Gluten-free Dairy-free Holiday Persimmon Cookie Recipe

December 4th, 2011 yum Posted in Baked Goods, Cookies, Dairy Free, Persimmon 10 Comments »

When we decided to buy a house in California, we knew that fruit trees often came with the deal. Honestly, it seems like around here you would have to go to some effort to find a house without at least an apple or lemon tree on the property. True to form, our house came with apple, apricot, plum, avocado trees, and then a hearty volunteer branch of a persimmon tree that drapes from our neighbor’s yard into our back yard garden. The persimmon and avocado tree delighted but confused me by bearing their fruit in winter. Last year persimmons found their way into smoothies,streusel topped persimmon muffins, and even a flaming persimmon pudding (cake). This month I have been a little under the weather with family colds, and I’ve been working on my dissertation research too. But last night I got into the holiday spirit and made this scrumptious persimmon cookie spiked with all my favorite spices, pecans and raisins too. Ohhh it was good. And they were good for breakfast, too. Oh, c’mon, they have fruit and nuts- really, they are like a (sweet) granola in a cookie, so it isn’t that shameful to have them with a morning americano, right? Right?

Here are some more gluten-free cookie recipes:

Gluten-free Vegan Carrot Raisin Un-Oatmeal Cookies
Vegan Gluten-free Quinoa Peanut Butter Monster Cookies
Gluten-free Nutmeg Shortbread Flat Cookies
Grain-free Low-processed sugar Chocolate Pecan tollhouse PIE recipe (ok, inspired by a cookie!)
Healthy Gluten-free Gingerbread Cut Out Cookie Men

So much for dieting!

Gluten-free Dairy-free Spiced Persimmon Cookie Recipe
1 cup peeled persimmon, pureed
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup +2 tablespoons brown rice flour(or sorghum)
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup +2 tablespoons tapioca starch
1/2 cup brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 tsp salt
1 beaten egg
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup melted palm oil shortening, vegan margarine or butter (I used shortening)

Preheat oven to 375F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and reserve.

Whisk your baking soda into the persimmon puree and reserve.
Combine your dry ingredients from brown rice flour through spices and salt. Stir in persimmmon puree. Fold in your beaten egg and then your nuts and raisins. Pour the melted shortening over the dough and stir to combine.

Scoop out small spoonfuls of dough (a full regular spoon or a scant tablespoon works well) onto your prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes or until cookies are baked but still slightly soft. They are very tender when first baked but firm up as they cool.

I used about 2 ripe hachiya persimmons for this recipe but I think any nicely ripened persimmon would work.

The pictured cookies were frozen first, and then baked. The first time around, I used the room temperature dough and they spread out more, which looks a bit prettier. Either way they taste great!

You can freeze the dough and bake later in a preheated oven at 375F. Just add a few minutes on to the baking time. I usually throw my dough into a quart ziploc freezer bag and label with baking instructions and recipe title. However, when you cut off the cookies you get funny block-shaped cookies then. I recommend you freeze them in a tube shape or freeze them on wax paper in spoonfuls just how you’d like to bake them for the prettiest cookies. Freezing cookie dough gets rid of some of the graininess of gluten-free flour and also results in a fatter cookie. This recipe is also good baked straight out of the bowl, but we like the flexibility of freezing the leftovers so we can have fresh cookies any time we want.

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Gluten-free Sweet Tomato Tart and Pie, Crisp, Cobbler Carnival

July 22nd, 2011 yum Posted in Baked Goods, Blog Event, Nut Free, Sorghum, Soy Free, tomatoes 9 Comments »

A few years ago, I read about a little tomato stand in the Santa Cruz mountains called Love Apple Farm with heirloom, organic tomato plants that they sold in the Spring. One unseasonably warm weekend in early Spring, the DH and I made our way to that tomato stand (which turned out not to be so little) and bought some tomato plants that we lovingly installed on our balcony. We also picked up some homemade tomato jam from a woman who later started her own business as Jeannie’s Jams, also on Twitter. That tomato jam was very tasty. Fast-forward a few years. The DH and I have bought a house and that house came with a yard (two yards, actually, a front AND back yard) perfect for growing tomatoes. It is also nice for growing other things, but it is really all about the tomatoes for me. We went a little crazy this year and bought about ten lovelies, each one unique and wonderful in its own way. The season has been cool, but using Cynthia of Love Apple Farm’s special techniques, those tomato plants are gloriously healthy and currently about 10 feet tall, with some gorgeous tomatoes on the verge of ripening. I’ve been tapping my toes impatiently waiting for them to arrive, but at the same time, I know that once they do we’ll be swimming in tomatoes. I may start bathing in the stuff. Finally, my patience was rewarded in the tiniest way when my beautiful Marmande finally yielded first one red tomato, and then a second. This is just the tip of the iceburg, my friends.
So, in preparation for the upcoming bounty, and with thoughts of tarts, cobblers and pies dancing in my head, combined with memories of sweet heirloom tomato jam, I developed a gluten-free recipe for an altogether unexpected treat- a gluten-free sweet tomato tart with nary a nod to the savory. You could make many variations on this, whether by changing out the cream cheese with creme fraiche, tofutti better than cream cheese, mascarpone, or be really fancy with vanilla custard or Creme diplomate. You could also JUST put a thin layer of sugar simmered or slow roasted tomatoes on the bare tart and either top it with a creamy sauce (or whipped cream, or cashew cream) or eat it entirely bare. This is a delicate dessert, so beware when relocating it, and do leave it in its protective tart pan until the last possible minute. It is also a recipe I think I’ll be tweaking in the future, but it was so fun that I had to share it with you as the lead recipe in a gluten-free tart, pie, crisp, or cobbler carnival. I was inspired to make all these cobblers this week by the fruit trees in my yard, and also by the Pie Day Shauna hosted recently. I wasn’t able to participate, but I hope to see some of the participants share their gorgeous creations here so I can live vicariously through them just a little. I hope you enjoy, my dears. My breakfast this morning was a homemade cappuccino and a Sweet tomato tart- or is it a tartlette? Either way, it was a wonderful start to the day.

Other interesting tomato tarts (not Gluten-free)
David Lebovitz’s Savory French Tomato Tart Recipe
101 Cookbooks Savory Fresh Heirloom Tomato Tart in a Parmesan crust
Savory Cheesy Tomato Tart
Tomato Tarte Tatin

And now, the promised Tart, Pie, Crisp, and Cobbler Linky for GLUTEN-FREE recipes. If you have a related recipe that is NOT gluten-free, you can share in comments, but let us leave Mr. Linky for the gluten-free recipes.

Rules: Please link only to Gluten-free Recipes for Pies, Tarts, Crisps or Cobblers. Also, provide a link back to this carnival page on your submitted recipe post so people can find us and add more yummy recipe links! Thanks and I can’t wait to see what you share.

Gluten-free Sweet Tomato Tart
Tarts (makes one large or 5 or 6 small tarts)
3/4 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup potato starch
1/2 c. confectioners’ sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
9 Tb. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk, whisked lightly

Cream cheese layer:
1/2 package (4 oz) cream cheese or possibly creme fraiche (only if using very soft, runny tomato jam)
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
dash vanilla
1 tsp. powdered sugar (or more to taste)

Sweet Tomato Jam (see notes for the recipe I used)

Butter 5 small tart pans OR 1 large tart pan and reserve.

Combine flours, sugar, and salt for tart in a food processor and blend to combine.Add your buter and pulse until it is evenly distributed. Add your egg yolk and process until you have smooth dough. Divide into 5 or 6 sections if doing mini-tart option and drop each section into a tart pan. Press out into a tart crust using your fingers, making sure to come up the edges and leave a depression in the middle for the filling. Place in freezer for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, Cut out circles of aluminum foil (or parchment paper) for the center of each mini tart. Butter them and place them in the center of each tart. I used aluminum foil but it stuck a little and didn’t leave a pretty, smooth bottom for the tarts, so I’d use parchment next time.
Bake on 350 for 15-20 minutes or until lightly brown, and then GENTLY remove your foil or parchment circles and bake another 5-10 minutes or until golden.

Cool and reserve for use later. I made them the night before assembling. You should put your filling in just prior to serving or the crust could become soggy.

Whip together cream cheese layer ingredients and reserve.

To assemble, put a layer of the cream cheese in the tart and then gently cover with a layer of tomato jam. Enjoy!

Tomato jam for 2-3 small tarts
3 heirloom organic tomatoes (small varieties are fun to combine with larger varieties, just slice in half and roast before adding to preserve shape)
1/4 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
dash vanilla

3 tomatoes, either diced or with 1 diced and reserved, and the rest thinly sliced and roasted on 250f for as long as you can stand it. For me, it was about 2 hours. Then bring your water and sugar to a boil and add all of your tomatoes (1 fresh and 2 roasted, or all fresh). Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until thickened but still spreadable.

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