Category Archives: dessert

Pillsbury GF Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Makes Me Smile

cookies

I was so excited to see that Pillsbury had this chocolate chip cookie dough in the cooler section of the grocery store the other day. Of course, after the awful Eat Pastry chocolate chip cookie dough experiment from Costco (it was awful, don’t buy it), I was a bit wary of another scoop-and-bake cookie dough. But, grew up with Pillsbury products and I’m willing to give anything a try at least once. (OK, smart aleck, you know what I mean 🙂 )

First off, the dough tasted pretty good on its own, before being baked. And we all know that’s one of the first things we do with cookie dough, right? This was pretty tasty and not grainy at all. I heated up the oven, scooped eight little cookie piles on the cookie sheet and waited about 10 minutes while they baked. Since I made mine a bit smaller than suggested (I like little cookie bites), it took a little less time than suggested on the package.

I tried to wait a few minutes for them to cool off, but you and I both know that wasn’t going to last long. The final analysis…YUM! I only made eight and I was glad of that only because I think I would have eaten more if I made more. I ate three and my husband and daughter finished them up quickly. They are chewy on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside. They browned up just right and had a wonderful texture, which is always a bit of a challenge when we’re talking about GF cookies. They had just the right amount of chips, which means these are quite welcome in my home. Advantages include the option to make a few at a time since it’s in a tub, and you can make them when you please. They are tasty and not overly sweet (as if a cookie could be too sweet.) Disadvantages include the cost ($5.49) and the fact that I have had better cookies, but not this easy and right out of the oven. If you’ve got kids and/or friends who may want a few cookies, this is the ticket. My husband, who is not GF, asked me to make more. And as far as cost goes, I think using a small scoop means you’ll get a lot of cookies for the money.

I bought the Pillsbury pizza dough, which is also gluten free, to try next week. At the same price ($5.49) I hope it makes a pretty decent-sized pizza. Stay tuned for that one.

Next up, I’ll be scooping some of that cookie dough into a skillet, baking halfway and topping that with a bit of ice cream. What? It’s my birthday… Who’s joining me?

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Filed under baking, cookies, cooking, dessert, gluten free, grain-free, vegetarian

GF Oatmeal Chocolate-chip Cookies-Yum!

GF Oatmeal Chocolate-chip Cookies

GF Oatmeal Chocolate-chip Cookies

With a bag of GF oats and a craving for a cookie, I began scouring the Internet for a recipe that included only what I had in the house. I found a few recipes online and did what I do best – I reworked the recipes and viola… quick, irresistible GF, oatmeal chocolate-chip cookies.

Gluten-free, Oatmeal Chocolate-chip Cookies

4 1/2 cups gluten-free old-fashioned oats (I used Bob’s Redmill)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup Baker’s sugar
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons GF vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, grind 1 1/2 cups oats into a fine meal. Mix together ground oats, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and baking powder.

2. In another large bowl, beat butter and sugars until fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Still mixing, gradually add oat mixture until combined. Fold in chocolate chips and remaining oats.

3. Scoop dough in mounds onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, 2 inches apart (about 11/2 TBS each). Bake until cookies are golden brown at edges about 12 minutes, turning halfway through for even cooking. Let cool on pan for 2 minutes, then transfer to rack.

Enjoy! This makes about 4-5 dozen cookies, depending on how big you make them.

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Filed under baking, Bob's Red Mill, chocolate, cookies, dessert, Enjoy Life Chocolate, gluten free, oats, Uncategorized, vegetarian

Kinnikinnick to the rescue with a gluten-free pie crust

Pie. It’s just something I never thought I’d miss when giving up wheat. I was never a big pie eater to begin with. But when someone says you can’t have something anymore, you want it. Am I right? I have tried making my own pie crust before and it’s turned out pretty well, although I’m not a fan of taking all that time to make one. I was thrilled when I happened upon Kinnikinnick’s frozen gluten-free pie crusts at Whole Foods, and they were on sale. But at a regular price of about $4.99 for two 8-inch crusts, that’s not bad for the GF market.


I decided to make a Quiche first and give the crust a test. I made a simple spinach Quiche and it was a hit. The crust was flaky, tasty and not too strong. It really has a mild flavor for a crust, which to me is just what I want with a crust. A slight buttery flavor is good, as is a crust that doesn’t fall apart too quickly. It’s got to hold up to the filling, and it’s about the filling, right? The Quiche  consisted of one sautéed onion, Havarti and Jarlsberg cheese, frozen and thawed spinach, 2 eggs and 4 egg whites. That’s it. Just a bit of salt/pepper/nutmeg/thyme and garlic. I baked the crust first for about 10 minutes, then layered onions, spinach, cheese and poured in the egg mixture. Bake for 35 minutes at 375 and viola! Finally a Quiche with a crust.

And since that worked so well, I decided to try a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. I used the recipe on the can of pumpkin (pumpkin, condensed milk, egg, sugar) and it was, once again, wonderful. Just a note, the recipe on the can of Libby’s pumpkin will make enough for two of these pie shells. Luckily, there are two in each box. Perfect.

Since you can never have enough pie, I also bought a fabulous cherry pie by Angel Cakes Bakery here in Phoenix. Angela makes the most wonderful pie crust of all, from scratch, and it’s gluten-free. Now, if I had my way that’s the only pie crust I would ever eat. But then I’d be calling her every week for more and I’d have to get a second job to pay for it. This was a treat and I highly recommend her cakes and pies. I’ve talked about her creativity and food before and I’ll continue to do so as long as she keeps baking. So, the dessert for the day was all set. What else do you need? Dinner, what dinner? What’s for dessert?

 

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Filed under allergies, baking, butter, celiac, cheese, cooking, crust, dessert, dinner party, gluten free, pie, quick meal, rice flour, spinach, Thanksgiving, vegetarian

Gluten-free, vegan, buckwheat carrot muffins

I spent a glorious weekend in San Luis Obispo, CA with some dear friends and got back yesterday feeling like a child who had to leave Disney early. I wanted to stay and explore the farmers markets more, discover more hidden restaurants with lovely, knowledgeable servers and chefs who take care and creativity to new heights. These are just a few of the wonderful memories I have of this weekend, along with my dear friend who will now be the pastry chef at the Dolphin Bay Resort. (I know, pastry chef and me, go figure. She’s a fabulous chef and I’ve learned so much from her about cooking over the years.)

Spring Salad at Luna Red

We ate lunch at Luna Red in downtown San Luis Obispo and had a brilliant, light, crunchy salad that was perfect for a warm Spring day in California. With the Greekfest right next door, the music made our day even more festive. The salad was filled with pea shoots, blood orange segments, carrots, radish, mint, a light citrus vinaigrette and a sprinkle of goat cheese. Couldn’t have asked for anything better. A glass of rose and a table full of good friends made the afternoon complete. I highly recommend the restaurant.

The amazing selection of veggies at the farmers marke

One booth at the farmers market caught my eye, of course, with their big Gluten Free Goodies sign. I couldn’t resist and bought a GF carrot cake muffin made with buckwheat and a delicious quinoa salad I’ll be recreating later this week. (attempting I should say). It was filling and had a beautiful mix of savory and sweet with roasted veggies (yummy roasted carrots) and pepitas. I ate it cold right out of the container. Oh yeah!

But first up, after eating what was the best carrot cake muffin I’ve ever had (including my gluten-eating days), I decided to try and make it at home. Since Daughter has now eliminated eggs from her diet, that makes things a little more difficult, but not impossible. I do have vegan friends who I know will enjoy these also. The muffins in CA were not vegan, so this is just a small change and more of a challenge. I searched the Internet and found this recipe at She Let Them Eat Cake.com for buckwheat carrot muffins. These are already vegan, which is a plus.

I modified the recipe a bit to my own tastes, but I would encourage you to try her recipe also. And if you can’t have some of the things I’ve added, feel free to eliminate what you want. I added the almond flour and GF oats for flavor, and added the splash of juice just because it looked a little thick. This may change based on your altitude and ingredients. If you add molasses, you may not need any more liquid. But I do like the oats for texture and flavor.

Gluten-Free & Vegan Buckwheat Carrot Muffins

1 & 1/2 cups buckwheat flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup GF oats
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 cups grated / shredded carrot (you could use zucchini too)

3/4 cup agave
1 mashed banana
3/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp ground flax combined with 9 tbsp hot water (or 3 eggs)
Splash of orange juice to loosen up the mixture if you need it.
1/2 cup golden raisins

Eating these at my desk while I write this makes me very happy

1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a muffin pan with liners or grease with olive oil.

2. In a large bowl combine the first eight ingredients (dry).

3. Add shredded carrot to the dry ingredients and combine. In a medium-sized bowl combine agave, mashed banana, olive oil, and flax-hot water mixture. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Add raisins last.

4. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool to the touch.

These are quite good, and amazingly fluffy and not too dense, considering there is no egg in it. I’ve never used flax and hot water before and I was quite amused at the egg-white-like texture it creates. The mixture is quite thick and gummy before baking and that must be due to the flax mixture. What a find. I will certainly be trying this with other dishes and baked goods. This is my first attempt at gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free baking. So far, so good.

In retrospect, these could use just a little more sweetness so I think a bit of molasses and honey, or an orange glaze on top will make them just a touch sweeter and tasty. A bit of Tofutti cream cheese will make them sing for me in the morning with my tea. Try them and let me know what you think.

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Filed under baking, breakfast, buckwheat, carrots, dairy free, dessert, gluten free, muffins, raisins, sugar free, vegan, vegetarian

Fresh Orange Cupcakes

I just love this time of year when the citrus trees are full of beautiful, fresh, sweet navel oranges. When we moved here 11 years ago, there were nine orange trees on the property. Now, there are three left that produce lovely fruit every year. Christmas morning, mimosas with fresh OJ are always on the menu.

But, what to do with all those oranges? Yes, I’m generous with them to everyone who visits, but I love cooking and baking, so I’m always looking to use them. Yesterday I had the urge to bake and decided on orange cupcakes with orange glaze on top. The fresh orange juice and grated orange peel makes it taste like a bite right out of an orange. If you don’t have oranges you can get right in your back yard, I supposed you could use frozen or store-bought OJ, but I don’t think it will be the same.

These were so good, I packed them into the basket on my bike this morning and rode over to a friend’s house for tea and cupcakes. What a beautiful way to start the week. Hope your week is grand.

Fresh Orange Cupcakes
1 package Gluten Free Pantry yellow cake mix
2/3 cup fresh OJ
Grated rind from two oranges
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 stick butter, room temperature

Glaze
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2-3 Tbs fresh orange juice

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix until smooth.
3. Line cupcake pan with cupcake papers.
4. Pour into cupcake pan, filling each about 3/4 full (this made 12 full-size cupcakes and about 9 minis)
5. Bake minis for about 10-12 minutes, full-sized cupcakes take about 5 more minutes.
6. Remove from oven and let cool completely while making the glaze.
7. To make the glaze, just add a little juice at a time to the sugar and mix until you have a thick, smooth consistency.
8. When cupcakes are cool, just drizzle the glaze over the top and add a little of the orange peel for color and a lovely tart bite, then let them set for a few minutes.

I dare you not to eat them in one night. They are so light and refreshing. But save some for tea in the morning, they are perfect.

Enjoy!

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Filed under breakfast, cake, cupcake, dessert, gluten free, orange, vegetarian

Ice Cream Cake and Carrot Cake…Happy Birthday to Me!

My darling daughter bakes a cake, just for me!

I celebrated my birthday a few days ago, and I’ve been continuing the celebration ever since. Actually it’s been a birthday month for me. But more importantly, I gave myself permission to eat cake the entire month of July, with abandon. Good thing the month is almost up, I am going to need to lose a few pounds.

For the actual birthday, I made an ice cream cake similar to what my grandmother used to make when I was a kid. We would get to choose what kind of ice cream we wanted when it was our birthday, and then the celebration began. I wish there was a photo for you, but we ate it all so fast there wasn’t enough time. But let me spell it out for you and you’ll see why it didn’t last.

In the bottom layer of a springform pan, crush half a package of Kinnikinnik K-Toos (take the filling out of about half of them) and add about 2 Tbs of melted butter. Press into a pan you’ve sprayed with nonstick (GF) spray. Let your first ice cream soften on the counter for a few minutes (I used Baskin Robbins chocolate chip). Each layer took about a quart. Layer the ice cream evenly over the crust mixture and freeze at least an hour.

Layer the rest of the crushed cookies (without butter) on top of the ice cream layer. Sprinkle a few chocolate chips in there if you want. We used about a 1/4 cup of Enjoy Life mini chips. Freeze again for about 30 minutes. Spread the next layer of ice cream (Baskin Robbins Gold Medal Ribbon) and freeze again for about an hour. Finally, pour a jar of chocolate fudge topping over the top and freeze again till you’re ready to serve. And don’t forget the whipped cream. Oh, that was good….

The best carrot cake in the entire world

OK, cake number two I just had tonight. My daughter wanted to make me another cake before the month was out and who am I to protest? Using The Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten Free once again, she made a carrot cake that is out of this world. I haven’t had carrot cake in years and even when I ate gluten, I couldn’t eat the nuts so I would have to pass on the cake wherever I went. I never made one myself. Now, I see what I was missing. This cake had just enough spice and flavor and the cream cheese frosting was sweet and tart. No nuts, and just the right amount of golden raisins and fresh carrots. I ate it while it was still warm, I couldn’t wait. My oldest daughter said, “It smells like Christmas in here,” as it was baking. It sure felt like Christmas to me!

I’d love to give you the recipe, but I don’t want to type it right out of her book. I urge you to get Anne Byrn’s book, you won’t regret it!

Enjoy!

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Filed under cake, carrots, dessert, gluten free, vegetarian

Gluten-free brownie-cookie, ice-cream sandwiches…oh my!

Cookies with vanilla ice cream and chips.
Cookies in their lovely, chocolaty goodness…

My daughter decided to make dessert tonight! Oh my, so yummy. She’s making me so proud as a young teenager with a talent for cooking and creativity. Using the Betty Crocker GF Brownie mix, she added a tsp of vanilla, 2 TBS of coconut oil and 2 eggs. Instead of making brownies, she put them in scoops on parchment paper and made cookies. (They spread a lot, so start with small scoops.) Oh my, if she left it at that it would have been tremendous. It’s like eating the yummy, crunchy ends of the brownie in each bite. But then she added vanilla ice cream in between two of them and rolled it in Enjoy Life GF chocolate chips. Could there be anything better? I think not, you be the judge. Don’t you just want to dive into this? I did (and another one, I admit it!)

Give it a shot. Any GF eater, and especially any GF youngster, will love you forever for this.

Enjoy!

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Filed under brownies, cookies, dessert, gluten free, vegetarian