I wanted to share this recipe for gluten-free, low FODMAP peanut butter chocolate chip cookies with you. We’ve known about my husband’s gluten intolerance for a number of years, so I’m well versed in creating gluten free recipes. But in the autumn he also went onto the low-FODMAP diet, to try to help us work out what other food intolerances he has. So I’ve also had the fun of trying out low FODMAP baking for the first time. I think these peanut butter choc chip cookies are a great treat even if you don’t have any dietary requirements! Plus they’re really easy to make.
This recipe will make around 9 – 14 gluten-free low FODMAP peanut butter choc chip cookies. It takes about fifteen minutes to prepare and another 12 minutes to bake. You can also freeze these cookies and reheat them later (10 minutes in an oven preheated to 160 degrees C).
Gluten-Free Low FODMAP Peanut Butter Choc Chip Cookies
You will need the following ingredients for your gluten free low FODMAP peanut butter chocolate chip cookies:
225g salted butter
225g caster sugar
2 egg yolks (or one egg – but two yolks gives a more chewy, cookie-ish consistency)
100g dark chocolate drops or chopped dark chocolate
Gluten-free Peanut Choc Chip Cookies: The Recipe:
1. First, mix together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then mix in the egg, a little at a time.
2. Sieve in the flour and xanthan gum, add the peanut butter, oats and vanilla extract and mix well.
3. Lastly, add your chocolate chips and mix until well combined into a thick dough… See the picture of the cookie dough below.
4. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
5. Next, roll the cookie dough into balls, a little smaller than golf ball size. Put the balls onto a baking sheet, well spaced apart.
6. Bake your cookies for around 12 minutes, until they are slightly brown at the edges. They will look a bit undercooked in the middle – that’s okay.
7. Cool the cookies on the tray for 2 – 3 minutes, then transfer onto a cooling rack.
Tips and Tricks for your Gluten-free Peanut Butter Choc Chip Cookies:
The aim is to make peanut butter chocolate chip cookies with a slightly soft, chewy centre. This is harder to achieve with a gluten free recipe! The use of egg yolks, oats, peanut butter and xanthan gum should help to give more of a chewy texture, but the most important thing is not to leave them in the oven too long – if you do, they’ll still be delicious, but they’ll have more of a crunchy biscuit texture.
Another thing that helps with the chewy texture is putting the cookie dough onto the baking sheet in balls rather than dough that’s already rolled flat – so make sure you don’t skip that step!
To keep things low- FODMAP, make sure you use dark chocolate chips. Also ensure that your peanut butter doesn’t contain high-FODMAP ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup.
You may have heard of art therapy – but have you ever heard of culinary art therapy (or CAT)? Increasingly there’s a move to recognise that cooking and baking can be good for our wellbeing – and there is actual scientific evidence that baking is good for mental health. As you probably know if you read this blog regularly, I’m a big fan of baking (especially gluten-free baking!), so I wanted to explore this further in a blog post looking at why baking is good for our mental health, and sharing some top tips to help you get started with baking therapy…
Baking for Mental Health
Why is baking good for your mental health?
Firstly, let’s look at some of the reasons why baking is good for mental health…
Shifting your focus
Baking requires focus and concentration. You need to find the right ingredients, weigh them out, and run through the process of turning them into delicious baked goods. Baking is also often quite a physical process – activities such as kneading bread, or mixing together ingredients, get our bodies involved as well as our minds. It’s a great distraction that forces your mind away from focusing in on sources of stress and anxiety. It also gives you a sense of control and purpose, paying attention to the present and what’s going on around you. As such, it works as a form of mindfulness, which is a great way to manage anxiety and stress.
Taking Time For Yourself
Baking takes time – whether it’s fifteen minutes to whip up a quick batch of cookie dough, or four hours on a celebration cake. That’s time that you’re carving out of your day for yourself. Taking time for ourselves is an act of self-care that’s really important for wellbeing.
Baking is a form of creative self-expression. As such, it’s a way to release stress and an outlet for emotion. Baking can help us to express our feelings, and getting creative is a recognised way to manage mental wellbeing. Repetitive creative motions – like baking, knitting, or even DIY – actually help your brain release dopamine, the ‘feel-good’ chemical.
Engage your Senses
Baking engages all the senses – sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. Engaging those senses is pleasant and uplifting, and can also reawaken fond old memories and associations – such as baking as a child. And of course, we all enjoy biting into a lovely slice of cake at the end of the baking process (and maybe licking the spoon beforehand as well!).
Share the Love
One of the aspects of baking that can be so satisfying is the opportunity to share what you make with other people, friends and family. Making other people happy is itself tremendously rewarding – and who doesn’t feel happy when they’re presented with a slice of homemade cake, or a cookie? Gift-giving is an important part of human cultures across the globe, and interestingly studies have shown that it is actually often the person giving the gift – rather than the one receiving it – who reaps the greatest psychological benefit from gifting. It helps us to feel valuable and experience a positive self-concept, increasing self-esteem – so it’s not surprising that sharing our bakes is good for our mental health.
Baking for Mental Health: How To
So, you’re convinced about the benefits of baking for mental health. You’ve decided to give baking therapy a go, and you want to get on with it. But how do you actually make it work? Here are some key pointers to get you started.
Low Pressure Baking
Baking is not going to help reduce stress and anxiety if it becomes a high-pressure situation. For instance – baking a birthday cake, or agreeing to create dessert for a large dinner party, or host afternoon tea, places a lot of pressure on yourself. That creates more stress and anxiety. Instead, keep your baking low pressure by baking for yourself, in situations where it doesn’t really matter if the outcome is wonderful or if you burn the brownies.
Keep It Simple
Linked to the above, following incredibly long and complicated recipes is only going to work as good therapy if you’re already a very advanced baker. Try to start with simple recipes, and learn new techniques one at a time rather than trying to take them on all in one go. When I’m feeling in need of a bit of baking therapy, I generally try to go for straightforward recipes that yield yummy, satisfying results, like these gluten-free oatmeal raisin cookies, these mochaccino brownies, or this delicious rocky road recipe. Let’s be honest – if baking therapy is a thing, then chocolate therapy is most definitely real as well.
Maintain A Sense Of Humour
Bakes go wrong. This can be really frustrating. The other day, I was planning on making raspberry macarons at home. I’ve made macarons a bunch of times, but this time it went horribly wrong (I still don’t really know why!) and I had to throw out the entire batch and start again. And, if I’m honest, it put me in a godawful mood. All the fun went out of it – especially when the subsequent batch I made were still not really up to scratch, even though they tasted pretty good. It was the ultimate baking therapy failure: I ended up in a worse mood than I started in.
What did I do wrong? Not maintaining a sense of humour! Bakes go wrong. It shouldn’t be a big deal. Try not to let it stress you out, and try not to go into each bake with super-high expectations. Take a picture of the horrible mess you’ve created, text a friend or post on social media, and have a good laugh at yourself. You’ll live to bake again another day, and if you find yourself getting stressed out by your bake rather than enjoying it – just stop!
Okay, so baking may be great for your mental health – but let’s be honest, it’s not always practical to crack out the mixing bowl. Whether you don’t have the energy, the time, or simply the drive to actually get baking, there is a Next Best Thing. You can bake vicariously with the aid of The Great British Bake Off (known in the US for some reason as The Great British Baking Show).
Don’t get me wrong, other baking shows are available. But I haven’t found any that have the charm of Bake Off. There’s something very lovely about the camaraderie of the show, and it’s a great form of escapism that will get you weirdly involved in the process of creating types of cake that you’ve never even heard of.
Baking Therapy: Your Experiences
Are you a keen baker? Have you found baking to be a great form of expression and therapy? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
These bite-size gluten free jam tarts are great for a picnic, and the sugar glaze helps to keep them light and sweet with the salty puff pastry and tangy jam! It is such an easy recipe to bake with little kids, who will love cutting the pastry and spooning out the jam (fair warning, you will have jam everywhere). Little Man is still a bit small to get very involved in baking, but he enjoyed watching me drizzle the sugar glaze and sticking his hands into a lemon tart… Oops.
Plus, it’s so nice if you have a gluten free family member who doesn’t usually get to enjoy pastry treats! There’s virtually no washing up, and it only requires four ingredients. So let’s get going!
Gluten-free Sugar-glazed Jam Tarts Recipe
Ingredients for your gluten free jam tarts:
Genuinely you only need four ingredients:
Gluten-free puff pastry (available in most supermarkets these days – I use Jus-Roll gluten free pastry which you can find everywhere!)
Jam or lemon curd (or both!)
How to make your tarts:
1. Use a biscuit cutter to cut circles out of the pastry and put them into the cake spots in a cupcake tin. This creates a nice shape for your tarts. Using a fork, prick holes in the base of each one – this will stop it puffing in the middle and spilling jam everywhere!
2. Put a small teaspoon of jam or lemon curd in the middle of each tart. Don’t get too generous, as the filling will bubble up when baking!
3. Bake in an oven pre-heated to 200 degrees C, for 12 – 15 minutes (until the pastry is nice and golden).
4. Carefully remove your tarts from the tin and place on a cooling rack. Mix two tablespoons of icing sugar with two teaspoons of water to form a runny white glaze, and drizzle it over the tarts once they’re cool.
5. Try not to let your baby son stick his mucky hands all over them…
So the 16th February is, of course, Pancake Day. And let’s face it, what with lockdown and coronavirus, we’ve not got much to look forward to this year. Which means (in my mind) that Pancake Day should now be treated as a major holiday and celebrated as such. To that end, I’m bringing together some of my personal favourite recipes and ideas for incredible pancakes – including sweet and savory recipes, gluten free pancakes, and some slightly outlandish ideas as well… By the time I’m finished, I might just have to turn it into Pancake Week!
Pancake Day Inspiration and Ideas
Big Fat Pancakes
Ah, big fat pancakes. You know the ones. The kind of fluffy pancakes you find stacked up like the Empire State Building and smothered in syrup, on a plate that’s much too small, in a cheap American diner…. Om nom nom. Here’s a recipe for big fat pancakes from BBC Good Food – the normal flour can be directly substituted for gluten-free flour. And see below for ideas on how to make them a bit more exciting…
These kind of American pancakes really work well with additions to the batter. If you’re a fan of the Hawaiian pizza, I highly recommend scattering shredded ham and small pieces of pineapple into the pan along with the wet batter. They will cook into the pancake and, served with a little melted cheese on top, create a delicious (if slightly unorthodox) Hawaiian pancake treat! Unless you are my husband, in which case you will think it is the pancake of the devil. Fair enough.
If you are of my husband’s mindset, with regards to the combination of ham, pineapple and cheese, then there are of course big fat savoury pancake alternatives. Another great choice is to keep the shredded ham in the batter (but drop the pineapple!… not into the batter…) and then top your pancakes with smoked cheese and chives.
The obvious choice is, of course, to drop blueberries in your pancake batter and serve with syrup or, if you’re feeling especially extravagant, blueberry yoghurt and maple syrup. I think pretty much any fruit + yoghurt combination works – I’m not the biggest ever fan of blueberries but I love these pancakes with raspberries and yoghurt (in fact you can see that exact combo in one of the pictures on this page!). Ice cream is a more than acceptable yoghurt substitute if you don’t care about pretending that your breakfast is remotely healthy.
Another amazing big fat pancake is a cinammon swirl pancake. These are perfect breakfast pancakes! Basically it’s a normal American pancake but with an addition of sweet cinammon butter, swirled into the batter. I make them at home on a semi-regular basis and they are super delicious, but fair warning: I have never managed to get them looking particularly attractive (hence the absence of photos). To this day, I have no idea how the folks over at BBC Good Food managed to get theirs looking so perfect. But who cares? They don’t last long enough to photograph anyway.
I also weirdly love the combo of banana, bacon and maple syrup for the ultimate sweet and savoury twist.
Skinny Flat Pancakes
Let’s be clear. By ‘skinny’ pancakes, I mean pancakes that are physically slender, not ones that are in any way healthy to eat. That is not in the spirit of Pancake Day. The best thing about skinny flat pancakes, a.k.a. classic French crepes (basic recipe here, straight swap the flour for gluten free flour if needed), is that you can eat a lot more of them before you’re full! As we all know, on Pancake Day one should maximise the quantity, as well as the quality, of pancakes consumed…
Crepes work super well with savoury flavours. My favourite is to spread the crepe with cream cheese, sprinkle with cracked black pepper, smoked salmon, a squeeze of lemon and a generous scattering of chopped chives. It’s sort of like a smoked salmon blini, but much much bigger!
Having started with a savoury crepe (or two, or three) obviously you need to move on to dessert. When I was a kid, my mum always served up crepes spread with strawberry jam, and/or a sprinkle of lemon juice and sugar. Sometimes the classics are the best!
But these days I often dish up a range of sweet fillings, so people can pick and choose their favourites and maybe have a few different combinations. Strawberries and banana are the perfect versatile fruits to have available to fill your crepes, along with Nutella (other chocolate spreads are available…) or caramel sauce.
Fun and Fruity Pancakes
Speaking of fruit, my husband was the one to first introduce me to banana pancakes. Before he came along, I thought ‘banana pancakes’ were the same as ‘banana and pancakes’ – I clearly didn’t pay enough attention to Jack Johnson in my youth. Boy, was I missing out! Proper banana pancakes are now a staple in our house, and Little Man loves them too.
Making banana pancakes can be as simple as two ingredients – banana and egg – making them naturally gluten free, although I prefer recipes that include baking powder for a little extra lightness. My go-to recipe is here, but I usually add a tablespoon of gluten-free flour – because I find the addition of flour makes the pancakes much easier to flip! Banana-only pancakes can be very runny, and you end up with rather unattractive melty blobs (although to be fair, they are absolutely delicious melty blobs). I recommend serving them hot from the pan with either maple syrup or golden syrup – both are delicious.
I’ve heard a rumour that you can make other types of fruit pancake, but honestly why would you bother?
The classic boozy pancake is, naturally, the Crepe Suzette. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s a delicious recipe, but also requires a certain amount of confidence and fancy chef-y skills like making caramel and then setting it on fire. The BBC conveniently have an easy version recipe which they call Cointreau Pancakes (other orange-flavoured liqueurs are available).
I love a yummy crumble when the weather is cold. But this autumn, my husband started on the low FODMAP diet to try to work out if he has any food intolerances other than gluten intolerance, which we know about. And on the low FODMAP diet, you’re not allowed to eat apple. So what the hell do you put in a delicious winter crumble? Well… Why not turn it into a summery sunshine crumble instead, with this delicious recipe for gluten-free, low FODMAP pineapple raspberry crumble!
To make your gluten free, low FODMAP pineapple raspberry crumble, you’ll need the following ingredients. This is a store cupboard crumble recipe, so it’s made with ingredients you can keep in the cupboard or freezer – but you can of course use fresh fruit if you’re feeling fancy!
For the filling:
1 tin pineapple rings
1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries
50g caster sugar
(1 tbsp spiced rum – this is optional as rum is high FODMAP due to the sugar content! However you may choose to risk it for a biscuit, as a single tablespoon of rum spread over 6 – 8 portions of crumble is a very small amount per serving)
For the crumble topping:
250g Gluten free plain flour
125g Sugar (golden caster is perfect)
50g Dessicated coconut
1 tsp cinnamon
Pineapple Raspberry Crumble: The Method
1. First, make the crumble topping. Put the butter, sugar, and flour into a bowl and rub the ingredients together with your fingertips until you have a mixture that resembles breadcrumbs. Sir the oats, cinnamon and desiccated coconut through the mixture.
2. Drain the pineapple rings, putting the juice from the tin into a saucepan. Chop the pineapple rings into bite-sized pieces, and line the bottom of a 15cm x 30cm casserole dish with the chunks.
3. Stud the casserole dish with frozen raspberries (no need to defrost) – see picture above. Put the leftover raspberries into the saucepan with the pineapple juice.
4. Add the sugar to the saucepan and stir over a gentle heat. For an extra bit of flavour, add the spiced rum at this point. Bring to a simmer and keep stirring over a low heat until it reaches the consistency of double cream.
5. Pour the cooked-down raspberry pineapple mix over the fruit in the bottom of your casserole dish. Don’t worry, you’re not expecting it to cover the bottom of the dish – the fruit will release more liquid when you bake it.
6. When you’re ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C.
7. Cover the fruit with crumble topping, and bake for around 40 minutes or until the crumble is nicely browned. Serve immediately.
Tips and Tricks for your Pineapple Raspberry Crumble
If you fancy a more grown-up sort of pineapple and raspberry crumble, you can of course increase the rum content! Or, if you do need your crumble to be low FODMAP, you can add spiced yodka instead – vodka is low FODMAP (unlike rum, sadly) so you can have as much as you like! Here’s a recipe to make your own spiced vodka at home.
If you need to be strictly low FODMAP, be careful what you serve your crumble with, as both custard and ice cream are sadly high FODMAP. You can get lactose free custard – we’ve tried some oat custard, which was pretty tasty – or lactose free ice cream.
It’s that happy season where everyone is posting about Christmas, Christmas, Christmas… In my house, the Christmas season doesn’t start properly until the 7th December, as my husband’s birthday is the 6th December and clearly takes precedence over the other festive season! But that doesn’t mean the preparations haven’t started, so I thought I’d share my Christmas round-up post, including ideas for festive baking, food and drink, gift ideas and family activities…
If you have young children, the festive season is a lovely opportunity to get them involved in baking (and eating, of course!). These easy no bake sweet treats are just the right kind of safe and fun recipes to make with your kids at Christmas. Slightly older will love this Mars Bar fudge recipe for slow cookers, which is also a lovely, simple recipe that they can get involved in creating.
Christmas drinks and cocktails
Cranberries are one of those ingredients that I really associate with Christmas, but other than cranberry sauce with your Christmas dinner, it’s hard to come up with much to do with them… I’m planning on using cranberry juice and orange juice to make some tasty morning mocktails over the festive season – just what you want to wake up to!
On the alcoholic side of things, earlier this year I made some delicious hawthorn gin which should be ready for Christmas – I can’t wait to enjoy it in some prosecco in a festive hawthorn fizz. You can find my recipe for hawthorn gin here. I’ve also tried making some Christmas pudding vodka – so I’m pretty excited to see how that turns out!
Christmas Gift Guides
Buying presents can be so tricky, and especially this year when lockdown and the Covid tiers system means it’s not easy to get out to the shops and just browse.
If you’re buying gifts for a tea lover in your life, I have a guide coming soon on the blog – keep your eyes peeled!
Fun Christmas Activities
Christmas is definitely time for relaxing in front of the television… But it’s nice to use your time off over Christmas to do some other fun activities – and as we’re all going to be staying indoors this Christmas, I’m trying to plan some fun activities in advance.
I love making brownies, and much though I love a simple chocolate brownie, I like experimenting with different flavours! As my husband is a total coffee nut, he suggested a marbled chocolate brownie/coffee blondie combination, and I think this recipe is a total winner! Plus, you’d never know it’s gluten free. The only point of debate is whether to call them “chocolate cappuccino brownies” or “mochaccino brownies”… Thoughts?
Gluten-free Chocolate Cappuccino Brownies Recipe
The ingredients for your gluten free brownies:
For this recipe, you will need:
75g dark chocolate
175g caster sugar
75g gluten free plain flour
1tsp vanilla essence
1tsp instant coffee
1tsp baking powder
1/4tsp xantham gum (optional)
How to make gluten free mochaccino brownies:
1. Preheat the oven to 180 C. Grease and line the base of a 20cm X 20cm tin.
2. Melt the chocolate (I microwave it for 20 second bursts until melted, or you can melt in a bowl over a saucepan of hot water).
3. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and creamy, then beat in the eggs. Add the flour, xantham gum, baking powder and vanilla essence and mix until smooth.
4. Split the mix between two bowls. Mix in the melted chocolate to one bowl, and the coffee to the other.
5. Dollop the two mixtures into the tin and swirl together slightly. Don’t mix too much though, or you won’t get the contrasting flavours of the two mixes!
6. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes. 30 minutes will get you a more cakey texture, 25 minutes a more fudgey texture. Let the mix cool in the tin.
Tips and tricks for your gluten free chocolate cappuccino brownies:
This recipe will make 12 – 16 gluten free chocolate cappuccino brownies, depending on how you cut it, and it takes about 20 minutes to prepare, plus cooking time.
If you’re not bothered about being gluten free, substitute the gluten free flour for normal flour and leave out the xantham gum.
You want your coffee brownie mix to taste strongly of coffee in order for the finished product to have a good coffee flavour, so I recommend tasting the batter. If the uncooked mix doesn’t have a good hit of coffee flavour to it, add more instant coffee powder until it does!
It’s autumn! The leaves are brown, the sky is grey, and going outside is starting to feel like a chore rather than a treat. But for me, one of the ways we’re compensated for the chilly weather and the shortening days is the delicious flavours of seasonal autumn cooking. And by that, I mean pumpkin! I absolutely love pumpkin as an ingredient in both sweet and savoury dishes, and I think these gluten free pumpkin muffins are a perfect autumn treat.
They’re made with tinned pumpkin puree, which isn’t always easy to find in the UK – although large supermarkets will often stock it in their international foods section. If you can’t find a tin of pumpkin puree, you can substitute it with homemade puree from a roasted pumpkin or squash – instructions here.
Okay, enough talk. On to the actual recipe!
Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins Recipe
Ingredients for pumpkin muffins:
You will need the following ingredients for your gluten free pumpkin muffins:
250g gluten free flour
225g sugar (I split this between caster sugar, demerara sugar, and dark muscovado sugar – a mix with some darker sugar is ideal for a bit of extra flavour)
120g butter (salted)
1/2 tsp xantham gum
1 tsp baking powder
1 can of pumpkin puree
2 tsps cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp vanilla essence
Method for gluten free pumpkin muffins
1. Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees C and line a muffin tin with cake cases.
2. Melt the butter. You can do this in the microwave in 10 second blasts, stirring in between, until fully melted.
3. Add all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl, and mix until thoroughly combined. Don’t worry if it’s a little bit lumpy though!
4. Spoon the mix into the cake cases.
5. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes. You’ll know the muffins are fully cooked when a skewer or fork inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.
6. Put the muffins on a cooling tray to cool. Or eat them straightaway – they’re delicious still warm from the oven!
Tips and pointers for your spiced pumpkin muffins:
These bad boys will keep in a tin for 3 – 4 days, although they’re yummiest fresh from the oven! You can also freeze your gluten free pumpkin muffins for up to three months – here are some pointers on freezing muffins. So you can make them now and enjoy them later!
This recipe is gluten free, however if you’re not in need of gluten free muffins, you can make them with regular flour and leave out the xantham gum. They’re just as yummy when they contain gluten, but do be careful not to over-mix the batter, as it will leave you with tough, chewy little cakes. Over-mixing is not such a problem with gluten-free baking, which is one of the few benefits of cooking for the gluten intolerant!
You can also very much get creative with the spices you use in these gluten free pumpkin muffins. I love a pumpkin spice blend that’s heavy on the cinnamon and ginger and light on the clove (by which I mean has NO CLOVES in it, because they’re disgusting). But a traditional American pumpkin spice mix has a good dose of nutmeg and clove in it, so you may wish to go for maximum authenticity there!
Gluten free rocky road is one of my absolute favourite recipes! I don’t make it that often – because (as my husband says) it’s about as addictive as crack, but much more fattening. In fact, I made a batch of gluten free rocky road specifically so I could take pictures for this blog post, and we had already eaten three quarters of it before I had a chance to take photos of the finished product. That speaks for itself!
Gluten Free Rocky Roads – Overview
It’s a super easy recipe. This is a gluten free tray bake, but there’s no baking required! Instead of cooking the traybake, you just need refrigeration – so it’s a great one to make with kids.
It only takes about 10 minutes to prepare from start to finish, and will make about 12 – 16 rocky road bars, depending on how big you cut them!
Gluten Free Rocky Road Ingredients
You will need…
6 tbsps golden syrup
200g dark chocolate (you can use milk, but the end product will be VERY sweet)
Then for the filling, you can be super flexible, based on what’s in your store cupboard! You basically want about 350g of dried filling, which needs to be chopped or crushed into small pieces. For the bake in these pictures, I used:
125g Crunchie bars (other chocolate-coated honeycomb is available)
125g gluten-free Viennese biscuits
Handful of gluten-free pretzels
3 handfuls of mini marshmallows
2 handfuls of gluten-free cornflakes
Gluten-free Rocky Road – The Recipe
1. First, line a 22cm square baking tin with tinfoil.
2. Take your Crunchie bars or other honeycomb, biscuits and pretzels, put them in a resealable freezer bag, and bash them with a rolling pin until they’re in smallish chunks. Keep back a few pretzels and marshmallows for decoration! Then add the crushed fillings to a mixing bowl along with your marshmallows and cornflakes.
3. Next, put the butter and golden syrup in a small saucepan on a low heat. Heat them together until the butter is melted into the syrup. Mix them regularly and don’t let the mix come to a boil!
4. Remove the saucepan from the heat. It should be warm but not boiling hot! Add the chocolate and stir it in, until it’s melted into a smooth syrupy sauce.
5. Pour the chocolate mixture over your dry ingredients and stir gently until the dry ingredients are all totally coated.
6. Pour the mixture into the baking tray and pat down until the surface is roughly level. Press marshmallows and pretzels into the surface for decoration.
7. Leave the tin out until it’s no longer warm to the touch, then pop into the fridge to finish setting your rocky road mix.
8. Refrigerate for a couple of hours at least. Then you can turn the rocky road out onto a plate, peel off the foil, and slice! Voila, your gluten-free rocky road is ready to serve!
Tips and Hints
The key thing about this is that you’ll want to store it in the fridge. This gluten free rocky road melts in your mouth… But also it melts in your hands, and all over your kitchen! It can be kept out at room temperature for a bit e.g. a party buffet, but I wouldn’t be taking it to a summer picnic.
If you do need it to last longer out of the fridge – or if you want to cut neat non-crumbly slices – the best way to do this is with a pure chocolate coating. Melt some more dark chocolate down and pour half over the bottom of the tin and leave it to set for five minutes before adding the main mix. Then once you’ve smoothed over the main mix in the tin, pour the rest of the chocolate over the top. It just makes it easier to handle.
Today, I’m going to share my gluten free oatmeal raisin cookies recipe. I love baking, and as my husband is gluten intolerant, it’s hard to find fresh baked goods for him in the shops. So, whenever the opportunity arises (i.e. Little Man is in a good mood and happy enough on his play mat), I get baking.
Back at the start of lockdown, I was planning on baking some chocolate chip cookies one day, but asked my husband if he had any special requests. He asked for oatmeal raisin cookies. I’d never baked them before so I researched a bit online and made my own substitutions to make them gluten free. They’re actually an ideal cookie to make GF, because the oats help to bind them and reduce the floury/crumbly texture that you often get with gluten free baking. For the busy mum (or dad) on the go, the finished cookies can also be frozen and reheated later – see instructions further down this post.
Now, onto the important bit…
Gluten Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Recipe
Assemble the following ingredients:
200g sugar (ideally a golden caster, or a mix of brown and white sugar also works well)
150ml sunflower oil (or other veggie oil)
100g raisins or sultanas
120g gluten free flour
300g oats (make sure they’re specifically gluten free oats if you’re baking for a coeliac)
1/2 tsp xantham gum (not essential if you don’t have it, but helps with binding gluten free bakes)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Gluten Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies – The Method
These cookies are super quick and easy to assemble, because the oil base makes mixing them very simple.
1. Pour 50ml of boiling water over your raisins/sultanas and leave to soak.
2. Preheat your oven to 180 C.
3. Line two baking trays with parchment.
4. Mix the sugar, oil and egg in a bowl until well combined.
5. Add the water from the raisins/sultanas, the cinammon and the vanilla extract, and mix.
6. Add the flour, xantham gum and bicarbonate of soda and mix. Then, add the oats and mix.
7. Add the raisins and mix. Your cookie batter is now complete!
8. Dollop the batter into the baking sheets. Gluten free cookies never spread quite as much as regular cookies, so get them into roughly the thickness and shape you want, but still aim to leave a couple of centimetres gap between cookies.
9. Bake for 12 – 15 mins until golden brown, and cool on the trays. Voila! Your cookies are ready.
Freezing and Reheating Your Cookies
These gluten free oatmeal raisin cookies freeze really well! It’s perfect so that next time you can have that fresh baked cookie taste with even less effort. Ideally freeze them on a tray, before transferring into a bag or container for storage.
You can keep the cookies in the freezer for up to two months. To reheat, simply pop them on a baking tray (from frozen) in an oven pre-heated to 140 C, for 10 – 15 minutes. Everyone will think you just baked them!
More Gluten Free Recipes
Looking for more yummy gluten free recipes? Why not try this recipe for (highly addictive) gluten free rocky roads? They’re perfect to make with kids as they don’t even require baking!