broccoli cheese muffins

broccoli cheese muffins

Hello, muffin – what’s that you’re hiding?

Under your cheesy crispy exterior, inside your fluffy buttery crumb, I spy a hidden broccoli tree!

When I made pepperoni chili, I wanted to pair it with a muffin. I knew from the tastes as it simmered all day that this chili was going to be epic – I needed an equally knock your socks off muffin to accompany it.

broccoli cheese muffins

The recipe I found is epic, this I guarantee.

The flavor is buttery and cheesy and if comfort was a flavor, I’d say that too.

These are crispy yet soft, light yet substantial. The extra fun is a full tree of broccoli inside each muffin – always a popular trick.

broccoli cheddar muffins

The original recipe is the genius of Kate from Food Babbles.

The changes I made:

full trees of broccoli inserted into muffin rather than chopped broccoli mixed in

apple cider vinegar + coconut milk in place of buttermilk

gluten free all purpose flour, plus 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

vegan cheddar cheese, flax egg

See full recipe here.

broccoli cheese muffins

and then make these muffins as soon as it is possible.


grapefruit meltaway cookies

grapefruit meltaway cookies

When I was growing up, my favorite cookie was something like a meltaway. My mom made these perfect cookies that had finely chopped walnuts in them, and they were boomerang shaped and coated in powdered sugar.

Mom called them butter crescents. I called them boomerangs.

She rarely made them – they were from a cookbook that had it’s own flour blend. Then every recipe simply used a certain measure of that flour blend. Hmm, I wonder if mom was ahead of her time and these were gluten free? Sounds like many gluten free flour blends I hear about now

These cookies are a bit reminiscent of those old boomerangs of my youth (although now I know those boomerangs are more like a wedding cookie, only shaped differently) in that they melt in your mouth. These have that added zing of citrus I love.

Mildly sweet, with a crunchy exterior and a soft middle – these are quick to make and perfectly delicious.

grapefruit cookies

This past Monday, my friend Liz shared her orange cooler cookies. We had a snow day on Monday, so I made these that very same morning. We ate some warm, while watching the snow.

Liz and I both love to bake, and I love every thing she makes. We once talked about how fun it would be to open a bakery together. This has now become the basis for many of our conversations – we keep adding things to our menu. We decided our bakery needs several flavors of this cookie.

Notes on my changes:

grapefruit juice and zest in place of the orange

gluten free all purpose flour (to which I added 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum as well)

dairy (and soy) free butter substitute to keep vegan

That’s it! Everything else was following her recipe – go see that here. Then go make them, as soon as you can.

grapefruit meltaway cookies

What is your favorite cookie?


vegan macarons

 I have had a huge interest in baking since college. My first real job, I would wake up early to make fresh bagels to bring to the office (fairly easy once you get a routine), and frequently hosted pageant parties where girlfriends would wear crowns while enjoying wine and dessert treats.

After many successes with established recipes, I must have felt my ego needed a check – I started to write my own. Years before I knew what a blog was, I created recipes. I still shudder when I think of all that was lost with a laptop death a few years ago – chills as I type that now.

Fast forward several years, adding a new challenge of baking vegan and gluten free. Friends and family subjected to enjoying flat loaf cakes with a smile, and a good stretch where all I made was variations of brownies “because I wanted the result to be dense and fudgy”. Well, that part is still true.

French macarons were something I did not attempt as a vegetarian, when I could have easily used eggs. Nope, I had to wait until the challenge would be much greater. After a couple not so pretty fails, I summoned the willpowder to keep going.

With attempts at clever jokes came success! With this amazing product I created a cardamom macaron and filled it with dark chocolate ganache. Then I resumed breathing. Whew.

Before I share a recipe I will be making more batches. While these tasted amazing and had the similar textures to a classic macaron, I want to perfect their appearance while hopefully making them less delicate. I want to make other bright colors (for cardamom flavored I chose a pale green). I just want more excuses to make these and have that elation again! I was giddy all day. After I resumed breathing.

What was your last elated success, in cooking or otherwise?


Chocolate Mint Chickpea Cookies


Chocolate Mint Chickpea Cookies

My current obsession? Those garbanzo cookie balls. Yes, still. What has been fun is seeing how many others love them too – how have I never seen these when people have been making them all along?

I’m always late to the party. I have brought others along to the party since, though. I’ve also thought up some pretty interesting flavor combinations. I have a lot to catch you all up on.

Read More »

vegan & gluten free apple crisp

I used up every last bit of my pumpkin in making our Pumpkin Ale, and I haven’t seen pumpkins yet. What do I turn to when I am craving a fall themed dessert? Apples!

Delicious, beautiful apples.

This was super easy, and it is both vegan and gluten free. Bonus, your kitchen will smell wonderful for hours.

Vegan & Gluten Free Apple Crisp

3 apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup ap flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free)
3/4 cup + oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg (I use Ener-G replacer)
6 tablespoons butter, melted (I use Earth Balance)

Mix flour, oats, brown sugar. Prepare egg replacer and add to dry mixture – it will be crumbly. Press a very small amount into bottom of baking dish (9×9 – I used 7×10). Arrange a single layer of apple slices in baking over crumble, using half. Sprinkle a very small amount of of oats over apple layer. Add a second layer of remaining apples.  Top with crumb mixture. Melt butter and pour over top.

Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.

This is crazy delicious.

What’s your favorite fall dessert? What fall fruit are you enjoying right now?

Did you see Basil basking in his five minutes of fame? :)

gluten free & vegan peach crisp

Because those brownies are not at my house, and because we are having company stay a bit (YAY !!), I found myself #1, with no dessert and #2, extra people around to help me eat it. Like I need a reason…

One of my favorite sweets has always been the crumble on top of a crisp, a pie, a danish… that sugary, crumbly deliciousness. You cannot leave me alone with it, I will pick all the crumble off and leave a naked crisp, pie, danish…

Since it’s summertime summer is hopefully on its way, I wanted to make a fruit crisp. It turns out it’s very easy to make a crumble topping that is both gluten free and vegan. This is what I did:

Fruit filling:

3 peaches, sliced
3 tablespoons tapioca flour
2 tsp vanilla
1-2 tsp water, depending on how juicy peaches are

Mix peaches, tapioca flour and vanilla. Add water as needed. Pour into prepared baking dish (I used approx. 6 x 9 x 2… you can also use 8 x 8 x 2).

Crumble Top:

1/2 cup coconut flour
3/4 cup oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg (to keep vegan, I used Ener-G replacer)
6 tablespoons butter, melted (for vegan purposes, I use Earth Balance)

Mix coconut flour, oats, brown sugar and cinnamon. Prepare egg as directed, add to dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly, should be dry / crumbly. Sprinkle crumb mixture over peaches. Pour melted butter evenly over crumb mixture.

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

Yum Crumb! We paired it with my favorite:

I’m off to run my treadmill, so I can have more of this.

Also! Today only –> I am baking cookies for a bake sale, benefitting Chrons and colitis…  one day bidding, stop by and see all the goodies up for bid!  :)

Beanie Brownie

I love brownies.  You will likely see many brownies at spabettie. These are some of the most intensely chocolatey brownies I have ever had, and knowing they are full of good-for-you fiber makes them more yum. I store them in the refrigerator, which somehow makes them Even More Yum.  Outrageous.

1 can black beans, rinsed
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

to frost: 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 tablespoon butter

Aside from the chocolate chips, I blend all ingredients in my food processor:

Puree black beans. Add eggs, oil + vanilla, blend. Add sugar + cocoa powder, process. Stir in 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Transfer batter to a prepared (buttered, what-have-you…) 9×9 pan, bake 30-35 minutes @ 350.

After brownies have cooled, melt 1/2 cup chocolate chips + 1/2 tablespoon butter. Spread over brownies, cool in refrigerator.

This is already gluten free, and is easily made vegan. I swapped the oil + butter with Earth Balance, Ener-G egg replacer for egg, and while I could not find mini chips, I used vegan regular size.

Have a delicious day, don’t forget dessert!