The Sunday Recipe: Spiced Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins

The first time I made these, I went with the 400 degree oven, like I do for most muffins and baked for 22 minutes, but they scorched on the bottom. The crumb topping I was using, which was intended for apple crisp, was delicious, but sunk in a bit.

The second time I made them, I switched to the crumb topping that my Betty Crocker cook book gives for apple streusel muffins. I also turned the oven down to the 350 degrees that I used on the original cake recipe. The muffins without topping were great, the ones with it were good too, but the topping sunk in to make a filling.

Third try – 425 for 5 minutes to puff the top, like Sally’s Baking Addiction recommends, then down to 350 for the remaining 15 minutes. This time I refrigerated the crumb topping a bit. It melted AND sunk in.

I liked the muffins better themselves when they were baked at 350 so I’m forgetting about the crumb topping for now. Maybe a nice glaze made with powdered sugar and cider?

Spiced Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins

Dry ingredients

  • 3/4 cups white rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 3/4 cup oat flour (3/4 cups of oats processes into the same for oat flour.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Wet ingredients

  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 6 tablespoons applesauce
  • 3 tablespoons each melted butter and light olive oil
  • ½ cup overflowing maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Spray two 6 cup muffin tins with cooking spray, or grease.
  3. Whisk the wet ingredients together in another bowl. (There are a lot of wet ingredients, go with a big bowl.)
  4. Add the processed oats or oat flour and let sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, whisk the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
  6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk until just combined.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes, until a knife inserted near the center of one side of the round comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.

The Sunday Recipe: Peach Melba Tart

Peach Melba Tart

I’m a firm believer in making the most of what you have, and using up the little odds and ends before they can go bad. This week that meant part of a jar of Dole peaches in the fridge, half a package of peaches in the freezer, and a tiny bit of raspberries. I swear there was a peach melba ice cream when I was a kid and it was fantastic. Peach and raspberry is a match made in heaven.

Filling Ingredients

  • 16 ounces peach slices (defrost if frozen)
  • ¼ cup (or more) raspberries
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca flour plus 1 tablespoon water

Crust Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or other sweetener)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 ½ cups almond flour (about 160 grams)

Directions

  1. Dice or chop the peaches and combine with raspberries and maple syrup in a medium sized pot. Bring to a boil or a medium heat.
  2. Reduce to simmer for about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the tapioca flour mixed with water and stir well for about 30 seconds to thicken.
  4. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Preheat oven to 350.
  6. Melt the butter.
  7. Mix with maple syrup and salt.
  8. Add almond flour and combine.
  9. Press into a tart pan or square tin and up the sides a little.
  10. Bake for 8 minutes.
  11. Fill and bake for another 22 minutes.
  12. Cool and enjoy. (Vanilla ice cream is a perfect complement.)

The Sunday Recipe: Apple and Cheddar Cookie Tart

Apple and Cheese Cookie Tart

I loved the cookie recipe last week so much that I decided to use it as the basis for a tart. This one is best served cold. I think next time I’d leave the cheese off and just serve with a wedge of cheddar. I think a metal tin is better as well, the bottom was a bit soggy in the glass spring form pan.

Ingredients for Crust

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour

Ingredients for Filling

  • 5 medium granny smith or other tart baking apple
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ½ tablespoon butter
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca flour (mixed with 1 tablespoon water)

Cheddar Cheese (optional)

Directions

  1. Cream butter, sugar, and cream cheese.
  2. Add vanilla and egg yolk, blend.
  3. Measure flours and combine before adding to mixer.
  4. Mix until combined and chill dough for a couple hours.
  5. In the meantime, peel and grate the apples
  6. Mix maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg, and butter.
  7. Bring filling ingredients to a gentle boil.
  8. Turn down to simmer and stir occasionally for 15 minutes.
  9. Stir in the tapioca paste and continue stirring for about half a minute, until thickened.
  10. Set aside to cool.
  11. When the dough is well chilled, preheat oven to 350.
  12. Press the dough into a tart pan or roll out on a jelly roll pan, leaving a bit of a built up edge.
  13. Spread the filling out on the dough.
  14. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until edges are well browned.
  15. If you want to do what I did, grate a couple ounces of very sharp cheddar over the tart while still hot. (I will be just serving it on the side next time.)
  16. Chill thoroughly before serving.

The Sunday Recipe: Cream Cheese Thumbprint Cookies – gluten free

My grandmother’s original recipe used strawberry jam and was called a strawberry cream cookie. I wanted to make this gluten free and chose the nutty flours to complement a darker filling, like lekvar or mincemeat.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • Powdered sugar
  • Jam of your choice

Directions

  1. Cream butter, sugar, and cream cheese.
  2. Add vanilla and egg yolk, blend.
  3. Measure flours and combine before adding to mixer.
  4. Mix until combined and chill dough for a couple hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 350.
  6. Shape into 1-inch balls.
  7. Using something rounded on the end, like a measuring spoon, dip in powdered sugar and then press into dough to create a well.
  8. Fill with jam.
  9. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet 10 to 12 minutes.
  10. This recipe yields about 5 dozen cookies.

The Sunday Recipe: Peach and Almond Tart

Our local farm store got some lovely organic peaches in this week so I decided to do an almond crust tart with a peach filling. I chose a half dozen peaches and tried blanching them to make peeling easier. Unfortunately, they weren’t really ripe so that didn’t help.  I was also running out of almond flour but found some blanched slivered almonds in the fridge to process and make up the difference. #glutenfree #refinedsugarfree

Peach and Almond Tart

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 ½ cups almond flour (About 160 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Filling

  • 3 cups, peeled and pitted, diced peaches (about 6 medium)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a non-stick tart pan OR prepare an 8 by 8 pan with cooking spray, butter, or oil, and line with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the crust ingredients and press into the prepared pan with your fingers, using the edge of your hand or a finger to press the crust up the side.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes.
  4. While the crust is baking, melt the butter with the maple syrup in the microwave on half power until butter is completely melted, about 1 ½ minutes.
  5. Pour over the peach slices and stir.
  6. Add the vanilla.
  7. Stir in the tapioca starch.
  8. Remove the crust from the oven when lightly browned and puffed, and pour in peach filling.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes.
  10. Allow to cool and set up, at least an hour.
  11. May be served warm or cold. A dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream never hurts.
  12. Enjoy!

The Sunday Recipe: Fresh Cherry Clafoutis

Fresh Cherry Clafoutis

I wanted to offer a recipe that used fruit at its peak right now. Unfortunately, the bag I got at the store was so “at its peak” that there were mushed cherries in the center and it was leaking juice by the time I got it home. I picked through them, cleaned the cherries with vinegar water, and there was more than enough to make the clafoutis.

Fresh Cherry Clafoutis

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sweet cherries, pitted and sliced in half
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup almond flour (or flour of your choice)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon tapioca or cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Clean, pit, and slice cherries in half.
  3. Place butter in a glass dish and microwave to melt then spread.
  4. Pour the cherries into the buttered pie plate and spread out.
  5. Whisk or blend the remaining ingredients until smooth.
  6. Pour over cherries.
  7. Back at 375 for 40 minutes.
  8. Cool and chill for 4 hours or overnight.
  9. Enjoy!

The Sunday Recipe: Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars

There is something about this time of year that turns my mind to cooking with lemon and blueberries. It’s perfect because the blueberries are just coming on and can be used while they are fresh and firm instead of defrosted with their juice oozing out. Some recipes are just better with fresh blueberries.

I thought of making my lemon bars then I saw a recipe for lemon blueberry bars and that sounded incredible, but the crust used a sugar cookie mix and the filling was a custard with only lemon zest for flavoring. So I came up with this recipe, combining a crust from my favorite lemon bars with the cheesecake filling I perfected, to my taste, last year. I hope you give it a try and I hope you enjoy it. #glutenfree #refinedsugarfree

Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 ½ cups almond flour (About 160 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Filling

  • 1 ½ cups, washed and dried blueberries
  • 1 8-ounce block cream cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon tapioca or cornstarch

Directions

  1. Get out ingredients for the filling and allow to come to room temp. I often get them out before lunch then make the recipe after lunch. Alternatively, it will work to warm the cream cheese and maple syrup on low in the microwave for a minute or two. To warm the egg, place it in hot tap water for just ten minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare an 8 by 8 pan with cooking spray, butter, or oil, and line with parchment paper. (Wax paper also works.)
  3. Combine the crust ingredients and press into the prepared pan with your fingers, using the edge of your hand or a finger to press the crust up the side just a little.
  4. Bake for 12 minutes.
  5. While the crust is baking, combine all the ingredients for the filling, except the blueberries and tapioca flour, in a mixing bowl and whisk or use a mixer to beat until just smooth.
  6. Beat in the tapioca flour and set aside to rest.
  7. Remove the crust from the oven when it is ready and turn the temperature down to 300 degrees.
  8. Place the washed and dried blueberries into the bottom of the crust in a single layer. (I rolled the blueberries in my fingers a little as I chose them to make sure they were reasonably firm.)
  9. Pour the filling slowly over the blueberries, moving the bowl around to cover the blueberries without forcing them to move too much.
  10. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.
  11. Without opening the oven, turn the heat off and leave in the oven for another 30 minutes to finish baking.
  12. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the counter for an hour.
  13. Cool in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and preferably overnight.
  14. Enjoy!

The Sunday Recipe: Almond Sponge Cake with Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce

It’s a holiday weekend and we’re all busy but here’s a super simple recipe. We just adore rhubarb but this time I used strawberries AND rhubarb, as many people don’t think rhubarb by itself is as wonderful as my family does.

I adapted the strawberry rhubarb sauce from https://www.skinnytaste.com/strawberry-rhubarb-compote/ by simply using maple syrup instead of honey. I also used rhubarb I had already frozen. I didn’t even let it defrost, just dumped it in the pan with the chunked up strawberries. The rhubarb was diced more finely than her recipe calls for, about a quarter inch slices, but I think that helped it break down easier from frozen.

Almond Sponge Cake with Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce

Ingredients

  • 9 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 6 ounces almond flour (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 5 large eggs (separated)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9 ½ inch spring form plate, or even just a cake tin, or pie plate. (If using something that you can’t take the ring off, I would use a piece of parchment paper or wax paper in the bottom.)
  3. Separate the 5 eggs into 2 mixing bowls. (I highly recommend you do the actual separating over a small bowl and then dump the egg yolk into the one bowl and transfer the egg white into the mixing bowl.) If you don’t know how to separate eggs, here’s a simple 1-minute video on it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAGX-54iR30
  4. Mix the maple syrup into the egg yolks then stir in the almond extract and almond flour.
  5. Using a mixer, beat your egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form. (Tip: for best results make sure your bowl and beaters are clean and dry, free of any oil.)
  6. Fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture, about one third at a time. (Basically, folding means to use a large rubber spatula to stir up gently from the bottom.)
  7. Pour the mixture in the pan and bake for 40 minutes, until a knife or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce

Ingredients

  • ¾ pound strawberries, sliced
  • ¾ pound rhubarb, diced in quarter inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon water

Directions

  1. Combine the ingredients in a medium saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce to medium low.
  4. Simmer until the fruit breaks down, about 15 minutes.
  5. Chill and serve over almond cake. (Preferably with soft whipped cream.)

The Sunday Recipe: Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Muffins #glutenfree

Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal Muffins #glutenfree

I’d been craving cinnamon apple oatmeal one day but didn’t have a chance to get any so that weekend, when I decided to make oatmeal muffins, I thought, why not? I peeled then grated up a granny smith apple, added a teaspoon of cinnamon, and we had cinnamon apple oatmeal muffins. My daughter turned her nose up at them, but my husband and I enjoyed them thoroughly, and for a few days.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats (quick or old fashioned)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup light tasting olive oil
  • ¾ cup white rice flour (120 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 apple, peeled and grated

Directions

  1. Preheat oven 400 degrees and spray or grease a 12 muffin tin.
  2. Place 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar in a measuring cup then fill to the one cup mark with milk. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. (This is a substitute for 1 cup buttermilk.)
  3. Combine oats and buttermilk. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  4. In a measuring bowl, whisk eggs.
  5. Add maple syrup.
  6. Mix in light olive oil.
  7. Add white rice flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  8. Peel and grate apple then add to batter immediately.
  9. Divvy up into a 12-muffin pan.
  10. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.
  11. Allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before running a thin knife around edge to lift out.
  12. Enjoy!

Cheesecake Brownies (gluten free)

Cheesecake Brownies

I was going to swirl brownies but it ended up being simple layers, still delicious. Fudgy brownie layer with cheesecake on top. What could be better? This makes 9 decadent little squares. They may look small but they are rich and satisfying. We served them to my mother-in-law for her birthday and she was very pleased.

Ingredients

Brownie Batter

  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons light tasting olive oil
  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 9 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup coconut flour

Cheesecake Batter

  • 8 oz, cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • One large egg, beaten
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Prepare an 8 by 8 baking pan with cooking spray or butter.
  3. Cut the butter into tablespoon cubes in a medium plastic or glass mixing bowl, and melt in the microwave on 50% power for about 1 ½ to 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the olive oil.
  5. Whisk the maple syrup into the butter.
  6. Add the eggs and beat.
  7. Gently stir the cocoa powder into until dissolved.
  8. Add the vanilla.
  9. Sift and stir in the coconut flour until just mixed.
  10. Pour into the prepared pan.
  11. In another glass or plastic mixing bowl, cut the cream cheese into tablespoon chunks.
  12. Pour the maple syrup over the cream cheese.
  13. Soften in the microwave on 50% power for 1 ½ to 2 minutes.
  14. Use a large whisk or spoon to beat the cream cheese and maple syrup smooth.
  15. Add the vanilla and egg.
  16. Pour over the brownie batter.
  17. Bake for 35 minutes.
  18. Allow to cool at least 1 hour.
  19. These are good warm, but even better fully chilled.

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