Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dark Chocolate Cookies


These cookies are so yummy! The best thing about them is that they are naturally allergen free! There is no flour, no butter, etc. Love it!

Sorry I've been absent from blogging for quite some time...I haven't been feeling great. More on that later! The important thing now, is super yummy cookies!!!

(I really love exclamation marks if you can't tell!!!!!!)


The very tasty cast of characters.


First, you want room temperature egg whites.


Whisk together the cocoa powder, 1 cup of powdered sugar, tapioca starch and salt.


Umm...yum...melt 1 cup of chocolate chips in the microwave. I microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stir the chocolate and microwave for another 30 seconds until it's all melted! I prefer these allergen free chocolate chips that actually melt perfectly!


Now we start to use the mixer. Use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1 cup of powdered sugar to the egg whites.

Next, gradually add the cocoa mixture you whisked together earlier.

Then, stir in the lukewarm melted chocolate. Lastly, add in the final 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. The dough will be very stiff and tough to stir.


This is my biggest problem after I add the melted chocolate. It's just such a shame you can't get it all into the mixing bowl. Okay, not that sad, in fact, I'm so glad so that I can lick the bowl!


Roll the dough into balls about the size of a tablespoon. Roll in powdered sugar.


Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Do not over-bake! They are really gooey and so good when not over-baked! They are a lot easier to bake on the silicone baking mats. They tend to stick, especially if you let them sit too long. My mom asked me to mention the tip that it's easiest to get them off of the pan by flipping the spatula upside down. I showed her this tonight and she was so excited!

We actually quadrupled the batch and got 96 cookies. So each batch will yield 24 cookies. Special thanks to my mom for doing all the work and letting me just take pictures!


Enjoy these guys, they're so good!


Like I said, gooey on the inside. I have 2 thoughts when I look at this picture 1) Yum! 2) man I need to get a manicure!

Dark Chocolate Cookies
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes
Yield: 24 Cookies

1 1/2 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, Divided
3 Egg Whites, Room Temperature
2 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar, Divided
1/2 cup Cocoa Powder
1/4 tsp. Salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

Melt 1 cup of chocolate chips in microwave with 30 second intervals. Stir every 30 seconds. Let cool slightly.

Whisk 1 cup of powdered sugar, cocoa, tapioca starch and salt in a medium sized bowl.

Using electric mixer, beat room temperature egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1 cup of powdered sugar. The consistency of the meringue will become like a marshmallow cream. Gradually beat the cocoa mixture into the meringue. Stir in the melted chocolate. Stir in the last 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. Dough will be very stiff.

Roll dough into 1 tablespoon size balls and roll until coated in powdered sugar. Place on prepared baking sheets, approximately 2 inches apart.

Bake about 10 minutes at 400 degrees. The tops will crack and cookies will puff when done. Remove from oven and cool on racks 3-5 minutes. Transfer cookies to rack and cool. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe:

Chocolate Chip Substitute


Trust me on this one you guys, you want to use these! They taste so good it's honestly unbelievable. I can't believe that the only ingredients are:

Evaporated cane juice, chocolate liquor, non-dairy cocoa butter.

They are free of the top 8 allergens, including: gluten, dairy, casein, peanuts, soy, etc.

I love you Enjoy Life!! If you only you could please oh please oh please make me soy free and dairy free white chocolate. Just a thought!

They even melt perfectly. I've used them to dip things in with melted chocolate and in tons of recipes. Also, I eat them straight out of the bag when I need an allergen-free chocolate fix.

Check out all the info about these at Enjoy Life's Website (also currently a coupon on their homepage!). I buy them at my local health food store (i.e., Whole Foods, Henry's Marketplace and Mother's Market).

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pumpkin Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting


This is an excellent gluten-free dessert to finish off your Thanksgiving dinner! Trust me, it's really good and so fun to make the caramel in the frosting! None of your guests will believe it's gluten-free until you start eating it!


This is what you're going to need. Also, grease two, 9" cake pans.


First, let's combine the flours (I used oat and tapioca - my favorite combo), baking soda, baking powder and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl. Mix it up!


Next, combine all of the following ingredients: canned pumpkin, sugar, canola oil, melted butter and vanilla in the bowl for your electronic mixer. Beat until combined on medium speed.

Add each egg one at a time and mix well between additions.

Gradually add in the flour mix.


Split the batter between the two cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes on wire racks in pan. Remove from pans and let the cakes cool to room temperature.


While that's baking, let's make the frosting so it can cool in time to frost the cake! Start with a small frying pan on medium heat. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of powdered sugar into the pan. Here's where this gets fun, I promise! Don't stir the sugar, just watch it and it will melt.


Here is what it will look like while melting.


Once the sugar melts, then you can stir the liquid a few times as you let it turn a deep amber color.


When it starts to bubble like this, it's when I move on to the next step.


Slowly and carefully stir in 1/2 cup of heavy cream, vanilla and salt. This will make the caramel mixture bubble like crazy, it's supposed to do that, just keep stirring!


Stir it up, making sure all of the little caramel bits dissolve and are stirred in. Once it is all stirred in, stir in an additional 2 teaspoons of heavy cream.


Transfer to a small bowl and cool to room temperature.


I'm just saying, try to be less distracted than I was while making caramel! I had this little cutie so excited to push her stroller back and forth through the kitchen! I couldn't resist giving her attention with each pass, what can I say?! This is my niece, Penelope and she was having a great time during the frosting making process, especially by watching the mixer!


Next step, cream the butter and cream cheese in your mixer on medium-high speed. Add the remaining powdered sugar gradually and beat until well combined.


Last step, add in the room temperature caramel that you made. Beat until well combined and place frosting in the refrigerator to cool to a spreading consistency.


When everything is cooled, frost it...


Slice it...


and enjoy it!!!

Pumpkin Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour
Yield: 16 Servings

2 cups GF Oat Flour
1 cup Tapioca Flour
2 tsp. Baking Soda
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1 1/2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
1, 15 ounce Can Pumpkin
1 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar
3/4 cup Canola Oil
1/2 cup Butter, Melted
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
4 Eggs

1 lb. Powdered Sugar, Divided
1/2 cup Plus 1 Tbsp. Heavy Whipping Cream
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/4 tsp. Salt
8 ounces Cream Cheese
1/4 cup Butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9 inch cake pans, set aside.

Mix flours, baking soda, baking powder and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl.

In a separate large bowl, add canned pumpkin, sugar, oil, melted butter and vanilla. Beat with electric mixer until well combined. Add each egg, beating well between each addition. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Split batter between the prepared 9" cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until tester inserted into center of the cake comes out clean. Once done, cool on rack in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans after 10 minutes and cool completely.

For the frosting, begin with a small frying pan over medium heat. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of powdered sugar into the frying pan. Without stirring, melt the powdered sugar. Once melted, stir occasionally as the sugar mixture cooks to a deep amber color. Once a deep amber, carefully stir in 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, vanilla and salt. This will make the mixture bubble vigorously. Stir until the caramel is smooth and stir in the remaining tablespoon of heavy whipping cream. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.

Beat the cream cheese and butter in electric mixer with whip attachment. Gradually add remaining powdered sugar and whip until well combined and fluffy. Add room temperature caramel and mix well. Refrigerate the frosting for about 30 minutes or until it is a spreading consistency. Frost the cooled cakes and enjoy!

Printable Recipe:

Friday, November 19, 2010

Traditional Roasted Turkey & Gravy


This is a great turkey recipe! It is the moistest (I don't think that's a word, but I'm sticking with it!) and tastiest turkey I've ever had.

If you feel overwhelmed with the thought of making a whole turkey, you're not alone! I know that I've mentioned before that I don't like raw meat very much...let's just say...a raw entire turkey is so gross to me! I decided to share a couple of pictures with you from the first time I made my own turkey a few years ago...


Ummm...super grossed out...


Seriously, ready to lose it! I'd like to tell you that I'm better now, but I'm not much better! I was still gagging during most of the raw turkey prep this time around as well! This is meant to comfort you, I swear! Despite my disgust, I can still turn out a super tasty turkey, just push through the discomfort!


Here's what you will need!


We are going to do a salt brine, so start the turkey the day before you need to cook and eat it! First step is to combine the coarse kosher salt, thyme, majoram, rosemary, celery seeds, sage, orange peel and lemon peel.


First step, wash the turkey and remove all the innards of the turkey (this is where I run into problems!). You'll notice here, I have washed under his arms very well!

Pat the turkey dry and place in a turkey oven bag on a baking sheet to brine the turkey in.


Rub the salt brine all over the outside and inside the cavity of the turkey. Cake it on there, the more the merrier! The great thing about a salt brine is that it makes the turkey so moist after you cook it.


Cut up the orange and lemon that you grated and save them to stuff the turkey with before you cook it.

Wrap up the turkey in the oven bag and place it in the refrigerator. You want to leave the salt brine on the turkey for 12-24 hours.

When you're ready to get the turkey ready to cook, rinse all of the salt brine off of the outside and inside of the turkey. Place the turkey on the rack of a roasting pan.


Chop one onion into large pieces, a celery stalk into large pieces and add dried herbs and previously chopped orange and lemon. Mix. Stuff the main cavity and the neck cavity with this mixture. It will make the turkey very flavorful!

Tie the legs loosely using cooking twine to try to keep the stuffing in the turkey.


Rub butter all over the turkey. It will depend on the size of your turkey on how much you need to use. Use a lot, you want to butter that sucker up! It will make it so lovely and golden brown. Yum!

Pour 2 cups of chicken stock in the roasting pan. Make sure the bottom of the pan never gets dry.

Place in the oven on the lowest rack at 325 degrees.


Instead of basting with the pan juices, I like to make a mixture of chicken stock and butter. It's really good! Leave it on the stove on low during the whole time the turkey is baking.


Every 45 minutes, baste very generously with the chicken stock/butter mixture.


Bake until the turkey temperature at the thickest part of the thigh is 165-170 degrees. Isn't it lovely! Tent loosely with foil and let it sit for a good 30 minutes.


Skim the fat off of the pan drippings. Place the roasting pan on medium-high heat on 2 burners of the stove.


Mix 3 tablespoons of tapioca starch and 6 tablespoons of water. Slowly stir into the gravy.


Bring the gravy to a boil and cook to thicken. Taste the gravy and use salt and pepper to taste.


Serve gravy super hot!


Enjoy your turkey, gravy and whatever other wonderful Thanksgiving treats you've made!!

Traditional Roasted Turkey & Gravy
Prep Time: 1 Hour
Total Time: 5 Hours
Yield: 8-12 Servings

Salt Brine:
1/2 cup Coarse Kosher Salt
1 tsp. Dried Majoram
1 tsp. Dried Rosemary
1 tsp. Dried Sage
1 tsp. Dried Thyme
1 tsp. Dried Celery Seed
1 tsp. Grated Orange Peel
1 tsp. Grated Lemon Peel

1, 13-15 lb. Fresh Turkey
1 Onion, Chopped in Large Pieces
1 Celery Stalk, Chopped in Large Pieces
1 Whole Orange, Chopped with Peel
1 Whole Lemon, Chopped with Peel
1 tsp. Dried Majoram
1 tsp. Dried Rosemary
1 tsp. Dried Sage
1 tsp. Dried Thyme
1 tsp. Dried Celery Seed
4 cups Chicken Stock, Divided
3/4 cup Butter, Divided

Pan Drippings
3 Tbsp. Tapioca Starch
Salt & Pepper to Taste

Mix all ingredients in salt brine. Rinse the turkey inside and out. Remove the innards. Pat dry. Place the turkey in an oven bag on a baking sheet. Rub the salt brine all over the outside and inside of the turkey. Seal the oven bag and place the turkey in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours before cooking.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Chop onion, celery, lemon and orange. Mix with the majoram, sage, rosemary, thyme and celery seeds. Rinse the salt brine off of the turkey, inside and out. Pat dry. Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan. Stuff the neck cavity and main cavity with the onion mixture. Tie the legs loosely with cooking twine. Use about 1/4 cup of butter and rub all over the outside of the turkey, use more as needed. Place 2 cups of chicken stock in the roasting pan (make sure there is always liquid in the bottom of the roasting pan throughout cooking). Place turkey in oven on lowest rack at 325 degrees.

Make liquid to baste the turkey with by placing 2 cups of chicken stock and 1/2 cup of butter in a small saucepan. Place saucepan on low heat and make sure the butter has melted by the time you need to baste the turkey. Leave on low heat throughout the turkey's baking time.

Baste the turkey generously with the chicken stock mixture every 45 minutes. Bake the turkey for a total of about 3.5-4.5 hours. This will depend on the size of your turkey. It will be done when a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers between 165-170 degrees. Remove from oven and tent loosely with foil. Let the turkey sit for about 30 minutes.

To prepare gravy, skim the fat from the top of the pan drippings. Place the roasting pan with pan drippings on medium-high heat on 2 burners of the stove. Thanks to the basting, there should be plenty of pan drippings. If there are not, add more chicken stock to your desired level. Mix 3 tablespoons of tapioca starch with 6 tablespoons of cold water. Slowly stir the tapioca starch liquid into the pan drippings. Bring the gravy to a boil and allow it to cook to thicken. Taste the gravy, use salt and pepper to taste. If it is not thick enough, continue to thicken with tapioca starch in a 2:1 ratio of water to tapioca starch. Lower the temperature and just let it gently boil until it is time to serve. Serve very hot.

Carve the turkey, serve with gravy and enjoy!

*Dairy Free Version: Use Butter Substitute.

Printable Recipe:

Tapioca Starch

I love using Tapioca Starch as a replacement for corn starch. This brand is great and you can use it as a 1 to 1 replacement for corn starch.


I buy this product at my local health food store (i.e., Whole Foods). You can also buy a 6 pack of them here at Amazon if you can't find it at a store near you! Love it and if you can't eat corn, use this instead! It will also work great to thicken your Thanksgiving gravy!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cornbread Sausage Stuffing


This stuffing turned out great, I highly recommend it! Plus, it was easy, who doesn't love that?!?!


Start with all of this good stuff!


Butter a baking dish with 1 tablespoon of butter. Make it extra buttery!


You want to get 6 cups of cornbread croutons. I used the Bob's Red Mill gluten-free cornbread mix and, I'm really torn on how mean to be, but it was not very good. It made great stuffing, but it wasn't good as regular cornbread. I recommend that you use this cornbread recipe from Pamela's. Also, if you can't eat corn, use whatever your favorite GF bread is, this will still be a terrific recipe!

Make your cornbread or bread, cut them into 1/2" to 1" cubes, spread into a flat layer on a baking sheet and bake for 2 hours at 200 degrees.


Feel free to use your favorite sausage. I love chicken sausage that has apple and maple in it. Yum! Cut the sausage up into bite-sized pieces.


Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large frying pan over high heat. Cook the sausage until it browns. Try not to eat it all because it is going to smell really good!


When the sausage is done, add it to your cornbread croutons.


Just as with the herb bread stuffing, I had already chopped the herbs, onion and celery. Dice 2/3 cup of celery, 1 cup of onion and 1 tablespoon each of fresh sage, parsley and thyme.

Melt an additional 2 tablespoons of butter in the same frying pan you used for the sausage. Cook until the onions and celery become translucent and are beginning to brown.


Add them to the sausage and croutons.


While everything is cooking on the stove, whisk up the wet ingredients. Start with two eggs.


Add in 1/2 cup chicken stock, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Whisk it up!


Pour the wet ingredients over the sausage, vegetables and croutons and mix well (but gently, don't mush up the bread!). If it is not moist enough, add chicken stock in 1/4 cup increments until very moist. Just when you think it's moist enough, it's probably not, add some more!


Cover the top with little pieces of butter, just to make it extra moist!

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.


Remove from oven when it's golden brown. If you remove it from baking and it's too dry, add additional chicken stock. Mine was too dry and I just added an extra 1/4 cup of chicken stock directly to the stuffing while still in the baking dish and mixed it up. It was perfect, so feel free to fix it after the fact if you need to!


This is really good stuffing! I think the sweet sausage made it a really different taste but perfect for Thanksgiving with its maple flavor!

Cornbread Sausage Stuffing
Prep Time: 30 Minutes (45 Minutes if Making Croutons)
Total Time: 1 Hour (4 Hours if Making Croutons)
Yield: 10-12 Servings

6 cups, Gluten-Free Cornbread Stuffing Croutons
12-ounces Gluten-Free Sausage (i.e., Chicken Apple Sausage)
1 cup Diced Onion
2/3 cup Finely Diced Celery
1 Tbsp. Chopped Fresh Sage
1 Tbsp. Chopped Fresh Thyme
1 Tbsp. Chopped Fresh Parsley
6 Tbsp. Butter
1/2 - 1 1/4 cups Chicken Stock
2 Eggs
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Black Pepper

Make gluten-free cornbread croutons by making your favorite gluten-free cornbread mix. Chop the cornbread into 1/2" to 1 " cubes. Place cubes in a single layer on baking sheet and bake at 200 degrees for 2 hours. This can be done 1-3 days in advance, store croutons in an airtight container and store it at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 9 x 13 baking pan with 1 tablespoon of butter.

Chop vegetables and herbs, this can be done 1-2 days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Chop sausage into bite-sized pieces. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large frying pan on high heat. Add the sausage and cook until browned. Mix with cornbread croutons in a large bowl.

Melt an additional 2 tablespoons of butter in the same pan used for the sausage. Add the onions, celery and herbs. Cook until onions and celery become translucent and are beginning to brown. Add to the sausage and croutons.

In a small bowl, whisk eggs, 1/2 cup chicken stock, salt and pepper. Add to the crouton mixture. Mix well but gently. If stuffing is dry, add chicken stock in 1/4 cup increments until mixture is very moist. Place stuffing in prepared 9 x 13 pan.

Cut up last tablespoon of butter into small pieces and place on the top of the stuffing. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees until stuffing begins to brown. Remove from oven, serve hot.

*Dairy Free: Use Butter Substitute
*Egg Free: Substitute 1 cup of chicken stock for the 2 eggs. Use Egg Substitute when making cornbread mix.

Printable Recipe: