Sunday, January 5, 2014

Punkin Chunkin' Muffins {Gluten Free}

I love when a new recipe idea just kind of "happens" and this is one of them. I knew I had more pumpkin puree thawed in the fridge but not sure how to use it. I could always make more pumpkin baked oatmeal, or pumpkin sticky buns (just did not have the energy for them though) but I really wanted something different. Then I realized that my chunky monkey banana muffin recipe could probably be tweaked for pumpkin and that the topping for my sweet potato casserole would make a wonderful streusel topping and so these muffins were born!

Punkin Chunkin Muffins

1/2 c coconut flour
dash salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
dash cinnamon
pinch all spice, nutmeg, ginger
6 eggs
1/3 c sucanat
1/3 c coconut oil, melted (I usually place in a small glass dish and place in the oven so it can melt while the oven preheats)
1 T vanilla
1 c pumpkin puree

1/3 c brown sugar or sucanat
1/3 c almond flour
1/2 c soft butter or coconut oil (melted)
1/3 c pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional)
dash of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a small bowl, mix together flour, salt, spices and baking soda. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin, eggs, sucanat, oil, and vanilla. Mix the dry ingredients with the wet till thoroughly mixed. Mix together all ingredients for topping. Scoop batter into muffin tins to 3/4 full and add topping. Bake for 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Almond Cookies {Gluten Free}

A little over a year ago I was excited to receive an email from a colleague at school, letting me know that the almond cookies that were in the faculty room were naturally gluten free- I was excited! Most of the treats that come in are gluten-filled, which is alright because quite frankly I don't need to eat them anyway but to have a treat come in that I can try every once in a while is nice! Thank you, Jen, for bringing in these yummy cookies and sharing the recipe!

I did make these once last winter but forgot to take a picture...ok, I didn't forget, they just were eaten so fast I didn't have a chance! They turned out much better the first time, thick and fluffy. These cookies have the most unique crunchy/chewy texture and wonderful flavor from the almonds. They are very high on the sugar content so I only make them once a year and when I know I will be able to share them with friends or family.

They are a bit messy if using a hand mixer to blend the almond paste and sugar as both are fairly dry. This year I used my Ninja (with the dough attachments) which left for less mess but over-blending of the dough which caused it to be runny which led to flatter cookies. However flat they were, they still had great flavor and texture and made more cookies that way. I will probably make them in the Ninja again since they were so much easier that way and the recipe below reflects using a food processor over a hand mixer.

Almond Cookies

1 lb almond paste (You can find this near the nuts/chocolate in the baking aisle in 8oz cans. I have been unable to find an organic version but would like to try making my own sometime.)
1 lb sugar (about 1 1/2 c)
5 egg whites
Optional- almond slivers; melted chocolate

Blend paste and sugar in food processor (with lid on!) until crumbly. Add egg whites and continue blending/pulsing until combined. Put dough in the fridge for 1 hour up to several weeks.

Preheat oven to 350. If the dough is firm you can form into balls, roll in almond slivers and place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet. If the dough is runny, drop spoonfuls onto paper and sprinkle with almond slivers.

Bake for 9 minutes, turn pans and bake another 9 minutes. You may need a few extra minutes, keep an eye on them, you want a slight tan color but they will burn quickly.

Once they are cooled you can dip or drizzle melted chocolate (I did not do that this time, they are sweet and good enough without it.)

When you store them do not let them touch as they will stick together, separate with parchment or wax paper.
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