Gluten Free Zucchini Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting

zucchini spice COVER

I discovered the magic of zucchinis awhile ago and made these Zucchini Chocolate Cups.  Since then I’ve been obsessed with zucchini everything.  I wanted to make a zucchini bread for Christmas but clearly zucchini bread < zucchini muffins < zucchini muffins anything with cream cheese frosting and there you have it… frosting won.

zucchini spice ingredientsZucchini Muffins Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup GF all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/3 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup grated zucchini

Frosting

  • 1 cup cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • pumpkin pie spice

Whisk all dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.  In a larger bowl, mix oil, syrup, egg, carrots and zucchini.

zucchini spice dry mix

Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until combined.  Scoop into mini cupcake tins and fill 3/4 full.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.  The batter is really gross so don’t eat it raw!  There are a few things where the batter is better  (funfetti cake mix, for example) but not this.  I love raw funfetti so much, I made a dip out of it… skinny funfetti dip 🙂

zucchini spice batter   zucchini spice zucchini

When done, let cool before adding frosting.  When I started this receipt I envisioned a zucchini bread recipe but these transformed into a dessert… at least it’s GF and has healthy healthier ingredients, right?

zucchini spice cakes

Frosting:  Mix cream cheese and agave nectar.  Spread on top of  cooled muffins and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice. I found these tasted better when they were refrigerated.

Emmie joined me for the entire cooking session (right under my feet!) to catch any scraps!  I had to snap a picture of her in her favorite kitchen spot.

zucchini spice Emmie

Bon Appetite!

Gluten Free Brie with Cranberry Sauce

A few days I posted on Gluten Free Turkey Pot Pie.  This used half a container of Pillsbury GF Dough (below).  For the other half of the container, I decided to make baked brie.  Actually, let me back track – this is how it really went down….

  • Cassie: “Man, I’m craving some baked brie”
  • Emmie, the dog:  (slight tilt of the head) oh really, what falls on the floor is mine!
  • Cassie: “I should make it gluten free”
  • Emmie: (lays on the floor) – again with the GF?!
  • Cassie: “And it should have cranberries for the holidays.”
  • Emmie: (runs to the door) Just let me know when you’re done and take me outside!

So off to Publix I went for a small piece of brie!  If you make this for multiple people, I would suggest using a round piece of brie.  It was just me so I tried to get the smallest piece I could find which ended up being a triangle. This is the best GF dough I’ve been able to find!  At Publix, it’s by the butter and crescent rolls.

gf brie dough

This was definitely one of those – make it up as you go type of dishes…  Ingredients I used are: Brie, walnuts, fresh cranberries, agave nectar, cinnamon, nutmeg and GF dough.

GF brie nuts

Chop up walnuts and measure out about 1/4 cup.  Roast these in the oven for about 5 minutes at 375 degrees.

In a saucepan, simmer about 2 cup of whole fresh cranberries,  1/2 cup water, 3 tbsp agave nectar and a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg for about 10 minutes.  The cranberries may start popping and this is ok.  That means they are almost done!

GF brie cranberriesGF brie nectar

After 10 minutes, add the walnuts and mix until combined.  The cranberry mixture should be the consistency of a thick sauce.

GF brie cran mix

Now for the fun part… knead half a container of Pillsbury GF dough very well.  I didn’t knead it enough so the dough broke.  Knead, knead and knead some more until it is very flexible and doesn’t break.  Roll it out and place the brie on top.

GF brie pre bake

Scoop the cranberry mixture on top of the brie and fold the dough up over the brie and sauce.  Close it all up as much as you can — I didn’t knead the dough enough so it crumbled and I made a stripped brie dish… yeah – attempt to be sophisticated with brie – presentation – FAIL, taste – PASS!

GF brie pre bake (2)

Bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes until the crust is golden.  Serve alone, with veggies or crackers.

GF brie COVER

I can’t wait to make this again and next time I hope to do better with the presentation part.  baker-in-training

Bon Appetite!

Fancy Corn + Bread

cornbread COVER

My favorite things about the holidays are family, food, and festivities.  Who would have thought that gathering around a dead tree would be so fulfilling? Or how about eating massive amounts of side dishes could be called a meal?  Or how about gathering by the masses to watch lights turn on and cheer like it’s the first time we’ve seen electricity (St. Augustine Nights of Lights)?  I love ever minute of it.  In fact, my decorations are still up and Christmas carols still playing in my car.

One of my friends had to make a “corn dish” for a family meal and asked if I had any suggestions. – Side note: I LOVE when people ask for suggestions on what to make.  Whenever I make something new, I always search other blogs for inspiration to get a starting point.  I don’t think anyone should ever follow a recipe to the T (unless it is a cheesecake – those are a little challenging to get the correct consistency) but should deviate and make your own thang (because “thing” is too structured) 🙂 . Back to the corn dish… I didn’t have one since I don’t cook with corn that often but asked if I could use this as an experiment to find the best corn dish out there…

Well friends, I introduce you to the cheesy corn casserole!  This recipe is inspired by Paula Deen and adopted for the healthier taste buds.  It’s super easy to make and stores really well!  You can prepare this in advance and cook right before the meal.

Cornbread ingredientsIngredients

  • 1 – 15 oz can whole corn (unsalted / low sodium)
  • 1 – 14 oz can creamed corn
  • 1 – 8 oz package of corn muffin mix
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt or fat free sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded cheese

This recipe was made in an 8×8 casserole dish.  Double the recipe for a 9×13.

Directions

Drain the corn and put in a mixing bowl.  Combine with melted butter and remaining ingredients.

cornbread mixing

Next, add some pepper to taste.  I LOVE the black peppercorn grinder by McCormick and put it in just about everything.

cornbread cheese

Now add a handful of cheese to the mixture – about 3/4 cup.  I use my Kitchen Aid mixer for as much as I can.  It’s super easy and mixes things perfectly.  The different paddle attachments make it very versatile.  Plus, while this is mixing, I usually try and clean the kitchen as I go along so I don’t have a huge mess in the end.  This might be good planning but the execution is horrible.  The kitchen is always a mess!

cornbread all mixed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Scoop into a baking dish.  Bake for about 45 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from oven and top with remaining cheese. Cook for an extra 5 minutes until cheese is bubbly.

cornbread baking

Enjoy as a yummy, slightly sweet, side dish to any holiday meal!  I told my friend how great this turned out and she went to Publix the next day to make a double batch for her family gathering.  What I also love about this recipe is that you can leave out the cheese for a fancy semi-traditional cornbread option.  You get the cornbread with pieces of corn, adding a little extra texture.

Bon Appetite!