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Gingerbread Houses

POST: December 2, 2012

I can't think of a better way to get into the Christmas mood than to make Gingerbread houses! My daughter and I embarked on making gingerbread houses together, and what fun we had! We had saved a great deal of candy from Halloween to have a good mix of candy (gluten-free of course) to decorate the houses with. My daughter's house turned out much better than mine did. Shortly after I finished decorating my house it collapsed! The problem was that I did not bake my gingerbread long enough. There is a bit of a trick with gingerbread, so please learn from my mistake. If you are looking to make a gingerbread house that will be the centerpiece of your table, then baked your gingerbread a little bit longer. This will insure harder, stronger gingerbread. If you want to make your gingerbread into cookies, then don't overbake and take them out of the oven when they are still soft. I made the mistake of underbaking the gingerbread pieces that made the sides of my house. With the weight of the candy and the icing my house collapsed. My daughter's house pieces were baked longer and her house is still standing strong! 

Enjoy, and get creative- there are lots of fun ways to decorate your house!

Gingerbread:
3 cups Deya's Gluten-Free Cake Flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 egg
1 cup dark-brown sugar
1/3 cups dark molasses
1/2 cup butter, softened

Icing: (about 2 cups)
4 Tablespoons softened butter
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons milk
Dash of salt

1) In a large bowl, stirl together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
2) In another bowl, beat egg and brown sugar. Add molasses and butter. Add all dry ingredients and mix until combined. Make dough into a ball and chill for at least 1 hour. 
3) Cut gingerbread house pieces out of cardboard.
4) Roll chilled dough out between two generously floured pieces of wax paper to approximately 1/4 inch thick.
5) Cut shapes out and transfer gently to floured cookie sheet.
6) Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until slightly firm.
7) Remove from oven and cool before assembling.
8) Make icing- cream butter and half the sugar, and milk until fluffy. Add the salt and vanilla. Add remaining sugar and milk until there is a good spreading consistency. Beat until the frosting stands in sharp peaks. Use immediately as icing will begin to harden. 
9) Assemble house with icing and decorate with candy.

Hurricane Sandy Art Project- Baked Refrigerator Magnets

POST: November 3, 2012

What's a mom to do when a hurricane hits her hometown and shuts down schools and the subway system for at least a week? Well I'm sure I'm not the only one with this dilemma, so I wanted to share with you how I've spent some great quality time with my daughter.
Our multiple day activity has been making new alphabet refrigerator magnets. We made the dough (gluten-free of course), rolled out and cut all the letters, baked, painted, and applied shellac. Then we glued on magnets and stuck them to the fridge! What a fun project-- and I was able to sneak in some math and reading into our art/cooking project and my daughter never knew it!

Baked Dough Magnets
Dough*:
1 cup Deya's Gluten Free Cake Flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup water

* I'm a big fan of this dough recipe- it is obviously gluten-free so safe for the hands of those with celiac, or the gluten-intolerant child who happens to eat some of the dough. But, since it isn't a typical salt based dough it is more gentle on your skin!

Other supplies:
Cookie cutters
Paint and brushes (or anything else to decorate with- sequence, glitter)
Shellac
Magnets
Hot glue gun

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2) In a medium-sized bowl mix all ingredients.
3) Turn the dough onto a floured work surface.
4) Roll dough out with rolling pin.
5) Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes. We opted for the alphabet. If you don't have cookie cutters you could also use biscuit cutters or the cardboard of an old paper towel or toilet paper roll.
6) Transfer shapes to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, or a silpat.
7) Bake for 10-12 minutes or until firm.
8) Let shapes cool before decorating (paint and shellac) and glue magnet to the back.

I'm also thinking that these would make great Christmas tree ornaments and presents for teachers and grandparents! More to come on those projects!

Gluten-Free Waffle Cones

POST: August 29, 2012

As a young girl I remember visiting Big Olaf’s in Sag Harbor for their freshly made waffle cones. They were gigantic. They held about a pint of ice cream and required two hands to hold.
I was thrilled to make these much smaller gluten-free waffle cones that everyone in my family could enjoy!

I don’t have a waffle cone iron, but my pizzelle maker did the trick! Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Recipe Yield: 20 waffles cones

Ingredients:
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups Deya's Gluten-Free Cake Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)

Steps:
1) Heat pizzelle maker
2) Mix all ingredients together.
3) Spray pizzelle maker with grill spray (be careful not to use baking spray as it contains flour).
4) Spoon batter into pizelle maker, and close for approximately 2 minutes, or until desired color is reached.
5) Open pizzelle maker and immediately role into cone shapes. Cookie will harden quickly so must move fast. Be careful as it will be hot!
6) Cool and then fill with desired ice cream. Enjoy!

Breakfast in the Borough

POST: August 15, 2012

My mom always invites us over for breakfast at her house in the summer. What a treat! This particular morning we arrived and you would have thought we entered a restaurant. Everyone was having something different-waffles for some, pancakes for others, and eggs all around. The real reason we had such a buffet was because my mom had made a huge batch of Belgium waffles and then stuck them in her freezer. She forgot if she had made the waffles with Deya’s Gluten-Free Cake Flour or traditional wheat flour. Because we have to be careful about contamination issues and no one can tell the difference between waffles made with Deya's Gluten-Free Cake Flour and traditional wheat flour, the waffles were for the guys, while my daughter and I were “stuck” with just the pancakes. Not a bad way to start the day!