Category Archives: dessert

The Best Gluten Free Christmas Sugar Cookie (Cut-Out Style) Recipe

The Best Gluten Free Sugar Cookies from https://jenfongeats.wordpress.comI’ve now been gluten-free since April, and have lost 2 sizes since I made the switch. I’ve experimented with lots of gluten-free cooking and baking, and have found a lot of recipes that I really like. The toughest thing, though, is gluten-free baking. Getting the right mix of flours to simulate wheat has been tricky at best, with each combination “almost” there, but not quite. I’ve enjoyed being able to make baguettes and such, but I’m still working on a recipe that is, in my opinion, ideal.

Now that the holidays are here, I was wondering how I was going to make Christmas cookies. Every year my kids and I have made sugar cookies…you know, the kind you roll out and decorate. We always leave some out for Santa. And I wanted to find a batch this year that we could all eat, that tasted as good as I remember.

The Best Gluten Free Sugar Cookies from https://jenfongeats.wordpress.comFriends, I’ve done it. I found the perfect recipe. This is one that we will make forever. I hope your family enjoys it as much as we do. (Note that this recipe is not refined sugar-free. Although I usually cook without refined sugar, this recipe is an exception.)

It starts with an all-purpose gluten free flour mix I developed. Make this first, and you can use it in other recipes as well.

Jen’s Gluten-Free Pastry Flour Mix 

  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 cup sorghum flour
  • 1 cup sweet rice flour
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 cup dry milk
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum

Combine all ingredients in an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator.

The Best Gluten Free Christmas Sugar Cookie Recipe

The Best Gluten Free Sugar Cookies from https://jenfongeats.wordpress.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) organic unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup organic pure cane sugar
  • 1 large organic egg, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups Jen’s Gluten-Free Pastry Flour Mix
  • 1 cup blanched almond flour (Honeyville brand is best)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Here’s What to Do:

  1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy using a hand or stand mixer.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla, mixing until fully incorporated.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flours, baking powder and salt.
  4. Add flour mixture to the butter mixture and blend on low until fully combined.
  5. Divide the dough into 2 disks, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for about an hour or until firm.
  6. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  7. Take dough out of refrigerator and place on a (gluten-free!) floured surface. (Use the all-purpose mix, or rice or tapioca flour.)
  8. Slowly roll out the dough to about 1/4″ thick, repairing cracks as they appear. The key here is to go slowly.
  9. Use cookie cutters to cut dough into desired shapes, and place on parchment paper covered cookie sheets. Decorate as desired.
  10. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, just until bottoms are starting to brown. Do not overbake.
  11. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Enjoy!

Here a batch my kids made. Poor arm-less cookie man. 🙂

The Best Gluten Free Sugar Cookies from https://jenfongeats.wordpress.com

The Best Gluten Free Sugar Cookies from https://jenfongeats.wordpress.com

What kind of cookies do you like to make with your kids? How have you adapted your traditions to a gluten-free lifestyle? Would love to read your thoughts in the comments below!

Nutty Dark Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe (Grain-free, Gluten-free, Fruit-sweetened)

Occasionally I like to have a treat waiting for my kids when they get off the school bus. I don’t think there’s much more inviting than walking into the house after a long day and smelling fresh-baked cookies coming out of the oven.

But with this new eating plan, I’ve been trying to cut back on the wheat and sugar for them, as well as me. That makes cookie baking a bit more challenging.

I’ve been working on this cookie recipe for a while. At first, they were too soft…almost like cake. But I finally perfected it. They’re not TOO sweet, have a nice crunch, and are absolutely delicious. I hope your kids enjoy them as much as mine do!

Nutty Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 6 pitted dates
  • 1 banana
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) organic butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup almond butter (or nut butter of your choice), room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup chopped nuts (I used raw almonds)
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Here’s What To Do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. Soak the dates in hot water for 10 minutes or until soft.
  4. In a blender, combined drained dates, banana, egg, melted butter and vanilla until dates are completely pureed.
  5. In a large bowl, combine almond butter and date mixture until completely combined.
  6. In a small bowl, combine coconut flour, salt and baking soda. Add to almond butter mixture in large bowl and stir until combined.
  7. Mix in chopped nuts and chocolate chips.
  8. Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto baking sheet, about 1/2 inch apart (these will not spread much while baking.)
  9. Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly golden.
  10. Allow to cool for a few minutes, and then remove from baking sheet.
  11. Enjoy!

I hope you and your family enjoy these cookies as much as we do!

Healthy Chocolate Truffles (Gluten Free and Refined Sugar Free)

You know how sometimes you just need some chocolate?

And not that virtuous square of dark chocolate. I mean some creamy, delicious chocolate that rolls around in your mouth and tastes like heaven? If you know what I’m talking about, then this post is for you.

One of the important things with a lifestyle change like giving up wheat and refined sugar is having some go-to snacks stashed away for emergencies. I keep a container of raw mixed nuts and seeds with freeze-dried strawberries that I mix up available for snacking when I’m starving (it ALWAYS fills me.)

But when I need something a bit more decadent, like when I’m enjoying a glass of red wine before bed in the evening, I reach for these babies. These are my healthy creamy chocolate truffles, and there’s not a drop of refined sugar in them. Instead, they’re sweetened by pitted dates, and pack a nutritional punch of protein and antioxidants. Yummy AND good for you? You bet!

I roll them in coconut, but you can use more cacao powder, nuts, or whatever you desire. I hope you love them as much as I do!

Healthy Chocolate Truffles (Gluten Free and Refined Sugar Free)

Ingredients

  • 10 pitted dates
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
  • 3 Tbsp unsweetened almond butter
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut

Here’s What To Do:

  1. In your blender or food processor, combine dates, cacao powder, almond butter and coconut oil on low speed until dates are fully pulverized and the mixture is creamy.
  2. Place coconut in a small bowl.
  3. Scoop chocolate mixture out by teaspoonfuls and roll in coconut to form truffles.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until firm.
  5. Scoop out any remaining chocolate truffle mixture with your spatula and lick until the blender is clean! 🙂 (Watch your fingers!)

Would love to hear how you like these! 

What wheat and refined sugar-free snacks do you keep on hand?

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes and Pumpkin Spice Latte

September 1, my beloved Starbucks started selling the Pumpkin Spice Latte once again.  Now while I am normally a black coffee purist, I must admit that I have an unhealthy obsession with the Pumpkin Spice Latte.  All those fall flavors are just outrageously good together, and I find myself missing them in the summer when they’re not available.

This year, however, my family is on a stricter budget due to the economy, just like everyone else.  However I don’t need to give up my favorite treats altogether!  Here are my home versions, and you can make enough for your entire family, for about the price of one serving at Starbucks!

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Ingredients:

1 box spice cake mix
1 egg
2 cups pure pumpkin puree (I take it from the large can so I can make the lattes too)
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup butter or butter substitute (such as Smart Balance), softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup rolled oats
2 Tbsp flour

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine spice cake mix, egg, pumpkin, and pecans in a bowl until combined.
  3. Evenly divide mix among 12 muffin cups.
  4. In a small bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, oats, and flour.
  5. Evenly divide brown sugar mixture among 12 muffins, spreading over the top of the pumpkin batter.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.
  7. Cool on wire rack.
  8. Serve, preferably with pumpkin spice lattes.

While your cupcakes are in the oven, whip up a pumpkin spice latte to enjoy with it!

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Ingredients

2 Tbsp Pumpkin puree
1/2 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream, divided
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups strong black coffee (I like to brew this in a french press)
1 Tbsp powdered sugar
1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Method:

  1. In a blender, combine the pumpkin, milk, 1/2 cup of cream, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and vanilla until smooth.
  2. Transfer mixture into a saucepan, and heat on low until warm and frothy, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat.
  3. While pumpkin mixture is heating, brew the coffee.
  4. In a small bowl, put the remaining 1/2 cup of heavy cream, 1 Tbsp powdered sugar, and 1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice.  Whip with whisk until soft peaks form.
  5. Pour 1/2 cup of pumpkin mixture into each cup.  Top with black coffee.
  6. Top each drink with heavy cream, and a sprinkling of nutmeg and cinnamon.
  7. Serve at once.

Aug Pics 202Eat your heart out, Starbucks!

Birthday Eatings – Homemade Pizza Dough and Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Today is my oldest son’s birthday party.  Even though he turned 7 last week, all the Easter festivities necessitated a delay in the party.  So it’s finally the day, and the menu is make your own pizzas, and star-shaped cupcakes (his favorite color is yellow.)

I’ve prebaked the pizza crusts, so all they need to do is add sauce and cheese.  The cupcakes are made from a store-bought mix, with sprinkles added to the batter.  Here are my recipes:

Bread Machine Pizza Dough Recipe (adapted from a recipe found on 101cookbooks.com)

1 3/4 cups cold water
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp honey (for flavor, dough doesn’t actually need it)
4 1/2 cups flour (sometimes I do this with white whole wheat flour, which you can get from King Arthur)
1 3/4 tsp salt
1 package active dry yeast
A few tbsp rosemary and thyme (not in today’s dough, but it’s yummy for our usual homemade pizza dinners)

Place ingredients into bread machine in order shown above.  Set to dough cycle.

When dough is done, preheat oven to as hot as it will go (mine goes to 550 degrees) Remove dough from bread machine and cut into 2 pieces for standard-sized pizzas, or 8 balls for individual servings.  Flour your hands and shape into rounds (or whatever you like.)  Lest rest for about 10 minutes.

At this point you can either add your toppings, reduce oven heat to 475 degrees, and then put your pizzas in the oven for 10 minutes.

Pre-Baked Pizza Crusts

Pre-Baked Pizza Crusts

Or, if you want to pre-bake the crusts, brush the dough with some olive oil.  I also like to sprinkle with a bit of garlic powder and some grated parmesian reggiano cheese.  Bake crusts for about 7 minutes or until JUST starting to brown.  Remove from oven and let cool.  You can freeze these if you like.  When ready to prepare them, just thaw (if frozen), add toppings, and bake at 475 degrees for about 5-7 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Done!

The cupcakes are much easier.  Using a box of yellow cake, prepare according to package directions.  Once it’s done, mix in about 1 cup of rainbow sprinkles.  Bake as directed.

For the frosting, we like a cream cheese frosting, lightly sweetened.  Here’s my recipe:

Cream Cheese Frosting

Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

1 stick butter at room temperature
1 package cream cheese at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp honey
1/2-3/4 cup powdered sugar
10 drops food coloring (if desired)

Using either an electric mixer or a spatula, cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth and light.  Add vanilla and honey and continue to stir until well-blended.  Add enough powdered sugar to achieve desired consistency, and then add food coloring if desired.  Spread on well-cooled cupcakes.  Top with sprinkles if desired!

YUM!