Gluten Free Almond Joy Brownies

Every year I try to add at least one gluten free item to my list of Christmas goodies.  I have several family members and friends that are on gluten free diets and it can be a hard time of year for them with all the “full of gluten” goodies being passed around.  These brownies are wonderfully tasty and simple to make.

Gluten Free Almond Joy Brownies

Chocolate, coconut and almonds are a few of my favorite things!!

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Gluten Free Almond Joy Brownies
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 eggs
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ cup almond pieces
Instructions
  1. Mix together the softened butter, cocoa powder, sugar and vanilla.
  2. Stir in the eggs one at a time, completely incorporating after each egg.
  3. Mix in the coconut flour and stir until there are no lumps.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips, coconut and almond pieces.
  5. Pour into a greased 8x8" baking dish and bake at 350° for 30 minutes.

Coconut flour is a very dense four so that’s why this recipe calls for 6 eggs!  With the add ins of almonds, coconut, and chocolate chips along with 6 eggs and coconut flour, these are not the most frugal brownies.  If you would like you can leave out the last 3 ingredients and they will still be yummy, gluten free brownies!! (just not almond joy brownies)  😉

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This recipe was adapted from this recipe at Heavenly Homemakers.

Here are a few more of my favorite Christmas recipes!  Peppermint Crunch Christmas CookiesHoliday Spritz Cookies Dipped PretzelsMy Favorite Chocolate Chip Oatmeal CookiesPeanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

This post was shared at: The Weekend Potluck

 

Mary’s Super Moist Chocolate Zucchini Bread (With NO Vegetable Oil)

It’s that time of year again, the zucchini is pouring out of the garden.  I love the abundance of this versatile veggie, and have many recipes to use them up.  Zucchini bread has always been a good way to use it up, but this one is a super duper amazing way to use it!  I’m going to freeze lots and lots of zucchini just so I can make this bread all year long. ;D

marys bread

It’s so moist and smooth and sweet and wonderful and it all came about by accident.  Mary is the one that first made this, hence the name: “Mary’s Super Moist Chocolate Zucchini Bread”.  She had a recipe to follow, but we hadn’t been shopping for a while and didn’t have some of the ingredients, so she “improvised”.  We were all pleasantly surprised with the results. 🙂

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This is not only very tasty but healthier than most quick breads too!

Mary's Moist Chocolate Zucchini Bread (With NO Vegetable Oil)
 
This will make 2 loaves.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups of sugar (I use a bit less)
  • 1 stick melted butter (half a cup)
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 and ¼ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
Instructions
  1. Grease two loaf pans and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix the first 5 ingredients until well combined.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  4. Divide the batter between the 2 loaf pans.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min then lower the temp to 300 degrees and bake an additional 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from the loaf pans and cool completely before cutting.

Another great thing about this bread is you have options!  I love options. 🙂

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You can add a 3/4 of a cup of chocolate chips and have “Mary’s Super Moist Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread” (this is my girls favorite).

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Or you could leave out the cocoa powder and have “Mary’s Super Moist Zucchini Bread” and it’s still, oh so good!!

Wait, there’s more!….We made three batches of this last week (6 loaves).  Six loaves for four people is a bit much, so I froze 2 loaves and took them out yesterday for breakfast and took some to our Bible study.  They froze VERY well and I think they might have even tasted better from the freezer!?!? WHAT?

I have noticed that while this bread is delicious still warm from the oven, it’s very crumbly if you don’t let it cool completely first.  Its even easier to cut after being in a zip lock bag over night.  But, it tastes great ANY time. 🙂

Fresh Raspberry Dessert Bars

fresh raspberry dessert bars

This is a new recipe I tried a couple weeks ago to use up some of the abundance of raspberries from our garden.  I’ve now made 2 big pans of them and will keep this recipe around for fresh raspberries every spring and early summer.

fresh raspberry dessert bars

I’ll let you in on a little secret though….you don’t HAVE to use fresh raspberries, frozen will work too.  So these could really be made any time of the year.

Lets start with the crust. This is my favorite layer because it’s so buttery and yummy!  I should let you know that this will make a 9X13″ pan, so if you don’t need that many bars just cut the recipe in half and put it in a 8×8″ pan.  The original recipe said an 8×8″ pan will give you 16 squares.(but I make mine bigger than that) 😉

Ok, back to the crust: Start by combining flour, powdered sugar and salt, then cut the  cold butter into the dry ingredients until the butter is roughly the size of small peas.  Press the mixture with your hands into the bottom of a 9×13 inch pan and bake for 12-14 minutes at 375 degrees.  It should just be starting to turn brown.

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While your crust is in the oven place a small sauce pan on the stove with your jam in it and heat on medium low heat to melt the jam and make it easy to spread over your crust.  I did not have raspberry jam so I used strawberry and it came out great!  So either kind will work.  Gently spread your melted jam over your warm crust.

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Then take your fresh or frozen raspberries:

raspberry collageadd a little flour to them and sprinkle over your jam layer.

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Last you add the streusel topping.  Mix brown sugar, butter, and flour until you have a crumbly mixture.  Sprinkle over the raspberry layer.

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Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

raspberrybars

Let the bars cool before you cut them.  You can serve them alone or a la mode!

icecream

If you have any left overs store them in the fridge.  Just remember to take them out an hour or so before you want to eat them.  The crust gets a little hard when it’s cold.

Alamode

5.0 from 4 reviews
Fresh Raspberry Dessert Bars
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • Crust:
  • 11/2 cups flour
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • Dash of salt
  • ¾ cup cold butter (one and a half sticks) cut into small pieces
  • Berry Filling:
  • ½ cup of raspberry jam (or strawberry)
  • 4 cups fresh raspberries (or thawed, frozen raspberries)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Streusel Topping:
  • ½ cup of cold butter cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup four
  • 1 cup brown sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. For the crust: Combine flour, powdered sugar and salt, then cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients with a fork or pastry blender until the butter is the size of small peas. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan and bake for 12 to 14 minutes. It should just be starting to turn brown.
  3. Berry Filling: While the crust is cooking, heat the jam in a small sauce pan on medium low heat to melt and make it easy to spread. Gently spread the melted jam over the warm crust. Mix the raspberries with a couple tablespoons of flour and sprinkle them over the jam layer.
  4. Streusel Topping: Mix together the brown sugar and flour then cut in the butter until you have a crumbly mixture. Sprinkle over the raspberry layer.
  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool before cutting into squares. This pan will make 24 good sized bars. You can cut this recipe in half and put it into an 8x8" pan. Store in the fridge, remove from the fridge one hour before serving.

This recipe was adapted from: That Skinny Chick Can Bake!

Hope you enjoy this summer treat as much as we do!

Have lots of fresh raspberries?  You might also like this fresh raspberry breakfast muffin recipe.  I made a double batch of these the other day and put them in the freezer so we can pull them out one at a time for a quick breakfast.Raspberry Muffins 6

This post was shared at: Clever Chicks Blog Hop Our Simple Homestead Blog HopWeekend Potluck Simple Saturdays Blog HopThe Art Of Home-Making Mondays

 

Deeeelicious Peach Cobbler

Peach Cobbler

Peach Cobbler

Peaches are my very favorite fruit…..I think??  I love all fruits…well pretty much I love all food.  Lets just say if I made a list of my favorites, peaches would be right at the top.  There’s nothin like sweet, peach juice dripping down your chin on a nice, warm, summer day. 😀  We are lucky enough to live very near some large peach orchards and it’s peach season!!  I tried this recipe last year and absolutely LOVED it.  I’ve been waiting for fresh peaches just so I could make this cobbler again. 🙂

Here’s how to make Deeeelicious Peach Cobbler:  Peel and slice your yummy fresh peaches and put them in a bowl with 1/2 a cup of sugar and the almond extract. Set that bowl aside and pour your melted butter into a 2 quart baking dish.  Set that dish aside as well and in another bowl stir together flour, baking powder, salt and remaining sugar.  Then add the milk and stir well.

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Now pour the batter evenly over the butter, do not stir.  Then top it off with the peach mixture.  Now bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes.  So easy!

This is wonderful warm from the oven with some whip cream or vanilla ice cream!

Deeeelicious Peach Cobbler
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 4 cups of peeled sliced peaches
  • ¾ cup of sugar - divided
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ cup butter - melted
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • ¾ cup milk
Instructions
  1. Mix together the peaches, ½ cup of sugar, and extract; set aside. Pour melted butter in a 2 quart baking dish. In a bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt and remaining sugar; stir in milk. Mix well and then pour it evenly over the butter (do not stir). Top with the peach mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes.

 

This post was shared at: The HomeAcre HopThrifty Thursday

Peppermint Crunch Christmas Cookies

Peppermint Crunch Cookies

These might possibly be my favorite Christmas cookies.  They are so DELICIOUS but the best part is the absolutely wonderful aroma that fills my house while they cook.  A Christmas candle or Scentsy Pot can’t even touch the Christmasy (is that a word?) smell from these cookies!  My sister told me about this recipe a few years back and I have made them every year since.

Peppermint Crunch CookiesThe secret to these amazing cookies is Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips.

Pettermint baking chips These things are creamy, melt in your mouth, goodness!  Add them into a cookie with oatmeal and coconut and…….WOW!  Or you could just upend the bag into your mouth, that would work too.

Peppermint Crunch Christmas Cookies
 
This makes about 30 cookies.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 cup sweetened grated coconut
  • 1½ cups peppermint crunch baking chips
Instructions
  1. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar.
  2. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.
  3. On low speed, add baking soda, salt and flour. Mix completely.
  4. Stir in oats, coconut, and peppermint chips.
  5. Measure 1-2 Tablespoons (depending on how big you want them) of dough and place round balls on a cookie sheet, 2 inches apart.
  6. Press lightly on each ball to flatten a little and sprinkle some of the remaining chips on top of each cookie.
  7. Bake at 300 degrees for 10 to 15 min.
  8. This made about 30 cookies.

Christmas Cookies 2Note:  It is a little tricky to figure out when these are done.  I check on them at 10 minutes and don’t take them out until they are a little brown around the edges.  After they come out of the oven if you let them rest on the cookie sheet for a few minutes they will stiffen up a bit and be much easier to lay on a cooling rack.

This recipe was adapted from tootsie.com.    I am in no way being compensated for saying these things about these baking chips, I just think they are delicious and Christmasy!

Pumpkin Chip Bread or Muffins

Pumpkin Chip Bread

Here is the first recipe I’m sharing that uses my homemade pumpkin pie spice mix.  This is so perfect for a cool fall day, and as a bonus it will make your house smell like fall too!

Pumpkin Chip Bread

5.0 from 1 reviews
Pumpkin Chip Bread or Muffins
 
Author:
Recipe type: Quick Bread
Ingredients
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ¾ cup butter - melted
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix
  • 1 cup chocolate chips plus ¼ cup for sprinkling on top
Instructions
  1. In a mixer or large bowl combine the pumpkin, vanilla, eggs, butter and yogurt. In a separate bowl stir together flours, sugar, salt, baking powder & soda, and Pumpkin Pie Spice mix. Pour dry ingredients into the mixer and blend well. Fold in the 1 cup of chocolate chips. Grease a loaf pan, pour batter in and sprinkle remaining chocolate chips on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 to 75 minutes.

Pumpkin Chip BatterNote: If you don’t have plain yogurt you could substitute sour cream and you could also substitute apple sauce for the butter.  I used organic sugar but sucanat would also work.  I also used a little less sugar and chocolate chips and it was still yummy, yummy!

Pumpkin Chip MuffinsInstead of bread you can make muffins.  These are the jumbo muffins and they took about 30 minutes to get done.  The smaller regular size muffins take about 20 minutes.  Be sure to grease your muffin tins and fill them about 2/3 full…..yummm!

This recipes was adapted from: Java Cupcake

Award Winning Chocolate Chunk Brownies

Brownies 4

Brownies 4In the past I have tried to share only recipes that are on the healthier side…this is not one of those!  I feel compelled to share it with you though, because they REALLY are award winning brownies (not to mention easy and delicious).

Brownies 5In 2009 when Little Chef was 6 years old I asked her if she wanted to make some cookies and enter them into the fair.  She said  “no, I want to make brownies”.  So we found a brownie recipe that looked easy enough for a six year old and she went to work (with a little help from mom).  That year she brought home the huge purple “Top Of Show” ribbon.  Over the past four years that recipe has become our “go to” dessert.  If I need a dessert quickly this is the recipe I grab.  I usually grab my daughter too and have her make them! (lots of grabbing going on, sorry)  She never says no to making “her” brownies. 😉  So when her 4-H leader told us about “Food Activity Day”  the natural recipe of choice was………..you guessed it,  Chocolate Chunk Brownies.  On food activity day the kids pick a recipe and bring everything they need to prepare that recipe (or meal).   They set to work while the judge watches.  When they are done and the kitchen is clean they get to share their food with the judge and answer any questions they have.  My daughter was so excited about this day, and she had soooo much fun!  She was asking if she could do it again next year before they even handed out the awards. 😀  She received reserve champion in the Junior class for her brownies and brought home another purple ribbon and a blue ribbon!

Brownies 2They are soooo soft, gooey, and chocolaty rich, and they just melt in your mouth!

Brownies 3

5.0 from 2 reviews
Award Winning Chocolate Chunk Brownies
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter - melted
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 eggs - slightly beaten
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup simi-sweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl add the sugar, vanilla, and eggs to the warm melted butter and blend well. Add flour, cocoa and salt; mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour into a greased 13X9-inch pan.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or until set. Let cool for at least 1 hour or until completely cooled before cutting into bars.

As you can see this is not a healthy recipe but definitely worth sharing. 🙂  Well….maybe I just wanted to brag about my Little Chef, that’s not so little any more.

Banana Grilled Cheese Sandwich

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DSCN6582 (640x480)-1“Banana Grilled Cheese Sandwich” sounds a little weird huh?  I was going to call them “Delicious Banana Bread and Cream Cheese Grilled Sandwiches” but that’s to long, and Jo likes to call them  “Funky Monkey Sandwiches”.  You can call them whatever you want, but the name that best describes them is “Awesome Deliciousness”!

Start with your favorite banana bread.  I used my recipe for Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins, omitted the chocolate chips and baked it in a loaf pan at 350 degrees for 55 minutes. It turned out great, and I like that there is no sugar in this recipe.

DSCN6478 (640x474)-1This is just like making a regular grilled cheese sandwich except you are using banana bread and cream cheese.  We add a little stevia to softened cream cheese.  You could use honey, maple syrup, sugar, or whatever sweetener you prefer.  My recipe for Homemade Honey Whipped Cream Cheese would work great for these.

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We made these this morning and added chocolate to them.  They were AMAZING!

DSCN6648 (640x480)-1What a great way to kick off a Saturday morning.  Have a great weekend everyone!  😀

Homemade Fruit Sweetened Frosting

Little Chef's Masterpiece!!  She was sooooo excited to give it to her little cousin.  :)

My cute little niece turned 2 a couple weeks ago and my daughter (age ten) begged and begged to make her a layered cake.  She had gone to a hands-on 4-H demonstration on “How to Decorate a Cake” and was just itching to put her new skills to work. 🙂  So we invited the birthday girl (and her family) over for homemade pizza and cake.  I was a little leery of giving the 10, 8, 4, and 2 year olds layers and layers of sugar at 7 o’clock at night, (or any time of day) so I started to scheme……

At the time I was working on my post for “Homemade Honey Whipped Cream Cheese” and I thought, why not put a twist on that recipe and add raspberry jam to the cream cheese instead of honey?  It worked!  In fact, it was a HUGE success.  It was creamy, spreadable, sweet, (but not to sweet) rich, sugar free, and the best part…..it was PINK!!  Well that’s the best part if you’re a 2-10 year old girl. 😀

Little Chef's Masterpiece!! She was sooooo excited to give it to her little cousin. :)
Little Chef’s Masterpiece!!

By the time she got done decorating this cake she decided she wanted to be a “professional cake decorator” when she grows up.  I think she’s off to a good start; don’t you!?

Here’s how to make fruit sweetened frosting:

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Take an 8 ounce package of softened cream cheese and whisk it until it’s nice and smooth.  Then add 1/2 a cup of jam. I used Smuckers Simply Fruit Red Raspberry Jam…..it is sweetened with fruit juice with no added sugar or nasty high fructose corn syrup.  If you have your own homemade preserves that would be even better!!  I have only used raspberry jam so far, but I think any flavor would be delicious. Whisk the jam into the cream cheese until smooth and fluffy, it takes a couple minutes to get all the cream cheese lumps out.  We added a couple drops of red food coloring to make it a little pinker for the birthday girl.

DSCN5899 (640x480)-1Now spread it (the thicker the better) on your favorite cake.  I can’t even describe to you how good this was smothered on the Pioneer Woman’s Chocolate Sheet Cake!  Kids can’t get enough of this stuff, but the best part is all the adults who don’t even like sweet things that come back for seconds and they can’t believe how simple it is to make! (No more piles of frosting on the edge of the plate after birthday parties!!!)  We’ve made this three times in the last two weeks and I plan on making it again to go with Easter dinner!

Homemade Fruit Sweetened Frosting
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 - 8oz package of cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup no sugar added jam/jelly
Instructions
  1. Whip softened cream cheese in a mixer until smooth.
  2. Add half a cup of jam or jelly and whip until smooth and fluffy. This will take a couple minutes.
  3. Spread on your favorite cake or cupcakes.

Note: If you’re planning to get fancy with the decorating or if you’re frosting a sheet cake you will need to double the recipe.

10th Birthday Cupcakes!

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Little Chef turns 10 today and she decided to make cupcakes so she could take them to AWANA and share with all her friends.  So we got some super cute cupcake liners and found some yummy looking recipes at Your Cup of Cake.

DSCN4990 (480x640)-1This is why we call her “Little Chef”

DSCN5012 (480x640)-1She LOVES to cook and like her mama, she loves to eat!!

DSCN5021 (408x640)-1DSCN5023 (640x480)-1We are so thankful for our Little Chef and can’t believe how grown up she is!

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