This past week, I was in Chicago for a convention. It went very well – TONS of fun, loads of laughs, great time spent with friends, as always. This is a yearly event that I cater a dessert (and, more recently, some savoury apps as well!) for.
It’s always very well received, but this year I did something different – I made the entire menu gluten-free. Given that only a small number of attendees are GF, I was really nervous. GF food has such a bad rep, would they even TRY it?
Well, given the reviews that I’ve been getting for Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking & Baking, I probably shouldn’t have been worried. They whole spread went over SUPER well, with many people declaring that they would have had no idea it was GF. Three people even told me that they adored my mushroom turnovers… even though they hate mushrooms! What a compliment!
Now, time to get back to work!
So, let me share one of the most popular recipes from Beyond Flour – Fig Newtons!
This recipe takes a bit of doing – the filling needs to be made and cooled, the dough needs to be chilled – but the result is well worth the time and effort. This produces a fragrant, delicious cookie that is sure to satisfy your comfort food cravings.
Gluten Free Fig Newtons
1/2 cup Butter, softened
1/4 cup Granulated sugar
1/4 cup Brown sugar, packed
1 Large egg
1 Tbsp Orange juice
1 tsp Vanilla extract
Zest of 1/2 orange
1/2 cup White rice flour
1/2 cup Sorghum flour
1/4 cup Coconut flour
1/4 cup Millet flour
1 Tbsp Tapioca starch
1 tsp Xanthan gum
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking powder
12 oz Dried mission figs
1/3 cup Water
Zest of 1/2 orange
Corn starch, for rolling
In stand mixer, cream butter and sugars until fluffy. Add egg, orange juice, vanilla, and orange zest, beat until everything is fully incorporated and smooth.
In a large bowl, mix together remaining ingredients. Slowly add this dry mix to the mixer bowl, and carefully mix until well incorporated and smooth. Chill dough for 1 hour.
To make the filling:
Remove any stems from the dried figs, discard. Finely chop figs. Place into a saucepan with water, bring to a moil over medium-high heat. Once mixture starts to boil, cover and remove from heat. Allow to sit for 10 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed by the figs.
Transfer fig mixture to food processor, along with orange zest and salt. Process until very smooth. Transfer to a clean bowl, loosely cover with plastic film, and allow to cool to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C), line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Divide dough into 4 equal balls. Generously sprinkle clean work surface with corn starch. Roll one dough ball into a long, thin, and narrow strip – about 4″ x 12″. Trim to square up / tidy the edges.
Stir cooled fig mixture to incorporate any condensation that has developed. Transfer about one quarter of the filling to a pastry bag, or heavyweight plastic bag with a corner cut off – either way, you’ll want about 1/2″ diameter opening.
Pipe a long, fat line of filling up the center of the rolled dough, using up all of the filling in the bag. Use a clean spoon to gently spread the filling to a width of slightly more than 1″.
Gently fold one long side of dough over the filling. Fold the other long side over that, forming a long tube of filled cookie. Gently flip over, slice into cookies (About 1.5″ long pieces), and gently transfer to prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until edges are just starting to turn golden brown. Do not over bake!
Remove cookies from baking sheet, immediately cover with plastic wrap or – as we do – a long cake pan. Allow to steam/cool like this for at least 30 minutes. While these CAN be eaten right away, it’s best to let them sit overnight to let the moisture levels of the filling / cookie balance out a bit.
|Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!
How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.
|Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!
Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.