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Category Archives: Desserts

Gluten-free dessert recipes, for those with a sweet tooth.

Gluten-free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

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Gluten-free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I love oatmeal. It’s comforting and reminds me of country-side flavors. But, when you are gluten-free, it’s a grain you have to be careful with, because most brands are cross-contaminated with wheat products. Bob’s Red Mill has certified gluten-free oats, which I like to cook with from time to time. This recipe for oatmeal raisin cookies has inspired me to make my own healthy version (yields 30 cookies).

Not too sweet but impossible to put down!

Not too sweet but impossible to put down!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup amaranth flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon guar gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup certified gluten-free oats
  • 1/2 cup raisins, rehydrated
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and add vanilla. Mix well.

In a different mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (tapioca starch to oats, on my list). Add to the cream mixture and mix well.

Fold in the rehydrated raisins (just soak them in warm water for 30 minutes to rehydrate them) and pecans.

I know it's hard, but don't eat all the dough raw, it's even better once baked!

I know it’s hard, but don’t eat all the dough raw, it’s even better once baked!

Shape the dough into small 1″ balls and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure to leave a few inches between the cookies because they flatten and expand while baking.

Bake for 11-12 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool and serve with a big glass of milk. Perfect for dessert or breakfast!

 

Butter Pecan Ice Cream

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Butter Pecan Ice Cream

It’s June. The heat and humidity are already unbearable. It makes me want to learn delicious, healthy frozen recipes to help endure the heat. I found a butter pecan ice cream recipe while browsing the Internet, and after three tries and a few changes in quantities and ingredients, I can finally say that I’m proud of the result.

Here’s what you need:

I didn't have a pretty bowl, so I served my ice cream in a cantaloupe.

I didn’t have a pretty bowl, so I served my ice cream in a cantaloupe.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

The first step is to lightly toast the pecans. In a skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and add the pecans. Constantly stir for 2 minutes, then reduce heat, add a teaspoon of sugar and stir for another 2 minutes. Be careful not to burn the pecans. Remove from heat and cool.

In a double boiler, heat the whole milk. When it starts to bubble but before it boils, add the brown sugar and stir until dissolved.

Pour some of the hot cream mixture (just around 1/2 cup) into the eggs and whisk. Return the egg and cream mixture to the double broiler. Cook over low heat and stir constantly until the mixture coats the back of a metal spoon. It takes 3 minutes.

Remove from the heat and immediately cool the pan in a bowl of ice water, to fully stop the eggs from cooking. Stir for 2 minutes and refrigerate.

In a mixing bowl, pour the heavy cream and vanilla extract. Whip the cream so it expands and stop before it forms soft peaks. Refrigerate with the custard mixture overnight.

The next day, combine the heavy cream and custard. Pour in your ice cream machine (1 quart), add the toasted pecans, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. I let mine churn for about 12 minutes.

Eat as is, or place in a plastic container in the freezer to let it harden. Et voilà!

Paleo Whipped Cream

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Paleo Whipped Cream

I’m not gonna lie, I’m pretty proud of myself. After a week of experimenting with coconut milk, I finally made a paleo whipped cream with a taste I can’t get enough of. It’s fluffy, rich, tasty, sweet and the coconut flavor isn’t overwhelming. My secret? Maple syrup and orange zest. A quick trip to the store, and you’re ready to get started!

Citrus flavored, yum!

Citrus flavored, yum!

Ingredients:

  • 2 15oz can unsweetened, full fat, coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 7 strawberries
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 Tablespoon orange juice
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoon coconut flour
Refrigerate the discarded coconut water for later use.

Refrigerate the discarded coconut water for later use.

Leave the cans of coconut milk in the fridge for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. After being refrigerated, the “cream” will rise on top, and the coconut water will be at the bottom. Separate the “cream” and drink the water, or store for other recipes.

In a food processor, blend the strawberries, vanilla, orange zest, orange juice and maple syrup, until liquid. It should yield about a cup.

With an electric mixer, whip the coconut milk in a large bowl. When it starts to thicken, slowly add the fruit and maple syrup. Keep whipping for 4-5 minutes.

Healthy paleo snack

Healthy paleo snack

Add 2 teaspoon of coconut flour to help thicken the whipped cream. It needs it since I added a cup of liquid flavoring!

Store back in the fridge as soon as possible to keep a thick, fluffy texture.

Now, you have a healthy, delicious, paleo whipped cream for all your recipes!

 

 

Gluten-free Profiteroles

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Gluten-free Profiteroles

So… I was watching Anne Burrell make profiteroles on the Food Network this weekend and her dough was doing such wonderful things (!) that I thought to myself, “I can ace this gluten-free”. And it’s true; pâte à choux isn’t exactly liquid, but it’s not doughy enough that the texture becomes a problem when trying it with gluten-free flour. If you’ve never baked before, this is a good recipe to start with.

It looks crazy fancy and nobody will know it only took 10 minutes prep time!

It looks crazy fancy and nobody will know it only took 10 minutes prep time!

Ingredients for the dough:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • A pinch of ground cinnamon

Ingredients for the whipped cream:

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoon honey

Ingredients for the chocolate ganache:

  • 4 ounces dark chocolate (or semi sweet)*
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon butter

* Choose a chocolate without soy lecithin so it’s healthier!

Alright! Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 425F.

It doesn't look anything like dough, but just trust that this is what you want!

It doesn’t look anything like dough, but just trust that this is what you want!

In a small saucepan, combine water, butter and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add the flour (tapioca starch and brown rice flour) all at once. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture has cooked enough that it looks like a gooey ball of mashed potatoes.

Transfer to a mixing bowl and let sit 5 minutes to prevent the eggs from cooking.

Perfectly golden!

Perfectly golden!

Beat in the eggs one at a time (this step is a bit of a workout) until fully incorporated. Add cinnamon and beat in some more. It should look like cooked oatmeal.

For the next step, you need either a pastry or piping bag, a cake decorator like mine, or you can improvise and use a Ziploc bag with a small hole in a corner.

Look how airy and fluffy this is! Yes, it's gluten-free!

Look how airy and fluffy this is! Yes, it’s gluten-free!

Fill the bag with the dough mixture and pipe little 1 inch balls onto the parchment paper, leaving at least an inch in between, because they expand quite a bit in the oven.

Bake in the 425F oven for 18-20 minutes. Take them out and let cool 15 minutes before cutting them in half.

While it cools, make the whipped cream. It takes about two minutes. Just use an electric mixer and start beating the cream.

When it starts to harden, add vanilla and honey and whip some more. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.

Usually, chocolate ganache requires a double boiler, but I found great instructions on how to make it in the microwave. So easy! Just heat the cream and butter in the microwave until it boils and pour it on the chocolate chunks. They will melt right out while you stir.

Almost done!

Almost done!

And now it’s time to put everything together. Sandwich the whipped cream on the bottom half of a profiterole and place the top on. Pour chocolate ganache over. Serve to your guests and feel pride as they compliment you!

I can’t wait to try this recipe the paleo way. I think it’d be easy to sub in almond flour for brown rice flour, lard for butter and coconut cream for heavy cream and there, paleo profiteroles!

Gluten-Free Oreo Cookies

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Gluten-Free Oreo Cookies

Who doesn’t love oreos? Chocolaty goodness with a delicious creamy sweet filling, dipped in milk. It’s a great snack and guess what, you can easily make a gluten-free version at home in 20 minutes (prep time). After experimenting for many months, I’m finally completely satisfied with my recipe. Aside from sugar, which is alright in moderation, you can eat these cookies completely guilt-free! Here’s what you need:

 

Just like the real thing, but better!

Just like the real thing, but better!

Ingredients for the cookie:

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar*
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup amaranth flour
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • White rice flour for rolling

Ingredients for the frosting:

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar*

*I put an asterisk next to powdered sugar because I prefer using powdered sugar made with tapioca starch instead of corn starch, like Organic 365, which you can find at your local Whole Foods.

It doesn't look like much, but once rolled out, you'll get lots of cookies!

It doesn’t look like much, but once rolled out, you’ll get lots of cookies!

The dough is easy to make. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add vanilla extract. Slowly add the cocoa powder, salt, starch and flour. It’s going to get really thick. Just knead it with your hands. Wrap it up in floured (white rice flour is what I use for sprinkling and rolling) wax paper and cool it in the freezer for 10 minutes, or in the fridge for an hour.

The dough is a lot easier to work with than I expected.

The dough is a lot easier to work with than I expected.

Next, preheat the oven to 350F. Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet and set aside. On a clean work surface, sprinkle white rice flour and start flattening the dough with a rolling pin to about 1/8 inch. Using a cookie cutter, get as many cookies as you can! It should yield around 30 cookies but you’ll have to reroll the dough a few times. No wasting allowed!

Bake 7 to 8 minutes. After they have cooled at least 15 minutes, use a spatula to get the cookies off the wax paper and on a plate.

The last step is to make the frosting.

Simply cream the butter and powdered sugar and add vanilla extract. Using a knife, spread a generous amount of frosting on a cookie and sandwich it with another.

Enjoy the healthiest oreo cookies ever!

Gluten-free Carrot Muffins

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Gluten-free Carrot Muffins

Okay… I just have to share this recipe with the world, because it’s the best muffins I’ve ever had. Ever! It’s gluten-free of course, carrot muffins, with icing INSIDE the muffins! I didn’t even know it was possible, so credit to The Delicious Life for educating me. Here’s what you’ll need:

 

Icing inside. Genius! And SO easy.

Ingredients for the batter

  • 1/4 cup potato starch
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup amaranth flour
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon guar gum
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs (3 whites, 2 yolks)
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Ingredients for the frosting

  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar*
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

* Powdered sugar is made with cornstarch. There are a few brands, like 365 Organic, that make it with tapioca starch instead and that’s what I use.

Preheat oven to 350F.

The recipe is pretty straight forward. Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl (potato starch to sugar, on the list). Add three eggs – well… 3 egg whites, 2 egg yolks; keep the extra egg yolk for the icing. Add a stick of melted butter and mix well, until the batter is a perfect consistency.

Add the carrots and the raisins. Note that for the raisins to be perfect, they need to be rehydrated in warm water for ten minutes before mixing them in the batter.

And this is how you put icing inside a muffin.

Pour the batter evenly in a muffin tray. I like using muffin tins; it’s really easy to clean up.

For the frosting, mix all the ingredients in a food processor. Plop about half a Tablespoon of the frosting into the center of the batter for each muffin. The batter will bake over the frosting because of the difference in density. Genius!

Bake about 25 minutes, or until perfectly golden.

Gluten-free Tagalong Cookies

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Gluten-free Tagalong Cookies

A friend told me about tagalong cookies a few weeks ago. I had never heard of them but; chocolate: good, peanut butter: good, shortbread cookies: good. Needless to say, I was very interested. I used this recipe as a guide, but I changed many things, like adding caramel and getting rid of the gluten. Here’s what I used:

These homemade girl scout cookies are the best I’ve ever made!

Shortbread cookies

  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 2/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 2/3 cup amaranth flour
  • 1/3 cup millet flour
  • 1/3 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon guar gum
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Homemade caramel is easy to make and healthier because you control the amount of sugar.

Peanut butter filling

  • 3/4 cup peanut butter*
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar*

Caramel filling

  • 1 stick butter
  • 3 Tablespoon chickpea flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

Chocolate coating

  • 2 cups chocolate chips*

*Make sure you select these ingredients carefully. I used powdered sugar with tapioca starch instead of corn starch (Organic 365). I used peanut butter with no hydrogenated oils (Peter Pan’s new 100% natural) and chocolate chips with no soy (Nestlé’s Dark Chocolate Morsels).

The first step is to make the shortbread cookies. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add an egg and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Add all the dry ingredients (potato starch to baking soda on the list) and mix well. I used a fork and silicone spatula up to this point. When the mixture is doughy enough, mix with your hands. Prepare a sheet of wax paper with white flour sprinkles. Roll the dough into a cylinder, about 2 inches in diameter and freeze for 30 minutes.

It doesn’t need to be a perfect cylinder. Each cookie is unique!

When the dough hardens, it’s easy to cut it into thin cookies, around 1/8 inch. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes on a cookie sheet, and let cool a good 20 minutes.

These cookies are simple to make and great on their own.

Now, it’s time to get a workstation going with everything you need to make tagalongs. First, make caramel. Melt one stick of butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add chickpea flour to thicken and mix in the sugar (brown and regular) and the water. Stir constantly and continue to heat until thick. Cool in the fridge.

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter and powdered sugar.

The last thing you need is tempered chocolate. This is the same process I used for my thin mint cookies. If you’ve never tempered chocolate before, I strongly recommend watching this instructional video. My first few times tempering chocolate were a disaster. Practice and knowledge makes perfect!

Peanut butter on top seals the caramel.

Melt two cups of chocolate chips in the microwave, 20 seconds at a time and stir in between to disperse heat equally.

Now, take a shortbread cookie, spread a layer of caramel, then a layer of peanut butter. Rinse and repeat with all cookies. And now the “fun” part begins…

Coat the cookies in chocolate and carefully remove the excess.

This process is very time consuming but will reward your taste buds, I promise.

Be patient!

Place the chocolate coated cookies on a baking sheet and let set at room temperature. You can use the fridge to accelerate the process, but I think it lets in too much moisture and prefer room temperature.

And… you’re done! I stored my cookies in an airtight container in the fridge. I had some leftover caramel and peanut butter, which I used as dipping sauce with apples for snacks throughout the week. Enjoy!

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