Christmas Gingerbread Tree – gluten and dairy free


The gingerbread christmas tree has become a bit of a tradition for me now and my friend’s husband is a big fan so I couldn’t let this year pass without making him one. This is a quick dough to make and is something fun to do on Christmas Eve 🙂

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/ca7/32324338/files/2014/12/img_3654.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/ca7/32324338/files/2014/12/img_3629.jpg

To make the gingerbread biscuits: (if you’re going for a really big tree then you can always double this)

1/3 cup Olive oil

3/4 cup unrefined raw sugar (golden raw caster sugar, coconut palm sugar, or dark raw cane sugar)

1/4 cup molasses

1/4 cup soya milk

1 cup amaranth flour / quinoa flour

1 cup gluten free flour mix (make your own or you can use an organic pre-mixed one. If you want low gluten not gluten free then go for spelt flour instead of the amaranth and gluten free flours)

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 and 1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt salt

Whisk the oil and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the soya milk and the molasses and whisk all together. Sieve the flours, spices and baking powder, salt and bicarbonate of soda in to the wet ingredients and mix until it forms a dough. The dough may seem quite moist. You want it to be workable but not so sticky that you can’t lift it. Add a bit more flour if it is too wet. Wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge to chill for an hour if you can (the dough can be left in the fridge for several days so you don’t have to use it all at once. It can also be frozen).

Preheat the oven to 175 C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Roll the dough out on a floured surface. It’s worth trying small amounts of dough at a time and be generous with the flour. It will stick a bit but don’t worry. You want it to be rolled out fairly thin but not too thin – maybe 5mm thick or so.

To make the tree you need star cutters of different sizes. If you don’t have them don’t fret. Draw some stars out on a piece of card and use them to draw around 🙂 If you want to make a massive tree then you could use more stars. You want at least 2 or 3 of each sized star. I used two tiny christmas tree shaped cutter for the very top, but you could use another star.

Cut out the biscuits and transfer to the baking tray. Bake for 8 minutes. Then remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray for 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. They will seem soft when they come out the oven but as they cool they harden. If you want super crispy biscuits just pop them back in the oven for another few minutes.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/ca7/32324338/files/2014/12/img_3649.jpg

For the icing:

1/2 cup raw icing sugar

1 tsp soya milk (or any non dairy milk)

Mix the icing sugar with the milk until it’s smooth. If the icing is too runny just add more icing sugar until you get the consistency you want. Transfer to a piping bag (if you don’t have one then use a plastic freezer bag and snip the corner off to pipe through).

Assemble the tree!

This is the fun bit 🙂

Start with your biggest star and place it on the plate. Add a glob of icing to the centre and stick the next star on top (arranged so the points don’t overlap).  Then add a glob of icing to the top of the uppermost star and stick the next one one… continue, going down in size until you get to the top! I then added a glob of icing and popped two tree shaped biscuits on the top.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/ca7/32324338/files/2014/12/img_3650.jpg

Now you can decorate each layer. Pipe icing on to the points of the bottom star and decorate with silver balls, gold balls, edible glitter etc.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/ca7/32324338/files/2014/12/img_3651.jpg

Finally dust with icing sugar so it’s all snowy-looking! Then you’re done!

yay! 🙂

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/ca7/32324338/files/2014/12/img_3655.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/ca7/32324338/files/2014/12/img_3652.jpg

Advertisements

Chewy, Crispy Pumpkin Cookies – Dairy and Gluten Free


This is the last of my pumpkin-based goodies (for now!). It may be the last but it’s certainly not the least! This was my second attempt to make the elusive crispy pumpkin cookies and this time I think it worked! My first attempt was delicious but turned out more like a gingerbread-texture cakey cookie  (the recipe for the cinnamon glazed pumpkin cookie cakes is here). These ones however are just as I intended  – crispy on the outside and chewy and soft in the middle. They need to be eaten the day they’re cooked if you want them to stay crispy (trust me you’ll have no trouble wolfing them all down on day one!), but you can always pop them back in a low oven for a few mins to re-crisp them up if you want to 🙂

The best thing to do is split the dough and freeze half if you don’t want to eat them all at once. It freezes really well and will keep for several weeks in the freezer.

01063cd5976121762cd986de8a2693c4df2fb0cb07

The secret to these is the use of the pumpkin butter (recipe is here). So the first thing you need to do is make a batch of pumpkin butter! 🙂

01346fc48130aaa2b95b70c12d06a1ab28672eb736

For the cookies you will need:

1 cup Dairy-free margarine

1 1/4 cups raw Coconut sugar or other unrefined raw sugar

1 cup Pumpkin butter (recipe here)

1 Egg (or 1/4 cup pureed apple)

2 tsp Vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups Gluten-free flour mix or Spelt flour

1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp ground Cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground Cloves

1/2 tsp ground Nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground Ginger

1 tsp Himalayan rock salt

Zest of 1 orange

1 cup dairy free Chocolate chunks (I used Willie’s Chef’s drops)

Preheat the oven to 170 C.

Place the margarine and sugar in a bowl and cream together using a hand mixer. Add in the egg (or apple), vanilla extract and pumpkin butter and mix well together.

Place all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl mix really well. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until combined. It will form a sticky dough. Stir in the orange zest and the chocolate and then wrap in clingfilm and pop in the fridge for 30 mins to rest.

Take small chunks of dough (about a tbsp in size) and flatten on to a lined baking tray. The cookies won’t spread so make sure you spread them out on the tray a little. If they are too thick they will still be delicious but will be a bit more “cakey”.

01886186a6569eddb79a9be0c2b50bca8ab9200281

Pop in the oven for 15 – 20 mins until starting to change colour and slightly crispy. They will harden further as they cool. Allow to cool on the tray for 5 mins then transfer to a wire rack.

Enjoy!

01d164000df1f1b5a5538569cc74ddfdd45e574264

 

Pumpkin Breakfast Muffin Loaf – Gluten and Dairy Free


This little beauty really packs a punch – it’s strong on the spices and will satisfy you for the day ahead. It is quite a dense little loaf and is more like a tea-loaf than a muffin and it’s lovely smothered in the pumpkin butter (recipe here)

01a3b9043ea7839fd0ca69d671cad29982d6140cc8

You will need:

1 cups Rice flour (or gluten-free flour of choice!)

1 1/2 tsp Baking powder

1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt

2/3 cups Coconut sugar

2 tsp ground Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground Cloves

1 tsp Vanilla extract

2 tbsp ground Flax (linseed)

4 tbsp Water

1 cup Pumpkin purée

1 ripe Banana

1/4 cup Coconut oil

2 tbsp Maple syrup

For the topping:

4 tbsp Rice flour

2 tbsp Coconut oil

1 tsp ground Cinnamon

2 tsp Raw pumpkin seeds

Mix together the flax seed and water in a small bowl. Whisk it with a fork and then pop in the fridge for 15 mins or so.

Preheat the oven to 200 C.

Add all the ingredients in to a large bowl (except the topping ingredients). Mix well together and then add the flax seed mix. Depending how ripe your banana is you may find the batter is a bit too thick so add some warm water until it forms a thick but spoonable batter.

Add the batter to muffin trays or mini loaf tins.

Combine the topping ingredients in another bowl and then sprinkle on the top of each loaf. Press the topping into the batter a little bit.

01f9ad3b375fa0f112e555dfac2754fb66957a3b47_00001

Bake for 15 – 20 mins, or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool and then eat!

01b0d22578584e9525dbf734b17a9bdc41cba9ed19

Cinnamon Glazed Pumpkin Cookie Cake Gingerbread Yumminess! Gluten and Dairy Free


Sometimes the best bakes are created by accident! This is one of those bakes!

Ok, so these did not turn out in any way like I intended! However, I absolutely LOVE what I’ve created! I don’t know what to call it – is it a cake? is it a biscuit? is it a pumpkin gingerbread? who knows! All I know is that it is scrummy! It’s moist on the inside and so full of flavour and you would never know there was pumpkin in there 🙂

01cc2d99bad18909266a96645859bdf7ccc9c6c566

I set out to make a cookie-type of biscuit using pumpkin. These have come out less like a cookie and more like cake or soft gingerbread in texture – a failure? No – not in any way shape or form! They are simply divine – especially with the cinnamon glaze!

018d72e15fb9ff60eadd6436e486c70ae8fd2779f8

This will make around 24 – 30 cookie-cakes.

You will need:

2 cups Rice flour or Spelt flour (spelt is an option if you don’t need gluten-free but want to go for a low-gluten option, or you could also use a gluten free flour blend)

1/4 tsp Xanthan gum (unless you choose to use a ready-mixed gluten free flour blend which has it in – check the ingredients!)

1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda

1 1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground Nutmeg

1/2 cup Coconut oil

1 cup unrefined Coconut or other raw sugar

1/4 cup Molasses

1 Egg (or this can be replaced with 1/4 cup of ripe mashed banana or 1/4 cup of puréed apple if you prefer)

1 cup Pumpkin purée (recipe here)

1/3 cup Coconut, almond or soya milk

1 tsp Vanilla extract

 

For the glaze:

1 cup unrefined Icing sugar

1 tbsp Coconut, almond or soya milk

1 tsp Vanilla extract

1/4 tsp ground Cinnamon (or more – just add to taste)

 

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Put the flour, xanthan gum, bicarbonate of soda, and spices into a large mixing bowl. Combine well (using a whisk or fork works well for this).

Put the oil and sugar in a separate bowl and mix together. Add the molasses, egg (or egg substitute), pumpkin, milk and vanilla and use a hand mixer (or whisk) to blend together.

Add the flour mix to the wet ingredients and stir well until completely combined. Place generous heaped teaspoons of the mixture on to a greased and lined baking tray and place in the oven for 10 – 13 minutes (until they are slightly crispy on the outside and are starting to turn colour – it’s hard to see as they’re dark but you will see a change).

Place the icing sugar and other glaze ingredients in a bowl and mix together well.

01e4064aa487bafe398b0ceb641c239e95bbc709de

Once the cookie-cakes are done, remove from the oven and let them cool for a couple of minutes. Then spoon the glaze over them whilst they are still warm.

Then enjoy with a cup of tea! 🙂