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Replica PAMELA’S Chocolate Coconut Whenever Bars (SAVE $4.65 a box!)

These bars were one of the first Gluten-Free goodies that I bought for my daughter that tasted good!  REALLY good!!  And they came from a box, albeit and expensive box!  At about $5.75 for a box of 5 bars, there are a little too pricey for my everyday grocery budget.

 I immediately starting looking for someone who had tried to make a replica of these, and then I found CassidyCraveableCreations.  She did a Copy Cat Lemon Blueberry version, however, her household is also dairy, soy and grain free.  I took the “nuts and bolts” of her recipe and made it to suit our needs and made it into the Chocolate Coconut instead…what can I say…I LOVE chocolate!

Replica Pamela's Chocolate Coconut Whenever Bars!

Gluten-Free Replica Pamela’s Chocolate Coconut Whenever Bars!

After pricing out my ingredients, I was shocked to see that I was able to make each bar for only $.32!!!  That’s a savings of $.93 a bar or $4.65 for a box!  On top of that, this recipe will make approximately 30 bars, so freeze them and take them out as you wish (they are even delicious right out of the freezer).  These are soft, chewy and packed full of flavor.  The oats and chia seeds add lots of nutritional value too.

Ingredients:   Yields 20-30 bars

1 cup Gluten Free flour blend
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (certified gluten free)
1/2 cup brown sugar substitute (I used Splenda)
1/4 cup agave or honey
1/4 cup butter, melted
6 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp chia seeds (optional)
1 egg
1 Tbsp vanilla
3/4 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut, shredded

Note: Each bar contains approximately 30 grams of carbs.  These can easily be made into cookies and halfed in sized for a lower carb treat, or simply cut each bar in half!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place parchment paper and/or grease one or two cookie sheets, depending on the size of your bars (2 sheets is a safe bet).  Mix flours, baking soda, salt and xanthan gum  in large mixing bowl.  In another bowl beat together the brown sugar, butter, agave, vanilla, egg and milk.  Add chia seeds and stir.  In large mixing bowl with paddle attachment, combine the liquid ingredients to the dry.  Mix until incorporated.

imageDough will be thick and sticky.  Add the oats, chocolate and coconut.  Mix again until combined.

imageThe dough will be sticky, so you can use slightly wet hands, or dust them in some tapioca flour.  Scoop your desired amount (I used about 2 large tablespoons per bar) and shape bars in your hands.  These will not change size much in oven, so you can place them close together.  After you have arranged them, put in oven for 10-12 minutes or until they turn a very light golden brown.

before going into oven...

before going into oven…

after they came out of oven.

after they came out of oven…YUM!!

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These delicious bars are great for a quick snack, a tasty breakfast, or a perfect compliment to your lunch box.  Stayed tuned for more replica “whenever bar” recipes!

So good!!

So good!!

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I’ve been on a DONUT bender!! These are a MUST TRY! Gluten-Free, Baked Cinnamon-Sugar Donuts…and more

Seriously, this is no exaggeration.  I have been popping out dozen after dozen for a week now.  My husband and my waistline are begging me to stop!!  No surprise that our little girls aren’t complaining 🙂

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You see, since we’ve become a Gluten-Free household I’ve had a “bucket list” of items that I had to conquer.  And by conquer I mean, I had to find a recipe that was as good, if not better, than the old gluten standby.  I will not lie, in the beginning, I didn’t think it possible, but let me tell you just how wrong I was…REALLY, REALLY WRONG!!  A few things on that bucket list…Flour tortillasChocolate Chip Cookies, Bread, Cupcakes and, yes, DONUTS!  

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These are sooooo good!  Now these bad boys are baked and not fried, but yet somehow still fill that fried, crispy, soft, light, doughy void of loveliness.  I could only imagine if one were to fry them (wink, wink), just how much more decadent they would be!

Just to illustrate how bad (and by bad I mean good!) it’s been, I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

Baked gluten free donut

Baked gluten free donut fresh out of the oven!

Vanilla Glazed gluten free donut

2 different recipes: Vanilla Glazed

Gluten Free donuts...Awesome!

Cinnamon Sugar

Chocolate Glazed gluten free donut

Chocolate Glazed Cake Donut

Peanut Butter Frosted

My “final” recipe came about by combining two exceptional recipes from PrairieHive & SmashedPeasAndCarrots.  And it wouldn’t be complete without a slightly adapted version of Nicole Hunn’s, Better than Cup 4 Cup Flour

Oh, and if you haven’t already invested the $10 or so that a donut pan costs…please, stop what you are doing and run to your local store and buy one.  I suppose, if you can wait, you could also buy one at Amazon.

BAKED GLUTEN FREE DONUTS

Ingredients:   Yields between 7-9 donuts (random, I know, but due to combining the recipes)

1 cup Gluten Free flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup milk
2 Tbsp plain Greek yogurt (full fat is what I recommend)

Note: Each donut has approx. 30 grams of carbs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray your donut pan liberally with cooking spray.  You know the drill…mix all dry ingredients, in seperate bowl, mix all wet ingredients.  Add the two together and stir well until combined.

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Now, if you would like you could use a pastry bag or a plastic bag with the tip cut off to pipe the batter into each donut ring, or simply use a spoon and a finger to smooth the needed amount into each.  Fill each donut ring to a little more than half full.

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 Bake for 7-10 minutes or until light golden brown around edges.  Let cool for 5-10 minutes in pan then turn onto a cooling rack.

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Side by side comparison of the two recipes I combined…both so good!

So now what?  You have these beautiful fluffy, warm donuts beckoning you to eat them…but what about the glaze, sugar or frosting??  Well, if you are like me, you should probably just eat one right away…for quality control.

My simple and personal favorite, Cinnamon-Sugar!  Take a plastic bag and fill with your desired amount of sugar and cinnamon.  Place one donut at a time in bag and shake, shake, shake…viola!

Here is also a very simple and light vanilla glaze from PrairieHive:

Vanilla Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Wisk all ingredients together and dip donuts.

Peanut Butter Glaze/Frosting  by Shutterbean

  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar (I greatly reduced the sugar to keep carbs down)
  • hot water (I used milk)

Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat until browned and smelling nutty (be careful not to burn)!  Add peanut butter and powdered sugar and wisk together.  Add water (or milk) until desired consistency.  Let cool slightly and dip donuts.

Please do share your favorite donut recipe and/or topping.  I’m all ears!

 

SO EASY, Almond-Cranberry Chocolate Bark. Only 3 Ingredients!!

I use almonds and dried cranberries a lot for a couple reasons.  First, they are fairly inexpensive (I get my from Sam’s Club and double up when they go on sale!), and second, they work great with both sweet and savory dishes.  Anything from salads, to bread pudding. This incredibly simple Chocolate Bark is no exception. It takes minutes, but will be a big hit with any crowd!  Feel free to sub any nut or dried fruit to suit your tastes.

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In a microwave safe bowl, put as much chocolate as you want (I used the equivalent of a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips).  Microwave for 30-45 second increments and stir well each time until all chips are melted and it looks glossy like this.

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Next add the nuts and dried fruit (I added approximately 1 heaping cup of each).  Stir until everything is coated.

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Spread mixture out on a cookie sheet that has been lined with a piece of wax or parchment paper.  Place in frig (or freezer, to speed up process) until set.  Anywhere from 15-30 minutes.

before chocolate bark has set

before chocolate bark has set

after chocolate bark has set

after chocolate bark has set

Break up into desired sizes and enjoy!!  This treat doesn’t last long in our house seeing as I justify it with being “somewhat” healthy…I mean it does have almonds and fruit in it! 😉

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Almond-Cranberry Chocolate Bark

Ingredients

1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips (or chocolate of your choice)
1 heaping cup whole almonds
1 heaping cup dried cranberries

What variations have you tried?  Let me know!

 

HOLIDAY Gift Ideas, Quick, Easy and HOMEMADE! ~Fantastic Granola & Peppermint Bark~

I have officially given up on store bought gifts for those wonderful people who I entrust with the safety of my two beautiful daughters.  I mean really, how many coffee cups, candies, socks, or Starbucks gift cards can one person get (actually, scratch that, I would never turn down a gift card for coffee 😉 )  Not to mention finding thoughtful gifts for co-workers, friends and family members.

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I guess if I’m being totally honest, it’s hard for me to spend money on something that, well, they may just re-gift to distant Aunt Sally.  If nothing else, at least they will know that some thought and love went into their gift.  And chances are, they will LOVE the delectible gift even more than a free cup of coffee!

A few ideas that I will be gifting this year…My Fantastic Gluten-Free Granola Recipe, (seriously some of the best stuff I have ever had) and a sweet treat of Peppermint Bark for those chocolate lovers…guilty!

Gluten-Free Almond & Cranberry Granola

Ingredients:   Yields approx 15-20 servings

4 1/2 cups Gluten-Free certified Rolled Oats 

3/4 cup ground Flax seed or ground GF rolled oats

1 1/4 cup Almonds (slivered, chopped or whole…your preference)

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup shredded coconut (I use the unsweetened, but use what you like)

2 Tbsp packed brown sugar

1/2 cup agave or honey

1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 Tbsp Pure Vanilla

1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Spray lightly with cooking spray.  Combine oats, flax seed, almonds, sunflower seeds and coconut in a large mixing bowl and stir well.  In a microwave safe bowl, combine the brown sugar, agave, oil, cinnamon and vanilla.  Heat for 30 seconds at a time then stir well.  Do this until all ingredients are dissolved, about 1-2 minutes total.

Dry Granola Ingredients

Dry Granola Ingredients

Mix glaze into dry ingredients until evenly coated.  Spread granola evenly on both sheets.  Bake for 20 minutes total, turning after 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and let it cool completely.  Before storing in airtight container, add dried cranberries.  This delicious granola can be enjoyed morning, noon or night.  Mix with plain or fruit yogurt, milk, on ice cream, fresh fruit…the possibilities are endless!  Get creative: use other nuts, dried fruit or sweetener.

Use a classic glass container to highlight the contents and dress up with some holiday ribbon and details.  Voila!

Note: Each 1/2 cup of granola contains approximately 30 grams of carbs. 

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Fabulous Gluten Free Granola

Fabulous Gluten Free Granola

Peppermint Bark

Ingredients:

1 bag white chocolate chips, chunks or large bar

1 bag dark chocolate chips, chunks or large bar (milk chocolate, semi-sweet or any other variety will work)

Handful of candy canes, or 1/2 bag of mint candies, crushed

If you don’t want to deal with double boilers, and if I don’t have to then I won’t, simply place all white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat for about 30-45 seconds at a time, stirring well each time.  Depending on the white chocolate you use, you may want to add a tablespoon or two of canola oil to make it more silky and smooth.  On a sheet pan that’s been lined with parchment paper, spread melted white chocolate in a thin layer across the sheet.  Allow to cool for about 15-20 minutes or to speed up process, place in frig for 5-10 minutes.  Melt the chocolate using the same steps.  Oil should not be necessary with the chocolate.  Spread chocolate on top of the white chocolate in the same thin layer.  Simply sprinkle on the crushed peppermint candy and pat down lightly with the back of a spoon or spatula.  Allow to cool completely.  I place the sheet in the frig until firm.  Break bark into pieces and add your decorative touch.  Place in a pretty box, or a see-through container.  For smaller portions, wrap in the pretty holiday baggies and tie with string.  It’s a guaranteed hit!

Note: this is not the most Diabetic Friendly recipe, but I believe all things in moderation.  I allow my daughter to have a small piece after dinner.  Carbs will vary with size of piece and chocolate used.

Merry Christmas!!

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Mouth-watering Peppermint Bark!

Mouth-watering Peppermint Bark!

EASY ‘Gluten-Free’ Chewy Chocolate, Almond & Cranberry Granola Bars

Super yummy and chewy Gluten Free granola bars

Super yummy and chewy Gluten Free granola bars

My girls love these!  These super chewy and wholesome granola bars are something you can feel good about packing in your kid’s lunchbox.  Did I mention they are super quick and easy to make…you only need 1 bowl!  I stumbled upon this recipe years ago from ThreeManyCooks on a newspaper insert.  I tweaked it to make it Gluten-Free and reduced the sugar but the results are just as tasty!  I also add flax seed to mine, which gives you that additional boost in fiber.  You can get as creative as you want with the add-ins…I do use chocolate chips, because, let’s face it…when a kid sees chocolate they just assume “treat” and not “this is how I fool you into eating good stuff”! 

Chewy Chocolate, Almond & Cranberry Granola Bars

Ingredients:  Yields approx. 12-14 bars

2 cups rolled oats (certified gluten free…I use Bob’s Red Mill)

1/4 cup rolled oats (that have been finely ground in the food processor)

1/4 cup flax seed meal

1 cup slivered almonds

1/2 cup chocolate chips or chunks

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 can (7 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

3 Tbsp agave syrup

Each bar (1/12 of recipe) equals approx. 38 grams of carbs.  I usually cut them in half again for my daughters making them 19 grams each. 

Note: If you want to omit the flax seed, use 1/2 cup of finely ground rolled oats.  Get creative!  Use walnuts, dried cherries, apricots or blueberries.  Take out the chocolate and add coconut flakes…or, heck, just leave the chocolate!

imagePreheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease a 9″ square pan liberally, or for even easier removal, line with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray.

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and pat into the pan.  I will tear a piece of parchment paper and use that to press the granola mix evenly and firmly into the pan.  Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until edges are golden brown.  Let pan cool completely.  You can pop it in the freezer (once it’s cooled!) to make it easier to cut.  These will last about a week in an air tight container on the counter, or, my prefered method is to freeze them.  They actually taste great right out of the freezer, but will thaw by lunch time for you or the kids.

Quick & Easy Gluten Free Granola Bars

Quick & Easy Gluten Free Granola Bars

It’s not Thanksgiving without a Gluten-Free PUMPKIN ROLL!

There is NO way to tell this apart from the Gluten-Filled counterpart!

There is NO way to tell this apart from the Gluten-Filled counterpart!

For me, personally, it’s not Thanksgiving without this delicious treat.  Man, did my Mom have me fooled when she would make one of these bad boys this time of year.  She will self admittedly tell you she is no Betty Crocker in the kitchen (she’s come a loooong way-love you Ma!), but when she would whip these up come the holiday season, she made everyone believe otherwise.  I mean, you have to roll them after all…so they must be really hard to make, right?….well, guess again!  This Gluten Free Pumpkin Roll is not only easy to make, but it tastes exactly like the Gluten-filled version (My Dad was totally fooled)!!  Moist, full of pumpkin flavor…and don’t get me started on that cream cheese icing!

Gluten Free Pumpkin Roll

Ingredients:   Yields 12 pieces

3/4 cup Gluten-Free Flour Blend
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup Splenda sugar substitute
2/3 cup pumpkin puree (not the pie mix)
FILLING
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Powdered sugar (optional for decoration)

Note: This is the traditional recipe that I altered by Libby’s Pure Pumpkin, but if you would like to cut the fat and carbs more, you could easily cut the filling ingredients by half!  I found it to be almost too much this time around.

Each piece (1/12) of Pumpkin roll has approx 30 grams of carbs.  If you decide to cut the filling in half, please adjust the carbs accordingly

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a 10×15 baking sheet (with a lip!) with parchment paper.  Grease wax paper lightly.  Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and sugar(s) in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan.

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Bake for 11 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. Immediately loosen and turn cake onto another lightly greased piece of parchment paper. Carefully peel off existing paper. Roll up cake using a dish towel to guide it (it’s hot)!  Let cool at room temperature.  If you try to speed up the process in a frig or freezer, cracking will result.

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FOR FILLING:
BEAT cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake and re-roll.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.  Make a couple of these and freeze for another holiday party…they freeze really well!!

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Moist Gluten-Free Chocolate Scratch Cake & Cupcakes! My lifesaver…

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Mouth-watering Gluten-Free Chocolate Scratch Cake

In the month of September I had 9 birthdays in my classroom (I’m a teacher at a childcare center).  That equates to A LOT of cupcakes!  What’s bittersweet is that I have my own 4 year-old in my class who happens to have Celiac and Type 1 Diabetes.  I say bittersweet because I am so blessed to be able to stay on top of her Diabetes, not to mention I get to see that beautiful face everyday…ALL day…Every.  Single.  Day…wait where was I…?

When she dips low I am there with my fistful of jelly beans and if she is running high for whatever reason, I can administer a quick correction without skipping a beat.  After lunch I meticulously count up her nicely labeled carbs from her packed lunch and poke her with the appropriate amount of insulin.  She has come to accept that she can’t have certain foods and that she requires a shot before or after every meal and before bedtime, but to see her face when her friends are handing out that sugary, Gluten-filled treat is almost more than I can bare!  To avoid this I usually bring in a “special” Gluten-Free treat for her to take her mind off of the rainbow colored frosting or the cute ring that adorns what seems like all store bought cupcakes now-a-days.  Sometimes I am successful, but there are the other occasions when no matter how tasty the alternative, it’s still not a CUPCAKE!  Honestly, I almost cried one time when a classmate offered her one.  She shook her head no and told her she couldn’t have it.  Her eyes started to well up with tears and she looked longingly as her friend moved on to the next classmate who eagerly accepted.  In that one moment I knew that nothing else would do…I had to make Gluten-Free Diabetic cupcakes that she too could enjoy with the rest of her friends!…..TA-DA!

Gluten-Free Chocolate Scratch Cupcakes

Gluten-Free Chocolate Scratch Cupcakes

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The Lifesaver…Elena’s Gluten-Free Cupcake!!

This recipe has been more than just my Lifesaver, it’s also what my husband requested for his birthday cake.  When asked what he wanted, his response…”chocolate & chocolate”!  Done and done.  Now I will tell you that the frosting in the picture is a Chocolate Buttercream that I made from scratch thanks to the Barefoot Contessa, http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/chocolate-buttercream-frosting-recipe/index.html.  Was my husband worth it…absolutely!   Will I make it again…unlikely!  It looked like a chocolate bomb went off in my kitchen, and dropping butter in a mixer 1 tablespoon at a time, and there are 24 tablespoons in the recipe (yes…that many)!…not exactly my quick and easy kind of approach.  For what it’s worth though…it was divine 🙂

I also “literally” whipped up this Whipped Cream Frosting in no time and it added almost nothing to the total carb count!  It was light, delicious and just sweet enough!  http://www.joyofbaking.com/WhippedCreamFrosting.html

**Oh, and to the other parents of a Gluten-Free child that have to deal with endless birthday/social events at school that involve sugary, Glutenous snacks…Make a dozen of these, place them in the freezer until firm, top with icing of your choice, place in freezer again so icing can set, then wrap them individually and place in a container or Ziploc bag.  If school allows, leave them at school in a freezer to be taken out (one at a time) the morning of “said” event or simply put one in your child’s backpack or lunchbox.  By the time the party rolls around it should be defrosted.  Crisis averted and no long faces!

Moist Gluten-Free Chocolate Scratch Cake/Cupcakes

Ingredients:   Yields 2 dozen (24) cupcakes

3 cups Gluten-Free Flour Mix  (1 1/2 c brown rice flour, 1 cup tapioca starch, 1/2 cup potato starch)

1 cup Cocoa unsweetened

1 cup sugar

1 cup sugar substitute (or the equivalent) I used Splenda

1 tsp salt

4 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum

1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp oil

2 Tbsp white vinegar

2 eggs

1 1/2 cup water

1/2 cup applesauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In medium sized bowl combine all dry ingredients and whisk together.  Add in all wet ingredients and blend well for a few minutes.  Pour into a greased 13″x9″ pan or two 8″ cake pans or muffin pans.  The cakes take about 20-25 minutes while the cupcakes take 14-18 minutes.  Insert toothpick and when it comes out clean…Done!!

Note: If you are not diabetic or trying to watch your sugar intake, by all means use 2 cups sugar instead of the sugar substitute.  

Each (un-iced) cupcake is approx 26 grams of carbohydrates.  

Gluten-Free Chocolate cupcakes w/ Whipped Cream Frosting!

Gluten-Free Chocolate cupcakes w/ Whipped Cream Frosting!

AMAZING Gluten-Free Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

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After Elena’s diagnosis, my first knee-jerk reaction was to find a Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe I could master.  Sounds totally backwards, right?  She now has Juvenile Diabetes and possibly Celiac Disease (it had not been confirmed at that point).  So why cookies??….because she’s a 3 year-old KID, that’s why!!  My sadness and warped feelings of guilt made me wonder if she could ever really feel like a kid again.  With that one prick of her finger her entire childhood innocence was gone!  I needed to be able to make her feel otherwise.

imageChocolate chip cookies, the natural choice, at least for me.  Since we were still in transition from our move, we spent the first month and a half with my parents (and what a blessing that was)!  They amusingly watched me spend hours slaving away, recipe after recipe, but nothing was quite right.  The taste was there,  but they would crumble to the touch and you needed a half gallon of milk just to get them down.  Then I managed to get the texture how I wanted it but the taste was off.  Eight months later and I’ve got it!  Delicious Chewy Gluten-Free, Diabetic Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s true!  They are sooooooo good that I am forced to freeze them soon after baking them just to keep from eating the entire batch.  I took them to a get together the other day and they LOVED them…none the wiser.  I took them to my job and passed them out…they wanted MORE!  Seriously, you have got to try them…after all, I did spend eight months fine tuning the recipe!

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I added M&M’s to this batch…Yum!

THE BEST Gluten-Free Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:   Makes 3 dozen cookies

2 1/4 cup of my Gluten Free flour blend*

1 stick butter, softened

1/4 cup applesauce

1/3 cup Splenda brown sugar blend

1/4 cup honey

1 1/4 tsp Xanthan Gum

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1 egg

1 to 2 cups chocolate chips (I use only 1 cup for diabetic reasons and the carb ratio reflects that)

*Gluten-free flour blend–1/2 cup oat flour, 1/2 cup brown rice flour, 1/2 cup coconut flour, 1/2 cup tapioca flour, 1/4 cup cornstarch.

Each cookie has only 13 grams of carbohydrates

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  I line my cookie sheets with parchment paper but that is optional.  Cream the butter, honey, applesauce and brown sugar in a large bowl with a mixer for about 2 minutes.  Add vanilla and egg and mix together for another 2 minutes.

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In another medium sized bowl, whisk together the Gluten-Free flour blend, xanthan gum, baking soda and salt.  Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.  Stirring or mixing well after adding.  Fold in the chocolate chips and drop a large tablespoon at a time onto the cookie sheet (a dozen per baking sheet). Bake for 7-9 minutes until golden brown.

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Absolutely the BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies I’ve ever had!!!

Enjoy!!!  I know I do…

Got great variations or additions?  I’d love to hear them!

Mini Gluten-Free PUMPKIN PIES

It’s that time of year!  The weather is getting a little more brisk.  I seriously can’t get enough of Pumpkin Lattes (only 1 pump NOT 3 please!)  And baking seems like the right thing to do.

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This recipe transformed itself from what was supposed to be a pumpkin muffin (moist, light and fluffy) to what it is now…a true Mini Pumpkin Pie in a convenient “on the go” little muffin shape.  Super moist and full of that delicious “Pumpkin Pie” flavor but without the Gluten guilt and also Diabetic friendly.  These Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pies are awesome by themselves, but my preference is to top them with a BIG dollop of whipped cream or, (if you want to be a little more decadent) Cream Cheese Icing!  These are great for making in large batches and freezing for later enjoyment.  Thaw in frig or on counter overnight.  Best served slightly warm.

Ingredients:   Makes 12 Mini Pies 

6 Tbsp Butter (room temp)

1/4 cup Honey

1/4 cup Splenda Brown Sugar blend  (if you want to use regular brown sugar, you would use 1/2 cup)

2 eggs

1 tsp Vanilla extract

1 1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree (canned pumpkin)

1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp Sour Cream

2 tsp Baking Powder

1/4 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Xantham Gum

1 tsp Cinnamon

1/4 tsp Nutmeg

1/4 tsp Ground Cloves

1/4 cup Milk

2 Cups Gluten-Free Flour*

*I used 2/3 cup Sorghum flour, 2/3 cup  White Rice Flour, 2/3 cup Tapioca Starch

Each Mini Pie contains approx. 28 grams of carbohydrates

Just a note: I did attempt to make them with only a sugar substitute and they turned out with the same great consistency, but I couldn’t get past that “fake sugary” aftertaste, if you know what I mean!  If you prefer to lower the carbs even more, use whatever sugar substitute you prefer in place of honey and brown sugar, however please keep in mind that if you use only a  granular sugar you might want to increase the milk by 1/8-1/4 cup.  Cheers!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease muffin pan.  Beat butter, honey and brown sugar together until creamed.  Add eggs and blend again.  Add the rest of ingredients with the exception of the milk and flour.  Blend well.  Add milk and flour and give it one more beating!  Batter will be the consistency of a thick cake batter.

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Unlike most typical “muffins” fill greased or lined muffin tins almost to the top!  They will rise but not much and after cooling they do deflate a little as well.  Cook for 22-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool in pan for about 10 minutes, remove and enjoy as listed above.  Makes 12+ Mini Pumpkin Pies.

Make a double batch and freeze for a quick holiday treat at a later time!

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My basis for this recipe was derived from EatingGlutenFree.com.  I tweaked it to make it more Diabetic-friendly and used my own GF Flour mix.  I also played with the amount of certain ingredients and the oven temp.  Thank you ladies!

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