Turtle Squares

These are probably the most widespread “favourite” on the treat side of my cookbook. And why not with a combination of chocolate and caramel you appeal to twice as many people! I always make a bakery size pan at Christmas so I have some for home and enough to share at Cliff’s Plumbing & Heating during the last work days. How nice for me and other people with Celiac Disease they are easily changed up to leave out the gluten!

Turtle Square Recipe Page 185 Coming Soon to the blog

Turtle Square Recipe Page 185 Also see Holiday Date Balls posted last year!

Turtle Squares

These are just about the most delicious, crowd-pleasing squares you can make. Doreen concocted this recipe by combining a Nanaimo bar base and Wellington square filling – twice the enjoyment! I have included the recipe for the larger

Base: 
1/2  cup melted margarine
1/4  cup cocoa powder
1/4  cup white sugar
1  egg, beaten tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4  cups GF graham crumbs – I sometimes use part GF crisp rice cereal crushed
1  cup desiccated coconut
Filling: 
1  can (300 ml) sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup melted margarine
2 Tbsp corn syrup
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

Topping:
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks
1/4 cup margarine

  • For base mix margarine, cocoa, sugar and egg in microwaveable bowl and cook about
  • 1 minute, stopping to stir half way through, until mixture is bubbling. Do not overcook or crumbs may not stick together.
  • Stir in vanilla, graham crumbs and coconut until evenly distributed. Crumbs should stick
  • together nicely or they will not cut properly later.
  • Press into a 9 x 13 inch pan and let cool.
  • For filling cook condensed milk, brown sugar, margarine and corn syrup in a heavy pot over medium low heat until mixture comes to a full boil, stirring frequently. If bits of brown start forming on the bottom, turn down the heat a notch and don’t worry since mostly they will mix in as the rest browns.
  • Reduce heat slightly and boil 5 minutes stirring constantly. It will take a little longer to cook the filling for the larger pan. Caramel is done if spoon is leaving a clean path on the bottom of the pot for a second and mixture is a nice golden brown
  • Let cool slightly then spread on base and sprinkle pecans evenly over the surface, pressing in slightly.
  • Refrigerate for an hour or more until set.
  • For topping microwave chocolate and margarine together on low power, about 1 minute, stopping often to stir and check the chocolate. Chocolate can burn easily. I usually take it out when there are still a few lumps remaining and stir until they melt, returning to microwave only if necessary.
  • Spread over cooled caramel layer with a spatula.
  • Cool and cut into 35 squares.
  • If the caramel is hard when refrigerated you may need to serve the squares at room temperature.

Pumpkin Chiffon Cake (gluten-free)

Cake with Brandy Cream

Halloween Week is always busy because both my Mother and Mother-in-Law have their birthdays a day apart. That means two cakes, a trip to Guelph to deliver my Mom’s and of course Maple fudge for Halloween trick or treaters. I was excited to share a blog on Maple fudge for the bazaar and Christmas giving season but it will have to wait because when I made the gluten-free version of the Pumpkin Chiffon Cake for Mom I just could not wait to show you how gorgeous it was! I wish I could give you a piece so you could taste it too!

This recipe came from Wilma Chisholm and I cannot say I have seen it anywhere else in print. This was one of Mom’s favourite cakes and without the need for a sugary icing she was able to indulge in a small piece for her birthday even after she developed diabetes. As the photos show she can still count it as a favourite when it is made with a simple substitution of my gluten-free all purpose flour.

Pumpkin Chiffon Cake

Pumpkin Chiffon – click here for pdf version of recipe

7 eggs, separated
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup water, apple cider or juice drained from pumpkin
when preparing purée (recipe pg 232)
1/2 – 3/4 cup pumpkin purée, fresh, frozen or canned
1/2 cup canola oil
2 cups GF all purpose flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp baking powder

  • Whip egg whites with cream of tartar in a clean bowl with clean beaters on high until foamy then slowly add 3/4 cup sugar while beating until stiff peaks form.
  • In another bowl beat egg yolks, remaining 3/4 cup sugar and water about 5 minutes until yolk mixture is thick, pale and beaters leave marks.
  • Fold pumpkin and oil into egg yolk mixture.
  • Sift flour, xanthan gum and baking powder and stir into yolk mixture until smooth.
  • Pour egg yolk mixture over the beaten egg whites and fold together quickly but thoroughly.
  • Immediately pour into an ungreased tube pan and bake at 350°F for about an hour until cake springs back when lightly touched and is golden brown.
  • If cake is getting too brown before it is completely cooked then turn oven down to 325°F for remaining time.
  • Invert pan on rack and cool completely.
  • Serve with brandied cream on the side.

Brandied Cream: I’m sure you will find somewhere to use any of this left over.

  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tsp brandy

Butter Tarts and Blossoms

GF PastryButter Tarts GF

Once a year I make tarts for the Horticultural Society Soup and Sandwich lunch and make enough extra for Cliff’s Plumbing and home. This year it worked out particularly well because I thought I need to update the butter tart photo on my blog to a gluten-free version and this gave me the opportunity. I recall counting butter tarts as one of the blessings that was naturally gluten-free when I first began my diet. I do not indulge often but it is good to know I can still add them to a special picnic or camping trip when I want to and they are just as decadently delicious as always!

At first I made the “gluten-free” pastry but now I just make my regular pastry with gluten-free all purpose flour and by using plastic wrap to roll it I am able to manage quite nicely. Thanks to Jenn Croft in Owen Sound for the idea to do that! If you do not have your own favourite pastry recipe you may try this one. GF Pastry – Click for pdf copy of recipe

Butter Tarts – Click here for pdf version of recipe

GF Pastry for 30 tart shells
2 cups brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup melted butter*
1/2 cup corn syrup
3 – 4 eggs, depending on their size, I usually use 4
raisins, walnuts or coconut to taste

  • Mix brown sugar, salt, melted butter and corn syrup.
  • Whisk eggs then stir into brown sugar mixture being careful not to beat. If you get too much air in the mixture some of the tarts may seem hollow when baked. 
  • Place raisins, nuts, coconut or a mixture of these in the tart shells then cover with butter tart filling to 3/4 full with a 7/8 oz scoop if you have one.
  • Bake at 400°F for the first 10 minutes then reduce heat to 350°F and continue baking 
  • for another 15 – 20 minutes or until filling is set. 
  • If you like your tarts runny you may take them out a little early or reduce the number of eggs to 3.
  • Makes 27 – 30 large tarts

*I would not substitute margarine here.
Anne’s Favourites

Gingerbread Pumpkin Cake with Caramel Lemon Sauce

Gingerbread Pumpkin Cake –
Gingerbread Cake

I was thinking I would have to wait until next fall to post the recipe for this delicious cake because it just has more appeal when it is cold and blustery outside but this week fooled me! Thoughts of trifle and spring were quickly replaced with Gingerbread and Stew on Monday morning but you will not regret trying this cake to celebrate the winter’s last blast (is that too hopeful?)!

A common problem with gluten-free baking is not having enough structure to support your creations so they compact as they cool. I found switching to the 9 x 13 pan let the cake bake evenly and I also tried the addition of a small amount of cocoa because for whatever reason chocolate cake is much more successful. With those amendments the cake was a success.

Even the less successful attempts with this cake were sought after when they were topped with the amazing caramel lemon sauce! Once you try the sauce you will want to think of other places it can be used. For sure use the leftover sauce with some bananas and ice cream!

The cake this was developed from a recipe that appeared in the December 2011 Canadian Living magazine made with wheat flour.
Caramel Lemon Sauce
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup sour cream or yogurt
1/3 cup molasses, fancy
3 eggs
2 cups pumpkin puree
2 1/2 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups GF all purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp GF baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
Caramel Sauce:
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup whipping cream
Beat brown sugar, oil, sour cream, molasses and eggs 2 minutes..
Stir in pumpkin, fresh ginger and vanilla until combined.
Sift flour,cocoa, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg
and cloves. into pumpkin mixture.
Mix until combined then scrape sides of bowl and beat for another 3 minutes.
Pour into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan and bake at 350°F for 50 – 60 minutes until cake is
pulling away from the sides of the pan and internal temperature has reached 200°.
For sauce: Melt butter with sugar and lemon juice over medium heat stirring until sugar is
dissolved and mixture begins to simmer.
Reduce heat slightly and continue to cook without stirring until amber coloured, about 5
minutes
Carefully stir in cream taking care that steam does not burn you. then continue to simmer
until thick, about 2 minutes. This sauce will keep 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Tomato Dill Soup

Tomato Dill Soup – A taste of summer to warm up your winter!

I had a difficult time making up my mind which food to post this week. It has been so busy since mid December that I have a number of photos ready but when I tasted this soup at lunch today it went right to the top of the list!

This is definitely my “go to” soup. I especially look forward to making it if I still have a mixture of tomatoes and dill leaves frozen from summer’s bounty. With the tomatoes already peeled this soup is just a matter of chopping some onions and garlic and putting things together. It only needs to simmer for a half an hour so you can make it right before you eat it.

Tomato Dill Soup – click here for recipe pdf

Tomato Dill Soup – Anne’s Favourites pg 52

1               Tbsp butter

1               Tbsp olive oil

1               onion, chopped

2               cloves garlic, crushed

2               Tbsp GF all purpose flour or potato starch

4               cups chicken stock, homemade or low sodium

12            medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped, 7 – 8 cups
OR 2 cans (28 oz) crushed tomatoes

2               Tbsp fresh dill or 2 tsp dry

1               Tbsp white sugar (omit sugar if using canned tomatoes)

1/4          tsp baking soda (omit if using canned tomatoes)

1               tsp salt, or to taste

1/4          tsp pepper

Cook onion and garlic in butter/olive oil mixture until soft.

  • Add flour and stir until smooth.
  • Slowly stir in broth and bring to a boil.
  • Scald and peel tomatoes and cut into small pieces then add to broth mixture.
  • Add dill, sugar, salt, pepper and baking soda.
  • Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings.

Serve 6