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Before I met Matthew, baking was my thing. I loved the science of carefully measuring, mixing ingredients in the proper order and filling my kitchen with the smells of freshly baked goods. It was also like therapy for me. I baked cookies for coworkers when I couldn’t sleep and baked loaves of bread after I had a bad day. But once we started to cut back on gluten and white flours, my baking more or less came to a halt and the art of cooking took its place.

Most gluten-free baked goods recipes I’ve come across have a huge list of ingredients. It is far too much of a hassle for me to buy six different flours just to make banana bread.

This is where our friend Jenn saves the day. Jenn did the dirty work for me. She researched the healthiest gluten-free flours, combined them for us in just the right proportion and packaged the mix in a pretty tin. The result? Thrive: a gluten-free flour mix that I can substitute for regular flour in my favorite recipes. Problem solved!

Her mix uses whole-grain ivory teff flour, an ancient grain packed with fiber, protein and all nine essential amino acids. The only other ingredients are garbanzo bean flour, arrowroot, baking powder and sea salt. How perfect is that?

Jenn gave me her Cinnamon Pinwheel Cookie recipe, a famous treat offered at her booth at our local farmer’s market. I made the recipe as-is, but I can imagine they’d be great with any combination of dried fruit and nuts.

Jenn has been kind enough to give us two containers of Thrive to give away to two lucky readers*!!

Here’s what to do to be eligible:
1) Like Thrive on Facebook
2) After you like them on Facebook, leave us a comment telling us what recipes you would use Thrive in. Fun descriptions are encouraged!
*You must have a U.S. shipping address to be eligible.

The giveaway will close on July 18, 2012, at midnight CST. The winner will be notified via email.

You can buy Thrive at a host of local co-ops and markets across the Twin Cities. Jenn also ships Thrive.

Cinnamon Pinwheel Cookies
{gluten-free}

Makes approx 60 cookies

Dough:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1/2 t vanilla extract
2 cups Thrive Baking Mix

Filling:
13oz baking dates or 2 ½ cups finely chopped dates
1 ½ cups water (plus more as needed)
¼ t sea salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 T cinnamon (more if desired)

Blend together butter, white sugar, and brown sugar. Add eggs, vanilla, and baking mix.  Mix well, and chill for several hours or overnight.

In a saucepan, combine dates, water, cinnamon and nuts. Cook over low to medium heat until thick. Cool filling. If necessary, add water until mixture can be spread easily on the dough. Note: I was lazy and didn’t chop my dates very small…at all. After the mix was done cooking, I added a bit of water and put all of it in a food processor to blend it a bit better.

Divide dough into 2 parts. Roll out each piece on a floured (use baking mix) surface to ¼ inch thick and rectangle in shape. Spread with cooled (not cold) filling. Roll up jelly-roll style. Place rolls on cookie sheets. Refrigerate until cold, at least two hours.

Slice chilled rolls, and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Note: if you slice your rolls very thin then the baking time may be reduced and if sliced very thick baking time may increase. Cookies should be soft and lightly browned on the edges.

Allow cookies to cool for a couple of minutes on the baking pan, then move to a cooling rack.

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