Nancy J. Parra is the author of the Baker's Treat Mystery Series that are set in a gluten-free bakery in a small Kansas town--yes, in the middle of wheat country. Her latest novel is Gluten for Punishment (Berkley Prime Crime). And coming up: All Fudged UP, a Candy Coated Mystery, Kensington (Nov 2013), Her Hand in Murder, a Perfect Proposal Mystery, Berkley Prime Crime (TBA 2014)
Nancy J Parra:
Gluten for Punishment
Hi, I’m Nancy J Parra and a chocolate lover from way back. Brownies were always my go to chocolate fix until I was diagnosed with gluten sensitivity. I’ve been gluten free for nearly six years now, and at first it was daunting. All my favorite baked goods tasted terrible. I had no idea how to bake homemade. All the blogs said you had to have some strange ratio of a variety of flours and xanthum gum. I went a full year with no baked goods. Horrifying! Then I got brave and taught myself how to bake gluten free using my own recipes. One of my favorite is Chocolate Chip Pumpkin muffins.
When I posted my various experimental recipes on Facebook, a good writer friend suggested I blend my two favorite things-baking and writing cozy mysteries. The Baker’s Treat Mystery series was born. The mysteries are set in a gluten-free bakery in a small Kansas town – yes – gluten-free in the middle of wheat country.
My protagonist Toni Holmes is a divorcee starting over in her small home town – dealing with a large eccentric family, her brilliant Grandma Ruth, and an area of the country where gluten free is considered more than nonsense – it’s a threat to the economic survival. Luckily Toni takes it all in stride until she’s a suspect in the murder of a wheat farmer. Then it takes more than education and tact to get her through the conflicts of her life. Toni learns how to sleuth and discovers that a large nosey family isn’t all bad.
Kip's Favorite Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins
1 ¼ cup gluten-free baking mix (I like Pamela’s Mix.)
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ cup honey
¼ cup water
1 tsp gluten-free vanilla
½ cup canned pumpkin
½ cup gf chocolate chips – I like dark chocolate
½ cup flaked coconut
¼ cup pecans or walnuts chopped.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line muffin tins with paper liners.
Mix first eight ingredients.
Fold in chocolate chips, coconut and pecans.
Use ¼ cup measure cup to measure dough into muffin tins.
Bake 20-25 minutes until muffin tops bounce back with a light touch.
Makes 6-8 muffins