Sunday, April 21, 2013

Gluten Free Banana Oat Coconut Muffins

I forgot just how easy it is to make muffins. And how rewarding! Not only do you get warm fluffy treats... your house smells comforting and delicious!  Making muffins is basically as easy as mixing the dry with the wet ingredients, filling up some cupcake pans, and throwing them into an oven for 15 or so minutes... then poof!  It's off to muffin munchin land!

There's so many muffin making possibilities that it's hard to imagine running out of tasty combinations to experiment with.  For example, take a base flavor like banana.  I've had many variations of banana walnut muffins, but there are many more flavor combinations available to play with.  These banana muffins include gluten free oats and coconut chips, a little ground cloves and nutmeg, and a topping of sprinkled pecan pieces.  You could leave out the coconut, add chocolate chips or something else, maybe mango chunks... whatever sounds good to you, I say go for it. With muffins, the worst case scenario is rarely less than yum.

Makes 12 regular size muffins

Total Prep Time: Less than 1 hour

  • cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 cups GF Flour (I use Bobs Red Mill GF All Purpose Baking Flour)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 over-ripe bananas (smashed)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola/vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs (room temp)
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cups gluten free oats (I use Bobs Red Mill GF Certified Oats)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • Pecan pieces for topping

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (175 degrees C.).  Spray muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground nutmeg & cloves in a large bowl.
  3. Mix the bananas, white and brown sugar, oats, coconut flakes, canola oil and eggs together in a separate large bowl.
  4. Fold the banana mixture into flour mixture until just incorporated. 
  5. Scoop batter into prepared muffin pan.
  6. Top the mixture in the muffin pan with a coating of pecan pieces. 
  7. Bake until muffins spring back a little when you tap them on the top with a spoon (about 14-16 minutes).
  8. Let cool for a little while and then ENJOY!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Gluten Free SemiSweet Fruity Chocolates

Here's another candy making experiment of mine.  My first try at being a Chocolateur used white chocolate, mixed nuts and a handful of cranberries.  This one steers clear of nuts and focuses on being nice-n-fruity. All you need is a bag of semisweet chocolate chips and around 2 cups of chopped dried berries.  I used a combination of dried strawberries, blueberries, cherries and cranberries. 

These chocolates were much more popular than the white chocolate candies I made. I could tell how good they were by the way people tried to hoard them, or how they would force themselves to eat only a few a day in order to savor them:).  Regarding proportions... use about 1/2 cup more chocolate chips than fruity bits, and you can't go wrong.

  • 1 bag of semisweet chocolate chips (about 2-2/12 cups)
  • 2 cups of mixed dried berries
  • Cocoa powder (for dusting)
  • Non-stick baking sheet or wax-paper

  1. Chop your dried berries up as fine as you're able.  These chocolates work best if filled with lots of tiny fruity bits, and not large chewy chunks.
  2. Melt and stir your semisweet chocolate chips in a double boiler, or in 30-second microwave bursts, until  nice and creamy.
  3. Add the chopped berries and stir until completely incorporated.
  4. Let cool until the consistency of thick molasses. 
  5. Spread some wax-paper out, or use a non-stick baking sheet, and spoon small globs of fruity-chocolate about 1-inch apart.  
  6. Let the chocolate cool for a while before dusting your chocolates off with cocoa powder.
  7. Once completely cool, dig in and smile big:)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Gluten Free Nutty White Chocolate Cranberry Candies

I've never made chocolate candies before, so you'll have to forgive me for how chunky these are. These were a mouthful to say the least! Next time I make them I'm going to chop up the nuts real nice before mixing them with the melted chocolate.  You can be all professional and use a double boiler to melt the chocolate, or... you can simply use a microwave to quickly and easily melt the chocolate.  All you have to do is put your chocolate chips in a glass bowl (or any other microwave-safe bowl), and heat for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each round, until the chocolate is melted and creamy.  I'll probably work with a double boiler in the future, even if only to see if there is any difference at all in taste and texture of the chocolate I'm working with.  But for now, as a novice chocolateur, I'm going to keep my sweet experiments as easy to execute as possible:)

  • White Chocolate Chips (2 bags)
  • Dried Cranberries (about 1 cup)
  • Mixed Nuts (1 to 1 1/2 cups) - chopping them up would be good:)

  1. Chop up your mixed nuts, stir in the dried cranberries and set aside.
  2. Use a double-boiler to melt your chocolate, or... place your white chocolate chips in a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Remove and stir. Return to microwave for another 30 seconds. Remove and stir.  By your 3rd round of 30-second nuking and stirring, your chocolate should be ready.
  3. Mix your nuts and dried cranberries into the melted chocolate.
  4. Let sit for a couple minutes and then use a spoon or a small 1/2 inch ice cream scooper to form small mounds of chocolate goodness on a non-stick surface (I used cupcake papers).
  5. Allow candy to cool for 1/2 an hour.
  6. Devour and share!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Nutella Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies

This recipe is a modification of my aunt Vicki's no-bake PB Oatmeal cookies. Here's the link to that: PB No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies.  Instead of peanut butter, I decided to use Nutella, added a bit of instant coffee crystals, topped them with white chocolate chips, and viola! Awesomeness!

Here's a link to the Nutella Q&A webpage that states Nutella is GF:  NUTELLA Q & A

Now, I've got to be honest.  Unless you keep these in the fridge overnight, these cookies will not become even close to being solid.  However, they're still ridiculously good, kinda like truffles, and chocolatey fingers and smiles never hurt anyone.  This recipe is still a work in progress, so if you want to ensure that you'll have solid cookies, add half peanut butter and half Nutella, or add 1/2 cup ground almonds to the mix.  And you could always throw them in the freezer for a chocolatey cold summer treat:)

However you make these is irrelevant to how much you're going to love them!


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp instant coffee
  • 3 tblsp cocoa 
  • 3 cups certified GF oatmeal 
  • 1/2 cup Nutella (or 1/4 cup Nutella / 1/4 cup peanut butter)
  • white chocolate chips for adornment 

  1. Put all the ingredients, except for the Nutella and Oatmeal in a saucepan.
  2. Heat over Medium-Low heat, stirring frequently until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
  3. Add the Nutella (or Nutella/peanut butter combo) and stir around until mixed.
  4. Remove from heat and add the oatmeal, mix well and let sit for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Using a one-inch ice cream scooper (or spoon), drop cookies onto a non-stick cookie sheet or on wax paper.
  6. Place cookies in refrigerator (or freezer) until cooled.
  7. Devour and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Gluten Free Fruitcake

A few days ago we received a x-mas package from my gramps, my mom and Viola.  Inside it, among other goodies, were 6 carefully wrapped mini-bundt fruitcakes.  On the outside was written "Gluten Free!."  Now normally, receiving a fruitcake in the mail might put a half-disgusted smile on my face, complete with a furrowed brow... but knowing well that my mom and Viola are amazing cooks, I knew I was in for a treat!  I wasn't wrong.  For the last two days I've been unable to control myself. I keep sneaking into the kitchen to cut off another slice. I've even pulled out the spoon and began eating the crumbs like cereal late at night.

Not only are these fruitcakes delicious, they're loaded with enough rum to warm the belly of even the coldest snowperson!  Or yetti. Or Abomidable Snow Beast. Or whom or what-ever arrives at your doorstep seeking shelter from the storm.  And a key component of what makes these fruitcakes awesome, is the missing ingredient.  You will not find one green fruit thing chunk in these cakes! One of the reasons I've avoided holiday fruit cake was the artificial taste of those green chunks.  Whatever they are...

Today I called my mom to get the recipe.  The process is impressive!  Listening to my mom explain the steps necessary to produce amazingly delectable GF fruitcake was almost exhausting. I've never baked anything that involved so many steps, but knowing the end-product, I think it's about time for that to change.

Feel free to use any kind of GF baking flour you like, but my favorite is Bob's Red Mill.
Also, if you happen to love those green fruity chunky things. Add them. I won't be eating it:)

*Thanks Viola for the recipe. And thank you too Mom for making them with her:)  Your fruitcakes are AWESOME!*


  • 4 sticks margarine or butter (softened)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 tsp vanilla 
  • 2 cups GF Flour (Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Baking Flour)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 8 eggs (room temperature)
  • 2 1/2 cups craizins (dried cranberries)
  • 5 cups pecans (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 lb. candied cherries
  • 1 1/2 lb. candied pineapple 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Using a mixer, cream the margarine and sugar together in large mixing bowl
  3. Then add the eggs one at a time, using a ladle or large spoon, continuing to mix until fully incorporated, mix in the vanilla then turn off
  4. Sift the dried ingredients together and then add slowly to liquid mixture until fully mixed
  5. In another bowl, mix together the chopped candied cherries and pineapple, the craizins and pecans
  6. Add the nuts-n-fruit to dough mixture slowly until fully incorporated
  7. Unless your mixing bowl is oven proof, transfer the entire mixture to a large oven safe crock or bowl. Make sure there is no dough along the edges of the bowl, to avoid burning, and pack down tight with the back of a large spoon.
  8. Place in oven for 15 minutes. Take out and mix together, pack down
  9. Put back into oven for another 15 minutes. Take out and mix together, pack down
  10. Put back in oven for another 15 minutes. Take out an mix together, pack down
  11. Remember to scrape the sides!
  12. And one more time for good measure...
  13. Then transfer into cooking sprayed, or olive oil coated bundt molds, loaf pans, etc. and dust with GF flour.
  14. Pack the mostly cooked dough mixture into the molds and pat down tightly again.  Return to the oven and bake for another 30 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean)
  15. Remove from oven. Allow to cool, and then using double layer squares of heavy duty aluminum foil, place each fruit cake into center and then drizzle spiced/dark rum over the top and immediately wrap tight with aluminum foil
  16. Set them aside to age for a day or so
  17. Get ready for something special - because you're going to love em'!

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Blossoms

The snow is falling outside. People are sliding all over the roads attempting to get to wherever they're going.  Lawn chairs are being fished out of storage for the impending parking space wars to come. I'm relaxing with my family and enjoying the atmosphere of content inactivity. Last night we had a few friends over for annual x-mas dinner party. Ping pong, guitar hero, x-mas movies, gifts exchanged, and lots of food and drink to overindulge in.  I baked two batches of cookies. The recipe for the first, the GF Peanut Butter Blossoms, is listed below. The other batch I'll post later. Both Awesome!!

These cookies were sooooo goood!  A few minutes out of the oven, when you take a big bite, and the chocolate kiss on top melts in your mouth and warms your throat... it's a little bit of heaven...  Valhalla.... or wherever you hope to go when you die, wherever that it, you are there. if only for a few seconds. a few perfect seconds. Yum!

It's simple, just basic GF Peanut Butter Cookies with chocolate kisses buried in the top.

  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 2 cups peanut butter (natural/no sugar added)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • a bag of chocolate kisses

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 deg. F.
  2. Unwrap around 36 chocolate kisses from their foil. You may need more, you may need less.
  3. Coat your cookie sheets with cooking spray (check the ingredients), or line the baking sheets with foil. 
  4. Whisk up the eggs in a large bowl. 
  5. In another bowl, mix up the sugar, baking soda and xanthan gum. 
  6. Add the peanut butter to the eggs and incorporate. Then add the sugar/baking soda/xanthan gum and mix thoroughly.
  7. Using a spoon or 1 inch ice-cream scooper, drop dough onto cookies sheets roughly 3 inches apart. Take a flat bottomed glass and smush down the cookies. *I used a glass measuring cup and hammered them all down.
  8. Using a fork, make some hatch marks on the top of each cookie.
  9. Bake each batch for 14 minutes, remove from oven and press one chocolate kiss into the top of each cookie. Return to the oven for two more minutes. Remove and let cool for five minutes. Afterward, transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack.

Gluten Free Amish Molasses Cookies

Wow the holiday season is sooo busy! It's like everyone has parties on the same days.. we're working harder, spending more, getting less sleep and eating a TON of awesome food! It's crazy, but I love it! On Saturday my friend Claudia and I spent the day exploring Amish country around Lancaster. It was a beautiful day for it! We stopped in a ton of little shops; antique places, quilt places, candy stores, bakeries, and old-fashioned country style restaurants. It was nice:)

After saying goodbye to Claudia, I settled into my kitchen and browsed through the Amish Cookie Book I picked up earlier in the day. These Molasses cookies were chosen for their ease and classic holiday flavor. I used Bob's GF Baking mix for these and they came out great! Make sure they're cooked through though. The first small batch I baked came out a bit doughy:( Also, feel free to throw in a little ginger and/or walnuts to spice it up. That's what I'm going to do the next time with these;)

  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening (make sure it's GF)
  • 1/4 pound light brown sugar
  • 2 cups dark molasses
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 cups gluten free baking flour
  • 1/2 tblsp baking soda

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cream the vegetable shortening and brown sugar.
  3. Mix in the molasses and buttermilk
  4. Stir in the flour and baking soda until fully incorporated
  5. Using a 1-inch ice-cream scooper (or a spoon), drop dollops onto greased or non-stick cookie sheet about an inch or so apart.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  7. Transfer to cooling racks and get your cup of milk ready!

Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Cookies

I just had my last weekend class for the semester, and boy is my mind exhausted. Spending 8+ hours with very smart people, making sure to be on top of your game, is always a challenge, and always tiring. I loved it though! I guess I'm just a big nerd, but I love group learning:)

Since it was Halloween weekend, and we were all stuck in class with each other, we were encouraged to bring in treats to share. I brought these cookies and a gallon of apple cider. The cookies, which my partner whipped up with a recipe I found while I set up the outdoor Halloween decorations in hopes of terrifying the local kids, came out FREAKING AWESOME!! Thank you Mindy;) I absolutely loved em, as did everyone else who tried em! These would be the perfect cookies to bring for Thanksgiving.

To get the icing to coat the tops just right, you need to wait for the cookies to completely cool first. I know that this may be difficult to do, especially with the scent of warm cookies in the air, and your mouth watering, but trust me... these actually are better chilled. Once cooled and drizzled, I'd advise layering the iced cookies between parchment paper to keep it all sticking together.

Mindy smartly decided to add walnuts to my recipe, but feel free to omit them if you wish. However, they do give these cookies a nice chunky character. Either way, I'm sure you'll dig these!

Here's a recipe for the Gluten Free flour baking mix I whipped up.

Gluten Free Flour Mix
  • 3 cups white rice flour
  • 1 cup potato flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum

Cookie Ingredients
  • 5 cups Gluten Free Flour (I made my own, but feel free to use any brand you choose)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups walnut chunks

Glaze Ingredients
  • 4 cups confectioner's sugar (aka powdered sugar)
  • 6 tblsp milk
  • 2 tblsp melted butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together a cup of softened butter and the sugar.
  4. Add the pumpkin , eggs and 1 tsp vanilla. Beat until creamy (either with an electric mixer, or some serious arm power).
  5. Incorporate the dry flour mixture into the wet pumpkin mixture and then stir in the walnuts.
  6. Drop by spoonfuls onto a non-stick baking sheet, slightly flattening them as you go, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until edges are lightly toasted.
  7. Remove from oven and let each batch cool completely on a cooling rack before drizzling with the icing. To make the icing, simply whip together all the ingredients until nice and creamy. Use a fork to drizzle.
  8. Wait till the icing dries and layer cookies between parchment paper sheets in a large bowl or pan.
  9. This recipe makes a TON of cookies, so be prepared to share. Enjoy!!

Gluten Free Rum Boulders

I brought these goodies to my friend's birthday party (along with some rum nuggets) and they were a hit! Mindy and I had a bottle of Appleton Rum that we brought back from Jamaica, so I figured what better way to put it to good use. I was pretty heavy-handed with the rum, so feel free to use less.  I wrote about Rice Chex going gluten free a while ago, and now there are a number of GF Chex cereals.  I love the Honey Nut, Cinnamon Chex and Chocolate Chex cereals, but Corn Chex is great as well.  It's so great going to a normal grocery store and being able to pick up mainstream GF products. What a difference a few years can make!

I used half a box of Chocolate Chex to make these Rum Boulders, but feel free to experiment with any of the Chex cereals.  Also, I used ground walnuts, but these would be great with ground or crushed almonds as well.  These keep well when wrapped up and put in the fridge, and can be a great alternative to a drink after work:)  And if you want, you could always spread the mixture out in a shallow pan and have yourself some GF Rum Bars to bring on the hiking trails.  Enjoy!

  • 14oz can of condensed milk
  • 1/2 box of Chocolate Chex Cereal (crushed)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (crushed or ground)
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins 
  • 1/2 cup rum
  • 1/3 cup cocoa 
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut 

  1. Place golden raisins and rum in a bowl and set aside to soak.
  2. Mix the crushed Chex with the walnuts, condensed milk, cocoa, coconut, rum and raisins together. If mixture is too sloppy or gooey, add more cocoa and coconut.
  3. Using a couple of spoons, shape the mixture into double bite-size mini-boulders and place on wax paper or in paper cupcake holders. (I used the mini ones)
  4. Place in fridge to set for about an hour. 
  5. Transfer to airtight container.
  6. Dig in and enjoy!  Don't eat too many of these though, I did and ended up with a slight hangover.

Gluten Free Hulled Hemp Seed Crisps

Every so often I get a package in the mail, chock-full of gluten free goodies to test out.  For example, I recently received an array of GF snacks from Kays Naturals.  I had a great time testing their products out, and discovered a few favorites (I'll be posting a product review on Kays soon). If you've been reading this blog, then you know how often I use Bob's Red Mill products.  It's no secret that I love their products.  Once they realized what a big fan I am, they began sending me goodies to try and experiment with.

One day I received a bag of Hulled Hemp Seeds.  At first, I had no idea how I was going to use them, but after doing a couple of Google searches, I had a few ideas.  This following recipe is my first experiment using Hemp Seeds in a recipe.  Hemp seeds are actually really good for you.  As stated on the Bob's Red Mill website, "Hulled hemp seed is high in Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids, and an excellent source of protein containing all of the essential amino acids."  Of course, being the sweet-tooth that I am, I had to begin my hemp seed experimentation by whipping up some cookies.  However, in the future I plan to incorporate them in breads, muffins, and possibly as a crunchy breading for fish or chicken.

These cookies were super-yummy!  They were a bit crumbly, but melt-in-your mouth delicious. Enjoy!

Next post: Chongqing Flashback Part 1

Prep Time: 5-ish minutes
Baking Time: 10-15 minutes depending on your oven


Baking Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Lightly grease a cookie sheet and set aside (I used cooking spray)
  3. Mix together the brown sugar, large egg and butter in a bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the GF flour, cinnamon, and shelled hemp seeds.
  5. Mix together the dry and wet ingredients until fully incorporated.
  6. Spoon mixture onto cookies sheets.  Leave about 3 inches between each drop since they spread out!
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the edges are crispy. Cooking time depends on the oven being used, so keep an eye on them.  You don't want to burn these sweet treats!
  8. Grab a mug of soy, rice or cow milk and chow down:)

No-Bake Gluten Free Cocoa Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Try to say that title 5 times fast:)  I love these cookies!!!  These cookies have been a part of my life for a long time. I think the first time I had these I was 7 years old. I watched my Aunt Vic mixing the ingredients together in a cast-iron bowl on an antique wooden stove.  The smell of the bubbling chocolate potion was maddening. I remember salivating as she ladled the gooey dough onto wax sheets to cool.  I must have eaten a dozen at least! I think I eventually crawled off to some dark corner, uncomfortably intoxicated with sugar, and drifted into a narcotic coma.

Afterwards I begged my mom to get the recipe. Throughout the years as I grew older, these cookies continued to make their presence felt. Looking back, and knowing how much sugar goes into these, I can understand why my mom didn't make them as much as I would have liked; these are the antithesis of diet food:)  But they are soooooo worth it! 

I've been craving these lately for some reason. This is actually the first time I've made them myself. Knowing my weakness with these little drops of evilness, I strategically cooked up a batch the night before a case conference where I intern. That way, I could spread out the sugar, and avoid putting myself into some kind of diabetic coma. They didn't last long, but I kept a little stash for myself.  Actually, I'm going to get one right now...

Oh yeah        these rock!


Cookie Ingredients
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. all natural vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp. cocoa 
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 3 cups oats (I used Bob's Red Mill GF Whole Grain Rolled Oats)

The Process
  1. In a medium saucepan, throw together all the ingredients except the peanut butter and oats. 
  2. Cook over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and throw in the peanut butter and oats. Stir it up good.
  4. Clear your countertop or kitchen table, and rip off a couple long sheets of wax or parchment paper.  
  5. Using a 1" ice cream scooper, or a spoon, drop the warm mixture onto the sheets about 3 inches apart.
  6. Let cool for about 20 minutes. 
  7. Devour!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Gluten Free Rice Krispies Treats!

Every single time I used to stroll down the cereal isle in the grocery store, I'd shake my head at the boxes of Rice Krispies, thinking to myself, why don't they just take out the malt flavoring so that they'd be gluten free!  Well, it's finally happened.  Rice Krispies are officially GLUTEN FREE! Thank you Kellogg's!  This news would be less than exciting for non-celiac folk, but for those of us who lost the ability to enjoy these gooey squares of goodness when we were forced to go gluten free, this is big news:)

Now if you've never made Rice Krispies Treats before, they have to be one of the easiest desserts to make.  You can get as creative with this recipe as you want.  For example, you could add some chocolate chips or dried cranberries before forming the squares. Whatever you think would go good with marshmallows and crisped rice you should try.

  • 6 cups Kellogg's Rice Krispies Gluten Free cereal
  • 1 10oz package of regular marshmallows, or 4 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 3 tablespoons margarine or butter
  1. Melt the margarine/butter in a large pan over low heat.
  2. Add the marshmallows and stir until everything's totally melted.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Add your Rice Krispies and stir it all up till completely coated.
  5. Using a buttered spatula or a sheet of waxed paper, press the gooey mixture evenly into a 13x9x2-inch pan coated with cooking spray.
  6. Cut into squares when cooled.
  7. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Gluten Free Mug Brownies

I've been hearing about microwave mug brownies for a while now, but for some reason didn't think they'd be any good.  I mean how good could a brownie cooked in a microwave oven be? Right?  Well, pretty darn good actually:)  Especially when you top your piping-hot mug brownie with a couple scoops of ice cream and a dollop of whip cream!

This recipe couldn't be easier.  Not only is it gluten free, it's egg-free as well.  Depending on your microwave, you may need to cook your mug brownie a little bit longer, or a little bit less.  I suggest you experiment a bit.

This recipe is a perfect way to quickly appease your chocolate cravings. It produces very little mess, and allows you to enjoy warm, gooey brownies without needing to start up your oven.  Enjoy!!!

Brownie Ingredients
  • 2 tblsp vegetable oil 
  • 2 tblsp water
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of instant coffee
  • 3 tblsp sugar
  • 2 tblsp unsweetened cocoa 
  • 2 tblsp gluten free flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
  • Ice cream/whipped cream to top (optional)

  1. Combine the oil, water, vanilla extract, salt and instant coffee in a mug.  Whisk together till blended.
  2. Add the sugar and whisk till blended.
  3. Add the cocoa and whisk till blended. 
  4. Add the gluten free flour and whisk till blended
  5. Pop into the microwave for 90 seconds on high.
  6. Top your hot, gooey mug brownie with ice cream or whip cream and go to town!!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Gluten Free Cranachan

What a beautiful day! I just finished walking around Swarthmore College with my friend Erika, the sun is out, it's about 62 degrees, and I'm sitting at my front-yard patio table.  I only wish I didn't have to go to work and to night class.  When I woke up the first thing on my mind was to go skateboarding at Havertown Skatepark, but although it was warm out, everything was still wet.  Now everything is drying up and I have to go to work. Booo!  However, tomorrow looks promising, so I plan on getting up and heading to the park first thing in the morning.

Weather in Philadelphia is so weird. Just a few days ago it was nasty and freezing, and now it feels like late Spring.  Not that I'm complaining though, since all the people I grew up with in Upstate New York will likely have to wait months before decent weather rolls in.

Last Friday our friends Joy and Jason came over for a dinner party.  They brought the booze and I provided the food.  I ended up making a  three course meal.  This is the desert I made. It was awesome!! The appetizer salad I made was kickin too, so I'll be sure to post what I made for my next entry, but I just had to share this recipe first.  It calls for the use of whisky or bourbon.  I'm sure you could just use apple cider/juice and honey instead of liquor, but what fun would that be?  Although it looks complicated, this desert is really easy to make, and is completely delicious! 

This is what I found out through a little bit of research: Cranachan is a traditional Scottish dessert. It's usually made from a mixture of whipped cream, whisky, honey and fresh raspberries mixed with toasted oatmeal.  Cranachan was originally a summer dish consumed around harvest-time. However, it's now likely to be served year round during special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, and especially weddings.

Cranachan Ingredients
  • 4 tbsp. honey
  • 3 tbsp. whisky or bourbon 
  • 3/4 cup oatmeal (make sure it's certified gluten free!)
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups raspberries
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • splash of water

Cooking Directions
  1. Add the honey and whisky together in a small pan. Heat the mixture on low, stirring frequently, until warmed through. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat the broiler. Spread the oatmeal in a shallow layer in a grill pan and toast. Stir occasionally, making sure not to burn the oatmeal (which is very easy to do!). Remove from broiler once browned. Set aside to cool.
  3. Using a hand-held electric mixer, whip the heavy cream in a large bowl until soft peaks form, then gently fold in the oatmeal and the honey/whisky mixture. Mix until well combined. 
  4. Put a small handful of raspberries aside and begin layering your glasses or small bowls with alternating layers of raspberries and the cream mixture. Top with raspberries for decoration.
  5. Smash up the remaining raspberries in a small cup with a splash of water and the sugar until saucy. Dribble this raspberry sauce over the prepared Cranachan and then place in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
  6. Serve it up and enjoy every bite. You'll love it!

Serves 4

Gluten Free Chocolate Kiss Cookies

I hit the ground running this semester, and things don't seem to be slowing down. It's all good though, since everything I'm doing is exactly what I want to be doing.  I'm finishing up a research project on men and domestic violence work; preparing to spend the month of May in China teaching social work and conducting research; interning as a clinical sexuality counselor; teaching an after-school sexuality education class; getting ready to graduate with two Masters degrees; and getting married in July.  This is turning out to be the busiest year EVER!!!  Although I'm feeling pretty content with the way my life is turning out, I do hope things slow down after the wedding.  I'll be needing some serious R&R come the end of Summer, and I don't think a couple week honeymoon will cut it (although it'll be a great start)!

During times like these, I find it a matter of self care to give in to my chocolate addiction.  The following cookie recipe uses Hershey's Kisses. It comes from one of my favorite cookie books: HERSHEY'S Classic Recipes. According to this link: "GF Candy Database" and other sources, Hershey's Kisses are gluten free.  However, as with most products coming from huge factories, there is a slight chance of cross-contamination.  Now I've never had a negative reaction to Hershey's products, if you are worried about it, or have an extremely sensitive system, simply replace the kisses with chunks of your favorite GF chocolate. Be prepared, because this one is messy!

Chocolate Kiss Cookie Ingredients
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. all natural vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 2/3 cup all purpose gluten-free flour (I use Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 1 bag (9 ounces) Hershey Kisses (or chocolate chunks)
  • Powdered sugar

Baking Directions
  1. Beat the butter, granulated sugar and vanilla in a large bowl until creamy. 
  2. Mix the flour and cocoa, then gradually add the creamy butter mixture. Beat until blended.
  3. Add the pecans and incorporate.
  4. Refrigerate the dough for about an hour, or until it's firm enough to handle.
  5. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. 
  6. Remove the wrappers from the Hershey's Kisses (or cut chocolate into 1/2 inch chunks). Mold about a tablespoon of cookie dough around each piece of chocolate, making sure to cover completely in order to shape it into a ball.
  7. Place each cookie dough ball onto ungreased cookie sheets, about 3 inches apart.
  8. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until dough appears set.  Remove from oven and cool for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks.
  9. Once cooled, dust with powdered sugar (optional).

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Gluten Free Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe comes from my good friend, Peggy Cullen’s book Got Milk? The Cookie Book. I use this book all the time to make amazing gluten-free cookies. Whenever I make these and give them to people, they often tell me they are some of the best chocolate-chip cookies they’ve ever had.

When I say that they're gluten-free people often act surprised, as if removing gluten removes flavor. I guess it’s the same thing as thinking no-fat equals no-taste… but then again, that one might be true. Yeah, that was a bad example! The point is, these cookies are the bomb! Make them up, and try them yourself. I’m sure you’ll agree.

You can use any gluten-free baking mix you want, but I suggest using the recipe I list below. It is the closest thing to all-purpose flour that I’ve come across so far. I use this mixture in most of my baking projects. I’ve also experimented with bean flours, but many have a strong aftertaste. Ahh, experimentation… the key to a happy gluten-free life!

The Following gluten-free flour recipe was adapted from the book The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Fast And Healthy by Bette Hagman.

Gluten Free Flour Mix
  • 3 cups white rice flour
  • 1 cup potato flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum

Chocolate Chip Cookie Ingredients
  • 2 sticks softened, unsalted butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 3 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/5 cups gluten free flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups chocolate chunks or chips
  • 2 cups large pecan or walnut pieces

Preheat oven to 375º F.

In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer or hand mixer, beat the butter, sugars, salt and vanilla until well combined. Beat in the egg. Scrape down the bowl using a rubber spatula as it mixes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix on low speed until just absorbed. Remove the mixture from the electric mixer and add the chocolate and nuts. Mix the batter with a large and strong spoon or spatula.

Use a 1 inch ice cream scooper to make the cookie-dough balls, and drop them about 3 inches apart onto un-greased baking sheets. Bake for 9-12 minutes, or until the edges are golden. Let the cookies sit for 5 minutes before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely.

* Makes about 4 dozen *

Save some for yourself. These will disappear fast!

Find this great recipe and more in Peggy Cullen’s Got Milk? The Cookie Book.

Gluten-Free Banana Nut Bread

Who doesn’t love banana bread!? Banana bread, in my opinion, is one of the easiest gluten-free breads to make. This recipe comes from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook. My partner is a big fan of Martha’s cooking, and I’ve got to admit, this book is full of amazing recipes! Martha Stewart can seriously cook!

I often use my own gluten-free flour mix with various banana bread recipes, but I decided to try out Arrowhead Mills Gluten-Free All Purpose Baking Mix. It came out great, and was devoured quickly by my friends and co-workers. Feel free to experiment and use my own flour mixture below. I’m sure you’ll be happy either way.

The Following gluten-free flour recipe was adapted from the book The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Fast And Healthy by Bette Hagman.

Gluten Free Flour Mix
  • 3 cups white rice flour
  • 1 cup potato flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum

Banana Nut Bread Ingredients

  • 3 cups Arrowhead Mills Gluten-Free All Purpose Baking Mix
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp sea salt (or regular table salt)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tblsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups ripe mashed banana (3-4 medium sized)
  • 1 cup diced walnuts
  • ¼ cup soy, rice, or buttermilk
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350º F.

Coat two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans with cooking spray (check ingredients for gluten!) and set aside. In a large bowl whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside.

In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer or hand mixer, beat the eggs, sugar and oil until combined. Use a spatula to scrape the side of the bowl as you mix. Beat in the flour mixture until just combined; add the vanilla, banana, nuts, and milk until mixed thoroughly.

Pour the mixture evenly into the two prepared bread pans. The mixture will be soupy. Bake them until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 60-65 minutes. Transfer the loaves, inside the pans, to a wire rack to cool for 20-30 minutes. Remove the loaves from the pans and let cool completely. The banana bread can be left at room temperature, if wrapped in plastic, for a little past a week. However, you can also freeze them and they’ll keep for up to 3 months.

* Makes two loaves *

Try adding a cup or two of chocolate chips to the batter, and some coconut shaving on top!

Find this great recipe and more in Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook

*Make sure to check out my other gluten free recipes! Look out for upcoming reviews of gluten free products!

Gluten Free Chocolate Fudge Cake

Every year on my partner’s birthday I bake a cake from scratch, and even make my own frosting. It’s actually a lot of fun. When I first learned of the many challenges living gluten-free, I wondered how I’d be able to continue the tradition of making her a great cake. Fortunately I love a good challenge, and more importantly I love to bake! For the last two years I’ve made some delicious cakes! This is a recipe that was based off a recipe I found in the book Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book.

This recipe calls for making two cake layers and stacking them on top of each other. If your cakes don’t even-out completely, just take a sharp knife and trim the cakes while stacked so that the edges are flush. This will make spreading the frosting much easier. Also, the more frosting you put in the middle, if any, the harder it will be to get the two layers to stick. Don’t be afraid to get messy… in my opinion, that’s one of the fun parts of cooking. The cleaning up part… not so fun.

The Following gluten-free flour recipe was adapted from the book The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Fast And Healthy by Bette Hagman.

Gluten Free Flour Mix
  • 3 cups white rice flour
  • 1 cup potato flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum

Gluten-Free Fudge Cake Ingredients
  • 3 oz Baking chocolate (melted squares)
  • ½ cup Butter or margarine
  • 2 ¼ cup Brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp Pure vanilla extract
  • 3 Large eggs
  • 2 tsp Baking soda
  • ½ tsp Sea salt
  • 2 ¼ cup Gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 1 cup Sour cream
  • ¼ cup Dark baking cocoa
  • 1 cup Boiling water

Preheat oven to 350º F.

Grease and flour two 9-10 inch cake pans.
Boil water.

In a large mixer bowl, cream the butter till smooth. Add the brown sugar and eggs. Beat the mixture on “med-high” until it’s light and fluffy (about 5 min). Turn the mixer to “low” and beat in the vanilla and melted chocolate squares, then the baking soda, and then the sea salt. Mix the baking cocoa with the gluten-free flour. Add the gluten-free flour/cocoa mix alternately with the sour cream, beating on “low” speed, until smooth. Pour in the boiling water and stir with a spoon until blended. Pour the mixture into the two prepared pans. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Now you can either find some cake frosting that does not contain any glutenous ingredients, or you can use the following recipe to make your own creamy, delicious frosting.

Gluten-Creamy Chocolate Frosting Ingredients
  • 2 ¾ cups Confectioners’ sugar
  • 6 tblsp Cocoa Powder
  • 6 tblsp butter
  • 1 tsp Pure vanilla extract
  • 6 tblsp evaporated milk

In a medium bowl, sift together the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa and set aside. Using your mixer that is already out, cream butter in a large bowl until smooth, then gradually beat in the sugar mixture alternately with the evaporated milk. Add the vanilla and beat on “medium-high” until light and fluffy. If needed, either add more milk or more sugar based on your preference.

Wait until the cakes are completely cool before adding frosting. Place one cake on the serving plate and spread a layer of frosting on top. Place the other cake on top of it and make a solid seal. Using a rubber spatula, spread the frosting on the double-layer cake from the top down to the bottom. If you don’t get it perfectly even, who cares! It’s a home-made chocolate cake. Nobody’s going to complain as they’re scarfing down this cake, trust me!

*Make sure to check out my other gluten free recipes! Look out for upcoming reviews of gluten free products!

Gluten-Free, Lactose Free, Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

I found this recipe while watching the rotating gluten-free (GF) videos I have featured on my blog. You can watch it too by going directly to Gluten Free Cook. The one challenge the cook had when making her husband’s peanut butter GF cookies, was that they were very brittle and crumbly. I used her recipe and added a small amount of Xanthan Gum as an effective binder. The results turned out great! These are some of the best peanut butter cookies I’ve ever had, as well as the most easiest to make!

Peanut Butter Cookie Ingredients
  • 2 tsp baking soda (make sure it’s GF)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups peanut butter (natural/no sugar added is preferable)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¼ tsp xanthan gum

Preheat oven to 325º F.

Spray your cookie sheets with cooking spray (check the ingredients), or line the baking sheets with foil. Whisk up the two eggs in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, baking soda, and xanthan gum together. Add the peanut butter to the eggs and mix. Then add the sugar/baking soda/xanthan gum and mix until thoroughly combined. Use a spoon or 1 inch ice-cream scooper and drop them on the cookie sheets about 2-3 inches apart. Use a fork and press them down enough to make a textured surface. Bake each batch for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool for five minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack. Enjoy!

*Make sure to check out my other gluten free recipes! Look out for upcoming reviews of gluten free products!

Gluten Free Molasses Spice Cookies

I’m so happy the semester is over. Graduate school is pretty challenging at times. Now I have a break and will do some traveling to be with friends and family. I also have time, finally, to catch up on some of the baked good recipes I’ve been experimenting with. This cookie is from my favorite cookie book, Got Milk? The Cookie Book. This is the perfect Holiday cookie, with lots of the season’s best spices: ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon.

I used Bob’s Red Mill Wheat Free Biscuit & Baking Mix for the cookies in the photo. They flattened out a lot. When I make them with my simple homemade GF flour (instructions below) they turn out much thicker, more cakey. Either way they come out delicious! I get a lot of requests for this recipe from friends and family. These are also easy to make.

The Following gluten-free flour recipe was adapted from the book The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Fast And Healthy by Bette Hagman.

Gluten Free Flour Mix

  • 3 cups white rice flour
  • 1 cup potato flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum

Molasses Spice Cookies Ingredient

  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup dark unsulphured molasses
  • 1 cup plus 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 2 cups gluten free flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt

1) Melt your butter over low heat in a medium size saucepan. Remove butter from the heat and stir in the molasses and vanilla. Put to the side to cool.

2) In a medium bowl whisk together the flour with 1 cup of the sugar, the baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.

3) Once the butter mixture is cooled, add the beaten egg and mix well. Take a rubber spatula and fold the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until the mixture is firm enough to form balls (around 15 minutes).

4) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

5) Put the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar in a small bowl. Using a 1-inch ice cream scooper, or using a spoon, scoop out mixture and then roll into 1-inch balls. Throw the balls into the sugar and coat completely. Place the dough balls on ungreased baking sheets about 2 inches apart.

6) Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the center no longer appears uncooked. 12- minutes will produce soft and chewy cookies, whereas 15-minutes will produce crispy cookies. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for around 5 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to cool. They'll last in an airtight container for a couple of days, or freeze them and they'll last a few weeks.

Gluten Free Corn Bread Biscotti

This was the first GF biscotti I made after finding out I had celiac disease. Actually it's the first biscotti I ever made. It's funny how finding out you have some kind of dietary restriction can bring out your inner chef. Before discovering my gluten-intolerance, I never even thought about making my own biscotti. I figured it was too laborious to make the process worth it, especially since most coffee houses had an ample supply of the stuff. However, now things are much different. Go to any coffee house you know and try to find one that supplies gluten free biscotti, and if you find one, please let me know about it! It must be human nature to always want most, the things you can't have. This is especially true for people with celiac disease.

The following recipe comes from Peggy Cullen's book: Got Milk? The Cookie Book.. I know, I use her book for almost every cookie recipe, but it's only because her recipes are that good! In her book, she calls this "Thanksgiving Biscotti." Biscotti is a lot easier to make than I though it would be. Once you get this recipe down, you'll have no problem experimenting with a variety of biscotti recipes. Biscotti is simply twice-baked cookies, nothing more. You can use pretty much any pre-packaged GF Flour mixture, but I typically use the flour combination below.

The Following gluten-free flour recipe was adapted from the book The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Fast And Healthy by Bette Hagman.

Gluten Free Flour Mix
  • 3 cups white rice flour
  • 1 cup potato flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum

Corn Bread Biscotti Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup yellow stone-ground cornmeal (check the ingredients for gluten in any form)

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free flour

  • 1 cup sugar, plus a little extra for sprinkling

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1 pinch of salt

  • 1/2 stick cold unsalted butter cut into pieces

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2/3 cups dried cranberries

  • Directions
    1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Take some aluminum foil or parchment paper and line a heavy baking sheet, or coat the baking sheet with cooking spray. 
    2) Whisk up the cornmeal, GF flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Add the butter and mash up until the mixture has a gritty texture. A potato masher works great for this recipe. Or is you have access to one, use a food processor and pulse the mixture.
    3) Beat the eggs and vanilla in a small bowl.  Pour over the dry ingredients and mix to blend. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the mixture from the sides of the bowl. Add the cranberries and mix until the dough begins to clump.
    4) Turn the dough out onto a table. Gather it together and form into a disk.  Using a knife, divide the disk into two equal parts.  Lightly flour a surface and form each piece into a 12 inch log.  Transfer the logs to the baking sheet.  Sprinkle the top with sugar.
    5) Bake for 30 minutes, or until the logs begin to turn golden.  Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes. Leave the oven on.
    6) Use spatulas to transfer the logs to a cutting board. Using a large knife, cut the logs crosswise and slightly diagonal, making 1/2 inch-thick pieces.  Transfer the pieces back to the baking sheet, arranging them cut-side up.  Bake for 12 more minutes, or until the undersides of the cookies show a little color (don't burn them!).  Take out of oven and leave on baking sheets to cool completely. 
    The picture shows how I used some chocolate chips that were leftover from another cookie recipe.

    *Makes about 3 dozen cookies

    Gluten Free Southern Style Sweet Potato Bake

    I made this sweet-tooth dish for a pot luck dinner at my friend Katie's house.  It was real easy to make, and there was a LOT of it!  I am aware of how many recipes for sweets I have on my blog, but I just can't help it! I love sweet things!

    For those of you with egg allergies, feel free to omit or add egg-replacer instead.  The eggs help it expand a bit, but has no real impact on the taste of this desert.  You can also replace the pecans with any other kind of nut you prefer, or even leave out nuts completely.  Although this desert will appease those with the sweetest of sweet teeth, it comes packed with Vitamin A, Beta Carotene, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B6.  It also has a good dose of Potassium and Manganese, so you can feel a little less guilty about the sugars and carbs you'll be taking in:)

    You can use any gluten free flour you can find, or you can use the flour mixture below.

    The Following gluten-free flour recipe was adapted from the book The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Fast And Healthy by Bette Hagman.

    Gluten Free Flour Mix
    • 3 cups white rice flour
    • 1 cup potato flour
    • ½ cup tapioca flour
    • 2 tsp xanthan gum

    Southern Style Sweet Potato Bake Ingredients:

    - 4 medium sweet potatoes (yams)

    - 4 tblsp. butter

    - 2 tblsp. heavy cream 

    - 1/4 cup brown sugar

    - 2  large eggs

    - 1/2 cup milk

    - 1 tblsp. pure vanilla extract

    - 1 tsp. cinnamon


    - 1 cup brown sugar

    - 1/3 cup gluten free flour

    - 1/3 stick softened butter

    - 1 cup chopped pecans (or nuts of choice)


    • Peel the sweet potatoes and place in a medium/large pot of water. Bring water to boil, then reduce heat to medium.  Cook for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Drain and put aside.
    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    • Place the potatoes in a large bowl and mash them up with the butter and cream.  Whip in the brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and milk.  Smash it all together until smooth. Spoon the mixture into a 13" x 19" pan (or whatever you got) and even out.
    • Combine the topping together in a small bowl. Sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potatoes. Bake until brown, about 35 minutes.
    That's it. Simple as sweet potato pie! Enjoy!

    Gluten Free Chocolate Quakes

    I love these cookies!  They are easy to make, and will completely satisfy even the most ferocious chocolate craving.  These cookies are called quakes for the way the powdered surface cracks when cooking, making them look like ground that has been shaken up by an earthquake. This recipe calls for ground pecans, but you can use any nut you want.  If you want them to taste even better, slightly roast your nuts before grinding.

    This recipe comes from my good friend Peggy's book "Got Milk: The Cookie Book."  I have a lot of great cookie recipe books, but in my opinion, this is one of the best out there!  Plus I like endorsing my friends, I'm not going to lie:).

    The Following gluten-free flour recipe was adapted from the book The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Fast And Healthy by Bette Hagman.

    Gluten Free Flour Mix
    • 3 cups white rice flour
    • 1 cup potato flour
    • ½ cup tapioca flour
    • 2 tsp xanthan gum

    GF Chocolate Quakes Ingredients
    • 3 tblsp unsalted, melted butter
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 large egg, beaten (or egg substitute)
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 3 tblsp unsweetened cocoa
    • 1/2 cup GF flour (Pamela's or Bobs are good, but you can also use my mix above)
    • 1/2 tsp  Baking powder
    • 1/8 tsp salt
    • 1/4 cup finely ground pecans (or nuts of choice)
    • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    • Confectioners' sugar
    Cooking Instructions
    1. Using an electric mixer (or your speedy hand-whisking skills), beat the melted butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla on low-speed until pale in color and thickened, about a minute or so  
    2. Using another bowl, sift together the cocoa, flour, baking powder and salt
    3. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until completely combined
    4. Fold in the nuts and the chocolate chips
    5. Chill the mixture for about an hour, or until it's firm enough to handle
    6. Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
    7. Put some confectioners' sugar in a bowl (for coating)
    8. Using a 1-inch ice cream scoop (or spoon), form chilled dough into 1-inch balls and toss into the bowl of confectioners' sugar. Roll the balls around until completely coated and then place about 1 1/2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet 
    9. Bake for 12 minutes, or until the cookies have puffed and cracked apart
    10. Let cool for 5 or so minutes and then transfer to cooling rack
    11. Try not to eat too many of these. Good luck with that!

    Gluten Free Bake-Sale Brownies

    I've experimented with a lot of brownie recipes, and this is one of my favorites. It comes from "The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook."  What I like the most about this recipe, besides its brownie-yumminess, is the easy clean-up.  By layering the bottom of the baking pan with tinfoil, you end up having a relatively clean pan, and an easy way to get the brownies separated from it.  Each batch makes about 16 tiny person brownies, or 9 Trav-size brownies (or 4 depending on the day I've had).  It only takes about 10 minutes to prep, and then 45 minutes to bake.

    The brownies pictured are a result of an experiment substituting my typical GF flour combination (see recipe below), with equal parts Bob's Red Mill GF Pancake Mix.  The result was very cake-like brownies. In fact, I think using pancake mix with this recipe, instead of all-purpose flour, would make a perfect chocolate birthday cake. Or, you could pour the batter in a loaf pan and make chocolate bread, and then use that bread to make decadent chocolate french toast!  I digress...

    When made with my own GF all-purpose flour the brownies come out a lot denser; a bit more fudgey.  I love them either way!  Whether you make these with an all-purpose GF flour, or decide to fluff them up with GF pancake mix, you'll know they are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs. After removing from the oven, let them cool for at least 45 minutes before digging in. I know... the wait is torture.

    The Following gluten-free flour recipe was adapted from the book The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Fast And Healthy by Bette Hagman.

    Gluten Free Flour Mix
    • 3 cups white rice flour
    • 1 cup potato flour
    • ½ cup tapioca flour
    • 2 tsp xanthan gum

    Brownie Ingredients
    • 8 tblsp (1 stick) unsalted butter cut into chunks 
    • 3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
    • 1 cup  sugar
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract (GF of course)
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 2/3  cup all-purpose flour (or GF pancake mix)
    • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

    Cooking Directions

    • Place the oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.  
    • Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, so that the aluminum sheets make a big "plus" sign. Lightly coat the aluminum sheets with cooking spray (make sure its GF)
    • Place the butter and chopped chocolate into a small sauce pan and heat over low heat while stirring frequently. It's easy to do, so don't burn the chocolate!
    • While the chocolate is melting, whisk the sugar, eggs, vanilla, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl until combined. Pour the melted chocolate/butter mixture into the bowl and mix it all up good. Then mix in the flour until no streaks remain.
    • Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.  Sprinkle the top with nuts (or not) before placing in the oven.  Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached (about 25 minutes with all-purpose GF flour mix, or about 35 minutes when using GF pancake mix).  To be safe, start checking it around 25 minutes no matter what.  It would be shame to lose these morsels of deliciousnesss to overcooking
    • Enjoy! Maybe even better with a couple scoops of Bryers vanilla ice-cream (it's GF)!

    Gluten Free Oatmeal Raisin Spice Cookies

    Oats scared me for a while.  When I first found out what my problem was (celiac disease), the jury was still out on the safety of oats.  Soon it was discovered that the reason why so many people with gluten sensitivities had problems with oats was due to cross-contamination. Although that should have made me feel safe, it didn't.  Having celiac disease can make you pretty paranoid about what you eat! Nowadays there are a number of companies offering gluten-free oats.  The certified gluten-free oats I used for this recipe were made by Gifts of Nature, Inc.  But there are a lot of different companies doing GF oats like: Lara Scudder's Oats, Gluten Free Oats, Bob's Red Mill, Only Oats, and Gluten Free Oat Matzos.

    After making these, I gave them to a bunch of my friends.  When I handed my friend Katie a container full of these cookies, she looked at me with a bit of apprehension in her eyes.  Katie has to be GF as well, and she too was nervous around oats.  I assured her that they were safe, and that I had used myself as a guinea pig the day before and had eaten quite a few cookies without any negative reaction.  After the first cookie was slowly eaten, the next few were practically inhaled!  I love these cookies, and they remind me of how much I missed eating oatmeal and Cheerios. The following recipe came from the book: Martha Sterwart's Cookies.
    I used my own GF flour mix for these. You are going to love these cookies!

    The Following gluten-free flour recipe was adapted from the book The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Fast And Healthy by Bette Hagman.

    Gluten Free Flour Mix
    • 3 cups white rice flour
    • 1 cup potato flour
    • ½ cup tapioca flour
    • 2 tsp xanthan gum

    Oatmeal Raisin Spice Cookie Ingredients
    • 3 cups GF oats
    • 1 cup GF flour
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 2 sticks  softened unsalted butter
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 cup light brown sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract (make sure it's GF!)
    • 1 1/2 cups raisins

    Cooking Directions
    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Stir together the oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.
    • Using an electric mixer (or by hand if you like that kind of workout), combine the butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes).  Mix in the eggs and vanilla and reduce mixer speed to low.  Add the oat mixture and mix until just combined. Add the raisins last.
    • Use heavy duty aluminum foil to line baking sheets, or just coat baking sheets with cooking spray.  Using a 1 or 1 1/2 inch ice-cream scooper, drop dough balls onto baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
    • Bake until golden (about 13 minutes).  Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes on baking sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.  
    • Try not to eat enough to give you a stomach ache, and share with friends.