No Bake Cookies! Perfect for the Busy Mommy.

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I love, love, love, LOVE no bake cookies of almost any kind!

When I’m in a rush, they are my go-to dessert.

The best part? You can make them entirely allergy free.

For your kitchen tools, all you will need is a sauce pot, a spoon for stirring, parchment paper, plastic wrap and a cookie sheet.

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First, add 1 cup honey, 1/2 cup coconut oil and 8 Tb unsweetened cocoa to your sauce pot.

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On the stove, turn the heat to medium high and bring the mixture to a boil while stirring constantly. Continue to stir as it simmers and thickens for about three minutes.

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Next, remove the mixture from the heat and add 1 cup peanut or other nut butter, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 1/2 to 2 cups gluten free old fashioned oats (gf quick oats will work too) and 1 cup shredded unsweetened raw coconut. I ran out of coconut, so we’ll just have to make believe we have some here. Stir well until all ingredients are mixed thoroughly.

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On a parchment lined cookie sheet, drop mixture by spoon fulls. Go ahead and make them whatever size you want. No bake versions break all the rules.

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Cover with plastic wrap if you’re a complete, nerdy clean freak like me. If not, still cover the cookies. It’s gross if you don’t.

Place the entire sheet in the freezer for 15 minutes or the fridge for at least an hour.

The rest of the instructions are listed below.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some no bake cookies and a cup of green tea calling my name!

No Bake Cookies. Free of most major allergens.

  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (or another unrefined oil, extra light is best)
  • 8 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 cup peanut butter or other nut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut (preferably raw)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups GF old fashioned oats (You’ll know you have too many oats if mixture becomes hard to stir. For this reason, add oats gradually to desired consistency.)

Bring honey, coconut oil, and cocoa to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer for three minutes or until thickened.

Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter, vanilla, coconut, and oatmeal. Drop by small to medium spoon fulls onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Refrigerate until set. If you really want those cookies ‘NOW’, put them in the freezer for fifteen minutes. If you have any left (HIGHLY DOUBTFUL), Store in a ziploc bag or airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.

Happy No Baking!!!!

Last Minute Christmas Dinner Preparations

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It can happen just like *that*!

“I need one more dish! Aunt Gertie asked me to bring one more covered dish! Aaaaauuuggghhh!!!”

*wrings hands furiously*

Never fear. Here are a few ideas:

Green Bean Casserole: No gluten, dairy, egg or yeast (recipe created by my daughter, Courtney)

  • 1 box Imagine Foods Creamy Portobello Mushroom (the ingredients on the internet sometimes say this is made with soy milk. However, the boxes I purchase at my local grocer never have any soy. So if you are allergic to soy, go check it out at the store. I think Imagine may be a little behind the times on their ingredients update)
  • 1/4 cup corn or tapioca starch plus enough water to thin starch
  • 1 – 16 oz bag of frozen, french cut green beans, thawed
  • 1/4 cup shredded Daiya mozerella
  • 4 green onions, chopped finely
  • 2 Tbs sunflower (or your favorite) oil
  • Dash salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Grease a medium casserole dish. Set aside. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, blend with whisk the soup and starch until smooth. Add Daiya and green beans.

Transfer soup and green bean mixture to casserole dish. Place in oven and bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat oil. Add garlic, salt and chopped onion. Saute until onion begins to caramelize. 

Top casserole with green onions after the 15 minutes are up. Then bake for an additional 10 minutes or until casserole is bubbly.

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  • And if you simply want to bring a dip along with some veggies, never fear!

Simply click on this link to see my recipe for a quick, easy ranch dressing and dip.

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  • And if you are dying for a cheese and cracker tray, EASY!

Get on down to the natural grocer and buy a package of allergy free lunch meat, such as Hormel Naturals, this Daiya cheese and a box of allergy free crackers, such as Mary’s Gone Crackers. Arrange on a cute little plate and hoard it all to yourself at the family gathering. Unless there are other food challenged people there. Then share, and you’ll be the star of the night.

Happy Christmas Eve!

Snowballs! Minus the Snow.

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Snowballs have long been one of my favorite Christmas cookies.

So I made them allergy free.

And now I will share the recipe with you!

Snowball Cookies

First, cream together 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 cups (yes, I said 2 cups) Earth Balance and 3 tsp vanilla.

First, cream together 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 cups (yes, I said 2 cups) Earth Balance and 3 tsp vanilla.

Next, add 2 cups GF flour and 1/2 tsp salt. Blend well, then add another 2 cups GF flour. Blend.

Next, add 2 cups GF flour and 1/2 tsp salt. Blend well, then add another 2 cups GF flour. Blend.

Your mixture will resemble coarse crumbs. That's exactly how you want it to look.

Your mixture will resemble coarse crumbs. That’s exactly how you want it to look.

Next, add 1/4 cup almond milk (or your choice milk) and blend. Your dough will still resemble coarse crumbs, but you should be able to grab a small handful and press it together, like so.

Next, add 1/4 cup almond milk (or your choice milk) and blend. Your dough will still resemble coarse crumbs, but you should be able to grab a small handful and press it together, like so.

The next step is to form the snowballs. You won't be able to roll them like you would a snickerdoodle: they'll fall apart that way. Instead, simply take a bit of dough and form them much like you would a, well, snowball! Then place them on a cookie sheet.

The next step is to form the snowballs. You won’t be able to roll them between your palms like you would a snickerdoodle: they’ll fall apart that way. Instead, simply take a bit of dough and form them much like you would a, well, snowball! Then place them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Put them in a 325 degree oven for 17 minutes. Do not over bake.

When the time is up, remove the cookies from the oven and let the sheet sit on a cooling rack for about two minutes. Using a small spatula, place one or two cookies at a time into a bowl of powdered sugar. Roll with the spoon until sugar coats the cookie, then transfer to a cooling rack.

When the time is up, remove the cookies from the oven and let the sheet sit on a cooling rack for about two minutes. Using a small spatula, place one or two cookies at a time into a bowl of powdered sugar. Roll with the spoon until sugar coats the cookie, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Once cooled, enjoy these little spheres of joy with a cup of coffee or tea!

Once cooled, enjoy these little spheres of joy with a cup of coffee or tea!

Snowball Cookies: No gluten, dairy, eggs, soy

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups Earth Balance
  • 3 tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups GF flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup almond or other milk
  • Additional powdered sugar for coating

Preheat oven to 325.

First, cream together 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 cups (yes, I said 2 cups) Earth Balance and 3 tsp vanilla.

Next, add 2 cups GF flour and 1/2 tsp salt. Blend well, then add another 2 cups GF flour. Blend. Your mixture will resemble coarse crumbs. That’s exactly how you want it to look. Next, add 1/4 cup almond milk (or your choice milk) and blend. Your dough will still resemble coarse crumbs, but you should be able to grab a small handful and press it together.

The next step is to form the snowballs. You won’t be able to roll them between your palms like you would a snickerdoodle: they’ll fall apart that way. Instead, simply take a bit of dough and form them much like you would a, well, snowball! Then place them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Put them in a 325 degree oven for 17 minutes. Do not over bake.

When the time is up, remove the cookies from the oven and let the sheet sit on a cooling rack for about two minutes. Using a small spatula, place one or two cookies at a time into a bowl of powdered sugar. Roll with the spoon until sugar coats the cookie, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Makes about 4 dozen.

Then go indulge and impress others with your allergy free baking skills!

Happy Playing in the Snow!

Gingerbread. Allergy Free and No One Will Ever Know!

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Gingerbread Man

What are the holidays (or even winter, for that matter) without a warm serving of gingerbread?

Not much, in my estimation.

So I created a recipe that is both allergy and taste bud friendly so our winters and holidays won’t be filled with gingerbread-less gloom.

Here is what you’ll need (the sugar forgot to show up for the photo shoot, but he should be on the list):

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First, grease a 9×13 pan and set your oven to 350.

Next, cream together 1/2 cup sugar (or 1/3 cup agave) and 1/2 cup Earth Balance.

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Next, add 1 chicken or duck egg OR 1 TB ground flaxseed with 3 TB water (or Ener-g egg replacer works nicely as well), 1/2 tsp vanilla and 2/3 cup molasses (do not use dark molasses. That would be bitter.) Blend well.

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Now, add 2 1/2 cups GF flour blend, 1 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp ginger and 1 tsp cinnamon. Blend well.

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And then your batter will look like this:

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But don’t worry, because now you will add the 1 cup of hot water. And please, for the love of your kitchen ceiling, DO NOT BLEND IN THE WATER WITH THE MIXER! Hand stir it in. Please. Or you’ll be up until two in the morning cleaning your ceilings and everything else within a twenty mile radius. Or, you can simply hold a towel or waxed paper over the bowl while mixing on very, very low speed. If you dare.

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When you’re done with that step, you’ll have a batter that looks very unappetizing. Ah, but looks can be deceitful!

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Spread batter into your greased pan:

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Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool for about 10 to 15 minutes on a wire rack.

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Serve on paper plates. Really. I only put this piece on my grandmother’s china for you all.

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And top with Rich Whip or coconut milk whipped cream (Refrigerate 1 can coconut milk for an hour. DO NOT SHAKE! Open the top side and scoop out the solid coconut. Add sweetener, if desired, and whip to your favorite consistency.)

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And then gloat, because you get to have gingerbread just like everybody else.

Gingerbread: No Dairy, Gluten, Eggs or Other Funky Stuff

  • 1/2 cup sugar or 1/3 cup agave
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance
  • 1 chicken or duck egg OR 1 TB ground flax seed and 3 TB water, mixed together (Ener-g Egg Replacer works nicely as well)
  • 2/3 cup light or original (not dark!) molasses
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups GF flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 cup very hot water

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9×13 pan.

Cream sugar and Earth Balance. Add egg or replacer, molasses and vanilla. Blend well. Next, add gluten free flour, soda, cinnamon and ginger. Blend. Stir in hot water or cover bowl with towel or waxed paper and blend on the lowest possible setting. 

Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack for ten to fifteen minutes. Cut into squares and serve with dairy free whipped cream.

Happy Indulging!

Espresso Peppermint Mocha Crinkles

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This, my friends, is what Christmas tastes like.

WARNING! Before you make these, you may want to purchase the Insanity or Jillian Michaels workout videos. Because you’re going to eat them all. You won’t be able to stop! They are so devastatingly delicious.

Espresso Peppermint Mocha Cookies
  • 2 cups GF flour 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (yes, you read that right) baker’s cocoa powder (such as Hershey’s)
  • 2/3 cup white sugar 
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil (I used extra light olive oil)
  • 1.5  Tablespoons espresso powder, ground super fine in a coffee grinder 
  • 4  eggs OR the equivelent in egg replacer
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 to 1/2  teaspoon peppermint extract (Amount is depending on how ‘pepperminty’ you like it – the smaller amount will give a hint of peppermint while the full amount will definitely make the peppermint take center stage. Do not double your extract if you double the recipe or it will be too overpowering.)
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar (for rolling the cookies)

Combine all of your wet ingredients and blend with a stand or hand mixer. Next, blend together your dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then add to wet ingredients. Blend until mixed well and ingredients form a dough.

If using GF flour, you may notice that the mixture is a bit dry. Mine was, so I gradually added small amounts of  unsweetened almond milk until I felt it was the right consistency of cookie dough. Not too dry or wet but tacky to the touch.

Optional: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. I did not do this. I wanted to get at these cookies!
When you are ready to bake your cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. (Do this step if you can. It’s a great kitchen tool!)
Roll the dough into 1 Tablespoon sized balls. Dip half of the dough ball into the powdered sugar, then place the ball onto the prepared cookie sheet, powdered sugar-side up. Place the dough balls at least 1 inch apart on the cookie sheet. When you have filled a cookie sheet, very lightly and gently press down on each ball, slightly flattening it.
Bake the cookies on the center rack of the oven for 8-9 minutes, until the cookies begin to crack on top, and the visible insides of the cookies appear gooey.  Do not over bake the cookies, as they will become dry and crumbly.  Let cookies cool on sheet for a few minutes before transferring to wire rack. 
And proceed to eat the entire batch. Not really. Yes, really. Really.
Happy Delicious Days!

There’s Still Time!

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If you still need one more dessert for your Thanksgiving table, here are a few suggestions:

Berry Crisp

  • 10 cups mixed berries
  • 1 cup sugar or 3/4 cup agave or honey
  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal flour
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 Tb brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 Tb Earth Balance

In a bowl, mix together berries and sweetener. Transfer to a greased 9×13 dish. Preheat oven to 350.

In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients and then cut in the Earth Balance. Spread evenly over the top of the berries.

Bake at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes or until berries are bubbling and crust is golden.

Pumpkin Pudding

Beat pudding mix and coconut milk together in a large bowl; refrigerate for 5 minutes. Add pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice; mix well. Spoon into dessert dishes. Refrigerate for 10 minutes or until ready to serve.

And have a blessed, healthy and happy Thanksgiving!

To Top it Off….

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Since my last post was about pumpkin pie, I thought it would only be right that the next post be about what to top that delicious pie with!

Before I post my suggestions for delectable whipped topping alternatives, I want to caution you about ‘non dairy’ whipped toppings, such as Cool Whip or the store brand version of the same.

Put simply: DON’T EAT THEM! RUN! RUN FAR AWAAAAAAAYYYYYY!!!!

Why? Because the package lies. They are not ‘non dairy’.

They contain the evil casein, a protein derived from milk!

And that, my friends, will make you sick.

But don’t be discouraged! Because we have some great alternatives!

Rich’s Whipped Topping – So it’s filled with all kinds of things that must be chemicals and just a little bit of soy lecithin. But it doesn’t contain any dairy, so it’s all good! Hey, once a year (or twice…..or multiple times if you get into the habit of topping your morning coffee with it. But. that. is. all. I swear!) though, you can justify chemical fillers. Right? You will, because this stuff is amazing.

Canned Coconut Milk – I only recommend this is you are a fan of coconut. If you are, this is your baby. And it’s quite easy to prepare! Simply place a can of coconut milk in the fridge for at least one hour. DO NOT SHAKE THE CAN! Open can with a can opener (not a can punch, but take the entire lid off). Next, scoop out the solid coconut, discarding the liquid. In a bowl, blend together a small splash of vanilla extract, your choice of sweetener in whatever amount you normally use for whipping cream and the solid coconut. Blend with an electric mixer until thickened, much like heavy whipping cream. A Magic Bullet works real well with this recipe, whipping it up in seconds.

Rice Whip – This product is much like your traditional canned whipped cream. While it is very tasty, it can also be very expensive. But, hey! It’s the holidays! Splurge! And while no one is looking, you can be a little kid again and spray the stuff right into your mouth. Go on. You know you want to.

Goat Milk – For real. For those of you fortunate enough to tolerate goat milk, you can prepare whipping cream from evaporated goat milk.

Cashew Whipped Cream (I am not making this up. I’ve had a similar recipe and it’s darn good!)

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked 1 hour, drained
  • 1 tablespoon agave or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ to 1/3 cup water, as needed

Combine cashews, agave, vanilla and salt in a food processor; with blade running, puree and gradually add water to machine. Puree in spurts, stopping to scrape down sides with a spatula or long spoon. Add enough water to make a smooth cream consistency. If using as a piping cream, use only ¼ cup water, and chill before using.

So, there you have it! You can have your pie and your whipping cream too!

Ain’t life grand?

Happy Holidays!

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