Shortbread cookies (GF)

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So let’s get down to things: I’m really sick. It’s miserable.
Mostly because of the seizures. Yup…ugh. Ok I’m done sulking:) But seriously, I’m going somewhere with this! Since I’ve been sick (for like EVER!!) I haven’t done a lot of baking. So my sister (beautiful, gorgeous and kind…repetitive?? Nah;) made these for me. Gluten free. Twice. Because they’re so good and my sister is better than yours. (I think I feel more feisty at 3am;)

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Anyhoo, these cookies are amazing! They’re stable–not too crumbly (a miracle for GF shortbread!), vanilla scented, melt in your mouth, warm your soul cookies. Did I mention that they melt in your mouth?! my favorite part:) Plus, (aside from being gluten free and wonderful) they’re infinitely customizable! Want Linzer cookies? Cut a hole in the middle, sandwich with preserves and top with powdered sugar. Cut outs? Roll with a bit of GF flour and cut away, topping with frosting. Chocolate chip shortbread? Add mini chocolate chips (duh). Chinese almond cookies? Add almond extract and top with an almond. You could even make a version of samoas Girl Scout cookies! Yum. Oh, and of course you could always use all purpose flour and leave out the xanthan gum for a gluten version. Whatever you do, do yourself and someone you love a favor and make these!

GF Shortbread Cookies

Adapted from Argo Cornstarch

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups gluten free flour mix (I prefer King Arthur Flour)
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 cup corn starch
1 tablespoon sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300ºF.

Mix butter, brown sugar and vanilla using electric mixer until creamy. In medium bowl combine flour, xanthan gum and cornstarch. Add to the sugar mixture on low speed.

Roll into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased baking sheets. Pour tablespoon of sugar on a small plate; dip bottom of drinking glass in sugar and gently press down on each cookie to flatten.

Bake cookies for 25 to 30 minutes, or until bottoms begin to brown.

Cool for 5 minutes on baking sheets, then remove to a wire rack to cool; enjoy with a cup of tea.

Yield: 3 1/2 dozen cookies.

Note: if you want shortbread slices, knead dough until smooth (about 2 min)
and shape into an 8×11″ rectangle. Slice off 2×1″ cookies and bake as directed above.

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Peppermint Pattie Brownies (GF)

20130302-190442.jpg So you guys, I dreamt about these brownies. I saw them at How Sweet It Is way back at Thanksgiving, and didn’t look at them since, until about a week ago out of the blue, I dreamt about making these exact same brownies. They must have left a big impression!! So after dreaming about them of course I had to make them. BUT, although they were really tasty, they looked like this:

20130302-191343.jpg Due to my errors, the brownies stuck to the parchment paper, they crumbled, I didn’t make the frosting thick enough so that they were completely covered, and the ganache did not help with appearances. I was NOT satisfied. So I tried again, buttering the pan, adding xanthan gum to the brownies so that they would stick together, adding cream instead of milk (oops) to the frosting, and changing the ganache into a thinner icing so as to get those beautiful chocolate streams down the sides. It worked!

20130302-192121.jpg These are incredible. Chewy brownie with chocolate chips, icing like the filling of a peppermint pattie, with shiny chocolate icing slathered on top. Oh yum. I love the icing, as it’s thick and very peppermint-y. Cool peppermint paired with dark chocolate FTW!! Note: you can make these with wheat flour by replacing the flour mix with all-purpose flour and leaving out the xanthan gum.

Peppermint Pattie Brownies (GF)

Adapted from How Sweet It Is

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup gluten free flour mix
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup chocolate chips
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
3 tbsp evaporated milk or cream
1/4 tsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
1/4 tsp salt
3.5 oz dark chocolate, chopped
3.5 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp corn syrup
1 pinch salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 9×9″ baking pan with butter or cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine melted butter with sugar and vanilla extract, whisk until combined. Whisk eggs in one at a time, stirring until a smooth. Whisk flour mix, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl. Stir into butter mixture until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Spread batter in prepared baking dish and bake 25-30 minutes until set. Remove and let cool.

While brownies are cooling, combine powdered sugar, butter, evaporated milk (or cream), vegetable oil, and vanilla and peppermint extracts in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until smooth and creamy. Pour over brownies and spread in an even layer (press with fingers into corners). Refrigerate until set, 30 minutes.

Combine butter, chocolate and corn syrup in small saucepan over low heat until melted. Cut brownies into 16 pieces. Spread icing over top of brownies.

Yield: 16 brownies

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