Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Birthday Goodies

This is our family's birthday season. Starting yesterday and continuing for the next couple of weeks, all three of our boys will be celebrating their birthdays. Such fun! And it follows that I'll be making lots of birthday treats. Yesterday, I made a Pumpkin Maple Coffee Cake per my son's request. It has been my go-to Fall dessert for a number of years and it is full of flavor. See the recipe below.

Pumpkin Maple Coffee Cake
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup buttermilk (sour milk also works; also discovered almond milk will work)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (canned is fine)
1/3 cup oil
1/2 tsp maple flavor
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp maple flavor
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°. Grease bottom only of 9-inch square pan. 
  2. In large bowl, combine flour and all remaining coffee cake ingredients; mix just until dry ingredients are moistened.
  3. In small bowl, combine 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon for the topping; mix well. Add 1 tsp of maple flavor; mix well with a fork. (I often double this amount to make plenty for covering both layers.)
  4. Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with half of the topping. Spoon remaining batter over top; spread evenly. Sprinkle with remaining topping.
  5. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes. 

And I also made some gluten free, dairy free chocolate chip cookies from a recipe I found on Elana's Pantry. I'm really pleased with how they turned out...tasty and a good texture. I made a couple of substitutions based on what I had on hand, one intentionally and the other, well...not so intentionally. I finished off one bag of almond flour after measuring out 2 cups worth. I opened my next bag, started to pour and gasp! - what is that texture?! - what did I buy?! (To hear my sons tell it, I freaked out.) I grabbed the bag and read amaranth flour instead of almond flour. I had no idea what amaranth flour was so I googled to find out. Turns out amaranth flour is a super nutritious, gluten free flour derived from the seeds of the amaranth plant. So in it went, and it worked, and added extra nutrition to my treat. Nice. The other little substitution? I used semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of dark chocolate. Here's the recipe:

Gluten Free and Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 ½ cups blanched almond flour 
½ teaspoon Celtic sea salt 
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup grapeseed oil 
1 tablespoon vanilla extract 
½ cup agave nectar 

1 cup dark chocolate chips 
  1. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl
  2. Stir together wet ingredients in a smaller bowl
  3. Mix wet ingredients into dry
  4. Form 1-inch balls and press onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet
  5. Bake at 350° for 7-10 minutes
  6. Cool and serve
Makes 24 cookies


  1. Happy birthday to your three C's! Those cookies look delish! Do you think I could sub honey for agave nectar? Can the boys tell the difference between your new cookies and cookies you've made in the past?

  2. Thanks Sara! I'll pass your birthday wishes along! I think honey would work in place of the agave. The dough is a bit runny so honey would probably make it a little thicker, which would work. The boys liked them. I just asked them what they thought compared to other chocolate chip cookies...they said they're better and sweeter. (That may be a little over the top because it's been a while since I've made chocolate chip cookies.:) But I'll take it!