Recipe Box: Coconut Caramel Saturday Sugars with Espresso Cane

While I wouldn’t say I’m a stress baker, I will say that sitting on my porch with a cold glass of milk and a handful of gluten-free Saturday Sugars makes me pretty happy.  Check out a new favorite flavor, a riff on the iconic Samoas Girl Scout cookies.

Saturday Sugars Coconut Caramel

Gluten-Free Coconut Caramel Saturday Sugars with Espresso Cane

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar, such as Organic White Sugar In The Raw
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon coconut extract
1 tablespoon caramel extract
2 cups Gluten-Free All-Purpose flour with xanthan gum in the mix, such as Domata Gluten-Free Recipe Ready Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon espresso-flavored sugar cane


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Place the softened butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium until light and fluffy.  Add the sugar and beat on medium.  Add egg and extracts.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add to butter mixture, beating until smooth.  Let the dough rest five minutes.
  4. Drop by the tablespoon about 2″ apart.  Press down tops and sprinkle a pinch of sugar on each cookie.
  5. Bake one pan at a time for 14 minute, or until cookies are golden brown.  Let cookies rest before transferring to a wire rack to cool.  Cookies will keep five days or up to 30 days in the freezer.

Want to make another flavor Saturday Sugars?  Try them in dark chocolate and Italian basil!


Recipe Box: Parsnip Spice Cake

Gluten Free Parsnip Cake

I can just hear my dear friend Maida now:  “Parsnip cake?  Seriously, whoever heard of such a thing?”  Well, here it is.  I had mentioned my plan to try my hand at a making one in my picks for this year’s Top 10 Food Trends but didn’t think it would happen this early in year.  I am a lazy baker, after all.  Last week’s recipe testing for a delightful and deliciously simple parsnip purée spurred me on and I had no choice but to turn the sweeter and arguably more sophisticated cousin of the carrot into a cake.

Gluten-Free Parsnip Spice Cake
3 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour, such as Domata Gluten-Free Recipe Ready Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups parsnips, grated
½ cup raisins
½ cup flaked coconut
½ cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup 10x sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 15-cup capacity Bundt pan.
  2. Whisk dry ingredients together in a large bowl until well-blended.  Beat eggs, applesauce and vanilla in a separate large bowl until smooth and fold in the flour mixture.  Add parsnip, raisins, coconut and walnuts and mix well.
  3. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely before cutting.  Dust with 10x sugar before serving.

Recipe Box: Valentine Heart Smart Breakfast

Gluten Free Heart Smart Valentine Breakfast

Homemade sugar cookies, elaborately decorated cupcakes and double chocolate brownies might be the yummiest Valentine’s Day treats but they can also max out our saturated fat intake for the day and fast.

Our bodies naturally make all the cholesterol it needs.  Nutrition labels can help us figure out which foods are high in saturated or trans fats so we don’t go over the recommended 300 milligrams extra that we can have each day.   Too much cholesterol-rich foods over time can raise blood cholesterol levels, clog arteries and lead to heart disease or a heart attack.

Eggs are especially high in cholesterol.  The yolk of one large egg provides over 200 milligrams and doctors recommend that we eat no more than four egg yolks per week.  This includes the yolks used in processed foods and those darling little Valentine sweets that sometimes make us powerless when it comes to second and third helpings.

Get a little healthier this Valentine’s Day by using only egg whites in your baking.  They contain no cholesterol and two egg whites can be substituted in many recipes for one whole egg.

Need that chocolate fix?  Dip strawberries or almonds into dark chocolate, a heart helper full of flavonoids and lower in calories than milk chocolate.  Almonds aid in reducing cholesterol and all fruit is cholesterol free.

No matter what, start your sweetie’s Valentine’s Day with a healthy, heart smart and gluten-friendly breakfast.  Don’t forget to use skim milk in their coffee!

Heart Smart Valentine Breakfast
What You Need:
4 slices gluten-free bread, such as Rudi’s Gluten-Free Multigrain
2 jumbo eggs, whites separated
Pinch of paprika
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup frozen spinach
1 tbsp dried cranberries
Salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup low-fat mozzarella cheese (optional)

What You Do:
-Press a small heart-shaped cookie cutter into a frozen slice of gluten-free bread.  Carefully pop out the inside piece and pull cutter away from the slice.
-Lightly toast hearts in a toaster oven.  Save the slices with heart cut-out for a quick Valentine’s Day lunch.
-Heat a skillet on medium-high with olive oil.  Pour egg whites, sprinkle paprika and cook for 1-2 minutes.
-Turn down heat to medium, add optional low-fat cheese and flip in half like an omelet.  Cook until lightly browned.
-Transfer egg to cutting board and use the same cookie cutter to create an egg layer for sandwich.  Assemble and set aside.
-Add frozen spinach, dried cranberries, salt, pepper and ¼ cup water to skillet, cover and cook on medium-high for 2-4 minutes.  Spoon into ramekin dish and arrange on plate with sandwiches.

Recipe Box: Sweet Cream and Raspberry French Toast Roll-Ups

French Toast Roll Ups

My favorite breakfasts are the ones around the holidays surrounded by family and friends.  This recipe for Sweet Cream and Raspberry French Toast Roll-Ups was inspired by simple challenge:  “Can we make a gluten-free version of those delicious things we keep seeing on Pinterest?”

This recipe may not be difficult but there’s some effort to put it all together.  I like to prep my sweet cream filling and cinnamon-sugar coating first before flattening bread slices.  I also recommend microwaving gluten-free bread for 30 seconds or more because the extra warmth helps mimic the natural elasticity of gluten-full bread.

Sweet Cream and Raspberry French Toast Roll-Ups

4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
8 slices sandwich bread, such as Rudi’s GF multi-grain
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 oz. fresh whole raspberries
1 tbsp. confectioner’s sugar
Non-stick cooking spray

-Blend cream cheese and half of the sugar.  Transfer mixture into small pastry or plastic bag.  Whisk eggs, milk and vanilla together in a second bowl and set aside.  Combine remaining sugar with cinnamon in a third bowl.  Wash and dry raspberries then quarter lengthwise.
-Trim crusts off bread and flatten with rolling pin.  Pipe 1/2” line of filling at the end at one end of bread slice and add a few pieces of raspberry.  Carefully roll up and away from you then place seam side down on a plate.  Repeat until finished.
-Prep large frying pan with non-stick spray and heat on medium-high.  Carefully coat rolls in egg mixture, one at a time, and place seam side down in pan.  Cook in small batches on medium until golden brown.
-Turn rolls until covered in cinnamon-sugar mix.  Sprinkle little confectioner’s sugar and eat up!

Hint:  It’s totally not a crisis if you happen to mix up steps and coat rolls with cinnamon-sugar before putting them in the frying pan.  Cooking will be a little messier but they will taste just as good!

Recipe Box: Coconut Macaroons

Looking for a perfect-sized treat that’s naturally gluten-free and scientifically proven to create instant happiness?  It’s no secret…it’s coconut macaroons!

Coconut Macaroons Words

Coconut macaroons are really easy to make.  A hand mixer will save you from being “whisk exhausted”, a terrible malady suffered by many French chefs before the invention of the electric whirring goodness.  You can use any spoon in your measuring set to dole these out but I’m a fan of the tablespoon.  Scoop a heap of the mix, round it with your free hand and voila!  You’ll only get about 8 that way but it makes for a smart-sized toasty bite and less leftovers to call your name for a midnight snack.

What You Need:
2 egg whites
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup sugar, such as Sugar In The Raw
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp almond extract

What You Do:
Pre-heat oven to 325°F. Beat egg whites and salt until almost stiff. Slowly add sugar and beat until whites peak.  Add almond and fold in coconut. Use a spoon to drop the mix onto a parchment paper lined on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes.  Remember:  Low and slow to toasty brown!  Let sit for a half hour and enjoy.

Coconut Macaroon Collage Words

Recipe Box: Stuffed Peppers with Jarlsberg Cheese and Italian Sausage

It’s raining like nobody’s business today and all I want to eat is comfort food.  I think I’ll do just fine with green peppers stuffed with rice, fire-roasted tomatoes, savory sweet Italian sausage and, you guessed it,  Jarlsberg cheese.

Gluten Free Stuffed Jarlsberg Peppers

This is a gluten-free spin on my grandmother’s classic stuffed pepper dish.  I originally put it together for Kitchen PLAY’s “29 Ways to Leap into Jarlsberg Dip”, an event hosted by Jarlsberg USA featuring 29 food bloggers from across the United States.  This recipe serves 4 to 6 people.

What You Need:
4 green bell peppers
8oz Jarlsberg Dip with Red Onion or homemade mix (see below)
1-1/2 cup instant rice
1 10-oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes, drained
1 package of sweet Italian-style turkey sausages
Fresh ground black pepper

For homemade mix
In a medium-sized bowl combine 4 ounces freshly grated Jarlsberg Swiss cheese, 2 tablespoons mayonnaise and 1 tablespoon fine chopped red onion.  Store in a covered container for at least 2 hours.

What You Do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Wash and cut peppers for stuffing.
  2. Quick roast peppers on stove burner.  A simple way to do this is to insert tongs inside the pepper and roll it on the burner.  Be careful, you only want to add a little color to the skin!
  3. In a large bowl, mix together Jarlsberg Dip with Red Onion, fire roasted tomatoes and instant rice.
  4. Brown sausages in small frying pan.  Cut into ½” pieces and add to rice mixture.
  5. Arrange peppers to fit snuggly in a baking pan or casserole dish.  Stuff with rice mixture and top with freshly ground black pepper.
  6. Cover with foil and place on middle rack.  Cook for one hour, or until peppers are tender.  Remove the foil the last ten minutes for browned tops.  Let cool for 10 minutes before eating.

Recipe Box: Saturday Sugars with Dark Chocolate and Italian Basil

As most readers know by now, I’m an attendee to this year’s Eat Write Retreat in Philadelphia.  It’s been exciting to get my pre-conference cooking tasks.  Next week, you’ll learn all about the Amazing Apps Culinary Challenge (the secret ingredient rhymes with wigs…) but this week you’ll see one of the photos for a contest with a sweet ingredient that I’ve never worked with before!

Choco Basil Saturday Sugars

Imagine my surprise to find a box outside my kitchen door filled with a newfangled ingredient.  It’s called Monk Fruit In The Raw, a new and natural zero calorie sweetener from the people who make Sugar In The Raw.  The letter that came with it requested that attendees “Show Your Raw Talent” in a cookie decorating photography contest.

I spent all morning and afternoon working out a gluten-free version of the sugar cookie recipe they sent.  I had a genius idea to make rosemary flavored ones with a soft lemon glaze and a batch of regular ‘ole plain ones to decorate with royal icing…then I realized something very important when I pulled the first batch out of the oven…I forgot to add xanthan gum and had to start all over!

Sigh.  It’s pretty safe to say that I’m not a very good baker.  Thankfully, I didn’t run out of ingredients but came pretty darn close.   Since the new product is really sweet, I decided to pair it with dark chocolate with 88% cocoa and a pop of basil.  They’re like Milanos and I think these are going to be my new signature cookie.  They go very well with ice-cold lemonade, ps.

Saturday Sugar Choco Basil Lemonade

Sugar Cookie
Makes 12 large 4-inch cookies

What You Need:
2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted sweet butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup Monk Fruit In The Raw
3 oz. dark chocolate
Basil leaves

What You Do:

  1. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
  2. Use a stand mixer to beat the butter and sugar.  Add the egg and vanilla.  Gradually add in the Monk Fruit In The Raw until combined. Reduce speed and gradually add dry ingredients until together.
  3. Turn out dough onto plastic wrap.  Use the wrap to shape the dough into a cylinder shape.  Wrap dough and chill in refrigerator at least 2 hours.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350° F and line two large baking sheets with parchment.  Place the cylinder of dough on a cutting board and use a large knife to cut rounds a little thicker than 1/4″.  Working quickly, give the rounds a little pat then press a 3-1/2″ cookie cutter to cut shapes.  Place cookies on baking sheet about 2-inches apart. Repeat until finished.
  5. When oven is hot place cookies on center rack in oven. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the cookies are firm when pressed in the center and evenly pale gold in color. Let the cookies rest for 1 minute then transfer the cookies to a wire rack and cool completely before decorating

Note:  The best way to melt chocolate is like this:  Grate it, put it in a Pyrex measuring cup and place it in a pot of water.  Bring the water to a gentle boil and stir as you go.  It only takes like 4-5 minutes before it’s perfect.  Thanks, page 582 of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Angie GF Choco Basil Words

Recipe Box: Strawberry Chocolate Danger Cake

My birthday is next Saturday and that means one thing, people:  Strawberry Chocolate Danger Cake!

GF Strawberry Chocolate Danger Cake

It’s “deliciously delirious” and all birthday cakes should be described as such.  I like to use 1-2-3 Gluten Free’s Devil’s Food Chocolate Cake Mix and my famous raw strawberry compote as a filling.   The good news:  the box mix yields two very large layers.  I kept the recipe as is, with white/brown sugars and dairy products, but a great thing this company’s mixes is that you can modify them for many dietary restrictions.   The bad news:  you’ll have to run around the block a few times because one slice is just not an option.  You’ll want to eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner…for like a week.

What You Need:
1 package Devil’s Food Cake Mix
3/4 light brown sugar, packed
1 cup sugar
12 Tbsp unsalted, butter
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

What You Do:
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease two 9″ round pans.
2. Place butter in bowl of mixer and beat until creamy. Add sugars and beat until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until completely mixed.
3. Beat in cake mix and buttermilk.  Use a spatula to scrape down bowls sides and beat again. Pour mixture into pans and bake for 25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
4. Keep cakes in pans for about five minutes before popping them out to cool on wire racks.  Frost with your choice of gluten-free milk or dark chocolate flavor once completely cool.

To make Sarah’s famous raw strawberry compote:
Quick soak and drain one quart of strawberries.  Cut and set aside in a large bowl.  Add 1 cup of brown sugar and mix to coat pieces well.  The sugar will break down the berries and the more time, the better!  I usually make my raw compote the night before and drain the juice before adding it to the cake layers.

Do you think you are daring enough to try the Danger Cake?