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Friday
May282010

Beach House Cream Biscuits & Strawberry Laced Cream Cheese

I’m writing this post with the utmost confidence the cream scones now beautifully browning in the oven will turn out well. Truth be told I’m keeping my fingers crossed more than anything.

Why Beach House Cream Biscuits? Because I’m at the beach in a kitchen that isn’t equiped like the one at home. There are no special ingredients in the pantry—the kind you need for baking GF and vegan. There aren’t several varieties  of flour, xanthan gum, egg replacer and the like. There isn’t a rolling pin, a biscuit cutter or a cookie sheet.

There is an oven. And I have a lot of iniatitive. The adventure begins.

Cream biscuits were my target. The Whole Foods GF Cream Biscuits I enjoyed before finding out cow dairy didn’t agree with my gut wafted into my head. They were ever so tasty when topped with strawberry laced cream cheese. There’s Vermont Creamery Creamy Goat Cheese* and fresh strawberries in the fridge. The craving would not be denied.

What’s to lose by trying to make cream biscuits in this meager (yet beautiful and relaxing) environment? A few dollars and a bit of time. That’s all. Not much.

My husband ventured out with me to a favorite health food store to see what we could muster up. This had to be simple—there’s limited space in the cabinets for leftover ingredients. A package of Namaste Gluten-free No Sugar Added Muffin Mix, a can of coconut milk, and some Earth Balance Buttery Sticks later and we were on our way. There was sugar, utensils, parchment paper, the bottom of a roasting pan (cookie sheet), and a bottle of wine (rolling pin) back at the house. The camera—my iPhone. This could work.

Google produced a few simple recipes from some popular TV culinary personalities that could be used for inspiration—Rachel Ray, Paula Deen, Emeril Lagasse.

Amazingly, it all came together and worked beautifully.  These may not the most inspirational biscuits you’ll ever come across. They’re not a culinary marvel. What they are is proof that even a sensitive eater can whip up something delicious with a few simple ingredients, motivation, and a little ingenuity.

I enjoyed today’s little MacGyver cooking adventure.

*According to their website Vermont Creamery cheeses are free from eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, wheat and gluten.

 

Beach House Cream Biscuits & Strawberry Laced Cream Cheese

Cream Biscuits

1 14 ounce package Namaste GF No Sugar Added Muffin Mix

½ teaspoon salt

9 sugar packets (3 tablespoons)

4 tablespoons Earth Balance

1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk (full fat – do not use Lite)

 

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Measure 2 cups of the muffin mix into a medium size bowl. Add the salt and contents of the sugar packets. Mix with a fork.

Drop the cold Earth Balance into the flour mixture in small chunks. Mix with the fork (or your hands) until the flour has a sandy texture and there are no noticeable chunks of shortening.

Add about 2/3 of the can of coconut milk and mix with a spoon or spatula until the ingredients are blended—do not over mix. You may add more coconut milk a tablespoon at a time until you get the right consistency. It should be a dough that can be pulled together with your hands—not too sticky but not hard, either. If you add too much milk you can add back a little of the left over muffin mix to even it out (again a tablespoon at a time).

Reserve the remaining coconut milk for another use. Tear off the label and wash out and dry the can—this will be your biscuit cutter if you don’t have one handy. Place a few tablespoons of flour in a small dish or bowl. You’re going to coat the can with the flour before you cut each biscuit.

Lay a piece of parchment down on the counter. Cover the parchment with a bit of flour. Turn the dough out onto it and pat into a disc. Sprinkle with a little more flour. Place another piece of parchment over top of the dough. Roll the dough out until it’s about ¾ inch thick.

Dip the open side of the can in the reserved flour before using it to cut the biscuits. Push the can into the dough. Do not twist—pull it straight up after each biscuit is cut. Flour the can between each biscuit. Gently pick up the biscuits and place them on a parchment lined baking tray. Pull together the scraps and repeat the process.

You can sprinkle the biscuits with a little extra sugar if you like. Pop them in the oven for 12-15 minutes. They should be slightly browned. Remove to a rack when cool enough to handle.

Strawberry Laced Cream Cheese

4 ounces gluten-free creamy goat cheese (or non-dairy cream cheese for a vegan version)

6 very ripe medium-sized strawberries

3 packets sugar (1 tablespoon)

 

Place the cream cheese in a small bowl. Wash and cut up the strawberries. Sprinkle the sugar over the fruit and cheese. Mix it all together with a fork until the strawberries are mashed thoroughly into the cream cheese and it takes on a beautiful bright pink hue. Alternatively, macerate the strawberries and sugar together before mixing into the cheese.

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