Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies Two Ways

I have an oatmeal cookie fetish.  They are my favorite kind.  Well, not the traditional oatmeal cookie with raisins, rather the chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.  In my mind, you can never have enough variations on a theme, so I have adapted a Cooks Illustrated recipe to make two very different, but still very tasty, cookies. 

Variation 1: Coconut Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

2 1/4 ounce coconut flour
4 1/4 ounce gluten-free flour mix (I used the Artisanal without the added gum)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon guar gum
16 tablespoons softened butter
7 ounces brown sugar
5 1/4 ounces granulated sugar
2 large eggs
10 1/2  ounces old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350.  Line baking sheets with a silicone mat (or parchment).

Beat the butter until creamy.  Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated.

Whisk together the dry ingredients (except chocolate chips).  Add dry ingredients slowly to the butter-sugar mixture.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Place dough on cookies sheets.  Balls should be about 2 tablespoons of dough.  Cook for about 13 minutes. (Note: the original recipe calls to bake them for 22-25 minutes, however, those must be some really large tablespoons.  My cookies were done at 13.)  Let cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack.

Notes: Coconut flour absorbs a lot of liquid.  I let these cookies sit overnight before baking.  However even if I hadn't, I still think they might have not spread very much.  As you can tell from the picture, they didn't spread at all.  The appearance is a bit deceptive.  They look like they would be hard little cookie rocks, but they weren't.  The middle was quite tender.

Chocolate Chip, Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

Variation 2: Orange Almond Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Same recipe as above only replace coconut flour with almond meal and add 2 tablespoons of orange zest.  Bake as directed.

Notes: I still refrigerated these for about 8 hours.  However, unlike the coconut cookies, these did spread so that they were more the shape of traditional cookies.  Unfortunately, I ate them all before I had a chance to take a picture. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Corn and Oat Muffins

I was interested in these muffins because the recipe naturally incorporates a large percentage of gluten-free flours.  Also, I was looking for another versatile muffin to alternate with the corn muffins we like so much.  These were described as tweedy, which I think is awesome and absolutely dead on.  There is quite a bit of texture in these muffins due to the oats.  Using cornmeal versus cornflour (like I did) would add even more.  I left out the dates as I am still on the fence about how I feel about dried fruit in muffins.  However, adding them would add pockets of sweetness.  Without them, the muffins are not sweet.  At all.  Even though I was looking for a non-sweet muffin, I still think I would double the sugar next time to give them a little bit of sweetness.

These are nice though if you want something that would work in both savory or sweet applications.  I really enjoyed them smeared with current jam. 

Corn and Oat Muffins

Corn and Oat Muffins
From King Arthur Whole Grain Baking

1 3/4 ounces old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup (6 ounces) boiling water
1 cup (5 1/4 ounces) chopped dates (omitted)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 7/8 ounces dark brown sugar (to make slightly sweeter, you can double the sugar)
4 7/8 ounces yellow corn flour (or meal)
4 1/4 ounces gluten-free flour mix
1 5/8 ounces oat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon guar gum (perhaps a bit more?  They were a tad crumbly, but not overly so).
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (6 ounces) buttermilk
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 375.  Lightly grease muffin tin.

Place the oats in a large mixing bowl and pour the boiling water over them.  Add the dates (if using), butter, and brown sugar, stirring to combine.  Set the bowl aside to cool to room temperature.  Whisk together the flours, baking powder, guar gum, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.  Stir in buttermilk and eggs into the cooled oat mixture, then add to dry ingredients and mix until everything evenly moistened.

Scoop the batter by heaping 1/4 cupfuls into the prepared pan.  Bake the muffins until the tops are domed and golden grown, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean--about 21 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow the muffins to cool in pan for 5 minutes.  Put them on a rack to finish cooling.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Blackberry Almond Blondies

I made these a while back.  They were tasty.  The original recipe calls for raspberries, but I had a bag of frozen blackberries languishing in the freezer that needed to be used.  However, if I were to make it again, I would stick to raspberries, since they are smaller.  The blackberries were very big and wet and it became a problem when baking because the top was still gooey when the bottom part of the cookies were done.    

Blackberry almond blondies

Blackberry Almond Blondies
from Martha Stewart's Cookies

9T unsalted butter at room temperature
5 ounces gluten-free flour mix
2 ounces almond meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon guar gum
7.5 ounces brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sliced almonds (about 3 ounces)
2 2/3 cup raspberries

Preheat oven to 325.  Butter an 8-inch square baking pan.

Whisk together flour baking powder, salt, and guar gum in a bowl.

Cream together brown sugar and butter until pale and fluffy--about 3 minutes.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.  Reduce speed to low and slowly add flour mixture.  Mix until combined.  Stir in 3/4 cup almonds.

Pour batter into prepared dish.  Scatter berries and remaining 1/4 cup almonds over batter.  Bake until cake tester inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs--55-60 minutes.

Let cool 15 minutes.  Cut into 2-inch squares.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Cakey Style

If you haven't guessed by now, I really don't like flat, crisp cookies.  I like them either chewy, cakey, or sometimes a little of both.  Mr. F. however likes them soft and chewy or not at all.  Mr. F. however, doesn't do the baking around here.

Anyway, since going gluten-free, I have been trying to be more aware of ratios and how ingredients work together to get a desired effect.  Before, I would just take the recipe at face value and not think about how it was structured.  In Martha Stewart's Cookies, she has three chocolate chip recipes: cakey, chewy, and thin and crisp.  She basically adapts the one recipe to get the effect that she wants.  For example, the cakey cookies call for less sugar and butter.  I noticed that the chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe was almost identical to my Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" chocolate chip cookie recipe (although without out the added cocoa).  So, I had the brain child to make cakey chocolate chocolate chip cookies.  They turned out awesome.  Mr. F. thought they were an abomination to the name of cookies, but whatever.

Gluten-Free Cakey Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

9.5 ounces all-purpose gluten-free flour (I used the Artisanal blend w/o the xanthan gum).
1 ounce cocoa--Hershey's Special Dark.
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon guar gum
1 3/4 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 ounce granulated sugar
5 5/8 ounce brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups (or less) chocolate chips

Heat oven to 375F.

Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and guar gum.  Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl on medium speed until creamy.  Add eggs.  Beat well.  Gradually add flour mixture, beating well.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Drop by rounded teaspoons onto lined cookie sheet.

Bake 8-10 minutes (mine were done at 8) or until set.  Cool slightly.  Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

Notes: I refrigerated the dough overnight (or maybe two?) before baking them up.  Such is the life with a needy babe.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Gluten-Free Apple Bars

Usually when I look for treats, I look for something with chocolate.  I kind of need my chocolate.  However, it is screaming fall here in the sticks with the leaves changing color and the temperature dropping.  It is the time of year when people visit pumpkin patches and apple orchards.

Mr. F. and I succumbed to the siren call of the apple orchard and brought home a bushel and a peck of apples to be baked down into apple sauce and canned.  It was quite the ordeal.  Once again, I found that my eyes were too big for my stomach.  We ended up with 25 quarts and 8 pints of applesauce.  For two adults and one little 7-month old who has yet to show an interest in solids.  After three batches canning, I was done.  We were left with about 3 quarts of applesauce to be eaten in the fridge.  I then stumbled upon this recipe from my favorite cookbook. 

These turned out quite yummy, but a bit too sweet for my taste.  I think in the future I would decrease the sugar by a fourth (initially) and work from there.  Adding the peanut butter cuts the sweetness and complements the bars nicely.  Actually, you really don't need to make the glaze.  I would just spread peanut butter on the bars.  I think these would make a really great after school snack.  There is something about this recipe that just screams school yards and yellow buses.

It was late when these came out of the oven.  Also, I didn't add the glaze.  However, for a great picture of the final product look here. 

Gluten-Free Cinnamon-Apple Bars with Peanut Butter Glaze
adapted from Whole Grain Baking

for the bars:
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup (10 ounces) light or dark brown sugar, packed
1 cup (8 ounces) applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon each ground ginger and ground allspice
1 egg
1 1/4 cup (5 ounces) gluten-free flour mix (I used the Artisanal without the gum added)
2/3 cup (2 3/8 ounces) oat flour
1/4 heaping teaspoon guar gum

for the glaze:
1 cup (9 1/2 ounces) smooth peanut butter
6 tablespoons (4 1/2 ounces) honey

Cream together the butter and sugar.
Beat in the applesauce, vanilla extract, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice.
Mix in the egg.
Add the flours and guar gum, blending well.
Pour into a greased 9" x 13" pan. Bake at 350 F (150 C) for 35-40 minutes.
Allow to cool in the pan.

Meanwhile, make the glaze. Put the peanut butter and honey in a microwavable bowl (or a small saucepan) and heat until they can be stirred together.
Stir until smooth, then spread over the cooled bars.
Cut into 24 squares.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Gluten-Free Neiman Marcus Cookies

I love Neiman Marcus Cookies.  Or shall I say the urban-legend Neiman Marcus Cookies.  They are my favorite chocolate chip cookies.  I think it is the oat flour.  I have an unholy fascination with all things oat-y.  I love the original with the grated chocolate in addition to the nuts.  However, more often than not, I make a pared down version with just chocolate chips.  I really don't miss the added chocolate and Mr. F. doesn't like nuts in his cookies.  (Something to do with a nut allergy.  Pshaw.)  I wanted to see what the gluten-free version tasted like.  For the gluten-free flour blend, I used the flour mix from Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking but without the xanthan gum added.

The verdict:  Good.  However, they tasted different.  You could taste that it was made with a different grain profile--sort of akin to something being made with whole wheat versus white flour only this was with sorghum and brown rice flour.  Like I said, it wasn't bad.  In fact, I kind of like it.  However, it surprises you momentarily when you first bite in.  Making it with a mix that was more starchy (perhaps the Ahern all-purpose mix?) would give you more of a traditional taste, perhaps.

Gluten-Free Neiman Marcus Cookie

Gluten-Free Neiman Marcus Cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
1 cup (7.5 ounces) brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups (8 1/8 ounces) oat flour
2 cups (8.5 ounces) gluten-free flour mix
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon guar gum
4 ounces chocolate chips

4 ounces hershey bar, grated
1 1/2 cup nuts, chopped

Cream butter and sugars together.  Add eggs one at a time until incorporated.  Add vanilla.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and guar gum.  Add to the wet ingredients in increments.  At the end, fold in the chocolate chips. 

Roll into balls (I use a 3T cookie scoop which makes rather large cookies) and place on a silpat lined cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 for 13 minutes.


I refrigerated the dough overnight prior to baking.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Banana Snack Cakes

I have a lot of food blogs in my reader.  Sometimes reading the posts make me sad because they are full of glutenous goodness that I can't partake of (french baguettes and the like).  Even some of the cakes, etc. give me pause as I don't know how easily they will convert to being gluten-free.

This particular post with its gorgeous photos had me salivating.  I starred it in my google reader and thought about chocolate banana cake for many days.  As luck would have it.....we had some bananas perishing on our kitchen table and a guest coming for a visit.  What a choice opportunity to try out a new recipe.  I was fairly hopeful for a successful GF conversion since the recipe is pretty much a quick bread/cake cross over.

I didn't have a large enough loaf pan, and in general, I find sweet loafs to be a bit cumbersome.  I prefer muffins.  So I adapted this recipe to make "muffins."  I say "muffins" in quotes because I baked them in a muffin tin, not because I think these actually fall into the muffin category.  Instead I have dubbed them snack cakes.

I again used the Artisanal Gluten-Free AP mix, and I was pleased with the results.  I don't have any pictures (sorry!) but check out the original post for food photo goodness.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Banana Snack Cakes
Adapted from The Kitchen Sink Recipes (which was adapted from another source)

1 1/2 cup (6 5/8 ounces) gluten-free flour mix
2/3 cup (2 ounces) cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon guar gum
3 bananas
1/2 cup (4 ounces) sour cream
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
1/2 cup (3 3/4 ounces) brown sugar
3 large eggs

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk.  Mash bananas and add sour cream in a separate bowl.   In a third bowl cream butter and sugar together.  Add eggs one at a time.  Add 1/2 of the flour mixture, followed by the banana mixture.  Add the remaining flour mix. 

Line or grease your muffin tins.  Pour the batter, filling them about 3/4 of the way.  (I got about 16 muffins).  Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.  (I forgot how long it was.  I started checking at 20 minutes.  And I know I added another five.  What I don't remember if I added five after that.  Next time, I will make a note.)