What I’m Talking About: Gluten-Free Recipes for the Holidays

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I’m finally embracing the 2011 holiday season with open arms. I’m ready for a bit a cheer, for watching White Christmas  for the hundredth time, for decorating the house and putting up the tree and wrapping presents and hugging people dressed in Santa hats (my dad; although one year he showed up in reindeer antlers). I’m ready to cook special holiday dinners for my family and friends, drink luscious wines and enjoy favorite foods.

My first big holiday dinner this year is on Saturday and I will be doing all the cooking and baking. I’m planning a multi-course meal, and like many hostesses these days, I have to configure food allergies, intolerances and dislikes into the equation. One person doesn’t like garlic (AGHHHH!!); this basically eliminates about two thirds of my favorite main course dishes for large groups. Three people don’t like a lot of salt. But since I can’t cook without using any salt (sorry), I will cook with less salt. In addition, all the food at the meal will be gluten-free, because even though most people would be better off without a lot of gluten, my oldest son and I have celiac and can’t have any- no matter what.

There will also be a child with an egg allergy. This is a hard one when it comes to baking. But I tested making my Chocolate Fudge Cake egg-free using 1 tablespoon flax meal and 3 tablespoons hot water (per egg) and successfully made cupcakes (I’ve learned smaller is better when it comes to egg-free cakes). They are not exactly the same texture of the regular cake, but they are damn good. I’ll also be making my Chocolate Tart Crust (from Gluten-Free Baking Classics) filled with egg-free mint chocolate chip ice cream and a lot of naturally egg-free cookies from Gluten-Free Baking Classics (Shortbreads, Lemon Shortbreads, Coconut Shortbreads, Chocolate Shortbreads, Pecan Butter cookies). I want my young niece to be able to reach for and eat whatever she wants.

In case you’ve been pondering what to make for upcoming holiday dinners, I’ve listed some recipes from my Foodphilosopher.com website that might come in handy! And if you’ve been wondering what I did with all the eggnog I bought last week to make those Eggnog Teacakes, well, let’s just say that I’ve had to partake in a lot more eggnog than a person ever should. But I’ve enjoyed drinking several of the “nogs” that didn’t make the final baking cut (like the incredible organic full fat version and coconut milk version) with a nip of dark rum…… makes it taste a little more like Christmas.

Cookies and Desserts
Snicker Doodles
Black and White Cookies
Lady Fingers (for holiday trifles)
Lemon Squares
Cold Lemon Souffle
Chocolate Soufflé
Red Velvet Cake
Maple Walnut Cake
Angel Food Cake
Classic Lemon Tart
Coconut Bread Pudding

Hors d’oeuvres
Scallops Wrapped in Smoked Salmon with Horseradish Sauce
Spicy Roasted Ratatouille Spread
Crisp Chinese “Dumpling” Balls

Brunch Ideas
Broccoli and Cheese Soufflé
Egg and Sausage Breakfast Plate
Crumb Cake

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3 thoughts on “What I’m Talking About: Gluten-Free Recipes for the Holidays”

  1. I have been a fan of yours for a number of years now, soon after my daughter graduated from college, she was found to be wheat intolerant (to pair with her dairy intolerance she already had) In my quest to be a the mom who was not going to let her go without the baked goods she loved, I began searching for recipes. Your Gluten Free Baking Classics was the firs GF cookbook I ever used, and discovered wonderful yumminess!

    I also have a nephew who has 4 children who at one time nearly all of them had one allergy or another to foods. When they came east for a 10 day visit to celebrate my mom’s 90th birthday, I tested your recipes to create a cake the kids could eat that was gluten/wheat free, corn free, egg free and dairy free! I used the flaxseed egg replacer in your fudge cake and it was the best of all the other experiments! It was delicious!

    Your carrot cake recipe is also loved! One of my sisters LOVES it, and asked me to bake it for a family party that honors another sister, who can’t eat coconut. What would you do in that case with your recipe? Just eliminate it all together or replace it with something else?

    Thank you!

    1. hi!
      It’s good to hear that you’ve been using and enjoying my recipes for many years. I’m also happy to hear that the flax eggs work so well in my chocolate cake. I’ve used them in several other recipes (including my sandwich bread and hamburger buns), but never in that cake. Thank you for the good report!

      As for not using the coconut in my carrot cake, you can simply leave it out without too much of an impact. You’ll have to watch the baking time since the total volume of the cake is slightly less. You won’t miss the added sweetness from the coconut because there is enough sugar in the cake and cream cheese frosting to compensate. In this particular cake, the coconut added a bit of flavor and helped a bit with the texture. Without it, the cake will actually have a lovely texture- just very slightly different. I tested the recipe a long time ago and with and without so I could see whether it was worth adding; I can speak from experience.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions. And I’d love to know how you like the cake without that coconut!

      Very best regards,

  2. Hi,
    Yes you can use real lowfat buttermilk. Just leave out the buttermilk powder and the liquid in the receipe.
    Very best,

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