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Sep
29

Chocolate Chip Banana Mini Muffins

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I made a batch of these mini muffins a few weeks ago for two reasons. One, I was getting bored with our breakfast routine. And two, I thought I would freeze some for school mornings when I needed to serve a quick breakfast. Well, I never got around to freezing them because they disappeared so quickly. So, the next week I made another batch, and still couldn’t get them into the freezer fast enough. The kids gobbled them up for breakfast and after-school snacks. In two days they were gone. So, I guess I’m going to have to bake more, and double the recipe next time.

Chocolate Chip Banana Mini Muffins

Ingredients:

1 Cup mashed, ripe Bananas (about 2 bananas)
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Coconut Nectar (or other sweetener)
1/4 Cup Grapeseed Oil (or other cooking oil)
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
2 Cups (9 oz./250 g) Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 Cup mini Chocolate Chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Prepare a Mini Muffin Pan by spraying with oil, or using paper liners.
  2. Mash bananas in a mixing bowl. Add eggs, coconut nectar, oil, and vanilla. Beat until thoroughly combined.
  3. Add Pamela’s Baking Mix and salt, and continue to beat.
  4. Mix in the chocolate chips.
  5. Drop scoops of about 1-1/2 Tbsp of batter into the prepared muffin pan, or until each cup is about 2/3 full.
  6. Bake at 375° F for 10 minutes.
  7. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then finish cooling directly on a wire rack.

Additional Notes:

  •  Makes about 3 dozen mini-muffins, depending on how full you fill the cups.
  • For simplicity, I used Pamela’s Baking Mix for the flour. Pamela’s mix already contains baking powder, baking soda, salt, and xanthan gum. So, if you’re going to attempt this recipe with other flours, I would suggest adding a little bit of each of those.
  • I have now made this recipe several times using different sweeteners – honey, coconut nectar, and agave. I’m happy to say that they all turned out delicious. I’m sure that sugar would work, too, but I didn’t even feel the need to try it.
  • If your family doesn’t eat them as quickly as mine, put them in a sealed container or bag in the freezer. Because they’re small, they thaw quickly on the counter. Or, just pop them into the microwave for a warm treat.

 

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Mar
17

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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Hope you are enjoying this day with plenty of gluten-free Irish (or at least green) food and beer. Still looking for some recipes or ideas for celebrating the day? I’ve gathered the links below for inspiration.

Irish-inspired Gluten-Free Recipes:

Gluten-Free Beer Reviews:

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Mar
03

Soft, Warm Pretzels Gluten-Free!

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That’s right! For this month’s Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger, I made gluten-free soft, warm pretzels. I saw the recipe on Flour Arrangements, a blog full of wonderful recipes posted by Sophie. I love her blog name: It just seems so appropriate for someone baking lots of gluten-free treats, doesn’t it? I don’t know about you, but I probably have a dozen different gluten-free flours in my pantry. I’m always impressed by the big, beautiful photos on Sophie’s site. They always make my mouth water. And when I saw her post for these pretzels, I immediately thought of the buttery, gluten smell of the hot soft pretzels at the mall. You know the ones I’m talking about. I just had to give her recipe a try.

So how were they? Good. Really good. But perhaps not perfect because I think I erred a little bit. I tried my best to follow the recipe exactly, but did have to make a couple substitutions. I did use teff flour and almond meal as instructed for the high-protein flour. But, I had to substitute brown rice flour for the white rice flour. I didn’t realize I was out of white rice flour. (Actually, I think I quit buying it.)

Another problem I had, the recipe calls for 1-1/4 tsp of yeast. When I tried to proof it, nothing happened. So, I added another teaspoon of yeast to the mixture. That seemed to do the trick. Now for the big mistake: I put the dough into the warm oven to rise, but I didn’t cover the bowl. Oops! By the time I got the dough out, it hadn’t really risen much. And, the surface of the dough got a little dry and crusty in spots. But, I was determined to make it work. So, I got it out and worked with it a little and pressed on. I didn’t find the dough to be very sticky at all. Perhaps it got too dry in the oven. But, I actually found it to be fairly easy to roll it out and shape into pretzels.

The baking soda and water mixture was a lot more than I needed to brush on the pretzels. But, it is definitely necessary for the taste and texture of the crust of the pretzel. As the pretzels came out of the oven (Oh, what a wonderful smell!), I brushed them with melted butter and sprinkled a mixture of coarse Kosher salt and coarse sea salt on them. The flavor is just what you would expect for the pretzels. The texture was good, too, however I would prefer a lighter, airier pretzel. I think the combination of letting the dough dry out in the oven and then kneading the dough probably deflated the necessary air pockets from the dough.

I was hoping to get a chance to make another batch of pretzels before posting this, but I ran out of time. I will definitely make these again! Even with the denser dough product, these were really good. The flavor was right-on and they were soft and tender. Even the next day, they still tasted good. My husband heated one up in the toaster oven two days later and said it was still good.

So for my next batch, I will use 2-1/4 tsp yeast and cover the dough before putting into the oven to rise. I would also say that for the baking soda solution, you can use 1/2 cup hot water with 1 tsp baking soda. That should be more than enough to brush onto the pretzels. And, my husband would say, “Don’t forget the mustard!” I prefer mine plain, with just a little salt.

My thanks to Sea at The Book of Yum for creating this fun and productive blog carnival. It’s great motivation to learn about some fellow gluten-free bloggers, and try some new gluten-free recipes. Thanks also to Thomas of The GFCF Experience for hosting the event this month. And, thanks to Sophie for sharing so many wonderful gluten-free recipes. I know I’m not the only one who appreciates your tasty recipes!

Notable Links:

Categories : Appetizers, Breads, Recipes
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Jan
30

Better Burgers Gluten Free

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We eat hamburgers in my house almost weekly. It’s my daughter’s dinner request every night. Most nights we eat them just as patties, no bun. Sometimes we buy some frozen gluten-free rolls or buns at the grocery store. But a couple weeks ago I decided to try something new and exciting. Earlier this month I saw two great-looking recipes on Gluten Free Gobsmacked: Cheese Bread Rolls (aka Pao de chejo and Chebe bread) and Jalapeño-Popper Dip. They looked like a great way to change up our hamburger dinners.

And, since Book of Yum is hosting another Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger this month, I decided to use those two recipes to share with you. I’m happy to share my good results with you, and introduce a gluten-free blogger you may not have checked out yet. Gluten Free Gobsmacked is a blog that has been around for a while. Like so many other celiacs, the author Kate suffered years of illness and health problems before finally being diagnosed with Celiac Disease. She began the website as a way to share recipes and connect with family and friends. And the rest of us out here in cyber land have gotten to benefit from her knowledge and recipes. I certainly enjoyed them this month.

The Cheese Bread was so much easier to make than I thought it would be. It really was fairly quick to mix up and bake in the oven (maybe 30 minutes total). In my attempt to make it, I followed the recipe as close as I could. For the cheese I used about 2/3 cup shredded cheddar, 2/3 cup shredded provolone, and 2/3 grated Parmesan and Romano cheeses. For the herbs I used finely chopped fresh chives and dried dill. Because I was hoping to use these as hamburger buns, I made them a little larger and flattened them a little more than Kate did in her post. I was able to make nine of them with the recipe, and baked them on a Silicone Baking Mat for about 10  minutes. They smelled fabulous and tasted just as good. My husband ate one of the rolls as they were cooling down on racks. He said he was just going to have a taste, but it was so good had to finish it off. :) The very airy texture of them worked well as hamburger buns. They don’t rise or expand much during baking, so make them the size and shape you want them before baking. We used two rolls for each hamburger. We also found that they stayed fresh on the counter (in a sealed container) for a couple days. To eat them with dinner later that week, we just popped them into the toaster oven to warm them up. We will definitely make these again!

So, to make our hamburger night even better, I also made Kate’s Jalapeño-Popper Dip. This recipe I didn’t follow as strictly as I should have, but I didn’t have all of the ingredients and had to make some adjustments. I didn’t have the Pasilla Chile Powder, so I used 2 tsp of Hot Mexican-Style Chili Powder. I also didn’t have dried green onion, so instead finely chopped up a few fresh green onions. We really enjoyed the fresh onion flavor. It was delicious. It works great as a dip, but I thought it was so good I slathered a thick layer of it on my burger. Not that’s a better burger! :) I had a lot of the dip leftover, so since then I’ve also used it on steamed vegetables. It was great and would make a great dip to make for a Super Bowl Party, too!

Related Links:

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IMG_4852xSomething I usually make during the holiday season is Poppy Seed Bread. Although the poppy seed bread is cooked in a small loaf pan, it is really a cake. In my mind it’s too sweet and fine-textured to be considered a bread. But, we slice it like bread, and tradition says we call it bread.

Every year, my mom makes Poppy Seed Bread to give to friends and co-workers for the holidays. I, too, have continued this tradition. This year, rather than making it from scratch, I decided to take the easy way and use Betty Crocker’s Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix. I was a little concerned about the amounts, but was pleasantly surprised at how well it turned out. I added some flavorings and poppy seeds to the mix, as well as eggs, milk and oil. It made a very nice poppy seed cake that I then covered with a thin, sweet glaze.

These cakes can be made up in advance and frozen until time to give them away for the holidays. Once I’ve made the cakes and let them cool completely, I wrap each one individually with plastic wrap. Then, I place them in a zip-style plastic bag. Sealed like this, you can keep them in the refrigerator for at least a week, or in the freezer for several weeks. They will defrost quite quickly at room temperature. Or, defrost them in the refrigerator overnight.

Poppy Seed Bread Made With Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix

Ingredients:

For the Cake:
1 box Betty Crocker Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix
3 eggs
2/3 Cup milk
1/2 Cup vegetable oil
1 TBSP poppy seeds
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp butter flavoring
1 tsp almond flavoring

For the Glaze:
1/2 Cup powdered sugar
1/4 Cup granulated sugar
1/4 Cup orange juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp butter flavoring
1 tsp almond flavoring

Directions:

  1. IMG_4813xIn a medium mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Then add in the remaining cake ingredients (cake mix, milk, oil, poppy seeds, vanilla extract, butter flavoring and almond flavoring). Mix until thoroughly blended.
  2. Pour into greased, small/mini loaf pans. (I use an oil spray, but you can use butter or shortening.)
  3. Bake for 40-50 minutes at 350° F.
  4. Once baked, remove from the oven and cool in the pans on a cooling rack for 5 minutes.
  5. IMG_4815xWhile the cakes are cooling, make the glaze. Combine all the glaze ingredients and mix well.
  6. Pour the glaze over each cake (still warm in the pan). Let it sit for 5 minutes, then remove and let it cool completely on racks.

Additional Notes:

  • I made three small loaves with this recipe, but probably could’ve made two slightly larger loaves. This recipe will also make one full-size loaf.
  • IMG_4818xI used the small, or sometimes called mini, aluminum foil loaf pans (about 3.5″ x 6″ x 2″h) you find in the grocery stores. I’ve used them over and over, washing each time in the dishwasher. If you’re wanting a more permanent solution, try these Mini Loaf Pans.
  • For presenting these as gifts, I usually keep the bread wrapped in plastic wrap and then tie it with a nice festive ribbon. For more color, you can use colored plastic wrap that is easy to find during the holidays. Sometimes I will also put the bread in a clear plastic gift bag, or treat bag and then tie with a nice ribbon. You can also use colored cellophane to wrap it, and tie with ribbon at both ends. It all just depends on how and when you want to present it.
  • If not giving these away as gifts, put them in the freezer. Then the night before Thanksgiving or Christmas, put them into the refrigerator to defrost overnight. By morning it will be a nice treat to eat for breakfast, or maybe a snack while opening stockings, with a cup of tea.

For more edible gift ideas, be sure to visit Cents To Get Debt Free. I’m a little late to the blog carnival, so there are already plenty of other great ideas for edible gifts. Please be aware that some of the contributions at the carnival may not be gluten-free, but there are still plenty that are GF and other good ideas that could be modified to be GF.