Thursday, December 17, 2015

#AFTH2015 w/ Erin Knightley-- yummy desserts! (and gluten free!)

Erin Knightley is hijacking yall today. Woots! She's one of my local ladies and part of my book club and all kinds of fabulous. Her romances are on the sweeter side of things and just lovely.

Yall give her a warm welcome and hit those comments! ~anna

Season’s Greetings, y’all! Thanks so much for letting me join in the fun here on the blog, Anna :)

If you know anything about me, you probably know that I am an avid baker. And baked-goods eater. Basically I adore anything featuring sugar, chocolate, eggs, butter, sugar, butter, chocolate…

Ahem :)

So, imagine my horror when I recently discovered that the source of my years-long stomach issues was a wheat intolerance. WHEAT! The building block of all things yummy!

Actually, at first I was stoked because, well, I had forgotten what feeling good even felt like these past few years, and when I ix-nayed the eat-whay, I felt like a million bucks! I even lost 15 pounds without even trying, which was amazing.

But then…reality set in. No more cake. No more muffins. No more cupcakes, cookies and brownies. No banana walnut chocolate chip banana bread or lemon poppy-seed scones. My baking came to a screeching halt, my oven went cold and my cupcake holders were retired. I hardly even knew myself anymore.

For months, I moped, avoiding the baked good aisle and eschewing the Food Network, sure I would never be satisfied again. I did try some of the flour substitutes, but I quickly discovered that the more flour a recipe called for, the less I liked it. Most of the time, the baked good didn’t hold together well, or the texture was just plain weird.

But then. But THEN! I stumbled across a recipe on Facebook that looked entirely too good to be true. I quickly clicked on the link, scanned the ingredients, and crowed with delight. I could do this!

So what were they? Chocolate chip peanut butter bars. Bam! They called for only a very little amount of flour (I used Pilsbury’s gluten-free blend, but I’d love to try coconut flour next), and they were so easy as to be downright simple!

I made them right then and there. The verdict? Super rich, a little gooey, but oooooh so delicious. My baking mojo had been rediscovered! I took the treats to bible study that night, and every last one was devoured. The original recipe is HERE, but below is my slightly altered version that worked for me. Give em a whirl – I bet you’ll love them!
¼ cup applesauce
1 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup wheat-free flour (I used Pillsbury gluten-free flour blend)
½ cup chocolate chips
another ¼ (or more!) chocolate chips to sprinkle on top
  • PREHEAT oven to 350F. Spray 8 inch baking pan with cooking spray. 
  • WARM peanut butter until spreadable, stir in applesauce and vanilla.
  • IN separate bowl, mix baking soda, salt, sugar, and flour. 
  • SLOWLY mix the dry ingredients into the wet, stirring thoroughly. If the dough is too dry to mix, you can add up to a tablespoon of milk, but use sparingly.
  • ADD chocolate chips, stir to incorporate
  • SMOOTH into the pan and sprinkle chocolate chips on top, pressing them with the back of the spatula to push them into the batter.
  • BAKE for 12-14 minutes. It will still be a little gooey on the inside, so allow them to cool undisturbed for 20 minutes.
  • POUR a large glass of milk and enjoy!
I hope you enjoy these little treats as much as I have. They are SUPER peanut buttery and as rich as they come, so don’t skimp on that glass of milk :P BTW, I have another gluten free recipe that is actually straight from the 18th century(!) that I had my baker heroine and her earl make in A TASTE FOR SCANDAL. I made a tongue-in-cheek silly video of me making it back when that book came out, and you can watch it here... (Anna here real quick--Yall this is one of my all time favorite reads, okay, back to Erin...)

Thanks so much for joining me today! I wish you a Merry Christmas and the happiest of holidays this season. Oh – and keep your eyes peeled! My next book, THE VISCOUNT RISKS IT ALL, comes out January 5. This is the last in the Prelude to a Kiss series set in Bath, which I have absolutely loved writing. In fact…how about a giveaway? One copy free to good home (US only – those international shipping costs are killer!). For a chance to win…tell me the hardest thing you’ve ever had to give up, OR the thing you wish you could give up, but it’s just too damn good ;)

Good luck!

A second chance at his first love? She might as well throw in the towel now <wink>

historical romance
Gavin Stark, Viscount Derington, learned his lesson when his childhood love was swept off her feet by another man before Dering could declare himself. Ever since, he has lived a life of no regrets—reaching for what he wants while never again allowing himself to lose his heart. If the experience taught him anything, it was never to risk what he wasn’t willing to lose.

Lady Felicity Danby had everything she ever wanted in life until the moment her husband died, turning her world upside down. A year and a half later, she is finally ready to return to Bath to spend the summer visiting family. She finds comfort in her old childhood friend, but is taken off guard when passion begins to simmer between them. She’s already lost everything once—can she possibly risk her heart a second time?

Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads

Despite being an avid reader and closet writer her whole life, Erin Knightley decided to pursue a sensible career in science.  It was only after earning her B.S. and working in the field for years that she realized doing the sensible thing wasn't any fun at all.  Following her dreams, Erin left her practical side behind and now spends her days writing. An award winning and USA Today Bestselling author, she is living her own Happily Ever After in North Carolina with her tall, dark, and handsome husband and their three spoiled mutts.

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There's an event-wide giveaway going! TONS of books and goodies!
Don't forget to enter ---> HERE!

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