Professor Plum. In the Kitchen. With the Candy Corn.
Alright, I admit it, it was me. I got glutened.
Special, seasonal, comfort foods are a gluten minefield made more enticing by their limited time availability. There must be some kind of magical holiday hypnosis that makes sticky, starchy, sugary food that you would otherwise recognize as a future stomach ache seem oh so desirable. This sugar haze extends from now straight on to Easter, so be on your best behavior, my celiac friends, and stay close. There's safety in numbers.
My story gluten story is a silly one. I knew Candy Corn could be safe, though I wasn't sure which brands posed a danger. But when a bag of Brach's autumn mix found it's way into my house, complete with my personal favorite, sugar pumpkins, I couldn't...or rather didn't...resist popping one - and just the one! - into my mouth. Within an hour, my stomach began to churn and all together too late, I googled Brach's to find that none of their products are gluten free. Sometimes we need to be reminded just how delicate our celiac stomachs are, I guess, and that's a lesson only to be learned the hard way.
With this in mind, I bring you two October inspired recipes of yummy treats that I should've eaten instead of the blasted candy corn. Both recipes are based on the surprisingly delicious combination of pumpkin and chocolate and oddly enough, both taste better after being refrigerated for a day.
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins
These pretty little muffins have been enjoyed - and requested to be made again - by friends and family alike. I'd love to claim the recipe as my own, but it came from Smitten Kitchen. I just added the chocolate chips (though to be fair, chocolate chips are obviously the best part of any recipe).
Simply substitute the 1 and 1/2 cup of regular flour with your favorite gluten free blend. Additionally, I used only 1 cup of sugar and 1/3rd cup of canola oil. The recipe for these delicious muffins can be found here. They freeze extremely well and actually taste their best reheated.
Peanut Butter Pumpkin Cookies
After reading about oh so easy to make, naturally gluten free peanut butter cookies on the always fabulous Hey, That Tastes Good!, I knew I had to make my own. And while Jill's looked great, I had plans to dress them up a bit, and make them a real fall cookie.
These dense cookies are actually packed full of protein and you even get your vitamin A from the pumpkin. Not a bad days work for a cookie.
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup pumpkin
2/3rd cup white sugar
1/3rd cup brown sugar
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the peanut butter, pumpkin, sugars, pumpkin pie spice, and egg. Once mixed, gently fold in the chocolate chips. Roll into balls and place cookies on a greased cookie sheet, spread apart slightly as the cookies will widen out while baking. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, or until the edges start to brown, or for 13 - 15 minutes for a chewier cookie. The recipe makes approximately 20 cookies.
These balls of peanut butter pumpkin goodness tasted best after being refrigerated overnight, though they're perfectly yummy straight from the oven.
Warning! If you expect to eat these cookies, do not offer them to loved ones. My mom quickly became addicted and my boyfriend ate 6 in one sitting. If you are good enough to share, I suggest you create a secret cookie hiding place on the sly. I won't tell if you don't.