GF/CF Dark Chocolate Coconut Curry Cookies

Wow. Who would ever think to combine chocolate with curry. Theo Chocolate in Seattle, that's who! Theo Chocolate is the only organic, fair trade, bean-to-bar chocolate factory in the United States. Their products are amazing. Their flavor combinations are inspiring. Hello - coconut and curry in a chocolate bar? Genius. If you live in the Seattle area, or are planning a visit, put the Theo factory tour on your agenda. The place is chocolate lover's heaven. The flavor marriages are bold and delicious.  My favorite is Coconut Curry Milk Chocolate.  Trust me. If you like chocolate, if you like coconut, if you like curry, you will love this chocolate bar.

I have been wanting to transfer this flavor combination to a cookie so that my GF/CF Annie and my CF Sam can taste curry with chocolate, because they cannot have the milk chocolate in the Theo bar. Today it happened, and now I am high on chocolate and curry from tasting so much of the dough and baked cookies (in the name of science of course). The recipe works. I usually use Spectrum Organic Shortening as the fat in my GF/CF baking, but this time I used Spectrum Organic Coconut Oil. It has a clean and natural fresh coconut flavor, something I wanted in this cookie. And the curry powder has to be good too.

Not all curry powders are the same. Curry powder is a mixture of several sweet and savory spices. The store brands use fewer spices in their combination, so the flavor is not as complex as it could be or needs to be for this cookie. Find a curry powder that has all these ingredients: coriander, turmeric, mustard, cumin, fenugreek, paprika, cayenne, cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves. I love this one:

CF/GF Dark Chocolate Coconut Curry Cookies

from: giddyupglutenfree, dorothy allard 2010
A sensual combination of flavors for the grown-up chocolate lover. This cookie has a dreamy texture studded with toasted coconut and chunks of dark chocolate, and laced with exotic curry flavors. Bake these for someone you love.

1/3 cup millet flour
1/3 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup potato starch (or cornstarch or tapioca starch)
1/4 cup almond flour
1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp good quality curry powder

1/2 cup Spectrum Organic Coconut Oil
3/4 cup organic cane sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup toasted coconut
1/2 cup chopped dark organic chocolate (about 4 oz)

Preheat oven to 350º.

1. In a medium-size mixing bowl, cream coconut oil and sugar, then blend with a mixer until combined. Add egg, mix until incorporated. Add vanilla mix until well blended without over-beating. Set aside.

2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients (millet flour through curry powder). Sift into another bowl, then add half to wet ingredients and mix until just combined with mixer or blender. Add the other half of dry ingredients and stir in by hand. (Dough will be stiff.) Fold in toasted coconut and chopped chocolate.

3. Roll dough into 1 inch balls, place on parchment (or silpat) lined baking sheet. Press the balls down a little with a flat-bottomed glass that has been dipped in sugar (so the bottom of the glass does not stick to the dough). Like this:

4. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes. Remove them from the oven, and leave on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Take a bite, fall in love.
Makes 18-20 cookies.


GF/CF Black Bottom Banana Bread

When you have bananas that are past their prime, what is the first thing you think of. Banana Bread? Me too. When you think of the perfect pal for a banana, what is the first thing you think of. Chocolate! Of course. 

Adding chocolate chips to banana bread is good, but how about going a little further. How about adding cocoa powder to part of the batter, so the bottom part of the loaf is saturated with banana-chocolately nirvana. A sprinkle of mini chocolate chips spreads the chocolate throughout the loaf. 

GF/CF Black Bottom Banana Bread
from: giddyupglutenfree, dorothy allard 2010
How to improve plain old banana bread, besides making it gluten and dairy free? By adding chocolate! And more chocolate!

3/4 cup canola oil
1 cup organic cane sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1 tbsp flax meal
1/3 cup almond milk (or other dairy-free milk)
1 cup mini chocolate chips (dairy and gluten free)

1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup potato starch
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt

1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

1/4 cup unsweetened dark baking cocoa powder (100% cocao), sifted

Preheat oven to 350º. Grease a large loaf pan. Ingredients should be at room temperature.

1. In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine oil and sugar, blend with a mixer until combined. Add egg, mix until incorporated. Add vanilla, mashed bananas, flax meal, almond milk, mix until well blended without over-beating. Stir in chocolate chips. Set aside.

2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients (millet flour through salt). Sift into another bowl, then add to wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in walnuts.

3. Spoon about 1/3 of the batter into another bowl, and add sifted cocoa powder. Stir just until incorporated.

4. Pour chocolate batter into prepared loaf pan, spread evenly with a spatula. Pour in the rest of the batter, spread evenly with a spatula.
Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let the loaf cool for about 5 minutes, then gently slide out of the loaf pan onto a wire cooling rack.


Green Pea Flour!

That's right. Flour made from green peas. I read about green pea flour here last month, and the high protein content caught my eye. So did the color. The article warned that the flour would impart a green tint to light-colored doughs and batters, so might not be suitable for some baked goods. Are you kidding me? What would be cooler than a naturally green cookie? But would it taste like pea?

Flours made from the bean family usually taste, well, beany. The article said that green pea flour doesn't taste as beany, so I have been anxious to give it a whirl. It was decided that a good test run for the pea flour would be chocolate chip cookies. I used all white sugar instead of half brown and half white because I wanted the color of the flour to proudly stand out in all its pea green glory. And I had to add pistachios. Why? Because they are green. 

Even though the cookie dough tastes slightly beany and the cookies warm out of the oven smell slightly beany, the cooled cookies have no bean taste. I do have to admit that there is a slight beany aftertaste. Very slight. But so what! It's a green cookie! It's worth it. 

You can bet I will be baking more pea cookies, pea muffins, and pea tea breads.

Green Pea Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies - GF/CF
from: giddyupglutenfree, dorothy allard 2010

3/4 cup green pea flour

1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup millet flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cream of tarter
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup organic shortening
1 1/2 cups organic cane sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp gluten-free vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips (dairy-free)

1 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.

1. Sift together flours, starches, xanthan gum, baking soda, cream of tarter, and salt; whisk until combined. Sift into another bowl, set aside.

2. Combine shortening and sugar in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer on medium high speed until incorporated. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until creamy. Add vanilla.

3. Reduce speed to low and gradually add dry ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

4. Roll dough into one-inch balls, and drop 2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake 12 minutes, or until edges just barely start turning brown. Cool on a wire rack. 

The cookies that will not be eaten in one day need to be frozen. Just stack them in a freezer bag, get out as much air as you can, and freeze. When you are ready for a treat, thaw on the counter for about 15 minutes.

Ingredients note: Use organic, non-GMO ingredients


GF/CF Blueberry-Lemon Scones

Don't you love it when something works - the first time?

This morning I really felt like a scone. Since going gluten-free, I miss biting into the slightly sweet fluffy biscuity warmth of a freshly baked scone. Scones were on my GF/CF to-do list, and today was the day. Game on. I shuffled through my files stuffed with recipes to try, and found one for buttermilk-currant scones torn out of an old Sunset magazine. I figured I could substitute the flours, add more leavening, use coconut milk with a little lemon juice instead of buttermilk, soy margarine instead of butter, and dried blueberries instead of currents because I like them better. Out came the flours, and 15 minutes later, scones were in the oven.

35 minutes later, scones were being eaten. Happily. This was a successful experiment. (Most first-time tries at freeing a recipe of gluten and dairy require tweaking). Heavenly texture and wonderful flavor. Comfort food on a rainy Seattle day.

GF/CF Blueberry-Lemon Scones
from: giddyupglutenfree, dorothy allard 2010
(adapted from Sunset Magazine)  

3/4 cup millet flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour (superfine)
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/4 cup corn starch
2 tsp xanthan gum
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup organic cane sugar
1/2 cup (one stick) Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks,* cold, cut into chunks
3/4 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk (unsweetened)**
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 large egg
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel

2/3 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350°

1. In a bowl combine flours, starches, baking powder, xanthan gum,
salt, sugar. Whisk until combined, then sift into another bowl. Add soy margarine and cut in with a pastry blender until mixture resemble coarse meal.  
2. In a small bowl whisk milk, lemon juice and egg to blend. Add to flour mixture along with dried blueberries and lemon peel. Stir with a fork just until evenly moistened. Don’t over-mix.
3. Scrape dough onto a (GF) floured surface - dough will be sticky. With lightly floured hands, work it into a 7-inch round disc. Cut dough into eight equal wedges. Arrange wedges 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. 

4. Bake scones until tops are just starting to brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool about 10 minutes on baking sheet. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together powdered sugar and lemon juice. Drizzle over warm scones.

Ingredients note: Use organic, non-GMO ingredients.

* If you can’t have soy products, use organic vegetable shortening instead of the Earth Balance sticks.

** use any non-dairy milk (unflavored and unsweetened) if you don't want to use coconut milk


GF/CF Protein Bars

Power up! 

Protein bars are so handy, and a fast way to fill up with punch and power. Annie and Sam, my two in college, like to grab something in the morning and eat it on the way to class. These protein bars are also perfect for a study or work break - a slow-burning power plant of energy.

It’s kind of hard to find a good tasting protein bar that doesn’t have some sort of gluten or dairy involved, and doesn't taste like cardboard. So, I make my own. This recipe is loosely based on Alton Brown’s Protein Bar recipe. I stuffed them with more dried fruit and some nuts, substituted soy yogurt and applesauce for the tofu, agave instead of brown sugar, hemp milk instead of apple cider. I changed his recipe according to our food sensitivites and our tastes. That’s the beauty of this recipe. You can use any combination of dried fruits and nuts, or substitutions of other ingredients, according to what you like. I have added dried mangoes, pineapple, papaya, and my kids are especially pleased when I add a cup of chocolate chips. I have also used mashed ripe bananas instead of applesauce, and orange juice instead of hemp milk. The agave is optional because there is already a lot of sweetness in the mix from the dried fruit, applesauce, and vanilla yogurt. The texture? Dense, moist, chewy.

These bars are substantial. Besides all the vitamins and minerals in the ingredients, check out all the different protein sources - protein powder, quinoa flour, nuts, yogurt, hemp milk, eggs, and peanut butter. And what about all those omega fatty acids and fiber in the hemp and flax, and antioxidents and fiber in the dried fruit. Wow.

Power up your oven right now!

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Protein Bars

from: giddyupglutenfree, dorothy allard 2010

1 cup non-dairy protein powder (I use hemp protein powder)
1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1/4 cup flax meal
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp non-aluminum baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup raisins (I use a mixture of golden and brown)
1 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dried wild blueberries
1/2 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dried dates, coarsely chopped
1 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
1 container soy or coconut yogurt (vanilla flavor)
1 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
1/2 cup hemp milk
1/4 cup blue agave nectar (optional)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup peanut butter

Lightly coat a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with olive oil. Preheat oven to 350º F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the protein powder, millet flour, quinoa flour, flax meal,  xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside.

In another mixing bowl, combine the dried fruit and nuts. Set aside.

In a third mixing bowl, whisk the yogurt and applesauce together. Add the hemp milk, agave, eggs, and peanut butter, whisking after each addition. Add this to the protein powder mixture and stir well to combine. Fold in the dried fruit mixture. The dough will be stiff. (It will also be green if you use hemp protein powder. Don't worry, the green turns to brown as it bakes.) Spread it in the prepared baking dish and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake in the oven for 35 - 40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool before cutting into squares. Store in an airtight container. Wrap individually in plastic wrap, then freezer bags, and freeze what you won’t be eating within a few days.

Ingredients note: Use organic, non-GMO ingredients.

Go crazy with the dried fruit and nuts. Use your favorite combination, as long as the total amount of dried fruit and nuts is not more than 5 cups. And an added cup of chocolate chips would not be a terrible thing.


Food for Thought

Here we are at the beginning of the 2010 trail, heading for new vistas, with a backpack full of resolves. We all check our compasses around this time, reflecting on where we have been and where we are headed. We make course corrections striving to be better.  Resolutions are in the air. 

It seems the perfect time to share this bit of Cherokee wisdom. I found this as part of a Native American exhibit years ago, and was so struck by the profound beauty of these words. 

A wise old Cherokee man was teaching his grandchildren about life. He said to them, "A fight is going on inside of me. It is a terrible fight, and it is between two wolves. One wolf is fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

This same fight is going on inside you and inside every other person too."

They thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

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