Thursday, July 24, 2014

Gluten-free pie crust - easy as pie

Making a traditional tasting pie crust made without gluten ingredients isn't particularly easy in my opinion.  For a ready-made crust, the Kinnikinnick product is very good, but the crusts are fairly small.  To get one regular 9" crust, you need to defrost and roll out the two KK crusts and roll them out into one large crust.  That is kind of a lot of work as well.

For the easiest gluten-free pie crust ever, the cookie crumb crust can not be beat!  For chocolate & peanut butter pie or chocolate cream pies, use gluten-free Oreo type cookies.  For lemon bars, use graham style crackers or gingersnap cookies.  For a more traditional crust, sugar cookies can be used, but you might need to add a pinch of salt to counter balance the sweetness factor.

The cookies should be crunchy - not soft - in order to make the best crust.  Cookie crust recipes are bountiful on food.com - just remember to use GLUTEN-FREE cookies if using a regular cookie crust recipe.  All the recipes I've found and used require butter so I don't know how non-dairy butter substitutes works in cookie pie crust recipes.

I recently made lemon bars using Three Bakers graham crackers for the crust and the glutenoids we served them to wanted seconds.  They don't eat gluten-free and, truth be told, might go out of their way to avoid gluten-free replacement foods.  I've also used crunchy ginger cookies from Trader Joe's and Pamela's for the lemon bar crust.  The result is always the same - most people want more than one bar and many ask for the recipe.  And isn't that why we bake to share with others in the first place?!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Allergen free bakery in Alpharetta


Another find on FindMeGlutenFree.com is Mama Bakes Safes Cakes in Alpharetta, GA.  Honestly, there are very few gluten-free, vegan cupcakes I've found worth eating so when I tried the goodies from this bakery, I tried to keep an open mind.  Understand that I've had delicious vegan cupcakes before - just not that many of them.  Even though I'd still choose a cupcake made with butter and eggs over any other version, the cupcakes and frosting from Mama Bakes Safe Cakes were surprisingly good!  Like 'I can't believe the're gluten-free and vegan' good!  My husband won't usually even taste any vegan baked goods, but I convinced him to try a cupcake and even he was impressed.  HE asked me at least twice if I was sure there were no eggs in the cake or butter in the frosting.

The staff at the bakery takes great care to explain which allergens their various goodies are free of (gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, etc.).  There are many things available to order to even pick up from the freezer out front at the bakery.  One such item that got my attention was lemon cookies coated in powdered sugar.  I don't recall the name of them, but they were by far the favorite thing we tried and I will be going back just for those incredible cookies!

If you're in need of gluten-, egg-, dairy- and even soy-free fresh baked goodies in the ATL, you might want to check out the wares from Mama Bakes Safe Cakes.  They accept walk in sales, but if you want to check out the cupcake flavors of the day, you can find them on the company's FB page.   

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Gluten-free crepes in the ATL!

Crepe Revolution went out of business quite a while ago.  I can't speak to the gluten crepes there, but the three gluten-free options were less than impressive in my opinion.  Because I love crepes, I routinely google 'gluten-free crepes atlanta' and what normally pops up are regular crepe places that don't have gluten-free options.  Then a few weeks ago, that changed.

Meet Crepe Cafe in Marietta!  The 500 degree griddle is cleaned (possibly with water only) before being used for the gluten-free batter.  Since I've successfully had crepes made that way before, and knew that the cafe serves many gluten-free patrons with celiac, I decided to give it a try.

We got one savory gluten-free and one regular crepe for lunch and a gluten-free dessert crepe for dessert.  Each gluten-free crepe was delicious...light and airy...just like a crepe should be!  All I could think was 'I hope they didn't mess up and give me the wrong batter' - it was seriously that delicious!  The regular crepe that I couldn't try was said to be not quite as light as the gluten-free version, but it was none-the-less tasty.  My only complaint is that there is only one location of this gluten-free gem of a cafe in the area!