PIZZA! PIZZA! October Daring Bakers Challenge

3 years ago this month I was diagnosed with celiac disease.  That means it's been 3 years since I've had a great slice of pizza...until now!  I'm excited to announce that I've found a pizza crust that I love.  So much in fact, that we've had pizza 3 times in the last two weeks.  Hurray for pizza!

I've based my recipe off the one used by Emeril in a recent episode of Emeril Green.  I played with the flour types a little and came up with the following:

Gluten Free Pizza Crust
(makes 2 18 inch pizza crusts)
1 1/2 cup warm water (120 degrees F)  
1 tablespoon sugar  
2 tablespoons active dry yeast  
1/2 cup soy flour  
1/2 cup corn flour  
1 cups millet flour  
2/3 cup instant non-fat dry milk powder  
3 teaspoons xantham gum  
1 teaspoon salt  
3 tablespoons olive oil  
2 eggs

Combine warm water, active dry yeast and sugar in a small bowl and let it sit 5-10 minutes until it's nice and foamy. If it doesn't foam, your yeast is bad and you'll need to start again with new yeast. Spray two large baking pans or pizza stones with vegetable oil and set aside. Combine the remaining dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix well. Add the yeast mixture, olive oil and eggs slowly to the dry ingredients and mix on low until the mixture is well incorporated. Increase the speed to high and continue to mix for 4 minutes.  The dough will be sticky.

Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and divide into two balls. With damp hands gently press each dough ball into a circle about 1/4 inch thick, leaving the edges a bit thicker to prevent sauce from dripping onto the pan. Heat oven to 100 degrees and place pizza crust in the oven to rise for 10-15 minutes until double.
Without removing the pizza crust, turn up oven heat to 400 degrees and cook the crust for 10 minutes (including the time it takes for oven to heat). Remove from the oven and top with pizza sauce and your favorite toppings. Place back into the oven and continue to cook until the crust is golden brown and crispy, 15 to 20 minutes longer. (Note: if the baking pan is not liberally greased, the dough will stick. If this happens, use a flat metal spatula to separate the dough from the baking pan.)
Enjoy and eat often!

Grandma DuPaix's Chocolate Chip Cookies gone Gluten Free

It might seem silly to post a picture of cookies on a newspaper, when in fact, in doing so, I'm actually sharing one of my favorite cookie making tips.  I always place my cookies on newspaper to cool.  I learned this tip from my sixth grade home-ec teacher and after trying everything from dish towels to cooling racks this is the way I prefer and here's why:

Dish Towels:  Growing up we always placed our cookies on dish towels to cool.  This works fine, but the fabric absorbs oils from the cookies which can stain the dish towel leaving even the cleanest dish towel looking dirty and gross.

Cooling Racks:  I registered for cooling racks when we got married.  I'd never used them but knew they were a necessity because all of the great bakers use them.  I quickly learned that cooling racks, with their neat little square grid, encourage crumbs all over your work surface and occasionally leave the bottoms of your cookies stamped with a nice grid design -- not very attractive.  These metal cooling racks are also a pain to clean and when placed in the dish washer on the energy-saver drying cycle can emerge with (gasp) rust spots!  They are also a little awkward to store.

Newspapers:  I know, it sounds so strange to use newspaper to cool your cookies.  First off, newspaper is really quite sanitary coming right off the hot printing press.  I always use the inside section of the paper that rarely gets looked at or touch, like the want ads. The newspaper absorbs any excess oil from the cookies (kind of like dabbing a napkin over your pizza to soak up the grease a eliminate fat), and it contains the cookie crumbs, making it easy to clean up.  

There you have it!  The secret to my cookie baking success.  It's funny, looking back at my observations and opinions you can see that I'm strongly influenced by the ease of clean-up! When it comes to cleaning I choose the path that gets me out of there the fastest! (My family still teases me about always having to go to the bathroom when it was my turn to do the dishes!)

Grandma's Chocolate Chip Cookies - Gluten Free

2/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda mixed with 2 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon xanthum gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups gluten free flour blend
2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

Cream shortening and sugars together.  Add eggs and vanilla, beat until fluffy.
Add baking soda, xanthum gum, salt and flour.  Mix until well blended.  Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.  Drop teaspoons of dough onto cookie sheet 2 inches apart.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  Store in an airtight container.  These freeze well.

Gluten Free Triple Berry Crisp

In the Sunday coupon section of the newspaper I found a picture for Triple Berry Crisp along with the website Needing little more encouragement than the grumble in my tummy I headed for my computer. Much to my delight I had all of the ingredients and I set to work on this amazing dessert. I won't be surprised if this finds it's way onto the Thanksgiving's as good as or better than a berry pie and it's so much easier to make. I followed the recipe pretty closely, substituting gluten free when applicable. I also omitted the almond extract and some sugar called for because my berries were sweet and delicious on there own. Here's how I made it:
Gluten Free Triple Berry Crisp

1-1/3 cups frozen blueberries
1-1/3 cups frozen blackberries
1-1/3 cups frozen raspberries
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon corn starch
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 cup butter softened
1 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1 cup gluten free quick oats
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Mix berries, sugar, cinnamon and corn starch in a large bowl.
Add water and lemon juice. Pour mixture into a 8-inch square baking dish.

Combine butter, brown sugar, quick oats, gf flour and cinnamon
in a medium sized bowl with a pastry blend er until butter is in small pieces. Sprinkle over top of berries.

Bake for 45 minutes until fruit is bubbly and topping is browned. Serve warm or at room temperature. Delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.