Gluten-Free Vegan Lemon Blueberry Cookies

20171206_180748I love lemon. I think I’ve shared that a few times on here. I especially love some lemon curd. I could just nibble on some lemon curd.

I had someone contact me to collaborate on some vegan cookies. Granted gluten-free is my focus, I started brain-storming on cookies that were gourmet, vegan, and gluten-free. My initial idea was lemon lavender with white chocolate. One I prefer white chocolate over chocolate and I have finally found a white chocolate recipe that works really well. Plus I have really liked baking with lavender the last ten years. If used properly, it’s a nice subtle surprise. You don’t want it to be too overpowering. No one like to feel like they’re eating flowers. However, the perfect amount, is just right to have people intrigued. What is that other flavor I’m picking up?

The cookies were soft, which is exactly how I like my cookies. However, in the baking business, especially wholesale, you have to take into consideration: packaging, handling, storage over time. And these cookies would have crumbled or not held up over-time.

Back to the drawing boards. I did not want to give up on the lemon. It’s refreshing to me. I tried a glazed cookie (click the link to get it). Delicious, but not able to withstand the wholesale world. I thought of thyme, that could be lovely. But likely only to attract foodies and not your average person. We wanted a cookie that could be kid-friendly as well.

Blueberry.

Blueberry and lemon are also a beautiful pairing. Plus the blueberries would add a beautiful color. Something else to consider in baking is the aesthetic and visual appeal. I don’t want to offer 3 cookies that all look similar. You need some pop and color. The blueberry could add, some much needed color, especially in a sandwich cookie. I found a recipe inspiration that I could  convert to be both gluten-free and vegan.

The result?

My favorite of all the gluten-free cookies (which was about 7 or so) I made. The flavors were heaven. The texture of the cookie was great. The ratio of filling to cookie, awesome. Half a cookie was good for me!

20171206_180700Vegan Gluten-Free Lemon Blueberry Sandwich Cookies Continue reading “Gluten-Free Vegan Lemon Blueberry Cookies”

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Gluten-Free Banana Fosters Scones

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Bananas are hit and miss with me, I will confess. My husband loves them pretty much anytime, but I am particular about my combos. For instance, I’ve made some banana almond butter cookies lately, they’re good, but not my thing. I like bananas and I like peanut (almond) butter, just not together. I do really enjoy caramel together. Maybe because I love caramel at all times. I guess I just realized I would probably take caramel over chocolate. I made some banana fosters danishes and saw a recipe on pinterest for some scones and had to tweak them to fit the gluten-free mold.

Sometimes I like to try out other bakeries to see what’s out. To get inspired. Granted I did make these scones before then, but I got a Banana Fosters Cupcake for Zach from the Flying Cupcake in Indianapolis. It just solidified the fact that I do indeed enjoy some bananas/caramel combination.

And I will not lie scones have been hard for me in the part. I generally try to make them dairy-free as well with coconut oil, but I do sometimes use butter, so I made these more traditional and they held up a lot better. Sometimes I can produce some really beautiful/delicious things, but there are a good a lot of things that give me challenges. Some have taken years to find something workable-like pie crust. And bread. Don’t get me started on bread-it is by far my biggest gluten-free baking challenge. I have worked as a conventional baker. I can make many good things, including traditional bread. But gluten-free? That is another story. There is no elasticity or stretch in the same way. I’ve been watching the British Baking Show. It really made me want to try some babka and braided breads. I did make a nice pumpkin swirl one. However, the dough was not easy to work with or to shape properly. It tasted FANTASTIC, however. Gluten-free baking (especially because I only use tapioca, coconut and almond flour-occasionally arrowroot and every once in a while cassava when I order it), it a lot of trial-and-error. It takes a lot of preservation. You can’t be apt to giving up because sometimes it has taken me 5+ times on a recipe to get one that I’m fully satisfied with the texture and flavor.

These, these I like.

Gluten-Free Banana Fosters Scones Continue reading “Gluten-Free Banana Fosters Scones”

Gluten-Free Vegan Lemon Lavender Cookies

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Happy Thursday you all! Hope you are having a wonderful week as we gear up towards the Holidays coming up. This is a wonderful time of year to make cookies. I LOVE lemon. Like I could just nibble on little bits of lemon curd. I recently paired lemon with some blueberries, great combination. I also really enjoy lemon with lavender. The key is to have just the perfect amount of lavender. You don’t want it to be too in your face. Or too florally, like you are eating flowers. You want just a touch, so people are intrigued. Hmm… what’s the extra flavor I’m getting? We’re going for curiosity, not disgust.

These cookies are delicious on their own, they are nice and soft, but I added a little glaze to make them a little more festive and to get a tinge more lemon taste. SO good. It is very refreshing. They could be a nice little food gift if you know someone who needs vegan or gluten-free eats.

However, I was designing this recipe for someone interested in collaborating on vegan cookies. They were too soft for freezing or shipping, so they didn’t fit the bill on that. But they are my favorite vegan cookie I made (granted I really enjoyed the ones with white chocolate again- I definitely prefer white chocolate over chocolate). This cookie base could also be used for an assortment of other flavors. Maybe switch the lemon for orange, fold in a few cranberries (that’s a wonderful flavor combo for this season). Or maybe switch the lavender for the thyme and keep the lemon. Or maybe switch the lemon for lime and add some white chocolate. Who knows there are all kinds of different flavors you could do and you could rotate them throughout the year seasonally. Maybe freeze-dried raspberries and white chocolate. Who knows. Get creative with it. Use the flavors YOU like.

Lemon Lavender Vegan Gluten-Free Cookies Continue reading “Gluten-Free Vegan Lemon Lavender Cookies”

Naked Banana Toffee Crunch Cake

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Man I have been completely slacking on my posting lately. Evidence being that I made this cake in October for Zach. I have been baking more than I’ve been making new recipes or taking pictures. But I do have some stocked up to share with you. Beginning here.

I have the most amazing husband (see the bearded, Bob Ross-ish haired handsome man above). This cake I made for him. He doesn’t really do celebrating or holidays, his birthday included. However, he entertains me and lets me bake for him anyways (so long as I made one for his frat boys too, which I did). His favorite flavor: banana. I had seen a cinnamon frosting and thought that sounded delicious (recipe adapted from Country Cleaver). I had also recently made my first batch of coffee toffee and had some leftover. So I just sprinkled a little of that over the top. Which was the perfect addition and his favorite part.

I would vote it my favorite gluten-free cake I’ve ever made (although lately I made a sweet potato-molasses-cake which I will be posting). I’ve always focused on making them designed pretty and never really made very many layered cakes. My dear husband sliced this cake for me, so that it had beautiful layers. A perfect amount of frosting to cake each bite.

It was delicious and hope that you all like it too!

20171020_181748.jpg Continue reading “Naked Banana Toffee Crunch Cake”

Gluten-Free Pita Bread

20170928_182335.jpgIt has been on my list to make pita bread for some time.

I think it may have  started when Zach and I lived in Champaign. They have a plethora of restaurants, which meant we pretty much had the option to eat our way around world cuisines. Zach loved this one restaurant, that we could get chicken swarma at. Chicken swarma is one of Zach’s favorite things. I had no clue what he was talking about, but I tried some anyways, what could it hurt? It was good! But is the usual with us when we eat out, I go ahead and get the bread and give it to Zach. In this instance they served it with pita.

Seed planted.

Then I made some naan bread with butter chicken. I was so happy with the results, I next set my eyes on pita bread.

And a few weeks ago, I finally made some!

I remember as a child my mother would make us pita sandwiches, stuffed with my favorite sandwich things: lettuce, cheese and salami.

So my excitement when they puffed up while baking and actually had a pocket was beyond.

My mind was swirling.

I’m going to make my own chicken swarma finally.

I’m going to make my own sandwiches. What can I fill those pockets with now?

I can make pita chips.

Options. I had options.

And so do you. Go wild with these guys. Continue reading “Gluten-Free Pita Bread”

Gluten-Free Coconut Ginger Pineapple Pie

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Pies are kind of my thing, hence my business being named P3: Polifroni PIES and Pizzas. They are my favorite thing to make.

When I started working and researching to make a gluten-free pie cookbook last Spring, I found a recipe for pineapple pie.

I had never made a pineapple pie. Or really saw one. Or really heard of one.

It’s been in the back of my mind ever since to try.

And Saturday, my mother-in-law planned a little cook-out and I thought what better time to try the pie then now!

I had some unsweetened shredded coconut in the cabinet, which I thought would be a great addition to the tropical fruit.

I also thought that ginger added to the pie filling would be a nice subtle addition.

I also don’t know where my pie pan is (I usually make mini pies for my business), so I decided to make a deep dish pie, using a spring-pan (I have lots of those pans since I made 9 cheesecakes last year for our wedding reception). Plus that morning I saw a deep-dish pie on my Pinterest. I really want some mini spring pans to try mini deep-dishes!

And as for decoration, I couldn’t flute a border since I wasn’t using a standard pie pan. I decided to try and mimic the outside texture of a pineapple for a border. I didn’t know how it would bake with such an open top, so I decided to add some lettering. I once saw one tagged with a ‘humble’ label and I thought that would be a nice addition.

Verdict: delicious.

Gluten-Free Coconut Ginger Pineapple Pie  Continue reading “Gluten-Free Coconut Ginger Pineapple Pie”

Gluten-Free Pie Ice Cream Sandwiches

20170714_133253Happy Wednesday All! Monday I posted a recipe for dairy-free chocolate ice cream. Now I am sharing the rest of the stuff. I chose to sandwich the ice cream between two mini pies. Something that has been on my list for about 2 years now. I had to find the right time. Really I think I had to wait for the opportunity to use an actual ice cream maker.

The biggest challenge, actually, was deciding what flavor to make, because I had soooooooooooooo many ideas:

  • Raspberry pies with Chocolate Ice Cream
  • Blueberry with a Lemon Curd Swirl Ice Cream
  • Rhubarb with Strawberry Ice Cream
  • Strawberry with White Chocolate Ice Cream
  • Strawberry with Banana Ice Cream
  • Almond Butter/Chocolate with Banana Ice Cream, rolled in Candied Bacon
  • Cinnamon Chocolate with Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream
  • Chocolate Matcha with Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Peach with Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Cherry pies with Chocolate Ice Cream
  • Key Lime with Vanilla Ice Cream, Rolled in Graham Cracker Crumbles
  • Lemon with Vanilla Ice Cream & a Toasted Meringue siding
  • Jelly Filled with Almond Butter (or Cashew Butter) Ice Cream
  • German Chocolate Pies with Caramel +Toasted Coconut Ice Cream
  • Chocolate Espresso pies with Salted Caramel Ice Cream
  • Pineapple pies with Mango Ice Cream, rolled in Toasted Coconut
  • Apple with Salted Caramel Ice Cream

……………………….and I could keep going.

See how my brain works? Sometimes I suffer with too much creativity and too many ideas. Which is not a bad thing. I am very thankful and blessed to have so much creativity.

When I have to make a choice of what to make it can be a tiny bit overwhelming picking which idea to run with.

So I went into the store not anticipating that I was even going to attempt this recipe. Blackberry were on sale. WINNER. I selected them and ran with it as the pie inspiration. Chocolate seemed to be the natural pairing to me. Granted I did contemplate a Honey Lavender Ice Cream (maybe later). Continue reading “Gluten-Free Pie Ice Cream Sandwiches”