On Sundays there’s a Spanish channel that plays Dexter reruns- that is, they play Dexter in English but the commercials are still in Spanish. It’s the best of both worlds; I get to watch Dexter and learn Spanish. Of course what I’ve learned is limited to selling you AT&T and why you should eat Taco Bell and Pizza Hut. I was in for a treat today though. Several years ago there were some clips from a comedian named Anjelah Johnson that floated around the interwebs, most notably the nail salon lady and Bon Qui Qui. Well apparently they have combined the two to create a music video- yes, a music video! And they played it during a commercial break. Bon Qui Qui has her own music video for a song called “No Boyfren”. Google it. You’re welcome.
While that little gem should be enough for you, I highly doubt you came here just for that. This week I was approached by someone who saw my paleo chocolate chip cookies and was wondering if I could make them without eggs. Her daughter is allergic to eggs (among other things) and has pretty strict diet restrictions. Most paleo baking relies on eggs to bind ingredients together since that’s usually a job for gluten. I did some searching and came across this recipe from Elana’s Pantry. I made a few adjustments based on the ingredients I had and was pretty pleased with the results.
Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free) ~18 cookies
3 cups almond flour*
½ tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. baking soda
½ cup grapeseed oil
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
½ cup honey
1 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350*. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Whisk the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. I did this all by hand, I think an electric mixer might lead to over mixing. Use a cookie scoop to drop dough onto a cookie sheet. Bake for ~8 minutes. These are soft cookies, so if they look like they need a little more time to set (1-2 minutes) then leave them in for a little longer. Just don’t let them burn! Let them cool for a minute or two on the cookie sheet before you move them to a cooling rack. They will firm up as they cool off.
*If you read Elana’s Pantry’s recipe, she will say to not use Bob’s Red Mill almond flour. That happened to be what I had on hand, so that is what I used. My measurements are based on using that almond flour.
Gluten has become quite the buzzword these days. At first you heard it constantly from the gluten free camp, but now the gluten eaters are vocalizing their opinions on this tiny little protein. The most annoying part (to me at least), is that so many people on either side can’t even tell you what IS gluten! People. If you’re going to throw around random studies, articles, and arguments, you should probably at least try to educate yourself on what you are talking about. I am not here to tell you whether you should be for or against gluten, but rather to help you form your own opinion. This is the science teacher side of me coming out.
This video by America’s Test Kitchen gives a good visual of gluten, as well as explaining what it is along with some of it’s properties. Don’t worry, it’s only about 3 minutes long. You probably spend more time looking at funny cat memes.
Obviously gluten has a pretty significant impact on baking, which makes it my problem. If you’ve been following my blog you probably know that I bake cupcakes with and without gluten. I realize I’m playing both sides while most sites will cater to one party or the other. As for myself, I choose to follow a gluten free lifestyle and I will gladly answer why if you ever care to ask me. But you probably don’t care and are not here for that. The reason I still post “gluten” desserts right along with the gluten free desserts is for this: Enjoyment.
Most of the events and moments I bake for are celebrations, everything from weddings, bridal showers, birthday parties, graduations, baby showers, gender reveal parties…you get the idea. People are celebrating someone or some achievement/moment in someone’s life. You should not be so fixated on FOOD that you miss enjoying the moment. (To clarify, I’m not talking about people who have medical concerns.) I have several customers who do prefer gluten free desserts for one reason or another- and that’s fine. I’m the baker, I’m the one who has to deal with the process whereas they’re concerned about the final product. Can you really tell the difference between these cupcakes? Both are chocolate cupcakes (though one is dark chocolate), but only one is gluten free.
My point is that for all the commotion that gluten has caused, it still remains a mystery to most people. All I’m asking is that you educate yourself before telling others what they should or should not eat. Chances are, if there’s cake you should be celebrating and not analyzing the food!
I feel like watching the Winter Olympics is a little more authentic now that it actually feels like winter here. This whole ending-the-day-at-the-same-cold-temps-we-started-with is a very odd occurrence in Texas. We’re used to it warming up as the day goes on…not be cold and stay cold! I don’t remember ever having an ice day growing up, and we had two in the past two weeks. People even claimed to have seen snow this morning, although I saw nothing. I was also completely bundled up and running to my classroom before the sun was up, so maybe I missed the four flakes that were floating down. This weather tends to make people feel BLAH and being cooped up inside for longer than you’re used to can also lead to more snacking. Well no fear! I have some chocolate chip cookies for you today that aren’t entirely guilt free, but they are gluten free, dairy free, and sugar free. I took some to a Super Bowl party and by the time I left they were all gone. Chocolate chip cookies can cheer anyone up, even if it’s cold, rainy, and cloudy outside!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. In a separate bowl beat eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla extract with a hand mixer.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix until well combined. Melt the coconut oil and pour it into the batter. Mix until well combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Scoop cookie dough onto a greased baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes. It makes about 2 dozen cookies.
Let me preface this with the fact that I am a fan of BSpears and Gaga. You can say what you want, but I enjoy singing and dancing around to their songs. It’s Britney, bitch. Until recently I had been of the opinion that Miley should have stopped after Party in the USA (much like Billy Ray should have stopped after Achy Breaky Heart). However I think Miley might have outdone BSpears and Gaga in regards to their latest albums. Yeah, I said it. Although “We Can’t Stop” probably goes in my Top 5 Worst Songs of 2013, the rest of the album is actually pretty catchy. It doesn’t top Circus or Fame…but if we’re going off most recent releases, I think Miley wins.
Now that I have that off my chest, I can share my paleo treats of the week. I had some leftover pumpkin, so I just googled until I found a good pumpkin dessert recipe. My main criteria was that I had all the ingredients because I didn’t feel like going to the store. Lazy? …..or efficient? Definitely efficient. I found this recipe over at Against All Grain. I made a few tweaks based on the ingredients I had and was pretty pleased with the results. I especially liked the frosting- it’s hard to do a good paleo frosting! These cookies are chewy and taste exactly how a spice cookie should. Enjoy!
Paleo Pumpkin Spice Cookies
2½ cups almond flour
2 Tbsp. coconut flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ginger
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. cloves
¼ tsp. sea salt
1/3 cup honey
½ cup pumpkin
1 tsp. vanilla Icing
2 Tbsp. honey
4 Tbsp. coconut butter
4 Tbsp. coconut milk
1 tsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 350. Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl. Blend the honey, pumpkin, egg, and vanilla in a food processor. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture. Use a cookie scoop to make small balls and place on your cookie sheet (either line cookie sheet with parchment paper or grease it). Use a glass with a flat bottom to flatten each cookie. Bake for 15-16 minutes at 350 degrees.
To make the frosting, blend all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor (I used a magic bullet). You can adjust the consistency of the frosting by adding coconut milk.
HELLO January! I don’t know where you are, but given the new reports it sounds like it’s just cold everywhere. Sure does make going back to work/school a little more difficult. I read somewhere that January 6th is the saddest day of the year. I mean, I get it. Cold gray weather, returning to work after the holidays, everyone is trying to stick to new resolutions, yada yada yada. But it’s kind of crazy that they can monitor and “calculate” the saddest day of the year. I wonder what day is the happiest.
Anyways. I enjoy the cooking and baking over the holidays, but back to work means back to meal planning/prepping for me. I know I’m a bit extreme to use a spreadsheet to get meals and a grocery list together and that not everyone may jive with that. However, prepping just one of your meals can save you a lot of time during the week. These waffles are super easy to make and then all you have to do in the morning is pull one out and heat it up! Plus you’re sneaking in some veggies in there. Think of these as zucchini spice bread in waffle form. I found this recipe over at The Saffron Girl, and they turned out really well.
Paleo Zucchini Waffles
1 medium zucchini
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon coconut flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tablespoon honey (optional)
Turn your waffle iron on. Using a food processor, shred the zucchini. Switch the shredding blade to the regular blade (is there a technical name for that? You know what I mean). Add the eggs, coconut oil, and milk to the zucchini and blend. Add the dry ingredients and blend until completely mixed together. If you’re using honey, add that in now. Pour into the waffle iron and bake accordingly!
A lot of people ask me how I don’t eat everything I bake. And they seem surprised when I say I don’t want to weigh 400 pounds. It’s actually surprisingly easy to avoid tasting because I am constantly surrounded by it. However…paleo baking is much harder to resist. There’s a little voice that keeps saying, “It’s okay, it’s paleo!”. Which yes, it is better than the alternative…but eating a whole pan of something is never good no matter what it is!! It was definitely a test of self-control with these blondies because they didn’t even taste paleo. I promise. I’ve had some paleo treats that taste exactly that…paleo. These will make you feel guilty. I made them for my Grandmother for Mother’s Day. She’s diabetic and I’ve been trying to get her to try paleo for awhile…no dice. I wanted to bake her something so I decided to sneak in a paleo treat. I may have neglected to tell her they were paleo (Sorry GM!). But really…these are so good you could fool anyone.
Paleo Almond Butter Blondies
1/2 cup coconut oil
2/3 cup honey
1/2 cup almond butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cup almond flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. coarse salt
1 cup chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life chips. If you think this is pushing the paleo envelope…just leave it out!)
Preheat the oven to 350* and grease an 8X8 pan. Mix the coconut oil, honey, almond butter, eggs, and vanilla together. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour batter into pan and bake for about 22 minutes.
*I did test a few in a cupcake pan and they made cute little mini cupcakes. Bake for about 12-13 minutes if you want mini cupcakes.
I added chocolate ganache on top. I did use heavy cream to make this, so it’s not ENTIRELY paleo…but it’s still gluten free and sugar free (just cream and dark chocolate). You could make my paleo salted caramel frosting if you want a more paleo frosting option. Depends on how much of a cheat you want!