What Life Dishes Out A Gluten Free and (almost) Vegetarian Cooking Blog

October 9, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (Gluten Free, Of Course!)

Filed under: Desserts,Muffins & Quick Breads,Recipes,Vegetarian — Tags: , , — admin @ 6:41 am

Well, another very busy workweek is behind me, and I’m feeling the guilt of not having blogged since last weekend’s Layered Fiesta Dip.  It’s not that I haven’t cooked this week, but I haven’t made many new things and certainly haven’t had any free time to talk about it!  

Early this week though, before the mad rush of work took over my time, I did make these muffins.

 

Since it’s officially Autumn now, and there is no longer any way I can remain deluded about it, my taste-buds are beginning to crave one of those familiar Fall favorties – pumpkin!  Spawn #2 is crazy about my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip bread, but it’s not a gluten-free recipe and I was determined to give him the taste he was looking for in a treat that Spawn #1 could enjoy as well. 

I thought about converting my tried-and-true recipe into a gluten-free version, but I really didn’t have the time to experiment.  After all, if the conversion flopped, I would be faced with my Spawns’ dissapointment and no extra time to make up for it.  I was determined not to let my babies down! 

So, I brought out The Cookbook.

There has yet to be a recipe from this book that hasn’t worked for me.  We love Annalise’s  Blueberry Muffins and her Chocolate Fudge Cake, the latter of which I haven’t posted for you yet but really, really need to do so soon!  Even when I change up the recipes a bit, I have success, like with my Rosemary and Sea Salt French Baguette

So, I decided to give her Pumpkin Muffins a try.  I did alter the spices in the recipe, since it calls for not just Cinnamon and Nutmeg (which are also used to flavor my traditional Pumpkin Bread) but also Ginger, Cloves and Molasses.  I was a little fearful of a very Gingerbread-y tasting Pumpkin Muffin and – I don’t know about you but I’m just not ready for Christmas flavors yet! 

So here’s what I used in my version of these muffins, which turned out beautifully by the way!  Of course, if they hadn’t, I wouldn’t be posting them here.  That is my continued promise to you – I’ll never post a lousy recipe! :-)

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups Brown Rice Flour Mix (*see below)

1 cup Sugar

1 tsp Baking Soda

3/4 tsp Xanthan Gum

3/4 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Cinnamon (I increased this from the 1/2 tsp the recipe called for since I was omitting other spices)

1/2 tsp Nutmeg

2 Large Eggs

1/4 cup Water

1/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp Canola Oil

2 Tbsp Molasses

1 cup Pumpkin Puree (I just used the canned Libby stuff)

1 cup Chocolate Chips

*(Brown Rice Flour Mix – 2 parts Brown Rice Flour, 1/3 part Tapioca Starch, 2/3 part Potato Starch)

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray muffin cups with non-stick cooking spray.

Man, is my pan ever stained and old!  Well it still works, so I’m okay with it if you are. 

Next, place all dry ingredients (except chocolate chips) together in a large bowl.

Whisk until combined.

In bowl of electric mixer, combine all wet ingredients.

Mix until well combined, then add dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Don’t overmix.

Now, mix in chocolate chips.

Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin tin.  I love my spring release scoopers for this task!

Once filled, place in 350 degree oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.

The muffins are done when a toothpick inserted in one of the center ones comes out clean.

Remove from pan immediately to a wire rack.  I use a soup spoon to gently lift the muffins out.

Let cool before serving. 

These muffins were very tasty, and even better the next day with my morning coffee once the chocolate chips firmed up.   The Molasses did give these a slight Gingerbread flavor that I don’t get with my traditional Pumpin Bread and I’m really glad that I left out the Ginger and Cloves because that probably would have been over-the-top.  Nonetheless, nearer to the Holidays, I’ll try this recipe as written when I can better appreciate those flavors! :-)

July 22, 2010

Garden Abundance = Gluten Free Zucchini Bread

Filed under: Breads,Desserts,Muffins & Quick Breads,Recipes,Vegetarian — Tags: , , , — admin @ 9:25 pm

I’ve been trying to think of somthing new to do with all this Zucchini that is overtaking my kitchen.  We have made my Zucchini Au Gratin a few times over the past week, and although it IS tasty, we are ready for something new.  I gave away a big bag of Zucchini to a friend today, but I still have more than I can ever hope to use.  So, for the first time since going Gluten-Free, I tried Zucchini Bread. 

This recipe comes from The Gluten Free Homemaker.  I always have some trepidation when trying a new recipe, as I am not fond of failure.  Who is, right?  And when these loaves came out of the oven, I wasn’t quite sure how they’d be, because they seemed a little on the “short” side.  But I need not have worried.  Once I let the loaves cool a while, cut off a slice, slathered one of them in butter and took my first bite, I was pleasantly surprised.  This is without a doubt, one of the best Zucchini Breads I’ve tasted.  It’s not super moist, but the crumb is just right and the crust has a caramelized quality that is enticing. 

Here’s the ingredient list as I found it on The Gluten Free Homemaker’s site:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2/3 c. oil 
  • 1/2 c. apple sauce
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 c. shredded zucchini, packed (~1 large)
  • 1 c. brown rice flour
  • 1 c. sorghum flour
  • 2/3 c. potato starch
  • 1/3 c. tapioca starch
  • 2 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1 Tb. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

You can also add 1 cup of nuts, if you want this to be even better.  I, unfortunately, have to bend to the taste of my children whom prefer that I make my quick breads without nuts.  It’s a woeful life that I lead.

The only change I made to the recipe (besides the omission of the nuts) was to add an extra teaspoon of vanilla, because in my book, you can never go wrong with extra vanilla! :-)

First, preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Oil (or spray) 2 – 9″ x 5″ loaf pans and line with parchment paper.

Grate Zucchini.  You’ll need 2 small Zucchinis, or 1 1/2 medium Zucchinis or 1 large Zucchini. 

I used my twenty-some year old food processor/blender attachment, which incidentally works much better than the new, and soon to be returned to Costo, Cuisinart Mini Food Processor my husband just bought me.

This is the texture you are going for.  You don’t want it wet, just grated.  A box type grater on the large side should work fine.

Measure out 2 cups (packed) of the Zucchini and set aside.  You can freeze any leftover for making this bread during the off-season.

Measure all dry ingredients into a medium bowl, then whisk together until combined.

Place all wet ingredients, except Zucchini, into a large mixing bowl.

Blend until well-combined.

Add Zucchini, then gradually add dry ingredients until just combined.

Batter will be thick and heavy. 

Add nuts now if you are not as swayed by your picky children as I am.

Divide into prepared pans.

Bake for 45- 50 minutes (45 minutes was the time that I pulled mine out) or until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean.

Cool for 5 minutes in pan, then loosen with knife and remove to a wire rack.

Let cool 10-15 minutes more before slicing and serving.

Be sure to spread a bit (or more than a bit!) of butter on your slice!  Enjoy!

July 21, 2010

So Berry Delicious! Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins

I made these again tonight and asked my son, after he ate one of these muffins warm from the oven, what I should name this post.  He came up with the “So Berry Delicious” thing.  I guess that is endorsement enough!  These muffins rival any gluten-filled blueberry muffins out there.  It took all my willpower not to fire up a pot of coffee to go with one of these babies tonight!  Though no easy task, I’m forcing myself to at least wait until breakfast tomorrow!

As I post this photo, I have to admit that I’m reconsidering the “waiting until breakfast tomorrow” thing.

Whilst I struggle with my self-control, let me tell you how to make this. 

Before I do though, this recipe is not my own.  This is from “Gluten Free Baking Classics” by Annalise Roberts, which is (as I’ve said before) the only Gluten Free cookbook I’ve ever purchased.  Her recipes are amazing!  Although I haven’t made more than a few recipes from this book, they’ve never failed me.  Each one proves to be more than I could hope for and each one rivals any traditional gluten-filled recipe of it’s kind. 

You’ll need:

2 Cups Brown Rice Flour Mix*

2/3 Cup Sugar

1 Tbsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Baking Soda

3/4 tsp Xanthan Gum

1/4 tsp Salt

1/4 – 1/2 tsp Nutmeg

1 1/2 Cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried

1/2 Cup Milk

1/2 Cup Canola Oil

2 large Eggs

1/2 tsp Vanilla

Struesel Topping – Recipe Follows

*Brown Rice Flour Mix: 2 parts Brown Rice Flour, 2/3 part Potato Starch, 1/3 part Tapioca Starch

What to do:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a (stained, but well-loved and much used) muffin pan using cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together Flour Mix, Sugar, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Xanthan Gum, Salt and Nutmeg.

Add blueberries and gently mix until incorporated.

In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, combine milk and oil.  At first it will look like a science experiment…kind of like the lava lamps from the 60’s.

But mix it together until it doesn’t look like that anymore.

Remove 1 Tbsp of the liquid. 

Pour into large mixing bowl then add Eggs and Vanilla.  Beat until combined.

Add liquids to blueberry/flour mixture and stir until just blended.

Fill the muffins pans 2/3 full.  I like to use a spring-release scoop. 

(Note how well that I’ve grown accustomed to using my left hand for tasks like this since I’ve been taking photos for this blog.   I’m ambidextrous now.)

The recipe says to sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or Streusel Topping.  In other words, Streusel Topping is optional.

Let me be clear: In my world, Streusel Topping is NEVER optional!

Here’s how to make the Streusel Topping:

Combine 1/2 Cup Brown Rice Flour Mix*, 1/3 Cup Brown Sugar, 1/2 tsp Cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp Xanthan Gum in a small bowl. 

Add 3 Tbsp melted Butter and mix until combined.

Spoon over muffin batter.

Bake for 18-25 minutes (It was about 22 minutes when I pulled mine out). 

Cool for about 5 minutes in pan, then remove to wire rack.  I used a soup spoon to gently lift each muffin from the pan onto the rack.  There was minimal breakage this way.  Watch out for the hot blueberries though…they are not pleasant to have come into contact with your bare flesh!

Let cool a bit before serving.

Oh, boy.  There I go again with the photo of oozing blueberry goodness. 

Time for bed.

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