Black and White Cookies

Brian and I just moved back to New York! Yahoo!  Which is why I haven’t posted in a bit AND why this post is about Black and White Cookies.  Black and white cookies are the quintessential New York dessert.  In my quest to come up with a gluten free black and white I started to do a little investigative work into how the original black and white cookies were created.  From one of my favorite food blogs, Smitten Kitchen, I discovered that black and whites were originally made by adding extra flour to leftover cake batter at bakeries.

I decided that this would be my plan of action.  I found a great cake recipe using coconut flour at The Spunky Coconut and made just a few changes to it.  I added less egg and a little more coconut flour as well as subbing agave for honey and grapeseed oil for coconut oil for a more buttery flavor.

While the bottom cake-part of these cookies are fairly healthy, gluten free and lower carb, the tops are pure sugar!  I took recipes from The Joy of Baking and Smitten Kitchen and combined them a bit to create what I believe is vanilla sugary goodness and chocolate sugary goodness on top of the cookie.

These cookies were heartily approved by gluten eaters in my house and at my school!  Enjoy!

Cookie

In the food processor place:

2 cups cooked white beans
5 eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pure lemon extract
1/3 cup agave

Puree well.

Add to food processor:

1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1/3 cup + 2 Tablespoons coconut flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder

Puree well.

Pre-heat oven to 350°F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Using a ¼ cup measure, place batter 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 18-23 minutes until lightly golden brown.  Place on a wire rack to cool before frosting.  Makes 14 cookies.

Frosting

4 cups confectioners sugar
1/3-1/2 cup hot water
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
3 oz. semi-sweet chocolate disks or chips
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

Place the confectioners sugar in a large bowl. Gradually stir in the hot water, corn syrup, and vanilla extract, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick, smooth, and of spreading consistency. Add more sugar or water if necessary to get the right consistency.  Remove about 1/2 cup of the frosting and place it in another heatproof bowl.

Spread vanilla frosting on half of the flat side of each cookie.  Leave cookies on a wire rack for frosting to set. While frosting is setting…

Add the finely chopped chocolate and cocoa powder to the frosting that has been set aside. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until the chocolate has melted and the frosting is smooth. Add extra water if frosting is too thick.  Remove from heat.

Spread chocolate frosting on second half of the cookie.  Leave cookies on a wire rack for the chocolate frosting to fully set.

Enjoy these cookies within a few days as the cake will start to dry out!

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Ginger Teff Muffins

Mmmmm….muffins.  Have I already shared how much I like muffins?  I think I may have back in my post about my lemon blueberry muffins I made with almond flour.  One of the reasons I love muffins so much these days is that I have a hard time eating a real breakfast in the morning, what with being a teacher and getting up so early.  Muffins are the perfect on the go breakfast food, as long as they are not laden with sugar.  For me, muffins need to pack some nutritional and delicious goodness into each bite to be worth eating.

If you have ever eating Ethiopian food, you have had Teff flour.  It is the main ingredient in injera, the Ethiopian flatbread served alongside delicious meats and vegetables and is used in place of silverware.  You can read more about teff HERE. (Thanks Wikipedia!)

You can purchase teff flour at Whole Foods and I buy my arrowroot powder from Penzey’s Spices.  Enjoy!

Ginger Teff Muffins

Ingredients

1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons teff flour
1/4 cup arrowroot flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons ginger
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil
4 Tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons agave
4 Tablespoons molasses
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 medium overripe bananas, mashed

Directions

1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.  Spray 6 muffin cups with non-stick cooking spray.  If using a 12-muffin cup tin, use the outside edges.

2. In a medium mixing bowl stir together teff flour, arrowroot powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt.

3. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients.  Add oil, water, vanilla, agave, molasses, eggs and banana to the center of the bowl.  Stir all ingredients together to combine.  Do not over mix. The mixture will be liquidy.

4. Evenly distribute batter between 6 muffin tins.  The tins will be full to the top.

5. Bake muffins for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!

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Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers

For Brian’s birthday a number of years back, I made a huge Mediterranean feast.  We both love Mediterranean food: salty feta, briny olives, creamy tzatziki, flavorful meats and fishes.  I created a whole menu based on our love for these foods which included my first attempt at stuffed peppers.  I got the original recipe from The Essential Mediterranean Cookbook which I received as a present from a co-worker a number of years ago during a holiday present swap.  These peppers were filled with the flavors of the Mediterranean: rice, olive oil, quality tomatoes, currants, parsley, pine nuts.  The flavors were a lovely balance of sweet and savory.  They came out beautifully and everyone seemed to love them.

Recently, we have been eating a lot less carbs during dinner and I wanted to make a stuffed pepper that reflected our eating changes.  I swapped out the rice for lean ground turkey and decreased the olive oil significantly from the original recipe.  What resulted was a sweet-savory protein packed dinner.  I served it with garlic broccoli.

Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients

2 large red bell peppers
2 ounces pine nuts
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 large onion, chopped
1-1.3 pounds lean ground turkey
1 cup strained tomato (or no salt added tomato puree)
3 Tablespoons parsley, chopped
½ cup dried cherries or currants
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Salt to taste

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350

1. Toast pine nuts in a large sautee pan over medium heat.  Stir frequently to prevent burning.  Remove from pan and set aside.

2. In the same pan, still on medium heat, add the olive oil, chopped onion, and a pinch of salt. Sautee 5-10 minutes or until soft and lightly browned.

3. Push the onions to the side of the pan and add the ground turkey.  As the turkey begins to cook, break it up and mix it in with the onions.  Cook turkey until no pink remains.

4. Add strained tomato, parsley, dried cherries, cinnamon, pine nuts and a pinch of salt.  Cook down together on medium heat for about 10 minutes.

5. While mixture is cooking, cut peppers lengthwise and remove seeds and ribs. Spray a glass baking dish with cooking spray and place the peppers in the dish.

6. Divide meat mixture equally among the 4 pepper halves.  The mixture will be slightly overflowing.

7. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until peppers are tender.

8. Enjoy!

Serves 4

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Vanilla Coconut Flour Pancakes

So, I wasn’t originally going to post this recipe but a few friends were insistent upon it!  That is why I only have one picture (and the picture was actually taken WAY after we ate the pancakes-I did a little re-staging).  I recently bought some different flours at the market: quinoa, coconut, and teff.  I have been reading a lot of blog posts recently about the use of coconut flour for people who are gluten free, low carb, and who follow the paleo or primal diet.  From my reading I discovered that coconut flour is a very dense and fiber filled flour.  I also learned, though my cooking, that the sweetness of the coconut really comes through and very little extra sweetner is needed.

For those who have not cooked with coconut flour before you can find it at markets like Whole Foods or you can order it from online purveyors.  For this recipe I used Bob’s Red Mill coconut flour that I bought at Whole Foods.

Just in time for breakfast…

Vanilla Coconut Flour Pancakes

adapted from Fluffy Coconut Flour Pancakes and Coconut Flour Pancakes

Ingredients

4 large eggs
1/4 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon agave (or honey)
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

About 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or butter) for the pan

Directions

1. In a medium bowl whisk eggs until frothy.

2. Whisk in almond milk, vanilla and agave until well combined.

3. Stir in coconut flour, baking soda and salt.

4. Let sit for 5 minutes or so while you heat up coconut oil in a large non-stick pan or griddle on medium heat.

5. Pour batter by 1/8 cup (2 tablespoons) into frying pan or griddle. I found that a large Cookie Scoop worked well for this.

6. Cook for 2-3 minutes, flip, cook for 2-3 more minutes, repeat with the rest of the batter.

7. Serve with maple syrup, butter, coconut oil, jam, or your favorite pancake topping!

Makes 10 small pancakes

Side note: While these are very small pancakes, they are VERY dense.  I ate 3 and Brian ate 4 and we were both satisfied.



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Banana-Walnut Oat Muffins and Raspberry Honey Butter

Brunch is my favorite meal, especially when we eat great food and share the meal with fantastic friends!  I love going out for brunch, but sometimes it is much nicer to stay at home and entertain friends.  The food usually tastes better at home AND you can make things to your specifications and you get to show off your cute new napkins and napkin rings!  That being said, I am a big dork when it comes to planning meals when we have friends over.  As soon as we set a date, I start creating a menu.  Not just, “Oh I think I’ll make this and that,” but, a typed document on my computer with ideas and links to recipes.  I revisit it and revise it usually until a day or two before when I have to go shopping for ingredients.  I get this from my mom-she does the exact same thing!

For this brunch, I was originally going to make the Lemon Blueberry Muffins I posted about a week ago.  Alas, my newest shipment of almond flour from Honeyville had not yet arrived so I had to make other arrangements.  I starting searching for recipes using alternate flours and grains and I came upon a few interesting recipes for oat flour muffins and quinoa flour muffins.  I did a test batch of quinoa flour muffins and they came out well-but not good enough to serve to company or post about just yet.  I’ll be working on them for a future post-keep your eyes peeled!  So, I decided on oat flour muffins.  Most oats ARE NOT gluten free due to cross-contamination.  However, since I keep gluten free mainly for diabetes purposes, rather than because of an allergy, I was able to use regular oats.  If you are gluten free due to an allergy or intolerance, here are the safest Gluten Free Oats I have been able to find.*  These muffins are also dairy free for those avoiding dairy.  Regular  yogurt and milk could be substituted for the goat’s milk yogurt and almond milk if you are so inclined.  At some point I am going to try to do a version of these muffins with agave instead of brown sugar-I’ll let you all know how they turn out!

Alongside the muffins I served raspberry honey butter, Crustless Quiche with LeeksSkillet Smashed Potatoes, Trader Joe’s Apple Maple Chicken Sausage and coffee (of course!).  The whole menu was a hit!

Banana-Walnut Oat Muffins

1 ¼ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
½ cup plain goat’s milk yogurt
½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 cups old-fashioned oats, ground down to oat flour in food processor (equals about 1 ½ cups oat flour)
½ cup dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
2 large, over-ripe bananas mashed
1 egg
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.

Mix rolled oats, yogurt and milk together in a large bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Combine oat flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda in a separate bowl.

Add oil, mashed bananas and egg to the wet rolled oat mixture and mix well.

Add dry oat flour mixture to wet oat mixture and mix together well. Stir in walnuts until well combined.

Fill muffin cups full. Bake for approximately 16-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for 5-10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

Raspberry Honey Butter

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup. low sugar raspberry preserves
2 Tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon kosher salt

Place butter and honey in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave on low for 30 seconds.  Butter should be soft but not melted and honey should be runny.  Add preserves and salt to butter and honey and mix until well combined.  Put in a small dish and place in the refrigerator to re-harden.  Take out a bit before serving so butter can come up to room temperature. Serve with breads, muffins, waffles or pancakes.

*Please note, I am not a doctor or nutritionist, so if you have a gluten allergy or intolerance and are wondering if you can eat oats, please speak to your health care provider.

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Lemon Blueberry Muffins

 

Hmmm…what to say about warm muffins fresh from the oven?  Well,these muffins take the cake in terms of delicious gluten free muffins, if I do say so myself!  I used to make a lemon-blueberry muffin recipe full of gluten and I was looking for a substitute to make for breakfasts and brunches.  I turned to my good friend almond flour for the lower carbohydrate count and protein factor.  I did some searching around and found a great blueberry muffin recipe.  I made it as it appeared (the link is below) but I felt that they would benefit from a little citrus.  Lemon zest andblueberries = a magical combination.

A few more facts about these muffins-they are amazing to take as a on-the-go breakfast.  I wake up EARLY and I can’t stomach breakfast first thing in the morning.  I am able to pack up one of these muffins and either eat it in the car or when I get into school in the morning.  Either way, it is something fast, low carb, full of protein and healthy fat and a great way to start the day.  I did an approximate carb count on them and figured about 15 grams of carb per muffin.  A 1.5 hour post meal blood sugar check confirmed that I was pretty accurate.  Please don’t take this as an official cab count however, it is more of a general approximation. These muffins are great on their own, with a little butter or with some cream cheese schmeared on top (although I haven’t tried that yet!).  ENJOY!

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Adapted from the Blueberry Muffins at Daniela’s Kitchen

1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/2 cups Honeyville blanched almond flour, packed
1/4 cup agave nectar
4 large eggs
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
zest of 2 large lemons (about 2 Tablespoons)
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

1. Pre-heat oven to 325°F.

2. For large muffins, spray 8 sections of a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. For smaller muffins, spray all 12 sections.

3. In a large bowl mix salt, baking soda, baking powder, almond flour and set aside.

4. In a medium bowl whisk eggs and oil.  Then mix in agave, vanilla and lemon zest.

5. Pour the wet mixture over the dry mixture, stir together with a large mixing spoon until well combined.

6. Fold in blueberries.

7. Fill 8 sections of the muffin tin to the top.  If you want smaller muffins, fill 12 sections half-3/4 of the way full.

8. Bake muffins for 25-30 minutes (for large muffins), or until muffins are brown on top and a toothpick comes out clean.

9. Let muffins cool in the tin for about 20 minutes and then gently coax them out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.  These muffins are pretty soft, so you may have to use a butter knife around the edges to get them out completely without the tops popping off.

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Homemade Apple Sauce

Apple sauce is one of those amazing comfort foods that not many people make at home anymore.  I remember when I was younger my grandma making applesauce for all the special occasions we would celebrate together as a family.  She would make one that was sugar free for me and another with sugar for the rest of the family.  I personally see no need to add sugar to applesauce if you buy apples that are not too tart.  Homemade apple sauce is good for you (an apple a day, right?), it is delicious, and most importantly it is easy!  I use one special piece of equipment, a Food Mill, but with the method I am going to show you, if you don’t want to buy a food mill or don’t own one already, there is a slightly more time consuming way to make it as well.

Apple sauce is GREAT for canning.  I do not know how to can (although I wish I did) and there are many people who make HUGE quantities of apple sauce and then can it. Check out these links if you are interested:

*Pick Your Own

*Make it Do

*Simply Canning

Homemade Apple Sauce

This is one of those recipes that is more of a method than a “I must stick exactly by the quantities to make this recipe work” recipe.

1. Gather apples.  The sweeter the apples, the sweeter the sauce.  Gala, Jonathan, Fuji and Pink Lady work well.  For this batch I used 10 apples that were getting a little mushy.  The texture was not great for eating, but that doesn’t matter for saucing.  However, as you can see from the picture, the skins of the apples are reddish/pinkish in color.  This will add a beautiful pink hue to the sauce.

2. Use either an Apple Corer and Slicer or a sharp knife to slice and core the apples.  DO NOT remove the apple peel.

3. Place apples in a large pot and add about an inch of water.  The apples will start to break down, so you don’t want to add too much water.

4. Cover the pot and bring to a boil.  When the water has been boiling for a bit, reduce heat to medium-high and cook until all the apples are cooked through.

5. Let the apples cool a bit and then if you do have a handy food mill, pass the mixture through the food mill.  If you don’t have a food mill you have two choices: 1. Cook the apples with no skins to begin with and mash them with a potato masher when done (the sauce will not have a pinkish hue) OR 2. Spend some time pick out all the skins once the sauce is cool, then you can mash with a potato masher.

6. At this point, when all my glorious apple sauce is in a large bowl, I add cinnamon to taste.  For the 10 apples I added about 1 Tablespoon.

7. EAT! YUM!

Note: you can eat this apple sauce warm or cool it off in the fridge.  Either way it is amazing.  I suggest either eating it as a snack, over latkes or with pork chops.

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Filed under breakfast, dairy free, dessert, egg free, gluten free, grain free, low sugar, nut free, paleo, side dish, snack, toddler approved, vegan, vegetarian