Allergy Friendly Gingerbread Trees with Lemon Icing

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Allergy-Friendly Gingerbread Trees with Lemon Icing

 

Fill your home with a delicious aroma and let the family join in as you roll, cut and bake these delectable cookies. A simple icing tops these pretty little trees, but don’t hesitate to add sparkling sugar for a snow-kissed look.

 

Makes 40 2½-inch cookies

Free From: gluten and all top allergens

 

Cookies

2½ cups my Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix or Authentic Foods GF Classical Blend

1 tsp ground ginger

¾ tsp baking soda

¾ tsp salt

⅝ tsp xanthan gum

½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground cloves

½ cup packed light brown sugar

½ cup dairy-free soy-free vegetable shortening, cut into 8 pieces

¼ cup + 2 tbsp applesauce

¼ cup unsulphured molasses

 

Icing

1⅓ cups confectioners’ sugar

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Decorating, sanding or coarse sugar (optional)

 

In bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix flour blend, ginger, baking soda, salt, xanthan gum, cinnamon and cloves on low speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, mix 30 seconds more.

Add shortening pieces and applesauce to flour mixture and mix on low speed for 90 seconds, or until the consistency of a fine meal. With mixer still running, add molasses and mix for 30 seconds, scraping down the sides of bowl as necessary.

Lay 2 large sheets of parchment paper on your work surface. Transfer dough to one sheet of parchment. Pat dough into a disk and cover with other piece of parchment. Roll out dough into a ¼-inch thick, long rectangle.

Transfer dough with parchment paper to the freezer (place on a cleared rack or baking tray) and chill until firm, at least 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350° F with racks in upper and lower thirds. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Remove dough from freezer and place it on a work surface. Peel back the top sheet of parchment paper, then replace it. Flip, peel off other sheet of parchment and discard it.  This is a good technique to avoid over-handling and breaking the rolled dough.

Cut dough into long 2½-inch wide strips then cut each strip into triangles with 2-inch wide bases. Place the dough triangles on baking sheets, 1 inch apart. Gather any remaining dough scraps, roll into ¼-inch thick rectangle and cut into triangle shapes.

Bake 10 minutes, or until the cookies are golden. Let cool for 5 minutes on baking sheets, before transferring the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

For icing, whisk confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl until smooth. Drizzle over cooled cookies wiith a very small spoon or knife, making 3 or 4 horizontal lines across each cookie. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Let set then shake off any extra sugar.

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Allergy-Friendly Gingerbread Trees with Lemon Icing © 2013 by Cybele Pascal

This recipe first appeared in the Winter 2013 issue of Allergic Living Magazine

Allergy Friendly Lemon Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

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Lemon Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

 

It’s December, folks, which means it’s time to really get baking!  These tender “buttery” cookies are sure to be a favorite at your holiday parties, or left out for Santa.  Nobody will ever know they are gluten-free, vegan, and free from the Top 8 Allergens.

Thumbprint is really a misnomer for these little gems, as you actually use your index finger to make the little jam pools in the center. Either way, they’re oh-so-pretty with festive red centers and a snowy dusting of powdered sugar.

 

Makes 24 2-inch cookies

Free From: gluten and all top allergens

 

¾ cup dairy-free soy-free vegetable shortening

½ cup sugar

½ tsp double-acting baking powder

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp lemon zest

¾ tsp Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 1 tbsp plain rice milk alternative

½ tsp vanilla extract

1¾ cups my Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix  or Authentic Foods GF Classical Blend

⅜ tsp xanthan gum

⅛ tsp salt

⅓ cup raspberry jam

confectioners’ sugar, for topping

 

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix shortening and sugar on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add baking powder, and mix until just combined. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, egg replacer and vanilla and mix for 30 seconds.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour blend, xanthan gum and salt. Add flour mixture to shortening mixture and beat on low speed until thoroughly combined. You want it doughy but soft, so it can be balled together, like new playdough.

Scoop dough by the heaping tablespoon, roll into smooth balls and place on baking trays (12 per tray).

Lightly flour your index finger and make indents in the center of each ball. Gently pinch together the edges if they split. Fill each indentation with scant ½ teaspoon of raspberry jam.

Bake in center of oven for 18 to 20 minutes, or until jam is bubbling and cookies are just lightly golden around edges. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Prior to serving, dust with confectioners’ sugar. For bold red middles, lightly wet finger and trace over the jam surface to dissolve the confectioners’ sugar on the center only.

 

Allergy-Friendly Lemon Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies © 2013 by Cybele Pascal

This recipe first appeared in the Winter 2013 issue of Allergic Living Magazine

Chicken, Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Vindaloo with Quinoa

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Along with the bounty of the fall harvest comes cooler days and longer nights, and a craving for hearty dishes that bring you back to the warmth of the stove. We turn to comforting inexpensive staples like potatoes, carrots, apples, and grains, for rich autumnal inspiration. The desire for comfort is universal, and a simmering pot is the marker of fall.

Instead of armchair traveling, I suggest you travel via your kitchen, and explore global cuisine. Take a trip from Tokyo, to Goa, to Naples to Budapest, all in the course of a week. Following on my last post for Pasta e Fagioli with “Cheesy” Garlic Croutons, this week, I’m sharing an Indian dish. Come back next week for Japanese-Style Chicken Curry (Wafuu Chicken Curry).

 

Chicken, Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Vindaloo with Quinoa

Vindaloo hails from Goa India, and can be made with pork, prawns, lamb, chicken or beef.   Goa was settled by the Portuguese, and this dish is a direct reflection of that influence with the tangy combo of vinegar and spice. Portuguese Vindaloo usually includes malt vinegar, which is derived from barley. To keep it gluten-free, I opt for apple cider vinegar.


Serves 4

Free of: gluten and all top allergens

 

Ingredients

2 tsp finely minced garlic

1 tsp finely minced or grated ginger

2 tsp curry powder

1 tsp garam masala

½ tsp cayenne pepper

Large pinch cinnamon

4 tbsp canola oil, divided

1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 cups diced yellow onion

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed into 1-inch pieces

3 whole cloves

8 peppercorns

1 tsp sugar

½ tsp salt

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

1 medium head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets (about 5 heaping cups)

1 14.5-ounce can crushed tomatoes (1¾ cups)

1 cup chicken broth (look for allergen-safe brands)

4 cups cooked quinoa

½ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

 

1. Grind the first 6 ingredients into a paste with a small food processor or a mortar and pestle. It will be dry.

2. Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add sweet potatoes and sauté until golden, about 8 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a bowl.

3. Add onions to the pan and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes.

4. Add chicken, cloves, and peppercorns, and cook stirring often, until chicken is no longer pink, about 6 minutes. Add sugar and salt, and sauté 3 minutes more until chicken is turning golden brown.

5. Stir in the spice paste and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in vinegar, then cauliflower, tossing well to coat. Add tomatoes and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, loosely cover and simmer, stirring often, for 5 minutes.

6. Add reserved sweet potatoes, loosely cover and cook 3 minutes more.

7. Serve over quinoa and garnish with cilantro.

 

Chicken, Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Vindaloo with Quinoa © 2013 by Cybele Pascal

This recipe first appeared in the Fall 2013 issue of Allergic Living Magazine