Thursday, November 27, 2014

Two Gluten-Free Desserts for Friendsgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from the U.S.! I apologize for the lack of posts recently - November is always a crazy month, and December is even worse. That is to say, while I will try my darndest to get another post up before Christmas, I can't make any promises.

Part of the craziness of this month is that I always have a conference that comes just before Thanksgiving. As a result, I flew back home yesterday (aka the busiest travel day of the year) and spent most of the day recovering from the conference and the early, early flight. Luckily, my Thanksgiving this year is quiet; beyond grocery shopping this morning (because I wasn't up for it yesterday), the only other things on the agenda for today were going to the gym, cleaning my kitchen, eating dinner with friends, and preparing for tomorrow's Friendsgiving dinner.

At least one of the guests at Friendsgiving has celiac disease, so I decided to try making some gluten-free recipes for her. The sides (glazed carrots and sweet potato salad) were easy enough, but the desserts always give me pause. As someone who likes to bake but hasn't quite figured out gluten-free (or vegan-friendly) desserts, this gave me a moment of pause. Luckily, I remember that one of my favorite comfort-food desserts, tres leches rice pudding from The Smitten Kitchen cookbook, is not only gluten-free but is also perfect for the cold and snowy weather we are having in the Midwest today. For those who might argue that rice pudding doesn't scream "Thanksgiving!" the way that pie or cake might, I would respond that this is what makes it special. Not only does it stand out on the dessert table, it can be very elegant, especially if served in individual bowls, glasses, or ramekins and topped off with a dollop of whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon.

The other dessert was one I stumbled across thanks to Google. Chocolate coconut pie is not only festive and decadent, it only requires 4 ingredients and minimal oven time. Instead of having a traditional pie crust, the crust of this pie is made of butter and sweetened coconut, which is baked in the oven until browned. After it cools, it is filled with chocolate ganache, a decadent mixture of chocolate and cream, and refrigerated. That's it.

If you're having Thanksgiving tomorrow or if you need some last-minute desserts, I highly recommend these two desserts. Besides being delicious and gluten-free, they are fast and can be made ahead of time so you can focus your time and energy on other matters (watching one of myriad TV marathons, making many other dishes, pleading with the universe that the turkey will be cooked just right, etc.). Happy Thanksgiving/Friendsgiving!