Creative Cooking: Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

“Can we make something chocolate?”

My few weeks have been beyond crazy.  On top of our usual busyness of school, work, and activities, we’ve continued to deal with my oldest’s recovery from being hit by a car, we’ve grieved the death of a friend’s daughter, we’ve agonized over a loved one being in the hospital in an induced coma, and we added rehearsals for my son to be in “It’s A Wonderful Life” and auditions for a play I’m directing.

So, it’s now just a few days before Thanksgiving, and I’m finally turning my attention to the menu for that day and returning to this blog which I have ignored for these past three weeks. When I asked my children what we should have my middle child responded with the question:  “Can we make something chocolate?”

Now, two of my three children are well-rounded dessert lovers. When presented with choices, they may choose a slice of apple pie or a piece of zucchini cake or a ginger cookie or a slice of pumpkin cheesecake. My middle child, however, when given options to choose from, will opt for the chocolate cream pie or the chocolate fudge cake or the double chocolate cookie or the chocolate cheesecake.

So, I wasn’t surprised when she asked if we could make something chocolatey. She always does, and I always suggest that we stick to the traditional pies for Thanksgiving and make something chocolate for another time. I surprised myself yesterday, though, by actually contemplating the idea of making chocolate cupcakes.

Why? Three reasons: One, I just had a really, really long week and the thought of something comforting like chocolate cupcakes was enticing; two, with the death of my friend’s daughter at such a young age (20’s) and my own daughter being alive after being hit by a car, I’m realizing that life’s too short to NOT have chocolate, no matter the season; and three, we just watched my son’s performance in “It’s A Wonderful Life” where I was reminded that it’s all really about family and friends and time together and not the menu.

So, if you need assistance in revamping your holiday menu to fit allergy or health needs, please read my posts from last year (Nov and Dec 2013) where you’ll learn all sorts of lessons for how to do so; but for this Thanksgiving, I’m offering a creative addition to the Thanksgiving menu:  Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes which are gluten, dairy, nut, soy, peanut, and egg free. Enjoy and have a most Happy Thanksgiving!

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

Ingredients:

3 1/2 cups gluten free flour (I used Authentic Foods Multi-Blend)

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp baking soda

1 cup Enjoy Life allergen free mini chocolate chips

1/2 cup Hershey’s dark unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup oil (I used safflower)

1 cup Agave

2 tsp vanilla

2 cups water

2 tbsp vinegar (I used raspberry but apple cider or white will do)

Polaner’s Raspberry All-Fruit

Baking Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 24 muffin cups with cupcake liners.

2. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda and cocoa powder. Add the chocolate chips and set aside.

3. Whisk together the oil, agave, vanilla, and water.

4. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet, adding the vinegar.

5. Divide half of the batter evenly among the muffin cups. I usually put about 1 1/2 tbsp of batter into each.

6. Carefully put one teaspoon of raspberry all fruit into the center of the batter.

7. Evenly distribute the remaining batter among the muffin tins, carefully putting the batter over the raspberry all fruit.  Again, this is usually about another 1 1/2 tbsp.

8. Bake the cupcakes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 15 to 20 minutes.

9. Cool in the muffin tins on a wire rack for about five minutes before removing them from the tins and completely cooling them on a wire rack.

10. For a festive touch, put the cupcake into a bowl with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or nondairy frozen dessert next to it with a raspberry and mint leaf on top.

 

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