Chocolate Macaroons, Naturally Gluten-Free

Nearly all macaroon recipes I've ever made have no wheat. This is one of my favorites. It's chocolaty, with a soft and chewy center, and fairly easy to make. I found it on allrecipes.com a few years ago, and have made it over and over again. If you're not a fan of coconut - no worries. There's so much chocolate in these that the coconut definitely takes a back seat in the flavor category. I used Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips - on sale this week several places so I stocked up. They are my favorite chips.

OK - so it's not the prettiest cookie on the block, but it's nothing that a light dusting of powdered sugar can't fix... which is what I plan on doing before serving these at an up coming event. For now - into the freezer they go, right next to the pretty cookies :-)

Gluten-free Chocolate Macaroons


  • 3 Egg Whites (room temperature best, but not required)
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 3/4 cup White Sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups Shredded Coconut, unsweetened
  • 1 1/4 cups Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Nuts (Almonds or Walnuts are good)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla

Preheat oven to 325F degrees.
  1. Melt chocolate in double-boiler (aka bowl over simmering water) and let cool.
  2. Using an electric hand mixer whip the egg whites until foamy. Then slowly add salt and sugar a little at a time, until the mixture stands in peaks (about 5 minutes).
  3. Gently stir in the Vanilla.
  4. Gently fold in the chocolate, coconut, and nuts until completely blended.
  5. Scoop (about a heaping tablespoon) the dough about 2 inches apart onto parchment-lined cookie sheets. Use your fingers to shape them into a dome.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  7. Let cookies cool on cookie sheet for about 5 minutes before carefully moving to cooling rack.

The cookies will be soft until completely cooled. Makes 3 to 4 dozen cookies, depending on size.

Note: the dough may become dry and crumbly while you're working with it. Just press it together with your hands to form the domes and they will hold together.

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Halloween Cupcakes?

You bet! Who says Halloween has to be scary?? Thank you Martha Stewart! 300 mini-cupcakes baked and decorated by a team of 4 of us, ready for the big neighborhood Halloween Party! Made some Gluten-free for the kids who might not be able to have gluten. I think we're covered!

We used her Butter Cupcake recipe and got about 85 mini-cupcakes out of a single batch!

Bring on the kids!

Happy Halloween!

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Gluten-free Blueberry Peach Crumb Bars

...or buh bye to summer.

The last of the peaches (white peaches actually), mixed with blueberries and baked up in crumb bar. I found several different recipes for wheat -based fruit crumb bars online, and took a little from each, and then made it gluten-free. This is different from the Peach crisp I a few months ago, because it has a soft cookie-like base. It came out quite good.

TIP: When I have to work cold butter into flour, I like to quickly grate it into the flour using the largest grater size on a box grater. This works even better with frozen butter. You do have to work quickly if you do it this was because the butter becomes warm quickly as you're holding it. But you can also cut the butter into small pieces, and work it into the flour. Either way, it does take a few minutes to get it to a fairly fine consistency.

Pressing the dough into the baking pan. I smoothed and leveled it once it was all in there. I used parchment paper - but next time I won't. This is easier to serve up without the paper on the bottom.

Assembled. Baked. And about 55 minutes later...

I'm thinking that even though fresh peaches and blueberries are pretty much gone for the year, I'll bet this recipe would be great with apples or pears.

Peach Blueberry Crumb Bars



  • 1 1/2 cups Rice Flour
  • 1 cup Sorghum Flour
  • 1/2 cup Potato Starch
  • 1/2 cup Tapioca Starch
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp Xanthan Gum
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) Unsalted butter, cold


  • 4 cups Peaches, sliced
  • 1 cup Blueberries
  • 2 Tbs lemon or orange juice, approximately
  • 1/2 cup Rice Flour
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Light Brown Sugar (plus extra)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease or spray the bottom of a 9x13 baking pan.
  1. Whisk together the dough dry ingredients, including the sugar.
  2. Cut up or grate the butter into the flour mixture, and work in with finger for a few seconds.
  3. Mix together lightly beaten egg and vanilla, and add to flour-butter mixture.
  4. Work the dough with your fingers for a few minutes until the butter is complete incorporated and the mixture is fine and crumbly.
  5. Press half the dough into the prepared pan, smoothing and leveling.
  6. Mix the peaches, blueberries, and juice.
  7. Whisk together the filling dry ingredients, and sprinkle over the fruit, mixing gently
  8. Spread the fruit mix over the dough.
  9. Optional: Before sprinkling the remaining dough over the fruit, add about 1/4 cup light brown sugar to the dough mixture and work it in.
  10. Sprinkle the remaining dough mixture over the top of the fruit. (I didn't use it all)

Bake for about 55 - 60 minutes. Allow to cool completely before cutting (I know, it's hard to do that).

Now... on to some Fall baking...

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Quinoa Tabouli (aka Tabouleh) - Gluten free!

It's been too hot to bake. I'm ready for autumn clouds and rain. But I'm in the kitchen anyway - cooking up something that doesn't require me to turn on the oven :-)

Quinoa (pronounced 'keen-wah') - another of nature's super foods! It's a gluten-free grain that is high in protein and fiber, full of nutrients, and easy to digest. Where has it been all my life??? I only found out about Quinoa a few years ago. Not much flavor by itself, it can be used in so many ways by adding seasonings and veggies and meat to it. Sometimes I add Chicken, onions, and mushrooms to it with a sprinkle of feta, and it's my main course. But not today.

Today I made my favorite way to eat Quinoa. I made tabouli, replacing the Bulghur with Quinoa. Tabouli is very easy to make - and it's another of those 'to taste' dishes that you can really get creative with. It's also a great way to practice your chopping skills since most of the ingredients are finely chopped. (Think Julia Child in Julie and Julia - the onion scene. Hysterical!!).

I like a lot of tradtional Tabouli flavors - parsley, mint, green onions, lemon, among other things.

But here's the thing about Quinoa - if you buy it in bulk, or if you buy it in a bag or box, and it doesn't say it's been pre-rinsed - you MUST rinse it or soak it. Really well. Quinoa has an outer coating that is bitter, and if you don't get rid of it, your Quinoa will taste bitter. That's just the way it is.

If I have time, I will soak it in a strainer sitting in a bowl of water for about 5 or 10 minutes, replacing the water at least once. But I've also been known to just rinse it in a strainer under running water for a few minutes - and that usually works just fine. Keep in mind that Quinoa is tiny, so your strainer should have find mesh - or you'll see the Quinoa go down the drain :-). Here it is soaking.

You can cook Quinoa in Chicken broth, Vegetable broth, Water, or any combination. It cooks much like Rice (1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups of liquid), but much quicker. When I'm cooking it for a cold salad type of dish - I usually put it in a bowl right after it's cooked, fluff it up a bit with a fork, and let it come to room temperature before adding my other ingredients.

Chop chop! A little olive oil and lemon juice, and there you have it. Into the refrigerator to chill.

Big softball game and potluck coming up this Sunday. This may have to be on the menu!

Quinoa Tabouli (Serves 6-8)


  • 1 cup Quinoa, rinsed very well
  • 2 cups Broth or Water
  • 1 cup (approx) Fresh Mint, chopped fine
  • 1 cup (approx) Fresh Parsley, chopped fine
  • 3-4 Green Onions (approx), chopped
  • 1 cup Cucumber (or Celery), chopped
  • 1 Tomato, chopped and drained
  • Juice of 1 Lemon (approx)
  • 3-4 Tbs (approx) Olive Oil (see Option below)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Option: Instead of the Olive Oil, you can add a Balsamic Vinaigrette

  1. Bring liquid to a boil and immediately add the rinsed Quinoa. Reduce heat to a low simmer, cover and cook until all liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Move cooked Quinoa to a bowl and let cool.
  2. Once the Quinoa is cooled to near room temperature, add the chopped ingredients and toss.
  3. Add Olive Oil,lemon juice, and salt, to taste. Toss well.

This is good eaten at room temperature, or chilled - which also gives the flavors time to blend nicely.

Time for lunch (Quinoa :-)

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Nearly Guilt-Free, Kinda' Healthy Chocolate Cake

Honestly - this is the closest thing to a really healthy chocolate cake I've ever had. I've made it many times, and it's one of those things that if you leave it on the kitchen counter, every time you walk by it you'll sneak a little piece.

Leave your guilt at the door, because the main ingredient is this:

Do you recognize them? They are Garbanzo beans, in all of their almost-a-chocolate-cake glory. Everytime I tell people about this flourless, gluten-free chocolate cake that is made from Garbanzo beans, they say, "Oh - you mean garbanzo bean flour?" Noooooo..... I mean Garbanzo beans. As in high protein, high fiber. Straight up. Don't ask me why it works. It just does.

This is adapted from a recipe I found on Allrecipes.com a few years ago. I've made it in a round cake pan, a springform pan, and a square (pretending they are brownies). It has a soft texture, and is great served with a little frozen yogurt. It's not dry, but can be a little crumbly, so I find it's easiest when eaten with a fork.

You start with about 19 oz of Organic Garbanzo Beans. That's 2 - 15 oz. cans, once you drain all the liquid. Sidebar: did you know that Organic Garbanzo beans are cheaper from Whole Foods than from Safeway (for you out-of-towners Safeway is a West Coast grocery chain).

Rinse and drain them well, and grind them up in a Food Processor (no mixer needed) REALLY well (i.e. don't be leaving any chunks of Garbanzo Bean in there!).

Add the sugar and baking powder, and blend. Then add the melted chocolate and vanilla.

Bake, cool.....

Sprinkle with powdered sugar or frost, cut, eat.....

Oh - and this is one of the easiest cakes I've ever made.

Garbanzo Bean Chocolate Cake (adapted from Allrecipes.com)

  • 1 1/2 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 2 - 15 oz. Can Garbanzo Beans (I use Organic)
  • 4 Eggs (I use Range-free or Organic)
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray a 9" round or square cake pan or springform pan, or use parchment paper.
  1. Rinse and drain the Garbanzo Beans. Grind completely in a food processor with the eggs until smooth. (No Chunks!)
  2. Add the sugar and baking powder to the beans and blend.
  3. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over hot (not boiling) water or, melt in the microwave in 30-second increments. Add the melted chocolate and vanilla to the mixture and blend until smooth, scraping the sides as necessary.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake approximately 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Allow it to cool completely before removing from the pan or cutting. Yup... chocolate cake with garbanzo beans..... all the protein and fiber with none of the bean taste. I'm telling you... it's a miracle!

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Gluten-free Pizza

This was my second try at a gluten-free Pizza crust. The first (just yesterday) was forgettable. Still... I was on a mission.

I love Pizza. I'm a Pizza-snob. Because I believe that you really can't get what I consider 'great' Pizza outside of New York. Really thin crust, with just the right amount of grease in the ever so slightly sweet sauce, and thin strings of mozzarella cheese stretching out with each bite. Yeah... you get the picture.

I've learned to live with California Pizza - and have found a few places here in Northern California that make acceptable Pizza. But I figured, since I'm not getting my 'great' pizza anyway, I might as well find a recipe for Gluten-free Pizza, since I'm trying to avoid wheat.

So my first attempt was bad. I realized when I was trying to eat it that someday I need to do another blog called "Bonnie's Baking-Blooper Blog." It's got a nice ring, don't you think?

My old (cheap and warped) Pizza pan was long gone, so I recently bought a new one. Oh - I have a Pizza Peel and Stone and all that - which I've mostly used for bread baking. But this new one from Calphalon is very cool - it's got holes on the bottom to help crisp up the crust. I love it!

Since I didn't have any great expectations for this second try to be any good, I didn't bother taking pictures along the way. But go figure - it was good. I'm really happy with the result.

It's easy enough to throw together - but you have to be careful about getting the dough to the right consistency to be able to work it into a big circle. Not too dry and not too wet. As I mentioned, I like my Pizza thin so I had to really work that circle, from the center out, with my fingers. I was able to fix any little tears that happened just by squeezing it back together. I think now that I've made it once, next time I'll be able to make the edge a little neater looking.

I adapted this recipe from a book by Carol Fenster called "Special Diet Solutions."

Gluten-free Pizza Crust


  • 1 Tbs. Yeast
  • 2/3 cup Brown Rice flour
  • 1/2 cup Tapioca flour
  • 2 Tbs. powdered milk or extra Tapioca flour (I actually used dry buttermilk because I had some)
  • 2 tsp Xanthan Gum
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp unflavored gelatin
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning (I just added some Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Thyme, and Rosemary to taste)
  • 2/3 cup warm water, approximately (temperature around 100 degrees, not too hot or it will kill the yeast)
  • 1/2 tsp sugar or honey or agave (I used sugar)
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil (I think I'll add 1 Tbs next time)
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar

  1. Add all ingredients to electric mixer bowl and blend on low speed.
  2. When blended, mix on high speed for about 3 minutes. If mixture seems too dry (the machine is starting to bounce around), add a bit more water. The dough should be soft.
  3. Put the dough on a (rice) floured surface, and form into a ball. Then flatten it out slightly into a circle with your hands.
  4. Place the dough on your Pizza pan, and begin working it out into a larger circle, pressing from the middle out. Work it to the size and thick/thinness you prefer. If it cracks in spots, just press it back together.
  5. When you have it at the right size, thicken up the edges a little to keep your toppings on, and so it looks like a Pizza (LOL).
  6. Set it in a warm place and let it rest for about 20 minutes or so. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  7. After resting (the Pizza, not you) pre-bake the dough for 10 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and add your toppings.
  9. Bake again, for about 15 to 20 minutes, until until the cheese is melted (you did use cheese, didn't you?) and the crust edge is nicely browned.

I used Organic Pasta Sauce from Whole Foods which is tasty and well priced, Mozzarella cheese, and some thinly sliced ham I also got at Whole Foods. Next time I will definitely use Goat cheese and mushrooms. I think next time will be soon!

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Gluten-free Scones

So, I have this recipe for gluten-free scones that is my go-to recipe when scones are needed. Most of my gluten-free friends seem to like them. Scones in general tend to be on the dry side, and these were that. Some people just like a nice dry, crumbly scone.

However **this** scone recipe is my NEW go-to scone recipe. It's way less dry, not crumbly, with nice texture and crumb. And it fairly low in sugar - always a Plus!

I came across it online, and made some ingredient changes that made sense to me. I'm very happy with them, and will experiment with different flavorings in the future (that's one of the beautiful things about scones).

I added dried fruit and orange zest to these, and mini semi-sweet chocolate chips because I had a bunch I needed to use. Next time, I will add dark chocolate chips. Dried cranberries or raisins are always great in scones as well. And maybe some of the blueberries I froze! Ok...ok... I need to calm down.

Before we get to the pics, I should apologize for the quality of my photos. I am not a photographer, and while I can usually get a pretty focused picture, and can manage to use the Macro just fine, I never quite can get the lighting right (at least, that's what they always tell me at Foodgawker. I know I can learn how to do it, but to tell you the truth, I don't care to learn how. LOL. I'll just muddle along with my little Canon camera set to Automatic, and keep apologizing for poor quality photos (with apologies to my brothers, the family Paparazzi).

Here's my dry ingredients blended with the butter, zest, fruit and chocolate, to which I just added the eggs and yogurt. No need for an electric mixer for this recipe - just mix with a spatula or wooden spoon.

I forgot to take a picture of the next step, which is working the dough into a ball, and then pressing it into a circle that is about 1" in height. What you see here is the 8 sections (it can easily cut into 10-12 sections, for a slightly small scone).

I like to brush my scones with an egg wash, and sprinkle them with a tiny bit of sugar before baking, but that is totally optional.

And if you're still not sure this is your cup of tea.....

Yeah - looks good enough to eat, doesn't it? You can add a little butter, or honey, but I like them just the way they are. And happily, they freeze great. Just be sure to get as much air out of the freezer bag as possible. I find a straw very helpful for sucking out the air. That's right..... a straw. LOL.

These will be perfect for after my Jazzercise Class Walk at the reservoir on Labor Day.

Gluten-free Scones


  • 3/4 cup Brown Rice flour (plus extra as needed)
  • 1/2 cup White Rice flour
  • 3 1/2 Tbs Tapioca starch/flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 tsp Xanthan Gum
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 4 Tbs. Sugar
  • 2 Eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup non-fat or low-fat Plain Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, cold
  • 1/2 cup Dried Fruit, Blueberries, etc. (optional)
  • Handful of Chocolate Chips (optional)
  • Zest of 1 Orange or Lemon (optional)
  • 1 Egg, beaten with 1 tsp water for egg wash (optional)

Preheat oven to 400F degrees.
  1. Sift all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Cut up the butter into small pieces and add to dry ingredients. Work butter and flours together with your hands until the flour is well combined. The result will be like moist flour. (Tip: I often freeze the butter and then quickly grate it into the dry ingredients. I find it easier to work into the flour with my hands that way.)
  3. Add your dried fruit, zest, or other flavorful ingredients.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs and yogurt and blend together well with a whisk.
  5. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and blend together into a soft dough. Add a bit more flour if the dough is too soft or sticky.
  6. Turn the dough onto a (rice) floured surface, and knead a few times to shape into a ball. If the dough is too soft to form a ball, add more flour as needed.
  7. Press the ball into a circle that is about 1" high.
  8. Cut into sections (a pizza cutter works well), and brush with egg wash, if desired.
  9. Bake approximately 15-17 minutes until lightly browned.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Very satisfying!

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Gluten-free Black and White Cookies (!!!!!)

So you may be asking yourself, what's the big deal (!!!!!) about Gluten-free Black and White Cookies. And I can only answer, you clearly are not from New York (or nearby), nor have spent much time there. Because if you were, or did, you wouldn't have to ask.

Black and White cookies are a New York delicacy. A tradition. A trademark. And for some reason, you don't find them anywhere else (except maybe New Jersey, or Connecticut, or one of those other nearby states). In California, you might find them occasionally in a deli or bagel place (NOT Noahs! I said BAGELS). But even when you do, they are usually not fresh - and one thing for sure - you want to eat a Fresh Black and White Cookie. The traditional Black and White cookie is almost like a tea cake - soft and a little spongy. The top has half white icing and half chocolate icing. Or, if you're into creative Black and White cookies, you can go visit The Black and White Cookie Company in NY.

Most of my friends here in California have never even heard of a Black and White Cookie (except maybe on an episode of Seinfeld, or Sex and the City. LOL).

I do have one friend in particular here who like me, is originally from NY. She, like me, has the same landing pattern when going home to visit. Head out for Pizza first, then a Black and White Cookie. (She actually goes for a Knish, too.) She totally gets it. She was the first person I called when I baked these - because she understands the love for Black and White Cookies, AND because she is Wheat-intolerant. Needless to say, she was very, very happy. I gave her a few and told her she can share them, and she looked at me and said, "I have to share them???" LOL. "No, I just thought if you didn't want them all, feel free to share them." "You don't HAVE to."

This recipe take a little time, so I suspect most of you won't bother making them unless you are serious about Black and White Cookies.

It starts with a typical gluten-free looking batter - something in between a cookie batter and a cake batter.

Traditional Black and White cookies are BIG. Easily a 5" or 6" circle, or even bigger. I chose to make these a little smaller - maybe 4" - since I was just experimenting. I used my largest cookie scoop.

I baked them, and they came out like hockey pucks. Ha! They didn't spread much. No picture needed. So I made some adjustments to the remaining batter, scooped them out, and gently flattened them to about 1/4" to 1/2", maintaining a circle.

Much better. They may not look so good to you in this picture, but here's a very important thing if you are baking these. The top of the cookie becomes the bottom! A Black and White Cookie is dome-shaped, and the flat part (bottom, when baking) becomes the top of the cookie.

Once the cookies cool, you prepare your icings - which can make or break a Black and White Cookie. Wherever you go to buy your B&W, rarely will you find the icing the same at any two places. Everyone has their favorite. To tell you the truth, I'm still working out the icing kinks. I know I have to include *some* icing recipe with this cookie, and I started out with good intentions when I was making it, but it ended up being a 'by the seat of my pants' recipe. The phone rang, and I was yapping on the phone (it was an important call) while trying to make the icing, and dumping in a little more of this and that, and I don't know what quantities I ended up including.

The thing is - they tasted really good. So I guess you can say it's a "to taste" type of icing recipe. They came out a little messy - I can fix that next time. But they are really, really good.

Will definitely make more perfect looking next time.

Oh - and since people always ask me what I do with all this stuff I bake, I cut these in half and brought them to class with me for my students. My bad :-)

Gluten-free Black and White Cookies

Makes about 26 4" cookies.


  • 2 1/4 cups Gluten-free mix (your favorite or my favorite)
  • 1 1/4 cups Brown Rice flour
  • 1/2 cup Potato Starch (not flour)
  • 1/2 cup Tapioca Starch/flour
  • 3 tsp Xanthan Gum
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups milk (approximately)
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees (I might try 350 degrees next time). You might want to consider baking just 1 or 2 first, to ensure that the consistency of the batter is right. If they turn out too heavy, you can add a bit more milk to the batter.
  1. Sift flours, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until blended well.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  4. Stir in the vanilla, lemon, and milk.
  5. It will be thick, but if batter is too thick, add a bit more milk. It should be a little thicker than a cake batter.
  6. Gradually add the flour mixture until well blended.
  7. Scoop large scoops of batter onto parchment-lined cookie sheets leaving about 1" inbetween. Gently flatten into a circle about 1/4" to 1/2" high. They won't spread much, but they will puff up.
  8. Bake about 15 minutes, until lightly brown. May have to adjust baking time depending on the size cookie you make.
  9. Remove from oven and let them sit for about 5 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.

Here's a basic icing recipe that I use. You can make adjustments to get a flavor you like and the right consistency for spreading. This recipe uses corn syrup. I HATE using corn syrup in anything. I use a minimal amount here to help the icing set and give it some shine, but in the future I will experiment with adding a little oil instead.

White Icing

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp light corn syrup
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Hot water

  1. Whisk the ingredients together vigorously to blend and remove all lumps, adding small amounts of hot water at at time until the icing reaches a good consistency to spread, without being runny.

Chocolate Icing

  1. Same as above except add 1/3 cup Dutch Processed Cocoa

When cookies are completely cool, ice one side of each cookie with the white icing. Then ice the other side with the chocolate icing. There you go! A Gluten-free Black and White Cookie (!!!!!)

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Gluten-free Blueberry Pancakes

For when you're not in a rush! Every now and then there is that morning where you can actually slow down and have a relaxing breakfast. What a treat! Here's my favorite recipe for gluten-free pancakes. I don't know if it's because I haven't had a regular pancake in a looonng time, but these don't taste gluten-free to me. They taste like ...well.... pancakes. They are light and fluffy. I happen to have a lot of frozen blueberries at the moment because I stocked up when they were at their peak and the price was low - so they were perfect for these pancakes. I added them still frozen - no need to thaw. You can add any fruit, or anything else you want to the batter (I didn't say it, but you know I'm thinking chocolate chips :-).

I have an electric griddle that I like to use for pancakes. (Did you hear the one about the 500 mini-crumpets I made on this griddle....?? LOL). You can use a frying pan and make one at a time, but griddles are nice because you can make a bunch together. Here are two of the three I made at one time.

With pancakes, you want to cook the first side until the batter starts to bubble before you flip them. Call me crazy, but there's something very satisfying about flipping a pancake :-)

What's a good pancake stack size to you? 2? 3? More????

These really were good!

And I must have been really really hungry!


You can use all White Rice flour or all Brown Rice flour, or combine the two to equal 1 cup. I also sometimes use half Buckwheat flour, and/or add ground Flax Seed (superfood!) for additional nutrition and fiber. I made 9 large pancakes from this batter. Needless to say, I froze the rest for another day. Honest, I did!!

Gluten-free Blueberry Pancakes


  • 1 cup Rice Flour (brown and/or white/or half buckwheat)
  • 3 Tbs. Tapioca Starch/flour
  • 1/3 cup Potato Starch
  • 1/4 tsp. NuStevia powder (or 1 Splenda packet), optional
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 2-4 Tbs. Ground Flax Seed (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Xanthan Gum
  • 4 Tbs. Buttermilk Powder (*see note)
  • 2 Eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 1/2-2 cups Water, approximately (I sometimes use half milk/half water; use the lesser amount if you like a thicker pancake)
  • 3 Tbs. Canola Oil (I sometimes use melted butter)
  • 1 cup blueberries, frozen or fresh

*Note: if you don't have buttermilk powder, you can leave it out, or use milk instead of water. You can even add a little lemon juice to the milk to give it a little tang if you want to.

If you're using an electric griddle, preheat it to about 350 degrees. Otherwise, heat your frying pan or gas griddle as you normally do. I usually add a little butter.

  1. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Add the water, vanilla, eggs, and oil and beat just until blended. A few lumps are OK.
  3. Pour onto hot pan. When they start to form bubbles, flip and cook the other side until golden brown.
  4. Serve them up with your favorite toppings!

Tip: To get an 'even' spread of blueberries in your pancakes, instead of adding them to the batter, drop them one by one onto each pancake after you pour them on the griddle. This also keeps them from breaking up in the batter and turning the batter blue :-)

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Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Bar - Breakfast on the Run

Here we have it. Completely Healthy. And Gluten-free. And No Added Sugar. And Vegan. Any other requests??? This dense, chewy breakfast or snack bar is completely no-guilt and very satifying. It's great with a hot cup of coffee, or a cold glass of milk. I'm pretty sure these are very kid-friendly, too.

Like so many things I bake these days, you can add other ingredients to make it your own. I think sunflower or pumpkin seeds would be good, and maybe a little cinnamon. These keep for a few days at room temperature. Personally, I like them cold, so I keep a few in the refrigerator, and freeze the rest, thawing as needed.

And no matter what I tried, I could not make these look pretty in the picture (they do, however, look better in person though, like so many of us ;-)

Hmmmmm..... maybe this one.

Oh well.... never mind...

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Bar - Breakfast on the Go (Gluten-Free, No Added Sugar, Vegan)


  • 2 cups Rolled Oats
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped or ground Almonds
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened Coconut
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 4 oz good quality bittersweet or dark Chocolate, chopped small
  • 14 oz of very ripe Bananas (about 4 bananas)
  • 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1/4 cup Peanut or Almond butter
  • 1/2 cup Dried Fruit (I like cherries or apricots)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Grease or line a 9 X 9 baking pan.
  1. In mixing bowl, combine the oats, ground almonds, coconut, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In another bowl, combine the bananas, vanilla, and nut butter. Mash thoroughly.
  3. Add the Oatmeal mixture to the bananas and mix well.
  4. Gently add in the chopped chocolate and dried fruit.
  5. Spread mixture evenly in the prepared pan, and bake for about 25 minutes.
  6. Let cool completely before cutting into whatever size bars you wish.

Easy, huh?

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Your Basic Gluten-Free Cookie

Here's the thing - this is a great base for a gluten-free cookie. What I mean is - you can add anything to it you want to to make it your own. Chocolate (white and/or dark!!), Candied Ginger, different kinds of nuts or dried fruits, ....whatevah! The possibilities are endless.

In my case, I had a bunch of ingredients I wanted to get rid of - starting with some dried mango. Not an ingredient I usually keep around - I bought some for a candy recipe I tried (one that went terribly wrong...). Dried mango is a little strange - or maybe it's just the dried mango I happened to buy at Trader Joes. I needed to chop it up - but it didn't chop. Unchoppable. So I ended up ripping it into little pieces. LOL.

Anyway, I also had some dried cranberries, dried cherries (my favorite!), and some slivered almonds. Oh - and some coconut. So I came up with a recipe that I thought would work - and it did!

The thing that's so great about this cookie, besides it's flexibility, is the texture. It's nice and thick, with a slight crunch, and it's chewy in the middle. I think it make a great Chocolate Chip cookie. I would try it as CCC this week, except I already have a gluten-free Chocolate Chip cookie dough in the refrigerator resting..... until Friday morning when I'll bake it. Why is it resting? Because it's the New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie - gone gluten-free!!!!!! But that's a story for another day :-)

So - these are the cookies before they went into the oven. I scooped them with my middle size scoop, and then flattened out the top just slightly, keeping them thick.

and 16 minutes later.....

And yes, they taste as good as they look. Go ahead, make them yours!

Basic Gluten-Free Cookie


  • 1/2 cup Chopped Dried Mango
  • 1/2 - 1/3 cup Juice (Orange, Apple, etc.)
  • 1 cup Unsalted Butter, softened slightly
  • 3/4 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup White Sugar (I will use less next time)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 cup Sorghum flour
  • 1 cup Brown Rice flour
  • 1/2 cup Tapioca starch/flour
  • 1/2 cup Potato Starch
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 3/4 cup Coarsely Chopped Nuts
  • 3/4 cup Unsweetened Flaked Coconut
  • 1/2 - 1 cup Dried Cherries, Cranberries, etc.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees (F).
  1. Simmer orange juice and mango in a small pan over medium-low heat for 8 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Beat the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition. Add the vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, baking powder, Xanthan Gum, and salt, and mix with whisk or fork.
  4. Add the flour to the butter mixture and mix until just combined.
  5. Fold in the nuts, dried fruit, and coconut to evenly combine.
  6. Scoop onto parchment lined cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. Flatten the top slightly.
  7. Bake approximately 16 minutes. They will not brown much on top. Remove from oven and leave the cookies on the sheet for 5-10 minutes. Then move them to a cooling rack.

Makes about 40-44 2 1/2" cookies. You can make them smaller, but you will have to adjust the baking time. Enjoy!

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Peach (or Nectarine) Chicken Salad

It's what's for dinner! Or lunch! This simple salad is light and refreshing, great for a summer meal. It's low in fat, but very satisfying.

I've made this for many friends this summer - and have been asked for the recipe - so here you go.

Peach (or Nectarine) Chicken Salad (serves 4)


  • 1 lb. cubed cooked chicken
  • About 3 fresh peaches or nectarines, peeled and cubed
  • 1 medium cucumber (I like English), seeded and chopped
  • 3 Tbs. finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 lb string beans, cut into 1" pieces, and steamed lightly.

Mint Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper

  1. In a large bowl, combine the peaches, chicken, cucumber, string beans, and onion; set aside
  2. In a blender combine the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, mint, salt and pepper. Process until smooth. Adjust the flavor to taste.
  3. Pour over chicken mixture and toss to coat.
  4. Optionally, cover and refrigerate to chill.
  5. Serve over chopped lettuce.

It's especially good with a sprinkle of feta cheese. Enjoy!

P.S. those are apricot halves with a couple of blueberries, just for fun.

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Summer Fruit Cake - Gluten-free!

Success!! After an unsuccessful attempt at this gluten-free cake (pilot-error), I had to try again. Delicious Organic Nectarines are on sale this week at Whole Foods - I could not let the opportunity pass. Yesterday, I actually left an important ingredient out - big DUH - but I after tasting it I realized that I need to tweak the recipe anyway, to get the taste I was looking for. The recipe I've included below was adapted from a Peach Cake recipe at the Karina's Kitchen blog. I made just a few changes. I am very happy with the result.

It's a slightly different taste than the non-gluten-free version I made a few days ago, but definitely delicious. I didn't dare make it in a tart pan - way too much batter. It definitely stands out as a cake though. The before (look familiar?):

And the after:

I used a combination of sugar and Agave. Next time I will likely cut back on the sugar - it doesn't need a lot, in my opinion.

Summer Fruit Cake - Gluten-Free


  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup Agave nectar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup non-fat plain yogurt
  • 2 cups Gluten-free flour mix
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Summer fruit (I used 4 medium-to- large nectarines, peeled and sliced)
  • Optional: a light sprinkle of cinnamon-sugar for the top

Grease or spray a 9" or 10" cake pan (I highly recommend a springform pan). Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  1. Cream the butter and sugar. Beat well.
  2. Add the Agave, vanilla, and yogurt and continue beating (don't worry if the batter looks clumpy - it will smooth out after you add the dry ingredients.
  3. Mix together the gluten-free flour, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, cinnamon, and salt.
  4. Add flour mixture to batter and blend well.
  5. Add the eggs, and mix until blended well.
  6. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, and spread to cover the entire bottom using a knife or spatula.
  7. Arrange the fruit on the top of the batter.
  8. Optionally sprinkle lightly with sugar-cinnamon mix.
  9. Bake for about 40-45 minutes.

Allow to cool a bit before cutting. Eat warm or at room temperature. I'm thinking I need to go fill that empty coffee cup. Now! :-)

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Summer Fruit Cake

Continuing with my kitchen play with wheat and sugar, probably the last for a while, I made a Summer Fruit Cake with peaches and blueberries. Wish I had taken a 'before' picture of it - it looked like sooo much fruit. But by the time it baked up, the fruit got eaten up by the dough. It's in there - really it is. So next time - even more fruit! This recipe can use any fruit - even winter fruit like Apples! But with summer fruit at it's best, it's fun to find different ways to use it in baking.

I made this using a tart pan, even though it's a cake. A big tart pan (11"). So it came out kind of short (low??). Still tasted great though. I would definitely recommend using a 10" tart pan, or a 9 or 10" springform pan.

The other great thing about this recipe is it's really quick and easy to make. Go for it! Oh... and later this week, I'm going to make almost the same thing, but wheat-free and low sugar. Honestly!

Summer Fruit Cake (from thathomesite.com)


  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • pinch of salt
  • Summer fruit (I used 7 medium peaches and a bunch of blueberries
  • Optional: a light sprinkle of cinammon-sugar for the top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or spray the bottom of your baking pan.
  1. Cream the butter and sugar. Beat well.
  2. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well.
  3. Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt
  4. Add flour to batter and mix.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, and spread to cover the entire bottom using a knife or spatula.
  6. Arrange the fruit on the top of the batter.
  7. Optionally sprinkle lightly with sugar-cinnamon mix.
  8. Bake for about 40-45 minutes.

Allow to cool before cutting. Eat warm or at room temperature.

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Cherry Almond Chocolate Clusters

I'm baaack! Still not fully unpacked, but I had to hit the kitchen anyway.

True confession..... I hate making ugly food. I love when food looks beautiful. Yes - taste is the most important thing, but honestly, there's something about creating food that looks pretty or beautiful...... before you devour it. I gotta get over it.

These tasty little candies are not pretty. I have some ideas about making them a little sweeter to the eye, maybe making them in candy molds, or adding a little drizzle of white chocolate, but for now they are what they are.

DAY 2: OK - made them smaller and dressed them up with White Chocolate. Better.

Several of you have had them recently, and I've been asked for the recipe - so here it is. This recipe is from the Food Network website - but I've simplified the instructions somewhat. Only three ingredients, and they are really easy (and somewhat messy) to make. Oh - and No Added Sugar - always a plus!

When making chocolate candies, you really want to use the best quality chocolate you can afford. All chocolate is not created equal. If you can't afford Sharffen Berger or Valrhona Chocolate, Ghirardelli is a good alternative. Lately, I've been using Trader Joe's brand called PoundsPlus (wonder what that means??? LOL). It's 72% Dark Chocolate, imported from Belgium, and tastes great.

Cherry Almond Chocolate Clusters


  • 1 cup coarsely chopped roasted almonds (see instructions below)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped dry cherries
  • 6 oz. Dark Chocolate

Set out parchment paper or wax paper on two trays (I use sheet pans).
  1. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and melt it slowly in the top of a double boiler (I just put a bowl over a pot of simmering water)
  2. Mix together the chopped nuts and chopped dried cherries.
  3. When melted, remove the chocolate from the heat. Mix the nut-cherry mix into the chocolate and blend together completely with a rubber spatula or spoon.
  4. Spoon out heaping tablespoons of the chocolate into mounds onto the parchment paper (I use a cookie scoop). You may have to shape them slightly with your hands (that's the messy part).
  5. When ALL of the chocolates have been scooped, and not a moment before, lick your fingers :-)
  6. Place the pans in the refrigerator to set for about 20 minutes or so
  7. Option: Melt some good quality white chocolate and drizzle over the top of the cold chocolates. Return them to the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes to set.

That's it! They are ready to eat! These will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for a couple of days (if they last that long and it's not 100 degrees outside). I have also found that they freeze very well, much to my surprise. I place one or two in a small plastic snack-size bag, and then put the small bags into a freezer bag (make sure to get all the air out before closing the freezer bag) and pop them into the freezer.

Dry Roasting Almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  1. Line a baking pan with parchment paper or foil
  2. Spread out nuts in a single layer
  3. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes
  4. Remove from oven and carefully grab corners of the paper and lift the nuts out, placing on cooling rack.

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Gluten-free Blueberry Almond Cookies

Before I leave for two weeks on a vacation to visit friends, I wanted to share another fun recipe. Still taking advantage of summer fruit while it's here - I really was in the mood for a new kind of cookie. Blueberries in a cookie? A cookie full of anti-oxidants? Sounds like a great idea.....but I haven't figured out if this is a cookie or a muffin :-) I adapted this recipe to make it gluten-free from a recipe by Giada De Laurentis at the Food Network.

It's looks like a cookie and bakes like a cookie, but it has the texture of a muffin. Kind of like a muffin top. Yeah! Who doesn't love a muffin top!

The original recipe called for 1 cup of sugar. I used 1/2 cup of the Splenda Blend product. I think next time I will cut it back to 1/3 cup. They are plenty sweet. You could probably use all Splenda as well - but baked goods generally don't brown with all Splenda. You could also use part Splenda and part sugar. But I would definitely keep it under a cup.

Gluten-free Blueberry Almond Cookies


  • 1 1/2 cups Gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal or finely ground almonds
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/3 - 1/2 cup Splenda-blend
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 - 2 tsp lemon or orange zest
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds (or any nuts, really)
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C). Parchment paper on your cookie sheet is recommended, or you can grease your cookie sheet.
  1. Combine the flour, almond meal, baking powder, salt, and Xanthan Gum and blend with a whisk.
  2. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar well (note that Splenda doesn't "blend" with butter as well - it will be fine once the other ingredients are added).
  3. Add the egg and continue beating.
  4. Add the milk, almond extract, and zest.
  5. Mix in the dry ingredients.
  6. Remove from mixer and mix in the nuts.
  7. Gently fold in the blueberries (try not to break them)
  8. Refrigerate the dough for about 30-40 minutes.
  9. User a spoon or cookie scoop and place on cookie sheets. Flatten each cookie slightly (they won't spread much).
  10. Bake for about 15 minutes. Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool.

I used a medium-size cookie scoop and got about two dozen cookies. You could get more if you make a smaller cookie. Enjoy those blueberries while they're here!

See you in a couple of weeks!

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