Friday, December 23, 2011

Pumpkin Bread

I have been thinking about what kind of treats I should make for neighborhood gifts this Christmas. I intended to give away English Toffee, but I started making it too early and ate it all. (The kids helped, of course.) Then, while walking around Costco, I sampled some pumpkin bread. My GF girls were offended that they couldn't have some, so I decided that I would make a gluten free version for them. It turned out so well that I've promoted it to "Chief Neighborhood Treat Plate Filler". Good name, huh?

I had initially intended to use my banana bread recipe and just use pumpkin instead of bananas (plus add some of the right kind of pumpkin appropriate spices). But when I started looking at pumpkin bread recipes online, I realized that they all had at least TWICE as much sugar as my banana bread and a lot more oil. I suppose that the reason for the extra sugar is because pumpkin is nowhere near as sweet as over-ripe bananas. I wasn't sure about the extra oil, but I decided it might have a good reason, too. So I took an online recipe, changed several things (used GF flours, changed the spices to match MY ideas of good pumpkin spices, etc), and baked away. The Costco version was covered with Cream Cheese Frosting. I haven't added frosting to mine because it's so darn good without it! (I must admit that my children have been having a heyday with the Nutella, though. Evidently they believe that chocolate hazelnut butter is the best accompaniment to pumpkin things ever invented. And I haven't really argued too much about it. Who could?)

Pumpkin Bread

3 cups canned pumpkin puree (practically a full 29 oz. can)
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
4 cups white sugar
6 eggs
5 cups EGF all-purpose flour
2 tsp. xanthan gum
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. mace

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 4 9x5 loaf pans. (I actually did 3 9x5 pans and then 2 4x3 pans.)

Combine pumpkin, oil, sugar, and eggs. Mix well.

In another bowl mix together the rest of the ingredients. Add to the pumpkin mixture and blend until well combined. Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans.

Bake at 350 for about 60 minutes. (The top should spring back when lightly touched, and a cake tester inserted into the thickest part of the loaf should come out clean.)

Cool. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Is That What I Think It Is?!?!!!

Well, maybe not. This is the proof of our second cookbook. We found a few boo-boos, but once those are fixed, we are all ready to print lots and lots of them! Isn't it pretty? Well, it's prettier in person . . . but it's still pretty darn exciting!

Monster Cookies

My neighbor's son came home from school with a recipe for Monster Cookies, begging his mom to make them. Being eight months pregnant, the last thing she wanted to do was sit in the kitchen and experiment with a new cookie recipe. She called me and together we slaved over these beasts. (We didn't really, but we tell the kids that so they love us more.) Since the title implies that they are extremely large cookies, that is how I made them. You should have seen kids' delight when I handed them their gigantic treat. And the best part is that they were delicious! Even though they were big, I still ate three!

Monster Cookies

3 eggs
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 pkg vanilla pudding mix
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups creamy peanut butter
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup m & m's
1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tsp xanthan gum
2 1/2 cups Quinoa or Gluten Free Oats
2 cups EGF all purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease cookie sheet.

In a very large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, pudding mix, and sugars. Mix well. Add the salt, vanilla, peanut butter, butter, baking soda, xanthan gum, flour, and quinoa (or oats). Stir in m & m's and chocolate chips. Roll 2 inch balls and flatten on prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 12 minutes.

Serve with a large glass of cold milk.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Red Velvet Cake

My neighbor is six months pregnant and one day she had a really strong craving for red velvet cake. She told me that we either needed to make the cake, or she was going to go buy one and make herself sick. Needless to say, we made the cake. It turned out beautiful. The picture doesn't quite do it justice. The color was a deep red, and the cake itself tasted amazing. Happy Cooking!

Red Velvet Cake

1/2 c shortening
1 1/2 c white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp butter flavored extract
3 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 ounce red food coloring
2 1/2 c EGF all-purpose flour
1 c sour cream
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 Tbsp rice vinegar

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Grease round pans or cupcake pans.

Cream together shortening, white sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and butter flavored extract in a large bowl.

Mix cocoa powder and food coloring into a paste in a small bowl and then add to shortening mixture. Pour in flour alternately with the sour cream, mixing until just incorporated.

Mix salt, baking soda, and vinegar in a small bowl, and while it is fizzing fold into the batter; mixing just enough to evenly combine. Pour the batter into prepared pan.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.