Thursday, June 5, 2014

Gluten-free Shortbread Cookies

New experiment! I found a recipe here that looked worth trying, but couldn't resist tweaking it by adding in some almond butter. Since I was a little skeptical, I planned to make a 1/3 batch. In fact, I added the butter as if it were a 1/3 batch. And just realized that I only halved the rest of it... I should know better than to not write it all down! So now I understand why I had to add more moisture.

I also was skeptical of the cook temp/time. She says 300º for 20-30 minutes, but that surprised me. Since we had lasagna in the oven at the same time, I did half of them at the typical 350º for 20 minutes, and the other half at 300º for 25 minutes.

And good news! They turned out! The temperature really didn't seem to matter and there wasn't even a coffee flavor from my chosen milk substitute. In my opinion, they were VERY dry. Too dry. I guess because of all of the corn starch, so if I experiment again I will be sure not to use such a starchy recipe. They might be good with tea or coffee, I'll try that tomorrow.

Here's what I did in full batch amounts, in case you are feeling adventurous, too:

Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookies
Makes 32 cookies. 10 minutes to blend, 60 to chill, 20 to cook

1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup brown rice flour (you can make your own!)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
6 Tbs butter, room temperature
2 Tbs almond butter
3 Tbs milk/replacement (approximate! I used a protein-enriched coffee dairy drink)

1. Sift together the cornstarch, rice flour and powdered sugar.
2. Cut in the butter and almond butter with a pastry blender (or knife and fork, that's what I had) at first, then mix with a big fork or a spoon.
3. Add in liquid about  teaspoon at a time and stir well between additions. You want JUST enough liquid to make it stick together.
4. Make a 'log' of cookie dough down the center of a piece of plastic wrap and roll up. Chill for AT LEAST an hour. These don't get as firm as typical shortbread cookies because of the lower butter content. They are a bit lower in fat, though!
5. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Parchment paper makes them easier to remove from the pan.
6. Let cool at least 10 minutes and enjoy!

Nutrition info per 3 cookies: 116 Calories, 5.8g Fat, 15.4g Carbs, 1.3g protein

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The bounty of the CSA!

When I was in Morocco I ate loads of really fresh, really local produce. Local produce is cheaper and better quality there, so there is no good reason to go to the grocery store and pay more for an inferior product. Unless you really don't feel like talking to someone that day, then it's understandable. Or you can skip the produce all together.

I missed all of that deliciousness after I got home and decided to seriously splurge on food: I got a CSA subscription. Ours delivers for only $3 extra per box, which is totally worth it to forgetful me and Mr. More Calories. I love opening the box and seeing what I am going to try to incorporate into our meals. Sometimes I really don't know and I give stuff away. It's super fun to me! So this week I cleaned off the counter and laid out our beautiful bounty before using any of it.

Mr. More Calories accused me of using too much flash. I pointed out that it is NOT flash, it's the reflection of our lights!

If you're curious, starting in the top row we have:
"Summer mix" squash (I like the fun green-tipped yellow ones!)
(Row Two:) Slicing cucumber, green beans, rainbow chard
(Row Three:) Leeks, banana peppers, orange and red carrots, flat parsley.

Actually, I should go throw some of that parsley into the lasagna MMC is making...