Tag Archives: Baking

Coconut Nutella Cookies

31 Jul

nutella coconut cookies copy

The past few weeks have included new discoveries-small and big ones! I love to discover new opportunities where I can improve myself whether it’s for food blogging, photography, school work and fitness! For instance, I’m taking up yoga again and I discovered the proper way to do a push-up…you know you’re doing it right when your whole upper body is sore for 2 days! At this point of my life, I am constantly learning something about myself, the baking world, and the people I interact with. I’m always eager to learn something new and relevant in order to grow and keep myself entertained.

nutella

My new discovery in gluten-free baking is coconut flour! This flour is crumbly, yellowish, fine, and smells oh so good! I love coconut flavored food; however,coconut milk does not taste good to me. Coconut flour has a lot of fiber and sucks up a lot of moisture in your mixture. It’s challenging because you have to adjust your liquid ingredient measurements. I noticed it makes my baked goods more dense and slightly dry. Also, I bought my coconut flour in bulk (3lbs or more) cause it’s cheaper than a 16oz bag. It’s not the cheapest flour out there, but this flour definitely changes your gluten-free baking.

coconut nutella cookies 2
With this new discovery, I’m determined to bake some of my best and delicious recipes. My first recipe with coconut flour is Coconut Nutella filled cookies and what could be better than Nutella filled cookies? If you’re craving Nutella, these cookies offer a sweet surprise inside! I used bananas for the recipe which I love the banana coconut baking combo!

nutella cookies 4
The Coconut Nutella cookies are:
Soft
Sweetly Nutella
Moist
Banana rich
Gooey
Cake-like texture

nutella filled cookie
If the Nutella filling is too hard for you, you can substitute with chocolate chips. I used bananas which you can substitute with 2 eggs. Final warning about these cookies is that you may have to bake them more than once to get the hang of coconut flour. But that’s why I love baking because of these new discoveries and opportunities to improve. So what kind of new discoveries have you had and how did it make you feel?

While I’m redesigning Bakers Block, feel free to follow me on Instagram @bakers.block or Twitter @bakersblock!

nutella cookies 3
Ingredients

1 1/2 mash bananas
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line cooking sheet with parchment paper, aluminum foil or silicon mat. I used a silicon mat.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all wet ingredients- mashed bananas, coconut oil, vanilla, and milk (I used almond milk). Mix on low for 30 seconds.
3. In a separate mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients- coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon powder. Whisk the ingredients together.
4. Slowly pour and combine dry ingredients with liquid ingredients. Mix on medium speed until the dough starts to form.
5. Chill dough in freezer for 30 minutes or refrigerator for 1 hour.  I like to chill in the freezer because it’s faster.
6. To create the Nutella filling in the cookie, you just need 1/2 teaspoon and jar of Nutella. First, roll your chilled cookie dough into a 1 inch ball and flatten with your palms. Take 1 teaspoon of Nutella and place it in the middle of your flattened dough. Fold the dough like a taco and patch the oozing Nutella with extra dough. Roll it back into a 1 inch ball and place it on your cookie sheet! Repeat with rest of cookie dough. Make sure the Nutella does not ooze out of the dough (see below italicized instructions).
7. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Once baked, let cookies cool on a wire rack or plate. Serve and enjoy with your favorite glass of milk, coffee or tea!

 

 

Gluten-Free Mocha Chocolate Chip Muffins

14 Jul

chocolate coffee muffins (29)

Lately, I’ve been planning and reading on how to re-vamp my baking blog. That’s the reason why my blog has both major and minor changes! I just finished reading Food Blogging for Dummies by Kelly Senyei, food blogger of Just a Taste. It’s a simple and informative read about the basic components of blogging, photography, food styling, and marketing your blog. It’s a great read for first time food bloggers and amateurs to the blogging world. My favorite part from the book is the suggestions of food photo props and how to market your blog via social media and other food websites. She even provided a section on how to bring home the bacon on your blog! However, I know I’m not a consistent blog writer so I don’t see the point in generating blog revenue yet.

I’m temporarily hosting my content on a free WordPress theme. This summer please excuse my design and layout kinks! It’ll be a rediscovery of what’s the purpose of my blog  and why I love to bake! With the new layout, it’s like a breath of fresh clean air and it gives my blog some new life! I’m really excited to experiment and re-creating my blog from what Kelly described in her book.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter and Instagram for more of my baked  goods updates!

chocolate coffee muffins (8)chocolate coffee muffin blog

Speaking of some yummy baking, I made these delicious gluten-free mocha chocolate chip muffins for y’all! I brewed fresh hot coffee for the recipe! Brew any strongly flavored coffee, and remember to keep it black (no sneaking in any milk, creamers, or sugar!) I’m actually not a frequent coffee drinker but these muffins are seriously flavorful! Don’t forget to store these muffins in an air-tight container since I noticed gluten-free goods tend to dry out fast!

The gluten-free flour mix I used:
1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1 cup of white rice flour
2 tsp xanthum gum

These muffins are:
Moist
Roasted coffee goodness
Sweetly mocha
Gooey from the chocolate chips

chocolate coffee muffins (5)

Yields 14-15 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup gluten free flour mix (see above post)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of brewed coffee, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • Optional: Handful of sliced almonds

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line muffin tray with paper liners.
2. If your coconut oil is in solid form, melt your coconut oil for 1 minute until it becomes a liquid. In medium mixing bowl, mix together liquid ingredients- eggs, coconut oil, coffee, and vanilla.
3. In large mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients-flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and cocoa powder.
4. Combine liquids into large mixing bowl with dry ingredients. Mix well until well blended.
5. Drop in chocolate chips and mix with rubber spatula.
6.  Spoon the mixture into paper liners of muffin tray. You can sprinkle sliced almonds on top of batter. Bake for 22-24 minutes until golden brown.
7. Carefully take muffins out of tray and let them cool on a plate. Serve and enjoy with your favorite cup of coffee.

Peanut Butter Oat Cookies

23 Feb

peanut butter oat 5

I must warn you that these cookies are very peanut buttery and chewy! So for those peanut butter lovers, you’ll love this and for those with nut allergies, be wary of them.  Nonetheless, I have good news and bad news today. Today I found out my favorite childhood movie, Space Jam will have a sequel-Space Jam 2. Thank you, Twitter for the discovery! I can’t wait until it comes out. Also, who else is excited to see Jimmy Fallon on The Today Show? I love the hashtag videos with Justin Timberlake and Jonah Hill so check them out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kwq_GraOC9E It’s so funny to hear people speak in terms of hashtags. The bad news is that it’s midterm season so it will be hard to bake/blog for the next few weeks. So wish me luck on my upcoming exams and good luck to anyone taking tests of all kinds! Despite my busy schedule, I’ll try to sneak in a recipe or two.

Anyways, these gluten free Peanut Butter Oat cookies are simple to make with oat flour, rolled oats, and peanut butter. If you don’t have oat flour, you can substitute with white flour. Besides using butterscotch or chocolate chips, you can add dried fruit, M&Ms, candy bits, and whatever goes with peanut butter. Hope these cookies can make your Sunday, week or even this month sweeter!

peanut butter oat cookies 4

Yields 15-20 cookies
Ingredients

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch or chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray non stick cooking spray oil onto cookie sheet and set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar and peanut butter. Mix for 1 minute on low speed.
3. Add in vanilla extract and egg. Mix well until combined.
4. Add in dry ingredients- oat flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, & cinnamon. Mix until dry ingredients form crumbly cookie dough. If the cookie dough looks dry, add the water. Mix well until cookie dough is sticky and smooth. Stir in butterscotch or chocolate chips into mixture.
5. Chill dough in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
6. After it’s chilled, roll dough into 1 inch cookie balls onto cookie sheet. Flatten the balls slightly with palms. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-12 minutes.
7. Let cookies cool on wired rack or plate. Serve and Enjoy with milk!

peanut butter oat

Valentine Blondie Cake (Gluten Free)

13 Feb

Blondie_glutenfree

This past week has been such an inspiring and happy one despite the snow storms hitting the east coast. I’ve been involved with promoting Changemakers Week at Rutgers which is one week to inspire students to be the change they wish to see in the world. It started with 4 amazing speakers, Bobby Bailey (film-makers of Invisible Children, Ellen Gustafson (co-founder of FEED Project), James Marshall Reilley (author of Shake the World) & Janne Kouri (founder of NextStep Fitness). Even though they all came from different backgrounds and started various social movements, they all had one common purpose: to make the world a better place. Each speaker spoke about failure, education, and story-telling. Their stories and advice were engaging, realistic, and inspiring to me.  Here is what I tweeted from the event: “Know that you are confident in teaching yourself and be proud of your #education!”

My lesson from these speakers is to be confident in my knowledge, be educated about my passion, and to not wait. To me, the just do it part can seem the hardest because of my fear of failing, doing it correctly, and what resources are at my dispense. However, it’s my determination and perseverance that will help me through everything and to NOT give up!

Another event from Changemakers Week was Random Acts of Changemaking where students did random acts of kindness such as giving free hugs, candy, goodie bags, flowers, and inspirational quotes. I truly believe these small gestures can make a difference! I took photos of sorority members giving hugs and free candy to random Rutgers students/employees. Then, a long time Rutgers employee got a group hug from the girls and said, “I’ve been working at Rutgers for a long time and I appreciate this!” This moment made me really happy and reflect upon my kindness towards others. These acts of kindness reminded me to do what makes me happy because my happiness is what I should control and not others. I choose which people to engage with, what I eat, which classes to take, and what opportunities to take.

Now I think about this past week and more to come, it gives me hope that the world will be kinder, compassionate, and more inspirational for others. Despite the obstacles and perils of life, hope reconnects individuals to happiness and kindness. Thus, Changemakers Week has given me hope and inspiration to keep on learning, achieving my dream and bake more wonderful/delicious desserts in order to bring a smile to everyone’s day.
As Valentine’s Day arrives, I’ll leave you with a quote- “Happiness is a state of mind. Happiness is activity.

–What makes you happy?–

Blondie_glutenfree

Ingredients

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 TBsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup potato starch (not flour)
  • 1 /2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp xanthum gum
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare 9X13 baking pan or 8″ round baking pan with vegetable oil or cooking spray
2. In a medium bowl, cream together butter and sugar for 3-5 minutes.
3.  Add eggs, vanilla extract and vegetable oil and mix well until all ingredients are blended.
4. To measure out the flour and starch, use the spoon and level method. Separately spoon the flour and starch into designated measuring cups and use a flat edge (back of butter knife) to scrape excess flour/starch across measuring cup & level it off.
Sift the sorghum flour, potato starch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, xanthum gum together into mixing bowl.
5. Blend the mixture well until the dough forms.
6. Sprinkle and fold in the dried cranberries and white chocolate chips.
7. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the mixture turns light brown. Stick a toothpick in middle and make sure it comes out clean (the blondies are ready to be eaten!)
8. Immediately remove blondies from pan and let them cool off on a plate. Recommended: Drizzle melted white chocolate onto blondies.

Blondie_glutenfree

Gluten Free Cake in a Mug

19 Jan

cake in mug 2

Who is still recovering from the holiday season? I know I still am! Lately, I’ve been trying to eat CLEAN and not stuff myself with cookies day and night. Since baking and eating cookies all week can get tiring, I needed a simple and quick pick-me-up! So I began looking into microwavable desserts in a mug such as cake in a mug, chocolate chip cookies in a mug, brownies in  a mug and more! Anyone who wants a quick, cheap treat to indulge in, then my gluten-free cake in a mug recipe will satisfy your sweet tooth!

Behold! I found numerous mug recipes and modified this eggless cake mug recipe from Sizzling Veggies which is not gluten free. I was afraid the cake would be under-cooked but it came out like any other well made cake! I ate it right up in 5 bites! This gluten free cake in a mug can have chocolate chips, melted marshmallows, sprinkles, cocoa powder, hot coffee, Hershey kisses and any other sweet toppings. You can replace the gluten free flour with all purpose flour. So grab your favorite mug (microwavable) and treat yourself to this easy, delicious dessert!

Here’s an update on my gluten free eating. In the first month or two and especially the holidays, it was hard to be gluten free. I always had a temptation to  eat the breads, cakes, cookies, and etc. I managed to live without pasta for most of my meals and have been eating lots of white rice. Since I don’t have celiac disease or allergies to gluten, I wasn’t entirely strict with myself. I’ve learned that I’m comfortable with moderation and liked how I challenged myself to be gluten free. It has opened my mind and body to eat clean,work out, and indulge in yummy meals with gluten. The other day I went on an organic shopping haul at Whole Foods and Costco. I bought amaranth grain, gluten free bread, gluten free soy sauce, quinoa, greek yogurt, frozen veggies, organic soy milk, and more yummy items! I cooked quinoa for the first time with black beans, chick peas, cilantro, and olive oil. It wasn’t too bad! Right now, I’m happy with my eating habits and fitness routine (Pilates and Yoga).

If you’re not familiar or are interested in Pilates, check out Cassey, founder of www.blogilates.com.  She is so positive, and has challenging, fun Pilates exercises for FREE on YouTube and her website. She also provides free workout calendars and meal plans for everyone (men are welcome to follow her too!)
If you do Pilates or Yoga, what’s your favorite exercise routine or pose? What dessert in a mug recipe have you tried or want to make?
cake in mug 3

Ingredients

  • 3 TBsp gluten free flour (blend of rice flour and potato starch)
  • 2 TBsp brown or white sugar
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 salt
  • 1 TBsp vegetable oil
  • 3 TBsp milk, creamer or half n’ half
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp chocolate chips
  • Dash of cinnamon

Direction
1. In a microwavable mug, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, powder, salt, and cinnamon together. Stir well in the mug with a spoon.
2. Add oil, milk, and vanilla extract into mixture. Stir well with a spoon until there are no lumps.
3. Add in chocolate chips. Place mug into microwave and change cook power level to 6. Microwave for 1 minute. Then, microwave at highest power level, 10 for another 1 minute.
4. BE CAREFUL, mug is super hot when taking it out! Cake should be cooked at the bottom.

cake in mug 4