Gluten Free Linzer Cookies

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Holiday Cookie Guide

When the holidays come around, I want to give everyone I know something special, but can never think of something to get them. As a young lady, not so fresh out of college, trying to make it on my own, I find it is hard to stay on a budget and get all of my loved ones something they will enjoy. That is, until I realized that all I needed was some sugar!

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Holiday treats are the easiest thing to prepare! It is a fun way for me to get creative and festive, while also stretching my ever thinning dollar. For those of you that aren’t culinary savvy, there are boxed mixes by the hundreds all neatly arranged in a single isle at your local grocer. I find, most of the boxed mixes are even more affordable then making things from scratch.

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I truly love to bake though, so I decided do it the old fashioned way. By doing that I also ensure that the goods I’m making are more wholesome, organic, and don’t have any funny chemicals in them that we all can do without.

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I also love that you can cater to peoples dietary needs so easily these days. I find EVERY party I go to there is nothing for me to eat. It can be really draining because I always stick out like a sore thumb and have to explain why my plate has nothing on it but some dried out crudite thirty times. By bringing holiday treats that are low-key gluten free or vegan (or both!) you are not only helping yourself out, but are helping out those who are on special diets, but hate being the odd man out. I mean, when your dairy-free cookies are devoured, but the butter creme frosted yule log remains, you know your doing something right! You’re also helping others by bringing healthier choices. Talk about giving in the spirit of Christmas 😉

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Without further delay, my holiday favorites! These are truly great recipes. You can also make a lot of these interchangeably with or without gluten and dairy, as I have listed.

HOLIDAY TREAT GUIDE:

  1. Shortbread Cookies. HERE they are gluten free; HERE they are not.
  2. Truffles. A no brainer. Swap out dairy with coconut mylk.
  3. Gingerbread. HERE is gluten free cake; HERE is gluten filled.
  4. Brittle. This version is nut-free.
  5. Ina Gartens Brownies. They are a little more laborious, but amazing. Easily made Gluten Free (because there is so little flour).
  6. Brown Butter Cookies. Swap 1/2 cup of salted caramel into the batter for the white sugar, you won’t regret it.
  7. Dorie & Pierre’s Cookies. Dorie Greenspan is a cookie specialist. She once gave me her book, Baking Chez Moiafter giving her family a quick lesson on how to froth milk. She is a very down-to-earth Connecticutian and her peace cookies are the perfect family recipe.
  8. Madeleines. I have yet to met someone that doesn’t like them.
  9. Salted Caramel Tartlets. Make small ones so people won’t feel guilty diving in.
  10. For those Holiday Birthdays, ANY of Linda Lomelinos Cakes will be both instagram worthy, as well as taste worthy. Fair warning, they are intricate so be prepared to spend a lot of time on them.

 

 

Hope this helps!

Happy Holidays,

Jocelynn 🎄

DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte

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There is something very comforting about the classic New England pumpkin latte. To me, it is a nostalgic flavor of fall. On the weekends, Im usually too tired or cozy to get out and get one. I also love love love making my own! Making lattes are a very personal experience for me, since I am in the coffee industry.

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It is actually somewhat affordable to have your own coffee set up these days. Affordable espresso machines that actually produce a quality product are really few and far between, but I am really happy with my ROK. It is a completely manual machine which the barista in me loves. The challenge of producing a quality espresso from a machine like this is not a challenge most are up for so I recommend the Nespresso machine for the average joe maker. Shot after shot, the Nespresso is absolutely consistent in flavor, texture, timing and the crema is always perfect.

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For this DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte you will need:

Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso (now available at Target!)

Almond Milk

Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix

Pumpkin Syrup (recipe below)

The latte recipe is all about the gear you have. If you don’t have an espresso machine with a steam wand (like me) then you can buy an inexpensive milk frother. They sell them everywhere, check out amazon or any store that sells coffee equipment. Heat your almond milk in the microwave until it reaches 150 F which is about a minute and a half. No not over heat! If you do your milk will taste funny. While the milk is heating, pull your espresso shot. Put 1.5 T of the Pumpkin Pie Syrup in the bottom of your preheated cup. Pour the espresso over it and stir together. After a quick froth of the almond milk, pour over the espresso top with a dash of spice and drink immediately.

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Pumpkin Syrup:

1/4 c Organic Canned Pumpkin

2 t Maple Syrup

1 t Pumpkin Pie Spice

dash of hot water

Whisk ingredients together until combined.

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Gluten Free & Dairy Free Pie Crust

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I am definitely having end-of-summer blues! It has been an amazing summer here in Connecticut and it is tough to believe it has just about ended. Lucky for me, pie season is right around the corner. With the days getting (slightly) cooler and a freezer full of blueberries, I decided to buckle down and create an incredible pie dough that was worth its weight in the gluten-free community.

For those of you who know what a challenge that is, worry no longer! Make this recipe and you will impress even the gluten-loving in your life! I advise two tricks to this delicate dough; first get the right flour. While moseying down the organics aisles, I discovered that Bobs Red Mill has a new 1 for 1 flour. Let me be the first to tell you, it is OUT OF THIS WORLD. Use it! Second, and this is a given for most bakers, do not over work the dough. The more crumbly, the better.

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Gluten Free Pie Dough: 

2 1/4 c Bobs Red Mill Flour

1 T Sugar

1 c Organic, All Natural Shortening

1 T Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Pinch Salt

Ice Water

Dash of Nutmeg

Almond Milk (for “egg wash”)

Sugar for Top

For the Inside:

4 c Blueberries

1.5 c Sugar

1 T Lemon Zest

2 T Lemon Juice

2 T Cornstarch

For the crust, combine all dry ingredients. Add the shortening then flake and rub until the dough is crumbly. Add three tablespoons of the ice water mixed with the vinegar a little at a time, until barely combined. Form into a disk and chill for an hour. Halve and roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment. If the dough becomes sticky, pop it in the freezer for a minute to chill. Once rolled out, put the top in the freezer, lying flat. “Butter” and sugar the pie dish, put the bottom piece in, and place in freezer. Now, start the filling. Thaw blueberries a little, and combine all ingredients. Put in middle of pie and put the top on. Crimp together the top and bottom. Wash the top with the almond milk, and sugar the top. Make cut outs if desired, or just make a few slits.

Preheat the oven to 350 F and put the pie in the freezer until the oven is ready. Place a piece of foil down to catch any blueberry juices bubbling over. Put the pie in and bake until top is golden and juices are bubbling; about 1.5 hours. Cool for at least four hours and enjoy! This delicate pie tastes amazing with a coconut milk ice cream.
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Garden Salad

Now that summer is in full swing, it hasn’t been easier to be inspired. Our garden is flourishing and the raspberries are out; as a culinarian I am literally in nirvana!

To make this simple salad, I added the ingredients listed below. If you don’t have a garden, try your local farmers market! This is peak season for New England growers and it is good to support them.

Garden Salad:

Speckle & Green Lettuce (the smaller leaves are more tender and mild)

Fresh Coriander (seeds, flowers, & fronds)

Thai Basil (flowers & leaves)

Traditional Mint

Wine Raspberries

Cucumber (thinly sliced)

Dressing:

1 tsp Raw Honey

1.5 tsp Dijon Mustard

Basil Leaves (about a handful)

3 Tbs Apple Vinegar

1/3 c Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

-Blend dressing ingredients until pureed. Rinse & dry all vegetables and plate neatly. Top with dressing. Garnish with basil & cilantro flowers.

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Gluten Free Spring

So these past few weeks I have really been trying my best to have enough time to cook dinner (or at least eat it). It is a challenge to get home at a decent hour to do so! On my days off, though, I love to make it. It’s considerably my playtime. This past friday I stopped in at Whole Foods and remembered why I oh so adore spring! So many beautiful vegetables! This pasta dish is entirely gluten-free, dairy free, and can easily be vegan without the egg. I used local eggs, all organic vegetables & aromatics, and homegrown herbs.

ImageSpring Pasta Dish: (4-6p)

1 lb. Gluten Free Pasta

1 bu. Asparagus

4-6 Eggs (1 per)

1 Myer Lemon

1/2 bulb fennel (and fennel fronds to garnish)

4 clv Garlic

1 tsp chili-garlic sauce

1/4 c vegetable broth

6 sprigs Thyme

8 leaves Basil

3 Tbs Olive Oil

2 Tbs Vegan Butter

Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper

Mise en Place:

First, get two pots of hot water going for the pasta and the eggs; fill a smaller pot 2/3 of the way and a large pot completely. Wash the fennel and asparagus then slice into 1/4″ pieces.  Zest the lemon and cut in half. Mince the garlic, thyme, and half the basil. When the water (for the eggs) comes to a boil, turn it down to a simmer and add 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Gently crack the egg into the water once it has dropped in temperature. With a wooden spoon, hold the egg white over the egg yolk gently for about a minute; this is so when the egg has finished cooking it will be more rounded and less flat. Once the white of the egg is 95% cooked, remove it and place on a paper towel. Keep the water heated at a lower temperature to re-heat the egg.

Cook the pasta according to the box instructions. In a pan, combine the garlic, herbs, vegan butter, olive oil and allow to heat, once the garlic starts to perfume, add the Asparagus. Once it starts to become tender, add the Fennel, vegetable broth, and chili. Turn down the heat and add the cooked pasta. Toss the pasta, season with S&P, then allow to cook in the pan slightly (to meld all the ingredients together). Add the lemon zest and a little juice at the last-minute, give it a toss, and plate into a warmed pasta dish. Put the egg on a spoon and re-warm it for 30 seconds in the hot water. Place on top of the pasta. Garnish with the fennel fronds and some of the zest. A little salt atop will finish the dish.

 

Bon Appetite!