Thursday, May 16, 2013

Nancy J. Parra: Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

Once again my Mystery and Chocolate worlds cross--this time Gluten-free. 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 egg
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


Harbingerdc said...

I just finished reading this and am really looking forward to the next in the series.

I have zero experience with gluten-free baking, although I have made things like pancakes with almond flower and flax.

I was given a box of King Arthur gluten-free mix and will be trying it with this recipe. Do you have an opinion on the King Arthur brand?

Marilyn Levinson said...

Love your title, especially since my husband, who recently died, had Celiac Disease. Your pumpkin muffin recipe sounds yummy.