Monday, December 23, 2013

Grain Free Gingerbread Blondies with Chocolate Chips (also refined sugar free)

Grain Free Chewy Gingerbread Blondies with Chocolate Chips 12-17-13

Probably the last thing I’m able to get posted before Christmas, sure wish I could get to posting more often like I used to.  Someday.  I’ve missed it.  But here we are, the last week of December, Christmas Eve tomorrow and the year is gone.  2013, not my favorite year, we’ve sure had our fair share of trials in our family.  Bring on 2014!  I wish you all a wonderful holiday season and a great coming new year as well!

I haven’t been making as many treats as I’d like.  Just haven’t had the energy to do so.  Bums me out!  But I did make a few things worthy of getting posted, so here’s one.  I took a few ideas and recipes that were grain free, refined sugar free and made these blondies.  I’ve been craving gingerbread like crazy and these have really hit the spot.  I do like gingerbread without chocolate, but for some reason I prefer it WITH chocolate—go figure.

These are simply made with almond butter and coconut sugar for the sweetener.  There is a little coconut flour in them as well as some molasses and those wonderful spices that make gingerbread so good.  I have really enjoyed them slightly heated up with a few more chocolate chips on top—they get all melty and add a nice topping.  They are just find without the extra chocolate.

Grain Free Gingerbread Blondies with Chocolate Chips, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

1 cup almond butter (I made my own with almonds I roasted)

2 tablespoons unsulphured blackstrap molasses (It doesn’t have to be blackstrap)

2 large eggs

2/3 cup coconut sugar

1/4 cup coconut flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

pinch of salt

1/3 cup Organic Fair Trade chocolate chips, more for topping if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line an 8 inch square baking pan with nonstick foil (or grease with coconut oil).  Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the almond butter, molasses, eggs and coconut sugar.  Whisk together until well mixed.  (This can all be done by hand or with an electric mixer.)  In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt.  Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir until combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips.  Spread the mixture evenly into the baking pan.  Bake for 12-15 minutes.  Let cool then remove from pan by lifting the edges of the foil and cut into squares. 

Grain Free Gingerbread Blondies with Chocolate Chips

Put those few extra chocolate chips on top of a piece of the blondies and  warm it up for 15-20 seconds.  Then let it sit for a minute.  The chocolate will melt a little, then just spread it over the top, it wasn’t all that pretty when I did it that way late one night, so I don’t have a photo, but it sure tasted great!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year!  So grateful for all who read my little ol’ blog.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Raspberry Hot Cereal with Driscoll Raspberries

Raspberry Hot Cereal, Gluten Free

So the wonderful folks at Driscoll's sent me some more coupons for berries.  Happy Dance!  Thanks, Driscoll’s.  They didn’t ask me to do a post or anything, I’m just doing it because I wanted to tell you about my favorite breakfast as of late.  I was having smoothies everyday, but it’s just been too cold and I don’t want smoothies right now.  Since deciding to eat gluten free, I found some Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Hot Cereal that I’ve been using for my morning breakfasts. 

I don’t really have an exact recipe, but this is so delicious, you could try it with oats, too.  In fact, I usually do a couple tablespoons of the dry hot cereal and a couple tablespoons of gluten free quick oats.  I put them in a small saucepan with some almond milk.  Of course, you could use any milk or even water, but I definitely prefer my hot cereal made with milk.  I add a pinch of salt and then I add some washed raspberries, probably about half a cup.  Let it all start cooking away over medium-low heat.

Raspberries in Hot Cereal

Stir it a bit.  The raspberries will start to break down (ha, I almost typed break dance!).  Stir occasionally and if it starts to bubble and boil too much, turn the heat down.

Raspberry Hot Cereal

It needs to cook for a good 5-10 minutes.  When the milk is all absorbed into the cereal, it will be ready.

Ready to eat Raspberry Hot Cereal

Doesn’t that look good?  That would be fine as is, but I can’t ever seem to leave certain things out of my food—like chocolate and peanut butter.  After putting the hot cereal into a bowl, I always sprinkle it with some Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips and add a spoonful of natural peanut butter.  While eating this wonderful warm breakfast, I swirl the peanut butter and chocolate around so there is some of the melty deliciousness in each bite.  Looks so decadent—but it’s actually pretty darn healthy!  Try it.  And as your momma always told you not to, go ahead—play with your food!   What’s your favorite thing to add to hot cereal/oatmeal? 

Raspberry Hot Cereal with Chocolate Chips and Peanut Butter

I had been also drizzling the cereal with a little agave nectar, sometimes honey or you could even do some maple syrup, but lately I’ve not been adding any of those and I still think the cereal is sweet enough without any of those.  Speaking of this delicious raspberry hot cereal breakfast, it’s that time right now.  And I know just what I’m going to make!

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Orange Agave Chocolate Chip Cookies, Plus Two More(All Gluten Free and Vegan)—Secret Recipe Club

Orange Agave Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie-Dec. SRC (11-21-13)

I get to share three different cookies with you today for Secret Recipe Club.  I only picked one recipe from my assigned blog, Love & Flour, but I liked this Orange Agave Chocolate Chip Cookie so much that I played around with it and made three different versions using the basics of this recipe.  Of course, I love that they are made with agave for the sweetener.   Then I just made them gluten free with an all purpose gluten free pastry flour.

I love the texture of these cookies, they are almost a little sandy shortbread-like.  Oh, they are also vegan, I like that, too.  People who eat vegan are on to something—you can safely eat all cookie dough!  Instead of using canola oil, which was called for in the recipe, I used coconut oil.  And I used Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips.  These are so easy to whip up in one bowl (without a mixer), especially since I halved Leandra’s recipe, that I decided to try a couple other versions of the cookie.  All three are really good to me!

Orange Agave Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies--Dec. SRC 11-21-13

Orange Agave Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten Free and Vegan), by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, adapted from Love & Flour

1/3 cup agave nectar

5 tablespoons (70 grams) coconut oil

1/2 tablespoon ground flax

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon orange extract

zest of 1 mandarin orange (or 1-2 teaspoons orange zest)

1  1/2 cups gluten free pastry flour

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  Cream together in a bowl the agave and coconut oil until well combined.  Add the flax, extracts, and zest and stir together.  Then add the flour (you can use regular all purpose flour and not make these gluten free), xanthan gum, baking soda and salt.  Stir together until well mixed into a cookie dough.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Roll dough into 1-inch sized balls and place on baking sheet.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack to finish cooling.  Makes 12-15 cookies.

Orange Agave Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough 11-21-13

*Raspberry Version.  Leave out the orange extract and add 1/2 cup freeze dried raspberries.

Agave Raspberry Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten Free, Vegan)

See, you know you want to just eat the dough.  The second time I made them, I left out the orange extract and zest and just added some freeze dried raspberries to the dough.  Delicious!  I love the combination of raspberry and chocolate.

Agave Raspberry Chocolate Chip Cookies (GF) 12-2-13

Then I had the thought yesterday to try the cookies with honey instead of agave and replacing some of the flour with cocoa powder—double chocolate.  I really couldn’t tell you which of these I like the most. Here’s the quick recipe for the double chocolate cookies, since I changed the recipe a bit.

Double Chocolate Chip Gluten Free Vegan Cookies, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

1/3 cup raw honey

5 tablespoons (70 grams) coconut oil

1/2 tablespoon ground flax

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup gluten free pastry flour

1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

5 tablespoons cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup organic semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  Cream together in a bowl the honey and coconut oil until well combined.  Add the flax and vanilla and stir together.  Then add the flour (you can use regular all purpose flour and not make these gluten free, if you do, you don’t need the xanthan gum), xanthan gum, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.  Stir together until well mixed into a cookie dough.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Roll dough into 1-inch sized balls and place on baking sheet.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack to finish cooling.  Makes 12-15 cookies.

Double Chocolate Chip Gluten Free Vegan Cookies

I think I liked the dough for these double chocolate cookies the best, at least I think I tasted it the most. ; )  I forgot to take a picture of the dough for these.

Double Chocolate Chip Gluten Free Vegan Cookies 2

I sure enjoyed “snooping around” Leandra’s blog, Love & Flour for Secret Recipe Club this month.  So many great recipes on all these wonderful blogs.  Really enjoying being a part of Secret Recipe Club.  Check out all the other good stuff people have made this month.

 

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Saturday, December 07, 2013

Grain Free No Bake Gingerbread Cookie Balls, also Gluten Free, Vegan and Refined Sugar Free

No Bake Gingerbread Cookie Balls--Grain Free, Refined Sugar Free, Gluten Free, Vegan 12-6-13

Yesterday I made two batches of cookies and some Gingerbread Cookie Bars (I mentioned them on Facebook, they are from Six Sisters’ Stuff).  I love baking.  But I am SO happy to know that I can still have yummy, much-healthier treats, too, even though I am  no longer eating gluten or refined sugars.  Here’s the link for the Salted Caramel Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookies I posted recently.  I made two kinds of them, some had white chocolate chips and coconut and some had semi sweet chocolate chips and M&M’s, the caramel is the sticky star of these cookies, and the flavor and texture from the cream cheese in the cookie dough. 

Salted Caramel Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookies and Gingerbread Cookie Bars

These Grain Free No Bake Gingerbread Cookie Balls from Beth at Tasty Yummies hit the spot and are delicious!  They are super easy to make, have just a few ingredients and those delicious holiday spices that I was going crazy over smelling while I made the Gingerbread Cookie Bars. 

Simple and great and they do not even any oven time, I didn’t change a thing from Beth’s recipe—so go there now and make these.  They are a perfect treat for when you’re in the kitchen baking away other goodies for people and wish you could have just a little something.  They would also be great to give away to others.  I love all the no-bake treats out there, especially the ones like these with no refined sugars! 

Grain Free No Bake Gingerbread Cookie Balls 2

That MIGHT be enough for me to snack on for a few days.  They are made with nuts and dates, a little molasses (unsulphured organic) and yummy spices.  They are rolled in unsweetened coconut, but they wouldn’t need to be and I think I’ll leave them “plain” next time I make them (in a few days).  One more photo, since you need to see them again and since I’m not posting the recipe.  Go to the link above for Beth’s recipe.

Grain Free No Bake Gingerbread Cookie Balls 12-6-13

Monday, December 02, 2013

Salted Caramel Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookies

Salted Caramel Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hello, Friends.  I know, it’s been over two weeks since I blogged anything.  I’m sorry.  I’m lame.  I’ve been busy.  I haven’t felt that great.  But you totally need a cookie.  Tis the season.  So cookies it is!

In all seriousness, I want to bring you lots of yummy things this month—the holidays are coming!  I made these cookies weeks ago and you need to know about them.  I take no credit for them—that’s how I seem to roll these days.  Have you been to Krista’s blog, Budget Gourmet Mom?  Well, shame on you if you haven’t.  How could you not love the blog of a mom with four boys, just saying.  AND, how lame is it that Krista recently moved to the same city in Utah that I live in and we haven’t met yet.  We could blame those eight boys!

I made these cookies and I think one boy and one husband ate one or two and I gave the rest away to a number of wonderful neighbors who recently helped us out making us dinner when life was crazy.  I didn’t taste the cookies, but I heard from more than just my family that they were delicious.  Besides that, I think they look GREAT!  So, if you’re looking for something just a little different from plain ol’ chocolate chip cookies, try these.  You can’t go wrong with caramel AND cheesecake.  I made a few ever-so-slight changes to Krista’s recipe.  I added some salt to the cookie dough and I made a different caramel swirl.  Therefore, I think you should try both to see which you like better.   You need to add these to your holiday cookies.

Salted Caramel Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookies, adapted by Katrina, Baking and Boys! from Krista at Budget Gourmet Mom

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (I used the 1/3 less fat kind)

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon fine ground sea salt

12 ounces (2 cups) semi sweet chocolate chips

Caramel Swirl

4 ounces caramel (I have a BIG block of caramel and measured out 4 ounces, you could use the caramels that need unwrapped)

3 tablespoons heavy cream

sea salt, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  In the bowl of a mixer, combine the butter and cream cheese and beat until combined.  Scrape sides of bowl and add both sugars.  Beat to combine well.  Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.  Scrape sides of bowl again.  In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Add to the creamed mixture and beat just until combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips.  Scoop dough onto baking sheets and bake for 10 minutes.  Let cookies sit on baking sheets for a few minutes.  Remove to cooling racks. 

Make the caramel swirl by putting the caramel in a microwave safe bowl.  Add the cream to the bowl and microwave in 20-30 second increments, stirring each time, until the caramel and cream have combined well and are smooth.  The consistency will be like a caramel ice cream sauce.  Let it cool slightly (10 minutes or so).  Pour the caramel into a plastic zip top bag, seal it, removing any excess air, then snip off a tiny corner of the bag and drizzle the caramel over the cookies.   Sprinkle sea salt over the tops of the cookies. 

Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

You know you want to make these.  Get your holiday baking started!  I think I’m going to make them again for a shindig on Friday.