Saturday, October 3, 2009

GF Apple Muffins, GF Brownie bites!

I want to pass along a couple of recipes that I've made in the past week. The first one is for apple muffins. I had an excess of apples last weekend, and children asking for muffins, so we got out the grater and got to work.

When you are doing gluten free baking, you have to mix different flours together to create something that works like wheat flour. There are lots of recipes out there that call for a mixture of rice, tapioca, and potato flour, or something of the sort, plus some xanthan gum to hold everything together once it is baked. Any gluten free cookbook will give you a couple of different flour mixes, and you can pull some together for a recipe, or mix a big batch and keep it fresh in the freezer for when you need it. OR... you can go to the local health food store and pick up a bag of GF flour. Yes it is expensive. SO much more expensive than regular flour. But I always keep a bag or two handy, just in case I run out of the other stuff. Or if I have to travel. I use Pamela's flour mix, which I buy from It's much cheaper there. I like it, but I find it can make my baked goods a bit heavy.

I also have a bag of Jules brand "Nearly Normal" flour mix. I also like that, but I find that it can make my baked goods kind of dry. My favorite thing to do, when I'm in a hurry, is to mix the two together. Probably 10 different kinds of flour in there, but what the heck, it tastes good!

So, back to the muffins. Here's what I did:

1 1/4 cup Pamela's flour mix
1/4 cup Jules Nearly Normal flour mix
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 large apple, grated. I used Jonagold one time and Fuji the other.

Preheat oven to 350. Stir together the flours, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Mix together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the mixed dry ingredients, alternating with the milk. Stir in the vanilla and the grated apple. Scoop into greased muffin tins, and bake for 18-20 minutes. Take them out and eat them up! They are approx. 20 carbs each.

I found a new recipe for GF brownies in a book by Robert Landolphi, called "Gluten Free Every Day." I found the book while cruising around Amazon, and it had some fun recipes listed that I wanted to try, like Parmesan Popover Bites, Sesame Encrusted Salmon with Tropical Mint Salsa, and more. But... we were out of GF desserts, so brownies came first.

The recipe called for an 8 x 11 pan. I don't have an 8 x 11 pan. I have an 8 x 8, and a 9 x 13, neither of which would work very well. So I had the bright idea to use my mini muffin pan instead, and make "brownie bites," and just keep an eye on the cooking time. HA. Well, they really looked great. But the darned things stuck. Yes, I did grease the pans! But 95% of them stuck to the bottom of the muffin tin, so I ended up taking the tops off, taking a knife around the edge of the rest of the brownie, and then gently reuniting top & bottom with a prayer that they'd stay together. It's a damned good thing they were delicious, after all of that. Next time I try to do brownie bites I'll either put the little papers in, or put less brownie in the tins so they don't pop up like muffin tops.

The cookbook calls for "Authentic Foods Multiblend Gluten Free Flour." I've never seen that particular brand around my stores. So I did my Pamela's/Jules mix again. Here's what I did:

Preheat oven to 350. Butter an 8 x 11 inch pan.

3/4 cups butter
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup Pamela's flour mix
1/2 cup Jules flour mix

This is so easy -- it's all done in one bowl. Put the chocolate and butter in a large microwavable bowl. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir with a wooden spoon, then microwave for 1 minute more. Wait... that's what the book says. My butter was frozen, and I did 2 minutes the 1st time, stirred, then only 40 seconds the 2nd time because everything was almost melted. That's all I needed.

Stir until chocolate is melted & smooth. Stir in the sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Gradually stir in the flour until blended. His recipe calls for optional walnuts which you can add at this point (1 cup), but I'm allergic to walnuts so I left them out.

Pour into prepared pan (or try your luck with mini muffin tins!!!). Bake for 40 to 45 minutes (I only did 18 minutes with the muffin tins) or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan. Cut into bars.

The brownies in the muffin tins ended up being 14 carbs each. That's another reason I like doing the muffin tins -- easy to count carbs that way.

Today has been pretty busy... lots of house chores and lots of cooking. What else is new? I'm going to finish my wine and prepare for tomorrow morning. More apple muffins are on the agenda.

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