Category Archives: Dessert

Gluten Free Birthday Cupcakes

So my baby sister turned 17 the other day. This is big guys. She can drive without adult supervision, and she’s going to enter her senior year of high school in the fall. Damn when did that girl get so old? (cue my big sister waterfall of tears) I mentioned before that the little nugget found out she had Celiac disease this year, in addition to having peanut allergies. While already having allergies made her ready to check labels and made saying no easy, finding gluten free food she actually enjoys eating is really hard still. She used to love baking as much as I do, but the passion fell off a bit because it seemed no fun to her to make cakes she didn’t love to eat.

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Our more formative years…..

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And today!

This year I decided to take charge of the birthday cake and created some gluten free birthday cupcakes. Yes, I used a mix to make the base – Better Batter does a much better job of making gluten free yellow cake than any of the recipes we’ve tried so far. And it’s one of the gluten free mixes that doesn’t have nut or chickpea flours. If you have a recipe/flour suggestion, though, I’m all ears!

Cupcakes

I did make some frosting for the recipe, and damn it was good! The chocolate was dark and rich and played well on the cake-iness of the yellow cupcakes. It probably helped that I smeared the icing ALL OVER the cupcakes, but my sister and I are icing girls – it was a must!

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Lets get baking!

Chocolate Frosting
Peanut free, nut free, egg free, soy free, shellfish free, sesame free

Ingredients:
2 and 3/4 cup powdered sugar
6 Tbsp. butter
6 Tbsp. Half and Half
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Cream the butter with your mixer.
2. Add the powdered sugar and cocoa alternating with the half and half and vanilla extract.
3. Beat on a medium speed until it reaches the desired texture. It should be thick and smooth.
4. Spread on your favorite cupcake and enjoy!

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Green Tea Coconut Donuts

I finally did it. It’s been a year in the making, but I finally went out, got myself a donut pan and decided to conquer baked donuts. The end result was glorious. Tropical, cake-y, and definitely not greasy. Not to mention, no actual nuts were involved in the baking of these delicious donuts. Are you excited yet? No? This picture will probably convince you otherwise.
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I made green tea donuts with a simple sugar glaze and topped them with toasted coconut. Why? Well for one, green tea is my favorite drink, and coconut is my favorite snack. Seemed like a good combination to me. The green tea powder, or matcha, I used was Trader Joe’s Tropical Sweetened Matcha Mix. It is a fruitier, sweeter version of it’s sophisticated older sister, actual matcha, and the scent made me automatically think of coconut.

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Donuts are always a special treat in my house. My dad used to make Dunkin’ Donut runs on Saturday mornings and bring my sister and me back those strawberry sprinkle donuts, but as of late, things like that don’t happen anymore. My dad and sister get their fix from a local store called The Gluten Free Zone (which, if you’re ever in the area, you HAVE to check out), but I can’t eat there (yet!) because some of the stuff is cross contaminated. Donuts are a rare treat for me now, as Dunkin’ Donuts are now cross contaminated, but I think this pan is going to change that, big time.

So let’s get cooking! The donuts are inspired by this recipe from Just One Cookbook, but they have a much more tropical flair.

Green Tea Coconut Donuts
Peanut free, tree nut free, soy free, shellfish free, sesame free
Makes 8 donuts

Ingredients:
Donuts:
3/4 cup flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 Tsp. baking powder
1/2 Tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. Trader Joe’s Tropical Sweetened Matcha Powder
1 egg
2 Tbsp. honey
1/3 cup milk
2 Tbsp. melted butter

Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 Tbsp. milk
2/3 cup coconut

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and grease your baking pan. Begin by combining all of the dry ingredients in a small bowl. This includes flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and the matcha.

2. In a separate bowl, beat the egg.

3. Add in the egg, honey, milk and melted butter.

4. Beat in the dry ingredients. Spoon the mixture into your greased donut pan.

5. Cook the donuts for 8 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, spread your coconut on a baking sheet and pop it into the oven. Toasting should take 3-5 minutes, but make sure to stir every once in a while!

Your coconut should come out looking like this:

Coconut

5. While everything’s getting brown and baked in the oven, whisk the milk and powdered sugar for your glaze in a shallow bowl. It should look a little bit foamy once whisked.

6. After the donuts and coconut come out of the oven and are cool enough to hold, dip them into the glaze and then dip into the coconut. If the coconut doesn’t stick well, sprinkle on top. Enjoy!

Long Donuts

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Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ah, summertime. The livin’s easy, the fish are jumping and the number of ice cream sandwiches nearby is high. I always forget about how much I love these as a treat, mostly because I’m too cold to actually enjoy ice cream from about September 1 to May 31. These next three months, then are prime sandwich time for me, and most certainly for you. The perfect treat for summer, ice cream sandwiches cool you off and are easy to eat in the sun, as long as you do it fast. Not to mention, this treat reminds me of one of my favorite songs by Battles called Ice Cream!

While some sandwiches are not cross-contaminated with nuts, they aren’t always easy to find. And gluten free ice cream sandwiches? Unless you’re lucky enough to live next to a specialty gluten free shop, finding those is highly unlikely, unfortunately. And a dairy-free version? You’re in the same boat.

The finished sandwich!

The finished sandwich!

So what’s a food allergy kid to do? Thankfully, Claire Thomas at The Kitchy Kitchen posted an easy chocolate ice cream sandwich recipe. This recipe is the perfect combination of rich and sweet. The cookies, without ice cream, taste of crisp, bitter dark chocolate. Putting ice cream in between two balances the cookies’ original bitterness, making a not-too-sweet treat that tastes amazing. I tweaked her recipe to create mini ice cream sandwiches that are peanut, treenut, egg, shellfish and fish free. The recipe can be adapted for those with dairy allergies by substituting margerine for the butter, and by using a dairy-free ice cream or sorbet for the filling. While finding similar gluten-free recipe to create was difficult, having some K-toos or gluten free Joe Joes on hand can make a similar gluten-free version of these treats.

I cut out the cookies with a small beer glass, about 2.5 inches in diameter.

I cut out the cookies with a small beer glass, about 2.5 inches in diameter.

Easy Ice Cream Sandwiches

Dark Chocolate Cookies
8 ounces butter, room temperature (or 8 ounces of margerine, for dairy-free)

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 cups flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup grated or finely chopped bittersweet  chocolate (make sure it’s dairy-free)

The cookies all rolled out and ready to be popped into the oven!

The cookies all rolled out and ready to be popped into the oven!

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. Blend together the butter and sugars with a mixer until pale and fluffy.

3. Sift together the dry ingredients and add to the mixer on low speed.

4. Add the vanilla and chocolate and blend until the dough turns dark brown.

5. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to a 1/4 inch thickness and using a small glass (mine was 2.5 inches in diameter), cut out the cookies.

6.  Place on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper to bake.

7. Bake for 12-13 minutes and cool completely on a rack before serving.

Pulling the crisp cookies out of the oven!

Pulling the crisp cookies out of the oven!

Ice Cream Sandwiches

1. Scoop one rounded scoop of vanilla ice cream (dairy free if you are allergic) in between two dark chocolate cookies. Serve and enjoy.

You can use just about any type of ice cream or sorbet to fill these cookies. You can create them each individual, or make a lot, wrap them in wax paper and freeze them for later.

Gettin’ Fresh

I picked fresh berries for the first time yesterday and just about lost my shit. Black raspberries? From a bush? Like right off the bush?

As you can tell, I’m a bit of a city kid at heart, despite growing up in suburbia. However, I was visiting my grandparents’ house with my family and boyfriend, and when my grandma told us to pick the berries right from the bush and eat them, I got excited. Maybe a bit too excited, but hey, they were fresh berries right off the bush!

But wait, it gets better. Apparently these black raspberries grow rampant in the woods behind my boyfriend’s neighborhood. OH. MY. GOD. So, as long as the season is right and the berries are growing, he and I are going to be making some fabulous nut-free and soy-free black raspberry pie in the very first post in a series of nut-free, soy-free baking from the both of us.

But wait! There’s more! (There always is). Because this blog is about making adaptable foods, I will also be making a simple gluten-free black raspberry dessert that can be served alongside the pie to please those who can’t eat wheat.

Stay tuned!

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Homemade Black Raspberry Pie

This recipe will make you weep. Why? Well first, the pride of making your very own pie from start to finish is enough to move anyone to tears. Secondly, the taste, especially when you use freshly picked black raspberries, is incredible.

This will move you to tears, promise, ;)

This will move you to tears, promise, 😉

Like I said, this recipe is going to be egg, milk, soy and nut free, and obviously free of fish and shellfish. Unfortunately pies are difficult to make without gluten. However, I do have a gluten free crisp recipe that I hope to share soon, adapted for black raspberries.

Anyway, this recipe is a bit of a mish mosh of recipes I found for black raspberry pie. The great thing is that the crust, which is a basic Betty Crocker pie crust recipe, is adaptable for any filling. The black raspberries are native to western Pennsylvania in the area that I live. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of berry picking – we were far too deep in the woods for me to reasonably lug a camera around along with our bucket.

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If you are berry hunting, this is what you are looking for. Unripened, they are red like raspberries. They need to be black!

Black Raspberry Pie

Ingredients

For the Filling

4 cups fresh black raspberries (you can also use frozen)

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup sugar

Sprinkling freshly grated nutmeg

Sprinkling ground cinnamon

Pinch salt

For the Crust

1 cup shortening

2 & 2/3 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

7 to 8 Tablespoons cold water (I always put water and ice in a glass to chill it)

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Start with the filling. Take a medium sized bowl and fill it with the berries. Toss with cornstarch, sugar (which makes them juicy!), nutmeg, cinnamon and salt.

3. Set aside and let the juices flow. Also, please taste the glory of this filling. So good just plain!

4. Now begin the crust. Combine flour and salt in a bowl.

5. Cut shortening into this mixture until the particles are the size of, as Betty Crocker says, “small peas.”

6. Sprinkle in water, 1 Tablespoon at a time. You may need more or less, depending on the day.

7. Gather the pastry in a ball, then separate into about a 60/40 division.

8. The 60% will be your bottom crust. Shape into a flattened round on a floured surface by (literally) smacking it with your hand. Then roll out until it’s about an eighth of an inch thick, or one inch larger than your pie plate.

9. Transfer into your pie plate by folding it into fours. Once it’s in the plate, open it up and make sure the size is right.

10. Fill the bottom pastry with the berry filling. Dot with little chunks of butter. I may or may not have gone all Paula Deen on this pie during that step…

11. Here comes the interesting part – a lattice crust. Roll a circle, just like you did for the bottom crust. Cut into strips about 1/2 inch wide. A pastry wheel makes this fancy; however, my picture doesn’t show a crust made with this, as I didn’t have one.

12. You can weave the strips, or you can do a bottom layer and top layer, depending on how crafty you are. I pretty much have sausage fingers, so weaving was, unfortunately, out of the question for me. 😉

13. Fold the overhanging inch over and flute the edges. Your pie probably looks amazing now. But you can make it better: sprinkle extra sugar over the top to give it a nice crunchy glow.

14. Throw the pie in the oven on top of a baking sheet, that way if it gets all gooey, your oven isn’t destroyed. Bake for 15 minutes at  425 degrees, then lower it to 375 and cook for a remaining 45 to 50 minutes. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette  says to note when the pie is “bubbling and burping,” and then to leave it in the oven for 10 minutes after that.

15. Enjoy how beautiful your pie is. Also serve with vanilla ice cream and coffee for extra brownie points!