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Friday, November 29, 2013

Sorghum Flour...

Did you know that Sorghum flour is a powerhouse of nutrition which can add a superb flavor to your
gluten-free baking. It is high in protein, contains iron, and dietary fiber, making sorghum flour a welcome addition to pantries around the world. Sorghum flour is high in antioxidants, which support cardiac health. Also in addition to this, the starch and protein found in sorghum take longer than other similar products to digest. This slower digestion is particularly helpful for those with diabetes.

Traditionally this flour has been used as a cereal food to create pancakes, porridge's, and flat breads throughout different cultures, such as in India. In the United States it is fast becoming more common to use sorghum flour in gluten free baked goods as well as other baking methods. It can be added or substituted in any recipe that calls for flour such as in cakes, cookies, breads and muffins.

While some gluten free flours, such as rice flour, can add a gritty texture to cookies or bread, sorghum flour has a smoother texture that many people prefer, although it is a little darker in color. 
Due to its very mild taste, sorghum flour is a natural choice to incorporate into sweet breads, cookies, or other baked goods in your gluten free recipes.

To start with, try adding just 15% to 20% sorghum flour to your flour mixtures to make delicious breads, cakes, and cookies until you have tweaked  your own basic flour formula to your own needs and tastes. Bob's Red Mill flours are my choice of preference, because of their cost and availability in my area. I also prefer to make my own gluten free flour mixtures, as opposed to buying pre-made mixes, to save in cost.

I hope you will share how this flour works for you once you have given it a try!!!

Enjoy your G-F week!
Sharon

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thanksgiving memories and applesauce cake....



Thanksgiving is just 4 days away and its hard to believe another year has come and gone, my how the time flies! Its a time when we give thanks for all the things we have been blessed with. People, jobs, good health, a warm bed at night....Its also a time when we gather as family and friends and enjoy a delicious meal and each others company.

Although thoughts of pumpkin pie comes to mind on this special day we need not forget the ever abundant "apple" that the super markets are loaded with during this time of year. Since I like to make my own apple sauce in the crock pot with these ever favorite varieties, I always have some readily in stock. I then like to make a delicious gluten free applesauce cake to serve my guests as a special treat. Its quick, easy, and as moist as can be.

I hope you will enjoy it as much as our family does, and that it will become a new tradition over the Thanksgiving season for you as well...

Enjoy!
Sharon

Gluten Free Applesauce cake recipe...

1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2 eggs

1/2 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup corn flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour

*(or use 2 cups of your own favorite GF flour blend in place of flours. I used my favorite blend and it worked beautifully) (also admit xanthan gum if your mix already has it added)

2 teas Xanthan gum
1 teas ground cinnamon
1/2 teas ground cloves
2 teas baking powder
1 teas baking soda
1/2 teas salt
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup raisins
1cup unsweetened applesauce
1 T apple cider vinegar
 Confectioners sugar to dust after baking

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 baking pan.

Cream together the granulated sugar and shortening until fluffy using a electric mixer. Then add eggs one at a time, beating well.

In a medium bowl mix together the flours and all dry ingredients. Stir the raisins and nuts into the flour mixture.

Mix together the applesauce and vinegar.

Add the applesauce mixture and the flour mixture alternately to the creamed mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until the center of the cake is firm to the touch.

Cool completely then sprinkle with confectioners sugar, and serve. Top with some whipped topping for a special treat!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Christmas in a jar....

Wondering what to give for Christmas this year when you don't have time to make all those cookie trays from previous years? Everyone rants and raves when they receive my gluten free cookie trays, but this year I find I just don't have the time to spend in the kitchen with all the other projects on my calendar that needs my attention.

For years now I have given these as gifts as a token of my appreciation and because... lets face it....they are just so darn good!!!.

That is when I decided this year to give the gift of convenience – both for me and the recipient of the gift, and to make up gluten-free cookie mixes in jars. Much easier for me, and beautiful too!

For me the gift is so perfectly convenient since no baking is required and many jars can be assembled at one time. For the recipient the gift is perfect since they can bake the cookies after the holidays when all the hustle and bustle has subsided and their stomachs have settled from the many platters of holiday cookies that have been gobbled up.

For this project I use a 1 quart mason jar with a screw top lid. A wide mouth jar is easier to get the ingredients in layers, and using a canning funnel makes the job easier too.

Remember that there is 4 cups in 1 quart. This means that all of the ingredients that you include in your 1 quart jar should equal approximately 4 cups. So it is best to stick to recipes where the dry ingredients needed measure around this amount.

Making jar mixes is somewhat like dressing for any occasion....layer it.  When you layer the ingredients put the lighter ingredients such as gluten-free flours and granulated sugars at the bottom of the jar. Then layer with the medium textured items like oatmeal or raisins. At the top is where you them place the chunkier ingredients such as candy bar pieces, chocolate chips or M&M's.

After you put in your first layer of ingredients  push the ingredient down with the back of a spoon. This will make a better presentation and helps ensure that all the ingredients fit into the jar.

For example the recipe for Double Chocolate Chip Cookies that follows should be layered like this:

1 quart Mason jar. layer in first the flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, and salt mixture. Then a layer of cocoa powder followed by a layer of sugar, and finally the layer of chocolate chips. make sure you use a spoon to press down each layer before adding the next. Then add a tag with baking directions on a bow to finish off the gift jar...

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies:

2 cups all purpose gluten free flour (Better Batter works well or use your own favorite blend)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum ( omit if the mix you are using already has it in)
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teas baking soda
1/2 teas salt
1 1/2 c granulated sugar
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

** The above ingredients are layered into the jar.


To bake add:

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teas pure vanilla extract
2 extra large eggs, slightly beaten at room temperature

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl combine flour, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and sugar and whisk until well combined. Place the chocolate chips in a small bowl and toss with 2 T of the dry ingredients to coat and set aside.

Add the softened butter, vanilla, and eggs to the dry ingredients, mixing until the dough comes together. Add the chips and stir until the chips are evenly distributed in the dough. Place bowl with dough if refrigerator to chill for about 15 minutes.

Using a cookie scoop place balls of dough on a non stick cookie sheet, pressing down just slightly, into the preheated oven and bake 10-12 minutes until just set. Cool completely before placing on cookie racks. Then enjoy!!!


Have a great gluten free day...
Sharon