Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream

Cupcakes!  More cupcakes!  Today I have a gluten-free recipe for you, my friends.  A delightful cupcake recipe accompanied by to-die-for vanilla buttercream.  This buttercream is now my go-to vanilla frosting recipe, when I don’t want cream cheese.  I hope it will become yours too.  :)

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

makes 2 dozen (24) cupcakes

ingredients~

  • 1 ½ cups organic sugar
  • 8 TBS (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 1 TBS pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups whole milk
  • 2 ½ cup gluten free flour blend, sifted twice for fluff (very important!)
  • 2 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips, regular sized or mini works

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

In a medium bowl, beat together sugar and butter until fluffy, about 30 seconds.  Add the eggs and vanilla and gently beat until just combined.  Set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine the twice-sifted flour, baking powder, and salt.  Toss together.

Pour ½ of the milk and ½ of the flour mix in the butter mixture, briefly and gently beat.  Repeat so it’s all together and happy and smooth.

Now pour in the chocolate chips and fold into the batter with a spatula to combine.

Scoop the batter into the prepared liners in the pan.  Fill the liners 2/3 full and bake the cupcakes for 14-16 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean.

Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing to cool on a cooling rack.

Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

Prepare yourself, because now we are going to make the best vanilla buttercream you have ever tasted.

Also prepare yourself for butter in extreme amounts.  Because, my friends, butter is our masked hero in this adventure.  :D

Vanilla (Chocolate Chip) Buttercream

makes a crazy amount of frosting

ingredients~

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 TBS whole milk
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips, chopped small (or use minis) (optional)

In a medium bowl, beat together the butter, vanilla, and salt until fluffy, about 1 minute.  Beat in the powdered sugar 2 cups at a time, so as not to cause a sugar cloud to engulf you.  In between the sugar additions, beat in the milk a little at a time.  Keep adding sugar and milk and beating until it’s all together and smooth and creamy.   If you are adding the chocolate chips, do so now and beat for 30 seconds.

DSCN1515 DSCN1516 DSCN1520

Frost those cupcakes honey!  Spread, swirl, pipe, or spoon, it doesn’t matter as long as the frosting gets on these cupcakes.  :D

DSCN1527

Bon appetit! ♥

Jambalaya with Spicy Chorizo

Hello friends!

A favorite food blogger of mine, Joy the Baker, posed a recipe for New Orleans Red Beans and Rice not long ago.  This inspired me to create a recipe for jambalaya.

This recipe has it all.  Canadian bacon, pinto and great northern beans, chorizo, and a homemade Cajun spice mix.  (I’ll give you the recipe for that too!)

DSCN0925

Jambalaya with Spicy Chorizo

serves 6-8 hungry people

ingredients~

  • 1/ 2 lb. dried pinto beans, rinsed
  • 1 lb. dried great northern beans, rinsed
  • 5 rounds Canadian bacon, cut into 1/4’s
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 large yellow or white onion, chopped small but not diced
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 lb chorizo sausage, sliced
  • 5 cups water
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups brown rice, uncooked
  • 3 TBS of this Cajun spice mix

Place clean dried beans in a medium pot and cover with water.  Allow to soak overnight before making the jambalaya.  In the morning, drain the beans.

The next day~  In a large soup pot, saute Canadian bacon, onion, celery, and bell pepper in olive oil until translucent over medium heat.

DSCN0919

Add salt, pepper, garlic, parsley, and thyme.  Cook for 1 minute.

Toss in the sliced chorizo and cook until the sausage is toasty, about 5 minutes, stirring 2-3 times to prevent burning.

DSCN0922

Pour in the water and broth and stir.  Drop in the bay leaves and beans.

DSCN0923

Bring the jambalaya to a boil and add the rice and Cajun spice mix.  Stir 3-4 times and cover.  Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 45-50 minutes, until the rice is done.

DSCN0925

Taste and season with more salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning if needed.

Bon appetit! ♥

Dark Chocolate Coconut Cookie Bars

Happy Lord’s Day readers!  I hope that today was a beautiful day for you all.

It rained here.  Awwwesomme!

I have something for you too.  Mmm hmm.  I think you’ll like it too.  They are cookies.  Bar cookies with dark chocolate (Ooo!) and coconut (Ahh!).

The cookie part is basically a butter cookie.  Delish.  The topping is dark chocolate and sprinkled with coconut.  Could you ask for any more?  Nope.  That’s pretty much all you need.  Butter + dark chocolate + coconut = happiness.

Here’s a photo~

DSCN0985

I’ll not keep you waiting any longer with my chit-chat.  Here is my Sunday gift to you! :)

Dark Chocolate Coconut Cookie Bars 

makes 12 cookie bars

ingredients~

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg, room temp
  • 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly butter a baking sheet.

In a medium sized bowl, beat together the brown sugar and butter until fluffy.  Add the egg and vanilla and beat gently.  Add the flour and salt and beat until the dough just comes together.

DSCN0981

Spread the dough out on the baking sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes, just until lightly brown.

DSCN0982

Pull the pan from the oven and sprinkle on the chocolate.  Return to the oven for 1 more minute.

DSCN0983

Now, remove the pan from the oven and the chocolate chips will be soft and melty.  Spread them out with a spatula or butter knife to coat the cookie in the melted chocolate.

Sprinkle on the coconut and let the bars cool.  Then if you are really patient put them in the fridge for 30-40 minutes to get them all nice and cold.  OOHH my are they good cold.  It’s worth the wait!  :)

DSCN0985

So, enjoy these and share them with your favorite people.  :)

Bon appetit!

♥,  Hannah

Oatmeal Creme Pies

In the summer, I am vendor at the Kewaskum Farmers Market.  I bake cupcakes and cookies to sell and it is sooo much fun.  :)

These are my best selling cookies.  These are the cookies everyone loves.  So here they are, just waiting to find their way to your mixing bowls, ovens, and mouths.  Please do not wait another day to make these.  It would be cruel.

DSCN0898

Oatmeal Creme Pies

makes 6 to-die-for cookie sandwiches

ingredients for the cookies~

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup organic sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temp
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups organic oats (not quick)
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips  (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugars until fluffy.  Add the egg and beat just a little bit.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Add to batter and beat well.

Fold in the cinnamon and oats (and white chocolate chips if using).

DSCN0899

Roll into 12 equal sized balls and place on the prepared baking sheets.  Sprinkle the dough balls with a bit of flour and press down to a 1/4 inch thickness.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges of the cookies just start to brown lightly.  You want these cookies soft!

Cool for five minutes on the baking sheet and then finish cooling on a wire rack.

DSCN0892

For the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting~

ingredients~

  • 2 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • heavy cream, to reach desired consistency

Beat together the butter, cream cheese, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon until smooth.  Add in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and beat well in between each addition.  Drizzle in heavy cream, a tablespoon at a time, to reach the desired spreadable yet thick consistency you need.

DSCN0893

Spread on the underside of a cooled cookie and place another cookie on top to sandwich the frosting in.

DSCN0895 DSCN0896

There you have it!  The cookies are great as plain, unfrosted cookies too.  And the cookie dough?  OH MY.  It is sooo good.  It’s my favorite cookie dough.  :)

DSCN0898

Bon appetit! ♥

A Day of Baking #2

Hello readers!  I hope this post finds you all well and joyful.

Today I’m doing another baking day story.  This time I did it with a friend.  Mrs. Ferrell at Thankful Homemaker had me over for a day of gluten-free baking.  We made three different treats, and all were gluten-free and delicious.  :)

First, we made some Gluten-Free Butter Cookies found on Elana’s Pantry.  They were made of simple, real ingredients and were rich and soft.  I would definitely make these again!

DSCN0797

Then we mixed up some Gluten-Free Banana Bread.  It didn’t taste much different from regular banana bread and was moist and well-flavored.  I love banana anything so this was a favorite of mine.  :)

DSCN0801

And last but not least, we made cupcakes!  I have never made cupcakes with almond flour before so this was new territory for me.  The cake was moist and had a nice texture.  You could definitely taste the almonds but I love almonds so it was fine by me!  :)

DSCN0802

For the frosting, we made a regular vanilla buttercream which went well with the cupcakes.  You can use your favorite frosting recipe to go with these cupcakes.

So there you have it!  It was a lovely day and I had such a nice time with Mrs. Ferrell.  We even took a selfie.  Haha.  :)

11304139_10153192895596391_1481836798_n

♥, Hannah

Saturday #1

Happy Saturday readers!

Today my sister, Emma, and I went on a bike ride to Kewaskum, the town 3 miles away.  We love to do this in the warmer months and this was our first of the year.

To start, we went to our library to pick up Big Hero Six for some siblings at home who are quite crazy about that movie right now.  I still haven’t seen it and everyone keeps telling me I need too.  :)

DSCN0918

DSCN0917

Next we headed to my favorite place in Kewaskum, a little coffee shop and bistro called Coffee Corner.  I go there all of the time.  They use local foods and bake and cook everything fresh.  It’s the best.

DSCN0908

LOOK AT HOW CUTE IT IS.  Seriously.  I love Kewaskum.

To drink, I got a iced coffee with almond syrup and Emma got a shake with hazelnut and espresso called Vienna Cream Puff.

DSCN0907

For food, we got a Cinnamon Chip Scone to share.  To a cinnamon freak like me it was truly perfect.

I had almost finished my half when I realized that I hadn’t taken a picture of it and so I snapped one of what was left.  Haha.  :)

DSCN0916

We played way to much tic-tac-toe and Emma wouldn’t let me stop because she kept winning.

She also snatched my Nikon and took some photos of me savoring my iced coffee.

DSCN0912 DSCN0913

So everyone this was my Saturday.  :)

Hope yours was nice too!

♥,  Hannah

Banana Cinnamon Granola

Granola is a staple for me.  I love nothing better than a bowl of yogurt and granola for breakfast.  Or a midnight snack.

There are endless possibilities to granola.  If you search granola on Pinterest you could scroll for hours.  Seriously.  It’s a bottomless pit of pure granola bliss.  (That’s an imperfect rhyme!  I should become a poet.)

I love nutty, fruity, crunchy, crisp granolas best.  Not the ultra-sugary typical boxed stuff.  I like the homemade kinds.  Oh it’s so good with natural sugars, healthy nuts, and organic oats.

I have done three other granolas on here before.  The first was my Maple Almond Granola, the second was my Pumpkin Spice Granola, and the third was Gingersnap Granola. (Click on the names to check them out!)

Here is the newest addition to my granola collection, Banana Cinnamon Granola.  Bananas because bananas are perfect and beautiful, and cinnamon for the same reasons.  :)

So, let us begin.

Banana Cinnamon Granola

makes about 14 cups

ingredients~

  • 1/4 cup (4 TBS) coconut oil
  • 2 TBS raw, local honey
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large banana, mashed well
  • 12 cups organic, gluten free oats
  • 2 cups unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup sliced or chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 TBS cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp real sea salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups unsweetened banana chips, broken into smaller pieces

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Line 2 baking pans with parchment paper.

In a small saucepan melt together the coconut oil, honey, and vanilla over medium heat until bubbly.  Remove from heat and whisk in the mashed banana.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, toss together the oats, coconut, almonds, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, and salt.

DSCN0883[1]

Next, pour in the coconut oil/banana mixture and stir well to coat the oats.

DSCN0885[1]

Now mix in the water and stir the granola well.  Pour into the prepared pans and bake for 10 minutes.  Stir to prevent the granola from burning.

DSCN0887[1]

Bake for another 10 minutes and stir again.  Guess what?  Bake for ANOTHER 10 minutes and stir and then turn the heat down to 350 degrees F.  Guess what?! Bake for 10 minutes more!  Then you are done!

DSCN0889[1]

Remove the pans from the oven and let the granola cool in the pans.  When it is cool, stir in the banana chips and store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

DSCN0891[1]

I love this granola.  It’s healthy, tasty, and made wonderful by bananas.

Bon appetit! ♥