Gluten Free Linzer Cookies

Advertisements

DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte

IMG_9445

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.

IMG_9434

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.

IMG_9441

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.

IMG_9435

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.

IMG_9446

Gluten Free & Dairy Free Pie Crust

IMG_9353

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.

IMG_9346

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.
IMG_3979

IMG_3987

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.

Vegan Rootbeer Float

The other day when I was slow cooking some {{organic & local}} ribs I decided to throw some root beer on them while they cooked. This idea prompted me to make a root beer float. I love making miniature drinks. … Continue reading

Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies

IMG_1543

When I saw the front cover of the recent Bon Appetit I was floored, and slightly jealous; those lavender wreaths were astonishing and beautiful. I had to have my fix of all the holiday fun, so I set out to make a gluten & dairy free shortbread that didn’t taste like sawdust.

Vanilla Shortbread: (Gluten & Dairy Free)

2.5 c AP Baking Flour (King Arthur GF is the best for this)

1/3 c Almond Flour

1 c Earthbalance Butter

6 T Coconut oil (unrefined & solid)

3/4 c Sugar

1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste

1 egg yolk

A few teaspoons of cashew milk (just to bind the dough a bit)

Whisk together flours. In a separate bowl, ‘cream’ butter, coconut oil and sugar. Add egg yolk and vanilla and whisk again, just until combined. {Note: the earth balance will not cream and lighten as well as butter, so don’t over whip it in attempting to accomplish such. Whip for just a few minutes}

Add in Flour, a cup or so at a time. If the dough is too dry, add a touch of cashew milk. The dough should come together without much struggle. Pop in the fridge overnight, or freezer for an hour.

Preheat oven to 350. Cut dough in half, put half in the fridge and roll out dough between parchment until about 1/8” thick. Cut your shapes and gently remove them from the board to a flat surface that you can move to the freezer (like a tupperware top or a plate). Freeze each batch of cookies for about 10 mins before popping in the oven. This will truly make a huge difference in how they bake, so do not skip this step. To keep production going, keep cutting and stacking up the cookies. I stacked them on top of each other, but if you feel that they will stick together, put parchment paper between them. Bake for about 12 mins, checking for a touch of browning on the corners. remove and cool. Once totally cooled, stack in preparation for icing.

Royal Icing:

3.25 c Confectioners Sugar

2 Egg Whites

Sift the confectioners sugar into a bowl. On high, whisk the egg whites into the sugar. Keep whipping the icing until it resembels marshmallow fluff. To soften it a touch, add a teaspoon of water. It will start to dry out, so use immediately or cover with plastic wrap, both directly on top of the icing and over the bowl. Put in fridge until ready to use. When ready to use, bring the icing to room temp. Add a teaspoon of water and re-whip to bring it back to liquid state.

Dip entire cookie in and allow excess to drip off a bit. Flip and rest cookies on a flat surface. Decorate immediately. I used crushed pistachio, lime zest, sugared rosemary and rose petals for garnish. Allow icing to completely dry and serve, or box up for your next party.

IMG_1549

Date Night Dinner

Sometimes, date night is better suited in a warmly lit, comfortable kitchen, or on a nicely dressed picnic table in a field, surrounded by citronella and torches. Now that I have your visual imagination thinking, heres whats for dinner:::   … Continue reading