Anakin Skywalker: “I’ll take four pallies today.”
(to Padme) “You’ll like these…” (looks at change purse)
Anakin Skywalker: ”Whoops, I thought I had more…Make that three, I’m not hungry.”
Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace
Anakin might not have been hungry but I sure have been, for chocolate anyway.
For the past few weeks I have been dairy-free (but you already knew that), sugar-free, and gluten-free. And let me tell you, I have been feeling great. The first few days were horrid as I went through sugar and gluten withdrawal, but since then it’s been smooth sailing. After two weeks I tried a small, wee bit o’gluten and (just as I feared) found out that my body and gluten are no longer friends.
The nice part is that I no longer crave sweets and bread, an almost painful craving in the past, but I did miss the tang of a little chocolate. Thankfully, I saw a recipe for Simple gluten-free brownies in my feed-reader today and decided to try it out. I know Dad Windu has been missing the usual chocolate-based treats lately, so I reved up the stand mixer and went to town. Yes, this recipe does indeed call for sugar (a fair bit actually) but as long as it remains a rarity I think it’ll be fine.
I changed the recipe slightly to accommodate our dairy-free needs and substituted brown rice flour because that was what I had on hand. Still it was declared DELISH by Padawan Learner and “not bad” – high praise – from the stoic Dutchness that is Dad Windu.
Gluten-Free Gungon Goodies (aka - Gluten-Free Brownies)
In mixer combine:
2 cups sugar
1 T vanilla
Mix until smooth and creamy
In separate bowl combine:
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 t salt
Add dry ingredients gradually to egg mixture.
Mix well at medium speed (start slowly and work up to faster).
Melt 1 cup Earth Balance margarine and drizzle into batter as mixer is running.
Pour into greased brownie pan ( I used 9 X 13) and bake at 350 until inserted knife comes clean. Approximately 35 minutes.
LaPaz suggests letting them cool before enjoying, but that’s just not how we work around here. I suggest eating them nearly the minute they come out of the oven.
I tell you what! If LaPaz posts many more of these yummy gluten-free recipes, she’s going to earn herself a Star Wars moniker of her very own.
Many thanks to Red Leader (aka ScoutMom) for this recipe.
3/4 C. margarine, softened
1 C. white sugar
1/4 C. molasses
1 1/2 t. baking soda (put in 1/4 C. measure, add water to fill)
2 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
2 t. ground ginger
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. ground nutmeg (freshly ground is best)
1/4 t. ground cloves
1/4 t. salt
In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and the sugar until fluffy. Stir in molasses and water/baking soda mixture, mixing at low speed until just combined. Sift or whisk together flour, salt and spices. Add gradually to the sugar/margarine mixture until combined.
Refrigerate dough for 1 hour.
Shape dough into walnut-sized balls. Place 2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Return dough to refrigerator between batches. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes. Cool. Eat. Not necessarily in that order.
Notes: Red Leader rolls her dough balls in additional sugar and flattens them with a fork, baking them on an ungreased cookie sheet. We prefer them unsugared. And I have a thing for parchment paper, an obsession really.
“Why do I get the feeling you’re going to be the death of me?” – Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones
Lovely, glorious Banket.
Almond paste-based filling in a flaky pastry shell.
A compact, triangular area in central West Michigan (in case you aren’t aware) was a hotbed of Dutch immigration from the late 1800s through the post-WWII era. You’d be hard-pressed in these parts to go a day without finding a town, a couple of roads and more than a few companies with Dutch monikers. Moving in, people joke about having to add Van, Vander or De to their last name to find a job. And while it’s not really THAT bad, it is obvious that an historically Dutch lineage prevails in this region, from their hard-core religious fundamentalism (most moved here as religious dissidents, the Netherlands becoming much too liberal for their tastes) to a decided tendency toward being… um… well… ok, there’s not nice way to say it… hard-core cheap. On their behalf, however, I must admit that the decidedly day-to-day cheapness often translates into being remarkably generous to the charities and non-profit organizations of their choice.
A few of the Dutch culinary specialties are still in full-force in these parts (for better or worse), from the unfortunate Hutspot (or the kale version - Stamppot – if you want extra nasty) to the borrowed Nasi Goreng (colonial-era Indonesian) to the utterly divine Christmas delicacy, Banket. While I’m sure you could eat this year-round, I mean there’s not a LAW against it or anything, it’s really a Christmas only treat in my husband’s family’s book. The start of the Christmas season equals Banket, and Banket equals the start of the Christmas season.
This is my mother-in-law’s Banket recipe, which she got from her mother-in-law, who was born in The Netherlands. So there.
(makes 8 sticks)
1 pound butter (yes, 1 pound of real, honest-to-goodness unsalted butter)
4 cups white flour (no, this is not the time to try to sneak any whole grain flour into your life)
1 cup milk (2% is ok if you can’t bring yourself to use whole, but use whole – trust me)
Blend all together. Form into ball. Wrap well in waxed paper. Refrigerate 24 hours.
1 pound almond paste (usually found in tub or brick form in the refrigerated section)
3 eggs (no, Egg-Beaters won’t work – why are trying to ruin the Banket???)
2 cups sugar (yes, good old fashioned white sugar that will kill us all in the end)
Blend all together. Wrap up in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 24 hours.
Have on hand:
1-2 egg whites, beaten
white sugar (yes, more sugar, get over it already)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Divide the dough and filling into 8 parts.
- Roll out dough into very thin rectangle (approximately 6 x12). Store extra dough & filling in freezer, until needed.
- Spread filling, in a long tube, across the center of the rectangle.
- Fold one long edge of the rectangle over the filling.
- Fold both short ends of the rectangle towards the center.
- Using both hands (to keep first piece of the long rectangle folded over the filling), tightly roll the covered filling until it is completely covered by the remaining side of the dough rectangle. (Yes, it makes sense when you do it.)
- Set on parchment paper-lined baking sheet, with the dough edge underneath the Banket stick.
- Repeat above for 2nd Banket stick, leaving 3 inches between each stick.
- With a pastry brush, lightly coat the top of the Banket sticks with egg whites.
- Sprinkle sticks with sugar.
- Grab a fork and poke a few holes in the sticks to release some air while baking.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown all over. Do not over cook.
- Let cool for 20-30 minutes before cutting into 2-3 in pieces.
- Banket sticks can be frozen, unbaked, for up to 6 months if tightly wrapped in plastic wrap. Do not allow sticks to be smooshed, bent or twisted in the freezer, as the dough will crack into pieces and the filling will maintain a semi-gooey consistency. Thaw approx 10 minutes before baking.
- Cupcake tins are really useful for keeping the individual dough and filling parts separated in the freezer, during assembly.
“Are you hungry?” – Padmé Amidala to Anakin Skywalker, Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones
If so, Wookie Cookies: A Star Wars Cookbookshould do the trick then. Now who wouldn’t want a Wookie Cookie, some Tusken Raider Taters or a bowl of Boba Fett-uccine? Seriously, the names might be slightly off putting considering the characters referenced, but then again they might be just the thing for your rouge squadron. If everyone is really digging the recipes, you can even get Darth Malt and More Galactic Recipes, the second version (but with different authors, I see). Oh, get crazy. Pull up the library website and have a full-blown Star Wars themed party with the help of The Star Wars Party Book.