Wednesday, October 30, 2013

SPOOKtacular Gluten-Free Halloween Desserts: Review

Treats Without Tricks!
Because we love Halloween, we want treats with no tricks—no hidden problems. SPOOKtacular Gluten-Free Halloween Desserts is the solution: TO-DIE-FOR desserts that aren’t killers. This year you can give a Halloween party and feed your friends gluten-free, dairy-free treats made with all natural ingredients. Create your own Witchy Carrot Cake Cupcakes or a scary graveyard chocolate cake using alternative flours: quinoa, rice, or millet. The directions are all here. The trick is these gluten-free desserts aren’t frightful at all. They’re nutrition in disguise. They’re delicious and—SURPRISE!—they’re actually good for you!

About the Authors
Kanta Barrios, a hatha yoga teacher, and her mother, Manasi Fragoso, are both bakers extraordinaire with a passion for all things healthy and delicious!
Vidura Barrios, brother to Kanta and son to Manasi, was in charge of the editorial aspect of this project. Vidura is the founder of the popular Facebook page “I Love Halloween,” the Halloween CD series Monster’s Halloween Party, and Inner Splendor Publishing.

I was given an ebook (hard copy to come) of SPOOKtacular Gluten-Free Halloween Desserts to review and try a recipe. I decided to make BRAINS (Coconut Macaroons)!  These are naturally gluten free so no special flours to worry about. Now, I was thinking these are like the dense coconut macaroon cookies but nope! These are like a meringue light and airy macaroon. This batch made 2 1/2 dozen for me and my small scooper is a little bigger than 1 TBL size. Anyways, these baked up nicely but, once decorated mine were not quite like these so I'll just share their photo of the BRAINS. ;) The rest of the macaroons I drizzled in chocolate and took some to work to share.

BRAINS (15 macaroons)
These are delicious—and they really look like brains!

3 egg whites
1 cup raw sugar (coconut or demerara sugar), pulverized
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 ½ cups dry unsweetened coconut flakes

(for decorating)
8 ounces (240 grams) good quality chocolate
2 ounces (60 grams) Royal Icing
red food coloring
icing piping bag with #2 and #3 tips

Preheat the oven to 325°F (162°C).
Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
Add the sugar and vanilla and beat to combine well.
Carefully fold the coconut flakes into the egg mixture.
Using a tablespoon, drop the batter onto the lined baking tray, making sure that each cookie has an oval shape.
Bake for 15 to 17 minutes.
Let the cookies cool completely before decorating.

To Decorate
When the cookies have cooled, melt the chocolate in a bowl, over simmering water.
Using the back of a knife, draw a line down the center of each cookie. (Make sure you don’t cut all the way through the cookie to the bottom.)
Color the Royal Icing a deep red, put it into the piping bag, and, using the #3 tip, draw a red line in the indention at the cookie’s center.
Now, put the thinner (#2) tip on the piping bag and replace the icing with the melted chocolate. Trace little squiggles across the top of the cookie to replicate the brain.
Once the cookies are dry, they’re ready to eat!

ROYAL ICING (covers 6 – 8 cookies)
As we’ve said, most of the cookies in this book are decorated with Royal Icing.
You can also purchase prepared Royal Icing powder and add water, but it isn’t that difficult to make the icing from scratch.
If you have concerns about eating raw egg, then you should use pasteurized egg white for this icing, as it isn’t cooked.

1 large egg white (could be pasteurized)
1½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Using an electric mixer, beat the egg white for a few seconds before adding the sugar and half of the lemon juice. The icing’s consistency should be smooth and heavy cream-like. Add the remaining lemon juice (and more if you feel it’s needed) one drop at a time. You may also add more sugar to suit your liking.
Just a few drops of liquid, more or less, will alter the icing’s consistency.
We recommend a thicker icing for outlining the cookie, and thinner icing for filling out the inside.

ready to fold in the coconut

you can see how light and airy these macaroons are

chocolate drizzled coconut macaroons

*Disclosure* I wrote this review and or giveaway for "Mommy? I'm Hungry!" about SPOOKtacular Gluten-Free Halloween Desserts.The product(s) in this review were provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting my review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own. Product info and stock images if any are provided by PR or Co.

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