Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Two Fall Recipes to Die For

Toni Holmes of the Baker’s Treat Mystery series
(Gluten For Punishment and the up coming Murder Gone A Rye) makes Gluten-free granola and introduces her friend Allie McMurphy of the Candy Coated Mystery series
(All Fudged UP by Nancy Coco out Nov. 5, 2013)

Hi, Toni here. Kansas in autumn brings the harvest and the sights and smells of Fall. One of my favorite ways
to gently warm a chilly house and create incredible smells is to make my own gluten-free granola. Trust me, it’s cheaper, easier and more fun to bake up your own than to trust the pre-made stuff in grocery stores. (Commercial gluten-free granola is one of the labeled “gluten-free” products that has made my writer sick. ) Once you are diagnosed with Celiac or gluten-sensitivity and go gluten free you may discover more grain allergies or preferences of one grain over another. Homemade granola allows you to mix and match ingredients that work for you.  For example a cup of coconut can be added to the recipe below, but my writer is allergic and so it’s not in this recipe.

Baker's Treat Gluten-free Granola
3 cups of gluten free oatmeal
3 tbs Quinoa – cooks up crunchy adds texture
3 tbs golden Flax meal
1 cup of roasted almonds (Can use raw-I prefer roasted)
½ cup pecan pieces
¼  cup of whipped honey (can be regular honey.)
½ cup of real maple syrup
1/3  cup of  extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp Kosher salt (can be Himalayan blue salt or sea salt – have fun trying exotic salts.)
1 cup pumpkin seeds or flax seeds or sunflower seeds
1 cup of dried fruit-added after baking – I like equal parts dried cranberries and raisins
Extra: 1 cup of dark chocolate covered Himalayan roasted almonds.
1 tbs cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 egg white – beaten until foamy

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Take a large cookie sheet with raised edges and cover in parchment paper or butter aluminum foil.
Measure oatmeal, Quinoa, flax meal, almonds, peacans, salt and spices in a large bowl. Add honey  and maple syrup, olive oil and egg white. Mix, mix, mix until well incorporated. Spread out on prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 45 minutes- stir at 30 mins to break it up. Keep in mind it won’t be crunchy until it cools,  and sets. If you smell sugar burning take it out-it’s overdone. Cool in pan. Add dried fruit and chocolate covered almonds or chocolate chips.
Store in airtight container. Enjoy with yogurt, milk or baked apples and ice cream.

As an extra bonus, I’d like to introduce you to my friend Allie McMurphy owner of the historic McMurphy hotel and fudgeshop on Mackinac Island, Michigan.  Like me, Allie’s a small business owner working to make the family business grow.  She tells me that most fudge recipes are also gluten free. Below is a sneak peak at the recipes in All Fudged UP- a Candy coated Mystery by my writer Nancy (J Parra)  Coco out Nov 5.

Easy Dark Chocolate Rum Cherry Fudge
1 cup dried red sour cherries
4 oz spiced rum (if you are gluten-free substitute cognac or your favorite gf alcoholic beverage.)
4 cups dark chocolate chips (2 bags)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
4 tablespoons butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts

Soak dried cherries in rum for at least 1 hour – drain just before use.
Butter an 8x8x2 pan. Then line with wax paper or plastic wrap. (I prefer wax paper)
In a double boiler - melt chocolate, sweetened condensed milk and butter until smooth and thick.
Remove from heat. Add vanilla and stir until combined. Add drained cherries and walnuts. Pour into pan. Cool. Tip: let cool outside of the refrigerator for 30 minutes so that no condensation mars the top. Refrigerate overnight. Remove from pan. Cut into pieces. Store in a covered container.

Next month we’ll hear from Allie about what she loves about being a fudge maker. (There may even be a book giveaway.) What do you prefer baking or candy making? 
Cheers, Toni.


  1. I bake lot of cookies, but haven't tried fudge. If I soaked dried cherries in run, I suspect they would never make it into a recipe... But I'd enjoy them, anyway!

  2. I love to bake, but I also like to eat candy, especially chocolate!

  3. I love baking and am intrigued by candy making. I find candy making a bit more complicated-what with that hard crack stage and such-and I can never find the candy thermometer I think I bought. I do make fudge every year at Christmastime though.

  4. Hi all,
    Thanks for the conversation. Willow- dried cherries soaked in rum are yummy- lol
    Katreader, try the easy fudges first - no worries about stages it sort of melt and mix.
    Aurian, so many people do- I took fudge to a picnic and a wonderful Italian woman said she loved the fudge. I told her the recipes would be in "All Fudged Up" - she said she prefers her fudge already made. :)
    Cheers, everyone. Nancy