Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Chocolate Swirl Biscuits

Chocolate Swirl Biscuits
 What do you do when the weather turns nasty?  Well, I look for new recipes to try.  Last year, I made chocolate babka, which was out of this world decadently delicious.  Yesterday, I found this recipe for chocolate swirled biscuits and decided to give it a try.

Let me share my modifications to the recipe:  First of all, I used the food processor to cut the butter into the dry ingredients.  The dry ingredients with the butter were refrigerated overnight in a bowl. Then, I used the food processor to grind the chocolate chips.   In the morning, I finished the recipe.

The dough came together easily and I put wax paper down to make rolling up the dough easier.  That was a huge mistake!  Even though I floured the wax paper, the dough stuck like glue to the paper.  I tried to roll the dough as thin as possible to have a really beautiful swirl.  Next time, I will heavily flour the surface before rolling out the dough.

I did the optional topping of the egg wash and sprinkled the tops with sparkling sugar.  Kim tasted one and said it was a little dry.  So, I quickly mixed together some confectioners' sugar and milk with a drop of vanilla and poured the glaze over the top.  Next time, I'll forget about the egg wash and sparkling sugar and just do the glaze over the top.

Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn Bed & Breakfast.  Come back again, soon.
Chocolate Swirl Biscuits

Chocolate Swirl Biscuits  found on Bakerella
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons sugar
4 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
Topping (optional)
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon whole milk
sugar for sprinkling
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt until blended.
  • Using fingers or a pastry blender, work butter into the dry ingredients until crumbly.
  • Add milk and stir with a fork until a loose, sticky dough forms.
  • Turn dough out on a floured work surface. Flour your hands and form dough into a ball. Then gently knead it several times (8-10).
  • Flour surface and hands more as necessary and use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough into a 13X11 inch rectangle.
  • Position the long side of the dough in front of you.
  • For the filling, spread softened butter over surface of dough. Sprinkle with sugar and cover with chopped chocolate.
  • Roll the dough up in a jelly roll fashion and cut the roll into 10-12 equal sections.
  • Place cut sections on parchment covered baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
  • Add topping if desired. Mix egg yolk and milk together and brush on tops. Then sprinkle with sugar.
  • Bake for about 18 minutes or until biscuits are golden and puffed up.
  • Serve warm with butter.
Recipe originally from Deep Dark Chocolate by Sara Perry

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Coconut Flour Cookies - small batch - gluten, dairy, egg free

Coconut Flour Cookies
I was looking for a new small batch, gluten free cookie recipe and stumbled upon the 3 ingredient coconut flour cookie recipe.  The reviews were very mixed.  Some people loved them, while others hated them.  I decided to try it for myself and asked our guests, Kirsten and John, to be my taste testers.  Since they do not have to eat gluten free, I wanted their opinions as to whether these cookies would appeal to everyone.  By the way, after we taste tested, there weren't any left for Kim.

We all enjoyed the coconut flavor.  If you don't like coconut, do not try this recipe.  The texture was very nice.  If you remove them from the pan too soon, they crumble.  But, if you let them cool just long enough, they are absolutely perfect.  We all agreed that chocolate (white or dark) would be a great accompaniment.  But, that would defeat the 3 ingredient concept.

The three ingredients are:
3 Tablespoons of coconut flour
2 Tablespoons of coconut oil
1 Tablespoon of honey

Combine the ingredients thoroughly.
Scoop by teaspoonfuls onto parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees for 6 - 7 minutes (just golden around the edges)
Let cool for several minutes before eating.
This recipe made 10 small cookies.

So, go try it and let me know if you like it.  Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn blog.  Come back and see what we're baking next.

Coconut Flour Cookies

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Gluten Free Almond Crispies Cookies

Best Almond Crispies Cookies - gluten free made with rice flour 
It's a dreary rainy day.  The perfect day to try a new recipe.  I found this recipe on Bob's Red Mill website and decided to give it a try.  What made this recipe appealing, to me, is that it is gluten free and it uses no eggs and no dairy.  I love finding recipes for special diets that actually taste good to everyone.  I only made 1/4 of the recipe and using my small cookie scoop, it made 10 cookies.  Small batch baking is my favorite, especially for gluten free baking as the gluten free products are very often best consumed right away.  So, give it a try and let me know how it turns out for you.
Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn blog.

Almond Crispies gluten free made with coconut flour

gluten free almond crispies made with coconut flour

Update:  1/13/14 top photo shows the new batch

I made these cookies again today.  Yesterday, I used coconut flour for part of the all purpose GF flour. You can see in the pictures above labeled "with coconut flour",  that there is a grainy texture. Today, I used rice flour.   The appearance of the cookies was a huge improvement.  I liked the flavor of both variations.  Neither came out "crispy", but, I preferred the version with just rice flour and almond meal/flour.  I am continuing to perfect my own variation and will post my small batch version on facebook, soon.  Be sure to visit us on Facebook.

Almond Crispies
Contributed by: Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods
A delightful gluten-free almond cookie everyone will enjoy.
Gluten Free, Lactose Free, Low Cal, Low Carb.

  • 1 cup GF All Purpose Baking Flour
  • 1/2 cup Almond Meal/Flour
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Almond Extract
  • 1 Tbsp Water
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1/3 cup Honey
  • 1/2 cup chopped Almonds (Whole Shelled)

Step 1 Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly spray a cookie sheet with nonstick spray;
set aside.
Step 2 In a bowl combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
 In another bowl combine almond extract, water, oil and honey.
Step 3 Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and fold in chopped almonds.
Form dough into balls and place on greased cookie sheet.
Step 4 Bake 8-12 minutes until lightly golden. Let cookies set on baking sheet
10 minutes; remove carefully to cooling rack. Enjoy. 
Makes 24 cookies. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Gluten Free Cinnamon Nut Muffins with Chocolate Chips

Cinnamon nut gluten free muffins
Happy New Year!

Today starts a new year and what better time to try a new recipe.  One of our guests this morning is on a gluten free diet, so, I decided to try a variation of the nut muffin recipe in one of my SCD cookbooks.  For those of you unfamiliar with SCD, it is the Specific Carbohydrate Diet recommended for many people dealing with food sensitivities.  I recently purchased coconut flour and almond flour, so, I decided to mix the two together.  I added some honey, cinnamon, chopped pecans and mini chocolate chips.  My guests really enjoyed them, and so did Kim.  I tasted one and thought they were pretty awesome.  Try the recipe and let me know what you think.  Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn B&B online.  Hope you'll visit again, soon.

Gluten Free cinnamon nut muffins

Gluten Free Cinnamon Nut Muffins with Chocolate Chips

3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1/3 cup plain almond milk
4 Tablespoons honey

4 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons melted coconut oil
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
6 Tablespoons of chopped pecans
6 Tablespoons of mini chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 9 regular muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together almond and coconut flours with baking soda and salt.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, almond milk and 4 Tablespoons of honey.
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients and allow to stand for a few minutes.
  5. In a small bowl, combine honey, coconut oil and cinnamon.
  6. Spoon just enough batter into each muffin cup to cover the bottom.
  7. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of the honey-coconut oil over the batter, then sprinkle 1 teaspoon of chopped pecans and 1 teaspoon of mini chocolate chips.
  8. Using a toothpick, gently swirl into the batter.
  9. Spoon remaining batter on top of swirled batter.
  10. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of the honey-coconut oil over the batter, then sprinkle 1 teaspoon of chopped pecans and 1 teaspoon of mini chocolate chips.
  11. Using a toothpick, gently swirl into the batter.
  12. Fill empty muffin cups 1/4 - 1/2 full with water (prevents hot spots and adds steam to oven)
  13. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  14. Allow to cool slightly, remove from pan and cool until firm.