Saturday, July 5, 2014

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Pecan Blondies

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Pecan Blondies
Gluten free Chocolate Chip Pecan Blondies was one of the first dessert recipes I found  when I started baking gluten free.  They are like a white brownie, or a chocolate chip cookie bar.  They are moist, with a bit of chocolate and have such a rich taste from the brown sugar.  I fell in love!  So did everyone I made them for, whether they were in need of a gluten free dessert or not!  They continue to be a big hit for everyone I make them for.

When I am going to a potluck I usually make some kind of cookie bar so the dessert can be easily picked up and fork or plate needed!  I had a few "go-to" bars before going gluten free, and now these Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Pecan Blondies are my "go-to" bring along dessert.  It's nice to have something to make that once it's put in the pan and's frosting, or multiple batches to be made, yet is still a "wow" dessert at any gathering.

I just brought these Blondies to a 4th of July block party, and was told by one gentleman, "These are gluten free?  I've had about five of them!"  That's the kind of stuff you want to hear, you know?  What you don't want is for someone to  find out something you made is gluten free and give you that knowing half smile, like, "Yeah, I thought something was wrong with this." That, my friend, is not a good sign. Gluten free baking  has a bit of a bad rap.  But I'm here to turn that around...and by posting good recipes I have both found and contrived myself...I am equipping you to be my fellow soldiers in the fight to prove gluten free can be delicious, and actually sought after.  Rousing pep talk over.  Carry on.

Recipe from: Barefeet in the Kitchen
click here for Printable Recipe

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups brown rice flour
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1/3 cup potato starch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 1/4 cup chocolate chips, 1/4 cup reserved
3/4 cup chopped pecans, 1/4 cup reserved

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper or foil and grease very well (you do not need to grease the parchment paper).  Whisk together the flours, xanthan, salt, baking powder and set aside.  In a large bowl, beat the butter until smooth and creamy.  Add the sugar and continue beating until smooth and fluffy, about two minutes.  Add eggs and vanilla and stir to combine.  Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to combine.  Add the chocolate chips and nuts.

Pour batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle with the reserved chocolate and nuts.  Bake for 25-28 minutes, just until an inserted toothpick has moist crumbs.  They should be slightly browned along the edges and about a brownie consistency in the center.  Cool them in the pan for at least 20 minutes and then lift the brownies out by the foil/paper and remove to wire rack to finish cooking before storing in an airtight container.  Enjoy!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Chocolate Cake Balls & Pops - Gluten Free

Gluten free chocolate cake crumbs, are mixed with frosting then rolled in a ball and dipped in melted chocolate... can someone say yummm for me?  I mean really?  My Chocolate Cake Balls and Pops have been a requested treat by family and friends for years, and now that I make them gluten free, no one can tell the difference! The frosting inside makes the cake ball almost fudge-like inside.  So decadent.
Chocolate Cake Balls & Pops
Gluten Free

One of the biggest crazes these days seems to be cake balls and cake pops.  Even Starbucks sells cake pops...but not gluten free ones!  When you see how easy these are to make, you will wonder why you haven't made these sooner.

 After finding out I was gluten intolerant, I knew my recipe for Cake Balls/Pops was one  I had to revamp and make work for me.  It was one of the easiest gluten free revamps I did, thanks to Betty Crocker (she is my personal friend, you know).

 I love a recipe that can start with a box mix...anything to help me out and save me steps and still taste amazing is a plus in my book!  Betty Crocker's Gluten Free Devil's Food Cake Mix is really good.  I use it in several of my recipes, including my Cake Balls/Pops.  I used a boxed cake mix in my original recipe too, so just swapping out my cake mix containing gluten for a gluten free cake mix was such an easy remedy. You could also use Betty Crocker's Gluten Free Yellow Cake mix and use a cream cheese frosting, and dip in white chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate.  I have used both homemade frosting and store bought frosting in my cake pops.

"Scrambled" Cake Crumbs
(before adding frosting)

 My reasoning for using a box cake mix as opposed to homemade, (besides the obvious, which is the time saving and ease of it) is that the cake, once baked, will be "scrambled" up with a fork to make crumbs.  It is then mixed with frosting that almost makes the cake turn into a dough, so a nice fluffy homemade cake gets somewhat demolished, thus a waste of time and ingredients in my book.  Seeing that I like the taste of my friend, Betty's, gluten free cake mix (that's Mrs. Crocker to you), I'm good with using it in this Chocolate Cake Ball & Pop recipe.  You are welcome to make yours from scratch, though if you prefer.

Now the next question is to stick or not to stick (that is the question)?  I used to always put a stick in the middle to make a "pop" but found it easier to fit in the fridge without the sticks, so I started just making cake balls.  I like to keep my cake balls/pops in the fridge, so the outer chocolate dip doesn't get melty.  For special occasions I have melted and drizzled different colored candy melts on my pops and tied bows around the sticks.  The opportunities are endless!

Cake balls and pops rolled
and ready to freeze

If you are gluten intolerant and don't want to miss out on the latest treats because they contain gluten...make my Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Pops and march right in to Starbucks, gluten free cake pop in hand, and say, "Oh yes, I can eat this!"  I dare you.

Recipe from: Goodies Gone Gluten Free
Yield: About 35-40 medium sized balls
click here for Printable Recipe

1 15oz. Betty Crocker Gluten Free Devil's Food Cake Mix
1 small container of whipped chocolate frosting or 1 cup of homemade frosting
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp. Crisco shortening
sticks (I get mine at either Michael's or Walt Mart)

Bake cake according to package directions in a 9x9 or 9x13 baking dish.  Cool slightly and with a fork, prick and "scramble" up cake to resemble crumbs (like sand), a few slightly larger crumbles are okay.  Set aside to cool completely.

Add frosting to cake crumbs and mix well.  The mixture will almost be dough-like.  Scoop a heaping teaspoon of cake mixture and roll into a ball and place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  If you are making pops, stick the sticks in the middle of the ball, making sure they don't go all the way through the top.  Freeze tray of cake balls for an hour or until semi frozen.

Melt chocolate chips and shortening in a microwave save bowl for 1 minute.  Stir.  If not completely melted melt for 30 second intervals, stirring in between.  To dip cake balls, use a kitchen  fork or dipping spoon (you can find these at Michael's), shake off excess chocolate and place each ball 1/2 apart on lined cookie sheet (if you are dipping cake pops, just hold the stick and dip, making sure the chocolate fills around the hold where the stick meets the ball.  This will help keep the stick secure in the cake pop).  If you want your cake pops to keep the round look, instead of sitting it back on the tray, you can stick the stick in a plastic wrapped floral foam (or any foam piece) to set.  I just set mine on the tray, as I serve them sitting down anyway, so I don't mind if the bottom is a bit flat.

Place dipped cake balls/pops in the fridge for the chocolate to set.  You can drizzle them with melted candy melts (also found at Michael's) after the chocolate is set, if you'd like.  I keep mine in the fridge to keep them firm.  Enjoy!!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake in a Mug

I know it's hard to believe, but sometimes there is just no dessert in my house, and I just want a quick mini dessert for myself.  This recipe for Gluten Free Chocolate Cake in a Mug is the perfect solution in those times of need.  It is quick (cooks in one minute in the microwave), easy, gluten free and not too bad for you.  It provides antioxidants with the cocoa powder and fiber with the fruit and nuts, plus it is gooey and cake-like, all in a single serving!
Gluten Free Chocolate Cake in a Mug

It is best topped with raspberries, but this last time I made it I only had blackberries and blueberries, but they were a nice topping too.  If you really want to go all out, you can top it with whipped cream and homemade caramel sauce.

If you are sitting on the couch one evening, watching your favorite show, and you get a hankering for something sweet and easy to whip up, I hope you try my Gluten Free Chocolate Cake in a Mug.

Recipe From: Goodies Gone Gluten Free
Yield:  One Single Serving
click here for Printable Recipe

2 Tbsp. all purpose gluten free flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. finely chopped nuts (I used pecans, but walnuts will work too)
1/8 tsp. baking powder
Pinch each of salt and cinnamon
1 Tbsp. Semi-Sweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp. hot water
2 Tbsp. low-fat milk
1/2 tsp. coconut or light olive oil
Berries for topping

In a microwave-safe coffee mug, mix flour, sugar, cocoa powder, nuts, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  Stir in chocolate chips, hot water, milk and oil.

Microwave on high about 1 minute.  Top with berries, and if desired whipped cream and caramel sauce.