World Peace Cookies

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Dorie Greenspan calls these buttery chocolate chocolate-chip cookies World Peace cookies because her neighbor suggested that if we all ate them, we’d be so happy that no one would want to fight.  I’m happy to report that these World Peace cookies work just as well gluten free.  Let’s save the world, one cookie at a time!

World Peace Cookies
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

Yield: 36 cookies

1 1/4 cups gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
11 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup light brown sugar (or 2/3 cup white sugar + a dollop of molasses)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or fine sea salt (ordinary salt works too)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped into fine chips OR 3/4 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips

  1. In a stand mixer, beat butter on medium speed until it is soft and creamy.
  2. Add brown sugar, white sugar, salt, and vanilla extract.  Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed.
  3. Beat in baking soda.
  4. Stir in cocoa powder as best you can, then beat it in.
  5. Stir in flour as much as possible, then beat it in on low speed.  (If using all-purpose flour, make sure you don’t overbeat.)
  6. Stir in chocolate chips.
  7. Scrape dough onto a work surface, divide it into 2 equal pieces, and shape each half into a log 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
  8. Wrap logs tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.  (You can also freeze it for up to 2 months.)
  9. Preheat oven to 325ºF.
  10. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  11. With a sharp knife, slice the logs into disks that are 1/2 inch thick.  Don’t worry if the disks crack apart.  Just press the dough back together.  (If you froze the dough, don’t unfreeze it before slicing.)
  12. Space disks 1 inch apart on the baking sheets.
  13. Bake cookies one sheet at a time for 12 minutes and remove from oven.  They won’t look done and they certainly will not be firm, but that’s okay because you’ll let them finish cooking from the residual heat.  (If the dough was frozen, add 1 minute to the baking time.)
  14. Transfer baking sheet to a cooling rack or just leave it on the counter.  Let the cookies rest on the sheet until they are only just warm or reach room temperature.

 

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Spring Bunny Cupcakes

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These bunny cupcakes are perfect for a springtime party.  For the frosting, the original recipe suggests pink vanilla buttercream frosting plus store-bought fluffy white ready-to-spread frosting.  I’m not a fan of buttercream frosting, so instead I made a batch of egg-white frosting and dyed half of it pink.

Spring Bunny Cupcakes
Adapted from Betty Crocker The Big Book of Cupcakes

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Yellow cupcakes:
2 1/3 cups gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened3/4 – 1 1/4 cups sugar, depending on how sweet you want the cupcakes
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup milk

Frosting and decorations:
Fluffy egg-white frosting
Red food coloring
5 large marshmallows
Pink sugar
Candy decorations and sprinkles

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Line muffin tins with paper baking cups.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter on medium speed for 30 seconds.
  3. Add sugar and beat for 2 minutes.
  4. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
  5. Beat in baking powder and salt.
  6. On low speed, beat in flour (1/3 at a time) alternately with milk (1/2 at a time).
  7. Divide batter in prepared tins.  Fill each muffin cup about 2/3 full.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Cool in muffin tins for 5 minutes, then remove cupcakes and transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
  10. Prepare a batch of fluffy egg-white frosting.  Divide into two portions and color one of them pink with a few drops of red food coloring.
  11. Frost cupcakes with large dollops of pink frosting.
  12. Spoon a dollop of white frosting on top of the pink frosting.
  13. With kitchen scissors, cut each marshmallow crosswise into 5 slices.  Then cut through the center of each slice to within 1/4 inch of the edge.
  14. Separate so they resemble bunny ears and press one side of the marshmallow slices into pink sugar.
  15. Poke bunny ears into the white frosting mounds on the cupcakes.
  16. Use candy decorations as eyes and noses, and sprinkles as whiskers.

Coconut Cream Pie

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In honor of Pie Day, here is another pie recipe with a new pie crust!  I thought this crust worked very well gluten free.  It did crack when I was moving it into the pie tin, but patching it up was simple, and it tasted delicious with the coconut cream filling.

Coconut Cream Pie
Adapted from The Little Pie Company’s Pies and Other Dessert Favorites

Crust
1 1/4 cups gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I used canola)
a little over 1/8 cup cold milk

Filling
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons tapioca starch OR cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 1/2 cups cold milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Topping
1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Make the pie shell:

  1. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
  2. In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, salt, and sugar (if using).
  3. In a separate bowl, combine vegetable oil and milk.  (You don’t need to stir them together.)  Pour into the flour mixture.
  4. Stir pie crust mixture until flour is completely incorporated.  It will look crumbly.
  5. Press dough into a round, flat disk.
  6. Place dough disk in between 2 sheets of 12″ x 12″ wax paper.
  7. Roll out the disk into a 12″ circle, flipping the wax paper-dough “sandwich” over a couple times during the rolling process.
  8. Remove the top sheet of wax paper.
  9. Carefully lift the bottom sheet of wax paper by the top corners and invert the dough into a 9″ pie tin.
  10. Remove wax paper and gently press dough into the tin.
  11. Trim edges to 1/2″ of overhang and fold under the edge of the tin.  (Don’t worry if the gluten-free dough is too crumbly and breaks when you try to fold it under.)
  12. Prick the bottom and sides of pie shell with a fork.
  13. Bake for 6 minutes.  Remove pie shell from oven and prick the dough anywhere it has puffed up.  Bake for 10 more minutes.  Remove from oven and let it cool.

Make the filling:

  1. While pie shell is cooling, stir together sugar, tapioca starch OR cornstarch, and salt in a saucepan.
  2. In a bowl, stir together egg yolks and milk.
  3. Stir yolk mixture into sugar mixture, scraping sides with a rubber spatula.
  4. Cook mixture over medium heat on stove, stirring constantly.  The mixture will thicken and boil.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook and stir for 1 minute longer.
  6. Remove pan from heat and stir in butter and vanilla extract.
  7. Mix in 3/4 cup coconut.
  8. Press a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper onto the surface of the filling so a skin won’t form as it cools.  Let filling cool for 30 minutes.
  9. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  10. Spread 1/4 cup coconut on a cookie sheet and bake 10-12 minutes, stirring several times.  The coconut will look golden brown.  (It’s a little over-toasted in the photo above.)
  11. Pour cooled filling into the pie shell and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon.
  12. Sprinkle toasted coconut over filling.
  13. Cool pie to room temperature.
  14. Refrigerate pie for 2 hours or until thoroughly chilled.  Do not cover pie before it is completely chilled.
  15. Serve pie the day you make it.

Strawberry Pie

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Now that strawberries are in season again, it’s time for strawberry pie!  I love this recipe from my friends, because it reminds me of strawberry pie from Polly’s Pies.

Strawberry Pie
Adapted from a recipe from friends, pie shell adapted from Betty Crocker

Strawberry Filling
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons tapioca starch OR cornstarch
2 tablespoons agave nectar OR light corn syrup
1 cup water
3 tablespoons strawberry-flavored gelatin
1 quart (a little over 2 lbs) fresh strawberries, hulled

Pie Shell
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon butter OR shortening
1 cup gluten-free flour OR all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-3 tablespoons cold water

Make pie shell:

  1. Preheat oven to 475ºF.
  2. Mix flour and salt in a bowl.  Cut butter OR shortening into the mixture until pieces are the size of small peas.
  3. Sprinkle in water while tossing with fork to moisten the flour.
  4. Gather the pastry into a ball and place on well-floured surface.  You can try rolling it out, but the dough will be fairly crumbly.  I usually flatten it somewhat with my palms and then press it into the pie tin.
  5. Prick bottom and sides with fork.  Bake for 10 min.  Cool while you make the filling.

 

Make filling:

  1. Combine sugar, tapioca starch OR cornstarch, agave nectar OR corn syrup, and water in a saucepan.  Bring mixture to a boil.
  2. Cook mixture, stirring constantly, until clear and thickened.
  3. Add gelatin, stirring until dissolved.  Cool mixture.
  4. Arrange strawberries in the baked pie shell.  Pour gelatin mix over strawberries.  Chill until firm.