Saturday, April 30, 2011

gluten free banana bread (with chocolate chips)

Is there much more I can say about banana bread?

This is what I want today: for a hired baker to come to my apartment. I'd like them to bake banana bread 24 hours a day. I love the way it makes my apartment smell like heaven. It's a nice alternative to the second-hand cigarette stench my neighbor sends through the air vent.

(Dear neighbor: please read this and bake banana bread instead of smoking. Love Amanda.)

How could he say no? Look at that brown banana crust. Put down the cancer wand, my friend. Take a pinch of crust.

Adapted from Book of Yum

1 cup rice flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup buckwheat or oat flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups smashed bananas
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9x5 loaf pan.
2. In a large bowl, sift together the first six ingredients.
3. In a separate bowl, thoroughly combine the next 5 ingredients.*
4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients into the well and fold until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
5. Pour into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

* I use an immersion blender for this step. Works like a dream!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

cherry chocolate chip cookies

My words aren't really coming today. I think I've spent all my language power on essays. Many, many essays. On boring things, like comparing validity and reliability of available research on interventions for... Actually, can we not talk about this?

I admit, I'm a little on edge this month. School is crazy, life is crazy, and work is (you guessed it!) crazy. April seems to be the month of unpredictability. I'm not complaining--I thank the good Lord every day I can wake up and live my blessedly easy life. It's just, sometimes life doesn't go like we want it to. It rarely does.

I make plans, and I cling to them. I know this about myself. Sometimes I wish the universe would recognize how gorgeous and well-thought-out my plans are. It hasn't yet.

And until it does, I'm learning to let go of my plans. I know the future has things in store for me that are vastly different from what I imagined for myself. I'm on the "we'll see" plan right now. It's working alright.

Making cookies is my coping mechanism. I bake them, eat a few, and give the rest away.
These cookies are spreading, delicate, chewy little darlings. They'll make you and your friends smile. And they negate disappointment...true story!

Recipe very closely adapted from Ginger Lemon Girl.

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup gluten free oat flour
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup dark chocolate chunks
1 cup dried tart cherries

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. With an electric beater, cream the butter and sugars together until fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth.

3. Sift in the flours, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. When combined, stir in the chocolate chunks and cherries.

4. Drop by the tablespoon onto the baking sheet. (Don't make them too big, or they will spread too much. Also, leave a few inches between cookies to prevent "blobbing.") Bake for 7-9 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. The center won't look cooked yet, but it will set as the cookies cool.