Pumpkin Cookies

Okay, folks, it is officially cookie season. I have been baking since I was 4 or 5, with my mom first then gradually learning the cookie baking ropes. My first solo bake was some sort of Christmas cookies. Maybe Russian teacakes aka Mexican teacakes. Yet, in all those years especially the years when I have had my own kitchen, I never used a cookie scoop. My mom didn’t haver one and I always pooh pahhed them as unnecessary. I was so wrong; got one earlier this fall and just tested it out making an old favorite cookie that I translated to gluten free today. A pumpkin cookie recipe out of my venerable copy of The Joy of Cooking. I remember it as a sort of cakey delicate flat cookie. It is all that except not flat. I think if I used all butter, no oil it might spread more. Definitely a keeper recipe and not just for in cookie season; open a can of pumpkin mix and you can make both these cookies and a pumpkin roll anytime. Good to know!

For this gf version I used my recipe and all the variations I had inscribed in my cookbook. For gf flour I subbed in Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 blend. I let the dough rest 10 minutes in the bowl before scooping it onto baking sheets. It came out delicate and cakey but didn’t spread out as much. Like a cute little pumpkin!  Said it made 5 dozen; I got 4 using my 2 Tbsp. scoop.  I bet they freeze well; keeping half for Christmas time.

half done scooping!
Ready to bake!
Cooling off….

GF Pumpkin Cookies

Makes 4 dozen

Ingredients

1/2 cup soft butter

1/3 cup mild olive oil

2/3 cup sugar

¼ cup brown sugar

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1 cup cooked mashed pumpkin

1 lg. egg

1 tsp. vanilla

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2 cups Bob’s Redmill 1-1 GF flour mix

1 tsp. double action gf baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. allspice

½ tsp. salt

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1 cup raisins

½-1 cup chopped walnuts or slivered almonds

Directions:

Mix butter and sugars in bowl of a stand mixer until smooth. Add egg, pumpkin and vanilla, blend again until smooth. Put all dry ingredients into a separate bowl and whisk together. Add to dough in 4-6 dumps. Mix just  until blended, add nuts and raisins, briefly blend. Let rest 10 minutes.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. I moved my oven shelves to use two; one below the top level and one above the bottom level. I used well sprayed baking sheets with turned up edges which gives a nice even bake. Can use parchment paper if you prefer, saves washing the cookie sheet. I put 12 per sheet using my 2 Tbsp. cookie scoop. Bake 15-16 minutes, the bottoms should be browned a bit; a few browned edges on top. Let cool a minute on sheet before moving to cooling screen. Makes 4 dozen. I think it can be frozen up to 3-4 weeks in sturdy freezer bags. Enjoy!

Homemade Pumpkin Pie: Easy and Delish

Pie is traditional at Thanksgiving in the USA. So you might be planning to make a GF pie for the holidays.  I think pumpkin is a perfect choice because it is really easy to make: has only a few steps.  Make a crust, mix up and dump in the filling, bake it, chill it and yumm it up!! And it sure is traditional for this holiday. When I ask my guy what pie he wanted, he alternates between pumpkin and my deep dish apple crumb pie.  My dad particularly loved this recipe; he felt it had a perfect texture and just right sweetness.

If you want to change things up, add a tsp. of maple flavoring to the filling for a sweet treat.  I did that that for my Thanksgiving pie the other year.

This GF crust will work for any pie you should want to make including pecan pie.  This particular filling recipe is adapted from my 1970s Betty Crocker and is one I have made for years; perfect custard texture.  If you like it really sweet add another quarter cup sugar.  I use evaporated milk; less fattening than the cream many recipes use.

My mom always said that eating a slice of pumpkin pie is like having an extra vegetable serving.  I like to cook up a butternut squash and run it through a food mill to make it silky smooth for the pie but you can just buy a can of pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling which has other stuff; just plain pumpkin please.

Go ahead, bake as easy a gf pie as is humanly possible and enjoy a tasty yet kinda healthy pie for Thanksgiving or Christmas!

pumpkin pie 2

Angie’s GF Pumpkin Pie

Crust:

1 c plus 2 Tbsp brown rice flour mix (at bottom of recipe)

2 Tbsp sweet rice flour

1 Tbps. granulated sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

6 Tbsp. cold butter cut into 6 chunks

1 large egg

2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

Spray 9 inch metal pie pan with cooking spray, dust with white rice flour.

Mix dry ingredients in bowl of stand electric mixer.  Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembling coarse meal.  Add egg and juice.  Mix until it comes together into big chunks.  Shape into a ball with your hands. Put it on a crust sized piece of wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), flatten the crust ball some; put on top of it another piece of wax paper and chill it all in your fridge 15-20 minutes while you make the filling. I actually roll mine out in an OXO pie bag which I love!

Filling:

2 large eggs

2 cups cooked pumpkin or butternut squash puree (canned is okay)

½ cup sugar

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. ground ginger

¼ tsp. cloves

Sprinkle of nutmeg

1 3/4 c evaporated milk (1 can)

1 tsp. maple extract (optional)

Beat eggs well and add the rest of the ingredients and mix it all together with a mixer at low speed until blended.

Put It Together:

Roll out pie crust – see above directions: my sister Karen gave me a pie bag a few years ago and I love it for an even thin crust.  You can get one on line from King Arthur Flours.  Peel off one side of paper and place in pie pan, centered.  Remove other slice of wax paper.  Crimp edges all around.  Fill with pumpkin pie mixture.  Sometimes I sprinkle the top with more cinnamon and nutmeg.

Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 15 minutes, lower temperature setting to 350 and bake for 45 minutes until just set and the crust is light brown.  Cool and chill at least 2 to 4 hours before serving at or close to room temperature.

Note: I bake all my pies in a bottom heat gas oven on a rack set just above the oven bottom so it really cooks every pie crusts to perfection.  If you oven isn’t similarly equipped you might want to prebake your gf pie crust ten minutes before you pour in the filling and bake it.  Take ten minutes off the total time unless it seems to need a few more minutes.

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Brown Rice Flour Mix (same as King Arthur GF Flour Mix)
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

Originally published on this blog November 2014.  Minor changes in the text since then.

Kitchen Sink Muffins – 2.0 Version

This healthy muffin is my own most recent mixture of muffin recipes from Annalise Roberts’s wonderful cookbook: Gluten Free Baking Classics and some morning glory muffins I saw somewhere, maybe King Arthur Flours.  They are breakfast muffins so not that sweet, great texture and totally yummy.  I also love them for snacks. They are healthy; more fruit and no sugary topping.  If you want to add extra sweetening use my oatmeal topping from my chocolate chip banana muffin recipe.  This time I used chopped apple, pumpkin puree, craisins and big curls of dried coconut; great combo!

Because they lose moisture if they sit around I freeze any I won’t eat in 2 days; I love using a Ziplock freezer bag for this but cool them first.  Label carefully with date and contents…be sure to eat them within a month.kitchen sink muffins and spring flowers 001

kitchen sink muffin 001

Kitchen Sink Muffins 2.0

2 cups brown rice flour mix (see below)

2/3 c coconut palm sugar

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

¾ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

2/3 cup finely shredded carrots or 2/3 cup pumpkin puree

1 c finely chopped fresh apples

½ c flaked coconut (I used unsweetened big curls this time)

½ c craisins or raisins

½ c walnuts, chopped (optional)

2 large eggs beaten

½ c plus 2 Tbsp. milk, whole or 2 percent

½ c canola oil

Directions:

Heat oven to 375, placing the rack in middle of oven.  Spray muffin pans with cooking spray.  One batch makes 15-16 muffins.

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

Add fruits and nuts; stir to coat them with dry mix

Combine milk and oil, beat in eggs.  Add liquids to big bowl; stir until blended.  Note: If you used regular sugar you will need to leave out the extra 2 tbsp. of milk.

Fill muffin pans 3/4 full.  Bake 20-24 min until golden brown. Do not overbake or they will be dry.  Remove immediately from the pans and cool on a rack.   Freezes well for up to 3-4 weeks and keeps in fridge (well wrapped) a few days.

Brown Rice Flour Mix base mix
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

Originally published in March 2016; minor recipe changes.

 

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin makes homemade baked goods even better tasting. A few days ago I made a batch of pumpkin muffins; they turned out nice.  I did the upgrade version: mini chocolate chips and chopped walnuts.  Really amazing flavors and great texture in the resulting muffins!

This recipe is my 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.  I sprinkled them this time with oatmeal but I do love to use coarse sugar too.

I freeze any I won’t eat in 2 days; in a Ziplock freezer bag.  They make perfect snacks. My grandson loves them as much as I do. Enjoy!

chocolate-chip-pumpkin-muffins-011

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.  I baked these on the convection setting of my new range; done in 17 minutes. Rest for five minutes and then remove from the pans using a fork, 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

Originally published in 2016; minor updates to recipe as to using a convection oven.

 

Perfect Pumpkin Cookies

Lots of people with celiac seem to live on processed gf foods, boxes of crackers, cookies and snack straight from a bag. I have been known to enjoy a great cracker and there is a certain brand of gf pretzels which is amazing. Still, I find that home made is generally better; worth the time and effort. Not to mention better for you.  But, I can’t seem to interest certain folks in baking homemade gf treats. This recipe may change your mind. Old fashioned pumpkin cookies sound okay but not exciting much less addictive. But they are just that. Totally brilliant in the flavor department and even better: easy to make.  Bonus: somewhat healthy. Which is the new trendy thing. Or so I read.  Anyway, they are the bomb and frankly couldn’t be much easier to make than this. Give them a whirl and you will wonder what took you so long to make homemade cookies.

They are adapted just slightly from the original recipe in “The Heirloom Collection” by Annalise Roberts. I am crazy about this book. I know, cookbooks are totally passé and superseded by Pinterest. I use Pinterest too (kinda more often than I want to admit here) but this wonderful cookbook is crammed with recipes that harken back to when my mom baked for me. Or what I baked for my kid before I went gluten free. Honestly these cookies remind me of a recipe from  “The Joy of Cooking” which I used to make many years ago for Kasey. The recipes in her 2014 volume are all gf of course but they taste like my childhood. Simply Brilliant. If you try these cookies and fall in love…there are many other great recipes to check out.

She puts a vanilla icing on them, I in the interest of avoiding sugar have left that off; feel free to ice yours!

 pumpkin cookies

Old Fashioned Pumpkin Cookies  (makes 3 doz.)

Ingredients:

½ cup softened butter

1 cup sugar (I used organic sugar from Aldi’s)

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 lg egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 ¾ cup brown rice flour mix (recipe below)

¼ cup sweet rice flour

1 ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

¾ tsp. xanthan gum

½ tsp. salt.

½ cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray cookie sheets with cooking spray.

Mix all dry ingredients in a small mixing bowl.

Beat butter and sugar in stand mixer until well blended. Add egg and vanilla and blend well.  Stir in dry mixture on low speed. Blend well, add raisins if desired.  Drop by tbsp onto baking sheet. I used a soup spoon for that process. Bake 15-16 minutes. Let cool 2-3 minutes on sheet before removing them with spatula to a cooling rack.  They can be frozen for a couple weeks. I found the cookies to get a bit soft when stored in a cookie jar. Just enjoy them fresh and freeze leftovers. I eat them right out of the freezer…delish! Enjoy

 

Flour blend  (Same as King Arthur basic gf blend)

2 cups brown rice flour

2/3 cup potato starch

1/3 cup tapioca starch