Posts tagged ‘chocolate’

February 27, 2013

Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

gluten free cupcakes

Is there anything that will cheer you up better than a cupcake? There are few things that can put a smile on my face quicker than a delicious mountain of frosting perched atop a perfectly individually sized hunk of cake.

That being said, when I found out a good friend of ours had been “couched” with a ski injury, I knew just the ticket to make him feel at least a little better about the whole ordeal.

CUPCAKES!!!

It’s fortunate for him that I suffered a wheat allergy and had plenty of random, non-wheat flours hanging around the house. And it’s fortunate for me that I got to use some of them because I’m certain they don’t last forever!

Since I’m not a full-time non-wheat-eater, I haven’t spent great amounts of time practicing and testing different combinations. I mostly stick to good ol’ Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour when I am baking because I know the combination works the way I need it to. Well, of course I wouldn’t have anymore of THAT in my box! So I had to improvise. And I have to say, I’m pretty dern proud of how they came out.

gluten free cupcakes

Gluten Free (and also, as luck would have it, vegan) Chocolate Cupcakes with (not vegan) Peanut Butter Frosting

2 cups Mr. and Meatless’ all purpose gluten free flour (see recipe below)

1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tsp baking soda

1 cup coconut sugar (feel free to go ahead and use regular old white sugar if you wish. I use this because my mom is allergic to the white stuff and she usually likes to taste test)

sprinkling of salt

1/2 tsp xanthan gum

3/4 cup almond milk

Yep, that’s it. Now throw it all in your mixer and let ‘er rip! Scoop into a lined muffin pan and sort of flatten it out in there (use all the batter among the 12 spots). I also opened the oven and patted them into the correct shape just as they started getting firm on top, just to make sure they didn’t come out all hoaky. The batter is THICK, and it seems wrong, but it’ll be okay. Have a lil faith. Anyway, bake for about 20 minutes…the tops will be firm and you can poke them with a toothpick and the pick will come out not soupy. Let them cool all the way before frosting.

Mr. and Meatless’ all purpose gluten free flour

2 cups brown rice flour

1 cup sweet sorghum flour

1 cup coconut flour

1 cup potato starch

Whisk all the flours and starch together. Use what you need, then store the rest in an airtight container in the fridge for ultimate freshness.

Peanut Butter Frosting

I have a hard time with frosting recipes. I keep adding stuff until it tastes right, but this is more or less the gist of it.

1 stick of butter, softened.

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cupĀ  milk of your choice

5 cups powdered sugar

Combine the butter and peanut butter in a largish bowl. Next add the powdered sugar and milk and stir until just mixed. It IS possible to overmix and then your butter gets all melty and your frosting is too soft and it’s all a big mess. This is also why I use a spoon and not my mixer. If you’ve mixed a reasonable amount and your frosting is too thick, add a little bit more milk…like a splash at a time. If it’s too thin, add more powdered sugar.

gluten free cupcakes

Wasn’t that amazingly easy? I’ve always been intimidated by gluten free baking. But these, my friends, were both incredibly easy to make and completely delish. Enjoy!

gluten free cupcakes

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January 21, 2013

Granola Balls!

I think we’ve got it all wrong. We should be working two days a week and have five days to play and having fun and work on our projects and bake and whatever else we fancy. I know that’s more or less a ridiculous idea, but hey, a girl can dream, right?

I’ve actually been thinking a lot about work lately, about how this job was always supposed to be temporary, something to get me to the next phase of my professional life, which, in seven and a half years since I graduated from college, just hasn’t happened. After contemplating it a little (and freaking out a lot), I came to the conclusion that there are three reasons why I stay at this job, which doesn’t satisfy me in the least: #1. The money. Isn’t it always a little bit about money when you dislike your job? #2. I DO enjoy working with my brother…most of the time…when he’s not throwing office equipment. and #3, the biggest of them all: I don’t know what else to do.

Sure, I enjoy certain things that have the potential to become money-making endeavors: photography, writing, baking. But none of them are go-out-and-apply-for-the-job type careers. They take time to cultivate into something that can translate into our mortgage payment. And I’ve never been patient. And honestly, I have a hard time taking an idea and converting it into action. I get the brilliant beginnings and then they fizzle out, seeming to hit a mental brick wall in my brain.

And now I’ve started ranting about it and you probably think I have some profound conclusion to present to you now. I’ve figured it out! Right? But alas, I haven’t. All I got for you is a pretty cool recipe for what I’m calling “granola balls.” Jim helped me come up with the name. They’re kind of my take on like protein or energy balls, but Jim likes to eat granola bars for breakfast, so I told him they’re granola balls so the transition would be easier for him.

granola balls1

Granola Balls!

(yes, they do have an ! at the end)

makes approximately 16 balls…if you don’t eat about a ball’s worth while you’re mixing

1 cup rolled oats

3/4 cup almond butter

1/4 cup flaxseed meal

2 tbps honey

3 tbsp protein powder

handful of chocolate chips

handful of shredded coconut

Mix and mash and smush it all together. Roll into balls. Enjoy!

As for that other stuff we talked about today, I’ll keep you posted. I think I’m beyond the freaking out phase and into the lets-get-something-done phase. It’s hard for me. But I can do it. Just keep telling myself that, right? I can do it!

 

Any photographers, writers or bakery owners out there have any advise for me on how to run a successful business in those fields?

July 11, 2012

Oh what a day

I am just sitting down to my desk for the first time today. It’s almost 2 p.m. This morning I had to go down to El Dorado County’s building department to handle some things (in my dad’s absence) regarding our second shop building. It’s boring, so I won’t go into details. But I was there for almost three hours.

Breakfast this morning was delicious. I was totally channeling fall on this one. I had a little bit of extra time, so I decided to make some oatmeal. On top, I put some pumpkin butter, some toasted pecans and a small handful of chocolate chips. It was so yummy. The chocolate added just enough sweet. I definitely felt nostalgic for fall.

I love Cold Hollow Cider Mill. They’re in Vermont and I was soooo happy to find out that they have a website where you can order their stuff. I loooove this pumpkin butter. Their maple syrup is to die for and pretty much everything else they carry is delicious as well.

So after breakfast I rush down to the county offices and wait while my architect is 1/2 an hour late. And then sit in various offices for two and a half hours, filling out paperwork, signing checks, listening to the architect talk with whoever about whatever. Then I had to deliver plans to the fire district as well as the water district (hey, at least we’re covering our bases!) before I could finally come in to the office. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining about the time away from my desk. If it wasn’t hotter than Hades out there, it would have been fine.

Anyway, so to back up the bus a little, the offices for El Dorado County are in Placerville, about a 20-25 minute drive from my office. Since I got out just before lunchtime, I decided to grab some chow from one of my favorite places in Pville.

They serve all sorts of fresh, organic foods and yummy beverages. I got a dirty chai…which is a chai tea latte with a shot of espresso…with almond milk (how many other places offer almond milk?!). For lunch I ordered their “Righteous Rice Bowl” with tuna. I ordered it to go, but here’s a photo of the same rice bowl I ordered with my mom a few weeks ago.

It had rice, beans, cheese, tuna, avocado, carrots, cabbage, red onion, sprouts, cilantro, two different kinds of sauces and probably all sorts of stuff I’m not remembering at the moment. It was so good.

And the Cozmic Cafe is super cool. It’s in this really old building and has a mine shaft at the back…

And I just learned today that there’s seating back there!

Yea, it’s a little creepy. But it was the coolest place in the entire restaurant!

So now I’m at work…and since I’ve been writing this (okay, and browsing Pinterest), I have 45 minutes before it’s time to leave. And then I’m off to the gym for my daily 30 minutes of aerobic exercise and home to make dinner…which I’ve yet to make a decision about. I’d better get on that.

What are you having for dinner? Anything corn and wheat free?