Categories
chocolate cookie gluten free sandwich

flourless double chocolate and peanut butter sandwich cookie

1 double double sandwich cookies chocolate peanut butter 2 a sift cocoa with collander 3 flourless chocolate cookie batter 4 flourless double chocolate cookie ready for the oven 5 double double sandwich cookies one topped with peanut butter 6 top off double double sandwich
Chocolate & peanut butter: one of the great &s of all time. Earlier this week I whipped up a variation on two decadent (gluten free) dessert recipes. These recipes are suspicious alone but wonderfully dangerous when combined. I took a couple of the dense treats over to a neighbor who shares my affinity for peanut butter. He later told me, judging by the weight of the 2 “cookies” I knew it was serious business! So there you have it, this recipe mash-up is not for the faint of heart. Can you handle it?

Flourless Double Chocolate Peanut Cookies Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Recipe
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
5 oz. bittersweet chocolate chunks
1 1/2 cups chopped peanuts
4 large egg whites at room temperature

Preheat oven to 325-degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, cocoa, and salt (I like to use a mesh colander to sift the dry ingredients). Stir in chocolate and peanuts (I pulverized half of the nuts in my blender). Add egg whites and stir just until incorporated (looks like thick brownie batter).

Drop dough balls (cookie scoop works wonders) onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until tops are dry to the touch, about 23 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through. Transfer sheets to wire racks and let cookies cool completely. (To store, keep in an airtight container, up to 3 days.)

Peanut Butter Cream
Adapted from Kathleen’s Peanut Butter Icing Recipe

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Place the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth. Stores well in the fridge but spreads best at room temperature.

Categories
chocolate fruit gluten free

when the air is filled with dark chocolate and tangerines

a ball jar of freeze dried tangerines b ground tangerine dust chocolate covered freeze dried tangerine tangerine air brownie the stacked brownies tangerine dustRecently I noticed a new addition to the freeze dried foods selection at my local market: tangerines. While I enjoy fresh tangerines, they are rarely available where I live, and the texture of canned tangerines is a little slimy for my liking.  Imagine my delight for this new storable tangerine option!  Crisp and filled with air like a cheese puff, though incredibly light and flavorful, I immediately thought of making bittersweet and bright, dark chocolate snacks with these freeze dried fruits.  Simple to do; the small tiger-striped bites melt in your mouth without the dense chewiness of dried fruit or over the saturated syrupy taste of a jelly.  Fun for a party!  Next I ground the remaining freeze dried tangerines in my coffee grinder to add an unexpected citrus twist atop dark chocolate chunk brownies.  Make your favorite brownie recipe, bake, sprinkle with powdered sugar, then let the tangerine dust work it’s magic at the very last minute.  The tangerine and dark chocolate air is an added bonus.

Categories
candy chocolate gluten free

fluffernutter kisses

2 tablespoon meringue wells3 peanut butter mousse ingredients4 mixing peanut butter mousse 1fluffernutter kiss 1fluffernutter kiss 2fluffernutter kiss in wrapper1 fluffernutter kissBegin with a pillowy marshmallow meringue bowl, fill it with fluffy peanut butter mousse, then top it off with a classic chocolate Hershey’s kiss; it’s a bite-sized recipe mash-up to remember, and I call it the fluffernutter kiss.

Make it yourself by combining these recipes:
Stephen Collucci’s Peanut Butter Mousse Consider yourself forewarned on this PB mousse: the stuff is simple spoon-able heaven.  This recipe is my standby for filling up killer parfaits and chocolate cookie tart shells.

Martha Stewart’s Meringues I did not pipe them in heart shapes the way Martha does, rather I scooped the meringue into cupcake papers and made a little well in the center using a tablespoon.  They baked for a total of 1.5 hours, and cleanup was a breeze.

And if I may, I will tack on a final sentiment to Robin Leach’s signature line:
“Champagne wishes, caviar dreams, and fluffernutter kisses.”  Goodnight!

Categories
birthday candy gluten free

honeycomb birthday brittle

You know those cozy hexagonal structures of wax made by bees to store their precious goods, including honey? How perfect that this honey brittle recipe also takes on the appearance of its former storage home: the honeycomb! Martha Stewart’s recipe for Honeycomb Brittle has been close to the top of my “I want to make this recipe” mountain since I spied it a few years ago.

All that time I had no idea that I was just four ingredients away from a little kitchen science and my new favorite brittle recipe.  The mixture explodes in the pot when baking soda is added at the last minute, which accounts for is delightful airiness. It’s also easy to break apart once it hardens; if you’d like a little more control over the shapes of the shards, just score the brittle with a knife beforehand.

Next time I will add walnuts or almonds to the honey candy, as it is a perfect mix for encasing extra goodies.  In part of this batch I set up candles in the brittle and broke them apart to make edible candle holders for plopping atop a honey lemon cake later this week (I will be 32!).  The honeycomb brittle was also a fun and sweet crunchy accompaniment to a mug of creamy Greek yogurt the other morning. There’s nothing wrong with pre-celebrating, is there?

Since it stores and travels well, I am taking bags of the light and golden candy to contribute to our family munchies this holiday. Warm (and sweet) Thanksgiving wishes to All.

P.S. Dreaming All Day included me in 50 Thanksgiving Leftover Ideas today – check out her yummy round-up!

Categories
cake fruit gluten free

november golden pear cake

“Because it was cozy, simple, and delicious,” she said.

I get giddy when people think of me when they discover a new recipe, so you can imagine my delight when my friend Jillian wrote to me about her experience in the kitchen making October Apple Cake. We agreed that the possibilities for variations on this recipe were ripe, and this is how the November Golden Pear Cake came to be.

I changed up the modest ingredient list to make my own perfectly sweet & gluten free autumnal cake with pears, substituting oat flour with rice flour and swapping out the chocolate chunks with cubes of buttery caramel. Can I describe a dessert cake as both delicate and hearty? I hope so, because this recipe seems to fit those descriptions, and when sliced in wedges, it radiates like the golden November sunshine.

Enjoy, serve, or gift the November Golden Pear Cake at any time of day. It’s amiable to eat with a fork and cup of tea at the breakfast table, as a handheld treat on a fall forest potluck picnic, or as appetizer pick-ed mini bites preceding a festive night’s cheese course. Happy Novembering.

Ingredients

1 cup rice flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder
3 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
3 pears (I used D’Anjou)

optional: 1/2 cup caramel bits or 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees. Grease a pan with olive oil and dust with flour, set aside (I also lined the bottom with a circle of parchment paper).

2. In a small bowl, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs for 10 minutes.

4. Peel the pears and chop them into chunks. Chop up caramel or chocolate into chunks.

5. Add the brown sugar and olive oil to the fluffy, fluffy eggs and continue to whip for another minute. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until combined.

6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, then nestle the pear and caramel chunks until they are nice and snug in the batter.

7. Bake for about an hour, then if you can stand the wait, let it cool. Turn out the cake onto a plate and serve hot with drizzled caramel and sprinkled with sea salt, or cold with freshly whipped vanilla cream on top.

Categories
cheese fruit gluten free vegetable

celery date salad

Last week my mom spent a day researching the great-granddaughter of Martha Washington at the library where I work, so we had a lunch date downtown!  We walked to a sit-down restaurant where I ordered a falafel with a side dish of celery salad. I enjoyed so much of that chunky crunch that I made up my own salad at home based on the combination of flavors on my lunch plate that day.  It’s a great dish to prepare on a night when you crave the catharsis that accompanies chopping vegetables, and now every time I eat it I will remember the intrigue of Mary Custis Lee and that fun lunch.

For the salad:

Chop up celery, dates, and red onions.
Whisk together apple cider vinegar and honey.
Toss it all real good.
Sprinkle crumbled feta over top.

Turn a side dish into a meal:

Add crispy bacon and/or roasted chickpeas to the pile.

Categories
gluten free vegetable

roasted analogous roots

I unloaded my farmers market basket of root vegetables and realized that they made up a loose analogous color scheme: parsnips, beets, carrots, and sweet potatoes!  I liked them all together so much that I decided they should simply be roasted together.  Tossed up with olive oil, salt, and pepper in a 425-degree oven for about 30-40 minutes (longer for thicker), they ensued sweet folksy nourishment.

Categories
gluten free

sunbutter crispy treat cups

A few months ago I stopped eating nuts (almost drove me nuts) as part of an anti-inflammatory diet. One of the best parts of that experience, in addition to assuaging frequent migraines, was discovering sunflower seed butter. I now prefer it to peanut butter, hazelnut butter, and even almond butter. So far I have tasted three different brands from the store and found that Sunbutter is the sweetest (I inevitably added honey to the other two).

The following recipe is a combination of several allergen-free “rice crispy” recipes that are made with sunflower butter. This time I decided to mold them into cups that could be easily wrapped up in cupcake papers for individual treats. They are easier to make (if that’s possible) than traditional marshmallow crispies, vegan-friendly, and taste a bit like Scotcheroos.

Makes 12 Sunbutter Crispy Cups

3 cups crisp rice cereal
1/2 cup sunflower butter
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

optional: 1/4 cup of mix-ins (chocolate covered sunflower seeds, dried fruit, etc.)

Grease muffin tins or pan with butter, oil, or spray.

Melt the sunflower butter and brown rice syrup over the stovetop, fire, or in the microwave. Add the vanilla & salt until well combined.

Mix in the remaining ingredients and stir until well combined. Press firmly into your pan or muffin cups with a spatula, icy fingers, or greasy spoon.

Place the dish in the freezer or on ice for 30 minutes or so. Pop out when ready to eat.

I’ve added this recipe to my list of no-bake sweet treats to make while camping!

Categories
gluten free noodle vegetable

sesame sauce 2x

There’s a sauce I’ve been digging, and it goes like this: whisk together equal parts tahini (sesame paste), maple syrup, and balsamic vinegar / season with salt and pepper to taste / toss with your favorite noodles or use as a dip for your favorite prepared veggies. This combo is simple, perky, nutty, and just sweet enough (I think I wouldn’t mind being described that way – ha).

Lately I have enjoyed the sauce on sweet potato/buckwheat noodles with toasted sesame seeds and over brown rice noodles and steamed broccoli (the latter I enjoy most as a cold noodle dish; it’s toothy and all the more flavorful after fridging overnight). If you are using this sauce with noodles, be sure to first anoint the noodles with a little olive oil before mixing in the sauce. An 8 oz. package of noodles needs about 2 tablespoons of each sauce ingredient.

Categories
friends gluten free outside snack

cherries & chickpeas

Those two! I cannot imagine my life without those women. Sometimes it’s funny to call them women, because we met right around the time we turned into teens. I am usually the one to bring up the fact that we are aging, but this time when we reunited, I felt completely opposite. Maybe it has something to do with happy and healthy futures? I am encouraged and just generally glad to have these special relationships.

So what do you snack on in the hot summer air? We had produce munchies and these totally addictive roasted chickpeas that Mary makes. I told her that I even prefer them to Chex Mix! Light summertime eating in the backyard is a fresh way to spend time chewing the fat without literally chewing the fat.