Category Archives: Baking

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

My family, thankfully, does not have any food allergies.  I have however, been playing around with gluten-free recipes lately.  A friend of mine has a daughter who is gluten intolerant and I occasionally bake goodies for her.  In return she does my hair, and I’m pretty sure I am getting the better end of the deal.  Last week I made my first attempt at gluten free bread and it was an utter failure.  So today I made something with chocolate in it instead.  My belief is that no matter how bad something is chocolate will make it bearable (that goes for life as well as food).  Well, these cookies were much better than bearable.  I’d even go as far as to say they were amazing.  I didn’t bother to tell my husband that they were gluten-free until after he told me that they were great.  His response was that he had no idea what gluten was but the cookies definitely didn’t need it.  I won’t be giving up bread anytime soon, but these cookies are a keeper.


1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 Tbls milk

1 cup butter

1 2/3 cup rice flour

1 1/3 old fashioned oats

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips


Cream together sugars, butter, vanilla, and milk

mix in dry ingredients

Fold in chocolate chips by hand

Press dough between the palms of you hands to form cookie shape (makes about 2 dozen cookies).

Bake @ 350 for 10 – 12 minutes

Allow to cool completely before removing from pan.  These cookies are not for the impatient.  If you don’t wait for them to cool completely they will fall apart.


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Filed under Baking, Gluten Free

Banana Apple Flax Muffins

My two year old is obsessed with cake.  Yesterday all day long he asked me for cake.   This morning before he got up, I decided to make him “cake”.  The muffins were nearly finished when he came into the kitchen, so I turned on the oven light for him to see.  “My cakes, my cakes”, he shouted.  I couldn’t help but laugh, if only he knew his favorite “cake” was a healthy, nutrition packed muffin.

This recipe calls for ground flax seed.  Flax seed is packed with good for you omega 3’s, fiber, and lignans so I bake with it frequently.  The best way to use flax is to grind it fresh in a coffee grinder.  All grains begin to lose nutrients within hours of grinding, so grinding your own is always the best option.  However, I also buy cold milled golden flax seed meal because let face it sometimes I’m just too lazy to bother grinding grains in the morning.  The other great thing about flax is that it makes a great substitute for eggs or oil when baking.  Flax seed has saved the day many times at my house when halfway through measuring my ingredients for chocolate chip cookies I realize I’m out of eggs.  Here are some handy substitutions:

1 egg = 1 Tbls flax + 3 Tbls water

1 Tbls butter or oil = 3 Tbls flax

Banana Apple Flax Muffins


1 ½ cups whole wheat flour

¾ cup ground flax seed

½ cup agave nectar

1 tsp baking soda

1 egg

½ cup applesauce

2 ripe mashed bananas

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 Tbsp plain yogurt

¼ cup chopped pecans

¼ cup raw sugar


In a large mixing bowl, mix together flour, flax seed, and baking soda.

In a separate bowl, mix egg, agave nectar, applesauce, bananas, vanilla, and yogurt.

Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients.

Spray the muffin pan with non-stick spray or line with paper muffin cups.  Fill cups.  Sprinkle with pecans and sugar if desired.

Bake 25-30 minutes @ 325° (if you chose to substitute the agave nectar for sugar, you can bake at 350° for 20-30 minutes)

Enjoy your cake for breakfast!  Makes 12 muffins.

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Soaked Whole Grain Spelt Bread

I love to bake, and fresh baked bread is my family’s favorite.  I use the dough cycle on my bread machine for most breads, then bake the loaves in the oven.  I usually bake bread twice a week and use a variety of different recipes.  Recently I have been reading about the benefits of soaking whole grains, but I have not been able to find a soaked grain recipe for my bread machine.

To read more about the benefits of soaked grains read the following article:

Using a favorite spelt bread recipe and components of an excellent recipe from Passionate Homemaking, I developed my own soaked bread recipe for my bread machine.  I have a one pound bread machine, but this recipe could easily be doubled for a two pound machine.


¾ cup warm water

½ cup plain yogurt or cultured buttermilk

3 Tbls melted butter

2 cups whole grain spelt flour (whole wheat flour will work fine too!)

½ cup whole oats

2 Tbls flax seeds

2 Tbls water

½ tsp raw organic cane sugar

2 tsp yeast

1 tsp salt

2 Tbls vital gluten

pinch ginger

¼ cup sunflower seeds

¾ cup white bread flour


Add yogurt, water, butter, spelt flour, oats and flax seeds to pan of bread machine.  Turn the bread machine on (any cycle) let run 4-5 minutes or until mixture is fully incorporated.

Unplug bread machine and close lid.  Let sit 12 – 24 hours.  24 hours is ideal for soaking oats, but if you can’t wait that long do what you can.  Don’t forget to put a sticky note on your bread machine so you remember when to get started again.

In a small bowl mix water, sugar, and yeast, let sit 5 min.

Open lid of bread machine and start dough cycle.  Add yeast mixture, salt, vital gluten, ginger,sunflower seeds, and flour.  Let the machine run for about 10 minutes then check your dough (it should have formed a nice ball).

If your dough is still sticking to the side of the pan add more flour a little at a time until dough pulls away from the sides of the pan.  If your flour is not fully incorporated into the dough, give the dough a good stir with a spatula and start the cycle over from the beginning. Close lid and let dough cycle run (about 2 hours).

Remove bread pan from bread machine.  Heat oven to 170 degrees.  Place dough in a greased loaf pan and place in heated oven.

Turn of oven and set timer for 30 min.  When timer goes off turn the oven on to 350 degrees and bake for 30-45 min.  Remove from oven and turn out onto a rack to cool.  Let sit ten minutes before slicing.  Enjoy!


Filed under Baking