Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Amazing ginger cookies

Soft, chewy ginger cookies

I recently stumbled across a recipe for soft and chewy ginger cookies on  I feared that they would be overwhelmingly sharp with ginger, but decided to try them anyway.  Good thing I did - I think I've found my new favorite cookie (or one of them, anyway)!  Here's my gf adaptation of her recipe:

Soft and Chewy Ginger Cookies; adapted for gf/df by Raechel Medina
Yield: 4 dozen

2 1/4 cups gf flour mix (I used Four Flour Bean Mix)
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
3/4 cup Spectrum shortening
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup candied ginger chopped into bits.
2 tablespoons raw sugar for rolling (white sugar works too)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, salt and xanthan gum. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg,
then mix in the water and molasses.
Gradually mix the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture. Stir in the candied ginger.
Chill dough for 15 minutes to make it easier to handle.
Shape dough into 1 inch sized balls or use a 1 1/2 Tablespoon scoop, and roll them in the raw sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto a parchment or silpat-lined cookie sheet, and flatten slightly.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for
5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


I've always loved waffles. When I was little, my family would enjoy brunch with our friends Bill and Mary.  They lived, at the time, in a large, canvas, Army tent, which alone made it a memorable event.  However, the homemade waffles, often slathered with honey from our own bees was something truly delightful.
After that time had passed, waffles became a less frequent indulgence.  We had a heavy, cast iron waffle iron that we'd occasionally pull down and cook waffles over the wood-burning kitchen stove, but that was a rare event.  More often we turned to the easier-made pancake for weekend breakfasts.
In my adult life, I've owned cheap waffle irons that sort-of did the job, but not very well - always leaving me frustrated and missing the waffles of my childhood.  A couple of months ago, I decided enough was enough!  The waffles had stuck to the iron so badly that unless it could have been soaked, the waffle bits were not coming off.  I hate to spend money on new kitchen gadgets and this one seemed rather frivolous, but after a week or so, I broke down and splurged.  I spent lots of time reading reviews and comparing models; weighing the pros and cons.  I finally settled on this beauty - the Waring Pro WMK600 Double Belgian Waffle Maker

I love that this iron makes two waffles at once!  Makes feeding the family (and making extras) SO much quicker.  Now it's actually feasible to make waffles, rather than it being an all-morning affair.

I make a large batch of waffles - about 14-16, which will give us two meals worth (the boys can really put these away!).  This waffle iron makes 7"across x 1"wide waffles, so you'll get a lot more waffles if you're using a standard waffle iron.

by Raechel Medina
makes 14-16 large waffles

2 c. brown rice flour
1 c. sorghum flour
1 c. corn starch
1 c. tapioca starch
5 tsp. baking powder
3 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum (optional; if you leave it out, the batter will be very runny - use less per waffle)
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. oil
6 eggs
5 c. water + 2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Mix all dry ingredients in large mixer bowl.  Add oil, eggs, water and lemon juice.  Mix well, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl once, then beat for about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, heat up your waffle iron.  When fully heated, measure batter according to your iron and cook the waffles.  Enjoy!
Waffles can be frozen for quick breakfasts - ours never last that long, though.  We'll save extras for the next day and give them a quick re-heat on the waffle iron to re-crisp them.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Graham Crackers

A friend requested this recipe and since I didn't have it on the blog yet, I figured I'd just post it here.

Graham Crackers
adapted by Raechel Medina from Rodale's Basic Natural Foods Cookbook
Makes about 4 dozen crackers

3 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp molasses
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 c. peanut butter
1/4 c. Spectrum shortening
1/2 c. water or milk substitute w/ 1 tsp. lemon juice added
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda

In a mixer bowl, beat honey, molasses, brown sugar, peanut butter, & shortening until smooth. In a separate bowl combine water or milk substitute with lemon juice and vanilla and set aside. In a third bowl, mix dry ingredients.  Stir them and liquid mixture, alternately, into molasses mixture, stirring well after each addition.  Let dough rest for a few minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly oil two baking sheets (or, alternately, use Silpat baking mats).
Roll out dough between sheets of plastic wrap to a thickness of 1/16th inch.  Cut into 2 1/2-inch squares and prick with a fork.  Carefully transfer to baking sheets, leaving about an inch between.
Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Cool on wire racks.  Store in an airtight container or freeze.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Goodies

I'm baaaack.  Hopefully.  I've been thinking about this blog a lot lately and am hoping to start posting regularly again.

Happy Valentine's Day!

A glimpse at the treats I made this year for my boys -

Chocolate-raspberry cupcakes with blood orange frosting, and chocolates - some with coconut and some with blood orange creme.

I'm loving the subtle pink created with the blood orange juice.  In the past, I've used hibiscus for an almost neon pink for Valentine's Day treats, but it looked a little unnatural. I much prefer this.  I used this "Buttermilk" Chocolate Cake recipe for the mini cupcakes, and added a couple tablespoons of raspberry puree as part of the liquid to give a subtle raspberry flavor.  The frosting is simply powdered sugar, shortening, a tad bit of salt and blood orange juice for the liquid.

The chocolates were made in my new silicon chocolate molds, which I LOVE (thanks, Mom)!  I used melted Enjoy Life chocolate chunks, which I spread over the bottom and sides of the molds.  Into half of them, I dropped a "creme" made of powdered sugar, shortening, blood orange juice and just a drop of orange oil.  The other half were filled with a bit of coconut mixed with honey, salt and vanilla.  Then all the chocolates got another layer of melted chocolate over the top and set in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.

Hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day, too!