Monday, February 22, 2010

strawberry whoopie pie recipe

I just finished a very successful first batch of Strawberry Whoopie Pies. This time I defrosted frozen strawberries and used the puree for flavoring. The pies came out so much lighter the the jello batch and I didn't even wait for them to cool properly before testing, shooting and tasting.
the new kitchenaid pulverizer works great...
Whoopie Pies Test Batch #1
First mix 1.75 cups gluten free flour (artisan blend used here)
with .5 of each baking soda, salt and xantham gum
set aside
then puree strawberries and set aside. I let frozen ones defrost and used the berries and the juice.
In a separate bowl mix .25 cup of butter (Nature's Balance for me!)
.5cup of sugar when it's blended add 1 large egg, .5 cup milk (soy for this batch) and .5 teaspoon vanilla
Blend well by hand or with a mixer.  Add in .5 cup of strawberry puree.

Mix in flour blend and chill for 10 minutes in the fridge
and let your oven preheat to 375 degrees
this seems to help the batter set up so don't skip the chill time

make even dollops of dough

bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes (this is for 9,400 feet above sea level- you may want to go with 350 for 13 minutes then test for doneness)
let stand until cool (or get impatient because they smell so good and get one ready for a photo shoot)

Looks pretty but how's the flavor?
SUCESS! To test the recipe I made them again with two slight changes,
food coloring for added pink color and .25 cup less flour for a density test. 
Batch #2 Batter

Batch #1 on the left and Batch #2 on the right

Batch #2 used 1/4 less flour and added food coloring
which resulted in a fluffier and pinker cake
I had a few folks test both pies and grade them on taste, texture and color. Batch #2 (with less flour) won on 3 votes on taste and texture and 2 on color. I had one tester who preferred the natural look... which one do you think is more appealing?

Camper's Strawberry Gluten-Free Whoopie Pies
(makes 12 cakes, 6 pies)
1.5 cups Artisan Flour
.5 teaspoon of each- xantham gum, salt and baking powder soda (whoops!)
Mix above and set aside
In a separate bowl mix
.5 cup sugar
.25 cup butter (Earth's Balance)
Then mix in
.5 cup milk (soy has been tested)
1 egg
.5 teaspoon vanilla
Then puree
.5 cup defrosted strawberries in their juice
and add to the wet mix.
Slowly combine wet and dry mixes
Optional- 6 drops of red food coloring
Chill dough for 10 minutes or more while the oven preheats to to 375 degrees
Bake for 15 minutes
(this is for 9,400 feet above sea level- you may want to go with 350 for 13 minutes then test for doneness)  

I'm suffering from sugar shock after all this whoopie pie testing. I'm hoping the jitters go away eventually...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

busy winter day eats...

I'm not a huge fan of most gluten free pastas but took a chance and tried the Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta. Ok yes, I LOVE rice noodles for street noodles but I'm talking about a pasta to smear in pesto or red sauce. This cooks well and has a nice almost nutty flavor. I haven't tried to reheat at all but I never really liked gluten spaghetti reheated. Dave found their linguine in town today and that's my next dish since I polished this box off today.
We live in a small town and specialty products can be expensive here so I save pesto purchases for our monthly stock up trips. I have found that pesto freezes well and ice cube trays create perfect portions for pizza cubes and and 1/8 of a cube for a single serving of pasta. Just pull out and defrost and hour before eating. This keeps us from wasting a tub of pesto or ever having to go without.

We had a big weekend and it included over a foot of fresh powder and some great skiing on Saturday.
We took a hot cocoa break and found this bit to go along with it...

A Chocolate Bacon Bar!
It was even marked Gluten Free right on the box... there's not a ton of GF options to grab on the go and this was a tasty one. It's not my favorite and was terribly pricey but made for a interesting ski break at High Camp.
Sunday is slow cooker day at our house. We both work and it's an easy way to start the week. We normally go for a big cut of meat and a sauce from Make It Fast, Cook It Slow but today since I was working from home I made the Orange Chicken. We hadn't made in since the fall and we're both excited to enjoy it again... just a few more hours till dinner...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Gluten free happy hour

There aren't many places that carry gluten free beer and I'm happy to say the the historic last dollar saloon in telluride is one of them. Happy hour is a lot more mellow when I can sip a beer like everyone else. Cheers to the Buck!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

strawberry whoopie pies... a work in progress

When a friend mentioned Strawberry flavored whoopie pies to me I become obsessed. Two batches later I've learned a bit but have a ways to go. I've been experimenting with strawberry jello mix for flavor and I think it's time to go another route.
My first batch came out very firm and the second batch I managed to dial in the baking time but had very dense pies.  It's the same basic whoopie pie recipe I've been playing with but with 2 tablespoons jello mix instead of cocoa powder. I think the next round I'll try some pureed strawberries...
I've also been busy cheering on my favorite olympic athlete... Seth Wescott. He won in 2006 at the first Olympic snowboardcross race and took gold this Monday. This year Telluride hosted a World Cup SBX race and we were able to cheer on our fellow Mainer.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lettuce Wraps

Chicken Lettuce Wraps
I usually crave hearty meals during the winter but lately I've been wanting veggies. These lettuce wraps have been filling that void. We've been making buffalo flavored chicken and white rice then building the wraps with a lettuce base, a small scoop of rice, chicken and shredded carrots. I like a dash of soy sauce on the rice (gluten free of course). We fold each wrap as we pick them up. Who needs PF Chang's when you can make these at home?  A bit of spice bundled in cool lettuce....

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Breakfast Prep for Lazy Skiers...

Mornings are not my favorite time but I love starting the day with a good breakfast. I thought I'd help my non-caffeinated life out a bit by preparing some pancake mix for myself... I took a couple of mason jars and mixed all the dry ingredients from Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking for the pancake mix then labeled the jars and added a reminder of the page number I'll need to look at in the cookbook to finish with the wet ingredients. This should help me have a solid breakfast before hitting the mountain for the day or a good brinner (breakfast for dinner) on a snowy night.
Who needs Bisquick for a simple shake and pour?
I picked up the book when it was released in October and have found that it's a go-to for me. Pete and Kelli even put in the basic cereal treat recipe, pizza doughs and other things I'm afraid to make but am looking forward to like gnocchi. New projects are best saved for mud season as ski season is so busy for me! They created a flour blend that I've started using more then the featherlight blend. It's been working well for my whoopie pie trials which are still going strong.... stay tuned for the latest whoopie pie updates which are coming soon.