Wheat Free Pizza Crust

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Who wants pizza? Apparently everyone at my house, which is why so many pieces were taken before I could snap a picture. My family LOVES pizza, but pizza no longer loved them. My son could no longer have the wheat crust and my youngest could not have the cheese.  That makes it really hard to pick up a phone and order pizza from your favorite place.

This recipe was born out of one of those “I really wish we could have pizza” nights.  What I mean by that is, Mommy went in the kitchen to figure something out because she was a little tired of looking at pitiful whiny faces after asking for dinner suggestions.  “It’s been SO long since we had pizza Mommy.  Don’t you miss it?”, they said.

I had seen lots of cauliflower crust recipes, but I didn’t have any cauliflower and I wasn’t going to the grocery store.  I decided to see if I could figure out something with what we had on hand at home and go figure…it worked!

Making our own pizza is great for our family.  Everyone can make their own pizzas with toppings they can eat.  My little one can have her own personal pizza without cheese and the rest of us get as much of the gooey stuff as we want.  She still feels like she’s eating the same meal as everyone else_sanity saved!  My son still gets a crispy crust with all the fixins’ he wants.  Smiles all around and Mommy scores big.

Ingredients

  • 1 (1/4oz) package of active dry yeast
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/4 c warm water
  • 2 c oat flour
  • 1/2 c rye flour
  • 1/2 c coconut flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 6 tsp (2Tbsp) xanthan gum

In a small bowl, combine yeast, sugar, and water; let stand for 5 minutes.  In the bowl of your food processor, combine the flours and salt.  Pulse several times to combine.  With the processor running slowly, slowly add yeast mixture.  Continue running processor until mixture is combined and forms a ball.

Turn out dough onto wax paper and form into a ball.  The dough will be sticky.  Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning to grease top.  Cover and leave in warm place for 1 hour or until the dough expands some.

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Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Between 2 sheets of waxed paper, roll out dough into a thin disc or individual sized discs.  The dough is much firmer than traditional dough so you may need to put a little more muscle into it.

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Transfer to a parchment lined pizza pan or baking sheet.  Bake in oven 10-15 minutes.  Remove from oven and top with your favorite toppings.  Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly.  If baking without cheese bake until the crust browns a little on the edges. Enjoy everyone being happy with dinner!

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Heavenly Hash Cake Is Just as Good Wheat Free!

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A couple of months ago, I posted my grandmother’s recipe for Heavenly Hash Cake.  I was missing her, and baking always makes me feel a little bit closer to her.  The only problem was my son could only have that version one day out of the week.  It’s heartbreaking to watch a little one, who LOVES chocolate, have to use such restraint because it means his mother, who also LOVES chocolate, must also use restraint.

My oldest always has great ideas and this particular day was no different.  My son was out of the house with his dad and I was trying to think of something to make for dessert.  I wanted Heavenly Hash, but didn’t want to deprive my son.  When asked to brainstorm other dessert ideas with me, she couldn’t let go of the idea of how good it would be to have a Heavenly Hash Cake again.  Her suggestion was to just make it without wheat.  She makes everything sound so easy. She’s like having your own personal cheerleader.  “Mommy, I know you can make this without wheat”, she says.  “Just try…You can figure out anything…You always come up with something great when you think you can’t…It would be a great surprise when they come home!”

I fell for it hook, line, and sinker as I always do.  Good thing because the wheat free version was just as good as the original!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 c butter, room temperature
  • 2 c sugar
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 c oat flour
  • 1/2 cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 c water
  • 2 c chopped pecans

Icing Ingredients:

  • 1 lb sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/4 c cocoa powder
  • 1/2 c cream or evaporated milk
  • 1/4 c butter, melted

How to:

  1. Make a paste by mixing 1/4 c oat flour and 1 c water in a small saucepan or pot.  Stir over medium heat until the mixture thickens.  Turn off heat and set aside to cool.
  2. Cream butter and sugar.
  3. Add eggs.
  4. Sift remaining 1 1/4 c oat flour and the other dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.  Set aside.
  5. Add vanilla to the creamed mixture.
  6. Add sifted dry ingredients and mix well.
  7. Add the oat flour paste and pecans(optional) and mix well.
  8. Pour batter into a 13 x 9 greased and floured pan.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
  10. Immediately upon removing the cake, cover the cake with the marshmallows.  Set aside for 5 minutes.
  11. Pour icing over marshmallows and let cool completely before cutting into squares.

Icing Instructions: Combine the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, cream, and butter.  Beat until smooth.  Pour over cake.

Note:  Yes I did eat the crumbs on my plate afterwards.  Don’t judge me.  At least I didn’t lick the plate like my 6 year old.

Wheat Free Blueberry Scones

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I really love a hot baked breakfast.  Scones always make me feel like I’ve started my day with a treat! My kids know how much I love scones, and therefore love putting the idea in my head to have them for breakfast.  When my son mentioned it had been a long time since we had Blueberry Scones, he knew I’d go for the idea hook, line, and sinker.  After all it’s spring and time for lighter flavors!  Normally, I would make Tyler Florence’s Blueberry Scones, but of course my son can’t eat those. This is my wheat free version we can all enjoy!

These scones are moist and rich because of the heavy cream.  Yes, I said heavy cream in your morning baked goods.  Having something rich simply starts your day off right. I think of it this way, if you have cream and butter in the morning, you have all day to work it off!  It’s spring.  This breakfast is a perfect reason to enjoy the great weather outdoors and go for a walk;).

Ingredients:

  • 2 c oat flour
  • 1/2 c quick cooking oats
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp cold butter
  • 1 c fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 3/4 c heavy cream
  • 1/4 c milk

Combine the flour, quick oats, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt in a medium-sized bowl.  Cut in the cold butter with a pastry blender or two knives.  The mixture should resemble a coarse meal.  Toss in the blueberries and lightly stir to make sure they are coated with the flour mixture.  Combine the heavy cream and milk in a measuring cup and pour into the blueberry mixture. Make sure it is well combined.  This dough will be really sticky.

You do not need to knead the dough.  If you are using a scone pan, grease the pan and  simply spoon the dough into each section.  Level out the dough and make sure it completely fills the pan.  I find it easier to bake these scones on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Scoop the dough onto the parchment and shape into a circle with well floured hands.  Cut into 8 triangles.   Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Top with Lemon Glaze and enjoy.

Lemon Glaze Ingredients:

  • Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1 1/2 – 2c powdered sugar

In a small bowl, zest and juice the lemon.  Add in the powdered sugar and stir until you form a glaze.  You want to be able to pour it over the scones and easily spread with a spoon because they are delicate.

A Geography Project You Can Sink Your Teeth Into

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Our family is studying U.S. Geography this year for Cycle 3 of Classical Conversations. I like to bake and anytime I can come up with a way to use food in our school work it always feels like a huge score. I must admit at times I get a little ambitious with my ideas.  Scrolling through Pinterest I saw a poster board project with the U.S. map and its geographical features.  Thinking out loud I said, “Wouldn’t it be cool to make a huge U.S. map out of cookies and we could put in all the geographical features with candy and sprinkles and…and…and…”  Well, in my house once I say something there is no turning back.  A cool idea was now going to have to become a cool reality.

I must begin these instructions by saying this project is not for the faint of heart.  It took us 2 days to work on the project with a 2-year-old at home.  It was a lot of work, but I must also say that it was really fun and the kids loved every minute of it! I did get a little twitch at times with flour and sugar flying everywhere, but it was so worth it!

First we had to come up with a sugar cookie recipe my son could eat.  We realized we would end up with 4-5 dozen cookies once it was all said and done.  There was no way we could have that much cookie dough that he would not be able to eat.  We did in fact make Oat Flour Sugar Cookies! Now everyone would be able to gorge themselves on cookies. Yay!

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Next we needed to find a map large enough to trace.  We had a few options that were going to be a little small when you start thinking about Rhode Island and Connecticut.  Luckily, one of our map puzzles was the perfect size.

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The kids put the puzzle together.  We then placed a piece of parchment paper on top and I carefully traced the states.

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Once we were satisfied with the map, I let the kids take turns filling in the states with their respective abbreviations. Yet another review!

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We then rolled out the cookie dough.  The oat flour dough is not as stiff as my wheat flour dough, but we made it work.  It feels more like regular cookie dough when it’s warmed so you have to work quickly and carefully.

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We placed a piece of waxed paper on top of the dough and then placed the parchment paper with the traced map on top.

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Then the cutting began.  I originally planned on making impressions in the dough and then cutting by hand.  At the time it seemed it would end up being double the work, so I cut through the papers to get the shapes of the states.

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We peeled away the papers and it looked pretty good.

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We carefully separated the states, placed them on cookie sheets and baked as you would any sugar cookies.  Once the cookies had cooled, we created various colors of icing.  We essentially dipped them in a glaze of powdered sugar, corn syrup, and milk.  You could also use water instead of the milk.  We added in a bit (about 1/4 tsp) of almond extract.  And started piecing our puzzle together.

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After we had the entire map assembled.  We began to add the geographic features.

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We pretty much cleaned out our pantry for this part. We used mini chocolate chips for mountain ranges like the Cascade Mountains and the White Mountains.  We used regular sized chips for major mountains like Mt. Rainier and Mt. McKinley.  For the major rivers we drew lines with royal icing and covered them with sprinkles.  For the trails we used candy pearls and marshmallows.  We used sunflower seeds for deserts and swamps.  Okay, we started running out of edible decorations that were small enough to fit, but we made it work.

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For the last part of the project, the kids had to present the map to their father. They did a great job pointing out all their handiwork.  Their father is a bit of a geography buff. They were so excited that he knew all the features they were showing him.

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My children love their father and I have proof.  After everything was said and done, AND they were given permission to eat a state, they decided to give Texas to their father. Now that’s Hill Love for ya!

 

Oat Flour Sugar Cookies Anyone?

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Yes, that is the United States you see made out of cookies.  I came up with the recipe for these cookies because my children and I were working on a project and needed two batches of cookie dough. In the middle of us making dough, my oldest stopped me and said, “Mommy you can’t make it with wheat!” How quickly my Mommy brain seems to forget some days. She politely pointed out that we would have a TON of cookies her brother would not be able to eat. What was I thinking? My son then looked at me and said, “Weren’t you supposed to make a special recipe for me?”
Indeed I was. This recipe makes roughly 5 dozen cookies depending on size. The dough is not as stiff as wheat dough, but you can make cut out cookies. You have to move quickly and work carefully because the dough is delicate. We were so pleased with the texture and taste of these cookies. You can’t tell they are not wheat! These were made especially for my sweet boy, but everyone in the house loves them. My babydoll takes such good care of her little brother.
Huge Batch- Makes about 5 dozen
Ingredients:
• 1 lb. butter, softened
• 2 c granulated sugar
• 1 c powdered sugar
• 4 large eggs
• 4 tsp vanilla extract
• 5 c oat flour
• 1 c corn starch
• 1 tsp salt
• ½ tsp baking powder
• 1 ¼ tsp xanthan gum
How to:
Cream the butters and sugars together. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla extract and mix well. In a separate large bowl, combine the oat flour, corn starch, salt, baking powder, and xanthan gum. Add the dry mixture slowly to the butter and sugar. You may have to scrape down the sides to make sure all the flour is well combined. Remove the dough from the bowl and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour and a half. Remove from the wrapping and roll out the dough on a flat surface or board heavily dusted with cornstarch or oat flour to about 1/8 in thickness. It will rise a little more than wheat cookies. The dough is very delicate and soft. You must be gentle. Cut into your favorite shapes and bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper at 350 degrees for about 14 minutes or until browned around the edges.

The Easiest Granola Bars Ever

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I don’t know if it’s just me, but my kids seem to eat non-stop.  I can’t seem to understand how 3 little people can eat so much.  My husband says I’m a grazer and they get it from me.  Whatever the cause they MUST have 3 meals and 2 snacks EVERYDAY without fail.  What does this mean? To keep them and me from getting cranky, we must have snacks readily available.  Enter my favorite granola bars.

I LOVE these granola bars because they are the easiest ones I’ve ever made! You pretty much dump everything into a bowl, stir, and bake.  Well, there’s a little more, but not much.  I don’t know who Aliceyn Fukuhl is, but I found this recipe years ago and would LOVE to thank her because I can’t count how many times I’ve made these granola bars.  They have been a permanent fixture in the Hill House for almost as long as we’ve had children.  I’ve made at least a dozen different variations of her original recipe.  They are great to take for play dates, class snacks, team snacks, you name it! When people taste these, they usually ask for the recipe.  It’s great knowing you have complete control over what’s going into a snack and that it doesn’t take a lot of time to have something homemade.

Another reason we LOVE this recipe is because it is really versatile.  I have used almonds, peanuts, cashews, and pecans and they all work well.  I have also omitted nuts completely in other versions, or substituted them with sunflower or pumpkin seeds. The sky is the limit. They key is just to keep the proportions the same.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1- 14oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted (lately I’ve been using coconut oil)
  • 1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 cup sliced almonds (or whatever nuts you like)
  • 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a 15 x 10 inch pan with parchment paper.  In a large bowl, mix together the oats, sweetened condensed milk, oil, coconut, almonds, chocolate chips and cranberries until well blended.  Pour onto the prepared pan and press flat. (For this step I use a sheet of waxed paper to press the mixture into the pan because it’s pretty sticky and this avoids a lot of mess.  This is particularly important if you’re like me and have lots of little helpers.)
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Bake for 20 to 25 minutes depending on the desired crunchiness.  The less time in the oven the chewier (Is that a word?) the bars.  Let cool for 5 minutes, cut into squares, and let cool completely before serving.
Note:  In a pinch I have made these with honey instead of condensed milk.  They are pretty sweet, but still tasty.  I would simply cut the bars a little smaller.

5 Minutes to Dark Chocolate Love!

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I am NOT a patient person.  In fact I have often told friends and family, “Patience is a virtue I do not possess.”  This is probably the reason I don’t have any real hobbies.  At least not anything that takes a long time, like gardening or knitting or …??? My lack of patience is one of the reasons I am really excited!!!  I LOVE LOVE LOVE dark chocolate! And I LOVE the idea of instant gratification. Some nights I want a warm chocolatey treat that doesn’t take a lot of time.  For those nights I don’t want to wait until the kids are in the bed I had to come up with something I could share. This is a recipe my son can eat too! This dark chocolate cake made with coconut flour is so moist and fudgey and rich and yummy you will not believe it only takes 5 minutes to throw together.

I haven’t managed to get a great picture of this dessert and I’ve made it a number of times trying to get a better shot. At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Hey, my husband may read this.  Photographer I am not.  You’ll simply have to trust me when I say this is really good.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 4 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 3 Tbsp dark chocolate chips
  • 5 Tbsp milk
  • a splash of vanilla

Mix the dry ingredients  together in a large mug.  Add egg and combine well.  It will be gooey.  Add coconut oil and milk and stir.  Add in chocolate chips and mix.  The batter will be very stiff.  Microwave for 3 minutes.  Eat warm straight from the mug.  Send me a note to thank me later:).