gluten-free date-walnut bars

date-prune-walnut bars

We can’t seem to stop buying new cookbooks. I mean, after that list of our favorite 12 of 2010, we should be done for a bit. There are plenty of meals to be made in that towering stack.

However, the lure of another good cookbook is powerful. On the other hand, we can’t go broke on cookbooks.

Solution? I’ve been buying all our “new” cookbooks at thrift stores.

I’m all for the lure of the new, the polished, the gorgeous photographs. Still, some of my favorite cookbooks of all time have dusty pages and not even a hint of illustration, not even a line drawing once in awhile. In the end, the best books come down to the recipes.

Maida Heatter is one of the most talented and generous pastry chefs I have ever encountered. I’ve never met her in person, but if I ever have the chance, I’ll want to give her a big hug. She writes unfailingly clear recipes, precise without being fussy, evocative without being too writerly, and guaranteed to work.

I’m learning so much from her.

Several of Maida Heatter’s recipes showed up in The Essential New York Times Cookbook: Classic Recipes for a New Century and deservedly so. When Amanda Hesser was in Seattle for a book event, she told this story. Maida Heatter’s manuscript was ready to go to print. Everything written, tested, and complete. However, just as she was about to let go, she realized that her oven temperature was off by 25ยฐ. So, she re-calibrated her oven, told the publishers to wait, and made every single recipe again, just to make sure they worked the way she said they would.

This is someone I trust.

(If you don’t have one, buy a thermometer for your oven. Your oven could be off by as much as 50ยฐ! If you’re wondering why those cookies are burning or sagging in the middle, it’s probably the oven, not the lack of gluten.)

And so, even though we had a full list of cookies planned for you all, I switched in the middle again. I simply could not bake through this holiday season without my 1975 copy of Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Desserts cracked open on the kitchen counter. Luckily for you, Andrews McNeel did a re-print in 1999, so you can have Maida in your kitchen too.

And these date-prune-walnut bars, gluten-free.

Would you like to win a copy of our cookbook? I can tell you that we tested every recipe again and again, particularly the ones that involve flours. These are recipes you can trust too.

As well, we’re giving away a copy of Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Desserts, because you need one if you are serious about making cookies, tarts, and cakes.

Leave a comment about the recipe writers you trust, the ones that always work. (Let’s refrain from commenting on the ones who do not.) Which cookbook authors have been your teachers?

GLUTEN-FREE DATE-PRUNE-WALNUT BARS, adapted from Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Desserts

These fruit and nut bars will be in our long after the holidays are done. I love the chewiness, the taste of walnuts like summer in the woods, the different kinds of sweetness in dates and prunes mingling, the crackly top, the softness of it all.

Next time, I’ll play with different fruits, different nuts, and possibly flax seed in place of the eggs. Who knows? Maybe the butter will become coconut oil and we can just call these healthy breakfast bars. Whatever we call them, we’re thanking Maida Heatter over here.

140 grams gluten-free all-purpose flour mix
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon guar gum
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
115 grams (1 US stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
225 grams (about 1 cup) dates, chopped
225 grams (about 1 cup) prunes, chopped
195 grams (about 2 cups) walnut halves, chopped slightly
powdered sugar for dusting

Preparing to bake. Preheat the oven to 350ยฐ. Line a 9 x 13-inch pan with one piece of aluminum foil long enough to let a few inches hang over either end. Grease the aluminum foil with butter or oil, tucking the aluminum foil into the corners of the pan as you go.

Combining the dry ingredients. Pour the flour, xanthan gum, guar gum, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Whisk to combine them and aerate the flour.

Making the dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or by hand, if you don’t have one), beat together the melted butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, letting the mixer run between each egg until it is fully incorporated, about 1 minute. Turn the mixer to low and add the dry ingredients, about 1/3 at a time. When all the dry ingredients are incorporated, turn off the mixer. Fold in the dates, prunes, and walnuts with a rubber spatula.

Baking the bars. Pour the thick batter into the prepared pan. Press it in place and smooth the top with the rubber spatula.

Slide it into the oven and bake until the top is light golden brown and set, about 35 minutes. Allow the bars to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Put a baking sheet on top of the pan and quickly flip the bars onto the baking sheet. Remove the pan and aluminum foil. Cover the warm bars with another baking sheet (or plate, if you only have one baking sheet, like us) and flip it again.

Allow the bars to cool completely, not even a hint of warmth under your fingertips, before cutting into them. Slice into the bars with a very sharp knife. Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top. (We didn’t do that for the photo. It’s optional.)

Makes about 24 bars.

89 comments on “gluten-free date-walnut bars

  1. Divina

    I adore Maida!!! if she says put foil on a cookie sheet backwards– there is a reason!
    she has really tested the recipes– unlike many books that come out!

  2. Christine Wu

    From my short experience of using cookbooks, the recipe writers I trust are David Lebovitz and Michael Ruhlman. Their recipes always work for me.

  3. Rachel

    I learned a lot from Molly Katzen when I started cooking many years ago out of the Moosewood Cookbook…now I have several of her books, and anybody new to the veggie world can learn a lot from her!

    These bars look delish! I wish I could eat them off the screen!

  4. Natalie Rae

    I tend to trust Cooking Light recipes due to the testing and adjusting… Loving yours too ๐Ÿ™‚ Asked for your book for Christmas- As a newlywed, I am cooking again, and I learning through trial and error- the new Husband is on board for gluten free and no meat recipes in the rotation!

  5. Hupcake

    I used to have her Book of Great Desserts…sadly it was left in Seattle …great book!

    I can always look to my New Pro Chef and Moosewood cookbooks for inspiration and reliable recipes. I still have my mum's original Moosewood cookbook from the 70's.

    My treasured cookbook is my grandmothers Fannie Farmers from the 1920's era with all her little notes and recipes tucked in.

  6. MK French

    This is going to sound somewhat silly I guess since it's not a professional or anything but – my mother. Absolutely hands down, without hesitation – Mom.

    There are so many things I make in my kitchen now without even thinking because of the way that she taught me to make them growing up. She was always clear, encouraging and happy to have my two helping (albeit clumsy) hands.

    I still, even now, encountering gluten-free, complicated recipe craziness, call my mom for help!

  7. sondibruner

    I've been using the Complete Gluten-free Cookbook a lot. Great recipes, easy to follow, with plenty of dairy-free/egg-free substitutions. Before I stopped eating gluten and dairy, I adored Chocolate Chocolate by Lisa Yockelson. The recipes were divine, with plenty of useful tips.

  8. Catherine

    I have had good luck with the cooks illustrated cookbooks. I like that they have tried until they get the best recipe possible.

  9. Laura

    Yum!!!!! These look like thicker, more scrumptious, diviner fig newtons. I can't wait to try them.

    The cookbook author that I trust the most (and there are many that I trust) is Diana Kennedy. She is my go-to person for anything with Mexican cuisine. I appreciate that she has lived in Mexico for more than a few decades, but she's British, so she always includes good substitutions for ingredients that might not be available outside of Mexico.

    Also, one of the things that I love most about her cookbooks is that she not only knows the food that she cooks well but also the people who share their recipes with her. Every dish has an origin in the hands of the person who lovingly made it and shared it with Kennedy. As your blog proves again and again, it is often the story behind the dish that brings the deepest sense of fullness and nourishment to both the cook and the eaters.

  10. Linda

    I can't talk. My mouth is full of delicious date-walnut bar…I wish! Can't wait to try this recipe. It looks scrumptious. Thanks so much for sharing!

  11. Catie

    I really like The Essential Baking Cookbook – it has pictures of what the recipes may look like if you do something wrong – like undercook the cake… And I haven't used it much but my Nonna has a copy of the Silver Spoon (in Italian) in her kitchen and when I saw it in English I scooped up a copy right away.

  12. honeyfromflintyrocks

    I had never heard of Maida but am intrigued by the story you told! THAT is dedication to accuracy which is so important in a cookbook!! I would love to have her book. I already own yours! ๐Ÿ™‚

    My "trusted" cookbook, before going GF and even now with YOUR help, "The Joy of Cooking"! I have (and searched for a long to to find one) and 1965 hardback edition. I broke my paperback edition in half from use. lol
    ~Mrs. R

  13. Amanda

    Anyone who was born when everything was made from scratch ๐Ÿ™‚ My great grandmothers and grandmothers have been the largest inspiration. I have to admit I don't have much experience with cookbook authors.

  14. Donna

    This may be old fashioned but the 'Joy of Cooking' has always worked for me – if I am wondering about something it's my 'go to' book.

  15. bee

    I was pretty excited to see Maida's name come up in this post- I know that she has been a big influence on Karen Barker, an award winning pastry chef and author of Sweet Stuff and Not Afraid Of Flavor. I had the privilege of working a stint for her several years ago (before discovering my gluten intolerance) and she has set the bar very high in my world of desserts. Her recipes are fantastic, and anytime I show up to a party with KB-inspired dessert in hand it always wins high compliments (and even sometimes kisses!). I'm looking forward to using your new flour blend as a substitution in her recipes.

    Mark Bittman and Barbara Madison are also solid, no fail go-to's when I'm in need of a recipe or a little inspiration. I'm also a big fan of Cybele Pascal's Allergen Free Baker's Handbook- her recipes (all GF) are always trustworthy and vegan friendly! Regardless of dietary restrictions, they're sure to please everyone.

  16. Sarahem321

    It's Nigella Lawson all the way. She is my guru. All easy and quite a bit naturally gluten free. Love her.

  17. Mistletoe

    I am a fan of anything by Cook's Illustrated. Thay test until they get it right, which means that the recipes actually work. I am a fan of their cookie recipes, especially the biscotti.

  18. Pinch My Salt

    I was given Shirley Corriher's book Cookwise when I got married and it was the first cookbook that I actually read cover to cover. It really pushed me to think more about cooking and recipes and why things work or don't work.

  19. Jules

    I love all of Paula Wolfert's books. Although many recipes are labor intensive, they always work. And her writing is fantastic! I have some old, yellowed, dog-eared paperback copies of Maida Heatter- a new copy would be fantastic!

  20. Sirena Shamounki

    The late great Sheila Lukins was a gold standard. Martha Steward is a great go-to as well. And Mark Bittman, the Gap of food writers, just doesn't fail me! I swear I see the guy everywhere in print, on my shelf, at friends' houses on their shelves, on the today show, but at the end of the day, his recipes work for me! what more can you ask?
    I also can always rely on the recipes from your site so it's not just the beautiful writing that keeps me coming back for more :-)!

  21. mnmmom2k

    I just got your cookbook out of our public library, and I realize that the "quick" read through will not be enough – I would love to win a copy!

    The cookbook I keep going back to is "Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day". I have made the gluten-free recipes several times (you have a recipe in there), I have already made the Super Sam cinnamon buns for Christmas morning (frozen).

  22. Emily

    Oh yum! These look amazing.

    Ditto to the commenter who mentioned Molly Katzen – I haven't had a bad recipe from her yet!

    I've also actually learned a lot from the Everyday Food magazine and cookbook – it's got a great section of how to cook the basics, and is great for newer cooks such as my husband, and also a great reference for those who (like me) taught ourselves to cook through trial and error.

  23. Courage Cooks

    I grew up with two of the Silver Palate cookbooks, and absolutely love thumbing through the pages and looking at the recipe.

    And although nothing can replace a good cookbook in my heart, I've also become quite a food-blog addict. I have a list of blogs I look at regularly, including,,,, and, of course, this one!

  24. M.Y.

    Love how this sounds! What I'd really LOVE is a GF date square recipe, with the crumbly oat top and bottom, gooey dates in the middle. SO yummy and I really miss them. Can't wait to try making these!

  25. Tandy

    A few years ago I ran across a really old recipe book called Rare Recipes and Budget Savers, printed in the 1960s. These are a series of books and in each is a collection of household tips and recipes that are wonderfully inventive. I've tried a multitude of recipes from these books (and am always looking for more volumes) and have yet to be disappointed by any recipe. I love the older books especially the ones without pictures, so you have a moment of discovery when you have finished the job.

  26. Gluten-Free Gladly

    I always seem to fall back on the Joy of Cooking when I can't figure out how something should be done, but recently I've been obsessed with the How to Cook series by Delia Smith. I'm not sure how I lived without a soufflet omlette before!

  27. Tandy

    I hit post, but don't see my comment, so I'll try again (please delete if there are two).

    A few years ago, I came across a wonderful cookbook called Rare Recipes and Budget Savers. This cookbook is a treasure trove of household hints and recipes that make use of intriguing ingredients that have sometimes left me wondering how I got something so yummy out of those ingredients. The books are published by Home Town News and are compilations of reader submitted items. There are no pictures in any of them and I so enjoy have that moment of discovery when I finish a recipe and see what it turned out like.

  28. Brianne

    Dorie Greenspan and America's Test Kitchen are my two go-to recipe sources. Dorie's recipes just work and (I've said it before but I'll say it again) it feels like she's there with you in the kitchen warning you of small pitfalls and encouraging you to keep going. ATK isn't as comforting and homey, but they meticulously go through dozens of iterations and that makes me feel much more comfortable with their recipes.

  29. Lorraine

    Joy of Cooking and anything by Cooks Illustrated have always been my cookbooks for good solid recipes. I have quite a collection and I always come back to these.

  30. The Bendy Tree

    Again, your recipe is so simple and looks so delicious!

    There are so many to trust, Julia Child, Paula Wolfert, Jamie Oliver…all are fabulous, but I would have to go with Nigella. I love that she seems so relaxed in the kitchen and she seems so happy, not to mention her recipes have NEVER failed me.

  31. annie

    it started with southern living. my mom has them dating back to the 70's. then i moved on to mollie katzen with my vegetarian days. it gave me a nice base to start with. now i stick with david lebovitz, you, and the random martha stewart magazine idea to embellish. these look delicious.

  32. Angela

    This may seem silly but since I'm still starting out I love how basic Elena's pantry is as well as crockpot365's Stephani O'dea. Your cookbook is on my Christmas list but just in case it would be awesome to win a copy!!! Thanks for offering!

  33. Ms. WhitePlates

    I hop all over the place with my cookbooks. I am drawn to them for sentimental reasons, those old and tattered cookbooks that belonged to family members. I love bright and bold cookbooks where to food is painted on the page.

    I adore my MIL's Purity cookbook, a gift from her own MIL. Any recipe I use out of that book always work and the notes in my husband's grandmother's hand and my MIL are a sweet addition.

  34. Jess

    As antiquated as this sounds, I find myself reaching for Fannie Farmer's Cookbook when I want to find a basic recipe to tweak. She has everything in there!

  35. mehayne

    Nice Date Bars!

    Since going gluten-free Indian food figures a lot in our diet. Having grown up in America, cooking Indian food was not so instinctive. I had no knowledge base from which to adjust or play with recipes (you know, carrots in early summer tasting different from carrots in fall, etc). Until I met Neeta Saludja's book, Six Spices. She not only has recipes that always produce fantastic results, but she also explains the main cooking methods used in Indian cooking, and how the main spices produce different flavors. This means I could start to marry my knowledge of my fresh local American ingredients together with her knowledge of Indian cooking styles and Indian flavors. For all of us who love to cook, and like to dive into things we are not familiar with, this is a lovely gift from an author. This cook book never fails me for everyday cooking.

  36. The Chatty Housewife

    This sounds silly, but I love and I trust their star rating. I just make sure I read the comments and make any changes that were recommended.

    Obviously I need to work on my cookbook stash!

  37. Sara Pugh

    My favorite cookbook is The Central Market. I always trust the Amish writers to bring it to me simply and to use really good, fresh ingredients. I've also gotten Simply in Season and More-with-Less from the Amish cookbooks.

  38. Joan

    My favorite cookbook at the moment (besides yours, of course) is Carol Fenster's 1000 Gluten Free Recipes.

  39. moonsword

    I love recipes by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero because they're so experienced with vegan cooking and Hannah Kaminsky because she seems truly gifted at vegan baking. They are all dedicated to what they do and sharing the evolution of each recipe (successes and failures) so the rest of us can learn too!

  40. Stefanie

    I know this recipe is going to be delicious. One of my favorite snacks is Medjool dates sliced down the middle with a walnut or almond inside. The idea of it as a cookie bar- magical!

    I too am a big fan of the Moosewood Collection. I also have a favorite of a chef in New York who teaches and is inspired by the local farmers market- Richard Ruben. His cookbook is called
    'The Farmer's Market Cookbook." Definitely recommend it for seasonal dishes. Enjoy!

  41. Creative Mom

    I have loved Cook's Illustrated Best Recipe cookbooks because I enjoy reading about all of the results of different ingredients and how they end up with their final recipe.
    For baking honestly I have learned the most from you!

  42. fallingintofavor

    Cookbooks – Martha Steward is highly trusted. I'm looking forward to trying this recipe! I love walnuts.

  43. kepaluka

    I don't know if I have ANY gluten-free cookbooks… I've scoured the internet for all my recipes I've used. I'd love YOURS to be my first??? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I have quite a few tried and true recipes ("Troll House Cookies" and a great egg, gluten, dairy free banana bread that surprises everyone how wonderful it tastes).

    I read (somewhere in your blog) that your cookbook deals with a lot of flour-based recipes? I love it because it bothers me when I see a gluten free cookbook on the rack that tells you how to make soup… duh? Not that hard… but good sandwich bread or cupcakes.. NOW THAT is something worth buying… ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thinking that if we met, we would be friends…

    Ruth from Des Moines, WA

  44. kepaluka

    Now that I sit here thinking about it, I'd have to say there's a blog, "Mennonite Girls Can Cook" (mostly all from BC Canada) and there's a GF Section in the blog. I grew up in a Mennonite family and for some of those old recipes to be tossed out the window was just heartbreaking UNTIL I found this blog. I've printed and tried most all of their GF recipes and are amazing… ๐Ÿ™‚

    Ruth from Des Moines, WA

  45. Amy

    I love David Lebovitz and Ina Garten's recipes. They are always delicious and works every time. I would love to have a copy of your cookbook as well! Thank you for the giveaway! ๐Ÿ™‚

  46. Laura

    I haven't heard of this author before, thanks for posting about her.

    It is hard to choose one author…so I will say that I was never disappointed by the recipes of Flo Braker, Sherry Yard, Emily Luchetti, David Leboviz, and Alice Medrich just to name the ones whose books I have used the most.

    I recently realized I need to get off gluten, as a pastry chef I am still grieving, but I look forward to grow my collection of gluten free sweets.

    Happy Holidays!

  47. Chelsea

    Back over 10 years ago now my Mom was working for a TD Bank Branch and the whole Branch area decided to make a cook book to sell for charity and it's a compilation of everyone's favorite family recipes with a story to go with each one. I love it, its quirky and unique and makes the best chocolate chip cookies ever. It's not professional but it is filled with peoples experiences and family moments which is so fun.

  48. Ellen

    i am a big fan of mark bittman's cookbooks, but that is partially because he shows how recipes need not be followed exactly. the freedom is refreshing!

  49. Melaleucamom

    I've been in the kitchen for so long it's hard to remember the shaping authors. Since being married the authors of Cooks Illustrated, and Alton Brown have helped much with scientific side of baking. Since being GF the blog GlutenFreeCookingSchool , and Gluten Free Girl have been my faves in learning to adapt to a new way of baking. Thank you so much for your guidance and recipes!

  50. B and B

    This recipe is on my list for Christmas Eve goodies. Thanks. I turn to Christopher Kimball and Cook's Illustrated most often for good basic explanations for how a dish is made and why it works. For dessert ideas I find Bon Appรฉtit a trusted resource.

  51. Melissa Davlin

    (I already won — I just want to take part in the conversation.)

    Mark Bittman and Alton Brown are my trusted cooks. I love Bittman's simple, straight-forward approach to food. You can't go wrong with it. And I have never had a failed Brown recipe.

  52. mjcopeland

    I have a very worn out paperback copy of The James Beard Cookbook. His recipes are infallible. He used a little too much salt for today's taste, but other than that, I trust him completely.

  53. Jenny

    I love and trust implicitly three authors in particular:
    Jamie Oliver, Mark Bittman and Alice Waters.

    Simple, organic, seasonal and whole food recipes. . . but most importantly: they give us the tools to experiment, interchange ingredients, play with the creative process, share with friends and family and they are the cookbooks I go back to over and over: dog-eared and covered in flour, stained with tomato sauce, smelling of herbs and filled with a thousand memories.

    Your blog recipes are on that list as well . .. I don't have a cookbook yet and even though I'd love one and haven't been chosen here yet. . .(and forgive how sappy this sounds!) but I feel like I've already won, as reading these posts, and adding my voice to the warm and inspiring community of comments already here is sheer magic.
    To take a few minutes in the morning of quiet to sip warm coffee, with the dog snuggled at my feet yawning his puppy yawns. . . it slows me down and for a little while all is right with the world no matter what yesterday brought or what today holds.

    So thank you for that. . . and for giving us the chance to join the circle of voices and sit with our memories for a bit. . . challenging and inspiring us to be still, to whisper our stories, and to savor the beauty that is everywhere. . .

    Happy Winter. . .and I've already decided to send a package the gluten free fruits of my recipe labors your way if I receive a book. (oh my that sounded like a bribe- haha) I had already decided that it would be lovely for something to travel from an island off the coast of Maine to an island on the opposite coast.


  54. Lisa

    I've had success and learned a lot from Cook's Illustrated and Molly Katzen. Also, now that I have a 1-year-old, 4-year-old and husband to feed I need to get dinner on the table a bit faster than when it was just the two of us. Rachel Ray's cook books have helped me learn to get healthy, tasty meals on the table more quickly than I did in the past. I find it best to stick with her recipes based on Mediteranean flavors, but that's okay, we like that flavor profile.

  55. starre

    Rick Bayless jumps to mind
    I took a cooking class of his years ago in Santa Barbara
    He was a great teacher

  56. sacha

    I can always trust Deb at Smitten Kitchen.. even when converting her gluten-containing recipes to gf they work!

    I also get great results from Donna Washburn and Heather Butt's series of gluten-free cookbooks.

  57. Kimberly

    Many years ago, some friends of mine threw a series of wine-tasting dinner parties, at which each couple was responsible for one course. The second dinner, we got dessert, which was to be something that would go well with vintage port. I called my college roommate — the one who kept baking books on her nightstand for bedtime reading — and asked her for dessert cookbook suggestions. Her response: anything by Maida Heatter. I bought two of Heatter's books, kept them on my nightstand for weeks, and tested several recipes prior to the dinner party. All were delicious. The chocolate walnut cake I made for the big night was such a hit that we got the dessert course every party thereafter. I've never had a recipe of hers fail, or even turn out just OK.

  58. Meagan

    For weekend dinners as they're time-consuming, I really like Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home.

    Then there's Mark Bittman, as many people have said, for the exact opposite type of meal: breezy, quick, and allowing for easy substitution.

    I think I need to get another box of dates; I used the whole one I had in a cake. ๐Ÿ™‚

  59. tsimpledodik

    LOVE for quick and easy. Since my GF adventure started, I've had great luck with Carol Fenster and Molly Katzen. And have learned A TON from your blog. I've asked Santa for your cookbook:)

  60. Hannah

    David Lebovitz seems fairly trustworthy, and as for Aussie authors, Bill Granger's breakfast dishes usually come up perfectly!

  61. Diane

    the tried and true Better Homes and Garden ("Bible" as I call it) always keeps me in tune with temperatures and proportions when I decide to wing it!

  62. amy

    The Joy of Cooking is my go-to book for the preliminary stages of many, many cooking endeavors. I've got my mother's copy–splattered & dog-eared, its spine is cracked in two places so it falls open to the Boeuf Bourgigone and Carrot Cake recipes (with good reason). I never stay there, though. Take a few ideas, head to the internet, compare and contrast recipes, ponder, and scribble something on a post-it before scrambing into the kitchen. A very self-taught methodology.

  63. hoopyscoopsmom

    This may sound strange, but didn't own a cookbook until I had to go gluten free. Everything I cooked I learned from my mom. And honestly, my husband is the cook in the house, he makes amazing dishes! But since my diagnosis I have had to stretch my limits of cooking and am learning slowly! It was funny to read this post today, as we made our first batch of Christmas cookies today. We are in the process of remodeling our kitchen and have moved our stove. Not thinking about it I put the first batch in the oven and set the timer for the earliest time. When I checked them they were burnt. But I did not learn my lesson with that, made maple popcorn next and yes, you guessed it burnt!!! Tomorrow I am off to the store to buy another oven thermometer as I am sure the oven is way off!!!

  64. Alison

    I have to echo the folks who said Mollie Katzen. Moosewood has never failed me. I even learned how to bake bread from the New Recipes from Moosewood book. The Joy of Cooking is indispensable but more for conversions, substitutions, and techniques than recipes (tho' if I need something basic like a custard, it's the first place I look).

  65. Pam

    I completely trust pretty much everything from Cook's Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen. Sometimes the recipes seem overly involved, but there is always a good reason for the extra steps.

  66. SarahS

    Not a cookbook but right now the recipes I trust the most are Karina's recipes at… She has been wonderful for me while figuring out whole grain, gluten- egg-free baking.

    Thank you for all these wondeful cookie recipes! We are having fun with them:) I linked to your blog from mine today, posted about trying out the gingerbread cookie recipe. Yummy dough, can't wait to bake them later:)

  67. Heather

    I'm a big fan of Ina Gartner – The Barefoot Contessa ๐Ÿ™‚ Her cheesecake is by far the best I've ever had. I haven't really tried altering gluten recipes yet tho, so I'm speaking more in terms of the gluten free recipes. I make an almond crust to go with the cheese cake.

  68. kristinalee78

    Huh…I guess I don't really have a cookbook author that I go to over and over again. Blog-wise, though, I have to say that I've had very few misses with recipes from GF Gobsmacked. And GF Steve doesn't publish recipes often, but when he does, they're winners!

  69. Kelly

    I have always loved looking through different websites and cookbooks for new and exciting recipes to try…. I definitely love love LOVE David Lebovitz, but I have learned an awful lot from you and the Chef! Cooking by weight has completely transformed my cooking and I get asked to make more and more dishes all the time for my coworkers! They don't even mind that my dishes are gluten free so I can indulge with them! My in-laws are hosting us for Christmas, so we'll be making and baking quite a few of your recipes for Christmas cookies this year!! YUM!!

  70. Christine

    I have a few cookbooks, but I find myself adapting at least some of the recipies from each cookbook to make them more to our taste. I guess that I need to get some new cookbooks! The recipies I trust most are those I got from my mother or grandmother.

  71. MonaRae

    Well, where would the world be without Betty Crocker? Seriously.
    I remember being on my own at 15, with a little girl of my own, trying to figure out how to manage my money, and learning how to cook in order to stretch my budget enough to get through the month.
    This cookbook was INVALUABLE for a first time cook, without much experience, and a serious bent towards visual learning.
    It has numerous pictures with step-by-step pictorials on how to make almost everything (or it used to, anyway).
    I may have come very, very, far, being gluten-free and mostly vegan, now, and I must have over a hundred cook-books from every discipline from macrobiotic, to really raw, but I still use this very well-beaten book, for periodic reference on weights, measures, and substitutions.

  72. B and B

    I love Cook's Illustrated.
    And, I made these date-walnut bars and they are wonderful!
    Thank you.
    And, because of you, I now use a kitchen scale!

  73. Amanda

    I grew up with Betty Crocker. If I needed to know how long to cook a hard-boiled egg or what the ratio was for rice to water I would always go back to that tattered red cookbook. It still is my bible for all things basic. I honestly haven't looked through it for all the recipes. I tend to go more specific with specialized cookbooks and I tend to read review after review on Amazon.

  74. lucinda

    Yummo! I just made these. I didn’t have walnuts but I had ground hazelnuts that needed to be used up. It added a nice texture and flavor.

    I wanted to stop by and thank you for the post about weighing ingredients for baking. Fantastic! I bought a scale just before Christmas (my first ever) and made a lemon cake for Christmas day.

    These bars are my second recipe created using the scale. There are 36-hour chocolate chip cookies in the fridge waiting for baking tomorrow.

    I think with the third recipe I’ll be able to gauge whether or not there’s a difference in the flavor due to weighing.

    I sure do enjoy your recipes from the blog and cookbook. Thank you again for all you do and your generosity. I hope next time you’re in Portland I won’t miss the news you’re coming and I’ll get a chance to meet you in person.

  75. Jane

    The bars look fantastic. Ive made date bars for the holidays for many years, but now I need a GF recipe. I look forward to the addition of prunes.
    This is a great collection of cookbook authors! Many Ive never tried.
    Two cookbooks I use alot: Lorna Sass, Vegetarian Cooking under Pressure , and The Pressured Cook because I cant live with out that thing. Alice Waters is another favorite.
    Diana Kennedy , for all things Mexican.

  76. seth Phillips

    Hi gluten Free Girl, My name is Seth and my mom was just diagnosed with celiak disease a year and a half ago, she has been gluten free since then. She had to talk to a nutritionist while starting her new life, so i asked her to find out about me and what i could do to lose weight. Long story short they found out I compete in endurance events and she said being gluten free would be good for me too. So now that my mom and I are both gluten free we are constantly swapping back recipes we find to each other, because lets face it it is much cheaper to bake your own breads and deserts and cook your own dinners and much healthier. This walnut date bar was fantastic, I didn’t follow it to the T because I didn’t have all the ingredients, so because I didn’t have prunes i added another 1/2 c of dates and a 1/2 c of raisins to the batter. also instead of using 1c of sugar with the butter i used a pinch of sugar and a 1/4 c of fresh natural maple syrup and sprinkled the to p with shredded coconut and it was wicked good! So to sum up this incredibly long rant thank you so much for what you are doing! providing the GF world with recipes that are fun and tasty has made my GF experience much more entertaining and manageable. I have tons of questions for you on baking bread because i tried going freestyle on that and failed epicly. have a great day and i hope your getting good weather out your way!

  77. Patricia

    Where can we buy guar gum??? I live in Ottawa Canada and it look like I can found a place to buy it???

    Can u substitute it with something else?? Like more xantan gum

    Help me!!

    Love ur website ๐Ÿ˜‰


      1. Patricia

        Hi Shauna,

        I do have some xanthan gum at home will that work?? Cause I don’t know what’s psyllium husk is??


Comments are closed