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Friday, May 17, 2013

Gluten-Free Can Be Delicious!

Hello dear readers, we are at that time again...FRIDAY! Phew. We made it...almost. I didn't post on Wednesday because I didn't get home until late, so I wanted to make sure you got a post today. The other day, I received one of my (many) weekly food emails and saw a list for the best gluten-free desserts in America. Though I've heard a lot about gluten-free baking, the specialty bake shops that cater to sensitivities, I haven't done a lot of gluten-free baking myself. I was surprised to see how many famous places offer special options without the diner even realizing it! Look how mainstream gluten-free baking has gotten; it's marvelous. So in honor of the gluten-free lifestyle, here are a few recipes to excite any guest.

Gluten-Free Vanilla Crescent Cookies
Makes 2 1/2 dozen


  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for finishing cookies
  • 14 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 6oz. walnuts or almonds, finely ground in food processor
  • 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tbsp. tapioca flour
  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/3 cup chestnut flour
  • 1/4 cup white rice flour
  • 1/2 tsp. fine salt


  1. Heat oven to 325°. In bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat together sugar, butter, and vanilla on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Add walnuts, tapioca, chickpea, chestnut, and rice flours and salt, and mix on low speed until just combined. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and form into a rough cylinder; divide cylinder into 30 equal pieces, about 1 oz. each. Working with one piece at a time, roll dough between palms of hands to form a link sausage shape, about 2" long. Taper ends, and bend slightly to form a crescent; repeat with remaining dough pieces and transfer to parchment paper-lined baking sheets, spaced 2" apart.
  2. Bake, rotating baking sheets top to bottom and front to back halfway through cooking, until firm and lightly browned at edges, 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and sift over confectioners' sugar until all cookies are well-coated. Let cool completely before serving.

Old-Fashioned Peanut-Butter Cookies
Real Simple, November 2010

  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter (not the all-natural variety)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the peanut butter and sugars on medium-high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and beat in the eggs, baking soda, vanilla, and salt.
  3. Roll heaping tablespoonfuls of the dough into balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. With a lightly floured fork, press the dough to a ⅜-inch thickness, making a crisscross pattern on top of each cookie.
  4. Bake, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until the edges are set, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool slightly on the baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Katharine Hepburn's Brownies, Gluten-Free
Saveur, Anna Stockwell's adaptation

  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  • 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup white rice flour
  • 2 tbsp. tapioca flour
  • 1 tbsp. potato starch
  • 1/4 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1⁄4 tsp. fine salt
  • 1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
  1. Heat oven to 325°. Grease an 8" x 8" baking pan with butter. Line the pan with parchment paper; grease the paper. Set the pan aside.
  2. Melt the butter and the chocolate together in a 2-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and stir to make a smooth batter. In a separate bowl, mix together the white rice flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, xanthan gum, and salt; pour into the egg mixture, add walnuts, and stir until incorporated. Pour the batter into the baking pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40–45 minutes. Let cool on a rack. Cut and serve.

Happy baking!

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