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Gluten-free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

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Gluten-free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I love oatmeal. It’s comforting and reminds me of country-side flavors. But, when you are gluten-free, it’s a grain you have to be careful with, because most brands are cross-contaminated with wheat products. Bob’s Red Mill has certified gluten-free oats, which I like to cook with from time to time. This recipe for oatmeal raisin cookies has inspired me to make my own healthy version (yields 30 cookies).

Not too sweet but impossible to put down!

Not too sweet but impossible to put down!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup amaranth flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon guar gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup certified gluten-free oats
  • 1/2 cup raisins, rehydrated
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and add vanilla. Mix well.

In a different mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (tapioca starch to oats, on my list). Add to the cream mixture and mix well.

Fold in the rehydrated raisins (just soak them in warm water for 30 minutes to rehydrate them) and pecans.

I know it's hard, but don't eat all the dough raw, it's even better once baked!

I know it’s hard, but don’t eat all the dough raw, it’s even better once baked!

Shape the dough into small 1″ balls and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure to leave a few inches between the cookies because they flatten and expand while baking.

Bake for 11-12 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool and serve with a big glass of milk. Perfect for dessert or breakfast!

 

Gluten-Free Oreo Cookies

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Gluten-Free Oreo Cookies

Who doesn’t love oreos? Chocolaty goodness with a delicious creamy sweet filling, dipped in milk. It’s a great snack and guess what, you can easily make a gluten-free version at home in 20 minutes (prep time). After experimenting for many months, I’m finally completely satisfied with my recipe. Aside from sugar, which is alright in moderation, you can eat these cookies completely guilt-free! Here’s what you need:

 

Just like the real thing, but better!

Just like the real thing, but better!

Ingredients for the cookie:

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar*
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup amaranth flour
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • White rice flour for rolling

Ingredients for the frosting:

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar*

*I put an asterisk next to powdered sugar because I prefer using powdered sugar made with tapioca starch instead of corn starch, like Organic 365, which you can find at your local Whole Foods.

It doesn't look like much, but once rolled out, you'll get lots of cookies!

It doesn’t look like much, but once rolled out, you’ll get lots of cookies!

The dough is easy to make. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add vanilla extract. Slowly add the cocoa powder, salt, starch and flour. It’s going to get really thick. Just knead it with your hands. Wrap it up in floured (white rice flour is what I use for sprinkling and rolling) wax paper and cool it in the freezer for 10 minutes, or in the fridge for an hour.

The dough is a lot easier to work with than I expected.

The dough is a lot easier to work with than I expected.

Next, preheat the oven to 350F. Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet and set aside. On a clean work surface, sprinkle white rice flour and start flattening the dough with a rolling pin to about 1/8 inch. Using a cookie cutter, get as many cookies as you can! It should yield around 30 cookies but you’ll have to reroll the dough a few times. No wasting allowed!

Bake 7 to 8 minutes. After they have cooled at least 15 minutes, use a spatula to get the cookies off the wax paper and on a plate.

The last step is to make the frosting.

Simply cream the butter and powdered sugar and add vanilla extract. Using a knife, spread a generous amount of frosting on a cookie and sandwich it with another.

Enjoy the healthiest oreo cookies ever!

Gluten-free Tagalong Cookies

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Gluten-free Tagalong Cookies

A friend told me about tagalong cookies a few weeks ago. I had never heard of them but; chocolate: good, peanut butter: good, shortbread cookies: good. Needless to say, I was very interested. I used this recipe as a guide, but I changed many things, like adding caramel and getting rid of the gluten. Here’s what I used:

These homemade girl scout cookies are the best I’ve ever made!

Shortbread cookies

  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 2/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 2/3 cup amaranth flour
  • 1/3 cup millet flour
  • 1/3 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon guar gum
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Homemade caramel is easy to make and healthier because you control the amount of sugar.

Peanut butter filling

  • 3/4 cup peanut butter*
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar*

Caramel filling

  • 1 stick butter
  • 3 Tablespoon chickpea flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

Chocolate coating

  • 2 cups chocolate chips*

*Make sure you select these ingredients carefully. I used powdered sugar with tapioca starch instead of corn starch (Organic 365). I used peanut butter with no hydrogenated oils (Peter Pan’s new 100% natural) and chocolate chips with no soy (Nestlé’s Dark Chocolate Morsels).

The first step is to make the shortbread cookies. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add an egg and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Add all the dry ingredients (potato starch to baking soda on the list) and mix well. I used a fork and silicone spatula up to this point. When the mixture is doughy enough, mix with your hands. Prepare a sheet of wax paper with white flour sprinkles. Roll the dough into a cylinder, about 2 inches in diameter and freeze for 30 minutes.

It doesn’t need to be a perfect cylinder. Each cookie is unique!

When the dough hardens, it’s easy to cut it into thin cookies, around 1/8 inch. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes on a cookie sheet, and let cool a good 20 minutes.

These cookies are simple to make and great on their own.

Now, it’s time to get a workstation going with everything you need to make tagalongs. First, make caramel. Melt one stick of butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add chickpea flour to thicken and mix in the sugar (brown and regular) and the water. Stir constantly and continue to heat until thick. Cool in the fridge.

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter and powdered sugar.

The last thing you need is tempered chocolate. This is the same process I used for my thin mint cookies. If you’ve never tempered chocolate before, I strongly recommend watching this instructional video. My first few times tempering chocolate were a disaster. Practice and knowledge makes perfect!

Peanut butter on top seals the caramel.

Melt two cups of chocolate chips in the microwave, 20 seconds at a time and stir in between to disperse heat equally.

Now, take a shortbread cookie, spread a layer of caramel, then a layer of peanut butter. Rinse and repeat with all cookies. And now the “fun” part begins…

Coat the cookies in chocolate and carefully remove the excess.

This process is very time consuming but will reward your taste buds, I promise.

Be patient!

Place the chocolate coated cookies on a baking sheet and let set at room temperature. You can use the fridge to accelerate the process, but I think it lets in too much moisture and prefer room temperature.

And… you’re done! I stored my cookies in an airtight container in the fridge. I had some leftover caramel and peanut butter, which I used as dipping sauce with apples for snacks throughout the week. Enjoy!

Gluten-Free Thin Mint Cookies

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Gluten-Free Thin Mint Cookies

Guess what I made this weekend? Girl scout cookies! My favorite flavor too: thin mint, of course. And wow, those cookies were delicious. I stumbled across an amazing recipe just the other day and I had to try it for myself. Here is my experience with it:

Mint and chocolate goodness. What’s not to love?

Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar*
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup amaranth flour
  • 2 cup chocolate chips*
  • 1 teaspoon mint extract

*I put an asterisk next to some ingredients, because the kind you get determines how healthy this recipe is! I use Organic 365 powdered sugar because it’s made with tapioca starch instead of corn starch. I use Nestlé’s Dark Chocolate Morsels for chocolate chips, because they are soy free.

It doesn’t look like much, but once rolled out, you’ll get lots of cookies!

The first step is to make the dough. It’s pretty easy. Start by creaming the butter in a large bowl. Slowly add sugar and mix well. Next, add the cocoa powder, salt, starches and flour. It’s going to get pretty thick. I finished mixing mine with my hands, just like kneading dough. Wrap it up in floured (white rice flour is what I use for sprinkling and rolling) wax paper and stick it in the freezer for 10 minutes.

The dough is a lot easier to work with than I expected.

Next, preheat the oven to 350F. Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet and set aside. On a clean work surface, sprinkle white rice flour and start flattening the dough with a rolling pin to about 1/8 inch. Using a cookie cutter, get as many cookies as you can! You’ll have to reroll the dough a few times. No wasting allowed!

Bake in the oven for 7 to 8 minutes.

Note that if you don’t have more than one cookie sheet, you will have to do 2 or 3 batches.

Also, when the cookies come out of the oven, let them cool for a good 15 minutes. They fall apart when hot, but hold together surprisingly well when cold.

The next step was a real pain in the butt for me, until I watched this awesome video on how to temper chocolate. Basically, just heat your chocolate in the microwave, 20 seconds at a time, stirring and dispering  heat equally. I only needed 40 seconds total to get a perfectly smooth texture. Don’t forget to add a teaspoon of mint extract.

Be patient!

Next, drop the cookies in the chocolate and spoon away the excess. Place them on a sheet of wax paper to dry. Keep them at least 5 minutes at room temperature, so the chocolate sets with minimum humidity.

When you’re all done, peel the cookies from the wax paper and store in an air tight container. I kept mine in the freezer. Not that I needed to, I ate them all in 3 days. Shhh!

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