Sunday, April 21, 2013

Gluten Free Banana Oat Coconut Muffins

I forgot just how easy it is to make muffins. And how rewarding! Not only do you get warm fluffy treats... your house smells comforting and delicious!  Making muffins is basically as easy as mixing the dry with the wet ingredients, filling up some cupcake pans, and throwing them into an oven for 15 or so minutes... then poof!  It's off to muffin munchin land!

There's so many muffin making possibilities that it's hard to imagine running out of tasty combinations to experiment with.  For example, take a base flavor like banana.  I've had many variations of banana walnut muffins, but there are many more flavor combinations available to play with.  These banana muffins include gluten free oats and coconut chips, a little ground cloves and nutmeg, and a topping of sprinkled pecan pieces.  You could leave out the coconut, add chocolate chips or something else, maybe mango chunks... whatever sounds good to you, I say go for it. With muffins, the worst case scenario is rarely less than yum.

Makes 12 regular size muffins

Total Prep Time: Less than 1 hour

  • cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 cups GF Flour (I use Bobs Red Mill GF All Purpose Baking Flour)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 over-ripe bananas (smashed)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola/vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs (room temp)
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cups gluten free oats (I use Bobs Red Mill GF Certified Oats)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • Pecan pieces for topping

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (175 degrees C.).  Spray muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground nutmeg & cloves in a large bowl.
  3. Mix the bananas, white and brown sugar, oats, coconut flakes, canola oil and eggs together in a separate large bowl.
  4. Fold the banana mixture into flour mixture until just incorporated. 
  5. Scoop batter into prepared muffin pan.
  6. Top the mixture in the muffin pan with a coating of pecan pieces. 
  7. Bake until muffins spring back a little when you tap them on the top with a spoon (about 14-16 minutes).
  8. Let cool for a little while and then ENJOY!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Gluten Free SemiSweet Fruity Chocolates

Here's another candy making experiment of mine.  My first try at being a Chocolateur used white chocolate, mixed nuts and a handful of cranberries.  This one steers clear of nuts and focuses on being nice-n-fruity. All you need is a bag of semisweet chocolate chips and around 2 cups of chopped dried berries.  I used a combination of dried strawberries, blueberries, cherries and cranberries. 

These chocolates were much more popular than the white chocolate candies I made. I could tell how good they were by the way people tried to hoard them, or how they would force themselves to eat only a few a day in order to savor them:).  Regarding proportions... use about 1/2 cup more chocolate chips than fruity bits, and you can't go wrong.

  • 1 bag of semisweet chocolate chips (about 2-2/12 cups)
  • 2 cups of mixed dried berries
  • Cocoa powder (for dusting)
  • Non-stick baking sheet or wax-paper

  1. Chop your dried berries up as fine as you're able.  These chocolates work best if filled with lots of tiny fruity bits, and not large chewy chunks.
  2. Melt and stir your semisweet chocolate chips in a double boiler, or in 30-second microwave bursts, until  nice and creamy.
  3. Add the chopped berries and stir until completely incorporated.
  4. Let cool until the consistency of thick molasses. 
  5. Spread some wax-paper out, or use a non-stick baking sheet, and spoon small globs of fruity-chocolate about 1-inch apart.  
  6. Let the chocolate cool for a while before dusting your chocolates off with cocoa powder.
  7. Once completely cool, dig in and smile big:)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Gluten Free Nutty White Chocolate Cranberry Candies

I've never made chocolate candies before, so you'll have to forgive me for how chunky these are. These were a mouthful to say the least! Next time I make them I'm going to chop up the nuts real nice before mixing them with the melted chocolate.  You can be all professional and use a double boiler to melt the chocolate, or... you can simply use a microwave to quickly and easily melt the chocolate.  All you have to do is put your chocolate chips in a glass bowl (or any other microwave-safe bowl), and heat for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each round, until the chocolate is melted and creamy.  I'll probably work with a double boiler in the future, even if only to see if there is any difference at all in taste and texture of the chocolate I'm working with.  But for now, as a novice chocolateur, I'm going to keep my sweet experiments as easy to execute as possible:)

  • White Chocolate Chips (2 bags)
  • Dried Cranberries (about 1 cup)
  • Mixed Nuts (1 to 1 1/2 cups) - chopping them up would be good:)

  1. Chop up your mixed nuts, stir in the dried cranberries and set aside.
  2. Use a double-boiler to melt your chocolate, or... place your white chocolate chips in a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Remove and stir. Return to microwave for another 30 seconds. Remove and stir.  By your 3rd round of 30-second nuking and stirring, your chocolate should be ready.
  3. Mix your nuts and dried cranberries into the melted chocolate.
  4. Let sit for a couple minutes and then use a spoon or a small 1/2 inch ice cream scooper to form small mounds of chocolate goodness on a non-stick surface (I used cupcake papers).
  5. Allow candy to cool for 1/2 an hour.
  6. Devour and share!