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Monday, 18 July 2016

Monkey Bread!

There's nothing yummier than warm monkey bread.  This gluten-free version is easy to mix together, and then you can scoop with a spoon to dip in butter and then your cinnamon sugar mixture.  Drizzle a little frosting on top to turn it into 'gorilla bread'.  Once cooled, you can also slice thick slices and toast or use in homemade french toast.  Suggestions for a stickier/gooier monkey bread are at the bottom**.  This bread is similar to my popular cinnamon swirl bread -  but the monkey bread adds a fun dimension with pull-apart cinnamon-buttery goodness. Enjoy!
Homemade Gluten-Free Monkey Bread! 

Monkey Bread
Makes two large loaf pans or one 9 x 13 pan

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Butter 2 large loaf pans.

Mix together in a mixer:
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup potato starch
1/2 cup arrowroot starch
2 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp quick rise yeast
1 tsp salt

Add, mix in slowly.  Increase speed and beat 3-4 minutes:
1 1/4 cup warm water
1 Tbsp honey
1 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup
4 Tbsp oil
3 eggs
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

While dough is beating, prepare the following:
1/3 - 1/2 cup melted butter

In another small bowl, mix:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 - 2 Tbsp ground cinnamon

Dip heaping teaspoonfuls of dough half into melted butter, then in cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Using a second spoon, scrap into large bread pans.  Repeat until each pan is 1/2 filled.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm location until doubled in size.

Bake at 350 F for 35 - 40 minutes.  Let rest 5 minutes before removing to cooling rack to cool.   This bread can be pulled apart to eat or cooled and sliced.  Slice and freeze leftovers. Leftover slices reheat nicely in a toaster oven.

To turn your "monkey bread" into "gorilla bread" by whisking together a little cream cheese frosting and drizzling over the top of your bread once it's on the cooling rack.

Cream cheese frosting: 
Mix together until smooth:
1.5 oz cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp butter, softened
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
milk, to desired consistency

**For a stickier/gooier bread, scoop spoonfuls into a buttered 9 x 13 pan.  Heat together an additional 1/2 cup butter + 1/4 cup brown sugar until sugar crystals have dissolved.  Drizzle over pan before baking.  Bake 30 - 35 minutes until nicely browned.   Serve warm and upside down for a nice sticky sweet bread. 


Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream! (with lactose-free option)

Up here on Prince Edward Island it's strawberry season, so it seemed the perfect time to whip up a batch of easy, homemade strawberry ice cream!  This recipe does require the use of an ice cream maker.  I have a Kitchen-aid ice cream maker that connects into my regular machine that I've been happy with.  My parents and sister have a Donvier, which they both love.  This recipe is for machines that suggest a typical timeframe of ~25 minutes to churn out a batch of ice cream.  Remember ice cream expands during churning, so your bowl will look only 1/3-1/2 full at the beginning, but will look quite full by the end!

Freshly churned strawberry ice cream after chilling for a few hours in the freezer post-churn.

Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream! (lactose-free)
Makes ~ 1.5 quarts

Prepare strawberries (below) before beginning to use your ice cream maker.

Mix together:
1 cup whole cream + 2 cups 2% milk OR 3 cups half/half cream OR 3 cups 10% lactose-free cream (If they sold 15% lactose-free cream, that is what I'd use, so go with what's available near you.)
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste - my preference in ice cream)

Freeze in machine for about half of the freezing time directed (I usually mix between 12-15 minutes before adding fruit).  Then, add:
1 cup finely diced strawberries + 1 Tbsp sugar (once diced, chill in the refrigerator at least 1 hour)

Continue mixing in the ice cream maker for another 10-15 minutes (or until directed by your machine).

Once ice cream has frozen you can eat it!  Or, if it's seeming like it's mostly frozen - sometimes with lower fat content, using the 10% cream, the ice cream struggles getting thick enough in the mixer alone - working as quickly as you can, transfer your strawberry ice cream to a container with lid you can put in the freezer.  Immediately place covered ice cream in the freezer.  Let ice cream fully harden for at least 3-4 hours.  The ice cream will have a nice light texture and taste amazing once fully chilled.

Yes, you can eat it immediately after making it in the container, but I always find it melts quickly because it hasn't had the extra freeze time.  If you want to scoop proper ice cream cone-style scoops, it's best to freeze first.  Scoop and enjoy!!!!

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies - Gluten Free & Dairy Free!

These delicious, chewy peanut butter chocolate chip cookies are free from both gluten and dairy, something I found myself needing to make for allergy purposes.  Of course, they do have peanut butter, so don't eat them, mom!  On the day of, these cookies have a chewy inside and crispy edge to them.  Stored overnight in a tupperware and they'll be a bit softer and chewier - absolutely delicious.  They went quickly! Enjoy! 
Fresh gluten-free and dairy-free peanut butter chocolate chip cookies!  Yum! 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies - Gluten Free & Dairy Free! 
Makes ~48 small cookies

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients:
¼ tsp xanthan gum
¾ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt

Cream the following either in a mixer or by hand:
½ cup coconut oil (use as a soft solid at room temperature, not in liquid form)
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar (light or dark, depending on flavor preference)

Add and mix:
1 egg
1 - 2 Tbsp dairy-free milk (coconut, almond, soy - less for puffier cookies, more for more spread out cookies)
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until combined.

Add the following and stir to combine:
½ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (make sure they're labelled as milk-free, if needed - there is a nice brand that is milk, soy, nut free that we like)

Scoop 12 cookies per cookie sheet, using heaping teaspoon OR 1 Tbsp mini cookie scoop.  

Bake at 350 F for 9-10 minutes.  Let cool briefly on pan before removing to wire rack to fully cook.   

Cool fully before serving.  Store in a sealed container at room temperature, or freeze for later.  We found these are the sort of cookies that taste even chewier (and some might say even better) a day later when they've had a chance for the flavors to meld together, becoming tastier, softer and chewy.  Enjoy!