Cookie-A-Day: Day 8 – Peanut Butter Cookies

An old favorite in our house – Peanut Butter Cookies.  I knew that this had to be one of the cookies that I included in my series.  These cookies are super easy to mix up and toss in the oven.  They can even be mixed the night before and then baked first thing in the morning. 

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Gluten-free Peanut Butter Cookies

*Original recipe from Betty Crocker Cook Book – modified to be gluten-free by me

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup peanut butter (I used Skippy Natural)

1/4 cup shortening

1/4 cup butter, softened (1/2 a stick)

1 large egg

1 1/4 cups GF flour mix (I used Carol’s sorghum mix)

3/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp. xanthan gum

1/4 tsp. salt

Granulated sugar (for topping)

 

Method

1.  Mix sugars, peanut butter, shortening, butter & egg together in a large mixing bowl.  Stir in dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated.  Chill for at least 2 hours. 

2.  Heat oven to 375.

3.  Shape dough into small balls and roll in granulated sugar.  Flatten cookies with a fork (you may want to spray with Pam) in a criss-cross pattern.

4.  Bake for 9-10 minutes or until light brown – do not over-bake.  They took just 9 minutes in my oven.  Cool 5 minutes & remove to wire rack for the remainder of the cooling time. 

 

Tips

  • This recipe is another that works best using a GF flour mix without added baking soda or baking powder.  That way you can control the amounts.  I usually reserve Pamela’s Baking Mix for muffins, cakes, scones and not cookies.  The one cookie I made with Pamela’s last week came out cake-like. 
  • Use parchment paper on your cookie sheets to help your cookies from sticking & to keep them from spreading too much.
  • I thought about subbing the shortening out to make these a little healthier.  The cook book suggests using 1/4 pkg. (8 oz pkg) light cream cheese in place of the shortening.  I didn’t have any, but would love to try that next time. 

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My helper:

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Using his “tool”:

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Ready to go into the oven:

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The finished product:

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Once again, a hit.  The kids scarfed down the cookies that I would allow them to have & begged for more.  I asked what the best cookies were so far – Jon said the Almond Cranberry Bites from yesterday; Hannah said the Peanut Butter Cookies & the Spritz Cookies are her favorite. 

 

 

Cookie-A-Day: Day 7- Almond Cranberry Bites

I happened upon this recipe in an Eatingwell.com email.  The original recipe calls for dried cherries, but I didn’t have any so I subbed dried cranberries instead.  This recipe screamed “Christmas cookie” to me, so I knew that I had to include it in my “Cookie-A-Day” series.  This recipe is full of healthy ingredients – almonds, canola oil, dried fruit.  So, you can feel good about treating yourself to one of these cookies and these cookies ROCK!  I was so pleasantly surprised when I tasted these.  Jon was adamant about not trying them because he doesn’t like dried fruit.  Well, they smelled so good he asked to try one.  He ended up eating three & saying he loved them!  They are really good warm.  I couldn’t convert Hannah, but that is okay, this only made 20 cookies, so more for us!  ;)

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Almond Cranberry Bites

  • 1/3 cup whole almonds (I used Trader Joe’s raw almonds
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup coarsely chopped dried cherries
  • 2/3 cup gluten-free flour mix (I used Carol’s sorghum mix)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate chips or finely chopped dark and/or white chocolate, for decoration (optional- I opted not to add this)

Method

1.  Heat oven to 350.

2.  Grind raw almonds & sugar in a food processor until you have the desired texture; the finer the texture, the more intense the almond flavor & less crunch from the almond.  Be careful not to turn the almonds into paste.  Transfer mix to large bowl & mix in flour & cranberries.

3.  Add egg white, oil, vanilla & almond extracts.  Mix until well incorporated.

4.  Shape dough into small balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the bottom is slightly brown; the tops will not brown.

5.  Transfer to a wire rack & cool completely.

6.  Optional- melt chocolate & drizzle over cookies with a fork.  Let stand until chocolate sets.

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Tips

1.  This is another mix where a GF flour mix without baking soda, baking powder & xanthan gum are not needed.  I am not sure how the cookies would turn out if you were to use a mix with those added in.

2.  The chocolate melted on top is not necessary, in my opinion and you all know how much I love my chocolate.

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These are now going to become a holiday staple in our house.  You can freeze these for up to 3 months.  They have about 75 calories per cookie (recipe made 20 cookies).

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In case you missed this: College Inn has recalled some chicken broth for undeclared wheat.  You can read more about it here.

Cookie-A-Day – Day 6: Gingersnaps

I have been making Gingersnaps since I was a teenager.  I loved to bake since I was old enough to understand how to work the oven & measure ingredients.  I love to experiment with new cookies and this is one that once I made it, it became an instant family favorite.  I love the crisp outside & chewy inside.  I was worried that the conversion of this recipe to gluten-free would alter the textures that I loved so dearly in this cookie.  Upon my first bite, I slowly bit into the cookie, hoping & praying that I wouldn’t be disappointed.  I wasn’t – the crisp was still there.  Now for the chewy.  I continued to bite into the cookie & the chewy ginger center was there too!  There was little to no difference between the gluten-free & gluten-filled version of this cookie.  Success!!

You can find the Gingersnap recipe here.  I did feature this recipe last year on my blog, too.

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Don’t forget to watch or DVR Dr. Oz on Thursday, December 10th.  Dr. Oz will be doing a show on Celiac Disease.  I am so excited that Celiac Disease awareness is just exploding!

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Make sure to check this article out on a recall for undeclared wheat in chicken broth.

Cookie-A-Day: Day 5- Spritz Cookies

I have such fond memories of making Spritz cookies as a child.  My mom used to make it so much fun for my sister, Kelly, and I.  She would press out all the cookies with the ancient metal cookie press and we would then get to decorate them.  We used cut up maraschino cherries for the Scottie dog’s collar, silver ball candies for the balls on the Christmas trees, sprinkles for the wreaths.  Then we made sure to sample them as they came out of the oven.  Oh, the memories.  I wanted to start to pass along some of these traditions to my kids, so I made sure they were both present for the Spritz cookie baking & decorating. 

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This recipe is straight from the old Betty Crocker Cookbook, modified to be gluten-free.

1 cup butter, softened (no margarine here…butter is a must!)

1/2 cup sugar

2 1/4 cups GF flour mix (I used Carol’s Sorghum Mix)

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp xanthan gum

1 egg

1 tsp almond extract (another must have….this makes these cookies!)

 

1.  Cream butter & sugar.

2.  Blend in remaining ingredients.

3.  Chill for 30 minutes or so. 

4.  Heat oven to 400.

5.  Fill cookie press with 1/4 of the dough at a time. 

6.  Form desired shapes on ungreased baking sheet

7.  Bake 6 to 9 minutes or until set, but not brown

8.  Cool slightly & then remove to cooling racks.

 

My notes:

  • Don’t use Pamela’s Baking Mix or any other mix with baking soda or baking powder for this recipe
  • My cookie press is very cantankerous.  I don’t know what the issue is, but the dough likes to stick to the plastic disks . This happened pre-GF, too, so it isn’t the GF dough.  Maybe try parchment paper on the cookie sheet to convince the dough to want to stick to the cookie sheet. 
  • My oven took exactly 6 minutes.  If I had left them in for 9, they would have been brown.  I use an oven thermometer to monitor the temp in my oven at all times.  Best $10 I ever spent. 

 

Towards the end, we gave up on the cookie press & started rolling them by hand:

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Jon threatening me to eat the dough – I had already freaked out on him once b/c of the raw eggs.  Funny guy. ;)

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Like the messy hands? 

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My own personal decorator.  :)

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These cookies rocked!  They are my favorite so far! 

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Even my non-cookie-eating husband was raving about these! 

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Okay, one more picture, only because I am starving now!  LOL!

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Do you have any cookie traditions

 

 

Cookie-A-Day: Day 4 – Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Today I bring you what I was hoping to be a near replica of my beloved “Pecan Sandies” that I loved back in the day.  The cookies turned out more cake-like then they did like shortbread, but that may have been my decision to use Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix instead of my GF Flour Mix (Carol’s sorghum mix).  See, the recipe doesn’t call for any baking powder or soda, and Pamela’s has both.  The cookies are still very tasty, just a different texture that I think I was hoping they would have.  As a matter of fact, both Hannah & Jon loved these!  The recipe for these comes from a friend, Lori, of Fake Food Free. Lori doesn’t bake gluten-free yet, but is interested in giving it a try.  I can’t wait to see how her treats turn out.

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Here are the changes that I made to the recipe:

  • I used 1/4 cup of granulated sugar (I didn’t have any demerara).
  • I used Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix in place of the whole wheat flour.  Next time I am using Carol’s sorghum mix.

That is it.  Very simple to mix & make.  A perfect treat with coffee or tea.

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Hope you all enjoyed week 1 of Cookie-A-Day!  Next week will have 5 days of cookies!  I am going to be making some old favorites next week, so make sure to keep coming back!  Also, if you have any requests, post them in the comments & I will see what I can do to make them.  Any old favorites you want converted to gluten-free?  Email or leave a comment.  I am happy to give it a go!

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Found out some exciting news yesterday….Dr. Oz will have a show on Celiac on December 10th!  Be sure to tune in.  I love Dr. Oz!

Cookie-A-Day: Day 3 – Dark Chocolate Snowstorms

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I knew as soon as I found this recipe that I had to convert it to a gluten-free one.  I love chocolate.  I don’t think I can express how much I love chocolate.  I love the added touch of the powdered sugar, adding a “holiday” feel. 

Dark Chocolate Snowstorms

1 1/2 cups GF flour mix (I used Carol’s Sorghum Mix)

1/2 cup Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa

3/4 tsp salt

3/4 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp xanthan gum

1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar

1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

Directions

1.  Best sugar & butter in mixing bowl until fluffy.  Beat in egg & vanilla. 

2.  Mix all dry ingredients together and then blend into the wet mix.  Mix well.

3.  Chill dough for 30 minutes.

4.  Roll dough into balls & bake at 350 for 12 minutes. 

5.  Let cool for 3-5 minutes on sheet & then remove to cooling rack.

6.  Dip in powdered sugar while still slightly warm.

***Tip for gluten-free cookie baking:  Chill the dough at least 30 minutes, even if the recipe does not call for it.  This helps the cookies not spread out too much on your baking sheet.  I speak from lots of tears & experience.  ;)

Ready to go in the oven:

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Ready to inhale:

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I had some people asking about the Catholic Potatoes I had on our Thanksgiving menu.  You can find the recipe for them here, on The Examiner. 

 

See you tomorrow for the end of week 1 of Cookie-A-Day!

 

 

Cookie-A-Day: Day 2- Sweet Potato Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

For this cookie, I was inspired by Tina of Carrots’n’Cake.  She made Sweet Potato Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.  I knew once I read that post that I had to make them.  I just happened to have a can of sweet potato puree on hand, so off I went!  I made a few alterations to make the recipe gluten-free.  My changes are below:

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats (Used Bob’s Red Mill GF Oats)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (I used Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

These cookies were awesome!  They aren’t as sweet as a typical oatmeal raisin cookie, but that is fine.  They are chewy & I love the different textures going on. 

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A great cookie to offer at Christmas time as a healthier choice.  I went ahead & froze most of these to test out how they freeze.  The result?  They don’t only freeze well, but they are pretty darn good when frozen, too! 

 

Cornbread & Sausage Stuffing/Dressing -Gluten-free

Growing up stuffing (what we always called it regardless of whether or not it was stuffed into the turkey).  I know that some call it “dressing” and I believe that is a southern term, but also refers to the dish that is not stuffed into the turkey.  Who knows – whatever – it ROCKS!  ;)  My first year of gluten-free eating was 2006 (January 12th, to be exact).  We used a gluten-free bread, not cornbread, and it was not good.  I think it was Ener-G, but I am not positive.  I just know that it didn’t turn out well at all.  I was so disappointed.  The following year I thought about using cornbread instead.  The cornbread I had made gluten-free was darn near the same as the cornbread I had made before.  It had to be better in the stuffing.  It was!  This is what we have now used for the past few years for stuffing/dressing.  We do not stuff the turkey with it, but that has nothing to do with the gluten-free status, but more of my OCD fears of it not getting cooked enough.  I prefer it crisped up on top anyway. 

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Cornbread Stuffing with Sausage – ingredients

2 batches of cornbread

1 roll of sausage (check to make sure it is GF)

2 sticks of butter

Chopped celery

Chopped onion (I omit b/c I can’t eat onions)

Salt

Pepper

Poultry Seasoning

Broth – turkey or chicken

I am going to go through the entire method below.  From baking the cornbread to making the sausage and combining it all together.  Also, I make the cornbread a few days in advance.  You can leave it partially uncovered to help dry it out.

Cornbread

**From the back of the Quaker Yellow Corn Meal Box

***Double this for the stuffing

1 ¼ cups Pamela’s Baking Mix

¾ cup cornmeal (Used Bob’s Red Mill Stone Ground Cornmeal)

¼ cup sugar (1/8 cup for stuffing cornbread)

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt (I omitted this b/c there is salt in Pamela’s baking mix)

1 cup buttermilk (the box says to use skim, I like buttermilk in my cornbread)

¼ cup vegetable oil (I use canola)

2 egg whites or 1 egg beaten (I used the beaten egg.

Heat oven to 400. Pam 8 or 9 inch baking pan. Combine dry ingredients. Stir in milk, oil and egg, mixing just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour into pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean. (I did 20 minutes).

The day of preparation.

Crumble the cornbread onto cookie sheets in a single layer & place in oven at 250 – 300 degrees and check frequently until it gets dried out, but not burnt.  While you are doing this, you can prepare the sausage (I used Tennesee Pride Mild). 

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Melt butter in large frying pan.  Add chopped celery & onion & cook until translucent.  Add seasonings – salt, pepper & poultry seasoning to taste.  My Mom is the pro at this.  You can always add more, so taste as y0u go. 

Mix bread, sausage and butter/celery/onion mixture together in a large bowl. 

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You will need to add broth to moisten the stuffing before placing in the oven.  How much depends on your preference.  The more, the moister.  Cover & bake at 350 – 375 for 30-40 minutes.  Take cover off for the last 10 minutes or so to crisp up the top if you like.

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Notice the different dish?  I had so much stuffing I had 2 dishes full and forgot which one I had been taking pictures of! 

 

 

Cookie-A-Day: Day 1 – Russian Teacakes

My Mom used to make these cookies when I was a child.  I remember calling them “Snowballs” instead of “Russian Teacakes”.  They are also called “Mexican Wedding Cakes”.  This recipe comes from the old Betty Crocker cookbook.  I am talking about the old, old, old one.  I think that it was printed in the early 70s.  All I know is that my Mom still has the book & it is in pieces.  She was nice enough to make copies of my favorite recipes for me a few years back.  I didn’t have to do much to modify this recipe to be gluten-free. 

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Original:

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What I did:

1 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1 egg

2 1/4 cups GF Flour Mix (I used Carol’s Sorghum Mix)

1 1/2 tsps Xanthan Gum

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup finely chopped nuts (I used walnuts)

Heat oven to 400.  Mix thoroughly butter, sugar, egg & vanilla.  Work in flour, salt & nuts until the dough holds together.  Cover & chill for 30 minutes or so.  Shape dough into 1-inch balls.  Place on ungreased baking sheet.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until set, but not brown.  I only needed to keep them in for 10 minutes.  I use an oven thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature in my oven.  Let cookies cool slightly – 5-10 minutes.  While still warm, roll cookies in powdered sugar.  Set on cooling rack to complete cooling.  Roll again in sugar once they are cool. 

Ready to go into the oven:

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Finished product:

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They kids loved these!  The best thing about these cookies is they freeze well.  I froze most of these so that I can have a nice assortment of cookies for Christmas. 

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Back on Track

After the feasting last Thursday, our eating spree continued into Black Friday and then again on Saturday for lunch with my Dad & family.  The risotto that I talked about here was just too good to pass up again on Saturday (yes, we went back to Marcella’s ;)).  My body was begging to be fed the way it is used to being fed – with lots of fruits & veggies!  Of course I enjoy my sweet treats, but not before I eat the healthy (and good) stuff. 

I was digging through my vegetable drawer today to find something to go along side my sandwich & salad & saw some carrot sticks that Aaron had cut up.  An idea popped into my head – carrot fries!  I had seen them in the past month or so around the blog world & it was time for me to try them out.  I sprayed a baking sheet with Pam and then placed the carrots sticks on the sheet, sprayed them with Pam and then seasoned with salt & pepper.  I baked/roasted at 400 for about 10-20 minutes, flipping occasionally.  I plated them with my sandwich & added some ketchup on the side for dipping.  YUM!  Another naturally gluten-free recipe.  :)

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I feel so much better when I keep my diet full of fresh fruits & veggies.  I have so much more energy!  Of course another way to stay on track or get back on track after a splurge or holiday is to get right back into your exercise routine.  I try to keep my schedule the same or very close to it, so even though I may splurge on some goodies, I am still getting my runs or workouts in.  You don’t have to throw in the towel because you overate or didn’t workout for 4-5 days.  Just get right back into it!  

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Keep an eye out tomorrow for the start of Cookie-A-Day on Gluten-free is Life.  I hope to share a cookie recipe with you guys at least 5 days/week during the month of December.  Some will be healthier versions to keep the pounds from piling on this holiday season.  I am a firm believer in moderation, though.  Don’t deny yourself anything.  Life is too short.  Denying yourself will make you want it even more & may even cause you to over eat or binge.  

 

 

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