Tag Archives: cookies

Please, sir, I want s’mores

gluten-free s'mores1

gluten-free s'mores2

It was cold and rainy in Chicago the other day, on our bumpy path toward spring. When my kids came home from school, they asked for hot chocolate and gluten-free s’mores. I was happy to oblige, because I had a couple packets of hot chocolate mix that I wanted to use up and I had gluten-free graham crackers in the cabinet.

Gluten-free graham crackers are hard to find. I’ve yet to discover one that comes close to the sweet, nutty taste of whole wheat graham flour with a tender texture that crumbles in my mouth.

S'moreables

In the past, I’ve bought Jo-Sef’s Square Cinnamon Cookies, which are chunky, cinnamon-flavored gluten-free graham crackers, and Health Valley Rice Bran Crackers, which are thin cookie/crackers with a graham taste. Recently, I bought Kinnikinnick’s S’moreables, which have a honey-molasses flavor and are sturdy enough to stand up to s’mores (though there were quite a few non-sturdy broken crackers in the box).

While all of these store-bought cookies are good for snacks or s’mores, I wouldn’t use them in a graham cracker pie crust. They’re too expensive and too sugary. For a graham cracker crust, you’re better off with crushed gluten-free gingersnaps or crushed gluten-free animal crackers. Or bake your own gluten-free grahams with a recipe from Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef.

S’mores — toasted marshmallows and melted chocolate sandwiched between two graham crackers — are campfire favorites that are so good that you beg for “some more.”

One of the best things about camping is skewering a giant marshmallow on a long stick, holding it over the campfire and watching the marshmallow puff up and turn golden brown (or thrusting it into the flames and watching it catch fire, with flames leaping into the night sky and charring the marshmallow charcoal black).

It’s much tamer to watch the marshmallows turn a pleasant tan in the toaster oven, but you’ve got to take what you can get.

Marshmallows are generally gluten free, but check the ingredients to make sure. When we made our s’mores this week, I had only mini marshmallows on hand, but the bigger ones ooze more (and oozing is good). Hershey’s chocolate bars, the classic chocolate for s’mores, are gluten-free. But I had only dark chocolate chips at home, so I used those, though chocolate chips don’t melt as well.

Click for Gluten-Free S’Mores recipe

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Chocolate Chip and Double Chocolate Meringues

gluten-free meringues

Chocoloate Chip and Double Chocolate Meringues

There’s something wintry about meringue cookies. They look like pure white mini snowballs that seem so right for the season. It’s actually better to make meringues in winter. The air is dry, which helps keep meringues crisp.

With winter hopefully ending soon (bright sun is streaming through my window and the temps in Chicago have been above freezing), it’s time to sneak in a batch of meringues before it’s too late.

Meringues are a great dessert to make for guests, as they are naturally gluten-free. My kids’ friends wolf down these sugary treats, taking extras home with them. Meringues also make great Passover treats, since all the ingredients are kosher for Passover.

Though I do like the look of snowy white meringues, I recently needed a chocolate fix (no surprise there). So in addition to adding chocolate chips to the meringues, I also added cocoa powder to half the batch to make double chocolate meringue cookies.

To shape the meringues, I drop spoonfuls of the mixture on a cookie sheet, because that’s the easiest thing to do. If you want to be fancy (my kids’ favorite word), omit the chocolate chips and pipe the meringues into prettier shapes using a pastry bag.

You’ll want to dry out the meringues, so keep the heat low and slow. I bake them at 250 for one hour; some recipes say to leave meringues in a turned-off oven overnight. If the temperature gets much higher than 250, your meringues will turn tan, which might be a good look for you but not for your meringues.

Click for Chocolate Chip and Double Chocolate Meringues recipe

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Filed under desserts