Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Super Easy Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Muffins

For most of us, finding gluten free recipes and products that actually deliver on texture and flavor is difficult. Since so many people with gluten intolerance also have other dietary restrictions, I am always on the lookout for recipes that can be made without eggs or dairy products. I was aware of this recipe using a traditional cake mix as a healthier version of a chocolate treat. So, I decided to try it using a gluten free cake mix.

There are only 2 ingredients in this recipe - pumpkin and chocolate cake mix.

Since I am soy intolerant, I do not use the nonstick sprays. I prefer to use paper liners. I didn't want to waste the whole package of cake mix (if the recipe was NOT good) or a whole can of pumpkin, so I divided the box of mix in half.
I added half the can of pumpkin. This is just pumpkin not pumpkin pie mix.

It easily came together with a rubber spatula, although the batter was thick.
I decided to add a handful of chocolate chips. There goes the 2 ingredient recipe! I just couldn't help myself. The more chocolate the better...

I mixed the chips into the batter.

And the batter looked absolutely perfect.
I used a small scoop to ensure even muffins and it worked out to be 10 small muffins. I always fill the empty muffin cups about 1/4 full of water.

They baked at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. The package directions for regular cupcakes said it would be about 22 - 24 minutes. But, using the toothpick test, they needed more time.

I let them cool in the pan for about 5 minutes and moved them to the cooling rack.

I got a cup of our Americus Garden Inn Signature blend coffee in my Deneen pottery collector's mug to taste test the muffins.

They looked beautiful on the inside, but, I felt they were missing something.Powdered sugar! Now they look special.
These muffins were better with the sugar dusted over the tops. And, they were tastier once they cooled. I would have thought that the chocolate chips would add more flavor warm, but, the pumpkin flavor mellowed once they cooled and the chips added an extra textural component.

So, don't be afraid of entertaining your gluten free friends. Have a gluten free cake mix handy along with a can of pumpkin and you can treat them to something special in no time.

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We're open through the holidays and we'd love to see you at the Americus Garden Inn.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Easiest, Quickest, Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

Well, it's that time of year. Cookie time! Everyone starts thinking about holiday baking and cookies right after Halloween. They even have Christmas displays set up everywhere and it is not even Thanksgiving yet. So, what are the choices for gluten free baking? There actually are lots of options. But, this recipe is truly one of the easiest and requires nothing that you have to buy at a specialty store. Here are the ingredients. I'll bet you have them all in your pantry and fridge right now.
Start with a cup of brown sugar.
Add a cup of peanut butter.
Add one egg.
Add 1 tsp of baking soda.
Add 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.
Mix with a wooden spoon
until well combined.
Add 1 cup of chocolate chips
Mix thoroughly
Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto a parchment lined cookie panI do use my hands to make little balls after scooping. At this point, I put the whole thing in the freezer

and once they are frozen, they go in a ziploc bag so I can grab a few to bake when I want a cookie!
Well, actually, I want more than one cookie. So, I made enough to share with Kim.

Baked at 350 degrees for about 14 minutes, they are perfect.

I am ready to settle down with a cup of Americus Garden Inn signature blend coffee in my signature mug with my gluten free peanut butter cookies. Yum! If you were here, I would be happy to share my private stash of gluten free peanut butter cookies with you, too. :)Here is the recipe for
Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter (chunky may be used if preferred)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk chocolate chips (or morsels)
  1. Stir together first five ingredients in medium bowl, using wooden spoon.
  2. Stir in chocolate chips/morsels
  3. Drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet
  4. Bake at 350 F for 12 minutes or until puffed and golden (Cookies will be soft in the center). If baking from frozen, bake for 14 minutes.
  5. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes, remove to wire rack.