Viennese Matcha Shortbread

These little biscuits are adapted from a recipe from the famed Laduree in Paris. I love the green tea flavor in these simple cookies and it has some added health benefits too!

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup & 5 1/2 tbs. unsalted butter ( I used a rich European butter such as Plugra)

a pinch of kosher salt

2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar (plus more for dusting)

4 tsp. match powder

1 egg white (room temperature)

1 3/4 cups unbleached cake flour

*Piping Bag and medium star tip (size 4 mm.)

Method of Preparation:

  1. Cut the butter into small pieces. Soften the butter over a pan of gently simmering water. Using a spatula, mix butter until soft and creamy. Add the salt. Remove from heat and use a whisk to incorporate the confectioner’s sugar, vanilla and egg white.
  2. Preheat oven to 300 F.
  3. Sift the cake flour and match powder and add to the mixture, stirring until creamy and well mixed.
  4. Place the batter into a piping bag with a star tip. Pipe the cookies in a zig zag pattern on parchment lined sheet pans. The cookies should be 1 1/2 -2″ in size.
  5. Bake until biscuits begin to brown just a bit on the edges, about 15-20 minutes.
  6. Dust lightly with confectioner’s sugar.

 

 

 

 

Oranges in a Star Anise and Cinnamon Syrup

Oranges are the star of the show in the middle of winter. I prepared these oranges as a bright addition to our Sunday brunch. They would also make a lovely dessert with espresso and biscotti. Save the syrup in the refrigerator and you will be all set for your next cocktail.

 

Ingredients:

8 oranges – I uses a mix of naval, Cara Cara, and blood red

1  1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup water

4 star anise pods

6 peppercorns

4 cinnamon sticks

 

Metod of Preparation:

  1. Peel 2 oranges with a paring knife or sharp vegetable peeler. Make sure most of the white pith if off each peel. Cut into thin strips the size of matches.
  2. Fill a small saucepan with halfway water. Bring to a boil and add the orange peel. Cook for 5 minutes; drain and set aside.
  3. Cut a slice off the top and bottom of each of the remaining 6 oranges, exposing the fruit beneath the peel. Holding the orange firmly on a cutting board, slice off the peel in wide strips, cutting off the pith and membrane with it to reveal the fruit sections. Cut the orange crosswise into slices 1 inch thick and place in a large, heatproof bowl. Remove seeds as necessary.

4. In a heavy sauce pan, combine the sugar and water, star anise, peppercorn, and cinnamon. Place pan over medium heat, bring the mixture slowly to a boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar and cook until the the syrup has slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

5. Add the reserved cooked peel. Pour syrup over oranges and serve.

Gluten Free Gingerbread Waffles for a Snowy Day

I am not quite done with holiday flavors as they are perfect for cold snowy days like today. I topped the waffles with warm cranberry compote and some pomegranate seeds, but you could serve them with butter and maple syrup.

Ingredients:

4 tbs. coconut oil, melted

2 cups of gluten free flour of your choice (store bought or I use this recipe: https://tangerineandspice.com/category/gluten-free-lemon-desserts)

1/2 tsp. xanthan gum if you mix does not contain it

1 tbs. baking powder

3/4 tsp. baking soda

1 tbs. ground flax seed

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground ginger

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

3/4 cup brown sugar or palm sugar

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

2 eggs

1/4 cup molasses

Method of Preparation:

  • Melt coconut oil over low heat and cool
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the gluten free flour, baking powder, baking soda, flax seed, salt, ginger, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg and brown sugar.
  • In an another bowl, whisk the buttermilk, eggs, molasses and cooled coconut oil.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  • Cook according to the directions of your waffle iron

Serve with cranberry compote (see recipe below)

 

Cranberry Compote

Ingredients:

2 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen)

1/3 cup honey or maple syrup (you may want more depending on your taste)

1 cup water

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 orange, zested and squeezed

3 1/2 tsp. arrowroot powder

Method of Preparation:

  1. Rinse cranberries and place in a small saucepan
  2. Add the honey, water, cinnamon, orange juice and zest.
  3. Begin to heat the mixture and slowly add the arrowroot powder while stirring.
  4. Continue to cook the sauce, stirring often, until it’s slightly thickened and the cranberries begin to pop.

 

 

Gluten-free Panforte with Oranges and Nuts

I love all the holiday breads and pastries this time of year that feature dried fruit, nuts and spices- cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Panforte, which means “firm bread” is one of my favorite winter treats to enjoy with tea or coffee. I adapted this recipe from the talented Maura Kilpatrick of Oleana restaurant. This recipe calls for a candy thermometer, but don’t be scared, it’s very easy to use.

 

Ingredients:

3 tbs. cocoa powder

1 cup whole or sliced, blanched almonds

1 cup whole blanched hazelnuts

1 cup gluten-free flour of your choice

1/2 tsp. xanthin gum (if you mix does not contain it)

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. cloves

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. cardamom

1 tsp. black pepper

1/2 cup dried apricots

1/2 cup candied ginger

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup currants or more cranberries

1/2 cup candied orange peel

1 cup unrefined sugar

2/3 cup honey

Method of Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Buter a 9-inch spring form cake or tart pan and dust lightly with some cocoa powder.
  3. Toast almonds and hazelnuts in oven for 10-12 minutes
  4. In a large bowl, combine the nuts, gluten-free flour, xanthin gum (if using), the cocoa powder, cinnamon, ground ginger, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom and pepper.
  5. Chop the apricots, orange peel and ginger into small pieces.
  6. In a small saucepan, cook the sugar and honey to 240 F. on a candy thermometer.
  7. Immediately pour the honey mixture into the flour and nut mixture. The mixture gets stiff quickly, so it will be difficult to stir. You can add a few tablespoons of water if necessary to combine the ingredients.
  8. Press into pan, wetting fingers if needed.
  9. Lower oven 300 F. Bake for 20-25 minutes until there are bubbles around the edges.
  10. 10. When cool, invert onto serving platter and dust with confectioner’s sugar.

Gluten-Free Oat and Dark Chocolate Cookies

Maybe it is that back to school feeling, but I had a craving for oatmeal cookies today. I wanted to keep them gluten and dairy free, but also add in some rich dark chocolate and pecans. This recipe could be made with peanut butter, any kind of nuts you have on hand and even some coconut. Yield: 24 cookies

Ingredients:

1/4 cup almond butter

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup plus 1 tbs. cane sugar

2 eggs

3 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups rolled oats (gluten-free if you have a gluten allergy)

1 1/2 cup gluten-free flour blend

1/4 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 cup coconut flakes or more rolled oats

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

3 oz. dark chocolate chopped or more chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped nuts

2 tbs. flax seeds

flaked salt for sprinting on top of the cookies

Method of Preparation:

  1. Melt coconut oil over low heat
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
  3. In the bowl of a mixer, combine the almond butter, oil and sugars
  4. Beat for 2 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed
  5. Slowly add the eggs, one at a time.
  6. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate, nuts, flax seeds, and coconut (if you are using)
  7. Scoop out heaping tablespoons of dough and form into balls. Place on a plate to chill for 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  9. Evenly space dough balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle tops with flaked sea salt. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown

 

 

 

Strawberries and Coconut Milk Ice Pops

Perfect for a hot day and ridiculously easy to make! I used some really sweet local strawberries, but raspberries would work well too.

 

Ingredients:

3 cup strawberries, hulled and halved

1 can full-fat coconut milk

3 tbs. honey or maple syrup

2 tsp. vanilla extract

pinch of salt

Method of Preparation:

1. Place the strawberries in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.

2. In a large bowl, whisk the coconut milk, honey or syrup, vanilla extract and salt.

3.  Fill each popsicle mold a quarter full with strawberry puree.

4. Top the mold with the sweetened coconut milk.

5. Freeze

 

 

Gluten-Free Apricot and Almond Tart

Apparently Mother Nature has not gotten the memo that it’s June and we are all tired of these rainy cold days. In an effort to bring the sun into my kitchen today, I decided to make a bright and juicy apricot almond tart.  I brewed some strong coffee and had a late breakfast that  lifted my sprits. This recipe works well with plums too.

Ingredients:

gluten-free puff pastry, split in half  (I use this recipe: https://tangerineandspice.com/2016/03/10/gluten-free-puff-pastry-and-apricot-almond-danish/)

1/2 cup cane sugar

1 large egg

4 tbs. unsalted butter, cut into 1′ pieces

1 tsp. almond extract

1 tbs. gluten-free flour (blend of your choice)

pinch of sea salt

1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped

3 large apricots, or 4-6 small ( halved and pitted)

rice flour for rolling the pastry

Method of Preparation:

1. Roll the puff pastry out on lightly floured parchment to a rectangle 12×16. Fold over the edges of the pastry to make a 1/2″ border all around the sides of the pastry rectangle. Prick the entire surface with a fork. Leaving the tart on the parchment, place it on a baking sheet and freeze for 10 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 400 F.

3. In the bowl of a food processor, place the almonds and sugar and process until finely chopped. Add the butter, eggs, almond extract, sea salt, and gluten-free flour; process until smooth.

4. Remove the pastry from the freezer. Spread the almond cream over the pastry, being sure to stay away from the border.

5. Place the dried apricots evenly over the almond cream.

6. set the apricot halves on top of the almond cream.

7. Sprinkle the almonds over the top of the tart.

8. Bake the tart for 10 minutes and then turn the oven down to 350 F. and bake for another 10-12 minutes or until it’s lightly browned.