Monday, September 15, 2014

Ann Romney’s Peanut Butter Oat M&M Cookies and My Gluten Free Version of Peanut Butter Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ann Romney's Peanut Butter Oat M&M Cookies

Over the weekend I made Ann Romney's M&M Cookies, which I’ve made before (linked here).  I made them for a family get together but I made a few slight changes and wanted to post my version of the recipe.  Though you can find the recipe on my first link here to Family Circle Magazine that has the recipe posted.  As well, you can find the recipe in Ann’s wonderful cookbook, The Romney Family Table.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—I sure love Ann and her family and all that they stand for in life.  Not to mention, she is an LDS mother of all boys who has MS—we are twins! ; )  Though I would die if my husband ever decided to run for president!

For this recipe, I used less sugar and I added salt.  I also used milk chocolate chips, though her recipes doesn’t say which kind, she probably uses semi-sweet.  The reason I decided to make these cookies was because I had a bag of mini M&Ms to use.  These came out a little thicker than the first time I made them, which is actually what I wanted and worked because I used less sugar.  Sugar melting in a cookie is one of the things that make them spread more.  Everyone who ate the cookies at the family gathering said they were great!  I felt a little jealous that I didn’t get to eat one.

Ann Romney’s Peanut Butter Oat M&M Cookies, adapted by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 cup (not packed) light brown sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1  1/2 cups peanut butter (I used smooth, Ann uses crunchy)

1 tablespoons light corn syrup

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4  1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk chocolate chips

2/3 cup mini M&M’s candies (or regular sized ones)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, peanut butter, sugars and corn syrup.  Beat until well combined.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Beat in the vanilla extract.  Add the baking soda, salt and oats and mix until well combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips and M&Ms with a spatula.  Drop dough (with a cookie scoop about 2 tablespoonsful) onto baking sheets leaving about 2 inches between each.  Bake for about 14 minutes, until lightly browned.  Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.  Makes about 3 dozen.

Ann Romney's M&M Cookies

I decided these cookies would and should be made gluten free (after all, they don’t have flour in the first place).  So I made some for me!  I used coconut oil instead of butter.  I also used coconut sugar and a little organic brown cane sugar instead of granulated sugar and brown sugar.  Raw honey replaced the little bit of corn syrup.  Gluten free oats and organic natural peanut butter along with some Enjoy Life chocolate chips rounded out my version.  Yay, they’re good!

Peanut Butter Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten Free)

Peanut Butter Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies, Gluten Free, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1/4 cup organic cane brown sugar

3/4 cup organic natural peanut butter

1/2 tablespoon raw honey

1  1/2 large eggs (for 1/2 an egg, whisk the egg then measure out 2 tablespoons)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2  1/4 cups gluten free old fashioned rolled oats

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips (or chocolate of your choice)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  In a large bowl, combine the coconut oil, coconut sugar and brown sugar.  Mix together well.  Add the peanut butter and honey.  Stir together until well combined with a spatula. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until well combined.  Fold in the oats, baking soda and salt.  Next fold in the chocolate chips.  Scoop dough onto baking sheets.  Bake for about 12 minutes until golden brown.  Let sit on baking sheet for a few minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.  Makes about 18 cookies.

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies 2

Happy me!  Happy you if you make either one of these cookies!

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Slow Cooker Apple Butter—No Sugar Added

Apple Butter 9-9-14

If I wasn’t such a lady, I’d have eaten all 32 ounces of this apple butter by myself.  Who says apple butter has to be for spreading on bread?  I don’t eat bread anyway, or at least I don’t have any gluten free bread right now.  I’m sure it’s delicious on bread, but try not to just spoon too much of it in your mouth straight from the pot.

This couldn’t be any easier to make, the hardest part (though it’s so worth it) is waiting for it to cook in the slow cooker.  That is the main reason most of its cooking time was overnight and while I was gone to my  doctor’s appointment this morning.  Perfection when I returned! And sure smells great!  I’ve made an apple butter before, but also used some pears since I didn’t have enough apples.  So this one is pure apple butter, with no sugar.  It does not need sugar!  Chop the apples—I used my Vidalia Chop Wizard (As Seen On TV, but available in many stores now and only about $20).  Love this thing.  It has two different sizes for chopping.  I chopped these with the smaller one.  Added a little lemon juice, some yummy spices and a little apple juice and let it cook away.

Apples for Slow Cooker Apple Butter

Slow Cooker Easy Apple Butter, No Sugar Added, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

12 apples, your choice, but something like Gala, Braeden, red or yellow delicious, or Fuji, or any combination (if you use Granny Smith apples, you might need sugar), peeled, core removed and chopped

juice of 1 lemon

1  1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1  1/2 cups 100% apple juice

Put all the ingredients into the bowl of a slow cooker, stir together until combined.  Cook on low 12 hours, perfect for overnight.  After about 10 hours (in the morning), blend the apples until smooth (I used a handheld blender right in the slow cooker, but you can carefully transfer the apples to a blender, in batches, too.).  If you don’t blend it too much, you can just call it applesauce, but keep blending until is a super-smooth consistency and it becomes a nice apple butter.  Once blended, you can let it cook another couple hours, but you don’t have to.   Let cool, store in jars in the refrigerator for up to a couple weeks.  Makes 32 ounces (4 half pints, perfect gift giving homemade item).

Applesauce, almost apple butter

Applesauce-y

Almost there, blend a little longer.  It will become silky smooth.

Apple Butter

Apple Butter, no sugar added

You will want to dive right in.  I’m planning for some of this to go in these Apple Betty Bars I’m going to make this weekend for a family get together.  But I’m also thinking this would sure make some delicious dairy free apple ice cream, maybe even with caramel (vegan, refined sugar free) swirled in, and some pecans.  Okay, yum!  Deal.  Working on it. 

Slow Cooker Apple Butter, No Sugar Added

*Note, the strange discrepancy in colors in the photos is because it’s quite a rainy day here today!  It does look most like the first and last photo here on this post. ; )

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Brownie Biscotti (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

Brownie Biscotti (from Grumpy's Honeybunch)

Brownie Biscotti, Gluten Free and Dairy Free

I recently posted about my Secret Recipe Club assignment where I got to make something from Shelby’s blog, The Life and Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch.  It was my last Secret Recipe Club assignment as I decided it was time to get out of the club.  I love Shelby!  So for fun, I made as many recipes from her blog as I could during the month, when for club assignments, you really just need to make one thing from that blog during the month.  It was a great month!  I linked all the recipes I made from Shelby’s blog in that post, now one by one over the next month or so, I’ll post the recipes as I made them, because for quite a few of the recipes, I changed things to make them gluten free so I could eat them, along with some other changes.

Up first is the brownie biscotti, which is the first recipe I chose to make from her blog.  Since biscotti is quite a crispy cookie that most people dip in coffee or tea, I’m not sure why I like it so much, but ever since we made the Lenox Almond Biscotti for Tuesdays With Dorie back in 2008, I have loved biscotti.  No dipping necessary.  This brownie biscotti could possibly be a new biscotti favorite, I mean, hello—it’s chocolate!  I loved the added walnuts because I am in the “nuts in brownies camp”.  In this recipes, I changed butter for coconut oil, all purpose flour for gluten free flour and I used organic cane sugar for the sugar, which is still a splurge for me, I plan to try unrefined coconut sugar next time I make this.  It will make me feel even less guilty enjoying these. 

Brownie BiscottiBrownie Biscotti (Gluten Free, Dairy Free), by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

1/2 cup coconut oil

2/3 cup organic cane sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1  3/4 cup gluten free flour blend (with xanthan gum)

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)

1 egg yolk, beaten

1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut oil and sugar until well combined.  Whisk in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.  In a medium sized bowl, combine the gluten free flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.  Whisk together.  Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and stir together with a spatula until all combined.  Mix in the chocolate chips and nuts.

Form dough into either a 12 by 3 inch log or you can do two smaller logs (I divided the dough into two logs about 8 by 2 inches) side by side on baking sheet.  Brush with egg yolk/water mixture.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Cool on baking sheet for 20 minutes.  Using a serrated knife, slice the biscotti log into one inch slices.  Set them on the baking sheet leaving space in between each one and bake for another 20 minutes or until dry.  Cool completely on a wire rack.  Store in an airtight container.

Brownie Biscotti

I just might have to go run into the kitchen and make these again right now so I can try out the coconut sugar.  I’d be doing it for all of you…….. Winking smile