still spread way too much.  The next tray came out like that as well.  I quickly abandoned any thoughts of making another tray & pressed the remaining dough into a round Pyrex dish & made a round bar cookie.  It came out wonderfully!

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Here are the cookies – I cut them into thin bars.  They taste amazing, but look horrible!  LOL!

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I was tweeting last night about my flop and Shirley from Gluten-free Easily had a great idea.  She told me to freeze the cookies & use them later for a pie crust!  Brilliant!  I would just need to crush & add butter or oil & press into a pan.  Never throw away your flops – they can be used for something.   These may not make it to the cookie crumb crust – the kids love them!

Tips/Notes

  • The recipe can be found on the link above.  Omit the oats and don’t use melted butter.  Do soften the butter, but only for a hour or 2.
  • This recipe is normally a huge success.  I love the flavor.

I wanted to show that even though “Life gave me lemons, I made lemonade”.  I turned a potentially frustrating & upsetting situation into a joke & laughed about it.  That is all you can do.  Baking is about trial & error, just like a lot of things in life.  It isn’t just gluten-free baking that is like that, either, though it does seem to require a little more patience at times.  There have been times over the past 4 years that I have thrown in the towel and said I wouldn’t bake again, but I did.  I am glad I did.  It may just be the flour mix or the temperature in the oven.  Or, you may never figure out what the problem was.  Just don’t stop trying.  :)

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Buddy the Elf showed up again today.  He was hanging from our pot rack in the kitchen!

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Hannah got a big kick out of that! :)

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Did you catch Dr. Oz’s show on Celiac Disease yesterday?  I thought the first 15 – 20 minutes were very informative.  The animation & details about symptoms were just what needed to be shown & said to get the word out to those who may be suffering.  I was a little disappointed when the conversation turned to the gluten-free diet being great for weight loss even if you don’t have Celiac or gluten intolerance.  This seems to lessen the importance of the gluten-free diet for those who really need it.  While it is great to have so much awareness, this shouldn’t be promoted as the newest “fad diet”.  For those who have Celiac, this is the only “cure”.   Cross contamination can make Celiacs sick and cause damage.  I was also curious as to how many people actually lose weight on the gluten-free diet.  I tweeted the question and I received mixed responses.  Some people did lose weight, but others gained.  I gained weight (needed to).  The weight gain most likely comes from the body finally being able to absorb the nutrients that it couldn’t when the villi were damaged. Another very important point that I initially missed – Dr. Oz mentioned trying the GF diet first for a few weeks and then getting tested – don’t do this!  If you remove gluten-from your diet & then go get tested, the results can be skewed.  Get tested first, then remove the gluten.  Dr Oz does have an informative page on his site – lots of good info there.

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Make sure to stop by Diane’s today – The Whole Gang.  She is hosting the Friday Foodie Fix and the secret ingredient is chocolate!  You all know how near & dear to my heart chocolate is.  :)

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