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Monday, March 18, 2013

Astoria Mills gluten free mixes...

Morning all. Several months back I had received all seven of Astoria Mills unique Baking Mixes from Trina Astor-Stewart the owner of the company. With all the moving around in my kitchen this past year they somehow got pushed to the back of the cupboard and sadly forgotten :(  I am so glad I decided to do some rearranging last night out of boredom, as nothing good was on the TV,  and I found them hidden in the back.

This is one company's products that I was very anxious to try as their selection of mixes can make everything from cakes, cookies, breads, pierogies and pasta, to pancakes, and everything in between. Downsizing in the home has its advantages, but not in this case. It was my family that was missing out on this treat.

Trina and her husband started the company out of need, as many companies do. Her husband was diagnosed with Celiac disease, and the need to eat gluten free became a necessity. Later Trina herself was diagnosed with the disease.

Trina was raised on good Southern cooking so it was important to her that in converting to a gluten free lifestyle, that not only did taste have to be the number #1 priority, but that it was equally important that  her mixes needed to perform well. They also had to have  good nutritional value, something many other gluten free mixes on the market are missing.

Today I will be posting a few of my favorites recipes using Astoria Mills Mix #3 which is their Fine Flour mix. I will be using a brownie recipe from my collection I have accumulated over the years, and a basic homemade recipe for pancakes I found in one of my cookbooks, both using mix #3 as the flour in these recipes. Trina has many other recipes posted on her blog, as well as video's to explain using the various mixes, but today we will focus on Mix #3 using my own personal recipes. You can also find a e-book on her site with hundreds of recipes using the Astoria mixes which she has personally tested.

The mix we will be using for these recipes is  free from gluten, wheat, milk, lactose, casein, soy, bean/pea, sesame, tree nut, peanut, and sulphites. (It is processed in a facility which also processed soy). I wasn't sure if this was the mix I was suppose to to use for my brownies, but since the package says this particular mix can be used to make Tortes, Fine cakes, Crepes, Crackers, breads, biscuits, fresh pasta, pierogies, and phyllo dough, I decided to give it a try.

I know it seems like I am always posting brownie recipes on the site, but please bear with me...Brownies are a all time favorite in this house, and it is one of the easiest desserts to make in a hurry. Pancakes are easy to make and quite filling and I needed breakfast FAST!. If you have the dry ingredients pre mixed and on hand they are also quick! They are great for those lazy weekends when most everyone is home.

So with this said, I will post both recipes for your enjoyment. I must say that these brownies are the first to actually get that thin crispy top like those of wheat laden brownies. The texture was light and moist with just a hint of fluffiness. Delish!!!

The pancakes rose to perfection and were moist and filling. Mix #3 met all my expectations and then some. I will definitely keep this mix on hand for these two particular recipes in the future. My only regret is that I didn't try this mix sooner!

Have a great day....and make it wheat free!

 Pancake recipe:

1 cup Astoria Mills mix #3
1 T granulated sugar
3 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon Xanthan gum
1 - 1 1/4 cups milk (mix to your liking to make pourable)
2 T vegetable oil
1 large egg

Mix all dry ingredients together thoroughly. Add liquid ingredients and mix until batter is smooth. Drop by 1/4 cup measurements on a pre heated, well oiled griddle or skillet. Turn when bubbles start to form on outside edge. Cook until done.


3/4 C Astoria mills mix #3
3/4 teaspoon Xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine (I used margarine)
2 T water
1 package 12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9 inch square baking dish.
In a small bowl mix together the flour, xanthan gum, and baking soda.

In a small pan combine the sugar, butter, and water. Bring just to a boil over medium heat, remove immediately.

Stir in just 1 cup of the chocolate chips and the vanilla extract, stirring until the chocolate chips are melted, and mixture is smooth.

Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and cool until just barely warm. Stir the eggs into this mixture one at a time, beating well with a pastry whisk. Gradually stir in the flour mixture and blend until the mixture is smooth, and there are no lumps.

Stir remaining chocolate chips and nuts into the batter and pour into the prepared pan.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Place pan on a cooling rack to  cool completely, then cut into squares.

* Note: I used a glass 9x9 pan and baked the full 35 minutes.

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