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!

Mexican Rice Paper Rolls

This month I was lucky enough to be featured on the Celiac Corner’s website as ‘Featured Blogger of the Month’. I wanted to share a gluten free recipe that was different, flavourful, exotic and fun to make. I decided on Mexican inspired rice paper rolls. You can read my post on

I love the versatility of rice paper rolls – you can fill them with whatever sort of ingredients you fancy – avocado, chicken, hummus, tofu, peppers, zucchini, etc. The best part about them is that they are gluten free! Having a new gluten free item to add to your list of ‘safe’ foods always results in a smile…don’t you think? I also really enjoy Mexican food – so I thought, why not create a version of soft tacos using a rice paper roll as the shell! Excitingly enough they turned out delicious and the mild flavour of the rice paper roll really allows the Mexican flavours to shine through. This is the perfect recipe for an appetizer, a summer picnic or even for a meal. I personally love having a few of these rolls as my dinner…yum! These are also great if you have an allergy to corn, as the rolls are simply just made of rice. The recipe may look daunting due to the many steps, but trust me, they are delicious and very simple to make.

What you need: a cutting board, or clean surface; a couple clean dish towels; a large shallow bowl filled with a few inches of cold water; a tray; food processor
10 large rice paper rolls (usually found in the rice section of grocery stores)
2 chicken breasts
1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
5 romaine lettuce leaves finely chopped
2 cups pineapple thinly sliced into strips
1 can black beans
¾ tsp cumin
½ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp chilli powder
1 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp ketchup
2 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp butter
sour cream
Preheat the oven to 450°F and bake chicken for 25-30 minutes.
While the chicken bakes, slice the pineapple into thin strips, about 2 inches long. Fry the pineapple in 1 tbsp of butter until golden and caramelized. Set aside.
Next, combine the can of black beans, ¼ tsp cumin, 2 tbsp lime juice, 2 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt in a food processor. Process until smooth. Set aside in a bowl.
Wash and slice up the peppers and romaine lettuce into thin strips.
For the chicken spice mixture, combine ½ tsp cumin, ½ tsp dried oregano, ¼ tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp brown sugar, 2 tsp ketchup and 1 tsp olive oil. Take the cooked chicken and place in a medium sized bowl. With 2 forks, start pulling and shredding against the natural grain of the chicken. You want it to look like pulled pork in the end. Once it is all shredded, coat the chicken with the spice mixture. It will only appear lightly coated, as you want to be able to taste the other flavours in the rice paper roll.
After you have all of the ingredients for the filling prepared, create a working space using a cutting board or clean surface to start rolling your rice papers. Fill a large bowl with cold water (the package on the rice paper instructs you to use warm water, but I find that it doesn’t work as well as using cold water). You will need a large enough bowl to be able to soak the rice paper in. Place the rice paper in the water (you can place 2-3 in the bowl at a time, just make sure they are not sticking together prior to placing in the water. Allow the rice paper to soak for a good 30-45 seconds until the rice paper has softened. Once soft, gently remove from water and place on a clean, dry dishtowel – pat dry. Now you can either roll the rice papers on the dishtowel or transfer the rice paper onto a cutting board.
Arrange ingredients around the top edge of the rice paper, leaving enough room at the top to fold over. Fold and roll it like you would a fajita. It’s okay if there are couple rips or tears, as rolling it will help cover them.
Repeat with the remaining rice papers.
Arrange on a tray with a couple bowls of salsa and sour cream for dip. Enjoy!

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

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

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 (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, 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

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.

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 full credit for this awesome idea!

Brownie Easter Nests

Easter nest brownies…I don’t think anything could get any cuter or tastier. I have seen a lot of variations on this Easter dessert nest, such as savoury potato stick clusters, rice crispy treats, sugar cookies and cupcakes. I hadn’t come across brownies though and I thought it would be interesting to create a mini brownie with an indent in the centre to hold the candy chocolate eggs. I was a bit lazy with the brownie base, I used King Arthur’s Gluten Free Brownie Mix, however I don’t think any homemade recipe could possibly mimic this mix; it is unbelievably delicious, moist, fudge-y and crunchy on top.

I baked the brownie mix in a mini cupcake tin, the only downside was the bottoms of the brownies stuck to the bottom of the pan, I even greased it! I’m thinking the next time I will grease and then flour it to prevent any sticking. I had thought to maybe line the cupcake tin with easter themed cupcake liners, but online I read that brownie mix tends to stick to paper linersNonetheless, the brownies turned out awesome, they were the perfect little nests, and as the brownies cooled, they naturally deflated and created their own little indents in the centre – perfect for holding the mini eggs.

I’d have to say that my favourite easter candy are Cadbury Mini Eggs. There is no gluten listed in the ingredients, but they don’t say that they are gluten free. I seem to be fine eating them, but I would take caution if you are celiac. I however used Carnaby Street Chocolate Eggs – the micro mini eggs, I got them at Shoppers Drug Mart. I thought they were so cute, no bigger then a pinky finger nail, but they didn’t taste the best. I was expecting them to taste like the Cadbury kind.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and have a very Happy Easter!

 If you want the eggs to stick to the brownie, use a little bit of icing.

Chicken Almond Apricot Tagine

Tagine (or tajine) is a North African cuisine of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, which is named after the clay pot that it is cooked in. The tagine pot has two parts to it. The base of the pot is flat – which keeps the food – and the top part is cone shaped which rests on top of the base. The covered cone shaped lid is designed to promote the return of any condensation from the bottom of the dish, thus allowing the dish to cook slowly and allowing all of the flavours to incorporate together.

Unfortunately I do not own a tagine, so I made the tagine recipe in a covered skillet over a low temperature on the stove. I found the recipe off of Epicurious and adapted it to suit my needs.

The flavours came together wonderfully and there were so many moroccan tastes. The original recipe on Epicurious calls for garlic and to use a whole chicken cut up, I however omitted the garlic and used chicken breasts chopped into 1 inch cubes. To view the original recipe, click here.

To enjoy my adapted recipe, read on! It is gluten and dairy free and full of protein. I loved it, I hope you do too.

Chicken Apricot Almond Tagine
Adapted from Gourmet,
Serves 2-3

2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil
2 chicken breasts cut into 1 inch cubes
1 tbsp butter
1 medium yellow onion chopped
10 sprigs of parsley
1.5 cups water
2 tbsp honey
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/3 cup blanched almonds

Combine 1 tsp cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, pepper, salt and 2 tbsp olive oil in a medium size bowl. Cube the chicken and mix it into the spices and oil.

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp of butter in a heavy skillet (or the base of a tagine), uncovered until hot. Add the chicken and brown it – around 8 minutes. Add in 1/2 cup of water, chopped onion and the parsley tied together in a bunch using kitchen string. Cover the skillet (or tagine) and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.

While the chicken cooks, combine 1 cup water, 1 tsp cinnamon, 2 tbsp honey and 1/2 cup apricots in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil uncovered and then lower the heat and allow to simmer uncovered for 15 minutes until the liquid becomes thick.

After the chicken has fully cooked, pour the apricots and liquid into the chicken skillet, stir and serve.

I served the chicken tagine over quinoa with a side of sautéd coconut kale.

To make the kale, take about 10 kale leaves and shred into thin slices. Steam the kale in about 1/2 cup water until the water is absorbed and the kale is tender. Stir in 1 tbsp coconut oil and 1/2 tbsp of coconut butter.

Asian Inspired Stuffed Bell Peppers

An easy, visually appealing, delicious and filling meal is stuffed peppers. They are packed with delicious veggies, meat and rice and make a beautiful meal. All you really need is a side salad to accompany them – as they are very filling. When you are buying your peppers, look for the ones that aren’t too lopsided, smaller in size and are able to stand up on their own. Stuffed peppers are also a great gluten free meal. You can make these stuffed peppers using black beans or extra firm tofu to make them vegetarian, or you can omit the protein and just use the rice and vegetables.

I still haven’t been able to find gluten free hoisin sauce, so I made my own gluten free version, it is very simple and tastes delicious.
Asian Inspired Stuffed Bell Peppers
Serves 4 

4 bell peppers (any colour)
1 cup basmati rice (cooked in 2 cups of water)
1 zucchini diced
2 cups mushrooms diced
2 cups ground pork (or beef)
3/4 cups gluten free hoisin sauce (recipe below)
2 tbsp olive oil 
Preheat oven to 350° F. 
Cook the basmati rice. An easy tip that my grandpa taught our family is to boil the basmati rice and water together in a sauce pan – once it comes to a rapid boil, cover with a lid and take off the heat. Leave the rice covered for about 15-20 minutes on no heat, it cooks perfectly and doesn’t stick to the pot. 
Sauté the diced zucchini and mushrooms in about 2 tbsp of olive oil until tender and golden. Move the vegetables into a bowl and use the same pan to sauté the ground pork. Once the pork is fully cooked, mix in 1/2 cup of the hoisin sauce. Transfer veggies into the pan with the pork and mix in the rest of the hoisin sauce. If the rice is cooked, mix the rice into the meat and veggies. 
After washing the peppers, cut off the tops (stems) and remove the insides (seeds and such). Stuff as much of the filling into the peppers as you can, place the tops back onto the peppers and place the stuffed pepper into a baking dish. Fill the dish with about an inch of water, place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes until the peppers are tender. 
Gluten Free Hoisin Sauce

2 tbsp nut butter (peanut, almond, sunflower seed – I used a pea based butter)
4 tbsp tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp chili powder 
2 tsp white vinegar
1.5 tsp sesame oil
2.5 tsp hot sauce 
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. 
There will probably be leftover filling, use the next day on top of a salad or in lettuce wraps.