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BY CELESTE BROWN, Newsome High
We here at tb-two* are always looking out for your health! Because the holidays can be a sweet time of excessive eating, here are our notes on three delicious gluten-free desserts to try.
Land O’ Lakes Pumpkin Sandwich Cookies
2 cups gluten-free flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup canned pumpkin
¼ cup milk
1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla
1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
Heat oven to 350°F. Combine flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Set aside. Combine brown sugar and ½ cup butter in a large bowl; beat at medium speed until creamy. Add pumpkin, milk, egg and vanilla; beat until well mixed. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture. Beat until well mixed.
Drop batter by level measuring tablespoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes or until set and lightly browned around the edges. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheets; remove to cooling rack. Cool completely.
Combine all filling ingredients except powdered sugar in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until smooth. Gradually add 4 cups powdered sugar, beating well after each addition until creamy. Spread 2 teaspoonfuls filling onto bottom side of one cookie. Top with another cookie, bottom-side down. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling. Sprinkle filled cookies with powdered sugar.
Makes 2 dozen cookies, 12 sandwiches
Tester’s notes: This was my favorite recipe out of the three I made. The original recipe said the total time to make these cookies was about an hour but I don’t bake very much so it took longer. Also, I didn’t follow the recipe exactly. Instead of using gluten-free flour, I substituted almond flour and used cornstarch as a thickening agent. Also, I substituted milk for almond milk and it worked just as well. I’m on a vegan and gluten-free diet so the almond milk just cuts the amount of dairy in the recipe. They remind me of an oatmeal cream pie but with a spice cookie. My whole family and several of my friends raved about these. Definitely worth the time!
Recipe from Land O’Lakes
Homemade Almond Joys
Approx. 8 oz grated sweetened coconut flakes
7 oz sweetened condensed milk
Pinch of salt
1 14-oz bag dark chocolate to coat (you can use milk chocolate)
Salted, roasted almonds (optional; you can salt some almonds and roast at 350°F for 10 minutes)
Combine coconut with condensed milk and a pinch of salt, then mix until smooth.
Refrigerate for 20 minutes to harden up. At this point you can roll balls of mixture into oval shapes (like eggs) or spoon them onto parchment lined trays and put in the fridge for at least an hour before dipping into chocolate. It’s also easier to freeze them for 5-7 minutes before dipping into the chocolate.
Melt the chocolate in a double-broiler. Using two forks, roll or dip the ball in chocolate, making sure to coat all sides. Place on a rack and top with an almond if desired.
After dipping, refrigerate until the chocolate hardens.
Makes about 15-18 depending on size
Tester’s notes: These, too, were scrumptious! They are a bit of work, though I think it pays off. Sometimes the coconut mixture fell apart, making it difficult to cover in chocolate. If you are up for a challenge, then this will be fun. It was nice to enjoy these, because so much candy now contains gluten.
Recipe from vanillasugarblog.com
Rice Krispies cupcakes
Rice Krispie Treats:
6 tablespoons margarine (3/4 of a stick)
¾ cup yellow cake mix (Betty Crocker has gluten-free mix)
½ teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract
3 cups Rice Krispies
½ 10-oz bag marshmallows (5-oz)
1 tablespoon sprinkles
½ cup margarine (1 stick) room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla
1 teaspoon almond milk
Melt margarine in the microwave (about 45 seconds). Mix in marshmallows and return to microwave for 30-second intervals, stirring between, until melted. Mix in cake mix and vanilla until combined. Add in sprinkles and 2 cups of Rice Krispies with a spatula. Add in the third cup of Rice Krispies.
Fill well-greased muffin tin with the Rice Krispie mixture and press it in gently with the back of a spoon. Cool for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
For frosting, cream margarine in stand mixer with paddle attachment then slowly add in confectioners’ sugar until well combined. Mix in vanilla and almond milk. If desired, add food coloring.
Remove Rice Krispies cupcakes from tin with a knife. Frost and top with sprinkles.
Tester’s notes: Although quick, fun and easy to make, I didn’t enjoy them as much as I’d hoped. The Rice Krispies, along with cake mix and butter cream frosting, were too sweet for my liking. To make them festive, I used red and green sprinkles in the Rice Krispies treat mixture and on top of the frosting.
Recipe from 365 Days of Baking