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Archive for the ‘Dessert’ Category

I know, I know. Not the prettiest name. But it sure does taste wonderful!

And no, not the healthiest recipe, but quick and easy. Which sometimes is key!

This recipe came about this weekend because we had our monthly support group potluck and I decided at the last minute that I was going to attend. Thus I needed to make something quick, and preferably from pantry staples. I rummaged around in the cabinet and found a Betty Crocker GF yellow cake mix hiding, so I put the call out on Facebook to get some ideas of what I could make with it. An old high school friend of mine suggested a dump cake. I had heard of them, but had never actually made one. So I rummaged around again in the cupboards and found a random can of peach pie filling. (Not something I usually keep around. Why I bought it in the first place, I don’t know, but it sure came in handy this weekend!)

I did end up running to the little corner store near my house for a second can of pie filling in order to make a full pan. (Always make plenty for a potluck!) My friend said I could also use fresh or frozen fruit too, and later I realized that I have a bunch of berries in the freezer and should have just used those. Oh well.

Use whatever combination of pie filling sounds good to you. I had the peaches on hand and I love berries with peaches, as you’ve seen before in my Peach Cobbler, so this is what I ended up with. Apparently a classic combo is cherry pie filling with a can of crushed pineapple, neither of which I had on hand. So use whatever your heart desires!

I thought it turned out great. The ‘crisp’ topping was crispy and wonderfully buttery. I even had one of the long-time celiac bakers in the group come up to me and comment on how much she enjoyed it, that she loved how easy it was and how the topping stayed so crispy. We commiserated over how when we make Apple Crisp, the topping never gets (stays?) very crunchy. We may have found our solution!

Peach-Blackberry Dump Cake

1-21 oz. can peach pie filling, or whatever combination of flavors you desire

1-21 oz. can blackberry pie filling, or whatever combination of flavors you desire

1/2 – 1 tsp cinnamon, optional

1 box Betty Crocker GF yellow cake mix

1/2 – 3/4 cup butter

1/2 – 3/4 cup chopped pecans, optional

Dump pie filling into 9×13 baking dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon and mix into fruit until evenly combined. Sprinkle cake mix evenly over the top of the filling. Spread nuts over top. Cut butter into thin pats and lay evenly over top of cake mix and nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until top is golden. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.

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You may have noticed that I have been on a Kahlua kick lately, what with the Mocha Kahlua ice cream and now these. What can I say? I love the flavor of Kahlua, even though I don’t like coffee. But I’ve always loved coffee-flavored treats.

The initial inspiration for all of this Kahlua-ness was the two lovely women that hold down the fort (the front desk) and keep us all in line at my office. Apparently they often make Kahlua Chocolate cake for the administrative staff birthdays. One day we were talking and they were ooing and ahhing over this cake and so I asked for the recipe. Of course it was a standard gluten-full recipe but I knew that it wouldn’t be hard to convert. And typically they make it as a bundt cake. But I require portion control with something so decadent in my house, and so I made cupcakes!

And of course once I made the cupcakes, I had to take the ladies a plate to taste-test for me, to make sure that they stood up to the gluten-full version. They were declared a success! But I mean, really, how could you go wrong with all that chocolate, anyway?

Kahlua Chocolate Cupcakes with Kahlua Cream Cheese Frosting

I can’t find the exact gluten-full recipe to link to, although if you search for Kahlua Chocolate cake, you will find many variations. Here’s my gluten free version.

3 eggs

1/2 cup oil

3/4 cup sour cream

1-15oz pkg of Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free Devil’s Food Cake Mix

3 oz instant chocolate pudding mix (part of one small box)

3/4 cup Kahlua

8 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine eggs, oil and sour cream. Stir in cake mix, pudding mix and Kahlua. Beat on low for one minute, then increase speed to medium and beat for 3-5 minutes. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour batter into cupcake liners. Bake for 18-23 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Makes approximately 18 cupcakes, depending on how full you fill the liners. Frost with Kahlua Cream Cheese Frosting, below.

Kahlua Cream Cheese Frosting

3 Tbsp butter, softened

2.5 oz cream cheese, softened

2 Tbsp Kahlua

8 oz powdered sugar

With a mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese. Mix in Kahlua. In small amounts, begin mixing in powdered sugar. Continue adding and mixing in powdered sugar until frosting is consistency that you desire. If it gets too thick, add a bit of milk or more Kahlua to thin it out.

Frosts approximately 18 cupcakes, depending on how much frosting you use per cake. If you want to get all fancy and use a frosting applicator and fancy tips, you might want to double this recipe.

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Have you been introduced to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams? No? Well, me either. At least not in person. But I do have her cookbook, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home. And I love it!

And surely, one of these days I will get back to Columbus, Ohio, where I spent four years of my life, and actually check out some ice cream first hand. Until then, at least I have her cookbook.

I love that her base recipe does not require you to make a custard by tempering eggs – something I am apparently not very good at – I always end up with a bit of scrambled egg in mine. And I love that her flavor combinations are so unique. So far I have made the Lemon and Blueberry Frozen Yogurt, Pineapple Piment D’Espelette Sorbet, Sweet Corn and Raspberry Ice Cream, Goat Cheese with Roasted Red Cherries and Salty Caramel Ice Cream. All have been wonderful! The creamy texture. The richness. Truly, you only need a little bit of this decadent ice cream.

Lately though, I have been enamored with Kahlua and so I decided to make a Kahlua flavored ice cream. I used her Cognac Ice Cream recipe as the base recipe and simply replaced the cognac with 1/4 cup of Mocha Kahlua and used 1/2 cup sugar. (I am not going to print her base recipe here. You can find it in many, many places out on the web.)

The verdict – wonderful, of course! Especially with a bit of chopped chocolate on top = Mocha Kahlua Chip!

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On Friday evening I hosted a Gluten Free Gals get-together. I had suggested a theme of holiday dishes to help inspire everyone for the upcoming holidays and so I chose to make two of my standard Thanksgiving dishes. Wild Rice Stuffing and this Apple Crisp.

Our GF Gals group.

My grandma made this for me for my very first gluten free Thanksgiving sixteen years ago. And we’ve been making it ever since. It is easy, with few ingredients, and tasty. My kind of recipe.

Apple Crisp

Unknown source

2 Tbsp lemon juice

4 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced *

1/4 cup brown rice flour *

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed firm *

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

2 Tbsp melted butter * see notes for vegan option

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9″ square baking dish (with butter, oil, whatever you choose to use). Pour the lemon juice directly into the pan and add the apples as you slice them. Toss the apples periodically in the juice to prevent browning.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and spices. Stir in the melted butter and mix well. Then stir in the pecans. Sprinkle the mixture over the apples. Bake for 35 minutes. Serve warm. It goes well with vanilla ice cream. (It’s also great for breakfast the next day!)

Notes:

* Use any baking apple. This time I used Gala. Slice your apples according to preference. I like my apples a bit thicker so that they still look like apple slices when they are done baking. If you slice them thinner, the apples will cook down and the individual slices will not be apparent, which is okay, just personal preference.

* I used brown rice flour this time. I’ve used white rice flour in the past. Other flours may work as well, perhaps even almond, for a grain-free version? Your standard flour mix will also most likely work. No xanthan gum needed.

* I reduced the sugar by two tablespoons this time around and I think it could be reduced even more. Play with it.

* I used grapeseed oil this time in place of the butter and it worked well. I would imagine that a dairy-free margarine will also work.

Enjoy!

This recipe is cross-posted over at Thanksgiving Favorites from Kim at Cook It Allergy Free. Be sure to check out all the links!

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This week my eyes were bigger than my tummy while shopping and I picked up too many delicious peaches. Of course they all ripened at the same time and I needed to do something with them quick. That was when I remembered one of my wonderful, old standby recipes. One of the first gluten free recipes we ever made sixteen years ago when I was first diagnosed. And it is one that I find myself coming back to again and again because it is simple and requires no special ingredients. A perfect dessert for someone newly diagnosed and overwhelmed.

Now, I am not sure where this recipe ultimately originates so I apologize to whoever that might be. Over time I have changed the original recipe; this one has less sugar and more fruit. And I think I would like to try less butter the next time.

This is a quick, throw-it-together recipe – great for unexpected guests, if you happen to have ripe fruit on the counter. Or use frozen fruit, there is no reason why it wouldn’t work.

Peach Cobbler

1 stick of butter

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup milk

1 cup gluten free flour mix

1-1/2 tsp baking powder

2+ cups fresh fruit, I used peaches and blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a 9″ square pan. Mix sugar, milk, flour and baking powder together. Pour over melted butter. Do not stir. Place the fruit on top of the batter evenly. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the top begins to lightly brown.

Depending on the flour mix you use, sometimes the fruit sinks to the bottom and the cake portion is on top when done. As you can see in the photo above, my fruit stayed partially on top this time. So it goes!

Notes:

* I’ve never used dairy substitutes in this recipe but I think they would work fairly well. I would use a neutral tasting milk alternative.

* Use any of your favorite flour mixes. I often use the Gluten Free Pantry’s French Bread mix as my flour mix for a lot of cookie recipes and it works great. Yes, it is a highly refined flour mix but it is one that works for me. But it is easy to find and use and it was one of the only mix companies around for years. Old habits die hard. If you use another (more) whole-grain flour mix, let us know how it works!

This recipe is also posted over at Seasonal Sundays at Real Sustenance.

This recipe is also linked up to Book of Yum’s Cobbler Carnival.

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Every family has it’s traditions. And despite living so far away from our families these past few years, I have continued my family’s holiday baking tradition. You see, we don’t really celebrate Christmas anymore with a tree and presents and all that. But I still do like to make holiday treats for us and others.

Growing up, my mom and I always made roll-out sugar cookies, buckeyes, fudge (with and without nuts), turtles (to use up the leftover buckeye chocolate) and peanut brittle. Sometimes she would mix it up and make some other things but these were the good-old standby’s. Over the years, since my celiac disease diagnosis, I still make many of these items, some of which are naturally gluten free, like the fudge, turtles and buckeyes. (I haven’t gotten brave enough to make peanut brittle yet!) And although it has been many years since I have made gluten free sugar cookies and I do love them, I find that I crave other things at this time of year.

This year I have made the following:

Chocolate Fudge – Like my mom, I make the Fantasy Fudge recipe on the back of the Kraft Marshmallow Creme. Remember, Kraft clearly labels all ingredients and allergens on their products.

Salted Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies – a new-to-me recipe. I would suggest creaming the butter, sugars and eggs together first. I used Amy’s (SS&GF) Basic Flour Mix but I used regular garbanzo bean flour rather than the garfava blend she calls for. It worked just fine! I also added 1/2 teaspoon of xathan gum to the flour mix. Also, if you’re gluten free, make sure to use gluten free oats like those from Bob’s Red Mill (check the label, not all of their oats are GF).

Pistachio-Cranberry Biscotti – the first time I have made biscotti, but Amy at SS&GF made it simple. I used her Basic Flour Blend mentioned in her recipe, with the garbanzo bean flour substitution. They are tasty and will go great with my favorite seasonal Celestial Seasonings teas.

Peanut Butter-Nutella Thumbprint Cookies – I changed it up (because I didn’t have enough peanut butter) and made peanut butter cookies with GF flour. They are a little dry and crumbly, but the flavor is great. I’ll have to work on these… And I need to practice my Nutella spooning skills.

Chai-Spiced Snickerdoodles – Wow! I really like these. It has been a long time since I have made Snickerdoodles and when I saw these I knew I had to make them. Delicious! I used my standard cookie-flour-mix, which is the Gluten Free Pantry’s French Bread and Pizza Mix, cup for cup. It already includes guar gum, so no  additional guar or xathan gum is needed. I often find boxes of the GFP mixes (and other gluten free products) on clearance at my local Smith’s grocery store and so I buy them up when I see them.

Butterscotch Cookies – a recipe I received in a Gluten Free.com/Beth Hillson newsletter. They didn’t identify the original source. We really like these too and I think I would like them even more without the cinnamon as I think it competes too much with the butterscotch flavor.

Cappuccino Thins Cookies – be sure to give yourself time to refrigerate these guys. Great flavor! Again, here I used the Gluten Free Pantry’s French Bread and Pizza Mix flour, cup for cup.

And last, but not least…

Buckeyes! No Christmas holiday is complete without these, at least in our family. You see, I am originally from Ohio and I went to The Ohio State University (OSU). And it’s funny, as I have entered this gluten free blogging world, I have been surprised to find quite a few Columbus, Ohio/Ohio State gluten free bloggers!

Amy from Simply Sugar and Gluten Free – we went to OSU at the same time but didn’t know each other until we ‘met’ in the blog world.

Kim at Gluten Free is Life – she lives in the Columbus, Ohio area near where my step-grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins live/lived!

Wendy at Celiacs in The House - another Columbus-area, gluten free blogger.

And I can’t forget, Heidi, over at Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom - she is actually the only one of these fellow Ohio bloggers that I have met since we now live in neighboring towns, although across the country from Ohio now. We went to OSU during overlapping times but never knew each other there. As well, she grew up in the same Columbus-area town that my step-grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins lived too!

So, you say, what is a buckeye anyway? And why is it the mascot for The Ohio State University? Well, the seed comes from the Ohio Buckeye tree (Aesculus glabra). And for whatever reason, the university claimed it for their mascot in 1965.

So, since I am an Ohio State Buckeye, through and through, and I have never known a Christmas without buckeyes, I am sharing the recipe with you here so that you can enjoy them too.

This recipe is the one that my family has made for years. And it does take some practice to keep the ball on the toothpick while dipping. And since my mom hated making these, the only way we got them was if I made them, so needless to say, I have been making them for too many years to count! See the resemblance to the seed above?

Buckeyes!

(Also known as Peanut-Butter Balls in other parts of the country, although my husband does not believe me and thinks that is sacrilegious!)

1 stick of butter, at room temperature *

1 pound of confectioner’s sugar

1-1/2 cups of creamy peanut butter *

1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl using a hand mixer (I would suggest doing one batch at a time to avoid burning up your mixer’s motor). Once the dough is well-mixed and become crumbly, using your hands, make three to four large balls of dough. Then using your warm hands, pinch off small pieces of dough and roll into balls about 3/4″ in diameter. (Make them much bigger and I think they are too peanut-buttery, I like a balance of chocolate to peanut butter.) Place balls on a plate while you complete this task.

When they are all rolled, in a double-boiler, melt:

12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips *

1/4 bar of paraffin wax*

Stir frequently until it has all melted. Turn off the heat on the pot. Tilt your pot so that you get a deeper puddle of chocolate and your ball won’t hit the bottom of the pot when dipping. Then, carefully, using a toothpick inserted in the top of the ball, dip the ball into the chocolate, so that only about a 1/2″ diameter circle of peanut butter is showing at the top. Allow the ball to drip the remaining chocolate back into the pot, while holding it at a slight angle. Place the  ball on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Carefully, slightly twist the toothpick between your fingers just a bit to get the pick out of the ball, without touching it! Be sure to start placing the balls at the end of the cookie sheet that is farthest from your pot of chocolate so that you do not drip the chocolate over the finished buckeyes. If you happen to drop one in the pot completely, just use a spoon to fish it out and enjoy! And you can reuse your toothpick, until you accidentally dip one too far and get chocolate on your pick! We leave the toothpick mark in ours, some people don’t.

Chill and store in the refrigerator. Makes about 4-5 dozen, depending on how big you make your balls.

Notes:

* I use regular salted butter but unsalted will work too. You can also use dairy-free margarine like my pal, Heidi and her dairy-free Buckeyes.

* I use regular old Jif or Skippy peanut butter for these. I have never tried natural nut butters and don’t know how they would work. Sun-butter may also work for a nut-free version, but I personally have not tried it. Let me know if you do.

* You could use other chocolate, like Heidi, but semi-sweet chips are standard in this family.

* Paraffin wax – this is the “old” part of the recipe and is what my grandmother and mother before me have always used. This makes the chocolate pretty and shiny and it hardens better than chocolate on it’s own, making it less likely to melt or slide off the balls. Some people may find this disagreeable. Carnauba wax is a common ingredient in candy bars and such. And paraffin wax is what is typically used on fruits and vegetables to make them pretty and shiny. Paraffin is mineral oil in a hardened form. You can find the edible paraffin wax in your large grocery store, often near the canning supplies.

Another option, if the wax bothers you, is to add a couple of tablespoons of vegetable shortening to your chocolate. I personally have never tried this but others have. You could also temper your chocolate (never tried it), or use a chocolate specifically for candy-making, like Wilton’s Candy Melts. Again, haven’t tried it.

* I do not refrigerate my balls prior to dipping and I have never had an issue with them in my 25+ years of making Buckeyes!

What is your must-make holiday treat? or the one that your husband (or children, etc.) insists upon every year?

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The nights are getting cooler and the days are not quite so warm. The sun is sinking low in the sky earlier. And the corn stalks in the garden are drying up.

Autumn is coming and with it, my food cravings are beginning to change. The past week or two I have been craving some of those autumn foods, like pumpkin and cozy soups. And it may be because I have a couple of pie pumpkins and butternut squash ripening in the garden. But those pumpkins can’t ripen fast enough for me, so I went to get some canned pumpkin…

Have you been able to find canned pumpkin lately? Normally the stores carry it year-round and I can get some anytime I want, but this past year was different. No pumpkin to be found. Did you know there was a pumpkin shortage this past year? Last year in Illinois, where most pumpkins are grown, there was excessive wet weather which caused a particularly bad harvest. But things are going better this year and they are expecting to have a good harvest. Thankfully! And thankfully there will be pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, no worries!

Since I knew pumpkin has been hard to find, I asked my buddy Heidi over at Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom, also known as Gluten-Free CNN, if she had seen any around town. She gets around to all the stores and I knew that if it was to be found, she’d know where! Sure enough, she said that Whole Foods had some this past week. It wasn’t Libby’s but Farmer’s Market brand, which I had never heard of – but it was pumpkin! Heidi said she had left me a few cans, so I ran over there and grabbed some.

I had plans to make my pumpkin chocolate chip muffins but thought I would change things up a little. I decided on Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies instead! If you have never tasted pumpkin and chocolate together, you have to try it – absolutely delicious!

Last night I was trying to decide what to make for our monthly celiac support group meeting/potluck and I knew I needed to use up some of the Gluten Free Pantry mixes that I had bought at our local Smith’s in the clearance baskets (I can’t resist buying gluten free items when they end up in there!). My favorite chocolate chip cookies are made with the Gluten Free Pantry’s French Bread and Pizza mix, so I figured I would start there. I looked around a bit and came up with the recipe below.

As I was making them, my husband stated that I had to leave half of them at home! He hates it when I make sweets for an event and take them for others to eat and leave him none at home. Oops! But oh-so-much-better for my waistline! So since I was playing with the recipe, I went ahead and ended up with almost a double batch. So he got some of his own. But there are still too many on the counter for my comfort, so I anticipate some will be going to work with one or both of us on Monday!

We had lots of delicious things at our meeting today. Heidi brought some delicious Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies that I am hoping she will post on her blog soon! These cookies were devoured at the meeting today, so I hope you will enjoy them too.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Inspired by many, but an original by Renee

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

2 cups of The Gluten Free Pantry’s French Bread and Pizza Mix

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

3/4 tsp cinnamon

a generous pinch of each: ground ginger, ground cloves, nutmeg

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1 cup canned pumpkin puree

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease your cookie sheets. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and spices. Set aside. Cream the butter and sugar together with your hand mixer. Add the egg and thoroughly combine. Then add the pumpkin and vanilla and mix well. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Using a teaspoon, scoop out small balls of cookie dough onto your greased cookie sheets. Use wet hands to smooth the cookie dough, if desired. Bake 12-14 minutes or until the edges begin to brown slightly. These cookies will be soft and more cake-like than most.

This recipe is cross-posted over at Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free.

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