Gluten Free Chocolate-Bacon Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche Frosting

A chocolate-bacon cupcake with salted caramel frosting to top it off. I popped the bite size cupcake in my mouth and just laughed. The tastes were amazing. I love when something tastes SO good! The sweetness of the chocolate, saltiness of the bacon and the savoury dulce de leche cream cheese frosting married so well together.

When I received my March issue of Food Network Magazine, I got really excited to see that it was “The Bacon Issue”. I was more intrigued when I saw the feature on the cover that said “Wow! Chocolate-Bacon Cupcakes.” In December when I was at the Distillery District Christmas Market, I tried Leonard Pig Candy Chocolate Covered Bacon and I loved it. So I jumped on the idea of making these interesting cupcakes. I adapted the recipe to make to make it gluten free. These are a must try and a crowd pleaser. I served these to a bunch of ladies at a recent vino night and they were a hit (they also couldn’t even tell they were GF)!

Gluten Free Adaptation – Chocolate-Bacon Cupcakes with Dulche de Leche Frosting 

From Food Network Magazine (March 2014 | Volume 7, No. 2 | p. 132)
For the candied bacon:
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 teaspoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
12 slices gluten-free bacon cut in half
For the cupcakes:
1 package of gluten free chocolate cake mix
1 tbsp instant espresso/coffee mix
For the frosting:
1 cup jarred dulce de leche
8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sea salt for the topping
1. Make the candied bacon: preheat oven to 350 and set a rack on a foil-lined baking sheet. Whist the brown sugar, sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl. Toss bacon in the mixture until coated. Arrange bacon on the rack in a single layer. Bake for 20 minutes until dark brown. Let cool. Chop the bacon into small pieces.
2. While the bacon cooks, prepare the cupcake batter. Follow the instructions on the gluten free chocolate cake mix and mix in the instant espresso. Alternatively, you may use your own gluten free chocolate cake recipe.
3. Prepare muffin tins with muffin cups. Fill muffin tins with batter until 3/4 is filled. I made mini, bite-sized cupcakes, which made 48. You can make regular sized cupcakes though, or even a cake. Follow the instructions on the box for bake times. Once cooked, remove to a rack and cool completely.
4. To make the frosting: beat the dulce de leche, cream cheese and vanilla in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until combined. Transfer to a pastry bag and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
5. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes (or cake). Top with candied bacon and sprinkle with sea salt.
The candied bacon was really delicious. Some parts were chewy, others were crunchy. It was deliciously sweet with a hint of smokiness and salt. I had left over bacon and the next day made a candied bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. It sounds weird, but you can’t judge it until you try! Yum! I can’t wait to make these again. Thank you Food Network for an amazing recipe that not only tasted beautiful but looked beautiful.

The Many Pretzels of Glutino (+Giveaway)

There are not many gluten free companies who make GF pretzels, but I don’t think there is really a demand for it. Glutino has it in the bag (literally). They make the best pretzels out there and I really don’t even realize I’m eating something that’s gluten free when I snack on them. What’s even more great about them is that they don’t just have original pretzels, they have Peppermint Yogurt, Fudge, Yogurt (no image above) and their newest, Honey Mustard. 
Honey Mustard: The pretzels are lightly dusted with a honey mustard flavouring. I like how they aren’t overloaded by the flavouring and there is just enough to taste it. If you like honey mustard, you will surely love these. It reminds me of the days when I used to be able to eat fresh pretzels at sports games with mustard on the side to dip. 
Fudge: Mmmm fudge…who doesn’t like fudge? I’d have to say that these are one of my favourite gluten free treats on the market. I love the sweetness of the chocolate and the saltiness underneath. They have the perfect crunch to them too. These are definitely a special treat though, as the cost of them is a bit daunting – at $6.99 (CND) a bag.
Peppermint Yogurt: These are pretty wonderful. The smooth yogurt, chunks of peppermint and salty pretzel underneath create an amazing flavour for the tastebuds. They’re also pink, red and white…perfect for Valentine’s Day. I loved these, although they were very rich in flavour – which was good because I didn’t have the urge to eat the whole bag. 
A Valentine’s Day idea for your gluten-free love: empty a bag of Glutino Fudge Pretzels into a mason jar and tie a pink/red bow around the top. A little bit of DIY + chocolate = a perfect, thoughtful gift. 

Do you have a favourite gluten free pretzel? Please share! 
BONUS! Interested in trying Glutino’s NEW Honey Mustard Pretzels for yourself? I’d love to share some pretzel love with you! One lucky winner will get their own bag from Glutino. Here’s how to enter:
  • Tweet your favourite food duo (ie – honey + mustard, chocolate + salt, etc) to @gutgazette with #GFPretzelLove for your chance to win a bag of your own!
  • For an additional entry, follow @gutgazette and comment below saying you did (if you’re already a follower, simply comment below about your favourite food duo). 
Contest ends Feb. 24 at 11:59 p.m. Best of luck! 

Gluten Free Banana Chocolate Chip Loaf

Warm, chewy, sweet, hearty, chocolaty-banana goodness. There’s not much more I can elaborate on with this home-baked, comfort food. The smell of banana bread baking in the oven is a nostalgic aroma that reminds me of the recipe my mom makes. Although this is delicious, I must admit that I do miss the gluten-filled banana bread that my mom makes…it’s really good and I have yet to replicate it with gluten free flour. 

Gluten-free Banana Chocolate Chip Loaf

1 3/4 cups gluten free all-purpose flour
3/4 cups brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
4 ripe bananas (mashed)
1/2 cup vegetable oil (or coconut oil)
2 eggs
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare the loaf pan by greasing it with cooking spray or butter and flouring it lightly. 

Combine flour, sugar and baking powder in one bowl until combined. In a second bowl, blend bananas, vegetable oil and eggs. Combine dry ingredients with wet ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until combined – add in chocolate chips.

Pour into prepared pan. Bake for one hour until golden.

Gluten Free Oatmeal, Toffee, Chocolate Chip Cookies

I think I have a little bit of a toffee obsession. I love the combination of chocolate and butterscotch/toffee, like seen in my Coconut Butterscotch Chocolate Brownies and my Cheesecake Pops. I also love sprinkling or drizzling it on top of thick Greek yogurt to make a yogurt parfait – thanks to Chobani for the inspiration! By the way, how much do you miss not having Chobani in Canada? I hope they come back soon! 

A craving for a warm oatmeal cookie kicked in yesterday afternoon, so I thought I would take it into my own hands and whip up a batch. I had a few toffee bits left from my last recipe and I thought they would make a good addition. And so they did!

The combination of chocolate and toffee in these oat-y, hearty cookies are amazing. It’s a great combination of flavours that really made my tastebuds happy. 

Gluten Free Oatmeal, Toffee, Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg (or egg replacement – 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tbsp water, 1 tbsp white vinegar)
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups gluten free oats
1 cup gluten free all-purpose flour 
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup toffee bits 

Preheat oven to 375°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 

Beat butter and sugar with a mixer until combined. Beat in egg and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine the oats, flour, baking powder and baking soda. Mix until combined. Add in chocolate chips and toffee bits.

Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until combined. 

Drop by tablespoon onto pan and flatten with back of spoon. 
Bake for 15-17 minutes or until golden.

*Warning, these cookies are extremely addictive. It’s not hard to eat more than one…or two…


Glutino Sugar Cookies for Santa

The tastes and smells of Christmas are in full swing at my house. I always seem to fall into the holiday mood once the oven starts roaring and the smell of Christmas cookies circulates the house. Shortbread, sugar cookies and gingerbread are my three favourite Christmas cookies – what are yours?
I’m usually always ahead of the game when it comes to holiday baking, but the past few months have been so busy that my first batch of cookies I made was only yesterday. However, I must admit that the cookies I made were not from scratch. One box of Glutino’s Sugar Cookie mix, a few tablespoons of butter, two eggs and a teaspoon of vanilla was all I needed to whip up the start to my holiday baking. Thank you, Glutino, for helping make my baking a little bit easier. 
After mixing up the ingredients, I popped the dough into the freezer for about 20 minutes to chill it. You can either do this route or keep it in the fridge for a couple of hours. Make sure you don’t forget about it in the freezer though! Chilling the dough helps with the rolling process if you decide to make cut outs (like I did). Before rolling, ensure that the surface you plan on using is clean and floured, to eliminate the dough from sticking to the counter. 
I was surprised at how big these cookies expanded while they were in the oven. My even-cut-out cookies turned into rounded shapes. They still came out cute though, and tasted delicious. 

Once they cooled, I piped on some icing and sprinkled the tops with sprinkles. 

These cookies taste exactly like the real deal. They are sweet, soft in the middle and crunchy around the edges. They really remind of the sugar cookies I used to eat back when I could eat gluten. I would definitely recommend this mix to anyone who wants to enjoy an old-fashion Christmas cookie…and if you have any leftovers (which I’m sure you won’t), place a few on a plate for Santa…only eight sleeps away! 
Stay tuned for an upcoming Glutino giveaway…you definitely won’t want to miss out.

Touchdown with Coconut-Butterscotch-Chocolate Brownies

Don’t you just love the fall? I do. I love the smells, sights, tastes and coziness of autumn. It’s just a great season. Pumpkin pie, knit sweaters, comfy scarves, spicy chai lattes, the colours of the changing leaves, crisp air, long walks, Thanksgiving & Halloween…it just doesn’t get any better than that. I should also include the fact that autumn also marks the start of football season. I’m not much of a football fan (although I do have a Dallas Cowboys t-shirt), but I do love the tasty treats that football is associated with…especially sweets.

When Glutino asked me to become part of their VIGFBC (very important gluten free blogging community), I was honoured! I am a huge fan of Glutino products, they really know how to make gluten-free taste good. To begin my journey as a regular Glutino blogger, I thought I would put a spin on their brownie mix. I also thought these jacked up brownies would be a great addition to any football tailgating party, or just a normal Sunday afternoon watching the game.

All you need is:
1 box of Glutino Double Chocolate Brownie Mix
1 cup of butterscotch chips
1 cup of shredded sweetened coconut

Follow the directions on the brownie mix box and once everything is combined, mix in the butterscotch chips and coconut. Bake as directed, let cool and serve.

These brownies are delicious. Moist, decadent and chewy…you would never believe they were gluten free. These brownies didn’t last very long in my house, and I doubt they will in yours either!

Bake them up this weekend, they’re perfect for a football tailgating party.

Gluten Free Coffee Crisp Bites

Before I became ‘gluten-free’, one of my favourite chocolate bars was Nestle’s Coffee Crisp. I have been craving the taste of that crispy mocha flavour for a while now…until this past weekend. I googled “gluten free coffee crisp” and came across what looked like an easy, delicious recipe on the blog ‘I Heart Wellness’ by Kris Briton. I used her recipe as a base for mine, but created my own variation to her vegan treats. My Coffee Crisp Bites are gluten free (of course), not vegan and they are a bit more creamier. I give all credit to Kris Briton’s idea, she came up with something very reminiscent and nostalgic to my past gluten-filled life!

I made 2 batches of these Bites, 1 dark chocolate and 1 milk chocolate. The milk chocolate variation tastes more like the Nestle Coffee Crisp, but the dark chocolate is a yummy, decadent treat too.

Enjoy my variation of Briton’s Vegan Coffee Crisp Clusters…
1 270g milk (or dark) chocolate chips 
1.5 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp rice flour 
Combine the chocolate chips and oil in a small sauce pan and melt on low heat, stirring continuously until completely melted. Make sure the chocolate doesn’t burn! You can also do this in a double boiler
Once the chocolate has melted, remove from heat and stir in the Starbucks Mocha Via, rice flour and Perky’s Crunchy Cereal. Stir until combined. 
Line a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper, and using a spoon, drop the clumpy mixture onto the sheet (about tablespoon sized). 
Stick in the freezer for about 30-45 minutes until cooled. Keep in a sealed container, either in the refrigerator (if you like a cooler treat) or in the pantry if you want a room temperature, easier to bite into treat! 
If you miss the flavour and crunch of a good old Coffee Crisp, you will love these Coffee Crisp Bites. I certainly do! Enjoy! 
A little clumpy looking, but oh so delicious!

Wonderful Product Finds

As I have mentioned before, shopping in specialty grocery stores or markets gives me the same thrill that a child gets when they are in a toy store. I could easily spend a couple hours wandering around a new grocery store, or taking my time at each booth at a market. I simply just love food.

My latest new food finds are really fun, delicious, and they all share a common theme: they are all small family/friend run companies. I’m really looking forward to sharing the following with you – I hope by the end of reading this post you will be excited to seek out these fabulous products to try for yourself!
Drip: Maple syrup is one of my favourite food products. It definitely ranks on my top 10 list of favourites. I’m not talking Aunt Jemima table syrup though (although, it is pretty delicious on pancakes), I’m talking about pure, freshly harvested Canadian maple syrup. The taste is so different, and has so many different tasting notes. It’s caramel-y, sweet, oaky, nutty, rich, and of course has the distinct maple flavour. I find that certain syrups take on different tasting notes, almost like a wine does.  Some people like to splurge on balsamic vinegar, wine, or fancy oils – me, I get excited about buying a high quality bottle of maple syrup – I guess that’s just my Canadian coming out, eh?
When I saw Drip set up at a booth at a market recently, I got really excited immediately. First off, I was so impressed with their simple, sophisticated booth. It was lined with a dark table cloth, and then there stood 3 beautiful cut stumps, with each flavour sitting on top of each.
I know you shouldn’t judge something before trying, but I knew just by the look of the table and the sleek bottle that it would be a good find. I got a little shot glass of Amber syrup and sipped it back. Mmmm, I wanted more immediately. It had the most unusual flavours in it, I had never tried a maple syrup so different. Unusually good though, it was a rich, nutty flavour that had hints of burnt caramel, sweet brown sugar and pure vanilla. I then proceeded to sample the Blonde and Copper varieties (the first of the season and the middle of the season). They were just as good, and if I could, I probably would have bought one of each. But, I loved the richness of the Amber and I also love the fact that Amber has the most minerals and antioxidants in it – due to it being left in the tree the longest.

Did you know that maple syrup is rich in the trace mineral manganese? It is an important mineral that helps with antioxidant defences. Zinc is also found in maple syrup, which helps in immune system functions. It is full of great properties, and is actually written up in the website and book The World’s Healthiest Foods.

Drip is run by a very lovely couple, who I had the pleasure of meeting, and by one other man. I was told that the syrup is from a forest up north in Manitoulin Island – just south of Sudbury, Ontario. I also love the fact that this syrup is simply straight from the tree. It is unblended and has no additives or preservatives. It is definitely Mother Nature’s sweetest, most delicious goods.
I always like maple syrup on pancakes and waffles (gf obviously), but I don’t think I will ‘drip’ this maple gold on something so rich. I will definitely use it over my yogurt and granola, on oatmeal, over salmon and drizzled on greek yogurt. I am also looking forward to trying it in a cold tumbler of gin – an idea recommended by the lady who sold it to me. To conclude my long rant on maple syrup, I will end it off by saying that this is exactly what I have been looking for in a maple syrup, and I don’t know if there is anything that can beat this taste. There are a few locations in Toronto that sell it currently – such as the Drake General Store – but you can purchase it online (thank goodness)!
Check out their website and trust me, you will not go wrong with this purchase. You may just become addicted!

Upper Spice: I’m not a huge fan of spicy foods, but I do love spices that add a punch of flavour. I have also recently taken a taste for jerk spices. I love the variety of flavours that fuse together to make such a distinctive taste.

I discovered Upper Spice at a local market, they were sampling their Medium Jamaican Jerk on slow cooked chicken. It was delicious, it had a cinnamon-y spicy flavour and the heat warmed up my whole body. I found the medium to be a bit too hot for me, so I opted for the mild. The great thing about this line of spices is that they are all 100% gluten free and homemade! Upper Spice is owned by a  mother/daughter duo from Burlington, Ontario who created the spice mixture after getting a taste of authentic Jamaican jerk on a trip to Jamaica. This jerk spice is nothing like I have ever tried – so fresh, flavourful and although I have never been to Jamaica, it definitely tastes authentic. I am excited to try it as a rub on ribs, and as a spice for sautéed chicken fajitas.

You can buy Upper Spice online, 3 packs for $15. Or, keep your eyes peeled this summer at local Toronto markets…that’s where I bought mine!

Hawberry Farms: Every year, The University of Guelph has an annual artisanal sale called Fair November. The first year I went, I visited the Hawberry Farms booth, which had an extensive variety of jams, oils, dips and relish. Every product is so unique and unlike anything you would find at a grocery store, such as Apple Pie Jam, Blueberry Rhubarb Jam, Banana Spread and a lot more – including the famous Hawberry Jelly, which is a berry found on Manitoulin Island (the same largest freshwater island in the world that Drip is harvested). I had ended up purchasing the Carrot Cake Jam, and I absolutely fell in love with it. It honestly tastes like carrot cake and it goes well with so many things; such as muffins, slices of a loaf, toast and even mixed into vanilla ice-cream or greek yogurt. Year after year I would attend Fair November and pick up my jar of Carrot Cake Jam. Luckily it would also last me a few months – as it is pretty rich and a small amount goes a long way. It’s been two years now since I’ve had this delicious creation, until last weekend when I picked it up at the Harbourfront Artisanal Market. I was so happy to have found it there. I wasn’t aware that they had a website in which you could order from, I will definitely be doing this from now on when I need my fix of Carrot Cake Jam. Trust me, I don’t think they have one product that isn’t delicious, so take your pick, you won’t be risking anything!

ChocoSol: This chocolate company isn’t just about making delicious chocolate; it seems that they are all about dignity, positive relationships, respect and love. Maybe that’s why I felt so great after sampling a piece of their chocolate the other weekend at a farmer’s market. ChocoSol is a small Toronto based company, run by a few staff and volunteers, who believe that their chocolate is “good for mind, body and soil”. They say on their website that ‘sol’ in Spanish means the sun, which refers to the fact that their first 1000 kilos of cacao were rosted with solar power in Mexico. Sol in french means soil, and in English ‘sol’ sounds like ‘soul’ and reminds them of doing good hearted things in a learning community. After reading and learning about their product, there doesn’t seem to be any reason to not like this chocolate. I should also mention that the chocolate is fair trade, sweetened with agave syrup, and free of gluten (bonus), nuts, dairy, soy and it is vegan. I tried the ‘Choco-Latte’ drinking chocolate at the market and wow was it good. Not a typical chocolate milk though, as it is water based and only sweetened with agave syrup. It was bitter, but it felt like a super healthy cocoa drink – I actually loved it. The Coconut Chocolate was the other product I tried. The sweetness of the coconut sprinkled on top almost helped sweeten the dark, natural, earthy chocolate. What I love about this chocolate is that you do feel like you are having a treat, but you don’t feel high on sugar afterwards, it just feels healthy. All in all, this tasty chocolate company seems to exhibit all things good – good chocolate, good people and good souls. You can look at the locations of where ChocoSol sells on their website. I will definitely be searching this one out again soon.

I love finding new products, especially when they are Canadian, local, and of course gluten free and absolutely delicious! I hope you search these out and enjoy them as much as I do. Let me know what your favourite local products are – I would love to hear and try!

Step-by-Step Gluten Free Cheesecake Pops

A couple months ago I posted a recipe for Gluten Free Cheesecake Pops, however I hadn’t captured the process in photos. This time when I made them, I decided I would document each step with a photo – just to help those who are more visual (like me)! I think these tasted even better than the first batch, have you tried making them yet?

Gluten Free Cheesecake Pops
Makes 14-16 cheesecake balls

Filling:
2 8oz packs of cream cheese
2 eggs
3/4 cups of sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Coating:
4 cups chocolate melts (milk chocolate or white – I used the chocolate discs that you can purchase at the Bulk Barn – used for chocolate mould lollipops)
Sprinkles/Chocolate chips/Toffee bits (any topping you find fun!)


Extras:
Candy stick inserts (bought at Bulk Barn)
Wax paper
Baking sheet

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F; Cream the 2 8oz packs of cream cheese until smooth. Add in the sugar, eggs and vanilla – mix until combined; Pour the mixture into a 9×11 pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. Allow the cheesecake to cool for about 20 minutes. Once cooled, scrape out all of the cheesecake into a bowl and mix it together to combine; Stick the covered bowl with the cheesecake into the freezer until the cheesecake is cold to the touch – you can leave the cheesecake in the freezer overnight.

Step 2: Once the cheesecake has been in the freezer for an hour or so, and is cold to the touch, begin forming the balls. If you kept the cheesecake in the freezer overnight, allow to thaw for half an hour before rolling into balls. You can make your cheesecake balls any size you wish – I made mine into 1.5 inches in diameter.

Step 3: Once all balls are formed, stick back into the freezer while you prepare the chocolate. You don’t want the balls to become too soft, or they end up being too tricky to decorate.

Step 4: Put your toppings into little bowls…they don’t have to be in a bowl, but it helps for quick access when you are working with the warm chocolate that quickly hardens. For this batch I used white chocolate chips, Skor toffee bits, sweetened shredded coconut, and hot pink sprinkles. There are many different toppings you could use, as long as they are small in size, such as: mini M&Ms, sugar sprinkles, confetti sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, metallic decorative balls (aka dragees), a finely chopped chocolate bar, etc. Bulk Barn is a good place to find toppings like these – I got all of my toppings from there.

Step 5: Create a double boiler by using 2 pots – 1 larger one to fit into the smaller one. Place about 3-4 inches of water in the larger pot and heat until boiled. In the smaller pot, fill with about 3 cups of chocolate melts. Place the smaller pot on top of the larger pot and the chocolate will gradually melt without burning. Make sure to not add any water to the chocolate or it will ruin it. Stir the chocolate every so often until the mixture is smooth and creamy looking.

Step 6: Once the chocolate is smooth and there are no lumps, remove from heat. Take the formed cheesecake balls out of the freezer and individually roll the ball in the chocolate using a spoon until fully coated. Before placing the chocolate covered ball down, make sure you have a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Sprinkle a bit of which ever topping you wish to use on the baking sheet where you would like to place the chocolate covered ball – this way there will be some of the topping at the bottom of the ball. Once you have placed the ball on the sheet, sprinkle the toppings around it, making sure there are no bare spots. This step is fast paced, as the chocolate hardens quickly. Once decorated, take the candy stick and dip one end in a bit of chocolate, then insert the chocolate dipped end into the top of the cheesecake. Repeat!

The baking sheet will get messy with all of the toppings.

Once you have decorated all of the balls, you have a beautiful finished product – they almost look to pretty to eat, eh? Trust me though, they are totally worth the first bite…and the second, and the third…

Once they are plated, cover with a bit of plastic wrap and keep in the fridge until you are ready to serve them. I guarantee you that they will be a total crowd pleaser!

Gluten Free Cheesecake Pops

For a while now I have been wanting to make cake pops, they seem to be very trendy – with books written about them, bakeries serving the delicious treat, and even Starbucks featuring them. However, I haven’t come across any gluten free cake pops. When President’s Choice came out with the Cheesecake Lollipops I was happy to see that there were no listed ingredients that pointed to any sources of gluten, however, they do say there may contain wheat at the bottom of the ingredient list – so take caution and perhaps contact President’s Choice before indulging if you have a severe allergy.

I thought it would be very cool to try making my own cheesecake pops that were 100% gluten free. I searched a recipe and found a great how-to, by Bakerella. I was so excited to get started on them! I went to Bulk Barn and got some fun sprinkles and other bits to decorate the pops, such as pink and purple sugar sprinkles, toffee bits and mini chocolate chips. They turned out amazing and I love the fact that it’s only a couple bites of cheesecake. I find cheesecake to be very rich (although I can definitely finish a slice of it, if put in front of me…), but these cheesecake pops offer the best of both worlds…a delicious satisfying treat and moderation…plus, they’re gluten free!  

I took the idea off of Bakerella.com, however I used my own cheesecake recipe. To start, you need to make your cheesecake filling (or you could always just buy a pre-made cheesecake). Instead of doing all of the steps for making a cheesecake, I simply just made the filling, and baked it in cupcake tins in order to speed up the baking process.

Gluten Free Cheesecake Pops
Makes 14-16 cheesecake balls

FILLING
2 8oz packs of cream cheese
2 eggs
3/4 cups of sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cream the 2 8oz packs of cream cheese until smooth.
Add in the sugar, eggs and vanilla – mix until combined.
Pour mixture into cupcake tins (with liners, or greased) and bake in oven for about 30 minutes (until golden).
Allow the cheesecake to cool for about 10 minutes.
Pop out each individual cheesecake from the tin and put into a large bowl. Mix together the individual cheesecakes.
Stick the bowl with the cheesecake into the freezer until the cheesecake is cold to the the touch.

COATING
4 cups chocolate melts (milk chocolate or white – I used the chocolate discs that you can purchase at the Bulk Barn – used for chocolate mould lollipops)
Sprinkles/Chocolate chips/Toffee bits (any topping you find fun!)
Candy stick inserts
Wax paper
Baking sheet

Once the cheesecake has cooled down, roll into balls (about 1.5 inches in diameter). *Make sure you allow enough time for the cheesecake to really cool down and freeze – it allows for better technique. At first I rushed the cooling process (as I was so excited to start decorating), and the cheesecake was not firm enough to dip into the melted chocolate, which caused the balls to melt…

Once your cheesecake balls are rolled, melt the chocolate in a double broiler. Do not melt the chocolate in the microwave (as it will harden quickly) and do not add water to help the melting process. Once the chocolate is fully melted and smooth, dip each ball into the chocolate, rolling it around to become fully covered (use a spoon to help you roll the ball around).

Place the chocolate covered cheesecake ball onto a wax paper lined baking sheet. Sprinkle which ever topping you wish on top of the ball (this can be a bit tricky) and then dip the tip of the stick into the melted chocolate and insert into the top of the cheesecake ball (the melted chocolate on the stick acts as glue).

Once you have finished decorating the cheesecake balls, cover and place in the fridge. They will last a few days in the fridge, or a couple months in the freezer if packaged properly.

This is a perfect dessert for a party, or even as a hostess gift. Next time I make these, I will document the photos step-by-step. I hope you enjoy this gluten free recipe, and I give Bakerella.com full credit for this awesome idea!