Gluten-Free Bread in 5 Minutes a Day | heartbeet kitchenWhen you learn that gluten is your body’s enemy, the first thing that brings tears is the thought of giving up bread. No more french baguettes or artisan boules – the kind with a textured look and crunch to its exterior, the inside revealing a soft crumb and spring to its “step”. Your single lady dinner of crostini with good cheese, olives and a glass of wine is gone. And the simple egg sandwich that saved you many times from hangry outbursts – well, people better watch out.

I don’t miss many gluten-ful things, and I’m actually thankful for figuring out that years of auto-immune issues were related to gluten. I was forced to explore many “new to me” foods and nourish myself the natural way – with whole grains, vegetables, fruit, lean protein, legumes, nuts, and real dairy.

But dang. Sometimes you just want a piece of really good bread.

Gluten-Free Bread in Five Minutes a Day | recipes from the bookKnowing what brilliance came from Zoë and Jeff’gluten-free pizza dough, I had anxiously been awaiting their Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day book. Living in the same city as this duo and writing a book at the same time, we chatted a little during the process. They put in so many long hours, loaf after loaf tested and retested to bring this brilliant bread technique to those of us who have to avoid gluten.

My first loaf (which is the book’s master dough recipe pictured in the two photos above. The pictures following this paragraph are the Whole Grain Loaf.) was a special experience beyond it being gluten-free. It was my first time making any kind of homemade bread. I had watched my grandmother do it, and my mom made the best homemade buns, but I was nervous about getting the process just right.

Gluten-Free Artisan Bread | made with whole grains, poppy seeds and hemp seedsThat was my Type A personality coming out in full force, which truth be told was why I didn’t do a ton of cooking before this blog was born. Little did I know that being in the kitchen gave me the freedom to embrace creativity and break away from too much self-judgement.

The wonderful thing about Gluten-Free Bread in Five is that it truly simplifies the process. You literally mix the flours & dry yeast, stir in warm water and let the dough do its thing in a warm spot. After that you keep it in the fridge and when you feel like baking a fresh loaf, soft pretzels or a puffy & blistered piece of naan, you get your oven & baking stone smoking hot, no kneading required.

Gluten-Free Artisan Bread | made with whole grains, poppy seeds and hemp seedsAre you pinching yourself hearing these favorites you never thought you’d be able to have again? I’ve made all of those I mentioned above and with each bite I felt like I died and went to heaven.

The taste & texture is far better than any gluten-free bread product at the super market.

Jeff and Zoë provide all the insight to achieve bread baking success the easy way. You’ll learn about things like why it’s important to have an oven thermometer, 3 different ways to produce the steam that gives your loaves that beautiful, crusty top and what different flours do in gluten-free baking (they did the science experimenting for you!).

Whole Grain Gluten-Free Bread from scratchAnd as they discuss in the book, the brand of flour you use does matter. Bob’s Red Mill is their choice when using individual flours to make a gluten-free blend, and mine as well, each one finely ground to produce the lightest loaf and consistency. They have every flour you could ever need and are an amazing resource for all things baking. You can follow along with them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as they share great recipes and tips. I’m grateful for their passion in making gluten-free flours accessible and affordable.

And now for the giveaway! St. Martin’s Press will be sending the lucky winner a copy of Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day straight to their door. And also special thanks to Bob’s Red Mill for sponsoring this post. The giveaway is open to US residents only and will end at 11:59pm, January 1st, 2015.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Side note: When using pre-mixed blend of gf flour I often use Cup 4 Cup which I’ve written about before, but I just tried Bob’s Red Mill’s new 1-to-1 gluten-free flour blend in these Five-Spice Ginger Thins and I’m quite impressed.)

Whole Grain Gluten-Free Bread with Poppy & Hemp Seeds

(No eggs, 50% Whole Grains)
You’ll find this recipe on page 99 of Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (which you can buy here) and I added the two seeds for texture and appearance. It is shown as pictures 3-6 in this post.

Gluten-Free-Bread in 5 Minutes | whole grains with poppy and hemp seedsthe dough

3 1/2 cups Gluten-Free All Purpose Blend, referred to as Mixture #1 in book (540 grams)
3 1/2 cups 100% Whole-Grain Gluten-Free Flour, referred to as Mixture #2 in book (540 grams)
1 tablespoon granulated yeast (10 grams)
1 1/4 tablespoons kosher salt (20 grams)
2 tablespoons raw cane sugar (30 grams)
4 3/4 cups lukewarm water, 100 F or below (1,080 grams)
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 tablespoon raw hemp seeds
cornmeal or parchment paper for the pizza peel

  • Whisk together the flours, seeds, yeast, and salt in a 5-to-6 quart bowl, or a 5 quart dutch oven, which is what I used.
  • Add the water and mix with a spoon. Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises, approximately 2 hours. Don’t be surprised that it doesn’t rise much. This is normal.
  • The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate it in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 10 days. Or freeze for up to 4 weeks in 1-pound portions and thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using.

on baking day

  • Pull off a 1-pound (grapefruit size) piece of dough. Place it on a pizza peel prepared with a good amount of cornmeal or rice flour. Quickly shape it into a ball and smooth the surface pressing and smoothing with wet fingers. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 60 minutes.
  • About 20 minutes into the resting period, preheat a baking stone near the middle of the oven to 450°F, with an empty metal broiler tray on any shelf that won’t interfere with the rising bread.
  • After the bread is rested, make 1/2-inch-deep slashes with a wet serrated bread knife, in a pattern that you like, a cross or crescents. Shimmy loaf onto the hot stone, then quickly pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the boiler tray, and immediately close the oven door. Bake for 45 minutes, or until richly browned and firm. Smaller or larger loaves will require adjustments in resting and baking time.
  • Allow loaf to fully cool on a rack before eating – this is so hard! But it’s essential in getting the best texture.

Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day | Zoe Francois & Jeff Hertzberg
Gluten-Free Artisan Bread | heartbeet kitchen

3 comments   • • •   as featured in:   Appetizer, Breakfast, Fall, Favorite Things, Recipe Box, Spring, Summer, Vegetarian, Winter

Layered Vegetarian Egg Bake

by Amanda Paa on December 17, 2014

Layered Vegetarian Egg Bake | heartbeet kitchenChristmas morning sets the stage for all sorts of brunch favorites. Crispy bacon, warm cinnamon rolls, smoked salmon & fixins’ platter, plus a hearty egg bake get passed around the table, everyone nice and cozy in their pajamas. It’s part of a week when we’re able to enjoy time with our family and friends, a feeling of joy and gratitude.

Layered Vegetarian Egg Bake (gluten-free)It’s moments like these that I think to myself, “How has another year already gone by? Preceded by “Wow, I am so fortunate for everything and everyone that has come into my life.”

This weekend we’ll head to my dad’s new house to celebrate Christmas and I’ll be serving brunch, something I’m excited about since no dining room table in our place = little entertaining. One of my favorite parts about cooking for my family is introducing them to real food versions of classics, like this Layered Vegetarian Egg Bake.

Kale and Artichoke Stuffed Egg Bake | with Cascadian Farms organic vegetablesNow don’t get me wrong – a cheesy breakfast casserole with sausage and hashbrowns has comfort food written all over it. But after a few bites it starts to get pretty rich and there aren’t many layers of flavor. And in the nutrition department, it’s not looking so hot.

With the goal of making an egg bake that was a little healthier, yet just as satisfying, I teamed up with Cascadian Farm and their frozen vegetables. I’m a locavore at heart, but in December, green powerhouses like kale and swiss chard are definitely not at peak of season.

Kale and Artichoke Stuffed Egg BakeWhen you see them in the produce section, their leaves are often scraggly and a little brown – exactly why I love having the flash frozen option. They cook up beautifully and taste just as fresh as the day they were picked.

And no egg bake is complete without potatoes. But…. as one of the dirty dozen, potatoes have more pesticides by weight than any other vegetable. Yikes. I can’t afford to eat completely organic, but those 12 fruits and vegetables are a top priority for me. The shredded hashbrowns Cascadian Farm makes are a time saver and my fingers are spared from the usual knicks of the grater.

Layered Vegetarian Egg Bake | heartbeet kitchenNot only is this brunch dish easy to make, but it’s stacked high with layers of flavors. You’ll begin by mixing the hashbrowns with an Italian cheese blend (which is nice & bold so you can get away with using half of what you normally would), sundried tomatoes and a touch of sour cream.

Half of that is spread in the bottom of the casserole dish, then the middle layer is packed with chopped artichokes, kale and garlic. Sound familiar? I had spinach artichoke dip on the brain. The remaining potato mixture sandwiches the vegetables, then lightly beaten eggs are poured over to soak into all the nooks and crannies.

Layered Vegetarian Egg Bake (gluten-free) | heartbeet kitchenTopped with a little extra cheese, it’s ready for the oven. And in about 40 minutes, out comes a golden brown, healthier egg bake that I think your family will love. A little departure from the classic, but in this case, it’s a delicious one.

Many thanks to Cascadian Farm for sponsoring this post, a company I regularly use in my kitchen. I’m so grateful they provide all of us with accessible, organic fruits and vegetables. And thank you for understanding that I carefully choose the brands I work with that help make this site possible. All opinions are 100% my own.

Layered Vegetarian Egg Bake

serves 6
use a 7×10 inch baking dish, or something with similar size surface area

1/3 cup + 2 T sour cream
1 1/4 cup shredded Italian cheese blend, divided (I use this one from Organic Valley)
1 (16 ounce) bag frozen Cascadian Farm organic hashbrowns
1/3 cup marinated sun dried tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped (you can also use plain sun dried tomatoes, but you will need to rehydrate them in water before chopping)
1/3 cup minced onion
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 small cloves garlic, minced
1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped
1 10 ounce bag of Cascadian Farm organic kale
3/4 cup milk
8 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt + pinch of black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray baking dish with nonstick spray. In a large bowl, mix together 1/3 cup sour cream, 3/4 cup cheese, hashbrowns, sun dried tomatoes, onion, black pepper and garlic powder. Spread half of this mixture on the bottom of the pan.

Put the kale and chopped artichokes in the middle of a towel and roll up, then wring all of the water out. (This is a crucial step so that the egg bake doesn’t become soggy. Over a cup of water came out the vegetables for me!) Add these vegetables to a bowl and stir in minced garlic. Distribute over the top of the first layer. Top with remaining potato mixture, pushing down lightly.

Whisk remaining 2 tablespoons sour cream and milk together in a bowl, then add in eggs, salt and pepper. Whisk until lightly beaten, so all yolks are broken up. Pour over the top of layered mixture, then top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake for about 35 minutes, until middle is not runny (test with a toothpick). Let sit for 5 minutes, then cut and serve.

Leftovers will last for 3 days in refrigerator.

24 comments   • • •   as featured in:   Breakfast, Fall, Main Dish, Recipe Box, Spring, Summer, Vegetarian, Winter

Five-Spice Ginger Thins (gluten-free)

by Amanda Paa on December 15, 2014

Five-Spice Ginger Thins (gluten-free)If you’re even a tiny bit Scandinavian, Anna’s Ginger Thins are probably familiar to you – the crisp spice cookies that go swimmingly well with hot coffee. They were a favorite of my grandmother and her sisters, a special treat she only bought during the holidays, along with angel food candy.

For some reason I was intrigued by the rectangular red box they came in, with a shiny clear window letting you peek inside just enough to spark your curiosity. I remember thinking of them as a grown up Christmas cookie. They weren’t gussied up with frosting or sprinkles, glitter or chocolate. And they certainly weren’t chewy or fudgy.

Five-Spice Ginger Thins (gluten-free) | heartbeet kitchenInstead they were light and airy, thin and crisp. Full of all the spices that signaled Santa would be coming soon – a hefty dose of ginger, paired with cinnamon and cloves. I had all those qualities in mind when making these Five-Spice Ginger Thins, trying to create a gluten-free version of the cookies that have so many memories attached to them.

Five-Spice Ginger Thins (gluten-free) | heartbeet kitchenTradition holds that you are to put one of the delicate cookies on the palm of your hand, make a wish and tap it gently with your finger. If it breaks into three pieces, your wish would be granted.

After painting dainty white chocolate lines on them, I placed one in my hand and wished that my grandma was there with me. To my surprise, the thin cookie with my special touch of five-spice powder did break into three pieces. (I love the deep aromatics and flavor that it brings – sweet tones of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, savory fennel seeds and a bit of bite from Szechwan pepper.)

Five-Spice Ginger Cookies (gluten-free) | heartbeet kitchenAnd I looked at the broken cookie in my hand, I felt like she really was seated at my table, exclaiming in her German accent, “Gol darn, you’re a lucky girl!” I sure miss her, but the memories will never fade.

This makes a pretty big batch of cookies because ideally you’ll roll them out to 1/8 inch.  It’s great for cookie parties, or in this case the 4th annual Great Food Bloggers Cookie Swap. It was my first year participating and so much fun! The swap brings together food bloggers from around the world in celebration of all things scrumptious. You get paired with three other food friends, send them a dozen delicious homemade cookies & get three different boxes of cookies in the mail for yourself.

Five-Spice Ginger Cookies (gluten-free) | heartbeet kitchenAll in the name of charity – Cookies for Kids Cancer, a national non-profit committed to funding new therapies used in the fight against pediatric cancer. If you’re a blogger I encourage you to sign up next year! I was lucky enough to get GF Sweet Potato Snickerdoodle Shortbread Cookies from Amber, Triple Chocolate Fudge Cookies from Maddie, and Almond Crescents from Christina. Let’s just say it was a sweet mail week.

Hope you’re all enjoying the holiday season! xo

Five-Spice Ginger Thins (gluten-free)

adapted from these Five-Spice Ginger Cookies
makes 3 dozen cookies

305 grams all-purpose gluten-free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Flour*)
2 teaspoons five-spice powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter – slightly melted so that you can stir it, the color and consistency of softened ice cream
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup sugar (I use organic evaporated cane sugar)
1 large egg
melted white chocolate for decorating

*if your gluten-free flour blend does not have xanthun gum, add 1/2 teaspoon to it.

Whisk together flour, five-spice powder, ginger, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.

To a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, add honey, butter, egg, and sugar and blend until mixture is thick and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add flour mixture and blend on low speed just until dough comes together and there are no flour streaks. Form dough into a disk and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, at least 6 hours or overnight to allow flavors to develop.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Quarter dough. Keeping remaining 3 pieces wrapped in plastic wrap and chilled. Roll out 1 piece of dough on a lightly floured sheet of wax paper with a lightly floured rolling pin to 1/8 inch thick. Keep dusting flour on top of dough and rolling pin to keep it frm sticking. (If dough becomes too soft to roll out, chill on wax paper until firm.) Use cookie cutter to make shapes, but do not attempt to remove. First, place sheet in freezer with the dough cut in shapes for 5 minutes, then remove and peel away scraps. Place on parchment lined baking sheet, 12 per sheet.

Bake cookies until slightly puffed and a shade darker, about 7-8 minutes. This time can vary depending on the thickness so be sure to watch your first pan closely. Cool 5 minutes on sheet. (If your cookies are a little thicker and puff up, that’s okay. They will will flatten slightly as they cool.)

While first batch is baking, roll out and cut another batch, arranging cookies on second lined sheet. Proceed in same manner, then gather scraps and chill until dough is firm enough to reroll, about 10 minutes. Make more cookies with scraps (reroll scraps only once) and remaining pieces of dough, then bake when oven is free.

You can leave them as is (best for shipping) or after cookies have cooled, use a toothpick or paintbrush to paint white chocolate around the stars. To speed things up, drizzle the white chocolate very lightly onto each one.

For more Gluten-Free Christmas Cookies, check out these recipes:

Flourless Chocolate Peppermint Blossoms
Caramel Cashew Chocolate Cookies
Nutella Thumbprints
Best Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Five-Spice Ginger Thins (gluten-free) | heartbeet kitchen

16 comments   • • •   as featured in:   Fall, Recipe Box, Seasonal, Sweets, Winter

Skillet White Chicken Chili Dip

by Amanda Paa on December 7, 2014

Skillet White Chicken Chili DipIt’s the middle of December and my instagram feed is filled with people enjoying their holiday traditions – cookie baking, tree lighting, sledding and party filled evenings. I can’t help but love this time of year, even if a little hustle and bustle comes with it. Between Brian and I, we have four families to celebrate with, meaning lots of good food, fun and love.

On Christmas Eve we head to Brian’s mom’s, all 25+ of us (and growing!) for a day filled with hot toddies served in her original set of Tom & Jerry mugs from the 1970’s and the annual Shuv-unda game (more on that soon). We forgo a big meal with lots of prep and instead everyone brings their favorite appetizers, a tradition I’m totally a fan of.

White Chicken Chili Skillet Dip | heartbeet kitchenI probably eat more cheese around the holidays than I should, but I’m quite alright with that. Last year I brought this (love how pretty it looks stuffed with pomegranates) but this time I’m bringing the heat – White Chicken Chili Dip served piping hot in a skillet.

I don’t know about you, but I’ll take white chili over red any day.

The combination of soft white beans, lots of garlic and zesty salsa verde is just so perfect. Sometimes with chicken, sometimes without. Either way, it’s just how I like to warm up on a winter day.

White Chicken Chili Dip | heartbeet kitchenThis cheesy dip version came about as I was looking to use up some leftover rotisserie chicken (side note: Whole Foods now roasts organic ones daily). And it was Sunday – chips and dip are kind of a required thing for watching football around here.

I ended up having a can of white beans and half a red pepper handy, along with a jar of my homemade salsa verde. There was only about a cup left of a mozzarella/cheddar cheese bag, so to give it a little more volume I pureed 3/4 of the white beans with a some sour cream and garlic. Let’s just say that  might have been one of my better ideas.

Skillet White Chicken Chili DipI fell in love with its smooth base and surprise bites of chicken throughout. And coincidentally, the pops of color from the peppers and cilantro is quite holiday-esque.

The salsa verde gives it some tang and the way the cheese bubbles and browns……. dang, so good. And nobody will even know it’s a little lighter thanks to the bean puree.)

I’m not lying when I say we fought over who got the last scoop (these Food Should Taste Good chips are my go-to, sturdy and made from simple ingredients) and we had no intentions of eating all of it. That being said, if you bring it to a party, make sure you grab some right as you set it out. It won’t last long.

Skillet White Chicken Chili Dip | gluten-freeOh, and the Shuvunda game! Everyone brings a gift that they would rather shove under the couch than ever see again in their house. It’s quite a riot. Are there any fun games that your family plays? I’d love to hear some more ideas.

Skillet White Chicken Chili Dip

serves 6

1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 (14.5 ounce can) white beans, drained
1/3 cup sour cream
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
juice of a half lime
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt (if needed)
1 cup shredded, cooked chicken
1/2 cup sweet corn (fresh or frozen)
2 tablespoons minced cilantro
1 1/4 cups mozzarella/cheddar cheese combination, divided
1/3 cup diced red peppers
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon salsa verde

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Brush olive oil onto bottom and halfway up sides of a 10 inch cast iron skillet. (You could also bake in any vessel you normally use for baking dips, relatively the same size.)

Reserve 1/4 cup of the drained beans, set aside. Add the rest of the beans, sour cream, garlic, lime juice and cumin to a food processor. Puree until smooth. Taste and add a little salt if needed. Stir in chicken, corn, cilantro and a 1/2 cup of cheese.

Spread onto bottom of skillet, then evenly sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup white beans, red peppers and salsa verde on top of the mixture. Cover with remaining cheese. Bake for 16-20 minutes, until dip is bubbling and browned on top. Serve immediately. Can be rewarmed as needed

19 comments   • • •   as featured in:   Appetizer, Fall, Recipe Box, Spring, Summer, Winter

Caramel Cashew Chocolate Cookies (Gluten-Free)

by Amanda Paa on November 28, 2014

Caramel Cashew Chocolate Cookies {gluten-free}Salty, sweet, chewy, fudgy Caramel Cashew Chocolate Cookies – simply put, a mouthful of decadence. There was no way I could include all of those descriptors in the name of these decadent bites, but truly – they’re the kind of cookie you pray you get double of at the annual Christmas cookie exchange. And because they only contain 1/3 cup of flour, they can easily be made with gluten-free or gluten-ful without any extra work.

Caramel Cashew Chocolate Cookies | gluten-freeMost of you know that I’m a huge supporter of makers who put their heart and soul into their product or craft, whether that be the vegetables on my table, the ring I wear, and yes – the candy my sweet tooth desires. Meet Annie B’s Caramels, owned by Justin and Amanda Henke of St. Paul, which were just selected as one of Oprah’s Favorite Things 2014, her annual gift guide that many wait all year for, including myself.

Can you even image the thrill of that phone call?! Amazing, and so exciting. And exactly the reason I’ve partnered with them to share the news along with this recipe that I created, their caramels sealing the deal on the dreamy cookie you’re staring at.

Caramel Cashew Chocolate Cookies with Annie B's Caramels ~ featured on Oprah's Favorite Things 2014Justin and Amanda’s story is surely a unique one. For quite awhile they were trying to create the perfect caramel in their tiny St. Paul kitchen so they could open their own business. As Amanda recalls:

“After countless pounds of butter and a few friendly squabbles, Justin happened upon Annie B’s, a family-owned company of 35 years. He brought caramels home and a very pregnant Amanda ate 12 of them in one sitting (yep, she did). Together they concluded that these caramels were the epitome of buttery perfection, and completely unsurpassable. Ironically, Tom and Carol Bouquet – founders of Annie B’s – were ready to retire and Justin and Amanda agreed to purchase Annie B’s on the same day she gave birth to their first child, a son named August. They officially took over the company in January of 2013, and have been making phenomenal caramels, as well as gourmet popcorn ever since.”

Trust me, once you taste their Sea Salt flavor you’ll know exactly why Oprah wants these caramels to land in everyone’s stocking. Rich with a subtle chew that doesn’t stick to your teeth, vanilla and butterscotch notes, and just a slight crunch from the salt. Every batch is patiently made by hand in copper pots by their small team, using real ingredients, are gluten-free, and have no high fructose corn syrup.

Caramel Cashew Chocolate Cookies | heartbeet kitchenNow about these cookies……! Finally made perfect after 3 trial runs, they’re full of my favorite things. They set up fudgy and chewy, their tops crackle and shine, thanks to a technique I learned from Alanna. It’s a result of beating the eggs and sugar until they triple in a volume, creating a fluffy mixture that you fold the melted chocolate into.

And is there any better combination than salty cashews and sweet, gooey caramel? Yum. I coarsely chopped the nuts because I like the texture it adds, and also sprinkled a few on top of the batter so they were visible – not that the caramel drizzle isn’t tempting enough.

Caramel Cashew Chocolate Cookies | heartbeet kitchenFor all your holiday baking, Annie B’s has their old fashioned caramels in one pound baking slabs, which is what I used here. No unwrapping = major time saver. Or if you happen to get some of the individual caramels, you’ll need just 1/3 pound to make this recipe.

Caramel Cashew Chocolate Cookies boxIf you want to give the ultimate gift this year, you can purchase the exact hand carved wooden box (so cute) online or at their holiday pop-up shop on East 7th Street right here in St. Paul. And just in time for Small Business Saturday, they’re offering 20% off any purchase at their store when you show your receipt from another local retailer. Supporting and giving back, I love it.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday. Mine was delightful, spent with family and a smattering of wonderful food. And without skipping a beat, I’m ushering in Christmas cookie making season with these delicious sweet treats. Enjoy!
Caramel Cashew Chocolate Cookies (gluten-free) | heartbeet kitchen

Disclosure: Thank you so much to Annie B’s for sponsoring this post and collaborating to share the good news. I was compensated for my work, but opinions are my own – how could you not love these caramels!

Caramel Cashew Chocolate Cookies

roughly adapted from Alanna’s Uber Chocolate Cookies
makes 2 dozen cookies

4 3/4 ounces of 60-70% chocolate, coarsely chopped
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder (optional, but greatly enhances the chocolate flavor)
1/3 cup sweet rice flour, 1 3/4 ounces (or regular all purpose flour if you do not need to avoid gluten)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup coarsely chopped cashews (4 ounces) + 1/4 cup chopped for sprinkling
1/3 pound caramels
3/4 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using microwave-safe container, place chocolate and butter in microwave oven at medium power (50 percent) for 1 minute. Remove and stir. Remove and stir, then return to microwave and repeat heating step for 30 seconds until chocolate is barely melted, smooth and glossy in appearance. Stir in the espresso powder, then let stand to cool a little.

In a separate bowl, mix together rice flour and baking powder, set aside. With a stand or hand mixer, beat the eggs, salt and sugar together for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes on medium speed, until tripled in size, light and fluffy in appearance. Slowly add in the chocolate mixture and mix on low until incorporated. Add flour mixture and mix on low to incorporate. Stir in 2/3 cup of cashews and let batter sit for 15 minutes at room temperature. Batter will look and feel like brownie batter.

When ready to bake, spoon batter by heaping tablespoons onto a parchment lined baking sheet, 9 cookies to a pan to a give them room to spread a little. I make sure mine are perfect circles by smoothing the top with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle each cookie with remaining 1/4 cup chopped cashews, then bake for 11-12 minutes, until tops are shiny and little cracked. Remove from oven and let sit on pan for 4 minutes, then move onto a cooling rack.

While cookies are baking, slowly melt the caramel with the water in a nonstick pan (or kettle) on the lowest setting of your stovetop. Do not bring it to a bowl, just warm enough to incorporate the water so it will allow you to drizzle it (will still seem thick, but works best this way.)

When you have moved cookies to the rack, drizzle each with the caramel and allow to cool and set. Will keep stored in a covered container (can stack the cookies if their is a layer of parchment in between) for 4 days.

Caramel Cashew Chocolate Cookies (gluten-free) | heartbeet kitchen

31 comments   • • •   as featured in:   Fall, Featured Recipes, Recipe Box, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, Sweets, Winter