Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Crunchy Cookies and Chocolate Muffins

The featured recipe on justaz.com this month is General Crunch Cookies. This cookie dough offers a lot of opportunity for variety. You can add dried fruits such as apricot to the mix. Use grated orange peel and a 1/2 tsp of nutmeg for a little spicier version. One of our favorites here at home is spreading a bit of hazelnut spread onto the just-out-of-the-oven cookies. So sweet!

It's a basic gluten free cookie dough and my son named it General Crunch- general for its proximity to basic, and crunch because the cookies are crunchy.

It's the kind of gluten free cookie dough that lends itself to experimentation. Try a few variations of your own and let us know which are your favorites.

Notice those chocolaty cupcakey-looking muffins behind the cookies? Those are a take-off the Hungry Girls Guilt Free brownie muffins: cake mix and pureed pumpkin. That's it. Mix a 15 ounce can of pureed pumpkin with a box of cake mix (one that yields an 11x13 inch cake) and pour into a muffin tin. Bake as directed and you have egg-free, oil-free, practically fat-free chocolate muffins.

For a gluten free version, use a gluten free chocolate cake mix (Betty Crocker or Cherrybrook Kitchens both work), 7 to 7.5 ounces of pureed pumpkin, and 4 ounces of applesauce. The gluten free mixes yield 8 inch round cakes, so you need less pumpkin. The applesauce adds moisture and flavor.

Stir together - it takes a few minutes- and pour the mixture into a 12 muffin tin. Bake according to the directions on the box and you'll have chocolate muffins that are at once sweet and savory and perfect for breakfast, a mid-morning snack, and dessert. Gluten free and low in fat - What more could a contemporary cook ask for.