Category Archives: Desserts

Cassava Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

 

Cassava Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

Happy Spring!  I keep meaning to post more often, then photography gets in the way, alas I am figuring it out so stay tuned.

Here yet again, is another version of the chocolate chip cookie.  My main flour of late has been cassava flour, it is very versatile and easy to use as a substitute in recipes.  I use this one here.  This recipe I found on the Otto’s cassava flour website here, which is also a good choice of flour too.

Of course I tweaked it just a bit and they turned out fabulous.  If any of you are from the Northeast you will have heard of Freihofer’s cookies, as a kid I ate my fair share of those cookies. Every June they would do a Freihofer’s road race 10 or 5K and tables of these cookies were there for the grabbing. Oddly enough these taste like those cookies, but with much more healthy favorable ingredients and of course they are gluten-free.

I also have been experimenting with a new sweetener it is made from erythritol and monk fruit, it has no glycemic index, no calories, and no impact on blood sugar. It is called Lakanto Sweetener and you can find it here.   Erythritol is a fermented  sugar alcohol and does not cause gas and bloating like other sugar alcohols.  This brand uses a non-gmo sugar alcohol.  Monk fruit or luo han guo is a rare fruit that grows high in the chinese mountains and has been studied for its many health benefits:

  • Anti-carcinogenic
  • Regulate blood sugar
  • Able to prevent and decrease oxidative stress related to diabetes
  • Prevent tooth decay
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Inhibit tumor growth
  • Antioxidant
  • Antihistiminic

It is super sweet and you don’t really need to use much of this at all.  It looks like regular sugar and performs the same way as sugar in baked goods.  So go ahead and try something new and let me know what you think.

 


Cassava Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 Cup Grass Fed Butter

3 TBL of Lakanto sweetener

1 TBL Maple Syrup 

1 TBL Vanilla

120 Grams of Cassava Flour (roughly a cup but I would weigh it)

1TBL Grass Fed Gelatin ( I use great lakes red label)

1/4 Cup Water

1/2 tsp. Baking soda

1/2 tsp Sea Salt

1/2 Cup Bittersweet Chocolate Chips

  1. In a kitchen aid or stand up mixer, mix Butter, sweetener, maple syrup and vanilla until smooth.
  2. Sprinkle the gelatin onto a 1/4 cup of water and dissolve it.
  3. Add the gelatin to the wet ingredients
  4. Mix in the flour, baking soda and salt and blend until it forms a dough.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips by hand.
  6. Use a cookie scoop or teaspoon and form dough balls on cookie sheet, slightly press the dough balls down.
  7. Bake in a *350 oven for 8-11 minutes until just brown on the edges or dough is set up.
  8. Let cool and Enjoy!  Makes about 16 cookies with 1 inch dough balls.

Decadent Gluten- Free Chocolate Bean Cake

img_0520I discovered this delicious cake on a visit back east this summer.  A friend of mine had made it and it sounded so easy and good I decided to try it for myself.  As usual I tweaked the recipe to my liking and have since made it several times for family and friends of all dietary backgrounds.  Only two people,  you know who you are, didn’t care for the cake, but my two daughters were not among them so I consider that a success.  My daughters are my toughest critics and usually ask if I made the dessert,  when I answer yes,  that is enough to turn them away, yes stinkpots they are!!

So after a somewhat involved recipe last post, here is a fast easy tasty dessert that most people will love.

Decadent Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

1 Can organic Chickpeas or White Navy Beans

3 Large Eggs

1 1/2 Cup Bittersweet Chocolate Chips

1/4 Cup Coconut Sugar or 4 Medjool Dates ( I like the dates but both work well)

2 tsp. Vanilla

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Salt

  1. Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until well mixed.
  2. Pour  batter into a 8×8 greased baking pan.  Feel free to mix in a few more chocolate chips if you like chocolate a lot.
  3. Bake at *350 degrees for about 18-25 minutes until the center is firm be careful not to over bake.
  4. Let cool and eat plain or frost with my whipped cream/ Cream cheese Frosting  (recipe below) or plain whipped cream.
  5. Enjoy! Serves 6-8

Frosting 

1 8oz package organic cream cheese room temp.

1/4 organic whipping cream or coconut cream

1 TBL vanilla

1-2 TBL maple syrup or to taste

Whip the cream into firm peaks add the softened cream cheese and whip until smooth add the vanilla and maple syrup.

Baci Di Dama Cookies

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Happy New Year 2016!!!  I am sorry for not posting sooner, as you can see by my photo these were meant as a holiday treat, then again I usually don’t need a holiday to have a treat.  So in that vein, I present to you this addicting little babies.

I found the original recipe on David Leibovitz’s site HERE.  His site is so beautiful and inspiring.  He is an expat baker living in France and has great recipes and stories to share, check it out!!

I have simplified the recipe and of course cut down on the sweetener, I find they don’t need too much sweet and the hazelnut flavor is highlighted even more.

This year in lieu of resolutions, I have decided to try the Wim Hof Method course.  This is a ten week course that encompasses cold immersion and breathing techniques to make you stronger, healthier and happier.

Wim Hof is the Iceman check him out HERE.  He is very charismatic, funny and holds the world record for being immersed in ice water without changing his core body temperature.  I am starting week 4 and so far so good, I really like the breathing technique and the challenge of the cold showers.  My goal is to swim in the Yellowstone River come early spring.  I shiver at the thought, but hopefully by week 10 I will be eager to jump in!!!

 

Baci Di Dama Cookies

1 1/4 Cups Hazelnuts, toasted and skinned

1 Cup Rice Flour

1/2 Cup Butter, room temperature 

1/4 Cup Organic Sugar

Pinch of Salt

3 oz Bittersweet Chocolate

  1. Place the Hazelnuts into a food processor and blend until they are the consistency of fine sand.
  2. In a medium bowl add the hazelnuts, flour, butter, sugar and salt, mix with your hands until the dough comes together.
  3. Roll the dough into logs about an inch in diameter,  it will be a bit crumbly so just keep at it, place the logs in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
  4. Working with one log at a time cut it into even segments about an inch in length and roll into balls.
  5. Place the balls onto a cookie sheet and bake at *325 for 10-14 minutes until the tops are golden brown.  Let them cool completely.
  6. In a double boiler melt the chocolate and dip the top of each cookie into the chocolate and place them back on the cookie sheet.  Add sprinkles if you’d like and let the chocolate set up.
  7. Enjoy!  Makes approximately 18 cookies (depending on the size you roll them).

Gluten-Free Molasses Cookies

Gluten-Free Molasses Cookies
Gluten-Free Molasses Cookies

As the weather gets colder, I start craving hardier foods and molasses cookies fall into that category.  Something about the rich flavor of black strap molasses and spices, makes this cookie a perfect winter companion.

The Paleo Mom just posted about all the great benefits of unsulfured black strap molasses, which you can read HERE.  And read it you should, you will be amazed at all of the great nutrition in this sweetener.

I have made 3 half batches of these cookies and after eating 4 or more, gave them away only to make another half batch to eat and give away (Pete and repeat).  I tested these on non-gluten- free people and they had no clue they were gluten-free and low on the sweetener.  They have that crunch on the outside and are soft and chewy on the inside.

Gluten-Free Molasses Cookies

2 Cups Almond Flour

6 TBL Butter, melted

5 TBL unsulfured Black strap Molasses (like this one)

1TBL Vanilla

1 TBL Ground Ginger

1 TBL Cinnamon

1 tsp Cloves

3/4 tsp Allspice

1 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Salt

Coconut Sugar or Organic Sugar (to roll cookie dough balls in)

  1. Preheat the oven to *350 Degrees, Line a cookie sheet with parchment or lightly grease with butter.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Melt the butter and add molasses, and vanilla
  4. Add the wet to the dry ingredients, Mix until all is incorporated
  5. Scoop out cookie dough with a cookie scoop and roll into a ball
  6. Roll the ball in the sugar, coating all sides, place on cookie sheet, slightly press each ball down.
  7. Bake in the oven for 5-8 minute until the tops begin to crack and the edges darken slightly.
  8. Let cool completely and enjoy.  Makes about 20 cookies

Chocolate Mint Bat Cookies Gluten-free

Mint Chocolate Bat Cookies
Mint Chocolate Bat Cookies

Happy almost Halloween!  Fall is flying by here and we have been busy trying to soak up the last nice autumn days.  We did a family horse-pack trip in Yellowstone park last weekend, unplugged and outside for 4 glorious days, such a treat to reset and reconnect with the family unit.

Once we came home we jumped right back into the busy life, planning my daughter’s 8th birthday bat bash.  My kids get two birthday celebrations, a “family one” and a “kid one”, every year I kick myself for starting that tradition.  I go a little overboard on celebrating birthdays, and I was pondering why the other day.  Then it hit me, I learned it from my mom, even though I was ten out of eleven kids she always went big for my birthday celebrations and made me feel super special on my birthday.  It’s ingrained in me to carry on the tradition I guess.  Plus birthdays are cause for big celebration in my book, every year we get on this glorious planet should be honored and marked by some joy making!  Anyway, we had a great bat bash.

I made these cookies to share with the parents that might happen to linger at the party.  Alas not a parent stayed so,  me being the only parent in attendance got to eat a couple of these babies, the rest are in the freezer waiting to be consumed by some Halloweenies.

I used Elana’s pantry recipe for “Girl Scout PaleoThin Mint Cookies” that you can find HERE and a bat cookie cutter. The only change I made was to cut the sweetener in half.  By the time they got a thick coating of dark chocolate, my bats were far from thin, but oh so delicious.  I used Trader Joe’s Pounder bar of 70% Chocolate to dip them in.   Check out her recipe if you want to relive the Girl Scout thin mint cookies in a little bit healthier fashion.

 

Mint Chocolate Bat Cookies (Adapted from Elana’s Pantry)

  • 1 cup Almond Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Coconut Flour
  • 2 tablespoons Cocoa Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon  Sea Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 2 tablespoons Palm Shortening
  • 2 TBL Honey
  • 1 teaspoon Peppermint oil or Extract
  • 6 ounces or more Bittersweet Chocolate Chopped
  • ½ teaspoon Peppermint oil or Extract
  1. In a food processor, combine almond flour, coconut flour, cacao, baking soda, and salt
  2. Pulse in shortening, honey, and peppermint extract until dough forms
  3. Roll out dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper to ⅛ inch thick
  4. Freeze dough for 15 minutes
  5. Using a cookie cutter of your choice , cut out dough
  6. Transfer  to a parchment lined baking sheet
  7. Bake at 350° for 4 minutes
  8. Cool completely on the baking sheets, then freeze
  9. Melt chocolate and peppermint extract in a small saucepan over very low heat
  10. Dip each cookie in chocolate
  11. Place in freezer until set and serve
  12. Store Cookies in the Freezer

Paleo Gluten-Free Chocolate Date Balls

Paleo Gluten-Free Date Chocolate Balls
Paleo Gluten-Free Date Chocolate Balls

A dear friend of mine stopped by to visit us this summer, and brought with her these addicting tasty treats.  I have made and eaten multiple batches since she has departed so, I felt it was my duty to share these with the rest of you.

I have found them to be the best hiking treats to throw in my pack or an after cross fit pick me up.  They are super easy and fast to make and they blow Lara bars out of the water.

Yet again I can not take credit for the invention of these and I found a recipe HERE at Chocolate-Covered Katie.  Check her out she has loads of scrumptious looking treats on her site.   The recipe my friend gave me was titled German Chocolate Fudge Balls, so I do believe there are many renditions of these online.

Of course I have altered the recipe to my own liking and you will too once you find what nuts you prefer and how much chocolate you want to add.  I like to keep them in the refrigerator as they get just the right firmness and the cool treat is preferred in the summer time heat.

 

Paleo Gluten-Free Chocolate Date Balls

8-9  Pitted Soft Medjool Dates

1 1/2 tsp Vanilla

2 Heaping TBL Shredded Unsweetened Coconut

2-3 TBL Pecans or Walnuts

1/2 tsp Sea Salt

1/2 Cup Bittersweet Chips or Dark chocolate Chunks

  1. Throw everything into a food processor and process until a big ball forms or it is all well incorporated.
  2. Roll into bite size balls then roll in some shredded coconut or cocoa powder.
  3. Store in a glass container in the fridge (the fridge is not mandatory).
  4. Makes about 12 Balls

Homemade Hot Fudge

 

Homemade Hot Fudge
Homemade Hot Fudge

Happy Summer!  Summer came to Montana very abruptly this year,  we are hot and sunny! Hillbilly haven is in full swing with summer company and floats down the Yellowstone river.

Nothing spells summer more than a hot fudge sundae!!  I have adapted this recipe from an old Better Homes and Garden cookbook my mom gave me years ago.  This is a bit decadent, but worth the splurge!  Every year I send my nephew a jar or two for his birthday and he hoards it all to himself.  You may be tempted to skip the ice cream and eat it straight out of the jar.

Homemade Hot Fudge

1 1/2 Cups Bittersweet Chocolate Chips (I use Ghirardelli brand)

1/2 Cup Grass Fed Butter

3/4 Cup Coconut Sugar

10 Oz of Evaporated Goats Milk or Regular Evaporated Milk ( I like the Goats milk as it gives the hot fudge a tangy flavor)

  1. In a heavy saucepan add the butter, chocolate and sugar and stir with a whisk until all is melted
  2. Gradually stir in the evaporated milk and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat and boil over low heat for 8 minutes stirring the whole time.  It will thicken a bit.
  4. Serve warm or store in glass jars in the fridge.  It will keep for weeks. 

    Makes 3 1/2 Cups

 

Paleo Gluten-Free Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Paleo Gluten-Free Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Paleo Gluten-Free Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

This post is dedicated to my mom who passed away on May 27, 2015, after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.

My mom was an incredible person.  She had eleven children (I’m number 10) and made each one of us feel special and loved.  She made us homemade lunches, birthday cakes, and daily home cooked meals.

She loved the outdoors, especially being in and near lakes.  In the summer, when we were wee ones, she would stick us in playpens outside, and as we got older, she would load a bunch of us into our big old family station wagon and head for a lake.  Daily she shooed us outside to play and run around with the neighborhood kids, of which there were many to choose from.

She had a contagious laugh, which my sisters and I inherited, and she laughed often.  She taught us not to care what others thought, but to be ourselves.  She never held a grudge and forgave easily.  She often extended her love and generosity to the neighborhood kids, and when anyone brought home someone for Christmas last-minute, there were always gifts for them.

My mom was more than just a mom, she was a gardener, nurse, chef, housekeeper, comedian, interior designer, party planner, antiques collector, baker, teacher, shopper extraordinaire, psychic ( she could always make me call her no matter how far away I lived), communicator,  and friend.

One of my best memories was stepping off the school bus and opening the door to find fresh-baked cookies (by the dozens) sitting on the counter to cool.  A sweet tooth’s dream come true.  In our house you ate treats whenever you could get your grubby paws on them, because with 10 siblings they didn’t last (hmm maybe that’s were my food hoarding tendencies come from).

I like to imagine my mom swimming happy and free up in the spirit world in a big beautiful lake watching over her legacy…… us kids!

This is a tried and true recipe I found HERE.  I have altered it only slightly from the original by cutting back on the sweetener and coconut.  They are fast and easy and quite satisfying.  I guarantee they will go fast, whether you have 10 siblings to compete with or not.

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (adapted from http://www.fastpaleo.com)

1 Cup Almond Butter

1 Egg

1 TBL Vanilla

2 TBL Honey (you can use more if you have a really sweet tooth)

1/2 Tsp Baking Soda

1/2 Tsp Salt

1/4 Tsp Baking Powder

1/2 Cup Shredded Unsweetened Coconut

1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips ( I prefer bittersweet or dark Chocolate chips)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a mixing bowl, mix together almond butter, egg, vanilla, baking soda, salt,  and honey until well blended.  I like to do this by hand as I found the texture of the cookie gets cakey if you over mix the dough.
  3. Add in the coconut and chocolate chips and mix until they are incorporated
  4. Using a cookie scooper place cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Using your flat palm, press the cookies down to flatten just a bit (no worries if you don’t have parchment paper)
  5. Bake for 6-8 minutes depending on your oven.  They are done when the edges get golden brown and the tops crack a bit.
  6. Let cool as they are fragile when hot and then enjoy!  Makes approximately 16 Cookies.

Gluten-Free Bacon Sprinkled Chocolate Birthday Cake or Eggs, Bacon, Cream and Chocolate Cake

 

Gluten-Free Bacon Sprinkled Chocolate Birthday Cake
Gluten-Free Bacon Sprinkled Chocolate Birthday Cake

Yesterday was my friend Pete’s 50th birthday celebration, and when I insisted on making him a cake.  He joked he would like a bacon flavored cake.  Well since I aim to please, this is what I came up with.  I am no stranger to dark chocolate or bacon for that matter, so this cake was not a stretch for me.  I toyed with the idea of adding bacon throughout, but feared not everyone would have the same fondness for a bacon and chocolate combo, so I decided a dusting on the top would suffice.

I used the Chocolate Birthday Cake recipe from Paleo Spirit and it is fabulous!  Made with coconut flour and in this case 18 eggs, (it was a 10 inch cake).  It has a great sponge cake consistency with a fine crumb, and just the right amount of rich chocolate taste.  Not to mention a lot of protein with all those organic eggs my own girls laid.   I torted the layers and filled them with my standard frosting of whipped cream and cream cheese.  Then I topped it off with some very fine dark chocolate ganache.  WARNING: if you are not a fan of chocolate don’t try this at home.

I was very pleased with the results, but alas I am a die-hard dark chocolate addict fan.  If you are like-minded,  give this cake a whirl for any special occasion with or without the bacon on top.  It will not disappoint, and for all its decadence and richness, it has relatively little sugar and no gluten, your flour eating friends will never guess it is gluten-free.

 

Gluten-Free Bacon Sprinkled Chocolate Birthday Cake

For the cakes: Follow the recipe  at Paleo Spirit

For the Filling between Layers:

  Cream Cheese Whipped Cream Frosting

2 Pints Organic Whipping Cream

1- 8 oz. Package Organic Cream Cheese, at room temp

2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

3-5 TBL. Real Maple Syrup or to taste (I prefer it on the less sweet side)

  1. In a large bowl whip the cream until there are firm peaks.
  2. In another bowl whip  the cream cheese until smooth ( it helps to let the cream cheese sit out hours before so it is room temp.)
  3. Add the vanilla and maple syrup to the cream cheese and blend in until fully incorporated.
  4. Add the cream cheese mixture to the whipped cream and mix again until all is fully incorporated and you have a firm creamy frosting.
  5. This will fill the layers of a torted 10 inch cake.  You can half the recipe for a 6 inch cake.  It will also frost the outside of a 9 inch cake if you opt out of a chocolate ganache frosting.
  6. This is a very easy frosting and the sweetness is of personal preference.

For the Frosting:

Chocolate Ganache

3 cups Organic whipping cream

24 Ounces Bittersweet chocolate ( I used Trader Joes 72% Chocolate)

  1. Heat the cream until just before a boil.
  2. Chop the chocolate up and add to a bowl.
  3. Add half the cream to the chocolate and let sit a minute before gently stirring, being careful not to let air get into the chocolate.
  4. Reheat the cream gently and add to the rest to the chocolate make sure all the chocolate is melted and the cream is fully mixed in.
  5. Let the ganache sit until it cools and reaches room temperature at this point you can use it to frost the outside of your cake. (If it seems to runny let it cool for a bit longer).  This will frost the outside of a 10 inch cake.  You can cut the recipe in half if you are making a smaller cake or to fill the layers of a cake too.
  6. Chop up some well cooked bacon and artistically sprinkle on top. (optional)

Banana Date Muffins (Paleo, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free)

Paleo, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Banana Date Muffins
Paleo, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Banana Date Muffins

Happy  May Day!!  Man, the year just starts to fly by after January!

We are enjoying some fabulous spring weather here in Montana, a little sunshine mixed with rain and snow.  The rainy days always have me in the kitchen whipping up a baked good (any excuse to bake, then of course eat it).

These muffins are a perfect way to use up the ripened bananas you have lying around.  They are also a great way to get some chocolate into the mix too.  The problem is you can’t eat just one!

This recipe is slightly adapted from Elana Amsterdam’s cookbook,  Gluten-Free Cupcakes.  I have featured another recipe from her book in the past, and this  is another great one to try.  Her cookbook is loaded with all versions of cupcakes with new and old twists.  You can check it out HERE.  She calls it a cupcake and adds frosting I call it a muffin as it requires no frosting in my opinion.  Give a try, and see what you think!

Banana Date Muffins

Adapted from Gluten-Free Cupcakes

1 Cup (2-3) Ripe Bananas

1/4 Cup Coconut Oil or Butter

3  Medjool Dates, pitted

3 Large Eggs

1/4 Cup Coconut Flour

2 TBL.  Arrowroot Powder

1/4 Tsp. Sea Salt

1/2 Tsp. Baking Soda

1/2 Tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips or Blueberries  (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to *350 degrees.  Line a muffin tin with 9-10 muffin papers.
  2. Place the bananas, coconut oil or butter, dates and eggs in a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until all is well incorporated.
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips or berries if using.
  5. Scoop 1/4 cup of batter into each muffin cup.
  6. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until the muffin springs back to your touch.
  7. Let cool on a rack and Enjoy!  Makes 9-10 muffins