Why The Gluten Free Cookie (and Bread!) Crumbles…

I received a question recently regarding my famous GF Apple Fritters and how to store them.  She wanted to make them a day ahead and take them to work the next day to share.  But we all know too well gluten free bread, donuts, cookies, and cake have the tendency to fall apart into a million crumby pieces in 24 hours or less.

Why Gluten Free food crumbles!

Why the heck do they do that??

The scientific answer:

It was Mr. Starch in the Flour with the Amylose!  (Who still loves to play Clue?  me!)

Seriously though.  It’s the starches fault.

There are 2 types of molecules in starch that are linked together, one that looks all branched out called amylopectin and another called amylose that likes to lay in nice straight lines alongside each other.

Something really cool happens when heat is added.  The molecules break apart and the liquid in your batter rushes into the empty spaces and gets all hung up in those straight amylose molecules.  Meanwhile the bulky amylopectin molecules add oomph to your baked good (which is part of the reason GF baked goods use so much starch).

Now we have a wonderful loaf of bread, batch of cupcakes, or plate full of donuts.  Cool.

Actually “cool” is the problem.

Remember how the straight amyloses broke apart, got all disorganized, and grabbed up the water?  They only did that because it was hot.  But they don’t like being all crazy.  Once the heat is gone they try to get organized again and go back the way they like to be:  in nice tight straight lines next to each other which squishes out the water that used to be between them.

Now it’s dry bread and crumbly cookies.  It’s the same reason your leftover Thanksgiving mashed potatoes are dry the next morning when you eat them for breakfast (I can’t be the only one  Btw, you can turn those mashed potatoes into waffles.).

I like chaos & fresh bread, how do I keep them from lining back up?

You can’t.  Bummer.  But there is one sure-fire way to slow the process down and another to speed it up…. 

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Review {and Giveaway!}: Foster Farm’s new Gluten Free Corn Dogs

WIN a free box #Glutenfree Corn Dogs!

Cool thing:  my blog has finally gotten “famous” enough that companies actually ask me for product reviews.  And this is great timing because even though I’m in my 30’s I’m doing the whole starving college student thing…but with kids and a husband to feed.  In a nutshell, I’m always up for free food to try out…as long as its gluten free of course  :)

Generally we lead a pretty darn healthy lifestyle…even the junk food is typically homemade junk food…so I instantly became #1 mom last week when the kids saw GF corn dogs in the freezer.  Funny enough, I think I also became #1 wife since it’s pretty much just me spear-heading the whole “let’s eat healthy all the time” movement in our household.

I was pleasantly surprised when reading the ingredient label on the Foster Farm’s Gluten Free Corn Dogs.  I once tried to make homemade corn dogs and it was a comical disaster because I couldn’t get the batter to stick right to the hot dogs and then my oil was too hot…yeah it was bad.  Back to the Foster Farm’s GF Corn Dogs ingredients.  I was pleasantly surprised because the ingredients are almost exactly what I would use if I were making my own at home.  And that’s cool.  I really like that.  One ingredient I didn’t know caught my eye:  refinery syrup.  After some research though I found that it’s just another name for “golden syrup” which is inverted syrup that comes from sugar cane.  It’s a decent substitute for people who don’t want to or can’t use corn syrup.

The review:  They’re just like the “regular” corn dogs I remember from the fairs I went to as a kid!  You can microwave, bake, or fry them.  I no longer have a fryer so we did not try that method.  My kids preferred the speed of the microwave but baking was definitely the best and gave that nice crunchy exterior that really says “real” corn dog.  If you’re craving a corn dog you will not be disappointed in any way by the Foster Farms Gluten Free Corn Dogs.

Review & Giveaway: Foster Farms GLUTEN FREE Corn Dogs!

(This may be a good place to stop and say that while I was sent the product for free from Foster Farms, I’m not paid for this review and these are my own thoughts and opinions).

The only con I can think of is that they are of course junk food.  But that goes for any corn dog so it’s not really a con for these particular corn dogs.  And seriously who doesn’t need to just totally nosh on junk every once in a while?

Do you know my poor daughter had NEVER had a corn dog before trying these?  How sad is that?!  It’s par for the course of a kid basically born with celiacs disease.  I’m super happy that companies like Foster Farms are starting to make more and more GF products and they actually taste good.  I’ve been trying to tell everyone for years that GF can taste/feel exactly like their gluten counterparts – finally the big name companies are realizing this!

Final tidbits about the Foster Farms Gluten Free Hot Dogs:

  • They’re certified by the Gluten Intolerance Group.
  • They have less than 10 ppm of gluten per serving.
  • They taste like REAL corn dogs!

They’re available nationwide at stores such as Safeway, Kroger, Raley’s, Lucky, Albertsons, Giant Eagle, Woodman’s, Copps/Roundy’s, Schnucks, Food Lion, HyVee, and Marsh.  If you still can’t find them you can even call them at 1-800-255-7227 and they’ll help you find some nearby.

Want to Win a Free Box?

5 people will win a coupon for a free box!… 

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Classic Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

This recipe was originally published on this blog, May 22, 2012, and on another blog owned by me in late 2009.

So here they are!  My BEST recipe.  My FIRST recipe all those years ago.

The classic Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie made gluten free!
The only thing wrong with these cookies is that they had a marketing problem.  These cookies were actually my very first successful gluten free recipe!  I kid you not I made them 27 times to get them just right.

 

But you all know how hard it is to go gluten free.  I knew I couldn’t do it, I’d never make it for the long haul, if I didn’t have cookies.  Like really great cookies just like my mom used to make.  I entered the kitchen, I started creating, and it eventually led me on a life path I never would have guessed.  And really that’s when Recreating Happiness was born.

 

I created the cookies, got it in to my head that I needed to share the recipe with everyone, took a horrible photograph, blogged the recipe on my very first blog post and…….

 

nothing happened.  It turns out it’s not easy to get noticed on the internet.

 

I think I’ve come a long way since that first blog post.  I hope perhaps now that I’m a more “trusted” recipe source than I was with that initial post that you’ll give these cookies a try.  I know it can be hard to find millet flour but I’m telling you it’s necessary for cookies.  It’s like magic in cookies.

The classic Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie made gluten free!

Chocolate chip cookies are such a mood lifter.  I was totally down on my way home from school today.  The day started off ok with a biology quiz and food science test that I felt well prepared for.  It’s the beginning of fall break here and I only had one more class to go.  Hardly anyone showed up to that class (organic chemistry for those wondering).  Our “reward” at the end for showing up was a pop quiz that was supposed to be super easy.  And I ended up turning in a blank piece of paper  :(  I didn’t even know where to start.  It totally bummed me out.  I mean don’t get me wrong, I’m actually overall doing well and have an A in the class but….I’m as much a perfectionist as a student as I am in the kitchen.  So I’ll admit I cried on the way home.  Just a little.  Not sobbing or anything hysterical.  I just felt so overwhelmed and down suddenly plus the weather has been cold and rainy for weeks.

 

But what did I do?  I came home, put on my apron, and made the happiest food I could think of: classic chocolate chip cookies, just like the ones Mom made using the recipe off the back of the Nestle Tollhouse semi-sweet chocolate chips.
The classic Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie made gluten free!

And I felt better.  And I felt even better when my dad brought my kids home from school and they all tumbled into the house exclaiming over the wonderful smell.  Baking turned the frown upside down.  Baking and sharing made me “recreate happiness” once again.   :)… 

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Creamy Chicken & Rice Bake with Spinach & Goat Cheese

Cheesy comfort food that's gluten free

One creamy cheesy comfort food casserole.

Two recipes.

I’ve included the hour long cathartic Sunday dinner prep and the alternate 20-minute weeknight dinner throw together.

Both lead to the same result:  a fab gluten free casserole.  Actually it’s just a fab casserole period.  The whole GF thing is just a bonus.

I BEG YOU one teensy thing:  don’t sub out the goat cheese.  Switch rice for pasta or quinoa.  Remove the chicken.  Kale for spinach.  But no no no no on switching out the goat cheese!  Goat cheese = creamy.  Like ultra creamy.

Ultimate creamy cheese casserole that's gluten free - Weeknight Meal!… 

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More Recipes – Always Gluten Free

5 Minute Waffles that are gluten free!

Blender Waffles {fast!}

a super simple {Gluten Free} Crockpot Stroganoff

Simple Weeknight Beef Stroganoff

"Pop-able" Gluten Free Blueberry Doughnut Fritters | Easy to make!

Blueberry Donut Fritters

Gluten free tea cookies - shortbread cookies filled with jam or jelly

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