Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Magic Kingdom Gluten Free and Dairy Free Dining Reviews



The Plaza Lunch April 2016

Our first ever visit to the Plaza on Main Street started off with a bit of frustration. The staff who handled check in that day didn't seem well trained as to what they were doing and there was an excessive amount of confusion. This was unlike what we were used to experiencing at Disney, so we were hesitant, going in. Once chef Ken came out to talk to us, however, all was right with the world. Chef Ken was a charming and helpful cast member who chatted with everyone at the table and discussed how he could make us safe and delicious foods at The Plaza. He even shared some tips he has developed for making gluten free breads taste like normal bread. He was really great. I can't say enough good things about him.

For our lunch, I opted for the vegetarian sandwich, but because of my dairy allergy, I couldn't eat all of the main ingredients, so he added some avocado and roasted the veggies, lightly. This was made very well and it's a nice vegetarian gluten free dairy free option, though not my favorite flavor combination. The fries are made in a dedicated fryer and this restaurant can do a variety of dairy free ice cream options and brownie options. My daughter had a burger with fries and house made chips. She said it was pretty good, but not her favorite burger ever. Chef Ken mastered the gluten free bread, and that was so delicious! If you go to the plaza, I hope you get a chance to meet the chef. He was the real highlight of The Plaza.

Crystal Palace Breakfast April 2016
We had another delightful morning meal at Crystal at Palace this spring. It is always a family favorite. This time around, my daughter said "Mom, I would really LOVE it if the chef could make me a crepe. Do you think they can do that here?" I said that while they may not, there was no harm in asking. Well, the chef busted out the magic and brought her a savory crepe, which she adored. I didn't post the other photos because they are almost exactly the same as the ones below, so take a look, but everything was delicious. We had gluten free dairy free vanilla glazed donuts, and the chef offered us Mickey waffles, but we declined. You cannot go wrong at Crystal Palace!


Crystal Palace Breakfast Nov 2014


 You certainly wouldn't ever guess it, but in my real life, I am a healthy eater. In Disney World, I consume crazy amounts of food, and what better place for that than the Crystal Palace. The chef came over and showed us what was safe to eat from the buffet (which was quite a bit). There were many gluten free dairy free options. I notice the flavors of potatoes and eggs change from trip to trip, but there are still many choices.  Something new for me was the quinoa apple hot cereal. It was ... weird.  I like quinoa, but this was a bit odd. It was soaking in water, like a water based soup. There was way more water than necessary for the amount of quinoa, which was just strange. The flavor was a little odd, too. It was ok, and if I didn't have a plate full of delicious alternatives, I could have eaten it. But I let it go in lieu of the monstrous plate of food to the left.

The chef didn't offer anything else at first, but my daughter asked if he could make pancakes. She loves gluten free pancakes for breakfast here! He said they had Van's waffles, which we politely declined and he said he would look for a pancake mix. Lucky for us, he found what he needed and he made a double order of chocolate chip gluten free pancakes. A few minutes later he brought us out some donuts, so we were well fed and spoiled with options!
I used the rice milk in my coffee, and we enjoyed our breakfast so much. Also, our server was very nice, and the characters are darling, as ever. This is still my favorite 8am breakfast stop in Walt Disney World!



Be Our Guest Lunch Nov 2014


 Well, we braved the pre order option and used the filters to choose our Wheat Free Dairy free foods. We found out that if you do this, a chef will not be offered. They will just let you seat yourself and your food comes out. We were OK with this, but if you don't think you'll like that option, then you probably shouldn't pre-order. We found the system a little confusing because no one explained how it would work (no one said, go get a drink, or we'll find you, or you've already paid).  But I was able to ask a very friendly cast member and we figured it out.

My husband was not excited about the system of ordering and he was already determined to dislike the meal. To his surprise it was his favorite of the trip. My daughter agreed that the pork roast was delicious! She absolutely loved her lunch and she proclaimed the green beans and potatoes were also very tasty.  I chose the quinoa cake and salad, because I knew I would want a lighter lunch option.  It was also quite good, but I only ate about half of it after such a huge breakfast. I was grateful I ordered light. The quinoa cake was well seasoned and the beat cubes on top were delightful. The olives chopped into the salad greens were a nice touch.

Now, my daughter has always wanted to try a French Onion Soup, but we have never found one gluten free and dairy free. When you order the soup with the wheat filter, it gives you the option to eat the French Onion Soup without the bread crumb and cheese topping. This was confirmed on our receipt, so when I saw all the cheese, I sent it back. They brought out a second batch without any cheese and they explained that they did make it gluten free, but they left the safe cheese on for my daughter.  It was not clearly labeled this way in ordering, so that was a bit confusing, and she ended up eating the cheese free version (which her tummy appreciated). She loved it, and she was so happy to have tried French Onion Soup, at last.

 The soup and entree were the stars of the show. My daughter was disappointed with the gluten free cream puff.  She said the dough was very hard (rock like) and that the lemon filling was incredibly tart, which she did not enjoy. As it turns out, a scoop of rice dream would have been a better choice for her, but it was fun to try something new.  I ordered the only dairy free option I could find, which was a sorbet. I chose the lemon sorbet, but it was bitterly tart. I ate a little, but left the rest behind. While Be Our Guest has mastered the lunch entrees, they have a room for improvement in the world of gluten free dairy free dessert offerings. We are still disappointed that the French Meadow Bakery items are no longer offered on property, or the babycakes in a restaurant like this. I did ask, via email, the Special Diet department if there were any other options for us, but they did not get back with an answer. So, this is what it is. We didn't walk away hungry and we had a wonderful, and quick, lunch experience.


Main Street Ice Cream Parlor Nov 2014


I'm sure you're wondering how we could possibly eat more food, but while waiting for the parade, I ran and got root beer floats from the Main Street Ice Cream Parlor. We love these toffuti root beer floats and they are a bit of a tradition on our Magic Kingdom visits.  It is probably the only time I actually eat a root beer float, so it was quite the treat.





Be Our Guest Fast Pass Ordering Information for Pre Ordering with Allergies. Click Here.


Crystal Palace Breakfast Nov 2012

I know, it is the same ol' same ol' from us, but we can't help it.  We love the food at Crystal Palace and we love the experience of dining at Magic Kingdom before park opening! It was the same wonderful attention, help, and food as always.  I still recommend it.  You can see our gluten free dairy free pancakes and safe items from the buffet, here.



Crystal Palace Breakfast Nov 2011

We always love Crystal Palace breakfast before park opening. It has been a family favorite, but this time some favorites have changed. The potatoes that we loved are a different variety with onions and peppers and less overall seasoning. The eggs that used to be gluten free and dairy free are no longer dairy free, so we ordered side of dairy free eggs. The last two times we were here, the whipped cream on the buffet was dairy free, but it was not this time. So, while the available options were still good, some of our favorites were not as good. Our chef did not offer to make pancakes or waffles, and instead, he encouraged us to eat a muffin. Upon asking for gluten free pancakes, however, he was happy to oblige. So, be sure to ask if there is something you were hoping for! Often the chef can accommodate.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Nov 2011

I did email Disney Special Diets 3 times before our trip to find out how they were handling allergies during the Christmas Party. I never got a solid answer, but when we got there, we found they were ready for us. We checked two different cookie handout locations and we found they were well stocked with gluten free (though not dairy free) butterscotch cookies. My daughter was able to eat these and she reported that they were very good. They also had apple juice available as well as carrots and apple slices. There was no trouble in requesting or receiving these items, and no need for a manager to come out regarding this particular product.

Pecos Bills November 2011
This counter service meal was the same as previous years, so I did not capture a new photo. We received gluten free bun, burger, sides and the usual offerings of grapes, carrots, and a drink. Cookies and brownies from French Meadow Bakery were available.




Crystal Palace Breakfast Oct 2010


Our family favorite is to dine at Crystal Palace for 8:05 seating, before the park opens. We so enjoy this that we make a point to do it each trip. As always, the food was amazing. I don't know the secret, but they manage to make breakfast my favorite meal of the trip time and time again. This is Bean's plate and she has a dairy free gluten free whipped topping. Who knew? 
Crystal Palace Breakfast Oct 2010 DDPTS (Disney Dining Plan Table Service)



In addition to this, they brought us rice milk and gluten free waffles.










Crystal Palace Character Lunch May 2010 DDPTS

 We ALWAYS love Crystal Palace! They do such a great job with the low allergen foods. I had some delicious salads. The rice noodle dish had gluten, but everything else on my plate was gluten free as well as dairy free. Bean's potatoes had dairy, but her other items were all dairy free/gluten free. For dessert they brought out the same fabulous gluten free dairy free brownie from previous posts (see photo below) as well as rice dream ice cream for Bean. We all enjoyed our meal, yet again.






Main Street Ice Cream Parlor Snack May 2010 DDPS (Disney Dining Plan Snack Credit)
While the options are pretty limited, they do have dairy free ice cream and root beer, so we used our snack credits and cooled off with some Toffuti vanilla ice cream floats. They were wonderful on a hot day, and quite a treat (we don't drink soda often, so a root beer float is pretty fun for the kids).

Casey's Counter service supper at Magic Kingdom park DDPQS (Disney Dining Plan Quick Service or Counter Service Credit)


We entered Magic Kingdom for the Halloween Party right at 5pm. We decided to get a quick meal out of the way so we didn't have to miss any of the party fun for a sit down dinner. This was our first time trying Casey's. They had changed their hot dogs from all beef dogs to a new blend of meats, but after checking with the food service department, we found out that they are still gluten and dairy free.
Bean ordered a hot dog with a tapioca gluten free bun, grapes, and a brownie. Water to drink. She seemed to like this. There were condiments, although she opted not to eat them. So, it was quick and easy. I am not a fan of hot dogs, so I passed on this meal.

Crystal Palace character breakfast at Magic Kingdom park


Again, for those of you who ready my reviews, you know how much I love Crystal Palace! I do believe it is my favorite Disney restaurant. I just love the food, and the options for our allergies! The location is wonderful, too. And the characters are icing on the gluten free cake!
We started here for breakfast before park opening. We had the regular; eggs, poatoes, berries, melon, salmon, bacon, the list goes on...
They are one of the few restaurants that serve rice milk, so I enjoyed a glass of that with my coffee. Bean enjoyed a glass, too. It was just so yummy and we enjoyed ourselves, as always. Our servers have been consistently helpful here, and the chefs are always charming and attentive.
Bean ordered her usual gluten free pancakes, which she devoured. She looked up at me with guilty eyes as she confessed that their pancakes are better than mine at home and we need to get the recipe! LOL
That is okay. They probably use sugar and white starches, where as for day to day eating, I use a blend of gluten free whole grains to add some fiber and nutrients to the meal! For vacation, though, we splurge.



Crystal Palace character lunch at Magic Kingdom park 2009 DDPTS



On our last day, I booked our breakfast and a late lunch at Crystal Palace to save myself the hassle of standing in line at counter service. I didn't have a backup adult with me for the lunch meal, so this worked out great. The kids had fun, yet again.
I was in love with the cucumber ginger salad! That is something I will have to try to recreate at home! Bean loved her choices as well. I loaded up with vegetable dishes, she opted for meat
with salads and pickles. I asked the chef if he was able to make me a serving of the salmon, without the gluten and dairy. He said he would see if there were any that were not marinated.
He brought Bean out some steamed brocolli and he brought me out the most delicious salmon! It must have been pan fried in olive oil on each side, which gave it a nice crisp texture and beautiful flavor.
I just loved it! And Crystal Palace takes the cake when it comes to gluten free dairy free dessert. Their homemade brownies are sinfully good!
Another rave review for Crystal Palace. Even if there were no characters here, I would go back again and again.


Crystal Palace for Breakfast at Magic Kingdom Park 2007 DDPTS


Delicious! We loved the food choices here. Yummy fruits, fun atmosphere, delicious potatoes! The eggs are dairy free. Great!

The Chef Brought out gluten free dairy free pancakes, which my daughter loved.

Cosmic Rays Magic Kingdom Park: 2007 DDPQS

Long line, long wait IF you arrive after 11:30am for lunch, but decent counter service food.
We had a salad and a hot dog with no bun. We had to speak to the manager and wait aprox 8 minutes for a fresh batch to ensure no contamination.
We had apples that were pre cut and bagged. They had a gross synthetic flavor. The fruit flat was good, and the carrots were good.



Pecos Bills Magic Kingdom Park: 2007 DDPQS

We learned our lesson and went early. Everyone was happy! No wait at 11am. We had burgers and we opted for no gluten free bun this time
(although they did offer us a gluten free bun). We had carrots and grapes. The grapes tasted weird to me (again, synthetic flavor).
We also had applesauce, which was good.

Main Street Bakery: 2007

We got the Rich's brand of gluten free dairy free chocolate chip cookies. They were VERY crumbly!
I am amazed they hold their shape on the stand! But the taste is good.
We also got the pre packaged Rich's brownies, which several restaurants had served us. They are good. Not as good as the freshly baked
brownies that we had on our last trip, but better then Itzakadozee all week long!


Crystal Palace: breakfast Magic Kingdom Park DDPTS Jan 2007




The Crystal Palace was the favorite for both the girls because of the characters. Our daughter loved her GF/CF Mickey pancakes! She ate one, and then
requested another, which they made for her promptly.



Here is the rest of the plate from Crystal Palace: fruits, egg, and potatoes that tasted divine!




Pecos Bills: lunch Magic Kingdom Park Jan 2007 DDPQS



Foolishly, we went at noon. You really MUST go early if you have special requests! The wait was SO LONG that it took almost an hour to get our
food, but it was almost worth it for our daughter to have a gluten free dairy free bun with her burger! She loved that!

Liberty Tavern: character dinner in Magic Kingdom Park Jan 2007 DDPTS



The Liberty Tree Tavern is another character meal and we had a great time there. The food was delicious Thanksgiving style.
They made some GF/CF mashed potatoes and gravy for us, as well as turkey, ham, roast beef. They cooked us separate beans in oil,
and they brought out gluten free rolls. We loved this place!



We celebrated a birthday at the Liberty Tree Tavern, so they brought us GF/CF chocolate cakes and rice dream to eat with the rest of our group.
Delicious!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Gluten free sugar free peanut butter cookie


This is a simple recipe, and it's delicious. What no one will know is that you skipped the sugar for a zero calorie alternative, leaving a high protein, low calorie sweet that can serve as a granola bar while tasting like dessert. Enjoy!
Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup natural unsweetened peanut butter
  • 3/4 Cup erythritol or lakanto crystals
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • optional 1/4 cup carob or chocolate chips (these will add sugar)
Bake at 325 on stoneware pans for aprox 17 minutes. If baking on metal pans, start checking at 11 minutes. These will need to cool completely before being removed from pans. If you remove them when they are still warm, they will crumble, so let them set. Enjoy!


Gluten Free Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins - any mix

Any gluten free muffin mix can easily be turned into a lemon poppy seed muffin mix. Here I used King Arthur's mix and added the following:

  • 3 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • the zest of 1 lemon (careful not to zest the bitter white part under the yellow layer)
  • 3 Tablespoons poppy seeds
It's that easy! Just follow the normal instructions, adding the above ingredients, for a nice twist on a classic. If your lemon is small, consider zesting 2 lemons to get that great lemon flavor. Enjoy!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Dr. Wahls overcoming MS through Diet

This seems to come up quite a bit, recently, so I wanted to post a few helpful links. If you are in Iowa, and you have a chance to go see Dr Wahls speak, I highly recommend it!

Diet:
Here is a nice review of her diet protocols.
http://www.phoenixhelix.com/2014/03/16/wahls-protocol-book-review-author-interview-and-giveaway/

Here is a nice review of the veggie portion
http://www.phoenixhelix.com/2013/04/08/wahls-veggie-protocol-qa/

And her book -
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1583335218/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1583335218&linkCode=as2&tag=phoeheli-20

More on this when I have more time.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Gluten free Thumbprint Cookies Dairy free Egg free

These are free of many top allergens such as soy, gluten, dairy, and eggs. They are also sweetened with natural organic apricots and stevia. The end result is a delightful little cookie treat that serves as a vehicle for protein without the normal sugar load of a traditional cookie.
Ingredients:

  • Apricot puree - boil 1 cup of dried, organic, natural apricots with water until soft. Drain remaining water and puree in blender or food processor. 
  • 2 Cups almond flour (or mix of walnut flour and almond flour)
  • 1/8 - 1/4 tsp stevia 
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp organic palm shortening or coconut oil
Method:
Blend shortening/oil with 2 Tablespoons of apricot puree. Add nut flour, stevia, soda, and salt. Blend. Scoop cookies onto stone baking pans and press thumbprint into each. Fill each thumbprint with a small amount of apricot puree. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-15 minutes. Cookies will turn golden around edges when done. Let cool before removing from pan.

*Note, this is a good option for SCD (specific carbohydrate diet), GAPS, or Paleo dietary plan


Saturday, December 12, 2015

Grandma's Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies gluten free & dairy free

 Once a year, I bake cookies that are loaded with sugar and I don't look back. It's Christmas time and while we strive for healthy food choices throughout the year, it's nice to share a trip of nostalgia during December family gatherings. My Grandma made the best chocolate cookies, and she had a never ending supply. I can't imagine how many hours she must have spent baking cookies in her lifetime. For years, I tried to duplicate those cookies, but they never came close. Of course, I bake with gluten free flour, which is a big difference, but even still, the flavor was always off.

While visiting my in laws one day, my father in law shared a cookie he baked for us. I took a bite and froze. That was it! It was gluten free, and it was RIGHT!  What on earth was different? It was the shortening! I have never baked with shortening. I used oils, coconut oil, earth balance, but not shortening! So, off to the store I went. I purchased the Spectrum Organic Palm shortening, and put it together. Now, I bake these for Christmas, and maybe for a special birthday gathering here or there. They are a hit with everyone, and no one even knows they are gluten free. Enjoy.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Palm Shortening - organic
  • 1/2 Cup Earth Balance butter stick (I used soy free)
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1/2 Cup brown sugar (not packed)
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 Cup all purpose gluten free flour (this is Pamela's Artisan Blend)
  • 1/2 Cup almond flour (or replace with more of the gluten free all purpose)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Cup dairy free gluten free chocolate chips
Method:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix liquid ingredients well. Add sugars, blend. Add remaining ingredients, mix. Bake rounded teaspoons of dough, packed well and placed 2 inches apart. I prefer baking on stonewear pans (like a pizza stone) but you can choose whatever you have in the kitchen.  Bake 10-12 minutes (may vary depending on pan). Cookies will begin to golden all around, and they will be ready. Let set for a few minutes before removing from pan.




Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Classic Waffles. No frills gluten free dairy free and just right.



Sure, I love to play with whole grains, spices, shortcuts, nut flours. BUT sometimes I just want a good old fashioned waffle like my mom and grandma used to make. The best recipe for this is the one that calls for the egg whites to be whipped to stiff peaks and folded in. Here's mine, though I have found that many variations work great. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 3 Cups all purpose gluten free flour (I used Artisan Gluten Free blend)
  • 2 Tablespoons baking powder (gluten free)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 large egg whites, whipped until stiff peaks form
  • 4 egg yolks, separated
  • 3 Cups dairy free liquid (I used 2 cups cashew milk and 1 cup sparkling water. You can use dairy free milk of choice)
  • 1 Cup Avocado Oil (or melted coconut, palm, walnut)
  • 1 tsp vanilla


Method: mix dry ingredients together in a bowl. In second bowl, mix egg whites until stiff peaks form (the photo shows the egg whites about 3 minutes before they were ready). In third bowl, mix yolks and remaining liquid ingredients. Combine the yolk mixture into the flour mixture and blend together, gently. Next, fold in the egg whites and cook in your favorite waffle maker. Leave fluffy chunks of egg whites! Do not over mix.


Monday, December 7, 2015

Christmas Cookies Gluten Free and Dairy Free

I am doing some recycling this year...recycling recipes! Here are my cookies from last years gift giving tins. I haven't shared the last recipe yet (need to tweak it slightly) but it is on my list of things to do in December. In the mean time, if you are like me then you are ready to start baking and freezing for holiday gift giving!
Here are some of our favorite cookies to share.

Merry Christmas Cookie Tins - Gluten free and dairy free


I have been baking up a storm the past few weeks, getting ready for the holiday gift giving. The results are in, and it's a sweet success!

My freezer is loaded with plenty of sweets to share with friends and loved ones in the days to come. What better way to share in the season then to pass the recipes along to all of you!

1) Peanut Butter (Nut Butter) Chocolate Chip Cookies - gluten and dairy free. Can be peanut free
This is the easiest recipe! Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
1 cup nut butter/seed butter (natural - no added sugars)
1 cup lakanto, sugar, or sugar substitute of choice
1 egg (can be omitted for egg allergies)
1 teaspoon baking powder
Mix in Enjoy Life Food mini chocolate chips to taste.
Mix with fork, spoon onto stoneware baking pan, and flatten slightly with fork.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, check for doneness. Cookies should just begin to brown, lightly, around the edges. Let cool before removing from pan.

2) Mexican Wedding Cookies - gluten free and dairy free - adapted from Living Without Magazine
1/2 cup confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
1 cup earth balance butter sticks, melted (they make soy free, now, in the tubs!) or coconut oil or palm shortening
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 tsp flax seed
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup walnut flour or coarsely ground walnut meal
1/2 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut flakes
Method:
First mix 1/2 cup powdered sugar with melted 1 cup butter and vanilla. Then add all ingredients and mix well. Let it chill for 30 minutes - 1 hour.
Scoop into 1 inch balls and leave them rounded up, not flat.
Cook for 20 minutes at 325. They should not really turn brown, but they should be set. I let mine just start to get a tad golden on the edges.
Then, scoop them into a bowl of powdered sugar and coat them, once, while warm. Layer them for freezing and enjoy!

3) Mini Chocolate Cupcakes: head on over to my mix review page if you're not sure which cake mix you want to buy. The ones in this photograph are the new mix by Betty Crocker for chocolate cake, gluten free. Follow package directions.
To frost these cupcakes, I melted Enjoy Life Food chocolate chips in a double boiler with just enough coconut milk to soften and smooth. I drizzled the chocolate ganache onto the muffins, and put them in the freezer to set. Easy and delicious. No one will know it's a gluten free dairy free mini cupcake treat!


4) Choclate Coconut Candies rolled in Cocoa Almond Crumbles - gluten free dairy free candy
In a double boiler, heat water over low-medium heat, and let Enjoy Life Foods chocolate chips begin to melt. Stir constantly. For aproximately 1 cup of chocolate chips, add 1 tablespoon of coconut milk (or more as needed to make chocolate smooth). Remove from heat, and continue to stir. Drop into balls onto a sheet lined with crushed cocoa almonds (I used the Blue Diamond brand and crushed them in a mini food processor). Place in freezer to set.
Alternate candy treat - roll pitted dates in melted chocolate mixture, and cool.


5) Ginger and Spice - Here are two recipes we've used for the holidays and both are gluten free, dairy free, and soy free.

a) Lebkuchen
http://lh3.ggpht.com/__R-N2HoHns0/SxwcWhcosRI/AAAAAAAAqh8/xS3-3IGiJmI/s400/IMG_1571.JPG
These rolled out well and made great looking dark brown crisp cookies with a strong spice flavor! Good for turning into ornaments, decorating, or possibly using as gingerbread house material (though I haven't tried it).
Recipe:
1 egg
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup earth balance butter (soy free) or palm shortening or coconut oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup vanilla pancake mix - gluten free (I used the Maple Grove variety for the batch in the photo, though I think the kinnikinnick would be yum! Try an all purpose flour mix here, if you prefer.
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
pinch of clove powder
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix ingredients together in bowl. Chill dough. Roll out 1/4" thick (use extra flour for your counter top if needed (or pancake mix gluten free). Cut out shapes and transfer to baking pan.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 7-8 minutes, or until golden. I strongly prefer using a stoneware pan for cookies. They can cook evenly without burning on the bottom! Highly recommend getting a stoneware pan and seasoning it, then enjoying it for years to come.

Icing:
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Mix and top when cookies have cooled completely.

The review: Now, this is a strange flavor combination, but I liked it! If you like bold flavors, lemon, and spice then I recommend this cookie for your roll our efforts. The batch is small enough that it makes a good first run effort, too.


b) Gingerbread Cookie that is really a Spiced Sugar Cookie
This recipe was an adaptation of the Disney posted gingerbread recipe, and it is not a gingerbread cookie at all! It's a sugar cookie with spices. But it does roll out and it will work for making a gingerbread house. It will just be lighter colored that what you're used to. Works well for a spicier version of a sugar cookie (which I prefer!)


Recipe
1 cup softened earth balance butter (soy free) or palm shortening or coconut oil
2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
3 regular eggs
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 2/3 cups all purpose gluten free flour (I used the Stashu's mixture, which is not vegan as it contains gelatin, but you could use any all purpose gluten free flour mix)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground clove
Blend the butter sub and sugar. Add ingredients bit by bit until well blended. Let dough cool in fridge for 1-2 hours before rolling out aprox 1/8 inch thick. Cut out shapes and bake at 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes. I had to cook mine longer than that, as I was using the Stoneware pan and it took closer to 22 minutes! If you are using a glass or tin pan, check for doneness early on.

The Review: Remember those cookie stores that sell giant sugar cookies arranged on sticks in a basket? Well, this tasted like one of those...the spice version. But gluten free. So that is a good thing, but it wasn't the gingerbread flavor.


6) Truffles - Let's not forget these delightful dessert gifts!


Ingredients:
  • 1 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2/3 cup of coconut milk
  • additional 2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 6 ounces of gluten free dairy free chocolate chips
  • 12 additional ounces gluten free dairy free chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
Procedure:
Mix the coconut, 2/3 C coconut milk and let sit, covered, for an hour at room temperature for the mixture to blend.
Melt the 6 ounces of chocolate in a double boiler, uncovered. Stir constantly and remove from heat when chocolate begins to melt. Add 2 tablespoons of coconut milk and mix in well. Add the coconut mixture and stir thoroughly. Chill for an hour, or until firm enough to scoop and retain shape. Scoop the truffles with a small cookie dough scooper and place on a glass pan in fridge.

In a double boiler, melt remaining chocolate, holding back 1 ounce of chocolate chips, and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. As the chocolate begins to melt and soften, remove from heat and add remaining chocolate. Remove from heat element, yet leave over the double boiler or warm towel. Mix in with the heat of the melted chocolate, and stir constantly until smooth.

Scoop out the truffles, drop into melted chocolate, roll quickly and remove with fork. Place back on glass pan and move onto next truffle, quickly. Continue until all truffles are coated. Let chocolate cool to room temperature and harden, and enjoy!

Easier method: make the truffle inner, but instead of doing the chocolate dipped outer, roll the truffle in crushed pecans, cocoa powder, or finely shredded coconut flakes.