Friday, May 10, 2013

Welcome Angela, from Sing Dance Play Learn, to H.N.E!

**Here she is ladies and gentlemen. Allow Angela to share with you, this great gluten free muffin recipe that is perfect for baking with the kiddos! This is a recipe I am particularly fond of because I have a real sensitivity to gluten but I looove baked goods, especially with cream cheese frosting! I'd never tried a frosting like this without at least a pound of powered sugar, but I was both surprised and delighted with the results. It has a rich tanginess that works exceptionally well with the slightly sweet, nutty flavors of the muffin. We enjoyed them with tea and fruit for breakfast, but I bet they would go just as well with a nice cup of coffee as well. Even Mike, with his super sweet tooth didn't miss any of the added processed sugar!** 

When Eva invited me to be a guest on Her Name is Ed I knew this recipe was what I wanted to share.
Eva and I met through a mutual friend some years ago. We have a background in child development and a love of food in common. While cooking and working with children are very different interests, they do compliment each other quite well.

Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting was one of my favorite treats growing up. My mom’s recipe was wholesome and delicious. Whole-wheat flour, honey, crunchy, sweet carrots… Today, it’s one of the few things I really miss since going gluten-free.

Needless to say, I was super excited when I stumbled across a gluten-free carrot cupcake recipe. I thought about the changes I would make and decided to turn my carrot cake craving into a baking activity with my daycare kids. 

With Easter on the way, the timing was perfect. The kids eventually dubbed the cupcakes “Easter Bunny Cupcakes,” but they are in no way limited to Easter time. I see this recipe as a great choice for holidays, birthdays or  tea time.

I love this particular recipe because it has simple, real ingredients and is free of processed sugar. It’s a treat that doesn’t send the kids bouncing off the walls and is more carb-friendly than traditional cupcakes. 

Preparing food can teach kids so much. Besides the concept of how food is made and where it comes from, they learn about measurement, math and literacy. Pouring and stirring develop motor skills. The process can be (almost) as exciting as the feasting afterwards.

As luck would have it, it started to rain the day I planned to make the cupcakes. What a perfect time for baking! I assembled the ingredients and everyone washed their hands before coming to the table. The kids took turns measuring the ingredients and stirring it all together. Then we popped them in the oven and went off to play.

The house soon smelled amazing and we were all getting hungry. We decided to make the frosting while the cupcakes cooled.

Next, I set out a butter knife, a bowl of frosting, a bowl of coconut, and a cupcake for each child. I decided to give each child her own assembly materials rather than use communal bowls as we did when we made bee-bim bop. The main reason I did this was to limit germ sharing – a lot of finger licking has to be expected when frosting is involved.

Spreading the frosting just right was hard work. Sprinkling the coconut on at the end was just plain fun. There was some experimentation to see how much coconut would stick on the cupcake.

Once the cupcakes were just right we all dug in. They were both tasty and beautiful.

Gluten Free Carrot Cupcakes (adapted from the Carrot Cake Cupcakes recipe on Elana’s Pantry.)

Makes about 10 cupcakes

Preheat the oven to 350°
1 ½ c blanched almond flour or meal
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp cinnamon
3 eggs
2 Tbls safflower oil
¼ c honey
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ c grated carrots
1. Combine almond four, salt, baking soda and cinnamon in a large bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, oil, honey and vanilla.
3. Stir the carrots into the wet ingredients.
4. Combine the carrot mixture with the dry ingredients.
5. Scoop a heaping ¼ c. of batter into each cup of a lined muffin tin.
6. Pop in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes.

Mom’s Cream Cheese Frosting  

8 oz cream cheese
¼ c honey
 ½ tsp vanilla extract
shredded coconut to sprinkle on top

1. Mix the cream cheese, honey and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth.
2. Spread frosting on cooled cupcakes.
3. Sprinkle coconut on top.


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