Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Sugar Cut Out Cookies


These are the cookies I made last night with my kids. I adjusted the ingredients because my daughter cannot have seeds, as well as eggs, and I wanted to just make the sugar portion from coconut sugar and maple syrup and not stevia. I like stevia occasionally, but to be honest, more recently I don't like to use it as much and if I do like to mix it with one or more sweeteners to help balance the flavors, but also because it is also more processed that raw or more natural sweeteners like pure honey, maple syrup and even coconut palm sugar. So these are just a simple ingredient sugar cookie that doesn't need any gums to help it stick and they turn out almost perfect crispy and chewy and soft and crunchy. So no need to get all crazy with these.... keep it simple and let the kids have fun!


Sugar Cut Out Cookies
{vegan and egg, seed, nut and soy-free}
1 3/4 cup of finely ground certified GF oat flour
* I grind rolled oats in a high powered blender to make my own flour*
1 cup of rice flour (I used white rice here)
1/2 tapioca flour
1 cup of coconut palm sugar
1 ts. of baking powder
1/2 ts. sea salt
1/2 ts. of baking soda
1/4 cup of maple syrup (or can sub blackstrap molasses)
8 TB (around 2/3 cup) of soft or melted coconut oil
6 TB (around 1/2 cup) of unsweetened applesauce
1 TB of apple cider vinegar
1 TB of pure vanilla

In a large mixing bowl, mix together your dry ingredients first...then add the oil, applesauce and vanilla and maple syrup. Mix well with a fork or to be honest, your hands and fingers do the job best. Knead the lump of cookie dough in your hands for a few minutes until you get a perfectly mixed ball of cookie dough. If your dough is a touch sticky, then sprinkle some more rice flour to stiffen it right up. Then, stick the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes to stiffen up and ready for rolling out.

Roll out the ball of dough on a floured parchment paper. Try and keep the thickness around 1/2 inch and roll out as evenly as possible. Then start cutting with your favorite shapes. Put the cookies in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15-18 minutes. I like my cookies a bit crispier, so I stay around 18 minutes baking time, but if you want softer cookies then stay around 15 minutes.  This recipe should make about 2 dozen cookies but really depends on the size of your cutters and how big and small you want your cookies to be. Then let cookies completely cool before frosting...


Then, if you want to frost them here is a good base for a soft frosting that can be easily made into a color with cocoa powder, beet powder, spiraling, or get creative with your other food based colors. Use a powder to keep the consistency worthy of frosting. Also there are some really nice plant based food dyes out there too if you look at your health store. 

Dairy-Free Icing
1/2 cup of Spectrum Organic Palm Oil Shortening
1/2 cup of organic corn-free powdered sugar (I like Wholesome brand)
1-2 ts of coconut milk beverage or creamer
drizzle of maple syrup or honey
dash of sea salt

optional:
1-2 TB of cocoa powder, or beet powder, or spiralina green powder to make a colorful and flavorful frosting without the use of dye or fake chemicals

Use a kitchen aid mixer on high or a hand-held mixer to whip up this frosting to get out the lumps and get a creamy finished product. The above pictures are of using beet powder as the addition and crushed up organic candy canes as the extra topping.

another option:
using food-based food dyes to color the icing or even just sugar crystal to use as sprinkles

I hope you are finding ways to enjoy yourself in the kitchen this Christmas season. Keep it simple and let the kids have fun- thats my motto this year- and well maybe that should last longer than through just December.

Happy baking friends, and much love and light to you.

Much love,
Stephanie

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Mini Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

It's true- I have made many {many!} chocolate cupcakes in my gluten-free baking days. Most all of them have been made with eggs or even sometimes with the substitution of flax or chia gel. Yes, most of them have turned out pretty good and I think there are 3-4 recipes of said cupcakes already on this blog. And here I am, again, posting.. one... more...cupcake recipe.
This recipe is an example of my evolution of where I am with my current gluten-free baking life. And my evolution comes solely from my sweet daughter having both egg and seed allergies. So, I attempted the unthinkable.... gluten-free baking without eggs, dairy, nuts, seeds, gums, soy, and corn. But I like to pretend to be somewhat normal and not proclaim on the roof tops how these cupcakes are different. I would like you to try them, gluten-free and gluten-friends alike. These cupcakes are just as darn good as any other regular cupcake you will try and I like making them in the mini-size best because we all know you are going to want more than one. Seriously, this recipe I have made more than two dozen times this fall and holiday season for birthday, holiday and school parties. It is a keeper that you will want to have in your back pocket. I can actually say that you should disregard any other my previous cupcake recipes. This one is it!

I promise!

And I love to share, so now here you go!
Mini Chocolate Cupcake Recipe 
{egg, seed, nut, soy, dairy and corn free}
3/4 cup of finely ground GF oat flour
(I make my flour by grinding 1 cup of GF oats in high powered blender)
1/2 cup of white rice flour
1/4 cup of tapioca flour
1/2 cup of baking cocoa
1 cup of coconut palm sugar (I like Wholesome brand)
1 1/2 ts. of corn-free baking powder (I like Hain brand)
1 ts. baking soda
1 ts. of sea salt

1/2 cup of coconut milk beverage (I always use So Delicious brand)
mixed with 1 TB of apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup of melted coconut oil
1/4 cup of pure maple syrup
1/4 cup of pure applesauce
1 TB of pure vanilla

First, mix all of the dry ingredients in one large bowl, then in a measuring cup or glass mix the coconut milk beverage with the apple cider vinegar and let it curdle for a few minutes. Then add that and all the rest of the wet ingredients to the mixing bowl mix well and the mix may even get stiff as the coconut oil cools down. It may also look more like a brownie batter. Use an oiled TB spoon to spoon the batter into the mini cupcake tins in the pan. Or use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to measure a regular cupcake. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-22 minutes until stiff and no more gooey center. 

Let the cupcakes cool well and then frost with this little treasure frosting below...

Dairy-Free Frosting
1/2 cup of Spectrum Organic Palm Oil Shortening
1/2 cup of organic corn-free powdered sugar (I like Wholesome brand)
1/4 cup of pure honey
1 ts. of pure vanilla
1/4 cup of very soft coconut oil
1 TB of coconut milk beverage or creamer
dash of sea salt
1-2 TB of cocoa powder, or beet powder, or spiralina green powder to make a colorful and flavorful frosting without the use of dye or fake chemicals

In the photos of the cupcakes I added the cocoa powder and made a light chocolate flavor frosting.
I topped the frosting with dye-free sprinkles