Gluten Free Red Velvet Cupcakes - Happy Halloween!

 Happy Halloween!  I'm still trying to get used to baking in the hot state of Arizona (it's the end of October and we're still getting 90 degree temperatures!)  My ghost looks a little more like the Wicked Witch of the West, "I'm melting! I'm melting!" But the cupcakes were wickedly good to eat!

Gluten Free Red Velvet Cupcakes (makes 8)

2/3 cup plus 3 Tablespoons gluten free flour mix
1 Tablespoon cocoa
1/2 teaspoon xanthum gum
scant 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (closer to 1/3 t)
 2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 ounce red food coloring
1/3 cup milk

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Prepare cupcake pan with cupcake papers or oil dusted with gf flour.  Sift gluten free flour mix, cocoa, xanthum gum, and baking powder in a bowl and set aside.  Mix sugar and egg on medium for 1 minute. Add oil and mix another minute.  Add vanilla, salt and food coloring and mix until combined.  Gradually stir in flour mixtures and when it is just combined slowly stir in the milk.  Scrap down the sides of the mixing bowl and mix on medium for 2 minutes.  Scoop batter into cupcake pan filling about 2/3 full.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean.  Cool cupcakes before frosting.  Refrigerate frosted cupcakes until ready to eat.

Not too Sweet Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting

1/4 cup butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese or neufchatel, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream butter and cream cheese together until smooth.  Stir in Vanilla.  Gradually beat in powdered sugar.  Once combined, Beat on high for 1-2 minutes.

Gluten Free Quick Cooking Oats!!!

I don't know how long these have been available, but I have been searching them out for years.  5 years, to be exact!  I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease 5 years ago this month and quick cooking oats have been something at the top of my list that I really missed.  I checked at more than 8 stores in the Chicagoland area and after no luck I figured I'd just have to get by with regular gluten free oats.  Behold my joy when I found these at Sprouts within my first week of moving to Arizona.  Hallelujah!  I very nearly shouted for joy right in the cereal aisle!

Now regular oats are great for granola and most baked goods, but if you want to make fudgies (no bake cookies) or have a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, it is my humble opinion that quick cooking oats taste best!

I love you quick cooking oats and yes, I made fudgies as soon as I got back from the store!  Maybe living in Arizona isn't such a bad thing.

Gluten Free Fudgies: Otherwise known as My Secret Indulgence when my husband's out of town...

Fudgies were introduced to me when I was 8 or 9 years old by our neighbor Shane Burns.  Most people know these cookies as no bake cookies (since you don't use an oven or "bake" them).  I've also heard them called boiled cookies and oatmeal snackies.  I've tried them with all sorts of add-ins including coconut, raisins, marshmallows and peanut butter.

By the time I was in high school I knew that I liked fudgies best with peanut butter.  On Saturday nights when our curfew dictated we return home from our various activities, my sister and I would sit in front of the TV watching SNL and Remington Steele while eating fudgies straight from the pan.

Gluten free fudgies taste best with quick cooking gluten free oats, a product that I have been searching for and finally found 5 years after going gluten free.  I've used the gluten free regular oats and they're just not as good with this recipe.

My husbands not big into fudgies, so I often find myself cutting the recipe down by 3rds and making a smaller portion.  Otherwise I would eat all of them myself.  And I would.  I'd be lying if I didn't say I've made these for my dinner when my husband's out of town.  So that I don't feel so guilty about this little indulgence I have reduced the fat and sugar in the single size portion.  They don't set up quite as well, but they do taste just as delicious.  I'm posting both recipes and you can pick for yourself.  I hope they bring back or create happy memories for you too!

Gluten Free Fudgies (regular batch)

1/2 cup butter (1 cube)
1/2 cup milk
2 cups sugar
3 Tablespoons cocoa
1/2 cup peanut butter (I like creamy but crunchy works in a pinch)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups quick cooking gluten free oats

Combine butter, milk, sugar and cocoa in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Boil for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and peanut butter.  Add gluten free oats and drop hot mixture by heaping tablespoons onto wax or parchment paper.  They will set up as they cool.  Makes about 18 cookies.

My "Not so Guilty Pleasure" Fudgies (single serving or 6 cookies)

1 Tablespoon butter
1/4 cup milk
1 Tablespoon cocoa
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup quick cooking gluten free oats

Combine butter, milk, sugar and cocoa in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Boil for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and peanut butter.  Add gluten free oats and drop hot mixture by heaping tablespoons onto a plate or just eat from the pan (the mixture is really hot so let it cool a few minutes if you eat it this way).  They will set up as they cool but won't get as firm as the full fat/sugar version above.

Gluten Free Texas Sheet Cake

I love Texas sheet cake and have been making it gluten free for years.  If you're craving some moist sweet chocolaty goodness covered in a fudge-like icing, this will fit the bill! 

Gluten Free Texas Sheet Cake 

1 teaspoon xanthum gum
2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk (or sour milk)
2 eggs
1 cup butter
1 cup water
5 Tablespoons cocoa

Fudge Icing:
5 tablespoons cocoa
6 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Sheet Cake:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray  a 10x15 inch pan with cooking spray (please DON'T use the kind that has flour in it!) Combine the butter, water and 5 Tablespoons cocoa in a saucepan on medium heat. Bring mixture to a boil then remove from heat.  In a mixing bowl combine the flour, xanthum gum, sugar, baking soda and salt. On medium speed mix in the buttermilk and eggs after 1 minute add the cocoa mixture and mix until well combined. 

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. As soon as the cake is out of the oven, begin making the icing.

Fudge Icing: In a large saucepan, combine the milk, 5 tablespoons cocoa and 1/2 cup butter. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla mixing until blended. Spread icing over warm cake.