Sunday, October 25, 2009

Oven 24/7 Oh So Sweet

Well, it sure seems like the weekends are all about the oven! We've been using the oven 24/7 to baking sweets, crackers, breads, and to cook casseroles and veggies! :O

It seems that as the holidays come around and as the weather gets cooler and wetter, we get the urge for soft homemade breads and sweet treats!

When we were little, every Saturday morning we would have a breakfast treat. Sometimes it was Pilsbury buttery crescent rolls, sometimes fluffy biscuits and jam, or even pancakes. But the sweetest breakfast we looked forward to was cinnamon rolls! We'd just take the refrigerated Pillsbury cinnamon roll dough from the can and quickly bake up sweet delicious cinnamon rolls. Our favorite was the orange flavored rolls. Don't you smell the sweet aroma of cinnamon and orange in the morning coming from the oven?

As we grew up, we ate less of those delicious (yet sinful, sugar-high) treats. Every once-in-a-while, though, we try to make our own. Very tedious! For an easy alternative, we sometimes make Cinnamon Roll Muffins, but this time we finally decided to try Cinnamon Roll Biscuits!
The biscuit recipe was virtually identical to our favorite biscuit recipe, so it was easy to whip up. This recipe calls for less water, to be able to form a dough that can be rolled out. We spread a filling of date sugar with lots of cinnamon, then roll it up, slice it, and bake it in the oven for ~18 minutes. Instead of margarine, we used coconut oil and brazil nut butter. For the glaze, we used only 1/2 cup powdered sugar and brazil nut butter instead of margarine.

Turned out awesome! The biscuit was flakey, with some crusty edges and soft centers and a delectable gooey filling. It could use even more cinnamon though. Other variations you can try include orange, maple, egg nog spiced, or pumpkin spiced! Great for special family breakfasts or dessert (because they are sweet). Another recipe we have our eye on is Celine's Pumpkin Oatmeal Sticky Biscuits.

For dessert, we baked up some Gluten Free treats!

First up Chocolate Chip Bars. We have the cookbook One Smart Cookie by Julie Van Rosendaal, but we haven't used it in years since we went vegetarian. Recently, though, we decided to try the recipes out again, making them vegan, because Julie really does have great recipes.

For the chocolate chip bars, we followed Julie's Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe and put it in a 9x13 bar pan. We have Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free flour blend, so we used that with 1/4 tsp xanthan gum. The flour blend isn't as tasty as the gluten-free flour blend we use for Betty Lou's at work :) but that's ok, the chocolate hid the subtle beany flavor. To replace the egg we used 1 Tb flaxseed meal. We also used coconut sugar and date sugar, which gave the bars a subtle carmelly warm flavor. And of course, we added lots of Equal Exchange 80% and 71% Dark chocolate, which made the bars extra rich and chocolaty! We love chocolate.

Another gluten-free treat - go try Elana's Pantry Gluten Free Fig Bars! We made modifications to make Gluten Free Prune Squares, a perfect snack that's not too sweet but satisfies your sugar craving. We used oat flour instead of almond meal (for a nut-free bar), added a small amount of flaxmeal (for a binder and nutrition), and used prunes and orange juice for the filling. We also recently tried a cranberry lemon version, with dried cranberries and lemon juice. Other variations we would love to try include apple spice, apricot, pumpkin spice...any fruit imaginable!

We would love to hear about more about gluten-free baking and any ideas you all have. Since we do work in the R&D lab at Betty Lou's Inc (check it out!), we are currently focused on gluten free baking and we would love all of your suggestions and tips! Thanks!

So, one last question--what's the place in your house where you spend the most time, and love to be? Of course, ours is our kitchen. Even if it is tiny, we still manage to stay put in our kitchen most of the weekends. You'd think we'd become claustrophobic, lol..

Have a great week!


Andrea said...

Thanks for all the great ideas. I'm not gluten-free but I like to make low-gluten and gluten-free baked goods some of the time. I've had good results using coconut flour in flour mixes. As a bonus, it's very high in fiber.

Linda said...

Yum - I'm going to try those fig bars!

Mihl said...

Cinnamon biscuits sonds like an awesome idea...and those fig bars look super-delicious!
I love the gluten free cupcakes from VCTOTW. They call for quinoa flour, which can easily be ground in a coffee grinder.

Ricki said...

It all looks great--and I am going to try out those fig bars! I like the oat sub even better than the original almond meal. :)

Thanks for your comment and for trying out the rissoles! It's hard to say re: texture, as it sounds like yours are almost a new patty entirely! But mine did have a very soft, moist interior (I compared it to refried beans) and were extremely fragile as well. I found they firmed up quite a bit after a day in the fridge--so they were actually better the second day. :)

Fayinagirl (means Free One) said...

Wonderful ideas! Everything looks so yummy.

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