Friday, July 27, 2012

healthy candy bars


Yes, you heard me right.  I did put the word "healthy" in front of "candy bar."  Crazy!  I came across this recipe and didn't think twice before pinning.  They sounded a lot like the no-bake cookies I remember making as a kid.  Those ones however, are full of butter and sugar.  Not so healthy...but these no-bake bars, are no less decadent and still just as dreamy.

Three baking ingredients that make me smile...chocolate, oats, and peanut butter.  You just can't go wrong when all three are involved in a recipe!  Notice that the use of coconut oil is a MUST.  Not only does it give the candy bars their creaminess, but it adds a nice coconut flavor.  The raw oats stay nice and chewy, which I think is my favorite part.  Promise me you'll keep these treats in the fridge...otherwise they'll melt away on you.  I like to keep them in a ziploc bag, making them quite easy to just grab and go when I needed something sweet!

healthy candy bars

makes 16 bars

  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (gives the creamy texture!)
  • 3/4 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup certified gluten free rolled oats

Line 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper.  In microwavable bowl, stir together peanut butter, honey, and coconut oil.  Microwave for 30 seconds.  Remove and add chocolate chips.  Melt in microwave for another 30 seconds.  Stir until chocolate chips are completely melted.  Stir in oats.  Pour into prepared pan.  Refrigerate until hardened (about an hour).  Cut into bars.  Store in refrigerator.

Recipe adapted from New Nostalgia

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Monday, July 23, 2012

gluten free cinnamon roll muffins


When my husband found out he had celiac disease, the one thing he was most concerned about...his cinnamon rolls.  Every Christmas morning, I bake giant homemade cinnamon rolls.  Kevin looks forward to them all year!  Even though I was scared, I did attempt a few gluten free cinnamon roll recipes.  They turned out quite delicious.  The result...a happy man.

As much as I would love to make him cinnamon rolls every morning, they are very time consuming.  Now that I have made these cinnamon roll muffins, which only have to rise for 15 minutes...I may never go back to regular cinnamon rolls!  You have the yeast so they really do taste like the real thing.  No kneading or rolling needed.  The smell in your house from these baking in the oven is beyond heavenly.  Everything you expect from a warm, gooey cinnamon roll, packed into a muffin.  Genius!

gluten free cinnamon roll muffins

makes 12 muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups Sarah's gluten free flour blend
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons rapid rise yeast
  • 2/3 cup warm milk
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg

filling
  • 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

icing
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Dissolve the yeast in a measuring cup filled with the warmed milk.  Set aside to proof.  In a large bowl, combine flour blend, sugar and salt.  Stir in milk mixture, oil, vanilla and egg into the flour mixture.  Mix until smooth.  Scoop into muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray.  Let rise for 15 minutes.

While the dough rests, mix together butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon until crumbly.  Sprinkle evenly on top of rested dough and press sugar mixture down into the dough with your fingertips.  Place pan into a cold oven, then set the oven temperature to 350 degrees.  Bake for 20 minutes, until muffins golden brown on edges.   Remove from pan and cool for 30 minutes on wire rack.  Whisk together the icing and drizzle over muffins.  Serve warm.  Heat leftover muffins in microwave.

 cinnamon sugar overdose.


Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

gluten free lemon dream cookies


Lemon.  So refreshing and so vibrant.  I have a thing for all things lemon!  Just ask my husband.  He knows that citrus is my favorite scent.  There is just nothing more delightful than the smell of fresh lemon zest.  Don't you agree?  Fresh and clean...a smell to put a smile on your face!

When a recipe calls for lemon zest, I know it's one for me.  Savory or sweet.  Gives any recipe that extra zip and zing that it needs.  These lemon dream cookies are full of tiny, precious specks of lemon zest.  The original recipe was to coat the cookies in powdered sugar.  I tried one out of the oven...and it was already perfect.  No need for the extra sugar.  Looking for a soft, bright and cheerful gluten free cookie?  These are the cookies for you!

gluten free lemon dream cookies

makes 18-20 cookies

  • 1 3/4 cups Sarah's gluten free flour blend
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • zest of 2 small lemons
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup or honey
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt.  In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, lemon zest, sugar, and maple syrup.  Beat until smooth, about 3 minutes.  Add lemon juice.  Slowly add flour mixture and beat until combined.  Roll the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake 10-12 minutes, until just barely golden.  Cool on cookie sheets for a couple minutes, then place on cooling rack.


Recipe adapted from sophistimom

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

gluten free blueberry coffee cake


As you can see from the numerous breakfast recipes I have posted, baking on lazy morning is what I love to do.  The family is up.  Their bellies are empty.  They all know that mom will have something yummy on the table soon.  Now, please don't think I make fresh-baked goodies for breakfast all the time.  It is a treat.  When we have school in the morning and places to be, it's usually a bowl of cereal or hot oatmeal.  Scrambled eggs and fruit make an appearance too.  Sometimes there are a few complaints...but seriously, this isn't a bed and breakfast!

I get really excited when I bake something that is low-fat.  I made this blueberry coffee cake and was quite proud to say that the only added fat is 2 tablespoons of butter in the crumb topping.  Everything is better with butter, even it's only a little bit.  The crumb topping doesn't disappoint either.  It's a perfect crunchy compliment to the blueberry-filled cake.  I used fat-free ricotta, which keeps the cake light and moist.  Do you hate the word "moist" like I do?  I don't like using it, but what other word is there?  If you have one, let me know.  In the meantime, bake up this low-fat blueberry coffee cake for that special someone.

gluten free blueberry coffee cake

serves 9

  • 1 1/2 cups Sarah's gluten free flour blend
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup fat-free ricotta
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries  

crumb topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 8-inch square or round baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl.  In a separate large mixing bowl, combine ricotta and eggs.  Add flour to ricotta mixture and stir until almost combined.  Gently fold in blueberries.  Spread batter in prepared baking dish.

In small bowl, mix together sugar, flour and cold butter with a fork until crumbly.  Sprinkle over cake batter.  Bake in oven for 30-34 minutes until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Cool cake until ready to serve. 
 

Recipe adapted from Panda the Baker

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

gluten free peanut butter granola bars


I'm always trying to come up with new, healthy snacks for my kids.  Homemade.  Made with love.  Granola bars are a great snack to take on the go, but the ones you buy in the store, are full of sugar and completely unnecessary ingredients.  I don't know about you, but I like to know exactly what my kids are eating.  Their tiny bellies need to be full of good, quality food.  A happy, healthy child makes a mama happy too!

Kaden and I made a batch of peanut butter granola bars and this is what we came up with.  They are oh so chewy!  There is no added fat, except for the natural oil in the peanut butter.  A little honey and brown sugar adds the perfect sweetness.  I used walnuts this time around, but you most certainly could go with peanuts, almonds or sunflower seeds would be a crunchy addition too!  When I asked if we should add mini chocolate chips, the answer was of course, "yes!"  A little warning...when you give a toddler one of these peanut butter granola bars, you are going to end up with a sticky, chocolaty face!

gluten free peanut butter granola bars

makes 14 bars

  • 2 1/2 cups certified gluten free rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (you can use any nuts you like!)
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In large mixing bowl, combine oats and chopped walnuts.  Set aside.  Mix together peanut butter, honey, brown sugar, salt, and vanilla in microwavable bowl.  Place in microwave and melt for 30 seconds, stir and microwave for another 30 seconds.

Pour peanut butter mixture over oats.  Stir until all oats are coated well.  Sprinkle on the chocolate chips and toss gently.  Pour mixture into greased 9x13 pan.  Place in oven and bake for 15-20, until edges are golden brown.  Let cool completely to set, 1-2 hours.  Cut into bars. 

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Saturday, July 7, 2012

gluten free peach cobbler


I have a love/hate relationship with the summer months.  As much as I love swimming, playing in the backyard with my kids, popsicles, and barbecues with friends...I am not a fan of turning on my oven in the horrible 100 degree heat.  The air conditioning has a battle with the blazing hot oven in my kitchen.  My passion for baking doesn't go away, I just don't like to mix baking with sweating.  Yuck.  However, my heart sings for all of the yummy summer desserts that make their way into my life this time of year!

Whats a girl to do with fresh peaches from the farmer's market?  Make a peach cobbler, of course!  This is a Sarah Bakes original recipe.  I'm quite proud of this one too!  There is an abundance of juicy, sweet peaches with a hint of cinnamon.  The biscuit topping is fluffy, buttery, with a nice crust from the raw sugar.  My family was happy with mama when I served it with a big scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.  I personally love to enjoy my cobbler for breakfast.  Dessert for breakfast.  It's a good thing.  A very good thing.

gluten free peach cobbler

serves 6

  • 8-10 peaches, pealed, pitted and sliced
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup Sarah' gluten free flour blend
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, chilled
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons raw turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Top pealed and sliced peaches with 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon in medium bowl.  Toss gently to combine.  Let sit for 10 minutes.

In separate bowl, mix together flour blend, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Cut in chilled butter to resemble course meal.  Pour in buttermilk.  Mix until dough comes together.  Pour peaches into 8x8 square or oval baking dish.  Drop biscuit topping by the tablespoon on top of peaches.  Sprinkle on turbinado sugar.  Bake in oven for 30-35 minutes, or until biscuits are golden brown and peaches are bubbly.  Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.


tender biscuit topping.  
gluten free at it's finest!

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Friday, July 6, 2012

nutella yogurt fruit dip


Sometimes I just need a chocolate fix.  It doesn't always have to be an actual piece of rich, dark chocolate, but it needs to satisfy that longing for chocolatey goodness.  A fresh chocolate chip cookie does the trick.  A cup of chocolate coconut milk ice cream is always refreshing.  But then there are times where I want a quilt-free chocolate indulgence...what ever shall I do?

When I saw this recipe for Nutella yogurt fruit dip, I was quite intrigued.  As you know, I always have the Costco-size container of Fage Total 0% Greek yogurt in my fridge.  I've now made this yogurt dip with both Nutella, as well as Trader Joe's Cocoa Almond Spread.  Both recipes were heavenly!  A chocolaty and tangy fruit dip.  Pairs beautifully with ripe, juicy strawberries.  It's the easiest recipe around, with only two ingredients.  Great for your next party or to serve your kids with their fruit at lunch-time.  Everyone will gobble it right up!

nutella yogurt fruit dip

makes 8 servings


In small bowl, mix together yogurt and Nutella until completely combined.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator until ready to serve.  Enjoy with your favorite fresh fruit!

mommy's afternoon snack.

nutella yogurt dip and strawberry tower.
made for my sister's bridal shower...so beautiful!

Recipe adapted from The Family Kitchen

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Thursday, July 5, 2012

gluten free apple cinnamon pancakes


Nothing gets my family to the table for breakfast faster than a big plate of pancakes.  They are everyone's favorite.  When I ask Kyri and Kaden what they want for breakfast, it's always "pancakes!"  Now that I have my favorite gluten free yogurt pancake recipe, it brings me great joy to bring a smile to my kid's face...through their tiny tummies.

We went to the farmers market and I brought home these 2 giant green apples.  I was back in the kitchen the next moring, ready to make breakfast for the gang.  I thought to myself, "Oooh, how about apple cinnamon pancakes?"  Yes.  The decision was made.  I found this simple recipe on pinterest for apple cinnamon pancakes.  I replaced 1/2 cup of the milk with yogurt and used my gluten free flour blend.  They have a double-dose of apple with both applesauce and grated apple.  Pure maple syrup is the perfect compliment to these apple cinnamon pancakes!  Enjoy!
 

gluten free apple cinnamon pancakes

makes 6-8 pancakes

  • 1 1/4 cups Sarah's gluten free flour blend
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 apple, peeled and grated
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

In medium bowl, whisk together flour blend, brown sugar, baking powder, salt,  and cinnamon.  Mix together together milk, yogurt, applesauce, egg and oil.  Pour into the flour mixture and stir until combined.   Mix in the grated apples.

Heat large skillet to low-medium heat.  Spray pan with cooking spray or a little canola oil.  Add 1/3 cup of batter to pan.  If pan is large enough, you can cook a couple pancakes at a time.  Cook until bubbles start to form on the top and bottom is lightly browned.  Carefully flip with a spatula and cook the second side until golden brown, a couple minutes more.  Serve warm, with butter and pure maple syrup.


Recipe adapted from What Megan's Making

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Monday, July 2, 2012

gluten free pizza crust


Who says you can't have pizza when you can't have gluten?  It took me a while to get the courage to try out a gluten free crust.  I was scared.  My greatest fear was that it would taste like cardboard.  We had tried a few gluten free pizzas at local restaurants and were not impressed.  So expensive for paper thin crust.  I just had to make a tasty, gluten free pizza right at home. 

My dear friend Kerri, gave me this recipe for a gluten free, yeast free pizza crust.  Being that there was no yeast, I was a little skeptical.  However, I LOVE that this crust doesn't have to rise.  I can have pizza on the table in no time!  The secret ingredient...sparkling mineral water.  Works like yeast so it's a must in this crust.  I added honey to the recipe, which really helps to keep the crust chewy.  I also add dried Italian herbs and grated parmesan cheese.  Everything is better with more cheese.  Am I right?  This crust may not be your typical thick, yeast dough...but it is tasty, has great texture, and satisfies your deepest desire for a fresh-baked pizza!

In our house, we like to top our pizza with a basic tomato sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, and fresh veggies.  I just use whatever I have in the fridge.  My kids love mushrooms and onions.  Weird, but so awesome.  Spinach and artichokes are two of my favorites.  Turkey pepperoni or chicken sausage adds great flavor too!  Be creative.  Get your kids in the kitchen and let them help.  Have a family pizza-making night.  This pizza crust is a great canvas for a delicious meal to enjoy with those you love!

gluten free pizza crust

makes one 14" pizza

  • 2 cups Sarah's gluten free flour blend
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups plain sparkling water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Prepare pizza stone/pan by brushing on a little olive oil.  In large mixing bowl, whisk together flour blend, baking powder, herbs, cheese and salt.  Pour in sparkling water, honey, and olive oil.  Stir until just combined.  Spread dough onto baking stone with rubber spatula or wet hands to smooth dough out.  Pre-bake for 20-22 minutes, until slightly golden (you will continue to bake after you add the sauce/toppings).

Remove crust from oven.  Let cool slightly.  Top pre-baked pizza crust with your favorite sauce, cheese, and toppings.  Return to oven and continue to bake for 10-12 minutes until bubbly and delicious!

 baked to perfection.

the crust is crispy on the bottom and soft in the middle.  so good!

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Sunday, July 1, 2012

gluten free banana muffins


How much do I love these banana muffins, let me count the ways.  They are super moist.  They taste just like a banana muffin should taste.  Oh, and you can't eat just one.  I started making these muffins before going gluten free and I knew I had to give them a try with my flour blend.  I must say, they are even better than the gluten-filled version!  They are light and fluffy, full of fresh banana flavor.  The addition of the Greek yogurt adds to the moistness factor.  I think I need to go make another batch right now!

I have shared this banana muffin recipe with many friends.  It is always a hit no matter where I take them!  No one can ever tell they are gluten free.  I'm sneaky like that.  When I make them for the kids (or my mom friends), I like to add mini chocolate chips.  There is something magical about the combination of banana and chocolate.  Just add 1 cup mini chocolate chips to the recipe if you would like.  I also love these as mini muffins too.  So cute and the perfect bite.  Whenever I need a quick morning snack for my family, these are my go-to muffin recipe!

gluten free banana muffins

makes 18 muffins

  • 2 cups Sarah's gluten free flour blend
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 3 bananas, very ripe
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.  Sift flour, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.  In large mixing bowl, mash bananas until no large pieces remain.  Mix in sugar, eggs, and oil.  Add yogurt and vanilla.  Stir until combined.  Fold in flour mixture.  Pour batter into greased muffin tins, filling 2/3 full.  Bake 18-20 minutes, until golden brown.  Remove from pan and cool on cooling rack.  


Recipe adapted from Food Network

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