Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookies

When you think of Christmas, what scents or flavours do you associate it with? For me, peppermint and shortbread always come to mind.

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I eat my fair share of shortbread during the holiday season and I must say they are one of the best cookies to make gluten-free. Maybe because they tend to have more butter than flour…but regardless, they always seem to turn out with the exact ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ consistency as ‘gluten-full- shortbread.

My go-to shortbread recipe has always been ‘Grandma’s Shortbread’ on the back of the Fleischmann’s Canada Corn Starch box. It’s fool proof and also easy to turn gluten-free by subsituting wheat flour with a gluten-free blend.

Sometimes gluten-free all-purpose flour can be tough to use as a replacement for all-purpose white, wheat flour because the consistency turns out too tough or grainy. For example, Robin Hood Gluten Free Flour is awful for making shortbread. The consistency is super grainy and the flavour turns out almost sour – not a fan!

One of the best ‘cup-for-cup’ gluten-free all-purpose florus I’ve come across so far has been Glutino’s All Purpose Flour Mix. It isn’t grainy and offers a smooth finish to baked goods. I would definitely recommend picking up a box of this for your holiday treats.

I usually top my shortbreads with a Milk Chocolate Chipit, but with my last batch I chopped up Hershey Peppermint Bark Bells and topped the cookies with those. They add a minty, Christmasy flavour (they’re also delicious to eat on their own). If you’re not in the Christmas mood yet, you probably will be after these cookies.

Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookies

1 cup gluten-free all purpose flour (Glutino’s All-Purpose Flour Mix)

1/2 cup icing sugar

1/2 cup corn starch

3/4 cups butter (room temperature, or nooked in the microwave)

6 Hershey Peppermint Bark Bells (chopped)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

With a hand mixer (or stand mixer), mix butter until smooth and fluffy.

In a separate bowl, sift the gluten-free all-purpose flour, icing sugar and corn starch. Sifting the dry ingredients together enusres that there are no large clumps – it essentially aerates the ingredients.

Combine the dry ingredients with the butter and continue to mix with the hand mixer. YOu will then have to combine the ingredients with your hands to form a ball of dough. Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes and then roll one inch balls and place two to three inches apart from one another.

Bake for 10 minutes, top the cookies with the chocolate pieces and bake for an additional 10-12 – until slightly golden.

What’s your favourite holiday/Christmas cookie? Comment below to let me know for your chance to win Glutino coupons!

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A ‘Free-From’ Gum

I would have never known that gum could contain gluten…or animal by-products, nuts and/or dairy. To my surprise, some gum does, which can make it tricky for those who are gluten free, vegan, etc. Many of us know that a variety of gums don’t contain sugar, but their artificial counterpart aspartame. Aspartame may be harmless to our teeth (according to our dentists who sneak us sugar-free gum after dental appointments), but aspartame may also be causing harm to other parts of our body (such as causing headaches, dizziness, nausea, etc.).

It’s tough to find gum that is allergen free, but it’s harder to find gum free of aspartame. Fortunately there is PUR Gum, the world’s #1 selling aspartame-free gum that is also vegan, gluten free, nut free, dairy free and non-gmo. The alternative sweetener they use is xylitol, a natural sweetener derived from corn fibres. 



To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of most natural gums because they get stuck in my teeth and lose flavour within seconds. However, PUR Gum is nice because it has the same consistency of any other mainstream gum and the flavour lasts longer than other natural brands. If you’re looking for something to quickly freshen your breath, I would recommend PUR Gum, but if you want something to chew on for a while, I wouldn’t recommend it. The one downside to PUR Gum is that the flavour only lasts five to eight minutes. I like popping a piece of PUR Gum after a meal or if I feel like chewing on something for a couple of minutes, but it doesn’t deliver a long lasting fresh taste.

As the name indicates, PUR Gum is truly very pure and only includes a few ingredients, such as xylitol (natural sweetener), gum base, natural flavours (spearmint, peppermint, etc.), gum arabic, caranuba wax and tocopherols. The gum comes in a variety of flavours, including wintergreen, peppermint, spearmint, pomegranate mint and their two new flavours, which I got to review, cinnamon and cool mint.

The cinnamon flavour reminds me a lot of Valentine’s day cinnamon hearts. The cinnamon is very strong and is a tad bit spicy. There aren’t many natural cinnamon flavoured candies or gum, so this is a welcome addition to the world of natural, allergen-friendly products.

I didn’t love the cool mint flavour. It’s not very flavourful and doesn’t last as long as their other mint flavours. It’s nice if you want a subdued mint flavour, but I wouldn’t choose this as my first choice.  

My favourite PUR Gum flavour is the spearmint. It’s not overpowering but offers a kick of freshness after a meal.

Have you tried PUR Gum? What is your favourite flavour? 

Honey Bunny Love

In honour of the Easter Bunny’s big debut tomorrow, I thought I would share a delicious new product that not only is gluten free, but also organic and sweetened naturally with honey, enter: Honey Bunny.
Honey Bunny is a Canadian product founded by Gilbert and Sharon Wolfe from Guy, Alberta. Their stand-up, pouch containers with corner pour spouts are innovative with no mess. What’s neat about these recyclable pouches is that one truck load of empty pouches is equivalent to 25 truckloads of jars – what a perfect shatter-free alternative! 
It’s really tough to find a good gluten free BBQ sauce, but Honey Bunny nailed it. I love the fact that all of their products are naturally sweetened, made of organic ingredients and do not contain any artificial preservatives. I love the branding of the product and the graphics are really cute. It makes it a fun sauce that you would want your guests to see at a summer BBQ. It also makes a super healthy sauce that you would feel comfortable serving your family.  
Amazing Dad’s BBQ Sauce: It’s great on meat…just like the pouch says (“meat is good, meat is good, meat is good”). The ingredient list is as follows: organic honey, water, organic tomato paste, organic vinegar, salt, organic corn starch, liquid smoke, organic garlic, organic onion powder, natural colour, organic spice and xanthan. It has a great balance of flavours: sweetness from the honey, sour from the vinegar, smokey from the obvious liquid smoke and spicy. It makes a great sauce on ribs, chicken or steak and it also makes a great dip for potatoes. 
Amazing Dad’s Honey Garlic BBQ Sauce: This variety is more on the sweeter side – probably due to the combination of sugar and honey. The ingredients include: organic honey, water, organic sugar, organic vegetarian chicken flavoured broth powder, organic vinegar, organic cornstarch, organic garlic, salt, xanthan gum and natural colour. This isn’t is great for dipping as the Original BBQ, but it makes a good sauce on BBQ-ed chicken thighs or chicken breasts. 
Organic Bodacious Tomato Ketchup: I love ketchup. I love it on (gf) mac & cheese, as a dip for french fries and the occasional potato, with chicken (sometimes even steak…gasp) and of course on my BLT. The downside to loving ketchup that much is the fact that what you think may be healthy is actually not so healthy – as most ketchups are loaded with sugar and don’t even really taste like tomatoes. The best thing about Honey Bunny’s Ketchup is that it actually tastes like tomatoes with a hint of honey sweetness. There is no added sugar and it reminds me of a watered down tomato paste. The ingredients include: water, organic tomato paste, organic honey, organic vinegar, salt, organic onion powder, organic garlic powder, organic spices and natural flavour.
Honey Bunny also carries creamed and liquid honey in pouches, jars and pails; bee pollen and lip balm. I love their Buzz Balm. It is very light weight, not sticky, soft and it smells wonderful. I have the Tangerine Lime which smells more limey than citrusy and the Green Tea Ginger, which has a very distinct ginger scent. Both balms have an underlying beeswax scent to them and the ingredient list is short and simple (including: sunflower seed oil, beeswax, jojoba seed oil, coconut oil and the corresponding flavours and scents).  

I am so impressed by this gluten free line of quality sauces, honey and beeswax. I think the easy to pour pouch is such a unique way of presenting a product and the fact that what’s in the pouch is delicious is a bonus. I would highly recommend checking out their list of retailers and I personally am eager to try more of their great product – including the Honey Lemon Rosemary BBQ Sauce and Organic Creamed Honey.

Now get out their and start up the BBQ!

Happy Easter fellow foodies!