Dessert

New Video! Gluten-Free Boyfriend Breakup Beer Brownies

Happy Thursday Dusty Readers.

At 3:30am I woke up and music started running through my head and I couldn’t fall back to sleep. Mitra shimmied her way up the sheets, rested her head on my arm, contorted her body in the way dogs do when they demand a rubbed belly, and proceeded to snore in my face, once again proving that dogs are often more logical than humans in that when they feel something, they act on it.

I felt tired, but couldn’t fall back to sleep.

Then this video popped in my head. An hour later (after I had turned on my window fan, expelled the streetlight glow with the lowering of a blind, tied up the hair that was making my neck warm on my pillow and checked my email on my iPad) I was still awake. And while I didn’t run to the kitchen to make beer brownies at (now) 4:30am (though I’m pretty sure all of these things are in my cupboards), the recipe and this video were on the brain.

Because around a year ago I made a series of five demos for what I was/am calling The Dusty Baking Show. It was a project mulled over with an ex-boyfriend who is an incredible filmmaker. And when we broke up I was determined to make the demos anyway and not let a little heartache stop my work from progressing in a positive direction (it didn’t – a little dust in the heart is good for productivity).

Looking at it now, I wish I’d maybe put a little more makeup on. Or gotten a touch more sleep before shooting. Or pointed out that beating eggs and sugars together isn’t “creaming” when your fat is bubbling away on the stove.

But I also sorta don’t. Because my intentions with musing on what my presence could be with gluten-free baking on film was primarily to be accessible. To look like me on any given day when I’m typing at my computer in my room and don’t need to be all makeup-y and put together. To not edit the silly things I say in my kitchen (and silliness evidently happens a lot in 7 minutes).

A year after making this video, food is my day-to-day way of making a living, whether I’m writing about it for Easy Eats or Serious Eats, or in a fancy kitchen as a private chef. But re-watching this while New York City sleeps reminded me of why I love it most when barefoot, in my kitchen, with a few ingredients and a little inspiration. This recipe was originally titled Boyfriend Breakup Beer Brownies because I made them on the spot for Lil’ Sis when she had literally just gone through a breakup and I happened to be home. I didn’t use a recipe, just grabbed from the pantry and went to it. A few weeks ago Lil Sis moved south – I wish I could say “moved south for the winter” – and part of me wishes she were here, at 4:53am, so we could head into the kitchen together and make brownies.

I hope you enjoy my dusty little video, with the incredibly lovely Tamishia Harris behind the lens. After this series (which I’ll continue posting in the coming weeks) I shot a 10-recipe gluten-free series for EHow: Food. Check that out too if you want some slightly more refined Jacqueline in the kitchen. Until then…

Good night.

– Jacqueline

Boyfriend Breakup Beer Brownies (Gluten Free)

Ingredients:

  • 8 Tbsp / 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 10 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill in the original incarnation and now use this as my go-to brownie flour blend: 1/2 cup brown rice flour, 1/4 cup quinoa flour, 1/4 cup arrowroot starch, 1/2 tsp xanthan gum)
  • 1 Tbsp mesquite flour (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark gluten-free beer (Green’s Double Dark rocks my world)

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 8″ square pan.

In a small bowl, whisk together flours and salt.

Melt butter on stove. Whisk in cocoa powder. Turn off heat and allow to cool slightly.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat together eggs and sugars on high speed for about 1 minute. Add beer (and drink the rest from the bottle, no matter the time of day) and beat for about 30 seconds until frothy. Slow mixer to medium and beat in melted cocoa/butter ingredients.

Stop mixer, add in dry ingredients, and beat until incorporated.

Bake for about 25 minutes, until the center of the pan is slightly fudgey but the outsides are firm. Cool for 10 minutes before slicing and devouring, preferably while watching a really funny movie.

Gluten-Free Pork Rind Compost Cookies – A Recipe Swap

North Carolina Pork Compost Cookies

I had two things to accomplish with only a few hours in my kitchen; bringing a gluten-free sweet treat to my sister’s going-away picnic (she’s moving to North Carolina AND THAT DOES NOT MAKE ME HAPPY) and a take on this recipe:

Christianna over at the Burwell General Store really threw me for a loop with this one. Every month for over a year now (in my case) she’s zipped along a vintage recipe to a group of bloggers that I adore. I try to stick relatively close to the original recipe, keeping it in line with the kind of dish (savory, sweet, breakfast etc.) and keeping the prominent flavors included somehow.

But… pork, fruit and cake?!?!

I stewed for a few days and, in Dusty fashion, left this to be done the day before posting with only a couple of hours in my kitchen. But I awoke that morning with a revelation:

It was time to call in a Compost Cookie.

I trotted over to the corner store with Mitra and started grabbing gluten-free snacks and… pork rinds.

At home I opened the bag and – tentatively –  ate one.

Um… I’m not quite sure I get the allure. But they totally worked in the cookies, subtly adding some earthy saltiness and helping to balance a bit of sweet. I used dried dark cherries as my fruit and starting tossing other corner-store finds and pantry staples: chocolate chips, slivered almonds, coffee, oatmeal, potato chips, kettle corn, frozen leftover chocolate cake crumb (from Chocolate Chocolate Cookies).

They were polished off at the picnic. My family indulged, my gentleman friend ate three, and they really satiated sweet/salty cravings. They’re intense – I could only have a few bites. But once again I’ve found the basic Compost Cookie recipe to be a winner.

And the best thing about Compost Cookies are they’re really a grab-and-go experience in your pantry. So take the gluten-free cookie base and weight proportions and go hog wild*!

(*couldn’t help myself)

Check out the takes on the recipe from the group by clicking on the little froggy!

Gluten-Free Pork Rind Compost Cookies

Built around the Compost Cookie by Christina Tosi
Makes about 20-24 cookies

I both weigh and measure my ingredients, based on which is necessary or more accurate.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar (I used palm sugar)
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp corn syrup
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 75 g brown rice flour
  • 75g arrowroot starch (or tapioca starch)
  • 50g millet flour
  • 25g white rice flour
  • 3/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt

Compost Ingredients (totaling 475 grams)

  • 150g chocolate chips
  • 100g slivered
  • 40g gluten-free old fashioned oats
  • 5g decaf coffee / espresso grounds
  • 40g potato chips
  • 60g chocolate cake crumb (like a crushed chocolate cookie or brownie)
  • 25g kettle corn
  • 30g dried cherries, chopped
  • 25g pork rinds, crushed to various sizes

Directions

In the bowl of a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugars and corn syrup for 2-3 minutes. Scrape bowl.

Add egg and vanilla and beat on medium/high speed for 7-8 minutes. This step is vital in getting the sugars and fat to combine ideally, and will help the cookies not over-spread.

Meanwhile, weigh out flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk together.

Turn mixer on low and add flour mixture until just incorporated, under a minute.

Add all compost ingredients on low except for potato chips, and mix until just combined. Fold in potato chips, trying not to break them.

Roll out onto parchment or Silpat lined sheets. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (this, again, is vital to them not spreading too much).

Heat oven to 375°. Bake each sheet individually for 18 minutes, or until the outsides are just starting to brown but the middles are soft. Cool on pan for a few minutes before removing to rack to cool completely.

Grapefruit Sponge Pie: Burwell Recipe Swap!

Dunt-duh-nuh-naaaaaaah!

(That’s me typing out the sound of a trumpet announcing the arrival of something new!)

This morning I published this post with some whinging about being tired and un-creative. When I typed this post for the first time last night, my brain was beyond where wit and articulation are birthed. 24 hours later I’m still over-tired, but I don’t care.

Because I’ve just gone through the recipes submitted by this Burwell General Store recipe swap group, and I’m rejuvenated. I love this group of swappers. I’ve participated in thist monthly swap, organized by Christianna at the Burwell General Store, for well over a year now. But then our group got too large, so we split in two, then got overwhelmed with our own lives, then took a break, then joined up again, and now here we are!

We all write blogs for different reasons. We all read blogs for different reasons.

But if you’re looking for creativity and all-things-yummy, you’ve come to the right place this morning. Just click on that little froggy below to see variations of one simple, very old recipe from a vintage cookbook.

As I scrolled through the posts, pinning and commenting away, I met new blogging friends and reconnected with old ones.

It was a truly delicious night.

Oh, and this was my second swap today! Coincidentally my Milk Bar Mondays recipe was scheduled for today as well, and when that Grapefruit Pie didn’t turn out perfectly (one layer was perfection, the rest so not-right I couldn’t serve it to my boss family and tossed it in the trash) I wanted to give grapefruit another go. Hence this take on this recipe:

I was shocked that this worked! I just replaced grapefruit for the lemon and used the milk my boss can digest, and let some basic pastry knowledge lead to a more specific recipe than the one above. A light, spongy, fluffy layer of grapefruit-flavored custard-ness was on the table for breakfast today. It would do well for a dessert also, but on this steamy Monday with a house full of guests I’m cooking for in Amagansett, it did just fine.

Happy Double Monday, and welcome back to the Burwell Swappers,

– Jacqueline

And click on the little froggy below to check out the other Burwell swappers in their, likely, more creative variations!



Grapefruit Sponge Pie

(Lemon or lime would work perfectly too!)

  • 1 pie crust, unbaked
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 2 cups lactose-free, 2% milk
  • 3 Tbsp grapefruit juice
  • rind of one entire grapefruit

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cream the butter, sugar and egg yolks until smooth and bright yellow.

Add the flour, grapefruit juice and zest, and beat to combine.

Slowly pour in milk and stir to combine.

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites to soft peaks. Fold into mixture.

Pour into shell and bake for 45 minutes, until set at the sides but still jiggly in the center. Cool completely before serving.

Gluten-Free EASY EATS Magazine Summer Issue (my feature!)

HOORAY for the launch of Easy Eats Magazine’s current summer issue!!!

I feel so fortunate to be on the editorial staff of this amazing publication, headed up by Edit0r-in-Chief Silvana Nardone, who not only is an amazing chef and sharp editorial eye, but who has also taught me (by example) how to delegate responsibility, trust the talents of others, live creatively and just chill the heck out about the details.

My feature in the summer issue – a profile of Red Bee Honey Farm and 4 original gluten-free, honey-based recipes.

My feature in this issue is on Red Bee Honey Farm in Weston, CT. Between running back and forth to the Hamptons for my chef gig and managing my family’s business in Wilton, CT, I was able to catch a few minutes with owner / beekeeper Marina and steal some fun tidbits on what makes local honey so delicious. I was sold, immediately. I started noticing the different hues and flavors of the delicious honeys of the northeast, and stopped raising an eyebrow at the extensive prices.

More than anything, this new attention has changed the way I cook with honey. From something as simple as whisking a bit of clover or blueberry honey with some fresh lemon, mint leaves and bourbon to choosing which honey I want to focus in my dairy-free Honeybun Ice Cream.. I’ve been converted.

There are many reasons to become a subscriber to this ridiculously affordable, high-quality publication. So if you’ve got an extra dime and like good food… go for it.

Or if you wanna skip to the preview version of my article, head here.

Or for my four super-sweet featured recipes, check out my dairy-free Honeybun ice cream, roasted strawberry salad dressing, Sesame Honey chicken marinade and Lemon Honey Cranberry Granola Bars.

Or, if none of those ideas floats your boat, wrap your arms around yourself, squeeze and smile.

Why not, right?

Sweetly,

– Jacqueline

Gluten and Dairy-Free Chocolate-Chocolate Cookies: Milk Bar Mondays!

Chocolate-Chocolate Cookies – Gluten and Dairy Free!

I’m missing shooting real photos with a real camera, instead of frantically with an iPad while I cook more in one day than I ever used to dream I could. Anyone have any suggestions for how to make photos from an iPad look awesome?!?!

Other than that bit of crankiness I’m pretty psyched by this Christina Tosi Milk Bar Cookbook recipe that Cassie of Bake Your Daypicked for today’s Milk Bar Mondays swap. Even before I baked these kids up, I knew that they were going to be crazy-awesome. And considering the time that goes into most Tosi recipes (the Apple Pie Layer Cake and Carrot Cake Truffles being two that spring to mind), these are relatively easy to make. And super awesome.

Being a cookie, it’s a simple matter of whipping together some fat and sugar, beating in some protein and more fatty yumminess, and then folding in gluten-free flours and starches and some chocolate crumbs.

Because, of course, a Tosi cookie has to have that little something extra. It has to have some crumb, crunch or liquidy addition to take it from “oh my dog yeah” to “save me from myself this is just too much yum in one cookie“.

Let’s just say I may have eaten a bit of batter before putting these mammoth babies in. Continue reading

Mexican Chocolate Madeleines with Spiced Coffee Glaze – gluten and dairy free

Cinco de Mayo. When Mexicans celebrated their victory over the French (sorta) and young white whippersnappers drink tequila and feel all proud of themselves for making homemade guacamole.

I’ll be reveling tonight with a lovely group of friends over some amazing food and killer cocktails. And to bring a festive offering, this is what I’ve put together. Fluffy, full of flavors and with just enough kick, they’re a tiny sweet treat appropriate for any occasion.

Mexican Chocolate Madeleines

Makes about 48

  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 2/3 cup tapioca or arrowroot starch
  • 1/3 cup millet flour
  • 3/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp coffee grounds (I used decaf espresso)
  • 2 tsp chili powder – adjusted to taste
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp mesquite flour (optional)
  • 1 cup palm sugar
  • 2 extra large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond, rice or soy milk if needed

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray madeleine pan with cooking spray and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine cocoa and hot water. Whisk until smooth.

In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients, and whisk thoroughly to combine.

Beat eggs lightly and add to chocolate mixture along with vegetable oil and vanilla. Stir to combine.

Add to dry ingredients and stir thoroughly until smooth. If the batter is a tad thick, add milk by the tablespoon until it’s still a bit thick but loose (it should fall lightly off of a spoon but not be liquidy).

Pour into pan and bake for 12 minutes until just firm. Cool in pan for two minutes before removing to cooling rack. Repeat with remaining batter.

—————

Spiced Coffee Glaze

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened rice, soy or almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp instant coffee
  • 1/4 cup ground spiced Mexican chocolate
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp corn syrup
  • 1 tsp chili powder (more or less to taste)

Combine all ingredients in a small pot over medium heat. Whisk thoroughly while it comes up to a boil, and let boil for about 3 minutes, until it slightly thickens. Cool a tad before lightly dipping tops of madeleines. Put in the fridge to set the glaze before transporting anywhere, and consider topping with crushed nuts, cocoa nibs or cracked hot pepper.

Extra glaze can be poured into a squeeze bottle and used to drizzle if plating.

—————

Gluten-Free Compost Cookies – Milk Bar Mondays

“I love you, Christina Tosi.”

“I hate you, Christina Tosi.”

This went on for a while as I scooped cookie batter onto Silpats and wrapped each sheet with plastic wrap. I couldn’t stop eating tiny nibblets of dough. Dough that was most likely the unhealthiest thing to ever come out of my kitchen. Dough housing chocolate chips, cocoa nibs, granola, potato chips, oatmeal, cookie crumbs, coffee grinds and a crap-load of sugar.

I love food, obviously. And, for the most part, food loves me. But maybe you’ve noticed that I’m trying to behave a bit more for various reasons.

Enter, these damned cookies.

Luckily, they’re so big and indulgent that one is all you need before you’re shivering in your shoes. There are so many fun flavors and textures happening inside, all you know is they make you obnoxiously giddy. I made it through one half and then had to step away. They should be called Compost Crack Cookies.

This recipe is part of Milk Bar Mondays, where a ridiculously lovely group of lady bloggers is baking our way through the Milk Bar Cookbook. I’m the gluten-dairy-free adapter of the group. In general we don’t change anything about the recipe – rather, we’re learning how to be better bakers by getting into Tosi’s world, and sharing our varying opinions as we go. Other than the gluten and dairy thing, I don’t alter.

Except that this recipe gave us a tiny bit of leeway.

The Compost Cookie was created to be endlessly adaptable, depending on what was around to be loaded up. I had a limited amount of cash in my wallet for the bodega and not enough time to run to Fairway for gluten-free pretzels, graham-crackers (I normally make my own), etc. So I used all of Tosi’s proportions and then had a little fun.

  • Instead of butterscotch chips, I used raw cocoa nibs
  • Instead of graham-cracker crust, I used some crumbled cranberry chocolate cookies that were chilling in my freezer, the result of a not-perfect recipe that still tasted really darned good
  • Instead of popcorn I used granola

It’s a scary-good cookie. The base and proportions will forever be one that I’ll use when needing some really big, chunky cookies and when feeling creative. My recipe’s below.

For the original recipe, head over to this week’s host Krissy of Krissy’s Creations. Her site is truly stunning.  And then check out what the rest of the ladies are up to, and come back on May 7th for my pick – Chevre Frozen Yogurt with Pistachio Crunch and Beet-Lime Ganache. Yes, I’m excited.

Meet the Ladies!

Krissy of Krissy’s Creations

Erin of Big Fat Baker

Meagan of Scarletta Bakes

Cassie of Bake Your Day

Audra of The Baker Chick

Nicole of Sweet Peony

Averie of Averie Cooks!

Follow the group on Twitter!

Compost Cookies

Adapted from the Milk Bar cookbook by Christina Tosi

Makes about 20 cookies

Note: I go back and forth between weighing and measuring – depending on if I need ease or accuracy with the ingredient. When adapting recipes with gluten-free flour blends, 90% of the time I weigh – otherwise I can’t be sure as to the proper quantity. Hope this isn’t maddening; it’s just my method.

Ingredients:

  • 16 Tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup tightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp molasses

———-

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

———-

  • 75g brown rice flour (soft, fine and a good base)
  • 75g arrowroot flour (the starch that pulls it together, corn-free)
  • 50g millet flour (it’s golden and sweet!)
  • 25g white rice flour (to soften a bit and make more flavor-neutral)
  • 3/4 tsp xanthan gum (to help bind together)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

———-

  • 150g bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 25g cocoa nibs
  • 125g gluten-free granola
  • 85g gluten-free cookie crumbs (I have a stock in the freezer of leftover cookies I crush for this purpose – this batch was some sort of chocolate cranberry I think? Mysterious….)
  • 40g old-fashioned gluten-free rolled oats
  • 5g decaffeinated espresso or coffee grinds (unused, not instant)

———-

  • 2 cups potato chips
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds

———–

Method

In a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, paddle the butter, sugars and molasses on medium/high for about 3 minutes, until smooth and light.

Add the egg and vanilla and beat for an additional 8 minutes. This creaming method is somewhat unique to Tosi and gives these cookies incredible lift and chew. If you don’t cream long enough, they’ll spread and crisp too much.

Meanwhile, measure out your flours and dry ingredients, whisking to combine.

With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients and mix until it just comes together, about 30-45 seconds (don’t overmix).

With the mixer on low, add all ingredients but the potato chips. Spin for about 30 seconds, until everything is evenly dispersed.

Dump in the potato chips and stir for 5 seconds, just so that they’re here, there and everywhere.

Tosi suggests measuring with a 1/3 cup measuring cup – these make HUGE cookies (awesome, but huge). I did 1/3 and 1/4, and found that the slightly smaller ones worked more for me. Drop onto Silpat or parchment-lined sheets, and press/shape into circles with slightly flattened domes. Wrap each sheet in plastic and stick in the fridge for at least 1 hour, up to 24 hours (do NOT put directly into the oven, or they’ll just fall into a flat, nasty mess).

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375°. Bake each sheet for 18 minutes, until lightly browned at the edge but soft-looking in the center. Cool for a few minutes on sheet before removing to rack.

I crumbled about 4 of these to have on hand in the freezer. The rest went to craving friends (big, big hit).

Banana Bread Pudding – Fruit Forward Fridays

Banana Bread Pudding

Okay, that whole “Fruit Forward Fridays” is a joke-thing.

I get the whole alliteration trend with “Meatless Mondays” and “Follow Fridays” and all, trust me. I’m part of “Milk Bar Mondays”, which is one of my favorite blogging groups (check out our Compost Cookies from Christina Tosi’s book this coming Monday – it’s a little too cool for school).  And I #FF back on Twitter. And I obviously appreciate a little word wit.

But, come on. Did my 12-year-old self ever foresee, when reaching into my fridge for a mid-day, typing-away snack, that the title popping into my head for a post would be “Fruit Forward Fridays”?

I think 12-year-old Jacqueline would pop 30-year-old Jacqueline a good one. Probably in her bad knee.

Social networking – as much as I love it – makes me chuckle and roll my eyes now and then.

This week I did four pretty killer interviews. All with incredibly different contributors to the NYC food scene, telling a dynamic range of stories. I came home exhausted but exhilarated from the discussions, transcribing away on my subway trips home, tiny laptop balanced comfortably.

I like talking with people. As in, those who sit in front of me.

But, back to you, person reading this on a screen.

Despite the potential of this recipe’s name, you do need to bake a banana bread to make it. I used a drying loaf of Portuguese Easter Masa bread. A gluten-free cinnamon raisin or millet bread would be grand. Or, for the glutenous, a loaf of challah would probably rock the world.

Bread puddings are incredibly easy and adaptable.  This one is bread heavy, but adding some cold milk upon serving would take it to a new place. Or, alternatively, just whipping up a bit more custard.  Folding in fresh raspberries right before baking would personally make me swoon. Adding some raw walnuts in would bring about one happy Curious George from this girl.

Oh, and it’s dairy free. And only uses a bit of maple syrup as the sweetener, which should be adjusted depending on the kind and amount of sweetness of your bread. It’s my preferred sweetener, and coconut is so good for you, so it’s an indulgent treat with some body-loving goodness.

While I loved the crap outta the too-many servings I’ve had of this over the course of the week, feel free to play.

It is, after all, Fun Freaky Friday.

Jacqueline

Sorta hard to make this dish look fancy... thank dog it's not Fancy Food Fridays.

Banana Bread Pudding

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups cubed bread (about 3/4 inch cubes)
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 7 egg yolks plus one whole egg from large eggs
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Fresh fruit, milk or nuts as desired

Microwave the bananas in a heat-proof bowl or Pyrex until they just begin to liquefy and brown, about 1 minute. If your bananas are old and dark, you can skip this step.

In a large bowl (using a whisk, fork or hand blender), mash the bananas. Add the egg / yolk and whisk thoroughly until creamy. Pour in the coconut milk, maple syrup and vanilla and whisk/beat until creamy and a bit aerated. Pour in the bread crumbs and gently fold them into the mixture. Let sit for about 30-60 minutes, until some of the liquid is absorbed.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°. At this point, stir in any extras you desire and gently combine. Pour mixture into a deep baking dish and bake for 40-45 minutes, uncovered, until the bread on top gets a bit brown and golden.

Serve warm, maybe with some cold milk or a crumbling of nuts.

 

Crack Pie – Gluten Free Milk Bar Mondays

Gluten-free Crack Pie from Empress Tosi

I admit, my faith was challenged.

While this pie (and its custardy cousins) were in the oven, I doubted Tosi’s recipe writing and my history with gluten and dairy free adaptations.

Problem: the original recipe called for heavy cream.  I substituted with coconut milk, which was much more watery in the can than others I’ve opened, and realized I should have tossed in yet another yolk.

Problem: it’s a holiday weekend and I had been home for mere hours, with a laundry list of to-do’s.  Do-overs were not possible.

Problem: the original recipes includes milk powder and… um… I’m allergic to milk (save for butter, which has so little protein in it I can get away now and then with using it).

So I adapted and altered and doubted and gave up… then wanted to smack myself.

I have no idea how Crack Pie is supposed to taste… but I could see how my variation could take that title.

If you’re diabetic or hypoglycemic… stop reading right now.

If you’re neither, get ready for a super-sweet, gooey, rich pie that will have you shivering in your shoes.  The chewy, gooeyness is so good you might want to smack something, too.  It’s got a smoky brown sugar center with an undercurrent of oat cookie.  This version definitely isn’t as custardy as my Milk Bar Monday cohorts’, but I’m still addicted, so much so that I’ll have to attempt again sometime and adapt a bit more with what I know about dairy-free custarding.  But for something almost caramely in texture, make this.  And make sure to have someone to give a lot of it to, lest you end up in a sugar-coma.

Happy Milk Bar Mondays, folks.

And, Ms. Tosi… sorry for ever doubting you.

– Jacqueline

Meet the Ladies of Milk Bar Mondays!

Meagan of Scarletta Bakes (go to her site for the original recipe)

Erin of Big Fat Baker

Cassie of Bake Your Day

Audra of The Baker Chick

Nicole of Sweet Peony

Krissy of Krissy’s Creations

Averie of Averie Cooks

Follow the group on Twitter!

Crack Pie and Pie-lettes

Gluten-Free Crack Pie (Dairy Optional)

  • 1 recipe Oat Cookie (recipe follows)
  • 15g / 1 Tbsp tightly packed brown sugar
  • 1g / 1/4 tsp salt

———-

  • 55g / 4Tbsp butter, melted, plus more if needed

———-

  • 1 recipe Crack Pie Filling (recipe follows)

———-

Assembling the Pie

  1. Heat oven to 350°
  2. Put the cookie, brown sugar and salt into a food processor and grind to a grainy powder.
  3. Put crumbs into a bowl and add butter.  With your hands, knead into a ball.  If it’s falling apart, add a bit more melted butter.  Because of the gluten-free aspect, my version wasn’t totally tacky – it’s okay.  Just make sure the majority of the recipe pulls together.
  4. Divide the crust into the two pie plates, pressing with your hands to spread the mixture evenly.  I actually used one pie plate and then divided the rest amongst a few ramekins, as my recipe didn’t look like it was going to make two compete pies.  Result?  I had awesome little single-portions at the ready!
  5. Put pie shells / ramekins on a cookie sheet.  Fill with pie filling to about 3/4 way full.
  6. Bake for about 30 minutes, then turn down the heat to 325° and bake until the center is jiggly but the sides are set.  This took me much longer than the original recipe called for, I think because of the lower level of fat since I used thin coconut milk instead of heavy cream… use your judgment.
  7. Cool completely, then freeze for 6 hours or overnight to get the filling to be perfectly chewy, creamy and crack-pie-y.

Ooey, gooey Crack Pielette

Oat Cookie

  • 115g / 8Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature (I used butter-flavored Earth Balance)
  • 75g / 1/3 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
  • 40g / 3Tbsp granulated sugar

———-

  • 1 egg yolk

———-

  • 80g flour / 1/2 cup (I used my hodge-podge gluten-free bin for this… with cookies I find it doesn’t matter all too much in such a circumstance)
  • 120g / 1.5 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • .5g / 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • .25g / pinch of baking soda
  • 2g / .5 tsp kosher salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°
  2. Combine the sugars and butter / Earth Balance in the bowl of standing mixer with the paddle attachment and cream on medium/high for 2-3 minutes, until smooth and yellow.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn the speed to low and add the egg yolk.  Increase to medium and beat for 1-2 minutes, until the egg is fully incorporated and the mixture is pale.
  3. On low speed, add all the dry ingredients and mix until the dough just comes together.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. Spray a quarter sheet pan with cooking spray and fit with parchment.  With your hands, spread the mixture evenly.  Bake for 25 minutes or until the center is soft but the edges are set and crispy.
  5. Cool completely before making into crust.

———-

Crack Pie Filling

  • 300g / 1.5 cups white sugar
  • 180g / 3/4 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
  • 30g / 1/3 cup corn powder (get freeze-dried corn and crush it into a fine powder in a food processor)
  • 6g kosher salt / 1.5 tsp

———–

  • 225g / 2 sticks melted butter

———-

  • 160g / 3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 2g / 1.2 tsp vanilla extract

———-

  • 8 egg yolks (separate these with your fingers instead of with egg shells – you don’t want any egg white to get into this mixture!)

———-

  1. Combine the sugar, brown sugar, corn powder and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer with the paddle attachment and paddle on low until evenly dispersed.
  2. Add the melted butter and mix on low until the dry ingredients are nice and evenly wet.
  3. Add the coconut milk and vanilla and paddle on low for about 2 minutes until no signs of coconut milk remain.
  4. Add the egg yolks and mix on low until the mixture is smooth and shiny.  Keep the mixer on low so that now air gets into the batter, but make sure the mixture gets silky smooth.

Strawberry Rhubarb Layer Cake – Happy Birthday Mom!

Layers of Meyer Lemon Cake (gluten free) with strawberry rhubarb compote and (dairy free) liquid cheesecake!

59 Reason Why I Love My Mom

  1. She is the only person who reads almost every single thing I write.
  2. She’s seen every show that’s been important to me.
  3. She can really shake it on a dance floor.
  4. Her generosity knows no limits.
  5. She has an infectious smile.
  6. She is constantly learning, evolving, growing, and never giving up.
  7. She has spent years figuring out how to cook for me, with so much success.
  8. 60 miles in Boston.
  9. 60 miles in Philly.
  10. 60 miles in Atlanta.
  11. 60 miles in Twin Cities.
  12. A convertible and pink boas for all those other 60 miles.
  13. She flew to Tampa to surprise me after my 60 miles there.
  14. She knows my limits and helps me not to cross them.
  15. She’s a boobslinger, with pride.
  16. She can rock a red hat.
  17. She gave me my big sister.
  18. She gave me my little brother.
  19. She gave me my little sister.
  20. I see my entire life whenever I decorate my Christmas tree.
  21. She’s a great show-partner… and a brave one.
  22. She’s seen me partially clad onstage (twice) and commended me for both performances.
  23. She always sends a card, just when I need it, for no reason other than she knows I need it.
  24. She truly loves my pets and helps me best care for them.
  25. She’s by far my favorite person to shop for clothes with.
  26. Some of my most beloved things were gifts from her.
  27. She knows how to laugh at herself.
  28. Sometimes she says the funniest things! And then laughs at herself…
  29. She’s always there for her friends, 200%
  30. She can talk to anyone, and with genuine interest and respect.
  31. She’s just plain beautiful, outside and in.
  32. Dozens of now-adults still call her “mom”.
  33. She’s stepped in to sew, drive, cook, clean, pack, move, promote, organize…. she’s Everywoman.
  34. She made those awkward teen years exponentially less awkward.
  35. Even though we sometimes view the world very differently, she always listens to what I have to say and never responds with judgment or disappointment.
  36. She’s got healing hugs.
  37. She is endlessly curious about the world around her.
  38. She puts people above all else, especially when you need her to.
  39. She knows when to coddle, and when to let go.
  40. She cries with me when the world is too big for both of us.
  41. She is a great gift-buyer (not just for me!)
  42. She sings with her whole heart.
  43. She worships with her whole heart.
  44. She’s an incredible travel companion.
  45. She sees her fears and lets those who love her help her overcome them.
  46. She’s flown and driven countless miles, just to be there when you want her.
  47. She gives without expectation.
  48. She receives with humility.
  49. Her biscotti will always be better than mine.
  50. A heart full of love.
  51. She still comes to doctors appointments with me when I’m too sick to go alone.
  52. She’s a jitterbugginging queen!
  53. The woman can rock a karaoke night.
  54. You never leave her house without leftovers… no matter how old you are.
  55. She takes care of her parents with no complaint.
  56. People remember her for her joy, her laugh, her twinkling eyes, her friendship.
  57. She naturally inspires loyalty and love.
  58. She steps up, every single time.
  59. She’s a true, true friend, as well as an incredible mother.

I wish her much, much love and happiness in this, her 59th year.

Strawberry Rhubarb Layer Cake

Strawberry Rhubarb Layer Cake

Adapted from my Apple Pie Layer Cake adaptation for Milk Bar Mondays

I pondered several recipes for her celebratory cake, then found rhubarb at the market.  Strawberry rhubarb is one of our favorite pies.  I took it as a sign.

Components (in the order I made them):

  • Pie Crumb, 1/2 for frosting and 1/2 in layer cake (recipe follows)
  • Strawberry Rhubarb compote (recipe follows)
  • Rhubarb Simple Syrup (recipe follows)
  • Gluten-Free Meyer Lemon Cake (recipe follows)
  • Liquid Cheesecake (I reduced the amount of sugar to 1/2 cup from 3/4 cup and prefer it slightly less sweet, the rest of the recipe is the same)
  • Pie Crumb frosting

Assemblage:

Place a 6″ cake ring on a plate on top of a piece of parchment.  Prepare a piece of acetate 6″ high, fitted to the ring.

Use the ring to cut out two circles of Meyer Lemon Cake.

Use the scraps of the cake to fill in the bottom of the ring, pressing down with the back of your hand to form an even layer.  Use a pastry brush to wash with some Rhubarb Simple Syrup.  Spread 1/2 of the Liquid Cheesecake evenly on top.  Sprinkle with 1/3 of the remaining pie crumb, and tap down to secure.  Top with 1/2 of the Strawberry Rhubarb Compote.  Gently top with one of the cake circles.

Fit the acetate ring gently in, coming just below the cake layer.

Repeat with more simple syrup and remaining pie crumb, Liquid Cheesecake and Strawberry Rhubarb Compote.

Top with second cake circle, frost with Pie Crumb frosting and sprinkle with remaining Pie Crumb.

Freeze overnight, and remove to fridge to defrost at least 6 hours before removing cake rings and serving.

Pie Crumb:

  • 3/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 3/4 arrowroot starch
  • 3/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp organic white sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled a bit
  • 1-2Tbsp water if needed

Preheat oven to 350°.  Fit a half-sheet with Silpat or parchment.

In the bowl of standing mixer with the paddle attachment, paddle all dry ingredients on low until fully combined.  Add butter in a slow stream and paddle until crumbs form.  If too dry, add water slowly until the batter starts to pull into crumbs, but before it pulls into a dough ball.  Bake for 25 minutes, tossing halfway through, until slightly firm.  Cool completely before using.

Strawberry Rhubarb Compote and Rhubarb Simple Syrup

Ingredients:

  • About 6 short stalks rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1lb strawberries

Method:

Heat water and sugar in a heavy-bottomed pot on medium heat, whisking sugar to dissolve, and bring up to a low boil.

Meanwhile, trim ends of rhubarb and, if desired, peel of thick outer layer.  Quarter thick stalks length-wise if needed to make a uniform thickness, then dice into small pieces, about 1/2 inch.

Toss rhubarb in simple syrup and cook on low heat until soft, about ten minutes.  Strain, reserving simple syrup in a heat-safe bowl or Pyrex measuring cup.

Chop strawberries into 1/2 inch dice, and stir into rhubarb.  Stir until the rhubarb breaks down and forms a sort of coating around the strawberries.  Put aside to cool completely.

Gluten Free Meyer Lemon Cake

  • 3 oz arrowroot starch
  • 3 oz white rice flour
  • 2 oz quinoa flour
  • 3/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 8oz organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 tsp lemon extract/oil
  • zest of one Meyer lemon
  • juice of one Meyer lemon

Method:

Heat oven to 350°.  Line a quarter sheet pan with parchment paper (I put a dab of cooking spray underneath to hold it in place, but don’t grease the top).

Measure out dry ingredients in a small bowl and whisk thoroughly.  Whisk in the lemon zest.

In a small pot over low heat, whisk the eggs and sugar.  Keep whisking while the eggs slowly warm, being careful not to let them curdle.  Once just above room temperature, transfer to bowl of standing mixer with the whisk attachment.  Beat on medium/high speed until doubled in size and incredibly fluffy, about 4 minutes.

Fold in the dry ingredients, turning the bowl and gently incorporating together.  Add the butter and lemon juice and fold until completely incorporated and smooth.

Pour onto sheet pan and smooth the top.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until set in the center.  Cool completely before cutting and filling.

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