Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Chocolate Pecan Brownie Kisses

It seems that more and more people are eating gluten-free (not me!) for medical or other reasons. I like to offer something gluten free, but I'm not prepared to fill my pantry with all kinds of different flours that I'll use infrequently. So I look for things that are naturally gluten-free. I was going through my recipe box and found this recipe. I have no idea where it came from.

These are easy to make and quite delectable, with a brownie-ish texture in the center. I think they could be frozen, too. 

Chocolate Pecan Brownie Kisses (makes about 36)

6 oz semisweet chocolate (I used Baker's chocolate squares)
2 egg whites, at room temperature
pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line three cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Melt the chocolate squares (6 oz) in a double boiler or microwave. Cool slightly. 

Whip the egg whites with the salt, vinegar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, keep beating until stiff peaks form. 

Pour the melted chocolate over top, then the chocolate chips and pecans. Fold in as lightly as possible. A few white streaks will remain. The batter will be very sticky.

Use two spoons to drop blobs of batter onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake in the middle of the oven, for 8-12 minutes, until cookies lose their wet look, and hold their shape when you gently lift them. Let rest on cookie sheets for 1-2 minutes. (You can transfer them to wire racks for further cooling, but I just let mine cool on the parchment lined cookie sheets. 

Store in airtight containers in fridge for up to 5 days. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Pumpkin Cranberry Bundt Cake

Here we are in rainy November. A good time for a moist, flavorful cake, I think. This one fits the bill perfectly. I've made it for a number of years and have never been disappointed. Full of the season's flavours, it could even be considered "healthy" with the use of whole wheat flour.

Pumpkin Cranberry Bundt Cake

2 cups whole wheat flour (or use 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (fresh is best)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup canned pureed pumpkin (not pie filling)
1 cup fresh cranberries (or frozen and thawed), coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Butter and flour an 8 cup Bundt pan. 

In a large bowl, combine the flour, spices, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine and set aside.

In a smaller bowl, whisk the eggs until foamy (you could certainly use a mixer for this.) Add the sugar, then the oil and pumpkin and mix until well blended. 

Add the pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until combined. Gently stir in the cranberries. Pour batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a rack.

Dust with icing sugar to serve, or make a glaze with maple syrup, a little soft butter, and icing sugar. (I made a glaze.)