It was a hard afternoon. The few recipes I tried for bread, left me low. Seriously, can't they generate something similar to gluten in a laboratory somewhere? I mean, I know we've got bigger fish to fry with curing disease and saving lives, but couldn't we at least get Betty Crocker to work on this?
The bread was like a yoga brick,with a lot less flavor. It smelled off to me too. The texture was like a really really dry crumbly (not in the good way) corn muffin — again without the yumminess that IS cornbread (love love love the cornbread). It was a horrendous colour too, somewhere around a dry and cakey mustard that was sitting out all day at a picnic. (You forgot, I'm a Designer, I think in colours first). I tried it with butter, then with jam, feverishly trying to mask it's tainted flavor. There must be better out there.
Enter Simply Recipes, my saviour for the day. My rainbow after the rain. Okay, bit sappy, but you didn't eat the bread, did you. ::wink::
I mixed up these muffins from Elise in no time. I had to modify a little bit, well - because I'm a cook and we all know that we as Artists (in whatever fashion) need to feel like we contributed. (Actually, I just dislike raisins. Oh! And I'm not a fan of nuts messing the consistency of my moist and airy muffins - so they went on top) Putting the nuts on top also works out for keeping some nut-free for others with sensitivities. I'm more of a rustic cook by nature so this aesthetically pleased me as well. Yay! I also had trouble locating my standard muffin tins. Shoot! Mini-muffins it is - they are quite fun actually. Yay!
So, here we go, Wheat Sensitives and Wheat Lovers Unite! This is what you can expect.
Date & Pumpkin Cupcakes
Simply Recipes original ingredients in parentheses.
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon honey
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin purée
2 cups Bob's Red Mill's Gluten-Free All Purpose Baking Flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Vietnamese cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup buttermilk*
1 cup chopped dates (raisins)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (pecans)
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup real maple syrup
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
*Note to make your own buttermilk, combine 1/2 cup of milk with 1/2 Tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice. Stir and let stand 10 minutes before using.
Preheat oven to 350°F, and place rack in the center of the oven. Measure out a cup of dates and fill the cup with very warm water, set aside. Using your Kitchen Aid or your own two hands, cream the butter and brown sugar. Add in molasses and honey, mix for about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the pumpkin purée and vanilla and beat until fully mixed in. Drain dates and chop finely, set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to the pumpkin batter, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
Add the dates to the mixture and fold in.
Set paper cupcake holders in a muffin tin. Spoon the batter into the cupcake paper cups, close to the top of the cups. Bake approximately 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool completely before popping out or frosting - they need to set up.
To Make Yummy Frosting For Cupcakes
Using an electric mixer, mix together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add maple syrup and confectioners' sugar and mix to combine. Once cupcakes have cooled, apply frosting. Top each with sprinkled walnuts.
These cupcakes were devoured by Brian as you can see above he was two in before I even got to frost the suckers. He claims that no one would ever know because they tasted so good. He doesn't lie. He said the bread sucked. Boys are good like that. Let me know what you think, and make sure to stop by Elise's and check out her site.