Sunday, March 30, 2014

Gluten-Free Classic Coffee Cake

Do you love Starbuck's classic coffee cake? You will definitely want to make this for tomorrow's breakfast (or tonight's dessert). This coffee cake was Katie's special request for her birthday this year. I was a bit nervous that the gluten-free version wouldn't quite hit the spot. But it was perfect - just like Starbucks (but gluten-free)… with a moist cake, cinnamon ribbon in the middle, and a thick crumble on top. Happy Birthday, Katie!!!


Gluten-Free Classic Coffee Cake
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/3 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs
3/4 cup yogurt
1 1/4 cup milk
3 3/4 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
(Wheat all-purpose flour can be used if you don't want this to be gluten-free.)

for the filling…
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon

for the topping… 
2 sticks butter
2 1/4 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla
powdered sugar for serving (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13 inch baking dish or spray with non-stick cooking spray. (HINT: You could do only half of the recipe and bake in a square baking dish.)

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the butter, salt, sugars, baking powder, and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, to the butter mixture, beating between each addition. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt and milk. Alternate adding the flour and milk mixture to the batter until completely combined.

In a small bowl, mix up the filling by simply stirring the brown sugar and cinnamon together.

Smooth about half of the batter into the prepared baking dish using a spoon or spatula. Sprinkle the filling over the entire area of batter. Top with remaining batter, smoothing evenly. Use a knife to slightly swirl  the batter. Just run the knife in one direction a few times the length of the dish, then a few times the width of the dish.

Place the baking dish in the oven and set a timer to 50 minutes.

While the coffee cake is beginning to bake, make the topping. In a large bowl, combine all of the topping ingredients with an electric mixer. After about 40 minutes of baking time, Sprinkle the crumble topping all over the coffee cake. Continue baking for 10 to 20 minutes, or until golden and the center is set.

Allow to cool. While you're waiting for the coffee cake to cool slightly, check out some of Katie's previous birthday treat requests…

last year was a Harry Potter themed party
fruit with cream cheese dip is always on Katie's favorites list
snickerdoodles or gluten-free sugar cookies

When the cake has cooled slightly, but is still a bit warm, slice into squares and dust with powdered sugar. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Gluten-Free Chex Mix

Need a snack while you're watching the NCAA college basketball tournament this weekend? This one is easy, delicious, and gluten-free.

Gluten-Free Chex Mix
3 cups rice chex
3 cups corn chex
1 cup pecans
1 cup almonds
2 cups gluten-free crackers or pretzels
1 1/2 sticks butter, melted
4 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
3 teaspoons garlic powder
3 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
6 dashes tabasco

Stir together, place in roasting pan, bake at 250 degrees for 2 hours. Stir every 15 minutes.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Mini Frittatas

Need a quick and healthy breakfast on the go? Give these a try. You can make them in the evening and they are ready to grab on your way out the door in the morning. I used ham and cheese, but you could also add vegetables or any other meat. Experiment with flavors you like.

Mini Frittatas
5 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 to 6 slices deli ham
salt & pepper

Blend all ingredients in a bowl. Spray a muffin pan with non-stick spray. Fill each well about 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Run a knife around each mini frittata and gently lift out of pan.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Gluten-Free Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies

These are chocolately and gooey and just absolutely delicious. You'll never know they are gluten-free.

Gluten-Free Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies
1 stick butter
3 ounces (about 1/2 cup) dark chocolate chopped
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons almond meal
4 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons millet flour
2 tablespoons white rice flour
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

for the cream cheese swirl
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup chocolate chips or mini chocolate chips

* you can make half of this recipe and use a square 8-by-8 inch pan or 9-by-9 inch pan rather than a 9-by-13 pan.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Line an square pan with foil so that the foil hangs over the edge a bit. Lightly grease the foil. Set aside.

Melt the 3 ounces of chocolate and butter together in a large microwave safe bowl in 30 second intervals at 50% power. It should take about 2 minutes total. Whisk in 1/2 cup of the sugar and set aside to cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, combine the almond meal, cornstarch, flours, xanthan, and salt.

Using an electric mixer, whisk the eggs with the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar until the eggs are light and doubled in volume. Stir half of the egg mixture into the chocolate. Stir in half of the dry ingredient mixture. Repeat with the remaining egg and remaining dry ingredients. Mix in the vanilla. 

Using an electric mixer, cream together the cream cheese swirl ingredients, exempt for the chocolate chips, until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan reserving about a cup in the bowl. Top with the cream cheese mixture and smooth evenly. Drop the reserved brownie batter in large dollops on top of the cream cheese mixture in the pan. Use a knife to swirl the cream cheese and brownie batter. Bake for 30 minutes.

Allow to cool, then lift brownies from pan using foil hang-over. Slice into squares using a sharp knife.


Friday, March 14, 2014

Pi(e) Cupcakes

Happy Pi Day!! March 14th is Pi day… get it! 3.14… In honor of this mathematical day, I made these pi(e) cupcakes and some simple cupcake toppers with fondant and edible marker. Here's how…

What you'll need:
cupcakes - any flavor you like (try chocolate marshmallow cupcakes)
frosting - any flavor you like (try hazelnut frosting)
M&M candies - red candies work best to look like berries, but you can use blue too
piping bag and tips (optional)*

* if you don't have a piping bag with various tips, you can simply use a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off

Lightly frost a cupcake. Place M&Ms on the frosting with the "m" facing down. Place a small amount of frosting in your piping bag fitted with a small round tip (or in a ziplock bag with a very small hole snipped in one corner). Pipe a set of parallel lines over the M&Ms, then another set diagonally across the first set.

Change to a larger flat tip if you've got it, or snip a larger hole in the corner of your ziplock bag. Pipe a zig-zag in a circle around the edge of the cupcake to look like the pie crust.


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Gluten-Free Blueberry Waffles

Decadent AND relatively healthy?!?! Yep! These blueberry waffles…. yummmm… They're crisp on the outside, warm and fluffy on the inside, and bursting with blueberries. These waffles would be delightful topped with some maple syrup. But oh no!… we added blueberry syrup, oat streusel, and fresh blueberries for a waaaaaay over the top breakfast. Sometimes you just have to go all out!


Gluten-Free Blueberry Waffles
4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup millet flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup ground flax meal
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh blueberries

for the blueberry syrup…
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup maple syrup

for the oat streusel…
1/2 cup quick oats
1/4 cup almond flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted

To make the oat streusel…
Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix all streusel ingredients in a small bowl. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Spread the mixture on the baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

To make the blueberry syrup…
Place blueberries and syrup in your blender and puree until smooth. I used my magic bullet mini blender.

To make the waffles…
Heat your waffle maker.

In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to whip egg whites with salt until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sour cream, melted butter, lemon zest and juice. Sprinkle the flours, flax meal, sugar, baking powder, xanthan over the egg mixture and whisk until smooth. Use a rubber spatula to fold the egg whites into the batter until evenly combined. Carefully fold in the blueberries.

Spoon 1/2 cup of batter onto the waffle iron and cook until golden brown. Serve with blueberry syrup. Sprinkle on some oat streusel and some additional fresh blueberries.


waffle recipe adapted from Deliciously G-Free by Elisabeth Hasselbeck

Friday, March 7, 2014

Chocolate Raspberry Clafoutis

Fancy name… simple yet decadent dessert. This is the first time I've made (or tasted) clafoutis. You will be amazed at how easy it is! It's a old country French dessert. The consistency isn't quite like cake, but not quite like pudding… it's kind of a cross between the two and reminded us of French toast or bread pudding. It's not traditionally chocolate, but I think its perfect. The bittersweet chocolate and raspberries are lovely flavors together. Next time I'll try a non-chocolate version. I served this clafoutis warm with a little whipped cream, but you could also serve it with some vanilla ice cream if you like.

Chocolate Raspberry Clafoutis
12 ounces fresh raspberries (you could use frozen if you want)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 stick butter, melted
3 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour (you can use a gluten-free all-purpose if you want)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 to 3 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used one bittersweet 4 oz Girradelli bar)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 1 1/2 quart shallow baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

Toss the berries in a bowl with the 1 tablespoon of sugar and let stand for 15 minutes.

Blend all remaining ingredients, except the chopped chocolate in your blender until smooth.

Scatter the berries and juices in the dish. Pour the batter on top of the berries.

Bake for about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with the chopped chocolate.

Serve with whipped cream (whip 1/2 cup heavy cream with a tablespoon powdered sugar using an electric mixer) or ice cream. Garnish with some powdered sugar and fresh raspberries if desired.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Chicken & Dumplings

Mmmmmm…. comfort food on a cold and windy day. Chicken & dumplings really hit the spot. This recipe is so delicious. It's luscious without being too heavy. The flavors are amazing. This isn't your plain 'ol chicken & dumplings with the Biquik dumplings. This is fancy enough to serve to dinner guests. It's really not too hard to make and can even be made ahead!

Chicken & Dumplings
For the chicken stew...
4 to 5 slices bacon
1/4 cup flour*
2 chicken breasts or thighs
salt & pepper
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms (any kind you like)
1 small onion, chopped
4 to 5 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 teaspoon dried time
2 bay leaves
8 cups chicken broth

For the dumplings...
3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for boiling water
1 cup flour*
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk

* You can use a gluten-free all purpose flour if you want to make this gluten-free. Or you can do a combination of rice flour, sorghum flour, almond flour, and/or oat flour. 


In a large, deep stock pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy. Transfer bacon to a paper towel lined plate.

TIP: I always use a deep stock pot to make bacon for any dish (or just for breakfast). It keeps all the splatter in the pot NOT on my stove. Less cleaning! Yeah!

Place the flour in a shallow bowl and season with salt & pepper. Increase the heat under the pot to medium-high. Dredge the chicken in the flour and place in the stock pot. Cook until browned on each side. You don't need to cook the chicken completely… just get a nice brown on the outside. The chicken will continue to cook later in the process. Remove the chicken from the pot and place on a plate.

Next, add the mushrooms to the same large pot. Cook until golden brown, stirring occasionally. If you are using chicken breasts, or used a lean bacon, you may need to add a little olive oil if the pot is dry. It should take about 5 minutes to brown the mushrooms. Remove the mushrooms from the pot and place in a bowl.

Add the onion to the pot and cook over medium heat (turn it down from medium-high) until soft and translucent. It should take about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add the wine and simmer until reduced by about half (another 5 minutes). Now you can add the chicken broth, thyme, and bay leaves. Also add the chicken and bacon back to the pot. Season with salt & pepper. Bring to a simmer and continue simmering on low heat for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. At the end, toss the mushrooms back into the pot and simmer for about 10 minutes.

At this point, you can either make the dumplings and eat right away or you can all the stew to cool, transfer to a container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When ready to eat, reheat the stew and prepare the dumplings.

to make the dumplings…
Bring a large pot of salted water to a low boil. In a large bowl, combine all dumpling ingredients (the batter will be a bit lumpy). Drop the batter into the simmering water by tablespoonfuls and cook until cooked through and doubled in size. It will probably take about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the dumplings from the water using a slotted spoon. You may need to work in batches.

Add a few dumplings to each bowl of stew. Garnish with a fresh thyme sprig if desired. Enjoy!

recipe from Bon Appetit magazine, February 2014

Monday, March 3, 2014

King Cake Bars

It's time for Mardi Gras! I usually make a king cake for Mardi Gras each year. Somehow Emily always seems to get the hidden baby, which should mean that she has to make the cake the next year. But I'm always the one that makes the cake. Oh well, I really don't mind. This year I stumbled across a recipe for king cake bars. They are much easier to make than traditional king cake (no rising time or anything) and slightly cheesecake-ish. They are also absolutely luscious and delicious. Perfect for your Mardi Gras party - or any time! We'll be snacking on these after our jambalaya dinner.

King Cake Bars
for the bars…
1 cup all-purpose flour (use gluten-free if you like)
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into pieces
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 package (8-ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

for the glaze…
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
Colored sugar in the traditional Mardis Gras colors… purple, green and gold (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8 or 9x9-inch square baking pan with foil, allowing some overhang, and spray foil with non-stick cooking spray.

Using an electric mixer (a stand mixer if you have one), mix the flour and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Drop in the butter cubes and beat on low speed until the mixture is crumbly and looks a bit like wet sand. (If you don't have an electric mixer, you can do this by hand. Mix the flour and sugar, then add the pieces of butter, using two knives or a pastry cutter to blend in the butter until it resembles course crumbs.) Add the milk and beat until it starts to stick together. Your mixture should look like this.


Sprinkle the mixture into the prepared pan and press it into an even layer covering the bottom of the pan.

You can reuse the same bowl and mixer (bonus for limit dirty dishes) for the next step. Beat the cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, egg, vanilla, and cinnamon together until smooth. Spread the mixture evenly over the prepared crust in the pan. 


Bake the bars for 25 minutes or until the cream cheese mixture is set.


Prepare the glaze while the bars are baking. Whisk together the powdered sugar and milk until completely smooth. Spread the glaze in an even layer on top of the bars as soon as you remove them from the oven. Immediately decorate with colored sugar. Cool completely and slice with a sharp knife.