Mollie Bakes: Sweets and Treats
Welcome to the May edition of Mollie Bakes! For this month, I went a little wild. Well, not wild per se, but I went on a baking frenzy! I’m loving baking for my friends and family and I just can’t stop! Give me a recipe, any recipe, and I’ll make it delicious and gluten free. That’s my motto.
I’m not reinventing the proverbial baking wheel, I’m simply baking great baked goods that I see in non-GF books and bakeries and want immediately (adjusting them to be gluten free). And so I bake them!
So, without further ado, here’s my May baking feature: Sweets and Treats!
Please know that all products used in the baking of the plated goodies were provided by Wilson Farm. Their baking department is excellent and has my tried-and-true favorite gluten free baking needs - including the incredible Cup4Cup flour!
Also, it is not lost on me that my primary source for this month was Joanne Chang’s book Flour (also available at Wilson Farm), which features recipes from her renowned bakery and cafè of the same name. Irony at its best, my friends. 😉
Item: Cheddar Scallion Scones - made gluten free (usually available non-GF at the bakery, Flour)
Source: Flour by Joanne Chang
GFMD Taste Test: This was my first venture into scones! And what a yummy one it turned out to be. Now, I don't necessarily think I'd like savory scones every time, but these were fantastic and gobbled up by everyone who tried them. The cheddar + scallion combo really bumped the flavor profile and these scones were simply incredible right out of the oven.
The recipe yields eight scones, but they're rather big, so I think you could squeeze out ten if you were having a group over for brunch. Some people may just want a nibble! I would prefer a whole slice. ;)
Once again, simply use gluten free flour (Cup4Cup) and follow the recipe as written. Ta da! Homemade gluten free scones that are just as wonderful and scone-y as you hope! For my next scone soiree, I might even try making a few varieties just for comparison's sake. I like the more plain options, while Seth is often requesting savory or dotted with fruit. My next task will be a chocolate chip scone because that seems like meeting in the middle. ;)
Tip for the bakers: When your scones come out of the oven they will have somewhat re-formed into one big disc. That's OK! Just wait for them to cool and then re-slice them, which will be easy since you pre-cut before baking. And as soon as they are somewhat cool, eat one immediately! At this moment they are simply irresistible!
May I suggest? These scones were part of the full baked plate I made for this month, but I could easily see them being the featured item for a weekend brunch alongside eggs/omelettes and some fruit. While I like variety in my weekend brunch carb options, I do think these scones could hold their own as being the only option available. :)
Item: Rosemary Shortbread - made gluten free (this may be available non-GF at the bakery?)
Source: Flour by Joanne Chang
GFMD Taste Test: My love for shortbread is real. And my passion to make delicious, homemade shortbread was evident in the fact that I was the most excited about this recipe's outcome. Yes, I love cookies like whoah, but there's something about a great shortbread (cookie) that I cannot ever resist. Shortbread I suppose is a type of cookie, but for this article's sake, I'm putting it into its own category: buttery goodness that doesn't need chocolate.
What we loved about this shortbread was the undertone of rosemary in each bite. It wasn't too intense, but it encouraged you to eat piece after piece excited for more of that flavor. Don't be fooled by these low-key, plain-faced charmers: they are even more delicious than I can describe and you'll be an instant fan as well. Simply use gluten free flour, follow the recipe instructions, and you'll be munching away in no time.
Tip for the bakers: Be aware that this dough was fairly difficult to work with and I think that was partially my fault. The issue was not related to using GF flour. I should have left the dough chill in the fridge for longer than I did which would have made rolling it out much easier.
That being said, once your shortbread pieces are cut, do let them sit in the fridge for a while before baking. It really does help the final product (which is what I'm learning with most of my baking adventures lately)!
May I suggest? These shortbread cookies (there, I said it) would be just perfect packaged together for holiday gifts, assorted on a plate for a family gathering, given as a gift to a friend who loves and appreciates baked goods without chocolate, or even paired with a hot cappuccino. I love the versatility with these cookies - just flavorful, and buttery, enough that you keep reaching for another.
Item: Cornmeal Lime Cookies - made gluten free (I think these are sold at the bakery as non-GF)
Source: Flour by Joanne Chang
GFMD Taste Test: Tempted by almost any cookie recipe that mentions corn, I had heard these were a fan-favorite at the bakery. So, I decided to make them gluten free and try them for myself! So good! Not only do these cookies have a fun, dome-like appearance, but they're really delicious covered with the lime glaze (requisite for the finished cookie).
I had never used so much lime in a cookie recipe before, but that really made them stand out! My taste testers were giant fans and my grandfather even requested I bake him an entire batch! That's the seal of approval for me. ;)
For the baking, use GF flour and make sure to purchase cornmeal that's labeled gluten free (Bob's Red Mill offers this product). I followed the instructions and allowed ample time before adding the lime glaze - otherwise it will just ooze off of your cookies! The final product is a light and brightly-flavored sweet treat that will please cookie-lovers of all kinds. Actually, given the components and intense lime glaze, I consider this a margarita-ish cookie! ;)
Tip for the bakers: As I mentioned above, do wait a long time before glazing the cookies. They will be a dome shape when finished in the oven and that's expected. They're also somewhat large, which was intentional, so an entire batch makes a lot of big cookies. The more the merrier, right?
May I suggest? I think these cookies would be great for a birthday party giveaway, a post-dinner dessert, a midday treat, or put in a gift bag for a fun hostess gift! Who doesn't love cookies? Especially when they're as yummy and uniquely sweet as these!
Item: Crack Pie - made gluten free (this pie is available for purchase at Milk Bar as a non-GF dessert)
Source: MomoFuku Milk Bar by Christina Tosi
GFMD Taste Test: The first time I had this pie was in 2008 when I was living in NYC, Milk Bar had recently opened, and I hadn't a care in the world. No, I did have a lot of cares and one was to eat this pie. This pie is addictively delicious. It's salty, sweet, crunchy, gooey, crumbly, and just plain awesome. So, many years later, and my GF life in full force, I was determined to make it gluten free! And so I did.
To make this pie safely gluten free simply make sure to purchase certified GF oats and GF flour for the crust and make sure your milk and corn powders are labeled GF as well (both used in the filling). What? You're not familar with milk or corn powder? How silly of you! Honestly, it's OK. I had never used them either, but they exist and they're crucial elements to making this pie as perfect as you want it to be.
Tip for the bakers: The recipe instructs you to freeze your pies (it makes two) overnight once the baking is done and then to put them in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. This is important! Whatever wacky instructions this book throws your way, follow them. You won't be disappointed because the result will be achingly delicious pie that you'll want to eat forever and ever. And that's no joke.
May I suggest? I'd love to serve this pie at the end of an outdoor BBQ summer party, a sweets-loving friend's birthday party, or just have a slice to brighten up an otherwise unexciting Wednesday. My point here is that this pie will bring a smile to your face, a grin to your friend's faces, and the desire to bake it again and again. Joyfully, each recipe makes two entire pies. ;)
Whats next? For my June feature, I’ll be digging further into the Milk Bar collection as those recipes scream joy and happiness (but I might take a left and grab Brave Tart since it’s new!). Be ready for another baking frenzy as my new favorite baking method is to just bake. A lot. ;)