Sunday, June 3, 2012

Gluten-Free Sweets!

It has certainly been a crazy few days.  Thursday night I went out to eat with Mark.  We went to Michael's Harborside in Newburyport, had some calamari for dessert, and I got delicious seafood pasta.  When I got home (later than expected) I was panicking because I had to bring a hot dish to my school's volunteer appreciation breakfast.  Kenzie found me a quick and easy overnight French toast casserole.  I was going to be rather embarrassed to bring it; it looked pretty blah since it was just pieces of white bread withbrown sugar,  cinnamon, egg and milk sprinkled on it, but it was all I had time to do.  Luckily, I did not have to show up with an ugly casserole.  Unluckily, that was because I threw up early Friday morning.  I blame the calamari and think that I am now finished with squid; Mark and I have both gotten sick eating them on separate occasions.  But this meant I got to eat the casserole myself last night.  The casserole is okay; I don't really like French toast, and that is exactly what it is.  I would recommend it if you have to make French toast for a crowd, because it is an easy way to feed a lot of people at once, when French toast usually takes a while to make for everyone.

Yesterday was a bit of a culinary challenge for me.  Kenzie's friend Jane is visiting from Maui with her husband (!).  We went to their wedding last weekend, and it was great to see them again and really get to know her Matty.  The culinary challenge was that Kenzie invited them over for a tea party, and Jane has celiac disease and is gluten-free.  As I looked through my recipes, I realized I do not think I have ever cooked or baked a single gluten-free item.  In fact, my entire life revolves around gluten.  I might die if I had to go gluten-free.  With that said, I knew immediately I needed to call in the experts, so I called Kaz and Andrea.  Kaz also can't have gluten, so they were the perfect people to give advice.  They gave me the name of their favorite gluten-free baking mix - which of course Kenzie went to buy, and didn't find it.  She bought a different gluten-free flour along with some GF cookies, and I set to work attempting my first gluten-less desserts!

Last week I made those low-fat cheesecakes, and I remembered seeing a footnote about how to make them gluten-free, so I decided to make them again.  There is only a tablespoon of flour in them, so I used a tablespoon of the GF baking mix instead.  They call for vanilla wafers to be the bottom crust, but instead, Kenzie bought gluten-free ginger snaps (thanks for the tip, Andrea)!  Then I popped those in the oven and set to work on my next sweet snack.

Jane had been craving blueberry muffins.  Her stepmom had made a batch of regular ones, and when Jane tried to go to a gluten-free bakery to buy some of her own, they were closed, so I knew that this was what I had to make her.  I found a recipe for muffins on The Food Network's site; in case they turned out horrible, I couldn't bear to use my dad's recipe.  I had attempted to look up specifically gluten-free blueberry muffin recipes, but they called for bizarre things like xanthan gum.  Andrea and Kaz had said that you can use gluten-free flour just in place of regular flour, so that is what I did.  I was nervous, especially when I took them out of the oven.  They aren't that pretty, puffy white color that normal muffins are - but then again, they are not normal muffins!  We let them cool for a while, and then I passed around my gluten free cheesecakes and muffins.  Moment of truth!

And, they were a hit!  Not only did Jane get to eat desserts with the rest of us (and I didn't make her sick!), but we all ate them and liked them.  Rachael claimed they were the best muffins ever.  They  did not taste gluten-free at all.  Thank you, King Arthur's Gluten-Free Baking Mix!  I was glad that I had experimented with gluten-free baking for Jane, and now that I have a big bag of the baking mix, I will have to try that again soon.  Kaz, start getting hungry :)

To make up for my lack of gluten during the day, at night I decided I needed to make a bread.  Mom had ripped a recipe out of a magazine for overnight pull-apart cinnamon loaf.  It's a lot like monkey bread, but it looks like a loaf of bread rather than little balls.  I made the dough last night, and then had to let it rise overnight in the refrigerator.  This does confuse me a bit, because rising only happens when it is warm, right?  But okay, I'll follow the recipe.  Tonight it will be our dessert  (hopefully).  I will keep you posted.  Since Mom did cut the recipe out of Better Homes and Gardens and then promptly lost the second page, I had to find it online, so I am attaching the page I usd.

Mark and I went grocery shopping today for the ingredients for dinner tonight and tomorrow, so stay tuned for some very intriguing dinners :)

French toast casserole
blueberry muffins (the recipe isn't gluten free, but I substituted GF baking mix for flour)
red, white and blueberry cheesecake yogurt cupcakes (substituted GF baking mix for flour, and used GF ginger snaps as the crust)

1 comment:

  1. Hey Bridget! Mmmmmm. Looks good!! So glad that the gluten free tea party went well! Next time you need to try an entire dinner and have me & Andrea over!!!