Videos now online.

I have finally gotten around to putting some of Linda’s cooking videos online.  Under the tab “Your Pantry” you will find 2 series of instructional videos. 

Your Pantry

The first series is “After School Snacks”.  It consists of 5 new videos for making great gluten free after school snacks.

The second series is called “Gluten Free Whole Grain Quick Breads”.  It also has 5 different videos showing you how to make great whole grain quick breads that are all gluten free.

It always was Linda’s intent to have them available and be shared.

Cocoa Melt Away Cookies

cocoa meltaways plated

Cocoa Melt Away Cookies photo by vsimon

clockwise: powdered sugar, cocoa and cinnamon, granulated sugar

These were a happy accident last year. It started out as a trial run of a recipe called Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies from Bon Appétit. The ingredients were cocoa, dark chocolate, eggs, a bit of cornstarch, salt and a lot of powdered sugar. No flour, no dairy. I could give it a go.

This is an easy recipe. And I inadvertently made it easier. Well, I got distracted and forgot to add the melted chocolate. It was melted. And still in the microwave, out of sight. I didn’t even notice my mistake until I was making a cup of tea, many hours later.

Not to worry, the chocolate did not go to waste. I can’t say for sure, but it is likely I just spooned it out of the container and into my mouth. I have been known to do that. Hopefully I shared.

According to the recipe, the dough would be very stiff.  Mine was very soft and sticky, more like thick batter. Even then, I didn’t think about forgetting something.

I put the batter in the fridge for a while to see if it firmed up. It did, a little. So I proceeded with the recipe, dropping blobs of batter into powdered sugar, more or less as directed. And baked them as directed.

They are crispy outside, melty and chewy on the inside. And very sweet. You can drop them into a mix of cocoa powder and cinnamon to cut the sweetness. A bit of cayenne would be fun too.

My mistake was worth repeating. But we wondered what we missed with the original recipe. So we made that too. That cookie is rated 4 stars on the Bon Appétit site. Lots of folks like it. But is a different cookie, heavy and dense. And there is a place for that.

This one is thin, crispy, airy, chewy. We like this version so much better.

cocoa meltaways with mug

cocoa melt away cookies photo by vsimon

Cocoa Melt Away Cookies

makes 18 three inch cookies metric measures
3 large egg whites, room temp 150 gm
2 ½ cups powdered sugar, divided use 270
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, not cocoa drink mix 50 gm
1 tablespoon cornstarch 8 gm
¼ tsp salt 2 gm

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Layer two or three cookie sheets with parchment paper or nonstick foil.

Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites in a large bowl to soft peaks. Gradually beat in 1 cup powdered sugar. Continue beating until mixture resembles soft marshmallow cream.

In a small bowl, whisk together 1 cup powdered sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt.

On low speed, add the dry mixture to the egg white mixture. Continue until well blended.

Refrigerate mixture for 20-30 minutes to firm up a bit.

Place remaining powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Drop cookie mixture by tablespoon into sugar, coating generously. This will be messy.

I use two spoons to plop the batter into the sugar. And two more spoons to cover it in sugar. Then I gently pick up the coated batter, and place it on cookie sheets. Give them room, they spread.

You will have some powered sugar leftover. But you need the extra to cover the bottom of the bowl. Otherwise the batter will stick to it. And I don’t mind wasting a bit of sugar.

Bake about 10 minutes. Cool on sheets about 10 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool completely.

Variations

For a darker and less sweet cookie, roll batter in cocoa powder instead of powdered sugar. Sub 1/4 cocoa powder for the last 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. I don’t like wasting cocoa powder. So I am just  more careful, making sure there is cocoa covering the bottom of the bowl before I drop in the batter. And the cocoa doesn’t coat the batter as thickly as powdered sugar does. So less goes further.

Add some spice. A teaspoon of cinnamon can go into the batter or the coating.

Add some heat. Cayenne or chili powders can also go in the batter or the coating. Add as much, or as little as you like. Sweet and heat is a great combo.

Add some cool. Just a few drops of mint extract added to the batter adds a lot of flavor and scent.

Make it mocha. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of instant coffee powder to the batter. Or grind it fine and add to the coating.

What is your favorite flavor? And do you like it in, or out of your cookie?

Other easy holiday treats you may like are:

Sorghum Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondie’s

Lemon Bars Scroll to the bottom of the post.

Cocoa Bean Brownies

And there is so much more to share!

Custom Choice cereal giveaway

The lucky winner of her own Custom Choice cereal blend is Michelle.

Thank you Custom Choice for a tasty, fun, gluten free product!

Bon Appetite Blogger Holiday Bake-Off

It is still ongoing. Categories include cakes, cookies, custard, pie, and more. Vote for your favorites until December 13.

Your vote enters you to win a Kitchen Technology Center. You can vote in every category. I have already entered Pumpkin Custard, Hold the Dairy. And I will enter Cocoa Melt Aways in the cookie category.

If you are a blogger, be sure to enter a recipe. Elana, of Elana’s Pantry has entered Tart and Tangy Cranberry Bars.

The competition is stiff, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a gluten free winner! Especially in a popular mainstream cooking magazine.

Healthy Eats guest post

Healthy Eats is a blog associated with the Food Network. Last week they published my post of Sorghum Almond Drops, a whole grain, gluten free, dairy free, and egg free holiday cookie.

If you would like to see more gluten free recipes at this very popular healthy cooking blog, please visit the post and comment. I know some of you already have commented there, thank you very much!

Sorghum Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies

What is an easy way to convert a popular wheat flour recipe to gluten free? And ensure it is successful, with a soft texture, and even whole grain?

sorghum-peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-bars

sorghum, peanut butter, chocolate chip blondies photo by vsimon

Three steps to convert a baked treat to gluten free.

  1. Substitute whole grain sorghum flour for the wheat flour, measure for measure.
  2. Add xanthan. Start with 1 teaspoon per 1 cup flour.
  3. Add some water to batter if it seems too stiff. Xanthan needs water to hydrate it. There was no water in the original recipe. I started with a tablespoon, that didn’t seem like enough. I added another and it looked good. Bingo, it cooked up perfectly.

Texture, yeah! It is good!

Not dry, not crumbly, not gooey, not slimy.

These bars are light textured, yet they compress to a pleasant chewiness when you bite into them.

It is fun to serve them with extra chopped peanuts and chocolate chips. (These are not included in the ingredients below.)

This blondie is soft and holds together well. So you can press the edge of the bar into the extra tasty bits on the plate and they stick.  Interactive food, I like that.

Keeping

If there are any bars left over, they last several days without getting dry. Be sure to cover them tightly though.

You can also double the recipe and freeze some for later. Bake in two 8×8 inch pans, or one 9×13 inch pan. When I double the recipe I use 3 whole eggs, instead of 2 whole eggs and 2 egg whites. It is just easier.

Additional changes

I added chopped peanuts to the original recipe for more crunch and flavor. And reduced the total sugar, switching to dark brown sugar instead of white sugar. These are still plenty sweet for me.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies

Adapted from Cooking Light

Yield 16 servings

Ingredients Metric measures
1 cup sorghum flour 135 gm
1 teaspoon xanthan 4 gm
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips 45 gm
¼ cup chopped peanuts 30 gm
1/4 teaspoon baking soda 2 gm
1/8 teaspoon salt pinch
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar 180 gm
1/4 cup peanut butter 65 gm
1 tablespoon vegetable oil 15 ml
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 5 ml
1 large egg 50 gm
1 large egg white 25 gm
2 tablespoons water 30 ml

Preheat oven to 350°.

Oil the bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan (do not coat sides of pan).

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife.

Combine flour, xanthan, chocolate chips, soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

Combine sugar and remaining ingredients in a bigger bowl; stir until well-blended. Add flour mixture, mixing thoroughly.

Spread batter in prepared pan.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out almost clean.

Cool on a wire rack. Cut into 16 squares.

Allergic to peanuts?

I have not tried tree nut or seed butters in the recipe, but I think they would work. Please let us know if you try them and how you like the result.