Friday, August 23, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookies/Cookie Sandwiches done the Babycakes way!

I know I've been on kind of a Babycakes kick, but what can I say?  Her recipes are delicious!  I have never been to the actual bakery in NYC, but I plan on it the next time I'm in the city.  Now, I know I've done a recipe before on chocolate chip cookies from the same author, but this is a different recipe from that one.  This is from her first Babycakes book.  It makes a crispier, larger cookie, which you can use as a cookie sandwich with your leftover frosting, like I did.  They were incredible, and a hazard to have in my apartment.  That being said, I am now back on my strict diet.  I have been so bad this summer with my diet, but for me summer is the most difficult time to pass up desserts.  There's desserts at barbeques, there's ice cream everywhere, especially at the shore.  It's difficult to pass up ice cream.  Anyway back to the recipe.

Here's what you'll need:
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups evaporated cane juice a.k.a. vegan sugar
  • 2 cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Flour
  • 1/4 cup flax meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, mix together the oil, applesauce, salt, vanilla, and evaporated cane juice.
In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, flax meal, baking soda, and xanthan gum.  Using a rubber spatula, carefully add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir until a grainy dough is formed.
Gently fold in the chocolate chips just until they are evenly distributed throughout the dough.  Using a melon baller, scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the portions 1 inch apart.
Gently press each with the heel of your hand to help them spread.  Bake the cookies on the center rack for 15 minutes, rotating the sheets 180 degrees after 9 minutes.  The finished cookies will be crisp on the edges and soft in the center.
Let the cookies stand on the sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack and cool completely before storing or frosting them.  Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Makes 36 cookies.  Enjoy! 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Red Velvet Cupcakes done the Babycakes way

Okay, now who doesn't love red velvet cupcakes?  Who can pass one up?  They are probably my favorite kind of cupcake vegan or not, gluten free or not, I cannot pass one up.  There's just something about the richness of how they taste.  The frosting always pops out more on red velvet cupcakes, in my opinion.  That being said, I used the Babycakes vanilla frosting recipe for these, and you can find that link here.

For these cupcakes you will need to use spelt flour, now spelt is wheat's cousin, so I don't think these are gluten free.  I have heard that people with Celiac's can digest spelt though, depending on how sensitive they are to gluten.  That being said, let's get to the recipe.

Here's what you'll need:
  • 1/2 cup rice milk
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 1/4 cups whole spelt flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/4 cups agave nectar
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons natural red food coloring, or as needed to achieve your preferred color
  • vanilla frosting (see above link)
First, preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Line 2 standard 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners.  Pour the rice milk and apple cider into a small bowl, but do not stir, set aside to develop into "buttermilk."

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Add the oil, agave nectar, and vanilla to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.  The batter will be thick.  Using a plastic spatula, add the "buttermilk" and mix just until combined.
Slowly add red food coloring by the tablespoon until the batter is the desired color.  Do not exceed 6 tablespoons.
Pour the batter into the prepared tins.  Bake the cupcakes on the center rack for 24 minutes, rotating the tins 180 degrees after 14 minutes.  The finished cupcakes will bounce back slightly when pressed, and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean.
I frosted the cupcakes at my bff's home.
Let the cupcakes stand in the tins for 20 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack and cool completely.  Using a frosting knife, gently spread desired amount of frosting to each cupcake.

You can store these cupcakes in the fridge in an airtight  container for up to 3 days.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Paleo Bagels

Today recipe comes from Paleo Cooking from Elana's Pantry.  Since I am trying to go gluten free for a month and just eat healthier in general, these are my substitute for New York bagels.  Now, they are no where near as good as the bagels near me, but they are filling and still good.  You can top them with any type of nut butter to keep it paleo or cheat and put butter (like I did...not very healthy) or peanut butter on them. Elana also suggests smoked salmon or scrambled eggs would work well with these too.  I'll have to try that next time.

Here's what you'll need:
  • 1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/4 cup flax meal
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds (optional)
First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a donut pan with coconut oil and dust with coconut flour.  In a food processor (or mixer, like I used) pulse together the almond flour, flax meal, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt.
Add the eggs and vinegar and pulse until thoroughly combined.  Next, pipe the batter or spoon the batter (like I did) into the donut pan.  The recipe makes 6.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center of a bagel comes out clean.  Let the bagels cool in the pan for 1 hour, then serve.

To store, leave at room temperature overnight, then refrigerate in an airtight container.  Enjoy!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Oatmeal Cookies (done the Babycakes way)

I've been on kind of a baking kick lately, and one afternoon I was craving cookies, so I baked some oatmeal raisin cookies.  This recipe comes from Babycakes Covers the Classics, so since it's Babycakes, it's going to be gluten free and vegan.  I didn't have gluten free oats, so I just used regular oats.  They turned out great, but once I put them into the cookie jar, they fell apart, so they are a little cakey. 

I also found out some news, a lot of my family might have a gluten intolerance.  My cousin found out her son has Celiac's and my mom has Crohn's, which is a close relative to Celiac's.  A good portion of my mom's side of the family has had stomach problems, and just passing it off as, "well, it runs in the family..."  So now that I have found out this not-so-surprising news, I'm going to try and go gluten free for a month to see how I feel.  I usually thought it was the milk in the cheese from pasta, so I would always avoid anything with too much cheese in it at Italian restaurants or big gatherings.  We shall see the results of this experiment.  Sorry for rambling, now onto the recipe.

Here's what you'll need:
  • 1 3/4 cups Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Flour
  • 1 cup vegan sugar
  • 1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Oats
  • 1/4 cup ground flax meal
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup melted refined coconut oil or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup raisins
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, oats, flax meal, cinnamon, xanthan gum, baking soda, and salt.
Add the coconut (or canola) oil, applesauce, and vanilla and stir with a rubber spatula until a thick dough forms.
Add the raisins and stir until evenly distributed.  Drop the dough by the tablespoonful onto he prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart.
Bake for 8 minutes, rotate the baking sheets, and bake for 7 minutes more, or until golden brown.
Let stand on the baking sheets for 15 minutes before serving.  Enjoy! 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Almond Biscotti

Last post was about pistachio biscotti from Better Homes and Gardens, today's recipe is from the Betty Crocker Cookbook.  I found this recipe easier to make, and I think it came out better too.  I do love the lemony flavor from the pistachio ones, and I probably could have added it to this, but I really didn't want them to turn out bad, especially when they were for a friend.  Instead of lemon or orange zest, almond extract was used instead.

Here's what you'll need:
  • 1 cup almond slivers
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In large bowl, beat sugar, butter, almond extract, vanilla and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed.
Stir in flour, baking powder, and baking soda.  Stir in almonds.  Place dough on lightly floured surface.  Gently knead 2 to 3 minutes or until dough holds together and almonds are evenly distributed.
Divide dough in half.  One one side of ungreased cookie sheet, shape half of dough into 10 x 3 inch rectangle, rounding edges slightly.  Repeat with remaining dough on same cookie sheet.
Bake about 25 minutes or until center is firm to the touch.  Cool on cookie sheet 15 minutes;  move to cutting board.  Cut each rectangle crosswise into 1/2 inch slices, using a serrated knife.
Place slices, cut sides down, on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake about 15 minutes or until crisp and light brown.  Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack;  cool.  Cool cookie sheet 5 minutes;  repeat with remaining slices.  Enjoy! 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Pistachio Biscotti

Hey everybody, sorry for the long wait, but life happens.  While Tom and I were away for a vacation in late June/early July, my friend from Suburbia Roller Derby, Philbotomy, looked over our cats for the week.  I paid him with pistachio and almond  biscotti.  This first recipe is from my Better Homes and Gardens Anyone Can Bake book (I think it was the first baking book I ever bought).  I found this recipe to be a little more difficult than the recipe I will post next.

Here's what you'll need:
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolk
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel (optional, but I suggest you use it)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pistachio nuts
First, preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Lightly grease one large cookie sheet, set aside.  In a large bowl stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.
Place eggs and yolks in the well;  stir into the flour mixture.  Add butter and lemon peel.  Stir until dough starts to form a ball.  Stir in pistachios.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface;  divide dough into thirds.
Shape each portion into a 14-inch log.  Place logs about 3 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet;  flatten logs slightly until about 1 1/2 inches wide.
Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until firm and light brown.  Remove from oven and place cookie sheet on a wire rack;  let cool for 15 minutes.

Transfer logs to cutting board.  Using a serrated knife, cut logs diagonally into 1/2-inch thick slices.  Place slices, cut sides down, on cookie sheet.  Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
Turn cookies over, bake for 10 to 15 minutes more or until crisp and golden brown.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. 
Some came out crumbly, but they still tasted delicious!  Enjoy!