Triple Chocolate Gluten Free Cookies

What’s better than chocolate? What about chocolate times three…in the form of a cookie!?!

Gluten-free Chocolate Cookies

I am definitely in love with chocolate.  It’s rare I go a day without eating some form of the cocoa+sugar goodness. I know it’s not as healthy as having carrots every day, but moderation is the key to a balanced life and if chocolate is a contributor to my happiness everyday, then I don’t care!

Hershey was kind enough to send me a delicious goodie bag to review, so I decided to create a cookie that packed a huge chocolate punch. They sure do pack a punch! They’re very rich and taste like a brownie in the form of a chewy cookie. They are really delicious, even my non-gluten-free family loves them. The best part is that they remind me of the chocolate part of the gluten-full, Pillsbury, ‘ready to bake’ sugar cookies! I used to love those cookies…

These are super easy to make. They are essentially a shortbread base with cocoa powder and Hershey’s Chipits added to the mix. They are the perfect cookie to bring to your next holiday party, to woo your co-workers with or to package up and gift for a DIY Christmas gift.

Gluten Free chocolate cookies

Triple Chocolate Gluten Free Cookies

1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter (ideally room temperature, but if you’re in a rush, nuke it in the microwave for a few seconds)

3/4 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour (I love Glutino’s All-Purpose Flour Mix)

1/2 cup icing sugar

3 tablespoons Hershey’s Cocoa Powder (Natural & Unsweetened)

1/4 cup Hershey’s White Chocolate Chipits

1/4 cup Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Chipits 

Preheat oven to 300°F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

With a hand mixer (or stand mixer), mix butter under smooth and fluffy.

Mix in the gluten-free all-purpose flour, icing sugar and cocoa powder, blend until fully combined.

Add in the Chipits and blend on low or mix with a wooden spoon.

Combine the dough with your hands and cool in the fridge for 10 minutes to allow it to set for easier handling. Once the dough is chilled, roll the cookies into one inch balls and place a couple inches apart from one another (the cookies do expand as they bake!). Gently press each ball of dough with the palm of your hand to flatten the cookie.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes.

Let the cookies completely cool before storing and/or serving.

*These cookies are also egg and nut free!

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie

Mini Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pies

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians!

What is your favourite Thanksgiving food?

Ever since I was introduced to Glutino’s Perfect Pie Crust mix, making gluten-free pies has been very easy. I love the buttery flavour and flakey texture. I had to get creative when I realized I didn’t have a pie dish at the cottage, so I made mini pies in a muffin tray!

These mini pies are a great dessert to please all of your guests. Make a few fillings and just fill the pies up – then everyone can enjoy their favourite flavour. Although this post is too late for this year’s Thanksgiving, keep the idea in mind for Christmas (or for my American readers, try out this recipe for your Thanksgiving celebrations).

I followed the instructions on the Glutino Perfect Pie Crust box, but I adjusted the amount of time I baked them for. I did bake the base for 15 minutes, but then once filled and topped with the top layer of crust, I only baked them for 25 minutes.

You can use whichever pie filling you want, but for my pumpkin pie filling I made the following:

Pumpkin Pie Filling:

1 cup pureed canned pumpkin
1 cup condensed milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Empty one cup of pureed pumpkin into a saucepan and heat for about five minutes. The process of warming the canned pumpkin helps to remove the taste of tin. After, whisk the pumpkin, sugar and condensed milk until smooth. Add in the eggs and beat. Stir in the spices and then allow the filling to cool.

While the filling is cooling, follow the instructions on the Glutino pie crust mix.

*I found chilling the dough for 30 minutes was plenty of time, rather than the full hour the instructions on the box stated. 

Mini Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie

Enjoy!

….And remember, pie isn’t just for dessert, it’s perfect for breakfast too 🙂

Sweet Tortillas with Tropical Salsa

Sweet tortillas and tropical salsa with a warm caramel drizzle. What the hack? Yup…I did a total hack of the ever so popular salsa and chips. After discovering Udi’s ‘What the Hack’ food contest, I thought I would come up with a clever dish of my own. Unfortunately the contest was only open to US residents, but I still had a fun time pretending I was participating in Chopped [Canada]. The whole idea was to choose one of three Udi’s products and then a few ingredients from their six key ingredients (which included: pineapple, coconut, nut butter, chocolate chips, parmesan cheese and jalepenos). The recipe was a hit and was demolished very quickly. It’s a light summer dessert perfect for ending a Mexican-inspired meal. You can either serve them as individual plated desserts, or buffet style with the option to dip into the salsa. 
Sweet Tortillas & Tropical Salsa
1 pack of Udi’s Plain Tortillas 
2 cups of chopped pineapple 
1/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup dulce de leche 
2 tbsp cream 
Preheat oven to 450°F. 

Combine cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and sprinkle each tortilla to coat (set aside half a tablespoon of the cinnamon sugar mixture for the salsa). Place tortillas on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 10-12 minutes or until golden and crispy (be sure to monitor the oven as some ovens bake quicker than others – you don’t want these to burn). 

Meanwhile, combine the chopped pineapple, coconut and remaining cinnamon sugar in a bowl. 

To make the caramel drizzle, combine the dulce de leche and cream in a small sauce pan, stirring until combined. Make sure it doesn’t burn.
Once the tortillas are baked, cut into quarters while still hot. Set aside to cool. 
To assemble, place one tortilla on a plate, top with two tablespoons of the tropical salsa and drizzle with the warm caramel sauce. If you’d rather serve this in a buffet-type setting, place the tortillas in a bowl next to the large bowl of tropical salsa for people to dip into. 

 Enjoy! These are very easy to make and delightfully refreshing! Let me know how you enjoy them!

I Heart You Hand Pies

I can’t believe how long it’s been since my last post. Life got busy! However, during these last few weeks I have been testing out lots of new products that I am excited to share with you. 
It’s been such a treat to have the snow melt and the robins chirp away the last couple of weeks. Until this morning when I woke up to snow outside! I didn’t think April snowfalls were such a thing. I guess that’s what you get for living in Canada, eh? With snow on the ground, it’s hard to imagine that Easter is just days away. Have you figured out your brunch, lunch and/or dinner menus? I thought I’d share with you a fun dessert that doesn’t take too much time to make and doesn’t require a serving spoon! Introducing: gluten free hand pies (which I love). 
If you were on Pinterest around Valentine’s day, you probably would have seen Pinterest exploding with various versions of the ‘hand-pie’. I thought they were way too cute to pass up, but I didn’t have a huge chunk of time to make gluten-free pastry dough. Fortunately Glutino pulled through with their Perfect Pie Crust Mix. The directions were very simple and it only took about an hour for the dough to chill in the fridge. The dough was easy to roll and the baked result was delicious. I was expecting the texture to be doughy and bread-like, but it was nice and flaky with a buttery flavour. For one of the fillings I chopped up a couple of apples (without the skin), mixed the pieces with brown sugar and caramelized them in a pan with some butter until tender – it was that simple! I cheated for the second filling and scooped some cherry jam out of a jar…easy peasy! 
11 steps to make your own hand pies:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F
2. Prepare the dough as per instructions on the box (or use your own dough recipe)
3. Roll until half an inch thick 
4. Use a circular cookie cutter (about three inches in diameter) to cut the dough
5. Put a tablespoon of filling in the centre of one of the cutouts (bottom half)
6. With a second cutout (top half), cut a hole in the centre using a knife or a small cookie cutter (I used a small heart shaped cookie cutter)
7. Drape the top half (with the hole) on top of the filling to make a ‘sandwich’
8. With a fork, gently press the sides of the ‘sandwich’ to make pie indents 
9. Whisk one large egg with one tbsp of water to make an egg wash
10. Brush the tops and edges of the pies with the egg wash
11. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden 

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.

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.