Showing posts with label dairy free. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dairy free. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Secret to Perfect Oatmeal Pancakes with #DairyFree Version by author Cleo Coyle

We're hunkered down here in New York City, along with millions more of you along the east coast, as the "Snowmaggedon" blizzard blows. How does it look outside your window? 

Here in Queens, the storm's intensity has been on and off, and last evening we had a whiteout rush hour. I snapped the photo below at a busy intersection about a block from our home.

(Photo by Cleo Coyle)

A fun, little FYI...
A local New York television station featured my
news-weather photo above. (An OMG moment.)
To see the video clip, click here and visit my
facebook page (please feel free to friend me).

With a day of snow-shoveling ahead of us, Marc and I are happy to start the morning with a stack of warm, fluffy oatmeal pancakes. As a whole grain, oatmeal brings great nutrition and fiber to this lovely stack of cakes, along with a hearty, slightly nutty, and absolutely delicious flavor. But beware...

Not all oatmeal pancake recipes are created equal, and I've tried enough of them to know. The one below is my own recipe, and it has a few tricks to give you great results (that is, tender and fluffy flapjacks instead of rubbery disks). 

I've also included a dairy-free variation for my friends out there who aren't able to consume dairy products. And I promise you, the dairy-free version is every bit as good as the standard, dairy version.

Now let's get cookin'...

Cleo Coyle has a partner in 
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here or here.

Cleo Coyle’s
Oatmeal Pancakes 

A diner near my home in Queens serves fantastic oatmeal pancakes. While they didn't give me their recipe, they did mention soaking their oats in milk, and (after some experimenting), I knew this was the secret to getting great results. 

True, other recipes out there instruct you to simply mix the batter and cook (or even use a food processor, which will grind the oats and over-work the batter), but I knew what I wanted in an oatmeal pancake, and those recipes didn't produce it for me. 

Since I knew what was possible, given the diner's delicious cakes, I set to work playing with my own version of the recipe until I created something very close. Follow the steps and you should have the same results. I sincerely hope so, then we can with joy!

~ Cleo, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries
Click here for free
recipe PDF.

To download this recipe in a free PDF document that you can print, save, or share, click here

Makes about 6 pancakes 
(4- to 5-inches in diameter)


1/2 cup quick-cooking oats (not instant)
3/4 cup whole or 2% cow's milk
      (*or dairy-free milk) mixed with…
1 teaspoon lemon juice or white vinegar
1 Tablespoon honey (I love using local raw honey)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/8 tsp. table salt)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons vegetable or canola oil (*see dairy-free note below)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons flour (all-purpose white,
               or white whole wheat, or spelt flour)

Directions: Soak the oats in the milk (that you have already mixed with the lemon or vinegar) for about 15 minutes, no longer. You’re watching for the oats to plump up and the mixture to thicken (see my photo below). Whisk in all the other ingredients except the flour. Be sure the mixture is well blended. Now stir in the flour until it is completely incorporated, but do not over-mix. Allow this mixture to sit for 5 minutes. It will thicken up into a nice batter. Grease a non-stick pan or griddle with butter, oil, or coat with non-stick spray. Ladle on the batter, forming cakes of 4 to 5 inches in diameter. See cooking tip below.

*Dairy-free variation: Replace cow’s milk with almond milk (or another nut milk) or soy milk and because these milks are lower in fat than cow’s milk, increase the vegetable oil by 1 teaspoon.

After 15 minutes, the oats will plump up and
the mixture will thicken. Don't skip this step
because it's one secret to getting great results.

Local, raw honey is delicious in this batter.
You can also substitute white or brown sugar
in the same amount.

After the flour goes in, allow the batter
to sit for just five more minutes before cooking,
another secret to getting the best results.

Cooking tip: Oatmeal pancake batter cooks a little differently than standard pancake batter. Watch for the edges to appear cooked and crinkles to form across the cake surface with a few bubbles (you will not see as many bubbles as you would in a standard pancake). When you flip the cake should be golden brown. Cook until golden brown on the other side and serve warm.
Click here for free
recipe PDF, and...

Stay cozy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Friend me on facebook here. * Follow me on twitter here
Learn about my books here

* * *

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~ Dollycas

Dead to the Last Drop 
is a culinary mystery with 
more than 25 delicious recipes!

See the free illustrated 
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* * * 

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes for our Hero Cat Punkin from author Cleo Coyle

It's True. These cupcakes actually taste like a slice of pumpkin pie. They also make a relatively healthy dessert for the fall holidays. They’re low in fat and packed with nutritious, fiber-rich pumpkin. My version of the recipe is also dairy free, and I'm happy to share the details. But first...

Because we're celebrating our love of cats this week on the blog, I'm dedicating this post to my hero cat Punkin. His rescue story is one my husband and I will never forget...

Brave Little Kitten

One stormy October night, three kittens huddled together in a flimsy cardboard box. Their mother had been gone far too long and they were hungry, cold, and scared.

The oldest of the three brothers, a little pumpkin-colored tabby, took it upon himself to leave their hiding place, where their mother had stashed them. He squeezed through the edge of a fence and onto our porch.

When we heard Punkin's desperate mewing for his missing mother and saw his bedraggled little form shivering on our back yard patio, we hurried outside. But Punkin didn't know us, and he disappeared through the fence, racing back to his brothers. 

I grabbed a flashlight, leaped over the neighbor's fence, and quickly located Punkin and his littermates. One by one, I handed each of the quivering fur-bundles to Marc. One of the kittens (the cream-colored one) chomped down on Marc's thumb so hard he had to grit his teeth to keep from crying out, but he never let go. Marc got all three kittens inside our warm home. 

Happily, Punkin and his two brothers (Nougat and Spunky) were saved, and when their mother finally returned, we were able to reunite her with her kittens.

Punkin and his family are now beloved in our house, but we never would have rescued their shivering forms that night if that little ball of orange fur hadn't been brave enough to search for help.

Punkin (as a brave little kitten)
and his mother, Chicklet.

Punkin and his mom today, enjoying some
time together on our small sun porch.

No surprise, Punkin still acts like the "big brother" cat, looking out for his mom and littermates as well as our other New York rescue cats, who are now part of his colony. 

If anyone in the colony makes so much as a meep, let alone a meow, Punkin is first on the scene to investigate. For our readers, he's the feline equivalent of Detective Mike Quinn. Needless to say, Marc and I feel much safer knowing that a cat like Punkin is on Watch at our house. And so...

In honor of Punkin, I give you...

Cleo Coyle has a partner in 
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here or here.

Cleo Coyle's
Pumpkin Pie

While our hero cat Punkin inspired this post, I have to give a hearty shout-out to Nancy Phillips, who is our hero, too.

I've mentioned Nancy before on the blog. She's a breast cancer survivor, a loving wife, and dedicated mother of two wonderful children. She's also a great supporter of mystery authors, and we love her dearly.

A few months ago, Nancy e-mailed me a Pinterest photo of Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes making the rounds on the Net. (I'm not sure of the original source, but it's been duplicated many times.) Nancy sighed, wishing she could bake and eat them, but the recipe used evaporated milk, and Nancy is allergic to dairy (specifically casein). Most recipes for this style of cupcake use either evaporated milk or sweetened condensed milk.

Inspired by Nancy's predicament, I experimented with the recipe she sent me, coming up with a diary-free version. I think I nailed it. Marc flipped for these (and so did I). Frankly, it was hard to stop eating them!

This recipe will give you a cupcake with good structure, so it will look pretty when served on a dessert tray. Yet when you bite into it, you'll be tasting pumpkin-and-brown-sugar goodness with a texture that will make you think you're eating a slice of pumpkin pie.

If you're not allergic to dairy, try topping it with my Pumpkin Spiced Whipped Cream. If you are, then you must try Nancy's favorite dairy-free topping--Whipped Coconut Milk. Either way, Marc and I certainly hope you will eat with pumpkin spice joy!

~ Cleo

To download this recipe in a PDF document that you can print, save, or share, click here

Click here for the recipe.

Makes 11 Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

1/2 cup dark (or light) brown sugar, packed*

1/3 cup granulated white sugar

3 large eggs, lightly beaten with fork

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup almond milk (or another nut milk)*

2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/4 teaspoon table salt)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup all-purpose flour 

(*Notes: Almond milk will keep this recipe dairy free. It also brings nice flavor to the cupcakes. If you don't wish to create a diary-free recipe, simply substitute cow's milk in an equal amount. On the brown sugar, I prefer dark brown for the complexity of flavor. If you'd like a lighter-colored cupcake, then use light brown sugar.)


Step 1 - Make batter: First preheat your oven to 350° F. Into a large mixing bowl, combine pumpkin puree, sugars, eggs, vanilla, almond milk, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Whisk until blended. Whisk in the baking powder and baking soda. Finally, whisk in the flour and mix until completely incorporated, but do not over-mix. Batter should be smooth but loose. 

To fill the cupcake pans, you will be pouring the batter, which is why I suggest transferring the batter to a container with a spout. (I like to use a large, glass measuring cup.)

Step 2 - Bake: Line 11 of the cups in your pan(s) with good-quality paper liners and coat the papers very generously with non-stick spray. You must do this to keep the baked cupcakes from sticking to the papers (or you can use silicone molds).

Divide the batter evenly among 11 cups in your pans. Batter should nearly fill each cup. One cup will not be used. Fill that cup halfway with water to prevent scorching in the oven. 

Bake at 350° F for about 30 minutes. Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes are done when the batter is set. The baked top will feel slightly spongy yet firm (not liquid) when lightly touched. 

Step 3 - Chill: Remove the pan from the oven, allow it to cool, and then chill it in the refrigerator for an hour or two. If you’re in a hurry, let the pan cool down enough to be handled (about 10 to 15 minutes) and pop it in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes. 
At that point, they should be chilled enough to serve topped with my Pumpkin Spice Whipped Cream (if you're able to eat dairy) or (for a dairy-free option) Whipped Coconut Cream. See both recipe below...

To download this
recipe PDF,
click here.

How to Make 

Dairy-Free Whipped 

Coconut Cream

To read the entire recipe
post, click here.

To download the
recipe in a keeper
PDF document,
click here.

Cleo's Pumpkin Spiced Whipped Cream


1 cup very cold heavy (whipping) cream
3 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Directions: For best results, chill your bowl and mixer's beaters in your refrigerator or freezer before starting. Place the cold heavy cream into the chilled bowl. Add the sugar and spice and mix on low just enough to blend it into the cream. Now beat on high until stiff peaks form. Do not over-beat or the whipped cream will begin to break down. If not serving immediately, you can store the Pumpkin Spice Whipped Cream in a covered plastic container for 3 or so days in your refrigerator. If the cream becomes loose or deflates after a day or two, simply re-whip it using a pre-chilled bowl and beaters. This will easily restore it to a beautifully whipped state.

*Sugar note: You can substitute powdered sugar for the granulated white sugar; simply increase the amount to 4 tablespoons.

Click here to downnload
this recipe in PDF form, and...


Punkin Season!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

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