December 1, 2014 - 11:23 am
Sometimes things work out so much better than expected. The muffins I made this weekend were one of those things:
It has been very cold for Seattle in November, and there was snow!
Our home turned into a winter wonderland. I love being up here in the “treehouse.”
I decided I wanted to make muffins for board gaming, and on a whim decided to try for lemon poppyseed. I love these, but it’s not something I’ve made for ages, and I’ve never developed a solid recipe. I’ve made a couple batches that were ok, but none of them were memorable. This time, I decided to riff from this recipe by Karen Butler. The result was delightful.
I am not one who believes in moderation when it comes to flavors, and these muffins fit my preferences. They hit your mouth with a “ka-WOW that’s lemony,” and the density of poppyseed adds a delightful crunch. I also halved the recommended sugar, so they aren’t terribly sweet. The bitter-tart flavor of the lemons is definitely strongest.
I see comments in the recipe on allrecipes.com about reducing the lemon-ness or reducing the poppyseed. By all means, if that’s your preference. But I assure you these were devoured by all the folks at gaming this week, with moans of delight and not much else going along with the nomming. Perhaps try them as-is and see what you think.
Lemon Poppyseed Muffins
Preheat to 375 degrees. makes 24 servings
- 1 C corn flour
- 1/2 C sorghum flour
- 1/2 C tapioca starch
- 2 t xanthan gum
- 3/4 C white sugar
- 1/2 C poppy seeds
- 1 T plus 1 t baking powder
- 2 t baking soda
- 1 t salt
- 4 eggs
- 2 C yogurt
- 1/2 C vegetable oil
- 2 T grated lemon zest (zest from two large or three small lemons)
- 2/3 cup lemon juice (juice from two large or three small lemons)
- 3/4 cup and 2 tablespoons white sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Prepare muffin tins. This made 12 large muffins, or would make 24 normal size ones if you prefer. I like using papers, and always give them a quick spray of canola oil so they don’t stick TOO well to the muffins.
Prepare a stand mixer with a whisk if you have one, or choose a large bowl to combine wet and dry ingredients.
Combine dry ingredients in another bowl, using a whisk to blend them thoroughly. This is extremely important in gluten free cooking, because the xanthan gum must be evenly distributed for things to come out well. If not it will create gummy lumps in an otherwise dry and fragile baked good- not at all the desired effect!
Crack eggs into mixer and blend on high to a froth. Add oil slowly, then add yogurt. Add the zest and blend on low- it will clump up on the beater and spatter the mix out of the bowl otherwise. (Just guess how I know this.)
Add the dry mix slowly with the mixer on low, and stir till just combined. The lemon zest and baking soda will start reacting immediately to make the batter fluffy; too much beating will collapse that and the muffins will be flat.
Gently spoon the batter into the muffin pan and pop it in the oven.
Cook for about 20 minutes. I found the recipe got alarmingly brown on top while still being goopy in the center of the muffins, so I’m recommending 25 degrees cooler than the parent recipe. That means it may take a little longer to cook, but there will be less risk of scorching the tops.
WHILE IT’S COOKING prepare the sauce/glaze:
Combine lemon juice and sugar in a microwave safe container. I used a Pyrex measuring cup. The sugar won’t want to dissolve- that’s ok.
Place in the microwave on high for 30s. Stir. Repeat this, watching the sauce, until it starts to boil. TADA- lemon flavored Simple Syrup.
Pull the muffins from the oven when done. Let cool about 5 minutes or until they can be handled, and move to a tray or plate(s) for saucing.
Use a skewer, chopstick, or some other pokey tool to make three or four holes in the top of each muffin.
Slowly spoon the simple syrup mixture (which will still be very hot and able to cause a nasty burn- be careful!) over the tops, trying to get the syrup into and onto the muffins rather than pooling on the plate(s).
Let stand another 5 minutes. I know it’s hard, but some things are worth the wait. The sweetness and lemon juice need a chance to suffuse the muffins. Patience.
Ok, now try them, and tell me what you think!
May 12, 2013 - 10:00 am
Zack has gotten into the “Bakers Guild” at his school, and wants to make donuts to take to class tomorrow. We have made donuts before once from the Choux Pastry recipe, but Zack pointed out I never wrote up the Donut instructions. So here they are!
Make one or more batches of the Choux Pastry recipe. Z is making a 4x batch- one for us and three for the school.
- pastry bag with large piping tip
- wax paper or parchment paper
- large flat bottomed skillet or shallow pan
- slotted spoon
- Melting chocolate for chocolate donuts
- Cinnamon sugar for cinnamon sugar donuts
- Powdered sugar for sugared or glazed donuts
- Oil for frying
Cut wax or parchment paper into 3-4″ squares, and pipe dough onto paper squares in small circles
Heat about an inch of oil in the flat bottomed pan.
Once oil is hot (test with a scrap of dough- it should bubble and brown when it hits the oil) slide the wax paper squares with dough into the oil.
As the donuts cook they will release from the paper, which can be used again for the next batch. It works well to have one person piping donuts and one person tending the oil.
Be sure each donut is turned at least once using the slotted spoon so both sides brown.
When donuts are golden brown remove to a draining rack or plate with paper towels to cool.
Once cool they can be flavored however you like.
For chocolate glazed:
Melt chocolate in a small heat safe dish in the microwave, stirring every 15 seconds until it is smooth.
Dip donut carefully into glaze without burning fingers! If the glaze starts to harden it can be microwaved again.
Set donuts on a wire rack or plate for the glaze to harden. Expect them to drip.
For cinnamon or powdered sugar:
Put a couple tablespoons of the desired flavor into a bag (small paper bags work best), and add several donuts.
Fold over the top leaving lots of air space. Hold the bag closed and shake until donuts are well covered.
For plain glazed:
Put a couple tablespoons of powdered sugar in a small bowl. Add water a tablespoon at a time and sir after each addition until it makes a thick but smooth slurry.
Dip donuts and set on a wire rack or plate for the glaze to harden. Expect them to drip.
February 23, 2013 - 2:52 pm
We went to our friend Greg’s house for dinner last night, and made my GF Red Velvet Cake recipe to take with us. Which means we finally got pictures.
Did I mention the vanilla bean cream cheese icing?
December 3, 2011 - 12:58 pm
I published a teaser for this some months ago when we made the first batch of cream puffs. It’s taken a few tries- oh, ok, quite a few tries- to get this down to a simple and repeatable experience anyone in the house can make.
The biggest issue was a procedure problem with the starter recipe, which had us use a food processor instead of a stand mixer for the final mixing. This inevitably ended with batter going into the center hole of the food processor and making an icky mess that was devilish to clean up. In frustration we tried working the whole thing in the stand mixer, and it worked fine! One less appliance to clean, and an icky mess averted.
The base recipe here is for something called a choux pastry. It’s one of the oldest recipes for a pastry dough, dating back to 1840. This pastry is the basis for many sweet pastries, including cream puffs, profiteroles, beignets, crueller style doughnuts, eclairs, and churros.
The dough itself isn’t sweet however, and can be used for many applications. It can be wrapped around cheese to melt in the baking, used as buns for sandwiches of various sorts, and David has all sorts of ideas for savory applications.
Today I’m publishing the cream puff shells. I’ll add the doughnuts in a day or so.
Recipe for Choux Pastry, baked into shells
- Large baking sheet
- Slipat mat or parchment paper
- Stand mixer
- 1 tablespoon sorghum flour
- 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
- 5 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 2 large eggs + 1 egg white (or more, for 3/4 c.)
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
Heated Wet Ingredients:
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons half n’ half
- Preheat oven to 425ºF, and line a cookie sheet with a silpat or parchment paper and set aside.
- Set up Stand Mixer with paddle or dough hook. Leave standing ready with lid removed in a place convenient to the stove.
In a small bowl combine the dry ingredients and mix well.
Break eggs into a measuring cup, adding whites until 3/4C egg, then whisk them. Add baking powder, and whisk some more. The egg will develop weird lumps; it’s supposed to do that.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter, water, half n’ half, sugar and salt over a medium-low flame until the butter has melted completely and the mixture has just come to a gentle boil.
Add the dry ingredients and stir, scraping bottom and sides, until the dough has collected into a single lump.
Immediately transfer dough to the stand mixer, and pulse for at least 20 seconds to cool.
Pour egg mixture slowly into the stand mixer while it’s running. Continue blending until you have a thick, smooth sticky paste: a minute or so.
Drop spoonfuls of dough onto the cookie sheet; the recipe should make about 12. Flatten and smooth the puffs into the shape you want. Long and skinny for éclairs, or round for puffs.
Bake for 15 minutes at 425ºF, then lower oven temperature to 375ºF and bake for 10 minutes more. NOTE: opening the door to the oven will cause the puffs to collapse. Resist the temptation.
Makes 12 large cream puffs.
November 18, 2011 - 12:31 pm
So it’s Thanksgiving next week. For me and for a lot of people, Thanksgiving means two things: turkey and pie. For the gluten free folks, pie is a problem. But it doesn’t have to be; I have a fantastic pie crust recipe. I haven’t changed a thing about this recipe since I found it the year I learned I needed to eat gluten free. I’ve tried other recipes, but come back to this one. It’s the best I’ve found.
The only thing I ever modify is to split the butter into half butter and half shortening for a flakier crust, since oils with different melting temps help make crust layers. I’m sharing it the way I found it, though, with attribution. I believe the original web site is long since defunct, but this recipe was a source of hope for me in a dark time. I’m forever grateful.
This picture here is that recipe, with a butterscotch crumb apple pie in it, but it works for any sort of pie you like. I’ve used it pre-baked and unbaked, for sweet and savory pies, and it’s never disappointed. I have pre-made and frozen the dough, packed it in a suitcase, and rolled it out at my destination.
- 1/3 cup brown or white rice flour
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1/3 cup tapioca flour
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1/3 cup potato starch
- 1/3 cup (5 Tablespoon) butter
- 1-½ Tablespoon corn starch
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/3 teaspoon salt
- ½ to 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Have eggs and butter cold for best results. Combine flours, starches, salt, xanthan gum, and sugar into a mixing bowl. Cut cold butter into slices and then work it into the flour mixture with hands or a pastry cutter until the dough feels slightly moist and begins to hold together.
Add the beaten egg and vinegar to the flour mixture and stir with a spoon or fork until it begins to stiffen. The dough will be quite soft at first but will firm up. As it firms up, form it into a ball and work it a little with your hands. Use a little tapioca flour if necessary to keep your hands from getting sticky.
Roll the dough out between two pieces of wax paper, turning and peeling off paper as necessary to smooth out wrinkles. Leave the paper on the pie dough to turn it. When it is ready for a pie pan, peel the top layer of paper off, hold the lightly greased pan over the dough, and slip your other hand under the bottom paper and dough. Lift it into the pan as you flip it all over.
Smooth the dough into the pan before removing the wax paper. Again peel it off; dont lift it off. Crimp edges as desired. Prick with a fork if a baked pie shell is desired and bake at 350 degrees F for 12-15 minutes.
Double the ingredients for a two-crust pie. Dont attempt to fold the top pie crust. A two-crust pie will bake one hour or a bit longer.
This recipe comes from Lifeline, Summer 1996, pg. 5. It is Lily Mae Pattens recipe.
October 30, 2011 - 12:28 pm
At the end of the summer, Zachary and I spent an afternoon at Heather’s house picking apples, plums and blackberries. The plums and blackberries were frozen and the apples became apple sauce.
The apple sauce is long since consumed, and the plums are being saved for trifles in mid-winter when we need a taste of summer so badly. I’ve been saving the blackberries as well, but today it was cold. Cold cold cold. And I wanted to taste summer, in a warm coffee cake. I took a blueberry coffeecake recipe I’ve used in the past, subbed in blackberries, and this is what I got:
Let’s look at that a bit more closely, shall we?
When I cut into it, the berries oozed out and the crumb was perfect. It was every bit as delicious as I imagined.
Look at the crumb and the berries:
- 1/2 C sorghum flour
- 1/2 C oat flour
- 1/2 C arrowroot flour
- 1/2 C corn flour
- 1t xanthan gum
- 2T buttermilk powder (optional)
- 1/2 t salt
- 2/3 C sucanat
- 1/2 stick of softened butter
- 1 egg
- 2 t vanilla
- 1 C milk
- 1 1/2 C berries
- 5 T cold butter, sliced
- 1/2 C rice flour
- 2/3 C brown sugar
- 2 t cinnamon
- 1/4 t salt
optional: powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8 square pan or bundt pan with non-stick spray.
In a medium bowl combine dry ingredients. Whisk together so they are well blended.
In a medium mixing bowl or stand mixer cream sucanat and butter for 3 – 4 minutes until light colored and fluffy.
Add egg and vanilla, and cream for 2 more minutes.
Add dry ingredients and mi on low to just combine.
Add half the milk in a steady stream, and mix on low to combine. Continue adding small amounts and mixing until a thick batter is formed. Turn up mixer speed and beat until fluffy.
Switch to the paddle attachment or use a large spoon to fold in the blackberries until they are well distributed. Transfer batter to the prepared pan.
In a food processor or by hand mix the crumb topping ingredients. This will be a lumpy mix; combine until the butter is well distributed in the dry ingredients.
If using a bundt pan, depress a trench in the middle of the dough and spoon the crumb topping into it. It’s easier to remove the coffee cake if the crumb topping doesn’t contact the edges of the pan. If using a square pan distribute the crumb evenly over the surface.
Bake for approximately 60 minutes, checking at 45 minutes and every 5 – 10 minutes after. It can be hard to determine doneness because the berries will coat a knife. If the center appears solid when the pan is shaken the cake is done. If you are concerned, insert a knife in the center and gently pull back to look at the texture of the cake; you should see cake crumb and not batter.
Remove from the oven and allow it to rest for 5 minutes, then turn the bundt pan out on a plate, or serve the square pan out in cubes. Garnish with sifted powdered sugar, and enjoy!
July 11, 2011 - 5:57 am
We harvested our first strawberries this past week, and wanted to make strawberry shortcake. I’d never gone looking for a shortcake recipe before. This came out with a texture between those cheesy cakes we used to get in the grocery store next to the strawberries and angel food cake, but so much better than either one!
- 1 C corn starch
- 1/4 t xanthum gum
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 C butter (one stick) slightly softened
- 1 C powdered sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 T vanilla
Preheat oven to 375 and grease muffin tins. I used tins that were shaped like small bundt cakes.
Combine dry ingredients, mix well, and set aside. (not the sugar.)
Beat butter until fluffy. I used a stand mixer, but a hand mixer would also work.
Add vanilla and sugar, and beat til fluffy again, starting with the mixer on low so you don’t make a mess.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating until fluffy between each. At the end the mixture may separate a little; this is ok.
Add the dry ingredients and … Yep! You guessed it! Beat til fluffy!!
Divide the batter between the cups. It will be thick, but that won’t matter; they will cook into a nice shape even through they don’t start with a smooth surface.
Bake for about 15 minutes. Less will give a softer, wetter texture, more will give a firmer, dryer consistency and a darker color.
I also made a cinnamon whipped topping while the cakes were cooking:
- 1/2 C heavy cream
- 1/2 C 2% milk
- 1 t cinnamon
- 2 T powdered sugar
Beat cream until it starts to thicken.
Add milk, a little at a time, beating between additions, diluting the cream as mich as you can without making soup. Depending on the cream and the milk and the day, you may not be able to use it all.
Add cinnamon and powdered sugar, and beat some more.
I plated it up, sprinkled with some shaved chocolate, and it was delicious! Wonderful accompaniment to a game of Carcassonne!
June 27, 2011 - 10:15 am
Gluten-Free Buttermilk Pancakes
(feeds about 4)
- 1 C buckwheat
- 1/2 C masa harina (fine ground corn flour)
- 1/4 C sorghum flour
- 2 T sucanat (brown sugar will work)
- 2 T buttermilk powder (optional)
- 1/4 t xanthan gum
- 1.5 T baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 2 C milk (goats milk works fine, and water can be subbed for the dairy free.)
- 1 T oil
- 1 large or 2 small apples, or a cup of blueberries
Combine dry ingredients.
Beat eggs, then add milk & oil.
Combine dry & wet until fairly smooth, then leave it sit for at least 15, probably 20 minutes. The waiting is important, I promise, or they won’t be fluffy.
If you’re adding apples, peel them and slice it into very thin slices– as thin as you can. If you’re adding blueberries wash them and set them close to where you’re cooking.
Stir up the batter after its rested. If it seems thick, add water, a little at a time, until it is thick but will pour.
Heat a skillet and brown butter in it. Add a little cooking spray, maybe, to make sure the pan is coated with oil.
Drop some batter in the pan and smooth it out a little– it will be too thick to spread on its own.
If you wish, you can lay apple slices into the batter to mostly cover it, or scatter some blueberries over the top.
Cook pancake on medium heat until bubbles form and then break on the surface.
Flip the pancake and cook until done.
Serve and enjoy!
Note: If you have leftover batter, it will keep nicely in the fridge.
May 4, 2011 - 2:30 pm
I have just made gluten-free cream puff shells for the first time ever. This is a choux pastry, which is something I’ve never tried to make previously; apparently this is how eclairs and profiteroles are made as well.
I’m not sure I’ve ever baked something so beautiful. And I haven’t filled them with the chocolate pastry cream yet.
here, let’s zoom in:
Now don’t you want to come to knit night at my house tonight?
March 31, 2011 - 2:17 pm
Question to Zachary: “What should I make for brunch?”
Answer: “Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread!”
Question to David: “What would you like for dessert?”
Answer: “Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread!”
Question to Heather: “What would you like me to bake for the retreat at La Push?”
Answer: “Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread!”
It seems like there’s only one answer to any question I ask these days about baking. This is the new universal favorite baked good in the house. Pumpkin pie’s spicy sweetness mixes with chocolate into a rich warm flavor. The moist crumble of a perfect banana bread combines with a little bit of texture given by the chips and oat bran. Delicious!
The best part for me is it’s also full of nutrition, with lots of pumpkin and oat bran, and very little sugar other than what the chips impart. Sometimes I just sprinkle a few on the top without mixing them into the batter, and they are not missed. It’s dairy free and gluten free.
I got the foundation for the recipe from gfreecuisine.com, but it’s morphed substantially from their base recipe. And so without further ado, I give you:
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
- 3 loaf pans, 8 x 4 inches. I recommend glass, because it will be easier to clean the melted chips.
- Stand mixer recommended.
- 1 C sugar
- 2 C pureed pumpkin, or canned pumpkin. (Don’t get the pie mix! 🙂
- 1 C vegetable oil
- 1/3 or more C water, added at the end to make a good batter.
- 4 large eggs, beaten well.
- 1/2 C oat bran or Scottish Oats for a bit more texture.
- 1 C masa or corn flour (not corn meal)
- 1 C tapioca flour or starch
- 1 C sorghum flour
- 1/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 T pumpkin pie spice
- 1 T cinnamon
- 2 t nutmeg
- 1 T xanthan gum
- 1 & 1/2 t baking soda
- 1 & 1/2 t salt
- 1 & 1/2 C chocolate chips; I prefer the miniature ones, and remember to look for dairy free, if needed.
- 1/2 C nuts and or dried fruit, if you like them. I do not.
Preheat oven to 350
Grease and flour the three loaf pans, using tapioca or corn flour.
In a stand mixer or large bowl, combine the wet ingredients and beat until smooth and somewhat frothy. Adding air at this stage makes the bread fluffier.
In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients and whisk to thoroughly mix. If you don’t mix well enough, the bread will have an uneven consistency.
Add the flour gradually while the stand mixer is going on its lowest speed, or in small batches if you are mixing by hand. Stir until just combined, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. The mixture should look like a heavy cake batter. If it gets so thick that the bottom of the bowl is visible, add water as needed to smooth it out. How much is needed varies with how wet the pumpkin is; use your judgement. I have added as much as a cup and a half, and as little as 1/3 C.
Fold in most of the chocolate chips, nuts, or fruit, if adding. Retain some to sprinkle on top of the loaves.
Divide the batter between the three pans, and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. The center of the bread should stay firm when you shake the pan, not jiggle like jello. You can also test for doneness by inserting a knife. It may come back with melted chocolate chip, but shouldn’t have batter on it.
Turn out the loaves immediately, preferably on a wire rack. Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. This bread freezes well; I always freeze one or two of the loaves.
March 26, 2011 - 9:02 am
This is one of my favorite desserts. The one I always want after a good meal. Just the right amount of sweetness, and warm, satisfying flavors.
Candy Brandy Pears
- 3 – 4 pears sliced in half and cored
- 3 – 4 T butter
- 1 C orange juice
- Spices; I use apple pie spice and a little ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and whatever else smells right
- Optionally, brandy or other alcohol, to taste
Put the butter in a skillet large enough to place all of the pears face down in.
Add pears, and sprinkle spices over them.
When the pears start to stick, add orange juice, 1/4 C at a time. Pour it over the pears to wash the spices into the butter.
As the liquid cooks off, keep adding the oj, and baste pears in the developing sauce regularly as they cook.
If the oj is gone and the pears are still not soft enough to eat with a spoon, start adding water in 1/4C amounts and continue basting until they soften.
Remove pears to plate, cut side up.
Add alcohol to complete the caramelization of the oj & spices into a sauce. If you prefer not to add alcohol, a little water will also help lift any sticky bits.
Pour over pears, and serve immediately. Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream go well with this dessert.
January 31, 2010 - 10:51 am
I woke up this morning to a kitchen disaster. I’m usually the sort of cook who leaves the kitchen cleaner when I’m done than when I start cooking, so this is not something I’m used to dealing with. Last night, though, since the chicken took SO LONG and Z & I wanted to get to the gaming night, I did the minimum job of putting away the leftovers, and left the pots and pans on the counter. Of course, they were delightful this morning.
So after cleaning the kitchen, I wanted a simple breakfast. I’ve been working on waffle recipes for a while, and I think I came up with a good one this morning. One worth noting, anyway. Most of the GF waffles I’ve tried come out either gritty or chewy, neither of which are what I want in a waffle. I like them fluffy inside and crispy outside. These were not *quite* as crispy as I would have liked. I think the liquid was too much, and there might be a need for some extra fat in the batter. But these will do.
GF Almond Waffles
- 1/2 C almond flour
- 1/2 C tapioca flour
- 2 T sucanat
- 1T buttermilk powder
- 1/4 t xanthan gum
- 1/2 t baking soda
- 1/4 t salt
- 1 T vanilla
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 C water
whisk together the dry ingredients, then add the wet and whisk to combine. Cook until uniformly golden and crispy.
I would half the sucanat and the water next time, and add 2T melted butter.