Saturday, December 7, 2013

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Biscotti - Vegan recipe

It's the time of year when everyone is baking cookies.  With so many people dealing with food allergies and intolerances, I decided to look for a biscotti recipe that I could adapt to be gluten free, dairy free and egg free.  I found a recipe on the PETA website.  Yes, there are recipes on the website for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

I halved the recipe  and used white rice flour in place of the wheat flour.  Two small Macintosh apples yielded the perfect amount of applesauce for the recipe.  (I peeled and cored the apples, then, microwaved them until soft - just a few minutes was perfect.)  And, I melted a little extra chocolate to drizzle over the top.

The result?  Beautiful biscotti!   I thought they were delicious.  Kim said he couldn't believe how good they were, considering they were gluten free and vegan.

Let me know if you try the recipe and how it comes out for you.  Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn.  Hope you'll visit again, soon.

Almond Chocolate-Chip Biscotti (slightly adapted from "Biscotti Bliss")
Yield:  15 - 18 biscotti

1 1/2 cups rice flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
3 ounces applesauce (2 small apples, peeled, cored, microwaved, mashed)
1 1/2 teaspoons  oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup  dark chocolate chips

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper..
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, applesauce, oil, and extracts.
  • Stir the wet ingredients into the dry. As a firm dough starts to form, knead in the chocolate chips with your hands.
  • Shape the dough on the parchment paper on the cookie sheet into a log.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes.
  • Remove pan from oven and let cool on a cooling rack for 10 - 20 minutes.
  • Carefully slice biscotti to desired thickness - about 1/2".  If the slices fall apart a little, just press them back together.
  • Place the slices back on the cookie sheets, cut side down.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, flip the slices and bake the other side for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  • Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let the biscotti cool for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
  • If desired, melt 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and drizzle over the top of the biscotti.)
  • Store in an airtight container.  

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Mandelbrot, or Biscotti by Another Name (regular or gluten free)

Chocolate Chip Mandelbrot
Since my Mom died, I haven't felt like baking.  But, I looked at the calendar and realized that Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas are just around the corner and, all of a sudden, I wanted to bake something special.  Mandelbrot.  My Mom used to make an incredibly decadent Mandelbrot with chocolate chips and walnuts and lots of butter.

You might not be familiar with Mandelbrot.  It is a type of double baked cookie, like biscotti, but not quite as hard or crunchy.  Mandelbrot means "almond bread" and is the Eastern European version of twice-baked cookies.  I used to make biscotti all the time, mostly chocolate, and decided to search through my recipes to find one I could adapt to gluten free baking that might be just a little "healthier", in other words, a little less fat.

I found a recipe that I had put aside to try because the technique was different from typical biscotti - it was made in a loaf pan for the first bake, sliced, then baked on a cookie sheet for the second bake.  The original recipe was for a regular loaf pan, which seemed way too large for cookies.  So, I made some adjustments and came up with the perfect proportions for a mini loaf pan.  And, I substituted oil for the butter.

The result was a delicate biscotti-like cookie, not too sweet, and definitely delicious.  When I make them again (which I will), I will toast the almonds to bring out the flavor and either add more chocolate chips or dip them in chocolate.   The recipe came out equally good with regular flour as it did with an all purpose gluten-free flour blend.  This recipe was much easier than regular biscotti, you don't need a stand mixer, it slices easily, it was exactly what I was looking for.  Let me know if you try it.

Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn Bed and Breakfast blog.  Hope you'll visit us again, soon.

Easy Chocolate Chip Mandelbrot (gluten free or not)

3 TBS sugar
4 teaspoons oil
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup all-purpose gluten free flour blend (or regular all-purpose flour)
1/4 heaping teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/8 cup chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a mini loaf pan (or line with parchment paper).
  2. Whisk together the sugar and oil. Stir in egg and beat well, then add vanilla and almond extract.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt.  Mix in almonds and chocolate chips.
  4. Add dry to wet ingredients and mix just until combined.
  5. Bake until puffed up and lightly golden, and seems set (cake might be cracked on top), about 30-35 minutes. Cool fifteen minutes then remove from pan and wrap tightly in foil. Chill 3 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
  6. Slice into very thin slices (about 1/8 inch thick) and place on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at 350 F until golden, turning once - about 10 - 15 minutes total.

Chocolate Chip Mandelbrot

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Gluten Free Chocolate Donut Muffins

Gluten Free Chocolate Donut Muffins
Today, I tried a new recipe that I found online for gluten free chocolate donuts or muffins.  Before you look at the ingredients, let me tell you that this is not a "healthy" recipe.  It is a decadent recipe.  One for special people and special occasions.  It does not have gluten, but, it does have heavy cream.  I used Kinnikinick All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Mix for the gluten free flour.  Also, I halved the recipe, added 1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips, and it made 10 small muffins.  The bake time was much longer than the original recipe.  They took 14 minutes, not the 8 minutes it states in the original recipe.  Maybe in a donut pan it takes only 8 minutes.  Hope you like it!

Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn Bed & Breakfast.  Come back soon.

Chocolate Doughnut Muffins – Gluten Free
Yield:  10 small muffins
slightly adapted from GlutenFreeOnAShoestring 
3/4 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 large egg
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
7 Tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons milk
drop of vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare muffin tin with 10 paper liners or spray with PAM.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour,  xanthan gum, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt and nutmeg,  Whisk in chocolate chips.
  3. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, butter, oil, egg, vanilla, and cream.
  4. Add wet to dry ingredients and stir just to combine.
  5. Scoop batter into prepared muffin tin, fill about 1/2 - 3/4 full.
  6. Bake for about 14-16 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  8. To make the glaze, in a small bowl, whisk together confectioner's sugar, cocoa, 1 teaspoon of milk and the vanilla.  Add a little more milk (1/2 teaspoon at a time) until desired consistency.
  9. Gently pull back paper liners and drizzle glaze over the muffins.
  10. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Coconut - no gluten, dairy or eggs

chocolate chip cookies with coconut - gluten, dairy and egg free
I've been working on this recipe for over a week and I am finally ready to share.  Today, I made these cookies as bar cookies and sliced them into the triangles you see above.  Of course, you can scoop them into traditional round cookies, too.  This recipe uses rice flour, but, you could use regular all purpose flour if you do not need to be gluten free.  If you don't like coconut, don't try this recipe.  The warm cookies are reminiscent of a Mounds chocolate candy in cookie form.  The golden edges are crispy and the center is a little soft and chewy.  Bake them longer for extra crispy, less for extra chewy.  I know some of you might resist the corn syrup.  But, just like in pecan pie, corn syrup provides that extra special textural component that no other sweetener can do.  And, if you don't want to use the coffee, simply substitute a Tablespoon of whatever liquid you prefer, almond, soy or coconut milk would be great.

Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn blog.  Hope to see you soon.

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies with Coconut (no egg, no dairy and no gluten)
Yield:  12 cookies

3/4 cup rice flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt
1/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 Tablespoon corn syrup
1 Tablespoon hot coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together rice flour, baking powder and salt.  Add coconut and chips.  Mix and set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix the coconut oil, brown sugar, corn syrup, coffee, and vanilla with a rubber spatula, stir until completely combined.
  5. Stir dry into wet ingredients, using rubber spatula stir until combined.
  6. Scoop the dough into 12 equal portions and press into shape on prepared cookie sheet.  (Or, press dough into an 8 x 8 square pan, lined with parchment)
  7. Bake for 10 – 14 minutes or until golden around the edges.  Cookies will still be soft.
  8. Cool on cookie sheet for five minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely. They will crisp up as they cool.  (If baking in 8 x 8 pan, using parchment paper, carefully remove from pan on parchment paper after the 5 minutes cooling time and cut into desired shapes while still warm and soft)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Orange Praline Muffins Recipe

Orange Praline Muffins
The flavors of orange and pecan go so well together.  I've had the original recipe for Orange Praline Bread for quite some time.  It was on the Land O Lakes website.  I decided to try the recipe for muffins instead and, of course, I had to add whole wheat.  The orange flavor was predominant as the recipe calls for quite a bit of orange zest.  I also made a little more glaze than the original recipe as I wanted to make sure each muffin had enough of "the good stuff".  Kim, as the official taste-tester, said he would prefer these as muffintops as the best part is the praline topping.  I'll have to try that next time.  Or, if you try it, let me know how it turns out for you.

Orange Praline Muffins

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 large egg
1/2 Tablespoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
3 Tablespoons finely chopped pecans

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spray 10 muffin cups with nonstick spray.
  • In a small bowl, whisk flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • In a large bowl, mix sour cream, melted butter, egg, orange zest, vanilla and sugar until combined.
  • Add dry ingredients mixing just until moistened.
  • Stir in 1/2 cup pecans.
  • Spoon batter evenly into 10 muffin cups.
  • Bake for 18 - 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Cool 5 minutes and remove from pans to a cooling rack covered with a piece of waxed paper.
  • In a small saucepan, mix brown sugar and 1/4 cup butter, stirring until well combined.
  • Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil (3 to 4 minutes).
  • Spoon glaze mixture over warm muffins (or dip muffin tops in glaze) and immediately sprinkle with remaining pecans.
  • Allow “praline” to set and ENJOY!

Click her for the Original recipe 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Banana Pancakes with Caramel Banana Syrup

Banana Pancakes with Caramel Banana Syrup

I recently rediscovered one of my old favorite recipes - Banana Pancakes with Caramel Banana Syrup. When I subscribed to Bon App├ętit magazine, years ago, I would read each issue cover to cover looking for ideas.  This recipe is from November 2005.  I have slightly adapted the recipe by adding whole wheat flour, salt and baking powder as the original recipe used self-rising flour.  The pancakes are delicious without the syrup, but, the syrup it what makes you say "WOW!"

Banana Pancakes with Caramel Banana Syrup
Yield:  4 servings

1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large bananas cut into 1/4” rounds

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 banana, mashed
1/4 cup butter, melted

For syrup:
  1. Combine melted butter, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup water in a large skillet.
  2. Boil over medium-high heat until mixture thickens slightly, about 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in vanilla extract and sliced bananas. Remove syrup from heat.

For pancakes:
  1. Whisk flours, baking powder and salt in large bowl.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk buttermilk, eggs, brown sugar and mashed banana.
  3. Stir banana mixture into dry ingredients just until combined.
  4. Fold in melted butter.
  5. Cook pancakes until golden, about 2 minutes per side.
  6. Serve pancakes with heated caramel-banana syrup.

Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn Bed and Breakfast blog.  Hope you'll visit again, soon.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Lemon Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes - Gluten Free

Lemon Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes
With the abundance of organic local blueberries, I have been trying every variation of blueberry pancakes I can think of.  I have quite a cookbook collection and went through them in search of something special.  I found quite a few variations on a theme combining lemon, blueberries and cornmeal.  After several attempts with varying methods and proportions, this recipe emerged as the clear winner.  You can use regular flour, but, the gluten free version is superior.  Yes, you read correctly, the gluten free version is better than the wheat flour version.  Here's the  exact recipe I used.  Try it and let me know how it turns out for you.

Lemon Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes – gluten free
Serves 2 - 3

Juice from 1 whole lemon (about 2 Tablespoons)
7 ounces milk (approximately)
3/4 cup Namaste gluten free Perfect Flour Blend
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch salt
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
Zest from 1 whole lemon (about 1 Tablespoon)
1 egg, separated
Blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • Squeeze lemon juice into a measuring cup.  Add milk to make 1 cup.  Set aside for 10 minutes. (Yes, the milk will curdle and get very thick.)
  • In a medium bowl, sift together dry ingredients.
  • In a medium bowl, combine lemon juice milk mixture, melted butter, vanilla, egg yolk, and lemon zest.
  • Add wet to dry ingredients, stir just to bring mixture together.
  • In a separate bowl, beat egg white until shiny and firm, but not dry.
  • Gently fold egg white into batter.
  • Scoop batter onto preheated, greased griddle and immediately sprinkle with desired amount of blueberries.
  • When bubbles start to appear and pancakes are golden, flip and cook other side.
  • Serve with butter and maple syrup.
Thank you so much for visiting the Americus Garden Inn Bed and Breakfast.  We hope you'll visit again, soon.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Blueberry Johnnycakes

Blueberry Johnnycakes
With the abundance of beautiful blueberries this year, I have been revisiting old favorite recipes.  This recipe was one of the first that I shared with guests almost 11 years ago, blueberry johnnycakes.  What are johnnycakes, you might ask?  It is one of the many names given to cornmeal pancakes.  According to what I've read, the early American settlers learned from the Native American Indians how to make flat bread from cornmeal.  It is suggested that cornmeal pancakes traveled well and were called journeycakes, which came to be known as johnnycakes.

Now that you know the history of the word, let me tell you what makes this recipe special.  The combination of whole wheat with the cornmeal gives a wonderful texture and the use of molasses gives a distinctive taste.  I hope you'll enjoy this recipe as much as our guests do.

Blueberry Johnnycakes

1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 Tablespoons molasses
1 egg
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1 pint fresh or frozen blueberries 
  1. Whisk dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  2. Whisk wet ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  3. Mix wet with dry just until combined.
  4. Spread about ¼ cup batter per pancake on hot, greased griddle.  Immediately, place 6 – 7 blueberries onto batter.
  5. Cook until golden, turn and cook other side until done.
  6. Enjoy with a little butter and maple syrup.
Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn.  Please visit us on Facebook for the latest photos from the garden and the kitchen.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Pina Colada Muffins

Pina Colada Muffin

I was looking for a new muffin recipe and came across a recipe for Pina Colada Muffins on the Welcome Home blog.  Marty has been sharing her mother's recipes along with some beautiful inspirational messages.  I did make just a couple of changes to her recipe.  I substituted coconut oil for the butter, I used drained crushed pineapple in place of the chunked pineapple and I omitted the coconut extract.  Because I used the crushed pineapple, I mixed the pineapple into the wet ingredients before mixing all ingredients together.  The result was a delicious, moist, beautiful muffin.  Hope you like it.  Please visit Marty on facebook and let her know I sent you!  And, thanks, Marty, for a great recipe.

Yield:  12 muffins

3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 heaping cup sugar
1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes
2 eggs, room temperature
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
1 cup canned pineapple chunks, drained

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and put muffins liners in muffin tin. Take out buttermilk and eggs, so they can come to room temperature. In a large bowl, mix together flours, salt, baking powder, sugar, and coconut flakes. Set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, butter, vanilla, and coconut extract. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Don’t over mix or your muffins will be dry. Chop pineapple chunks to make mini chunks and then gently fold into muffin batter. Again, folding just enough to distribute pineapple bits. Sprinkle top with a little coconut that will toast during baking time.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until the tops of the muffins feel set when gently pressed. Cool a few minutes in the tin and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Pina Colada Muffins

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Cold Blueberry Soup on a hot Summer's Day

Cold Blueberry Soup
It's blueberry time here in South Georgia.  I've been stocking up on fresh, organic, local blueberries and the freezer is just about full.  There are so many things you can make with blueberries, besides the obvious blueberry muffins, cobbler, pie or jam.  How about some refreshing cold blueberry soup?
I looked through my cookbooks and online and found many variations of blueberry soup.  I took the basic idea and came up with my own recipe using evaporated skim milk.  Evaporated skim gives it body and texture without the fat of regular milk or cream.  Of course, feel free to garnish the soup with a little whipped cream, sour cream or yogurt to give it a creamier texture.  I created the pretty pattern by swirling some whipped cream (I used a ziploc bag with the corner cut off) and then using a knife to cut in the design.

Cold Blueberry Soup
Yield:  4 large servings or 6 small servings
3 cups fresh blueberries
3/4 cup orange juice
6 Tablespoons sugar (or sugar substitute)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch salt
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice - divided
12 oz can of evaporated skim milk, chilled
Garnish – whipped cream, sour cream or yogurt and fresh blueberries
  1. Combine blueberries, orange juice, sugar, cinnamon, salt and 1 Tablespoon of fresh lemon juice in a saucepan.
  2. Stirring frequently, heat on medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil.
  3. Remove from heat, and let cool for about 10 minutes.
  4. Add 1 Tablespoon of fresh lemon juice.
  5. Using an immersion blender (or regular blender or food processor), process blueberry mixture and lemon juice until smooth.
  6. Cover and chill until ready to serve.  (I chilled it overnight)
  7. Stir in chilled evaporated skim milk just prior to serving.
  8. Serve in stemmed glasses. Garnish, if desired.
Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn blog.  We hope you'll visit us again, soon.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
Sometimes, you just want a chocolate chip cookie.  You want it now and you want it to be homemade.  I've been holding onto this recipe for several years (I have no idea where it came from) and I decided to try it.  Kim said they were really good, although, not as good as the ones with butter and eggs.  But, for a vegan recipe, he said it was a winner.  Hope you like it!

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
Makes 8 - 12 cookies depending on size

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup real maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon  molasses
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup canola oil
1/3 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt, and stir until well combined. 
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the maple syrup, molasses and vanilla, then stir in the oil until well combined. 
  4. Add the wet mixture to the dry, along with the chocolate chips, and stir through until just well combined (do not overmix).
  5. Place large spoonfuls of the batter on the cookie sheet and flatten a little.
  6. Bake for 11 minutes, until just golden (if you bake for much longer, they will dry out). 
  7. Let cool on the sheet for no more than 1 minute (again, to prevent drying), then transfer to a cooling rack.
  8. Let them cool a little before eating.
  9. Enjoy!

Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn blog.  We hope you'll come back soon.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Whole Wheat and Grits Pancakes

Whole Wheat and Grits Pancakes

Some people love grits and some people hate grits.  But, everyone loves pancakes.  When you combine whole wheat flour and grits, you get a great crunchy texture and a wonderful nutty flavor.  This recipe is really easy and delicious.  Let me know how yours turn out.
Whole Wheat and Grits Pancakes
Yield:  12 – 15 pancakes

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup quick grits
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup boiling water
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons melted butter
  1. In a small bowl, combine whole wheat flour, baking powder and baking soda.
  2. In a large bowl, combine grits, salt, sugar and boiling water.  Stir. Let sit for 10 minutes, covered.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine egg, buttermilk and melted butter.
  4. Combine egg mixture with grits.
  5. Stir dry ingredients into wet.
  6. Spoon about ¼ cup batter onto hot, lightly greased griddle.  Cook until edges are dry and bottom is golden brown.
  7. Flip and cook other side until golden brown.
  8. Serve with butter and warm maple syrup
  9. Enjoy!

Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn Bed and Breakfast blog.  Stop by again, soon.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Ricotta Pancakes with lemon ricotta topping and orange syrup

Ricotta Pancakes with lemon ricotta topping and orange syrup

I found this incredible recipe on foodandwine that I just had to share. It is for ricotta pancakes with orange syrup. These are absolutely fabulous. There are a few minor changes - vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean and I added whole wheat. Please let me know what you think of them.

Ricotta Pancakes with Lemon Ricotta Topping and Orange Syrup
Yield: 15 – 18 pancakes

1 orange
1 cup orange juice
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

1 1/2 cups ricotta
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup ricotta
Toasted almond slices, for garnish

1. Peel the zest from the orange in long strips. In a saucepan of boiling water, blanch the zest for 30 seconds. Drain and repeat. Julienne the zest. In the saucepan, simmer the orange juice, sugar, water and blanched zest until syrupy, about 10 minutes. Let cool.
2. In a bowl, mix together all of the topping ingredients. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder and soda. In another large bowl, whisk the buttermilk, egg yolks and ricotta. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. In a large, clean stainless steel bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry; fold them into the batter.
4. Spoon about ¼ cup batter onto hot greased griddle and cook over moderately high heat, 2 minutes per side, until golden and fluffy.
5. Serve about 3 pancakes per person topped with the orange syrup, ricotta topping and toasted almonds.
Adapted from Breslins Ricotta Pancakes with Orange Syrup at:

Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn blog.  Come see us again, soon.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Mini Gingerbread Muffins

mini gingerbread muffins
Today, I just felt like making something special.  Something you just don't have everyday.  I decided to make gingerbread muffins.  It seems that the only time you hear about gingerbread is Christmas time.  Why not make some in April or whenever you feel like you want something warm and sweet and spicy.  This recipe is simple and makes 48 mini muffins.  Hope you like it.
Mini Gingerbread Muffins
Yield:  48 mini muffins
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup melted butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray mufin tins with nonstick spray.
  2. Combine flours, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine egg, brown sugar, molasses, buttermilk and melted butter.
  4. Add wet to dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
  5. Scoop evenly into muffin tins and bake for 15 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Enjoy.
Thank you for visiting the Americus Garden Inn Bed & Breakfast blog.  Hope you'll visit again, soon.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Shirred Eggs Diavolo

Recently, I saw a recipe for eggs diavolo which were made on the stove in a sauce pan. I thought they would be easier and just as delicious if you baked them. They are! Here's my very simple recipe: Spray your muffin tin with non stick spray. Spoon some spicy marinara sauce in the bottom of each muffin cup (about a tablespoon is perfect). Crack an egg carefully into each muffin cup (try not to break the yolk, but, it really doesn't matter). Spoon about a teaspoon of olive oil over the yolk of each egg. Sprinkle with a little pepper and top with some shredded Parmesan cheese. Bake at 450 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the eggs are set to your liking. Serve topped with a little extra marinara sauce and cheese. Delicious! Hope you enjoy this recipe. I recently had guests tell me this was the best thing they ever tasted.

Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn Bed and Breakfast blog.  Come visit again, soon.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Chocolate Chip Muffin Tops

Chocolate Chip Muffin Tops
 What looks like a cookie but is perfect for breakfast, brunch, tea or whenever you like? How about a chocolate chip muffin top with a streusel topping! I've been making these for years and everyone LOVES them.
 Have a sweet day!
 Love, Susan

Chocolate Chip Muffin Tops
Yield: 12 muffin tops

½ cup chopped nuts
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1 Tablespoon flour
½ cup mini chocolate chips

½ cup all purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
4 ½ teaspoons sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
Pinch salt
¾ cup mini chocolate chips
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
¼ cup melted butter
½ teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin top pan with nonstick spray.
2. Prepare topping by combining nuts, brown sugar, butter and flour.
3. Stir in chocolate chips and set aside.
4. In a large bowl, combine muffin dry ingredients. Add chocolate chips.
5. In a small bowl, combine wet ingredients.
6. Add wet to dry and stir just until combined.
7. Spoon into prepared pan.
8. Evenly distribute topping over batter and press gently into batter.
9. Bake 15 – 18 minutes or until wooden toothpick comes out clean.
10. Cool on rack for 5 minutes before removing from pan.
11. Enjoy!
Chocolate Chip Muffin Top
Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn.  Hope you'll visit again, soon.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Orange Pecan Buttermilk Pancakes

Orange Pecan Buttermilk Pancakes

These orange pecan buttermilk pancakes were made, again, by special request. So many of you asked me for the recipe and I always try to make everyone happy. Here is one of my guests' favorite recipes. Hope you love them. BTW, those giant pecans are actually from one of our trees. Love, Susan

Orange Pecan Buttermilk Pancakes

½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
1 egg
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup orange juice
2 Tablespoons melted butter or oil
Zest from ½ orange (optional)
½ cup chopped, toasted, pecans

1. Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl.
2. Combine egg, buttermilk, orange juice, butter or oil and zest, if using.
3. Add wet to dry ingredients and stir just to combine.
4. Spoon batter onto hot griddle and sprinkle with pecans. Flip when lightly browned to brown other side.
5. Serve with nut side up accompanied by butter and maple syrup.
Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn Bed & Breakfast blog.  Come visit again, soon!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Whole Wheat Cheddar Scones

Whole Wheat Cheddar Scones

I wanted to make a savory scone, but, I wanted to use whole wheat.  So, I came up with this recipe inspired by cheddar biscuits, for whole wheat cheddar scones with a little chipotle kick.  Hope you like it.

Whole Wheat Cheddar Scones
Yield: Makes 12 – 16 scones
·        2/3 cup all-purpose flour
·        2/3 cup whole wheat flour
·        1/4 cup corn meal
·        3 tablespoons sugar
·        2 teaspoons baking powder
·        1/2 teaspoon salt
·        ¼ teaspoon chipotle pepper
·        1 -1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided (1 -1/4 cup and 1/4 cup)
·        3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream  plus extra for brushing
1 Preheat oven to 425°F. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, corn meal, salt, sugar, chipotle pepper, and baking powder. Stir in 1 1/4 cups of the grated cheddar cheese.
2 Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Pour the cream into the center of the well and mix gently just to bring together the ingredients. If you need to add a bit more cream then do so a tiny trickle at a time. You just want everything to get wet enough so that the dough will clump together.
3 Turn the dough out onto a surface lightly dusted with flour. Knead the dough just a few times - maybe only three or four pushes. You just want it to come together.
4 Divide dough in half.  Pat each portion of the dough into a circle about 3/4-inch to an inch thick. Cut each circle into 6 – 8 triangles.  (Scones can be frozen at this point for later baking.)
5 Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, with at least an inch or two between scones. Brush the tops with a little more cream. Sprinkle tops with the remaining cheese.
6 Bake at 425°F for 11-12 minutes (if frozen, add a couple of minutes) or until golden brown.
Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn blog.  Hope you'll visit again, soon.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Nut Muffins - gluten free, soy free, egg free, dairy free

I've noticed that a lot of you are like me - we need recipes that are gluten free, soy free and egg free, either for health reasons or by choice. This recipe is for you. It only makes 2 muffins. Perfect for when you need a muffin fix, but, don't want to make more than you need right now. I've made them twice - once with pecans and once with almonds. I used apple puree the first time and pear puree the second. Both came out delicious. They did brown very quickly, so watch the oven. 

Nut Muffins
Yield: 2 muffins
3/4 cup nuts
1/4 cup fruit puree
1 TBS honey
1/8 tsp baking soda
Pinch salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 2 foil muffin cups on a baking sheet.
2. In a small food processor, grind the nuts to the consistency of flour (not to butter).
3. Add remaining ingredients and combine.
4. Scoop into foil muffin cups.
5. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, reduce heat to 325 and bake an additional 5 – 10 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
  (May take a little longer depending on the puree.)

Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn Bed & Breakfast.  Hope you'll come back soon.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Chocolicious Scones

Triple Chocolate Scone
If you feel like having something decadently chocolate, how about Triple Chocolate Scones?  I found this recipe on the King Arthur Flour site and had been waiting for the right day to try them.  Today was that day! There is cocoa, chocolate chips and for the glaze, I used Dove's dark chocolate.  Definitely a chocolate lover's dream.  Hope you enjoy making them, too.   Let me know how yours come out!

Triple Chocolate Scones
2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder, optional for flavor and color
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) cold butter, cut into pats
1 1/2 cups semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
3/4 cup milk or liquid whey (the liquid drained from yogurt)
2/3 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup half and half or liquid coffee creamer
1) Preheat your oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment.
2) To make the scones: In a large mixing bowl, blend the flours, cocoa, espresso powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together thoroughly.
3) With a pastry blender, pastry fork, a mixer or, most easily, your fingertips, work in the butter until the mixture is unevenly crumbly.
4) Stir in the chocolate chips.
5) Whisk together the vanilla, egg, and milk or whey.
6) Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until the mixture is evenly moist. If you're using milk rather than whey, you may need to add an additional 2 to 3 tablespoons, to make the dough come together.
7) Mix 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar with 1 teaspoon cocoa powder, and sprinkle it on your parchment-lined (or lightly greased) baking sheet. You're using this sugar mixture in place of the usual flour, to keep the scones from sticking to the pan as you shape them.
8) Divide the dough in half, and place the two pieces onto the baking sheet. Pat them gently into two 6" circles, each about 3/4" thick.
9) Cut each circle into 6 wedge-shaped pieces with a bench knife or bowl scraper (or sharp knife), pressing down firmly without sawing. You'll find it easier if you dip your cutter in flour after each cut. Make sure you press it into the dough quickly, without twisting or sawing. This shears the dough cleanly rather than pressing it together, which allows the scones to rise higher.
10) Bake the scones for 18 to 23 minutes, until they lose their moist look, and a cake tester inserted into the center of one comes out clean; or with just a smear of chocolate from a melting chip.
11) Remove the scones from the oven, and transfer them to a rack to cool.
12) To make the glaze: Place the chocolate chips and half & half or creamer in a microwave-safe bowl or small saucepan. Heat in the microwave (or over low heat) until the cream is very hot. Remove from the heat, and stir until the chips melt, and the mixture is smooth.
13) Drizzle/spread the glaze over the cooled scones.
Yield: 12 scones.

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Triple Chocolate Scones

Monday, March 25, 2013

Puffy Apple Omelet

Puffy Apple Omelet
Breakfast can be savory or sweet.  We all tend to think of egg dishes on the savory side.  But, sometimes, I like to offer my guests something a little out of the ordinary, like this puffy apple omelet.  I have hundreds of cookbooks and I just love going through them for ideas.  This particular recipe was in one of the Taste of Home collections and, although it is a little more effort than your traditional omelet, it is definitely worth it.  Rather than do one larger omelet, I did individual portions,  Let me know if you give it a try!

Puffy Apple Omelet

•3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
•1/4 teaspoon baking powder
•1/8 teaspoon salt, optional
•2 eggs, separated
•3 tablespoons milk
•1 tablespoon lemon juice
•3 tablespoons sugar
•1 large tart apple, peeled and thinly sliced
•1 teaspoon sugar
•1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

•In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt if desired. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks, milk and lemon juice. Stir into dry ingredients and mix well; set aside.
•In another small bowl, beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon as a time, on high until stiff peaks form. Fold into yolk mixture.
•Pour into a shallow 1-1/2-qt. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange apple slices on top. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over apples.
•Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 18-20 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve immediately.

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