Monday, August 30, 2010

Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls! What more can I say? These are gluten free, egg free, and dairy free, but if you are able to have egg and/or dairy you can substitute one egg for the egg-replacer and/or 2/3 c. skim milk for the dairy alternative and the water and you will end up with an even lighter and fluffier version. Those of you who are used to going without all three (as are we) are still going to fall in love with these! Plan to make them on a day when you have some free time as they are time consuming and a bit messy to make, but they are worth it. The last batch of 8 that I made in the evening was gone by morning. Two last notes before we get started...1: This dough is sticky and soft, it is not easy to roll, remember that no matter what your "rolls" look like they will still taste great! 2: You can frost these with any icing or frosting that you like. My favorite homemade dairy free butter cream frosting recipe can be found here. We used Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Cream Cheese frosting which, oddly enough, contains no dairy. (I know that's kind of scary, huh? It was good though.)

1/3 c Warm water
1/3 c Soy milk
1 T Yeast
¼ c Potato starch
¾ c Corn starch (or arrowroot starch)
½ c Millet flour
¼ t Baking soda
2 t Baking powder
½ t Salt
2 ½ t Xanthan gum
2 T Melted palm shortening or dairy free margarine
¼ c Granulated sugar
1 Eggs worth of egg-replacer
¼ c Oil
1 t Vanilla extract

¼ c Softened dairy free margarine
1 T cinnamon
½ c Brown sugar

Pour warm water and milk (about 110 to 115 degrees into a large mixing bowl. If you would like to use a thinner milk alternative such as rice or almond, omit the water and just use 2/3 c. milk. Add the yeast and allow it to foam for about 5 minutes.

While the yeast is proofing, combine in another bowl potato starch, corn (or other) starch, millet flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum. Whisk or sift together.

To the warm water, milk alternative, and yeast mixture add 2 T. melted shortening or margarine, granulated sugar, egg-replacer, oil, and vanilla. Stir until combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low until they are incorporated, then mix for another minute on medium. Place the dough in an oiled bowl (I use the now empty dry ingredients bowl to save dishes). Cover with an oiled piece of plastic wrap and put it in a warm place to rise for about 45 minutes.

Lay out a large piece of parchment paper and sprinkle it with corn starch. Spread out the dough into as much of a square as you can. Sprinkle some more corn starch over the dough and lay another piece of parchment paper on top. Roll the dough into a 13" x 13" square. Remove top sheet of parchment paper. Spread the softened margarine over the dough leaving 1" at the top edge clean to help it stick when rolling. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle it evenly over the entire surface of margarine. Begin to roll, from the bottom up, as tightly as you can. The nature of gluten free cinnamon rolls is to roll more loosely than a stiffer standard dough. Lift the bottom layer of parchment paper as you roll to help it along and maintain shape. Your roll may collapse and look more oval than round, it is OK. Pinch the clean 1" edge into the roll to seal.

Grease a medium sized baking pan. Using a sharp knife, slice the rolls into 8 even pieces. If you dip the knife into corn starch between each slice it will prevent sticking. Place the slices into the greased pan. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and allow to rise again in a warm place until the sides of the cinnamon rolls are touching.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees while the rolls are rising. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until they are lightly golden on top. Cool slightly then remove from the pan.
If you want a thin icing you can pour it over while they are still warm. If you prefer a thick frosting, wait until they are fully cooled.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ian's New Products- Rave review

I recently received an email from Ian's Natural Foods asking if I would like some samples of a few new item's they are introducing in exchange for an honest review. Of course I jumped at the chance! My youngest is currently going through a box of Ian's GF chicken nuggets every week with an occasional box of Ian's GF fish sticks thrown in for good measure. My middle daughter (more recently diagnosed) has also fallen in love with their chocolate chip cookie buttons. Before I move on to the review I would like to point something out so that no one else makes the same mistake I did. Ian's is a natural food company, but not entirely allergen free. The wheat based chicken nuggets look very similar to the GF chicken nuggets...the best indicator is that the wheat products have blue lettering on the front of the package and the WF/GF products have red lettering. Also, many of their WF/GF products contain other allergens such as eggs and milk, so (as is our mantra) always read the labels. They also have this great interactive allergen search to help you find safe foods for your specific need.

On to the review...

The first thing I tried (before my daughters even got out of bed) was the WF/GF Egg and Maple Cheddar Wafflewich. This is a funny story actually because both of my daughters who are gluten free are allergic to eggs. Well, someone had to try it, right? Mommy to the rescue, I can and will eat anything! In my "able to eat all foods" opinion these were REALLY GOOD. They rivaled any fast food breakfast sandwich I've ever had, and were better than any wheat filled frozen varieties I've tried. There were two in the package, so I tried one made in the microwave and the other made in the oven. (different days, I'm not THAT piggish.) Both were good. The microwave version was a little soggy and the one from the oven was crispy. My personal preference is soggy, but that's just me.

The next thing we tried were the chicken tenders. They were much more sophisticated than the nuggets we usually buy. Think of restaurant strips versus fast food nuggets. They took a little longer to prepare since they were baked and I usually microwave the nuggets, but it was worth the wait. There were 4 large strips in the box...Emily ate 3 and I ate 1. I felt just like we had gone out to dinner and ordered chicken strips. Good quality chunks of meat with crispy flavorful breading, exceptional! The tenders are not yet available in stores, but are expected to be out in September.

Last, but absolutely not least were the chocolate covered wafer bites. Oh my goodness these were dangerously good! They were very much like bite size Kit Kats. My middle daughter, as I have said, is still mourning the loss of wheat. Last Halloween ( has it been a year already?) she cried because she would never again have a Kit Kat, one of her favorites. She loved Ian's little bites so much that she asked me if we could get "180 million more bags". Sadly, these also will not be available until September, but at least I can get them in time for swap outs this Halloween. What amazed me, though, was how milk chocolaty the coating was. I must have read the label 3 times just to make sure I wasn't missing a milk ingredient. They are gluten free, milk free, egg free, and nut free. I don't have the bag anymore so I'm not sure about soy, but it is possible that they were soy free also. Everyone in the family tried the wafer bites, those of us with allergies and without, and everyone loved them!

I want to thank Ian's again for thinking of us. I also want to say again that this was an honest review. I just realized how much I am raving about all three of these foods, but they really are just incredible. I am grateful to Ian's and all the other allergy friendly companies out there that are making my life so much easier and my kids so much happier!