Tag Archives: Gluten-Free

Bad Tech Day Remedy: Orange Almond Mini-Muffins (GF)

“Did you seriously just stamp your foot? I thought girls only did that on TV.” Stephenie Meyer, Eclipse

Orange Almond Mini-Muffins (Gluten-Free)
Orange Almond Mini-Muffins (Gluten-Free)

I was having a bad tech day on Sunday…

…caught between WordPress and MailChimp, with changes not publishing, pictures not uploading. And, then when I finally got the email sent, I saw that I’d misspelled a word. (At least I can always update the online version.)

It’s a good thing that my mother was over while I was working. In between my efforts to get the technology to work (saying words that no one should say in front of her mother, but she sat calmly and silently next to me),  we enjoyed an episode of Poirot,  ate vegetable curry and chocolate ice cream, had a few laughs over nothing. 

I’d been up since early morning, and not slept soundly, anyway. I felt like I’d been driving for hours by the time I got back from taking Mom home. Mark was still on the golf course. Should I take a nap? Take a walk? Have a cup of tea? What I really felt like doing was playing in the kitchen, discovering something new. So, I did.

Discovering Gluten-Free Orange Almond Mini-Muffins

Remember those Parmesan, Lemon, and Rosemary Mini-Muffins that I made for Christmas Eve? I’d use that recipe as the starting point (love that size), and go from there.  Besides, I still had some of the buttermilk, and it wasn’t going to last much longer.

But, now that it’s January, I wanted to make something a little healthier, even if it has carbs — less fat (“Good-bye, cheese!”), gluten-free (“Good-bye, all-purpose flour!”) — with just a little sweetness (“Good-bye, pepper!”) .

I’d use juice and all the zest from a Palm Springs orange (“Thanks, Mark and Emily!”) and keep with the 1 teaspoon sugar from the savory version. Inflate the orange flavor by using Fresh Blood Orange Olive Oil, and maybe some of the candied orange peel that Emily made , soaked in the orange juice (OK, so that’s more sugar…).

Making it Gluten-Free

If I take out the all-purpose flour, I’ll need something else besides the cornmeal for bulk and structure (that’s what gluten gives). I had a bag of coconut flour, plus some almond meal left over from some turkey burgers I’d made a few months ago.

But, when I added it to the bowl of cornmeal and coconut flour, I couldn’t tell whether those dark bits were almond skin or some kind of critter, so I tossed it all out and started again. Better to have a fresh bag of almond meal or to grind my own in the coffee grinder that I keep only for herbs and spices, which is what I did. Besides, that gives some nice, bigger, crunchy bits, too, for texture.

I also find that “gluten-free” can often mean “moisture-free”, making dense little stones that are healthy only because you don’t eat them. I wanted these to be delicious, too. So, I doubled the eggs to bring moisture and structure, plus boost leavening… or so I hoped.

All’s Well that Ends Well

Orange Almond Mini-Muffins (Gluten-Free)
Just a couple of bites…

By the time Mark got home, the muffins were out of the oven cooling and the kitchen was nearly cleaned up. He was ready for a taste, having smelled then from the elevator.

I was totally de-stressed and refreshed… how I love working out a culinary mystery! It’s so centering, working with my inner and outer senses, the physicality of it all. And, the best part is, you get to eat it!

Orange Almond Mini-Muffins (Gluten-Free)
Mini-Muffins for Freezer

Mark and I each had one and they passed the test.

I put the rest in the freezer. For full details, see Orange Almond Mini-Muffins (Gluten-Free).

Questions? Contact barbara@CulinaryOracle.com
©2017 Barbara Newton-Holmes
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Orange Almond Mini Muffins (Gluten-Free)

Orange Almond Mini-Muffins (Gluten-Free)
Orange Almond Mini-Muffins (Gluten-Free)

Makes about 36 muffins


Dry ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup whole raw almonds, ground to a meal
  • 1/2 cup medium grind cornmeal
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Zest of 1/2 orange
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Wet ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) buttermilk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) Fresh Blood Orange or D’Luscious Lemon Olive Oil, or extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • Optional – 1 -2 Tablespoons candied orange peel, broken up and soaked in orange juice

Preparation (Chef's hat)Preparation

1 – Preheat oven to 350˚F (180˚C). Line three 12-cup mini muffin tins with mini paper cups, OR, if non-stick baking tins, spray each cup well with coconut oil.

2 – If using candied orange peel, break it up and let it soak in the orange juice.

3 – In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients thoroughly.

4 – In a medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.

5 – Stir in the wet ingredients to the dry, just until mixed.

6 – Using a 1-Tablespoon scoop, filled level, or two tablespoons, fill each cup, taking care to wipe away any drips from around the cups.

7 – Bake at 350˚F (180˚C) for 15 – 17 minutes (or until just firm), rotating tins within the oven racks halfway through baking.

8 – Remove from oven and let cool in tins for 5 minutes. Serve warm or cool.

Questions? Contact barbara@CulinaryOracle.com

©2016 Barbara Newton-Holmes

Questions? Contact barbara@CulinaryOracle.com
©2017 Barbara Newton-Holmes
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Good King (Wenceslas) Arthur Flour – GF Coconut Vanilla Cupcakes

“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!” Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Coconut Vanilla Cupcakes - Gluten-Free
Coconut Vanilla Cupcakes – Gluten-Free

 More than 10 Christmases ago…

I discovered King Arthur Flour.  I was looking to make chocolate truffles for family and friends. Online, I found a range of fine chocolates, a range of fine cocoas, and the perfect-sized scoop for picking out truffles from the ganache. 

Since then, I have expanded my range of scoops – quick and easy for two sizes of cookies and one perfect for muffins, bought bundtlette pans for pretty little cakes, acquired my essential Thermapen instant-read thermometer, bought 5 sizes of star-shaped cookies cutters, used a variety of their flours for rye bread and pasta and cakes.

I’ve even spent a week in Norwich, Vermont, at a bread-baking class in their education center. I love King Arthur Flour (KAF), America’s oldest flour company — 225 years old, now 100% employee-owned.

But, especially day-to-day, I love their recipes. KAF is my first go-to place for anything baked. So, when I wanted to make vanilla cupcakes to take to my Cousin Hope’s annual Christmas Eve party, I went straight to their recipes and found Gluten-Free Vanilla Coconut Flour Cupcakes, with Quick Buttercream Frosting.

Coconut Vanilla Cupcakes - Gluten-Free
Coconut Vanilla Cupcakes – Gluten-Free

I had some red tulip papers (from KAF) that would make them festive — a red parchment paper that you use instead of regular cupcake papers.

And, some green sparkly sugar (from KAF) that would hint at holly when paired with pomegranate seeds.

Gluten-Free Vanilla Coconut Flour Cupcakes

The cupcake recipe calls for 6 whole eggs, to make just 9 or 10 cupcakes, to give structure to the cake since there is no gluten in coconut flour. I upped the coconut flavor by using coconut  oil and 1/4 cup desiccated coconut in the batter. They were moist and flavorful.

Quick Buttercream Frosting

Their quick buttercream frosting is a great recipe to keep on-hand for any cake adventure. I’m going to try less vanilla and adding instant espresso powder and cocoa would give you mocha. Lemon or lime or orange zest would add a citrus sparkle.

Coconut Vanilla Cupcakes - Gluten-Free
Coconut Vanilla Cupcakes – Gluten-Free

I used 1/2 stick of butter with 1/2 stick of Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks.

The butter is great for flavor, the shortening for keeping the frosting firm at room temperature. I also kept the consistency quite stiff so it would pipe easily.

Merry Christmas, King Arthur Flour!

Questions? Contact barbara@CulinaryOracle.com
©2017 Barbara Newton-Holmes
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