Category Archives: Ideas

Gluten Free Grasshopper Cupcakes: Mint-Chocolate & Chocolate Chip

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Gluten Free Mint-Chocolate Cupcakes
Gluten Free Mint-Chocolate Cupcakes

Gluten Free Mint-Chocolate Cupcakes

A couple months ago, a colleague brought me some small gluten free cupcakes from a local bakery.  They were “grasshopper” cupcakes, she told me.  I was curious.  She handed me the box and smiled.  Said because they were gluten free, she snapped them up as she “knew someone” who could enjoy them.  I’m the lucky someone, I told her.  I thanked her profusely for thinking of me and promised to give them a try at lunch time. (It was 7AM, after all, when she delivered them.)  The school day started with the rush of students, papers, lessons, activities, things to manage, etc and soon lunch arrived.

I opened the box of cupcakes.   There were FOUR of them.  Four?  Hot dog!

And then I looked more closely.  Egad…they were CHOCOLATE!  I know this sounds ridiculous, but I am really NOT a fan of chocolate cake.  I am fairly certain my aversion to chocolate cake and ice cream stems from a not-too-fun incident when I was 6.

We had just moved in to our new house on the East Coast when my family noticed a birthday party of little girls in the nearby cup-de-sac.  Since they were all my age, I was encouraged and “included”…. and petrified.  I didn’t know any of them – but my anxiety tends to display itself as super-social behavior.  I guess it fit the birthday party mode.  What didn’t fit was the superhuman consumption of chocolate cake (GIANT portions with major frosting) and chocolate ice cream (HUGE SCOOP).  I …. well…. ended the party ill.  And never socialized with the little girls in the nearby cul-de-sac again.  (Way to kick off a new school/new school year with a reputation, huh?)

Needless to say, I was bummed to see chocolate cupcakes.  Since I had told my colleague I would let her know what they were like, I forced myself to take a small bite of one.  And wow.  They were good cupcakes!  They were light, had an airy crumb and tasted nicely.  (They were a bit crumbly…but hello? Gluten free!)  I shared the other three cupcakes with 3 of my students who are also gluten intolerant or have Celiac Disease.  (It’s amazing to me the number of kids who are gluten free now – we even have a “gluten free club” in the high school!).  They were a hit with everyone.

And I thought about going down to pick up more cupcakes from that bakery another day.  So about 2 weeks ago before Valentine’s Day, I brought the girls down there to pick up some cupcakes for Valentine’s dessert.  Everyday the flavors offered change (apparently) and I was bummed to discover that the gluten free cupcake “of the day” was not Grasshopper.  To boot, each standard (as in what you would make at home = smallish cupcake) cost $2.50 – or “$30/dozen)  (Ummmm..hello?).  Needless to say, I will not be a cupcake-purchasing Momma again for a while.

And the girls?  Well, one of them ate the frosting off their cupcake and the other took 3 bites of the cake before declaring she was “done”.  Next time I will buy one for them to split and save myself the wallet-busting heartache when I tossed the uneaten cupcakes into the trash.

But I still couldn’t get over the cupcake my colleague had given me.  So I set out to make one myself.

Recipe Testing

Recipe testing

I’m happy to report that I ditched the ratios, squashed the “dense cupcake” dilemma and discovered the best cupcake I’ve had in a VERY long time.  I have thoroughly tested this recipe (have made it at least 6 times in the last two weeks) and sent samples out and about in the world with a wide variety of testers: (1) gluten intolerant/celiac “used to the gluten free baked good” crowd, (2) my non-gluten free  but utterly wonderful colleagues who have tasted a dozen + recipes for me without complaint but great tips; (3) the toddler/youngster set in the house and with my friends; and this time – I dared request testers from my could-be-professional cake-baker buddies.  Really.  One of my colleagues could easily retire and bake cakes for big bucks for people.  (PS.  And she’s grossed out by gluten free stuff…ha!)

All of my testers have report HAPPY and DELICIOUS results.  I hope you will too.  Even the pro-baker-to-be has requested the recipe for when she may need a gluten free go-to cake. She said, and I quote “I would have NEVER known that this was a gluten free cake.  It was perfect.”   (Yes!)

A recipe tester

 

GFGrasshopperCupcakes

I hope you enjoy these cupcakes as much we have.  If you noticed, I’m trying to figure out the best recipe-print plugin for my new blog format.  Forgive me for playing around a bit until we figure it out. :D

Happy cupcake baking – I’m on to my next task:  converting this recipe for a lighter, airy non-chocolate version.  So far?  So good!

~Kate

Celebrating a new web home: Best Ever GF Blueberry Muffins

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Best Ever Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins

Welcome to the new “home” for GlutenFreeGobsmacked!

I’ve owned this domain for years, but for some crazy reason, I never left wordpress.com.  Well, I bit the bullet now.  It took a bit of a migraine to get everything over here and things may not be exactly the way I want/need them to be, but for now it works.  I’m going with “works”.  There are too many other things in life to worry about (I’m a bit of a worrier) than a website.   That is for sure!

Untitled

 

I thought my first post here would be a recipe for this delicious Cinnamon & Honey bread that I made this winter a few times.  It’s so good – and makes the best bread for sandwiches.  (And I know I shouldn’t say this as almost everyone toasts their GF bread and wishes for the delectable NON-toasted bread – but wow, I love it toasted with peanut butter too. )  I even have another recipe in waiting:  gluten free pumpkin muffins.

The sad news there?  They are so good, I never get a picture in time! I did make a mini-loaf with the same pumpkin muffin recipe and that one lasted a bit longer (thanks to the fact that I hid one for my lunch!).   The muffin kick around here has made lunch packing super easy for me too.  The mini muffins fit perfectly into their little bento boxes with some fruit and cheese.  And done. :D

My sweet husband brought the girls to the grocery store last night after work.  We haven’t been in more than two weeks (thanks to the flu).  We were literally out of everything but milk.  The fridge is now stuffed to the gills and there is enough fruit and fresh vegetables to kick this influenza to the curb.  He even picked up some fresh blueberries for me and the girls.  But since he also picked up a pack of blueberry muffins from the bakery for the girls, I started craving blueberry muffins.  And then I remembered this super easy recipe I made last summer a bunch of times.

It’s perfect.  Not too sweet (some muffins should just be called cupcakes, in my opinion).  Not too big (again, mini muffins rule the world here). And quick to make (like all muffins should be!)

I do use gluten free oats in this recipe.   I only use certified gluten free oats as the cross-contact concerns are real.  Please feel free to substitute the oat flour in this recipe for brown rice flour and rice bran (50/50).

To make the oat flour, I just put a cup of oats into my food processor and whirled away until ground up nicely.  To make the oats less “bumpy” as my girls say, i soak them a bit before adding them to the mix.  Adding them directly makes for some chewier spots in the muffins which is a bit of a distraction for the Littles in the house, just a head’s up.

Happy gluten free muffins to you and yours -
Enjoy!
Kate

PS.  I had some issues with my recipe plugin for WordPress.  Please click on this image to get to a PDF/Google Doc of the recipe.  Sorry for the inconvenience! GFBlueberryMuffins

Korean-inspired Sweet & Spicy Wings

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Korean-inspired Sweet & Spicy wings

I don’t know how many of you have tried Korean spicy chicken wings prior to having to eat gluten free, I only did once.  And they were delicious, sticky, spicy and oh-so-good! My husband often picks up a pack when we are at the Korean grocer for munching.  I don’t make them at home – usually – because not only are they tossed in seasoned flour (not GF, but easily converted) but they are deep-fried.

Now that is a mess I don’t like.  I like fried food as much as the next person but man, I hate that mess if prepared at home.

The other thing I don’t think I’ve ever gotten 100% right was the seasoning.  That sticky red-spicy and sweet sauce that coats the wings seems to also differ rather significantly depending on who is making it.  Since his favorite Korean chicken place closed a long while back (16 months +?), I know he’s been craving these wings.  And quite honestly, I wanted some sticky goodness too. :D

This time around, I rinsed the pack of wings, patted them dry, seasoned them (salt, pepper & granulated garlic) and put them in the oven at a very high heat (450F+).  I flipped them a bit more than half way through cooking (25 minutes?) and broiled them for another 8-10 minutes until they were crispy brown.  Frying averted.

The only thing that remained was making the spicy-sweet sauce to coat them in. (I made it while they baked.)  Most of the recipes given to me over time contain “mulyeot” which is a malted corn syrup.  Since it is traditionally made with barley but now seems that most are making it with corn, I avoid it.  I don’t know enough about the processing, preparation, etc and the words “barley” and “malt” are all I need to know sometimes.  I substituted corn syrup (in the recipe below) but next time will also add some brown sugar to caramelize this even more.

If you are looking for a sweet & spicy wing recipe, this might be for you too!

Korean-inspired Spicy & Sweet Wing Sauce

Makes enough for 12-15 full chicken wings  (4 pounds+?)

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons gluten free soy sauce
1 Tablespoon corn syrup (or honey)
1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons mirin or other rice wine
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1 teaspoons Korean red chili powder (less/more to taste)
2 teaspoons minced jalapeño (seeded!  Or not – if you want it to be HOT HOT HOT!)
3 Tablespoons water (or 1 1/2 Tablespoons ginger juice* + 1 1/2 Tablespoons water)

Directions:

  1. Mix together GF soy sauce, corn syrup (or honey), sugar, mirin, garlic, ginger, chili powder and 3 Tablespoons water.  (Reserve jalapeños – if you want to keep their color bright. If it doesn’t matter to you, toss them in now.)
  2. Taste!  (no kidding!  Dip your finger in and taste this mix.  Is it sweet enough?  It will get a bit spicier as you let it blend together, but if it is not spicy enough or you doubt that it will be, add some more jalapeño or chili powder.)
  3. Bring it to a boil then lower the heat.  Allow mixture to simmer – stirring frequently – until it has reduced by almost half.  It will thickly coat the back of a metal spoon when dipped and removed from the mixture.  (If time is running out – or you don’t think it is as thick as you’d like, you can speed up the thickening (but diminish the flavor intensity a bit) by mixing together 1 teaspoon cornstarch (not flour) and 2 teaspoons of water.  Add this to the simmering sauce at the end and stir constantly.  The sauce will thicken over heat with this mixture, so watch that you don’t over thicken it as well.)
  4. Pour the sauce into a large bowl when done.  Add a few wings at a time and stir to coat the wings well.  Remove and place on a serving dish.  Continue until all wings are coated. (Sometimes we even save some of the sauce before dipping the wings in for dipping while eating – just an option.)

Happy GF Eating!
Kate