baking

Carol's Soft Ginger & Molasses Cookies

Soft Ginger and Molasses Cookies

This recipe is a version of a recipe from my dear friend Carol who I have known many years. She makes these cookies at holiday/Christmas time and I love to make them at that time of year too. I thought it would be fun to see if I could create these cookies using gluten free and dairy free ingredients! It worked like a charm! I just added some crystallized ginger to add even more ginger flavor to the cookies! Yum! 

These cookies have been very popular in my meal service. People ask about them all of the time so I decided to add them as an option to purchase with every meal. 

I just love soft cookies, I am not a "crispy cookie" fan. I love the softness and the amazing ginger flavor in these treats! 

Along the way on my health journey I have found that it is important to have a treat now and again, and with these cookies it can be a high quality treat with healthy coconut oil, molasses and lots of great spices! 

I hope that you enjoy these cookies year round too! Bake some up to give to a neighbor or a friend! Or, if you are local I will bake some for you! 

Carol's Soft Ginger Molasses Cookies: 

3/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1 cup coconut sugar or muscovado brown sugar

1/4 cup molasses

1 egg

1 teaspoons baking soda

1 cups gluten free flour mix (your choice) 

1 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1 1/2 teaspoons ginger

1 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped finely

+ organic sugar or muscovado sugar for rolling the cookies in before baking

1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a stand mixer in the order given. 

2. Chill the dough in a bowl in the fridge for at least 1 hour before baking.

3. Heat the oven to 375.  

4. Roll the dough into 1-1.5 inch balls, roll in sugar if desired, then place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper about 1-2 inches apart. 

5. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes or until set. 

Makes about 24-28 cookies (you can make them smaller to yield more cookies) 

 

Rhubarb Custard Crisps

Rhubarb Custard Crisps

Ah! Spring is almost here! I can see my yard and garden waking up and signs of green everywhere. Spring always reminds me of the first fresh stalks of rhubarb. When I was a little girl I totally remember sitting right be a rhubarb plant in my family's garden and eating the stalks raw. I still love really sour things! Now I don't really care for eating raw rhubarb but I still love rhubarb desserts. 

This recipe is based on a rhubarb custard pie recipe that has been in my family for a long time. Also, when my mom, sister-in-law and I ran "Farmer's Tea" a baking stand at the local farmer's market we used to sell a lot of this pie! I decided to make this recipe into a crisp and also use maple syrup and coconut sugar to eliminate the need for refined sugars in this recipe. I love this dessert! I can still taste the goodness of the rhubarb! Yum! 

You may want to add a bit more maple syrup than I did, but I like tart desserts. :) I hope that you enjoy this little taste of spring! 

Rhubarb Custard Crisps: 

Makes 4 small desserts in ramekins

Filling: 

1/4 cup maple syrup (or to taste) 

1/8 cup gluten free flour mix

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cups rhubarb, chopped (you can either use fresh or frozen rhubarb that has been thawed) 

1 egg

1. Heat the oven to 375F. 

2. Grease 4 ceramic ramekins with coconut oil or olive oil spray. 

3. Mix together the maple syrup, gluten free flour mix, cinnamon and rhubarb in a medium bowl. Let the mixture sit in the bowl, stirring once or twice, for 15 minutes. Beat the egg with a fork, then mix into the rhubarb mixture. 

4. Divide the rhubarb mixture between the four ramekins. Top with streusel and bake for about 20 minutes or until the mixture is bubbly and the topping is browned. If you use fresh rhubarb the baking time may be longer. I happened to have a lot of leftover frozen rhubarb still left in my freezer. 

Streusel Topping: 

1/8 cup gluten free flour

1/8 cup gluten free oats

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1. Mix together all of the ingredients in a bowl. Use your fingers to rub the coconut oil into the dry ingredients until well combined. 

If you love great recipes, check out my cookbook for gluten free/dairy free brunch recipes on amazon: 

https://www.amazon.com/Recipes-Cheery-Life-Trista-Ainsworth/dp/1367622603/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487787318&sr=8-1&keywords=recipes+for+a+cheery+life

Apricot and Cherry Election Poundcake

Apricot and Cherry Election Poundcake

With the upcoming 2016 Presidential Election coming up, I wanted to make something special for the November 8th Election Night Dinner I'm making. I had heard about an election cake that used to be made around election time a long time ago from one of my mom's old cookbooks. First, I tried a traditional yeasted version, but it ended up tasting more like very dry bread. Back to the drawing board on that one! 

Then, I thought that a light pound cake with some of the same dried fruit that the yeasted version of the cake had would be much tastier. I was right & am so delighted with this version. I hope that you stop by for some on election day, or if you live too far from me, you will make your own. 

Enjoy! 

Apricot and Cherry Election Pound Cake

Adapted from "Vanilla Pound Cake" from Gluten Free Baking Classics by Annalise G. Roberts

Makes one 9 inch bundt cake

--melted coconut oil to brush bundt pan--

1 1/2 cups gluten free flour mix

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

3 large eggs

1 cup organic sugar

1 cup plain Greek yogurt or coconut yogurt for a dairy free version

1/3 cup coconut oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup dried apricots, finely chopped

1/3 cup dried cherries, finely chopped

Glaze: 

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

4 tablespoons coconut milk

 

1. Heat the oven to 350F. Make sure there is a rack in the center of the oven. 

2. Brush melted coconut oil on the inside of a bundt pan. If your pan is highly detailed, like mine, make sure to brush every surface inside with the coconut oil. 

3. In a medium bowl whisk together: gluten free flour mix, baking powder, xanthan gum, spices and salt. Set the bowl aside. 

4. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, beat the eggs at medium high speed. Then, slowly add sugar about 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat the mixture until it is light and thickened. 

5. Add in the flour/spice mixture, yogurt (Greek or coconut yogurt), coconut oil and vanilla. Beat the mixture at medium low speed for about 30 seconds or until thoroughly combined. 

6. Spread batter into the prepared pan. Place on the center rack of the oven. Bake for 35-45 minutes or up to 50 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. If you use a convection oven it will take less time to bake. Most conventional ovens used need to leave the cake in the oven for at least 45 minutes. 

7. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert it carefully onto a cooling rack. Let the cake cool. Then, whisk together the glaze. Spoon a thin layer of glaze all over the cake. Slice and serve! Yum! This cake may be made 1 day ahead. You may wrap it and store it in the fridge. 

Enjoy! 

Cinnamon Applesauce Cakes

Cinnamon Applesauce Cakes

 

 

What wonderful timing! While my son and I were visiting my parents the other day, my mom told me about a wonderful apple cake recipe that she had found. It was a moist loaf cake with raisins added in. I decided that I would take this recipe and convert it to gluten free/dairy free and also at the same time add my own flair to it. It was a big success! 

Even my husband, who usually doesn't care for apple desserts, really enjoyed these cakes! I love the addition of the sauteed apples instead of the raisins and I think that cakes should always have a decorative topping that really makes it special and makes the ingredients shine. I prefer my decorating to be more rustic and so I used the sauteed apples on top. 

I hope that you enjoy these cakes soon! Let me know how you like them in the comments below. 

Cinnamon Applesauce Cakes: 

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 cup coconut sugar

1 cup applesauce, unsweetened

1 1/2 cups gluten free flour

1 teaspoon  xanthan gum

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

2 cups sauteed apples, divided. (Peel apples, slice thinly and chop finely into small pieces. Heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add in the apples, add in honey to taste and about 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Saute this mixture until the apples are soft- about 5-7 minutes. Set aside to cool before adding to the batter and as a topping.)

1. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin with coconut oil. Heat the oven to 350F. 

2. Cream coconut oil in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add in coconut sugar, mix and beat until smooth. 

3. Add in applesauce and mix together. 

4. Sift together the gluten free flour mix, xanthan gum, baking soda and spices. Add to the batter and mix. 

5. Add in 1 cup of the sauteed apples and reserve the other cup for the topping. Mix together. 

6. Divide the batter between the 12 muffin cups. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Let them cool and top each cake with sauteed apples. 

Enjoy! Hope you enjoy these yummy fall cakes! Let me know in the comments who you plan on serving these to.