I’ve been a little quiet on this blog this year. We’ve had quite the medical roundabout with me having a couple of day surgeries, my youngest son having some medical problems and my husband being diagnosed with a very rare form of lymphoma. Thankfully, although rare, his lymphoma is very low grade and when he gets to the point of needing chemotherapy it should respond well. There’s been little spare time for baking but in time for Christmas I’ve been back in the kitchen trying out new recipes.
I’ve been wanting to sort out a gingerbread man recipe for some time now. In previous years I’ve used a recipe that comes out nicely but doesn’t quite have the zing that I was hoping for. I recently tried another recipe which had the zing but the texture was not quite how we like it. This recipe uses ideas from both recipes I’ve tried and it’s a winner. My youngest son finds it a little too zingy for his taste buds, so if you want it a bit milder just reduce the ginger amount. It’s a good recipe as it’s free from all the common allergens – gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts and soy. Here it is:
250 g dairy free margarine (I use Nuttelex in Australia) or you can use butter if not dairy -free
225 g brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
60 g water combined with 2 teaspoons of Organ No Egg powder (or use 2 eggs if you can have them) A flax egg should also work but I haven’t tried it in this recipe.
120 g golden syrup (if you can’t get golden syrup, perhaps try treacle)
600 g gluten free plain/all purpose flour (I use Aldi or Orgran gluten free plain flour)
3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
4 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
- Cream margarine/butter, sugar and vanilla with electric mixers.
- Add water and No Egg powder and golden syrup and mix well.
- Mix the dry ingredients well together and add to the creamed mixture until it is incorporated.
- Roll out on floured baking paper until 3-5 mm thick and cut out the gingerbread people.
- Transfer to a baking paper lined tray (I use silicon mats on a baking tray).
- Cook at 160 C (fan-forced oven) or 180 C (conventional oven) for 15-20 minutes depending on thickness of the gingerbread men.
- Cool on the trays then store in an airtight container.
I’ve had the recipe for these yummy little spice biscuits for a while but I wanted to modify them further to make them dairy-free. I also have a friend whose son can’t have gluten, dairy, soy or rice, so I’ve come up with a version which omits rice and corn also. Here’s the recipe for the regular version (the rice and corn free version follows):
250 g gluten-free plain (all purpose) flour – I use Aldi or Orgran
1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
150 g brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon each ground cinnamon and ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon each ground nutmeg, ginger and cardamom
150 cold Nuttelex (or other dairy-free margarine) – or use butter if you can have it
30 ml ice cold water
- Place all ingredients except water into a food processor or Bellini Intelli and pulse until combined.
- Add water and pulse until it comes together.
- Lightly flour a cutting board with rice flour (or sorghum flour for the rice-free version) and tip out the mixture. Bring together by kneading lightly. If it is too sticky, work more flour into the dough.
- Roll until a few millimetres thick.
- Cut out with push cutters.
- Place on a tray lined with baking paper and cook at 150 C (fan-forced) for 20-25 minutes or until golden.
- Cool and place into containers to keep at room temperature.
For the rice-free and corn-free version:
Omit the 250 g plain flour and 1 teaspoon baking powder. Substitute with: 150 g sorghum flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Sweet white sorghum flour), 100 g potato flour, 50 g tapioca flour, 3/4 teaspoon xantham gum, 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar and 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda.
Inspired by a recipe for Apple Oat Bars I’ve worked out this recipe for a gluten-free and vegan version which omits the eggs and oats. The original recipe is here. These bars got the thumbs up from my gluten-free son and my non-gluten-free husband as well. I thought they had a slightly bitter aftertaste due to the quinoa, so when making again I would probably increase the sugar a little, maybe to 70 g. Quinoa flakes are also quite expensive, so for a cheaper version I might try rice flakes, though I find that they come out a little crunchier than the quinoa ones when cooking. Here’s the recipe:
150 g dried apple slices
300 g quinoa flakes
50 g brown sugar
20 g psyllium husk powder (I use the Macro brand from Woollies)
1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoons clove powder
pinch of salt
160 g full fat coconut milk
- I used my Bellini thermocooker but you could use a food processor instead. Place the dried apple in the jug and use speed 7 for 5 seconds and repeat. (Without a processor, chop the apples finely.)
- Add the dry ingredients and pulse to combine a couple of times (or combine well in a mixing bowl).
- Add the coconut milk and pulse twice to bring the mixture together (or mix well in the bowl).
- Place mixture into mini loaf silicone pans to about half a centimetre in height. Press down well.
- Cook in a fan-forced oven at 170 C for 15 minutes or until brown. Allow to cool a little before removing from pans onto a cooling rack.
Well, phew, the school year is done and dusted, so I can get back to blogging. These chocolate biscuits are based on a recipe I saw elsewhere, and I have changed them to make them gluten and egg free as well as dairy free. I used my Bellini thermocooker to make them, but a food processor or hand method would work as well. I have made them with butter, and have also tried them dairy free when making them for a dairy allergic child, and they taste yummy both ways. Here’s the recipe:
200 g plain gluten-free flour (I used the Aldi ‘Has No’ brand, but other brands will work fine eg. White Wings, Home Brand, Orgran)
50 g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
330 g caster sugar
150 g Nuttelex or another dairy free margarine (butter can be used if not dairy free)
40 ml water plus 1 teaspoon of Orgran ‘No Egg’ powder (or use EnerG powder) plus 10 ml (2 teaspoons) oil (I used sunflower oil).
Alternative egg substitute if you don’t have egg replacement powder: 1 tablespoon (4 teaspoons) flax meal plus 3 tablespoons hot water. Mix together and allow to cool before using.
- Measure the dry ingredients into the Bellini jug or food processor and mix for 30 seconds on speed 4 to combine. If doing by hand, sift ingredients together.
- Add the Nuttelex or butter in cut up chunks.
- Press the ‘pulse’ button on the machine or processor until the Nuttelex is incorporated evenly. I usually find it takes about 3-4 quick pulses.
- Add the egg substitute and pulse again until the egg substitute is combined. If working by hand use a knife to incorporate the wet ingredients.
- Roll the mixture into teaspoon sized balls. Press down with your hands and place on trays. Press down lightly with a fork.
- Cook at 160 C (fan-forced) or 180 C conventional oven for 11 minutes.
- Allow to cool and harden before eating.
I made these yummy biscuits a few week ago to celebrate ANZAC Day here in Australia (April 25). When I had to go gluten-free I really missed the oaty flavour of these biscuits. Rice flakes are a great replacement for the oats, and some of my non-gluten-free friends don’t notice the difference. These Anzac biscuits are quite crunchy. It was only recently that I discovered that golden syrup is not readily available in the USA. Golden syrup has been described as a pale treacle, so if you can’t get it you could perhaps use treacle mixed with some light corn syrup.
320 g gluten-free plain flour
220 g rice flakes (I use the Lowan brand)
225 g caster sugar
120 g fine dessicated coconut
250 g butter
80 g golden syrup (about 4 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
40 ml boiling water
1. Place the flour, rice flakes, sugar and coconut into a large bowl.
2. Melt the butter and the golden syrup together over a low heat.
3. Mix the baking soda with the boiling water then add to the melted butter mixture.
4. Stir into the dry ingredients and mix well.
5. Place teaspoon sized balls of mixture onto a baking paper lined baking tray and press down lightly with a fork. Allow for spreading.
6. Bake at 160 C fan-forced or 180 C/350 F conventional oven for 18 minutes.
7. Allow to cool on trays for a few minutes before removing.
I’ve been away on holidays for a little while but now we’re back to normal at home I figured it was time for some Christmas cooking. This recipe is based on one my friend’s mother gave me some years ago and has been modified to make it gluten-free. I noticed recently that someone published a recipe that is basically the same as this one, with the exception that there’s no mixed fruit in it. If you don’t like the dried fruit, just leave it out. This is a double recipe so if you don’t want as many, just halve the amounts.
500 g gluten-free biscuits, crushed in a food processor (I used the Leda gluten-free arrowroot biscuits – 2.5 packets)
210 g coconut
300 g mixed fruit
48 g cocoa
2 tins (each tin is 395 g) sweetened condensed milk
80 ml rum
extra coconut for rolling
1. In a large mixing bowl combine the biscuit crumbs, coconut, mixed fruit and cocoa and mix well.
2. Make a well in the centre of the mix and add the condensed milk and rum. Mix thoroughly.
3. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to firm the mixture.
4. Take small spoonfuls and roll into a ball then roll in extra coconut. Keep refrigerated.
Here’s a chocolate slice recipe that I always fall back on when I need to bring a plate of goodies to an event.
300 g gluten-free plain flour
180 g dessicated coconut
225 g sugar
24 g cocoa
370 g butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Mix the flour, coconut, sugar and cocoa together in a large bowl.
- Melt the butter and vanilla together and add to the dry ingredients.
- Press into a 30 x 23 cm baking tin.
- Bake at 160 C fan-forced (180 C/350 F conventional oven) for 20 minutes.
- Allow to cool then ice with chocolate icing and sprinkle with coconut.
- Refrigerate until cold then cut up into squares.
Icing: Sift 280 g gluten-free icing mixture (or use pure icing sugar) and 48 g cocoa into a bowl. Add 60 g of melted butter and 60 ml of hot water and stir until well mixed.