Sunday, January 17, 2010

frosted lemon squares

The type of food I really wanted to eat the weeks after my diagnosis were desserts, except most of what I would eat as dessert was now off limits. A good friend of mine, who happens to be a celiac and dietitian, gave me my first cookbook as the starting ground for cooking. The book Healthy Gluten-Free Cooking by Darina Allen and Rosemary Kearney. What I loved (and still love) about this book is the simplicity of the recipes and the limited use of gluten free flours. Most of the book depends on rice flour, tapioca flour and xanthan gum for the recipes which are all easy to find. I flipped through the book trying to decide what to try to make and decided on making my first dessert.

One of the reasons I wanted to bake so quickly after my diagnosis was to be able to eat the new foods with memories of my old eating in order to see if I could tell the difference. I feared that years down the road I would be serving inedible gluten free food to friends and they would be too polite to tell me it just was not the same. I also have always loved baking.

The recipe is simple and I have made these many times since to rave reviews by friends. They are a moist, not too sweet treat perfect for a light dessert or a cake with afternoon wine or tea.

Frosted Lemon Squares

1.5 sticks (6 oz) butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup (3 oz) rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1.5 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum

For the frosting:
Freshly shredded rind and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup superfine sugar

Preheat oven to 350ºF

Put the butter, sugar, eggs, rice flour, tapioca flour, gluten free baking powder, and xanthan gum into a bowl and mix together. I do this by hand but a food processor or mixer would work perfectly too.

Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared pan and bake for 25 - 35 minutes or until pale golden brown. My pan is a rectangle that makes for thin squares.

Meanwhile mix all the ingredients for the frosting in a bowl. As soon as the biscuits are cooked, spoon a little of the frosting over the top at a time, allowing it to soak through before pouring on more. Leave to cool in the pan. Cut into squares.

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