Archive for Desserts

Feb
09

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Candy

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This month I’ve been experimenting with chocolate-covered macadamia nuts. I made three different versions: Easy, Delicious, and Addictive! Plus, some heart-shaped ones for Valentine’s Day. Let me start with the easy recipe:

Easy Chocolate-Covered Macadamia Nuts

Ingredients:

Whole Raw Macadamia Nuts
Dark Cocoa Candy Melts

You’ll also need a Truffles Candy Mold.

Directions:

  1. Melt chocolate candy melts in the microwave. Start by melting at half power for about two minutes. Then, put in for another minute at a time to finish melting.
  2. Fill about a third of each candy truffle mold with the melted chocolate. Push a nut into the melted chocolate in the mold. Then, finish filling the candy mold with more melted chocolate. Tap the mold on the counter to release any air bubbles.
  3. Place the mold in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Then, pull it out of the refrigerator, turn it upside down and pop the candies out.

Additional Notes:

  • The candy melts are so easy to work with, and they make very pretty, shiny candies. However, it isn’t as tasty as using good chocolate. (That doesn’t mean they didn’t disappear as quickly as I made them.)
  • For melting the candy melt discs, I used a plastic squeeze bottle.  It made it easy to melt the candy  and fill the candy mold. You can keep the bottle in a bowl of warm water to keep the chocolate warm while you’re filling the candy molds with nuts. Or, just pop it back into the microwave for a minute or two, if necessary.
  • You can, of course, melt the chocolate on the stove with a double boiler. Just be careful not to get any water into the chocolate, as it can make the chocolate seize.

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Delicious Chocolate-Covered Macadamia Nuts

For an even better tasting candy, instead of raw macadamia nuts, I used Elana’s recipe for candied macadamia nuts at Elana’s Pantry. It’s a pretty quick and easy recipe, and is a very tasty treat by itself. But, the sweetness of the agave nectar combined with the salt, and then roasted in the oven gives this chocolate candy another tasty layer which is delicious!

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Best Tasting, Addictive Chocolate-Covered Macadamia Nuts

For the best tasting chocolate covered macadamia nuts, use the candied macadamia nuts and use real dark chocolate! Using real chocolate just makes these even better. In order to get the best looking results, too, you’ll have to temper your chocolate. I’m still trying to perfect the tempering process, but even if it doesn’t work for you it will be delicious! It just may not be as pretty. Un-tempered chocolate also has a tendency to bloom at room temperature. So, if you don’t temper your chocolate, eat them right away or store in the refrigerator.

Valentine’s Day Treats
So, for Valentine’s Day, I made some of these with heart-shaped molds. I couldn’t find any candy molds that were deep enough to accommodate the macadamia nuts, so I used these silicone gelatin/ice cube molds I found at the dollar store.

Related Links:


Healthy Snacks with NutsOnline!

Categories : Desserts, Holidays, Recipes
Comments (11)

IMG_4859xWith the first yummy taste of these, I knew I had to share this recipe with you. Just look at how quick and easy it is to have a chocolate dessert or snack ready.

I made these Chocolate Mini-Muffins for my daughter to take to school to share with her classmates. I  intended to make banana muffins, but didn’t have any ripe bananas. So, this is what I came up with at the last minute. I guess I should call them cupcakes because that’s really what they are. But, I didn’t frost them like cupcakes. I was trying to keep them from being too sweet. It didn’t matter to anyone in our house that they weren’t frosted, the muffins disappeared very fast! I did, however, manage to save a few of them to see how they would last. Thanks to the pumpkin, they were still moist after sitting on the counter (in a sealed container) for a few days.

I’m linking this to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays this week because the pumpkin adds to this treat a good amount of vitamin A, but adds no saturated fat or trans fat. And, no egg, oil or milk is needed to bake these; the pumpkin provides all the moisture needed. That’s good news for our friends with additional food allergies, too.

Chocolate Pumpkin Mini-Muffins made with Betty Crocker’s Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake Mix

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Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Combine the ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  2. Scoop batter into a Mini-Muffin Pan with paper liners or lightly sprayed with oil. You can also bake these on a flat baking sheet. Just place scoops of batter onto a baking sheet lightly greased or lined with parchment paper.
  3. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes at 350° F.

Additional Notes:

  • Makes about 36 mini muffins.
  • No need to add egg, milk, oil, or anything else.
  • I used 1-1/3 cups pumpkin because I had it leftover from a pumpkin pie I made. You could probably use 1 Cup, but I wouldn’t try a whole can (15 oz.) of pumpkin.
  • The batter is very thick, so you can’t pour it into the muffin pans. I used a small cookie scoop, which gave it a round shape. Baking it did not make it spread. It actually kept its shape on a flat baking sheet.
  • Please note that these do not have a strong pumpkin flavor. I used the canned, plain, solid pack 100% pumpkin. I also didn’t add any pumpkin pie spices. You could certainly do that if you’re wanting more of that flavor. But, if you do want a pumpkin-flavored muffin, I would try it with Betty Crocker’s Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix and add in some pumpkin pie spices.
  • When I make these with chocolate chips, my kids think they taste like brownies.

Ready to get baking? If you need one of these cake mixes, why not enter the giveaway of the Betty Crocker gluten-free dessert mixes I posted last week.

Comments (13)

IMG_4852xSomething I usually make during the holiday season is Poppy Seed Bread. Although the poppy seed bread is cooked in a small loaf pan, it is really a cake. In my mind it’s too sweet and fine-textured to be considered a bread. But, we slice it like bread, and tradition says we call it bread.

Every year, my mom makes Poppy Seed Bread to give to friends and co-workers for the holidays. I, too, have continued this tradition. This year, rather than making it from scratch, I decided to take the easy way and use Betty Crocker’s Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix. I was a little concerned about the amounts, but was pleasantly surprised at how well it turned out. I added some flavorings and poppy seeds to the mix, as well as eggs, milk and oil. It made a very nice poppy seed cake that I then covered with a thin, sweet glaze.

These cakes can be made up in advance and frozen until time to give them away for the holidays. Once I’ve made the cakes and let them cool completely, I wrap each one individually with plastic wrap. Then, I place them in a zip-style plastic bag. Sealed like this, you can keep them in the refrigerator for at least a week, or in the freezer for several weeks. They will defrost quite quickly at room temperature. Or, defrost them in the refrigerator overnight.

Poppy Seed Bread Made With Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix

Ingredients:

For the Cake:
1 box Betty Crocker Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix
3 eggs
2/3 Cup milk
1/2 Cup vegetable oil
1 TBSP poppy seeds
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp butter flavoring
1 tsp almond flavoring

For the Glaze:
1/2 Cup powdered sugar
1/4 Cup granulated sugar
1/4 Cup orange juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp butter flavoring
1 tsp almond flavoring

Directions:

  1. IMG_4813xIn a medium mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Then add in the remaining cake ingredients (cake mix, milk, oil, poppy seeds, vanilla extract, butter flavoring and almond flavoring). Mix until thoroughly blended.
  2. Pour into greased, small/mini loaf pans. (I use an oil spray, but you can use butter or shortening.)
  3. Bake for 40-50 minutes at 350° F.
  4. Once baked, remove from the oven and cool in the pans on a cooling rack for 5 minutes.
  5. IMG_4815xWhile the cakes are cooling, make the glaze. Combine all the glaze ingredients and mix well.
  6. Pour the glaze over each cake (still warm in the pan). Let it sit for 5 minutes, then remove and let it cool completely on racks.

Additional Notes:

  • I made three small loaves with this recipe, but probably could’ve made two slightly larger loaves. This recipe will also make one full-size loaf.
  • IMG_4818xI used the small, or sometimes called mini, aluminum foil loaf pans (about 3.5″ x 6″ x 2″h) you find in the grocery stores. I’ve used them over and over, washing each time in the dishwasher. If you’re wanting a more permanent solution, try these Mini Loaf Pans.
  • For presenting these as gifts, I usually keep the bread wrapped in plastic wrap and then tie it with a nice festive ribbon. For more color, you can use colored plastic wrap that is easy to find during the holidays. Sometimes I will also put the bread in a clear plastic gift bag, or treat bag and then tie with a nice ribbon. You can also use colored cellophane to wrap it, and tie with ribbon at both ends. It all just depends on how and when you want to present it.
  • If not giving these away as gifts, put them in the freezer. Then the night before Thanksgiving or Christmas, put them into the refrigerator to defrost overnight. By morning it will be a nice treat to eat for breakfast, or maybe a snack while opening stockings, with a cup of tea.

For more edible gift ideas, be sure to visit Cents To Get Debt Free. I’m a little late to the blog carnival, so there are already plenty of other great ideas for edible gifts. Please be aware that some of the contributions at the carnival may not be gluten-free, but there are still plenty that are GF and other good ideas that could be modified to be GF.

Oct
19

Banana Coffee Cake Revised Recipe

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IMG_4569xI’ve been intrigued by the blog carnival Slightly Indulgent Mondays at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free. I love the idea of changing your recipes to be a little healthier than they were before. Especially if they still taste as wonderful as they did before. So, I decided to try changing my recipe for Banana Coffee Cake.

For starters, I reduced the sugar in the cake by a 1/4 cup. I didn’t even miss it. Next, I removed the dairy from the recipe. Although I’m lactose intolerant, I usually cook with whole milk. I take any opportunity to get more calories into my son. Since my son doesn’t eat the coffee cake (don’t ask me why), I figured I’d try replacing the cow’s milk with almond milk. I also replaced the butter in the recipe, but I didn’t have a good, low-fat alternative. I used shortening with butter flavor. I’m not sure that’s a healthier option. :) However, I did meet my goal of reducing sugar and eliminating the lactose.

The results: it was even better. The texture was perfect — moist and soft, but not gummy. And I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t miss the sugar. I loved the coffee cake. Just like the original cake, it lasted on the counter for a few days without drying out or getting crumbly. Here’s the revised recipe:

Banana Coffee Cake – Revised Recipe

Ingredients:

Filling Layer:
1/2 Cup brown sugar, packed
1 TBSP shortening, melted
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Cake Batter:
1/2 Cup shortening, softened
3/4 Cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 Cup brown rice flour
1/2 Cup cornstarch
1/4 Cup tapioca starch
1 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 or 2 very ripe bananas, mashed (about 2/3 Cup)
1/3 Cup almond milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare  a 9″ cake pan or 8 x 8 baking pan by spraying with oil.
  2. Mix together the filling ingredients and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together shortening and sugar. Add egg and beat well.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (brown rice flour, cornstarch, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt) and then mix into the shortening/sugar/egg mixture.
  5. Add bananas and almond milk. Stir well.
  6. Pour all but about a cup of the batter into the cake pan.
  7. Spoon in the filling and gently spread it over the top. It doesn’t need to be smooth and even.
  8. Pour or spoon on the remaining batter over the filling. It doesn’t need to cover the filling completely.
  9. Bake at 350° F for 40-45 minutes.

Additional Notes:

  • You can also add chopped nuts to the filling.
  • This cake also freezes well. I have wrapped and frozen individual portions, so that we can take out one at a time and heat it in the microwave. Great morning treat to grab-and-go on the way to the office.

Notable Links:

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Categories : Breakfast, Desserts, Recipes
Comments (14)
Oct
07

Banana Coffee Cake

Posted by: | Comments (11)

I also have a revised recipe for this coffee cake that is dairy-free and uses slightly less sugar.

IMG_3831xThis is not your typical coffee cake. Thanks to the banana in the recipe, it is very moist and stays that way even after a couple days. Great for breakfast, brunch, and snacking. I’m submitting it to The Gluten-Free Homemaker for a blog carnival of gluten-free breakfast foods. So, if you’re looking for more gluten-free breakfast ideas, check out this week’s edition of “What Can I Eat That’s Gluten-Free?”

Banana Coffee Cake

Ingredients:

Filling Layer:
1/2 Cup brown sugar, packed
1 TBSP butter, melted
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Cake Batter:
1/2 Cup butter, softened
1 Cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 Cup brown rice flour
1/2 Cup cornstarch
1/4 Cup tapioca starch
1 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 or 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 Cup milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare  a 9″ cake pan by spraying with oil.
  2. Mix together the filling ingredients and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add egg and beat well.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (brown rice flour, cornstarch, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt) and then mix into the butter/sugar/egg mixture.
  5. Add bananas and milk. Stir well.
  6. Pour about 3/4 of the batter into the cake pan.
  7. Spoon in the filling and gently spread it over the top. It doesn’t need to be smooth and even.
  8. Pour the remaining batter over the filling. It doesn’t need to cover the filling completely.
  9. Bake at 350° F for 40-45 minutes.

Additional Notes:

  • This also works in a 8×8 baking pan.
  • You can also add chopped nuts to the filling.
  • This cake also freezes well. I have wrapped and frozen individual portions, so that we can take out one at a time and heat it in the microwave. Great morning treat to grab-and-go on the way to the office.
  • You may also want to consider this gluten-free recipe for breakfast meetings, tea parties, baby showers, bridal showers, etc.
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Categories : Breakfast, Desserts, Recipes
Comments (11)