Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Gluten Free "Spreads"

I have quite a bit of a sweet tooth.  It is not something I am proud of - it just is, so I learn to deal. I deal by drooling over wonderful blogs and cookbooks, which probably is not a good use of my time but alas, I indulge.  I see something that looks so yummy and easy but is full of gluten, I really want to make it over so it is gluten free.  Now I leave the hard conversions to Nicole over at Gluten Free on a Shoestring, because she has some kind of magical recipe converting super powers or something.  Please go and check out her blog because you will be wonderfully woo'd by her prowess.

Any who, I have seen this "spreads" recipe a few times. It is originally from the Pioneer Woman and I'm pretty sure I saw it on her Food Network show.  It also shows up in her "holiday" cookbook that is only sold at Target.  It looked so easy and utterly scrumptious that I just had to make it gluten free.
My first step was to find the recipe fast. Yes I had the cookbook but I'm at my computer 90% of the day so I googled, "Pioneer Woman Spreads" and *BAM* it showed up on her blog too.  I promptly printed it out and took out some butter to come to room temp.

By now, you are probably on the floor laughing from that last paragraph.  I have many sarcastic jokes readily available about the name of this recipe and just realized that my Google search is down right dirty sounding.  I'm so sorry Ree, truly I am - I mean no disrespect! Honest!

Now back to the recipe, two sticks of butter is A. LOT. of butter, so I used light butter. I do not think you can notice a difference at all. I know some people get pretty uptight that light butter is not real and has a bunch of additives but honestly, it's all pretty normal stuff and some ingredients that I already use in gluten free baking so, I'm good with it.  Others find that light butter has too much moisture content and that it can mess with your recipe.  Maybe, but unless you are making frosting, I find that light butter can substitute quite nicely with less fat and calories.

I also have really been digging the gluten free flour blend over at Sarah Bakes Gluten Free Treats.  It consists mainly of brown rice and sweet sorghum flours which are considered whole grain. The flour blend is roughly 70% these two flours and 30% starches, which really is nicer than blends that have white rice as the main component.  It doesn't always work in all situations and that's ok, we have other blends to use for those times.  But for today, I used this blend and it worked great!  One of the main reasons why it worked great is because I aerate the flour with a whisk in the container before measuring.  Then I lightly spoon the flour into the cup and carefully level it with a butter knife.  This ensures that you are not 'packing' the flour blend into the cup and makes for light and fluffy baked goods.

Gluten Free Spreads

1 cup (2 sticks) light butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 whole egg
2 cups of gluten free flour blend (I use this one and see note above on measuring.)
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon good vanilla
6-12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (I ended up using the whole bag - I know, right?)
1/4 cup toffee crumbles/chunks (I used Heath brand.)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 1/2 sheet pan with unbleached parchment paper.
  2. Place butter into your mixer bowl and start whipping it with the paddle attachment.
  3. Add the brown sugar and continue whipping.  It will not look like regular butter and brown sugar will, it's ok - stay with me.
  4. Add one whole egg and keep whipping.
  5. Add the vanilla and keep whipping.
  6. Add the salt and keep whipping.  Mix well.
  7. Stop the mixer and put the flour into the bowl and slow start mixing the flour in.
  8. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  9. Turn the mixer to medium speed and let it whip for about 2 minutes.  It will turn into a very light and fluffy batter.
  10. Pour the batter onto the parchment paper and spread (this is where the name comes from!) it on the pan as uniformly as you want to so that it is about 1/4" - 1/2" thick.
  11. Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes (I think I baked it for about 17 minutes).
  12. Remove pan from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips over the big cookie.
  13. Place pan back into the oven for 2-3 minutes.
  14. Remove pan and spread (there's that term again!) the chocolate chips evenly over the large baked cookie.
  15. Immediately sprinkle the chocolate with the toffee crumble/chunks.
  16. Let the chocolate set and the cookie cool before cutting into pieces with a pizza cutter.

ENJOY!  My whole family loved this treat and kept asking for more.  It is so easy and very quick if you are looking for something to hit your yearning belly fast.

Until next time,
J.K. Sasse

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