Thursday, 24 October 2013

Mindy's Gluten-Free Strawberry Cupcakes

My lovely and talented sister-in-law makes the most delicious gluten-free baked goods! I have sampled these cupcakes several times - and can easily say these are the best gluten-free cupcakes I have ever had.


Mindy's Gluten-Free Strawberry Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Cheese frosting

Prep time: 25 min | Cook time: 20 min | icing 15 min
Total time: 60 min
Yield: 30 cupcakes
4 eggs
2 cup milk
9 tablespoons sugar
8 tablespoons grape seed oil
4 cup white rice flour (i use bob's red mill)
8 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoon salt
2 cups finely chopped fresh strawberries (i used my food processor and pulsed about five to six times until i don't see any big pieces)
300g goat cheese or cream cheese
1 stick butter room temp
1 cup powder sugar
1 tea spoon vanilla
or half vanilla bean scraped
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Line your cupcake tray with paper cups.
In another small bowl, combine white rice flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix the egg, milk and grape seed oil with a hand blender.
Fold in the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
Little lumps are fine to leave.
Fold in finely chopped strawberries.
Using ice cream scoop or icing bag to put the batter into the prepared cupcake liner,
filling each well about 2/3 full. Bake for 13-20 minutes until the edges are slightly browned.
In the mean time, while the cakes are baking, whip up your frosting.
First, whip your butter with paddle attachment.
When it has stiff peak and holds shape, add cream cheese little at a time. Whip until well whipped.
Add sugar at the end just to mix.
Set aside in the fridge until cupcakes cool down.
Take out the cupcakes from the oven.
Let them cool completely to frost them.
Bag your frosting and frost, decorate and munch, munch and crunch! 

Monday, 7 October 2013

Pumpkin Gingersnap Cookies

Sugar and spice and everything nice - these cookies are definitely ginger-spicy.  Thanks to the addition of pumpkin puree, unlike traditional gingersnap cookies, these cookies have a really soft centre with a perfect sugar-crust outside.

The ginger, molasses, and cloves overpower any sense of  pumpkin flavour - so if you are looking for a real pumpkin cookie, look elsewhere (I suggest Joy the Baker's pumpkin chocolate chip) These made an appearance at the office and helped use up some of the leftover pumpkin from my bread last week - trouble is, I still have more pumpkin left!  Oh dear, first world problems....

I think these cookies deserve an encore at holiday baking time - they would be perfect for cookie exchanges or holiday parties.   This recipe makes at least 3 dozen.

Pumpkin Gingersnap Cookies
slightly adapted from Two Peas and their Pod

1/2 cup of butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus more for rolling the cookies
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin
1/4 cup molasses
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, Cream butter and sugars together. Add the pumpkin, molasses, egg, and vanilla extract, mix until well combined.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until combined. Refrigerate the cookie dough for at least 1 hour. The dough can be chilled for 2-3 days.

When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 350° F.  Place sugar in a small bowl. Roll tablespoon-sized balls of dough in sugar until well coated and place on prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10–12 minutes, or until cookies look cracked and set at the edges. The cookies will still be soft. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a 2-3 minutes after removing them from the oven, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Pumpkin Ale Bread

Fall - apples, cool nights and warm days, bright coloured leaves, and pumpkins!

First pumpkin recipe of the season comes courtesy of Chatelaine magazine:  Pumpkin-ale sweet bread!

Question: Why are shelled pumpkin seeds called pepitas?  Anyone?  Shelled sunflower seeds are still sunflower seeds.  What makes pumpkin seeds special?

You need pumpkin ale for this case this isn't apparent. 

but there are usually several to choose from this time of year. 

Pumpkin Ale Bread

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp pumpkin-pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup pure pumpkin purée
                                       1/3 cup pumpkin ale
                                             1/4 cup canola oil
                                               1 tsp vanilla

                                               2/3 cup icing sugar
                                              2 tbsp pumpkin ale
                                               1/4 cup pepitas

PREHEAT oven to 350F. Lightly spray a 9 × 5-in. loaf pan with oil.
STIR flour with baking soda, pumpkin-pie spice and salt in a medium bowl.
WHISK eggs with brown sugar in a large bowl. Whisk in pumpkin purée, 1/3 cup ale, oil and vanilla. Whisk flour mixture into pumpkin mixture until combined. Scrape into prepared pan (batter will be thick). Smooth top.
BAKE in centre of oven until loaf is dark golden and a skewer inserted in centre of loaf comes out clean, 60 to 65 min. Transfer to a rack. Let stand 15 min. Run a knife along edges of loaf pan and transfer loaf to rack.
WHISK icing sugar and pumpkin ale in a small bowl. Spoon over top of loaf and sprinkle with pepitas.