Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Our Christmas Cinnamon Rolls

These cinnamon rolls have become a Christmas tradition in our household.  They only take an hour from the start of mixing to pulling them from the oven and they smell fantastic while presents are being opened!  I have tweaked the recipe slightly from the one found on


2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup of milk, room temperature
1 packet yeast
1 egg
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup potato starch
1 cup corn starch
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


2/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon

¾ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Milk to thicken


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In medium bowl, combine shortening and sugar. Mix well. Measure warm milk and add yeast to milk. Whisk well to fully dissolve.

Add milk/yeast to sugar mixture. Add remaining ingredients. Mix very well, being sure to remove all lumps. Dough will be quite soft.

Take a piece of plastic wrap and lay it out so it covers a 13 1/2" x 13 1/2" square. Sprinkle sugar (amount not specified) on the wrap. Lay ball of dough on top of that. Then pull out another sheet of wrap and gently lay over the dough. Pat the dough down into a roughly squarish pancake. Lift the top wrap up and then reposition it. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough in between the two layers of wrap. Occasionally you'll have to lift and reposition the wrap because it gets "stuck" under the edges. You might have to occasionally flip the whole thing over. Make sure that when you're done you've got ABOUT a 13 1/2" x 13 1/2" square of dough.

Remove top piece of wrap. Combine filling ingredients. Spread evenly across dough's surface, leaving a 1-1/2" sugar free edge because when you roll the dough all the sugar shifts and fills this in.  Use the bottom piece of wrap to lift the edge of the dough and start to roll it up forming a long cylinder. Start with the sugary edge, which will be the center of your roll and roll toward the sugarless edge. Cut off or trim up the irregular ends of your "log". Then cut into 8 or 9 slices of similar size, about 1 1/2" wide. Place rolls into a greased round glass pie pan.

Bake approximately 20 minutes, until tops are lightly browned.

Combine powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk to make glaze. The amount of milk you use will depend on how thick you want the glaze to be. Stir until all lumps are dissolved. Drizzle over warm rolls if desired.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Graham Crackers

These graham crackers are pretty popular in our family.  It is difficult to keep them around for more than a couple of days!

2 1/4 cup gluten free flour mix
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 3/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
7 tbsp butter, cut into pieces
3 tbsp cold water
3 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla

1 - Mix together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, xanthan gum, baking soda and salt.

2 - Using your fingertips, work butter into dry ingredients.

3 - Stir in 3 tbsp cold water, honey and vanilla.  If dough is too dry, add more water, a teaspoon at a time.

4 - Gather dough into a soft ball.  Cover a plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

5 - Preheat oven to 325 deg.  Lightly grease a cookie sheet and line with parchment paper.  (I use silpat mats instead of parchment paper.)

6 - Cut two gallon-sized plastic zip bags down each parallel side so that each opens out into one long sheet.  Roll a piece of dough between the two sheets to about 1/8-inch thick.  Cut into 2"x3" pieces and prick lightly all over with a fork.  Remove top zip lock sheet.  Take remaining sheet with dough on it and turn it over.

7 - Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Let cookies cool slightly before transferring to cooling rack.

"Oreo" Cookies

These are tasty!  Using the large end of a frosting tip, I have made mini "Oreos."  I am posting a filling recipe, but they are pretty good with marshmallow creme as the filling.  I also plan on using the cookie dough to make chocolate pie crust.

Cookie Recipe
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (GF)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (we use Hershey's)
1 1/4 cup GF flour

1 - Preheat oven to 350 deg and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  (I use silpat sheets instead.)

2 - Cream sugar, butter, salt and vanilla until light but not fluffy.

3 - Add cocoa and flour to make a cohesive dough.  Flatten dough and refrigerate until ready to bake.  (If refrigerating the dough, make sure it comes to room temperature to make it easier to roll.)  (Note:  You can bake this dough immediately.)

4 - Roll dough out to 1/4-inch thick.  Use round cookie cutter (or something to make a circle cookie 2.5 to 3 inches in diameter).  Arrange them on a prepared cookie sheet, about 1 inch apart.  Imprint with a cookie stamp, if desired.

5 - Bake for 8 minutes or until cookies just begin to brown on the bottom.  Cool on a wire rack.

6 - When cooled, spread with filling and make sandwiches.  Refrigerate until filling is set.

Creme Filling
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 tsp salt, dissolved in water
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar

Cream butter and shortening until well combined.  Add salt water, vanilla and sugar.  Beat until mixture is fluffy.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Basic Condensed Cream Soups

Because most quick recipes call for condensed cream soups (mushroom, chicken, celery, etc.), here is a recipe that is equivalent to a 10 oz. can of condensed soup. It's not quite as fast as opening a can of Campbell's soup, but it's not too bad and it can be made beforehand and refrigerated. Who needs soy in soup anyways??

3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp GF flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk/stock

Cook and stir until bubbly. Using wire whisk, stir in one cup of milk, stock or combo. Cook until just smooth and thick. (Make 1 cup = 10 oz can condensed soup)

Cream of Chicken - Use chicken broth as half of liquid. Add 1 tsp poultry seasoning and diced chicken.

Cream of Mushroom - Add 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms and 1 tbsp finely chopped onion in butter before adding flour.

Cream of Celery - See mushroom, but add 1 cup celery instead. Vary the flavor by adding garlic, onion, celery salt, lemon juice, parsley, chopped veggies, chives, etc.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Candy Corn

We had a lot of fun making candy corn. Ben helped combine the ingredients very nicely. Then he supervised the addition of the food coloring while eating the candy off of the whisk! We are all big fans of homemade candy corn now! Brach's doesn't have anything on us. (Well, automation, but that's no fun!)


1 cup sugar
2/3 cup corn syrup (we used Karo - too many mystery ingredients in the store brand)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (gluten free)
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup non fat milk powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Red and yellow food coloring

Bring first 4 ingredients to boil over medium (at most) heat in heavy large saucepan. Reduce heat to medium to medium low and boil 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Sift powdered sugar, milk powder, and salt into medium bowl. Add powdered sugar mixture to pan; stir to combine. Let mixture stand until slightly warm to touch, about 20 minutes.
Divide dough into 3 equal pieces; place each piece in small bowl. Add several drops of yellow food coloring to one piece of dough. Using plastic gloves to protect hands (I used sandwich bags), knead food coloring into dough until smooth and color is even, about 15 minutes. Repeat using red and yellow food coloring (to make orange) with second piece. Leave last piece white; knead dough until smooth. Roll each piece into a thin rope (don’t roll too thin or dough will break). Push three ropes together to form long rectangle. Using sharp knife, cut ropes into triangles. Using fingers, shape candy corn as desired. Store at room temperature in airtight container, separating layers with pieces of waxed paper to prevent sticking.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Chicken Sloppy Joes (tomato-free)

I heartily modified a sloppy joes recipe last night and it turned out to be delicious! Maybe it was just Mike being nice, but he said "This might be the best sloppy joes I've ever had!" The veggies are pretty obvious, but if you don't mind knowing you're eating vegetables, you are in luck!

1 tablespoons canola oil
1 pound ground chicken
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped or grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon apple cide vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup chicken stock
8 good quality burger rolls, split and toasted (we toasted tapioca bread and had them open-faced)

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meat and cook for 5-6 minutes, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Add the carrots, celery, onions and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 7 to 8 minutes more. Combine the vinegar, brown sugar, and stock in a mixing cup and pour over the contents of the pan. Mix thoroughly and boil until reduced.

Serve on toasted rolls or bread.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Smothered Chicken and Rice

I discovered this recipe in one those Kraft Foods magazines. Ben isn't a big fan of anything that causes his foods to mix, but he seems to like all of the ingredients separately. The last time I made this he ate a carrot and half and helped himself to the bacon bowl!

4 slices of bacon, chopped
4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 pound)
4 large carrots, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup low sodium chicken broth, divided
2 oz. cream cheese
3 cups hot cooked rice

1. Cook and stir bacon in large nonstick skillet on medium heat until crisp. Remove from skillet and drain. Discard drippings from skillet. (I use some of the drippings plus canola oil to cook the chicken.)

2. Add chicken to skillet; cook for 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until golden brown on both sides and done (165 deg). Transfer chicken to plate; cover to keep warm. Add vegetables and 1/2 cup broth to skillet; cover and simmer 10 minutes or until tender.

3. Stir in remaining broth and cream cheese; cook, uncovered until cream cheese in melted and sauce is thickened, stirring frequently. Return chicken to skillet and cook 2 minutes, or until heated through.

4. Spoon rice onto serving plate; top with chicken, sauce and bacon.