|Gluten-free hazelnut crackers and vegan herbed cream cheese.|
Holiday fever has struck. The wheel of the year has turned once again and Winter Solstice is fast approaching. And that means party food, Dudes and Dudettes. Appetizing little bites of joy and peace. Gluten-free hazelnut crackers you can serve your guests without apology. Snowy soft herbed cream cheese you can offer your favorite vegan and your die-hard carnivore. That's right. Both. At once. To whet their appetite. A tease. A taste of deliciousness to get the festivities rolling.
And no one has to know how crazy easy it was to conjure these goodies.
They'll just be totally impressed you made your own crackers. And after they try one? You might even score a kiss beneath the mistletoe.
You've got your mistletoe hung, right?
|Crispy hazelnut crackers made with hazelnut meal.|
Gluten-Free Hazelnut Crackers Recipe
1 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill hazelnut meal/flour
1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch/flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon organic light brown sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1/4 cup water
2 organic free-range egg whites, beaten, or Ener-G Egg Replacer mixed for 2 eggs (equals 1/4 cup liquid)
1 tablespoon gluten-free brown rice syrup or raw agave nectar.
Set aside a large baking sheet. Place an Exopat or Silpat non-stick liner next to it. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the hazelnut flour, sorghum flour, tapioca starch, baking soda, sea salt, brown sugar.
Add in the oil, non-dairy milk, water, egg whites and brown rice syrup; beat to combine:
When the dough begins to form beat it until it becomes smooth. It will be slightly sticky. If it is very sticky and unmanageable, add some extra hazelnut flour.
Divide the dough in half. Place half the dough on the Silpat.
Slightly flatten out the dough with the palm of your hand.
Cover with a piece of plastic wrap.
Using a non-stick rolling pin, roll out the dough into a thin a layer. Remove the piece of plastic wrap. Use the edge of a rubber spatula to help smooth and straighten outside edges, if you like.
Note: The thinner the cracker is, the crisper it will be. The thinner it is, the faster it will brown as well- so if you like your crackers thin- keep a close eye on them as they bake to make sure you don't over-brown them.
Move the Silpat over to the baking sheet.
Score the flattened dough into cracker sized squares or rectangles (I like to use pizza cutter to do this).
Sprinkle the top with sea salt.
Bake in batches, in the center of a preheated oven for around 13 to 14 minutes or so, until the crackers are firm and slightly crisp (they will crisp up a bit as they cool, but they should be fairly crisp at this point- do remember to keep an eye on them so they don't brown too much).
Remove from the oven and allow the crackers to cool on a rack.
Store in an air-tight container when cool, if eating the same day. To store longer, I like to freeze gluten-free crackers and thaw at room temperature before serving. And if the crackers happen to soften from humidity, don't fret; reheat them briefly- on a wire rack topped baking sheet- to restore crispness.
Makes four dozen thin crackers.
|Vegan creamy spread with fresh herbs.|
Gluten-Free Vegan Herbed Cream Cheese Spread
I've tried two brands of gluten-free vegan cream cheese for this easy recipe, and each one has its charm. Vegan Gourmet cream cheese has a sweeter, yogurty tang to it, and Tofutti cream cheese has a milder, more neutral taste. Both are delicious with herbs mixed in.
1 8-oz tub of vegan cream cheese
1 tablespoon fresh chopped chives
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil leaves
Pinch of organic garlic powder, to taste
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice, to taste
1 tablespoon Vegenaise vegan mayo
Scoop the cream cheese in a bowl and soften with a wooden spoon. Add the herbs, garlic, lemon juice, and Vegenaise. Mix well until blended and fluffy.
Cover and chill for an hour. Serve slightly softened near room temperature.
Recipe Source: glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com
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For those of you unable to eat a soy based cream cheese, try my Raw Cashew Hummus as a base for this recipe.