Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Baking for Disneyland

In preparation for our upcoming trip to Disneyland, I have been in a baking craze.  I have found that it is much easier and less stressful if we pack some of our favorite foods with us, rather than relying on restaurants to get us through the week.  We will definitely eat out, but in that "I'm starving and about to melt down and embarrass the heck out of you if you don't give me something to eat 5 seconds ago!" moment, searching for an allergy-free meal may not be all that practical.  A few weeks ago we were traveling and ate some delicious food that had been cooked in butter.  While it was a tasty treat, by the time we got home, my tummy was a complete rumbly tumbly mess and Emma's tummy and back were covered in eczema.  

Today, I made a couple batches of bagels and some of our favorite cookies.  I have found these bagels to be our go-to breakfast, lunch, or dinner bread.  These are great by themselves, with goat cream cheese, jelly, "butter spread" or almond butter.  In my experience, using coconut oil is a fabulous substitute for butter.  Sometimes I get hung up on the term "oil" because at room temperature, coconut oil is solid.  For some reason, today I melted my coconut oil rather than using it as a solid.  This did a couple of frustrating things.  1) My dough was much moister and a little more difficult to shape.  2) Made my bagels cook faster and hotter, causing the smoke alarm to go off in the middle of nap time.  

I was able to get to them before they were a complete loss.  I flipped the bagels over and finished baking them at a lower temp for just a few minutes longer.  Lesson learned - just because it calls for oil doesn't mean it calls for liquid oil.  Not sure what I was thinking! 

Miraculously, Emma went right back to sleep and these made for a terrific post-nap snack. 

Cinnamon Raisin or Onion Poppy Seed Bagels:

Add to mixing bowl:
3 tbsp golden flaxmeal 
3 tbsp applesauce
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 tsp guar gum or xanthan gum
1/4 rice milk or coconut milk
Beat with electric mixer.

Add, preferably in this order:
1 tbsp honey
1/4 cup ghee (which is casein-free) or coconut oil, soft or liquified
2 tsp cinnamon & 1/4 cup raisins for Cinnamon Raisin Bagels
OR 1 tsp onion powder for Onion Poppy Seed Bagels
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder 

Beat again until a mass begins to form.

Form the dough into a ball with your hands. (I put some oil on my hands so the dough doesn't stick to them.) Divide the ball in half. Break each half in two, so that there are four balls.

Roll each ball in your hands, then push one finger through the middle and shape the dough into a ring. Note: They do rise a little in the oven, so the size of the hole will shrink slightly during baking. Tip: Use dry or slightly oiled hands to shape the dough, not wet hands. When my hands are wet the dough tends to break.

If making Onion Poppy Seed, wet the bagel a tiny bit (after shaping) and roll it in poppy seeds. Bake on a slightly greased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for about 24 minutes.

Makes 4. (Yes, only 4! When I make this recipe I double or triple it to make it worth my while)

While I had several of my ingredients out, I decided to whip up our favorite cookies.  Are you as addicted to pumpkin as I am?  I could eat it every day, and actually I probably do.  I bake it into cookies, breads, cookies, oatmeal, soup, cookies, and cookies.  

I love that this recipe calls for oat flour.  When I first started cooking without wheat flour, I spent a lot of money on alternate flours, and occasionally still do.  One trick I have learned, however, is that ground up oats make a nice flour, and I buy them in bulk at Costco already!  We add chocolate chips to ours (I buy Enjoy Life)

Santa is very interested

I love my KitchenAid Mixer, but this is one of those times I really wish I had the bigger one (and and orange one, I really wish I had gone with orange!)!

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

1 cup softened virgin coconut oil (or unsalted butter)
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups coconut sugar, maple sugar, or brown sugar
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups oat flour
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 to 4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

In a large bowl beat together, using an electric mixer, the coconut oil, pumpkin, sugar, flax seeds, and vanilla extract. Add the remaining ingredients and beat together again. 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. While your oven is preheating let your cookie dough rest on the counter for 20 minutes. The oat flour will absorb some of the liquid during this time which helps the cookies hold their shape. 

Drop by the spoonful onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until slightly golden around the edges Cool on a wire rack.  

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