Raisinet Gift Cookie Mix

Apparently homemade cookie mix is a thing as a gift, and I’m all for it! This mix fits just right in a 1 quart mason jar, allowing you to layer the ingredients like sand-art, to make a pretty gift that the recipient can, with a few extra ingredients, turn into tasty cookies. I haven’t done the jarring part, but I have done the sharing and eating, and these are some excellent cookies! They’re sturdy, and benefit from the contrast of the different chocolates between the chocolate chips and the Raisinets.

Ingredients:

For the gift:

  • 1 quart sized, wide-mouth mason jar (something like these)
  • a note card to write directions on
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup tightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup Raisinets
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

To finish the cookies:

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Layer the sugars, Raisinets, chocolate chips, flour, baking powder, and baking soda in the jar in whatever order you think looks nicest, pressing firmly after each addition. Write the following directions on the card and attach to the jar, perhaps with ribbon:

“Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line to baking sheets with parchment.

Pour contents of jar in a large bowl and stir to until mixed. Add 1 lightly beaten egg, 1 room temperature stick of unsalted butter, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and mix together with your hands. The mixture will appear dry at first, but will eventually form a dough. Shape into walnut sized balls, and place 2″ apart on the lined sheets. Bake 13-15 minutes, until lightly golden at the edges. Cool 5 minutes on the pans, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.”

Super simple for, say, someone that just moved house and doesn’t have their entire kitchen unpacked, and delicious enough to bake again even not as a gift!

Raisinet Gift Cookie Mix

From AllRecipes.

For the gift:

  • 1 quart sized, wide-mouth mason jar
  • a note card to write directions on
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup tightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup Raisinets
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

To finish the cookies:

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Layer the sugars, Raisinets, chocolate chips, flour, baking powder, and baking soda in the jar in whatever order you think looks nicest, pressing firmly after each addition. Write the following directions on the card and attach to the jar, perhaps with ribbon:

“Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line to baking sheets with parchment.

Pour contents of jar in a large bowl and stir to until mixed. Add 1 lightly beaten egg, 1 room temperature stick of unsalted butter, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and mix together with your hands. The mixture will appear dry at first, but will eventually form a dough. Shape into walnut sized balls, and place 2″ apart on the lined sheets. Bake 13-15 minutes, until lightly golden at the edges. Cool 5 minutes on the pans, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.”

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Gluten-Free Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting

I’ve been getting lucky with great textured gluten-free baked goods lately, and this is another example! The cake feels somehow dense and fluffy at the same time, and the frosting is super light, fluffy, and delicious. This is a good cake full-stop, not just a good gluten-free cake.

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 1 1/4 cups brown rice flour
  • 3/4 cup sorghum flour
  • 2/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup potato starch
  • 4 teaspoons potato flour
  • 1 tablespoon xanthan gum
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  •  1 1/4 cups milk

Frosting:

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 3 tablespoons milk, plus more as needed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 9″ cake pans, tapping out any excess flour. In a medium bowl, stir together the brown rice flour, sorghum flour, cornstarch, potato starch, potato flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt, then set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, butter, and vanilla on high speed for 1 minute or until well combined.

Add the egg and beat until incorporated.

Add the flour mixture by thirds, alternating with halves of the milk, beating after each addition (flour, milk, flour, milk, flour).

Divide the batter between the 2 prepared cake pans. This is a very thick batter, and doesn’t spread much while baking, so you’ll need to spread it evenly or have extremely lumpy cakes.

Bake 30-35 minutes, until the cakes pass the toothpick test. Cool in the pans 10-15 minutes, then gently turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, add all the ingredients and beat together until smooth. Beat several minutes further to incorporate more air into the frosting, until the color has lightened noticeably. Place one cake on a plate/platter, and frost the top. Add the second cake, and frost completely. If you have some random chocolate sprinkles, feel free to throw them on top too! Yum!

Gluten-Free Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Slightly adapted from Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking.

Cake:

  • 1 1/4 cups brown rice flour
  • 3/4 cup sorghum flour
  • 2/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup potato starch
  • 4 teaspoons potato flour
  • 1 tablespoon xanthan gum
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  •  1 1/4 cups milk

Frosting:

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 3 tablespoons milk, plus more as needed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 9″ cake pans, tapping out any excess flour. In a medium bowl, stir together the brown rice flour, sorghum flour, cornstarch, potato starch, potato flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt, then set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, butter, and vanilla on high speed for 1 minute or until well combined. Add the egg and beat until incorporated. Add the flour mixture by thirds, alternating with halves of the milk, beating after each addition. Divide the batter between the 2 prepared cake pans, spreading evenly. Bake 30-35 minutes, until the cakes pass the toothpick test. Cool in the pans 10-15 minutes, then gently turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, add all the ingredients and beat together until smooth. Beat several minutes further to incorporate more air into the frosting, until the color has lightened noticeably. Place one cake on a plate/platter, and frost the top. Add the second cake, and frost completely.

 

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Polenta Grilled Cheese

Grilled cheese is hard to do wrong, and this is another delicious way to do it right! The polenta makes a nice change from your usual grilled bread, matching well with the gooey melted cheese and providing it’s own flavor as well. This will never be the healthiest meal ever, but for an occasional treat I do recommend it!

Something green on the plate, maybe it actually is a healthy meal?? Ok still no.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups dry polenta/ground cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup King Arthur Flour’s Vermont Cheese Powder (optional overkill but nice)
  • cheese (we used slices of Hoffman’s Super Sharp Cheddar and Muenster)
  • any other preferred grilled cheese add-ins, such as sliced tomato, roasted red peppers, or cooked bacon

Bring the chicken broth to a simmer, then add the polenta. Reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minute or until smooth and creamy. Stir in the cheese powder, if desired.

Line a 9X13″ pan with parchment paper and spread the polenta in it. Cover with another piece of parchment and press down to spread it evenly. Leave covered and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, remove the polenta to a cutting board and cut into 8  evenly sized pieces.

“even pieces” remains my weakness

Place cheese on 4 pieces.

Add any other desired toppings, and cover with the other 4 pieces. If the side of the polenta that was against the pan is smoother than the side you pressed flat, try to make that side the outside of the sandwich for more even grilling.

Heat a large pan over medium-high heat on the stove, and melt butter in the pan. Grill the sandwiches for approximately 5 minutes per side, adding more butter for the second sides.

When you flip them, be careful to try to scrape all the way down to the pan so that you don’t spatula-off the crispy brown bits from the outside of the polenta. Once the outsides are crisped and the inside is gooey, enjoy!

Polenta Grilled Cheese

Adapted from Tablespoon.

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups dry polenta/ground cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup King Arthur Flour’s Vermont Cheese Powder (optional overkill but nice)
  • cheese (we used slices of Hoffman’s Super Sharp Cheddar and Muenster)
  • any other preferred grilled cheese add-ins, such as sliced tomato, roasted red peppers, or cooked bacon

Bring the chicken broth to a simmer, then add the polenta. Reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minute or until smooth and creamy. Stir in the cheese powder, if desired. Line a 9X13″ pan with parchment paper and spread the polenta in it. Cover with another piece of parchment and press down to spread it evenly. Leave covered and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, remove the polenta to a cutting board and cut into 8  evenly sized pieces. Place cheese on 4 pieces, add any desired toppings, and cover with the other 4 pieces. If the side of the polenta that was against the pan is smoother than the side you pressed flat, try to make that side the outside of the sandwich for more even grilling.

Heat a large pan over medium-high heat on the stove, and melt butter in the pan. Grill the sandwiches for approximately 5 minutes per side, adding more butter for the second sides. When you flip them, be careful to try to scrape all the way down to the pan so that you don’t spatula-off the crispy brown bits from the outside of the polenta. Once the outsides are crisped and the inside is gooey, enjoy!

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Chocolate Financiers

I had never heard of financiers until my friend Danielle recommended this recipe to me, but they are apparently small and tasty! These ones are dark and richly chocolate, and can go from ingredients in cabinets to cooling in about half an hour.

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup almond flour/almond meal
  • 1/4 cup Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (I used vanilla, I prefer it!)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease financier or mini muffin tins (the original recipe said it made 15, I got 21) and set aside. Melt the butter, then let cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, stir together the almond flour, cocoa powder, salt, and powdered sugar.

Interesting whisk where the bottom spins if you push down on the handle.

Stir in the egg whites and almond extract.

Drizzle in the butter while stirring until the mixture is fully mixed.

Spoon into the mini muffin tins, filling the wells 3/4 full.

Bake 10-15 minutes, until slightly puffed and the surface springs back when touched.

Let cool completely in the pans, then turn out and enjoy (maybe with vanilla ice cream?!).

So dark!

Chocolate Financiers

From Smitten Kitchen.

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup almond flour/almond meal
  • 1/4 cup Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease financier or mini muffin tins and set aside. Melt the butter, then let cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, stir together the almond flour, cocoa powder, salt, and powdered sugar. Stir in the egg whites and almond extract, then drizzle in the butter while stirring until the mixture is fully mixed. Spoon into the mini muffin tins, filling the wells 3/4 full.

Bake 10-15 minutes, until slightly puffed and the surface springs back when touched. Let cool completely in the pans, then turn out and enjoy.

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Mini Turkey and Veggie Meatloaves

Flavorful, healthy meatloaf that’s single-serving sized (6 single servings, to be precise)! This recipe calls for finely chopped zucchini and carrots, and we already had zoodles and carrot sticks, which dramatically cut down on prep time (I have 0 knife skills), although I did give them a quick rough chop.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced carrot
  • 1/2 cup shredded zucchini (squeeze out any extra liquid)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/4 pound 99% fat free ground turkey
  • 1 cup panko crumbs (gf if needed)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley, roughly crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, roughly crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup ketchup, divided

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil, then grease a metal rack and place it on the sheet, to keep the meatloaves from cooking in their own grease.

Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium high heat. Cook the onion, carrot, and zucchini until softened, about 5 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the cooked vegetables to a large bowl.

Add all the remaining ingredients except for 1/4 cup of the ketchup (so, add 1/4 cup), and stir together, only stirring as much as necessary to combine.

Gently divide into 6 portions and shape into circle patties about 1 1/2″ thick, squeezing as little as possible. Place the patties on the greased rack.

Spread the remaining ketchup over the tops of them, then bake 25-30 minutes, until no longer pink in the center.

(My mom’s not a huge ketchup fan, so the amount inside was ok, but more on top felt unnecessary for hers.)

These were easy, and tasty, and made convenient leftovers!

Mini Turkey and Veggie Meatloaves

From Frigidaire.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced carrot
  • 1/2 cup shredded zucchini (squeeze out any extra liquid)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/4 pound 99% fat free ground turkey
  • 1 cup panko crumbs
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley, roughly crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, roughly crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup ketchup, divided

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil, then grease a metal rack and place it on the sheet.

Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium high heat. Cook the onion, carrot, and zucchini until softened, about 5 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the cooked vegetables to a large bowl.

Add all the remaining ingredients except for 1/4 cup of the ketchup and stir together, only stirring as much as necessary to combine. Gently divide into 6 portions and shape into circle patties about 1 1/2″ thick, squeezing as little as possible. Place the patties on the greased rack, and spread the remaining ketchup over the tops of them. Bake 25-30 minutes, until no longer pink in the center.

 

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Gluten Free Buttermilk Bread

This is probably the best-textured gf bread I’ve had! It’s got a firm crust, but is super lovely and soft inside. If you have to eat gluten free anyway, I definitely recommend trying this one out for some fantastic toast or sandwiches!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon room temperature water
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast

Grease a 9×5″ loaf pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine the water, buttermilk, eggs, and canola oil in a large bowl.

In another bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. (You can also combine the dry ingredients in a large ziplock and shake well to combine if that sounds more fun.)

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients while beating with a mixer on low speed.

Continue to beat about 10 minutes, then transfer the batter into the greased bread pan, smoothing the top of the batter to be roughly even.

Cover loosely and let rise in a warm place approximately 1 hour.

Bake 60 minutes, or until browned on top and the loaf passes the toothpick test.

Cool in the pan 10 minutes, then turn out to cool completely on a wire rack.

Gluten Free Buttermilk Bread

From Red Star Yeast (bread machine directions available at link).

  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon room temperature water
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast

Grease a 9×5″ loaf pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine the water, buttermilk, eggs, and canola oil in a large bowl. In another bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients while beating with a mixer on low speed. Continue to beat about 10 minutes, then transfer the batter into the greased bread pan, smoothing the top of the batter to be roughly even. Cover loosely and let rise in a warm place approximately 1 hour.

Bake 60 minutes, or until browned on top and the loaf passes the toothpick test. Cool in the pan 10 minutes, then turn out to cool completely on a wire rack.

 

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Buttermilk Pudding

This pudding (more in the sense of how Brits seem to call all desserts pudding than actual pudding) is tangy treat similar in consistency to jello (slightly looser?) that is dreamy with chocolate and would probably be a magical combo with raspberries.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 ounce envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Lightly grease 6 small (6-ounce) ramekins with canola oil and set aside. In a small bowl/measuring up, combine the water and gelatin, stir together, and let sit for 3 minutes.

In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup of the cream and the sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar completely dissolves, then remove from the heat and whisk in the gelatin mixture.

In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk, vanilla, and remaining 1/2 cup cream. Add the warm cream mixture and stir to combine.

Divide the mixture evenly among the greased ramekins, then cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours.

Conveniently, these came with covers.

To serve, run a knife inside the edge of each ramekin and invert onto a small plate.

Accompany with chocolate, berries, or anything else that strikes your fancy.

Juuuust blob it on there, yep!

Yum!

Buttermilk Pudding

From RealSimple.

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 ounce envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Lightly grease 6 small (6-ounce) ramekins with canola oil and set aside. In a small bowl/measuring up, combine the water and gelatin, stir together, and let sit for 3 minutes.

In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup of the cream and the sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar completely dissolves, then remove from the heat and whisk in the gelatin mixture.

In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk, vanilla, and remaining 1/2 cup cream. Add the warm cream mixture and stir to combine. Divide the mixture evenly among the greased ramekins, then cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours.

To serve, run a knife inside the edge of each ramekin and invert onto a small plate and garnish with chocolate or berries.

 

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