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Gluten Free Brownies with Chocolate Chips and Espresso

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Yes, I have been away for QUITE some time. This year has started off with a bang or two and so I have been trying to stabilize my schedule, and my life. I’m slowly starting to get back into the swing of things, but in terms of cooking and baking, well, I’ve been going out more. Mostly because it’s fun, and it kills time, and also because it’s been so damn hot in Los Angeles lately that I can’t turn my oven on even for five minutes without the A/C yelling at me at making its’ job easier. 

Onto why I am finally writing after all this time. I stumbled upon this gluten free brownie recipe a week ago. Today was the day that I just had to try it out. I will be bringing it to work to determine if others liked it as much as I did, but I have no doubts. I didn’t taste like anything I’ve ever tried that has been “modified”, or anything less than fluffy, gooey goodness. 

What I found really interesting is that this recipe calls for some ground coffee, instant. Although I added instant espresso, I thought that it added a deeper richness, that most brownies don’t have. It wasn’t overly sweet, and the cocoa powder and semi-sweet chips add just the right balance so you’re not trying to drown yourself in milk after just one bite.

Overall, I’d say this is a keeper and then some. 

 

Also, wordpress has informed me that over 9 days ago it was my blog anniversary. Who knew!? I guess chocolate brownies were just the thing to post, in celebration. Happy Belated Breakfast Socks!

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Gluten-Free Chocolate Coffee Brownies

Taken from Snixy Kitchen

  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ chocolate extract (if you don’t have this, just double the vanilla extract measure).
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules (I used instant caramel latte mix because that’s what I had!)
  • 7 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, melted using a double broiler
  • ½ cup almond flour (or almond meal)
  • ½ cup brown rice flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons good-quality cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons dark chocolate chips

 Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8 Pyrex baking dish with parchment paper (or grease & flour with brown rice flour).

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs, butter, sugar, vanilla extract, chocolate extract, and coffee granules. Add the melted chocolate chips and whisk to combine.

In a separate bowl, mix together the almond flour, brown rice flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing just until completely combined.

Pour the batter into the baking dish. Sprinkle the dark chocolate chips evenly on top.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean or only with a few crumbs.

Let cool for about a half an hour before serving to prevent them from crumbling (I cut mine into rectangular pieces, and got 6, the bigger the better).

 

Enjoy!

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My First Time with Spaghetti Squash

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It has been a crazy few months. This last class has been too hard to put into words. Needless to say, I have been aware that I’ve been away far too long from the blog here. I am sure that I will be keeping up now that I’ve gotten my grade for the class back (an A- woo hoo!), and with some unexpected free time, be prepared for lots of summer, healthy fun.

Onto to today’s recipe…

I’ve never eaten or cooked spaghetti squash. Till today. I went out to my local grocery store and bought it. I did the deed. And I have to say, that it was fantastic! I can’t believe that I’ve been missing out for so long, on such a delicious and simple meal. A half or a whole, with marinara or alfredo sauce, with meat or without, it’s delicious.

It took an hour to actually bake the squash, and maybe ten minutes to make the sauce and prep everything. That includes cleaning and doing the dishes while the sauce was simmering. I’m in awe, simple as that.

Recipe  slightly adapted from The Comfort of Cooking

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  • 1/2 medium-sized spaghetti squash
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1/3 milk or heavy cream
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus 2 Tablespoons extra for topping
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Crushed red pepper flakes and fresh parsley, for optional garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

First, prep the squash. Cut spaghetti squash in half using a large sharp knife, scoop out the seeds and place cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until tender, about an hour.

As an alternate way of baking: Poke a few holes deep into the whole squash with a paring knife. Bake for 60 minutes, remove from the oven and let rest for 10 to 20 minutes before slicing in half with a large serrated knife. Scoop out the seedy inside leaving the spaghetti strands.

Once squash is cooked, use a fork to gently scrape the “spaghetti” strands into the center. Place in a bowl.

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For the sauce, melt butter in a small pot over medium-low heat. Once hot, add garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Whisk in milk or cream until no lumps remain. Once hot, add cheese, salt and pepper and stir until smooth. Remove from the heat. Add to bowl and stir. Taste and season further.

Top each half with a pinch of red pepper flakes and fresh chopped parsley, if desired. Serve hot.

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Amaretti Cookies: Italian, Soft, Almond Gems

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The first time that I heard about these cookies was when I was 15 years old and I saw Nigella Lawson use them on Nigella Bites for some sort of syllabub recipe. Since then I’ve been looking for these cookies to make the recipe, and tons more like it from the numerous Nigella cookbooks. In any case, last week I went to the grocery store, and behold my luck! I found the cookies! I haven’t been able to make the recipe I want with them yet, but the prepackaged ones in the stores don’t expire, so there’s not rush.

Two days ago I found the recipe for the cookies to make myself. It’s been a very lucky month for me, this June. In any case, to test which ones will be better, store-bought or homemade (in terms of flavor, consistency, and air whipped goodness).

Even better, my friend which suffers from Celiac disease gets to test them out as well. She hasn’t been feeling well lately, and I figured there’s nothing better than giving her some cookies full of almond sugar goodness.

bagged and ready to go

This recipe comes from Grace’s Sweet Life. I believe she also has a cookbook out recently, which features all the lovely Italian desserts that she prepares. Check it out, I know I will!

  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 1/3 cup caster (superfine granules) sugar
  • 1.1 pounds, about 2 1/7 cups almond flour, whole blanched, very finely ground (I used organic courser ground from Trader Joe’s)
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for rolling

In a large bowl, using a large balloon whisk beat the egg yolks.  Gradually add sugar, whisking until well combined.

Add the almond flour; whisk to just combine (do not over mix).

In a separate bowl, using a large balloon whisk (clean and dry) beatthe egg whites to barely a soft peak (do not over beat).

Using a large flexible spatula, fold one-third of the egg whites into the almond mixture (this will loosen the almond mixture).  Fold in remaining egg whites just to combine (do not over mix). Don’t worry, the mixture will be very sticky, this is how it’s supposed to be.

Cover and refrigerate amaretti cookie batter for at least one hour (I had in the fridge for about 2.5 hours).

Preheat oven to 325° F.  Line baking sheets with non-stick baking paper or silicone baking mats, set-aside.

Roll amaretti dough into roughly 1 tsp sized balls, coat in confectioners’ sugar.  (Do not flatten cookies).  Roll 20 amaretti cookies per baking sheet.  Chill dough in between baking times.

Bake until lightly golden, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Makes about 6 dozen amaretti cookies (I got 45 cookies).