Category Archives: Snacks

Last minute cinnamon rolls

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Last minute cinnamon rolls

Made just in time for coffee and a playdate.

Winter break from work was FULL!  We were super busy with the “have-to-do” doctor appointments, dental visits, etc but even better was the fact that everyday we had a playdate or outing or event planned with friends.

We even ventured to “Zoo Lights” for the first time (so much more enjoyable with little people in tow).  I am such a wimp that I almost started to cry too.  Okay, not at Zoo Lights, but on the silly school bus “shuttle” ride from the parking lot up to the Zoo.   Good thing it was night-time and no one but myself realized that I was getting weepy at the thought of having the good fortune of being able to ride a school bus with the Littles on their first ever school bus ride! (I know, I’m a dork.  I even took pictures.  Pictures only a mom would love….and post online .  LOL)  I would have to say that the bus ride was one of their favorite things about Zoo Lights too (easy to please kids).  They also love the fact that the aquarium was open.  We spent a long time searching for The Octopod (from the UK cartoon called the “Octonauts” – it’s an obsession here) in the shark tank.

I’ve found a few websites online that show how to make an Octopod out of plastic salad bowls…. that might be a project around here soon as the toys are not yet in the US for sale.  But crafting is totally not on the agenda yet.  Finals are coming up and I have HUGE pile of papers needing to be grades.  Egad.  I hate grading. :S

One late morning play date during break, I had time to make something scrumptious.  I didn’t really have a plan but  I ended up making a small batch (seen above it fed two adults and three toddlers) of cinnamon rolls to go along with our coffee.  Our guests were of the gluten-eating variety and I’m fairly certain these were the first gluten-free goodies she & he had eaten.  I don’t think this recipe is perfect.  In fact, I’m posting it just to show you a recipe in the works.

This is what I like about this recipe:

  • quick
  • easy
  • not totally bready
  • tasty

This is what I want to work on with it:

  • maybe a little more bready?

See the problem? LOL!

I think because I’m making cinnamon rolls that it should match the idea that most people have:  heavy on the bready side.  But honestly, I rather liked these little ones.  I didn’t top it with a frosting or drizzle as I think there was plenty of sugar with just the cinnamon-sugar mix and crunchy bottom for my tastes.  The little-size meant that they were quite friendly to a late morning coffee treat and a snack for little people.  (I admit that I could have devoured this pan by myself without witnesses, but there were people about so I shared.)

Anywho…. what kind of late morning treat do you like?  I adore muffins (more than cupcakes)and I think that is next on my to-be-tackled list.  I want to make a fluffy carrot cake-muffin.  :D  And you?

Here’s this recipe so you can play along.  I wonder how it will evolve for me over time.  It’s one of the last pages in my notebook (the one I use to record recipe development) so I hope it gets a good work out before I figure out how to transfer these ideas into a collection of sorts for myself.

A small batch:  Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls

Printable recipe can be found here.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups GF Flour (I used my blend)
2 T. buttermilk powder – or dry milk powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1/2 cup warm water
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1 T. honey

Topping:
4 tablespoons softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon (or more to taste)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Mix together dry ingredients in the bowl of your mixer.
  3. Dump on all wet ingredients.
  4. Mix until well blended and there are no lumps.  Dough should come together and be pliable but not super sticky.
  5. Scrap into a ball shape.  Lay two sheets of parchment paper out on the counter.  Dust the top of one with GF flour mix. Shape the ball into a disc with lightly floured hands.  Place the disc onto the lightly floured parchment paper surface.  Dust the top of the disc with a bit more flour.  Top with the remaining parchment paper.  Roll the dough out until it is a large shape that is about 1/4-1/3 of an inch thick.  Remove the top parchment paper.
  6. “Frost” the top of the dough with the softened butter evenly.  Mix together the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Shake/sprinkle the top of the dough with all but 2 Tablespoons (or so) of the mixture.
  7. Roll the dough up into a long tube.  Cut into 6-8 small pieces.  Place on parchment paper into a baking dish.  Sprinkle the top with the remaining cinnamon sugar mix.
  8. Bake at 350F for 16-23 minutes until baked through – browned on top and will reach a temperature of 195F on a thermometer if you hit the dough and not the molten sugar. :D

What recipes are you working on perfecting in your kitchen?
~Kate

Gluten Free Chinese Scallion Pancakes

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Oh my.

GF Scallion Pancakes

I warn you.  This recipe is dangerous.  As in – definitely need oil/fats and holy cow…you will NOT be able to eat just one.  At least not if you are like me.

Traditional scallion pancakes are layered with scallions and sesame oil.  This layered makes for a flakier pancake and delicious seasoning throughout.  The layering happens because the dough is rolled out like a pie crust (about that thick) which is then painted/drizzled with sesame oil and green onions sprinkled on top.  Then you roll it up into a tube and flatten again.  Do this a couple of times and you have scallions and seasoning throughout.

Since I’m not interested in standing at the counter for that long between toddlers and pancakes, I add my green onions into the dough.  We do, however, roll it out as well and fold/flatten a few times in order to get the layers and sesame oil throughout.  (Really, the only thing I skipping is the green onion part and the rolling into a tube.)

Honestly this works for me, so I am just going to keep this pattern.  Here’s what it looks like:

1.  Make the dough (recipe below).

2.  Divide it into the number of pancakes you wish to make.  (We usually make between 8 – 12 with this recipe.)

3.  Take one piece and flatten it into a disc.  Put it between two pieces of parchment (or I cut two sides on a gallon-sized baggie for this).  Roll it out into a rounded, pie crust shape that is about 1/4 inch thick (or a little less, once you have practice).

4.  Paint it with a thin layer of sesame oil with a pastry brush (or drizzle and use the back of a spoon to smooth it out evenly).  Sprinkle with salt.

5.  Fold it in half.  Brush with another thin layer of sesame oil (you can sprinkle with salt IF you find after frying/testing the first one, it isn’t salty enough for you with just one layer of sprinkled salt).

6.  Repeat:  fold/paint with a thin layer of sesame oil.

7.  That was the last fold.  This time, don’t brush it with sesame oil but gently flatten it/roll it out into your pancake shape.  The fry it in a little bit of olive oil (about 1 teaspoon or less per side) until golden brown.  Serve right away with the dipping sauce (recipe below) or keep it warm in a warm oven until all of your pancakes have been fried up to their golden goodness.

Are you hungry yet?

Okay, I’ll quit teasing.  Here’s the recipe.

Gluten Free Chinese Scallion Pancakes

Recipe makes 8 large or up to 12 medium/small pancakes (or a combination of both!)

Ingredients:
2 cups GF Flour Mix (I used GF Mama’s Almond Flour Blend)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoons salt
1 cup boiling water
2 Tablespoons olive oil (plus more for frying)
1/2-2/3 cup of finely chopped green onion
sesame oil (up to 1/4 cup – depending on quantity of pancakes/desired flavor)
salt or sea salt for seasoning

Directions:

  1. Mix together GF flour mix, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt.
  2. Add one cup of boiling water.  Mix again.
  3. Add olive oil and chopped green onion.  Your dough should look like this after mixing again:

GF Scallion Pancakes

4.  Shape it into a ball.  Divide into the number of pancakes you wish and follow the directions above for rolling out and painting with sesame oil.

5.  Fry in a small bit of oil (a teaspoon or less) in a non-stick pan until golden brown.  Flip and fry the other side until golden as well.  (You may need to add a drizzle of oil for it to crisp up golden perfection.  Serve warm with dipping sauce (recipe to follow) or keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.

(Non-traditionally – you can always use these are the basis for some AMAZING turkey sandwiches too!)

Quick and Easy Dipping Sauce

There are traditional sauces you can simmer or rest with ginger, scallions, etc.  But I used this quick one.  Truly, it works in a pinch.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup gluten free soy sauce
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon minced/chopped (left over!) scallions
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger  (if using fresh, you will need to slice it thin and let soak in sauce to infuse flavor)

  1. Mix together and serve with fresh, warm scallion pancakes.

I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!
~Kate

Unbelievably fabulous: Gluten Free Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Really. Un-freakin’-Believably DELICIOUS.

GF Oatmeal & Peanut Butter Cookies

GF Peanut Butter, Oatmeal and Chocolate Chip Cookies
Photo by Kate Chan

I have finally clicked “POST GRADES” on my last class for the semester. The finals are all stacked up neatly and ready to be returned to the students. And I am DONE DONE DONE! I truly love my job (parenting wins, but teaching is great too! LOL) but the paperwork involved is insane. Really. It is.

It follows you wherever you are: classroom desk, reminders written on post-it notes scrunched quickly into pockets or my purse, email (everywhere!), class web page updates, in the car next to the kids day-care bag rides my school BAGSSSSSS, and on every spare surface in the family room/office of the house. Teaching paperwork hangs around link a lingering perfume. And after a while, you are almost drowning in it. And it never ends.

I am just getting better at carving out time for me and my family. There are several hours each day when we are just here together – wherever that may be. But together? Always.

And now both babes are engaged in conversation and action (the baby just sat up for the first time tonight by herself!), life is getting good. The Chicklet and I have been whipping up cookies, rolls and pancakes like nobody’s business. And she has some interesting ideas for flavors. In her mind, everything needs a little cumin. I’m fairly certain that this influence comes from two things: (1) my mention of needing milk and cumin as the purpose for our grocery trip MONTHS ago and (2) her dad will eat anything and EVERYTHING with cumin in it. ;D

I know I’ve been stressed about the paperwork/semester finals etc when we’ve made several batches of cookies. And once again, it’s fabulous to have colleagues to happily volunteer to munch on your test batches of cookies or my booty would seriously needs its own zip code. :D

Do you have a favorite cookie flavor?

I enjoy peanut butter cookies and my sister’s blue ribbon winning “Aunt Selma’s Oatmeal” cookies. But when I decided to make some cookies, a couple things came up. First, I’m not a fan of using vegetable shortening any more. I can really taste it after making something with it. So that was something I needed to modify from the Aunt Selma’s recipe. And two: I wanted some chocolate! :D And that is always a happy thing – unless there isn’t a lot of chocolate in the house.

Anyway, after a few attempts, I have my perfect hybrid recipe. This one is easily adapted too. I’ve used it with almond nut butter in lieu of the peanut butter. I’ve used peanut butter and sliced almonds (instead of the oatmeal) too. I’ve used my GF flour mix with delicious results, and my favorite batch used just millet and sweet rice flours. YUM! Oh – and you can make large or small cookies – and even freeze the little dough balls for “cookies on the fly” if you would like. (This was particularly helpful for me as I am the only cookie-sweet-tooth in the house.) And there is no need for gums of any kind.

Genius, right?

Well, okay. Not really. But it is fabulously tasty. And I will continue to make this recipe over and over again. I think my next trip to the store will involve some hazelnut butter, sliced almonds and dark chocolate chunks. :D It’s going to be a fabulous weekend.

How will you make yours?

GF Peanut Butter, Oatmeal, and Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe makes 24 -28 small (1.5 inch) cookies or 12 -18 large (2.5 inch+) cookies

Download a printable copy of this recipe here.

Or get a PDF copy of it here. (with a photo to remind you)

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, cold but not hard
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
1 egg
1 1/12 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup GF Flour OR 2/3 cup millet flour + 1/3 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 GF-certified oats (OR 1/2-2/3 cup sliced almonds)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (OR peanut butter-chocolate chips, or chocolate chunks, etc)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F if baking (not freezing) the cookies.
  2. Cream together butter, white sugar and brown sugar for 4 minutes on medium.
  3. Add vanilla and egg. Beat mixture again for 2 minutes on medium-high.
  4. Add peanut butter. Beat again for 2 minutes on medium-high.
  5. Add flour(s), oats, baking soda and salt. Mix again. Dough will be exactly like regular cookie dough.
  6. Quickly and carefully (so as not to mash them) mix in the chocolate chips and chocolate chunks.
  7. If you are freezing the cookies, form in to the size ball that you want. Place the balls on a plate so that they are not touching. Place the plate of cookie balls with a loose covering of plastic wrap in the freezer for 20-30 minutes. When the balls have hardened and are no longer super-sticky, move them into a freezer-ready package (freezer bag or other type of freezer container). Use as you would any other frozen cookie ball. Remove as many as you wish and bake at 350F for 15-18 minutes (small cookies) or 22-25 minutes (larger ones). Watch the baking time as it will vary based on the size of your cookie, how frozen/cold the cookie dough, and your oven. The photo above shows the golden brown tinges that you are looking for to determine “doneness”.
  8. If you are baking the cookies right away, shape into balls. (I use my ice cream scoop when wickedly lazy and wish for large cookies. It works great with this recipe. I might just have to invest in the little cookie scoops.)
  9. Place the cookies on a cookie sheet covered with a silpat or parchment paper. Bake for 11-13 minutes for small cookies or for 15 – 18 minutes for large ones.
  10. Remove from the oven when the top begins to turn golden brown. (See the photo above.) Allow the cookies to cool for 3-4 minutes before attempting to move them on to a cooling rack. Cool and pack for transport to work (or to a hiding place in the kitchen for your secret stash of goodness).

Enjoy!
Kate

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