Living without gluten, casein, soy, eggs and peanuts. Living with ASD and ADHD. Life is good!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Blondies (Gluten Free & Vegan)

My mind is full of dreams and thoughts that swirl and dart and fade and congregate, over and over.  I'm percolating.  And while I percolate, I bake.  There is a rhythm to baking that frees my mind to chase the thoughts where they will go.  Eventually they will coalesce and I'll write them down.  Until then, I bake.

This recipe for Blondies originally comes from Better Homes and Gardens.  I made them recently with my high school class and they looked delectable.  I was jealous.  So I made my own.

Gluten Free, Vegan Blondies

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup applesauce
2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups GF flour blend 
1 tbsp. flax meal
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line one 8x11 inch baking dish with tin foil.  Grease the tin foil with baking spray, set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, canola oil and applesauce.  Heat over medium-low until the mixture is smooth.  Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, flax meal, baking powder and baking soda.  Pour the brown sugar mixture into the dry mixture and stir until combined.  Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.  Scatter the chocolate chips evenly across the top of the batter, then press them lightly into the batter with your hands.  Bake  about 25 minutes, or until the sides pull away from the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.  Lift out the bars by the tin foil, peel the tin foil away from the sides, and cut into squares to serve.  You could use parchment paper instead of tin foil if you like.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Nut Butter Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

There are a lot of transitions going on in our house lately.  Beyond school winding down for the year, I have recently been home on the weekends.  This is a very welcome change, but it's taking some getting used to for everyone.  We have not been home all at the same time for any length of time as a family for a long time.  DH works long hours during the week days and does not get home until the girls are asleep for the night, and I had been working weekends, so DH and I had been flip-flop parenting.  Now the girls are seeing DH and I interact and discuss and negotiate.  Sometimes this upsets Anna and she'll think we are arguing.  We have to explain that this is actually healthy discussion, not arguing, and this is grown-ups do - share our opinions, consider someone else's opinions, and come to an agreement together.  I can see how that would be a little startling to them, as they are not even used to seeing us together a whole lot.  I think it will take a little time to settle in to our new normal, but it's a good normal.  It's fabulous to be together as a family.  In addition to frantically spring cleaning (because now I have the time to do it!), I have been baking more, hooray!  And as soon as school ends I'll be teaching the girls in earnest how to bake, too.

I've been making more treats lately, happy to be home and making something special for breakfast on a Saturday morning.  This treat of a recipe orginally comes from Better Homes and Gardens.  Of course, I have modified it to be "safe" for us (no gluten, casein, eggs, peanuts, etc.).  You can use any nut butter that is "safe" for you (cashew, almond, walnut, pecan, hazelnut, sunbutter, etc.).  Enjoy!

Nut Butter and Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

Streusel Topping
1/4 cup GF flour blend
2 tbsp. packed brown sugar
2 tbsp. nut butter
1 tbsp. Enjoy Life dairy free, soy free margarine
1/4 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips

Coffee Cake
1/4 cup nut butter
2 tbsp. Enjoy Life dairy free, soy free margarine
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup applesauce
1 cup GF flour blend
1 tbsp. flax meal
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup So Delicious coconut milk
1/4 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease one 8x8 inch baking dish, set aside.

For the streusel topping:  Combine the flour and sugar with a fork until well blended.  Cut in the nut butter and margarine with a fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Set aside.

For the coffee cake:  Cream the nut butter and margarine in a large bowl with the back of a large spoon until well blended and airy.  Add the sugar, cream to mix well.  Add the applesauce and combine.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, flax meal, xanthan gum, baking soda and salt.  Add the flour mixter to the nut butter mixture alternately with the coconut milk, blending well after each addition.  Fold in the chocolate ships.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.  Scatter the streusel evenly over the top of the batter.  Bake about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.  Serve warm.