Gluten Free Lemon Squares

A bright cheery dessert for this wintery weather, these lemon squares use almond flour to create a crisp gluten-free crust.

IMG_4261Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons softened butter
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Filling:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 5/8 ounces lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free cornstarch
  • pinch of salt

Grease an 8″ square pan, or 9″ round, and set aside.

Combine the crust ingredients in a bowl and mix until crumbly and sandy looking – you do still want some small chunks of butter left, so don’t try to mix it entirely consistent.

IMG_4244Press into the bottom of the prepared pan, and about 1/2″ up the sides if you have room, then refrigerate for 30 minutes. During this time, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

IMG_4245Bake the crust 18-22 minutes, until lightly golden. Set aside to cool slightly.

A minute or two less would have been ok, but this was still fine/not burnt.

A minute or two less would have been ok, but this was still fine/not burnt.

Combine filling ingredients and whisk thoroughly until well mixed.

IMG_4247Pour filling over the crust.

IMG_4248Bake 14-18 minutes, until set.

IMG_4249Cool in the pan before cutting into squares, and store leftovers in the refrigerator.

IMG_4262Two bowls and a pan, not too shabby!

Gluten Free Lemon Squares

From King Arthur Flour.

Crust:

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons softened butter
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Filling:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 5/8 ounces lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free cornstarch
  • pinch of salt

Grease an 8″ square pan, or 9″ round, and set aside.

Combine the crust ingredients in a bowl and mix until crumbly and sandy looking. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan, and about 1/2″ up the sides if you have room, then refrigerate for 30 minutes. During this time, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Bake the crust 18-22 minutes, until lightly golden. Set aside to cool slightly.

Combine filling ingredients and whisk thoroughly until well mixed. Pour over the crust, then bake 14-18 minutes, until set.

Cool in the pan before cutting into squares, and store leftovers in the refrigerator.

 

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Pizza Potatoes

Here’s a quick dinner that takes very little planning but turns out filling and satisfying. In the recipe I saw originally, it had tiny tiny pepperonis, which I at first thought were halved tiny tomatoes. I wanted to keep the tomato idea in there (makes sense, for pizza?), so added some sun dried tomato pesto, and I think it was a nice addition.

IMG_4258 IMG_4251Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds baby potatoes, any color, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pizza seasoning
  • 2-3 tablespoons sun dried tomato pesto
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (or more to taste, I added at least twice as much)
  • heaping 1/4 cup mini pepperoni (or chopped up larger pepperoni)

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line a jelly roll pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Spread the potatoes on the pan, drizzle the olive oil over the potatoes, then sprinkle the seasoning, salt, and cheese over the top. Stir together the whole mixture.

IMG_4252Bake 20-30 minutes, until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Add the pepperoni, and more cheese if desired, and stir together.

IMG_4254Bake another 2-3 minutes, then serve hot.

IMG_4260Hard to go wrong with cheesy potatoes!

Pizza Potatoes

Lightly adapted from Noble Pig.

  • 2 pounds baby potatoes, any color, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pizza seasoning
  • 2-3 tablespoons sun dried tomato pesto
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (or more to taste)
  • heaping 1/4 cup mini pepperoni (or chopped up larger pepperoni)

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line a jelly roll pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Spread the potatoes on the pan, drizzle the olive oil over the potatoes, then sprinkle the seasoning, salt, and cheese over the top. Stir together the whole mixture, then bake 20-30 minutes, until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Add the pepperoni, and more cheese if desired, and stir together. Bake another 2-3 minutes, then serve hot.

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Adobo Chicken Quesadillas

I really like the adobo sauce that comes in cans of chipotles in adobo, although I’ve possibly only actually used it once or twice since this chipotle and cheese pull-apart bread from 2011. I was looking for a lazy meal to use up some cheese in the fridge recently, though, and had bought a can of chipotles a while before, so this idea worked out deliciously!

IMG_4182Making quesadillas isn’t exactly super complex, but this was a tasty version I enjoyed, and found worth sharing!

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken tenders, sliced to roughly 1/2″ thickness
  • 1 can chipotles in adobo
  • 4 flour tortillas
  • shredded cheese (a Mexican blend would be good, I used a combo of cheddar and mozzarella)
  • sour cream for serving, if desired

20141120_162040If you have time, the easiest way to slice chicken thin is to let some frozen chicken half-thaw, so it’s still firm and will stand up to cutting.

IMG_4172Stir the sliced chicken and the can of chipotles in adobo together in a small bowl, and let sit around an hour (or until the chicken has fully thawed).

IMG_4173Chop the peppers, if you intend to eat them, or take them out now if you don’t want spicy quesadillas. If you’re not going to eat them, you don’t want to cook them, because cooking chipotles can make you cough a ton. Cook on the stove until the chicken is cooked all the way through.

IMG_4174Lightly grease a pan different pan (or clean and dry the first pan), and heat over medium-low heat. (Lower heat gives the cheese time to melt before the tortillas get a chance to burn!) Add a tortilla, and spread a big handful of cheese over it. Add half the cooked chicken, then cover with more chicken and a second tortilla.

IMG_4175Put a lid on the pan (to help the whole thing get warm, letting the cheese melt), and cook several minutes until the bottom tortilla has lightly browned on the bottom, then flip and cook until the second tortilla has browned as well.

IMG_4176Remove from the pan, cook the second half of the ingredients, then slice and serve while still warm.

IMG_4177 IMG_4179 IMG_4183 IMG_4181I was quite pleased with these, and will probably make them again!

Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas

  • 4 chicken tenders, sliced to 1/2″ thickness
  • 1 can chipotles in adobo
  • 4 flour tortillas
  • shredded cheese
  • sour cream for serving, if desired

If you have time, the easiest way to slice chicken thin is to let some frozen chicken half-thaw, so it’s still firm and will stand up to cutting.

Stir the sliced chicken and the can of chipotles in adobo together in a small bowl, and let sit around an hour (or until the chicken has fully thawed). Discard peppers if you don’t want spicy quesadillas, or chop if you intend to eat them, then cook in a pan on the stove over medium heat until the chicken until cooked through.

Lightly grease a pan different pan, and heat over medium-low heat. Add a tortilla, and spread a big handful of cheese over it. Add half the cooked chicken, then cover with more chicken and a second tortilla. Put a lid on the pan, and cook several minutes until the bottom tortilla has lightly browned on the bottom, then flip and cook until the second tortilla has browned as well. Remove from the pan, cook the second half of the ingredients, then slice and serve while still warm.

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Flourless Chocolate Cake

This fall my mother and I met up in Philly for a weekend of museums and food. Easily the best thing we had, which we’ve been talking about ever since, was a slice of flourless chocolate cake at Giorgio on Pine. This isn’t quite that cake, but it’s a good step closer than, say, this truffle cake (despite having a fairly similar ingredient list). It’s intensely rich and chocolatey. Giorgio’s cake is still a bit smoother/creamier textured, but if you let this one come up to room temperature, it’s close! Either way, it’s the chocolate-i-est thing I’ve ever made, and it’s fantastic!

IMG_4300Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 1 pound bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used 10 ounces bittersweet, 6 of semisweet)
  • 11 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Ganache:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon strong brewed coffee (skipped this)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9″ round cake pan, line the bottom with parchment, and grease the parchment as well.

In a double boiler, gently melt the chocolate and butter, stirring frequently. When only a few chunks of solid chocolate remain, remove from heat and continue stirring until the residual heat has melted the remaining bits.

IMG_4291Drizzle the egg yolks into the melted chocolate while whisking the chocolate to prevent the eggs from cooking, then stir in the vanilla.

IMG_4292In a large bowl, beat the egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Add the sugar, and beat until firm peaks form.

IMG_4293Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture in two additions, mixing until just combined. Gently turn the mixture into the prepared cake pan.

Place the cake pan in a large baking dish/roasting pan, and fill the outer pan with water until the water comes up to half the cake pan’s height. My jelly roll pan was the only pan I had big enough to fit the cake pan, which was not ideal (trying to move something full of water with such low walls is a nightmare), but worked out alright.

IMG_4295Place both pans into the preheated oven and bake 30 minutes, until the top and sides are set. It’s ok if the middle is still jiggly.

IMG_4296Let the cake cool in the pan, then run a knife/spatula inside the edge of the pan. Flip out onto a platter/cutting board, remove the parchment if necessary, then flip onto your serving platter. Store in the refrigerator to set.

IMG_4297 IMG_4298To prepare the ganache, heat the cream in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until it just begins to simmer, then remove from the heat. Stir in the remaining ingredients until smooth. Do be sure to sift the cocoa powder, as mouthfuls of unsweetened cocoa powder are a bit gross. I actually was worried that this wouldn’t be sweet enough, but once I tried it, I was into it!

IMG_4299Let the mixture sit until it has thickened some (at least half an hour), and then pour/spread over the cake, and refrigerate until set. It will never become a hard shell, but will stay in place and you can lightly touch it without it coming off on your hands.

IMG_4302 IMG_4303Store the cake in the fridge, and let come to room temperature when serving.

Jasmin is interested in food of any type. (But no, I didn't give her a pound of chocolate.)

Jasmin is interested in food of any type. (But no, I didn’t give her a pound of chocolate.)

Flourless Chocolate Cake

From CakeSpy.

Cake:

  • 1 pound bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 11 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Ganache:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon strong brewed coffee
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9″ round cake pan, line the bottom with parchment, and grease the parchment as well.

In a double boiler, gently melt the chocolate and butter, stirring frequently. When only a few chunks of solid chocolate remain, remove from heat and continue stirring until the residual heat has melted the remaining bits. Drizzle the egg yolks into the melted chocolate while whisking the chocolate to prevent the eggs from cooking, then stir in the vanilla.

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Add the sugar, and beat until firm peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture in two additions, mixing until just combined. Gently turn the mixture into the prepared cake pan.

Place the cake pan in a large baking dish/roasting pan, and fill the outer pan with water until the water comes up to half the cake pan’s height. Place both pans into the preheated oven and bake 30 minutes, until the top and sides are set.

Let the cake cool in the pan, then run a knife/spatula inside the edge of the pan. Flip out onto a platter/cutting board, remove the parchment if necessary, then flip onto your serving platter. Store in the refrigerator to set.

To prepare the ganache, heat the cream in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until it just begins to simmer, then remove from the heat. Stir in the remaining ingredients until smooth. Let the mixture sit until it has thickened some, and then pour/spread over the cake, and refrigerate until set.

Store the cake in the fridge, and let come to room temperature when serving.

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Gluten-Free Peasant Bread

While I was home a few weeks ago, I thought I’d try a new gf bread recipe. This one turned out to be fairly satisfying! The egg whites provide structure for the dough, so it has a good crusty outside, is reasonably sturdy when sliced, and has a pretty good flavor that’s great with the extra sharp cheddar you may have just picked up at the local farmer’s market!

IMG_4255The bread is baked in a smallish glass bowl. The one I used was part of a colorful set of Pyrex mixing bowls, and said 1/2 quart, which… I don’t really get, because it certainly holds more than two cups. Just make sure that the bowl you use has enough room leftover for the bread to rise some.

IMG_4241Ingredients:

  • 1 cup lukewarm water, milk, or buttermilk (water may give a slightly better texture, while milk or buttermilk give a better flavor)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active-dry yeast
  • 2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour (I used a bit of King Arthur’s, and some Bob’s Red Mill when the KAF stuff ran out)
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • butter, for greasing the bowl

In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar into the water/milk, and sprinkle the yeast in. Let sit 10-15 minutes until foamy.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, xanthan gum, and salt. Stir in the liquid mixture, then the egg whites, and continue stirring until the flour is evenly moistened.

IMG_4237Cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap and set aside to rise in a warm spot for at least one hour, up to 2 hours.

IMG_4238Grease the bowl you’re going to bake in well with the butter, then gently transfer the risen dough from the larger bowl. Let rise a further 20-30 minutes and preheat your oven to 425.

IMG_4239Bake, in the bowl, for 30 minutes.

IMG_4240Turn the baked bread out onto a cooling rack, and cool at least 10 minutes before slicing.

IMG_4243 IMG_4256Easy enough!

Gluten Free Peasant Bread

From Alexandra’s Kitchen.

  • 1 cup lukewarm water, milk, or buttermilk (water may give a slightly better texture, while milk or buttermilk give a better flavor)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active-dry yeast
  • 2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • butter, for greasing the bowl

In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar into the water/milk, and sprinkle the yeast in. Let sit 10-15 minutes until foamy.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, xanthan gum, and salt. Stir in the liquid mixture, then the egg whites, and continue stirring until the flour is evenly moistened. Cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap and set aside to rise in a warm spot for at least one hour, up to 2 hours.

Grease the bowl you’re going to bake in well with the butter, then gently transfer the risen dough from the larger bowl. Let rise a further 20-30 minutes while your oven preheats to 425.

Bake, in the bowl, for 30 minutes. Turn the baked bread out onto a cooling rack, and cool at least 10 minutes before slicing.

 

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Whatchamacallit Popcorn

I’m not sure I’ve ever had Whatchamacallits, and that hasn’t actually changed in the making of this popcorn, as they’re not gluten-free and I needed this popcorn to be. Doesn’t stop this from being a real delicious, sugary treat! It’s a solid enough dessert that it actually lasted several days, so don’t think that just because it’s popcorn-based you’ll scarf it all in seconds like air.

IMG_4233Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels or one regular sized bag microwave popcorn
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups Rice Krispie cereal (they make a g-f version if you need it)
  • 2-3 cups chopped Whatchamacallit candy bars or several large handfuls peanut butter chips
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Line a large jelly roll with parchment paper and set aside. Pop the popcorn and set aside in a large bowl.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.

IMG_4225Boil three minutes, then remove from the heat and stir in the peanut butter until smooth.

Pour the peanut butter mixture over the popcorn, then sprinkle the Rice Krispies on top. Stir together well, then spread out on the parchment-lined pan. Bake for 1 hour, removing to stir the popcorn every 15 minutes.

IMG_4229Remove the baked popcorn from the oven and spread out on a parchment-lined counter. Break up any large clumps of popcorn, then scatter the Whatchamacallits/peanut butter chips over the still-warm popcorn. Carefully melt the chocolate chips, then drizzle over the popcorn mixture. (My ‘drizzle’ turned into big blobs, so I just stirred it all back up to get a more even distribution of chocolate.)

IMG_4231Let cool a bit so the chocolate firms up, then serve in a large bowl and enjoy! Leftovers will keep for several days in an air tight container.

IMG_4232

Whatchamacallit Popcorn

From Cookies and Cups.

  • 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels or one regular sized bag microwave popcorn
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups Rice Krispie cereal
  • 2-3 cups chopped Whatchamacallit candy bars or several large handfuls peanut butter chips
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Line a large jelly roll with parchment paper and set aside. Pop the popcorn and set aside in a large bowl.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil three minutes, then remove from the heat and stir in the peanut butter until smooth.

Pour the peanut butter mixture over the popcorn, then sprinkle the Rice Krispies on top. Stir together well, then spread out on the parchment-lined pan. Bake for 1 hour, removing to stir the popcorn every 15 minutes.

Remove the baked popcorn from the oven and spread out on a parchment-lined counter. Break up any large clumps of popcorn, then scatter the Whatchamacallits/peanut butter chips over the still-warm popcorn. Carefully melt the chocolate chips, then drizzle over the popcorn mixture.

Let cool until the chocolate firms, then serve in a large bowl and enjoy! Leftovers will keep for several days in an air tight container.

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2014 Wrap-Up

2014 was an interesting year, during which I moved 3 times, through a variety of terrible kitchens (plus my mother’s nice one). Mostly for that reason, there were only 34 new posts on the blog last year, vs around 150 in past years, which has lead to a weird situation where none of the top 10 most viewed recipes during the year actually came from 2014. Gluten-free recipes seem to be popular, and based on search terms, everyone wants to know how to make chocolate chip cookie dough that works with cookie cutters. Good taste, guys!

These most popular recipes are:

10-710) Red Velvet Cookies (a guest post by my friend Catie)

9) Yo Dawg Cupcakes

8) Not Mac & Cheese (popular with Paleo folk, from a gluten-free cookbook)

7) Korean Meatballs with Quick Pickled Cucumbers

6-36) Rainbow Bread (so pretty!)

5) Wheat Belly Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

4) Crockpot Oatmeal (ugly but convenient!)

3) Pineapple Brown Sugar Chicken (for years my go-to easy meal)

2-12) Cookie Cutter Chocolate Chip Cookies

1) Wheat Belly Bakery Basic Bread

…boy those plates we had my last time in DC were ugly. But they were also free, making them in fact fantastic plates!

I tried to come up with a favorite recipe for the year, but wound up with a tie between Chipotle Pulled Pork with Apple Slaw and Chickpea Chicken Soup. If you missed them before, now’s a good time to check them out!

favs

See you Wednesday with what should be the start of a more reliable 2015!

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