Gluten Free Gingersnap Cookie Recipe (aka. You’re Welcome)

gingersnaps-recipe

Nothing says Christmas to me quite like the smell of cookies baking.  Very specific cookies in fact – Gingersnap cookies & Shortbread.

I remember being a little girl sneaking into the freezer and sneaking out the frozen shortbread cookies and just letting them melt in my mouth.  Looking back, my Mom knew they were being taken (she’s not dumb, despite what I thought when I was 14) but gave me grace and didn’t comment on it.  

As I grew older, I developed my own love for being in the kitchen and my passion for baking began.  Gingersnaps quickly became my favourite Christmas cookie to bake and over the years, as the recipe has evolved, they’ve become the most requested Christmas cookie I bake.

They’re Audrey’s favourite cookie this time of year and I knew, when Celiac disease arrived that I was going to need to find a way to continue making her gingersnaps.

2 years and a lot of experiments later I have finally arrived at a recipe that I think is near perfect.  In fact, the way my girls ate them and the comments (or rather noises) coming from them have christened these cookies, near to cookie heaven.

Rich & molasses-y, sweet, crisp edges and soft centers, these are lovely.  They are also standing up quite well to time.  They’re not drying out nor are they getting moldy – which if you’re living the gluten free life you’ll know is a HUGE win!  They also freeze super well.

So, in true recipe success fashion, here we are to share!  Please note that at the BOTTOM of the recipe, I will have the adjustments you can make to turn this recipe into a wheat version for your family & friends.  

Give these guys a try and then comment to let me know what you think!  And don’t forget if you decide to take a photo and post them in social media to tag me & to use the hashtag #ofsbakes

Gluten Free Gingersnap Recipe
Gingersnaps perfect for Christmas (or any time!). Crispy edges with warm, chewy centers.
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Ingredients
  1. 3/4 Cup of Butter, room temperature!
  2. 1 Cup of Granulated Sugar
  3. 2 Eggs
  4. 1/2 Cup of Molasses
  5. 2 1/2 Cups of Gluten Free Flour (see note)
  6. 2 tsp of Baking Soda
  7. 2 tsp of Ground Ginger
  8. 1 HEAPING tsp of Cinnamon (don't skimp on cinnamon)
  9. 1 tsp of Salt
  10. Additional Granulated Sugar for rolling
Instructions
  1. Pre-Heat Oven to 350°F & line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper
  2. Cream together butter & first granulated sugar
  3. Whip in both eggs and cream until light & fluffy
  4. Add molasses, mix well
  5. SIFT together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon & salt in a separate bowl (a MUST do)
  6. Gradually add the flour mixture to your wet ingredients and blend well
  7. Cookie dough will be sticky - that's OK! Gluten free flour is thirsty flour, it will thicken as it stands
  8. Place the entire bowl in the fridge for 1/2 an hour or the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up dough
  9. Place additional sugar on a large dinner plate (start with 2 tbsp add more if needed)
  10. Wet hands SLIGHTLY, scoop 1 tbsp of dough into hands, roll into a ball & roll that in sugar
  11. Place sugared dough onto cookie sheet leaving space for them to expand
  12. Gently press a SMALL finger imprint into the top of each dough ball & sprinkle on additional pinch of sugar
  13. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cookies have crackled & edges appear firm.
  14. These cookies sometimes appear a little "damp" even when they're done. The crackles are your sign they're ready to come out (or nearly ready)
  15. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes then remove to cooling rack
Notes
  1. We love the President's Choice gluten free all purpose flour or Better Batter GF Flour for these cookies. OR we whip up the Mock Better Batter flour from Gluten Free on a Shoestring (http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/gluten-free-flour-blends-what-you-need-to-know/)
  2. If your flour blend does not contain xanthan gum, make sure to add in 1/2 tsp of xanthan gum to this recipe. You NEED the binder
  3. WHEAT VERSION: Reduce to 1 Large egg or 1 medium egg + 1 egg white & increase flour to 2 1/2 Cups plus 2 TBSP of flour
  4. Save left over sugar from rolling cookies to add to oatmeal. It makes a yummy gingery, holiday topping to a bowl of hot cereal.
Our Family Stone http://www.ourfamilystone.org/

Chia Honey Oat Granola Bars Recipe (Gluten Free)

You know what isn’t my favourite?  Buying things I can make.  You know what else isn’t my favourite?  Trying to buy things for my family and discovering that all the things I’m trying to buy contain crap.  You know crap right?  It’s Chemical. Riddled. Alarming. Products (acronyms make me happy).  And finally, when I do find something that is safe (ish) I then don’t love the $4 million dollar price tag that’s attached to a box of 4. 

I mean really – does it cost you that much to eliminate all the garbage?!  I mean, how many people do you have to pay to NOT put CRAP into our food?!

Anyways *sigh*, with it being back to school season and the continuation of packing lunches I’ve been on the hunt for new things to add for the girls.  We pack lunches year round because in the summer the girls come with me to work, but something about the back to school season makes me want to kick up my game a notch.

Chia Honey Oat Granola Bar (Gluten Free)

Today, after a really long trip to the grocery store I came home with bags of ingredients and a mission.  If they can’t provide it, I’m gonna make it – it’s how I generally roll.  

With all that’s going on right now, the convenience of just buying it done would be nice but I just can’t put garbage into my kids, not without feeling like a failure anyways.

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So, out came the mixing bowls, the ingredients and a recipe.  Which I read, rolled my eyes at and put away.  I’d just make it up as I went along, like I usually do.  I have a base idea of what to put in it, so…here we go.

Audrey decided to help and within minutes we had food all over my clean floor** some delicious granola bars hitting the oven and a Banana Apple Oat Bread waiting its turn (Leave a COMMENT if you want that recipe too!).

The result was a beautiful pan of Chia Honey Oat Granola bars that smell delicious.  They’re crunchy and reminiscent of the Nature’s Path Granola bars I loved as a kid.

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I even put a very thin (we’re talking a nearly see through smear) of melted dark/milk chocolate on top of some of the bars.  This instantly turns them into a “treat” for the girls.

School lunch conundrum solved for another week.  Now, to start thinking about next week…this planners gotta plan!

What healthy/treat type snacks do YOU put in your kids lunches?

Chia Honey Oat Granola Bar (Gluten Free)
Yields 12
A delicious homemade granola bar for school lunches or snacks. Can be topped with a TINY bit of chocolate to up the yummy anti!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Cup Rolled Oats, gluten free (if needed)
  2. 1/2 Cup Quick Oats, gluten free (if needed)
  3. 1/2 Cup Brown rice Crisps Cereal, gluten free (if needed)
  4. 3 TBSP Ground Golden Flax seed (can sub regular ground flax)
  5. 3 tsp of Chia Seeds
  6. 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  7. 1/8 tsp Salt
  8. 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  9. 1/4 Cup of Honey
  10. 2 TBSP Coconut Oil (can sub butter or Rice Bran Oil but these do NOT hold together as well with other oils)
  11. 1/4 Cup of chocolate chips
  12. 3 tsp of Brown Sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Line an 8x8 cake pan with parchment paper
  3. In a medium bowl combine oats, rice krispies, ground flax, chia seeds, baking soda and salt
  4. In a microwave safe bowl combine honey, brown sugar and coconut oil, microwave for 1 minute or until mixture bubbles
  5. Add vanilla to hot liquid mixture & combine with dry ingredients
  6. Pour mixture into baking sheet and press down firmly!!! I place a piece of wax paper on top and use a heavy mug to press these down
  7. Bake for 15-22 minutes or until dark golden brown on top
  8. Remove from oven and immediately press down again - BE CAREFUL IT'S HOT (use same method as above
  9. Let cool 20 minutes then remove from pan and cut into 12 pieces
CHOCOLATE OPTION
  1. Once completely cool, melt chocolate in microwave and spread thinly on top of your bars.
Our Family Stone http://www.ourfamilystone.org/
** It is not wise to invite a child into the kitchen to help you bake AFTER you’ve just cleaned your floors. Within 2 minutes my floor was covered with ground nuts and coconut because her container went flying. It was an accident but oh man…the mess!**

Audrey & Bethany NEED your help meeting a need!

Header Image

Every year at Christmas, one of the company I work for (my parent’s company) has a “Food for Friends” drive that pivots around our company open house. Suppliers, trades, customers, friends and even, at times strangers make donations to our local food bank and each year blow our minds with their generosity. It’s overwhelming to stand, at the back of my Mom’s Honda Pilot, looking at the mass amounts of food, diapers and supplies given out of the goodness of people’s hearts.

For Bethany & Audrey, it’s one of their favourite parts of the Christmas season. They love having the privilege of helping us deliver the food to the local Salvation Army and eagerly help load food hampers with us for families in need in out community.

When we had kids, Corey and I set out to raise women who have “Jesus’ heart”, who are kind, generous and loving. Little did we know that HE gave us girls with so much more than we could ever teach them. Their love for helping – whether it’s me in the kitchen or kid who’s sad is such a beautiful thing. They were born with the desire to serve and we try, as often as we can to give them avenues in which they can do it.

Recently, a need in our community came to our attention and its direct connection to our lives & our hearts resulted in all of us feeling like we HAD to do something…and so we are! (secret: We’re inviting YOU to help too!)
Most of you know that a year and a half ago Audrey was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. The means that for the safety of her body she can’t eat anything that contains gluten! It will harm her, both in immediate physical symptoms and long term permanent damage to her little body. It was a hard diagnosis to swallow, but one we have grown to appreciate and embrace. It changed her life and it has made us so much more aware of a different kind of need.

Someone with Celiac disease needs to eat “Gluten Free” foods (certified) for their body to function properly and be safe. That means it can’t contain wheat, rye, barley or triticale (among other things), nothing that contains gluten. In general, we have found this to be not so difficult. Fresh fruits, vegetables & meats are all naturally gluten free, as are non-gluten grains (rice, millet, sorghum) etc. Where you run into the cost, and potential problem in this diet is when it comes to bread, dairy products, pasta, cured meats, crackers and canned goods. Many things, MANY of them that you would think are gluten free – like a can of mushroom soup, are not. They are filled with gluten – and there for seriously dangerous to a Celiac.

The items that are gluten free are significantly more expensive than their wheat counterparts and this diagnosis can take a real toll on your grocery bill. For those living on meager means, or needing assistance, this can feel or even be nearly impossible.

See where I’m going with this?

Last week we learned that our local food bank and food banks around Canada have very little in regards to gluten free foods. In fact, the lady I spoke to said there are times they have almost no gluten free foods to offer to a family in need who are facing Celiac disease, or wheat allergy. She said there are times they come and look through the canned foods available and can’t find almost anything safe for them. Unfortunately, the majority of what gets donated to a food bank, the things they are able to keep in stock for families in need are things that are packaged & canned. These are the very things that people like our Audrey can’t have.

When we learned this our hearts broke and the girls were filled with questions – “How did we not know this was happening?”, “WHY is it happening?” and more importantly “How can we fix it?”

The answers are simple – we didn’t know it was happening because we didn’t think to ask. The reason it’s happening is because NOBODY else knows there’s a need either, and what we can do about it why I’m writing this blog post!

Audrey & bethany's

From August 15 – 18 2016 Audrey and Bethany are holding their first ever GLUTEN FREE FOOD DRIVE! And as an added bonus they’re raffling off 2 Chilliwack Chiefs Kids Jerseys (you earn an entry when you donate)
We will be collecting Gluten Free donations for our local food bank, doing our best to not only fill their shelves with foods safe for everyone but also to create awareness in our community, and communities around Canada about a need that needs meeting! This is a problem we CAN fix – if you’re willing to help us.
Here’s how you can help:

  1. If you live in the Chilliwack/Fraser Valley area purchase some gluten free food and contact me. We will have a collection location for you to drop off your food
  2. Tell your friends about Audrey & Bethany’s Gluten Free Food Drive and invite them to participate
  3. If you live ANYWHERE else in Canada purchase a few gluten free items & donate them to your local food bank.
  4. Consider running your own Gluten Free Food drive and help your local food banks
  5. Share this blog post/Facebook event and help spread awareness to a growing need
  6. Leave a comment and share with us how YOU would like to help

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Helping someone else isn’t a chore friends, it’s a choice. Today we care daring you to make a choice to acknowledge a need and do what you can to meet it!

Healthier Gluten Free “Doritos” Recipe – 21 Day Fix Approved!

Healthier Gluten Free-Doritos- Recipe
Corey and the kids love them some Doritos.  Heck, when I was able to eat them, before my corn allergy got so bad, I loved me some Doritos.  They’re cheesy, and crunchy and yummy.

The problem is, they are also chemical filled, deep fried, death in a bag.

Ok, so maybe they aren’t actually death in a bag, but they offer absolutely ZERO benefit to your daily life.  As a once in a while treat, I will let my family have them but we are talking once maybe twice a year because I truly hate what’s in them.  Some of those ingredients are linked to some horrible life side effects/diseases**.

Now, I’m always trying to create new recipes to provide my family with their favourite treats & snacks in a healthier way.  I love to play around, experiment and then find something that works.  It’s pure victory when I finally achieve the desired result & my family is happily chowing down on their healthier favourites, straight from my kitchen!
Gluten Free Healthier Doritos Recipe 2

Paired with the fact that I’ve officially begun my Health & Fitness Coaching Business (Fit, Healthy Life Coaching!) and I have customers who are beginning the 21 Day Fix Program, needing some treats and Ashley’s test kitchen is back up an running.

First on the recipe test list…make “Doritos” seasoning that can be used on chips, popcorn, roasted chickpeas or toasted nuts.  Help remove the chemical laiden garbage & replace it with a snack I’m happy to see EVERYONE eating!

It took some trials, but I’m happy to say, we did it.  Ok, I’m not just happy to say it, I’d like to announce I WIN!  I’m not trying to be arrogant, it’s just, that well…I am floored by big business and their need to kill us with crap.  When I find a way to remove that crap & still have the taste, it leaves me feeling like I’ve won yet another battle.  And let’s be honest – this girl likes to win!

So, you need this in your life.  I need you to trust me, to try it and then to come back and let me know what you think!  

What do you like to put your “Healthier Doritos Seasoning” on? 

Gluten Free Healthier Doritos - Nutritional Yeast

In the recipe, I use Nutritional Yeast.  This is KEY for achieving the Doritos taste.  We tried it without, it wasn’t quite right.  We tried it with Parmesan, it still wasn’t right.  We went and bought the nutritional yeast and BAM we had a winner!

Nutritional yeast can be found at most health food stores (if you live in Chilliwack the best place is Sardis Health Foods) and I highly recommend the Engevita Yeast over the other nutritional yeast options because it’s in powder form.  It tastes more cheesy, like Parmesan (warning: it smells really funky but it tastes yummy!), is great in homemade cheese sauces or on pasta and packs a nutrient dense punch.  Among other things each serving contains Vitamin B and Protein!

One bag will last you a very, very long time and I guarantee, if you trust me and try this recipe you won’t be sorry!

21 Day Fix Container Counts:
     – Added to 3 cups of air popped popcorn = 1 Yellow + 1 tsp
     – 2 Small Corn Tortillas (16 chips) = 1 Yellow + 1 tsp
     – Roasted Chickpeas = 1 Yellow + 1 tsp

Gluten Free, Healthier "Doritos" Recipe - 21 Day Fix Approved
This spice blend & recipe is delicious! A healthy, homemade version of a popular favourite snack. It can easily be used on popcorn, tortillas, chickpeas or toasted nuts. It also easily fits within the 21 Day Fix meal plan! DOUBLES REALLY WELL!
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Spice Blend
  1. 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  2. 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  3. 1/2 tsp Paprika
  4. 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
  5. 1/4 tsp Cumin, ground
  6. 1 tsp Nutritional Yeast (I HIGHLY recommend the powder version, Engevita Yeast)
To make Chips
  1. 4 Small Corn Tortillas
  2. 1 tsp of Coconut Oil Melted
To Make Popcorn
  1. 3 Cups of Air Popped Popcorn
  2. 1 tsp of Coconut Oil
To Make Toasted Nuts
  1. 1/4 Cup of Raw Cashews, Almonds or nut of your choice
Spice Blend
  1. 1. Add all spices to an airtight container and stir/shake to combine
Tortillas
  1. 1. Pre-heat oven to 400°F
  2. 2. Cut each corn tortilla into 8 pieces
  3. 3. Melt coconut oil in microwave for 30 seconds
  4. 4. LIGHTLY (really lightly!) brush each chip on both sides with oil and place in a bowl
  5. 5. Once all the chips are LIGHTLY covered in oil, sprinkle 2 tsp of spice blend over and toss until all are coated (you can adjust the amount of spice you add based on your preference)
  6. 6. Place in a single layer on a parchment lined cookie sheet
  7. 7. Bake for 12 - 17 minutes, turn over once half way through. They're done when they are crispy and slightly browned
Popcorn
  1. 1. Melt coconut oil in the microwave for 30 seconds
  2. 2. Pour oil over 3 cups of air popped popcorn and toss to lightly coat
  3. 3. Sprinkle 1 - 2 tsp of spice blend over popcorn and again toss to coat
Chickpeas
  1. 1. Pre-Heat oven to 400°F
  2. 2. Drain & rinse chickpeas & dry thoroughly (easiest way to do this is lay them on a clean kitchen towel and rub them dry
  3. 3. Melt coconut oil in microwave for 30 seconds
  4. 4. Put chickpeas in a bowl and pour over coconut oil. Toss to combine
  5. 5. Sprinkle on 2 tsps of spice blend and stir to coat
  6. 6. Spread in a single layer on a parchment lined cookie sheet
  7. 7. Bake for 30- 40 minutes or until golden brown, stirring periodically
Toasted Nuts
  1. 1. Pre-Heat a skillet on medium heat
  2. 2. Add raw nuts to pan and stir until warmed, toasted (they'll become really fragrant as their natural oils release)
  3. 3. Once they're slightly browned and warm, remove from heat and sprinkle with 1 tsp of spice blend, toss to coat.
21 Day Fix Container
Tortilla Chips
  1. 16 Chips = 1 YELLOW & 1/2 TSP
Popcorn
  1. 3 Cups = 1 YELLOW & 1 TSP
Chickpeas
  1. Fill 1 Yellow container = 1 YELLOW & 1/4 TSP
Nuts
  1. Serve nuts according to 21 Day Fix serving size = 1 BLUE
Our Family Stone http://www.ourfamilystone.org/
If you’re interested in finding out more about the 21 Day Fix or how I can help you achieve your health & fitness goals, please feel free to contact me.  You can visit my Beachbody website here or feel free to Email me!

 

Perfectly Fluffy Gluten Free Waffles Recipe

Fluffy Gluten Free Waffles #1

Mmmm, butter.  Well, waffles & butter.  Except butter.

Homemade waffles were the first thing I accidentally “glutened” Audrey with.  Sunday morning waffles were a favourite for our girls & I wanted to keep life “normal” for them. Oh the recipe was OK, though not as incredible as the one I’m sharing today.  It was my first attempt…they’re rarely ever a success first time out of the gate.  

Anyways, the problem was that I didn’t realize that the gluten was so tiny & stuck into the creases of my waffle iron.  Once something with so many tiny crevices and spaces has been used for gluten cooking it’s forever contaminated.  

I had been trying so hard to do something great for her, to prove that Gluten Free living was no big deal (which it’s NOT) and instead I made her sick.  It was horrible and I gave up making waffles.

For 11 months I didn’t make waffles.  Not gluten free waffles, not wheat waffles, none of them.  I bought gluten free, organic toaster waffles for them as a treat sometimes but that was all.  It was sad.  It was smelly (some of them smell weird) and I hated it.

Fluffy Gluten Free Waffles #2

Then, I bought another waffle iron.  It was a Christmas gift for our family and it is now 100% gluten free.  Then I got to experiment.

A few recipes, even more breakfasts and I’ve got it.  The very, very, VERY best, fool proof waffles EVER. Notice I didn’t say gluten free?  These bad boys can be made gluten free, which is how I’m sharing the recipe but they also convert seamlessly into wheat waffles by changing the flour.

They are light, they are fluffy, they smell like heaven and the freeze fantastic.

Fluffy Gluten Free Waffles #3

Do you SEE how fluffy these are?  A feet not easily achieved in gluten free baking.

You need this recipe in your life.  Try it.  Bookmark it.  Share it with your friends.  And PLEASE when you make it (I know you will) and you love it (because you will) snap a photo and share it on social media.  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – however you want to show me, please show me.  Use the hashtag #OFSBakes or tag me (@ourfamilystone).  I love seeing what you’re making!

Perfectly Fluffy Gluten Free Waffles
Serves 4
A fluffy, moist, delicious gluten free waffle perfect for Sunday brunch. This recipe easily converts to a wheat recipe by exchanging the gluten free flour for all purpose flour in equal proportions. This recipe easily doubles. Make for a larger crowd or freeze the leftovers (with wax paper between each piece to prevent them from sticking) for up to 2 months in an airtight container/bag.
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 Cups of Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (see notes for flour recommendations)
  2. 2 Tbsp of Granulated Sugar
  3. 1 Tbsp of Corn & Wheat Free Baking Powder
  4. 1/2 Tsp of Salt
  5. 1/4 Cup of Melted & cooled butter
  6. 1 1/2 Cups of Milk (We generally use coconut milk, but dairy, almond, soy will still work)
  7. 2 Large Eggs (if your eggs are small use 2 whole eggs + 1 egg white for GF)
  8. 1/2 Tsp of Vanilla (omit if your milk has vanilla flavor)
Instructions
  1. *You MUST sift the ingredients together. GF flours tend to clump & stick together, sifting will prevent problems with the finished product!*
  2. Wait until your batter has come together to preheat your waffle iron. The couple of minutes the batter rests is good for it and will product a better end product
  3. In a large bowl sift together flour, sugar, baking powder & salt.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together butter, milk, eggs & vanilla
  5. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, pour in wet ingredients & stir to combine. Note that this takes a little bit of elbow grease. You want as few lumps as possible, it may not be 100% smooth, but you want it as smooth as you can. I use a hand mixer if I've doubled the batch to speed up the process.
  6. Pre-Heat your waffle iron to manufacturer's instructions and grease liberally.
  7. Make waffles as per usual.
  8. Eat and enjoy or place on a wire rack until completely cool. Place waxed paper in between each waffle and freeze in an airtight container/bag for up to 2 months.
Gluten Free Flours
  1. While we do make our own gluten free flour blend (you can find the recipe HERE
  2. Reply) I do prefer using store bought All Purpose Gluten Free Flours. Their blends have been perfected and they are faster than making my own sometimes.
  3. However, not all flours are created equal. Personally we DO NOT use any Bob's Red Mill flours as I don't like the products they make, nor do I like the Pamela's flours. Below are my 3 favourite Gluten Free Flours. All 3 of them work WONDERFUL in most of my recipes and none of them produce the "grainy" or "gummy" texture that often comes with GF baking.
  4. - PC Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (best price)
  5. - Better Batter Gluten Free Flour (best versatility & quality)
  6. - Namaste Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (great flour,
Our Family Stone http://www.ourfamilystone.org/

Butternut Squash Fall Bread – Gluten Free Recipe

Delicious flavours of cinnamon, nutmeg, butternut squash or pumpkin and Fall!

Delicious flavours of cinnamon, nutmeg, butternut squash or pumpkin and Fall!

Fall & winter baking is my favourite.  Don’t get me wrong, I love baking year round but there is something about warm oven, inviting smells & delicious flavours on a cold day that makes me feel…content.  

Likewise, the end result of summer baking is still wonderful flavours & treats.  However, something about sweat dripping down your back & the irony of an air conditioner & oven running at the same time leaves me feeling hot, sticky & often, annoyed. (Word to the wise: if I serve you summer baking act like you enjoy it.  Even if you don’t, it’s safer that way!) (Just kidding, be a truth-teller ALWAYS!)(If I’m PMSing maybe just decline the invitation all together)

This past fall, we were bombarded with fall/winter squash.  Audrey grew 3 beautiful little pumpkins in her Grammy & Papa garden, Dad grew some lovely spaghetti squash and I introduced the girls to one of my favourite fall treats – roasted butternut squash with heaping mounds of butter a teeny dollop of butter.

Butternut Squash aka Candy

Roasted butternut squash, also known as candy

We stood in the kitchen, crowded around the still hot squash with spoons.  Ok, and butter, there I said it, I added a little butter to every mouthful because, well, BUTTER!  We were chatting about what new baking adventure we were going to take for fall gift giving, lunch packing and breakfast on the go, when it hit me.  We were eating the perfect base ingredient.

Butternut Squash Fall Bread - Dry IngredientsI shuffled through a few of my recipes, pulled out a bunch of supplies and began dumping things into my mixer.  This is truly how recipe creation goes in this house.  I gather a few recipes, take what I like from each, add more of what I want, remove what I don’t and then cross my fingers that it worked.

This time, it worked.  It really, REALLY worked.  AND I managed to make it both safe for Audrey by being Gluten Free and safe for me too!  Which, if you know us is something that happens almost never.

Butternut Squash Bread - Wet IngredientsWe have made this recipe many, MANY times over since that day.  We’ve made it as muffins, as regular loaves, as mini loaves.  We snacked on batter (don’t judge, you do it too!), we’ve given it as gifts and I’ve easily subbed the butternut squash for pumpkin.  

No matter which way you shake it, this Butternut Squash Fall Bread is a warm, hearty and satisfying staple.  We’ve even cooked, processed & frozen many, many packages of butternut squash & pumpkin purees so that we can make them in the warmer months too.  I’ll suffer for these delicious little treats, they’re that good!

Butternut Squash Fall Bread (or Muffins)
Yields 1
A delicious slice of everything fall. Easily made with either butternut squash puree or pumpkin puree this bread is the perfect addition to a warm cup of tea on a cold Fall day.
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 3/4 Cups of Oat Flour (see notes)
  2. 2/3 Cup of Quick Oats*
  3. 1/3 Cup of Rolled Oats*
  4. 1 tsp of Baking Soda
  5. 1/2 tsp of salt
  6. 1/2 heaping tsp of cinnamon
  7. 1/4 tsp of cloves
  8. 1/4 tsp of nutmeg
  9. 1/4 tsp of allspice
  10. 1/4 +1/8 tsp of ginger
  11. 1 Cup of pureed butternut squash (or pumpkin)
  12. 2/3 cup of granulated sugar
  13. 1/3 cup of brown sugar
  14. 1/2 cup of applesauce
  15. 2 eggs
Instructions
  1. Pre-Heat oven to 350°F
  2. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together oat flour, quick oats, rolled oats, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice & ginger. Set aside
  3. In a large bowl whisk together granulated sugar, brown sugar, applesauce & eggs
  4. Add butternut squash (pumpkin) into the wet ingredient and stir to combine
  5. Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and stir to combine - MAKE SURE THERE ARE NO LUMPS
  6. Line a loaf pan* with parchment paper and lightly grease (you can skip the parchment if you'd like but I find it makes removing the loaf much easier. Or line 12 muffin tins with liners & again lightly grease.
  7. Bake loaf for 50 - 60 minutes or muffins for 20 -25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then remove from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack
  9. Keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months
Notes
  1. Oats: If you're making these for a Celiac or someone with serious gluten intolerance make sure to use Certified Gluten Free Oats.
  2. Oat Flour: Easily make your own oat flour by placing your oats (see above note) into a blender or coffee grinder and blending until they turn into flour
  3. Loaf Pan: I tend to use a smaller (not mini) loaf pan for this recipe. I find I get a taller loaf, medium to larger pans turn out good as well, your loaf will just be a little more rectangular.
Our Family Stone http://www.ourfamilystone.org/

Gluten Free Shortbread – AKA Melt in your Mouth Heaven

Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies - Yum! Looking for the regular “wheat” version of these cookies?  You can find them and MANY more in our Baking Life Healthy: The Secret Recipes Behind the Business e-cookbook, HERE!

If Christmas were to be defined by a flavour, for me it would be simple – (frozen) Shortbread Cookies and Ginger Snaps.   They are home, they are yummy and they are everything I love & loved about Christmas.

My Mom baked a lot when I was little and I clearly remember hours spent helping her in the kitchen. We’d bake gingerbread men, make chocolates for gifts, lick beaters (ya we did!) and decorate shortbread cookies before popping them in the oven.   I also remember sneaking back into the freezer long after the dishes had been cleared, liberating a few frozen cookies for a little snack…I mean, somebody had to make sure they were safe, right?!

Looking back I’m not sure how many of those hours were actual help, but they were without a doubt the makings of great memories.

I learned a lot those Christmases, gaining valuable skills in the kitchen, discovering Moms don’t have to see what you’re doing to know you did it (she always knew I’d had those extra cookies, though she rarely called me on it) and leaning into the comfort of family traditions & recipes.Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies 2

I’ve carried many of those traditions on with our girls, selfishly creating a new batch of memories for me and hopefully giving them a start on some special ones of their own.  

This year, we’re still going to make those memories but they’re going to take a new shape.  I’ve been spending hours in my kitchen, taking our family Christmas favourites and making them gluten free.

Thankfully, this recipe is one that co-operated first time out of the gate and is (according to my family) equally as yummy as the traditional “wheat shortbread**”.  It’s the same melt in your mouth Christmas favourite that I grew up, only now it’s also a gluten free, Celiac safe treat for EVERYONE in our family!

I hope you enjoy it and keep watching the blog (or sign up to our email list so you’ll NEVER miss the BIG stuff!)  I’m going to be sharing a series of gluten free Christmas baking over the next few weeks and there might even be some extra Freebies in it for you too!

Here’s to the start of the holiday season and Christmas baking….and eating!

Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies
These melt in your mouth gluten free delights are the perfect addition to your Christmas baking line up!
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Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 Cup of Cornstarch
  2. 1/2 Cup of Icing (confectioners) Sugar
  3. 1 Cup of Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (we LOVE Namaste's All Purpose Flour)
  4. 1/4 tsp of xanthan gum (if your blend contains it like mine does omit this ingredient)
  5. 3/4 Cup of COLD butter cut into small cubes
Toppings
  1. Gluten Free Sprinkles
  2. Mini Hershey's Kisses (in Canada they are gluten free, make sure to read all your packages if gluten is a concern!)
  3. Chopped Nuts
  4. Icing Sugar for dusting
  5. Colored Decorative Sugars
Instructions
  1. Note: This recipe doubles very well. I also use a stand mixer for this recipe but feel free to do it by hand if you prefer.
  2. 1. Preheat oven to 350° F
  3. 2. In the bowl of a stand mixer sift together the corn starch, icing sugar & flour.
  4. 3. Cut the butter into very small cubes & add to the dry ingredients
  5. 4. Using your paddle attachment & either your bowl guard or a clean, dry tea towel turn the mixer on low speed
  6. 5. Once the mixture resembles coarse sand, turn up the speed to medium & allow the mixer to work until the dough forms a ball & the sides of the bowl are clean.
  7. 6. Roll out dough approx. 1/2" thick between two pieces of wax paper, chill for 15 minutes and cut out desired shapes, re-roll dough and continue. Alternatively you can roll pieces of dough into balls and press them down slightly with a fork. Add toppings
  8. 7. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet & bake 12-18 minutes or until lightly golden brown on the edges I have found times dramatically vary based on the oven
  9. 8. Let cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes then remove to a cooling rack.
Notes
  1. These cookies last on the counter for approx. 1 week before starting to dry out. They also freeze really well just make sure whatever way you decide to store them that the container is airtight!
Our Family Stone http://www.ourfamilystone.org/
**We don’t call food with gluten in it “normal” or “regular” food because that makes Audrey’s gluten free food sound like it’s something strange.  ALL of the food I bake is “normal” (except for that one time I mixed up my baking soda and my salt ratios, that was NOT normal!) some of it has gluten/wheat in it and some of it is gluten free.**

 

Gluten Free Animal Crackers Recipe

I’ve always done a lot of baking, a lot of cooking, spending hours in my kitchen.  It’s my happy place, it’s my “thing” and it’s what keeps my family happy.   I love the challenge of trying new recipes and experimenting with new ingredients.  There’s always been such victory in the successes and even some laughter in the flops (because there’s always gonna be flops).

Learning to adjust to gluten free cooking has taken the baking time to a whole new level.  Instead of a few hours in my kitchen, I’m spending full days.  There have been many great successes, more than the failures but man, have there been some failures!  (One day I’ll share them all – then we can laugh, and duck the flying bagel “pucks” together!)

This last week I’ve had 4 really excellent and exciting successes:
– Gluten Free Raspberry Scones
– Gluten Free Animal Crackers
– Gluten Free Oat Spiced Muffins
– Gluten Free Fudgy Brownies!

Gluten Free Animal Cracker Recipe

Gluten Free Animal Cracker Recipe

 

They’re not just recipes that turned out, but ones that I created that turned out and I’m pretty thrilled to share them with you!  Not all of the things I try turn out so when they do, when all the reading, trying & studying finally pays off I get a little worked up.  Think happy dance in the kitchen, complete with clapping worked up!

This kind of excitement leads to me taking many photos and sharing them on Instagram & Facebook, because…well I want to share them with you all.  That and because if I posted them all over my actual walls that would be weird.

Anyways, this sharing has lead to requests for recipes, and I’m more than happy to oblige.

Tonight I’m starting with the Gluten Free Animal Crackers.  These delicious little critters turned out so yummy, light, buttery and crispy.  The girls love them and they’re great for school snacks.   They work great as written, but with chocolate they’re even better!  I also think crushed up they’d make an excellent cheesecake crust. 

If you try them please let me know.  Leave a comment, send us an email, or share on social media – just please make sure you use the hashtag #OFSBakes so I can find them!

Gluten Free Animal Crackers
Butter, light & crisp these little crackers taste exactly like animal crackers should!
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Ingredients
  1. 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  2. 3 TBSP Honey
  3. 3/4 Cup Butter, softened
  4. 1/2 tsp Salt
  5. 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  6. 1 tsp Vanilla
  7. 1 1/2 Cups of Gluten Free All Purpose flour (I used our GF Light Blend)
  8. 1 Cup Oat Flour (make sure it's wheat free!)
Instructions
  1. Cream together sugar, honey & butter until light & fluffy.
  2. Add vanilla
  3. Sift together both flours, salt & baking soda and add to the mixture
  4. Once your mixture has come together into a dough, tip out onto plastic wrap, shape into a disk and place in the fridge for an hour or the freezer for 15 minutes.
  5. Divide into quarters and roll out between parchment paper, then cut into desired shapes.
  6. NOTE: I found that placing the rolled/cut pieces back in the freezer for 2 minutes made transferring the shapes to the cookie sheet easier.
  7. Transfer to parchment lined cookie sheets, they don't expand much so they can be place close together
  8. Bake for 9-12 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden brown. BE CAREFUL these will go from golden to really dark very quickly. Keep an eye on them.
  9. Remove from baking sheet, let cool a few minutes and enjoy
  10. Store in an air tight container
  11. These are delicious on their own but can be topped with chocolate for added decadence!
Our Family Stone http://www.ourfamilystone.org/

 

Gluten Free Recipes – Cheddar “Annie’s Bunnies/Goldfish” Crackers

Gluten Free homemade Cheddar Crackers (Annie's Bunnies)

It’s been a week since Audrey’s diagnosis of Celiac disease.  We’ve run the gamut of emotions, faced a few challenges and wrestled our way through the pain of her first cross contamination experience (awful, so awful).

We, and by we I mean, I have been buried under a cloud of gluten free flour, recipe experiments both failures & successes. 

I’ve spent hours reading, researching and compiling recipes.  I’ve tried things, I’ve changed things (because when do I ever follow a recipe) and I’ve done my best to stay as busy as possible so as not to face my emotions make sure Audrey has life as normal as possible, not missing her favourite foods.

It’s been…intense, fun and frustrating. 

The up coming months are going to be filled with our journey through Celiac disease.  I’ll share recipes that work and tales of failures.  If it’s a recipe I’ve modified then I’ll make sure to link to the original, if I’ve followed it to a T or only made slight alterations then I’ll link you back to the original instead and if I’ve made it up myself, you’ll know that too.  I’ll do my best to make sure that she/he who deserves the credit receives it.

Today, I’m going to share our best success and the recipe that’s been requested the most.

For years I’ve made our girls homemade “goldfish” crackers.  On the days I didn’t feel like making them, I’d buy them the Annie’s Bunny alternative (I don’t like the ingredients in the real goldfish crackers).  Homemade or store bought, they are always a favourite here.

After I received Audrey’s diagnosis those snacks almost instantly jumped to mind and my stomach dropped.  What was I going to do?  She was going to be so sad!

When I told Audrey about her diagnosis last Tuesday I made her a promise – for every item on her “STOP! Gluten Ingredients! List” I’d make sure there was one (or two) on her “SAFE! Gluten Free! List”.  We bought her a notebook and it contains both of these lists.  We’re going to empower Audrey to own Celiac disease, it will not own her and the best way for us to do that is to give her the information. 

Anyways, remembering that promise I did what I always do.  Wiped my tears, took a deep breath and hit Pinterest. 

 

Within minutes I found gluten free goldfish cracker recipes.  I read through many, saved some I liked, passed by others I didn’t, and went back to my original (gluten) recipe.  I put two and two together, looked at the ingredients I had and got started.

The recipe is so simple.  It’s very similar to what you’ve probably seen a dozen other places and while cutting them out is a little bit tedious, it’s well worth the effort.

My family loves them! 

When they came out of the oven it was bedtime and both girls keep trying to smuggle them upstairs to keep munching!

Gluten Free Cheddar Crackers (like Annie's Bunnies/Goldfish) Recipe
A homemade Gluten Free version of the favourite Cheddar Annie's bunnies or goldfish crackers. So easy & so delicious!
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Ingredients
  1. 3.5 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese (Medium works but sharp gives a stronger cheese flavour)
  2. 4.5 tbsp Salted Butter - cubed and COLD
  3. 1 1/4 Cups Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (I used my homemade blend, recipe below)
  4. 1/2 tsp Salt
  5. 2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast (this really makes the crackers!)
  6. 1/4 tsp Garlic powder (reduce if desired)
  7. 1/8 tsp Paprika (DO NOT OMIT!)
  8. 2-4 TBSP Ice Cold Water (with ICE)
Instructions
  1. Pre-Heat Oven to 375°
  2. 1. In the bowl of your food processor with your metal blade combine all the ingredients EXCEPT the ice water
  3. 2. Pulse in short bursts until mixture resembles coarse sand
  4. 3. Add water 1 tbsp at a time and process your mixture at a regular speed for 1 minute, if it doesn't come together add an additional tbsp and repeat.
  5. 4. Once you've reached a dough consistency, scrape out and work a few times with your hands until a ball forms.
  6. 5. Divide dough into two parts, flatted into discs, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minute or freeze for 10 (NO longer!)
  7. 6. Roll out small sections of dough between two pieces of parchment paper until they're 1/8" thick. To make cutting shapes out easier place back into the fridge for a few minutes.
  8. 7. Remove top parchment paper, cut out desired shapes and transfer them to a baking stone or parchment lined baking sheet. (This is easier if you use a thin metal spatula)
  9. 8. Bake for 9-11 minutes until the edges are slightly brown or until they look a little flaky (see notes)
  10. 9. Remove from oven and transfer crackers to a clean, cool baking pan and let cool
  11. 10. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. (Though I'm betting they'll be long eaten before then!)
Notes
  1. **Don't be alarmed if they appear wet when they are baking, that's supposed to happen. They won't melt, they will crisp up and be delicious!
Our Family Stone Light Gluten Free Flour Blend
  1. 2 Cups White Rice Flour (or Sweet White Rice Flour)
  2. 2 Cups Brown Rice Flour
  3. 2/3 Cup Tapioca Starch
  4. 1 1/3 Cup Potato Starch (NOT Potato Flour)
  5. Sift flours together and store in an airtight container.
Adapted from Free Eats Food
Adapted from Free Eats Food
Our Family Stone http://www.ourfamilystone.org/

If you make any of our recipes we’d LOVE to see them! Send us a photo of your creation on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #ofsbakes.