Flaky Gluten Free Crust

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Forgive the poor picture… We ate them all before I could take a good photo! 

I don’t do well in confined places… I really do need supervision.  When I’m trapped inside (without satellite tv) I usually end up baking.  Why couldn’t I compulsively exercise or something healthy?  Nope, not me… I gotta bake.

Mom and I bought a gigantic jar of cherry pie filling from a farmers market while we were in Door County, WI and it was just calling to me… ‘bake me!’

I saw this recipe for Cherry Hand Pies from Wicked Good Kitchen and it’s been roaming around in the back of my head for a while…. ‘bake me.’

Right now I’m living in an RV and traveling all over the universe… okay, just the Northeast, but anyway…

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Another terrible pic, but look at that flaky deliciousness! 

I didn’t have all the ingredients called for in the crust recipe from Wicked Good Kitchen. I’m bad about not following directions… they’re just suggestions anyway, right?  I figured I could substitute Cup4Cup Gluten Free Flour for WGK’s flour recipe.  Annnddd?  It worked!

I’ve made a number of recipes from Wicked Good Kitchen’s blog and they’ve all turned out delicious, so I’d bet this crust would have been super delicious if I’d actually followed the recipe…. but since I’m lazy and living with an under-stocked kitchen at the moment… I’m really pleased with how this crust turned out.  I’m already imagining using it for other pies.  It turned out flaky and tender….buttery…. so good.  No one would ever guess this was gluten-free.

 

Flaky Gluten Free Crust 

Ingredients

  • 2¼ cup Cup4Cup Flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup chilled unsalted butter
  • 1 8-ounce package chilled cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon granulated cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Preparation

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder; set aside.
Using an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, lightly cream together butter and cream cheese. Beat in sugar, vanilla and salt; mix until well combined. Add flour in two batches beating just until incorporated.
Wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. Thaw a few minutes to allow dough to become pliable before rolling and using in recipes. Roll out dough on lightly floured work surface with a lightly floured rolling-pin.
Makes enough pastry for two 10-inch pies or one 10-inch pie with double crust.
Bake according to pie recipe instructions.

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.

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“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.  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.

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.

Gluten Free Thin Crust Pizza

Most times, I’m perfectly happy with our Cauliflower Pizza…. but sometimes I just want a real pizza.  One that tastes and feels like pizza.

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We have tried a number of frozen and prepackaged gluten-free crusts, but most have that grainy/sandy texture common in gluten-free replacements.

There are a few restaurants that we’ve visited that make a good gluten free pizza crust, but many seem to buy their crusts from the same place.  They’re okay…. but they still have that obvious gluten free texture.  PI Pizzeria makes a killer gluten free pizza, but they’re a bit of a drive for us.

Brian began experimenting with our new favorite gluten free flour replacement, Cup4Cup.  Cup4Cup IMG_8399behaves like regular flour and doesn’t have that grainy texture of many gf flours.  So far I’ve been able to use Cup4Cup in a number of recipes without mishap.  It isn’t as inexpensive as regular flour, but since we don’t make a lot of our old flour filled recipes anymore it balances out.

Normally when I write these recipes I tell you that you can use your favorite spices or oils… that you don’t have to use the Wildtree products that I suggest… that they’re just suggestions.  Well, for this recipe, I’m going to strongly suggest using the Wildtree Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil.  Practically insist.  It’s only two teaspoons, but the flavor really comes through in the crust.  Oh!  And the smell as it bakes.. OMG.  Trust me.  Invest in the Roasted Garlic Grapeseed oil.  There are a ton of uses and you will never regret the purchase.

IMG_8402Brian says I should mention his technique for pressing out the dough as well.  First plop the dough in the center of a greased pizza pan.  Next, using the edge of your hand and a rolling motion, press the dough to the edges of the pan.  It will be very thin, almost see-through.

IMG_8405Bake the crust for ten minutes.  It will have large cracks and be slightly browned on the top.  Next top the crust will all the yummy, delicious pizza toppings you adore.

Gluten Free Thin Crust PizzaIMG_8416

Ingredients 

Crust

Sauce

Toppings

  • Mozzarella
  • Anything else you like!

Directions 

In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, combine water, honey and yeast.  Let bloom, 5-10 minutes.  Add oil, salt and flour, stir until combined.

The dough should not be too sticky or too dry.  (Think: slightly gummy, but not sticking to your fingers.) Cover and let rise 20 – 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400º.

Lightly grease a pizza pan with olive oil.  Place dough in the center of the pizza pan and using the side of your hand (see photos) gently press the dough to the edges of pan.  Curst will be very thin, almost see-through.  Bake pizza crust for 10 minutes.

Top crust with sauce, cheese and toppings.  Bake for another 10 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbly.