Thursday, July 17, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter “Granola” Bars (Oat and Grain Free)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bars (Oat-Grain Free)

These might just look like every other granola bar you’ve seen and you might even be wondering why “granola” is in quotes in the title.  That would be because there are no oats or grain in these.  The kick of flavor from all the different nuts, coconut, and of course, chocolate is heavenly in these bars and the grain is not missed at all.

I made these right before my family reunion in June.  When getting out other desserts to share, I snuck one of these out of the fridge for me (since I’m not eating any of the other treats that were available) and my brother, Matt, asked what they were.  He was interested in them since he tries not to eat much sugar and he knew they were probably healthy since I was eating them.

Within minutes, they were almost completely gone.  Matt loved them.  He encouraged others to try them and they liked them as well.  I hurried and snuck a couple more bars to save for me for another time and let them get devoured.  Without oats and other grains, the nutty flavor is intensified and these have just the right amount of chocolate.

I got this recipe from Danielle’s blog, Against All Grain.  Love her blog and cookbook and her!

Chocolate Peanut Butter “Granola” Bars, adapted by Katrina, Baking and Boys! from Danielle at Against All Grain

1/4 cup (84 grams) raw honey

1/2 cup (148 grams) organic, natural peanut butter

2 tablespoons (28 grams) coconut oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup raw almonds

1/2 cup raw walnuts

1/2 cup raw pecans

1/2 cup raw cashews

7 pitted dates, roughly chopped to check for pits

1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut

1/4 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips

Line an 8x8 inch baking pan with nonstick foil.  Set aside.  In a small saucepan, combine the honey, peanut butter, coconut oil and salt.  Heat until all melted and combined together.  Stir in the vanilla.  In the meantime, put all of the nuts and the dates in a food processor and pulse until mixture resembles course sand.  Add the sunflower seeds and coconut and pulse a few times until they are mixed well with the other nuts.  Remove the peanut butter mixture from the stove and stir the nut mixture into it.  Once it is all combined, pour the mixture into the prepared pan.  Place a piece of parchment or waxed paper on the top and press it down evenly with your hands.  Remove the paper from the top and sprinkle the chocolate chips on top and again using the parchment/waxed paper, press them in to the top of the bars.  Put the pan in the freezer and freeze for 2 hours.  Remove bars from the pan and the foil and cut into desired sized bars on a cutting board.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 weeks.

Chocolate Peanut Butter "Granola" Bars

It’s official, I am making these again today.  They are full of nuts and pretty sweet, I think the bars could even be cut smaller than I did in the photos.  But at this size, they are a perfect snack or energy bar.

Chocolate Peanut Butter "Granola" Bars

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Chewy Coconut Oil Granola Bars and Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake (Both Gluten Free)—The Secret Recipe Club

Chewy Coconut Oil Granola Bars (Gluten Free) 7-2-14

It’s time for my July Secret Recipe Club post and reveal!  I have a little thing to tell you—it “secretly” bugs me when the last (or one of the last few) post someone did on their blog is what someone picks for their reveal.  That said, here I am, posting one of the last things on my Secret Recipe assignment.  I AM happy to see that she has since posted a few more things, so it’s not the very last thing.  It just always makes me think that someone didn’t take the time to look throughout the blog to decide what to make.  Blah, blah, I know, silly me.  Then I saw Sarah at The Pajama Chef recently post these granola bars made with coconut oil (EASY to make gluten free) after I already made something else (the Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake) and decided I had to make them, too.  So you’re getting a twofer again, which I’m sure you don’t mind and I am SO happy to have found TWO recipes that I love!

I really don’t know which one I liked better, the granola bars or the cake.  I’m posting the granola bars first because I made them a little healthier (although both are gluten free) so I feel a little better about that. ;  )  I LOVE how chewy the granola bars are and that they are not baked—no turning on the oven in this hot, summer sun for these!  I used gluten free oats, organic brown rice crisp cereal, raw honey and coconut sugar instead of brown sugar.  Yep, these are health food.  I love the caramel-flavor from the honey and coconut sugar.  Actually, I love the chewy texture it gave to these bars as well!

Gluten Free Chewy Coconut Oil Granola Bars

Gluten Free Chewy Coconut Oil Granola Bars (Refined Sugar Free), by Katrina, Baking and Boys! (Adapted from Sarah at The Pajama Chef)

2  1/2 cups (75 grams) organic brown rice crisp cereal

1  3/4 cups (140 grams) gluten free rolled oats

1/4 cup flaxseed meal

1/4 cups chopped pecans

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (168 grams) raw honey

1/2 cup (80 grams) organic coconut palm sugar

1/3 cup (80 grams) organic coconut oil

1/3 cup (96 grams) organic natural creamy peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup (about 3 ounces) Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips

Line a 9x13 inch baking pan with nonstick foil.  Put the rice cereal, oats, flax, pecans, sunflower seeds and salt in a large bowl.  Put the honey and coconut sugar in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium-low head.  Boil for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and whisk in the coconut oil and peanut butter until well combined.  Whisk in the vanilla.  Pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients and stir to coat everything evenly.  Press into the prepared pan.  Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top, then put waxed paper or parchment paper over the top and press it down evenly.  Leave the paper on as a cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.  Remove from pan and cut into bars on a cutting board.  Store in an airtight container (for up to 3-5 days) or keep refrigerated or freeze some for later (individually wrapped in an airtight container).

Chewy Coconut Oil Granola Bars (Gluten Free) 2

These are so good!  But like I mentioned, I’d already made a cake from Sarah’s blog that I was going to  share.  So here you go.  Another delicious recipe.

SRC July  GF Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake

Sarah’s recipe for the Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake is delicious, I’m sure, but so I could have some, I made it gluten free.  Since I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, I halved her recipe and made the cake in an 8x8 inch pan.  Delicious!  I wish I wouldn’t have halved it except that I would have eaten a whole cake (not all in one sitting, but still).  I didn’t feel nearly as guilty knowing I ate an 8x8 inch cake over a number of days rather than a 9x13, but this cake would be great for company.  Dare I say, it would even be a great breakfast/coffee cake.  I MIGHT have eaten some for breakfast one day.  It was great for on-the-go, which I was one day after I’d made it, instead of making my usual oatmeal or smoothie.   Check out Sarah’s recipe on the link above!  Here’s my gluten free, coconut oil version.

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake, Gluten Free, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

3/4 cup organic brown cane sugar

3 tablespoons  coconut oil

1/2 an egg (2 tablespoons after whisking, 28 grams)

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

1  1/4 cup gluten free flour blend (I used Premium Gold ancient grains blend, found at Costco)

3/4 cup apples, peeled and chopped (1 small-medium apple), I used Red Delicious because that’s what I had

Cinnamon Sugar Topping:

1/4 cup organic cane sugar

heaping 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 tablespoon coconut oil

1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Brush coconut oil in an 8x8 inch baking pan (I often just use my fingers).  In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, oil, egg, buttermilk and vanilla.  Whisk together well.  Stir in the baking soda, salt and gluten free flour.  Add the chopped apples and fold in with a spatula.  Pour batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.  In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon and coconut oil.  Mix together with a fork until all the mixture is like wet sand.  Stir in the chopped walnuts.  Sprinkle evenly over cake.  Bake for 20-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake (Gluten Free)

I really loved this cake.  I will say, it was a little sweet for me.  I think it’s just because I’m not used to sugar being sprinkled on something anymore.  Next time, I think I’ll use only about half as much topping and I might even try coconut sugar, which has a lower glycemic index and is unrefined.  While I like to make myself think organic and cane sugar is unrefined, I know it’s not and is still basically refined.  So every now and then I use it, but not very often. 

Gluten Free Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake--SRC

I think this cake worked so well making it gluten free that I’m going to try it with blueberries instead of apple—ASAP!  Doesn’t that sound good?  Yeah, that will be happening by tomorrow!  Thanks for the great recipes and blog, Sarah!  Check out her blog, The Pajama Chef, for more deliciousness!

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake

Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake

Do y’all love Texas Sheet Cake like most everyone I know?  Been needing to get this one posted for a couple weeks now.  It would be a perfect treat for the upcoming holiday.  I know, it’s not red, white and blue for 4th of July, but when you have a chocolate cake that is this good, does it matter if the color matches the holiday?  Yeah, didn’t think so. 

I posted on Facebook about a Texas Sheet Cake I’d made for a family get together last month and that cake is good, but my friend, Paige, who blogs amazing food at For Love of the Table, told me about one she makes so I tried her recipe for my family reunion the next week.  It is quite similar to the other one I’d made, which is the recipe made most all over the internet, except that this one has double the amount of cocoa, making it more chocolaty!  You certainly can’t go wrong there.

Most Texas sheet cakes also have the cocoa and melted butter mixed in a saucepan with hot water added and this one is just a bit easier since you just use cold water and it doesn’t have to come to a boil on the stove.  Easy and delicious!  I snuck a little bite of this one.  Had to, for quality control, you know. This will definitely be my go-to Texas sheet cake from now on.  Try it.  You’ll love it!  I think I’ll make it again for our 4th of July festivities on Friday with some friends.  It also helps since I still have some buttermilk to use up in the fridge.

Paige's Texas Sheet Cake Looks perfect, huh?  Still has the same simple chocolate icing that is poured over the still-warm-from-the-oven cake.  Did I mention how easy it is?  I’m telling you, go right now and make this cake.  It doesn’t have to be for a celebration.  Cake is acceptable anytime.  ;  )

Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, adapted from Paige, For Love of the Table

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup (3 ounces) natural cocoa powder

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 /2 cup canola/vegetable oil

1 cup tap water

2  1/4 cup (9 ounces) all purpose flour

2 cups (14 ounces) granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1  1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a 10x15 inch baking sheet pan with cooking spray.  Set aside.  Mix together the buttermilk and baking soda in a bowl big enough for it to expand a bit(it will foam up). Let sit while you prepare the next ingredients.  Whisk together the cocoa powder, melted butter and oil in a large bowl.  Add the water and whisk to combine.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the cocoa mixture and stir to combine.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla until well combined, then stir in the buttermilk mixture.  Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven.

While the cake is baking, prepare the frosting--

Texas Sheet Cake Frosting

1 pound powdered sugar (almost 4 cups)

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons (20 grams) natural cocoa powder

7 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sift the powdered sugar into a big bowl to remove any lumps.  You don’t want lumps in this frosting.  Melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan.  Once it is just about melted, add the cocoa powder, salt and milk.  Stir to  combine.  Bring to a boil.  Once it is at a good boil, remove from the heat and add the powdered sugar.  Stir until well combined and no lumps remain.  Stir in the vanilla.  By this time the cake should have just been taken out of the oven for a few minutes.  Pour the frosting over the cake and smooth out evenly, working quickly.  Let sit until firm and the cake has cooled.

Texas Sheet Cake

Friday, June 27, 2014

Lucky Leaf Peach Cake

Lucky Leaf Peaches Cake

Today I’ve got another cake for you.  Lucky Leaf Premium Pie Filling sent me a package recently, including more of their delicious pie fillings, some great recipes, and a 9x13 inch Rachael Ray cake pan with lid.

Lucky Leaf

This cake, much like the pineapple cake I posted last, was super easy to make.  Although this one used a cake mix, which isn’t my favorite thing to use, but since I don’t eat the cake, I don’t mind making that kind of dessert for others.  This peach cake I made, used Lucky Leaf peach pie filling.  I chopped some of the peaches in the filling a bit smaller than they were, then just added the whole can of filling to a yellow cake mix with some eggs and sour cream.  That’s it.

Peaches Cake 6-22-14 (Lucky Leaf Pie Filling)

The recipe on the Lucky Leaf website had a different topping, which I should have made since I had all the ingredients, but for some reason, I decided to just make a simple vanilla glaze for the top of the cake. 

Lucky Leaf Peaches Cake 2

I’ve left the link for the cake recipe above at Lucky Leaf.  The glaze I made was simply just some powdered sugar, a little butter, pinch of salt, vanilla and some milk. 

Glazed Peach Cake

Kevin thought it was really sweet.  He doesn’t like some things to be too sweet.  Get this, in a matter of a day and a half, Kevin ate one and a half pieces of the cake.  During that same time, Scott ate the rest of the 9x13 inch cake.  THAT is a lot of cake consumed by one person.  Granted, he’s a 16 year old growing boy, but wow.  Taylor ate about a half piece of the cake, but Scott ate the rest of it.  And for some reason, I’m fine with that.  When I make the cake again sometime, I will use the topping recipe Lucky Leaf provided.  It had cream cheese, vanilla pudding mix and crushed canned pineapple.  Sounds good.

Lucky Leaf Peaches Cake

Another Lucky Leaf recipe I can’t wait to make with the cherry pie filling they sent me is this White Chocolate Cherry Cream Pie.  I would probably even “steal” a little bite of this one!


(Photo courtesy of Lucky Leaf)

I’ve mentioned this before, but I love Lucky Leaf pie fillings.  They have no high fructose corn syrup!  Thanks again for the package, Lucky Leaf!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Easiest Pineapple Cake

Easiest Pineapple Cake

This really is one of the easiest cakes I’ve ever made.  And I love that it was even easier than making a box mix cake and definitely not full of so many things you can’t even pronounce and shouldn’t eat!

I’ve made this cake three times in a couple of weeks and it’s been liked and popular by everyone who has eaten it.  I made it for my sister-in-laws birthday and everyone liked it.   Then I made a cake for the funeral of a neighbor’s dad and someone who went and had some took the time to message me and say how yummy it was.  I also made one for a family reunion we just had—but we had so many desserts, it wasn’t even touched.  So I took some of the cake to the friend who praised it after the funeral and she again said it is delicious, and that was after the cake was a couple days old (I’d had it sitting in our fridge waiting for the reunion for a couple days).  I also gave more of it to my sister-in-law.  I have to admit, I took a little bite of the cake, even though I’m not eating gluten and sugar, I needed to know if it really is good.  It is!

It was a cinch to whip up and make and is perfect for any occasion, especially a group get together, party or holiday!  I found this cake at my blogging friend, Mary’s blog, Bunny's Warm Oven.  When I think of cakes, I definitely think of her blog as one of the first places to look for ideas and great recipes.  But check out her blog for plenty more goodies as well as delicious-looking savory food now and then. 

I love that the cake also has no oil or butter and is still moist and tasty.  With the usual baking ingredients like sugar and flour, you just add a can of crushed pineapple (in it’s own juice).  So simple.  And you certainly can’t beat a cream cheese frosting and nuts on top!  I didn’t even notice until writing this up that the recipe actually says to frost the cake while it’s still warm (making it even faster)!  I waited until it was completely cool.  You choose what works best for you.

 Easiest Pineapple Cake 2

Easiest Pineapple Cake, very minimally adapted by Katrina, Baking and Boys! from Mary at Bunny’s Warm Oven

2 cups (240 grams) all purpose flour

2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1—20 ounce can of crushed pineapple (in it’s own juice, NOT syrup), undrained

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

8 ounces cream cheese, softened (I used 1/3 less fat kind)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of salt

1  1/2 cups (165 grams) powdered sugar, sifted

1 cup walnuts, lightly toasted and chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a 9x13 inch cake pan with cooking spray.  Set aside.  Whisk together in a large bowl the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda.  Add the eggs, vanilla and pineapple and stir with a spatula until well combined.  Pour into the pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.

To make frosting—Beat the butter, cream cheese, vanilla and salt in an electric mixer until creamy.  Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth and creamy.  When the cake has cooled, spread the frosting evenly over the cake.  Sprinkle with nuts.

Easiest Pineapple Cake

I need to find a way to try this gluten free and refined sugar free.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Red Lentil Patties with Spicy Tomato Jam and Rhubarb Walnut Loaf—Secret Recipe Club

Red Lentil Patties with Spicy Tomato Jam

Betcha anyone coming over here from the Secret Recipe Club that knows me well is shocked that this is my pick for the month and it’s not dessert!  Here’s the deal—I made three recipes from my blog assignment this month and chose the one I liked the most to feature here first.  I liked all three recipes from Isabelle’s blog, Crumb.  I am so happy that I took the time to make these Red Lentil Patties with Spicy Tomato Jam.  I had them in mind the whole month and just kept not getting it done. 

In the meantime, after spending Mother’s Day weekend with my parents in Idaho, I brought home a bunch of rhubarb from their garden.


Mom and I were having loads of fun trying to take a selfie before I left.  Some of them were pretty funny.


My parents just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on May 16th!  Anyway, their yard and garden is beautiful and they have 3-4 big rhubarb plants.  I got to bring home a bunch.


How cool is this pvc pipe planter?  They made holes all along the top, filled them with dirt and planted things like lettuce and herbs.  They’ve done that all along fencing in their yard.  No weeding!


I could post more pictures, but I’ll spare you too many more.  I just wish I could be like my parents and have a yard and garden like they do!


Back to the rhubarb—I scoured Isabelle’s blog for any rhubarb recipes and found this Rhubarb Walnut Loaf.  I decided that it wouldn’t be too difficult to make gluten free and made it. 

Rhubarb Walnut Loaf 5-22-14

Here’s how I changed it to be gluten free and with a few other changes.

Gluten Free Rhubarb Walnut Loaf, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

2/3 cup organic brown cane sugar

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 large egg

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup canned coconut milk

zest of 1 lemon

1  1/2 cups diced rhubarb

2  1/2 cups gluten free flour (I used Premium Gold ancient grains blend with xanthan gum)

2 tablespoons ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup organic brown cane sugar

juice of a lemon

1 tablespoon toasted unsweetened coconut.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Whisk together the brown sugar and coconut oil.  Add the egg and mix well.  Stir in the vanilla and coconut milk.  Zest and juice the lemon.  Stir the zest into the wet mixture.  Save the lemon juice for the glaze.

Whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir just until combined.  Fold in the rhubarb and nuts.    Pour the batter into a 9x5 loaf pan that his brushed with coconut oil.  Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Whisk together the 1/4 cup of brown sugar and lemon juice and bring to a simmer in a small saucepan until the sugar is dissolved.  Pour the glaze over the loaf as soon as it comes out of the oven.  Sprinkle with coconut.  Cool on a wire rack.

Rhubarb Walnut Loaf

Stay tuned for the red lentil patties and tomato jam, I’ll get to it soon.  It might be the first time in my blog’s history that I didn’t blog for a whole month.  I need to make up for lost time.  A bit more of the month went by and I still kept thinking about the lentil patties with homemade “catsup”.  I looked through Isabelle’s blog again, just for the heck of it and found these Cherry Walnut Oatmeal Breakfast Bars and felt like making them.  I made a few changes, using gluten free oats, brown rice flour, cranberries, sunflower seeds, almond milk, etc.  If you want my version of the recipe, let me know.  They were a good snack throughout the last week. 

Gluten Free Cranberry Walnut Oatmeal Breakfast Bars (June SRC)

Gluten Free Cranberry Walnut Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

I didn’t think I was going to get the lentil patties made.  I knew if I made them they would only be something I would eat and no one else around here, but a couple days ago, I just decided to get it done last Thursday, the boys’ last full day of school.  I started with the Spicy Tomato Jam.  Super easy and very tasty!

Spicy Tomato Jam, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, adapted from Isabelle at Crumb Blog

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1 small shallot, finely minced

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1/4 teaspoon dry ground mustard

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

14 ounce can of whole tomatoes, drained and chopped

1/4 cup organic brown cane sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

Saute the shallot and ginger in olive oil for a couple minutes.  Add the garlic and mustard and saute until fragrant.  Chop the tomatoes, or pulse them in a food processor.  Add all the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat and cook uncovered for about an hour, stirring occasionally, until it has thickened like jam.  Let the jam cool, then spoon into a jar and refrigerate until ready to use. 

Spicy Tomato Jam

This really has great flavor and a nice, perfect kick.  You can add a little more or less red pepper to your taste.  Isabelle used red pepper flakes.  I prefer the ground kind.  This tomato jam would be good on so many things.  After the jam was done, I made the patties.  I had bought some garam masala, which I had never used before, just to make these.  I’m glad I did! 

Red Lentil Patties with Spicy Tomato Jam 2

Since I was the only one eating these, I made just a few of them and have done so a couple times with the patty mixture in the refrigerator ready to make more.   I think I’ll fry off the rest of them, which I’ve done in coconut oil, and freeze them.  I made them gluten free by using rice flour instead of all purpose flour.

Red Lentil Patties, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, adapted from Isabelle at Crumb Blog

1  1/2 cups red lentils

3 cups water

1 small shallot, finely minced

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

2 teaspoons garam masala

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

2 large eggs

1/2 cup brown rice flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

coconut oil, for frying

In a large saucepan, bring the lentils and water to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer until lentils are soft, 15-20 minutes.  Drain lentils well.  In a skillet, saute the shallot in olive oil for a few minutes.  Add the garlic, cumin, and garam masala.  Cook and stir a few more minutes.  Remove from heat.  In a large bowl, combine the lentils, sauteed ingredients, eggs, flour, salt, pepper and cilantro.  Form into balls (or use a cookie scoop).  Lay them in a skillet that is heated with a couple tablespoons of coconut oil and flatten them to about 1/4 inch thick.  Fry the patties for about 5 minutes per side or until golden brown and crisp.

Serve them warm or at room temperature with the spicy tomato jam. 

Red Lentil Patties with Spicy Tomato Jam

These really were quite simple to make and I’m so glad I found the time to do so!  You know, a couple years ago, I got the pleasure of filling in for a missing Secret Recipe Club assignment and made some delicious marbled choco banana muffins and granola from Isabelle’s blog.  What I wouldn’t give for one of those muffins now!  I also just realized and had thought I had been assigned Isabelle’s blog before, but knew I’d filled in once, so I didn’t question it until now—I have also already had an actual assignment for Crumb and I made a couple more things--Warm Raspberry Chocolate Pudding Cake and Sweet Potato Falafel!  I knew something seemed off, but didn’t question it.  Oh well, I am super glad I got to find more yummy things on Isabelle’s blog!  We need to have a talk with “the powers that be” who make these assignments. ;  )



Sunday, May 04, 2014

Canadian Honey Drop Cookies, Gluten Free—Secret Recipe Club

Canadian Honey Drop Cookies, gluten free 2

I am a big cheater.  Besides making these cookies gluten free and using unrefined sugar (no big deal), instead of sandwiching them with jam/jelly which was indicated in the recipe, I used chocolate and peanut butter.  I can’t help it.  I didn’t have any sugar free jam, so it’s not really my fault and these are then healthier than if I would have used a sugar-laden jam.  Am I right?  Instead I used a combination of all natural peanut butter, a touch of raw honey and some melted Enjoy Life chocolate chips.  Win---WIN!

These cookies were really good.  I found them on my Secret Recipe Club blog assignment for May.   My blog assignment was Anna’s blog, Cheese With Noodles.  Anna lives in Alaska with her husband, bunnies and cat.  She’s crafty, likes gardening and cooking and baking.  I like her!

She got this Canadian Honey Drop Cookies recipe from the 1963 Betty Crocker Cooky Book.  I would love to have a copy of that one!  I like that she pointed out that these cookies aren’t Canadian and they aren’t drop cookies, really.  But that doesn’t matter if you make them and like them, right?  When I saw that they are made with brown sugar and I had just recently bought some organic brown sugar, as well as with honey, I knew these were the cookies I had to make.  I’m happy I did.  I actually ate most of these cookies individually with no filling to sandwich them.  They are good by themselves!  I was thinking of drizzling them with melted chocolate, then I thought of what my favorite thing is with honey and knew I needed to put some peanut butter in them.  Man, I sure miss a good ol’ peanut butter and honey sandwich! 

Canadian Honey Drop Cookies with penaut butter chocolate fillingYes, I could have just eaten one cookie topped with the peanut butter-chocolaty goodness, but that would not have been very lady-like and would have been kind of a drippy mess.  So, a sandwich it was!  Check out the recipe Anna posted.  Here’s my gluten free version.  I also used coconut oil instead of shortening, though I might try them again with some organic Spectrum palm shortening.  Anna’s cookies were pretty thick and mine were soft and flat (still good!).  If I make them again and don’t plan to sandwich them, I will use shortening.  I have found that coconut oil really spreads with cookies.  I knew it would when I made them this way, so it is all good.

Canadian Honey Drop Cookies--May SRC

Canadian Honey Drop Cookies, Gluten Free, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

1/2 cup coconut oil, 112 grams (or organic Spectrum palm shortening)

1/2 cup organic cane brown sugar, not packed (80 grams)

1 large egg

3 tablespoons raw honey (63 grams)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1  3/4 cup gluten free flour blend (196 grams) (I used Premium Gold ancient grains gluten free blend)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

*Optional filling

Jam/Jelly of your choice

Natural Peanut Butter

Combination of peanut butter, honey, melted Enjoy Life chocolate chips

Beat together well the oil/shortening with the brown sugar.  Add the egg and beat well.  Add the honey and vanilla a mix until fluffy.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda.  Stir it into the sugar mixture until all combined.  Cover the bowl and refrigerate dough for a couple hours (be careful, refrigerating something with coconut oil, hardens it up quite a bit, but I was still able to form dough balls).  The chilling step may not be necessary if using shortening. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  Roll dough into one inch balls.  Place on baking sheets about 3 inches apart.  You can flatten them slightly with your hand if you’d like them flat, which works well for a sandwich cookie.  Bake for 8-10 minutes until cookies are lightly browned.  Let cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.   Fill cookies with jam or optional peanut butter/chocolate mixture, if desired.  Makes 16 cookies

Peanut Butter Filled Canadian Honey Drop Cookies, Gluten Free

I filled one with just peanut butter and it was a bit runny/messy.  Still tasted great though!  The melted chocolate really helped hold the filling inside, especially after I refrigerated it for a short time.

My newest plan/goal with my Secret Recipe Club assignments is to also make a savory dish from the blog.  You might have noticed, I always go right for cookies or some other dessert.  That’s just who I am.  But I actually eat quite healthy as well, especially after being diagnosed with MS and going gluten free and off refined sugars and most processed foods.  It’s been an interesting road to go down.    I miss certain things, like a good old plate of pasta or some delicious homemade whole grain bread……….so looking through Anna’s blog, I wanted to find something to make for dinner one night.  My family seems to get tired of the same number of things we have often.  While I make spaghetti a lot and one other pasta dish that is made with an Alfredo sauce, I wanted to find something else.  I ran across the Dreamy Baked Ziti she posted in March of last year.  I decided we need to try a new pasta.  Anna spoke about how this was a new favorite with lots of creamy cheese and a flavorful tomato sauce.  I liked that it did not have ground beef in it.  I was a little skeptical that my family would not like it having no meat in it, so at the last minute, I tossed some chopped pepperoni into the sauce.

Besides that addition, I made just a few slight changes, so I’m not going to retype the recipe, that Anna got from Mel’s Kitchen CafĂ©, who got it from Cook’s Illustrated.  It’s like making a lasagna with an ample amount of a creamy cheese mixture full of lots of mozzarella and parmesan.  This mixture called for some dried parsley, but I used fresh chopped parsley. 

Creamy Baked Ziti 4-30-14

Just before I added the pepperoni to the sauce, I took a scoop of it and a scoop of the cheese mixture and made me a little portion of gluten free pasta.  I made a perfect one-serving ramekin of this Dreamy Baked Gluten Free Ziti for me.  I thought it was delicious!

Gluten Free Baked Ziti

I sure wish I would have made more of it for me for other meals!  This was a heavenly “splurge” meal for me and I would do it again in a heartbeat. ; )

Gluten Free Dreamy Baked Ziti

I will for sure make the ziti again…..sometime….soon.  So many delicious recipes on Anna’s blog, Cheese With Noodles