Saturday, June 28, 2014

Gluten Free Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yes, you read that right...flourless peanut butter cookies...and only 6 ingredients!  I was so amazed the first time I made these cookies at how much these were like traditional peanut butter cookies.  It made me wonder why I ever used flour in them at all!  Who needs it?  With the addition of chocolate chips (or you could use chocolate chunks) it is another bonus to this very easy to make cookie.  If you have a jar of peanut butter and some eggs, you are pretty much good to go!  I have also made these cookies with cocoa powder to  add some more chocolaty goodness ( if you have been reading my blog, you know how much I love me some chocolaty goodness).

Gluten Free Flourless Peanut Butter
Chocolate Chip Cookies
If you are a peanut butter lover, you have to try these cookies.  If you are not a fan of chocolate, you can leave the chocolate chips out and make them straight up peanut butter (but I don't understand why you would do that, you know?).  They only have a half a cup of sugar, so they are a little less guilty feeling when you down four of them right out of the oven (although peanut butter is not known to be low cal...but it is packed with protein, right?), and they are gluten free to boot!

These are so easy and fast to put together, you should probably start pouring your glass of milk about now, or they will be out of the oven before you have a chance to!  I hope you enjoy them!

Recipe From: Goodies Gone Gluten Free
Slightly adapted from: Ambitious Kitchen
Yield: 24 cookies
click here for Printable Recipe

1 1/2 cups all-natural creamy peanut butter (or you can use chunky)
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
optional: 1/4 cup of cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In large bowl, mix peanut butter, sugar, vanilla, eggs and baking soda until smooth and well combined.  Gently fold in chocolate chips.

Roll cookies into 2-inch dough balls and place onto parchment lined cookie sheet, 2 inches apart.  Barely flatten the top of each cookie with your hand.

Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes and remove when edges barely begin to turn a golden brown.  The cookies may look a little underdone, but they will continue to cook once you remove them from the oven.  Cool on the cookie sheet for at least 5 minutes; then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Repeat with remaining cookie dough.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Rhubarb Strawberry Mango Crisp - Gluten Free

Summer time seems like the perfect time to make fruit crisps and cobblers.  This gluten free Rhubarb Strawberry Mango Crisp is the perfect kick-off to summer crisp making!  The tartness of the rhubarb and the sweetness of the strawberries and mango is such a perfect pairing for the taste buds.  Top it off with a gluten free crumble that has a nice crunch with  pecans and coconut mixed together with brown sugar, butter and gluten free flour.  It will make you want to go sit by the pool with a tropical drink as you delight in this fresh fruit dessert.  I like to top mine with a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream.  It warms back up nicely the next day too.
Gluten Free Rhubarb StrawberryMango Crisp

I am fortunate to have a neighbor who grows rhubarb and so kindly gifts me with large bunches of it.  If you don't have such a neighbor (or a grocery store that stocks it), you can always use frozen rhubarb.  If you have never used rhubarb before, this gluten free Rhubarb Strawberry Mango Crisp is the perfect recipe to try it out.  Rhubarb looks kind of like large green celery stalks, with a red tinge.  It is very, very sour, almost bitter, but when cooked down with sugar it's like eating a green apple, sweet and tangy.

This is a great dessert to make gluten free too, as you don't have to worry about all the starches and xanthan gum to get a bread like texture.  Any good gluten free flour will do!  I have used Betty Crocker's Gluten Free Flour Blend (which is easily found in most grocery stores now), King Arthur's Gluten Free Flour, Domata Gluten Free Flour,  and Mama's Almond Blend All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour.  I have had really good success with all these flours.  You could just use straight brown rice flour too (I use Bob Mill's).

Put on your shorts and flip flops and head to the kitchen and make up your own gluten free Rhubarb Strawberry Mango Crisp!

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Recipe from:
Adapted from: My Gluten-Free Kitchen
click here for Printable Recipe

3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. lemon zest
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
4 cups thinly sliced rhubarb
1 cup diced mango

1 cup good gluten-free flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup salted butter
3/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Spray a glass or ceramic 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray or coat lightly with butter.  In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch.  Add the lemon zest, sliced strawberries, rhubarb and mango and stir together until fruit is all coated with sugar mixture. Spread the fruit mixture into the 9x13 baking dish.

  Measure the flour, brown sugar, butter, coconut and oats into a medium sized bowl (I grate my butter in with a cheese grater.  I find it's faster than cutting it up).  Use a pastry blender to mix together until the butter is pea-sized.  Crumble oat mixture on top of the fruit mixture.

Bake 45 minutes in a 375 degree F. oven, or until lightly browned and crisp.  Serve warm topped with vanilla ice cream...yum!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Gluten Free Coffee Toffee Cheesecake

Cheesecake is such a delicious and impressive looking dessert.  Some people think making a cheesecake is a daunting task...but it's not!  It really is quite easy, with a few tips to help make the perfect cheesecake.  When making a cheesecake gluten free, it's usually only the crust you have to revamp.  This gluten free version of a Coffee Toffee Cheesecake is so amazing.  It never fails to please and impress those I serve it to. This cheesecake has a smooth mix of coffee and chocolate with a gluten free chocolate crust, and topped with crunchy chocolate covered toffee and melted chocolate, every mouthful is a delight!  I top mine with my Homemade Whipped Cream and all is right in the world.
Gluten Free Coffee Toffee Cheesecake

I am a great lover of  chocolate covered toffee, such as Heath Bars and Skor Bars.  You crunch one of those babies up and put on just about anything, and  I will happily eat it (now note I said "just about" anything.  I once said I'd probably eat a tire if you crunched a Heath Bar on it, but I think that was going too far).  It seems every dessert I make with this confectionery delight is well liked and raved over, and this Coffee Toffee Cheesecake is no exception! When I make this cheesecake, people always think I bought it from Cheesecake Factory...that's a pretty nice compliment!

Gluten Free Coffee Toffee Cheescake
The first tip to  making a good cheesecake is to do the heavy mixing before adding the eggs.  Get all the ingredients in and mixed well, and then add the eggs last, one at a time, just until incorporated.  This will help keep your cheesecake  firm and dense, as a cheesecake should be, and not fluffy.  If you are going to serve a fluffy cheesecake, you might as well call it a mousse!  Another tip is to bake it in a water bath, which will help keep the top from cracking.  To do this you wrap your springform pan in a couple layers of heavy duty foil and place it in a cooking dish with a couple of inches of hot water.

Well, now you are armed and ready to impress and delight your friends and family, so get to baking!

Recipe From:
Adapted from Taste of Home
Yield: 12 servings
click here for a Printable Recipe

2-1/2 cups gluten free chocolate wafer crumbs (such as Trader Joes gluten free Joe Joes or other gluten free                                                                         chocolate wafer cookie like that)
1/3 cup butter, melted

1 cup (6 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
4 tsp. instant coffee granules (I use instant Espresso)
3 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups (12 oz.) sour cream
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt
3 eggs, lightly beaten
4 Heath candy bars (1.4 oz. each) chopped
1 dark chocolate candy bar (1.45 oz.) or 2 Tbsp. semi sweet or dark chocolate chips

Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square).  Securely wrap foil around pan.  In a small bowl, combine wafer crumbs and butter.  Press onto bottom and 1 in. up the sides of prepared pan.  Place pan on a baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees F. for 10 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chips and cream; stir until smooth.  Stir in coffee granules until dissolved.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  Beat in the sour cream, vanilla and salt.  Gradually beat in chocolate mixture.  Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined.  Pour into crust.  Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 1/2 in. of hot water to larger pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F. for 55-65 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull (it will be pretty jiggly, but not wet).  Remove springfrom pan from water bath.  Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Sprinkle with chopped Heath Bars.

Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer.  Refrigerate overnight.  Chop dark chocolate candy bar, or measure out chips, and melt in a microwave and stir until smooth.  Drizzle over cheesecake (I put my melted chocolate in a sandwich baggie and snip a tiny bit from one corner and squeeze over top of cheesecake). Serve topped with Homemade Whipped Cream.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Nutella Filled Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies - Gluten Free

Gluten Free Nutella Filled Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Okay, can I just say...yummmm!  If you are a chocolate chip  cookie lover, this is the recipe for you.  If you are also a Nutella lover, this is doubly the recipe for you...and if you are gluten intolerant, you are so in luck!  In this gluten free version of this Nutella Filled Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie I use Domata Gluten Free flour.  So if you have purchased this flour to make my Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Tea Cakes, then here is another use for it!

This cookie has all the yumminess (is that a word?  It is now) of a chocolate chip cookie, slightly crispy around the edges, but gooey in the center, with an added gooey bonus of Nutella oozing out the middle when you take a bite.  It is also made with brown butter (the instructions on how to make brown butter are in the recipe), which gives it an extra rich, nutty flavor.  This cookie also contains three different types of chocolate chips...oh the melty chocolaty goodness of it all!  These Gluten Free Nutella Filled Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (wow that is a mouthful) take a little more loving kindness to make than a traditional chocolate chip cookie, as you have the extra step of filling the middle with Nutella...but it's oh, so worth the extra effort!

To make it easier on myself, I used the Domata flour which measures cup for cup with the regular recipe , instead of  measuring out a bunch of gluten free flours and starches, .  If you can't find this particular flour, any gluten free flour that states it measures cup for cup should work.

I really stuffed a few of them with a lot of Nutella, which made me have to add more cookie dough, so it made some "monster cookies" that were really fun, and came out just as good as the smaller ones.  Don't tell my kids, but they made a really good breakfast (I'm so bad).  Hey, they have some oatmeal in them.  That should justify them as breakfast fare!

These Gluten Free Nutella Stuffed Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies are a real treat and will so please every chocolate lover you know...whether they are gluten intolerant or not!  I even picked the chocolate chips out of the dough before making one of them for my neighbor who is not a fan of chocolate (but loves Nutella) and she loved it.  I hope you try them out!

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Adapted from Ambitious Kitchen
Yield: 2 dozen cookies
Click Here for Printable Recipe

2 cups Domata Gluten Free Flour
1/4 cup gluten free oat flour (ground oats)
3/4 cup gluten free Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) butter
1 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon sour cream or plain greek yogurt
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1 jar of Nutella, chilled in refrigerator

In a blender or food processor, measure a 1/4 cup of gluten free oats (I get mine at Trader Joes.  They have a great price on theirs) until it turns into a powder.  Whisk together the flours, baking soda, oats and salt in a bowl and set aside.  Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  The butter will begin to brown on the bottom of the saucepan; continue to whisk and remove from heat as soon as the butter begins to brown and give off a nutty aroma.  Immediately transfer the butter to a bowl to prevent burning.  Set aside to cool for a few minutes.

With an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended.  Beat in the egg, yolk, vanilla, and sour cream (or yogurt) until combined.  Add the dry ingredients slowly and beat on low-speed just until combined.  Gently fold in all of the chocolate chips.

Chill your dough for 2 hours in the refrigerator (this will help it not spread out when baking).  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Once dough is chilled, measure about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball.  Flatten the dough ball very thinly into the palm of your hand.  Place 1 teaspoon of chilled Nutella in the middle and fold dough around it; gently rolling into a ball--it doesn't have to be perfectly rolled!  Make sure that the Nutella is not seeping out of the dough.  Add more dough if necessary.  Place dough balls on cookie sheet, 2 inches apart and very gently, flatten the tops slightly with your hand.

Bake the cookies 9-11 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown.  They will look a bit underdone in the middle, but will continue to cook once out of the oven.  Cool the cookies on baking sheets for a few minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Repeat with remaining dough.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Eating Out While Gluten Intolerant (gluten free dining)

Although I love to bake and like to cook...I really like going out to eat.  It is one of my favorite things to do.  When I found out I was gluten intolerant, eating out was so daunting to me that I didn't think I could jump the hurdle of gluten free dining!  I thought I would never enjoy eating out again.

 It still is a pain sometimes, but I have found some places I can get some good things at.  The hardest part for me is having to tell the server I am gluten intolerant and need a gluten free entree.  I found that when asking what might be gluten free or what ingredients are in a dish, they have no idea.  A lot of servers have no idea what gluten even is, let alone what is safe to eat when gluten intolerant.  It is, to me, both frustrating and embarrassing to ask, and get their "deer in the headlights" look.  I drive my family crazy trying to decide where to go that will suit me, and then continue to drive them crazy once there, asking questions of what is in this dish and in that dish and then after they tell me what an item contains...I ask the ultimate question, "Are you sure that's what's in there?"  That question usually makes the server have to go ask the cook (which tells me they weren't really sure in the first place).  So now, I've driven my family, the server, the cook...and come to think of it, myself...crazy.

So I found, for my peace of mind, researching ahead of time (when possible) is the best solution for me.  A good source on line I have found is Adam Bryant's Gluten Free Guide HQ.  He lists a lot of popular restaurants and what gluten free offerings they have.  So I thought I would share with you some of my favorite places and what I get there.  I am only listing what I like to eat at these places, although there are many other choices at most of these places.  There are also many more restaurants that offer gluten free fare for the gluten intolerant, but this is a short list of my finds.   Hopefully some of these places are close to you too and a fit for your needs.


1.  Pick Up Stix - I really like the Pad Thai.  It is so good I had to go back and ask again after starting to eat it if it was really gluten free!  They have other gluten free options too and were very good at looking things up for me that are gluten free on their menu.

2.  Chipotle - I love getting the burrito bowl at Chipotle.  I am not much of a spicy food eater, so I always get the carnitas, as it is the only non spicy meat they have.  Their chips and guacamole and rice and beans are also safe and so yummy!

3.  Panera Bread - I get their Asian salad (minus the wontons).  I miss having their delicious bread on the side, but the bag of chips helps.

4.  Chick- Fil-A - I love that I can eat the waffle fries here, as they are cooked in a dedicated fryer (at least they are at mine.  Check with your local Chick-Fil-A to make sure).  I can't eat fries at all restaurants, as they usually share a fryer with other breaded and fried items, and that is a bummer to me.  I love their dipping sauce and salads.  They also offer grilled chicken and grilled chicken nuggets that are safe and tasty.

5.  IN-N-Out Burger - Once again, the fries are safe here, a big plus.  You can order the burgers "protein style" and they will wrap it in lettuce (I have to admit, though, I do miss the bun, but at least eating the burger this way is an option).  The shakes are safe too!  Woo hoo!


1.  Red Robin - They make gluten free buns for their burgers and their french fires are safe.  The bun is really good.  They also have sweet potato fries which are gluten free and my personal favorite.

2.  Islands - I love that they have a separate gluten free menu and they are so accommodating to food allergies.  The first time I asked for the gluten free menu the manager came to my table to reassure me she would personally make sure all my food was made properly with no cross contamination.  I love their veggie tacos.  So good.  Of course, my all time joy...their amazing fries are also gluten free and fried in a dedicated fryer...I would go there just for the fries (are you getting the idea that I like french fries)!

3.  P.F. Changs - P.F. Changs really goes out of their way to assure their gluten free dishes are protected.  They even serve gluten free entrees on a special plate.  Just tell your waiter you are gluten intolerant.  I love their lemon fish or chicken.  They even have a gluten free chocolate dessert.

4.  B.J.s - Pretty good gluten free pizza.  They have a separate menu too, which I love.  They even have a gluten free pazookie (cookie pizza) which is good.

5.  California Pizza Kitchen - Another good gluten free pizza here and their menu is marked with what is gluten free.  I had their Roasted Veggie Salad this weekend and it was sooo good.

Well, this is just a few of the places and dishes I have tried.  I may list some more, if I find this was helpful to you all.  Please comment on any good places you have been and what you found that was good!

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