Archive for Desserts

Aug
01

Fruit Pizza Dessert

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Every year, we get together with family to celebrate all the summer family birthdays. Most years, each person has already had a birthday cake to celebrate on their special day. So, when we finally all get together with aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents, we often do something other than birthday cake for the dessert. Last year, we had chocolate fondue for dessert. This year, I decided to make a dessert pizza with fresh fruit.

It was a busy weekend for us, and I actually decided last minute what I was making, so I took a short cut and used Cherrybrook Kitchen Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Mix for the crust. (FYI: The mix can be made egg-free, dairy-free, and peanut-free.) I combined two mixes to make a 16″ pizza crust. Then, I made a simple cream cheese spread to cover the huge sugar cookie crust, and topped it with slices of fresh fruit. It’s a simple and easy dessert, but very satisfying and pretty. You can use whatever fruit you have available. Make a design with the fruit, like I did, or simply pile it all on.

Gluten-Free Fruit Pizza Dessert

Ingredients:

Sugar Cookie Dough (2 Cherrybrook Kitchen mixes, 1 Cup margarine or Earth Balance dairy-free substitute, 1/2 Cup almond milk, 5 tsp vanilla)
8 oz. cream cheese [I use Tofutti’s dairy-free Cream Cheese to make this dairy-free.]
1/2 Cup powdered sugar, sifted
Variety of fruit, sliced (I used 3 kiwis, a pint of strawberries and a handful of blueberries.)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. Make the sugar cookie crust. Follow the recipe as usual for the sugar cookie dough. (I combined two mixes with 1 Cup melted butter, 1/2 Cup almond milk, and 5 tsp vanilla.)
  3. Place the dough on a large sheet of Parchment Paper and top with a large sheet of plastic wrap. Then roll, or press, out the dough to a 16″ round. Remove the plastic wrap and slide the parchment paper with dough onto a Pizza Pan or cookie sheet.
  4. Place the large cookie dough into the oven, and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until it starts to brown around the edges.
  5. Remove the pizza crust from the oven and let it cool completely on a wire rack. The parchment paper will make it easy to slide the crust off the cookie sheet and onto the wire rack.
  6. Mix up the cream cheese spread by thoroughly mixing together the cream cheese and powdered sugar.
  7. Once the crust is completely cooled, spread the cream cheese/sugar mixture evenly over the top of the crust.
  8. Now add the sliced fruit to the pizza. If you are going to make a fun design, I suggest you start in the middle and work your way out to the edges.
  9. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until time to serve.

Additional Notes:

  • We cut our pizza into 16 large servings.
  • Each Cherrybrook Kitchen Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Mix makes about 20 cookies.
  • One batch of homemade gluten-free sugar cookies works for the crust, too!
  • Feel free to use any variety of fruit: berries, peaches, nectarines, mango, cherries, etc. You can also use bananas, but remember they will brown so add them right before you serve it.
  • Want more fruit? Cut thick slices, overlap the fruit, or just pile it all on. Get creative and have fun!RedWhiteBlue
  • You can also use canned fruit, but be sure to drain any sauce or liquid completely from it, so it doesn’t make the pizza soggy.
  • Some of our family members added a scoop of vanilla ice cream to top their pizza slice. I don’t think it needs any topping, but if it sounds good to you, you may also consider topping with whipped cream, chocolate sauce, or a simple glaze.
  • You don’t have to make this as a round pizza. Use a baking sheet/jelly roll pan for the crust. Then, cut into squares for serving. fruitsquaresOr, halve the recipe, press it into a 9×13 pan, and bake it for about 15-20 minutes.
  • This is such an easy dessert to make, it would be a great project for the kids to make.

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May
22

Brownie Pops Flower Bouquet

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My birthday this week didn’t turn out quite like I expected. I was hoping to spend the morning shopping, but instead had a sick child, and ended up keeping both of my kids home from school. But, although cleaning up vomit is not my idea of fun, it ended up being a pretty good day after all. We slept in late and spent the day in our pajamas watching movies, playing lots of games, creating mosaic art projects, and making brownie pops. Since we had the time, I decided to make the brownies into a fun flower bouquet.  I thought they turned out so cute, I might just use the idea for a teacher gift at the end of the year.

Brownie Pops Flower Bouquet

What You’ll Need:

One GF brownie recipe (Try Gluten-Free Girl’s recipe or a mix from the Gluten-Free Pantry or Betty Crocker.)

Wilton Round Brownie Pop Mold

Brownie Pop Sticks

Cupcake Paper Liners or construction paper for the petals

Directions:

  1. Mix the brownie batter according to the package or recipe instructions.
  2. Lightly spray the pan with oil. Then, fill the pan cavities 3/4 full and bake at the recipe/package recommended temperature.
  3. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until done.
  4. While the brownies are baking, prepare a vase for the brownie pops. I filled a ceramic vase with floral foam to hold the pops in place. You can cover the foam with tissue paper or wrapping paper to make it look prettier.
  5. Cut the cupcake papers to make flower petals. Fold the paper liner in half twice, and cut the bottom out. You can also do this with construction paper, but the cupcake liners are quick and easy.
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  7. When the brownies are done, gently remove them from the pan and let them cool on a rack.
  8. When the brownies have cooled slightly, slide a pop stick into each of the brownies.
  9. If desired, dip the brownies into melted chocolate or candy and let dry completely before putting on the paper petal ring.
  10. If you’re not dipping the brownies into melted candy, simply slide the paper petal ring over the brownie pop and slide a pop stick into one side of the brownies. The stick will help keep the petals in place.
  11. I made 16 brownie pops with one brownie recipe.

Additional Notes:

You can really use your imagination to come up with more ideas on this one.

  • I cut the edges of the paper liners on some of these to make more-defined flower petals. You could also cut petals out of construction paper or wrapping paper for brighter colors.
  • You can dip the brownie pops into a variety of colored candy melts, for a more vibrantly colored flower. Add sprinkles or sugar while the candy is still wet so it sticks.
  • Insert the pop sticks into the brownies at various angles, to give the bouquet some variety.
  • If you don’t have the pop sticks, try Craft Sticks or chop sticks.
  • You can also make these without the sticks. Scallop the edges of the cupcake papers to look like a flower, but don’t cut out the bottom. Then, just place the brownie bites, flat side down, into the cupcake papers. A plate of these brownie flowers would be a great way to offer a treat at a party. And thanks to the papers, no plates or napkins would be needed.
  • These would make a great gift for teacher appreciation, mother’s day, or a flower theme party.

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Mar
26

Chocolate Creme Brulee – Dairy-Free!

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So, if you’ve read my original post about Chocolate Crème Brulée, you’ll know that I discovered this wonderful dessert at the Bonefish Grill. It was so good, I just had to try to recreate it! I thought I did a pretty good job of coming up with a good recipe, though I don’t put in the Grand Marnier that I suspect the restaurant does. It does taste really good, but I find that an hour after eating it, I don’t feel so good. Too much dairy left me feeling bloated and lethargic.

So, when I read that Amy (of Simply Sugar & Gluten Free) was hosting this month’s roundup for ‘Go, Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free’ with a theme of Guiltless Pleasures, I knew what I wanted to submit: A Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Chocolate Creme Brulee recipe.

So, I started re-working my recipe to use coconut milk instead of milk or cream. Creating baked recipes is never easy for me because I am always distracted or interrupted by the phone, kids, schedules, etc. That means that measurements and directions often get messed up — like when I forgot to put the vanilla in, or when I put in whole eggs, instead of separating them like I intended to do. So, a few trials and errors later, I finally got it done.

It has a rich chocolate flavor and is quite satisfying. It is not as smooth and creamy as the original recipe with cream, but this delightful dessert is definitely a guiltless pleasure for me! I haven’t submitted a recipe for ‘Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free’ before, but I am happy to present this recipe as my new Guiltless Pleasure. It’s not exactly an everyday recipe, but one that is easy to prepare, easier on the tummy, and oh so yummy.

Gluten-Free/Dairy-Free Chocolate Crème Brûlée

Ingredients:

1 (15 oz.-can) Coconut milk (Don’t use the “lite” variety.)
3.5 oz. of chocolate (I used a dark bar of 70% cocoa.); finely chopped
5 Egg yolks
1/3 Cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp vanilla

For sugar topping: 2 Tbsp sugar + 2 Tbsp brown sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300° F. Position oven rack in the middle.
  2. Shake up a can of coconut milk. Then pour it into a saucepan and bring it to a simmer over medium heat. (If shaking the can of coconut milk didn’t blend the cream and liquid, be sure to whisk together until evenly blended.) Once the milk is simmering, remove it from the heat and pour in the chopped chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted and blended well with the coconut milk.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Pour a small amount of the hot chocolate mixture into the yolks and thoroughly whisk together. Then, slowly whisk in the rest of the hot chocolate mixture. Continue to whisk together until smooth. (It’s important to do this slowly so you don’t cook the egg yolks with the hot chocolate mixture.)
  4. Whisk in the vanilla, and set aside to cool.
  5. Place four 6-ounce ramekins or custard cups in a baking pan. Fill the ramekins with the chocolate mixture. Then fill the baking pan with water so it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the custard is set. Carefully remove the custards from the water and cool on wire racks. Refrigerate the custards for 6 hours or overnight.
  6. Preheat the broiler. In a small bowl, thoroughly combine 2 TBSP sugar with 2 TBSP brown sugar, breaking up any clumps. Sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly over the tops of the custards.
  7. Broil the custards 2 inches from the heat source for 2-3 minutes to melt the sugar. Watch the custards carefully so that the sugar melts and lightly caramelizes but doesn’t burn. Let it stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Additional Notes:

  • If you have a kitchen torch, you can use that to melt the sugar instead of the broiler.
  • To get the ramekins close enough to the broiler to melt the sugar, I place the ramekins on top of an upside down baking pan and place it on the top rack of the oven.

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Categories : Desserts, Recipes
Comments (17)
Mar
24

Chocolate Eggs in a Cookie Basket

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img_1995xThis is one of my favorite Easter treats to make for the kids. OK, it’s really a treat for me, but don’t tell them that. :o) Chocolate eggs in a “basket” made of chocolate chip cookie dough — what could be better? You will need an Individual Tart Baking Pan (also known as a tartlette pan). You may also be able to use a Mini Muffin Pan or muffin-top pan, but I’ve always used my non-stick tart baking pan. I think it makes just the right shape for the basket.

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Chocolate Eggs in a Cookie Basket

Ingredients:

Chocolate Chip Cookie dough (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix.)
Candy-coated chocolate eggs (I used Cadbury Mini Eggs, but you can use M&M’s Chocolate Eggs, too.)

Directions:

  1. img_1985xxMix up chocolate chip cookie dough according to directions, and drop a large mounded tablespoon of dough into each tart impression in the pan.
  2. Bake cookies in the tart pan according to the recipe directions.
  3. When cooking is done, remove pan of cookies from the oven and press chocolate eggs into the center of each cookie tart. Leave in the pan for 5 minutes.
  4. After 5 minutes, gently remove the cookies from the pan by grabbing the edges of the cookies and pulling out with a slight twisting motion. The pan will still be hot, so be careful not to touch it with your fingers!

Additional Notes:

  • If the cookies start to come apart while trying to remove, they are probably too soft and warm. Let them cool down for a few more minutes. If the cookies won’t move at all, they are probably too cool. Set them back in the oven for a couple minutes to warm them up. They should now release easily from the pan. (I’ve never had to spray my non-stick pan, but if yours isn’t a non-stick type, you may want to use a non-stick spray before dropping the cookie dough onto the pan.)
  • If you can’t get the chocolate eggs, or want to make these for another occasion, try using a different chocolate candy. These are really good with Reese’s Miniature Peanut Butter Cups or Hershey’s Kisses, too!
  • One batch makes about 24.

Notable Links:

Feb
16

Gluten-Free Beignet Recipe

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This winter, our family went to the movie theater to watch Disney’s latest animated film “The Princess and the Frog.” We loved the movie. And, although I haven’t spent a lot of time in New Orleans, I was reminded of the fun times and good food I’ve had there in the past. In the movie, there were scenes where Tiana (“the princess”) makes or powders beignets (pronounced ben-YAYs), a kind of doughnut that was made famous by Cafe du Monde in New Orleans. While watching the scenes, I wondered about making these gluten free. Of course, I couldn’t find a gluten-free recipe, so I had to come up with my own.

I am so excited to share this recipe with you. I’ve never actually eaten a lot of beignets – only when I’ve been at the French Quarter in New Orleans. They really are a delicious treat. If you’re not familiar with them, I would describe them as a square doughnut, or bread dough deep fried into little square pillows, and topped with powdered sugar. They are so yummy! If you aren’t celebrating Mardi Gras with a Gluten-Free King Cake this year, then you should definitely indulge in these little gems.

Gluten-Free Beignet Recipe

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup warm water
1/4 Cup sugar
2 tsp yeast
3/4 Cup almond milk (Regular milk should work, too.)
1/2 Cup butter, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Cups brown rice flour (I use Authentic Foods finely ground.)
1 Cup potato starch
1/2 Cup sweet rice flour
1 Tbsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1 liter vegetable oil for frying beignets
powdered sugar for dusting the beignets after cooking

Directions:

  1. You’ll need a large pot of vegetable oil to fry the beignets. Electric deep fryers are great for keeping the temperature consistent. However, you can use a pot of oil on the stove top, but you’ll need to watch the temperature closely. You should fry the beignets between 360° - 380° F.
  2. Start by combining the yeast with the sugar and the warm water (110° - 115° F is recommended but I don’t usually check the temperature.) in a small bowl. Set it aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the brown rice flour, potato starch, sweet rice flour, xanthan gum, and salt. Add in the melted butter, milk, and eggs and mix thoroughly.
  4. Now stir the yeast mixture into the flour mixture. The dough should start to pull together into a soft ball.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of parchment paper and top with plastic wrap. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it’s about 1/8″ thick.
  6. Using a pizza cutter, cut the beignets into 2-1/2″ squares. You should be able to make 24 – 30 beignets.
  7. Fry the dough in the heated oil 1 – 3 beignets at a time. Don’t fry too many at once, as it can lower the temperature of the oil too fast. Thus, inhibiting the beignets to puff up like they should. Once the beignets start to brown, flip them over using a slotted spoon or tongs. Once the beignets have been lightly browned on both sides, carefully remove them from the oil and place on paper towels to absorb extra oil. The beignets should only take one or two minutes to brown on each side.
  8. Generously top each beignet with powdered sugar and serve while warm.

Additional Notes:

  • These aren’t terribly sweet. Most of the sweetness comes from the powdered sugar, so you can easily adjust it to your liking. You can even drizzle a little honey on it, like my husband did,  if you have a sweet tooth.
  • In case you’re wondering: I didn’t find it necessary to wait and allow the dough to rise. I simply cut them out and fried them up.
  • This dough wasn’t very sticky, so you might be able to roll out the dough without using the parchment paper and plastic wrap, but I find it convenient. A little dusting of potato starch on the counter and rolling pin should work fine.
  • Just roll out the dough once. I tried to re-roll the dough (balled it up and rolled it out again) to cut perfect squares. As a result, the dough fried up flat and a little tougher.
  • Watch the temperature of the oil while frying. If it’s too low, the beignets won’t puff up. If it’s too high, the center won’t cook through and will be a little gummy. If you’re having trouble, try putting two pieces of dough into the oil at a time when it’s at 380° F.
  • Although I don’t believe it’s traditional, I think these would be nice with a little cinnamon mixed into the dough. I might try that next time.
  • In order to save time for breakfast, the traditional meal time to eat these, make up the dough the night before and keep the dough in the refrigerator. In the morning, roll it out, cut it and fry.

Notable Links

  • I did eventually find another recipe for gluten-free beignets. This one by Teri Gruss at About.com uses a cake mix for the flour.
  • There are more tips for cooking beignets at Cafe Du Monde .
  • I’m linking this to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays because I only used 1/4 Cup sugar in the dough and I reduced the lactose content by using almond milk.
  • For more gluten-free recipes, visit The Gluten-Free Homemaker at this week’s edition of “What Can I Eat That’s Gluten Free?
  • Know a fan of Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog”? Here are some coloring/activity pages my daughter has enjoyed.