good morning fall, hello gluten-free!

GF pumpkin Cover

When I say pumpkin, you say pancakes.  PUMPKIN (me)… PANCAKES (you), PUMPKIN… PANCAKES!!!

What’s better than homemade pancakes on a Saturday morning?  That’s easy –  homemade pumpkin pancakes that are gluten-free and tasty!  I just love fall.  Something about the cool air (ok, Florida status – 70 degrees is cool for me), the smell of a fireplace (yes, on those 60 degree nights) and the fall flavors are just so, perfect!

I’m on (another) healthy food adventure and have been experimenting with gluten-free stuff.  I do have to side bar here and say, not everything I make turns on yummy.  I’m not the kitchen wonder woman and I have really tough critics. Some things make it to the trash before anyone tries it and others as soon as people take a bite.  Most desserts I make do turn out pretty darn good if I do say so myself, but meals on the other hand, that is definitely a challenge for me and sometimes a scary venture for the recipients of the food.  In fact, I’m about to start a paleo challenge and I couldn’t think of what I wanted to eat that was on the list so I am literally eating canned pineapple.  Out of the can.  As we speak.  Yes.  Out.Of.The.Can.  (which I put in the fridge because I like cold pineapple…. I’m sure there’s a warning label about that somewhere)  I don’t think canned pineapple is part of the paleo “cave-woman” diet but it’s the closest I could come.  Definitely not Kitchen WW tonight!  OH MAN I really want some Publix Chocolate Cookie Quary Low-Fat Frozen Yogurt that is sitting in my freezer right now… Focus Cassie, focus….

Back to the Pumpkin Pancakes (crap – now I want these too!)

GF pumpkin ingredientsThis Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancake recipe was inspired by the fact that I had left over pumpkin.  I made Pumpkin Cookies with Icing recently and shared them with my coworkers.  They were a huge hit!

This recipe is gluten-free and actually passed the taste test of one really tough critic.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (the 100% real stuff)
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs (protein packed yeah!!!)
  • 1 cup GF baking flour or oat flour (process 1 cup of oats in a food processor until fine)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp allspice

GF pumpkin dry mix

Step 1:  Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl with a whisk – flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice

GF pumpkin wet mix

Step 2: Mix melted coconut oil, pumpkin, milk and syrup in a blender until combined.  Add vanilla and eggs.

Step 3: Now combine the wet and dry mixes until just combined.

GF pumpkin mix

I was surprised at how thick the batter was, but this is normal.  Now all you have to do is plop these on a skillet!  I added extra cinnamon to one side just to give a little more flavor.  The key to this is the timing.  You want them cooked but not over cooked.  The batter is very gross raw.  I set a timer for 3 minutes on one side and the 1.5-2 minutes on the other.  They came out amazing!  I used dark amber pure maple syrup and a little almond butter on top.

GF Pumpkin cooking

This is a great use of left over pumpkin – or an excuse to open another can.  Next time I will probably make this batter the night before and save some morning time to relax with my cup of joe.  Now I have finished my can of pineapple, which I am slightly regretting admitting I ate canned pineapple.  Directly out of the can.  That I purposefully chilled.  But I ran 5 miles tonight and really didn’t feel like making anything this late.  So thank you Mr. Can.  And thank YOU readers.  I am too tired now to eat that frozen yogurt so you have spared me! 🙂

Bon Appetite!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cups

P Cheesecake cups

Some rules are meant to be broken…  Whoever said pumpkins were meant for the fall was obviously someone who never had pumpkin cheesecake!  Yes, I agree, carving a pumpkin, cooking pumpkin seeds and maybe even baking a  pumpkin pie are meant for the fall but there are so many other things you can do with a pumpkin or the extra 29 oz can of pumpkin puree in the pantry (yes, from the holidays)!!

So here’s the recipe for some not-so-fally Pumpkin Cheesecake Cups!  I must say, these turned out very good amazing!   The cheesecake is light and airy and crust is moist and sweet. (makes 24 regular sized cupcakes)

Crust:

  • 8 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs

Mix all ingredients together. Scoop a heaping tablespoon into each cupcake tin and press down firmly to make the crust.

P Cheesecake crust

Filling:

  • 3 – 8 oz packages of reduced fat cream cheese
  • 15 oz can pureed pumpkin
  • 3 eggs plus 1 egg yoke
  • 1/4 cup non-fat plain greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add pumpkin, eggs and egg yoke, greek yogurt, sugar and spices, scraping the sides of the bowl until fully combined.  Add flour and vanilla.  Pour mix into cupcake tins and fill almost to the top.  The batter may rise a little in the oven but will reduce back down while cooling.

P Cheesecake mix 

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.   I actually lost track of time on this but I think 30 minutes was about when I stopped baking.  Here are some tips to knowing when cheesecake is done:

  • A cheesecake should have a slightly wobbly but still firm center. 
  • The temperature of the cheesecake should read between 160-165 degrees.
  • Soft, liquid centers are NOT done enough.
  • A cracked center is a sign the cake is overcooked
  • Perform the JIGGLE est to test how wobbly the center is. 🙂

If you decide to make this into a PIE and not cupcakes (who would do that!), the cooking time should be about 1 hour.

 P Cheesecake bake

Remove from the oven and let sit for about 10 minutes (if overcooked, remove immediately).  After 10 minutes, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at last 4 hours.

P Cheesecake before after

Before serving, top with whipped cream and cinnamon sugar!

P Cheesecake cups2

Bon Appetit!

The “Stach” is Back!

pumpkin cookies done

I found a can of pumpkin in the pantry, sugar in the cupboard and a new gallon of milk in the fridge… and the rest is history!

These Pumpkin Cookies with Icing didn’t quite make the 12 Days of Christmas list but don’t let that stop you from this delicious, easy recipe. 

stach

I haven’t used “Stach,” the pistachio colored KitchenAid mixer, in a while so tonight just seemed right.  Baking is sort of therapeutic for me.  There’s something about starting the adventure of baking, trying new and unique alterations to recipes and tasting chocolate, sugar, butter etc, that just gives me a sense of accomplishment and makes me smile… (note: this is why I workout!) After a long week (still 1 day to go!), a long but at the same time fast month, and just being in a go-go-go mentality, baking is just what I needed!  Tomorrow- I will need to go on a run and or cycle!

pumpkin pumpkin

Pumpkin Cookies with Icing Ingredients (makes about 2 dozen)

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp vanilla

pumpkin mix

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix butter and sugar.  Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla.  Add flour mixture.
  4. Drop by tablespoon on parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Bake 12-15 minutes.

pumpkin bake

Icing:  Mix together 1 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, 2 tbsp milk, 1/2 tbsp melted butter and 1 tsp vanilla.

pumpkin icing

Once cookies are cool, frost with icing and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Bon Appetit!!

pumpkin cookies pumpkin cookies done2