Gluten Free Poptarts Recipe (Toaster Pastries)!

Poptarts are one of those things that satisfy some weird need for childhood comfort food every once in a while… even though they aren’t actually really that good. It’s funny how many people brought them up as one of the foods they miss most, when going gluten-free! This recipe actually prompted one of my favourite reviews for Beyond Flour:

When you find out you have celiacs you know you’re going to miss bread, but you soon find out you miss other things so much more. For me it was cinnamon PopTarts. Not that I had them all the time, but every time I had one it was a rush of happy childhood nostalgia. Flipping through the book I saw a recipe for toaster pastries and that was the first thing I made. I did it just for fun. But when I bit into it, after not having one for over a decade, I started crying. I can’t even express what a gift Marie has given me. All these things I had written off – like ravioli and biscuits and pita bread – I have it all back now. And the taste and texture and AFTER TASTE are perfect. Not pretty good or not too bad … dead on.

… this review made ME cry! Thank you, Cara!

I find these are actually BETTER than the original source material.. and far better for you. Firm but slightly chewy dough base, your choice of filling, and freshly made frosting. Garnish the top any way you want – even sprinkles – and just have fun with it.

One word of warning, though: Without the source material chemicals and stabilizers, the frosting on these ones is actually fairly heat sensitive, and will melt when toasted. So, use in a toaster oven rather than a traditional “pop up” style toaster… or turn your normal toast on it’s side, and toast them frosting-side up…Keeping an eye out for drippage!

Of course, if you love what you see here… you should consider ordering a copy of “Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking & Baking“e!

Thanks, and enjoy!

Gluten-Free Poptarts
Makes about 10

1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup gluten-free oat flour*
1/4 cup coconut flour
2 Tbsp tapioca starch
2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs, separated

1 batch filling (See below for recipes)
1 batch frosting (See below for recipes)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk together the dry ingredients until well combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together all wet ingredients, except for one of the two eggs. Add wet ingredients to the dry, mix until a thick dough forms. Wrap in plastic, chill for 30 minutes.

Roll dough out to about slightly thinner than 1/4″ thick, cut into 3×5″ rectangles. Gather any scraps, needs to pull together, re roll and continue cutting into rectangles until all the dough is used up.

Carefully arrange half of the rectangles on the cookie sheet, spaced evenly. Evenly spread about 2 Tbsp of filling onto each of the rectangles on the cookie sheet, stopping about 1/2″ from the edges. Top each with one of the reserved rectangles, press the edges to seal. Use a fork to press edges down.

Whisk egg together with 1 Tbsp cold water, brush over each pastry. Use a fork to prick a few small holes in the top of each pastry to allow steam to escape – this will help prevent filling from exploding out of the sides as they bake

Bake pastries for about 15 minutes, until golden brown.

Cool completely before removing from the cookie sheet.

Spread frosting of choice onto pastries, garnish with sprinkles if using. Allow frosting to dry fully, before transferring to containers or baggies. Serve hot or room temperature, use or freeze within a few days of baking.

* If even certified gluten-free oat flour is not an option for you, use 1/4 cup of additional sorghum flour instead.

Dough Flavour Variations:

Chocolate Dough: Reduce brown rice flour to 2/3 cup, add 1/4 cup cocoa powder.

Red Velvet Dough: Add 1 Tbsp cocoa powder to dry ingredients, use buttermilk instead of milk, tint dough with red food colouring.

“Gingerbread” Dough: Add 1 1/2 tsp ginger, 1 tsp cinnamon, and a pinch of cloves to dry mix, and 1 Tbsp molasses to wet mix.

Fruit Filling

1 cup seedless jam of choice
1 Tbsp corn starch

Whisk jam and corn starch together until well combined.

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Filling

1 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp corn starch
1+ tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1+ tsp milk or water

Whisk together brown sugar, corn starch, cinnamon, and salt until well combined. Mix in vanilla and milk/water, adding additional small amounts of liquid if necessary – you want a thick, spreadable paste. Taste, add more cinnamon if you like, to taste.

“Pumpkin Pie” Filling

3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
pinch ground cloves
pinch salt

Whisk all ingredients together until well combined and smooth

Cream Cheese Filling

6 oz cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp corn starch
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch salt

Whisk all ingredients together until well combined and smooth

Basic Frosting:

1 1/2 – 1 3/4 c. powdered sugar
2 Tbsp hot water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
food coloring, if desired.

Whisk powdered sugar, water, and vanilla extract together – frosting will be THICK. Microwave for 10-20 seconds to melt, stir until smooth. Tint with food colouring, if desired.

Chocolate Frosting:

1 1/4- 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 Tbsp hot water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk powdered sugar, cocoa, water, and vanilla extract together – frosting will be THICK. Microwave for 10-20 seconds to melt, stir until smooth.

Brown Sugar Frosting

1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp hot water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 – 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar

Whisk together brown sugar, hot water, and vanilla until smooth. Add powdered sugar, a little at a time – frosting will be THICK. Microwave for 10-20 seconds to melt, stir until smooth.

Strawberry Frosting

1 1/2 – 1 3/4 c. powdered sugar
2 Tbsp Strawberry Powder*
2 Tbsp hot water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
food coloring, if desired.

Whisk powdered sugar, berry powder water, and vanilla extract together – frosting will be THICK. Microwave for 10-20 seconds to melt, stir until smooth. Tint with food colouring, if desired.

* I buy my strawberry powder at Nuts Online, here’s a link to the product page. It’s a fine powder made from freeze dried strawberries – and it packs HUGE flavor. They also have Blueberry, and Pomegranate powders, which also work for this recipe.

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.

Grownup Hot Chocolate & Hot Cocoa

The weather here has been pretty miserable for the last little while – TONS of rain, heavy winds, and pretty cold on top of it. Many of my friends have flooding in their homes, and I’m just super thankful we live up on the hill.

We spent yesterday morning running errands in that nonsense, and ended up soaked to the bone while grocery shopping in a walk-in fridge. Getting home from THAT, all I wanted to do was make a big pot of boozy hot chocolate.

As I whipped it up, I realized that I’d promised some friends my hot chocolate recipes a few months ago. Whoops. I’ve been super swamped with “Beyond Flour – A New Kind of Gluten-Free Cookbook“, and with costuming orders. It’s been a while since I posted anything at all – sorry about that! Things should clear up in a month or two, I expect you won’t be able to shut me up, then!

Anyway – hot chocolate. I actually have two recipes for you today, because I do differentiate between “hot chocolate” and “hot cocoa”. “Chocolate” using chocolate, and “cocoa” using cocoa. Easy, eh? 🙂

Both of these recipes are the way *I* like it – so ridiculously rich, that 1 coffee mug is enough. I would never be able to drink these in huge, gas station sized cups. It’s diabetes in a cup! When it’s cold and rainy, though – perfect. Feel free to thin them down with additional milk, if you’d like something a bit more … chuggable.

Also, while I advocate always having a baggie of vanilla beans on hand (they can be obtained from Amazon at reasonable prices!), I get that not everyone does. SO, if you don’t have a bean, just add one tsp of really good vanilla extract right before serving.

Grownup Hot Chocolate

Mini Marshmallows
Liqueur of choice*
3 cups milk
2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 cup good quality chocolate chips
Pinch salt

Place a handful of mini marshmallows in each mug, top with about 1 oz of liqueur per mug. Allow it to soak while you prepare the hot chocolate:

In a saucepan, whisk together milk and brown sugar. Split vanilla bean in half lengthwise, scraping the seeds into the pot – throw the bean into the pot when you’re done scraping it out!

Add chocolate chips and salt to the pot, then turn the heat on. Bring the mixture up to just barely a simmer, stirring frequently. Once the chocolate has all melted and is well incorporated, remove from heat.

Pour hot chocolate over marshmallows and booze, serve immediately!

Grownup Hot Cocoa

Mini Marshmallows
Liqueur of choice*
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
Pinch salt
1/4 cup hot water
3 cups milk
1 vanilla bean

Place a handful of mini marshmallows in each mug, top with about 1 oz of liqueur per mug. Allow it to soak while you prepare the hot chocolate:

In a saucepan, whisk together cocoa, brown sugar, and salt. Add hot water, whisk to form a thick paste. Slowly add milk, whisking to fully incorporate it.

Split vanilla bean in half lengthwise, scraping the seeds into the pot – throw the bean into the pot when you’re done scraping it out!

Bring the mixture up to just barely a simmer, stirring frequently. When hot enough, pour hot cocoa over marshmallows and booze, serve immediately!

* SO many liqueurs work in this, it really is whatever you want. I love Rumchata, Amarula, or Amaretto, while my husband leans more towards whiskey. Kahlua, any of the cream tequila liqueurs, pistachio liqueur, Grand Marnier – if it works with chocolate, toss it in!

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.

How to Make Haggis (in North America, Anyway!)

A bit of a weird (TMI?) note here… my body is kind of weird, and I have ridiculous needs when it comes to animal protein, B vitamins, iron, etc. If I don’t eat enough red meat, I get weak and ill, and it feels like I can *feel* my cells slowly dying.

It’s a really gross feeling, so I TRY to keep up on protein… but sometimes it’s hard. I recently got so busy with the next couple of book releases, that I was living on horrible convenience foods that I won’t really admit to… and no animal protein. Got malnourished, got sick, and decided that what I REALLY needed to feel better was some haggis.

I have a different kind of relationship with haggis, than the average person. I tried it at Folklorama as a teen, and LOVED it. I wasn’t surprised, I knew from a young age that a lot of what gets labeled as “icky” is actually really tasty. One of my absolute favourite foods as a kid was steak and kidney pie!

In my teens, I realized that haggis was absolute gold for anemia, so I started to look at it as not only a tasty meal, but medicine. Iron pills never really did much for me, but a serving of haggis would pick me up and make me feel so much better within minutes. It became a go-to cure, for me.

I moved to the east coast, and met a really nice Scottish lady who’d sell it to me by the ice cream bucket-full. I moved to the greater Toronto area, and found a butcher shop that kept it in stock.

Then I moved to Minnesota, and my only option was canned. What?

While I did suffer through the canned option a couple times (it smells like cat food, and doesn’t even have all the good stuff in it!), this most recent time happened after hours for the company I’d buy it from. I decided that enough was enough, I was going to figure out how to make it myself. I’m always up for an adventure, and this would definite be one – I’d never actually worked with most of the meats involved!

I knew I’d have to make a few compromises, in making haggis. While it’s normally made with lamb, beef would be far easier to find ingredients for, and definitely more economical. Also, for my purposes… I’ve found that beef is better for my issues than lamb is. Additionally, lungs were out of the question, due to FDA regulations – so I decided to substitute a beef tongue. Stomach was impossible to find, so I had to figure out an alternate casing option.

A trip to a local butcher for the beef tongue also yielded me a bit of advice on casings… which was helpful, as I’d never even made sausage before this point. After comparing the options, we all decided that it’d be best to go with the casings used for venison sausage. “Mislabeled” for my purposes, maybe.. but they had the widest diameter, so would be closest to the real thing.

I may have SKIPPED out of the butcher shop. I was positively giddy at the idea that I was just a few hours away from my OWN haggis.

I got home, and decided that the occasion required the start of a new Pandora station. Great Big Sea was the seed group for it, as I figured Celtic rock/pop would be ideal haggis making music… and it was!

It was interesting to unwrap the individual ingredients and see what they even LOOKED like for the first time. I don’t have any weird hangups about types of meat being gross – if I can eat a cow face (barbacoa is amazing!) and chow down on roasted chicken skin, I just don’t see why heart would be weird, you know?

I did have something weird *HAPPEN* at one point, though. When I unwrapped the kidneys, the smell hit me … and it was like something out of some cheesy vampire movie. It didn’t smell GOOD, in a way that food’s supposed to… but something surged in me, and I felt extremely ravenous, immediately. I went from happy and giddy, to feeling almost sort of feral with just one whiff. I had to convince myself that it wasn’t a good idea to just eat some of it raw, right then – the urge was there! It was completely bizarre… I wonder what I was smelling? I’ve always had an insane sense of smell (Aspergers super power!), so I’m almost wondering if it was a nutrient or mineral that I was really, really low on. SO weird!

I was able to pull myself together, and whatever that was calmed down once I got the kidney meat soaking.

I pulled everything together – kind of making it up as I went along – without incident. It was easier than I had imagined, and it was the best tasting haggis I’d ever tried – never underestimate the power of having complete control over your seasonings!

As I took my first bite of the fully seasoned haggis mixture, “Ramblin’ Rover” came on over the new Pandora station, and it was a magical moment for me. It felt – and tasted – like victory!

As I placed the haggis chubs in the water for a final cook, another song got stuck in my head – David Guetta’s “The World is Mine“. Yes. It is an amazing feeling to know that this hard-to-find food item is now something I could make… and you can, too!

A note on the photos: Because of my husband’s weird “top of the food chain guilt”, as I call it (he doesn’t want to see meat that looks like it came from an animal, prefers to pretend it grew on trees or something), I wasn’t allowed to make this while he was home, and had to resort to crappy cell phone photography for the progess photos. Sorry about that!

Luckily, he was perfectly ok with the finished product, and graciously took the beauty shots for me 🙂

Enjoy!

Haggis Recipe

1 beef tongue (about 3 lbs)
2 lbs beef heart
5 onions
6 ribs celery
2 carrots, peeled and sliced in half lengthwise
4 Tbsp dried savoury, divided
1 tsp dried thyme, divided
2 tsp salt, divided
2 Tbsp + 1 tsp ground black pepper, divided
3 tsp sage, divided
2 lbs beef kidneys
1 cup vinegar
1 lb beef liver
1/2 lb beef suet
2 cups rolled oats, toasted*
1 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp allspice
1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
sausage casings of choice**

In a large pot, place beef tongue, beef heart, 2 peeled and sliced onions, celery, and carrots. Cover with water, add 1 Tbsp savory, and 1 tsp each theme, salt, pepper, and sage. Bring JUST to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 2 hours.

As you wait, rinse the kidneys off, and cut all the meat from the white stuff. Place the kidney meat in a bowl with 1 cup vinegar and 3 cups water. Stir well, let it sit for 20 minutes before draining and rinsing it.

Add kidneys and beef liver to the pot, continue to cook for another hour or so, until the tongue and heart are tender.

Remove everything from the cooking liquid, reserving the liquid for later. Discard vegetables, allow meats to cool until you can handle them.

Use a sharp knife to trim gristle, skin, or “ugly bits” from the heart and tongue. Chop all of the organ meat to ~ 1″ cubes or strips. Run all the meat through the larger grain opening on your meat grinder, mix well. Run through once more, this time with the finer cut attachment.

Grate or finely chop the remaining 3 onions, and grate the suet. Add both to the meat mixture, stir well.

Run your toasted oats through the food processor to break them up a bit, add to the mixture. Stir well

Season the mixture to your liking. I ended up using:

3 Tbsp dried savoury
2 tsp dried sage
1 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp allspice
1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp ground black pepper

Stir well.

I used the sausage making attachment for my Kitchenaid to stuff the sausage casings, which I’d soaked in hot water for a few minutes to soften. As I haven’t made sausage before… not sure what to recommend if you use something else. Don’t stuff them TOO full, or they run the risk of exploding when simmered.

Once the sausage casings are stuffed, tie them off. Prick each casing a few times with a fork or JUST the tip of a sharp knife. Place in a large pot of boiling water, turn the heat down and and simmer for about 3 hours.

YUM!

*I spread them out on a cookie sheet and toasted them in the oven at 350 until they smelled nice. Stir it every once in awhile.

** I used two large “venison sausage” style casings. If I had my time back, I would have used 4 and only done them half full!

My Haggis Making Victory Song: