Nothing beats a Pennsylvania Whoopie Pie!

Monica says:

Spring has sprung and it’s my sister Dina’s birthday!

Time to party!

Since we all have grown children, my sisters and I have time now to get together and celebrate each other’s big day. It has really become a great bonding experience for us, not to mention the great food that accompanies the celebration!

This year all I can think of is chocolate!

So I was reminded of a segment on our local television station many years ago, where a talented local chef was featured baking a gluten-free cake.

I sat there riveted with pen and paper in hand, writing down her recipe to try and replicate it someday.

Well, this talented young woman, Jen Yemola, went on to become one of the final three contestants in the 2007 Hell’s Kitchen competition with Chef Ramsey!

Here is a link to an interview that I found online regarding her experiences on the show…

http://www.fansofrealitytv.com/forums/official-articles/66324-hells-kitchen-3-interview-jen-i-wasn-t-going-anybody-s-doormat.html

I’ve made this cake several times over the years, and one time in particular stands out….this creation was brought to school with me for a birthday celebration and one of my carpool buddies, upon tasting it said, “Is it bad manners to want to lick the plate after eating this?”

For Dina’s birthday, I decided to make whoopie pies (since I bought the pans a while ago) and I wanted to make a peanut butter filling for them….we all LOVE the combination of chocolate and peanut butter in our family!

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So without further ado….here is the recipe I transcribed!

Thank you, Jen!

Gluten Free Chocolate Whoopie Pies or Cake

Dry Ingredients

1 ½ cups sorghum flour

1 ½ cups tapioca flour

1 cup Dutch cocoa (I used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa)

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp xanthan gum

1 ½ tsp salt

2 cups brown sugar

Wet Ingredients

2 large eggs

1 cup 1% milk (I used Silk Light Vanilla Soy Milk)

2 tsp vanilla

2/3 cup veggie oil

1 ½ cups HOT coffee (I used instant dark roast)

Directions

Thoroughly mix all dry ingredients together. (If using a stand mixer, mix with paddle attachment at speed 2).

Now whisk together the eggs and milk in a separate bowl. Add in vanilla and veggie oil and whisk again.

Slowly add the wet mixture into the dry.

Let the mix get a little tough and then SLOWLY add in the 1 ½ cups of HOT coffee until well combined.

Using whoopie pie pans, fill each one 2/3 of the way (mine are Wilton and didn’t need to be sprayed with Pam!).

Bake @ 325˚ for 10 minutes, turning the pans around after 5 minutes.

Cool on wire rack and remove from pans after 5 minutes.

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Yield: 14 whoopie pies or 28 individual cakes; can be made in a 9” x 13” pan as well (use parchment paper sprayed with non-stick spray).

© Recipe by Jen Yemola of Jentastic Sweets

We were pleasantly surprised this year by the addition of our sweet Ava (granddaughter of my sister Lucia) and her hubby, Neil, who joined in the celebration!

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And did I mention that Dina received a whoopie cushion to keep with the theme of the party?

Yes, we love to have fun!!

Hope you try this moist, rich, decadent recipe…it’s a keeper!!

© 2015, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk

It’s National Cookie Day!

Monica says:

Oh what a great day to celebrate! Who loves cookies?

We certainly do!

Ever since Daria bought a bag of cinnamon chips while visiting the Wilbur Chocolate Factory in Lititz, I was dreaming of oatmeal cookies.

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When the girls were little, I used to bake oatmeal cookies with cinnamon chips if I could find the chips….they always seemed to be elusive! Anyway, the cinnamon chips that she gave me were the mini ones, so I just knew that I had to marry these with cookies!!

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This recipe is very simple….that’s what we like, right?

You don’t have to make these oatmeal cookies with cinnamon chips (although I HIGHLY recommend it)…you can add in raisins, dried cranberries, walnuts, or whatever else you like….or nothing at all! The oatmeal cookies can stand alone and just be delicious!

It’s up to you!

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Gluten Free Oatmeal Cookies

Preheat your oven to 350⁰. Choose two favorite cookie sheets and line them with parchment paper.

 

Whisk together the following:

1 ¼ cups brown rice flour

¼ cup arrowroot starch

3 cups oatmeal (gluten-free, of course)

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon (good quality)

½ tsp salt

Set the dry ingredients aside.

 

In a large bowl or stand-alone mixer, cream the following:

1 ½ sticks of salted butter

¾ cup brown sugar

¼ cup granulated sugar

 

Now add in eggs, one at a time and mix after each until well blended.

2 large eggs (room temperature)

 

Add in:

1 ½ tsp vanilla

If you are using a mixer, slow down the speed to medium or less, and add all of the dry ingredients. I like to add the dry a little at a time.  Continue until all dry and creamed ingredients are blended.

Now stir in:

1 cup of your choice of cinnamon chips, chocolate chips, walnuts, dried cranberries, raisins, etc.

Cover the dough with wax paper and chill for at least 15-20 minutes in the refrigerator.

 

Are you ready to bake?

Get out your ice cream scoop and scoop generous portions onto your parchment paper-lined baking sheets and be sure to leave room around each cookie. Mine stayed in lovely mounds and took between 12-15 minutes to bake and brown slightly.

Remove from oven and let your cookies sit on the sheet for a few minutes before letting them cool on wire racks.

Using an ice cream scoop yields nearly 2 dozen cookies, while if you drop them by tablespoonfuls, you would yield nearly 4 dozen…once again, your choice!

Do you like your cookies big like we do?

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 It’s your choice….just enjoy the day!

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© 2014, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk

 

 

 

Celiac Awareness in an unlikely place!

Monica says:

When my friends, Carmine and Francine, invited me to their antique store, The Shop 2, to be the featured guest in celebration of Hazleton’s Second Friday, I was a little hesitant at first. I said, “Let me think it over.”

I was hoping that my partner, Daria (my daughter), might be able to join me in this adventure, but just having started as the Executive Pastry Chef at The Mill in Hershey, I knew it was a longshot!

“Oh, Mom, just do it and have fun!” was her response. So I thought, “Why not?”

“Yes, I’ll do it!” was my response to Carmine. She wasted no time in letting the association who coordinates Hazleton’s Second Friday about my visit, and the next thing I know, I am speaking with Jill Whalen from our local newspaper! Here is the result of my phone interview!

Alright…now to decide on which gluten-free goodies I will make for the open house.

It’s fall and what do most people crave in the fall? Pumpkin? Chocolate (that’s a given)? Apples?

Of course….all three!

So I immediately go on a hunt for recipes….if you’ve read any of our previous posts on this blog, you will remember that I am a recipe addict! I have tons of recipes written down on paper, too many cookbooks to name, and a recipe file on my computer.

Pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin….how about a great pumpkin bread?

I look over a few recipes and then consult with Daria and viola! A pumpkin bread recipe is born!

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Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread

2 ½ cups brown rice flour

½ cup arrowroot starch

5 tsp pumpkin pie spice

2 tsp baking soda

1 ½ tsp salt

1 tsp xanthan gum

4 large eggs

1 cup veggie oil

½ cup fresh orange juice

2 ½ cups granulated sugar

1 can pure pumpkin (15 oz.)

1 cup dried cranberries (we like Trader Joe’s brand)

 

Preheat your oven to 350˚F. Grease with shortening and flour with brown rice flour, two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, OR one 9 x 5 and 4 small loaf pans (which I did).

Whisk all of the dry ingredients together. In another bowl mix eggs, oil, and orange juice. Then add the sugar and pure pumpkin. Blend on medium-high if using a stand mixer or handheld mixer until thoroughly combined.

Now add dry to the pumpkin mixture. Mix until well combined.

Stir in the dried cranberries if you are adding them.

Bake for 45 minutes to one hour. Watch the small pans if you are using them! You may need to adjust the time.

Cool for at least 10 minutes in pans before attempting to remove them. Let the breads cool completely on wire racks.

© 2014, Monica & Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk    whisks

 

 

Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate….how about a no-bake recipe?

Daria’s friend Amanda visited with us a while ago and brought with her some delightful no-bake chocolate balls. So thanks to Amanda from Michigan for this recipe!

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Chocolate Orange Balls

1 cup Almonds

1 cup Pecans

Pinch of salt

1/3 cup honey

3 T cocoa powder

½ tsp vanilla extract

½ cup shredded sweetened coconut

½ cup chocolate chips

Zest of 2 oranges

Extra crushed pecans (about 1 cup)

 

Using a food processor, pulse almonds and pecans until finely chopped.

Add salt, honey, cocoa, vanilla, shredded coconut, chocolate chips and zest.

Process until well combined.

Roll chocolate mixture into 1” balls. Roll each ball in crushed pecans.

© 2011, Amanda Schmidt

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Notes from Monica for chocolate balls:

I used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder and Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Rolling the balls is super messy…. and you lose too much of the dough, because it’s so sticky! I ended up forming balls with my fingertips. Much better!

I made this recipe twice…did not double it initially due to the size of my food processor. In total the 2 recipes yielded a little over 7 dozen balls.

 

Apples, apples, apples…apple pound cake, anyone?

A great gluten-free blog that we follow is Gluten Free on a Shoestring. The author of this blog, Nicole, has written a few cookbooks, in addition to her blog. We have found them to be wonderful additions to our gluten-free library!

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These apple pound cakes are her recipe. She calls them Starbucks-Style Gluten Free Apple Pound Cakes. The batter is delightful….with the addition of the cinnamon, it took everything in me not to just eat it! Oh my goodness…these little cakes came out great!

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Last but not least, I wanted to have a vegetable dish for our gluten-free celebration and decided on a Black Bean Salsa. It’s easy and has a great flavor profile!

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Black Bean Salsa

2 cans black beans, washed and drained

I bag frozen sweet white corn, thawed

1 large can diced tomatoes, drained

3 green onions (scallions), diced (also dice the stems)

½ green pepper, seeded and diced

½ red pepper, seeded and diced

½ yellow pepper, seeded and diced

2 cups fresh, chopped tomatoes

Red wine vinegar to taste (about ¼ to ½ cup)

1 fresh lemon, juiced

Dried cilantro (1-2 tsp)

Garlic powder to taste

Cayenne pepper to taste

Dash of cumin

 

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Season the black bean salsa to your taste. Serve with gluten-free corn chips or any of your choice! I served Garden of Eatin’ Organic Tortilla Chips.

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© 2014, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk

All in all, we had a great little spread of gluten-free goodies for our guests! Yes?

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I can’t tell you how excited I was to meet so many people last evening who are fellow celiac disease sufferers. Many told me of their struggles and triumphs with this autoimmune disease while others who were just diagnosed, were looking for some guidance.

While I had my blog up and running during the open house, I also prepared some handouts and had many posters scattered throughout the store, regarding celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.

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If anyone would like any of the information I shared, just email me @ glutenfreedoubletalk@gmail.com, or comment here; I would be happy to share!

Thanks to The Shop 2 for helping to spread celiac awareness! You two are the best!

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Hoping everyone got something out of the experience! I know I came home happy!

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© 2014, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk

 

 

 

Happy National “Eat Dessert First” Month!

Oh my….yummy dessert!

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The thing that everyone waits for at the end of the meal!

It doesn’t matter if it’s chocolate, fruit-filled, or a frozen treat…just as long as it is there to satisfy your taste buds.

We happen to be “chocoholics” in our house so we decided to share our mousse recipe with you to kick off this great dessert month!

It’s relatively easy but needs to made ahead of time in order to set. So that’s the hardest part….remembering to get it made in time for dinner!

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Chocolate Mousse

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup milk (we use Lactaid)
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon orange-flavored liqueur or rum OR 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cold whipping cream
  • Additional whipped cream and raspberries(optional)

Directions
1. Stir together sugar and gelatin in small saucepan; stir in milk. Let stand 2 minutes to soften gelatin. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture just begins to boil.

2. Remove from heat. Immediately add small chocolate chips; stir until melted. Stir in liqueur OR vanilla; cool to room temperature.

3. Beat whipping cream in small bowl until stiff and then gradually add chocolate mixture, folding just until blended.

4. Spoon into two serving dishes. Refrigerate until set (for a few hours).

5. Garnish with additional whipped cream and raspberries, if desired.

 

We rarely make just one recipe of this dessert (honestly, can’t think of even one time). Doubling or tripling it is the way to go….and using ramekins you can fill them to the rim.

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It was the American writer, Ernestine Ulmer, who said, “Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.”

Needless to say, we most wholeheartedly AGREE!

© 2014, Monica & Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk whisks

Happy birthday to you…and you…and you!

Monica says:

My sisters and I get together for our birthdays every year…just the girls…and we go out for dinner and then have birthday cake at one of our homes. We are fortunate to all live within five miles of each other. At one point in our lives, we lived in different states and towns. But we are getting older now, and it is a comfort to live near one another.

Since two of my sisters are born in July (and only a week apart, date-wise), we usually celebrate their birthdays together. They like it this way, again, now that they are older!

It’s funny when you think of it because when you’re little, you want your VERY OWN birthday. I know my girls were born 10 days apart (3 years apart as well) but didn’t exactly like to “share” their birthday with each other. It was especially troubling for my Claudia, who despite being the older sister, had the birthday later in the month. She couldn’t understand how Daria got to have her birthday first and would exclaim, “But, Mommy, I’m older….I should be first!” Such a sweet memory!

If I make the birthday cake for any one of my sisters, it’s gluten free because my kitchen is gluten free. They certainly don’t seem to mind and actually look forward to what I am going to come up with! I am a recipe-crazy person, so I am always trying something new.

I just so happened to find a recipe for a dark chocolate cake that looked incredible on one of the blogs I follow, so I thought I’d give it a whirl!

Thanks to gfandme for posting this delightful cake recipe….it turned out amazing!

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And even though I didn’t frost this birthday cake, it was so moist and rich. I opted for homemade whipped cream and fresh strawberries!

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Needless to say, it was a hit! The girls were perfectly happy with their gluten free birthday cake and so were my brothers-in-law, as the girls were sent home with some for each of them.

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We LOVE to celebrate in our family and make any little event an occasion! Birthdays, on the other hand, are big occasions and should be celebrated with the ones you love!

 

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Happy birthdays, dear sisters!

© 2014, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk

Our salads were a hit!

Monica says:

Just wanted to share a few pictures and links for recipes from our salad offerings yesterday at our picnic! Our main protein was my husband’s famous chicken on the grill which was simply wonderful, too!

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Everyone gave rave reviews for these veggie delights and I was thrilled to be able to boost everyone’s nutritional intake for the day….rather than the traditional picnic fare!

Let’s start with a salad that I saw in Better Homes and Gardens magazine while at the hairdresser’s!

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It was super easy and could even be easier if you used a bag of frozen sweet corn (obviously, thawed); you would eliminate any silk that you tried so hard to remove, but when stirring the salad, you see that some still sneaked in! Oh well….

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http://www.bhg.com/recipe/corn-peach-salad/

Same source for this mouth-watering salad….Better Homes and Gardens…..this time got a link to it in my BHG email newsletter that I receive daily.

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This salad was so refreshing and had a nostalgic taste for me and my sisters. Our grandmother used to make a salad that featured fresh dill, like this one. It had such a lovely taste! And topping it with a little feta just added another dimension!

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http://www.bhg.com/recipe/cucumber-honeydew-salad-with-feta/

We love asparagus in our house and when I caught this recipe on the Leafy Cauldron blog, I had to see if I could replicate it! Oh my….it was so unusual and delicious! A marriage between fresh tarragon and fresh mint made this salad amazing…..

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http://leafycauldron.net/2014/05/28/fresh-asparagus-salad/

Another salad that is a must-have when we get together is your basic (and did I say fabulous?) Italian Tomato salad! This one is just from scratch….from my head you might say!

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I cut about a dozen fresh tomatoes “on the vine” (that’s how they are advertised in the store) into small bite-sized pieces and sprinkled salt and pepper on them. Then I peeled and cut one medium-sized onion into slivers and added it to the tomatoes. I seasoned it with ¼ cup of virgin olive oil, 1 T dried oregano, and fresh basil (about 6 leaves chopped). I marinated it for several hours at room temperature on the counter.

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This tomato salad was served with fresh Italian bread to sop up the goodness! Of course, I didn’t eat the bread, as it was for “regular people” as we refer to them!

Finally, as promised, here is a picture of our gluten-free blueberry cobbler with homemade whipped cream and fresh strawberries….what a way to end the day and make your tummy so happy when viewing fireworks!

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Hope everyone enjoyed their Independence Day celebrations!

© 2014, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk

Happy birthday, America!

Monica and Daria say:

We just love to celebrate the Fourth of July! How about you?

Red, white, and blue abounds all around the house and neighborhood….everyone is in the spirit! And we are gearing up to see some great fireworks tonight!

Since every dessert recipe seems to be red, white, and blue, we decided to share a great recipe for blueberry cobbler. Okay, so we have the blue and white….where’s the red?

We are going to top it with some homemade whipped cream and fresh strawberries. And we’re good!

This recipe was developed by a fellow Culinary Institute of America graduate of Daria’s, Elizabeth Barbone. She is the author of Easy Gluten-Free Baking (©2008) and we have tried quite a few of her recipes over the years!

We changed it slightly to suit our taste and it is a keeper!

 

Gluten-Free Blueberry Cobbler

Filling:

4 pints of fresh blueberries, washed, dried and all stems removed

¾ c granulated sugar

1 T cornstarch or arrow root flour

2 tsp ground cinnamon (original recipe omits this ingredient)

 

Biscuits:

Dry ingredients

1 c tapioca starch flour

1 c brown rice flour (original recipe uses 2/3 c white rice flour and 1/3 c cornstarch)

¼ c granulated sugar

1 T baking powder

½ tsp salt

Wet ingredients

6 T butter, cold and cut into pieces

¾ c heavy whipping cream, chilled + several T more if necessary

 

Preheat your oven to 425˚ (our oven baked this @ 375˚).

Butter a 9” x 13” baking dish (we used a glass Pyrex dish).

In a large bowl, mix blueberries with granulated sugar and cornstarch (or arrow root flour). Add cinnamon, and stir well. Place berries into the prepared dish. Set aside for now.

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Now whisk together all of your dry ingredients for the biscuits.

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Add the cold butter pieces and cut it into the dry ingredients. You can use your fingers or a pastry cutter until no big pieces remain. We prefer fingers!

Now add ¾ c heavy whipping cream. Stir it into the dry mixture with a wooden spoon until you see a dough form. You can add an additional tablespoon or two of cream to form the dough. It should eventually form a dough ball.

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Pinch the dough into small balls. Place each ball on top of the berry mixture using all of the dough.

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Bake for approximately 30-35 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown and the berry mixture is boiling.

Remove the cobbler from the oven and cool it on a wire rack.

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It will smell amazing….trust us! Now comes the hard part….waiting for it to cool!

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It will be so yummy for our guests….let’s get this party started!

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Happy Independence Day and thanks to all who keep us free….we really appreciate their sacrifices!

© 2014, Monica & Daria of glutenfreedoubletalk