Our Adventures In Baking ~ Gluten-Free Spritzgebäck Christmas Cookies

We enjoy German Christmas cookies during Advent and the Christmas season, and one of our favorite cookies is Spritzgebäck – a crisp shortbread type cookie that’s traditionally topped with melted chocolate on just a portion of the cookie’s top surface.  Honestly, these cookies are wonderful any time of the year, with or without the melted chocolate.  These simple cookies allow the individual flavors of butter, sugar, eggs, flour and chocolate (when used) to express themselves individually, without competing or being overpowered by icing.

This was my first attempt at making a gluten-free Spritzgebäck, so I only made half a recipe as an experiment, and didn’t opt for the melted chocolate.  While my first ever piping technique needs some artistic work and practice, these Spritzgebäck cookies turned out perfectly – with a delicious traditional Spritzgebäck flavor, a nice golden color, and a sharp snap when broken – just what the holidays call for! 🙂

You can easily find photos of Spritzgebäck online, and lots of traditional German recipes to follow – just look for something that suits your fancy – or use ours.  My wife’s recipe used for these cookies is a traditional family recipe from Germany, and while I made only half a recipe this morning, you can easily double it to make a larger batch.

Spritzgebäck Recipe:

– 125 grams butter

– 125 grams sugar

– 1 egg

– 1 package of vanilla sugar (We use a Dr. Oetker .32 oz/9 grams package, or use vanilla extract instead)

– 125 grams ‘Gluten-Free 1 for 1 flour’

– 125 grams oat flour (I pulse my own oat flour from rolled oats in the food processor)

Combine together in order: butter, sugar, egg, vanilla sugar and gluten-free flour.  The dough will be stiff to begin with, but will loosen up a bit when piped.  You can also form the cookies with a cookie mill instead.  I baked these Spritzgebäck for 17 minutes in a 350 degree F oven, and the recipe made 48, 2″ and 3″ cookies.  Enjoy! ☼ 🙂

Our Adventures In Baking ~ Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Crumb Bars

I’m a great fan of pumpkin pie in the fall, and as it turns out, I like these ‘Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Crumb Bars’ even better than a traditional pumpkin pie – in fact, I love them! 🙂

My wife found the recipe on ‘Cooking Classy dot com’ for ‘Pumpkin Pie Crumb Bars’ and while the recipe isn’t gluten-free, she simply substituted gluten-free flour for the regular flour the recipe called for.  In this case, she used ‘1 for 1 gluten-free flour’ and oat flour in equal measures where flour was called for in the recipe.

The secret to these crumb bars is that there is a hearty oat based crust supporting the pumpkin pie filling, and a delightful crumb topping above it.  As a pumpkin pie lover from day one, my vote is to enjoy these gluten-free versions of ‘Pumpkin Pie Crumb Bars’ in the future ~ they’re the best – enjoy! ☼ 🙂

Our Adventures In Baking ~ Gluten-Free Vanilla Snowball Cookies

This year I made gluten-free versions of our favorite German Vanille Hoernchen or Vanilla Crescent cookies as Vanilla Snowball cookies instead ~ and they’re absolutely delicious!

We use a traditional German recipe for making our Vanille Hoernchen (just Google Vanille Hoernchen or Vanilla Crescents), and all we did was substitute Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Baking Flour for the regular flour called for in the recipe.  I used a small cookie scoop to make 48, 2″ cookies and carefully coated them in a bowl of powdered sugar while still warm.

With a fresh dusting of powdered sugar when served, my vanilla snowballs will be ‘picture perfect’ Christmas treats ~ enjoy! ☼ 🙂

Our Adventures In Baking – Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Chocolate, Oat and Peanut Butter Cookies

I made a terrific batch of chocolate drop cookies I call ‘Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Chocolate, Oat and Peanut Butter Cookies,’ that my wife found at ’12 Tomatoes dot com’ called ‘Slow Cooker Chocolate Cookies.’ This was an easy recipe to follow, and the results were just as advertised ~ perfect for the holidays!

I set the slow cooker on low heat, and my recommendation is to check the chocolate for reaching the boiling point before the minimum cooking time has expired, as you can’t see the chocolate boiling underneath the oats without probing the mixture to check.  The only alteration I made to this recipe was that I used ‘super chunky’ peanut butter when the recipe called for smooth, but I like the addition of nuts in these cookies.

You could just as easily add chopped walnuts with smooth peanut butter, or add some flaked coconut if you like.  I used a small cookie scoop in portioning out my cookies, and it made 50, 1.5″ cookies. Either way, it’s an easy and scrumptious recipe ~ enjoy! ☼ 🙂

 

Our Adventures In Baking ~ Gluten-Free Peanut Butter, Oat and Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made a terrific new batch of gluten-free cookies yesterday by modifying a box recipe of ‘Betty Crocker Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix’ with my favorite ingredients ~ and the cookies tasted fabulous!

I can never follow a recipe without changing it up a little or a lot, so I added additional ingredients to the box mix and omitted the vanilla it called for, to create my own cookie ingredient combination:

Combine together with the cookie mix:

  • Omit the vanilla the cookie mix calls for
  • 2 Tablespoons of Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 Cup of Butter called for by the cookie mix
  • 2 Eggs ( 2 eggs total – the one called for by the cookie mix, and the extra one I added)
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • A handful of extra Chocolate Chips
  • 1 Cup Crunchy Peanut Butter
  • 1 Cup Oat Flour (I pulse rolled oats in the food processor to make my own)
  • 1 Cup Rolled Oats

I mixed everything together very well and used a small cookie scoop to place individual cookies onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  I then pressed down gently with the back of a flat spoon to flatten each cookie a little bit, baking them for 10 minutes in a 350 Degree F oven.

This recipe made 70, 2″ cookies for me, which didn’t spread very much on the baking sheet, and tasted wonderful ~ solid at the surface, and soft in the middle ~ enjoy! ☼ 🙂

Our Adventures In Baking ~ Gluten-Free Oat Quick Bread

This morning I made a ‘Gluten-Free Oat Quick Bread’ after reviewing a number of recipes, and modifying today’s recipe to such an extent that it didn’t resemble any of them in the end ~ and it tastes delicious! 🙂 I’ve been wanting to create a proper gluten-free sandwich bread, and this recipe I came up with today is the closest I’ve gotten to perfecting one.

While this oat quick bread won’t hold up as a proper sandwich using two slices of bread, it will do perfectly well as an open-faced sandwich eaten with a knife and fork with your choice of toppings.  For toasting, I suggest using a toaster oven instead of a toaster.  The texture and flavor is very hearty, and wonderfully full of ‘oaty goodness,’ and it didn’t pick up the specific flavors of honey and pure maple syrup I used in the recipe which surprised me.

The recipe has no eggs or sugar in it which is also surprising, and doesn’t taste ‘cake-like,’ but just as a nice hearty sandwich bread would.  It’s nicely neutral yet flavorful in taste, and I’m planning to use it for open-faced grilled cheese sandwiches, as well as, for traditional sandwiches like cold turkey sandwiches after Thanksgiving.

I cut thick slices from today’s loaf to keep them together as the crust especially can easily break away, but the slice itself holds together well if handled carefully.  I carefully wrapped the individual slices in cling film and put them into a freezer bag for freezing, and enjoyed one slice today with just a spread of butter.  Excessive handling or attempting to make a sandwich with two slices of bread definitely won’t work in this case.  So here’s the recipe I used for today’s oat quick bread:

–  Mix together in a large mixing bowl:

1 and 1/2 cups of rolled oats

1 and 1/2 cups oat flour (I made my own oat flour from pulsing rolled oats in the food processor)

1/2 cup ‘gluten-free 1 to 1 flour’ (this was all I had available for today’s recipe)

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

–  Combine together in a 2 cup measuring cup:

3 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used Canola Oil)

3 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 and 1/4 cups milk (I used 1% milk today)

–  Add the liquids to the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl, and stir well (if the mixture is too loose add oat flour, if it’s too thick add more milk, until it’s firm enough to spoon out into a buttered loaf pan)

–  I baked mine for 30 minutes at 400 deg F, letting it cool 10 minutes afterwards in the loaf pan before turning it out onto a cooling rack – wait until entirely cool to slice

Here are a few photos of today’s efforts ~ enjoy! ☼ 🙂

 

Our Adventures In Cooking ~ Gluten-Free Apple Oat Cakes

I wanted to create a simple recipe for ‘Gluten-Free Apple Oat Cakes’ without all the fuss and bother some recipes go to, in order to have a tasty breakfast or lunch treat that’s fast and easy to make.  The flavors of apples and oats are deliciously perfect together at any time of the year, especially in the fall with a sprinkling of cinnamon, so that’s the flavor combination I was going for.

I make my own oat flour by pulsing rolled oats in the food processor, which isn’t nearly as pure-ground as the store bought version, but it works well for me as I like the rustic consistency.  Oats soak up lots of moisture, so I made sure my recipe would provide a consistency that was neither too thick, or too thin ~ just right.  So here’s the simple recipe I came up with:

– Combine 1/4 cup of oat flour, with 1/2 cup of applesauce, a pinch of salt if desired, and a sprinkling of cinnamon ~ that’s it

Melt a pat of butter in a frying pan over medium heat, and then cook these apple oat cakes as you would pancakes.  My batter made 3 medium apple oat cakes, and I served them with butter and pure maple syrup ~ enjoy! ☼ 🙂

Our Adventures In Baking ~ Gluten-Free Applesauce, Oat and Cinnamon English Muffin

I modified a recipe this morning that my wife found online at ‘The Big Mans World dot com’ for ‘Microwave English Muffin’ ~ and it was a real treat!  Who would think you could make a believable English Muffin in a microwave in a few minutes, and then toast it?  Check out his amazing recipe and website, and I’ll give you my version, as well.

My ‘Gluten-Free Applesauce, Oat and Cinnamon English Muffin’ was made with what we had on hand:

3 Tablespoons of oat flour

1/2 Teaspoon baking powder

2 Tablespoons of apple sauce

1 Egg

2 Tablespoons of milk

Cinnamon sprinkled liberally

Pinch of salt

I buttered a 5.5″ (interior dimension) flat-bottomed glass microwave bowl, mixed the dry ingredients together, and then added the wet ingredients, stirring well.  I microwaved the batter for 3 minutes in the microwave, watching as the batter firmed up and pulled back from the edge of the glass bowl at 2 minutes.  The English Muffin fell out of the glass bowl easily when tipped over onto a drying rack to cool.

After a few minutes I baked the muffin in a toaster oven for about 3 minutes to give it the look and feel of a baked muffin, prior to slicing it in half once it was cool.  I then toasted the slices in the toaster like a regular English Muffin, and ate it with butter and jam ~ delicious!  I think this English Muffin without the cinnamon, would work out great for cheese sandwiches with a slice of Provolone or Swiss cheese in the frying pan.  Here’s a couple of photos ~ enjoy!

Our Adventures In Baking ~ Gluten-Free Peanut Butter, Brown Rice Flour, Oats and Chocolate Chip Cookies

As a resourceful baker, I decided to make up a batch of ‘Gluten-Free Peanut Butter, Brown Rice Flour, Oats and Chocolate Chip Cookies’ this morning using what we had on hand in the pantry, and loved the result! 🙂

I rarely follow recipes very closely, adding this and that into the mix to experiment and engage my baking creativity, so today I just decided to go rogue and make something up from scratch – here’s the ingredient list I used, just combine together:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup of light brown sugar
  • 1 and 1/4 cups of white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 and 1/3 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 2 cups of smooth peanut butter
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of brown rice flour (ground myself in a coffee grinder, but I recommend a commercially processed product for a finer consistency)
  • 1 cup of oat flour (pulsed myself in a food processor, which works perfectly well for me)
  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • Approximately 1/3 bag of chocolate chips (enough for 2 chocolate chips per cookie)
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup of water (the dough was very stiff, so I added water to moisten it)

I used a 1″ cookie scoop to portion out the dough, added 2 chocolate chips and gently pressed down on each cookie, and then baked the cookies for 11 minutes at 350 degrees.  This batch made 83 delicious 2″ cookies ~ enjoy! ☼ 🙂

Our Adventures In Baking – Gluten-Free Potato Oat Flatbread

In an effort to purge wheat from my diet and still enjoy eating bread, my wife and I made a fabulous ‘Gluten-Free Potato Oat Flatbread’ today, by modifying a recipe called ‘Everything Mashed Potato Flatbread’ found at ‘Officially Gluten Free dot com.’  Not only did our resulting flatbread exceed my expectations, but it completely fills the square for eating bread in sandwiches, cheeseburgers and pizzas for me from now on! 🙂

I make my own oat flour by pulsing rolled oats in the food processor, and try to substitute it as often as possible in recipes calling for regular flour.  This recipe called for rice flour however, which we didn’t have, so I used an equal portion of my oat flour instead with the best results ever.  The flatbread turned out perfectly, and tasted wonderfully – just like eating regular bread in the salmon salad sandwich I had for lunch today.  I cut my sandwich in half before picking it up to eat, and the flatbread didn’t crack, split, crumble or fall apart like a hamburger bun often does – yet it retained a soft, delicious texture that was a joy to eat! 🙂

One recipe made eight individual flatbreads about 6 inches across, and I’m planning on making larger ones in the future as individual pizza crusts using Parmesan, Oregano and Italian seasonings instead of the recipe’s sesame seed topping.  My wife thinks we’ll pre-bake the pizza flatbread crust for about 10 minutes prior to adding the pizza toppings, and then finish it back up in the oven until the cheese melts.

I’ve frozen the additional flatbreads for future sandwiches, and here’s a couple of photos of my salmon salad sandwich, and the individual baked flatbreads ~ enjoy! ☼ 🙂