Wednesday, December 21, 2011

GFCF Gingerbread Pound Cake Petit Fours

After drooling over pictures of gingerbread cookies, dreaming about moist gingerbread, and lusting after images Christmas cakes, I got to work in the kitchen. I created a more pound cake like version of a gingerbread cake and turned them into petit fours! Petit fours are simply small cakes - the perfect bite sized treat during the holidays! Making them gluten and dairy free was easier than I thought! Warning - there's a lot of Crisco in this recipe so they aren't the most calorie-light dessert, but since when did we count calories in desserts?

The white cakes provide a blank canvas for decorating. I finished these late at night so my creativity at that point boiled down to green zig zags in thinned icing with the cakes nestled in holiday cupcake liners. I brought them to work and everyone in my gluten-eating office loved them! Warm up the oven and get baking! These are magical little cakes that are sure to brighten up your holiday! I'm so excited to share my recipe with you!

GFCF Gingerbread Pound Cake Petit Fours

1 c Crisco
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c white sugar
1 c molasses

1 cup buttermilk (1 T of lemon juice plus enough rice milk to make 1 cup. Let sit for 5 minutes.)

Dry Ingredients
2 t xantham gum
1 1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t sea salt
1 1/2 t ground ginger
1 1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground cloves

Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a stand mixer, combine the Crisco, molasses and sugar until smooth.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
With the mixer on a low speed, alternate adding the buttermilk and dry ingredients together, until everything is thoroughly mixed.

Pour the batter in the parchment paper lined pan. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted is clean.
Cool for 20 minutes in the pan. Then cool on a wire rack. Once totally cool (placing the cake in the refrigerator or freezer helps), slice the cake into bite-sized pieces.
White Chocolate Icing
3 lbs white chocolate bark, divided
1 1/2 c Crisco, divided

In a double boiler, melt 1 lb of chocolate bark and 1/2 cup Crisco. Mix together. Dip the cake pieces in the chocolate. (Watch this video! I love her technique!) Let dry on a wire rack. If crumbs appear, cool the cake in the refrigerator and give the cake another coat. Make more icing as needed.

Decorate with thinned royal icing or sprinkles or wherever your creativity takes you!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

GFCF Gingerbread House

Last year, I bought a gingerbread house kit from the store and called it my most stressful decision ever. I nearly had a panic attack from working with wheat and dairy-filled icing. In the end, the gingerbread house was built with a hot glue gun and sat throughout Christmas on the far corner of my table - away from anything I would eat. This year, I wanted to put my Wilton skills to use (I took the first course and went from horrible to terrific very quickly) and that meant making a gingerbread house that could proudly take center stage on my kitchen table and I wouldn't be flipping out over touching a wheat-filled kit and then touching everything else in my kitchen. No gingerbread house is worth getting sick over!

Pamela's Products held the answer to my gf Christmas wish! Her website has a recipe that uses Pamela's Gluten-Free Bread Mix to create a gingerbread house! And it even included templates for the house! Before work one morning, I quickly mixed together my dough, using Crisco as my butter, and refrigerated it.
When I came home, I laid out some parchment covered cutting boards and got to work. Since I don't have wooden bars for consistent dough rolling (this is on my Christmas list, Santa!), I laid down two square chopsticks and was mindful of where they started to taper down. I cut out the templates with scissors and then gently placed them on top of the dough to cut out the shapes with a dough cutter/scraper.
Only problem was the paper was sticking to the dough! Since these were rolled out on parchment paper, I simply picked up the paper and flipped the dough over onto my parchment paper covered cookie sheets. Voila! Problem solved! The nice, smooth side was face up. The dough gave me just enough for the house and three small gingerbread trees. Before cooking my house, I used some stencils that my mom and I found (unopened) in her kitchen (similar to these) and drew out the shapes I wanted to draw in an attempt to minimize any free-handing the cake needed.
The pieces ended up baking for about 20-22 minutes. When they came out of the oven, there were several bumps in the dough. I've never done proper gluten free cookie cutter cookies so I don't know if this is normal, the dough, or me. The lumps are barely detectable now that the house has some distracting decorations on it.

This year, no glue gun was needed to put this house together! I made Royal Icing from Wilton's website (naturally dairy free) and used almost a dozen tips and three colors (white, red, and green) to decorate my house. I had a lot of fun putting this house together this year. The stress was off and I was in my element decorating with swirls and flourishes. Having the stencils imprinted with the designs helped immensely! All of the decorations were made from royal icing, so I had no additional labels to read. Wilton has been great about responding to my e-mailed requests about their products being gluten and dairy free - I know my colors are all safe for me!
Are you building a gingerbread house this year? Will yours be gluten free or gluten full?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Day-After-Thanksgiving Pizza!

I'm not one for a turkey sandwich for leftovers. This year, I used Katz's gluten free, dairy free, nut free pizza crusts, loaded them with Libby's pumpkin, some turkey, corn, and a dollop of cranberry sauce and called it a Day-After-Thanksgiving Pizza!

My mom questioned my judgment (and why I was taking pictures of my food), but this was surprisingly delicious! All of the turkey-day favorites in a new form! The pizza crust held up nicely under the weight of my toppings, but I ended up eating it more like a pita than a pizza.

Katz products are made in a gluten free, dairy free, nut free facility. I've sampled several of their products and enjoy their offerings. And I LOVE that I can grab any of their products (and there are lots) without worrying about my restrictions!

How do you eat your Thanksgiving leftovers?