When I first went gluten free almost 9 years ago, the options for gluten free products were hard to find and also very expensive. If you did happen to come across gluten free pastries and food, the likelihood of it tasting good was very slim. My family would refer to my gluten free food as “sawdust,” whenever they dared to try it. It wasn’t long till I realized getting to the city (we live an hour away) didn’t happen often and if we did, I couldn’t find the practicality in paying a fortune on food that didn’t even taste good. I quickly found alternatives whenever we would make dinner. Before gluten free noodles were popular, I would use potato chips as the base to my spaghetti sauce. When we would have chicken salad for lunch, instead of bread or crackers, I would use corn chips. I learned to make do instead of spending a fortune on gluten free products. I did miss having the option of bread for sandwiches, but what I missed the most was my sweets.
I knew I could eat candy and such, but what I really wanted was cake. Betty Crocker had yet to come out with gluten free boxed mixes back then. It was up to me to try and make my cake without the ease of a mix. My only option at that point, was to use potato starch and corn starch for my flour. I got everything together, put it in the oven and tapped my fingers in wait for the glorious cake to be finished. When the timer went off, I took the cake out and looked at it in disappointment. It was flat and overcooked and didn’t look appealing at all. “Maybe it tastes better then it looks!” I pulled out a fork and tried the deflated cake. Needless to say, it was an overall fail.
Slightly discouraged from my first fail, it took me awhile to get back to baking. When I finally rounded up my courage again, I decided I was going to start experimenting with different portions and ingredients. Let’s just say, there were many fails that I had to suffer through eating as I couldn’t bring myself to throw them away and be wasteful. I got many laughs, guffaws and chuckles at my fails. A few years later I came across the first “All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour” I had ever seen, I bought it and immediately went to baking. Recipes started turning out better and I was actually starting to enjoy my food. Of course, the food was still dry compared to normal pastries, but when you haven’t had normal pastries in years, everything starts to taste better.
Over the years the options for gluten free products began to rise. Even though all the options for buying pre-made pastries are more readily available, I still find myself making my own gluten free pastries and food. I’ve discovered my favorite “All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour” by Namaste that I now use and swear by. It took me many years to finally use a gluten free flour that bakes normally. I can literally use a regular recipe and just switch to Namaste’s gluten free flour and the recipe will turn out the same. If that’s not progress, I don’t know what it.
(Below are two recipes I love and make often)
Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 1/2 cups of organic coconut sugar
- 1 cup of organic butter
- 2 farm fresh eggs
- 1 tsp of vanilla
- 2 1/4 cups of Namaste Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend add more if needed for consistency.
- 1/2 tsp of sea salt
- 1 tsp of aluminum free baking soda
- 1 package of organic chocolate chips or carob chips
Cream butter and sugar together, add eggs and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Finally add chocolate chips and stir gently. Use a spoon and place dough on cookie sheet and bake at 375* for approximately 8 minutes. Cool and remove from cookie sheet.
Gluten Free Éclair’s
- 1 cup of water
- 1/2 cup of butter
- 1tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup +2 tbsp of flour of Namaste Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend
Preheat oven to 425*. Place parchment paper on baking sheet and set aside. In a saucepan bring water, butter, sugar and salt to a rolling boil. Take off heat and immediate add flour all at once. Stir mixture until it is a ball of dough. Let dough cool to a warm temperature, then place into a mixer (works best with paddle implements). Add in 1 egg at a time making sure each egg is mixed well before adding another. If dough is not cooled to warm vs hot temperature it will cook eggs. Once dough is smooth place into piping bag with no tip (cut tip of bag to 3/4 – 1 inch hole). Zip lock bags work fine with the tip cut off. Make strips of dough approximately 2″ long. Place in oven for 12 minutes. Bring heat down to 375* and cook for another 22 minutes. Turn off oven and remove baking sheet. Using a paring knife puncture a hole in each end of the pastry. Place back in oven (with heat off) to dry out for approximately 45 minutes. Fill with pudding using pastry bag and tip. You can use zip lock bag with a tip on the end.
In a double broiler melt chocolate/carob chips and glaze the top of eclair. Put in fridge to keep chilled until ready to serve.