Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Gluten Free Key Lime Pie Wordless Wednesday

I seem to be having some trouble getting the actual writing portion of this post done. Instead, I'm taking advantage of Wordless Wednesday :)


adapted from Nellie & Joe's  Key Lime Juice 
yields 1 9” pie (6 to 8 generous servings)

230 g / 2c c Gluten Free Graham Crackers (or substitute regular grahams, if not following a Gluten Free lifestyle) 
56 g / 4 Tbl Granulated Sugar 
112 g / 8Tbl/ 1 stick Unsalted Butter, melted 

3 egg yolks
1 14oz can Sweetened Condensed Milk
122g / 1/2 c Key Lime Juice (such as Nellie & Joe's

1/2 c Whipped Cream
1 Tbl / 15 g Granulated Sugar
Key Limes, thinly sliced 

  1. To make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Crush the graham crackers, either in a food processor or in a zip top bag with a rolling pin.  Mix together the crumbs, granulated sugar & unsalted butter until combined. Press the crust into the bottom & up the sides of a 9” pie pan. Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven (but don’t turn it off) and allow the crust to cool completely. 
  2. To make the filling: In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sweetened condensed milk.  Stir in the key lime juice, taking care not to stir too much & create bubbles. Pour into the pre-baked crust.  Bake the pie at 350 F for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Refrigerate until ready to decorate & serve.
  3. To make the decoration: Just before serving, vigorously whisk the whipped cream with the sugar until the cream forms medium stiff peaks.  Place the whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe whipped cream around the edges of the pie.  Decorate by adding a few very thin key lime slices (remove the seeds first).  Serve immediately. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Roasted Peach Snickerdoodle Ice Cream Sandwiches

Greetings from Chicago! I’m at the tail end of a trip back north to visit family.  I intended to post several times during this time away.  I made things--photographed them even--but I seem to balk when it comes to the actual writing and posting.  So I’m going to keep this one shorter on the writing!

Snickerdoodle cookies are one of my absolute favorite cookies, if one can really pick a favorite cookie.  I have very fond memories of making them with my mom and sisters as a young child--snickerdoodles also happen to be one of my dad’s favorites, so I’m fairly sure we made them for him on many occasions.

This particular snickerdoodle recipe is a bit different than the traditional one I made in my childhood.  The cookies turn out a bit flatter and crispier, which I think is perfect for turning into ice cream sandwiches.  I made both a gluten free version, using my favorite Gluten Free Flour Mix, and a regular version using all purpose flour. There was virtually no difference between the two! In fact, I almost had to make a second batch of Gluten Free cookies because I couldn’t stop eating them!

I’ve been hearing about Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams for a couple of years now, but it was only this past spring in Birmingham that I had the opportunity to try a flavor.  The texture (not to mention the flavor) is absolutely phenomenal, and I knew I needed to try one of her recipes at home.  I unfortunately do not have access to buying any of Jeni’s flavors near where I live.  I roasted some white peaches & yellow nectarines, pureed them and mixed them into the plain ice cream base.

One tip if you plan to make ice cream sandwiches out of homemade ice cream: spread the freshly churned ice cream onto a plastic-wrap lined baking pan.  Cover the pan completely with plastic wrap & freeze for a couple of hours.  The ice cream can then be cut to size with a circle cutter, placed directly onto the bottom of the first cookie, and topped with the second cookie.  So much easier than scooping!

Snickerdoodle Ice Cream Sandwiches with Roasted Peach Ice Cream

Roasted Peaches
16 oz pitted   peaches & nectarine combo (I used 2 nectarines & 2.5 white peaches; weight after they had been pitted) 
1/3 c Sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.  
  2. Cut peaches in half, remove pits.  Place into an ovensafe baking dish.  Sprinkle with the sugar. 
  3. Roast until soft, approximately TIME
  4. Cool completely, then peel.  
  5. Process the roasted, peeled peaches in a food processor until completely pureed. Pour into an airtight container & refrigerate until cold.  

Ice Cream Base 
Adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream via Saveur 

63g / 1/4 c Milk
11 g/ 4 tsp cornstarch

420 g/ 1 3/4 c Milk
290 g/ 1 1/4 c Heavy Cream
4.7 oz / 2/3 c Sugar
43 g / 2 Tbl Light Corn Syrup
1/4 tsp Salt

1.55 oz/3 Tbl Cream Cheese, softened 
1/4 tsp Cinnamon

  1.  In a small bowl, stir together the first measure of milk and cornstarch to make a slurry.  Mix it enough that there are no cornstarch lumps. Set aside. 
  2. In a 4 quart sauce pan, whisk together the milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup & salt.  Heat over medium high heat, stirring constantly for 4 minutes.  Remove from the heat. Whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Return the pot to medium high heat & continue whisking for an additional 4 minutes. Remove from the heat. 
  3. Place the softened cream cheese into a medium sized bowl. Whisk a little of the hot dairy into the cream cheese. Mix until there are no lumps. Gradually add the remaining dairy.  Whisk in the cinnamon. 
  4. Chill the ice cream base over an ice bath until cold.  Stir occasionally during the cooling process. 
  5. Once cold, add the pureed roasted peach/nectarine mixture.  Whisk to combine. 
  6. Churn the base in an ice cream maker according to the ice cream maker’s manufacturers instructions.  
  7. While the ice cream is churning, prepare a quarter sized sheet pan (or flat toaster oven pan) by lining it with plastic wrap.  Leave enough overhang to completely cover the pan.  Once the ice cream has finished churning, spread it evenly throughout the pan.  Smooth the top as much as possible.  Use the overhang of plastic wrap to completely encase the ice cream.  Smooth out any air bubbles (or you risk developing frost/freezer burn in those pockets. Place the covered pan in the coldest part of the freezer. Freeze a minimum of 4 hours, though overnight is preferred.  


  • This recipe can be made in a 3qt sauce pan, but it comes dangerously close to boiling over.  I suggest using the larger size pot, but if you don’t have one, just be extremely extremely careful during the cooking process.
  • The original recipe called for chilling the ice cream base in a large ziplock bag, then cutting the corner of the bag to transfer the base into the ice cream maker.  I tried their recommended method the first time, but unfortunately the bag broke & spilled everywhere.  Such a mess! So, I prefer to just set a smaller bowl with the base inside a bowl of ice.  
  • I spread the finished ice cream onto a lined baking pan to make the assembly of the ice cream sandwiches easier.  If you just plan to make the ice cream for scooping, not making into ice cream sandwiches, portion it into airtight containers--I find heavy duty plastic containers help prolong the life of the ice cream. 

4 oz Unsalted Butter, softened
4.5 oz Granulated Sugar
1 egg
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
6.25 oz Gluten Free Flour (I used my favorite blend, or you can substitute AP flour if you aren’t GF)
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
pinch Sea Salt

2 oz (heaping 1/4 c) Sugar
2 tsp Cinnamon

  1.  Preheat oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until the mixture has fully combined, has lightened in color, and increased in volume, at least 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. 
  3. Add the egg and vanilla. Beat until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, soda, and salt.  
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and mix just until combined.  
  6. In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar and cinnamon
  7. Use a small cookie scoop to make equal portions of dough.  Roll each dough piece in the cinnamon sugar.  
  8. Place the rounds onto the prepared baking sheet. Flatten slightly with the heel of your hand or the flat bottom of a drinking glass. 
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 10 minutes (if baking more than one sheet at a time, bake for 6 minutes, then rotate the pans and bake for an additional 4 minutes).  Let the cookies stand for  3 minutes on the baking sheet before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely. 
  10. Store in an airtight container until ready to assemble the ice cream sandwiches. 

Ice Cream Sandwich Assembly

  1.  Remove the ice cream from the freezer 5 minutes before you plan to assemble the sandwiches & allow to stand until slightly softened. 
  2. Use a large circle cutter to cut circles out of the sheet of ice cream.  
  3. Place each circle onto the bottom of one cookie & top with a second cookie. 
  4. Wrap each sandwich individually in plastic wrap.  Store in the freezer until ready to eat.  

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Gluten Free Graham Crackers

Graham crackers are such a versatile cookie.  I never realized how much I like plain old honey graham crackers or how many recipes use them until I could no longer eat them.  Earlier this summer, I picked up a box of gluten free graham crackers while shopping at Whole Foods in the City.  (Oh how I miss living near a Whole Foods and Trader Joe's).

The store-bought gluten free grahams tasted ok, for a cookie, but they didn’t really embody the graham cracker flavor I remembered. Plus they were way too thick and not nearly wide enough to be made into a s’more.  And they were expensive.

I figured that if I wanted to make any s’mores this summer (or any of the other classic desserts that require a graham cracker crust), I would have to make my own gluten free grahams.

Several years ago, I made gluten free graham crackers for a Daring Bakers Challenge. I remember that particular recipe being rather difficult to make--the dough was a bit temperamental to roll out & properly shape. And it called for a particular variety of flour that I no longer keep on hand.

I did some research online & found several recipes that could work.  One in particular stood out: it was a very straight forward graham cracker recipe that used ingredients I already had on hand.  The recipe had excellent reviews, which I took as a positive indicator of the recipe’s potential.  I still thought there may be some tweaking to do, but I generally try to follow a recipe fairly exactly the first time I make it.  Then, I taste & decide what I think would work better before I try my variations.

This recipe required almost no adjustments at all!  My only change was to bake the crackers longer because I prefer a crispier texture, especially if I’m going to eat them as s’mores or crush them to make a crust.

I’m very excited to have this easy, successful, inexpensive recipe in my gluten free recipe arsenal.  The possibilities of future recipes utilizing these humble graham crackers is very bright...  Check back for a future post on how I used some of them!

Gluten Free Graham Crackers
adapted from Serious Eats 

240 g Brown Rice Flour 
1 oz Corn Starch
2.45 oz Dark Brown Sugar
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt

2.5 oz 5 Tbl Butter, cold

2.6 oz 6 Tbl Milk
2.25 oz/3 Tbl Honey

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. 
  2. In a food processor, pulse together the dry ingredients until the ingredients are well combined.  
  3. Add the butter to the dry ingredients & pulse until the butter becomes small pea-sized pieces.  
  4. Add the milk & honey. To easily scale the honey, line a small rammekin-type dish with plastic wrap, leaving a generous overhang.  One the proper weight is added, gather the overhang & lift the honey out of the dish.  Twist into a little packet.  When ready to addWhile still holding the top plastic, pierce the bottom of the packet, only once, & squeeze into the food processor. 
  5. Pulse all the ingredients together until the mixture forms a dough.  
  6. Dump the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper at least 12x16.  Use the parchment to hand mix the dough, just a bit, and form the dough into a rectangle. 
  7. Place a second sheet of parchment paper on top & carefully roll out the dough to a 12x16” rectangle.  The final product will be approximately 1/8” thick. 
  8. Remove the top layer of parchment and slide the bottom sheet (dough and all) onto a sheet pan.  
  9. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.  
  10. After chilling, remove from the refrigerator & place the parchment back onto the counter.  Use a pastry wheel, or sharp knife to cut the dough into rectangle shapes. It is ok if the rectangles touch.  3”x3” is a great s’more size.  Dock the dough with the tines of a fork
  11. Bake for 9 minutes, rotate the pan & bake for another 9 to 11 minutes or until the crackers are lightly brown & crispy (I tasted a corner to confirm).  
  12. Cool on a cooling rack before breaking into individual crackers. 
  13. Store finished crackers in airtight containers, or freeze for longevity.  Crackers may soften over time.  Pop them back into the oven (or toaster oven) to re-crisp, if necessary. 
This post contains affiliate links, meaning Sweet Treats makes a small commission off items purchased 
after an Amazon link is clicked with no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support.