Cookbook Review & Giveaway

I am really excited to review this book, and especially to tag-team with Kittee, and do our reviews and giveaways on the same day. How fun is that?!

I first saw this book at my local Powell’s Bookstore. I was perusing the gluten-free cookbook aisle, and this book jumped out at me. Seriously, the book jumped right into my hand. I was super-excited to see that the recipes were vegan as well as gluten-free. This book was sounding better and better. I hadn’t heard any buzz about it yet, but decided to go on instinct. I had a hunch that this book was special, and I knew that it was going to have to come home with me. I also figured that if I didn’t buy it right then, I would be thinking about it all night, wishing that I had just gotten it earlier. I can’t even begin to tell you how often I have that conversation with myself; ) And usually when I go back, the book is no longer there.

Anyway, instead of just tucking it away on my over-crowded cookbook shelf  shelves, I set it on the kitchen counter to bake from it the next day. Lucky for me, Kittee came over, took one look at the book and said “ooh, let’s make some scones”. And since Kittee is a super-douper baker, we had delicious, hot scones in no time.

We both really liked the chocolate chip scones. I think we also thought that we might like to try them out the next time with super fine brown rice flour instead of the quinoa flour. I know, but that’s just me. I can’t help myself sometimes. Plus, as much as I love my quinoa, I find the flour can be a little grassy tasting to me. It was an easy swap, and they we super-delicious too. My husband tried both batches and really liked them both. He’s not gluten-free, and so is very picky about the g-free stuff he eats. He gave them both 2 thumbs up.

Completely inspired by the recipes in Laurie’s book, I tried a few more. And to be totally honest, since I have a casserole cookbook that I’m working on right now, there isn’t a whole lot of time to be baking for fun. But I seriously couldn’t help myself. Her recipes are really well tested and taste great.

I was able to squeeze in a few more recipes, because they just kept calling out to me. I made the Apple Chai Scones, the Maple Kissed Cornbread and the Blueberry Scones. They are all really good, low in fat, and made out of whole grain flours. Plus, at least with the scone recipe, it only makes 4 at a time, so you aren’t over-whelmed with a huge batch of treats. I’m sure you could easily double the recipe as well, if you wanted a larger batch. Oh, and the scones were delicious the next day too. Some gluten-free baked goods tend to be very dry or dry out quickly. This was not the case at all with Laurie’s recipes. The scones were nice and moist the second day.

I am definitely going to be cooking my way through this fab book. I love that all of her recipes are whole grain too. And, there’s a nutritional breakdown for all of the recipes. I can’t wait to try my hand at Laurie’s cracker recipes, her yeasted breads (Kittee swears by the hamburger buns), cinnamon rolls, bagels, breadsticks, breakfast buns, and the one I really can’t wait to bake, the Free-Form Apple Spice Cake With Vanilla Glaze. Oh, and did I mention the Sun-Dried Tomato Focaccia With Shallots And Herbs? Yeah, this book has some killer recipes. I was actually telling Kittee the other day, that I have a couple of books that have become my favorite go-to gluten-free books. The Allergy-Free Cook Bakes Bread is one of those books.

So there you go. I can’t wait to go read Kittee’s review. Oh, and Book Publishing Company (the publisher of The Allergy-Free Cook Bakes Bread), has not only given me permission to share a recipe, but also to do a giveaway as well. So don’t forget to leave a comment (along with a way for me to reach you should you win), and I will pick a winner next week (using the random number generator).

Oh, and here is the Apple-Chai Scone recipe, in case you feel like baking scones this weekend.

Apple-Chai Scones
Adapted from The Allergy-Free Baker Bakes Bread by Laurie Sadowski, with permission from Book Publishing Company. I dusted my cooled scones with some powdered sugar. I think they would also be delicious with a drizzle of a powdered sugar glaze.
Yield: 4 Scones

Scones:
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup teff flour
3 tablespoons unrefrined cane sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons cold vegan buttery spread
1 small apple, diced (about 3/4 cup)
2 to 3 tablespoons cold, plain nondairy milk

Topping:
2 teaspoons plain nondairy milk
Ground cinnamon
Unrefined cane sugar

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

To make the scones, put the sorghum flour, tapioca flour, sugar, baking powder, xanthan gum, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, salt, cloves, and pepper in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in the vegan buttery spread until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the apple.

Slowly pour the nondairy milk into the flour mixture to make a dough and stir until just moistened. Using floured hands, gather the dough into a cohesive ball and transfer to the lined baking sheet. Gently knead the dough two or three times until it holds together. Pat into a 1/2-inch thick circle. Using a floured knife, cut the dough into 4 wedges, pulling them apart only slightly.

For the topping, brush the unbaked scones with the nondairy milk. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar to taste.

Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Transfer to a cooling rack, and let cool for at least 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Please excuse the terrible photo, but this is a pic of the Apple-Chai Scones. I quickly snapped it before the scones were devoured. It was seriously hard to not eat them all!

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