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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.

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.

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:

Vanilla Cupcakes (with VERY Chocolate Frosting, of course) Gluten-free

I’ve been craving cupcakes, again. Soft, moist, flavorful, springy cupcakes. With a frosting that’s smooth, not too thick and not too sweet. I’m not a fan of thick, overly sweet frosting. I want to taste something besides SUGAR when I eat a cupcake.

My favorite cupcake is my Chocolate Mayonnaise Cupcake. It’s spring, moist and full of chocolate flavor. Don’t be alarmed by the “mayonnaise” in the cupcake! Mayonnaise is basically eggs and oil. What do you put in cupcake batter? Eggs and oil. The mayonnaise helps to keep it moist and not dry and crumbly like so many glutenf-free cupcakes. But, I make those all the time and I wanted something different! Something new!

I decided to make my Chocolate Mayonnaise Cupcake into a Vanilla Mayonnaise Cupcake. I bought vanilla powder and was anxious to try it to see how it compared to liquid vanilla. However, my chocolate cupcake calls for 2/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder. If I eliminate the cocoa, I’ll have to adjust the liquids and perhaps adjust the amount of gluten-free flours I use. Well, it was worth a try.

The Vanilla Mayonnaise Cupcake is moist and springy. I’m not real excited about the vanilla powder, though. I think next time I’ll go back to using liquid vanilla. I would love to use real vanilla bean, but haven’t found the courage to try it. If anyone has suggestions on the best way to use vanilla beans in baking, I would appreciate any suggestions.

Once the cupcakes were out of the oven and I had taste tested one (or two) I decided vanilla goes best with chocolate. (I think almost EVERYTHING goes best with chocolate – except maybe dill pickles.) I wanted a very smooth, very soft, VERY chocolate frosting. I’m happy to report I was able to come up with a wonderful frosting! This one is the best chocolate frosting recipe I’ve created, yet. It is now the day after, and the frosting is still soft and smooth and silky and not dried out crunchy!

I hope you enjoy the recipes!

Vanilla Mayonnaise Cupcakes   (makes 18 cupcakes)

3 eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup water

1/4 cup vegetable oil

3/4 rice flour

1 – 1/2 cup tapioca flour

3/4 cup corn starch

1-1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

2 tsp xanthan gum

2-1/2 tsp vanilla powder (if you choose to use liquid vanilla I would suggest 1-1/2 tsp liquid vanilla)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with cupcake papers. (or oil individual cupcake pans and coat with granulated sugar to keep cupcakes from sticking)

In large bowl mix eggs on high speed until light and pale yellow. With mixer running, slowly add sugar and mix for 2-3 minutes. Turn mixer off and add water and oil. Mix on low speed until blended. Add rice flour and tapioca flour. Mix on low until blended, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Add cornstarch, vanilla (powder or liquid), baking powder and baking soda. Mix on low until blended. Add xanthan gum and mix on medium speed until batter thickens – 2-3 minutes.

Fill cupcake papers 3/4 full with batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 – 15 minutes until slightly brown on top and top springs back when lightly pressed. (If you bake them until they are brown on top, they will dry out quickly – I speak from experience, here.) Allow to cool completely.

Best Chocolate Frosting

1/2 cup chocolate chips

2/3 cup margarine (or butter)

1/3 cup Hershey’s Dark cocoa

4 tbl hot water

1  cup powdered sugar

In small saucepan melt margarine and chocolate chips over low heat, stirring constantly. When the chocolate chips are all ALMOST melted, turn of heat. The heat from the liquid will melt the remaining chocolate chips. (You can heat this in a double boiler to avoid burning the chocolate.) Whisk mixture until smooth and shiny.

In small bowl, combine cocoa and water. Stir, or whisk, until you have a smooth mixture. Add cocoa mixture to melted chocolate mixture and whisk to combine. Add powdered sugar and whisk vigorously until mixture thickens. This will NOT be as thick as “regular” frosting because it’s still warm from the melted chocolate chips.

At this point, if you want a thin layer of chocolate frosting on your cupcakes, dip the tops of the cupcakes in the frosting and twirl to cover.

If you prefer thicker frosting, put frosting in refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to cool. Stir again when you removed it from the refrigerator. Spread to desired thickness on cupcakes.

(Leftover frosting – if you have any – is great between gluten-free graham crackers. Or warm up and drizzle over ice cream, or strawberries, or cookie pieces, or peanut butter bread, or . . . . . um, dill pickles???

My oldest daughter called from California a few weeks ago and told me, “Mom, I just made the BEST coconut cupcakes! You have to try them. I’m sure you can figure out how to convert them to gluten-free.” She emailed the recipe to me and of course, Queen of procrastination that I am, I put off printing it out. I read the recipe and told myself as soon as I have a minute, I’ll print it out. Over the past two weeks, I’ve read the recipe five or six times but, of course, just couldn’t find the time to print it out.

The recipe calls for two 13-oz cans of coconut milk.. I didn’t have any coconut milk on hand, so of course I couldn’t make the cupcakes. There was no point in printing out the recipe if I didn’t have all the ingredients. I’d print it as soon as I bought coconut milk.  This past week I decided that I really needed to make these cupcakes, so I picked the coconut milk up at the local grocery store These cupcakes had been in the back of my mind for over two weeks. My daughter had called twice to ask me how they were and I had to tell her I was still procrastinating. I had the coconut milk, but realized I didn’t have any GF vanilla. I would need to go to the store to buy vanilla – as soon as I had time. Two days ago, I stopped to buy vanilla on my way home from work. Ok, now I had the coconut milk and the vanilla. I needed to bake the cupcakes!

I decided, last night, I had procrastinated long enough. I needed to bake these cupcakes. I printed out the recipe and read the ingredients to determine what I needed to do to convert them to gluten-free. The recipe called for 2 cups all purpose flour. I’ve discovered, through much trial and error, that I can replace 1 cup of all purpose (wheat) flour with 1/2 cup rice flour (white or brown), 1/4 cup tapioca flour and 1/4 cup corn starch. That replaces the flour, but does not replace the gluten that holds it all together. What I’m baking determines the amount of xanthan gum I need to use. If I’m baking cookies, I generally use 1/2 tsp per cup of “flour”. Cakes and cupcakes use a little more and bread uses the most. I generally start with 1/2 tsp and add 1/2 tsp at a time until it just looks like the right consistency. If I measure 1/2 tsp at a time, I know exactly how much to write down on my recipe for the next time.

I was finally at the point where I could mix up the cupcake batter! By the time I had takent them out of the oven and cooled one just long enough to try one . . . . . . .  I was sorry I had procrastinated so long! They were wonderful! Soft, moist, springy – with just a slight coconut flavor. The recipe calls for 2 cans of coconut milk – this is added to the cupcake batter and the frosting, and then they’re topped with shredded coconut. I was sure the coconut would be overpowering! Surprisingly, it’s not. I’m not a huge coconut fan, but these cupcakes are great! You really need to try them!

Divine GF Coconut Cupcakes (makes 18 cupcakes)

Cupcakes:

2  13 – 14 oz cans unsweetened coconut milk

1 cup rice flour

1/2 cup tapioca flour

1/2 cup corn starch

2-1/2  tsp baking powder

3/4 cup margarine (or butter)

1-1/3 cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs

1 tsp GF vanilla

1-1/2 tsp xanthan gum

1 cup reduced coconut milk (see below)

Reduced coconut milk:

Pour both cans of coconut milk into deep saucepan. Coconut milk should only fill the pan half way. Heat coconut milk on medium high heat until it boils. (Coconut milk will boil up high in pan, which is why you need a deep saucepan.) Reduce heat to low and gently boil until it is reduced to 1 – 1/2 cups – about 25 – 35 minutes. Stir occassionaly so it doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan. Once reduced, the coconut milk with be thick and creamy. Place in refrigerator and cool completely. (You can reduce the coconut milk days ahead and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake.)

Cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large mixing bowl, combine margarine (or butter) and granulated sugar. Beat on high until smooth and light yellow. Add eggs and beat on high until well blended, about 2 minutes. Turn off mixer, scrape down sides and add rice flour and tapioca flour. Mix on low until well blended. Add 1 cup reduced coconut milk (reserve remaining 1/2 cup for frosting) and vanilla and mix on low until blended. Add cornstarch, baking poweder and baking soda and mix until blended.

Line muffin cups with paper cupcake liners. Fill each until 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 – 30 minutes until slightly brown. Top should spring back when pressed lightly. Remove from pans and cool completely before frosting. (Warm cupcakes will melt your frosting.)

Frosting:

1 cup margarine (or butter)

2-1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/3 cup reduced coconut milk

1/2 tsp GF vanilla

In large mixing bowl, beat margarine until soft and smooth. Add 1 cup of powdered sugar and mix on low until combined. Scrape sides of bowl and add 1 additional cup of powdered sugar. Mix until blended. Add reduced coconut milk and vanilla and mix until well blended. Scrape sides of bowl and add remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Mix until blended. Frost cupcakes with 2 tsp frosting for each cupcake. Sprinkle top of cupcake with sweetened flaked coconut. (If frosting is too thin add a little more powdered sugar or refrigerate before using. Frosting will become firmer if cold. If your kitchen is too hot, the frosting won’t set up well.)

Enjoy!

APPLE GRAPEFRUIT MUFFINS – GLUTEN-FREE

I have to admit, summer is finally gone. The air is cool and there’s a crispness in the air. I put away the shorts and sandles, today and started thinking about winter coats and boots. Brrrrr! I’m not ready for the cold and snow, just yet. I’m going to enjoy the beautiful fall days as long as I can. And enjoy not having the air conditioning OR the heat on. The colder weather always puts me in the mood to bake . . . something. I made a nice big pot of homemade chicken vegetable soup last night. It warmed the insides and tasted great!

However, today I wanted something sweet. I need to keep that sweet tooth satisfied, while still trying to eat healthy. I took stock of the ingredients I had on hand – which wasn’t much in the way of variety. I always have my gluten-free flours and xanthan gum on hand, but I needed something new, something different – something I could make with the limited ingredients I had on hand. The refrigerator held a few carrots – nope, I  made carrot muffins last week. In the drawer were a few green apples and 3 grapefruit. There had to be something I could make with those. The cool, fall days remind me of apple picking. Moist, spicey apple muffins sounded good. But what about the grapefruit? A muffin recipe requires some type of liquid, right? Why not substitute grapefruit juice? Well, if I didn’t try I would never know.

I cut the two of the grapefruit in half, put a fork in the center and squeezed the juice out. I move the fork back and forth when I’m squeezing the juice out so I can get the pulp, too. Truthfully, this was kind of a “by the seat of the pants” type of recipe. Trial and error. Since grapefruits are sour, I knew I needed to add a little more sugar to the recipe. Apples go with cinnamon; oil and eggs are a must. Well . . . the recipe was a success!

If you don’t care for grapefruit, you could substitute orange juice – or cranberry juice – or lemonade (ooh, that sounds different!) – or milk, etc. etc. Let your imagination run!. I hope you enjoy your muffins.

Apple Grapefruit Muffins – Gluten-free

1 cup rice flour

1/2 cup tapioca flour

1/2 cup cornstarch

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

2 tsp xanthan gum

3 eggs

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup grapefruit juice

2 cup peeled, diced apples (I like mine diced large so I get an actual bite of apple)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan, or place muffin liners in pan.

Beat eggs on medium speed until creamy. Add sugar and beat until light yellow, about 2 minutes. Add oil and grapefruit juice. Mix on low until blended. Add dry ingredients and mix on low, scraping sides of bowl, until well blended. Add xanthan gum and mix on medium until batter thickens, about 2 minutes. Stir in chopped apples. Spoon batter into muffin cups. Muffin cups should be 3/4 full.

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, or until top springs back when pressed lightly. Enjoy!

!! Back to School Special !!     ~~ $22.50 ~~

 Our “Back to School Special” includes:

 1 -“I Can’t Eat Your Treats” children’s book (regularly $14.95)

 1 – Insulated Food Carrier (regularly $10.95)

 2 – Celiac Awareness Wristbands (regularly $4.00)

                   (A $29.90 Value)

Help your child explain Celiac disease to their classmates and friends. Our children’s book, “I Can’t Eat Your Treats” is the story of 4-year old Aivah, who has Celiac disease and a casein allergy.

The bright, colorful photos are combined with a story that is easy for children to understand. This book also includes 10 kid-friendly gluten-free, casein-free recipes and a “Notes for Parents” section that discusses Celiac disease, gluten, casein and possible symptoms. This is a must-have book for classrooms and daycares.

13-year old author, Morgan Paulsen, wrote this book to help her sister, and other children with Celiac disease, explain to others why she needs to eat “special” food to stay healthy. Since this book was published, Morgan and 2 more of her siblings have been diagnosed with Celiac disease. There are now 4 Celiacs in the same family.

Our “Back to School Special” includes our reusable, fully-insulated, durable  food carrier. The bright color stands out and lets others know there is something special inside. The carrier clearly states “Allergy Free” to warn others about the dangers of cross-contamination. These bags are great for children’s school lunches, traveling, sleepovers – anywhere you need
to provide safe, allergy-free food.

 

 

Our colorful silicone wristbands are fun to wear and help to raise awareness of Celiac disease.

 

Visit our webpage at  http://www.onthewingsofhope.com/BackToSchoolSpecial.htm to learn more and to place your order, today.

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