Monday, September 24, 2012

Apple Nutmeg Muffins

I love muffins. It's no secret. Growing up, my mom often made muffins to go along with dinner. I rarely saw her open a cookbook, instead she'd just start throwing ingredients in a bowl and when the timer dinged, she'd pull delicious muffins out of the oven. I loved the nights she'd make them.

These muffins remind me a lot of the ones she used to make. She claims now that she doesn't bake and that these are so much better. She's lying. She's an awesome cook and baker, but I do try to save her some of these when she visits. That's easier said than done with 3 kids and a hubby who swarm the kitchen when the timer dings.



Apple Nutmeg Muffins

2 cups gluten free flour blend
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1T baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
5T sugar
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 apple, peeled and diced
1 egg
1 cup milk
3 T oil

cinnamon sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a muffin tin and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon. Add diced apple and stir to coat apple pieces. Add wet ingredients and stir until combined. Spoon into prepared muffin tin. Sprinkle the tops of the batter with cinnamon sugar mixture, if desired.

Bake 20-25 minutes. Makes 24 muffins.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

I almost always have cocoa powder in my pantry. It's a sad day when I run out and don't have an extra can ready to be opened. I used to always have baking chocolate too, but after our pantry moth infestation and subsequent pantry purge, I quit having extra bars lying around. The other day I was in desperate need of some chocolate, but the girls wanted chocolate chip cookies. I thought of making a mug cake, but I really wanted brownies. That's where these came in. I didn't have any chocolate bars, but I certainly had cocoa powder. And honestly, I think these are way better and much more chocolatey than the normal brownies I make. I think my go to brownie recipe has changed. Now I'll just have to wait until Uncle Eck comes back. He's the ultimate brownie taster, but he's in Mongolia until next summer.


The girls protested me making these because they ONLY wanted cookies, however after they tasted them, they were in heaven. All three girls love dark chocolate the best and of course they always want to eat all the cookie dough when we make chocolate chip cookies. These were the perfect meld of the two.


Cocoa Powder Brownies

1 1/4 cup sugar
1/4c butter
1/4c unsweetened applesauce
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp espresso powder (optional)
3 large eggs
3/4c gluten free flour blend
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder
1c chocolate chips (optional, but awesome)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9" square pan or a 9x13" pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang to easily remove brownies from pan. Grease parchment paper or foil.

Melt butter and add sugar, salt and applesauce. Mix until sugar is mostly dissolved. Stir in cocoa and add eggs one at a time until mixture becomes glossy. Stir in flour, xanthan gum and baking powder. Once incorporated, stir in chocolate chips.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 32-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached. Let cool 15 minutes before cutting or cool completely before topping with cookie dough. I then keep them in the freezer.

Cookie Dough Topping

1/4 cup softened butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
pinch of cinnamon
1c gluten free flour blend
1/8-1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup chocolate chips (mini ones work best, but aren't necessary. Mini M&Ms would be fun too)

Cream butter and sugars. Mix in vanilla and salt. Blend in flour and slowly add milk until a spreadable consistency is reached. Stir in chocolate chips. Chill for a few minutes before spreading on top of completely cooled brownies. Chill before cutting. Once again, they're best kept in the freezer.

*This eggless cookie dough also works well for homemade chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and for just eating with a spoon. I think it tastes best chilled or slightly frozen, but it's good all the time.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Shhh... Secret Recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes

Shh, don't tell, but there are my specialty. They are by far my winning chocolate cupcakes. No, they haven't won any actual awards, but they're always asked for at family gatherings and everyone is always surprised when I tell them that they're gluten, dairy, egg and peanut free. Amazing huh?


I made them the first time because we have friends who have a child with a severe peanut allergy and Miss A wanted chocolate cake for her birthday. These were perfect and amazingly delicious. Best part, you can eat the batter without fearing salmonella. It's just a little perk.

These cupcakes are considered a "Wacky Cake" because of their lack of dairy and eggs. They're a cinch to whip up and will knock your socks off.


Chocolate cupcakes

1 1/2 cup gluten free flour blend
1/2c cocoa powder
3/4tsp xanthan gum
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup warm coffee or 2 tsp espresso powder dissolved in 1c warm water
1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
6 Tablespoons oil
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan or mini cupcake pan with paper liners.

Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, xanthan gum, sugar, baking soda and salt until thoroughly combined. In a separate container, mix together wet ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and whisk until mixed.

Spoon batter into prepared cupcake pans. Bake cupcakes for 18-20 minutes and mini cupcakes for 12-15 minutes. Makes 12 cupcakes or 24-27 mini cupcakes.

Eat plain, sprinkled with powdered sugar or top with your favorite frosting.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Gluten Free Pizza

mmmm... pizza.


Definitely a favorite food for the girls. After making our own pizzas at home, I don't like ordering pizza anymore. I do like that there's a local place in town that makes gluten free pizza, but it's expensive and only so-so. The girls would all rather make their own. They also get their own personal pizzas with their own preferred toppings that way too.

This pizza dough isn't your typical glutened kind that involves kneading and rolling. This stuff has more the consistency of brownie batter and you'll need parchment paper on your pan and a moistened spatula to spread it. After the first few tries, you'll get the hang of it. I know I have.


Gluten Free Pizza Dough

2 cups gluten free flour blend
1/2 cup millet flour
1 1/2tsp xanthan gum
2T grated Parmesan cheese
2T ground flax seed (optional)
1 tsp salt
1 packet yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1/4 tsp granulated garlic
1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups warm water
1 egg
3 T olive oil

Combine dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. Turn to high and beat for 2-3 minutes until thoroughly combined and thick.

Line cookie sheets or pizza pan with parchment paper (an absolute must!). Scoop out dough onto prepared pans and spread using a moistened spatula. Let sit 30 minutes in a draft free location. I usually turn my oven on to low and put the pans in the oven. If I leave them on the counter, I run into a cat and children who like to sneak bites.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake crusts for 10-15 minutes until lightly browned and pulling away from paper. Top with your favorite toppings and bake for another 10-15 minutes.

I now make a double batch of dough, spread out several personal sized pizza crusts, bake and freeze them.

Makes 2 12-in pizzas, a large rectangle or 6 5-in pizzas. I make a large 12 inch and 3 little ones for the girls.