Saturday, February 8, 2014

Gluten and Dairy Free Chocolate Dipped Heart Cookies


I have never been much of a baker, I am really more of a cook, however I have been noticing lately all these beautiful red Valentine's Day desserts and was inspired to try my hand at making a batch of heart shaped cookies. I have never attempted this before so did not totally have a game plan as to how I was going to decorate them etc. I was more concerned with just having them turn out yummy for both myself and rest of my family who do not need to eat gluten, soy or dairy free. Truth be told, I was not happy with my first batch and went back to the drawing board. I think I was much more successful the second time around. Hope you enjoy these as much as my family did!

Regarding my vision of making my cookies red in color, most baker use food coloring to achieve that red color in everything from trendy red velvet cake to Valentine’s cookies and frosting. Although the U.S. Food & Drug Administration has deemed that artificial food colorings are safe, many people, including myself feel it is healthier to avoid chemical food additives whenever possible. What I discovered is that "beet juice" can easily be substituted for commercial colorings to provide an all-natural punch of color to many foods. So with that in mind I decided to give it a whirl. Hope you enjoy my recipe for these Valentine's Chocolate Dipped Heart Cookies.







Recipe:

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread in the red tub, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon SO Delicious coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups King Arthur Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour or any other gluten free all purpose flour of your choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of xantham gum  Note: Omit this if your all purpose flour has it already. Be sure to always check the label.
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons of  **beet juice depending on the shade of red you want for your cookies
  • Enjoy life chocolate chunks or chips, melted for dipping the cookies.

Preparation:
  • Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl at medium speed. Add egg, coconut milk, salt and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth.
  • Add flour, xantham gum and beet juice. Mix on low speed until well blended.
  • Chill dough covered for 1-2 hours. 
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Roll dough out on a gluten free floured surface, about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out with heart shaped cookie cutter dipped in gluten free flour and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet making sure cookies are not touching.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before removing to a cooling rack. Cool completely before decorating. Dip in melted chocolate as I did or decorate them with anything else you desire.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to five days. (Of course they will probably get gobbled up prior to that!)


**There are a couple of options regarding the beet juice which incidentally  "a little goes a very long way". One way is to make beet juice for food coloring at home by cutting up a few raw beets into chunks and cook them until soft in a small amount of water. Strain the resulting ruby-red cooking liquid to use as coloring, and reserve the cooked beets for another use. Another method is to force shredded, raw or cooked beets through a strainer or cloth to give up their juice. You can also put beets through a counter top juicer. Beet juice stains, so be careful to protect counter tops with a piece of plastic or a sheet of newspaper, and cover your clothing as well. Additionally, if making beet juice from scratch seems like more trouble than it's worth, commercially prepared beet juice can be purchased from a health food or specialty store, although these products tend to be somewhat expensive. Alternatively, the juice from canned or jarred beets can be used which is what I used.

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This recipe was shared at: GF Fridays, Motivation Mondays, Fat Tuesdays, Hearth and SoulGluten Free Wednesdays, Full Plate Thursdays

9 comments:

  1. That beet juice is a great tip. I've never tried to dye anything with it but I accidentally got beets on my pants and I had to throw them away.

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  2. They look so pretty! I love that they're colored with beet juice instead of food dye. Thanks for sharing them at GF Wednesdays.

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    1. Thanks Linda and as always thank you for hosting GF Wednesdays!
      Best,
      Phyllis

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  3. Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays Party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :) I can't wait to see what you share next time!
    -Cindy

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  4. What special treat for the Love Day! Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great week.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

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  5. Looks delicious thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop, pinning.

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  6. Your heart shaped chocolate dipped cookies are beautiful! I love that you used beet juice for colouring as well as how allergy friendly these cookies are. I'll be featuring them at this week's Hearth and Soul hop later today as well as pinning and tweeting :-) Thank you for being a part of the Hearth and Soul hop.

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