Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

A few days ago I stumbled across this recipe and knew that I wanted to make something similar for Jamison. I also knew he probably wouldn’t be completely thrilled and in fact he said they were “too chocolatey”. Too chocolatey? As a friend of mine and I discussed on FaceBook there is no such thing!

I decided to add some peanut butter powder to the cookies to try and cut a little of the chocolate taste. I think perhaps the addition of some peanut butter chips would be good too! Or how about some buttercream in the middle? Or a marshmallow cream mixture? Or how about a peanut butter center? Or leave out the peanut butter powder and put some of Rachel’s Blueberry Vanilla Frosting in the middle? However you make them though these are divine!

Now let’s get to the recipe because today is Miss G’s 6th birthday and I have some pancakes to fix for the birthday girl! ;oP

What You’ll Need:
2 1/4 cups of powdered sugar
1/2 cup of peanut butter powder
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 cup cocoa powder
4 egg whites
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Add dry ingredients to a glass bowl:

Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies: Dry Ingredients

Add wet ingredients and stir until “dough” is shiny:

Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies: "Dough"

Using a measuring spoon spoon by the tablespoon onto a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet AND sprayed with non-stick spray and then place in the oven:

Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies: Baking

When you scoop it out the batter will be slightly ball like, but it will begin to spread almost immediately and will continue to do so as the cookies bake.

Bake for 8 minutes and remove the pan from the oven:

Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies: Baked

Let cool completely on the pan and then store in an airtight container.

Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies: The Inside

Makes 16-18 cookies.

Notes: You could add in chocolate chips if you liked.

Gluten Free Fried Chicken

Gluten Free Fried Chicken

Who says you can’t have fried chicken even if you can’t have gluten? This version is amazing and trust me, you’ll never miss the gluten! ;oP

What You’ll Need:
1 chicken, cut into pieces (Note: You can cut it yourself or get your butcher to do it for you.)
1 quart of buttermilk
1 cup of gluten free breadcrumbs (Note: I like Gillian’s version.)
2 1/2 cups of corn flour, divided (Note: Corn flour is NOT corn starch. They are made from different parts of the kernel and very different.)
3 tablespoons of Creole seasoning (Note: I used Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning.)
Sea salt
2 eggs, beaten

Place chicken in a large glass dish or bowl. Cover completely with the buttermilk and then cover the dish or bowl. Place in the fridge and let “marinate” for at least 4 hours, but overnight is better.

When ready to cook the chicken preheat oil to 375 F. (Note: I like to do this in a large stockpot on the stove top.) You want several inches of oil in the bottom of your pan. I usually use one small bottle of oil. This go around I used an Omega-3 version.

Preheat oven to 425 F.

While oil and oven are heating get the chicken and “breading” ready.

In a small dish place 1 cup of corn flour. Set aside.

In a large dish mix 1 1/2 cups of corn flour with the bread crumbs. Stir in Creole seasoning until incorporated. Set aside.

Beat two eggs and pour into a flat dish like a pie plate. Set aside.

Remove chicken from the fridge and drain off most of the buttermilk. You want a little coat of buttermilk to help the first coat and salt stick. Place on a plate.

Now set up an assembly line. First you want the chicken. The next step is the corn flour. Next up is the egg and finally the corn flour/breadcrumb mixture.

Now let’s start the assembly line! Once the oil is heated first sprinkle the piece of chicken with a little sea salt all over. Then coat with the plain corn flour.

Next dip them in the beaten egg.

After the egg give them a nice roll in the corn flour/breadcrumb mixture and then fry each piece for roughly 7 minutes or until a very nice golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels and then place in a baking dish.

Once all the chicken is fried place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. I like to do this to make sure the chicken is done all the way through. After baking serve immediately.

Notes: You could spice up your breadcrumb/cornflour mixture any way you liked. Cayenne pepper would be good. You could do simple salt and pepper. Paprika would be really good or Old Bay Seasoning would even work! Make it your own!

Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese

Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is one of those ultimate comfort foods and the base usually uses flour to thicken the sauce. When I made a homemade macaroni and cheese at Christmas (linked in the sentence before) Jamison was very interested in it, but of course couldn’t eat it since it had flour in it and regular noodles. I decided to try my hand at making a gluten free version, but just never got around to actually making one. That changed yesterday.

Overall I was extremely pleased with how this turned out. At first Jamison wasn’t too sure about the dish, but in the end he said he’d give it 4 stars out of 5. That’s saying something for him! ;oP I think for him he might have enjoyed it more with all cheddar or possibly even a bit of Colby instead of Swiss. I may play around with it a bit more, but this version suited me just fine! This is just perfect if you’re looking for a familiar favorite, all while being gluten free. What’s better than that?

What You’ll Need:
1 – 12 ounce package of gluten free macaroni noodles (Note: I like Mrs. Leepers corn pasta.)
1 stick of butter
1/3 cup of corn flour (Note: Corn flour is NOT corn starch. They are made from different parts of the kernel.)
1/3 cup of tapioca flour
5 ounces of shredded Swiss cheese (Note: You want to shred and weigh the cheese yourself. Pre-shredded cheese has weird stabilizers in it so it won’t mold as fast and it doesn’t work as well. You could use it if you wanted, but your results won’t be quite the same.)
8 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese (Note: Ditto to the note above for Swiss.)
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Cayenne pepper
Extra shredded cheddar

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Cook pasta according to package directions and drain.

While pasta is cooking melt butter in a large sauce pan. Once butter is melted add, a pinch of sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, a generous pinch of cayenne pepper, corn flour and tapioca flour and stir until thick. It will thicken fast! Remove from heat and stir in cheese until mostly melted. Pour in the hot, drained macaroni noodles and stir until mixed.

Pour mixture into a a baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Top the dish with more shredded cheddar and bake for 8-10 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove casserole dish from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes and then serve.

Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese

Notes: You could omit the cayenne if you liked.

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cheesecake Mousse

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cups

Sometimes simple is best and what’s more simple than peanut butter and milk chocolate? These cups makes the perfect little treat pairing the traditional combo, all while being gluten free! What’s better than that?

What You’ll Need:
1 cup of heavy cream
1 – 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1 cup of peanut butter
1 cup of super fine sugar
6 ounces of milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup of heavy cream
Whipped cream

In the bowl of your mixer whip heavy cream on medium to high until whipped cream forms and then scrape out into another bowl.

In the bowl of your mixer (no need to wash it or anything) cream together creamed cheese and peanut butter until smooth. Slowly add sugar. (Note: It might seem a bit grainy at first, but it will come together.) Once the sugar is mixed in add whipped cream back to the bowl and mix until smooth.

Once peanut butter mixture is mixed pipe or spoon into a glass or bowl:

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cups

Chill covered for at least 3 hours.

Once cheesecake cups are chilled melt your milk chocolate chips with heavy cream over low heat until smooth. Then drizzle or scoop on to the top of your cups:

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cups

Then top with a little whipped cream and another drizzle of chocolate:

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cups

And then serve!

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cups

Makes 4 servings.

Notes: These are really rich so a little goes a long way. You can store leftovers in the fridge. You could use chocolates other than milk chocolate if you preferred, but there is something about the milk chocolate/peanut butter combo that just can’t be beat!

Gluten Free Fudgy Pie

Gluten Free Fudgy "Pie"

I made this for Thanksgiving because Jamison normally has chocolate pie for dessert, but his usual pie I knew wouldn’t cut the muster now that he can’t have gluten. This really is such a cheating sort of pie, but who cares? The end result is fabulous and all with no gluten, because it is “crustless”. I don’t think Jamison even ended up eating any of this since I made also made him a gluten free cake so he’d have something to eat if he didn’t care for this. He’s not in the least a “Let’s try new things!” kind of guy so I don’t remember him tasting it, but Alexis loved it and so did I! If you like fudge, then this is the “pie” for you!

What You’ll Need:
2 – 11.5 ounce bags of chocolate chips (Note: I used milk chocolate, but you can use semi-sweet, bittersweet or even white if you like!)
1/4 cup of heavy cream
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of vanilla (optional)

Gluten Free Fudgy "Pie"

In a double boiler melt chocolate chips with the heavy cream until smooth. Turn off heat and slowly stir in sweetened condensed milk and sea salt and stir until completely mixed. Next add vanilla and stir to incorporate.

Pour chocolate mixture into a pie plate that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Let sit at room temperature until firm (this could take thirty minutes to several hours depending on temperature and humidity and such) and then serve.

Notes: You could use peppermint extract instead of vanilla to make a minty pie. Or how about a little Irish Cream instead? You could also add in nuts if you liked.

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Lasagna

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Lasagna

As we progress on Jamison’s gluten free journey we often come back to pre-Celiac favorites such as pasta. We finally found some spaghetti noodles that are very good in terms of gluten free products, but at first I wasn’t able to find any gluten free lasagna noodles in stores locally. Finally however My Organic Market started carrying a rice lasagna noodle from DeBoles that really is comparable to a version made with wheat! With this discovery lasagna was back on the menu!

Jamison and Alexis LOVE pasta. Seriously, they could eat it at every meal! While I like pasta too, I would tend to be this way more with Mexican food than Italian, but that is neither here nor there. This past weekend Alexis and Jamison both had asked for lasagna and I had fully intended to make it for them, but we had a crazy/busy weekend (which I might add hasn’t seemed to stop!) so it just never happened.

On Saturday the day slowly got away from us as we did things that needed to be done and ran errands. Soon it was time for dinner and there wasn’t time to put together lasagna so I bumped it to Sunday. On Sunday I ended up spending the majority of the day lesson planning and getting things ready for this week’s classes. Dinner time rolled around and again no time for lasagna. On Monday I was determined we were actually going to have lasagna for dinner even if I had to get creative!

For a while now I’ve wanted to try to make lasagna in the slow cooker, but I just had never gotten around to actually trying it out. When Alexis and I ventured back down stairs from the school room for lunch on Monday I decided this would be the perfect time to test out my theory!

What I ended up making was gluten and dairy free, but given it was for Jamison it did have ground beef, but you could just as easily make it a vegetable version as well. The lasagna turned out perfectly! If you haven’t tried this method I highly recommend giving it a whirl…I think you’d be impressed!

What You’ll Need:
Gluten Free Lasagna noodles (Note: You can use any type of lasagna noodle that you want if gluten is not an issue for you. If I were making this for Alexis and I alone I would use whole wheat.)
A large jar of spaghetti sauce (Note: Again this is up to you. Jamison is extremely picky as I’ve mentioned before so I use Ragu Traditional Organic sauce, but any type of sauce will work. I like some of the other organic sauces that are heavy on garlic and/or mushrooms.)
Rice mozzarella, shredded (Note: I used a block of this type of cheese. Again had I been making this for Alexis and I would have used regular mozzarella, some Parmesan and perhaps some goat cheese. What you use is up to you.)
1 pound beef, cooked and crumbled (optional)

Spray the bowl of your slow cooker with non-stick spray or brush it with olive oil. I didn’t do this, but next time I will. It wasn’t a huge issue, but there was some sticking.

Next you use your basic layering process that you would use for regular lasagna. I didn’t get a picture of the layering of the noodles, but just put a layer of noodles in the bottom of your slow cooker. Don’t worry if they aren’t whole or anything, just make sure the bottom is covered and if you have to break them up that’s ok too!

Next add a layer of ground beef:

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Lasagna: Second Layer

(Note: You could also use ground turkey or if you wanted a completely meat free option you could add in textured vegetable or soy protein. You could also add onions, mushrooms and peppers if you liked.)

Next add a layer of sauce:

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Lasagna: Third Layer

If you wanted to get really creative you could make your own sauce using tomato sauce, some garlic, oregano, basil, etc.

Next top with a little cheese:

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Lasagna: Fourth Layer

Now keep repeating that process until you run out of sauce.

Next completely cover the top generously with cheese:

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Lasagna: Ready to Cook

Now place the lid on and cook for 3-4 hours on low and voilà you have lasagna for dinner!

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Lasagna

Dinner is served!

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Lasagna

Notes: I was really surprised how fast this cooked on low so watch it and make sure it doesn’t go too far!

Gluten Free Chocolate Pudding

Gluten Free Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate…What’s not to like? I’m a firm believer that there is no such thing as too much chocolate. Jamison on the other hand…Well let’s just say that he’s a firm believer in chocolate in small doses.

Yes I know…How is that possible? ;oP

He does however like chocolate pie (though I’ll have to gluten free-ize it before Thanksgiving…And yes I did just make that up!) so I thought it might be fun to play around with some pudding and see what I could come up with and let me tell you Alexis and I were highly impressed!

Now in the interest of full disclosure I have to tell you that Jamison wasn’t as big of a fan of this as Lex and I. He thought it was too rich, which rich it was, but again it’s all a matter of perspective. I also was out of milk chocolate so that made it a bit richer than it might have been otherwise and I’ll definitely try it again in the future using milk chocolate instead of semi-sweet to see if it would be a bit more to his liking. Overall however I was very pleased and if you’re a chocolate lover I think you would be too!

P.S. I enjoyed taking last weekend off so much I’ve decided to make it an every week thing for the most part unless something just really inspires me and I can’t wait to share it with you all! Check back this afternoon for “What’s For Dinner?” and then I’ll see you happy readers on Monday!

What You’ll Need:
2 cups of chocolate chips (Note: Milk, semi-sweet or dark will work fine. Or you could do a mix of them or even go nuts and throw in some white chocolate chips too!)
1 1/2 cups of sugar (Note: Jamison likes things very sweet!)
1 1/2 cups of half and half (Note: Fat-free or regular is fine.)
1 cup of corn starch
1/2 a stick of butter, softened

Gluten Free Chocolate Pudding: Ready to Melt

In a large pot, over low to medium heat, melt chocolate chips and sugar in half and half, stirring often, until smooth. Once melted bring to a quick boil and slowly add corn starch, stirring constantly. Once mixture is slightly thickened (about 2-3 minutes) remove from heat, add softened butter and stir for an additional minute or until butter is completely melted and incorporated. Chill for 1 hour and serve plain or with a dollop of whipped cream.

Gluten Free Chocolate Pudding: Ready to Chill

Notes: Because of the chocolate chips this is a make and serve sort of dish. The longer it sits, the more firm it becomes. If needed you can whip the mixture with a mixer or hand mixer just before serving if you feel it’s too firm.

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

Operation Baking Gals: Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

What You’ll Need:
3 cups of organic sugar
3 eggs
2 cups of creamy peanut butter
1 cup of chunky peanut butter
1 cup of chopped peanuts
3 tablespoons of vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Operation Baking Gals: Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

In a large bowl cream together sugar, eggs and peanut butters until smooth. Stir in chopped nuts to incorporate and then add vanilla and stir to mix. (Note: These cookies don’t “spread” out when they bake so you can put them rather close together as seen above. Be sure to leave a little room for the next step.) Place cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes until slightly browned.

Operation Baking Gals: Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies: Baked

Once cookies are baked take the back of a fork and gently press down to flatten slightly. Let cook and then store in an air tight container.

Operation Baking Gals: Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

Variation for Jamison:

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Using the same instructions as above mix 2 cups of creamy peanut butter, 2 cups of sugar, 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of vanilla and 1 package of milk chocolate chips and bake the same way. Once baked take the back of spatula and flatten the cookies slightly. Let cookies cool and store in an airtight container.

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gluten Free Buttermilk Waffles

Gluten Free Buttermilk Waffles

A few times a month we like to have breakfast for dinner. When we discovered that Jamison couldn’t have gluten anymore this became infinitely more complicated since that breakfast for dinner was often pancakes or waffles. So far we haven’t experimented with pancakes since the gluten discovery, but we have played around with waffles.

Our first journeys into waffledom used Pamela’s Pancake and Baking Mix and they were pretty good, but you know me, I’d rather make something from scratch. So one night last week I decided to play around with the alternative flours I had on hand and see what I could come up with and this is what resulted.

These waffles could easily fool a gluten eater. They would have no idea they were eating something that was gluten free. The waffles are tender and fluffy. Pair them with some fruit and/or maple syrup and you’re set! We’ll definitely make these again.

What You’ll Need:
1 cup of sweet potato flour
1 cup of sorghum flour
1/2 cup of tapioca flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
2 tablespoons of xanthum gum
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 cup of organic cane sugar
2 eggs, separated
1/4 cup of safflower oil
2 1/2 cups of buttermilk

Pre-heat waffle maker.

In a large bowl sift or whisk together sweet potato flour through organic cane sugar. Set aside.

Separate eggs and whip egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

Add egg yolks, safflower oil and buttermilk to dry mixture and stir until mixed. Gently fold in egg white until incorporated.

Spray your waffle iron with non-stick spray or brush with oil. Place a dollop of batter in the middle of each square (or circle…my iron makes 4 square waffles) and lower the lid. Cook for 4-6 minutes until waffles are golden brown. Serve immediately.

Makes 8-10 waffles

Notes: These kept well and Alexis enjoyed some the next few days. Something during the cooking process caused the waffle iron to pop open. This happened on each batch, but it happened right before they were done so it didn’t make a mess, but it was odd. We joked that they were explosive waffles! 😉

Gluten Free Sandwich Bread

Gluten Free Sandwich Bread: The Inside

Gluten free bread, whether commercially made, or made from scratch is largely hit or miss, especially when you are used to eating the glutenized equivalents. I’ve talked to several people who no longer can eat gluten and their reactions are largely hit and miss too. One person told me after not having gluten for years they still hadn’t found a gluten free bread that was to their liking. Another told me that they had no problem switching over to gluten free breads and actually enjoyed their bread of choice. Jamison would squarely fall in the former category and not the latter and given he’s a very picky eater (yeah I know) this bread journey has been an adventure in and of itself! I have to admit though he’s been a very good sport.

Right after we found out that Jamison couldn’t eat gluten we purchased a bread machine that has a gluten free setting and ironically the bread I ended up coming up with works better on the basic setting, than the gluten free one. What can you do? You do what works and in this case the basic setting is the one to go with.

This bread is really good for gluten free. It doesn’t dry out after a day or two after some gluten free baked goods do. It has a very nice texture and a nice crumb too. The taste is also mild and it doesn’t overpower what you’re putting on your sandwich. We’ve been really pleased with this concoction and I bake a loaf every week or so so that Jamison has bread for his lunch to take to work. I have not tried it out in a conventional oven, though I intend to do that one day soon. So far we’ve just stuck to the bread machine because it’s simple and I don’t have to hover over the process. You just set it and go. If one of you gets adventurous and tries the conventional oven before I post anything about what might have occurred then let me know how your results turn out.

What You’ll Need:
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups of warm water
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons of honey
2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons of powdered milk
1 tablespoon or organic cane sugar
2 cups of sweet rice flour
1 cup of tapioca flour
1/2 cup of sorghum flour
2 tablespoons of xanthum gum
2 teaspoons of sea salt
4 teaspoons of yeast

Gluten Free Sandwich Bread: Bread Machine

Into the well of your bread machine dump eggs through organic cane sugar. The machine will do the mixing for you so don’t worry about stirring.

In a large bowl whisk or sift together sweet rice flour through sea salt until well incorporated. Once mixed dump the dry mixture on top of the wet ingredients. The machine will mix these together too. Dump yeast on top of the dry mixture and set the machine on the Basic 2 pound setting.

My machine also has a setting for light, medium or dark crust. If yours has this setting too then set it for medium. Start the machine and go back in and take a look between five and ten minutes to make sure that all the flour is incorporated. You may need to scrape down the sides of the well to make sure everything incorporates. I’m not sure why this is the case with gluten free breads, but I’ve had to do this with every loaf I’ve made even the mix I purchased. When the cycle is through and the bread has baked let it sit for 10 minutes in the machine and then remove the loaf from the pan and let cool. Store in an airtight container.

After the first mix and when you’ve scraped down the sides the dough will look like this:

Gluten Free Sandwich Bread: Rising

The dough is very shaggy and makes a very rustic loaf.

After it has risen it will look like this:

Gluten Free Sandwich Bread: Risen

Still shaggy, but roughly doubled in size.

The top and sides turn a lovely brown:

Gluten Free Sandwich Bread

And thus your have your finished loaf. It’s moist and holds up well and is easily sliced with a bread knife. It’s just perfect for sandwiches.

Notes: Make sure that you use sweet rice flour and not just plain brown or white rice flour. It really adds to the texture and taste of the bread. Also the tapioca flour helps retain the moisture and give you the tender crumb. You could most likely use all honey or all organic cane sugar and it should work fine. The olive oil also lends to the crumb and flavor. You could substitute safflower oil or something if you wanted, but I wouldn’t recommend that substitution.