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Kid Companions- Chewelry: Gifts From the Kitchen, GFCF

February 6, 2011

Gifts From the Kitchen, GFCF

Gifts from the kitchen are usually associated with the holiday season, but these wonderfully personalized gifts are a welcome way to celebrate birthdays, special occasions, work promotions, a new home, and everything in-between. Treasured as a gift from the heart, as well as a gift of our most precious commodity…time, there’s no reason to avoid creating an edible gift because of special dietary needs. Any of the GFCF recipes listed in this section are bound to delight the heart, soul, and taste buds of the lucky recipient!

New to GFCF Baking?

Consider investing in one of these cookbooks to guide you in creating that gift from your kitchen. “Cooking without” comes with a learning curve, and “baking without” can be even more of a challenge, discovering (sometimes too late) those tricky little places where gluten and casein can hide (spices, jelly beans) or what works – and doesn’t - when using substitutions. We’re not trying to scare you here! Rather, we want to suggest you learn from the best: those cooks, chefs, and bakers who have tested and retested recipes to make sure your experience is both successful and delicious!

Bake Deliciously! Gluten and Dairy Free Cookbook by Jean Duane

Special Diets for Special Kids, Vols. I and II Combined by Lisa Lewis

Carol Fenster Cookbooks:
*1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes
*100 Best Gluten-Free Recipes
*Gluten-Free Quick and Easy
*Gluten-Free 101

Lori Karavolis Cookbooks:
*Lori Bakes Gluten Free
*Lori Bakes Gluten Free for Kids
*Lori Bakes Gluten Free Breakfast and Lunch
*Lori Bakes Gluten Free Sweets and Snacks

Running Short on Time to Bake?

Consider packaging time-saving GFCF quick mixes in an attractive mixing bowl or basket as a gift from you to the mom of a spectrum child following a special diet. Add in some GFCF tidbits like sprinkles, or chocolate, or spices to make the gift even more special. Companies offering GFCF products abound now, and GFCF products can be found in many regular grocery stores. But for that truly special gift, think about browsing some of the online retailers, who offer hard-to-find and/or unusual food items. We’ve listed a few below.

Bob’s Red Mill

The Gluten Free Mall

Gluten Free Pantry

Namaste Foods

Kinnikinnick Foods

Food Allergy Gourmet

The Really Great Food Company

GFCF Quick Mixes – 6 different quick mixes sold as a set

Mixes from the Heartland
Assorted mixes packaged together by type of food: cake, dessert, meal, muffin, pancake, soup, side dish, etc.

GFCF Emergency Food Kit

It’s not exactly a gift from the kitchen, but we couldn’t figure out where to put this interesting and potentially life-saving gift idea. It’s an emergency food kit of GFCF products. Natural disasters can strike in a moment, leaving families who rely on GFCF eating experiencing an even worse state of affairs. The 72-hour gluten free emergency kit feeds a family of four, with a five year shelf life.

Super-Delicious Edibles to Bake and Give Away

Cookies, bars, truffles, sweet breads, or something out of the ordinary – like fruit leather – are easy, delicious gifts to make and give away. Package them in attractive tins or holiday gift boxes (find less expensive versions at outlet stores like Big Lots), add a ribbon or star garland and you have the perfect made-with-love gift to share with family, friends, teachers and service providers. Involve your spectrum child in the baking and decorating; it may take a little longer, but that look of pride in your child’s eyes coupled with being able to say, “I helped make it!” is worth every extra minute.

The Perfect Holiday Bread

This fast, easy recipe for Cranberry Walnut Bread works well with dried cranberries, which are packed with vitamin C and antioxidants. Make several batches of the “dry” ingredients and just add the “wet” when you want another loaf of delicious, warm bread. If you can find them, dried cranberries infused with orange are wonderful in this recipe.

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Wet Ingredients
2 egg whites or one egg

⅓ cup walnut oil

2 tsp. vanilla

½ cup plain, gluten-free soy yogurt

⅓ cup rice, nut or seed milk

Dry Ingredients

¾ cup whole grain sorghum flour

¼ cup whole grain brown rice flour

¼ cup tapioca flour

½ cup Sucanat® or brown sugar

1½ tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. xanthan gum

⅔ cup dried cranberries (generally sweetened)

½ cup chopped walnuts

1 tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. fresh ground nutmeg

¼ tsp. salt

Beat wet ingredients together. In a separate bowl, whisk dry ingredients together, then combine with wet. Place batter into an oiled 8.5” x 4.5” loaf pan. Let sit a few minutes to allow flours to absorb moisture. Bake 45 minutes, covering with parchment paper after 20 minutes to prevent over-browning. Remove from oven and turn out on rack to cool.

Compliments of Jean Duane, Bake Deliciously! Gluten and Dairy Free Cookbook.

Sugar Cutout Cookies

1 cup GFCF margarine

2 egg yolks

¾ cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup white rice flour

½ cup sorghum flour

¼ cup potato starch

¼ cup tapioca flour

½ cup almond meal

1 tsp xanthan

½ tsp salt

½ tsp baking powder

Assorted colored decorator sugars or icings

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a small bowl, combine the flours, almond meal, xanthan, baking powder and salt; set aside. In the bowl of your mixer, cream together the margarine, egg yolks and sugar until fluffy. Add in vanilla. Gradually beat in dry ingredients until a soft dough forms. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

Divide dough in thirds and roll out one third of the dough to ¼” thickness on a generously white rice-floured board. Using desired cookie cutter, cut dough into shapes; reroll scraps. Place cut-outs on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. If decorating with sugar, brush cookies lightly with water and sprinkle with sugar. If you will be decorating cookies with icing, bake first, cool, then frost.

Bake at 350° for 13 -15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from cookie sheet to a wire rack and cool completely. Yield: 42 (2 1/2”) cookies

Compliments of Lori Karavolis, Lori Bakes Gluten Free Snacks & Sweets

Chocolate Ice Cream Cake Roll

1 ½ TBS brown rice flour

½ TBS teff flour

½ TBS sorghum flour

1 ½ tsp tapioca flour

1 ½ tsp cornstarch

1 ½ tsp potato starch

4 TBS dry baking cocoa*

½ tsp guar gum

¼ tsp salt

1 cup sugar, divided

6 eggs, separated

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp cream of tartar

GFCF powdered sugar

GFCF vanilla ice cream, softened

GFCF hot fudge sauce (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 325°F.

In a small bowl, sift together cocoa, flours, guar gum and salt; set aside. In the bowl of your mixer, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until stiff but not dry. Gradually beat in 1/2 C of the sugar; set aside. In another bowl, beat the egg yolks until thick and lemon colored. Gradually beat in the remaining 1/2 C sugar and vanilla extract. Stir in sifted flour mixture. Carefully fold this mixture into the beaten egg whites.

Spread batter into a 15x10x1” baking pan that has been lined with greased and brown rice-floured wax paper. Bake at 325° for 20-25 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Run knife around edges and turn cake onto a clean kitchen towel that has been dusted with powdered sugar. Peel off wax paper. Roll up cake in towel jelly roll style, starting at the short side. Cool on a wire rack. Unroll cake once cool and spread with a 1/2” layer of softened GFCF vanilla ice cream to within 1/2” of edges. Roll up again. If desired, cut off a small slice from each end for a neat appearance, place on a serving tray and cover top with hot fudge topping. Place in freezer until ready to serve. Yield: 8 servings.

*Most cocoa is free of gluten and casein, but always check the label to be sure the brand you’re purchasing is GFCF.

Hot Fudge Sauce

½ cup GFCF chocolate chips

4 TBS GFCF margarine

½ cup golden syrup*

1 tsp vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

Place chocolate chips and margarine in a medium saucepan; melt over LOW heat. Add in golden syrup and salt; stir until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in extract. Yield: 11/2 cups sauce.

*Golden syrup is sugar cane juice that has been boiled down. It’s found in most grocery stores with the honey, but can be replaced with agave or light corn syrup.

Compliments of Lori Karavolis, Lori Bakes Gluten Free Snacks & Sweets

World’s Easiest Chocolate Cookies

Everyone has a recipe for these little brownie-like cookies. Usually they are rolled in powdered sugar before baking and called “Krinkles” or “Crackles.” They do not need extra sugar, and taste the same without the messy extra step. I decided to see if I could make them really fast using a GF cookie mix. I did, and I have to admit to being a little miffed when my husband ate one and said it was the best chocolate cookie I had made in ages! With three ingredients, this hardly qualifies as a “recipe,” but give it a go and try not to blush over the praise you will receive.

1 (18-ounce) package GFCF chocolate cake mix

¼ cup oil

2 eggs, beaten


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Combine cake mix, oil, and eggs until well mixed. Shape dough into walnut-sized balls, and place on lightly greased (or parchment lined) baking sheet. Bake cookies for 10 minutes, or until set. Cool for 10 minutes before moving cookies to wire racks. Makes 36 cookies.

Compliments of Lisa Lewis, Special Diets for Special Kids, Vols. I and II Combined.

Blueberry-Applesauce Fruit Leather

Fruit leather is a chewy, delicious dried-fruit treat. The sugars, acids, fiber, and nutrients found in fruit become concentrated when the water is removed. This makes dried fruits high in sugar, but the vitamins and mineral content is also high. Dried fruits provide a nutritious way to satisfy a sweet tooth.


Blueberries, pureed to make 1 cup

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 tablespoon honey


Preheat oven to 140°F if oven-drying fruit leather.

Combine all ingredients, and spread evenly on plastic wrap. Dry fruit using a food dehydrator (follow manufacturer’s instructions) or your oven. To oven-dry, use an oven thermometer to test temperature. Too high of a heat will melt plastic. Leave oven door ajar so moisture can escape. It takes about 6 hours to dry fruit leather in oven, but always test for dryness.

To make sure fruit leather is completely dried, try to pull leather from plastic wrap. If it peels from plastic and holds its shape, it is dry. (Insufficiently dried fruit will not keep well.) When dry, roll fruit leather loosely in plastic wrap. Place fruit leather in an airtight container. It will keep for more than 1 year if refrigerated or frozen. Makes 4 servings

Compliments of Lisa Lewis, Special Diets for Special Kids, Vols. I and II Combined.

This article is taken with permission from  , where readers can go online and, by signing in, can access free copies of the magazine’s eGuide, which is packed full of more information on holidays and gift giving for children on the spectrum.

Article amended to fit the present season of Valentine’s Day.

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At February 7, 2011 at 3:54 AM , Blogger Happy walker said...

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At February 7, 2011 at 1:56 PM , Blogger Pierrette and Lorna dEntremont said...

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