Rebecca Reilly’s Linzer Cookies

April 30th, 2007 yum Posted in Dessert, Gluten Free Cookbook Recipe Review, Rebecca Reilly 2 Comments »

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A week or so ago we were having some friends over and I decided to make some cookies for our guests. We were out of chocolate chips, so the old standby chocolate chip cookies were out. I pulled out my copy of Rebecca Reilly’s “Gluten Free Baking” for inspiration and decided to make her Linzer cookie recipe, which has almost equal portions of her gluten free flour blend and ground almonds. (Hazelnuts are also an option, but since I hate them with a passion, they were no option at all.) I mixed up the tasty spices the recipe called for, grinding my new friend Cardamom fresh from the pod… If you haven’t tried freshly ground cardamom, give it a try. It has so much flavor, and can be added to lattes and coffee as well as to baking recipes. I mixed the dough, pressed it into a pan, and baked it for fifteen minutes. Once out of the oven I basted it with melted raspberry jam. rebeccarcookieswhl.jpg(Prior to this day I had no idea heated jam would turn to liquid, but science is a wonderful thing.) When it was cool, I cut it into squares and served it to my guests- anxiously, because there’s no telling how an untested gluten free treat will turn out. Luckily, it being one of Reilly’s recipes, it was really yummy. The thinner cookies were the best, because they were crunchy like pie crust (although obviously not THAT thin.) The freshly ground cardamom made a huge difference, and if you happen to try the recipe, I really recommend it, even though the recipe doesn’t insist upon it. I also have a sneaking feeling that it would make a DIVINE graham cracker crust broken up and crumbled, with a fraction of the effort of her swoonworthy graham cracker recipe. Stay tuned for further experiments.. but in the meantime, make yourself some yummy European style cookies, because you’re worth it! Oh, and how did our guests like them? I had to refill the plate several times, and it wasn’t just DH who was chomping them… (although he made a sizable dent, that greedy boy. haha)

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Rebecca Reilly’s Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

March 14th, 2007 yum Posted in Dessert, Gluten Free Cookbook Recipe Review, Rebecca Reilly 3 Comments »

sunportraitpoppy2.jpgSomehow along with the early time zone change, the weather decided to change too. We skipped right through sakura (cherry blossom) season and spring- directly to early summer. Something about the scent of flowers in the air- and also a feature in Gourmet magazine- made me want a light, sweet, lemony dessert. These three lemons on my table, framed by a white plate, were calling to me- but I wasn’t quite sure what to do with them. Enter Rebecca Reilly’s “Gluten Free Baking,” which is truly a masterful and expert tome on gluten free desserts. I flipped idly through its pages, remembering the chocolate mint bars (which I tried on recommendation and LOVED), the perfect gluten free graham crackers that I enjoyed as smores and even more on their own, and then I saw it. A recipe for Lemon poppy seed bread that claimed to be so good that Rebecca Reilly “uses it for wedding cakes.” A bread that could be used as a cake? I was intrigued. It called for her gluten free mix, almond flour, and quite a lot of poppy seeds. My entire stock of poppy seeds was only about half of what the recipe called for, so I decided to half the recipe. I mixed the dough, and was slightly worried that it seemed a bit heavy. I stirred in the poppy seeds, and the fresh lemon zest, and sniffed. Ahhh… lemon. I poured it in the pan, swirled the top and baked it, letting the smell of summer and baked goods fill the house. DH came home, and we shared it- it was light, enlivened by the lemon zest, and sweet, but not too sweet. It was in fact exactly what I wanted. As cake, Rebecca Reilly apparently fills it with lemon curd and frosts it with buttercream, but even without frosting it was extremely nice. The poppy seeds pop nicely as you chew, and the texture of the bread itself is light and melts away in the mouth. The only critique I would make is that the bread is rather crumbly. Adding a little extra xanthan gum might make it less prone to crumbling. But, we both enjoyed its light, lemon flavor and soft texture. I’d give it a 7.5/10, and would definitely make it again. I just need to find an inexpensive source of poppy seeds, as an entire jar of McCormick poppy seeds is only enough for half of the recipe!

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