Archive | April, 2012

Blueberry Maple Flax Muffins

15 Apr

Sometimes, all I really want to do is make some good muffins. Is that asking too much? A muffin can be a glorious creation, depending on how you go about it. I feel like there is a muffin for every occasion, every taste, every ailment.

Muffins make a good snack as long as you don’t douse them with too many add-ins from the muffin bar. But then…muffins can make a pretty decadent treat if you handle them the right way. You can even turn muffins into a fibre-fest and make them “feel good” muffins….literally. Savoury muffins? Hello, best ever for brunch or a partner in crime at dinner.

I like making anytime muffins. Anytime muffins are the perfect balance between a healthy snack and a yummy goodness treat.

When I’m making muffins I like to incorporate fruit, some healthy nuts or seeds, a natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup,  and a good fat like coconut oil or avocado oil. Sometimes I even forego the fat and replace it with greek yogurt or applesauce. See where I’m going with all of this? Good for you ingredients for a good for you muffin.

These muffins are great, and they’re vegan to boot! Just make em. Babycakes bakery was my inspiration once again.

Do the right thing. Make these muffins. It’s not like it’s hard.

Blueberry Maple Flax Muffins

2 1/4 cup whole spelt flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup coconut oil

2/3 cup maple syrup

2/3 cup almond milk

2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp maple extract (optional)

2/3 cup blueberries

Whisk together flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Add the oil, maple syrup, almond milk and extracts and stir until batter is smooth. Gently fold in the blueberries until well distributed into the batter.

Pour 1/3 cup scoops of batter into a 12 cup muffin tin. Bake at 325F for approximately 22-25 minutes until  they bounce back slightly when pressed and a toothpick comes out clean.

They will keep in an airtight container for 3 days but they will taste best if eaten fresh. Freeze them if you like!

Happy snacking!

Gluten-Free (And Vegan, NBD) Frosted Brownies

4 Apr

For those of you who have to live a gluten-free lifestyle because of medical reasons….you may want to listen up. I have something to say:

I’m sorry, but I cannot marry you. Thanks for the offer though.

For those of you who live a gluten-free lifestyle by choice: I take my hat off to you. I don’t think I would want to live in a world without gluten. Knowing that I had the option of eating gluten would be absolutely unbearable. Well. I could do it. I’d just be bitter about it.

At August Restaurant, we offer many gluten-free options, so I have dabbled in gluten-free baking for quite some time now. Let me tell you…there have been many gluten-free shamecakes and the like since I’ve been learning about gluten-free baking. Lots of learning about xantham gum, and how you should NOT let it explode everywhere and try to clean it up with a damp cloth. Lots of learning how some flours taste really bad, no matter how much chocolate you put in there.

I decided a while ago, after visiting the bakery in New York City, to purchase the Babycakes cookbook. I must say the recipes are quite specific and well thought out, that is for sure. After tasting what they had to offer in New York, I trusted the recipes and tried out a few. I measured everything to a tee and read the instructions diligently. The results? YUM!

This recipe was adapted from that cookbook. Bless them. They are pretty smart folks at that bakery. These brownies are even vegan!

They came out super moist, cakey yet fudgy, flavourful and downright unacceptably delicious. It’s just not fair sometimes. Add a little lavendar cream cheese icing, and you’ve got yourself a one way ticket to Delicious Town.

Gluten who? You won’t miss that guy in these brownies; no sir.

Gluten-Free (and Vegan) Frosted Brownies

1 cup garbanzo (chickpea) flour

1/4 cup potato starch

2 tbsp arrowroot flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp xanthan gum

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup applesauce (I used a prune puree instead. Don’d judge me)

2 tbsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup hot water or coffee

1 cup chocolate chips (vegan or otherwise)

Mix together all the dry ingredients.

In a separate bowl, mix the applesauce, oil, coffee and vanilla together, then pour into the dry mixture until the batter is smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips just until they are evenly distributed.

Bake in an 8″by 8″ square pan at 325F for approximately 20-25 minutes.

Not that either of us should be worried, but they are best served warm and will only keep for a few days covered. You’ll have them gone by then anyway though. Not to worry.

Lavendar Cream Cheese Icing

4oz softened cream cheese

1/4 cup butter

1 cup icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Beat until it resembles….well….icing. Go figure.

Kamut Marshmallow Squares

1 Apr

There are certain things that are beyond my control:

The weather, for one…especially lately (mother earth stop messing with us, I shouldn’t have to wonder whether or not to wear my parka or shorts in March) To note, I don’t wear parkas or shorts….I don’t know why I said that.

Traffic…although gosh darn it I wish I could. Heavy traffic makes me want to hurt anything and everything. Even kittens.

Gas prices. Enough said.

Cravings. One cannot control cravings. If you can control your cravings, get over here and prove it.

So….I must confess I’ve been craving Rice Krispie squares. It was probably because I saw a character on television eating one….of gargantuan proportions. I was jealous.

I haven’t had a Rice Krispie square in years, I don’t know about you. They’re pretty stellar, regardless of how simple they might be.

I decided to reduce the shame in my craving satisfaction by upping the quality of said squares.

I used kamut puffs, brown butter, vanilla paste, toasted hazelnuts, dark chocolate drizzle and Maldon sea salt. Yep. I totally went there.

I’ll tell you….

Best damn craving I’ve ever satisfied. Truth.

Kamut Marshmallow Squares

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 package (about 40) regular marshmallows (or 10 oz of your own!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste (or extract)
  • 6 cups puffed kamut cereal
  • 1 cup toasted, chopped hazelnuts
  • Enough chocolate to drizzle on top (gosh I wish I’d measured…but…you got this…trust your gut)
  • Sea salt for sprinkling on top, if you so desire.

In large saucepan melt butter over low heat and let it reach a golden brown colour. Add marshmallows and vanilla and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.

Add kamut cereal and hazelnuts. Stir until well coated.

Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into greased or parchment lined 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan. Cool.

Drizzle melted chocolate over the pan of cooled squares. Sprinkle with salt.

Portion. Cut big squares. Cut small ones. Up to you.

Best if served the same day.