Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Gluten Free and Corn Free Apple Cinnamon Streusel Muffins

Thanks so much for all of your requests everyone!  I will try to get to everything eventually, more cookies are on the way, I promise!

A request came through my sister for a muffin recipe that was not only gluten free but corn free as well.  I use a lot of cornstarch in my recipes as it lightens up things like cakes perfectly.  I had to work on it a bit but came up with this recipe that I think is a winner.  I like its versatility as it can be made sweet -thanks to the streusel- or a little more breakfast friendly without it.  These muffins are so simple to put together and come out super moist and fluffy, no hockey pucks here!

¼ cup coconut flour
½ cup ground almonds (almond flour)
½ cup brown rice flour
¼ cup potato starch
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt

1 ½ cups apple sauce
¼ to ½  cup brown sugar, depending on the sweetness you like
1 egg
1/4 cup melted butter

2 small apples –peeled and grated

Streusel (optional)
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp GF flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
¼ cup cold butter, cubed

When baking with almond flour, things can turn out a bit grainy if the grind isn’t fine enough.  Because of this, I like to mix all of my dry ingredients together in the food processor for about a minute to eliminate any larger bits.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a muffin tin.  You can also use little paper muffin cups, I’m just not a fan
  2. Mix all dry ingredients and set aside
  3. In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients (excluding grated apple)

  4. Add dry to wet and stir until just combined then add grated apple.
  5.  Scoop batter into muffin tin (I like big muffins so I mound the batter slightly over the top of the muffin cup). 
  6. Chop that butter in!

  7. If using the streusel, combine the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon in a bowl.  Using a pastry cutter (or fork and knife) cut the cold butter into the sugar mixture until you have a course but even crumb.
  8. Sprinkle muffins with streusel
  9. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

In this batch I cubed the apples and I found that the chunks were delicious but a little too big in the finished product, It took away some of the structural stability of the muffin.  Because of this, I recommend grating your apples.

Happy Baking!

As always I welcome your requests and will do my best to try and create things that accommodate all kinds of dietary restrictions. I love a good challenge so bring it on! J

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Gluten Free Cispy Pizza Crust

Pizza is the perfect food.  Crispy crust, cheese, vegetables and meat if you chose, it has it all.  Since going gluten free, I have tried every local pizzeria that offers a version of GF crust and I have to say, for the most part, I have been disappointed. 

One national chain has recently re-vamped their offering which I now quite enjoy but it is only available in small and they only allow certain toppings that they can guarantee are gluten free.  While I appreciate their diligence, it makes me sad that their goat cheese and BBQ sauce are no-no’s.

Homemade pizza has always been something I’ve enjoyed making.  Pizza crust is much simpler to make than most people realize and from deep dish to thin crust, plain cheese to deluxe, the possibilities are endless. 

In the beginning, I thought I may be able to get away using GF crust mix available at my grocery store but after trying a few brands I gave up.  Sorry Bob’s Red Mill, you have some fantastic GF products but your pizza crust just plain sucks.  I had to do better. 

In a mixing bowl thoroughly combine:

1 cup rice flour (brown or white)

¼ cup potato starch

¼ cup tapioca starch

2 tbsp buttermilk powder (if you can’t find this then powdered milk works as well)

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp xanthan or guar gum

1 tsp garlic powder (optional)

1 tbsp flax meal (optional)

In another bowl, combine:

1 cup warm water

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp dry active yeast (*be sure to check the expiry date and always use fresh yeast)

1.       Add ½ cup of the flour mixture to the liquid mixture and combine with a whisk or fork.

2.       Allow the yeast mixture to bubble up for about 20 minutes, if your bowl is clear you will see the bubbles forming under the surface as well.

3.       Combine wet and dry ingredients in bowl of stand mixer (hand mixer works in a pinch) and beat for 3-5 minutes until it looks like you’ve made paste.  It will be sticky, this is good.

4.       Scrape dough from the sides and into a ball, cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for 20-30 minutes until it puffs up a bit.

5.       Pour a puddle of olive oil into the middle of you pizza pan or stone (about 2 tablespoons)

6.       Scrape the dough from the bowl right on top of the oil.

7.       Wet your fingers with cool water (so it doesn’t stick) hand press the dough out into the pan. 

Note: It’s up to you how thick you would like to make it.  I find to achieve a crispy base, it is best to go with thin crust.  This time I did a medium thickness and it still turned out well.  I have yet to try deep dish with this recipe. 

8.       Let the dough relax for 15 minutes in the pan while you preheat your oven to 425° with the rack on the very bottom level.

9.       Bake the crust without sauce or toppings for 10 minutes. It will turn from a glossy to a matte finish.

10.   Remove crust from the oven and add sauce as well as any toppings you like. 

Note: This time I made seafood pizza with tomato cream sauce, chopped scallops, shrimp and crab meat (all raw, they cook on the pizza and keeps them from over cooking and becoming chewy and tough) bacon, tomatoes and mozzarella.

11.   Return to the oven and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until it is bubbly on top and brown on the bottom.

The base of this crust is nice and crispy, fresh from the oven.  I find it is best the same day it is made.  It can be reheated in a dry frying pan (with a lid) but it is a little drier the second day.

Be sure to vote for the recipe you would like to see next on Gluten Free Kitchen Adventures and I would love to hear any requests for what you would like recipes for in the future.


Friday, May 11, 2012

Gluten Free Cinnamon Buns

Every time I walk through a subway station with a Cinnabon, I take pause and actually consider cheating  with gluten just for the pleasure of one bite.  You know exactly what I’m talking about, that amazing smell of baking bread mixed with cinnamon and sugar.  The only words I know to describe it are mouth watering.  

I have to confess, even with all of my baking experience, I’ve always been a little afraid of yeast.  After a few bad experiences with it that I can now only attribute to old (inactive) yeast, I think I’ve hit my stride.  If you’ve never worked with it before, it may take you a few attempts to get the temperature of the milk right, know how long to let it sit and what it’s supposed to look like when it’s ready.  You’ll get there, just make sure you are working with fresh yeast (there is an expiration on the package) and have a little patience.

As a gluten free eater, I don’t have the luxury of cracking open a tube of Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls when I have a craving so I set out to find a solution.  After a few attempts at recipes I found online with imperfect results, I did my standard “pick and choose” bits of each recipe that I like and mash them together.  I have to say, I’m incredibly pleased with the results... I’ve just eaten 3.

Give them a try!


2/3 cup milk or substitute (I used almond)
1 tbsp yeast
2 tablespoons butter, softened
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg

¼ cup potato or tapioca starch
¾ cup cornstarch
½ cup millet flour
¼ tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp xanthan gum
¼ tsp salt

Dough Directions

1.       Heat milk until warm, not hot (slightly warmer than room temperature is fine).  Add the yeast and stir gently until it is moistened.  Keep an eye on it, within a minute or so it will start to bubble.  Let sit for about 5 minutes.

2.       Add the sugar, butter and oil to the milk and stir gently to combine. Add egg and vanilla and combine.

3.       Whisk together dry ingredients until completely combined. 

4.       Add dry ingredients to wet and stir until well combined.  You may need to add a bit more millet flour if the dough is super sticky.

5.       Transfer dough to a large oiled, container with a lid.  Cover and place in a warm spot to rise for 45 minutes to an hour. For this I usually turn my oven on to it’s lowest temperature (175 degrees on mine), let it warm up and then turn it off, place the dough in to rise and prop the door open a little with a wooden spoon.  It will double in size and be springy but still sticky.

Preheat oven to 400F

6.       Lay a piece of parchment paper on the counter and sift some millet flour evenly over it.  Dump the dough onto the floured surface and sift more flour on top of the dough.  Place a second piece of parchment on top and roll out into a rectangle about ¼ inch thick.


1 ¼ cup brown sugar

3 tbsp cinnamon

½  cup butter, softened

7.       You can either mix all of these ingredients together and crumble over the rolled out dough or melt the butter a little further and brush onto the dough and sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon over the buttered surface.  I did the former this time because I couldn’t find my basting brush but it doesn’t seem to matter.

8.       Holding the edge of the parchment paper closest to you, lift slowly and use it to roll the dough into a log.  It should come off of the bottom parchment without sticking. 

9.       Using a bread knife, slice the log into 10 even pieces and transfer to buttered spring form or cake pan.  Be sure to leave a bit of space between rolls for expansion.

10.   Bake for 20 minutes until rolls start to brown.  You can test if they’re done by sliding a butter knife between rolls in the center of the pan.  If the dough doesn’t stick, they’re done.


1/3 cup butter, melted

1 cup powdered sugar

¼ cup cream cheese, softened

1 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp milk

11.   Remove the rolls from the oven and drizzle frosting while still hot. 

Allow to cool for 5 minutes and enjoy!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Gluten Free Chewy Bars

Eating on the run has been my biggest issue since going gluten free.  I inevitably find myself out running errands or between meetings when I realize that I’m starving and there is nowhere to buy anything “safe”. 

For a while, I thought I could get away with eating Clif Bars because they didn’t list any wheat products on the label.  When they started to irritate me I did a little research and figured out that the malt ingredients were probably the culprit.  Disappointed that such a convenient, delicious and purse-friendly food was now off limits, I set out to make my own and I think I’ve done pretty well.  They are moist, chewy and dense like the Clif Bar and don’t crumble or fall apart after rattling around in my purse for a few days.  They are also butter and oil free and sweetened with agave which is super low on the glycemic index. 
This is my new baby... other than my Kitchenaid stand mixer, this is my absolute favorite kitchen appliance!


1 cup Gluten Free corn flakes (I love this brand, regular corn flakes contain malt so they are NOT gluten free)
1 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup dried apples
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup pecans
1/3 cup agave nectar

2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoo
ns peanut butter (or other nut butter)
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F.

Place dates in a small bowl, add 1/4 cup hot water and allow to soak for 10 minutes, then drain.  I did some apricots in this batch because I was a little short on dates

In a food processor, combine all ingredients, pulsing until you have a consistent texture but with some pieces of date, apple and pecan still visible.

Press mixture into an 8x8 pan lined with parchment paper.  If you don’t have an 8x8 pan you can use a larger pan but simply not fill the whole thing.  The bars will not spread in the oven so it’s alright to leave some space.

Bake 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Lift from the pan using parchment paper and allow to cool for 5 minutes before cutting.  I usually cut into 8-10 bars depending on thickness.

I put a few in a Ziploc bag in the cupboard for enjoying at home and wrap the rest tightly in plastic wrap so that I can throw one in my purse before I head out somewhere. 

These haven’t lasted past 6 days with me because they are so delicious but at that point they still tasted fresh. I would assume you have a good week or so to keep them, as long as they are sealed in plastic wrap or an air tight container.  These can also be tightly wrapped and frozen for longer storage.  Allow to thaw at room temperature.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Flaky Gluten Free Pie Crust & Bonus Gluten Free Greek Pie

For months, I have been looking for the perfect flaky gluten free pie crust recipe.  All of the recipes that I tried could only be described as terrible.  Many GF crusts never came together and called to be “pressed” into the pan like you would a graham cracker crust and didn’t have that layered consistency that produces a flaky, tender crust. 
This recipe is a combination of several that I came across with a few additions of my own.  I have made it 3 times now, always for people who can have gluten and nobody has been able to tell the difference.  Even my mother, the master of traditional pie crust and a self proclaimed pastry snob enjoyed it.
                                                         Gluten Free Apple Pie
This recipe makes enough for 1 double-crust pie.
  • 1 cup white rice flour
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan or Guar Gum
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup shortening, cut into small pieces
  •  large egg, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar (apple cider or white)
  • 1-3 tablespoons ice water, as needed
  • 1 teaspoon honey (optional- great if you’re making a sweet pie)
1.     Combine rice flour, potato starch, corn starch, salt, sugar, xanthan or guar gum and baking powder in a large bowl and whisk to aerate and mix thoroughly

2.     Using a pastry cutter (or two butter knives), cut in butter and shortening until all flour mix is incorporated and in small pea sized bits

3.     Whisk egg, vinegar and honey (if using) in a separate bowl and then incorporate into mix with a fork, follow with 1 tablespoon of water at a time until dough comes together into a ball
4.     Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for a minimum of 1 hour
5.     Divide dough in half (wrap and refrigerate or freeze second half) and roll out between 2 pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap.  Transfer to pie plate by removing top layer of plastic wrap, flipping into plate and peeling off bottom wrap
If making an unfilled crust, prick bottom with a fork several times and bake at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes, otherwise prepare according to pie recipe you are using.  If you only require a single crust, this can be frozen in a ball and thawed and used at a later date.  Be sure to leave time to defrost either in the fridge (ideal) or on the counter.  You never want to microwave pie crust to defrost, it will ruin the consistency.  If you have extra pie plates or use the disposable foil kind you can definitely roll out the crust and freeze in the pie plate.  The advantage of this is you can also cook from frozen!
To get you started, here is my recipe for “Greek Pie”. The flavours in this Quiche are reminiscent of Spanakopita, which is super popular with my friends when I serve it at parties.  This recipe can also be made into mini quiches for a terrific appetizer.
Greek Pie
  • 1 batch Flaky Gluten Free Pie crust (reserve half for later use)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup sour cream (ideally not fat free)
  • 1/4 cup milk or water
  • 1/3 cup crumbles feta cheese
  • 2 cups spinach, wilted or 1/4 box frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry in a kitchen towel
  • 1 teaspoon dry dill (2 teaspoons if using fresh)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 medium tomato (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1.     Roll out pastry dough and line an 8-inch pie plate or tart pan
2.     Crumble feta cheese into pie, covering the base of the crust evenly.  Add spinach in even layer on top of cheese
3.     In a bowl, combine eggs, sour cream, milk, dill, salt and pepper with a whisk until combined and no streaks of yolk are present.
4.     Pour egg mixture over cheese and spinach
5.     Thinly slice tomato and layer on top of egg mixture in concentric circles to cover entire surface of the pie (I only had cherry tomatoes so mine wasn't as pretty this time)
6.     Bake for 35-45 minutes until puffed and golden brown and fully set in the center

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Gluten Free Fresh Pasta

I was never a big pasta eater.  Not that I didn’t eat it but it’s not one of those things I’ve ever ordered in restaurants as I always tend to order something I couldn’t or wouldn’t make at home.  All of this changed when I made the switch to gluten free.  Suddenly, a food that I had taken for granted was forbidden … and was all that I wanted. 

Below is a recipe that I can’t take the credit for as I found it in various bits and pieces online but I will say that I have made it 3 times now and it is absolutely wonderful.  Unlike any other gluten free baking you may have done, this pasta handles and stretches like a dream.  I have used it for both fettuccini (or as close as I can get to fettuccini without a pasta cutter) and for ravioli. Both times the results blew me away!

  • ½ cup tapioca starch
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons potato starch
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 4 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil


In a medium bowl, combine flours, salt, and xanthan gum.
Beat the eggs lightly and add the oil.
Pour the egg-oil liquid into the flour mixture and stir.  It will start to feel much like pastry dough.
Work the dough into a firm ball and knead for about 30 times

Place the ball of dough on a potato starch-floured (rice flour turns noodles gray) breadboard and roll as thin as possible

This dough is tough and, when almost transparent, will still handle well. Cut into desired shape. 

I personally am DYING to buy one of these for my Kitchenaid mixer so that I can make all sorts of shapes:

For Fettuccine and Spaghetti, slice very thin strips by hand or use a pasta or pizza cutter.
If using for Lasagna, cut into 1 1/2-by-4-inch rectangles.
To make Ravioli, simply cut into 2x2 inch squares and place a small amount of filling in the middle.  With a wet finger or pastry brush, dampen the outer edge of the square and place a second square on top.  Working from the center out, ensure that there is no air trapped with the filling and seal the edges by pinching them together.

To cook pasta: Cook in salted boiling water, to which 1 tablespoon of oil has been added, for about 10 to 12 minutes depending on the thickness and size of your pieces.  To test, pull a piece out and try it!
I find this recipe makes a fairly small batch of pasta (at least I think it does) maybe enough for 4 servings.  If you’re like me and like to do big-batch production, double or triple the recipe.  Pasta keeps well in the fridge for about 3 days but freezes exceptionally well.

Lay fresh pasta in a single layer on a potato starch-covered baking pan or a non-stick mat and place in the freezer for about an hour to harden. Transfer to freezer bags or containers and return to freezer.  For long pastas like fettuccini, it is best to twist the pasta strands into a sort of nest on the baking sheet before freezing.  Even better, can be cooked from frozen!