Christmas Candy - Orange Sticks

These went over pretty well. They are really simple and pretty impressive. Cut off the ends and score the peel of the oranges so that the peels come off in sort of quarter sized chunks. Slice them up into matchsticks. Boil in water for 3 minutes, drain, rinse, repeat for a total of 3 boil sessions. Then boil peels in simple syrup (1 part water to 1 part sugar) for 1 hour. Drain and let cool. Dip in melted bittersweet chocolate chips (I threw in a bit of butter to ensure a shiny finish) and there you have it...homemade orange sticks. Enjoy!


First Success

So sorry for the iPhone picture, but it's all I had at the time, and I was too excited to miss the moment. I had my first gluten free baking success! It only took 3 tries at a relatively simple scone recipe to convert it to gf and still have something that stayed together when picked up...and didn't run all over the oven when baking. I really under estimated the complexity of gluten free baking and any of you that are reading this who've been doing the gf baking thing much longer than I, you're probably thinking, "well duh". I know, I read it over an over again, that it's a process, and takes time to get the flour combinations just right and the fat, to baking soda combinations just right, but i still went on confidently thinking it just couldn't be that hard...there has to be a magic substitution that works for everything, and, well, that's just not the case.

So over the last several weeks, while the posting has been sparse, I've been experimenting, and failing, at baking gluten free. I have found some great, although expensive, prepared gluten free food, and have also learned quite a few tolerable restaurant options..including navigating through a company Christmas party held at an Italian restaurant of all places. Anyway, I have many other adventures and failures to share, but I wanted to start with a success...(I hope it wasn't just a fluke!)

Cranberry Cream Scones
adapted from Smitten Kitchen (as usual!)

2 1/2 cups gluten free all-purpose flour mix (I used Pamela's Baking Mix)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 tablespoon baking powder (1 if using a gf or g flour mix that doesn't include baking powder)
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 1/4 cups dried cranberries
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Whisk flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum together in large bowl. Drop in ice cold butter cubes and cut in with pastry blender (or you can use a food processor if you're afforded such luxuries...but I'm not judging) until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in cranberries and put back in refrigerator.

In another small beat egg and yolk until foamy and stir in cream. Remove flour mixture from the refrigerator add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir until just combined.

On a well-floured surface with floured hands pat dough into a 1.5-inch-thick square and with a large knife or pizza cutter cut into 8 wedges. Place wedges about 2 inches apart from each other on a piece of parchment paper and stick in the freezer for 15 minutes (if freezing for later use wrap in plastic wrap and stick in freezer bag at this point after the initial 15 minute freeze). Pull out of the freezer and place, with parchment paper, on baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.

Remove parchment paper with scones from hot baking sheet and serve warm.

Keep refrigerated individually wrapped in plastic wrap and foil.


I want this

I'm in love with this rug. Wouldn't it be perfect in a kitchen? Not sure the bf would like it or if it goes very well with the Jayhawk Crimson red wall in the dining room....but I'm keeping it in my wants file anyway

I've always been a little hesitant of yellow rugs, but this room serves as great inspiration for tying in yellow on the floor.

Have a great weekend!