Cookies · Gluten-Free

Gluten-Free Ginger Cookies

I enjoy getting stretched in my cooking and baking skills. When more and more people have food allergies, it can be a challenge to have snacks or meals in which everyone can partake. Several people in my small group Bible study have a gluten intolerance, so I’ve been challenged to find recipes they can enjoy.

While on vacation I stumbled across a cookbook called, Skinny Southern Baking, by Laura Lyn Carter.

From breads to cakes, this book has it all. The thing that attracted me to her recipes was that there is no strange ingredients like xanthan gum. Of course you use gluten-free flours, but that’s the only extra ingredient needed, for the most part.

I tried my first recipe a couple weeks ago and got rave reviews from not only the gluten-free snackers, but also from others who wanted to try them!

Laura’s recipe for her cookies is here.

Some notes regarding this recipe:

  • She doesn’t give the yield on her recipes, which I like to know. This recipe will yield 2 dozen.
  • I did make one addition to the recipe – I rolled the cookie dough in coarse sugar before baking. I think the crunch of the sugary outside helped the texture of the almond flour.
  • She uses refined sugars; I used normal granulated sugar instead. Almond flour isn’t cheap, so I didn’t feel like I also wanted to add the expense of refined sugar. It’s totally up to you, but it won’t change the taste of the cookie!

If you don’t need a Gluten-Free cookie, please try this recipe for our FAVORITE Ginger Cookies (pictured below). They are my husband’s favorite cookie in the world (okay, maybe in Tennessee!). They are perfection! They taste every bit as good as a pricey cookie we purchase at a bakery nearby!

Other options I’ve shared for Gluten-Free treats can be found here,

here and here.

Does your family deal with food allergies? Do you have a favorite “go-to” cookbook or site you use?

dessert · Easter · Gluten-Free · Weight watchers

Crustless Mini Cheesecakes

I grew up in a home where most evenings we had dessert at the end of the meal. It wasn’t something huge like a triple-layered cake, but just a little something sweet. I still enjoy ending the meal with a taste of something sweet.

Small, individual desserts are perfect for a “just enough” serving size! Weight Watchers has a cheesecake recipe that I’ve tweaked a little to come up with a dessert we love!

I bake these individual cheesecakes in small tins I purchased on Amazon. They look like these…

They’re truly the perfect size if you’re wanting to watch your calories, but still enjoy something sweet. I bake them without any crust, then give my guests the option of sprinkling chocolate covered graham crackers on the top. It serves as an inverted crust! Then I top them with fruit, light Cool Whip and chocolate shavings. Wow. They are so good! Here’s the recipe:

Crustless Cheesecakes
3/4 Cup Plain low-fat yogurt
8 oz. Low-fat Cream Cheese
2 Eggs
2/3 Cup sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
Light Cool Whip
Fresh berries
Chocolate shavings
Chocolate Graham Crackers, crumbled

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place small baking tins on a baking sheet. Spray lightly with cooking spray. You could also use a cupcake tin if you don’t have the tins. If you use the tin, line them with cupcake liners.

2. Using an electric mixer, beat together yogurt, cream cheese, eggs, sugar and vanilla. Spoon evenly into baking tins. Bake until top is set, 15-20 minutes; let cool and then chill in refrigerator 2 hours (can make up to 2 days ahead).

3. To serve, slide a knife around the edge of the cheesecake and invert onto a serving plate. Serve with fresh berries, Cool whip and chocolate shavings on top. You can also add the chocolate covered graham crackers on top, if desired.

You could also serve these in their little tins for an easy “pick up and go” dessert. Here’s one just with Cool Whip and chocolate. Not a bad combo!

I’m not sure about the WW points on these, but the version with a crust are 7 points, so if you don’t add the crackers, I’d think it would be one or two points lower! I’ve eaten these in moderation with good success (no weight gain).

These make a great dessert for guests. They aren’t strange in any way with artificial sweeteners – they’re just lighter due to no crust and lightened cream cheese. These would be perfect for Easter, perhaps serving them with fresh blueberries and a little lemon zest on top! Give them a try and tell me if you loved them as much as we did!

Anyone else enjoy having dessert after dinner?

Dinner · Fast meal · Gluten-Free · vegetarian

Colorful Sheet Pan Dinner

If you haven’t gotten on the Sheet Pan dinner Chuck wagon train yet, what are you waiting for? I have been making these for a couple of years now. Everything is tossed onto a large baking pan and roasted in the oven. You can make them to suit your dietary needs and your family’s tastes. They’re hearty and delicious and fast!

We’ve recently had new friends come to dinner who are Vegan. I didn’t see this as an obstacle, but rather a challenge to get creative! Vegetables are an obvious “Yes” for Vegans, so I knew this Sheet Pan dinner would be safe.

If you want to add meat to this, some good options would be chicken breast filets, cubed, or Turkey sausage – both which would be added early to the pan. Then you add the vegetables that don’t require as much cooking time. If you wanted to add shrimp, you could cook the vegetables, then add the shrimp for the last few minutes.

The version I made yesterday for our Vegan friend had Chick Peas, which adds some protein. When it came out of the oven, I tasted it and felt like it needed a little bit more flavor, so I added a little vinaigrette. I’ll add that recipe on the recipe below. This is also a great side dish to a meat – so don’t think this is just Vegan-friendly!

My Menu:
Colorful Sheet Pan Dinner
Pork Tenderloin (for the meat-eaters)
Kale Salad – From Sam’s Club
Sour Dough Bread
Lemon Sorbet with fresh berries

Colorful Sheet Pan Dinner

  • 1 lb. baby red potatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 ½ cups petite baby carrots or sliced carrots
  • 1 can (14oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon of EACH dried basil, dried thyme, dried oregano (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb. asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into thirds
  • ½ large red onion, sliced lengthwise
  • mineral salt & fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, silpat or lightly grease with cooking spray. Add the potatoes, onions, carrots and chickpeas to the center, drizzle with half the oil and most of the herb & spice mixture, toss well to coat. Every ten minutes I turned the vegetables over with a spatula to ensure even browning. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until tender.
  2. Remove the pan from the oven, add the asparagus, add the remaining oil and herb/spice mix, toss to coat, as shown above right. Place back in the oven and roast for 7-8 minutes.

Let cool and serve with sliced avocado and plenty of parsley sprinkled over top.

Dressing I added:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp  paprika
    Mix in small jar. Pour over cooked vegetables

Jump on board and make a Sheet pan dinner this week! It’s so delicious!

Cookies · dessert · Fast dessert · Gluten-Free

White Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats

What makes a cookie a “Christmas” cookie? In my opinion, it’s simply the tradition of making it only at Christmastime. I have many recipes like that. It just wouldn’t feel right to make them in July! Aurey Nutballs, and Raspberry Jam Shortbreads are two such cookies. We love them and we eat them at Christmas. Period.

But then there are cookies that you make for Christmas and you realize that there’s no way and no reason to relegate these only to holiday baking.

Say hello to my White Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats.

I didn’t realize how much I like Rice Krispie treats until I made these. Oh my goodness! I just kept dreaming about them inside the cookie tin in the pantry!

Okay, these have red and green sprinkles, but during the other 11 months of the year, you could either use sprinkles that would be non-holiday, suited to the current holiday (Valentine’s, Easter, patriotic, etc), or you could leave the sprinkles out. What makes these a notch above all other Rice Krispie Treats is the addition of white chocolate! These are just heavenly. Here’s the simple recipe:

White Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats
Ingredients

  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 10 oz marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 6 cups Rice Krispie Cereal
  • Sprinkles

Instructions:
Melt the butter in a large saucepan

Once the butter is melted add in the marshmallows and white chocolate, mix on medium-low heat until fully melted.

Remove the melted marshmallow mixture from the heat and add in the cereal and sprinkles.

Mix until fully combined.

Run your hands under water and leave them a little damp before rolling out the treats. This will help them not stick to your hands! Spoon some of the mixture onto a spoon then roll into balls. Place on waxed paper to cool and set up.

We all found these to be absolutely addictive. Get your Valentine sprinkles out in a couple weeks and make some of these with your children or grandchildren. They make a lot and trust me, you will be so happy about that!

Any other Rice Krispie fans out there? Have you tried them with white chocolate?

Make every day a holiday with these yummy treats!

Cookies · Easy recipe · Gluten-Free

Easiest Ever Four-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

I’ve been making these simple Peanut Butter cookies for years, because:
1) They only require four ingredients
2) They taste like the “regular” Peanut Butter Cookie recipe
3) They’re all ingredients I almost ALWAYS have on hand. That means I know I can always whip up a batch if I need a fast, easy treat.

I recently made these into bite-sized treats so I could have a taste of dessert with only 33 calories, but you could make them any size you’d like! You could also add mini chocolate chips or peanuts for some variety.

My mini size look like little buttons! So cute and so yummy!

Easiest Ever Peanut Butter Cookies

1 Cup Peanut butter, smooth or crunchy
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until creamed together. For small cookies, place one teaspoon batter onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
If you want the identifiable crisscross pattern, dip a fork in granulated sugar and press lightly in each direction.
Bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on baking sheet 10 minutes, then place on cooling rack to cool completely.
Yield: 60 mini cookies

I popped them into a Ziplock bag and put them in the freezer. When I’m ready for a treat, I put one in the microwave for 30 seconds.

Add a glass of milk to these treats and you have a delicious snack or dessert!

Is this old recipe in your files? If not, I hope you’ll give them a try! They’re as delicious as they are simple!