Gluten Free Halloween: Chocolate Skeleton Cookies

Just in time for Halloween – here is my recipe for these rather kooky, but not so spooky cookies.

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These cookies are of course gluten free could be made dairy free, just substitute the butter for dairy free spread or dairy free butter. If you use dairy free spread make sure it is super cold, or it can make your biscuit dough a little oily – you may also need to for chill your biscuit dough for a little longer.

I also used an all purpose gluten free flour to make these biscuits – the new Schär Mix It Universal Blend – if you can’t get hold of this you could use a mix of gluten free self raising and rice flour (see the recipe below for details).

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I had a lot of fun decorating these cookies and giving them rather shocked expressions! I think this recipe would be a lovely project to get children involved in over the Halloween weekend, as the cookie dough is very simple to make and they can get creative giving the skeleton men different expressions and looks!

Gluten Free Chocolate Skeleton Cookies

Ingredients

For the chocolate biscuits:

150g sugar
150g butter
2 tbsp cocoa powder
280g gluten free all purpose flour (I used Schar Universal Mix It – you could also use 150g GF Self raising and 130g rice flour)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla essence

For the decorations:

250g icing sugar
1 egg white

Method

1) To make the biscuit dough, combine the gluten free flour, cocoa powder and sugar in a large bowl.

2) Rub in the butter until you have a bread crumb like texture.

3) Add the egg and vanilla essence and start to bring the ingredients together using a wooden spoon.

4) Tip the contents onto a lightly floured surface and use your hands to work the ingredients into a soft dough. Don’t worry if the dough seems a little sticky as it will be refrigerated which help it to firm up – don’t be tempted to add more flour!

5) Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge for at least an hour.

6) Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C/Gas Mark 4 and line a baking tray with grease proof paper.

7) Dust a clean surface with flour. Roll out the dough using a rolling pin until it is about 5mm thick, then cut out gingerbread men shapes.

8) Transfer the cookies to tray lined with greaseproof paper using a palate knife. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until the cookies are firm and a light golden brown – be sure to keep an eye on them as they could quickly over-bake.

9) Once baked, leave the cookies to cool slightly on the trays to before transferring them to wire racks to finish cooling.

10) To make the royal Royal icing: place 1 egg white in a bowl, then slowly sift in the icing sugar in batches. In between the batches of icing sugar, stir the ingredients with a wooden spoon or a balloon whisk until the icing thickens up – you can use a dash of water to encourage the ingredients to come together if necessary.

11) Transfer the icing into a piping bag fitted with a writing nozzle and decorate the Skeleton men – don’t forget to give them shocked expressions!

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I love seeing your take on my recipes, so remember to share a snap of your Halloween cookies over on Facebook, twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #titchytonbakes.

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Gluten Free Salted Caramel Millionaire’s Shortbread (Inspired by ‘The Great British Bake Off’)

‘Bake Off’ is back and I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy the new series; especially as the show made a controversial move from the BBC to Channel 4 last year. I’m normally incredibly excited for the start of a new series, but this year I didn’t have quite the same enthusiasm for the show returning again. Saying that, I am I actually quite enjoying the new series and am pleased to see that the show hasn’t changed too much. I do, however, miss the old team – especially Mary Berry, can someone hurry up and make her a Dame already?!

This recipe is inspired by Caramel week,  which was a Bake Off first. We seen the bakers make Caramel before, but we’ve  never whole programme centred around it. It made for great television because Caramel can be quite unpredictable.

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I’m not sure Paul Hollywood would approve of my method of making Caramel, as it’s somewhat of a cheat to use the microwave… but, the result is perfect Caramel that sets brilliantly every time.

I’ve made Caramel on the hob many times and sometimes it’s been a bit hit and miss. Possible scenarios have included, burning myself in the process, burning the caramel to the bottom of the pan, or almost burning the house down… not with the microwave method!

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Gluten Free Millionaire’s Shortbread

Ingredients

For the shortbread base:
275g gluten free self raising flour
175g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
100g caster sugar

For the caramel layer:
1 x 397g tin of condensed milk
100g unsalted butter
100g dark brown sugar

Approx 1/2 tsp Sea Salt – but depends on your taste!

For the chocolate layer:
250g dark chocolate
250g milk chocolate

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C/gas mark 3 then grease and line the base and sides of a 20 x 20 square tin with greaseproof paper.

2. To make the shortbread base, mix together the flour and sugar in large bowl, then rub in the butter until left with a breadcrumb like texture.

3. Start to bring mixture together with your hands until you have a smooth ball of dough.

4. Press the dough into the tin, smoothing it into an even layer that reaches the corners of the tin.

5. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until golden brown, then set it aside to cool whilst you make the caramel.

6. To make the caramel, place the butter into a large microwavable bowl and heat until melted. Add the sugar and give the ingredients a good mix until you can’t feel any grains of sugar on the bottom of the bowl – you may need to heat it again for another 30 seconds or so to encourage the sugar to dissolve throughly.

7. Add the condensed milk and heat for a further two minutes before whisking the ingredients throughly with a balloon whisk. Heat the caramel for a further 5 minutes, giving it a good whisk after each 30 seconds.

8. Drop a little bit of the caramel into a glass of cold water – if the mixture can be rolled into soft ball then it’s ready to be used, otherwise it may need another 30 seconds in the microwave.

9. Stir through the sea salt and then smooth the caramel in an even layer over the shortbread base. Leave to set.

10. For the chocolate layer, gently melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Pour the chocolate over the top of the shortbread and caramel layers and smooth out with a palate knife, then leave to set before cutting the Shortbread into equally sized pieces.

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I love seeing your take on my recipes, so remember to share a snap of your Shortbread over on Facebook, twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #titchytonbakes.

Gluten Free Party Rings Recipe

If you’ve run out of Summer holiday activities to do with the kids, why not give my Gluten Free Party Rings recipe a go?

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This is the perfect bake for the weekend or the holidays, as it’s super easy and a really good one to get the kids involved in –  I’m sure they’ll love helping icing the biscuits… and eating them!

It’s a great recipe for us big kids too – because when are you too old for Party Rings?

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Gluten Free Party Rings 

Ingredients:

For the biscuits:
150g sugar
150g butter
130g rice flour
150g self raising gluten free flour
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla essence

For the Icing:
400g icing sugar
Food colouring

Method:

1) In a large bowl, stir together the gluten free flour and sugar until combined.

2) Rub in the butter until you have a bread crumb like texture.

3) Add the egg and vanilla essence, then start bringing the ingredients together using a wooden spoon.

4) Use your hands to work the ingredients into a soft dough. Don’t worry if the dough seems a little sticky as it will be chilled for a while to help it firm up – don’t be tempted to add more flour!

5) Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge for at least and hour.

6) Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C/Gas Mark 4 and line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.

7) Dust a clean surface with gluten free flour and roll out the dough using a floured rolling pin.

8) Cut out circle shapes using a 6cm pastry cutter, then transfer them to the prepared tray using a palate knife. When the biscuits are on the trays, use a pipping nozzle to stamp a hole through the middle of each one.

9) Bake for 10 minutes or until they are a light golden brown – be sure to keep an eye on this biscuits as they could quickly over-bake.

10) Leave the biscuits to cool on the tray for a few minutes to help them firm up,  then transfer the biscuits to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

11) To make the icing: place icing sugar in a large bowl with a few teaspoons of cold water, then mix the ingredients until they form a spreadable paste. You may need to add a little more water if the icing is too thick.

12) Divide the mixture into different bowls . Leave the icing in one bowl white, then add a little food colouring to each of the other bowls – the colours are up to you! Transfer the white icing to a piping bag fitted with a small writing nozzle.

13) To decorate, spread a little icing over the biscuit using a palate knife. Pipe three lines of the white icing across the biscuit, then run a cocktail stick through the lines to feather the icing – repeat until all the biscuits have been iced.

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I love seeing your take on my bakes, so remember to share your a picture of your Party Rings over on Facebook, twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #titchytonbakes.

Gluten Free Salmon Fishcakes with Tomato Relish

Today I am going to share with you my incredibly simple Gluten Free Salmon Fishcakes recipe which is super quick and easy to prepare – perfect for those midweek meals where you might be a little short of time but don’t want to compromise on flavour.

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I initially came up with this recipe as I am trying to eat more fish – this recipe uses tinned Salmon which is not only cheaper than buying fresh fish but still as good for you as the fresh stuff. Salmon is also high in omega-3 fatty acids which is good for your skin, nails and your hair and helps to keep blood pressure low.


Gluten Free Salmon Fish Cakes

For the fish cakes:
2 large potatoes – boiled, mashed and cooled.
170g tin of skinless, boneless salmon
1 bunch of spring onions, finely chopped
2 cups of gluten free breadcrumbs
A squeeze of lemon juice
Salt and Pepper to season

For the tomato relish:
1 large shallot
4 large tomatoes, chopped into small pieces.
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp caster sugar
Pinch of salt

To serve:

Fresh Pea Shoots or mixed salad
A wedge of Lemon

Method:

1) Start with the tomato relish: Heat olive oil in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Gently fry the shallot and the tomatoes until softened, then add the sugar, red wine vinegar and salt and simmer gently for 15 minutes while stirring occasionally.

2) For the fish cakes: In a large bowl, add the cooled mash potato, breadcrumbs, salmon, spring onions and lemon juice and mix until combined – then season the mixture with salt and pepper.

3) Heat the oven to 180 degrees C. Heat a tablespoon of oil in frying pan over a medium heat. Shape the mixture into patties and fry each one until brown on both sides – you could probably fry three or four at a time. Transfer the fishcakes to the oven to stay warm.

4) Serve the fishcakes on a bed of fresh pea shoots or mixed salad, with the tomato relish and a wedge of lemon.

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I love seeing your take on my recipes, so remember to share your a picture of your Fishcakes over on Facebook, twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #titchytonbakes.

 

Gluten Free Strawberries and Cream Cheesecake Jars

It’s been a little too hot to bake recently, as here in the UK we’ve been experiencing a heatwave – I do like to see the sun out at last, but our country is not built to cope with heat… and neither are us Brits!

So, I’ve been eating a lot of lazy food; lots of salads (my particular favourite is a watermelon, cucumber and feta salad) and cured meats, like salami and prosciutto – basically anything that doesn’t involve standing in front of a hot stove.

I have been feeling a little sick of ice cream, so I wanted to come up with a quick, easy and refreshing no bake dessert to satisfy my sweet tooth.

My Gluten Free Strawberries and Cream Cheesecake Jars tick all the boxes – they take a matter of minutes to put together, there is no baking required and they don’t  need to be left to set.

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Strawberries are at their best right now and I absolutely adore them – but you could also use Raspberries or a mix of both if you prefer.

For the biscuit layer, I used Schär Gluten Free Digestive Biscuits – I prefer this brand because they are also free from oats, but you can use any kind of biscuits you like.

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These Cheesecake jars are best served right away, but they can be made ahead of time and popped in the fridge. They are also ideal for a picnic as they are portable – simply put the lids on and pop them in a cool bag to keep them fresh!

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Gluten Free Strawberries and Cream Cheesecake Jars

Makes 4 (depending on the size of your jars)

Ingredients

180g Philadelphia cheese, cold
330ml whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tablespoons icing sugar
150g gluten free digestive biscuits (I prefer ones by Schär, as they are also free from oats)
500g fresh strawberries, halved
Fresh mint to decorate

Method

1. Blitz the biscuits in a food processor (or crush them by hand) until they are the consistency of breadcrumbs.

2. In a large bowl, gently mix the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla extract together until combined. Add the whipping cream and whisk using a electric hand mixer until the ingredients form soft peaks.

3. Add a layer of the biscuit crumbs to the base of each jar, followed a layer of cream and a layer of strawberries. Repeat until the jars are full and top with mint leaves to decorate.

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I love seeing your take on my bakes, so remember to share your a picture of your Cheesecakes over on Facebook, twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #titchytonbakes.

 

No Churn Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe

Summer certainly seems to be arriving here in the UK, so I can finally share with you my No Churn Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe!

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Over the Easter weekend I went on a much needed holiday to visit my family who live in Torino, Italy – (click here to read more about my trip). As you can imagine, I wanted to recreate some of the amazing food I ate while I was out there, including the Gelato – which lets face it, is some of the best ice cream in the world.

My recipe is a no churn recipe which is a super quick and easy way of making homemade ice cream, without the need of a ice cream maker – the trick to this method is to make sure you don’t knock the air out of the cream when you fold together the ingredients.

I recommend making this ice cream ahead and leaving it to freeze overnight as it needs a good amount of time to set – never a bad idea you’re going to serve it at a party or barbecue the next day.

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No Churn Strawberry Ice Cream 

Ingredients

1 x 397g tin condensed milk

500ml double cream

500g ripe Strawberries, hulled and quartered.

Method

1. Place the Strawberries into bowl and blend using a stick blender. If you don’t mind a few chunky strawberries don’t over blend, but if you want smoother ice cream you should blend until there are no whole strawberries left. Stir through the condensed milk and set to one side.

2. Whip the cream using an electric whisk until it reaches soft peaks (don’t over whip). Gently fold through the strawberry mixture using a spatula – be careful not to knock too much air out of the cream.

3. Transfer the mixture to a freezer safe container and freeze for a least 6 hours.

4. Thaw the Ice Cream slightly before serving.

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Gluten Free Double Chocolate Chip Muffins Recipe (for Coeliac Awareness Week)

Today I’m going to share with you my Gluten Free Double Chocolate Muffin recipe in honour of Coeliac Awareness Week, which is being held this week between the 8th – 14th May 2017.

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Coeliac UK have estimated that approximately 1 in 100 people in the UK suffer with Coeliac Disease and just 24% have been properly diagnosed – which  means there are people living with undiagnosed Coeliacs Disease all across the UK, something Coeliac Awareness week is aiming to change.

You can find out more about Coeliac Awareness Week over at Coeliac UK, including ideas about how to get involved.

If you think you have have Coeliac Disease you can find out more information about the symptoms and how to go about getting a diagnosis here.

If you’ve recently been diagnosed and are new to Gluten Free baking, there is a tonne of advice over on my Ton’s Tips and Tricks page.

My Gluten Free Double Chocolate Muffins recipe is perfect for Gluten Free baking beginners as there are no difficult techniques involved – you don’t even need to worry about the batter being lumpy!

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This recipe was inspired by my Gluten Free White Chocolate and Raspberry Muffins recipe which I posted last year,  in that post I listed a few extra tips and tricks to achieve perfect muffins -you can find that post here.

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Gluten Free Double Chocolate Muffins

Ingredients:

275g gluten free self raising flour
25g cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
175g soft brown sugar
2 large eggs
100 ml sunflower oil
200ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g milk chocolate chips, refrigerated
Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/gas mark 4 and line a muffin tin with 8 muffin cases.
2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
3. In separate bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, oil, milk and vanilla extract until combined then add this to the dry ingredients.
4. Gently mix the ingredients together until they form a batter which is only just combined (don’t worry too much if there are any lumps), then stir through the chocolate chips.
5. Spoon approximately 3 tablespoons of batter into each case – the cases should be about 3 quarters full.
6. Bake the muffins for 25 minutes, until golden brown.
7. Leave to cool on a wire rack before serving.

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