Christmas is the time for special foods and many of them involve flour; cookies, cakes, and sweet rolls. If someone in your family has a gluten free it is much easier to bake for them now then it was just five years ago. Now there are many gluten-free products on the market and most grocery stores carry gluten free flours, cookie, cake and muffin mixes. These products mean that you can still bake your family’s traditional favorite foods.
When it comes to gluten-free baking, there are two things to keep in mind:
1: Some recipes call for a combination of specialty flours which can be expensive.
2: Some recipes call for xanthum gum, a natural thickener. Although it may sound exotic it is not and can be found in most grocery stores.
We found a festive cookie recipe for you that uses basic ingredients but promises to have extraordinary flavor. If you need extra help during the holiday season, let Home Care Assistance flexible caregivers support you, care for your loved one, and give you extra time for planning and shopping. We will shop and cook with your loved one, while you take care of all the details on your list. Merry Christmas!
Peppermint Bark Cookies
1⁄4 cup brown rice
1⁄4 cup rice flour
1⁄8 teaspoon xanthan gum
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (4 oz is one baking bar)
2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (about 1/3 cup)
2 ounces chocolate, unsweetened bakers chocolate
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1⁄4 teaspoon peppermint extract
6 ounces white chocolate chips (about 1 cup)
6 candy canes, crushed, 1/2 cup set aside
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Crush the candy canes.
- Whisk together the rice flours, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt.
- Melt the butter, chocolate, semisweet chocolate chips, and unsweetened chocolate in a double boiler. The chocolate should be smooth without any noticeable
- chunks. Allow to cool slightly, but it should remain fluid.
- While you're melting the chocolate, beat together the eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Beat on high until light and frothy, about 5 minutes. This step makes the cookies have the desired shiny, crackly exterior.
- Turn the mixer to low, and add the melted chocolate/butter mixture to the eggs.
- Add the flour mixture. Scrape down sides of the bowl to make sure everything is evenly incorporated.
- Mixture should be silky and shiny, slightly thick but still fluid.
- Add the 1/2 cup of crushed peppermint, peppermint extract, and the white chocolate chips.
- Drop the cookies onto a baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Dust with the extra crushed peppermint, reserving some for after baking.
- If you only have one baking sheet, pre-scoop the rest of the dough and set it aside. Due to the chocolate content the dough will harden up quickly. It's perfectly fine to bake once it has hardened, it’s just difficult to scoop that way.
- Bake for 10 minutes, turning half-way. Bake until the top looks glossy and cracked.
- Sprinkle crushed peppermint on the top. Cool on the baking sheet at least 5 minutes.
- Transfer parchment or mat onto a cooling rack and cool until you can easily peel the cookies off the mat. Cool on cooling rack for another 20-30 minutes until completely cooled. You want to allow the cookies to set.
- These cookies are great when cooled, you can also warm them. They stay good for a few days in an airtight container.
It takes time and effort to cater to the changing nutritional needs of seniors. That’s why we encourage our caregivers to cook healthy meals for their clients as part of our Balanced Care Method™ training. To learn more about how caregivers can support the well-being of your loved one, call a Care Advisor today at 866-454-8346 or click here to schedule a free assessment and learn more about how we can support your needs.