Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Day trips and pumpkins lead straight to the kitchen.

This blog is the perfect venue to introduce you to a dear friend and a food confidante: Sarah, author of the blog Celiac in the City. Sarah and I work our day jobs together, but during our off times - or during a spontaneous coffee run - we talk food. Food allergies. Food substitutions. Food frustrations. I'm the mom of a child with egg and nut allergies, and Sarah faces her own personal food challenges. She doesn't let it get to her, though. In fact, she's embraced the challenge by starting up a blog of her own and converting recipes like a pro.

Who am I kidding, she is a pro. She's my go-to person. And, if you're looking for gluten-free recipes, or restaurants with gluten-free menus, or some gluten-free fun (she organizes a get-together every month in our area), then Sarah should be your go-to person, as well.

Today, Sarah dresses up her guest post with some lovely photos and teases our tastebuds with a dee-lish recipe.


Hello, Writing Up an Appetite friends!

Happy to be hanging out over here today – honored that Christi asked me to stop by and do a guest post. My home territory is over at Celiac in the City – A girl. Gluten free. Loves food. Will travel. That pretty much sums up who I am. Feel free to stop by sometime and check in on my latest adventures.

Two weekends ago, we were out on the Harley, in short sleeves. Warm rays on our faces. Camera strapped securely around my neck. Snapping pictures of the changing season.

As I edited the photos, I found this one, at the very end of them all.

Not only did it make me smile – watching the kiddos run around at the pumpkin farm, on a mission to find THE best pumpkin, but it also gave me an idea for today’s post.

It was nearly 80 degrees that day. And although I loved every minute of that weather, as the heat kicked in this week, I was reminded that fall has arrived (with high heat bills to follow).

One way I ease my summer-lovin’ self into fall is baking.

And lots of it.

These pumpkin spice cookies will heat up your place and make it smell heavenly. You will be tempted to eat one right out of the oven. As an experienced baker the girl who burned her tongue eating one straight from the oven, I will tell you this is not the best idea.

They are moist cookies. Very moist. So you don’t want to put them in a sealed container to store them. Just leave them out or drape a towel over the tray.

You’ll notice the recipe uses gluten-free flours. It’s how I roll. Because I have Celiac Disease, my baking world has seen some changes over the last three years. If you are able to eat regular, all-purpose flour, then by all means you sure can. Just use 2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour instead of the GF flour blend and xanthan gum.

Let’s warm up your kitchen.

Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes approx. 36 cookies

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Unless you bake using a Silpat, (or other baking mat) you will need to grease your baking sheets.

12 oz gluten-free flour blend: 4oz each of sorghum flour, sweet rice flour & tapioca starch (or 2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour)
*you can use a mixture of any gluten-free flours/starches: white/brown rice flour, millet flour, potato starch, cornstarch, etc.

1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if using all-purpose flour)
1teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼  teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼  teaspoon ground ginger
*you can play with the spices, use nutmeg, allspice, etc. instead of the pumpkin pie spice, or use a mixture of both, as I did here)

½  cup sugar
½  cup brown sugar
1 egg (see egg substitutes here)
½  cup butter softened
1 ½  cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine flour mix and xanthan gum with baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Set aside. Cream sugars and butter. Add in pumpkin, egg,  and vanilla. Beat until nice and smooth. Slowly add in flour mix, until well blended. Drop by tablespoons onto baking sheets.

 Bake 15-18 minutes, or until bottoms are lightly browned and cookies are firm enough to hold their shape. (I used a 1 ½ tablespoon scoop for mine, so they took around 18 minutes) You might like yours baked a tad longer. Go for it. Let them rest a few minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to cooling racks. When cooled completely, frost.

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
The thing about frosting is that you can make it any way you’d like. So take these measurements as a guide. Throw it all in a bowl and beat ingredients to your desired texture.

2 cups powdered sugar
1 package cream cheese
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons real maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice, or skip it if you’d like)

Maybe frosting isn’t your thing (it shocks me when people say this). That’s okay too, you can serve them up with just a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

Now grab a cup of coffee or a chai. I recommend eating at least two.

Read more from Sarah, “Celiac in the City,” on her website,, like her page on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter @celiacinthecity.


  1. Those cookies look crazy good. You're our kinda gal.

  2. Great guest post Sarah! I love your Celiac In The City blog and it was great visiting you over here. :)

  3. @2girlsonabench -- they are crazy good. the kind of good that makes you eat three for breakfast. :)

    @Julie -- thanks for stopping by and saying hello. you rock.

  4. Just about to scoop up my kiddos and get egg crackin'!