turtle cookies

I confess, I have absolutely no idea what to call these cookies besides delicious.  At first I was going for caramel-chocolate chip, but that’s a bit wordy and does not do justice to how incredible these are.  Then I thought monster cookies, since that’s somewhat where the inspiration came from but they did not have any other ingredients in them to make them actual monster cookies (m&ms, whole oats, raisins, etc.).  And then I thought, well I think it came from either my mom or sister when they were eating them that they were almost turtle flavored.  caramel, chocolate + nuts.  Although no nuts.  But close enough for me and maybe next time they will have nuts.

So if you can think of a better name for these delightful cookies, please share.

 

Turtle Cookies

  • 1 stick unsalted butter or margarine at room temperature
  • 1/4 c grapeseed oil (or any other light oil)
  • 1/2 cup organic sugar
  • 2t vanilla
  • 1t salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/4c oat flour (oats ground into flour is what I used)
  • 1/2c sorghum flour
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup caramel bits
1. In a small bowl, combine the oats, sorghum flour and baking soda.  Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, beat up the butter or margarine until it is nice and fluffy.
3. Mix in the oil to the butter or margarine until it is somewhat mixed well, and then add in the sugar and continue mixing.
4. Once the sugar and butter/oil mixture are combined, add in the salt and eggs.
5. Dump the dry ingredients into the wet and stir until fully mixed together.  If this ends up being too sticky, you can add some more oat or sorghum flour.
6. Once the batter is a good consistency, add the chocolate chips and caramel bits.
7. Try not to eat the entire batter as-is… and then take small scoopfuls of what is left and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
8. Bake in a 350′ oven for 10-12 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through if necessary.
I used the smallest scoop I had and these cookies were still a very good size, and it made 4 dozen cookies.  If you add in extra cookies for the amount of dough that was consumed.
Holy yum.
The caramel bits were such a random splurge at the store…
But definitely, 100% worth it.
They could also be called “I took way too many photos of these cookies” cookies, but that’s an even greater mouthful than caramel-chocolate chip…
Mouthful being the key word.

beer + cornbread

I have never been a huge fan of beer.  There has never been a real reason for it except I thought it tasted bitter and they all tasted the same – including the pumpkin varieties.  Oh, my parents are shuddering from the thought… ;).  Don’t get me wrong, I used to drink it pre-GF days, but I would ALWAYS feel hungover the next morning, no matter if I had one bottle or multiple.  Looking back, I think it was something to do with the gluten.

Beer was my last thought when I gave up gluten, but for some reason (of course), I started craving beer when I was never even a fan.  Living in Milwaukee, there is never a dry day here, even for the gluten-less folks.  Lakefront Brewery had a gluten free beer named New Grist, and it is officially my favorite beer of all time.  I had my first one at a burger place and then proceeded to buy a six pack the next weekend, and was gifted even more for my birthday :).  Since it was the first time in quite awhile that there was an excess of beer in the household, making a recipe utilizing it was a no-brainer.

I knew exactly what the beer should be used for, and it was quite a sad day when I went to search for Edible Perspective’s beer-bread cornbread and her site was down for the weekend.  This recipe may not be as good as hers (and I will try it sometime soon to compare!), but it is delicious nonetheless.

Beer-Cornbread

  • 1 cup medium-ground cornmeal
  • 1/2c sorghum flour
  • 1/2c masa harina
  • 1/2t salt
  • 4t baking powder
  • 1/2c milk (unsweetened not-vanilla almond milk)
  • 1/2c beer (I used New Grist, naturally!)
  • 2 egg whites or 1 large egg
  • 2T honey
  • 1/2c frozen corn
1. In a small bowl, whisk all of the dry ingredients together.
2. In a larger bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk, beer and honey.
3. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix well.
4. Stir in the frozen corn.
5. Spray a 9×13″ pan with nonstick cooking spray and pour the cornbread in, spreading to smooth out.
6. Bake in a 350′ oven for 22-24 minutes.

*The next time this is made, I will probably use a 9″ square pan to try and make a thicker loaf, increase the cooking time if you do!

Beer and cornbread cannot be a bad thing.  This made for a delicious side dish and will be made many more times.  Might even make it into a cornbread stuffing for Thanksgiving?

pannenkoeken

We have very unique recipes in my family.  Recipes I used to think of as “normal” but not ones that many other people would eat on a regular basis.  Johnny Cake (aka a sweeter cornbread) with baked beans + hot dogs, crazy pancakes (might have to re-create this at some point), Hungarian Goulash, Chipped Beef on Toast with peas… I could go on but I’ll refrain.  When my sister and I were no longer little kids, she took over most of the cooking so a lot of what we had eaten when we were younger mostly went away.  We would have something every once in awhile, but it was not a common occurrence.  One thing that continued to stay around throughout life was Pannenkoeken (I think that’s how you spell it?).  We would often have it after church when we were visiting the grandparents.  Grandpa would slice up a bunch of apples, cook them with a whole stick of butter, and then top it with an eggy, cakey topping.  All topped off with cinnamon, sugar, and of course maple syrup!  (Just hopefully not the water + maple extract that was once served… don’t ask) Last Saturday was our first trip to the apple orchard so naturally we were thinking of something to cook for breakfast with apples!  Luckily, my sister had a good memory and thought of the delicious pannenkoeken of yesteryear.  One major change was no gluten and way less butter (or butter substitute).  We also made it in four individual dishes from Crate&Barrel, but you could easily make it in a 9×13″ baking pan.

Pannenkoeken

  • 4t butter (or equivalent)
  • 2-3 apples
  • cinnamon (+sugar if you wish)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 c millet flour
  • 3/4 c sorghum flour
  • optional toppings: cinnamon+sugar, maple syrup, powdered sugar
1.  Preheat the oven to 425′.
2. Place 1t of butter per dish and place in the oven to melt.
3. Core and slice the apples and layer on the bottom of the dish.  Sprinkle with cinnamon+sugar (or just cinnamon) and ~1t water and bake for 10 minutes.
4. Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over the partially cooked apples.
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.
6. Top with the toppings of your choice!
This recipe really brought me back.  I did not think it was actually going to be similar to what I had been used to, but it really was.  The cooked apples in the bottom make the entire thing so flavorful and delicious, and I think apples and maple syrup is one of my favorite combinations!  We each ate one of these for breakfast on Sunday morning and then heated up the other ones in the oven on Monday morning as a special Monday treat!

It’s so nice knowing that I don’t have to feel deprived from family memories revolving around food.  Although I’ll have to work on my grandma’s sugar cookie cutout recipes before Christmas!  Not sure how I’m going to survive without hers… ;).

a new kind of cookie

I have a major sweet tooth.  But I’m sure if you’ve read this blog before you’re aware of that fact ;).  But the strange thing is that when I switched to eating unprocessed foods, my tolerance for sweet things went waaay down.  I used to almost always choose milk chocolate over dark in a Russell Stover box – obviously I needed the higher sugar content.  I have even on more than one occasion (I refuse to count), made this Martha Stewart Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe using two – yes, two cups of sugar.  And then proceed to eat the whole batch (well, not by myself obviously) over the course of a weekend.

Now, I am more likely to eat dark chocolate than even semi-sweet, and never milk chocolate.  Sugar in baked goods has gone down (or become non-existant) in all of my recipes.  Oh, and my love for coconut has increased significantly.  I used to think unsweetened coconut was, well, unsweet.  Now?  Oh my, it’s absolutely delectable.  Coconut flakes are pop in your  mouth good and coconut butter tastes like frosting.  Last night, Kinley and I purchased Coconut Flour for the first time.  Now combining all of my previous ramblings into one recipe?  Don’t mind if I do.

Gluten Free Coconut Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies makes 2 dozen

  • 3/4c sorghum flour
  • 1/4c + 2T coconut flour (Let’s Do… Organic®)
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 1 stick earth balance (or butter)
  • 1/4c organic natural sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2t vanilla
  • 1c semisweet or dark chocolate chips (I used Guittard – made in a gluten free facility!)
1. In a small bowl, mix together the sorghum flour, coconut flour and baking soda.
2. In a large bowl, combine room-temperature earth balance and sugar with a handmixer until fluffy and smooth.
3. Mix in the egg and vanilla until combined.
4. Add the flour mixture and mix.  One of the best things about gluten free flours is that there is no chance of you over-mixing!
5. Time for the chocolate chips – so, so good.  Put them in and mix.
6. Scoop and roll (these won’t change much during cooking so what you put in will look pretty much like what comes out) and place these on a baking sheet and put in a 375′ oven for 8-10 minutes.
These cookies are a nice change from the Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies I have baked recently since they used oat flour as the base (as did the Wheat Free Chocolate Chip Cookies).
I do kind of love how the non-rolled ones look like coconut macaroons.  I have big ideas for the not-so pretty and semi-crumbly ones but I’ve got to talk the sister into going along with it ;).

bittersweet

Today is bittersweet.  It’s the end of my summer “vacation”.  Tomorrow, I start my new job and my weeks will become extremely busy.  Going from zero hours of work per week to 40 is going to be quite the adjustment, both for me and this little guy.

He’s gotten quite clingy to me since I have been home a lot with him this summer, something he has not been used to for quite a few years.  Hopefully he’ll just nap all day and barely miss me, although I might have to put up with some sad eyes in the morning.

I digress.  Even though this day is bittersweet in the sense that all my weekdays will no longer feel like weekends, my weekends will now be all the more relaxing since it will definitely be a change to my weekly routine.  Plus, I am excited for my new job to start, although I am extremely nervous as well for the unknown and of having to learn a lot of new things.  And the pressure of this being a real position – hopefully it can all come naturally and not too much thrown at me right off the bat!

Well, as this marks the unofficial end to my summer, of course I would spend some of it in the kitchen!  Kinley, Crosby and I were headed to go sailing on Lake Michigan this afternoon with Mom and Dad, but the darn weather did not look like it was going to cooperate so we ended up turning around.  But even though the weather decided not to cooperate, at least these chocolate muffins did!  I found a recipe on the blog, Cookie Madness, and adapted it to be gluten free.  I also took out the chocolate chips called for in the recipe to try and make these not-so guilty!

Gluten Free + Vegan Chocolate Muffins

  • 3/4 c sorghum flour
  • 1/2 c millet flour
  • 3/4t xanthan gum
  • 1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 1/2t baking powder
  • 1/2t salt
  • 1/4c -1/2c maple syrup*
  • 3/4c non-dairy milk
  • 1/2t vanilla extract
  • 1T unsweetened natural applesauce
  • 1T grapeseed or vegetable oil

*I used 1/4c of maple syrup in the recipe and thought it was a nice level of sweetness, but it you generally like muffins and baked goods sweeter you can up the syrup quantity.

1. Preheat your oven to 350′.

2. Sift together the flours, cocoa powder, xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

3. Mix the maple syrup, milk, vanilla extract, applesauce and oil.

4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until fully incorporated.

5. Spoon into roughly 9 cupcake wrappers and bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Packing these for with my lunch will definitely help me get through my 8 hour work days!  These are fantastic as-is, but I think you could even pass these as a cupcake with adding chocolate chips in the batter.  A nice topping of a spoonful of either coconut butter or almond butter couldn’t hurt a thing either :).

betty, who?

There are few things I make or bake repeatedly.  I usually like to shake things up to try out new recipes and ideas.  There are only a handful of recipes I would ever repeat, and now with my gluten intolerance rising, I will most likely never be able to make my most beloved recipes again… Well, the exact recipes I initially fell in love with anyways.

I remember the recipe for French Breakfast Puffs from Betty Crocker as a often-repeated recipe, going all the way back to childhood.  It’s actually in my mom’s red Betty Crocker cookbook she received for her wedding many years before I even made an appearance.  It was always a favorite, especially the end part where my sister and I got to dunk the tops of the muffins in butter and cinnamon sugar.  I thought it was about time to make this recipe again, and did my best to replicate it while making it gluten free and dairy free.  Perfect for any time of the day.

Gluten Free & Dairy Free French Breakfast Puffs adapted from Betty Crocker
makes 10 muffins 

  • 1/3c unsweetened natural applesauce
  • 2T sucanat (SUcre CAnne NATurel aka sugar cane in its most natural form)
  • 1 egg (or flax egg)
  • 3/4 c millet flour
  • 3/4 c sorghum flour
  • 3/4 t xanthan gum
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t nutmeg
  • 1/2 c unsweetened almond milk

1. Mix together the applesauce, sucanat and egg.

2. Sift the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.

3. Add the dry ingredients into the wet, alternating with the almond milk.

4. Scoop into a sprayed (or lined) muffin pan and bake at 350* for 20-22 minutes.

5. Allow to cool slightly (or completely) before coating.

  • 3T sucanat
  • 1 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 2T earth balance

*The topping measurements can be doubled if you prefer.  It also depends on how much of the muffin you dip and how many muffins your recipe makes.

6. Mix together the sucanat and cinnamon.  Melt the earth balance.

7. Dip each muffin first in the melted earth balance and then in the sucanat and cinnamon mixture.  (It’s easier to remove from the paper wrapping before dipping if you lined your pan).

Kinley says these are even better than the modified recipe we had been making of late which included replacing the shortening with applesauce.  Even though Betty thought she was pretty good in the baking department, I’d like to see her try to make a muffin taste better than this one!  Who needs gluten and dairy anyways?

it’s fall… somewhere?

I was looking for something to bake.  I was in the mood for some type of coffee cake, but came up short in the recipe department.  I was also in the mood for something made with pumpkin… yes, it’s currently June but pumpkin is not a seasonal ingredient for me :).  I found this recipe for gluten free pumpkin muffins, and thinned out the base to make it in a 9×13 pan and topped with some cinnamon oat pecan topping – yum!

*I used the measurement for honey listed below as I prefer my baked goods less sweet.  If you are looking for something a bit sweeter and more dessert like, you can add up to 1/3 cup honey in the base recipe and adjust the amount of honey (or possibly add some brown sugar) in the topping as you desire as well.  Even with the 1T listed below, these bars got a lot sweeter the next day and really turned out delicious!

Cinnamon Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Base

  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1/2c millet flour
  • 1/2 cup (2T garbanzo bean flour + the rest sorghum flour)
  • 1/2 cup ground flax
  • 1t baking soda
  • 1t baking powder
  • 1t nutmeg
  • 1T cinnamon
  • 1/4t salt
  • 1/4 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 15oz can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/3 c unsweetened applesauce
  • 1T honey
  • ~3/4c water

Topping

  • 1/2c oats
  • 1/2c crushed pecans
  • ~1 1/2 T honey
  • ~1T water

cinnamon to taste (lots for me!)

1. Sift together the flours and add the flax, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt.

2. Whisk together the almond milk, pumpkin, applesauce and honey.

3. Create a hole in the center of the dry ingredients.  Add in the wet mixture and mix until combined.  You can add the water at this point to get your desired consistency.  (Since I was baking it as a coffee cake, I wanted it thinner than the original recipe made).  Pour into a 9×13 pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

4. Mix together the oats and pecans for the topping.  Add in the honey and water to create a crumbly topping.  Sprinkle on top of the base batter.

4.  Bake in at 350* for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Serve with butta!  (aka Earth Balance)

carrots for breakfast

Many people, including myself most days, ignore vegetables in the morning.  I would rather have my oatmeal without broccoli or peas and definitely no salads… Only when I happen to have spinach in a smoothie do I seem to get a dose of veg in the morning, but to be honest, there are more mornings than not where I wait until later in the day to get my veggies in.  But not this morning.

Normally baked goods with carrots contain so much sugar and oil that it definitely outweighs the benefits of carrots haha.  This recipe is great in that regard because it contains only 1T of maple syrup and no oil, leaving only the vitamins and nutrients found in carrots!  This recipe is also vegan and gluten-free, making it a great treat for almost anyone!  I just started experimenting with gluten-free baking, and it did take a couple trips to the store to stock my cupboards with some of the staples.  The original recipe called for Sweet Rice and Teff flours, which I didn’t have, so I replaced it with my favorite gluten-free flour, oat.  I also made a few other changes that I typically do to recipes ;).

Vegan & Gluten Free Carrot Muffins

  • 1c sorghum flour
  • 3/4c oat flour
  • 1/2c millet flour
  • 1/2c tapioca starch/flour
  • 2 1/2t baking powder
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 2t cinnamon
  • 1/2t nutmeg
  • 1c finely grated carrots
  • 1/4c raisins (optional)
  • 2t vanilla
  • 1 flax egg (1T ground flax +2-3T warm water, let sit for 5 minutes and whisk)
  • 1c unsweetened organic soy milk (or non-dairy/dairy milk of your choice)
  • 1t vinegar (I used apple cider)
  • 1/3c unsweetened applesauce
  • 1T maple syrup
  • optional: pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350* and line a muffin pan with muffin wrappers.

2. Sift all dry ingredients into a large bowl.  Add in the carrots and raisins.

3. In a small bowl, combine the soy milk and vinegar.  Add in the applesauce, flax egg, maple syrup and vanilla.

4. Combine the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until fully incorporated (no risk of overmixing with gluten-free flours!).

5. Scoop into the muffin pan (I made 12 muffins).  And top each muffin with a sprinkling of pecans.

6. Bake for 20-22 minutes.  These won’t brown up too much, so make sure to test with a toothpick.

I was surprised with how big these muffins got!  Usually vegan baked goods don’t puff or spread that much, but these definitely did!  They also did not have the extremely grainy texture that is common in gluten-free goods, I think because I didn’t use rice flour?  I’m getting used to this gluten-free baking!  Glad to have another success!