Category Archives: dessert

Stay Awake Peanut Butter Cookies

Baking does a number of things for me: provides me with stress relief, delicious goodies, and a way to stay awake while waiting for people to get off of work….

Started with a basic peanut butter cookie recipe and it somehow turned into so much more.  Shortly after starting, I realized I didn’t have eggs or milk.  So I quickly had to

right out of the oven

throw together a flaxseed “egg” and use some  almond milk from the fridge.  While concocting my make-do substitutions, I saw some espresso powder in the pantry and decided to throw that in as well.  While looking in the pantry, I decided to

throw in not only dark chocolate chips, but also white chocolate and peanut butter chips because more chips are better, right?

So without further adieu…here’s the recipe that my sleep deprived brain adapted.

Stay Awake Peanut Butter Cookies (half recipe–use your best judgement in estimating amounts)

Inspired by a recipe by Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients:

-0.625 cups of AP flour (I told you I halved it…)

-0.375 tsp baking soda

-1/4 tsp baking powder

-1/8 tsp salt

-1/4 butter, unsalted

-1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

-0.375 cups sugar

-1/4 cup packed brown sugar

-1/2 T ground flaxseeds

-1.5 T water

-1/2 T almond milk

-1/2 tsp vanilla extract

-1.5 T instant espresso powder

-1.5 cups assorted chips–dark chocolate, white chocolate, and peanut butter

1) Preheat oven to 350.  Combine flaxseeds and water and set aside.

2) Mix butter and peanut butter until smooth.  Add sugars and beat until fluffy and light.  Add flaxseed “egg” mixture, vanilla extract and espresso powder.  Mix until combined.

3) Add dry ingredients and mix until combined.  Stir in chips.

4) Roll rounded teaspoons of dough in sugar and bake for 9 minutes on parchment covered baking sheets.

These turned out quite well.  Going to have to make these again when I’m not as sleepy 🙂

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Gluten Free Pecan Pie Bars

What do you do when you’re in Ames, Iowa and you need something to do??

Make gluten free pecan pie bars (and gluten free deep dish pizza but that will have to be another post)!

Dave loved the pecan pie I made for Thanksgiving and has been aching for some more, but…and don’t tell anyone this… but I’m really not the biggest fan of making pies…shh!  I mean don’t get me wrong, pies are delicious and are totally worth the effort, but I really wasn’t in the mood for making one at the time and Dave really just wanted the filling anyways…

So we made pecan pie bars!  It’s a fantastic combination of  gooey pecan pie and a crispy crust without all of the hassle of making the pie dough!  Even better, I had the perfect crust recipe ready to go–the crust for the St Louis Gooey Butter Cake I make works fantastically for this recipe.

I wish I could say that the filling recipe is mine, but alas, I took it from the Food Network and it can be found here.  Make sure you use a full 2 tablespoons of this stuff…

And make sure you save yourself some as well 🙂 And yes, that is the tiniest bottle of bourbon ever!

Follow the same instructions for the crust as the Gooey Butter Cake (make sure you prebake it for 15 minutes or until slightly golden).  Follow the Food Network’s instructions for the filling.  Pour in the filling and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the bars are mostly set (you still want it to jiggle slightly–that’s where all of the gooeyness comes from!)

Good luck trying to trying to eat just one…I don’t think that it can be done 🙂

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Gluten Free St Louis Gooey Butter Cake

During college, I made a lot of friends who are St Louis natives, who decided that they needed to show me the true cuisine of St Louis.  As a result, I was exposed to St Louis staples right from the beginning…fried ravioli, Ted Drewes frozen custard, food from “The Hill”, provel cheese/Imo’s Pizza (absolutely disgusting…sorry guys!), etc.  But my favorite item gleaned from St Louis’ food culture was the Gooey Butter Cake.

The Gooey Butter Cake is something that is hardly known outside of the St Louis or Midwest region and I didn’t quite understand the obsession over upon first hearing about it.  Thankfully a friend of mine’s Mom gave me her favorite recipe for this delightful creation and I set out to make it to see what all the fuss was about.

I was hooked with my first bite of this ethereal cake… It is unlike any other cake I’ve ever had.  So when the time came to plan a Gluten Free Thanksgiving, I knew this had to be on the dessert table and quickly set out to come up with a recipe.

The resulting cake is identical to the gluten containing version–a crisp shortbread-like crust, a layer of butter goo, and a heavy coating of powdered sugar.  It was a big hit with my family and friends (who love the original!) and I hope it will be a hit for yours as well!

Gluten-Free St Louis Gooey Butter Cake

CRUST:
1/4 cup white rice flour

1/4 cup oat flour (make sure it’s gluten free!)

1/4 cup almond meal

2 1/2 tablespoons tapioca flour

1 1/2 tablespoons potato starch

1/4 tsp xantham gum

3 tablespoons sugar

1/3 cup butter

FILLING:

1 1/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup butter

1 egg

1/2 cup white rice flour

1/6 cup almond meal

3 tablespoons potato starch

2 tablespoons tapioca flour

1/4 tsp xantham gum

2/3 cup evaporated milk

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

powdered sugar

CRUST:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Sift the flours together in a mixing bowl.  Stir in the sugar. Cut the butter into the flour/sugar mix until it looks like small peas and it starts to cling.  Grease a 9×9 baking pan and press the mixture onto the bottom of the pan (you can push it up the sides, but I just like the crust to stay on the bottom).  Bake the crust for 10-15 minutes–until it browns only slightly. Cool the crust.

FILLING:
Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixer until fluffy and white.  While the butter is creaming, sift together your flours into a medium sized bowl. Add the egg in and mix until combined. Alternate adding the flour mixture and evaporated milk (ie flours, milk, flours, milk, flours) and mix after each addition.  Mix in the corn syrup and vanilla and beat until well combined.  Pour the filling onto the cooled crust.  Liberally cover with powdered sugar and bake for 30-35 minutes until the cake is nearly set.  Trust me on this one, you do not want to overbake your cake!  Cool and serve!Sorry about the lackluster pictures–they do not do these treats justice!  I have to admit–I was so caught up in Thanksgiving madness that I did not take a picture of the whole cake…sorry! 😦

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Chocolate Babka!!

 

 

So this bread (yes, believe it or not, it’s bread) probably questions my credentials as an RD…but let me remind you though that I do have a culinary background and my true passion is cooking/baking.  So with that disclaimer taken care of, I’d like to introduce you to one of the tastiest things I’ve ever made…the chocolate babka.

This bread is not for the faint of heart.  It has 5 sticks of butter, 2.25 lbs of semisweet chocolate and more than 3 cups of sugar…but man, is it good!  My first introduction to this bread was at Great Harvest Bread Company and I very much wanted to buy it, but the $8/loaf price tag ward me off. After making this though, I finally understand the high price tag associated with the bread–chocolate and butter ain’t cheap!

My reason for finally buckling down and making this was kind of sad–one of my best friend’s dog of 12 yrs recently passed away and I wanted to make something for her chocoholic family.  The bread ended up being more for a celebration as they got a new puppy the same day I brought it over–he’s a cutey too!

Ok so make sure you have plenty of time to make this bread as the chopping of the chocolate takes quite a bit of time.  If you hand-chop it like me, make sure you grab a pair of latex (or non-latex) gloves to prevent the chocolate from melting on your hand–also get ready for a workout!

I’m not going to post the recipe for this bread because it isn’t mine and I’d like to direct some traffic over to the wonderful site where I found it.  So here’s the recipe and please check out the rest of her recipes–they have been spot on every single time I made one! I did bake the one in the pictures in a bundt pan solely because I ran out of loaf pans–this is why it has the weird shape haha!

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Ice Cream Cake!!

So what does one make with hot fudge sauce other than…an ice cream cake?!?!?!  Ok, so I know it’s not the first thing that comes to your head when you think of hot fudge sauce, but hopefully after reading this post, you’ll think of it right away.

Tommy turned 19 today and had a small party for his friends up at the lake this past weekend.  We needed something for serenading him with and since he isn’t the biggest fan of cakey cakes, after promising him an ice cream cake for years, I FINALLY decided to make him one.  For the record, I had not followed up on my promise because our freezers at home have never been cold enough to freeze my ice cream maker bowl.  This year I could finally make him a cake because my parents finally bought a new fridge/freezer that can be programmed to remain at certain subzero temperatures.

The cake was very Tommy-like–2 peanut butter ice cream with Reese’s peanut butter cups layers sandwiching a brownie layer.  All of this was covered in the hot fudge sauce and had some decorative whipped cream and mini Reese’s peanut butter cups.  (All homemade minus the Reese’s peanut butter cups)

The result was quite tasty even though it was not the prettiest cake I’ve ever made–see the melted ice cream on the bottom.  I learned that it is probably not the best idea to make an ice cream cake on a 90 degree summer day in a cabin that does not have central air (for the record we do have some window units).  BUT I also discovered that ice cream might be my cake medium of choice because I can smoosh it into submission!!  My cake was slightly lopsided and I was trying unsuccessfully to saw enough of it off to make it even.  My mom was watching me struggle and told me to just push the ice cream down–and it worked!

While this cake was not gluten free, it can EASILY be made so by making the brownie layer minus the gluten.

Everyone enjoyed the cake and there is still some left up at the house.  I personally cannot wait to dig into again next weekend!

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Hot Fudge Sauce

This is a warning–the food you are seeing in no way healthy or good for you…that being said, it’s extremely delicious and decadent.

Ben & Jerry’s are the ice cream gods (in my eyes).  I’ve been infatuated with their ice cream and history since I was a little kid; so much so that I did a speech on their company in 5th grade (yes, I’ve always been a dork).  During high school, one of my best friends introduced me to the art of ice cream making using a Cuisinart machine and this book.

I was in love.  I immediately went home and bought both the Cuisinart ice cream machine and Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book.

This is the best ice cream cookbook I have found to this day.  Not only do they include ice cream recipes, but they also include a recipe for Hot Fudge Sauce….oh my gosh it is good.  I highly recommend you make this if you have a few hours to spare and want a delicious homemade ice cream topping.  It is one of the few recipes I will actually follow and not deviate from.

Hot Fudge Sauce

From Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup cream

Rough chop the chocolate (if you want things to move a tad quicker) and combine with the butter on top of a double boiler…Stir until smooth…look at that buttery, chocolately goodness.

.Add the cocoa powder

and whisk until combined.

With a slotted spoon, gradually stir in the sugar.

This mixture should look and feel like wet sand.

Cook and occasionally stir the wet sand mixture over simmering water for 20 min.

Gradually stir in the milk and cream.

Cook and occasionally stir for 1 hr.

Enjoy over ice cream, brownies, etc.

Stay tuned for what I plan to do with this vat of hot fudge….I personally cannot wait…can you?

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