Posted in Sweets

Southern Comfort Gluten Free Brownies

These brownies are chewy little morsels of gluten-free goodness!  I created this recipe from several other recipes and it turned out great!

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Southern Comfort
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla bean paste (I use Nielsen-Massey)
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 ounces semi sweet chocolate
  • 1/3 cup sweet white rice flour

Preparation Instructions:

  1. Preheat you oven to 350 degrees, making sure your rack is in the center of the oven.  Grease an 8 x 8 square pan.  Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, under very low heat, melt the butter.  Add the chocolate and stir constantly till completely melted.  Remove from heat.
  3. Whip the eggs, sugar and salt on medium/high speed in a stand mixer till it is fluffy (should take 3-4 minutes).  Change speed to low and add the vanilla and the southern comfort, mix well.  Add the chocolate mixture (this should be warm, not hot) mix well.  Add the flour and mix just until combined.  Scrape the sides and bottom, making sure that everything is mixed.
  4. Pour the batter into the pan, making sure the top is all smooth.  Place in oven and bake 30-35 minutes until the brownie is pulling away from the pan.  Insert a toothpick in the center – if it comes out with just a few crumbs, if it is gooey, put back in the oven for a few more minutes.
  5. Cool completely in the pan before cutting.

NOTES:

Nielsen-Massey has awesome vanilla products.  They are actually certified gluten free!

Sweet rice flour is often called “glutinous” or “sticky.  This flour works better to hold these brownies together vs regular rice flour.  I used Ener-G brand, and it worked out great.

You can use all bittersweet chocolate if you prefer.  I did not have enough bittersweet chocolate in my cabinet so I mixed it with the semi sweet.

You could substitute any kind of liquor (making sure it is gluten free) in this recipe.  I considered using Grand Mariner, Jack Daniels, Midori etc….

Tip to cut brownies – chill them in the fridge for a couple hours or days before cutting.  Dip your knife in hot water  before cutting the brownies making sure to wipe the knife clean and dry after each cut.

Live & LOVE gluten free!

Posted in Sweets

No Bake Cheesecake with Apple Topping

I saw this recipe this morning at Delight Gluten Free while looking for a cool dish to serve this hot weekend.  It looks so good and simple I wanted to share with you all.  Be sure to check out their website for other great recipes and tips!

SERVES 8-10 PREP 10 Min COOK 5 MIN

This dessert is perfect any time you want that special creamy dessert and don’t want to use your oven. Your friends will ask you to make this over and over!

Crust:
6 tablespoons butter
½ cup sugar
8 ounces crushed gluten-free graham crackers (I used Kinnikinnick graham cracker crust)

Filling:
16 ounces cream cheese
2 cups heavy cream
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Topping:
4 tablespoons butter
2 apples, peeled and thinly sliced (multipurpose apples—I used Gala)
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

  1. To make the crust, melt the butter and in a small mixing bowl, combine butter with the gluten-free graham cracker crumbs.
  2. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9” pie dish or a spring form pan.
  3. To make the filling, in a mixing bowl and using an electric mixer, beat the heavy cream with the sugar to soft peaks. Set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix softened cream cheese, vanilla, lemon juice, and cinnamon on low speed. Gently fold the whipped cream into this mixture. Pour on top of crust and place into the refrigerator to set.
  5. Meanwhile, in a pan over medium heat, melt the butter for the topping and add the sugar, cinnamon, and the apples. Cook until the apples are softened; remove from heat and cool.
  6. Serve the cheesecake with the apple topping.

Live and LOVE Gluten free!

Posted in Gluten Free Recipes, Side dishes, Sweets

Ultimate Energy Bars

Since I am always on the quest to optimize my health, trying to find gluten free energy bars THAT I LIKE the taste of has been challenging.  I ran across this and think it might be the key to getting something tuned to my tastes.  Matt Frazier at www.NoMeatAthlete.com posted a recipe that is completely customizeable to your likes or allergies!  

NOTE:  Make sure all of your ingredients are GLUTEN-FREE!

The Ultimate Energy Bar Formula

  • 1-pound can of beans, drained and rinsed (or 1.5 cups cooked beans)
  • ½ cup binder
  • ¼ cup sweetener
  • ¼ cup soft sweet fruit
  • 1 teaspoon of extract (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of dry spice (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1.5 cups of oats (you can toast them if you want but I can’t tell the difference)
  • 1 cup dry base ingredient
  • 1 cup stir-ins

In a food processor, combine beans, binder, sweetener, soft fruit, extract, spice, and salt until smooth.  Add the oats and dry base ingredients and pulse just to combine.  Add stir-ins and pulse again just to combine.

If the consistency seems spreadable, you’re good.  If it’s too dry, add 1/4 cup of water; if it’s too runny, add an additional 1/4 cup of the dry base ingredient.

Grease 13×9 pan with baking spray or rub with 1 tablespoon oil, then spread mixture into pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes.

Note: You’ll have the most success if you use unsalted, unsweetened versions of the ingredients, and control the sweetness and saltiness through the sweetener and added salt.

Recommended beans

  • White beans
  • Black beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Adzuki beans

Recommended binders

  • Almond butter
  • Peanut butter
  • ¼ cup of ground flax seed mixed with ¼ cup water
  • Pureed pumpkin
  • Mashed avocado

Recommended sweeteners

  • Maple syrup
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Agave nectar
  • Honey (if you’re not vegan)

Recommended soft, sweet fruit

  • Applesauce
  • Mashed banana (about half of one)
  • Chopped dates (remove the pits!)
  • Crushed pineapple

Recommended optional extracts

  • Vanilla
  • Almond
  • Lemon
  • Coconut
  • Coffee

Recommended dry spices

  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Cardamom
  •  Instant coffee

*For stronger spices like nutmeg and cardamom, use just a ¼-½ teaspoon and combine with less intense spices like cinnamon.

Recommended dry base ingredient (a combination is usually best)

  • Protein powder
  • Brown rice flour
  • Spelt flour
  • Cocoa (max ½ cup)
  • Whole-wheat flour
  • Buckwheat flour

Recommended stir-ins

  • Shredded coconut
  • Dried cranberries
  • Raisins
  • Dried apricots
  • Chopped nuts
  • Cacao nibs
  • Dry cereal
  • Crushed pretzels
  • Chocolate chips

So that’s the basic formula! To help get you started, here are three variations.  For each of them, follow the same procedure from above for mixing and baking.

Example #1: chocolate black bean happy bars

  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed (about 1.5 cups)
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • ¼ cup agave
  • ¼ cup mashed banana
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 cups of oats
  • 1/2 cup cocoa + ½ cup brown rice flour
  • ½ cup shredded coconut + ½ cup raisins

Example #2: cranberry-pistachio protein bars

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup binder: ¼ cup of ground flax seed with ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup agave nectar
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 cups of oats
  • 1 cup vanilla protein powder
  • ½ cup pistachios + ½ cup dried cranberries

Example #3: maple pumpkin health bars

  • 1 can of great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup pureed pumpkin
  • ½ cup maple syrup (used more maple syrup in place of the sweet fruit here, for more maple flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 cups of oats
  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1 cup raisin bran cereal

So there you go, three examples to get you started.  But really, the point is for you to create your own, using the basic formula as the framework.

Posted in Gluten Free Recipes, Sweets

Banana Nutella Muffins

This recipe is FABULOUS!

Original muffins:

My gluten-free version:

 

2 cups GLUTEN-FREE flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
3 very ripe bananas, soft, darkly speckled, mashed well (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon GLUTEN-FREE vanilla extract
1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup Nutella

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with muffin liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl mix mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla. Lightly fold banana mixture into dry ingredients with rubber spatula until just combined and batter looks thick and chunky. Fold in hazelnuts.

Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups.  Place 1 teaspoon of Nutella on top of each muffin. Swirl with a toothpick. Bake until golden and toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean, 20 to 24 minutes. Remove muffins from tin and serve.

NOTES:  Baking soda is naturally gluten-free.  Nutella is gluten-free!  Yogurt is naturally gluten-free, but because of additives, please check the label.  PLEASE CHECK your vanilla, not all extract is gluten-free – McCormicks is good, I use Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract which is gluten-free but a little pricey.  I really like Pamela’s Baking mix for all of my sweet baking and have found that I can use it as a cup for cup exchange in all of my old tried and true recipes.  Also check your non-stick cooking spray – not all are gluten-free!

In this gluten-free version……..I did not swirl in the nutella.  The muffin has a banana bread texture…a bit heavier but very moist.  I use very dark bananas so the batter is darker than usual.  This muffin was excellent and I will be making this again!

A big shout out to Diane Krejci Sullivan who found this recipe at Sweet Pea’s Kitchen (http://sweetpeaskitchen.com/).  I modified it to make it gluten-free.  Thank you Christina for an amazing recipe.

Posted in Gluten Free Recipes, Sweets

Chocolate-Strawberry Cheesecake

This recipe I created myself from a whole bunch of recipes.  I made this for Easter (2012) and it was a hit!  Yummm!  Sorry I didn’t take a picture……..it was very pretty!

1 Package of gluten free chocolate crème sandwich cookies
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups of sliced fresh strawberries
12 ounce container of cool whip
1 ½ cup sour cream
1 pkg of cream cheese
1 small box sugar-free instant chocolate pudding
2 ounces of gluten-free chocolate chips
1 teaspoon butter

Crust:  Crush the cookies in a food processor or blender.  If neither available, crush them as fine as you can with a zip bag and rolling pin.

Add the butter a little at a time until the texture will is crumbly, not like a paste. There is a possibility you will not use the entire amount of butter.

Press the crust into the bottom of a greased 8” or 10” spring-form pan.  Put in the fridge to chill while you work on the rest.

Cheesecake layer:  Mix the cool whip, sour cream and cream cheese well.  I used my standing mixer for this. Add the chocolate pudding, mix well again.

Assembly:  Spread half of the cheesecake mixture evenly onto the cooled crust.

Lay your strawberries over entire cheesecake, if it makes a thick layer that’s ok too!  Save 6-8 slices of strawberries  for the top garnish.

Spread the last half of the cheesecake mixture over the strawberries.  Arrange the leftover strawberries in the center, like a flower.

Glaze:  Melt 1 teaspoon of butter in the microwave.  Add the chocolate chips and stir.  If it is not quite melted enough, microwave in 10 second increments.  Do not microwave too long or it will get hard and icky.

When glaze is smooth and stirs nicely, drizzle over the top of cheesecake.  I drizzled mine in a flower-like loop pattern all around the cake.

Refrigerate overnight or at least several hours before serving.

Notes:  PLEASE CHECK ALL LABELS TO MAKE SURE ALL INGREDIENTS ARE GLUTEN FREE

If your strawberries are not sweet, feel free to cut them ahead of time and LIGHTLY sprinkle them with sugar or stevia.

I used the Glutino brand chocolate crème sandwich cookies, but I’ve had the K-toos and those are great too.

I used Jello brand instant pudding, Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips, Philadelphia brand cream cheese and Daisy brand sour cream.

Options – you can change up the flavors of this easily:

Add 1 tablespoon of some kind of liquor or coffee to the crust – say Bailey’s Irish Cream, Frangelico, Grand Marnier etc…..

Change the flavor of the pudding you add – pistachio, banana cream (with banana filling), Coconut Cream…..

Change up the fruit too – blueberries, raspberries or even a combination.