Category Archives: Baked goods

Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

zucchini cake blog

Just when you thought the zucchini and summer squash recipes were over for the season…

Out comes one more zucchini recipe!

Yes, I’m kind of in a zucchini rut. But there’s just so much of it, and it’s so versatile. Already this summer I’ve made a quinoa-stuffed patty pan squash and a delicious zucchini dip. I also made a zucchini ribbon salad. And that’s just in 2014. Search through the archives, and there’s even more zucchini goodness.

The way I figured it, it was about time for a dessert recipe around here. Thing is, I haven’t made all that many desserts lately. Most days, we don’t have dessert, or we simply enjoy a piece of fruit. No really big reason for it – I just haven’t craved much in the way of sweet treats. But the zucchini was staring at me in the fridge, lonely and starting to go south. I had a few hours before I was to meet up with friends to watch my soccer team play (I’m almost ready to be back playing myself – been a long hiatus with my hip surgery), so I figured this was an excellent time to make a dessert. I’d have someone to help me eat it!

It seems there is never a shortage of helpers in that regard – I show up with food, and people are more than willing to take it off my hands for me. Nevermind that this is a cake with vegetables in it, or even that it’s gluten-free – nobody minded that one bit. It’s definitely not a flashy, pretty, fancy birthday cake, but I don’t think that mattered. Sometimes, simple and homestyle is delicious too. With a tender, moist crumb and the tangy cream cheese frosting, I can’t imagine this cake needs to put on such fancy airs. It speaks for itself.

So if you still have zucchini, why not make a cake? No special occasion necessary.

Print Recipe

Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (gluten-free)

2/3 c superfine brown rice flour (I like Authentic Foods)

2/3 c gluten-free oat flour (if you can’t find gluten-free oat flour, you can process GF oats in a food processor until finely powdered)

2/3 c tapioca starch

1 T unflavored gelatin

1/2 t baking soda

2 1/4 t baking powder

3/4 t kosher salt

2 t ground cinnamon

1/4 t ground nutmeg

1/4 t ground ginger

1/2 c butter, softened

1 c granulated sugar

3/4 c brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 t vanilla extract

1/3 c Greek yogurt

3 c grated zucchini, packed tightly

For the frosting:

6 oz cream cheese, softened slightly

4 T butter, softened

1/2 t vanilla extract

1 1/2 – 2 c powdered sugar

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 13 X 9 inch glass baking dish and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, gelatin, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Add the vanilla and Greek yogurt and mix in. Add the flour mixture, about a third at a time, and mix on low speed until everything is blended. Add the zucchini and mix on low speed until everything is mixed evenly.

Spoon the batter into the prepared baking dish and spread out evenly with a spatula as necessary.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs still attached. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, make the frosting. Beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until smooth. Add the vanilla and a cup of the powdered sugar and mix in on low speed. If the frosting needs to be more stiff, continue to add powdered sugar, beating on low speed at least until incorporated, and then increasing the speed to medium or medium-high to whip smooth. If your frosting is too stiff, add a tablespoon or two of milk and beat in.

Once the cake is completely cool, spread the frosting over the cake evenly. Slice and serve. Refrigerate the cake, covered, to store.

Serves 16.

Pão de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread)

brazilian cheese bread blog

I have World Cup fever. It’s been a slowly increasing level of excitement, but last week, hubby and I, along with some friends, attended the Ivory Coast vs. El Salvador friendly game, and that kicked me full-on into World Cup mode. It’s always thrilling, seeing so many people from all over the world, united for the love of a game.

So to help celebrate, I thought perhaps I would make a recipe native to Brazil, to honor the host country. To be honest, I am not terribly familiar with Brazilian cuisine, but I have made Moqueca (which is really a treat!), and I’ve even tried my hand at Brigadeiros. But I thought I’d try something new.

By some miracle, I’ve never tried Pão de queijo. It was simple to make, and boy, was it a hit. Our twin nieces were staying over at our house when I whipped these up, and they gobbled up piece after piece. I had a few myself. They’d be delicious served alongside any stew (or the Moqueca), or even as a breakfast treat. They’re naturally gluten-free, so that makes them a great option for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. I definitely think these will be made again – likely when I have family over to help me eat them all.

Until then, if you need me, I’ll be anxiously awaiting the first World Cup game this coming Thursday, and of course, the first United States game the following Monday against Ghana.

GO USA!

Print Recipe

Pão de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread) gluten-free

1 c whole milk

1/2 c butter

1 t kosher salt

2 c tapioca flour/starch

2 eggs, beaten

3/4 c cow’s milk feta, crumbled finely

3/4 c Parmesan cheese

 

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Set the racks to the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, butter, and salt and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat as soon as it comes to a boil.

Add all of the tapioca flour to the milk mixture and stir until you see no more dry flour. The dough will be really gelatinous.

Transfer the dough to the bowl of a standing mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat the dough for a few minutes at medium speed until it is smoothed out and cool enough to handle.

With the mixer on medium, add the eggs in two additions, waiting until the first addition is fully incorporated before adding the second. Then add in the cheese until fully incorporated, scraping down the sides as needed. The dough should be very sticky, stretchy, and soft.

Using an ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, scoop rounded portions into mounds on the lined baking sheets. Space them an inch or two apart.

Place them in the oven on the racks and turn the heat down to 350 degrees. Bake for about 12 minutes and rotate the baking sheets, placing the upper one on the lower rack, and vice versa. Bake for another 12-15 minutes or until they are just starting to brown. Remove and allow to cool enough to handle, and eat. They are delicious hot, but they also remain chewy and tasty even as they cool.

You can store them in an airtight container for several days, but I doubt they’ll last that long.

Makes about 3 dozen.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies

choc chip pb cookie for blog

Apparently it’s National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day today. Usually I’m too late on all of these food holidays. I just don’t keep up. But today, it’s a good thing I have these in my pocket, ready to go for you. (Okay, not literally in my pocket – that would create a lot of crumbs!)

These are your traditional chocolate chip cookies, slightly soft, with chewy edges, but with a small twist. I had a partial bag of peanut butter chips in the freezer left over from making some treats for my co-workers, so I opted to use them in place of some of the chocolate chips.

What resulted was my favorite version of chocolate chip cookies, only better. There’s a lovely balance of chocolate and peanut butter in these beauties. My favorite part, though, has to be the texture. I’m very much a soft+chewy fan when it comes to chocolate chip cookies, and that specific texture is sometimes difficult to achieve when baking gluten-free. However, my friends, this seems to be the key.

Feel free to make these as written, or use all chocolate-chips for a traditional version. Unfortunately, peanut butter chips don’t come dairy-free (that I know of), so for a dairy-free version, use all dairy-free chocolate chips. They are, however, gluten-free, so you’re good to go there. Whether you make them with or without dairy, I’m sure you’ll be just as delighted.

Happy National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day.

Print Recipe

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies (gluten-free, dairy-free options)

½ cup unrefined coconut oil, softened (can substitute butter)

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses

1 egg

1 egg yolk

1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups superfine brown rice flour

¼ cup + 3 tablespoons tapioca starch

1 tablespoon gelatin

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

3 tablespoons water

6 oz chocolate chips or chunks (double for dairy-free – Enjoy Life chocolate chips are dairy-free)

6 oz peanut butter chips (omit for dairy-free)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Put the coconut oil/butter, sugar and molasses in a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Cream together on medium speed for about a minute. Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla and mix again.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the brown rice flour, tapioca starch, gelatin, salt, and baking soda. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and beat again on low speed until combined. Add water, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together. (you may not need all 3 tablespoons) Stir in the chocolate chips.

Scoop the dough into small balls (about 2 tablespoons each) and place on a parchment-lined (or silicone baking sheet lined) baking sheet, at least 2-3 inches apart. Flatten slightly with the palm of your hand.

Bake for 12 minutes or until the edges just start to brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool a few minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen.

Mint Chocolate Chip Brownie Cupcakes

mint choc chip brownie cupcakes

Last weekend, I decided I would make something green for my coworkers in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. I’m not normally one to really celebrate the holiday in any grand style (Not Irish, and I’m not the biggest celebrator of holidays anyway, save a few. Just call me a big fuddy-duddy.), but I made an exception this time.

It started with a superb little pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream that I enjoyed a few weeks ago. I went back to the freezer to have another small helping only to find it was gone. (Teenagers in the house means this happens more often than I’d like – c’est la vie!)  But since then, the idea of these cupcakes, made with brownies and topped with frosting reminiscent of mint chocolate chip ice cream, just stuck in my mind until I decided to make them.

And so I did.

I opted for brownie base rather than just a regular chocolate cupcake because, let’s face it: brownies are better than regular cake. It’s just a fact. At least it is in my mind. Besides, I’ve always found that making brownies gluten-free is so simple, as the flour is not as much of a star ingredient in a brownie as it is in cake – instead, sugar and eggs play a chief role. And of course, the cocoa powder. Because chocolate is the chief-est of all chief roles in brownies! (Yes, I totally just made up the word “chief-est”. Let’s just go with it and move on.)

Once the brownie-cupcakes were baked, I made the frosting. It was super-simple, and because of the chocolate chips stirred in, I opted to simply smear on the frosting rather than try to carefully pipe something out. Definitely a time-saver, and it saved me from my otherwise perfection-driven tendency to spend far too long trying to execute perfectly piped frosting.

The end result was delightful. A sweet, chocolate-y treat with the pleasing, but not overpowering flavor of mint. The brownies were rich and full of fudgy chocolate. And that frosting? It was truly like my ice cream I was craving.

So even though St. Patrick’s Day has come and gone, I felt this treat just had to be shared with you. Because mint (and green food) isn’t just for March 17th. I think this would be a great treat for any time of year. I hope you agree.

Print Recipe

Mint Chocolate Chip Brownie Cupcakes (gluten-free, dairy-free options)

For the cupcakes:

1/2 c unsalted butter (can use vegan buttery sticks for dairy-free)

1 c granulated sugar

2 eggs, beaten

2 t vanilla extract

1/4 t peppermint extract

2/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder

2 T sweet white rice flour

3 T tapioca starch

3 T superfine brown rice flour

1/2 t unflavored gelatin

1/4 t kosher salt

 

For the frosting:

1/2 c butter, softened (can substitute vegan buttery sticks for dairy-free)

About 4 c powdered sugar

2-4 T milk (use almond or coconut milk for dairy-free)

1 t vanilla extract

1/4 t peppermint extract

5-8 drops each yellow and blue natural food coloring (or until desired color is reached)

1 c mini chocolate chips (Enjoy Life is gluten and dairy-free)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with 9 cupcake liners.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and sugar together over medium heat, stirring until completely melted. Remove from heat and whisk in the eggs, vanilla and peppermint extracts, and cocoa powder. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, gelatin and salt, and whisk those into the butter mixture until completely blended.

Portion out the batter equally into the lined muffin tin (about 1/4 cup of batter each). Bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center still brings out some chocolate, but the centers are set and no longer jiggly. (You don’t want to wait until the toothpick comes out clean or the cupcakes will be dry.) Allow to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the frosting. Beat the butter until smooth and start adding in the powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time. Add the milk and beat until the texture is stiff enough to hold but still creamy, adding more powdered sugar or more milk until desired texture is reached. Add the extracts and food coloring and beat well. Stir in half of the chocolate chips.

Frost the cupcakes with the frosting once they have cooled. With the remaining chocolate chips, microwave in a small bowl 30 seconds at a time, and stir until melted. Drizzle the chocolate over the frosted cupcakes.

Store in the refrigerator, and serve at room temperature. Makes 9 cupcakes.

 

 

 

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Clementine Mascarpone Frosting

carrot cake cupcakes

Sometimes, you just need a treat.

Or at least, that’s what I decided this weekend. So I made carrot cake cupcakes. (And subsequently forced them upon my co-ed soccer team. They didn’t seem to mind.)

Besides, springtime is coming soon, and what’s more springlike than carrot cake? It’s perfect for Easter, of course, but who wants to wait that long? Especially when clementines can still be found in the store right now? Let’s fake spring until it’s time, and make some cupcakes today.

Now, yes, the frosting is not dairy-free. I will share with you links to make an alternative “cream cheese” style base for your frosting. (I promise; it’s delicious. I made it multiple times when I was dairy-free and shared with family and friends, who were none the wiser.) But if you can eat dairy, the mascarpone makes this frosting creamy and decadent. It’s the perfect compliment to carrot cake, and more especially so with the addition of clementine.

These cupcakes are easy to make and remain moist and tender. I opted to add raisins, pecans, and clementine zest to my cake – you can leave any of these out if you wish, but I find the combination of these make the cake memorable and special. After all, if you’re going to go through the trouble of making a treat, what you want is special, right?

Print Recipe

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Clementine Mascarpone Frosting (gluten-free)

For the cupcakes:

1/3 c sweet white rice flour

1/3 c superfine brown rice flour (I like this brand)

1/3 c tapioca flour

1 t gelatin (I like this brand)

1/2 t baking soda

3/4 t baking powder

1/4 t kosher salt

1 t cinnamon

1/4 t ground nutmeg

1 t freshly grated zest from clementine (or orange)

1/2 c granulated sugar

3 T brown sugar

1 1/2 c grated carrot

1/2 c finely chopped pecans

1/4 c raisins

1/4 c coconut oil, melted

2 eggs at room temperature

1/2 t apple cider vinegar

1/4 c almond milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with 12 liners. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, add the flours, gelatin, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange zest, sugar, and brown sugar. Mix on low speed until all is combined and the brown sugar no longer has lumps.

In a separate medium bowl, combine the carrots, pecans, and raisins. Add about a tablespoon of the flour mixture to this bowl and toss to coat. Set aside.

In a third small bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, eggs, apple cider vinegar, and almond milk until frothy. Add this to the flour mixture and mix on low until combined. Add the carrot mixture and mix until everything is evenly combined.

Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin tin. Bake at 350 for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with few crumbs. Remove and allow to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:

6 oz mascarpone cheese (Make your own here. Can substitute cream cheese or a vegan cashew cream cheese – I love this recipe.)

1 T butter or vegan buttery sticks

A pinch of salt

1 1/2 T clementine juice

1/2 t fresh zest from a clementine

2 c powdered sugar

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the mascarpone cheese, butter and salt until creamy. Add the clementine juice, zest and a cup of the powdered sugar and beat again until smooth. Add the rest of the powdered sugar and mix on low until combined. Turn to medium speed and beat for another minute or until creamy, adding additional powdered sugar as needed to achieve desired thickness. Chill in refrigerator until ready to use. Pipe or spread onto cupcakes.

Serve cupcakes as is or garnished with clementine slices.

Makes one dozen.

Gluten-Free Desserts of Christmas Past

chocolate-dates1

Chocolate Dipped Dates with Spiced Nuts

Typically each year I have more than one holiday recipe shared with you. This year, not so much. I feel terrifically behind this year, and haven’t even planned out my menu. All my presents haven’t even arrived yet (I ordered a lot online), and nothing is wrapped. I’ve purchased nothing for Christmas dinner. I suppose I should get on it before this weekend, when I’ll need to do my shopping along with the masses.

But if you’re ahead of me, as I’m sure many of you are, you’re finalizing your menu. Maybe you’re making Christmas cookies and treats with family this weekend. If so, here is a little round-up of past holiday favorites for your baking pleasure. As for me, I need to get back to my planning!

Spicy Gingerbread Cake

Chocolate Gingerbread Cake Balls

Chocolate Almond Fig Biscotti

Chewy Apple Cider Blondies

Candy Cane Marshmallows

Cranberry Multi-Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Coconut Candies and Peanut Butter Fudge

Nanaimo Bars

Chocolate-Dipped Dates with Spiced Nuts

Dairy-Free Fudge

Maple Pecan Freezer Fudge

Mexican Chocolate Pecan Pralines

Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Skillet Cornbread

That first cool breeze. That first day where the temps don’t reach 70 degrees. When we can open the windows and breathe a sigh of relief. The heat is finally over. That’s when my husband and I give each other knowing looks: it’s CHILI time!

I love to make a big pot of Texas Red chili. It’s spicy, hearty, and so satisfying. It takes the better part of a day to make, but what better way to pass Sunday afternoon then to have a pot simmering on the stove, with football on TV, while the cool autumn breeze blows in? I have one idea:

Make cornbread to go with the chili.

I am a huge fan of cornbread, but I’m kind of picky about it. It needs to be slightly sweet, and it must not be dry. This skillet cornbread fits those requirements perfectly. It’s moist, subtly sweetened with honey, and has these lovely crispy edges from the skillet that are delightful. Sure, you can stir in some whole corn kernels, jalapenos, cheese, or whatever you fancy, but it’s wonderful just as is.

Especially when sitting alongside that bowl of Texas Red.

Skillet Cornbread (gluten-free, dairy-free)

1 c gluten-free cornmeal

2/3 c tapioca flour

1 t kosher salt

1 T baking powder

Juice of 1 lemon

About 7/8 c coconut milk

½ c water

1 egg

2 T honey

½ t baking soda

6 T vegan butter (Earth Balance buttery sticks)

 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Combine cornmeal, tapioca flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl and whisk together.

Add the lemon juice to a measuring cup and pour enough coconut milk to measure 1 full cup. Add ½ cup of water, the egg, and the honey. Whisk together. Add the baking soda and whisk again.

Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Whisk together until combined.

Heat a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add vegan butter and swirl until melted. Brush butter along sides of skillet. Carefully pour the butter into the bowl with the cornbread batter and whisk to combine. Pour the batter into the skillet and spread out evenly on the surface.

Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Serve in wedges, warm from the skillet.

Serves about 8.

Review and Giveaway: Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free


Update: This giveaway has ended. The winner is Susan McGarry! Congrats, Susan!

I first met Ricki Heller a number of years ago, when I was first getting to know other gluten-free bloggers. While we’ve never officially “met” her, we have become good friends. She’s a genuine, down-to-earth person, and we share a love of sweets, baking, and our four-legged family members. I already own her ebooks and she was a life-saver back when I was learning how to navigate a dairy-free diet. So I was super-excited when I first heard that Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free was due to arrive!

This book is gorgeous – filled with amazing photos of every kind of sweet treat, including breakfast items such as scones and pancakes, cookies, cookies, and more cookies, blondies, cakes, frostings, “cheesecakes” and so much more. Ricki prefaces her recipes with a little explanation of ingredients that she uses (and why), as some of the items aren’t mainstream. But for those looking to lower their sugar intake, these recipes are a great way to still enjoy sweet treats!

I opted to make her Coconut Macaroons. It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of coconut in all forms, and these are no exception. They’re naturally sweetened with coconut nectar and agave nectar, so they have a subtle caramel note to them. My favorite part is that they emerge from the oven chewy and sweet – the way a macaroon should be.

Coconut Macaroons, reprinted with permission from Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free (page 144)

3/4 cup (135 g) natural raw skin-on almonds, preferably organic

2 Tbsp (15 g) finely ground flax seeds (from about 1 Tbsp or 15 ml whole seeds)

1/8 tsp (.5 ml) fine sea salt

2 cups (135 g ) unsweetened shredded coconut, medium shred

1/4 cup (60 ml) coconut nectar

1/4 cup (60 ml) light agave nectar

20 to 25 drops pure plain or vanilla stevia liquid, or to taste

1/4 cup (60 ml) tahini (sesame seed paste)

1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) pure coconut extract (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper, or spray with nonstick spray.

In the bowl of a food processor, whir the almonds, flax, and salt together until they resemble a coarse meal, about the texture of cornmeal, without any identifiable pieces of almond visible. Add the coconut and pulse once or twice to combine.

Next pour the coconut nectar, agave nectar, stevia, tahini, vanilla, and coconut extract, if using, over the dry ingredients. Process again until everything is incorporated and the mixture forms a sticky ball (you may need to stop and scrape down the sides of the processor bowl once or twice). Stop as soon as the mixture holds together, to avoid grinding the coconut too fine.

Using a small ice-cream scoop or tablespoon (15 ml), drop small mounds of the mixture onto the cookie sheets about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Wet your palms (or use a silicone spatula) and flatten the cookies slightly.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the cookie sheets about halfway through baking, until the cookies are deep golden brown on top. Cool completely before removing to a rack (the cookies will firm up as they cool). May be frozen.

Yum, right?

Now, would you like to win a copy of this book?

To enter into your chance to win, please leave me a comment telling me what your favorite sweet treat is!

Want MORE chances to win?

Then do the following:

- Share this giveaway on Facebook, tagging Ricki Heller and Tasty Eats At Home and leave me a comment HERE telling me you did so.

- Tweet this giveaway, tagging Ricki Heller and Tasty Eats At Home and leave me a comment HERE telling me you did so.

That’s it!! This giveaway will end Friday, October 25, 2013, at 11:59PM CT. The giveaway is only open to U.S. and Canadian residents ages 18 years and up. Best of luck to you!

 

Pumpkin Hemp Oatmeal Cookies

Thanks to all of you for your support on my most recent post. While I always want to be transparent no matter what, it’s inspiring to hear your words of encouragement. It means a lot to me. You all rock!

Now, I mentioned cookies in that post. I figured I ought to make good on that promise.

I waited until October to post something pumpkin; are you proud of me? But from now until say, February, all bets are off. I’m an intense fan of all things winter squash and pumpkin. Butternut, acorn squash, banana squash, spaghetti squash, delicate, cushaw, and so many more – I love them all. I’ll try to moderate my squash recipes around here, but don’t worry. You’ll still get the good ones.

With that, let the pumpkin fiesta begin!

The first great pumpkin treat to come out of my kitchen this fall are these cookies. They’re kinda hippie (in my mind, hemp seeds = hippie) healthy. Not overly so, (they’re still classified as cookies and all) but in my mind, they feel that way because they’re full of good stuff like pumpkin (beta-carotene and fiber), hemp seeds (fiber, protein, ALA), and oats (fiber, magnesium, zinc). They aren’t overly sweet, but instead are more of a homestyle, hearty little autumn treat. Moderate sweetness is something I actually prefer when making oatmeal cookies, and besides, my hubby prefers my less-sweet treats. He approves of these.

You can use canned pumpkin or fresh pumpkin puree, or even other winter squash purees (I often love to use butternut instead of pumpkin). I opted to use a commercial gluten-free flour blend here (something I don’t use often in my recipes) – one that’s probably my favorite quick-and-easy blend. You can certainly use another brand if you wish, or even substitute a combination of gluten-free flours. Just be sure you add about a quarter teaspoon of xanthan gum if you do so (or if your blend doesn’t have it already). For a sweeter touch, chocolate chips would also be welcome here. Truth is, these cookies are endlessly versatile.

Won’t you join me in my all-things-pumpkin-a-thon?

Print Recipe

Pumpkin Hemp Oatmeal Cookies (gluten-free, dairy-free)

3 T coconut oil, liquefied

1 c + 2 T granulated sugar

1/3 c pumpkin puree (you can substitute butternut puree or another winter squash)

1 egg

1 t vanilla extract

1 c + 2 T gluten-free flour blend (I used Better Batter)

1/4 t xanthan gum (ONLY if your blend doesn’t have it included)

1/4 t salt

1 t cinnamon

1/4 t ground ginger

1/4 t allspice

pinch of nutmeg

1/2 c hemp seeds

1 c gluten-free oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the coconut oil and sugar until well-blended. Add the pumpkin puree, egg, and vanilla and beat again until creamy and uniform.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour blend, salt, and spices. Add the flour mix to the liquid mixture and beat, stopping to scrape down sides, until well-mixed. Add the hemp seeds and oats and mix in until even.

Scoop dough into balls (about 1 1/2 tablespoon in size) and place on baking sheet about 2-3 inches apart. Flatten cookies down with the back of a spoon or your hand until cookies are about 1/2 inch thick. (It helps to lightly oil the spoon or your hand so the dough doesn’t stick.) Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden on the bottom and edges.

Allow to cool on a rack.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Blueberry Crumble Pie

Those of you that are avid gluten-free bakers: have you ever noticed how much a brand change in a gluten-free flour affects your end result? I’ve heard this, but didn’t really experience it to a point where I thought “ugh, I really need to stick with this other brand” until I was making pie crust. You see, I’ve had this amazing pie crust under wraps for a while. I love it. It’s reasonably easy to roll out, and it’s light and crisp once baked. And until I switched flour brands, it wasn’t gritty or grainy in the least.

But the last time I was out of my Authentic Foods superfine brown rice flour and Mochiko sweet white rice flour, I opted instead to buy a different brand, just because it was more convenient. Big mistake on my part – at least for this recipe. This time around, I purchased Bob’s Red Mill flours. They’re fine in most baked goods – especially the ones with plenty of moisture to “soften” the coarser grind of the flour. Pie crust is not one of those things. The crust with my usual flours is really great. It works with the Bob’s Red Mill flours as well, but it’s less pliable, and after baking, the mouthfeel is a bit grittier. I definitely could notice the difference, and while I like and use Bob’s Red Mill flours for a ton of things (in fact, they are the majority brand in my pantry), for this recipe in particular, I’m sticking to more finely ground flours.

That being said, I want to share this recipe with you all. It’s quite good – the best I’ve made or eaten so far. Like I mentioned above, it’s pliable, easy to roll out (as long as you roll between sheets of parchment), it tastes delicious, and it holds up to fruit fillings quite well. I won’t say that it behaves just like a gluten dough – I have yet to experience that in any gluten-free baking, really – but it’s easier to handle than most. It was excellent with this blueberry pie.

Blueberry season is coming to a close around here. I’m kind of mourning that fact. I love blueberries, and the local ones have so much more flavor than any I’ve found at the grocery. It’s a complex flavor, more than just sweet or tart. Almost perfumed, floral…it’s hard to describe, but I adore them. I’ve purchased a dozen pints from a nearby farm and have frozen them for yearlong use (which sadly, will in reality only last me until December or January). But I did have to sacrifice a good amount of the fresh berries for this pie. Although I wouldn’t really call it a sacrifice – because after all, who doesn’t like pie?

This pie isn’t overly sweet, but I found it the perfect way to end the day. A happy helping of this, and a scoop of vanilla (dairy-free) ice cream, and I’m definitely in heaven. But I won’t judge if you decide that you need a slice for breakfast too – it would be a perfect compliment to a cup of coffee.

Print Recipe

Blueberry Pie (gluten-free, dairy-free)

Pie Crust – this recipe makes enough for a double crust. Halve the recipe to make this blueberry pie, or save the remainder of the crust for another purpose:

1 ½ c sweet white rice flour (I prefer Mochiko)

¾ c superfine brown rice flour (I prefer Authentic Foods)

1/3 c tapioca starch

1 t kosher salt

¼ t guar gum 

12 T (1 1/2 stick) vegan buttery sticks (I like Earth Balance) or butter, if you can handle dairy

2 eggs, cold

1/4 c cold water 

Combine all the dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. Cut the vegan butter into smaller pieces and add to the dry ingredients. Pulse until everything looks like a somewhat fine meal. Add the eggs and water. Process until it becomes thick dough. It should be pliable and hold together, but not overly sticky. If it’s too sticky, add a tablespoon of starch. Too dry and crumbly, add a tablespoon of water.

Place half of the dough (unless you’ve halved the recipe; in that case, use the entire amount) onto a large sheet of parchment paper and pat together into a circle. Place another sheet of parchment paper on top, and roll out dough using a rolling pin with the dough in between the two sheets. You can stop and pull up the top sheet and lay back down to reposition if you get wrinkles in the sheet. Roll out to about 1/8 inch thickness.

Remove the top sheet of parchment paper. Place a pie pan upside-down over the dough, and slide your hand underneath the dough and bottom sheet of parchment paper. With one hand on the bottom of the pie pan, and the other on the dough, flip everything at once, so that the pie pan is right-side-up with the dough laying over the top. Peel back the parchment and press the dough in. If it cracks, simply press back together.

Bake crust according to your pie recipe (or as I am doing below).

For the blueberry pie filling:

7 c blueberries

1/2 c maple sugar (can also use regular white sugar or coconut palm sugar)

1/4 c tapioca starch

1 T lemon juice

1 T vegan butter, cut into small pieces

In a large bowl, place the blueberries, sugar, starch, and lemon juice. Toss to combine. Using a potato masher, mash some of the berries. You don’t want them to look totally mashed – you just want to release some of the juices.

Transfer the blueberries to your pie pan with the crust, mounding towards the middle. Scatter the butter on top of the berries.

For the Crumble Topping:

1/4 c sweet white rice flour

1/4 c superfine brown rice flour

1/4 c tapioca starch

1/4 t guar gum

3 T maple sugar (can also use brown sugar or coconut palm sugar)

1/2 t cinnamon

1/4 t kosher salt

1/3 c melted vegan butter, cooled slightly

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, guar gum, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pour in the melted butter and mix with fingertips to blend and crumble.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Crumble the crumble topping over the top of the blueberries. Place the pie in the oven on the center rack and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, covering with foil after 45 minutes if it starts to brown too much.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Serves 8-10.

Do you have experiences with varied results when it comes to using different brands of gluten-free flours? Share at Udi’s Gluten-Free Living Community!