Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins With a Surprise Inside!

A few years ago I combined my chocolate chip muffins with my classic banana nut muffins to create a lovely sweet snack.  When I made a batch of them yesterday I decided to move the streusel from the top to the insides of each muffin because so often bits of the topping can come off especially after they have been frozen. I thought that this way it is safely trapped inside the muffin for a sweet surprise.

Success: they are perfect in texture, moisture and totally yummy with that bit of streusel filling that goes so well with the chocolate chips.  I left out my usual half cup of chopped walnuts; add some if you like…I was out of walnuts and wanted to keep it a bit simpler.

 

I don’t include a picture of the inside of a muffin as it really doesn’t photograph the filling very much; just bite into one and you will know it is there.

muffins, stuffed big pix

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

2 cups brown rice flour mix (see below)

2/3 c granulated sugar or coconut palm sugar

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

¾ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

3/4 to 1 c packed ripe mashed banana

¼ cup mini chocolate chips and ¼ cup dark chocolate chips (or any combo of chips that adds up to 1/2 cup total)

2 lg eggs beaten

½ c milk plus 2 tbsp extra if you use coconut sugar, 1 or 2 percent

½ c canola oil

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Filling

½ cup old fashioned oats

¼ cup brown sugar

2 tbsp. hemp hearts or almond flour (I used hemp hearts this time; awesome!)

½ tsp. cinnamon

2 tbsp. butter

Mix filling dry ingredients, rub butter in with your fingertips.

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Muffin directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees, placing the rack in middle of oven.  Spray muffin pans with cooking spray.  One batch makes about 14 or 15 muffins.

Mix all dry ingredients in bowl of stand mixer or big bowl.

Add bananas; stir to coat them with dry mix, then add the chocolate and stir briefly.

Combine milk and oil.  Add liquids and the two eggs to bowl. Stir on low until well blended.

Fill muffin pans 1/3 full.  Sprinkle with filling and top with another glop of batter to fill the pan about 2/3 to 3/4 full.  It doesn’t have to look perfect; the batter will rise and swallow up the streusel into the heart of the muffin.  I had a bit of filling left over so I sprinkled it on top of half the muffins. That looked great too!

Bake 20-22 min until golden brown. Do not overbake or they get dry.  Remove from oven and let cool 5-6 min before gently turning them out from the pans to cool on a rack. I use a butter knife to release them by running it around the edge once before tipping them out. They freeze well for up to 3 weeks.  They keep in my ceramic muffin/cookie jar for a few days.   muffins, stuffed, baked

Brown Rice Flour Mix   *same as King Arthur’s GF flour blend
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

Note: This muffin recipe is my third generation version of the banana muffins from Annalise Roberts’s wonderful cookbook: Gluten Free Baking Classics.

Chocolate Chippers that Please Everyone!

If you are searching for the holy grail of GF cooking: chocolate chip cookies, search no further.  Bet you thought I was going to say some sort of bread!  That’s another post entirely.  Anyway, when I went GF 5 years ago I made a batch of chocolate chippers that were gf. They were rather sweet and didn’t taste all that great.  I didn’t give up, I keep looking.  Recipes seemed to require that I buy weird vegetable shortening or use Crisco.  Or they used odd flours and just not worth it to me to add another flour mixture just for one cookie.  So I had not made them in over 3 years.  Missed them….desperately.  Store ones are small, hard, drab in flavor and incredibly pricy.

So one day I went to King Arthur’s website and looked in their cookie recipes.  There it was: cookies made with the same flour blend I use and made with butter, one of my few chosen shortenings.  Why the heck didn’t I look there a year ago?  Probably because I didn’t realize they had many gf recipes until that summer when I asked and was directed to their cache of gluten free baked treats. I went to the comments as they can be telling as to the truth of whether a recipe is worth actually making.  Glowing reviews and advice; make them and refrigerate a day or better yet, freeze them formed and ready to bake in a few minutes.  Words about how much they are like Tollhouse cookies, great texture and flavor.  Bingo, this seemed so hopeful.

Less than a week later I made up a batch; 2/3 with walnuts and 1/3 nut free for my nut hating friends.  Froze them all on trays and then into freezer bags except one tray to bake.  Made those and tested them on my friend Josh who came to supper.  Goal scored; perfect brown sugar nutty flavor and texture; not too hard or too soft.

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I put some in my cookie jar, closed it tightly and 4 days later those cookies (what remains) are still delicious. That is pretty long for a gluten free baked good. By the fifth afternoon my last cookie in there was getting soft so suggest not holding them for more than 4 days in a jar. I love that they can be frozen ready to bake in like 12 minutes.  If I have time I let them defrost on the cookie baking sheet before they go in the oven so they spread out nice and thin.I have made a couple batches since then, always bakes up so scrumptious. Cookie perfection!

2018 Update: for my batch today I swapped out 1/4 cup butter for 2 Tbsp. softened cream cheese, used only 3/4 cup brown sugar, and I added 1/4 cup golden flax meal and 1/2 cup old fashioned oats. Plus I used a bit less than the full 2 cups of chocolate chips; 1 3/4 cups is good. I used pecans instead of walnuts. I formed and then chilled them really well in my freezer on a parchment lined sheet pan as many comments on the King Arthur site said they were best if not made right away; well chilled and rested makes for the best flavor and texture.   They were a bit taller than last batch, not quite as crisp; more cakey and the flavor was great. The cream cheese and oats make them a bit less oily/greasy and less sugar makes my blood sugar better.  I prefer slightly less sweet than most recipes.

So, if you are still looking for a great gf chocolate chip cookie look no further: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/gluten-free-chocolate-chip-cookies-recipe.  Enjoy!

Originally published on my blog, September 2016.  A few minor changes.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Perfection

Searching for the holy grail of GF cooking: chocolate chip cookies.  Bet you thought I was going to say some sort of bread!  That’s another post entirely.  Anyway, when I went GF 4.5 years ago I made a batch of chocolate chippers that were gf. They were rather sweet and didn’t taste all that great.  I didn’t give up, I keep looking.  Recipes seemed to require that I buy weird vegetable shortening or use Crisco.  Or they used odd flours and just not worth it to me to add another flour mixture just for one cookie.  So I had not made them in 3 years.  Missed them….desperately.  Store ones are small, hard, drab in flavor and incredibly pricy.

So about a year ago I went to King Arthur’s website and looked in their cookie recipes.  There it was: cookies made with the same flour blend I use and made with butter, one of my few chosen shortenings.  Why the heck didn’t I look there a year ago?  Probably because I didn’t realize they had many gf recipes until that summer when I asked and was directed to their cache of gluten free baked treats. I went to the comments as they can be telling as to the truth of whether a recipe is worth actually making.  Glowing reviews and advice; make them and refrigerate a day or better yet, freeze them formed and ready to bake in a few minutes.  Words about how much they are like Tollhouse cookies, great texture and flavor.  Bingo, this seemed so hopeful.

Less than a week later I made up a batch; 2/3 with walnuts and 1/3 nut free for my nut hating friends.  Froze them all on trays and then into freezer bags except one tray to bake.  Made those and tested them on my friend Josh who came to supper.  Goal scored; perfect brown sugar nutty flavor and texture; not too hard or too soft.

spicy-tomato-jam-005

I put some in my cookie jar, closed it tightly and 4 days later those cookies (what remains) are still delicious. That is pretty long for a gluten free baked good. By the fifth afternoon my last cookie in there was getting soft so suggest not holding them for more than 4 days in a jar. I love that they can be frozen ready to bake in like 12 minutes.  If I have time I let them defrost on the cookie baking sheet before they go in the oven so they spread out nice and thin.

I have made a couple batches since then, always bakes up so scrumptious. Cookie perfection!

So, if you are still looking for a great gf chocolate chip cookie look no further: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/gluten-free-chocolate-chip-cookies-recipe.  Enjoy!

Originally published on my blog one year ago, September 2016.  A few minor changes.

Forgotten Kisses Cookies

Ever on the lookout for a great tasting cookie I came across these sweet meringue treats called forgotten kisses. I found an easy recipe on foodnetwork.com.  Made them once we got past the rainy days a week or so ago.  If you can whip egg whites, you can make these beauties.  They have chocolate chips and walnuts in them but if you look at the comments you will see that folks add many different spins and flavors.  They keep really well too.  I put some in my cookie jar four days ago and they still taste as though they were just baked.

I froze some for later.  My Christmas cookie list just got longer with this beauty added on!  Thank goodness hey are simple and they keep well. I used slightly less than the sugar amount here and my version has less chocolate chips in it.  They seem pretty chocolaty to me just as I made them.  My whole house smelled like a chocolate factory while they were baking.

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forgotten-kissesForgotten kisses

Ingredients

2 egg whites, room temp

½ tsp. cream of tarter

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

¾ cup semi sweet chocolate chips

¾ to 1 cup finely chopped walnuts

Directions: Heat oven to 350.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Beat egg whites until frothy with electric mixer (I used a stand mixer), add cream of tarter, keep beating until fluffy.  Then add the sugar a tbsp or two at a time. Add the vanilla when half to all of the sugar is incorporated.  Beat until shiny and stiffly peaked when you put a spoon in.  If it gets a chunky look you have overbeaten it, not a good thing.  Stand mixers are so powerful they can do just that so watch it closely; has to have stiff peaks and look shiny but don’t keep going or you will have the overbeaten which is a no no.  The opposite is bad too; if the egg whites are not beaten to a stiff peak the cookies will flatten out and not look right.  When it looks ready, fold in the nuts and chips with a spatula.  Use two spoons to put tablespoons of batter on a baking sheet 1 inch apart. Mine made about 30 (15 on a sheet) cookies.  I did use a mixture of semi sweet and dark chocolate; was incredible tasting!

Bake at 350 degrees for five minutes, turn off oven, and leave for 2 hours up to 8 total hours.  If your oven is gas you should probably reheat it after an hour back up to the 300 degrees and let them cool in the closed oven for that second hour.  Do not open the oven door for any reason before 2 hours is up.

Here is the original recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/meringue-cookies-forgotten-kisses-recipe.html

Be sure to read the comments for other flavor ideas.  I know I will be trying a few of them.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

I don’t put pumpkin in my tea/latte or ice cream or candy as I see others indulging in but pumpkin does make homemade baked goods even better tasting. A few weeks ago I made a batch of pumpkin muffins, new recipe for me: they turned out nice.  But I wanted to upgrade them in this latest attempt so I added mini chocolate chips and chopped walnuts.  Really amazing flavors and great texture in the resulting muffins!

This recipe is my own version using the banana muffin recipe from Annalise Roberts’s wonderful cookbook: Gluten Free Baking Classics as my jump off place.  They are easy to make, perfect in texture and totally yummy. I used coconut palm sugar; low on the hypoglycemic scale which is great for me.  I do love to sprinkle the raw muffins with chunky sugar before baking.  Yes, I get the irony there but I only put a few grains and they look so pretty!  Streusel would be nice but actually adds more sugar and calories than my bits of fancy big sugar.

I freeze any I won’t eat in 2 days; in a Ziplock freezer bag.  They make perfect snacks.

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (14 muffins)

2 cups brown rice flour mix (see below)

2/3 c granulated sugar or coconut palm sugar

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

¾ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp. ginger

¼ tsp nutmeg

1 c packed canned pumpkin

½ cup mini chocolate chips

½ cup chopped walnuts

2 lg eggs beaten

½ c milk, 1 or 2 percent plus 2 extra tbsp. if you use the palm sugar

½ c canola oil

Heat oven to 350 degrees, placing the rack in middle of oven.  Spray muffin pans with cooking spray.  One batch makes 12-14 muffins depending on how large you want them.

Mix all dry ingredients in bowl of stand mixer or big bowl. Add nuts and then pumpkin puree, stirring into the dry ingredients. Combine milk and oil, beat in eggs.  Add liquids to big bowl; stir until fully blended.

Fill muffin pans 2/3 full.  Bake 22-23 min until golden brown. Do not over bake or they get dry.  Remove immediately from the pans and cool on a rack. Freezes well for up to 3 weeks.

Brown Rice Flour Mix mix
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

 

Chocolate Chip Cookies…GF of Course

Searching for the holy grail of GF cooking: chocolate chip cookies.  Bet you thought I was going to say some sort of bread!  That’s another post entirely.  Anyway, when I went GF 3.5 years ago I made a batch of chocolate chippers that were gf. They were rather sweet and didn’t taste all that great.  I keep looking for something that will approximate the real deal I loved all my life.  Recipes I came across seemed to require that I buy weird vegetable shortenings or use Crisco. I draw the line at Crisco. Or they used odd flour blends and I feel it’s just not worth it to me to add another flour mixture just for one cookie recipe.  So I have not made chippers in 3 years.  Missed them….desperately.  Store ones I tried were small, hard, drab in flavor and incredibly pricy.

So the other week I went to King Arthur’s website and looked in their cookie recipes.  There it was: cookies made with the same flour blend I use and made with butter, one of my few chosen shortenings.  Why the heck didn’t I look there a year ago?  Probably because I didn’t realize they had many gf recipes until this summer when I asked them specifically and was directed to their cache of gluten free baked treats. I went to the cookies, found a recipe for chocolate chip and read all the comments as they can be quite telling as to the truth of whether a recipe is worth actually making.  Glowing reviews and advice; said to make them and refrigerate a day or better yet, freeze them formed and ready to bake in a few minutes.  Comments about how much they are like Tollhouse cookies, great texture and flavor.  Bingo, this seemed so hopeful. So….

 

Less than a week later I made up a batch; 2/3 with walnuts and 1/3 nut free for my nut hating friends.  Froze them all on trays and then into freezer bags except one tray to bake.  Made those last Thursday and tested them on my friend Josh who came to supper.  Goal scored; perfect brown sugar nutty flavor and texture; not too hard or too soft. I am a happy chocolate chip cookie lover at last!

spicy-tomato-jam-005

I put some in my cookie jar, closed it tightly and 4 days later those cookies (what remains) are still delicious. That is pretty long for a gluten free baked good. By the fifth afternoon my last cookie in there was getting soft so suggest not holding them for more than 4 days in a jar. I love that they can be frozen ready to bake in like 12 minutes.

So, if you are still looking for a great gf chocolate chip cookie look no further: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/gluten-free-chocolate-chip-cookies-recipe.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Freshly baked chocolate chocolate chip cookies for dessert and snacks.  What is not to like?  Especially if they are gluten free and thus safe for me to eat.  Doublely good if they are totally yummy.  Triple great if they are a simple mix you can stir together in a few minutes and drop onto cookie sheets in ball shapes that spread into perfect round tasty chocolate treats that look like you bought them at a bakery. And: they freeze well, important if you can’t eat them in a couple of days…. Did I say chocolate? And chocolate chips?  I did!

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This picture is actually of cookies I had frozen; I couldn’t find the shot I swore I had taken of them freshly baked; so I was reduced to this pile of cold, yet still yummy, cookies!

Where can you get these delights? Aldi’s of course, and for $4 for the box which made nearly 30 cookies. Good deal.  I bought them about 3 months ago and then made them up for a special birthday party I was going to the other weekend.  It was way too hot to spend hours concocting cookies from scratch.  But I wanted something totally delish for everyone who was there.  And they were.  Simply scrumpers! Some folks could hardly believe they were gluten free.  People seem to have gotten the idea that all gluten free baked goods are mediocre or worse.  I am here to tell you that such is not the case.  In fact, some of my scratch gf versions of classic cookies are actually better gluten free! Like Russian teacakes, aka Mexican wedding cookies.  They are incredible gf.  Don’t get me wrong, there are still a number of cookies I haven’t been able to figure out gf but I will be trying…..

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So if you need a chocolate cookie fix, by all means, bake up a batch of these dark flavorful treats.  No one will believe they are gf but you!