Gluten Free Cinnamon Biscuits

Ever since Brian made the “Happy Accident” Buttermilk Biscuits I’ve been plotting a version with cinnamon.

We debated different ways of incorporating the cinnamon… mixing it in with the dry ingredients or making half the batch of dough with cinnamon and the other half without and then twisting them together…. (This was my idea… Brian looked at me like I was stupid….) Finally we agreed to try rolling the dough up with a cinnamon & sugar filling.

The first batch we made with regular white sugar and cinnamon, but next time I would use brown sugar, cinnamon and butter… just for a bit more…. well… butter and sugar… duh.

Raisins and pecans would be a good add-in too…. if Brian didn’t hate raisins and pecans…

Gluten Free Cinnamon Biscuits

Cinnamon Biscuits

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups Cup4Cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 stick  butter, cold, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

*Optional – Add pecans or raisins to the center before rolling

Frosting

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Directions

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Using a whisk or food processor, combine all dry ingredients together and mix until wellGluten Free Cinnamon Biscuits blended.

Be sure butter is very cold. Using a food processor, add in the cold butter and pulse until it is incorporated into the dough and it resembles pea-sized shapes. If you do not have a food processor, use a pastry cutter or a fork to cut in the butter.

Place this mixture into a bowl. Using a fork slowly mix in the buttermilk until the dough is formed into a lumpy ball. The dough will be loose. Do not over mix.

Take the loose dough and wrap it in clear plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Using additional flour as needed, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick rectangle.

Combine cinnamon, sugar and melted butter in a small bowl.  Smear dough completely with the cinnamon/sugar/butter mixture.

 

Starting at the narrow end of the rectangle, gently roll the dough into a log.  Slice the roll into 1 1/2 in sections and space evenly on a cookie sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, combine the powdered sugar and milk to make a thick frosting.  You can frost the rolls while they are still hot from the oven and the frosting will melt into the rolls, or you can wait until they have cooled a bit and the frosting will harden on top… or, you can do both!

Enjoy!

Caramel Turtle Cookies

My aunt sent me a photo today and asked me if I knew what it was.

IMG_6958

“Cat barf?” I guessed.

“No, it’s a cookie,” she texted back.  “Grandma used to make them.”

“Yeah, I’m pretty sure Grandma never made Cat Barf Cookies.”

“It’s not cat barf!”

 

I think she’s just screwing with me because she’s still mad at me for scaring the hell out of her last night.

Which was NOT my fault.

My cousin, her daughter, texted me last night to ask if I was still awake… Duh…. I’m always awake when my phone is going off.

Her mom hadn’t replied to her texts for over an hour…. Yeah, well maybe she was SLEEPING!  and she wanted me to go check on her.

Maybe that sounds a bit excessive, but not in my family.  This is the aunt that texted me one summer evening to say that she was pretty sure that she’d broken her leg and if I wasn’t too busy could I please come get her.

 

We found her sitting in the front yard, cussing like a sailor, with her leg broken in three places.  I mean… she’d broken the bone in three places… it wasn’t like there were three pieces of her leg laying around the yard. That would have been weird.

So when my cousin called I figured I’d better go check on her.  She had been at my house earlier…. and I might have shared a few bourbon balls and maybe a glass or two of wine…. so….

I got to her house and I banged on the door…. no answer.  I went inside, calling her name, and followed the sounds of the audiobook playing in the bathroom.

Shit! She’d said she was going home to take a bath… and I’d given my still slightly-limping aunt bourbon balls and wine… I killed her!!!!  She’d drowned in the bathtub and it was all my fault!

I’m good with guilt…. and overreacting.

Well, fortunately/unfortunately she wasn’t dead.  So when I yanked the shower curtain aside she was just a wee bit shocked.

And alive.  Yay!

I feel like she didn’t appreciate the fact that I’d rescued her from drowning.

Hence the cat barf cookies.

The following recipe is NOT Cat Barf cookies.  These are one of my favorite cookies that Grandma did actually make and thanks to Cup4Cup Gluten Free Flour I can have them again!


 

Caramel Turtle Cookies

Ingredients:

CRUST:

  • 2 c.  Cup4Cup Gluten Free Flour
  • ½ c.  Butter
  • 1 c. Brown Sugar (firmly packed)

CARAMEL LAYER:

  • 1 lb.  Caramels
  • 4 Tbls  Butter
  • ½ c.  Evaporated Milk

1 c.  Pecan Halves

12 oz.  Milk Chocolate Chips

Directions: 

In a large bowl, combine crust ingredients. Mix at medium speed until particles are fine. Pat crust firmly into an un-greased 13 x 9 x 2 pan.

Sprinkle pecans evenly over crust. Set aside.

In a small sauce pan or double broiler, combine caramels, butter and milk. Melt. Pour caramel over pecans.  Don’t forget the edges!

Bake at 350° for 18 – 22 minutes or until caramel is bubbly and crust is golden brown.

Remove from oven, sprinkle immediately with chocolate chips. Allow chips to melt and spread with a butter knife.

Allow cookies to cool and chocolate to harden.  Cut and serve.

Cinnamon Squares

I have been craving donuts lately.

It’s not entirely my fault… it’s the books that I’ve been reading.  I’m so easily tempted by a good pastry description.

Tricky Twenty-Two, the latest in the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich recently came out and I’ve been devouring it.  The problem is that every time Stephanie is feeling defeated… and let’s face it, we Stephanies aren’t really Bounty Hunter material, so she’s feeling defeated pretty often…. she and Lula (the ex-Ho turned file-clerk/sidekick-bounty-hunter) get donuts.  Sometimes they get fried chicken, but I’m not really tempted by the fried chicken.  It’s the damn donuts that call to me.

I’ve been trying to eat healthier.  This past year has been rough on my diet.  I’m still Gluten-Free…. falling off the wheat-free wagon leads to headaches and stomach issues, so staying GF isn’t the problem….. the problem is chocolate, ice cream and soda are all gluten free too.  I’ve also found a number of GF replacements that are delicious and laden with carbs and evil.

So, NO, I don’t need donuts… no… no, no, no, no….. but I want em so bad.

Okay…. so what will get me my donut ‘fix,’ but not be loaded with fake flours and starches and evil?

I discovered the Up Late Anyway blog a while back and was transfixed by the magical recipes she posted.  They were insane… impossible… ingenious?

Up Late Anyway posts High Fat / Low Carb recipes…. so they’re gluten free and loaded with flavor… because fat isn’t evil… it’s delicious and good for us.  (Read The Fat Revolution for more info about the benefits of a High Fat/Low Carb diet.)

My favorite recipe is the Low Carb Cheese Danish.  It is pure magic.  The main ingredient is ….. MOZZARELLA CHEESE! Yes!  In a sweet danish.  I know, it’s crazy, but true.

The first time I made it I was about halfway through the recipe and my hands were coated with egg and coconut flour and I was getting really pissed… I was sure I’d just ruined a bunch of expensive ingredients for no good reason…. and then BAM!  It all came together in my hands.  One minute…. slimy grit… the next a beautiful dough.  It was magic.

Low Carb, Gluten Free, Cinnamon Squares

When I give you a recipe on my blog it’s mine.  I may have been inspired by another blog or inherited the recipe from someone, but I’ve altered it or contributed enough additional directions that I feel like I’m giving you something new.

So I’m not going to give you the Cheese Danish recipe here… There’s no point in me copying and pasting her work.  You should go look at her page and check out all the other amazing recipes she has.

Part of the purpose of my blog is to introduce you to things…. recipes… books… places…..ideas.  My contribution is the introduction… and letting you know that I tried it and weather or not it worked for me.

See?  I’m useful too!

Here’s the link: Up Late Anyway’s Cheese Danish

Read the recipe and actually follow the directions.  Seriously.  I’ve tried it a few times and screwed it up once or twice because I wasn’t following directions.  Don’t be lazy.  This recipes is worth the effort to use the right ingredients.  The ‘dough’ is super versatile and could be used for so many things.

I did two things different from the original recipe.  I didn’t make the cheese filling (It is delicious, so you should really try it, I was just after cinnamon this time.) and I used real sugar.  (I have made it both ways; using real sugar and using Truvia… I can’t stand the taste of the Truvia… my mom and husband don’t even notice it…. so that’s totally up to you.)

Happy Accidents – Buttermilk Biscuits

I’ve been making biscuits using the Cup4Cup Buttermilk Biscuits recipe for a few months.  We’ve been really happy with how they turn out and they’re delicious with sausage gravy.  Usually I make a half batch and we eat a few and freeze the rest.  They thaw nicely and since we try not to eat Biscuits and Gravy too often, they last us a few months.

Last week I asked Brian to make a batch since I’d bought a bunch of jams and jellies at a local church bazaar…. and there is really never a bad time to have biscuits.  Right?

I reminded him that I cut the recipe in half and then wandered off.  I’m going to say I was doing something productive, but I’m not positive…… I wandered in and out of the kitchen and I noticed on one pass that his dough looked “chunkier” than I remembered mine looking.  He said that I’d been chopping the butter up in the food-processor too much.  Fine, fine… whatever…

When the biscuits came out of the oven they fabulous…. absolutely, freaking, fluffy, not-at-all-like-mine, fabulous….. Bastard.

Okay, I don’t want to be a total bitch, but… really?!  Even his biscuits are better than mine?  WTF?!

He tried to convince me that it was because I chopped the butter into the flour too much….. and then he admitted that maybe he hadn’t followed the recipe exactly……  Like… maybe he didn’t half everything in the recipe…. maybe he just cut the flour in half…. and nothing else.

Well, yeah!  That would make them different…. cheater.

He’s made the biscuits three more times following the Brian Recipe and they’ve been delicious each time.  I’ve served them to our non-Gluten-Free friends and they loved them.  No one would realize that they were GF.

They are fluffy and buttery and absolutely perfect.  A very happy accident! (And, of course, biscuits are his job now.  Win!)

We have yet to freeze any of these biscuits… every time we’ve baked a batch they’ve all been eaten before any could make it to the freezer.

Cup4Cup Biscuits

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups Cup4Cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 stick  unsalted butter, cold, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk + 1 to 2 tablespoons for brushing
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, for brushing

Directions

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Using a whisk or food processor, combine all dry ingredients together and mix until well blended.

Be sure butter is very cold. Using a food processor, add in the cold butter and pulse until it is incorporated into the dough and it resembles pea-sized shapes. If you do not have a food processor, use a pastry cutter or a fork to cut in the butter.

Place this mixture into a bowl. Using a fork slowly mix in the buttermilk until the dough is formed into a lumpy ball. The dough will be loose. Do not over mix.

Take the loose dough and wrap it in clear plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Using additional flour as needed, roll out the dough to 1 inch thick.

Take a round cutter and cut the dough, place cut out shapes onto parchment lined baking sheets. Brush on buttermilk to the tops of the biscuits to ensure a golden brown top.

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Brush hot biscuits with melted butter and serve warm.

The Only Constant

Chocolate Cake

“The only constant is change.”  My mother loves that phrase… or more likely, she hates it just as much as I do, but likes tossing it at me when I am complaining about something.

I realize that change is inevitable.  Nothing can stay the same forever, and I probably wouldn’t want it to anyway.  It’s the letting go that I have the most trouble with.

I’m a bit of a hoarder really.  A hoarder of things and people and more than anything, possibilities.

When we clean out the basement, my husband sees a broken lamp.  I see a lamp with the potential to be something new. It just needs a little work… Maybe a new lamp shade (I saw a great idea on Pinterest).  Sure, its brass, but I could spray paint it… maybe blue?

I hoard potential… a dream or possibility that could come true… If I hold on long enough…. If I believe hard enough…..

Worse than “stuff,” I hoard people…. holding onto friendships and family longer than I ever should.  The lamp is easy, I fix it, or it remains broken forever…. people are harder…. sometimes, no matter how hard I work…. the relationship will always remain broken.  The hard part is deciding whether I can live with the lopsided relationship… where I am always the one to call them…. the one to invite them to dinner… the one who drops everything and goes to their rescue… again.  How many times should you ask yourself “why do I bother?” before you realize…. you shouldn’t.

These food allergies are a toxic relationship…. literally.  Recognising that is getting easier. Sure, that cupcake looks sweet…. and I can remember times when it was perfect… but now it makes my head hurt… my mind foggy and so tired… it gives me stomach-aches…. and now its time to let it go.

Yes, I’m referring to a few certain relationships and situations specifically today… The allergy detox has just really brought it to the forefront of my mind…. there are a number of things that need to be let go right now.  People, situations and food…. you only hurt me…. and I don’t want that anymore.

The great thing about letting go? Now there is space for something new.

Speaking of “new”… Since I started blogging about my allergies I met some great new blogger friends who share my allergy challenges.  While I am sorry that they too have to struggle with food, I am so happy that they are sharing their discoveries with me.

I’d been whining that I missed chocolate and Faking Picture Perfect (Love the name!) shared her Chocolate Cake recipe with me.  My aunt’s birthday was yesterday and  I figured that it was a perfect time to try out!  My aunt and cousin are both vegetarians, so they’re getting a kick out of me turning practically vegan.

FPP was going for dairy-free… I also wanted gluten-free, so I used King Arthur Flour Multipurpose Gluten Free Flour in place of regular flour.  Next time I’d like to try to replace the eggs too.

Hubby whipped up a batch of his mega-delicious-eat-it-straight-from-the-bowl icing and it was absolutely delish!  Family loved it!  Thank you Faking Picture Perfect!

Chocolate Cake

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 13×9 pan. Combine Coconut Milk, Vinegar, Water, Oil, Sugar, Eggs, Vanilla, Baking Soda and Salt. Using a large wire whisk, whisk until well combined. Add Flour and Cocoa Powder; whisk until smooth. Pour batter into pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the center bounces back when lightly touched. DO NOT OVERCOOK!

Muffins for the Tears

Lately I have spent too much time at funerals and considering the whole practice and tradition.  I’ve decided that I hate them.  Friend, family, co-worker… doesn’t matter. The current style of funerals seems to me, to be conducted with the intent of dragging every last bit of pain and misery from the family.  I just don’t understand.

When my grandmother passed suddenly – and yes, I like “passed”…. It implies travel – to pass from one place to another… or completion – like passing a test…. and isn’t that what this life is?  Anyway… Within three hours of her passing, our family was crowded into the office of the Funeral Director.  Next we were choosing flowers then calling all the relatives, grocery shopping and house cleaning…. There wasn’t even time to cry until that night…. when I was up at three a.m. writing the funeral programs…. Seriously?  Why?

I like the idea of going into seclusion for a day or so…. no phone calls, no planning…. I don’t need a week… just maybe 24 hours… to think and to cry.  Then I could face the world again.  And why are we spending days at the funeral home?  Why?! 

When Grandma passed, we opted for a simple, short service at the funeral home and at the grave, then we invited all the family and friends back to my house for snacks and sharing stories.  Leaving the funeral home and going to a private home (or restaurant… I’ve been to one like that before too and it was nice) lightens the situation.  Before long everyone was talking and telling stories.  I’d set out a ton of photos, lots of snapshots and portraits.  Tons of food, of course….

And the flowers!  What am I supposed to do with 50 bouquets of flowers?  You feel guilty when you finally throw them away….. Not that I don’t appreciate the gesture.  I do.  And I realize… you want to do something…. let the family know you are thinking of them…. but what?  Flowers/plants are traditional…. a donation to an organization is pretty nice too (please send the donation to the organization, don’t give your check to the family and make them complete the paper work and mail it in… gee, thanks… now I have more work to do.)  The most thoughtful thing that anyone sent was a bunch of muffins.  Nice.  They didn’t have to be refrigerated, they could be eaten for breakfast… blueberry and banana…. Thoughtful, nice, easy… simple and yet so considerate…and when they were gone, they were gone.   No vase or basket that you had to DO something with.

So when my cousin’s husband passed  recently I wanted to take muffins to them too.  Our local funeral home delivers the flowers to the family home…. I’ve been involved with others where the family had to go back and pick up all the flowers (see? Not helpful… more work), but Vinyard’s Funeral Home really was pretty great. Having just been through the whole thing, I knew I could give the muffins to one of the directors and they would take them to the family home.  I mentioned to my cousin’s daughter that I’d left muffins and to eat them and not send me a card.  (Writing those cards is pretty hard… even if you are just writing “thank you for your thoughtfulness” ninety-eight times…. with every card you remember…and it’s one more thing to do when you feel like your soul has been ripped out of your nose…).  Mom visited with our cousin a few weeks later and she mentioned that the muffins had been a big hit and asked for the recipe.  I sent the recipe to her later with a pretty card.  I used a pretty tin (someone had brought us chocolates in this pretty burgundy tin… chocolates are always good when you are sad…)  to store the muffins.  If you don’t have a tin, maybe a nice ziplock container…. something they don’t need to return to you.  Remember? The goal is to inflict the least amount of work on the family.

I’d found this recipe from One Perfect Bite on Pinterest.  I only made a few changes… I wanted muffins, not a loaf, so I used a jumbo muffin pan and I had to change the baking time… I ended up baking them about 25-30 minutes… depending on your oven, your time might vary, start checking them around the 20 minute mark.

Orange Glazed Banana Nut Muffins

Orange Glazed Banana Nut Muffins

Ingredients:
Bread
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 package (8-oz.) cream cheese, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 4 medium)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped walnuts, divided
Glaze
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon grated orange peel

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease jumbo muffin pans
2) Cream butter, cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in bananas and vanilla.
3) Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in another bowl; gradually add to creamed mixture. Fold in reserved 1 cup pecans.
4) Scrape batter into prepared pans. Sprinkle with remaining nuts. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.
5) In a small bowl, whisk glaze ingredients; drizzle over muffins. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Yield: 12 jumbo muffins

Life, Death and Fruit Cake

My grandmother passed away recently.  She was hale and hearty and in great shape until one morning she suddenly died.  No warning, just gone.  It was a shock, but also blessing…. She was never sick, never in a nursing home or hospital…. just suddenly gone.

It is strange the things that will suddenly hit you when someone passes.  In the middle of the funeral it occurred to me… “Who will make the Thanksgiving Turkey?”  Grandma taught me to make the majority of the Family Recipes and passed on the responsibility of making the Birthday dinners (lasagane) and some of the special cookies…. But the turkey….. I have steadfastly refused to learn to make the turkey.  When I was writing the family cookbook, I spent the day with Grandma, trying to figure out how many cups equal a “handful.” Her recipes included the measurements “handful,” “pinch” and “some.”  I told Grandma that I wasn’t paying any attention… I was NOT going to learn to make the turkey…. that was her job and she would just have to live forever.

Apparently, Grandma decided to call my bluff…. This Thanksgiving I’ll have to figure out how to make the damn turkey…. It will never be quite the same, but I will try… and I will be thankful for the time I had with Grandma.

Fruit Cake was another one of Grandma’s special holiday treats….

I’d never understood the fruit cake jokes…what were these people talking about?!  My grandma’s fruit cake was delicious! ….until I started working and someone gave me a a fruit cake as a gift…. dry, nasty, brick-like… Barf!

After tasting that…. that… fruit barf! …. I’ve tried to make it a point to share one of Grandma’s fruit cakes with friends or co-workers each year.  My mission: to share GOOD fruit cake with the world.

Once I started to make the fruit cakes I began to understood why they are a once a year treat…. They take 4-5 hours to bake and THEN 4- 6 weeks to “cure”.  Oh, but they are worth it.  Maybe that is why so many of the fruit cakes you come across are so nasty… people aren’t wiling to put in the time and effort?

Baking and cooking is an act of love…. and nothing says love like a really good fruit cake.

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Fruit Cake

Ingredients:

  • ½ lb. – Raisins
  • ½ lb. – Cut Dates
  • ½ lb. – Cherries
  • 1 lb. – Assorted Candied Fruit
  • 2 c. – Chopped Nuts
  • 2 ½ c. – Sifted Flour
  • 1 tsp. – Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. – Salt
  • 1 tsp. – Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. – Cloves
  • ½ tsp. – Nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. – Ginger
  • 1 c. – Margarine
  • ½ c. – Brown Sugar
  • 1 c. – Corn Syrup
  • 4 – Eggs (Slightly Beaten)
  • ¼ c. – Orange Juice

Bottle of brandy.

Combine fruit with 1/4 cup brandy.  In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Combine fruit with ½ cup dry ingredients.

Cream butter.   Add sugar and cream until light and fluffy; add corn syrup and mix well.

Add dry ingredients one cup at a time, beat until smooth.  Add eggs, beat well after each addition.  Add orange juice, mix well.   Fold fruit into mix.

Makes two loaves.

Bake at 250 4-5 hours

Wrap each loaf in flour sack dish towel (You want something thicker than cheese cloth but thinner than a terry cloth towel.)  Pour 1/4 cup brandy over each wrapped loaf.  Store in an air tight container.  Reapply brandy each week for 4-6 weeks.  (Seriously) Decorate the tops of the loaves with candied fruit and nuts.  Share GOOD fruit cake with the world.