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My 14 year old granddaughter (who is also a Celiac) and I were trying to find something new to bake this weekend. We love our Chocolate Mayonnaise Cupcakes, but we wanted something more. While looking thru the cupboards, we found the peanut butter. Oooh – chocolate and peanut butter! Who wouldn’t like that? But if we mix the peanut butter into the cake batter, the peanut flavor can get lost. How about a peanut butter filling? I used to make a peanut butter cream cheese filling, back when I could still eat dairy. Tofutti makes a dairy-free cream cheese, but of course I didn’t have any on hand. And of course I didn’t want to drive to the store just for tofu cream cheese. However, I did have Tofutti sour cream. We decided we would create a new filling recipe. The cupcake and filling recipe are below. They’re moist, not too sweet – and habit forming! (I cut one of the cupcakes in half to show you how moist they are.)

I’m also in the process of trying new types of gluten-free flours. I’ve used three types of gluten-free flours, in the past, for most of my baking. Mainly because they work. Rice flour, tapioca flour and cornstarch. All three are light flours. I would like to add a little more fiber and density to some of my baked goods. These cupcakes were my test with new flours. After a trip to my local grocery store and looking at the different types of gluten-free flours – and different prices of these flours, I decided I needed to find a less expensive way to get good gluten-free flours at a low cost. I bought myself a small food processor with a flat blade. There are many different brands out there – as long as they have the flat blade, you can grind just about any dried ingredient into a flour.

I had half a bag of lentils (left from a batch of Lentil Sausage Soup) and a bag of pinto beans that I always meant to use in a recipe, but never have. I ground the lentils into flour (this smells great and is a little bit heavier than rice flour.) Lentils are small and grind into flour fairly quickly. Then I ground the pinto beans into flour. These are larger, dried beans and take a bit to grind them into flour. It’s worth the time, tho, because they add more density to your baked goods and both add more protein to your recipes. (In my head, these cupcakes can be considered healthy because they have protein in them – :)   I hope you like them – we do. (If you don’t have lentil or pinto bean flour, substitute another gluten-free flour.)

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Sour Cream Filling

1 cup brown rice flour

1/2 cut lentil flour

1/2 cup pinto bean flour

1/2 cup cornstarch

1 tsp xanthan gum

2/3 C dark cocoa powder

1 C granulated sugar

1-1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 C mayonnaise

3/4 C water

3 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cupcake papers in cupcake pans (we used the mini-cupcake pans) or grease cupcake pans. In large bowl, combine eggs and sugar. Mix on high until light yellow. Add water and mayonnaise and mix on low until blended. Add baking soda, baking powder and dark cocoa. mix on low until blended. Add rice flour, lentil flour and pinto bean flour. Mix on low until blended, then mix on medium for 1 minutes to incorporate all flours. Add xanthan gum and mix on low 1 minute until batter thickens.

Fill cupcake papers 3/4 full and bake 10 – 12 minutes, or until top springs back when pressed lightly (or when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean). Remove cupcakes from oven and let cool 10 – 15 minutes. With small spoon or sharp knife cut out the center of each cupcake and fill with peanut butter filling. Pipe chocolate frosting around outer edge of cupcake. (We use Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Dark Chocolate)

Peanut Butter Sour Cream Filling

1/2 C Tofutti sour cream

1/2 C creamy peanut butter

1/4 C granulated sugar

1 tsp GF vanilla

Place all ingredient in medium bowl. Stir until completely blended. Refrigerate until needed, then fill cupcake centers.

Tonight, I was hungry. For chocolate. I really wanted to make my Chocolate Mayonnaise Cupcakes, but I was out of mayonnaise, so that was out. I wanted something more than “just” a chocolate cupcake. Looking through my cupboard, I found a can of black beans. Hmmmmm. Added protein, adds moisture, keeps the brownies dense. I can hide the black beans and not tell my grandkids their chocolate brownies are (sort of) good for them. Let’s give it a try.

After they came out of the oven, I told my 18 year old granddaughter I just made Brownie Bites. “Yum!” Then I told her they were really “Black Bean Brownie Bites”. . . . I got a “Yuck!!” So, no I won’t tell the younger grandkids there are black beans in their brownies!

Black Bean Brownie Bites

3 eggs

1-1/2 cup powdered sugar (I was out of granulated sugar)

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup orange juice (I tried something different for the liquid)

1/2 cup water

1 cup brown rice flour

1/2 cup cornstarch

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp xanthan gum

1 – 15 oz can drained black beans

In large mixing bowl, beat eggs until well blended. Add sugar and beat on high until light yellow, about 2 minutes. Add oil, orange juice and water. Beat on low until blended. Add brown rice flour and beat on low until blended. Add black beans and beat on high until beans are pretty much mashed (about 2 minutes). Don’t worry if the batter looks lumpy. Add cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and cocoa. Beat on low until blended, then beat on high for 1 minute. Add xanthan gum and beat on high for 1 minute, until batter thickens slightly.

Grease mini cupcake pans or line with paper liners. (You can also bake them in regular size cupcake pans.) Fill 3/4 full with batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until top springs back when pressed lightly. Remove from pan and glaze with chocolate glaze (recipe follows). They can be glazed while still hot (let brownies cool enough that you don’t burn your fingers.)

Cocolate Glaze

1 cup GF chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips)

2 Tbl margarine (or butter if you can eat dairy)

1/4 cup white corn syrup

In top of double boiler, melt chocolate chips. Add margarine and corn syrup. Stir until combined and smooth. Hold brownie bites on sides and dip tops into chocolate glaze, twirling brownie bites to reach edges. Allow glaze to set and cover to store.

 

On the Wings of Hope, LLC Announces Newest Book

 

St. Paul, MN – January 1, 2012

On the Wings of Hope, LLC is proud to announce their newest book, “A Guide to Living Gluten-free”, has been published and is available at numerous outlets including OnTheWingsOfHope.com, Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. The digital version is currently available at SmashWords.com. This book is ideal for any “newbie” to the gluten-free lifestyle, but has useful information for those who have been living gluten-free for some time.

It covers the various emotions that can be experienced when switching to a gluten-free lifestyle – relief, fear, panic, denial, self-pity, anger and acceptance, to name a few. The book discusses brain fog and bodily functions. Yes, bodily functions, which can be such a large part of the Celiac lifestyle! Also covered are the challenges faced by different age groups. Each age group experiences a unique set of challenges with a gluten-free lifestyle. The book includes a two week sample menu and gluten-free recipes to help people who are just beginning their journey on a gluten-free lifestyle.

1 in 130 people have Celiac disease, which is an autoimmune reaction to gluten, a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye, which causes damage to the small intestine. The symptoms of Celiac disease can mirror symptoms of other illnesses,  and many times is misdiagnosed. Undiagnosed Celiac disease can lead to other health conditions such as arthritis, malnutrition, migraines, internal hemorrhaging and cancer.

Previous books from On the Wings of Hope include a cookbook “Don’t Feed Me – Gluten-free, Dairy-free Cooking” and a children’s book, “I Can’t Eat Your Treats – a kid’s guide to gluten-free, casein-free eating”. On the Wings of Hope, LLC is dedicated to helping children with Celiac disease and food allergies by providing needed information at www.onthewingsofhope.com. On the Wings of Hope, LLC’s owner and president, Joyce Nielsen, has over 30 years of experience in researching and dealing with food -related health issues. She has four grandchildren with Celiac disease and Ms. Nielsen was diagnosed with Celiac disease in 2009. She believes in a holistic approach to health that deals with the whole person, rather than treating individual symptoms.

# # #

I love coconut and I love meringues! I now love my new coconut macaroons! They’re light, crispy on the outside and filled with sweet, moist coconut. It’s an easy 4-ingredient recipe that whips up in about 10 minutes. Once they’re done baking, you turn off the oven and forget about them for an hour (or overnight). Let me know if you try them and how you like them.

 

Coconut Macaroons

3 egg whites

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

2-2/3 cup sweetened coconut

 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In large bowl, whip egg whites until stiff. With beaters on high speed, add sugar a little at a time. Add cream of tartar and beat on high 3-5 minutes until mixture is smooth, thick and shiny. Remove beaters and fold in coconut.

Drop by spoonsful onto parchment paper. Bake at 300 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes, until outside is slightly brown. Turn oven off and leave cookies cool for an hour (or overnight). Eat and enjoy! Store in airtight container.

I’ve been trying a few new recipes for the Holidays. I’ve been craving pumpkin since Thanksgiving, but I didn’t want another pumpkin pie. Many of the recipes for pumpkin bars end up either dry or more like cake.  I wanted a dense, moist bar. I hope you enjoy this new recipe!

 

Moist Pumpkin Bars

3 eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

1 – 15 oz can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

1 cup brown rice flour

1/2 cup tapioca flour

1/2 cup corn starch

1 cup water

1/4 cup oil

1 tsp baking powder

1-1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp ground cloves

2 Tbl cinnamon

Preheat oven to  350 degrees. Grease 9 x 13 cake pan and set aside.

In large bowl, combine eggs and sugar. Beat on high 2 – 3 minutes until light yellow. Reduce to low speed and beat in pumpkin. Add water and oil and mix until blended. Add flours, baking soda and baking powder and mix on medium until well blended. Add cloves, cinnamon and xanthan gum and for 1 – 2 minutes until batter has thickened and is smooth.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 – 40 minutes, until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool bars in pan. Cut and dust with powdered sugar.

Hooray! Our third book made it to the publisher! This book is perfect for a “newbie” to the gluten-free lifestyle, but has useful information for those who have been living gluten-free for some time.

We cover the various emotions that can be experienced once you switch to a gluten-free lifestyle – relief, fear, panic, denial, self-pity, anger and acceptance to name a few. These emotions are normal and you may experience them more than once – I know I have during the past 2 years of gluten-free living.

We talk about brain fog and bodily functions. Yes, bodily functions. I have learned, from personal experience, if you have Celiac disease you need to be able to discuss “bodily functions” with others. It can be such a big part of the Celiac lifestyle!

We discuss the challenges faced by different age groups – infants, children, teenagers and adults. Each age level has their own unique set of challenges with the gluten-free lifestyle.

Also covered in this book is the 504 Plan for school-aged children and the steps you need to take to start a 504 Plan with your child’s school.

Our book has a retail price of $18.95, but you can order our book - at a discounted introductory price of $15.00 – at https://www.createspace.com/3700105 with delivery expected between Dec 22 and New Years (sorry, holiday shipping is slower than normal).

We are also offering a bundle package of our new book, along with our two previous books for the low price of $35.00 if ordered through our website. This is a great deal – $51.00 in books for $35.00!

“Don’t Feed Me – Gluten-free, dairy-free Cooking” (regular $16.95)

“I Can’t Eat Your Treats – a kid’s guide to gluten-free, casein-free eating” (regular $14.95)

To order the bundle package, visit our website order page at:

I wanted bread. Freshly baked, soft on the inside, crusty on the outside – bread. I always seem to want baked goods in the evenings. Late enough that I just don’t want to drive all the way to the store for ingredients. (“All the way” is about 4 blocks.) The weather is getting colder here in Minnesota and tonight I just didn’t want to have to put on a coat, warm up the car and drive to the store. So, I decided to see if I had enough ingredients to make gluten-free bread. I knew I had used the last of my rice flour earlier this week, when I made my Very Vanilla Cupcakes.

I normally use a combination of rice flour, tapioca flour and corn starch. I knew I had corn starch. The grocery store had a sale on it about a month ago and I really stocked up! I had picked up more tapioca flour when I made the cupcakes, so I knew I had enough of that. I’ve never made any baked good with just cornstarch and tapioca flour.  (I’ll have to try that sometime, just to see what happens.) Corn starch is light and tapioca flour is very fine and very light. I like to use a third flour that has a little substance to it when I bake bread. I keep all my gluten-free baking items in a separate cupboard, away from anything that could contaminate them. I live in a “mixed household” – one gluten-free eater and one who eats gluten. I also have a separate area in the refrigerator for my gluten-free foods, to avoid cross-contamination.

Back to the cupboard. I had about 3 tablespoons of soy flour left, so that wouldn’t be much help in making a loaf of bread. I’m not too fond of soy flour, anyway. Soy flour is a very heavy flour and gives baked goods a definite SOY flavor and aftertaste. If I use it in something that requires a lot of spices or a lot of chocolate, I can usually mask the soy flavor.   But bread is just . . . well, bread. Aha! In the back of the cupboard I had half a bag of buckwheat flour! The name buckWHEAT sounds like it should contain gluten, but it doesn’t. Buckwheat isn’t a cereal grain. It’s a fruit seed, related to rhubarb. It is high in manganese and magnesium and is a good source of fiber. I’ve used buckwheat in small quantities before, and was happy with the results. But my bread recipe calls for 1 cup of each – rice flour, tapioca flour and corn starch. Buckwheat flour has a distinctive flavor – would my bread have a strong flavor? Buckwheat flour is also a light brown – I knew I wouldn’t end up with white bread. I’m always ready to try something new, so I decided to use it and see what happened.

What happened is a perfect loaf of bread – soft and springy on the inside and and nice crunchy crust! The color is like a light rye bread, without the strong rye flavor. The taste is similar to a very light whole wheat bread. I like it! If you try this recipe, let me know how yours turns out and if you like it.

Light Buckwheat Bread (GF)

1 cup buckwheat flour

1 cup tapioca floour

1 cup corn starch

1 pkg dry yeast (not rapid rise)

1/4 finely ground golden flax seed

1 cup warm water

1 tsp granulated sugar

3 eggs

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 tsp xanthan gum

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil non-stick loaf pan.

In large bowl combine warm water, yeast and sugar. Stir to mix and let sit until top of water is covered with foamy bubbles. Add eggs and oil and beat with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add buckwheat flour and mix on low for 1 minutes. Scrape sides of bowl, add tapioca flour and mix on low for 1 minute. Add cornstarch and flax seed and mix on low until blended. Scrape sides of bowl and mix on medium for 2 minutes. Add xanthan gum and mix on medium speed for 2-3 minutes to be sure xanthan gum is well distributed.

Scrape bread batter into loaf pan, smoothing top with rubber spatula. (The batter will not smooth out when it rises. If you have spikes in your batter, you bread will bake with the same spikes. Not a bad thing, just different.) Place in warm, draft-free area and let rise for 1/2 hour. Bread should be about 1″ above top of pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 – 40 minutes, until crust is browned and hard and crunchy. Turn oven off, leaving loaf in oven. Let bread cool in oven for 1/2 hour. Remove bread from oven and remove from loaf pan. Cool and wrap in plastic wrap or large zip top bag. (Or cut into it as soon as it comes out of the oven like I did and enjoy!)

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