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South Texas Living

Bake with cherries... Favorite recipes & Gluten-free updates

Bake with cherries... Favorite recipes & Gluten-free updates

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December 18, 2013
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When gathering together with family and friends, make baking part of the celebration. Special memories are created year-to-year through honored traditions and with our favorite recipes. When preparing those cherished treats, update a couple of the classics recipes with gluten-free versions to satisfy everyone.

For those special gatherings or neighborhood cookie exchanges, it has never been easier to convert a conventional recipe to gluten-free. A few simple changes can create delightful results. Gluten-free ingredients are a simple update for today’s baking and are readily available at your local market or on-line.

Whether you choose a classic version or an updated gluten-free recipe, be sure to keep plenty of Maraschino cherries on hand. Little bakers will want to help create baking magic. Why not let them place the finishing touches on a wonderful new version of Cherry Brownie Pizza. Cherry Thumbprint Cookies are a perfect choice to thank a favorite teacher or neighbor. Maraschino cherries are the special ingredient that add taste, flavor and color to those favorite desserts. Cherries are easy to keep on hand and enjoy for any occasion!

Cherry Kisses Cookies

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose gluten free flour with xanthan gum (or regular all-purpose flour)

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt

4 ounces Solo Almond Paste

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup sugar, divided use

1 large egg white

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

1/2 cup Maraschino cherries, stems removed, dried and coarsely chopped

42 Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Kisses

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer (preferably fitted with the paddle attachment), beat the almond paste, butter, and 1/4 cup sugar together for 3 minutes or until very light and fluffy. Add the egg white and extracts and beat well. Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixture slowly. Mix until combined. With a spatula, stir the chopped cherries into the dough.

Place the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar on a plate. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls (a #60 ice cream scoop works well) and roll the dough balls in the sugar. Place on the prepared pans, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake for 15 minutes or until the dough looks just set but has not started to brown. While the cookies are baking unwrap all your chocolate kisses.

As soon as the cookies are done, place a kiss on top of each cookie, gently pressing the kiss into the cookie. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes then gently move to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Makes 42 (3½ dozen) cookies

Festive Pineapple Upside Down Cake

1 20-ounce can pineapple slices in pineapple juice

7 whole Maraschino cherries

1½ cup Carol’s Amazing All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour or other all-purpose gluten-free flour blend with xanthan gum (or regular all-purpose flour)

1½ teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt

3 large eggs, separated

1 cup granulated sugar

1½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 cup brown sugar (light or dark), firmly packed

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Drain the canned pineapple reserving 1/2 cup of the juice. Lay the pineapple slices (you should have 10 slices) and the Maraschino cherries on a layer of paper towel and pat them then dry with another paper towel. Cut 3 of the pineapple slices in half.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl.

In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the egg yolks, granulated sugar, reserved 1/2 cup of pineapple juice and vanilla until smooth. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and combine well.

With an electric mixer beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold the egg whites into the batter, combining well.

In a 10-inch cast iron skillet melt the butter over medium heat. When melted carefully swirl the pan so that the butter coats the sides of the pan. Add the brown sugar and cook, stirring, until the sugar has melted into the butter and is lump free, about 1 minute.

Let the sugar mixture cool very slightly then lay in the pineapple slices carefully so you do not burn yourself. Start with the center, put one whole pineapple slice in the center then arrange the other six whole slices around it. Place the halve slices in the spaces between the whole slices around the outer edge, the curved side facing toward the center. Place a whole Maraschino cherry in the center of each of the whole pineapple slices.

Pour the batter over the pineapples and cherries and bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let the cake cook for 2 minutes, run a knife around the outer edge then invert on a serving platter and let finish cooling. Make sure you do not let the cake cool too long before inverting or the caramel will harden and the pineapple slices will stick to the bottom of the pan.

Servings: 10-12

Cherry Brownie Pizza

1 box gluten-free brownie mix (or one box brownie mix) plus ingredients needed to prepare the brownies according to the package directions

1/2 cup sliced almonds

16 ounces cream cheese (or dairy free alternative), at room temperature

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

20 Maraschino cherries without stems, cut in half and patted dry

1/2 ounce dark chocolate, grated

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 12-inch pizza pan (non-perforated) with butter or gluten-free, non-stick cooking spray.

Prepare the brownie mix according to the package directions, spread into the prepared pan, and bake for half the time called for in the directions or until a toothpick inserted 2-3 inches from the edge comes out clean. Let cool completely.

Toast the almonds in a dry skillet, stirring often, over medium-high heat until browned and fragrant. Let cool.

Whip the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Spread on the cooled crust. Top the cream cheese with the toasted almonds, halved cherries, and grated chocolate.

Makes 12 servings

Did you know?

Maraschino Cherries are...

•Gluten Free

•Fat Free

•Sodium Free

•Only 10 calories per serving

•Only 2 grams sugar per serving

Kids love them! And they are perfect for decorating cookies, cakes and cupcakes.

Keep Maraschino cherries on hand to add taste, flavor and texture to your favorite recipes, desserts and beverages.

For more delicious
gluten-free Maraschino cherry recipes visit SimplyGluten-Free.com and NationalCherries.com

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