Gluten Free Coffee Brownies

coffeebrownies1 I’ve been refining my cooking skills a bit lately, and not only cooking gluten free, but making my food friendly for a family member who is a type 2 diabetic. Since we generally ate pretty healthy, there weren’t a lot of major changes going on, but there’s been a lot of education, and me playing around in the kitchen to make things that taste great and that everyone can eat. I’m not a short order cook.

Treats have been a harder thing for me to tackle, Gluten free baking is it’s own beast and measurements need to be precise. My stomach is very finicky about a lot of the diabetic approved sugar substitutes, and in the end, a treat needs to taste like a treat.

This turned out very good. My picky stomach was happy, the Diabetic enjoyed it and blood sugar was happy. Ingredients:
For the brownies:
1 1/2 cup almond flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1-2 tablespoons stevia (this is optional depending on how sweet you want it)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
5 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup strongly brewed coffee, cooled

For the frosting:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup strong coffee, cooled
3-4 tablespoons powdered (confectioner’s) sugar

coffeebrownies3Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9×13 pan, and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, stevia if desired, salt, and cocoa power, and baking powder. Melt the unsweetened chocolate and butter together in a small pan on the stove, stirring occasionally until completely melted. Add to the flour, then add in the coffee, vanilla, and eggs. Mix until fully combined, then carefully pour into your greased pan.

Bake for 27-30 minutes, which will give them a more cake-like texture. If you prefer them more soft and fudgey, cook them a bit less. (This would work and can always skip the frosting, they are delicious on their own.)

For the frosting beat the butter and the confectioner’s sugar together until combined and slowly add in the coffee. Keep mixing as you add the coffee, and let it soak in.

Frost when the brownies have cooled off, and enjoy having a delicious treat!

Gluten Free Apple Crisp

glutenfree apple crispThis gluten free apple crisp is the perfect dessert for any summer day. Serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or a bit of whipped cream and it’s heavenly. It’s also simple to make – which is another reason I like it. Baking can be very picky, especially when it comes to gluten free. It’s not healthy, and I won’t claim it to be so, but not everything we eat has to be healthy. Sometimes we need a little bit of dessert, right?

applecrisp2Ingredients:
6 large apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped (I used pink lady)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Juice of 1 lemon and 1/8 teaspoon of lemon zest
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

The topping
3/4 cup almond flour
3/4 cup gluten free old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup melted butter
* 3-4 tablespoons chopped walnuts (optional but adds great crunch!)

Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a 9″ pan prepare the first set of ingredients together, and toss until the apples are fully coated in the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

In a medium sized bowl, mix the topping ingredients together and mix well with a spoon. (make sure to get any clumps out of the brown sugar). Cover the apples with the topping and place into the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the topping is starting to slightly brown.

Allow to cool a bit before serving.  Enjoy!

Gluten Free Quick Cinnamon Bread

gluten free cinnamon bread   I love the way the smell of cinnamon in the oven warms the whole house. Its such a comforting smell, and once I start to smell this bread baking – I’m ready to sample the first piece! It only takes about 15 minutes to put it together and get it in the oven, and 40-45 minutes to bake. It’s a great snack!

cinnabread4Ingredients:
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2/3 cups brown rice flour
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1/3 cup sweet rice flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1/2 cup sugar (I typically use coconut sugar)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

cinnabread2

Preheat the oven to 350F. Mix together the milk and lemon in a small bowl together and let sit for about 10 minutes while preparing the other ingredients.

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, and the wet ingredients in a smaller bowl, adding the milk and lemon mixture at the end and whisking together. Then add the bowl of liquid ingredients into the large bowl of dry ingredients, and combine well.

Lightly oil a 9×5 pan (or use parchment) and carefully pour the mixture into the pan. Place into the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick placed into the middle comes out clean.

Enjoy!

*I’ve only made this with coconut sugar – however it’s perfectly interchangeable with regular sugar.

Gluten Free Sugar Cut Out Cookies

gluten free sugar cookiesThese are my mom’s favorite cookies and I think she waits all year for them to be made.  We made them when I was a kid, and I always had fun frosting and decorating all the cookies. So for me to give her a different cookie, I knew it had to be good, really good. Her comment was that it was delicious, and slightly more buttery tasting. That’s more than alright with me.

Ingredients:
2 cups gluten free flour mix blend
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1 large egg
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar, then add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined. In a smaller bowl combine the flour mix with the baking powder, and sea salt. Slowly mix that that into the large bowl and beat on low until all the flour is combined.

Place a piece of plastic wrap over the dough and set in the refrigerator for 45 minutes – 1 hour. This will make the dough much easier to handle and prevent it from falling apart and cracking when you’re rolling it out and using the cookie cutters.

Preheat the oven to 350F

Sprinkle a bit of gluten free flour on your counter or another hard surface and roll out the dough. Since the dough isn’t going to rise too much, don’t go real thin. Cut out shapes of your choice.

Bake for 7-8 minutes. Allow to cool on the pan for a couple minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Allow to completely cool before using jams or gluten free frosting of your choice. Enjoy!

sugarcookie2

Caramel Apple Cheesecake

apple and caramel cheesecakeI made this cheesecake for Thanksgiving dinner this year, along with the traditional pumpkin pie. I like to serve one traditional dessert, and one new dessert – and I think this will become a new tradition for our family as everyone loved it. I really enjoyed it with a cup of tea after all the turkey!

caramelcheesecake2Ingredients:
For the crust:
1 1/2 cups gluten free graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the cheesecake:
2 8 oz packages cream cheese softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups peeled and diced apples (I used red delicious)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup evaporated milk
16 oz caramels

caramelcheesecake3

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a small bowl combine all of the crust ingredients.  Take a 9″ springform pan and press the graham crumb mixture into the bottom and up about 1″ of the pan. Bake for about 10 minutes, then allow to cool while you prepare the cheesecake filling.

In a small saucepan over low heat, place the caramel candies and evaporated milk. Cook until the caramels are fully melted. Pour half of the mixture on top of the graham crust. Set the rest aside.

Beat the cream cheese, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla and sugar together in a large bowl until smooth. Stir in apples and pour into the springform pan carefully. Place the springform into a large baking pan and add about an inch of warm water to the the large pan. Bake for 45 minutes.

Reheat the caramel mixtures and spoon it overtop the cheesecake, then bake for another 5-10 minutes, until the middle is just set.

Allow to cook on a wire rack for at least an hour,  then set in the fridge overnight. It’s well worth the wait!

Gluten Free Pumpkin Walnut Bread

Pumpkin Walnut Bread I wanted to make a delicious fall bread to snack on, and this really hit the spot. I added some walnuts and flax for a bit of texture and more kick. Feel free to omit the nuts, or swap them out for raisins if you prefer. I can see pumpkin raisin being good, however I’ll admit it – I’m not a huge raisin fan, but I do love nuts. I’d also been wanting to try one of the all purpose gluten free baking mixes, and I’m really quite pleased with how it worked with this.

pumpkinbread2

Ingredients:
4 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup all purpose gluten free flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large mixing bowl mix together the first five ingredients until blended, then add everything else except the walnuts and flaxseed and combine until fully blended. Stir in the walnuts and flaxseed. Either grease or line with parchment a bread loaf pan, and scoop the mixture in. Bake for 50 minutes.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins I’ve been waiting for all the fall flavors for weeks now. I’ve missed pumpkin, squash, pomegranates, persimmons… the list is big and I’m excited to have them back in my kitchen. So here are some delicious muffins to welcome fall. The recipe will make a dozen larger muffins, and I only use a half cup of dark chocolate chocolate chips – if you’re a chocolate lover, you’ll want to add a bit more.

pumpkinmuffins1Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups gluten free flour blend *
1/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3 tablespoons ground flax
1/2 cup butter at room temperature
2 large eggs
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup chocolate chips

For the flour blend: you can use a store bought flour blend. If it doesn’t have xanthan gum, add a teaspoon to the mix. If so follow the recipe as is.

pumpkinmuffins2Preheat the oven to 400F. In a small bowl combine the flour, sugars, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and flax. In a large bowl mix together the eggs, butter, buttermilk, and pumpkin puree until combined. Then add the dry ingredients into the wet, and mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips and scoop into a prepared muffin pan.

Bake for 17-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out from the middle of a muffin clean. Makes 12 muffins. Enjoy!

pumpkinmuffins3

Black Bean Vegetable Soup

Black Bean Vegetable Soup  With the cooler weather settling in, I wanted to make a delicious hearty soup. This soup really hit the spot with it’s black beans and subtle spices. I topped it off with a bit of sour cream and fresh cilantro. It’s a soup that’s easy to put together and makes for great leftovers the next day.

blackbeansoup3Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium white onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 large carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
4 cups low sodium vegetable stock
3 15 oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 oz can stewed tomatoes

Optional toppings:  sour cream, cilantro, shredded cheese.

blackbeansoup2In a large stock pot over medium heat place the olive oil, garlic, onions, carrots and celery. Cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft. In a blender or food processor place the stewed tomatoes and 2 of the 3 cans of black beans and puree until smooth. Add the 1 can of black beans, and the mix from the blender or food processor to the stock pot along with the vegetable stock, chili powder, and ground cumin. Stir well, reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for a minimum of 45 minutes, up to 2 hours. Top with any toppings of choice. Serves 4-6. Enjoy!

Blackberry Honeydew Cream Trifle

Blackberry Honeydew TrifleThis light and fresh dessert is perfect for a weekend afternoon treat. Its full of fresh fruit and layered with this delicious cream that’s a mix of cream cheese, Greek yogurt, and fresh lemon juice.

trifle2Ingredients:
1 medium sized honeydew melon, diced
1 pint blackberries, slice the larger ones
8 oz cream cheese, softened
5.3 oz plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

trifle3In a medium sized bowl using a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until fluffy, then add the yogurt and lemon juice and mix until combined. Dice up the honeydew and layer in cups or bowls the honeydew, a light layer of the cream, and finally the blackberries, making two layers. Serve chilled. Makes 6 servings. Enjoy!