9.14.2010

Gluten-free Waffles!



Just because sometimes I really want a Waffle! And because I can't always get to Sfoofs, my very favorite cafe for Gluten-free waffles.

So it was a "do-it-yourself" morning. Except I planned it last night. That's because this is a yeast-based waffle which is easiest and tastiest when you make batter ahead of time and let it rise in the refrigerator overnight. When you think of it, it's really a great idea. Because then all you have to do in the morning is fire up the waffle iron and bake away. Easy peasy. And if you're really good, the coffee is brewed by the time your first waffle is ready.

I remember going to the World's Fair in New York when I was a kid, and having my first Belgian Waffle with powdered sugar, whipped cream, and strawberries. It became one of my favorite treats, and still is! Unfortunately, I had no whipped cream or strawberries on this morning, so maple syrup and bananas had to fill in. No complaints.

The thing that I love about these particular waffles is that they are crisp on the outside, but soft and waffley on the inside. Perfect!



Gluten-free Waffles
Makes about 6 - 7" Waffles
Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup Brown Rice flour
  • 3/4 cup White Rice flour
  • 1/4 cup Tapioca Starch
  • 1/4 cup Potato Starch
  • 2 tsp Yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Butter, melted
  • 2 cups milk, warmed to about 100 - 105 degrees
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Directions:
  1. Combine the flours, yeast, xanthan gum, salt, and sugar in a bowl and whisk together to blend.
  2. Combine the melted butter and warm milk, and add to the flour mixture.
  3. Mix the eggs and vanilla together, and whisk into the flour mixture to blend well.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator overnight.
  5. In the morning, mix the batter for a few seconds.
  6. Preheat the waffle iron, and add 1/2 - 1 cup of batter, depending on the size of the waffle iron.
While the waffle is cooking, gather up your toppings: fruit, syrup, jam, etc.



Leftovers can be frozen in a freezer bag, putting parchment or wax paper between layers of waffles. Then just thaw briefly, and put in your toaster to reheat. *Almost* as good as fresh!



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9.10.2010

Gluten-free Rugelach - Finally! (Sugar-free Option)



It's the real thing, minus the wheat. Honestly - if you put this side by side with this you would not be able to taste them and tell which is gluten-free.

Rugelach is a fun, traditional Jewish cookie that can be filled with all kinds of things - different flavors of jams (I use sugar-free), different kinds of chopped nuts, different kinds of chopped dried fruit like currants or cranberries, and of course, Chocolate.

The dough is a little more delicate to work with than its wheat-based sister, but not as bad as I expected. I was easily able to patch any small tears in the dough. I roll the dough out a little bigger than a 9" circle, and then do a rough trim to 9", patching as needed (as you can see below).



Like a pie dough, you want to be sure to refrigerate it for several hours or overnight, then rolling it out quickly while it's still cold. Also like a pie dough, it should be rolled from the center outward, not 'back and forth.' If you find the dough sticks to the rolling pin, just peel it off and press it back onto your circle. And be sure to use rice flour on your rolling surface and on your rolling pin to help prevent sticking.

In the past, I would heat up my jam to make it more spreadable. This time, I just brushed it on liberally straight from the jar. I use sugar-free jams that are only fruit sweetened. Some taste better than others, so it's always good to use a jam that you know has a nice taste. Unfortunately, the brand I like is not inexpensive, but it's worth it. The jam quality can make or break the flavor of your rugelach.



This recipe is relatively low sugar, and can easily be made without any processed sugar. I've made the dough without any sweetener, and also with a little bit of Erythritol. It tastes good both ways - so play around with it and see what works for you.

Gluten-free Rugelach (with Sugar-free option)
Makes 48

Ingredients for Dough:

  • 2 cups Gluten-free Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum
  • 1/4 cup granulated sweetener like Sugar, Splenda, or Erythritol, optional
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 cup Unsalted butter, COLD (I sometimes freeze it)
  • 1 - 8oz package Neufchatel Cream Cheese, COLD
  • 1/3 cup plain non-fat yogurt

Ingredients for Filling

  • 1/2 cup Sugar or Splenda
  • 1 Tbs Cinnamon
  • 1 cup small/coarsely chopped nuts
  • 1/2 cup mini-chocolate chips, or chopped raisins, or whatever dried fruit you like
  • Apricot or Raspberry Jam
  • 1 Egg beaten with 1 tsp of water, for an egg wash.

Directions:
  1. Mix together the flour, xanthan gum, salt, and optional sweetener and put in food processor (not a mixer!).
  2. Cut cold butter and cold cream cheese into small pieces and add to flour along with the yogurt.
  3. Pulse until the ingredients come together as a dough (it may be slightly crumbly).
  4. Remove the dough from the processor, and shape it with your hands into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a round disk.
  5. Wrap each in plastic and refrigerate for at least several hours, or up to 2 days.
  6. When you're ready to bake the cookies, Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Then combine the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.
  7. Sprinkle your rolling surface and rolling pin with rice flour, and roll one of the doughs into a 9" circle (keep the other doughs in the refrigerator). Be sure to roll from the center outward, and not back and forth.
  8. Brush the jam onto the entire dough (if it's too thick to spread, you can heat it up a bit).
  9. Sprinkle the sugar-cinnamon mixture evenly over the dough.
  10. Then sprinkle the nuts over it, followed by whatever other ingredients you are using for your filling.
  11. Gently roll your rolling pin over the surface to press the filling lightly into the dough.
  12. Cut the dough into 12 wedges, and roll each section from the outside of the circle to the inside (wide to narrow).
  13. Assemble on parchment-lined cookie sheet, and brush with the egg wash.
  14. Put the cookie sheet into the refrigerator to rest for 20 minutes (this step is important to keep the top of your rolls from popping up during baking).
  15. After chilling, bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until golden. Move to wire racks to cool.

I usually start prepping the second disk after I pop the first batch in the oven.



These keep at room temperature for several days if placed in an airtight container. They freeze very well too. Enjoy!


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