Sunday, May 27, 2012

Baking with Gluten-Free Dessert Mixes - Mocha Chocolate Chip Muffins

 I have always been and will forever be a “baker from scratch”.  But I did use some really good Duncan Hines cake mixes!  Since DH hasn’t gotten on the gluten-free bandwagon, I can mimic their chocolate mix until or when and if they do….

As it has been said before, I am a chocoholic, preferring to use cocoa, rather than prepared chocolate.  I have even gone as far to use cacao nibs to get yet more intense cacao flavor.   Cacao nibs have more intense flavor that takes some getting used to.

When deciding which sweet treats I prefer, basically cookies win hands down! As I get older, my taste buds have changed a bit, as I prefer something with a little more texture than pies and tender cakes.  Even cake muffins tend to be a bit more ‘substantial’ than the cupcake.  Although, I love other cupcake or muffin flavors, I seem to migrate to adding even a small amount of chocolate flavor to ‘sweet treats’.

I have a few boxes of gluten-free mixes in my pantry and am finally getting around to using them.

When preparing half-box of mix that states 12 muffins, be prepared to need more than 6 when adding other ingredients.  The best way to be prepared is to always use a 12-cup muffin pan.  If the batter fits into 6, perfect!  If not, then you have room to grow.   I always take out the 12-cup muffin pan, no matter how many the recipe yields.

As I was developing another recipe, I added a couple tablespoons of cocoa to the recipe and discovered that I also like the ‘mocha’ taste.   As I was trying to decide what to add to this box of muffin mix, the mocha idea popped into my head.  Light bulb! Mocha used here simply means a ‘light’ cocoa taste.

I just love those Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Chocolate Chips, so of course I am adding a few, even to a ‘mocha’ sweet treat!  The large chips give the batter a lumpy look, so use a toothpick to slightly smooth them a bit by twirling the toothpick to push any chips down into the batter.

This recipe has never been doubled by using the whole box. Since an additional 1/4 cup of ‘flour’ is being added, an additional 1/4 tsp baking powder may be desired for a higher rise.

Enjoy as this mix is a little different from others. 

Mocha Chocolate Chip Muffins

Mocha Chocolate Chip Muffin display

  • 1/2 (16-oz. box) gluten-free yellow muffin mix (used King Arthur Flour1)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 pkts. Pure Via Stevia ( or 4 tbsp sugar equivalent)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil (or 70% fat (or higher) buttery spread )
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of your choice)
  • 1/3 cup Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Chips, Bittersweet (or your choice).

  • Measure the muffin mix, weigh it, if necessary.  Whisk cocoa, cake mix and cinnamon together.
  • Melt coconut oil.
  • Beat eggs, coconut oil and extract until fluffy, beat in cake mix, milk until blended. Beat about an additional 30 seconds, just until the batter begins to thicken. Fold in chocolate chips.
  • Cover the cupcake pan with cupcake papers. Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared cupcake pan.
  • Bake in preheated oven for about 18 to 20 minutes until top lightly pressed spring back or toothpick inserted in center comes out with small crumbs. Do not over-cook!
  • Remove from oven, remove from cupcake pan to wire rack with papers intact. Allow to cool and optionally frost

Mocha Chocolate Chip Muffin 2

Mocha Chocolate Chip Muffin large display II

Servings: 8
Yield: 8 cupcakes

Nutrition Facts - as preparedNutrition (per muffin): 285 calories, 13.2g total fat, <1g monounsaturated fat, <1g polyunsaturated fat, 0g trans fatty acids, 0g trans-monoenoic fatty acids, 6.2g saturated fat, 52.9mg cholesterol, 298.5mg sodium, 23.9mg calcium, 25.4mg potassium, 8.2mcg folate, 24mg phosphorus, 4.4mg phytosterols, <1mcg lycopene, 4mcg selenium, <1mg thiamin, <1mcg vitamin b12, <1mg vitamin b6, <1mg vitamin c, 4.4IU vitamin d, 1.4mg zinc, 53.1g carbohydrates, 17.5g fiber, 35.6g net carbohydrates, 16.7g sugar, <1g fructose, <1g glucose, <1g sucrose, <1g maltose, 6.7g protein, 5.2mg caffeine.

1Ingredients as stated on the box: Sugar, rice flour, modified potato starch, inulin, modified tapioca starch, tapioca starch, emulsifier (rice starch, polyglycerol esters of fatty acids, mono and diglycerides of fatty acids), leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, cornstarch, monocalcium phosphate), natural vanilla flavor, salt, guar gum, xanthan gum, nutmeg

© 2012

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

It’s National Chocolate Chip Day 2012 - Chocolate Chip Cookies -Gluten-Free

I got started late on deciding what to make because after going shopping, needed to take a breather a bit….

Noticed a post on! about chocolate chip cookiesfor Guilt-Free Chocolate Chip-Oatmeal Cookies….decided to use their recipe.    Of course, I had to convert it to gluten-free, so by the time they came out of the oven, they were the same cookies I have been making for some time.

I like to add flax meal and oats to cookies as I also use half non-calorie sweetener.  I guess you can say, I like to have my cake and eat it too.

Some time ago, I bought some coconut/palm sugar…  I replaced what normally is brown sugar with the palm sugar.

To see how National Food Holidays are determined….check this site:

I make my own all-purpose gluten-free mix because I like to add more fiber than the usual store bought mixes.  King Arthur Flour has a whole-grain mix that is suitable for this recipe.

I prefer to use mini chips in cookies because they are easier to shape. With additional fiber, gluten-free cookies tend not to spread much. But I really love those Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Bittersweet chips!
So wipe the dribble and feast your eyes on these!

Chocolate Chip Cookies - Gluten-Free

Chocolate Chip Cookies


1/4 cups Coconut palm sugar
1/4 cups Granulated Stevia Sweetener
1/4 cups Canola Harvest Margarine (or 70% or more fat margarine)
1 large  egg 
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
2  tbsp flax meal
1/2 cups whole grain mix (used a self- rising mix)
1/8 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats, uncooked
1/2 cups  double chocolate bittersweet chocolate chips


Beat the margarine, sweeteners and egg until fluffy, beat in the extract.
Combine the flour mix, flax meal, baking soda, stir into the mixing bowl.  Stir in the oats.  Stir in the chips or you could just press them into the cookies as you shape them on the baking sheet.
Place portions of cookie dough on parchment paper covered baking sheets.  Bake in pre-heated 350F oven for about 9 minutes or until bottoms are browned.
Servings: 24

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition (
per cookie as prepared): 75 calories, 3.9g total fat, 1.2g monounsaturated fat, <1g polyunsaturated fat, 0g trans fatty acids, 0g trans-monoenoic fatty acids, 1.1g saturated fat, 8.8mg cholesterol, 37.3mg sodium, 10.6mg calcium, 10.9mg potassium, 3.3mcg folate, 18.6mg phosphorus, <1mg phytosterols, 0mcg lycopene, <1mcg selenium, <1mg thiamin, <1mcg vitamin b12, <1mg vitamin b6, <1mg vitamin c, <1IU vitamin d, <1mg zinc, 9g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 8g net carbohydrates, 3.4g sugar, 1.5g protein.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

© 2012

Monday, May 14, 2012

Easy Meals - Ginger Szechuan Spiced Cabbage Stir-fry

Fresh Veggies are everywhere now, yet I bought a bag of pre-shredded slaw.  The convenience bag is so easy to use and just the right size needed.

Today there wasn’t anything in the fridge for left-overs, so I had to think of something to cook besides an omelet or make a smoothie.

There are usually frozen vegetables in the freezer and canned beans and tomatoes in the pantry.  But sometimes, food gets boring.

So…… I served this up with some baked salmon.

Since there is no meat in this dish, it is great for potluck or picnics.   It tastes just fine at room temperature.
Spicy suits my palate just fine as you may notice the ginger and the Szechuan sauce add quite a bit of ginger! 

I was a bit concerned about the garlic and cabbage stinking up the house, but the ginger tempered it quite a bit! Even with a vented stove, some scents manage to escape.

Normally, I would have used red peppers, but Ii only had green ones, so used what I had..

Ginger Szechuan Spiced Cabbage Stir-fry

Ginger Szechuan Sauced Stir Fried Cabbage


2 Tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp Garlic, finely minced
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 16-oz bag Multicolored Cabbage Slaw
1 inch piece Ginger-root; fresh; minced
1 large green pepper, julienne cut
2  tsp of your favorite sweetener (non-calorie or sugar)
1/2 tsp cumin
1  tsp Perfect Pinch Salt-free Savory Southwest Seasoning
1 tsp Trappey's cayenne pepper sauce
2 tsp Szechuan Sauce (Gluten-Free)
1/4 tsp kosher salt

Spray a 10 inch iron skillet with oil spray

Heat olive oil in skillet, add garlic and sesame seeds, stirring to cook until garlic is translucent.

Add cabbage, ginger, pepper, sweetener and spices.

Stir and cook for about 5 minutes on high, stirring to prevent burning.

Stir cabbage, bringing bottom up to top. Add cauliflower and stir. Sprinkle sauces over the skillet and stir.

Place cover on skillet and allow cooking about 5 minutes, Stir to mix so that all portions cook on the bottom of the skillet at least some of the time. Add about 2 tablespoons water to skillet. Cover and cook on low until cabbage is tender, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle salt over the top.

Remove from heat and stir.

Ginger Szechuan Sauced Stir Fried Cabbage - cooking

Serve hot or at room temperature.

Servings: 4(to 6)

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 164 calories, 10.3g total fat, 6.1g monounsaturated fat, 2.2g polyunsaturated fat, 1.4g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 391.7mg sodium, 113.2mg calcium, 367.4mg potassium, 71.7mcg folate, 89mg phosphorus, 60.8mg phytosterols, <1mcg lycopene, 1.8mcg selenium, <1mg thiamin, <1mcg vitamin b12, <1mg vitamin b6, 91.8mg vitamin c, <1mg zinc, 16.7g carbohydrates, 4.5g fiber, 12.2g net carbohydrates, 6.9g sugar, 3.5g protein.


© 2012

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Apple Cobbler Cake - Gluten-Free

This dessert is a cross between a coffee cake and a cobbler, so I will call it “Apple Cobbler Cake“

I have been a bit slow on baking lately.  There are just times when I do not want to cook anything, so I either make a veggie omelet or smoothie with added veggies.

As spring has arrived, we also have to watch the weather when planning to bake as anything in the oven when a storm arrives is on it’s own.  I always take shelter in the lower level!

This  dessert is really simple to make. To reduce sugar calories, try making  your own apple filling by simmering apples until tender and using a sweetener like stevia.  Be sure not to mash the apples as the ‘chunks’ are what makes this dessert similar to a cobbler.

I tend to add flax in most of my baked goodies now.

Apple Cobbler Cake - Gluten-Free

Apple Cobbler Cake - display


2 1/2 cups cooked sweetened apples, cut in chunks or slices*
1/4 tsp nutmeg, optional

Dry Ingredients
1-1/4 cups Gluten Free Mama Coconut Mix
1/4 cup flax seed meal (ground flax seeds)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients
4 Tbsp butter - softened
3/4 cup granulated Stevia sweetener (or sugar)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup 0% Greek Yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup Turbinado sugar
2 Tbsp  chopped pecans (optional)

Additional liquids
1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Combine all of the Dry Ingredients
Mix the nutmeg into the apples

Place all Wet Ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl and beat until fluffy.
Gradually beat in the Dry Ingredients mix and mix until combined, gradually add milk, mixing to combine.

Spray a 9-inch square baking dish with oil spray or coat with shortening.

Apple Cobbler Cake - mixing

ceramic 9-inch dish

Dollop about 1/3 of the batter into the pan. use a fork to spread it out. dollop about 1/3 of the apples over the dough, spread out about evenly. Repeat until all apples and batter is in the pan, leaving a small amount of batter for the top. Use a fork to spread it around leaving some open areas. Make sure the batter is not any thicker in areas than others. Using a fork or knife swirl the dish to mix just a little.

Sprinkle the Turbinado sugar, then nuts evenly over the top.

Apple Cobbler Cake - ready for oven

Bake for about 40 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Edges will be browned before top browns.

Apple Cobbler Cake - out of oven

Serve hot or warm.

Apple Cobbler Cake

Servings: 9
Yield: 1 9-inch square 'cobbler'

Cooking Time: approximately 40 minutes

Nutrition Facts (varies by type of apple and sweetener used)
Nutrition (per serving): 229 calories, 10.7g total fat, 2.6g monounsaturated fat, 1.6g polyunsaturated fat, <1g linoleic acid, 3.9g saturated fat, 61.1mg cholesterol, 161.2mg sodium, 92mg calcium, 150.7mg potassium, 10.2mcg folate, 142.7mg phosphorus, 1.5mg phytosterols, 0mcg lycopene, 5.1mcg selenium, <1mg thiamin, <1mcg vitamin b12, <1mg vitamin b6, 23.2mg vitamin c, 3.9IU vitamin d, <1mg zinc, 34.5g carbohydrates, 3.2g fiber, 31.3g net carbohydrates, 6.7g sugar, 4g protein

I used home-made chunky apple sauce, sweetened with Stevia, although sugar sweetened apples may be substituted.  I estimate 5 cups raw apples cooks down to about 2 1/2 cups.

Apple Cobbler Cake - apples