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Tag Archives: mesquite flour

Really Great Chocolate Chip Cookies

Classic chocolate chip cookies

Who can resist a chocolate chip cookie?  Wish I could on occasion.

This gluten free chocolate chip cookie is the perfect treat for any gathering.  Use your favorite all purpose flour, like the one from King Arthur, or create your own custom blend.  These cookies are crazy good with a few tablespoons of mesquite used as part of the total flour.  Maybe they’ve carried it for a while, but I just saw today that Whole Foods in St. Louis sells mesquite flour.  Definitely worth checking out.

You’ll want to mix the dough the day before you plan on baking cookies. Chilling the dough overnight gives the flour a chance to absorb all the goodness you’ve mixed in. Your reward for waiting a day or two before baking? A better looking (more evenly browned) and better tasting (hello, caramelization) cookie.

But I want a cookie right now.

Waiting is hard.  We all know that thanks to Tom Petty.  Take care of your needs with an instant cookie while this dough spends some time in the fridge.

To be honest, I’d rather have a chocolate chip cookie without extra peppermint bits sprinkled on top. Sorry, candy canes.

Really Great Chocolate Chip Cookies

Combine the dry ingredients and set aside:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

In mixer, cream:
1¼ sticks butter (10 tablespoons)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar, packed

Add to bowl and mix:
1 egg
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

After mixing thoroughly, stir in:
1 cup chocolate chips or chunks

Cover dough and refrigerate overnight. To bake, preheat oven to 325. Use a #40 disher to scoop uniformly sized dough balls. Place dough on parchment lined pans (12 cookies will bake comfortably on one pan). Bake for 10-12 minutes. Yield: 30 small cookies

Great, but what will everyone else eat?!

– Linda  Bookmark and Share

Bagel Recipe: The Hole Story

An optimist sees the bagel. A pessimist sees only the hole.

Thanks to everyone who attended the gluten free bagel class at Kitchen Conservatory on Sunday.  Great class!  My only regret is not remembering to take photos of the process and all the gorgeous looking bagels made by students!

Next up on the schedule will be a hands-on bread class on March 11. Learn how to make burger buns, baguettes, pita, and focaccia bread.  And on May 20, the topic is breakfast treats.  We’ll be making muffins, scones, donuts, and pop-tarts.  Classes tend to sell out quickly, so don’t delay in signing up if you want to attend.

Gluten free bagels made with amaranth and mesquite flour

Want to make chewy bagels at home?  Here’s a basic gluten free bagel recipe along with a few variations.

Gluten Free Bagels

Blend the liquid ingredients together in a bowl:

1 cup water

2 eggs

2 TB oil

Blend the dry ingredients together first then add to bowl:

3¼ cups flour*

3 TB sugar

1 TB instant yeast (aka rapid rise or bread machine yeast)

1 TB xanthan gum

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

After mixing well, let dough rest in a covered bowl for about 20 minutes.  Use a #10 disher to scoop 8 dough balls, using flour to help shape bagels. Flatten slightly and use your thumb to make a one inch hole in the center. After forming all bagels, let them rest at room temp until almost doubled in size.

And here’s a way to quicken up the whole process  –

Turn oven on to 150 degrees and let the cold bagels rise for about 20 minutes. After removing proofed bagels from oven, turn oven temp up to 400 degrees.

Back to the conventional method –

While bagels rise at room temp (could be an hour, depending on conditions), bring 2 quarts of water to a boil and add 1 TB baking soda. Use a spatula or slotted spoon to place bagels in water.  Boil for about 20 seconds on each side. Let bagels drain on a towel before placing back onto cookie sheet.

After you place bagels in oven, turn oven temperature down to 375 degrees. Bake 22-24 minutes.

Variations –

  • Cinnamon raisin bagels: cover 2/3 cup raisins with water to plump, drain excess water, then add 2 TB cinnamon and 4 TB sugar. Fold raisins into dough before shaping bagels.
  • Like garlic?  Add some for a savory bagel.
  • Refrigerate dough overnight to enhance texture of bread.  Bagels can be shaped before baking the next day.  Unbaked, shaped bagels can also be covered and refrigerated overnight before boiling and baking the next day.
  • Pumpernickel/rye style? Use coffee in place of water and add 2 TB cocoa powder to dry ingredients before mixing.  Stir caraway seeds into dough before shaping.
  • Make mini bagels for appetizers
  • Substituting 3 egg whites in place of 2 whole eggs will make a chewier bagel
  • Use dough for pizza crust: drop dough balls into cornmeal or flour and flatten. Bake individual sized crusts (7”) for about 12 minutes at 375 degrees. Remove from oven and top as desired. Return to oven and heat until toppings are warm and bubbly (approx. 10 min. at 375-400 degrees). Baked crusts can also be frozen and used as needed.
  • Got leftovers?  Make bagel pizzas, slice into thin pieces and dry in oven for bagel chips, freeze and defrost bagels as needed, or just feed the birds.

*A combination of flours gives the best result for gluten free baked goods.  Make your own gluten free flour blend by combining in a large container:

4 cups brown rice flour

4 cups tapioca starch

 2 cups potato starch

 2 cups almond meal

Optional:  ½ cup each amaranth flour and mesquite flour

Amaranth and mesquite flour enhance the flavor, crust, and nutritional profile of gluten free breads.  Because the bagels get a major browning boost from the baking soda bath, amaranth and mesquite flour are not absolutely necessary.  If you have access to these flours and want to add a lovely golden color to your bread, you should include the amaranth and mesquite.

Thanks to Tracy for sending a pic of bagels made by students at Kitchen Conservatory!

– Linda Bookmark and Share

Mesquite hemp cocoa

Mesquite hemp cocoa

I love mesquite flour.  Maybe you knew that already? I’ve written and tweeted about it obsessively often.

Mesquite flour is ground from the pod that drops from the tree or bush.  It’s high in fiber (5g in 2 tablespoons) with a unique, slightly sweet and spicy flavor that varies depending on where it’s harvested.  Along with tasting great and offering a nutritional boost, mesquite flour enhances the crust of gluten free breads.  Argentine mesquite flour from Casa de Fruta is my favorite.  It’s warm and cinnamon/toffeeish tasting, so it’s a very pleasant flour to use in gluten free baking.

Did you know that mesquite flour can also be used a replacement for cocoa in hot drinks?  It’s delicious. Great for boosting late day energy, too.  Because mesquite flour is naturally sweet, I didn’t add any extra sugar.  But maybe your taste buds would prefer a little extra sweetening.

Mesquite Hemp Cocoa

2 tablespoons mesquite flour

1 cup or a bit more vanilla hemp milk

Place 2 tablespoons mesquite flour in a microwave-safe cup or mug.  Add 2 tablespoons hemp milk; stir until smooth. Fill cup with rest of milk and stir.  Microwave at HIGH (100%) 1 to 1-1/2 minutes or until hot. Stir to blend.

Thanks to my friends at Victory Fabric for the awesome retro cactus fabric!

If this drink isn’t your cup of tea, check out the lovely high tea posts rounded up by Cheryl Tan from A  Tiger in the Kitchen.

Cheryl’s Cheese & Onion Sarnie at A Tiger in the Kitchen

Charissa‘s Egg Salad Tea Sandwiches with Honey Mustard, Tomatoes & Basil at Zest Bakery

Emma‘s Brown Sugar Shortbreads With Hawaiian Jam at Dreaming of Pots and Pans

Grace‘s Taiwanese Sandwiches at HapaMama

Karen‘s Saskatoon Berry Tartlets at GeoFooding

Linda‘s Singapore-Style Ginger Tea & Kaya (Coconut Jam) Toast at Spicebox Travels

Lisa‘s Little Lemon Meringue Tarts at Monday Morning Cooking Club

Mai‘s Cougar Gold & Shallot Shortbread at Cooking in The Fruit Bowl

Patrick‘s Welsh Rarebit at Patrick G. Lee

Rashda‘s Spiced Chickpea & Sweet Potato Tidbits at Hot Curries & Cold Beer

Rebecca‘s Millionaire’s Shortbread at Grongar Blog

Steff‘s Lemon-Lime Shortbread Cookies at The Kitchen Trials

– Linda  Bookmark and Share

Quinoa Breakfast Cookies

Quinoa breakfast cookies

I’ve written about quinoa before. While I’ve always enjoyed using quinoa flakes, I didn’t always love baking with the flour.  Just too earthy, I thought.

But toasting the quinoa flour first mellows the grassy and sometimes overpowering taste of the flour.  Of course, toasting flour is nothing new.  In A Tiger in the Kitchen, Cheryl Tan writes about her grandmother toasting tapioca flour for kueh bangkit, a traditional cookie, to get just the right texture.

To toast in the oven, spread quinoa flour evenly on parchment lined sheets and bake for about an hour at 225 degrees. Let flour cool completely before storing in airtight bags.

These small bites are  like an oatmeal cookie, but with quinoa flakes in place of the oats.  There’s nothing better than a cookie for a well-rounded breakfast!

Breakfast Cookies

Blend together in large bowl:

½ cup ripe banana, mashed

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1/3 cup canola oil

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Combine the following dry ingredients, then add to large bowl:

½ cup toasted quinoa flour

½ cup brown rice flour

¼ cup mesquite flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch ginger and cardamom

Fold in:

1 and ¼ cups quinoa flakes

Let dough chill in fridge for at least an hour. To bake, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Using a #40 disher, drop dough onto parchment lined cookie sheets. Press each cookie once with tines of a fork to flatten slightly. Bake for about 12 minutes. Yield: 20 cookies

Edited to add:  Don’t miss a a delightful variation of this recipe, Spiced Apple Quinoa Cookies, at Family Style Food

Did I mention that it snowed this week in St. Louis? Here’s houseguest Zippy before a morning run.

Still here?  Today’s Let’s Lunch on twitter features small bites.  Take a look at these delicious posts!

Cheryl‘s Popiah (Summer Rolls) at A  Tiger in the Kitchen

Ellise‘s Bite-Size Black Pepper-Strawberry Scones at Cowgirl Chef

Emma‘s Radish Phyllo Cups at Dreaming of Pots and Pans

Karen‘s Sushi video demo at Geofooding

Danielle‘s Bomboloni + Meyer Lemon Curd at Beyond the Plate

Cathy‘s Dandelion Bread Pudding with Sundried Tomato & Gruyere at Showfood Chef

-Linda  Bookmark and Share

Mesquite Date Muffins

Mesquite flour?  Does it come from mesquite wood?

Um, no.  Mesquite flour is ground from the mesquite pod that drops from the tree or bush.  It’s high in fiber (5g in 2 tablespoons) with a unique, slightly sweet and spicy flavor that varies depending on where it’s harvested.  Along with tasting great and offering a nutritional boost, mesquite flour enhances the crust of gluten free breads.  Argentine mesquite flour from Casa de Fruta is my favorite.  It’s warm and toffeeish tasting, so it’s perfect for this muffin recipe.

Mesquite date muffins

These breakfast muffins are kind of like a traditional sticky toffee pudding, only made as a gluten free, vegan muffin. Yes, it’s a stretch, but you just might need the exercise after the season’s eatings . . .

Mesquite Date Muffin Recipe

Blend dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside:

2¼ cups gluten free flour*

1/3 cup sugar

1 TB baking powder

¾ tsp xanthan gum

In a microwave safe bowl, combine:

4 oz. dates, pitted

½ cup water

Cover and microwave on high for 2 minutes.  Remove lid and add:

½ tsp baking soda

Use a potato masher to grind up the dates a bit.  Let cool.

In a large bowl, combine:

1 very ripe banana, mashed

¾ cup hemp milk

1/3 cup canola oil

1 TB pure vanilla extract

1 tsp vinegar

Mix dry ingredients into large bowl. Fold in date mixture. Scoop batter into 12 lined muffin cups. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20-22 minutes. Yield: 12 muffins.  Freeze extra muffins to enjoy on an as needed basis.

Baking soda makes cooked dates bubbly and delightful.

*A combination of flours gives the best result for gluten free baking. For this recipe, I used 1 cup brown rice flour, 1/3 cup almond meal, 1/3 cup mesquite flour, 1/3 cup tapioca flour, and ¼ cup potato starch.

Still here?  Today’s Let’s Lunch on twitter features healthy recipes for those New Year’s resolutions.  Take a look at the delicious posts rounded up by Cheryl Tan from A  Tiger in the Kitchen.

Cheryl’s Watercress Soup at A Tiger in the Kitchen

Cathy‘s Avocado, Grapefruit & Shrimp Tartine at Showfood Chef

Emma‘s Quinoa with Grilled Veggies at Dreaming of Pots and Pans

Mai Hoang‘s Spicy Cauliflower at Cooking In The Fruit Bowl

Rashda‘s Curried Black-Eyed Peas at Hot Curries & Cold Beer

Steff‘s Frittata attempt at The Kitchen Trials

Ellise‘s Mandarin Orange and Arugula Salad at Cowgirl Chef

-Linda Bookmark and Share

What is quinoa? And how do you say that?

Quinoa is pronounced “delicious.”

Actually it’s pronounced KEEN-wa.

You may have heard quinoa referred to as an ancient grain.  It’s not really a grain, but a seed.  And the tiny seeds are total nutritional rock stars.

From Wikipedia, the (gluten) free encyclopedia

Unlike wheat or rice (which are low in lysine), quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete protein source among plant foods.

Why use quinoa?  Can’t you just use gluten free oats in those cookies?

It’s a good idea to vary your diet, don’t you think?  Quinoa is interesting.  It tastes slightly nutty and just a bit grassy.  An acquired taste?  Maybe.  I add dried coconut and mesquite flour to offset the sometimes overly assertive taste of quinoa in cookies.

Are those crop circles on the quinoa cookies?

Ready to bake with quinoa?  Here’s a recipe for breakfast cookies using quinoa flour and flakes.


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Recipe: How to make gluten free baguette bread

Amaranth and mesquite flour enhance the flavor and crust of this hearty, mostly whole grain baguette.

Good bread is what you knead.

A fun to make and enjoyable to eat gluten free, wheatless bread recipe . . .

Gluten Free Baguette Bread

Combine in a large mixing bowl:
1 and ½ cups brown rice flour
1 and 1/3 cups tapioca starch
2/3 cup almond meal
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
¼ cup amaranth flour
¼ cup mesquite flour
4 and ½ teaspoons rapid rise yeast
4 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 and ¼ teaspoons salt
Tiny pinch each: ginger and ascorbic acid

Add to large bowl and mix well:
1 and ½ cups water (room temperature)
1 egg plus 3 egg whites
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons honey

After mixing, let dough rest in a covered bowl for about 45 minutes.  Even better – refrigerate dough overnight to enhance the texture of your bread.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shape dough into 2 long baguettes on a parchment lined baking sheet or use a double sided French bread pan (lined with parchment paper) to form 2 long loaves. Use a dampened spatula to smooth top of loaves. Let dough rise a bit, about 20-25 minutes, this time will vary with conditions. Better to let it under rise, than over rise.  Brush top of bread with an egg wash then sprinkle with sesame seeds or sea salt. Score the top of loaves with a wet, serrated knife just before placing in oven.  After placing bread in oven, increase oven temperature to 375 degrees.  For French bread pan placed directly on oven rack, bake for about 25 minutes.  Bake free form baguettes  a bit longer, 28-30 minutes.

-Linda  Bookmark and Share

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