Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookie Crunch
We make gluten-free treats and bring them with us to events. Everyone tells us how good they are. Many people ask us for the recipes. So we decided that we would start collecting our recipes into a cookbook. But I wanted to start sharing our recipes with you all and you can try them and see how they work out for you. 

With that being said, my 12 year old, almost 13 year old, daughter is the best baker I know. I give her a recipe and how to doctor it and she is able to make some delicious goodies. One day she wants to open her own bakery. Maybe even a gluten-free bakery!

This has got to be one of the best cookies we have eaten. We took a recipe from a book I am reading and doctored it for gluten-free and it turned out wonderfully. I am addicted.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Crunches

1 cup salted butter (2 sticks, melted)
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt (omit if you use salted butter like us)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour mix, sifted
2 cups crush corn chex (crush them with your hands, crumbles not dust)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or milk chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips

     Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter, add the sugars and stir. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl mix together, baking soda and flour and sift. Add flour and stir in. Crush corn chex in a bowl with your hands. Add crushed chex and chocolate chips and stir. Form dough into walnut size balls with your fingers and place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes on the middle rack.

     Cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes. Then remove to a wire rack until they are completely cool. The wire rack is important it makes the cookies crispier. If the cookies spread out too much in the oven reduce to 350 degrees. Do not flatten cookies before baking. They will flatten themselves.

Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour Mixture Recipe

It's all in the mixture!

     Successful gluten-free baking and cooking starts with the right flour mixture. Gluten-free flour is not the same as "flour." Most people think of "flour" as the all-purpose flour that you pick up at the grocery store. If a recipe calls for 1 cup of flour, you scoop usually scoop it out of the bag and then you have your flour for the recipe. Well gluten-free baking requires more than just "flour." 

     Have you heard gluten-free can be gritty or have no flavor or is plain "yucky?" That is usually because someone tried to bake with one gluten-free flour, usually just rice flour. Many companies are making gluten-free all-purpose flour and pre-mixes. These can be very expensive and have flours in it that you may not want. Some have bean flours in them, which upsets many people's stomachs. You can make your own and make it for a lot cheaper.

     To make a good tasting all-purpose gluten-free flour you need several different flours that you may not know even existed until you started your gluten-free journey. I am going to share with you the gluten-free flour mixture recipe that we successfully use to bake with everyday. When you make this mixture you can store it in an air-tight container in your cabinet. Since we used to use a lot of flour to run our bake shop, we purchased a food-grade 20-gallon storage bucket with a lid. You don't need such a big container. Something like the picture below will work fine. It doesn't need to be stored in the refrigerator.

      We use this flour mix 1:1 in any recipe we make; except for bread. 1:1 meaning if you have a well-loved regular wheat flour based recipe, you will replace this flour with the exact same amount of flour that the recipe calls for.This recipe is very simple.

Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
Single recipe:
3- (24oz) bag Bob's Red Mill Brown Rice Flour
1- (24oz) bag Bob's Red Mill Potato Starch (NOT potato flour)
1/2-(20oz) bag Bob's Red Mill Tapioca Flour (NOT tapioca starch)
1 tbsp. xanthan gum

Double recipe:

6- (24oz) bags Bob's Red Mill Brown Rice flour
2-(24oz) bag Bob's Red Mill Potato Starch (NOT potato flour)
1-(20oz) bag Bob's Red Mill Tapioca Flour (NOT tapioca starch)
2 tbsp. Bob's Red Mill xanthan gum
Mix together in the container. Store in air-tight container. (We do store the extra xanthan gum in the fridge in a plastic ziploc bag.)

     We have always used Bob's Red Mill flours. I can not speak for other brands of these same flours. We know that these flours work and that no one has reactions to them, so we have always stuck with them. You can buy them at most local grocery stores these days. You can even order them online. If you plan on using this flour a lot, you can ask a local health food store to order you these flours in bulk. But for the average amount of cooking and baking, the single recipe is usually good enough. We have a family of 9, so we usually make the double recipe. 

     SOME recipes we bake, call for a little extra xanthan gum to make the baked goods not crumble. Since there is no gluten to hold things together, the xanthan gum is the binder. Some recipes need a little extra binder.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Introduction to my blog!

Welcome to this gluten-free journey!

     When I started on my gluten-free journey 7 years ago, people
had no idea what I was talking about when I mentioned gluten. They would look at me like I was speaking a foreign language. Now most people have heard of it, but still don't exactly know what gluten is. People have been mislead into thinking gluten-free is the new fade diet. And yes, for some people it is. As for the rest of us, we eat gluten-free because we have to NOT because we want to. Being on a gluten-free diet can be challenging. Not impossible, but challenging. With all good challenges, comes growth. I missed my gluten-FULL (that is what one of my best friends calls anything with wheat flours in it and you have to insert her Chilean accident!) goodies. I had dreams of being able to walk into a gluten-free bakery and not worry about what I could eat, what was in the food, or if it cross-contaminated. 

     I wanted to make that dream come true. Well with seven children and all the other things going on in my life, opening a dedicated gluten-free bakery just wasn't an option. So we did the next best thing, we made a dedicated kitchen in our basement for making gluten-free baked goods. The birth of Deliciously Gluten-Free, LLC. We supplied our local health food stores and a local coffee shop. 

     Life got too busy and challenging so we had to stop baking for stores. I hope to revisit that idea sometime in the future. Timing is everything in life. 

     For now, people know that I am gluten-free and so is my youngest daughter. I post on Facebook and talk to people about it all the time.When someone is finding their path through this gluten-free journey, they often ask me questions about going gluten-free, where to find recipes, what products to buy, etc. I am honored that people turn to me to help them through this journey. 

     So I am excited to start blogging regularly again. I will post recipes, tips, FAQs, and much more. We are going to start composing our recipes for a gluten-free cookbook. We have people ask us all the time for the recipe when we bring our baked goods places. When we tell them that it is gluten-free they are pleasantly shocked. They tell us they would never have known they were eating gluten-free! We LOVE that!! I was always my hope that people didn't know the difference. Sometimes gluten-free foods can taste yucky, and I didn't want people to ever think that gluten-free had to taste bad. 

     I do not bake alone. My husband and two oldest daughters do most of the baking.
I come up with the recipes. Often I take a recipe I like that is "gluten-FULL" and make my substitutions. We are almost always pleased with the results. 

     I am happy to share these recipes with you all. I hope to be of help to those who are newbie gluten-freers or long time gluten-freers. Also most of our recipes can be made with regular flour too. Please enjoy this blog and share it with your friends! Let me know what I can do to help you. Ask questions! I am ALWAYS willing and excited to learn new things, so please share what you learn and know with me!

Sunnie Stonelake