Gluten-Free Matcha Swirl Sugar Cookies

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I am a lot like my momma (who is awesome and whom I love dearly). Growing up I mimicked her often. I was totally a picky eater like her. And I loved tea. I still love tea and I thank my momma for this.

About 10 years I was doing A LOT (as in hours a day) of food research, when I stumbled about matcha. Powdered green tea, with a dense amount of nutrients and goodness. Of course I live in the Midwest in a lovely Indiana town (and I mean that in all sincerity, I have tried to leave and always end up back here. But the older I get, the more my appreciate grows) and I couldn’t find any. Shoot when I started my market 5 years ago, I did a lot of explaining on what gluten-free meant. Now I hardly have anyone ask me what gluten-free is. I also couldn’t find a lot of flours or sugars that I needed. Recently it has gotten better. Still have to order cassava flour. Finally found a place with arrowroot. And one place with cacao butter. And maple sugar, although I bought all that, so now I ordered more online again. Now 10 years later I can find matcha powder.

So for a decade I have been eager. Eager to bake and experiment with matcha powder. To drink it (have you had a latte made with matcha? Waiting on my favorite coffee shop Java Haute to catch on to the matcha thing). And to bake with! Earlier this year I posted a recipe for a matcha ricotta tart, which I will actually be revisiting this week. I made some strawberry pies and needed a green crust for some stems and thought matcha would be a great natural way to obtain the color I needed. I drank some matcha I had the other day, which is paired with orange. It is lovely, I have had one with lemon as well, but I use orange less so I was more intrigued with that flavor combo. What if I made a matcha tart with an orange curd bottom. And then an orange ricotta filling? It got me exceedingly excited. Last winter, for Java I had made an orange ricotta pie which I absolutely loved. It had very subtle flavors and was not that sweet. So be prepared next week for that recipe.

Since I had matcha on hand, I thought I would tweak a recipe I saw for matcha swirled sugar cookies. I was geeked to say the least that I got a swirl. And the swirl kept through baking. I think if I made these again, I would dip them in white chocolate. I have found with matcha, it is about having the perfect amount. Too much can get a little bitter and not so good. Actually, thinking just now as I type, I would add some lemon zest to the regular sugar cookie dough and dip it all in white chocolate. Black sesame could be an interesting combo with the matcha too. It is on my list of things to try and I have seen it numerous times paired with matcha. Again, I do not live in a food-forward city, so first I have to find it. Some day………

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Lemon Meringue Pie Macarons

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“Creativity is the way I share my soul with the world,” Brene Brown.

I was looking for a beautiful quote to share about how creativity makes me feel and right away I was drawn to this one. And of course it was Brene Brown, she writes some truly wonderful things.

Creativity has been one of the best blessings of my life. The creativity that flows through me is literally overwhelming sometimes. And it spills. It spills out into different areas of my life. Growing up it manifested in the form of art and drawing, notably portraits. Then It took the form of writing. Eventually the art became food. It can be seen sometimes in the way I do my hair (there was a time in my life when I used to braid a lot of hair in very unique patterns). In my clothes. In my home. It used to even show up in my kettlebells, as I used to dream up new ways to move and challenge my body.

And it comes out of nowhere sometimes. I can be on a walk and recipes ideas and flavor combos will just download in my mind. Or I will write an entire post in my head. Editing and rewriting as I go. These meringues. Same thing.

I was at work making lemon meringue pies as I often do, when I started pondering on the simplicity of a meringue. And for some reason I was also thinking about macarons. And I was remembering this pic I had seen on Instagram of a coconut macaron that had a meringue on top. I watched the video of them making it like 5 times. And I started to image the lemon meringue pie as a macaron. Lemon curd filling. A beautiful meringue on top. Maybe brush some yellow coloring in the bag to be fun. I had to make it. I had envisioned and tasted it already. It had to come to life. Luckily I had a meeting to go to where they like my macarons.

It didn’t even stop there. I’m thinking of all the curds I’ve made. Grapefruit. Cranberry. Mango. I really want to make a pineapple one, because pineapple is delicious (duh). Then I was thinking I could use a macadamia nut base for the macarons instead of almond. And I could do a toasted coconut meringue on top. Yum. Maybe some lime zest in the curd? Maybe that’s too much going. Oh well, you may have this recipe coming sometime.

I praise God for this creativity and what a blessing it is. Because sometimes I look at something I made in awe and I can’t believe I’ve made it. It is more than me. It brings me joy, but I love more that it has the potential to bring others joy. What good is it to have a talent or gift and not share it with others? That’s why we have it no? This dynamic world where we all have something we can contribute. And food. Food is such a way for me to share and express the love I have in my heart. Each pie is truly from a place of love. Plus a passion and fervor for it to bless others. That is my main desire in all this baking and striving with my business, and that is to share joy and love. And beautiful food, that hopefully tastes as equally good.

Lemon Meringue Pie Macarons

Macarons:

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 3/4 cup organic powdered sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup maple sugar
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest

Continue reading “Lemon Meringue Pie Macarons”

Gluten-Free Birthday Cake Scones

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I love food that is colorful and fun. Like this photo above makes my heart so happy.

When I first started baking and making gluten-free goodies is was very monochromatic. Aesthically I truthfully kind of hated it. I was using almond meal, which made it all very dark in color and kind of gritty looking. I felt the same with coconut sugar, I loved the flavor but it really is great for replacing brown sugar, not regular sugar. It is just too dark and I don’t get the bakes I want. I want the things I make to look like their traditional counter parts. That is why I have fallen in love with maple sugar as well, it is lighter in color and it has AMAZING flavor. So the things I’ve been baking truly look like conventional baked goods. Truthfully I typically don’t tell people until later that things are gluten-free until after they eat them because they’ll go in presuming it tastes differently. So if it doesn’t look different, I’m not telling.

Recently I have been playing with some  all-natural sprinkles. They are so fun. So colorful.

And I personally really liked the flavor of these scones. And they are cute.

Gluten-Free Birthday Cake Scones

  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup maple sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter, cold & cubed (You can try cold spectrum as well to make it dairy-free but I personally have not tried it)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 cup sprinkles (plus more to garnish)

Continue reading “Gluten-Free Birthday Cake Scones”

Banoffee Meringue Roulade

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Meringue is only something I have recently started to embrace. Mostly I think that I have discovered meringue done right. Meringue is really so simple. Pretty much egg whites and sugar. But they are packed with not only a beautiful flavor, but really the texture is what drives this home for me. A slight crunchy outside, but they just melt and dissolve in your mouth.

I have gotten many people hooked on the meringue cookie fan bus, who really didn’t know what they were before hand. Cookies are just perfect little pop-able sized goodness.

I wanted to push myself a little bit further than cookies. (I will note here that pavlovas are a great way to experiment and use meringue as well. Click this link -> Polifroni Pavlovas <- for a link to some I made two years ago which were divine. )

Roulade. I have made cake based roulades before. I actually worked at a bake house where we made pumpkin roulades all Fall long. And I have played with some gluten-free cake roulades, but on my Pinterest I have seen some recipes for meringue roulades. They sounded fun. They looked beautiful and delicious.

Plus, as always, you can play with flavors. Once you have the meringue, you can be bold and courageous with flavors. I made a banoffee one because I like caramel. And coffee. And chocolate. And because bananas are like my husbands favorite thing.

It was delicious. But you can try other flavors as well. My second-runner up option would have been a summer berry one with fresh cream too. Caramel apple would be great in the Fall. in winter I would make one with cranberry curd, whip and fresh and orange zest. For Valentines Day I would try a chocolate one with raspberries and chocolate curls.

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Gluten-Free Naked Blackberry Upside Down Cake

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Last week I was kind of excited because I had used up my stock pile of recipes. That meant I got to experiment and make some new recipes. This is what I truly love.

Honestly it is hard to go to work where I make the same things everyday and creativity is stifled (mostly feeling as if my talents are not being utilized can be frustrating at times, especially when I feel I have so much to offer). The kitchen is a playground for me. Creativity overflows and overwhelms me. I have to try new things. I have to push myself. Try new techniques. New flavors. Routine makes my creativity groan in exasperation.

And so I love days when I get to just bake. Bake for sheer creativities sake. Pretty little samples I can just give away. Plus I mass produce and bake so much at one time these days, it is nice to just make one batch of cake.

I can just crank up my worship music. Take my time mixing it, no thoughts of all the other things I must bake in the back of my mind. I can enjoy the intoxicatingly good smell of a fresh cake baking.

I can take my time and try to get a little fancier than usual with my pictures, rather than trying to snap something between bakes or before something gets packaged.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE baking every week for my market. It brings me the most joy to be able to do something that hopefully can bring others joy. Food is my FAVORITE way to serve people.

But sometimes it is nice to just focus on making one really good thing, that can just be given away.

And I love blackberries. There are some really good blackberries at our farmer’s market. I had seen a recipe for a blackberry upside down cake that I thought was beautiful and sounded delightful. I had also seen a recipe for some naked bundt cakes. So I wanted to kind of combine the ideas together. Plus I love minis, so I baked mini bundts.

They were so beautiful! When people comment on pics that they look like something out of a food magazine, that is a supreme compliment. I also heard by my taste testers that they were good, very rich in taste because of the white chocolate frosting, but good.

Gluten-Free Blackberry Upside-Down Naked Bundt Cakes Continue reading “Gluten-Free Naked Blackberry Upside Down Cake”

Gluten-Free Rosemary Sweet Potato Rolls

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I am excited today, because today’s recipe is the last one I’ve had saved in a draft form. For about 3 months I’ve had a stock pile of recipes I tried but needed to post. Today I am caught up!

That means I get to try new recipes. I currently have some mini blackberry upside down bundts chilling in my kitchen. And later today I am going to make a meringue roulade. A banoffee roulade to be exact and I am pumped to surprise my husband with it when he gets home because he loves banana.

These sweet potato rolls have amazing flavor! I think I made them back in like February. I occasionally get requests for nut-free options so I have a experimented with cassava flour quite a bitt this last year.

These would be delicious with loads of meals. I would want them with a steak, asparagus and mashed cauliflower. But that’s me personally, skies the limit.

Sweet Potato Rolls
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Mousse Domes

20180314_125251So I worked at this bake house in Champagne, Illinois where I learned the beauty of silicon molds. How beautiful and professional things look once you take them out of the molds. I have been gradually increasing my inventory of molds ever since. Last year I acquired some dome shaped one.

My initial inclination was to make cheesecakes. And I have made some delicious domed cheesecakes served on top of a variety of shortbread (rose pistachio is super awesome). Last year, though, I gave the British Baking Show a rest and watched Zumbo’s Desserts on Netflix. I did like it (not as well), but it was a different kind of influence. I wanted to make mousse cakes. I had it set in my heart.

So that was my initial goal, make a mousse dome. About the same time I learned about the value of silicon molds, I learned about glazes. So I had my heart set on making a shiny chocolate glaze. Which I think I rocked, it totally glossy.

Once I got into the process though, I kind of began to dream of more. How about a sphere rather than just a dome? What if I make a meringue dome for the bottom? I’d kind of seen some on my Instagram. And I could fill that with another mousse. I found a delicious keto mascarpone mousse that I used. So good.

With the meringue, though, I would suggest eating them quickly! But also they taste so good and are so refreshing you’re going to want to.

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