My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!

 

 


For the latest details be sure to check my book page!  

                               

Baked Doughnuts For Everyone: From Sweet to Savory to Everything in Between, 101 Delicious Recipes, All Gluten-Free

 

Thursday
Jul242014

Simple Lemon Cornbread Cookies {vegan + gf}

Oh, hi. Welcome to one of my proudest cookie moments ever.

Simple Lemon Cornbread Cookies {1-bowl, vegan + gf} | edibleperspective.com

LEMON

Cornbread!

Vegan

Gluten-free

Only TWO flours!

ONE bowl!

AHHHHH.

Trying to contain the excitement.

Simple Lemon Cornbread Cookies {1-bowl, vegan + gf} | edibleperspective.com

These babies took 5 tries to perfect but I could not be happier with the end result! If you are not aware of my cornbread obsession I have a major one. Everything cornbread all of thee time. Cornbread waffles are my current favorite. BUT! I’ve never attempted a cornbread cookie or really even knew if such a thing existed. Until of course I checked the old interwebs and a slew of recipes popped up. Well, there you go. Cornbread cookies are a thing.

While the search results gave me the confidence these could work I had no idea where to start with making them gluten-free and edible. Gluten-free cookies are an intimidating thing! I referred back to my recent recipe for 1-Bowl Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. They happen to not only be gluten-free but also vegan and also really freaking tasty. You should go make them right now and then come back and make these!

I used this recipe as a guide[ish]. The flours needed to be swapped along with the peanut butter, maple syrup, chocolate chips, etc. I ended up switching the peanut butter to almond butter, used agave instead of maple syrup, nixed the baking soda, and used only two flours. Pretty excited about the only two flour thing. So I pretty much changed the entire thing.

Simple Lemon Cornbread Cookies {1-bowl, vegan + gf} | edibleperspective.com

The first batch was decent but too gritty from the cornmeal. I switched a few things and tried a few more times, mostly changing the flour ratios each time. Instead of using cornmeal and corn flour I switched to just corn flour mixed with almond flour, which resulted in a much softer texture.

Simple Lemon Cornbread Cookies {1-bowl, vegan + gf} | edibleperspective.com

So what exactly is the texture like? These are not a fluffy, cakey cookie and they do not crumble at all in your hand. They’re nice and thick but also tender all the way through. If you bake them on the longer side you’ll achieve a slightly crispy bottom and edge.

The best way to describe the texture is like a chewy and thick sugar cookie.

All of this to say…

Make these cookies. Today!

Simple Lemon Cornbread Cookies {1-bowl, vegan + gf} | edibleperspective.com

Print this!

loosely adapted from my 1-Bowl Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Simple Lemon Cornbread Cookies gluten-free, vegan // yields appx. 18 cookies

  • 1 tablespoon ground flax meal
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1/4 cup natural plain almond butter, the drippy kind – stirred well
  • 3 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil, very soft but not fully melted
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons agave syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon lemon zest, loosely packed
  • 2/3 cup corn flour
  • 2/3 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • muscovado sugar for dusting, or other sugar

In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flax and water for about 15 seconds. Set aside for 5-10 minutes until gelatinous. Preheat your oven to 350* F.

To the same bowl add in the almond butter, coconut oil, agave, and vanilla. Whisk thoroughly. Whisk in the lemon zest then add the corn flour, almond flour, baking powder and salt. Mix together with a large spoon until the ingredients are combined and starting to form dough. Knead about 10 times in the bowl to incorporate the remaining flour and to achieve a smooth and soft ball of dough.

Roll the dough into about 1-inch sized balls and place on a large baking sheet [you can line with parchment if desired] with 2-3 inches between each ball. Tear a small piece of parchment or wax paper and place it over one cookie. Gently flatten with a flat-bottomed glass to 1/4-inch thickness. This should make the cookie about 2 1/2 inches wide. Repeat with all cookies then dust with sugar.

Bake for 8-12 minutes [mine were perfect at 10 minutes]. Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes then remove with a metal spatula and place on a cooling rack. Let fully cool [texture + flavor improves once fully cooled]. Store in an airtight container on the counter for about 4-5 days.

-----

Notes: The dough will be soft and a bit oily feeling but should be able to roll into small balls easily and hold their shape. If the dough is too wet add 1 tablespoon each of corn flour and almond flour and knead again. You can also wrap + refrigerate the dough for 20-30 minutes to stiffen up a bit, but it’s not mandatory.

Simple Lemon Cornbread Cookies {1-bowl, vegan + gf} | edibleperspective.com

Funny thing. I started experimenting with the gluten-free/vegan version but wanted to see if using eggs made them even better. Guess what? The exact opposite happened! The gluten-free/vegan version turned out so much tastier with a simple ingredient list and uncomplicated method. Hence, one of my proudest cookie moments ever.

Ashley

Tuesday
Jul222014

Food Photography Tip of the Week |18|

Food Photography Tip of the Week |18|

How to diminish noise in your photo with Lightroom.

I’m sure at one point or another you’ve had to crank your ISO higher than you’d like when shooting in a low light condition. Maybe this has happens to you in the winter months when it seems like daylight is gone in the blink of an eye. It’s also completely possible that you accidentally set your ISO to a high setting without realizing it. Or, maybe you’re trying to capture a pour shot and to get your shutter speed fast enough with a properly exposed photo it’s necessary to crank your ISO.

Whatever the case may be you’ve ended up with an image that has more noise in it than you’d like.

Now what?

Well, there’s a nifty section in Lightroom where you can edit the level of noise to make it softer and less visible while still keeping the detail in your photo. It takes a little trial and error adjusting the settings but it’s really pretty dang simple!

*I’m currently using LR4 but I know the following settings are available in [at least] LR 3 + 5 as well and possibly earlier versions.

Food Photography Tip of the Week 18 - Diminish noise in your photos with Lightroom | edibleperspective.com

This is an image I took yesterday for a recipe I was making for my job with Craftsy. It’s completely unedited above and below. The photo below is simply a zoomed in version of exactly what you see above.

I purposely took this image with an ISO setting of 3200. Now, at the size you’re viewing on the blog the noise is not blatantly obvious, but you can still see it a bit. The graininess you see is noise from having the ISO set so high.

Food Photography Tip of the Week 18 - Diminish noise in your photos with Lightroom | edibleperspective.com

Food Photography Tip of the Week 18 - Diminish noise in your photos with Lightroom | edibleperspective.com

Above and below are the edited versions of the same photo. These are the typical edits I make to most photos, which you can read more about here. This does not include any edits to help diminish the noise.

The photo looks okay but there is a definite roughness to it due to the ISO setting being at 3200.

Food Photography Tip of the Week 18 - Diminish noise in your photos with Lightroom | edibleperspective.com

How to Diminish Noise in Lightroom

1 // Scroll down to the “Detail” while in edit mode.

2 // Click the square I’ve circled in yellow and choose the point you focused on in the photo. This is what will show up in that little viewing screen you see in the right panel. Doing this gives you an ultra zoomed in look at what you’re editing, which will show exactly what you’re changing in the photo. You’ll be working with the tools under “sharpening” and “noise reduction.” You can really click any point in the photo where you want to see in great detail how your adjustments are affecting the look.

Food Photography Tip of the Week 18 - Diminish noise in your photos with Lightroom | edibleperspective.com

Here are what the sliders actually do:

Sharpening:

Amount: The amount of fine detail sharpening you’re applying to your image.

Radius: This adds a softer [smaller radius] or harsher [larger radius] feel to the pixels. The larger the radius the edgier the detail will look.

Detail: This brings out more of the texture in your photo and also helps to sharpen and show more detail.

Masking: The higher you set the masking the less of the photo will be sharpened. It chooses the most prominent edges to sharpen and then as you slide it to the right [increasing the number] it lessens the sharpening on less prominent edges of the photo. So, as you slide to the right the image appears smoother.

Noise Reduction:

Luminance: Adjusts the smoothness of the luminance in the photo. I typically keep this at 35 or below, or the image can start to look overly smooth.

Detail: Detail in the image you want to see. The higher you slide the more detail will be apparent, however, too high and it will start to look fake. I never use this setting and always leave it at “50” which is what it starts at.

Contrast: This gives more detail to the contrast in shadows. The higher you slide it the more contrast will appear in the shadows but this will also increase the noise. I typically leave this at 0.

*I never really use the last two sliders for “color” and “detail.” It may be more useful in people photos when skin colors get tricky to edit.

Food Photography Tip of the Week 18 - Diminish noise in your photos with Lightroom | edibleperspective.com

3 // To smooth the image and decrease the level of noise you’ll be using “masking” and “luminance.” If you were to increase those both to 100 this is what the result would be. The image looks way too smooth and more like Play-Doh than real food. So, let’s work on these adjustments gradually.

Food Photography Tip of the Week 18 - Diminish noise in your photos with Lightroom | edibleperspective.com

The photos above and below are with the masking + luminance at 100 which looks too smooth.

Food Photography Tip of the Week 18 - Diminish noise in your photos with Lightroom | edibleperspective.com

4 // Let’s start by sliding the amount and detail sliders under “Sharpening.” The higher you slide these the more detail you’ll see but it will also make the noise more pronounced. Start gradually.

5 // Next, you want to reduce the noise by smoothening the photo a bit with the radius, masking, and luminance. I rarely change the radius but adjusted it slightly to the right in this photo. I set the masking and luminance to 30 which is typically around the highest I’ll go. It helps diminish the noise just enough to give a smoother feel without feeling fake and still showing enough detail.

6 // Go back and make slight adjustments to amount and detail if you want more or less.

7 // Export your image and you’re all done!

Food Photography Tip of the Week 18 - Diminish noise in your photos with Lightroom | edibleperspective.com

Food Photography Tip of the Week 18 - Diminish noise in your photos with Lightroom | edibleperspective.com

Here is the final edited image with the noise reduction tools as set above. Below is the zoomed in version.

Food Photography Tip of the Week 18 - Diminish noise in your photos with Lightroom | edibleperspective.com

Below is the “before” image after adding only the standard editing.

Food Photography Tip of the Week 18 - Diminish noise in your photos with Lightroom | edibleperspective.com

Below is the “after” image with the noise reduction edits added. Compare the corners and even the tops of the cookie. You can see the image below has a softer feel to it and the out of focus areas aren’t quite as noisy and harsh.

Food Photography Tip of the Week 18 - Diminish noise in your photos with Lightroom | edibleperspective.com

That’s a wrap! Now you know what to do to diminish noise in your photo using Lightroom!

I would love to hear any questions you have for future Food Photography Tip of the Week posts! They can be related to styling, props, editing, camera settings, etc.

Ashley