What a whirlwind of a weekend! I’m not sure if it was our recent return from vacation or if it’s just the feel of early winter and late fall creeping in, but the days seem shorter and shorter, the nights colder and cozier. This weekend was a big one in Keene, it was the 20th annual Pumpkinfest; a festival which basically revolves around trying to break the world record for the most amount of lit pumpkins in one place. My workplace provides a huge amount of support for Pumpkinfest, and while I usually work at it this years inclement weather forced us to cancel many of those activities. That was fine with me, as it gave me time to devote to prepping for our first ever “Avoid Pumpkinfest Party”!
Strangely the menu for this party seemed to revolve around dessert, it just sort of happened that way. I made my famous pumpkin whoopie pies (I will share that recipe with you later) but I wanted to make sure Izzie had something yummy and gluten free though. We decided on s’mores, because that is Izzie’s most favorite dessert in the entire world, but I have to tell you that every gluten free graham cracker I have tried is absolutely disgusting. This may be because in order to technically be a graham cracker it has to include wheat…doesn’t work so well for gluten-free folks. So I set about trying to make my own…they ended up being more like a shortbread than a cracker, but they were totally delicious. I also decided I should pre-emptively chocolatize them so that all she would have to do was toast the marshmallow.
Izzie’s Gluten-Free Chocolate Dipped Shortbread
1/2 cup dairy free butter-like spread (cold)
1/2 cup shortening (cold)
2 cups brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup flax seed meal
1/2 cup dry sweetener
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tarter
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips (wheat and gluten free)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl cut the shortening and butter into the flour until it resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add the flax seed meal and the rest of the ingredients and mix gently until combined (mixture will form a very soft dough)
- Roll dough out gently on a floured piece of parchment until about 1/4″ thick.
- Score dough into squares and prick dough with a fork.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown at the edges.
- After removing cookies from the oven, sprinkle with the chips and allow them to melt.
- Spread chocolate with an offset spatula and allow to cool slightly, then re-cut into squares.
These cookies were the perfect shortbread, they had that flaky almost-pastry quality but still held up to being made into s’mores. I actually preferred them to the non gluten-free cookies, though I will admit I partook of a little of everything! The dinner party was small but composed of some of our best friends, who also brought wonderful dishes and wines to share. We gathered around the fire, toasting marshmallows and making s’mores, stuffed full of a dinner of roast turkey, potatoes, sesame noodles, and squash. There is something about a fire that makes me feel close and warm and safe, and I feel completely lucky to have a fire pit in my backyard! I promise more recipes later, especially of the whoopie pies, but tell me; how was your weekend?