gluten-free pistachio-cranberry cookies

pistachio, meet cranberry

As you have probably guessed, I have been baking cookies and more cookies for weeks. Nuts and flours spill on the counter. Lu is frequently reaching for a piece of dried fruit or a chocolate chip. We are making memories, she sitting on the kitchen counter, wanting to crack eggs with me, still amazed when the Kitchen Aid mixer turns on and makes that whirling cacophony.

However, I have been baking so much that I wouldn’t mind a break.

One night last week, Danny told me, “Can I bake tonight? I love baking too.” It was his day off. I had a big deadline to meet. The idea of being handed a warm cookie without putting it together? Oh yeah.

Later that evening, Danny handed me a cookie. It was wonderfully crackly with pistachios and sweet with cranberries. The cookie itself was sandy, like a sable. Lovely. Except…

“Danny, these are a little dry. I thought they’d hold together better than this.”

“I don’t know,” he said. “They taste great to me.”

“They taste great to me too. I love this cookie. But they’re dry. Did you use 11 1/2 ounces of our flour?”

He stopped, the cookie halfway to his mouth. And then he looked bashful. “I forgot. I just used cups.”

I looked at him. He looked at me. We worked together all week on that piece about baking by weight. He knows where the scale is.

“Seriously? You just used cups?”

“Sorry,” he said, and we both started laughing. I guess there’s a reason we joke that he’s the chef and I’m the pastry chef in our kitchen. We laughed for a long time, then split another cookie. It tasted especially delicious with the giggles.

At least he proved us right again. Measuring gluten-free flours by cups just doesn’t work that well.

Certainly, these cookies weren’t bad. The recipe from The Grand Central Baking Book: Breakfast Pastries, Cookies, Pies, and Satisfying Savories from the Pacific Northwest’s Celebrated Bakery is so good that even a slightly off version will make you sigh into your pistachios. Still, use the 11.5 ounces that we specify here and these cookies will be even more buttery delicious.

And if your cookies come out dry, as these did, you can just crumble them up and make them into a crust for cheesecake. That’s what Danny made at his restaurant last week: sweet potato cheesecake with a cranberry-pistachio crust. It disappeared in two hours.

I want some. I might make these cookies again just for a bite of that cheesecake.

There are no mistakes in baking, after all. Just lessons. And giggles. And cookies.

We are giving away a copy of our cookbook to one person here. (And, we’re still too shocked to believe it, but our cookbook was named one of the best cookbooks of 2010 by the New York Times.) If you are still learning how to bake gluten-free, by weight, our cookbook will give you plenty of chances to practice.


We’re also giving away a copy of The Grand Central Baking Book: Breakfast Pastries, Cookies, Pies, and Satisfying Savories from the Pacific Northwest’s Celebrated Bakery, which is one of the loveliest baking books we own. Not only do the recipes work, every time, but the flavor combinations will leave you wanting to make more and more cookies and scones.


Just leave a comment here about a mistake you made in baking that taught you something and made you a better baker.

pistachio-cranberry cookies

GLUTEN-FREE PISTACHIO-CRANBERRY COOKIES, adapted from The Grand Central Baking Book: Breakfast Pastries, Cookies, Pies, and Satisfying Savories from the Pacific Northwest’s Celebrated Bakery

The taste of these is enough reason to make them: buttery, sugary, sweet and salty, a little crumbly, wonderful.

However, the way they look makes them even better for the holidays. Red and green, naturally. Start baking.

11.5 ounces gluten-free all-purpose flour mix
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon guar gum
1 teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces (2 US sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
4.75 ounces (2/3 cup) sugar (try organic cane here)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces (about 1 cup) unsalted, natural pistachios, lightly toasted
6.5 ounces (about 1 1/4 cups) dried cranberries

Combining the dry ingredients. Combine the flour, xanthan gum, guar gum, and kosher salt into a medium bowl. Whisk them together, aerating as you go.

Creaming the butter and sugar. Put the softened butter and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer. Working on low speed, mix the butter and sugar together until they are creamy, but not fluffy, about 3 minutes. Pour in the vanilla extract and mix for 1 more minute.

Finishing the cookie dough. With the mixer running, add half the floury ingredients and mix until the flour disappears. Add the remaining dry ingredients. Turn off the mixer and remove the bowl from the mixer. Fold the pistachios and dried cranberries into the dough with a rubber spatula. Make sure they are evenly distributed throughout the dough.

Shaping the dough into a log. Divide the dough into half. Put each half of the dough onto parchment paper. Cover the dough, then roll it with your hands into a log about 2 inches in diameter. Repeat with the second half of the dough. Refrigerate the logs of dough for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

Slice and bake the cookies.Preheat the oven to 325*. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.

Grab 1 of the logs of cookie dough from the refrigerator. Slice the cookie dough with a sharp knife, in about 1/4 to 1/2-inch-thick slices, depending on how thick you like your final cookies. Give each cookie at least 1 inch of space around it because these might spread a touch.

Slide the baking sheets into the oven and bake until the cookies have just begun to brown around the edges, about 16 to 20 minutes, turning the baking sheet in the oven halfway through the baking time. When in doubt, pull the cookies out a touch early. If you bake them too long, these will become a bit brittle.

Cool the cookies on a rack to room temperature. Eat.

Makes about 48 cookies.

112 comments on “gluten-free pistachio-cranberry cookies

  1. Mother Rimmy

    Fantastic combination- pistachios and cranberries. I'll bet I would't have noticed a bit of dryness because I would have devoured them in a flash!

  2. Devon

    At least the cookies were still delicious. The first time my sister baked cookies (I think she was maybe 10 or something) she switched the sugar and salt amounts. Gag!

    Congrats on the NY Times Best Cookbook of the year list!

  3. Heather Brandt

    What kind of scale do you recommend for use with gluten free baking? I don't have one at all & would love a recommendation.

    Thanks,

    heather
    heatherlbrandt (at) frontier (dot) com

    1. Elissa

      I once halved a recipe for banana bread but messed up the measurements (I halved everything BUT the banana) and needless to say it didn’t work very well. I cut it up into squares and served it under ice cream, and it was surprisingly amazing. Like a banana fudge blonie sundae. I wouldn’t do it again, though.

  4. Christa

    My biggest baking mistake (lately) is to tell someone (my husband) that using applesauce when baking cookies will result in the "exact same texture" as when using oil. My lesson? Bake first, talk later.

  5. anng27

    My favorite recent cooking mistake: I was using a newly found bread recipe. It called for 2T of yeast. I knew that was way too much for bread, but it was my first time with this recipe, so I did what it said. Plus side, the loaf didn't rise to the ceiling and collapse. Downside, I could have fit a golf ball or two in that giant hole in the middle.

  6. Lynelle

    I definitely need help learning to bake gluten free. My first attempt at banana bread ended with banana bread all over my oven. I am about 7 months gluten free and 4 months pregnant. So I could use some help making some yummy desserts.

  7. emily

    I keep thinking of my first backing disaster. I was about 10 and was baking cookies by myself with my brother's "help." I misread the recipes and put in 3 cups of baking soda instead of 3 tablespoons. We kept feeding the dough to my littlest sister until my mom came in and freaked out.

    It still makes me giggle.

  8. Lorraine

    Pumpkin muffins was one of the first GF recipes I made. I made fresh pumpkin puree, measured everything carefully but left the sugar out of the dough. I was a bit surprised with the initial texture, but thought maybe GF would be that way. Yuck! I ended up cubing up the muffins and toasting them to make a stuffing for acorn squash. Lemonade from lemons…….
    Congratulations on the cookbook award!

  9. Jessica

    Hmmm, I'm still learning to be a baker. So exact! I'd say that my most memorable baking misshap was in highschool. I'd had a sleepover, and we were craving chocolate chip cookies in the middle of the night. We got the measurements off quite a bit. They still tasted decent, but were very thin and flat, and just a tad greasy. Lots of good giggles that night!

  10. Erin

    So one of my most recent mistakes was starting a recipe of molasses cookies… but I forgot to check to see if we have molasses. I was all the way to the end of the baking and … couldn't find the molasses. We live a ways from a store, so I subsitituted maple syrup (which we make here at home in the spring time). Do I need to tell you how great those cookies turned out??! Plenty of gluten eating folks gobbled them up and asked for more. I learned from that mistake. Lay out all the ingrediants first, but if you get caught, then maple syrup always works as a sweetener.
    The book sounds amazing, sign me up for your giveaway.
    Erin
    erinsmalls@gmail(dot)com

  11. Laura

    I learned this week that my scale is in ounces not grams ๐Ÿ™ So while baking your cookies I had to go online and convert. Hmm my latest cooking lesson was that you can't use coconut milk with standard pudding mix because it doesn't set up.

  12. Canadian Twentysomething

    Those sound so good!

    Just the other week I had a dinner date and we wanted to make the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies I'd made for him a few weeks earlier. So I brought all of the stuff and what we didn't have, we substituted. Well….they turned out like scones. Little cakes. It was so strange! We ate them anyway, but I you just can't replace shortening and sugar with bananas and honey….HAHA! At least now I know how to make scones!!! ๐Ÿ˜›

  13. Mburger718

    I think my biggest failure in baking was when I made GF Chocolate chip cookies and left out the sugar! They were edible….but tasted more like biscuits with chocolate chips in them!

  14. heathersdish.com

    these are gorgeous…and as for baking mistakes, they're usually the best tasting…but maybe not the prettiest ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. SLColman

    I have learned that adapting recipes to be dairy and gluten free doesn't always go smoothly the first time. I have also learned to not be disappointed and to just try try again!

  16. Marny

    Hmm, baking mistakes?
    1. Switching salt for sugar.
    2. Thinking that if you keep layering candies on top of a poorly baked cake, no one will notice how bad it tastes (I was 11 yrs. old)
    3. Switching fat free margarine for real butter in cookies..does NOT come out the same. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. nerdytwin.

    melting chocolate over a double boiler should be removed as soon as it melts otherwise it separates when alcohol (i.e. bailey's) is added. i bought really expensive chocolate at a fancy store with hope that my bailey's infused chocolate balls would be delicious. they were one big lumpy mess. start with inexpensive (yet still decent chocolate) when starting out. once you've perfected the recipe, then maybe buy the expensive stuff…but if it tastes great, leave it alone ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. nerdytwin.

    melting chocolate over a double boiler should be removed as soon as it melts otherwise it separates when alcohol (i.e. bailey's) is added. i bought really expensive chocolate at a fancy store with hope that my bailey's infused chocolate balls would be delicious. they were one big lumpy mess. start with inexpensive (yet still decent chocolate) when starting out. once you've perfected the recipe, then maybe buy the expensive stuff…but if it tastes great, leave it alone ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Kim

    When I was a child, my dad and I made brownies and substituted Crisco for butter. They were AWFUL, greasy and sticky. I never made the mistake again, and my dad always eats my brownies now. We usually laugh about it!!!

  20. Noah

    I started spooning GF pumpkin muffin batter into the tin only to realize I had left out the sugar when I licked my finger ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Catherine

    Ah, baking mistakes…. Let's see, I have forgotten to put in sugar before, eggs another time….and many other mishaps. Most of that was when my children were small and I was distracted and over tired. I never gave up though and continued until I got it right!

  22. Jen

    I tried making a sugar free/gluten free pumpkin "pie" for my aunt just after she went gluten-free. Let's just say there was a lack of availabilty of ingrediants, so I tried to substitute Tang for the sweetener. It was a little strong so I kept adding more pumpkin to counteract the orange, and kept adding more pumpkin until we were out (it was in good supply…) Let's just say one great aunt loved it and was eating it for quite awhile…

    It's still known as the "tang pumpkin" experience…

    Thankfully, my aunt appreciated the effort and my gf/sf baking has improved greatly ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Melissa

    My best mistake was forgetting to translate Farenheit to Celsius when I moved to Australia. We found out that the smoke alarms in our new house DEFINITELY worked. Sigh.

  24. amanda

    Baking mistake that has stayed with me since making my first scones as a little girl: you don't want to use ordinary flour when the recipe says "self rising flour" if you don't want to be reminded of that for the next 30 years by your loving family! Love your recipes and your stories.

  25. Jo Whitton

    Those cookies look great – got to make some of those! I've made the mistake in the past of not baking my gluten free bread for long enough… I think I just get impatient because it just takes so much longer to cook than regular bread! It rises up so high, and is lovely and golden, and I start checking it every 5 minutes or so hoping it's ready, sticking in the skewer to check it, then I get tired of waiting and take it out of the oven… and after a few minutes it kind of collapses! So I'm learning to leave it in the oven longer and be more patient. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I loved your first book – can't wait to read the new one!

  26. Tracy Chastain

    So did you slap Danny's arm and say, "get out!?" funny! Using a scale really does work. You have taught us that and couldn't imagine baking without a scale. Kim loves it for the simplicity of pouring in, hitting tare, pouring more in, hitting tare, etc. It's so much faster.

  27. CatherineBrown

    Those cookies look fabulous! and Congratulations on your cookbook honors! I have a dear friend and fellow foodie who eats and bakes gluten free for her family and I would love to give her your book for Christmas, so here goes…

    I think my first embarrassing baking mistake happened when I was 12. Buoyed by my initial success with making my first loaf of bread by myself (and it smelled and tasted…well, like homemade bread, fabulous!), I thought I was ready to be more adventurous. I was ready to make sourdough bread. The only cookbook I had on hand with a recipe for sourdough bread was not very explanatory, and I had no idea a good sourdough starter can take a week or two to develop. My dough was not rising properly, but I was determined to see it through. After two hours without much of a rise, I popped it into the oven. My mother wanted to give some to the plumber who was just finishing, but I knew the bread wasn't right and didn't want to further embarrass myself. I kept telling her it wasn't done yet, until finally the plumber had to be off. That bread was so tough and dense, no one could eat it!

    I've learned a few things since that day, and wish I could invite that plumber back for a much improved loaf of my sourdough bread!

    Thanks for your inspirations,
    Catherine

    1. Angie

      Catherine,
      Is your sourdough bread gluten free? If so, is it possible to get the recipe?
      Thanks,
      Angie

  28. Ellen

    You have so turned me onto using a scale for baking. I don't always post my recipes at my blog in weight even though more and more I'm measuring by weight, mostly because I just haven't made the commitment to do so. But I definitely see the benefit of measuring by weight. Thank you for pushing me to do that! I would love to win the Grand Central Baking book! I've been eyeing it since reading about it on your blog. Thanks Shauna and congrats on the NY Times honor. Much deserved!

  29. peanutgallery7

    My biggest failure was trying to make Gf Cinnamon Rolls. I could barely get the dough rolled out, and it never seemed to rise. I decided to cook them, hoping for the best. Unfortunately they never recovered, weighed about 5 lbs per slice, and went straight to the garbage.

  30. MK French

    I have learned the hard way to read, read and re-read measurements. Putting twice as much flour as called for is NOT a good choice!!

    I have learned to second guess my first sight!

  31. cathydebbie

    One good baking learning opportunity…in a new home, with a new (old) oven, I thought I'd lost my baking touch because nothing turned out right. When a friend suggested I get an oven thermometer, I was suddenly able to bake again. Like a scale, an oven thermometer is a great step toward consistency.

    Thanks for your lovely blog and recipes. I make your artisan break for my GF fiance all the time. ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. cathydebbie

    One good baking learning opportunity…in a new home, with a new (old) oven, I thought I'd lost my baking touch because nothing turned out right. When a friend suggested I get an oven thermometer, I was suddenly able to bake again. Like a scale, an oven thermometer is a great step toward consistency.

    Thanks for your lovely blog and recipes. I make your artisan break for my GF fiance all the time. ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. Pat

    Long ago (before gluten free) on Thanksgiving morning I decided to make a pie. I had learned to make pie crusts from my mom, but this time I used too much flour. The filling was delicious but the crust was not eaten. I was much more careful with the flour the next time.

  34. Sandra R

    Yum! Can't wait to try these cookies!
    First baking mistake was to pay attention to the time!! Don't allow yourself to get distracted.
    Second mistake was to never use mace as apparently very allergic!
    Third mistake was to work only in the box. Step out be creative! I have made some amazing cheesecakes by vowing never to make the same cheesecake twice. The "Almond Joy" cheesecake was to die for! Chocolate crust with a layer of coconut and almonds. Then top off with the chocolate cheesecake mixture spiked with Amaretto. Yummy!!!

    Thanks for sharing your recipes!
    Sandra

  35. Amy

    My worst baking mistake? Like Devon's sister, I switched the sugar and salt when I was around 10 years old.

    My favorite baking mistake? Not having enough pecans on hand to make pecan pie, and throwing in sliced almonds and hazelnuts to make up for the shortage. So incredibly good.

    And congrats on making the NY Times list!!

  36. Tabatha

    My latest baking oops was when I was making cupcakes for my daughters birthday party. I thought the butter soft enouugh to put in the mixer but it just chunked up. When baking them of course the butter melted and leaked out of the bottom of the cake cup to the muffin tin and a huge MESS! The one child said it is a little hard but she still ate it. I think she was just trying to be nice. So now I will be sure to melt the butter before hand!

  37. Libbyhitch

    I must begin with I was never a baker but I have recently found I truly enjoy it…even if I am not very good at it. For Thanksgiving I decided to make cookies, how hard could it be? In my excitement I confused tsp and Tbsp PLUS the importance of creaming together the first few ingredients. I added the eggs to the mixture and ended up with a salty and very wet mixture…oops. Great times with Mom & lessons learned. Hope to have better luck this weekend with the above recipe! Looks great!

  38. Libbyhitch

    I must begin with I was never a baker but I have recently found I truly enjoy it…even if I am not very good at it. For Thanksgiving I decided to make cookies, how hard could it be? In my excitement I confused tsp and Tbsp PLUS the importance of creaming together the first few ingredients. I added the eggs to the mixture and ended up with a salty and very wet mixture…oops. Great times with Mom & lessons learned. Hope to have better luck this weekend with the above recipe! Looks great!

  39. Angie&Evan

    tee hee hee! This post reminds me of a little mistake I once made… I was baking cookies at a friend's house one day and mistook her big jar of salt for sugar! Needless to say they were the most disgusting things I've ever made (think Play-doh cookies…)! Oops!

  40. Angie&Evan

    tee hee hee! This post reminds me of a little mistake I once made… I was baking cookies at a friend's house one day and mistook her big jar of salt for sugar! Needless to say they were the most disgusting things I've ever made (think Play-doh cookies…)! Oops!

  41. Angie&Evan

    tee hee hee! This post reminds me of a little mistake I once made… I was baking cookies at a friend's house one day and mistook her big jar of salt for sugar! Needless to say they were the most disgusting things I've ever made (think Play-doh cookies…)! Oops!

  42. Lora

    My very first Thanksgivig dinner as a new wife I made 3 lovely pumpkin pies but omitted the sugar. Why? Because I was reaching for ingredients as they were (randomly) arranged on the counter instead of following the list as it was written. I was so sad to have to toss put those pies. We took a picture and I have never left out an ingredient again.

  43. Cynthia

    CONGRATS on the Best Cookbooks recognition! That's fantastic!!

    Before going gluten free I was an intuitive baker. I grew up in a restaurant/bakery and my first paying job was as a breakfast cook in a cafeteria. I never used to measure things very carefully. Then enter the celiac diagnosis. I tried baking and gave up in frustration. I lost 30# (a good thing) however when my daughter was diagnosed I had to go back to the kitchen and master this new skill set and conquer the frustration.

    I learned two things one to get right down to eye level to measure liquids and if it's the least bit off to use a teaspoon or tablespoon to add or take out liquids and get the level just right and two to have an oven thermometer because temperature is critical. This I learned after too many gummy loaves of bread.

  44. Kim

    I love to bake and know exactly how exact it should be-my mistakes come from my oven that has a mind of it's own…Thanksgiving turkey was ready an hour and a half early-translate to baking time 14 minute cookies? you had better not walk away from the oven!!

  45. Cynthia

    I have been waiting for this recipe. Before the celiac diagnosis I used to make cranberry pistachio shortbread cookies every year at Christmas. Then I would dip them in tempered chocolate and toasted coconut. My daughter and I have greatly missed them.

    We're dairy free too so I'm going to have to use a replacement for the butter unfortunately!

  46. Ellen

    one lesson i learned the hard way: label containers and bags. salt does not make an adequate substitute for sugar!

  47. Sara Pugh

    My favorite baking mistake was when I was at a friends house using her kitchen. I reached for what I thought was the sugar and put my cups (sorry no scales – but you have converted me!) into the recipe. When the cookies were done, they came out of the oven and tasted horrible. Unfortunately her sugar dish bowl was actually the salt dish bowl. Opps! Perhaps having your cook book will keep me away from any other mistakes like that!

  48. brooke

    I have had so many disasters since having to start cooking allergen free for my son. I have discovered that flour does mold and it does affect the outcome of your recipe. sigh.

  49. Candy

    Oh, I can't wait for Santa to bring me my new scale!! I'm going to start weighing and weighing…probably in more ways than one.

    The thing that taught me to be a better baker (and I'm more of a cook, not a baker) is that the "if a little is good a lot isn't better" when it comes to favorite ingredients. You can add extra mushrooms when you're a cook, but not a ton of almond extract when you bake.

  50. gfpumpkins

    I don't really remember my early GF baking mishaps well. Partly from a crappy memory, but I'm sure also partly to erase those memories in general! I converted a sweet potato roll recipe recently. While I don't think I made any mistakes on the theory, it didn't convert very well. We ate them all, but I won't be making them again.

  51. Sirena Shamounki

    Hm. I have plenty of mistakes in the world of cooking, and baking, and plenty more. but the one most apropos to your directive is probably the time I blew it on including enough butter in the recipe for whole wheat chocolate chip cookies. Plump, round and crisp,the cookies were actually delicious. I learned to be more careful about following a recipe until I've mastered it, and enjoying anything I can salvage from a mistake – the bounty of a kitchen takes many mysterious forms! You may not want to serve it to a guest, but it may be really satisfying over coffee or tea in the morning!

  52. Jorie

    When I got have gluten I used to make the perfect cookies, chewy, warm, gooey, perfection. I was so good people begged me to take them into school and work. After I started baking gluten free, I figured I could do the same thing, melt the butter, cool on sheet, that sort of thing. I ended up with melted cookies, literally all over the baking pan. I had to throw out two batches before I had to freeze the dough and try again. I have learned more since than, but I still don't make my own cookies for fear of repeats. I could really use a cookbook to help me through the transition.

  53. Jeri

    They sound wonderful. I'm new to gluten free cooking. My almost disaster this week was when I was making bread. I laid out all the ingredients but almost forgot the egg replacer and the xantham gum. Then I put in 2 tbsp not 2 tsps. Quick catch. Scooped some out and it did do too bad. Well okay it rose then fell but not too bad..

  54. Michelle

    The first time I made GF biscuits I accidentally doubled the butter. Since I'd been expecting the dough to be different from a dough with gluten, I was only mildly puzzled at the consistency. You can imagine that my biscuits were closer to very thin, very wide crackers. Certainly not bad, but certainly not a biscuit!

  55. Mr. Jackhonky

    OK. Lu reaching for those dried cranberries? ADORABLE! mistakes in the kitchen? Hmmm. Back in the day, I accidentally swapped out teaspoons vs tablespoons for cinnamon. Man that carrot cake was cinnamontastic. A little too much so. Oh well, there went that dinner party dessert.

    But something I learned in the kitchen is that pretty much nothing is completely lost. Whether I turn it into a bread pudding, a crust for a pie or cheesecake or crumbs to decorate the side of a cake, my mistakes often times lead to better end results!

    Except for burnt black sugar caramel. You can't do anything with that stuff after it's burnt. Other than open the window, turn on the fan and take the battery out of the fire alarm.

  56. brenlm

    During one of my very first attempts at cooking something on my own, I mistakenly used blue food coloring instead of vanilla in a batch of rice crispie treats. In the long run, it worked to my advantage. Since I was the only one in the family willing to eat blue rice crispie treats, I enjoyed the entire batch myself!

  57. Janelle

    Baking mistakes: Well, with gluten free baking items you absolutely, positively must follow the instructions. If it says use two knives to cut the flour, then you must do it. I've learned that I do not, in fact, know more than the people who created the flour and that I should probably listen to what they have to say because the crust/cookies/bread/muffins/biscuits will: burn, dry out, taste funky, etc.

    ๐Ÿ™‚ Love your blog! I have celiac disease and am currently studying medical dietetics to help people who are just like us!

  58. Shawna

    When we moved into our new house, I baked a batch of pumpkin muffins as one of my first baking projects. I came out to the kitchen sometime later only to find that the timer had already gone off and the muffins were burnt! I learned that the timer on our oven is super quiet and I need to set more than one.

    Very important!

  59. Christi

    I think my worst gluten-free cooking mistake was to accidentally use potato flour instead of potato starch. Most mistakes aren't so bad they have to be thrown away but this one was. It looked like I made bread out of slightly soggy Grape-Nuts but tasted so bad my husband accused me of trying to kill the dogs when I tried to see if they would eat it.

    Luckily I was trying to convert the recipe into weight measurements so all I had to do was look at my notes to find out that is wasn't the recipes fault.

    I will never mix up potato starch and potato flour again though.

  60. Entwined Vines Jewelry

    I am always baking and my biggest "oooops" comes from my draw to sweeten with honey. I am also here in the pacific northwest and honey is just so local that I use it a LOT in my baking. This can turn out amazing or well not so much. I have been reminded on more than one occation that I MUST remember to lesson the other liquids after using so much honey as well as increase the baking soda… the trick is remembering.

  61. Entwined Vines Jewelry

    I am always baking and my biggest "oooops" comes from my draw to sweeten with honey. I am also here in the pacific northwest and honey is just so local that I use it a LOT in my baking. This can turn out amazing or well not so much. I have been reminded on more than one occation that I MUST remember to lesson the other liquids after using so much honey as well as increase the baking soda… the trick is remembering.

  62. sondibruner

    I tried to make a gluten-free microwave chocolate mug cake. My microwave is old, so I had to 'bake' it for longer than the recipe called for. It tasted like a slightly burned hockey puck. The lesson: don't try to bake a cake in a mug in the microwave. Sometimes, the shortcuts just aren't worth it.

  63. Jen Maraia

    One time I forgot the COCOA POWDER in a CHOCOLATEY CHOCOLATE cookie! Ok, so I was probably 12 years old, and it was maybe one of the first times I baked, so I give myself a break, but still!

    In other news, I want your cookbook!! (I think I'm getting it for Christmas, but I could really use one copy at home and one copy in Boston at college!)

    Thanks for all the work you put into this blog I love reading it ๐Ÿ™‚
    Jen

  64. Gaile

    when I first came to Portland, I was thrilled to find a gluten free bakery. I had missed bread terribly, and happily took home one of their sourdough baguettes to make crostini. I sliced it up and put them under the broiler to toast while I made a batch of toppings for them. Not long after I noticd the strange smell of burnt marshmallow coming from my oven. I opened it to discover a flaming archipelago of tiny toasts on my cookie sheet. They hadn't just burnt – they were on fire! I considered grabbing my camera first, but thought better of it and tossed them out onto the back lawn, where they extinguished and were made short work of by the squirrels in the coming days. Still I was sad to see them go, and learned that gluten free baked goods do indeed behave differently than gluteny ones. it's not a baking story per se, but it's funnier than my pie crust foibles.

  65. Amy

    When I first started baking, I tried to melt chocolate in the microwave as stated in the recipe. However, the whole batch of chocolate seized! What a waste. Now I know I should dry the bowl before putting chocolate in it….or better do it in the double boiler! ๐Ÿ™‚ I never got seized chocolate after that time!

  66. hoopyscoopsmom

    Congrats on the NY Times Cookbook of the year list!!! Awesome!!! And these cookies look absolutely delicious!! I have been printing recipes all day day to make cookies for me and my daughter this year. This is her first year being GF, as well as DF and egg free. I usually skip the yummy stuff as I am not a baker or a cook by nature, so why bother to attempt it for myself! But now my daughter has been diagnosed as well, and my husband has recently gone GF for us, as he has seen how just the smallest amount of gluten can take me down for days. So we are now a completely gluten free family!!! Yay!!

    My 2 worst baking experiences were baking bread and biscuits. The bread, well, if you can call it that, mixed together well, rose well, but then when it went in the oven, something happened and it exploded all over the oven. Not sure what happened there!!! Then he biscuits, I was sure I had measured all my ingredients correctly and used the correct ones, but the biscuits came out as hard as rocks, literally, my daughter and I had a contest to see who could crack one open first!!!

    So this new adventure in life has definitely been interesting! I am so grateful for all the bloggers and cookbook writers that have helped me so much this past year!!!

  67. hoopyscoopsmom

    Congrats on the NY Times Cookbook of the year list!!! Awesome!!! And these cookies look absolutely delicious!! I have been printing recipes all day day to make cookies for me and my daughter this year. This is her first year being GF, as well as DF and egg free. I usually skip the yummy stuff as I am not a baker or a cook by nature, so why bother to attempt it for myself! But now my daughter has been diagnosed as well, and my husband has recently gone GF for us, as he has seen how just the smallest amount of gluten can take me down for days. So we are now a completely gluten free family!!! Yay!!

    My 2 worst baking experiences were baking bread and biscuits. The bread, well, if you can call it that, mixed together well, rose well, but then when it went in the oven, something happened and it exploded all over the oven. Not sure what happened there!!! Then he biscuits, I was sure I had measured all my ingredients correctly and used the correct ones, but the biscuits came out as hard as rocks, literally, my daughter and I had a contest to see who could crack one open first!!!

    So this new adventure in life has definitely been interesting! I am so grateful for all the bloggers and cookbook writers that have helped me so much this past year!!!

  68. Shoshana

    Something I've been thinking about is cutting down on the amount of sugar I use when baking – it seems like everything I make is taking 1/2 cup of white and brown sugar.

    Last night I made these cookies – which are so, so, good…
    http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Magic-Peanut-Butter-Middles/Detail.aspx
    and by accident I put in 1/3 of a cup of each type of sugar, instead of a half of cup. And you would never know the difference…

    Also – I love making INTENTIONAL mistakes in baking : ). I'm trying not to use margarine in my baking (we keep kosher so I prefer that most of my baking ends up being dairy free so that we can eat these "neutral" desserts with meat dishes or milk based dishes) and I don't have access to "healthy" brands of margarine. So I replaced the margarine with half oil half unsweetened applesauce, and it was fine. I LOVE the experimentation : ).

  69. Courage Cooks

    I have definitely learned to use unsalted butter. Very, very important lesson – it's so disappointing having a perfect pie… except for a crust that's just too salty.

    I've also learned to always add more cinnamon and vanilla than is called for. Asks for 2 teaspoon vanilla? I add 2 tablespoons. It always turns out great, especially with cakes!

    So glad you and your hubby can laugh together. That is key in happy, long-lasting relationships. Keep up the good work (and the great cookies!)!!!

  70. my darling lemon thyme

    I love that he is the chef, but you the pastry chef ๐Ÿ™‚

    One of my (many) kitchen mistakes happened recently when I made a gf birthday cake for a friend….it wasn't until the cakes came out of the oven that I remembered I had forgotten to put the sugar in!!!!

    Now, I have done this once before (back in the wheat eating days) and the cake was a right-off. Dry and yuk. This cake however, still had a really great texture (thanks to the grated apple), so I simply sliced it in half slathered some jam in the middle and topped generously with chocolate icing. My friend absolutely loved the cake…which got me onto thinking, maybe I could get away with using a little stewed dates in place of sugar the next time I baked that cake..making it gluten, dairy and cane sugar free…oh and yum!

  71. Il Fornaio

    Just recently I prepared to make a batch of espresso toffee, which I have made dozens of times before (every december). I was out of the light brown sugar the recipe called for but figured no difference if I used dark brown. Oh, there was a difference. The moisture must have been off because the toffee separated and then tasted terribly bitter when I tasted a piece just in case. Lesson learned (plus I dropped my candy therm. in the pot and ruined that too. Not my finest night).

  72. zonecoach

    How about the first time I tried making Gluten Free pizza dough and being very p-offed that it didn't come out like regular pizza crust. I kept working at it and working at it and it just didn't happen. We then bit into the pizza. Kept saying it wasn't exactly like regular pizza but we really liked it. I made my own recipe using America's Test Kitchen as the base recipe. It turned out very very good. I can't wait to try your pizza crust. Hoping to get your cookbook for
    Christmas.

  73. manuela garcรญa sรกnchez

    I have learned through countless mistakes to never, ever, ignore my instincts when cooking or baking. After years in the kitchen, I know now that no matter what a recipe calls for, it the batter or dough doesnยดt feel right, itยดs not going to work, so I have to twick it through what experience has taught me.

  74. Grig

    My biggest mistake? There are so many… ๐Ÿ™‚ Probably the time when I didn't empty the oven when I started pre-heating it. Turned out, my roommate left his frying pen inside – the poor thing melted. O_o Now I double-check everything.

    If I win, my email is grig at gmx dot com

    Thanks! :^D

  75. Rachel

    Sound delicious! I made a gluten free chocolate butter cake last weekend….and I failed to follow the instructions to make sure that all ingredients were room temperature. When I added the refrigerator cold eggs to the beautifully creamed & whipped butter & sugar mixture the whole thing separated into frozen up little butter bits….bummer! I just submerged the bowl in warm water & continued to beat it until it re-blended. Hah! I learned to have patience with my baking & allow the time for ingredients to reach room temperature for the best results. Cake turned out delish int he end….but I'll know for next time.
    I'd love a copy of your book, looks excellent!

  76. sforme

    I've made many mistakes in the course of my GF baking. I was making apple muffins for my son, which is his favorite, and they didn't rise up or look as good as normal. When I tasted them, I knew why. I forgot the sugar. I not only did this once, but two more times before outlining the sugar on the recipe card. Fortunately, he still ate them and said they were good!

  77. Mandi

    Congrats on the book announcement! I eyed that book when I was in Ener-G foods a few months ago and would love my own copy.

    When I was little I liked to experiment around in the kitchen trying to make cookie recipes. Some were successful but 1 in particular was not. They came out of the oven looking reasonably normal for cookies but 1 bite in and we realized that I had forgotten sugar, completely. We tried frosting them but it still just wasn't the same. Lesson learned? Cookies need sugar!

  78. Kerin

    My family loves pudding, so when I was younger I decided to try without my mom.

    We had two packages so I decided to try and make it super chocolatey and didn't use enough milk.

    I was so excited that after they were chilled I asked my mom to try it, she stuck the spoon in it and all of the pudding came out of the bowl with it, like a jello mold!

    I can't even tell you the number of times I've successfully made pudding but every time someone mentions pudding anyone in my family will pipe up and say "hey remember that time Kerin made pudding? Wow that was awful."

  79. Roz

    I once made GF cinnamon rolls when rather tipsy and put far too much liquid in – but they rolled up fine (though squashily), and the next morning they baked up very tastily if rather misshapen! mmmm perfect with coffee and the teeny tiny hangover…

    Congrats on the NY Times!

    Roz xx

  80. Heather Brandt

    Worst mistake was killing my yeast & making an awful batch of bread…my dog wouldn't even eat it!

    HEATHERLBRANDT (AT) FRONTIER (DOT) COM

  81. Catie

    I have learned that mistakes can still taste awesome – one time I made your cinnamon buns and they just wouldn't cut right – so I put it all in a casserole dish and tried baking it, after all, what did I have to loose right? Those cinnamon buns were delicious and we just ate them with a spoon.

  82. MidnightAgenda

    My last baking project was delicious but I did mess it up a bit…

    I was making apple pie and when I put the crust together I accidentally dumped the water in without even thinking and the crust ended up coming out really thick. It still tastes delicious but it's not light and flaky as it should be.
    The filling was to die for though!

  83. Mollie

    Those cookies look so delicious!! I loved reading through all these comments about baking mistakes and lessons learned.

    This summer I threw a brunch party for 20 people and needed to multiply a my recipes to feed the whole crew. I used a spreadsheet to calculate the final counts of ingredients to buy at the store, which worked really well. But in the kitchen I just followed the recipes as they were written, and multiplied the ingredients in my head as I went along. Luckily my biggest mistake was making twice the amount of filling for my quiche crust, which meant that I got to make more quiche later that week. But it could have been so much worse!

    Now I write out the recipe in the amounts I'm going to use, every time. With holiday baking upon us, I recently unearthed my grandmother's original handwritten pie crust recipe and to my delight it featured ingredient amounts for one crust on the front and two crusts on the back. I guess that lesson runs in the family.

    Thanks for the chance to win the book!

  84. Zee

    These look delicious! Made me think of my dad immediately…
    As the only gluten-free person in my family, my mission this holiday season is to convince everyone how delicious GF baked goods are.

    I have made my fair share of baking mistakes: I'm vegan as well as gluten free, so unfortunately baking from a recipe nearly always requires substitutions and changes.

    The most recent mishap was when I was making chocolate espresso cupcakes for my boyfriend's birthday. I was in a bit of a hurry making the frosting (coffee buttercream) and didn't wait for the coffee to cool before trying to blend it in. The frosting immediately curdled and looked totally weird!
    Some of the strangest looking cupcakes, but they still tasted good! Luckily my boyfriend didn't care about the frosting.

    Congrats again on your book!

  85. Brenda

    If you buy ingredients in bulk, and store them in tins/jars/etc, don't forget to label them! Our first Thanksgiving, I served my new mother-in-law pumpkin pie, which I had made with salt instead of sugar! That wonderful lady swallowed it politely, then insisted I have some…we laughed that day, and for many, many years after, whenever one of us thought about that beautiful pie!

  86. dotted lines

    I don't know if it's really a mistake, but in order to make my cupcake recipe vegan, I just started leaving out the eggs. Sometimes I use ground flax seeds in hot water as a replacement, but I've found that it's not really necessary. Also, OJ works just as well as milk, especially in the chocolate ones!

  87. Wendy

    I love making crust with broken recipes!

    My first real big baking mistake was to roll out drop biscuits. They were very pale hockey pucks. No body could even take a bite. They laugh and tease me to this day 34 years later! I laugh too!

  88. Elizabeth

    When I first started baking, I did not realize that salted and unsalted butters were not interchangeable. I made really salty cookies!

  89. sheila d

    My scale, which a friend gave me when they moved back to Germany, is in metric! I think it is intended for wieghing portion sizes because it has large calibrations (just un-numbered lines for every 200 ounces) But, it made AMAZING GF Girl Gingerbread People the other night!!! I guess I'll have to convert this recipe….My worst baking disaster is forgetting the pinenuts are toasting…..I do this way too often. I can take days to get the smell out of the kitchen. Oh and forgetting the Yeast, salt and sugar when making bread in the bread machine.

  90. lg

    My recipes aren't as good if I bake after work when I am tired – so I always try to bake in the morning! Easy fix.

  91. Katharine Eliska Kimbriel

    Always, always ALWAYS wear your glasses when cooking, if you need reading glasses! I was half-asleep one morning, didn't grab my glasses and started baking. I practically knew the recipe by heart, right? Six-week muffins, the container can sit in your fridge for six weeks, make a fresh batch every time you want them?

    I put in five tablespoons of salt instead of five teaspoons.

    It was the aftertaste — you could eat a few bites and they were fine, but the aftertaste? Then the salt crept up on you and said: HI! I was going to toss the batch, but my then-husband said he'd take them to work. Programmers would eat anything.

    Not anything. They did eat a few of them, but there were plenty to toss at the end of the day. The only other time I know of that programmers didn't finish off free food was Durian cookies brought back from Singapore.

    Then there was an entire batch of cookie dough my sister dumped, when she grabbed the big dark brown glass bottle of vanilla — only it was actually something for the dog's coat, on the wrong shelf. But that's another story!

  92. Kathleen

    I REALLY want a copy of any of the two cookbooks mentioned. I borrowed a copy of your current cookbook and absolutely LOVE each recipe I have tried. My husband and three children are BIG fans of the cooking as well. OK, so i need to share a mistake that I learned from… It's not that easy to pick just one as I am not a very precise cook so mistakes are made often. I guess what I have learned from all of them is to just keep trying. Not everything you make is going to come out perfect, but if your not afraid to cook and try new things you can sometimes create amazing creations that your friends and loved ones will ask for again and again!! One funny mistake I remember from being about 11 or 12 yrs old was using pepsi in a cookie recipe that called for baking soda. the recipe must have read ??tsp of soda and I didn't know that it meant baking soda. I made the mistake several times until my mom asked why my cookies had such a different texture from hers.

  93. Gabrielle@GrandCentral Bakery

    All of our Grand Central Bakery fans thank you for making a traditional recipe gluten-free! We love how you take our classic recipes and make them delicious and safe for our gluten free fans. Thank you for your wonderful and generous compliments about Piper's cookbook.
    Happy Holidays,
    Gabrielle

  94. Amanda Acton

    The first time I ventured out into baking cookies all by myself, I ran to my mother in tears. "There aren't enough cups!" I declared. Confused by why I would need more cups than our cupboards held, my mom came to investigate. As it turns out, I was doing exactly what my kid friendly cookbook was SHOWING. The pictures in my book showed all the ingredients neatly laid out and perfectly measured. I was trying to mimic that. I wanted all of my ingredients measured and ready before I began.

    Of course, my mom had to explain how that was just to show me, but when I bake, I only have to use one cup. I am proud to say that when baking, I now measure as I go rather than making a mountain of dishes. ๐Ÿ˜›

  95. moonsword

    i hate to admit this but the biggest and most memorable mistake i made was when i left the plastic bag from some chocolate i was adding to a saucepan on the stove and it caught fire from the burner…i was 14 yrs old and have been burner-conscious ever since!

  96. theunappreciatedbaker

    One of my bigger baking mistakes was to substitute baking powder for baking soda – ooops! Won't do that again!

  97. shanhill

    I can't get over how good these cookies are or how easy they were to make. I already have the cookbook, but just wanted to let you know I love the recipe! I am not much of a baker at all just trying out some things and seeing what works, these worked!

  98. Penny Ngai

    Have been wanting to make these since you posted them…and finally did. Took them to a dinner party where three of us can’t eat gluten. EVERYONE…even the gluten people wanted to know how I made them because they were the perfect blend of salty and sweet. Of course I referred them to your site!! Thanks Shauna for making me look like a great chef (which I am clearly NOT) to those I cook for ๐Ÿ™‚

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