First, about the book. Every single recipe in it is gluten-egg-dairy-soy-sugar-and-nut-free. Impossible? Nope! I will add that coconut nectar and stevia are used as sweeteners, but no processed sugar. On one occasion, in a fit of must-bake-now madness, I substituted agave syrup for the coconut nectar, with great results. I normally try to follow new recipes exactly the first time though, but I have to say that these are fairly flexible. If you can't find an ingredient, there's certainly some wiggle room.
The simple gluten-free flour blend that's used in all the recipes is genius. It's also something I had do a little differently than the book calls for. I can't find sorghum flour in this town, so I looked online for a listing of suitable substitutions. Brown rice or oat flour were both recommended in place of sorghum, so I used the brown rice. If I ever find certified gluten-free oat flour in stock here, I'll try that sometime too. When you're blending five kinds of flour, you have a little room to negotiate, but it's important to use flours with the right weight, texture, and fluffiness, so do some research before subbing.
The recipes in this book are easy to make and widely varied, with even some savory baked treats in the mix. There are also lots of beautiful color photos, which I really like in a cookbook. And while some of the recipes require quite a few ingredients, most of them are used over and over again throughout the book. Once you're stocked up, you're ready to make a lot of different goodies. A thorough ingredients list is right at the front of the book, as well as a section on "how-to's and what for's."
This book is great for kicking off a new year. Treats are a lovely, and dare I say important part of life. Why not give ourselves permission to enjoy them, and why not make them as healthy as we possibly can? Whether you have food sensitivities or not, you'll find plenty in the sweet little book to please you.
The recipe I'm sharing with you here is the first one I tried. It was a larger batch than expected, so I froze a bunch of these little delights, and we're still enjoying them.
Sunflower Buttercup Brownies
From Sweet Debbie's Organic Treats: Allergy-Free & Vegan Recipes from the Famous Los Angeles Bakery (on sale Nov 1, 2013) by Debbie Adler, sweetdebbiesorganiccupcakes.com. Reprinted courtesy of Harlequin.
Makes 24 mini-muffin size Buttercups
24 mini paper baking cups
2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
21/2 teaspoons sodium-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon guar gum
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup coconut nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/8 teaspoon stevia powder
1 cup sunflower seed butter
11/4 cups chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a 24-cup
mini muffin tin with mini paper baking cups.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder,
guar gum and salt in a large bowl. Make a
well in the middle.
3. Add the grapeseed oil, applesauce,
coconut nectar, vanilla and stevia and stir to
combine. Next add the sunflower seed butter
and stir to combine. Fold in 3/4 cup of the
4. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin
tin, filling the cups to the top, and top each
with the remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.
5. Bake the buttercups for 18 to 20 minutes,
or until they are a light golden brown and
bounce back slightly to the touch.
6. Transfer the muffin tin from the oven to a
wire rack and let sit for about 15 minutes before
removing the buttercups to cool completely.
Keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days,
or wrap and freeze for up to 3 months.
Nutrition Information Per Serving (1 buttercup):
150 calories, 8 g total fat, 0.0 mg cholesterol,
18 g carbohydrates, 50 mg sodium, 2 g fiber,
3 g protein, 7 g sugars
To make it easy for me to track down the winner, it will be a two step process this time.
First, leave a comment on this post, telling me why you want this book. (I'm just curious!)
Second, drop me a quick email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name and the best email to reach you at when you win.
I'll hold a random drawing via Random.org on Tuesday, January 21st.
The winning name will be posted here on the blog, as well as on the Positively Vegan Facebook Page.
I'll contact the winner by email, and he/she will have until Friday, January 24th to claim the prize. (After that, a new winner will be chosen, so stick around!)
The prize will be shipped directly to the winner. Thank you, Sweet Debbie!