Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Gluten Free Ice Cream Sandwhiches, oh My!

Ice cream sandwiches are one of those things that my little guy feels pretty bad about when all the other kids are getting one and he gets a banana Twin Pop (okay his mommy misses them too).  I hadn't ever thought about trying to make ice cream sandwiches at home, that's just one of those things we always bought.  There are gluten free ice cream sandwiches available, but they are very pricey, and not exactly what I want.  I want those soft sweet ice cream sandwiches I remember!

I saw this recipe on King Aurthur's blog and realized how easy it would be!  And it is.  This recipe calls for homemade ice cream, and someday, I might go to all that work, I'm sure it will be worth it.  But in the mean time, I'm perfectly happy using the cheep ice cream that comes in the fold up carton.  I choose this kind of ice cream because it is so easy to peal the carton away from the block and slice it up to make the sandwiches.

I made them as a test while my kids were in Disneyland with their dad.  I told my little guy what I had done, and sent him the picture.  He squeed like an excited dolphin and then dropped the phone and ran around yelling YES YES YES!  If I had known how happy he would be, I would have tried this sooner!

These are so quick and easy, I think they will be kept in my freezer at all times.  And they were so good, I blew my good intentions out of the water and ate them all in 3 days.

printable recipe

Ice Cream Sandwiches, Gluten Free

A  2qt carton of ice cream
1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder or all-purpose baking cocoa

If using commercial baking mix, add 1 Tablespoon psyllium husk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cube (1/2 cup) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup half and half

Preheat oven to 350°
Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper and lightly oil.
Whisk together the baking mix, cocoa, and salt.


Combine butter and sugar in mixer bowl and beat on high speed until creamy.  Scrape sides of bowl and add vanilla.  Beat again until somewhat fluffy (lighter colored).

On low speed add half the flour/cocoa mix and then the half and half.  Beat in remaining flour, scraping the bowl between each addition.

Spread the batter thinly on the prepared parchment paper.  It will be thin, but it should completely cover the pan.

Bake 8-10 minutes until it is no longer shiny, but don’t over bake, it will get hard.  Remove the pan and cool for 10 minutes.  Prick the top of the cookie evenly with a fork to make the pattern on the outside of the sandwiches. 

 Place the pan in the freezer for an hour.
Remove the cookie from the freezer.  Trim the edges and cut in half. Gently turn the cookie over on the tray so that the side with the pattern is on the bottom.   Remove the ice cream from the freezer and peal the cardboard away from the sides.  

 Using a large knife, slice the ice cream about ½ to 1 inch thick.  Layer the ice cream slabs on one of the cookie slabs. They should be touching and completely cover the cookie.  Trim the ice cream as needed to fit. 

  Place the second cookie on top of the ice cream and gently press down to stick the sandwiches together.  Using the large knife, cut the sandwiches into the size/shape you want.  Put the tray back in the freezer for at least 1 hour.
When the ice cream sandwiches are frozen, wrap each sandwich in plastic and then place in an airtight container.  Eat within 3 months.  If they last more than a day!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Gluten Free Margarita Cake

I saw a recipe a couple years ago in a Kraft email for margarita cake and it sounded sooo good, but not gluten free.  I have tried it and tweaked it and changed it around so that it's gluten free, all me, and well, perfect!

I use this recipe in place of angel food cake because it is so much easier, I get reliable results every time, and the texture is amazing.  The lime is fairly mild, so it goes well with just about anything.

The original recipe I read had a pretzel crust.  I tried it and honestly didn't like it.  And GF pretzels are just too expensive to use in something you don't love them in!  It was a flat cake and served with frosting, but when I made it, it just tasted like it needed fruit and cream instead.

A couple years ago a good friend of mine was diagnosed with celiac, and for his first gluten free birthday, he wanted strawberry short cake, made with angel food cake.  I seriously tried 10 different recipes.  I had made angel food cake many times with gluten but for some reason, every time I made it gluten free it was a disaster.  It would come out looking perfect and golden, it would even taste good, but it fell flatter than flat.  This cake was my solution.

So in honor of berry season, here is this great summer recipe.  It is fantastic with any berries, but I particularly like it with the yummy blackberries out of my garden.  I take it to parties and people who don't know it's gluten free ask me for the recipe (ha ha ha, you just loved something gluten free!).

printable recipe 

Gluten Free Margarita Cake

Betty Crocker gluten free yellow cake mix
6 egg whites
1 lime
2/3 cup margarita mix
1/3 cup cooking oil

Preheat the oven to 350°

Prepare a bunt pan by coating it with cooking spray then sifting powdered sugar over the cooking spray.  Turn the pan upside down and tap it gently to release extra sugar.

Wash the lime and zest it (I don’t have a zester so I just use the fine grate on my cheese grater).  I like a lot of zest, so I try to get most of the outside of the lime.

Slice the lime in half and juice it.  I invested in a citrus juicer, a little hand held tool that turns the lime nearly inside out and squeezes all the juice out.  For years I thought this an unnecessary gadget, but after using a friend's, I had to have one. Set aside the lime juice and zest.


Place the egg whites in the mixer and beat until they form peaks.  I tried making it without beating the egg whites and the texture was not as good, it was almost dry and crumbly.  When you beat the eggs, it changes the structure of the protein and adds air to the batter.


Add the oil and the cake mix to the egg whites and beat until smooth.  The batter will be quite thick at this point.

Add the margarita mix and the lime zest & juice.  Beat until combined.  The lime juice creates a chemical reaction with the leavening in the cake mix, it will foam up, don’t over-beat it and get it into the pan quickly.  Pour it into the prepared bunt pan and put it into the oven.  The first time I made it, and it foamed up so quickly, I had flashes to elementary school science class and baking soda/vinegar volcanoes.


 Bake about 45-50 minutes until the cake is golden brown and springy.

Remove from the oven and cool for 5-10 minutes, then invert it onto a plate to continue cooling.  Serve cooled cake with whipped cream and fresh fruit.


Welcome to yummy!  Sometimes when there is leftover cake I will sneak out to the kitchen in the middle of the night and snitch a slice of the cake plain.

I cut it into narrow pieces so it makes 20 servings, but no one eats just one piece!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Pan Pizza like you remember it, But now it's gluten free

I know, I know, you thought I was dead!  Between knee injury, move, injure the other knee, major knee surgery and recovery, I have not been doing much baking.  But now I'm back!

Every time a new pizza place comes out with gluten free crusts, I rush out to try it, hoping that it will be pizza like I wanted it to be.  Remember going out to Pizza Hut and getting that thick, chewy crust pan pizza?  That's what I'm looking for.  Time and time again, I go to a restaurant with hope and expectation, and every time I get served pizza sauce and toppings on a thin sliver of something made to hold the toppings, but never what I crave.

The other day (okay it was 3 am and I couldn't sleep) I was obsessing about the crust I remember, what I wanted, and I remembered the Focaccia Bread recipe that I created for the Ratio Rally.  It hit me that the focaccia bread was the same texture I wanted for a pizza crust!

Follow the directions for the focaccia bread.  I know that this recipe requires planning ahead, but it is so worth it.  I knew I was going to make the pizza today, so last night, I measured out the dry ingredients before I went to bed.  This morning before work, I made the biga and put it in the oven with the light on and a damp towel on top (it took about 5 minutes).  Then when I got home, I put together the rest of the wet ingredients with the psyllium and finished the dough.

When I first started making bread by weight, I thought it was cumbersome, but I learned the trick is to zero out the scale after each ingredient, and I can just sprinkle the ingredient in on top.  It's actually faster and I don't have to wash the measuring cups and spoons.  If you don't have a kitchen scale, there are online conversion tools to convert from grams to traditional measuring, though I recommend getting a scale, there are inexpensive ($15-25) at most stores.

When the dough is done mixing, spread it in oiled pizza pan.  I used a pan with small holes in the bottom because the dough does tend to sweat.  You can roughly spread the dough with damp hands, then drizzle a small amount of olive oil (I use an oil infused with garlic and herbs) on the dough and spread it around.  Use it to finish spreading the dough and smooth it out.  I like the dough thick, so I use a smaller pan and spread it out about 1/2 inch thick.  One recipe made a 12" crust.  If you like a thinner crust, you can make a bigger pizza.  Sprinkle garlic salt on the crust. 

Place the crust in a warm place to rise for about 30 minutes.  If you let it rise too long it will shrink when baking.  It will look soft and puffy.

Pre-heat the oven to 375 Degrees  I normally cook pizza at 425 but I found that with the thick crust, the toppings burn before the pizza is ready.

Spread the crust with your favorite sauce.  I'm lazy and I use a good pasta sauce.  Top with your favorite toppings and sprinkle with cheese.  Be careful while topping the pizza, the dough is very tender.  Sprinkle an Italian seasoning lightly on top of the cheese.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and just starting to brown.  Remove from the oven and let rest for 4-5 minutes before slicing.

Enjoy pizza like you remember it!

P.S.  I decided to try par baking a small crust and freezing it to see how it held up.  I was very happy with the result. I bake the crust the same as above  for 8 minutes without any toppings or sauce. then I let it cool, wrapped it, and put it in the freezer. Today I thawed it, topped, it and baked it for another 8 to 10 minutes. It turned out great, so in the future when I make this I will make a large batch and freeze small individual crusts so that we can have quick pizzas on a busy day.