Blueberry Muffins

blueberry-muffins

A friend of mine made these and really liked them!

Original recipe

 

Blueberry Muffins
Adapted from The Salty Marshmallow

Yield: 12 muffins

  • 1 1/3 cups brown rice flour + 2/3 cup potato starch OR 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature is best)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • Cinnamon sugar, for topping (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.  Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the rice flour+potato starch OR all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup, whisk together the milk, eggs, vanilla extract, and melted butter.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix gently.  If using all-purpose flour, mix just until combined, being careful not to over mix.
  5. Gently fold the blueberries into the batter.
  6. Fill the muffin cups up to the top with batter.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, until slightly golden brown on the top and a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean.

No-Churn Raspberry Cookies-and-Cream Ice Cream

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If you have a jar of nice raspberry preserves that you’ve been meaning to try, here is your chance.  This recipe is a simple way to make  ice cream without an ice cream maker.  The texture is a surprisingly good approximation of regular ice cream, and no-churn ice cream has the advantage that it won’t melt into a puddle.

Original recipe

 

No-Churn Raspberry Cookies-and-Cream Ice Cream
Adapted from Food Network

Yield: 6 cups ice cream

  • 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Pinch fine salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream, cold
  • 12 chocolate wafer cookies, crushed
  • 1 cup nice raspberry preserves

 

  1. Chill a 9″ x 5″ metal loaf pan.  Alternatively, you can store the ice cream in Rubbermaid boxes, which you don’t need to chill beforehand.
  2. Whisk together the condensed milk, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl.  Set aside.
  3. Whip the cream with a mixer on medium-high speed until firm peaks form, about 2 minutes.
  4. Fold about 1 cup of the whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture with a rubber spatula until combined, then fold the lightened mixture into the whipped cream until well blended.
  5. Pour into metal loaf pan OR Rubbermaid boxes and freeze, covered, until thick and creamy, like soft-serve ice cream, about 2 hours.
  6. Place chocolate wafer cookies in a Ziploc bag and crush with a rolling pin.
  7. Stir raspberry preserves and chocolate cookie bits into the ice cream base with a sturdy spoon.
  8. Continue to freeze, covered, until solid and scoopable, about 3 hours more.

No-Churn Cookies-and-Cream Ice Cream

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This is a simple way to make cookies-and-cream ice cream without an ice cream maker.  The texture is a surprisingly good approximation of regular ice cream, and no-churn ice cream has the advantage that it won’t melt into a puddle.

Original recipe

 

No-Churn Cookies-and-Cream Ice Cream
From Food Network

Yield: 6 cups ice cream

  • 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Pinch fine salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream, cold
  • 12 chocolate wafer cookies, crushed

 

  1. Chill a 9″ x 5″ metal loaf pan.  Alternatively, you can store the ice cream in Rubbermaid boxes, which you don’t need to chill beforehand.
  2. Whisk together the condensed milk, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl.  Set aside.
  3. Whip the cream with a mixer on medium-high speed until firm peaks form, about 2 minutes.
  4. Fold about 1 cup of the whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture with a rubber spatula until combined, then fold the lightened mixture into the whipped cream until well blended.
  5. Pour into metal loaf pan OR Rubbermaid boxes and freeze, covered, until thick and creamy, like soft-serve ice cream, about 2 hours.
  6. Place chocolate wafer cookies in a Ziploc bag and crush with a rolling pin.
  7. Stir chocolate cookie bits into the ice cream base with a sturdy spoon.
  8. Continue to freeze, covered, until solid and scoopable, about 3 hours more.

Chocolate Spice Quickies

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These chocolate spice quickie cookies work very well gluten-free.  With the egg and all the chocolate, which I doubled from the original recipe, to give the dough structure, they hold together very nicely, with a slightly sandy texture from the almond bits.  Dorie Greenspan suggests using them for ice cream sandwiches, so with the weather warming up, now is a good time to indulge!

 

Chocolate Spice Quickies
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

Yield: 25-30 cookies

  • 3/4 cup gluten-free flour
  • 1/4 cup blanched almonds (whole, sliced or slivered)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of ground allspice OR cloves
  • Pinch of salt
  • Just under 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

 

  1. Put the flour, almonds, cocoa, baking powder, spice, and salt in a food processor and pulse, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, until the almonds are finely ground. Turn the ingredients out onto a sheet of wax paper or into a bowl.
  2. Put the sugar and the butter into the processor and whir for a minute, then scrape the bowl and process for another 15 seconds; the butter and sugar should be smoothly blended.
  3. Add the vanilla and egg and process for 30 seconds, the scrape and process for another 30 seconds.
  4. Add the chocolate and pulse to blend.
  5. Finally, add the dry ingredients and pulse until they are fully incorporated. You’ll have a soft, fudgy, very malleable dough.
  6. Scrape it out onto a piece of plastic wrap and shape it into oblong.
  7. Using the plastic wrap, roll the dough into a log 7 to 8 inches long and 1 inch in diameter.  Twisting the ends of the plastic wrap firecracker-style to tighten the roll.
  8. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.  Because the dough is so malleable, the log will flatten out while chilling.  After about 1 hour, you can re-roll it to make it round.  (The logs can be wrapped airtight and refrigerated for up to 4 days or kept frozen for up to 2 months; slice and bake the frozen logs without defrosting – just add a minute or two to the baking time.)
  9. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
  10. Using a thin knife, cut the logs into 1/3-inch-thick rounds and place the rounds on the baking sheets, leaving at 1 inch between rounds.  (The cookies don’t spread much.)
  11. Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 7 minutes, or until the cookies are slightly puffed and their tops look dry. Transfer the sheet to a rack and wait 1 minute before carefully lifting the still-fragile cookies onto a rack to cool to room temperature.
  12. The cookies can be kept in a tin for about 4 days.

Cheese Muffins

Credit for these delicious cheese muffins goes to my friend Amanda, who experimented with and modified the original recipe extensively before coming up with these!

Original recipe

 

Cheese Muffins
Adapted from Genius Kitchen

Yield: 12 muffins

  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon chili pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 3/4 cup potato starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum, if you have it
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups grated mozzarella cheese

 

  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350ºF.  Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine milk, butter, egg, spices, baking soda, cream of tartar, sugar, and salt.  Mix well.
  3. Add flours/starches and xanthan gum (if using) and mix well.
  4. Mix in cheese.
  5. Divide batter evenly among muffin tins.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes.

Ginger-Jazzed Brownies

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If you like brownies and ginger, then you should try this recipe!  Like most dense, chocolate-y recipes, it converts well to gluten-free-ness, and the little ginger bits add an interesting, spicy kick.

Baking Note:

  • If you don’t have enough unsweetened chocolate, you can use 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate plus 4 ounces dark (72%) chocolate, and cut the sugar to 3/4 cup.

 

Ginger-Jazzed Brownies
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

Yield: 16 brownies

  • 3/4 cup gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2-3 tablespoons finely minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 cup + 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup OR agave nectar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs

 

  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F.  Line a 9-inch square pan with foil, butter the foil, and place the pan on a baking sheet.
  2. Whisk the flour, salt, and ground ginger together.
  3. Put the minced fresh ginger and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the sugar in a small bowl, stir, and set aside.  (If you do this a day ahead, cover the bowl with plastic wrap; if you do it several days ahead, cover and refrigerate.)
  4. Melt the chocolates in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, or melt them in a microwave oven; keep the heat low so the chocolates do not get very hot.  Set aside to cool.
  5. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed until it is smooth and creamy.
  6. Beat in the corn syrup OR agave nectar, then the remaining 1 cup sugar, and continue to beat for another 2 minutes or so, until the butter is smooth again and the sugar is incorporated.
  7. Add the vanilla.
  8. On medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each one goes in and scraping the bowl down as needed.
  9. Beat for 1 minute more, then reduce the mixer speed to low and add the macerated ginger (and any liquid), then the dry ingredients (mixing only until the flour disappears if you’re using all-purpose flour).
  10. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a rubber spatula, gently and thoroughly stir in the melted chocolate.
  11. Scrape the batter into the pan.
  12. Bake for 30-35 minutes; a thin knife inserted into the center of the brownies should have streaks of moist, fudgy chocolate on it.
  13. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool to room temperature.
  14. When the brownies are completely cool, turn out onto a rack, peel away the foil and invert onto a cutting board.  Cut into 16 squares, each roughly 2 1/4 inches on a side.
  15. Wrapped well, the brownies will keep for 2 days at room temperature (during which time the ginger flavor will become a little more pronounced) or for up to 2 months in the freezer.

Orange-Flavored Baked Chinese New Year Cake (Nian Gao)

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Happy Chinese New Year!  This is a variant on the vanilla-flavored nian gao that my mom makes (recipe here), inspired by flavorings from this recipe.  It has an intense orange flavor.

 

Orange-Flavored Baked Chinese New Year Cake (Nian Gao)
Recipe from my mom and Woks of Life

  • 1 lb sticky rice flour (I like to use a Thai brand, Erawan)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter (or margarine), softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups milk
  • Zest of half an orange
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon molasses

 

1. Preheat oven to  350°F.  Grease a 9″x 9″ baking pan thoroughly.
2. Beat the butter until creamy, then beat in all the other ingredients.  The batter will be runny, and it’s fine if there are little pieces of butter floating in it.
3. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes until the top is golden brown.  Don’t worry if a tester comes out with nian gao on it still; that’s expected.  It’s also difficult to over-bake – you’ll just get a crackly, crunchy layer on top that has a great texture.  When done, the cake will be sort of jiggly and (what else?) sticky.