Frosted Graham Crackers

We loved this treat as kids.  It was super easy for mom and we were super happy, so everyone was a winner!  As kids we used a jar of frosting and a package of just regular graham crackers.  As an adult eating gluten free, it hadn’t occurred to me to resurrect this easy treat.  One day I wanted something sweet but didn’t want to make a big recipe that I would have to work on for days to finish.  We are trying to eat less sugar and that just wouldn’t do.  I started scrounging in my pantry and freezer.  I came across one lonely graham cracker (Kinnikinnick brand), and in my freezer I had some frozen cream cheese frosting leftover from my carrot cake.  You better believe I set that frosting out on the counter immediately to let it start defrosting :-).  As soon as it was spreadable, I spread it on that graham cracker and relived my childhood.  I invite you to enjoy such an easy treat.  There’s actually a lot of canned frosting that is gluten free and dairy free if you want to make it even easier on yourself.  I have gotten spoiled in my old age and prefer homemade, but as a kid, the canned stuff was just fine by me :-).

 

Ingredients:

leftover frosting (about 1-3 T. depending on the size of your graham cracker)

1 graham cracker (I used Kinnikinnick brand- may contain eggs although it’s not listed in the ingredients.)

 

Directions:

Break the graham cracker in half.  Put frosting in between the two pieces of graham cracker.  Now you have a frosting sandwich.  Enjoy!

 

Other frosting ideas: chocolate frosting, oreo buttercream frosting

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Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

I think this is my favorite icing I have ever made.  This goes well on carrot cake, sugar cookies, and anything else that cream cheese frosting complements well.

 

Ingredients:

2/3 c. shortening (I used Spectrum Palm Shortening, but Crisco should work)

8 oz. cream cheese (I used Daiya- it’s dairy free)

2 2/3 c. plus 1/4 c. powdered sugar

2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp lemon juice, optional, but I used it

 

Directions:

Using a stand mixer, whip the shortening.  Add the cream cheese and continue whipping.  Add the powdered sugar gradually (in about 3 additions) and continue whipping.  Add vanilla and lemon juice and whip again.  Sets up nicely in the fridge.  Here it is on top of my sugar cookies:

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Original recipe:

Sugar Cookies

You know those grocery store cookies- the big cakey sugary cookies that are decorated differently for each season?  Here is how to make them gluten free and vegan!  These still tasted good when they were several days old!

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 c. powdered sugar

1 c. vegan butter (SmartBalance or EarthBalance work)

1/4 c. non-dairy milk (I used original cashew milk)

1 tsp vanilla

2 1/2 c. Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour

2 T. cornstarch

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cream of tartar

 

Icing:

4 c. powdered sugar

4 T. non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened flax milk)

dash salt

1/2 to 1 tsp vanilla

 

Directions:

Combine 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar with butter, 1/4 c. non-dairy milk and vanilla.  Mix on low in a stand mixer.  Add flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and cream of tartar.  Give it a little stir so the flour won’t poof, and then mix with a stand mixer until combined.  Cover and let sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours.  The dough will be wetter than normal cookie dough.

After two hours, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  You have at least two options with the dough.  The quick version is to take it out by Tablespoons and press onto a piece of parchment paper to about 1/4 inch thick in the shape of a cookie.  If you want shaped cookies, it will require a fair amount more of effort since the dough is wetter.  I managed to get some hearts out and then decided to go back to circles.  See below for details.*  Always put remaining dough back in the fridge until you are ready to shape it so it will be less sticky.

Bake the cookies on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet for 7-8 minutes at 375 degrees until edges just start to brown.  Cool on a cooling rack (I just pull the whole sheet of parchment paper onto the cooling rack.)

Icing Directions:

Mix powdered sugar, salt, vanilla, and non-dairy milk.  Stir well and then spoon onto cooled cookies.  I found that it spread by itself, so I just needed to put a big spoonful in the middle of the cookie.

*To make the hearts, I grabbed a handful of dough and put it on parchment paper dusted with white rice flour.  Then I dusted the top of the dough and put a piece of wax paper on top to help me press it down.  I then stuck it in the fridge for about 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, take it out and remove the wax paper.  Use a cookie cutter to cut out the shape you want, but instead of scooping up the cookie and putting it onto a pan, remove the excess dough and leave the cookie where it is.  This would be a fairly tedious process to cut them all into shapes which is why most of mine became circles.  I will experiment another time with ways to make cookie cutter cookies.

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One of the hard-earned hearts!
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The inside looks just like it’s supposed to!
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This is how they looked right after being frosted.
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This is how they looked after the frosting had dried.

Adapted from:

http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/vegan-sugar-cookies/45ab6889-511a-4345-9391-9ea5c00c8d4a

 

 

Vegan Milk Chocolate Frosting

This was my first real attempt at pretty frosting.  I bought an icing decorating kit a few years ago but didn’t have an frosting recipe that was firm enough to use it with.  Not so anymore!  After I made my Oreo frosting, I realized I had a good recipe.  This recipe is almost the same except for no Oreos and it’s a little moister and has cocoa powder.

I frosted my Great Divide cupcakes with this frosting.

 

Ingredients:

3 1/2 c. powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 T. plus 1 tsp. butter (I used SmartBalance)

2 T. shortening (I used Spectrum.  You could probably use butter instead but it may not hold its shape as well.)

1/4 tsp salt

7 tsp non-dairy milk (I used Silk’s Original Cashew Milk but you could also use coconut or almond)

1/4 to 1/3 c. cocoa powder (depending on how dark you want the chocolate to be)

 

Directions:

Combine powdered sugar, vanilla, butter, shortening, and salt in a bowl.  Combine with a fork or a pastry cutter.  Add cocoa, starting with 1/4 c.  You can always add more later.  Add non-dairy milk one teaspoon at a time.  You will need at least 4-5, but stir well before adding the last couple.  If your frosting will hold its shape, stop adding liquid.  Mix with a mixer for about a minute to combine well and to add a little fluff.

If you have a cake decorating set, put the frosting in the bag/canister, add your favorite tip, and frost away! If you don’t have a kit but don’t want to just smear the frosting on your cupcakes, you could fill a plastic Ziploc bag with frosting and then cut the tip off of one end and squeeze it out to swirl it on the cupcakes.  Enjoy!

Oreo Buttercream Frosting

I love Oreos.  Unfortunately, they are filled with flour.  On the bright side, several companies have taken up the banner and created gluten free chocolate sandwich cookies.  My personal favorite is Glutino brand because there is no milk in them either.  I have used them for several baking adventures, but I wondered what they would taste like in icing.  I also wanted to quantify a buttercream frosting recipe so that it was repeatable.  In the past, I have just tossed together ingredients and eyeballed the proportions.  The result was always delicious, but the consistency wasn’t as reliable.  Sometimes I got a thin glaze, and sometimes a thick, creamy frosting.  This time I wanted something thick enough that it would hold together a two-layer cake.  Here is my first thick frosting recipe that I am posting on this blog.  I am sure there will be more to come.

Ingredients:

3 1/2 c. powdered sugar

2 T. plus 1 tsp butter (SmartBalance)

1/4 tsp salt

2 T. shortening (I used Spectrum Non-Hydrogenated All Vegetable Shortening.)  You could possibly use all butter.

1 tsp vanilla

5 tsp non-dairy milk, added one at a time until desired thickness.  Can add more if you want it to be less thick.  (I had original Almond Milk today, but coconut milk would work.)

7 crushed chocolate sandwich cookies (I used Glutinos- possibly has traces of egg if you are allergic to eggs)

 

Directions:

Combine sugar with salt, butter, shortening, and vanilla and combine with a pastry cutter.  Add in non-dairy milk until desired thickness.  I wanted a really thick icing, but you could add more butter and/or milk if you want a thicker, moister frosting.  Mix with a beater to combine well and fluff.  Add in cookie crumbs and stir well.

I doubled my chocolate cake recipe and cooked it in two spring form pans.  I frosted the bottom one and then added the put the second cake on top and continued frosting.

 

Note:  If you can eat gluten, feel free to use real Oreos for this frosting.  There’s nothing like the original.  I once shared some gluten free chocolate sandwich cookies with a friend.  She said, “They’re good, but there’s something missing and I can’t put my finger on it.”  I said, “It’s wheat.  The flavor you are missing is wheat.”  There is no exact replacement for that flavor, but these other cookies are pretty close, and in a frosting recipe, you really can’t tell.

 

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I love the look of frosting in a bowl!
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Look how well it stays on the beaters!
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The final product.  Our cake stand from our wedding had the chance to get out and play too.

Inspired by: http://www.food.com/recipe/oreo-cupcakes-with-oreo-buttercream-487608

 

Chocolate Glaze

There’s nothing like a chocolate donut.  The glaze just puts it over the top.  This glaze spreads on easily but then hardens up nicely just like it should- not hard like a chocolate chip, but not gooey.  I had to give some away and stick some in the freezer to keep myself from eating too many at once.  As one of the kid recipients said, “It tastes like a cupcake!”  Indeed, it does.  This recipe makes enough for about 9 donuts, so double it if you are pairing it with my chocolate donut recipe which makes 18.   Find the recipe here: Chocolate Donuts.

Ingredients:

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Glaze for 9 donuts:

Ingredients:

3/4 c. powdered sugar

1/4 c. cocoa powder

1/4 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 to 2 T. coconut milk

dash salt (about 1/8 tsp)

 

Combine sugar and cocoa powder.  Add in vanilla and 1 1/2 T. coconut milk.  Stir until a paste begins to form.  Add the extra 1/2 T. of milk if it is too dry to be spreadable.  Add the dash of salt and combine well.  Taste and see if you want more salt.  Spread on tops of cooled donuts.

 

Doubled for 18 donuts:

1 1/2 c. powdered sugar

1/2 c. cocoa powder

1/2 tsp vanilla

3-4 T. coconut milk

1/8 to 1/4 tsp salt, according to taste