Weekend Cooking: Gluten-Free Treats Edition

I love Christmas baking and, of course, eating Christmas treats.  I remember Atticus’s first Christmas lacked the joyous eating of Christmas food.  I couldn’t have dairy and every savory dish was full of cream or cheese and all the sweets were laden with butter.  It sucked.  I finally tried some vegan baking and it was pretty good, but I didn’t have the time to really “veganize” my favorite dairy recipes.  Because of this experience I try to be mindful of dietary restrictions when gifting baked goods.  We know some folks with Celiac disease and I have a Paleo-diet coworker.  I tried my hand at a few gluten-free things this weekend so that everyone can enjoy holiday treats. 

First up is a recipe I found on Pinterest.  White Chocolate Cranberry Pistachio Bark.  It was a ridiculously easy recipe.  Melt chocolate…. cool… stir in add-ins… spread onto cookie sheet… refrigerate…. BAM!  All done.

The second recipe — Coconut Macaroons —  is from my new (to me) favorite cookie cookbook Good Housekeeping’s The Great Christmas Cookie Swap cookbook.  I checked this book out of the library last year and everything I’ve made so far has been delicious.  I bought a copy because this is so much easier than tripling recipes with my poor math skills.  My only quibble is that it makes about 3/4 the number of the cookies promised even when I faithfully follow the proportions when baking.  It is still a good buy.  It isn’t that big a deal.  So maybe I get 120 cookies when promised 160…. that is still a hell of a lot of cookies.  The cookies were delicious.  Atticus didn’t like them and gave me a very serious look when he pronounced “I no like the cookies.”  But I’m thinking a two year old just has a pretty unsophisticated palate. I wish I had a pretty picture of this cookie.  I picked out the ugly ones for Hope and Sam to eat and the pretty ones are all in the freezer to make up holiday trays.  Here is what was left tonight (okay… nevermind… the jar is empty now)…

Poor sad, ugly little cookie!

Coconut Macaroons

9 cups of flaked coconut
2 1/4 cups of sugar
12 large egg whites
3/4 tsp salt
3 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract

— pre-heat oven to 325 and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper
— combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir until well-combined
— drop dough my rounded measuring teaspoons onto cookie sheets
— bake until cookies are set and lightly golden — approximately 25 minutes (I baked mine for 20, so I would start checking on them after the 20 minute mark)
— allow to cool for one minute on the pan and then remove with a metal spatula to a cookie rack.
— repeat with remaining dough!
*Hint– keep the dough in the fridge between baking batches.  If the dough gets warm it spread quicker than (insert Paris Hilton joke). 

Enjoy!

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