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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Gluten Free Brownies

I have been playing in the kitchen for a few weeks now, in an attempt to see how many of my family's old favorites can be made gluten free without losing any of the taste or texture that made them such a hit.
I have come up with a few that we all agree need a bit more work, but this brownie recipe isn't one of them. Back in the old days, filled with gluten, these were one of the kids' favorites, and easy to make. Last night I decided to try out my newest flour blend to make them gluten free, and I have to say that I think I did it.
I used a blend of sweet rice flour, teff, sorghum, potato starch and tapioca starch. I have been having good results with this blend in several items. You can use any all purpose blend you prefer.

2 sticks (1 cup) butter, melted
2 C sugar
5 eggs, room temp
2 tsp pure vanilla
187g (1 1/3 C) all purpose gluten free flour
2 tsp guar gum
1 tsp salt
1/2 C unsweetened cocoa powder
1 C baking chips or toffee bits

Preheat your oven to 350*F

1. Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper, leaving a bit of overhang. If you cut the paper in the corners of the pan, it fits snugly and makes it easy to just lift the brownies from the pan.

2. In the bowl of your mixer, beat together your eggs and sugar 3 minutes at medium speed, or until light and fluffy. Add butter and vanilla, beat for 2 minutes.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together your flour, salt, guar gum and cocoa powder. Add slowly to wet mixture and mix on low until combined.

4. Pour batter into pan, sprinkle the top evenly with baking chips. Bake for about 30 minutes, or till a toothpick comes out clean.

Let your brownies cool before cutting, OR cut them when they're still warm and top with ice cream! 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Gluten Free Glazed Donut Muffins

If you follow me on Facebook, you know that I was experimenting with flours yesterday. I was on a mission to make a gluten free flour blend that offered a bit more protein and vitamins than my usual.
Making your own flour blend is simple if you follow the simple rule of 40% gluten free whole grain flours 60%  gluten free starches.
The blend I made yesterday contains:
200 g sweet white sorghum flour
100 g teff flour
100 g brown rice flour
300 g sweet white rice flour
300 g potato starch.
Just weigh your flours, mix them well in a container, and you have an all purpose blend that you can use just like wheat flour. Each cup is 140 g.

Oh yeah, the muffins!
I was wondering what to test my new flour blend on. I was torn between donuts and muffins, so decided to make donut muffins.
I found a recipe on Lovin From the Oven, and adapted it to make it gluten free.
The smell that filled my kitchen while these baked had us drooling, and when we finally got to bite into them, it was heavenly. These aren't as dense as my usual muffin recipes, but more light and fluffy like the inside of a raised donut, but without the chewiness.
The taste reminds me of the cinnamon donuts that I used to enjoy at the small diner in the town where I grew up.
Chance devoured 2 of them in a flash. Enough said.
I highly recommend double dipping them in the glaze if you can wait the extra 1- 2 minutes it takes ;)

5 TBL butter, softened
1/4 C olive oil
1/2 C white sugar
1/3 C brown sugar
3 eggs, room temp
1 tsp pure vanilla 
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp xanthan gum
374 g gluten free all purpose flour blend
1 C milk

For the glaze:
3 TBL melted butter
1 1/2 C powdered sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla
1-2 TBL warm water

Preheat your oven to 350*F 

1. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and spray them with non-stick spray for easy peeling, unless you have silicone muffin cups.

2. In a medium bowl, cream the butter, oil and sugars until they are smooth.
Add your eggs and vanilla, beating till they are combined.

3. In a separate bowl, combine all of your dry ingredients. Stir the flour mix into the wet mixture, alternating with the milk, until everything is combined well.

4. Using an ice cream scoop, fill your muffin cups about 3/4 full with batter.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.

5. Mix up your glaze by whisking together the melted butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and water in a small bowl.

6. Dip your muffin tops into the glaze, giving them a little twirl to cover the top, and place them on a platter to set up. I dipped them a second time, because I still had glaze left and you know how I hate to waste food.
That's my story, and I'm sticking with it.

If you make these, I would love to know how they turned out and if you enjoyed them as much as we did.
* I have recently tweaked the recipe a bit, using 3 eggs and we like them better this way. I have also replaced xanthan gum with guar gum in my baking.

Oven Fried Pork Chops

Are you going to fry those?  This is what The Teen always asks whenever he sees pork chops in the fridge. I wasn't in the mood last night to go through all the work and cleanup required to fry them up in my electric skillet, so I decided to make them in the oven, and they were delicious.
I really need to get a better picture of them the next time, because the coating was crispier than it appears here. But, the guys were starving, and if I had dilly dallied much longer with playing photographer, I would have had an uprising in the dining room.
Anyhoo, shoddy photo aside, these are a fairly quick main to have on the table on a week night, and the men in my house said they didn't really mind that I didn't fry them the way I usually do.

6 pork chops, about 1 inch thick- I used boneless
1 egg
1 C milk
1 1/2 C. crushed gluten free saltines
3 TBL all purpose gluten free flour
seasoning of choice ( I used 1 tsp. paprika, 2 tsp. of powdered Ranch dressing, and salt & pepper. I may have also tossed in 1 TBL of Weber steak and chop seasoning)

3 TBL butter
3 TBL olive oil

Preheat your oven to 400* F

1. Line a 9x13 baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup and put your oil and butter on it. Place in the oven for a few minutes to melt the butter.

2. Whisk the egg and milk together in a small dish. Combine your cracker crumbs, flour and seasonings in another dish.

3. Dip your chops in the egg/milk mixture and then put them in the crumbs, turning to coat all over. Place on your baking sheet.

4. Bake for 20 minutes, turn over and bake another 15 minutes. Pork is done when it reaches an internal temp of 160*F

See how easy that was?!?