Category Archives: Dessert

Halloween Chex Mix

Halloween Chex Mix

Candy corn is a polarizing food. People usually either can’t get enough of it or can’t stand the stuff.

I love it and would eat a whole bag in one sitting. Since that’s probably not the best idea you have to find ways to mix it up and make it a little more filling. This Chex mix isn’t health food but it’s just the right balance of sweet and sweeter for a party or just an afternoon. 

Coating some of the Chex cereal with melted chocolate adds an unexpected layer and makes it slightly more decadent. You can make this more fun at a Halloween party by creating different names for the ingredients like bat droppings and witch’s nails. 

Halloween Chex Mix

A note from the last batch of Halloween Chex Mix I made: If gelatin’s a problem ingredient for you, some manufacturers don’t use it in their candy corn. Instead of Brachs, try CVS store brand candy corn. 

Halloween Chex Mix

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 12 squares):

  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips, divided
  • 2  1/2 cups Chocolate Chex, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 1 1/2 cups Vanilla Chex
  • 1/2 cup candy corn

Method:

  1. Melt 1/3 cup chocolate chips gently, set the rest aside.
  2. When melted, stir in the butter and milk until silky and smooth.
  3. In a large bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups Chocolate Chex cereal with the melted chocolate until covered.
  4. Lay the cereal out on a non-stick tray and refrigerate for 10 minutes until the chocolate has set. Once set, break apart any clusters of cereal stuck together. 
  5. In a large bowl, toss together the remaining chocolate chips, remaining Chocolate Chex, Vanilla Chex, and candy corn. 
  6. Serve or store in an air-tight container at room temperature. 

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Loaf Cake

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Loaf Cake

Baking is just more fun in the Fall and Winter. You get to stand near the oven to stay warm, make something delicious, and wear oversized sweaters to hide how much you’ve been eating. What’s not to love?

My favorite things to bake on the weekend is anything I can have for breakfast or take to work and eat with a cup of coffee. Put this next to a cup of coffee and a spoon of almond butter and you won’t be disappointed.

Pumpkin spice is just a mix of a bunch of other spices, so if you don’t have it on hand just use cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and/or cloves. This recipe doesn’t actually have any pumpkin in it but neither do pumpkin spice lattes and that’s never bothered anyone.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Loaf Cake

I really liked this more like a crumb cake with chopped pecans and raisins to add some texture, but it’d also be great without any mix-ins and covered with a cream cheese frosting.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Loaf Cake

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 12 squares):

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans(optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all of the sugar, flour, and baking soda.
  3. Add in the milk, butter, eggs, extract, and spice and mix well until it forms a batter.
  4. Mix in the chopped nuts if using.
  5. Grease an 8 x 8 baking pan thoroughly.
  6. Pour the batter into the baking tray.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the center is cooked through.
  8. Remove from the oven and let cool before cutting.

Pumpkin Spice Caramel Sauce

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Syrup

We’re really spoiled at my office. We have a Keurig machine and 2 Nespressos with a built-in milk foamer; there’s no excuse to go to Starbucks ever.

That being said, there are certain drinks I always crave, like sweet lattes with rich caramel sauce swirls. Even if it’s not worth standing in line 20 minutes and shelling out $5, it’s certainly worth taking the time to make it at home for pennies and an infinite supply.

I’m not a pumpkin-spice fanatic, but I do love the earthy flavors in coffee, especially mixed with rich, buttery caramel. I tried Ina Garten’s caramel sauce last year, loved it, and vowed to make it again and again. This was the first time I made it since then(oops). It’s amazing that a little salt and spice changes the flavors completely. This could go in anything from coffee to oatmeal to even squash. 

Pumpkin Spice Caramel Sauce

I don’t recommend using a candy thermometer for this because by the time you have it calibrated right the caramel will burn. It’s best to just watch it closely, use your judgement, and buy an extra set of ingredients because it’s the easiest thing in the world to mess up the first time(but worth giving it a second try!).

Pumpkin Spice Caramel Sauce(Adapted from this recipe)

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients(Makes about 1 1/2 cups):

  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 1/4 cup heavy cream, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Method:

  1. Combine and mix the sugar and water in a medium-sized pot.
  2. Bring the sugar water to a rolling boil and maintain. Once the water is boiling make sure not to touch it with a utensil.
  3. While the water is boiling, mix the vanilla and cream in a cup.
  4. Watch the sugar water carefully as it changes from white to a soft green to a hazelnut. When it turns a reddish-brown, remove quickly from the heat. Don’t let it get to a solid brown or the sugar is too burnt.
  5. Off the heat pour in the cream and vanilla extract. Stand back as it sizzles and may splatter.
  6. Once the caramel’s calmed, return it to the heat and start stirring as it’s just below boiling point. The caramel will have clumped and hardened.
  7. Continue stirring until the clumps have dissolved into the cream and it’s an even color and consistency.
  8. Remove from the heat and add in the spice and salt. Continue mixing as it cools to get the clumps of spice out.
  9. Once cooled, store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. 

Gluten-Free Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gluten-Free Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies can be as polarizing as politics. Some like chewy while others like crisp. Should they have nuts in them? Are raisins even a question? Everyone has an opinion.

After Pinterest did a Q&A with me my coworkers were interested to try something gluten-free. One of them asked me if I knew any good cookie recipes for his cousin and it seemed like as good a place to start as any. 

Lucky for me, when I brought them into work they didn’t stir up any chewy vs. crispy debates and they were all gone by lunch time–a success! They’re more chewy than crispy, not too sweet, and just rich enough to hit all the right notes. It’s hard to argue with chocolate chips and shredded coconut.

Gluten-Free Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Probably the best thing to keep on hand for gluten-free baking is a bag of gluten-free all purpose flour you can use in recipes without having to mix ten different flours you’re not familiar with. I like Bob’s Red Mill’s but there are tons of different brands out there; try them out and find your favorite.

Gluten-Free Coconut Brownies

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 2 dozen cookies):

  • 1 1/2 cup gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Gluten-Free Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, mix together your flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar.
  2. Add in the eggs, vanilla, peanut butter and melted butter and mix.
  3. Add in the shredded coconut and chocolate chips and continue mixing until it forms a thick dough. If your dough is too dry add milk by the tablespoon until it’s just wet enough to stick together.
  4. Put the dough in your refrigerator and preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  5. After 15 minutes of chilling, roll the dough into 1-inch balls.
  6. Put the doughballs onto a non-stick baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges brown.
  7. Remove from the oven and let sit for 20 minutes before trying to move.
  8. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Gluten-Free Coconut Brownies

Gluten-Free Coconut Brownies

I’ll look for excuses to make frosting, and they’re not that hard to find.

Cakes are great to make and frost when there’s a birthday, a party, or… a birthday party. But when it’s the weekend and you just want something sweet and fast for me, myself, and I, frosted brownies are the best way to go. 

My favorite brownie recipes are always on the traditional side. Forget about expensive olive oil and pine nuts; sweetened shredded coconut is in every grocery store and adds just as interesting a flavor and richness. Finish with some good vanilla and you’re good to go. 

Gluten-Free Coconut Brownies

What makes these brownies special besides the shredded coconut and spoon-licking frosting? Absolutely nothing, so if you want to use a quick gluten-free or regular boxed brownie recipe and fancy it up with shredded coconut and this frosting recipe, go right ahead–everyone will be too busy eating to mind.

Gluten-Free Coconut Brownies

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 1 8 x 8 pan):

  • 3/4 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 7 oz bittersweet baking chocolate, divided OR 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup water

For the frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together the oat flour, salt, cocoa powder, and baking powder and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, melt together 4 ounces of chocolate or a scant 1/2 cup chocolate chips with the butter.
  4. While the chocolate is melting, beat together the eggs, sugar, shredded coconut, vanilla, and water.
  5. Slowly pour the melted chocolate and butter into the egg/sugar mixture while whisking until fully incorporated. Don’t go too fast so that the raw eggs don’t cook upon contact.
  6. Add the chocolate mixture in with the dry ingredients and mix completely.
  7. Pour the batter in a greased 8 x 8 pan.
  8. Sprinkle the top with the remaining chocolate and gently press it into the batter.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean. Let these cool completely before frosting.
  10. With a beater, beat together the butter, sugar, and coconut until smooth.
  11. Spread gently and generously over the pan of brownies.
  12. Slice the brownies into even squares and serve within a couple days of baking. 

Trix Cereal-Milk Milkshake

Trix Cereal Milk Milkshake

If you’ve ever had a bowl of cereal, you probably know the best part is the last bit of milk at the bottom(unless the only cereal you’ve ever had is Bran Flakes or Fiber One but that’s a different problem). 

General Mills sent me some of their new Trix cereal to try out which was given a makeover for it’s 60th birthday (!!) to be fruitier than the old recipe. (Spoiler alert: No fruit shapes anymore; all of the pieces are circles) I can’t say I’m a Trix aficionado and remember what the old recipe tasted like but these are definitely fruity and delicious–by far the best lazy-night dinner I have in my cupboard when I get home past 8pm.

Living in NYC there’s no shortage of inspiration for out-of-the-box recipes whether it’s a cronut or a frozen hot chocolate. I’ve heard people rave about the cereal-milk from Momofuku’s and thought it was the perfect grown-up way to enjoy a kids’ favorite cereal. 

Trix Cereal Milk Milkshake

This is just a variation on your standard 2:1 ratio milkshake. Add extra milk or ice cream to make it smoother or thicker.

You can really customize a recipe like this with any cereal–it’s a blank canvas! If Trix aren’t your thing, try Lucky Charms or even Reese’s Puffs with a chocolate peanut butter ice cream.   

Trix Cereal-Milk Milkshake

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 2 servings):

  • 1/2 cup Trix cereal plus more for garnish

  • 3/4 cup whole milk

  • 1 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream, softened slightly

Trix Cereal Milk Milkshake

Method:

  1. Combine the Trix cereal and milk in a blender or food processor and mix until the Trix has fully dissolved into the milk. The milk should be smooth and darker in color. 

  2. Add in the ice cream and process until creamy.

  3. Pour out evenly into two glasses.

  4. Garnish with a little more Trix and enjoy with a straw or spoon.

4th of July Flourless Chocolate Cake

Gluten-Free Flag Cake

Cake is never my favorite dessert. Brownies, fudge and frosting are. So when I make a cake the fudgier and dense it is the better.

My mom’s made this flourless cake for years. I first had it during passover at a bake sale when it was one of the few flour-free treats people would flock to. Since then it’s been a go-to recipe.

The cake is just eggs, sugar, chocolate, and butter; it can’t get any simpler than that. For the frosting I used a basic vanilla buttercream and fresh berries to make it festive. When adding berries to baked goods you make the shelf life much much shorter, so add them at the last minute and make sure to eat it up fresh!   

Flourless Flag Cake

If you do prefer a lighter and cakier base, try this gluten-free recipe using almond and coconut flours. 

4th of July Flourless Chocolate Cake

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 20 servings):

For the cake:

  • 1 stick butter, melted

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 6 eggs

  • 1 cup chocolate chips OR 8.5 oz chocolate, melted

For the frosting:

  • 1 stick butter, room temperature

  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 Tablespoons milk or cream

  • 1 pint strawberries, sliced

  • 1 pint blueberries

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat together the butter and sugar, adding in eggs one at a time until all of them are incorporated. The batter should be smooth and ribbony.
  3. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave.
  4. Slowly temper the melted chocolate into the batter until it’s completely mixed in.
  5. Grease a 9-inch cake pan and pour the batter in.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Remove the cake and let it sit undisturbed until it cools to room temperature. It should deflate as it cools. Don’t worry if the top cracks since it will get covered eventually.
  8. To make the frosting, whip together the butter, sugar, vanilla, and milk until smooth.
  9. Lightly dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar to make sure the frosting doesn’t pull crumbs.
  10. Spread the frosting on gently and evenly.
  11. Arrange the strawberries and blueberries however you’d like right before serving. Store leftovers in a air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.  

Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookies

Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookies

Everyone has a go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe but not many have a go-to oatmeal cookie recipe.

As soon as I pulled these out of the oven and tasted them these became mine.

Chex is launching this month a line of oatmeal including flavored oatmeal packets and sent me some to try. I’m glad gluten-free oats aren’t a “specialty” food anymore and it’s easier to get classics like packaged oatmeal. The maple brown sugar flavor was by far the best breakfast I’ve had in a while.

Instead of loose oatmeal this recipe uses quick-cooking packaged oatmeal. It’s an easy way to add a lot of flavor. When you’re baking it’s better to use quick-cooking oats than rolled oats because they’ll bake faster and softer. 

Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookie Ingredients

I made mine with chocolate chips, but if you wanted to make these healthier you could add chopped walnuts, pecans, or even dried blueberries! Basically, if you’d have it with a bowl of oatmeal, it’s going to go great with these cookies. 

Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookies

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 14 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 24 cookies):

  • 3 packets Chex gluten-free maple brown sugar oatmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose gluten-free or regular flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 2 eggs

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oatmeal packets, flour, sugar, chocolate chips, and baking powder.
  3. Add in the vanilla extract, butter, and eggs and mix thoroughly until it makes a soft dough.
  4. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and flatten them out just a bit before putting them on a nonstick baking tray. 
  5. Bake for 12-14 minutes until the bottoms begin to brown. 
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool. Store in an airtight container for up to a week. 

4 Memorial Day Dessert Recipes

When the Summer comes around, it makes me realize how boring the Winter was. Every weekend someone’s having a picnic or a party or a birthday. It’s a really good problem to have.

Assuming you have one(or all) of those lined up for Memorial Day weekend, I wanted to share 4 of my favorite recipes to celebrate the warmer weather(of course if it’s too warm and chocolate starts melting, then it’s a travesty).

Any of these are a great way to finish off a picnic or a backyard barbecue depending on what your mood is. Each recipe is also gluten-free or easily tailored to be. 

Gluten-Free Chocolate Flag Cake

Gluten-Free Chocolate Flag Cake–Because every memorial day needs some patriotism. The great thing about cake is that it can’t melt, so if it’s hot out you can still have a tasty time. This cake defies normal gluten-free cakes with a super moist base and a rich vanilla frosting. You can’t really go wrong.

Chubby Hubby Cheesecake

Chubby Hubby Cheesecake is on my short list of recipes to make soon. It’s pretty much a home run with any crowd with good taste. It’s easy to make gluten-free, too, by using gluten-free pretzels or even vegan with dairy-free substitutes.

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

Chocolate Covered Strawberries are of course a classic dessert for any Summer party. As long as it’s not too hot out, these are a refreshing way to cool down. Create a variety by using milk, white, and dark chocolate.

Red White and Blue Stuffed Strawberries

Red, White, & Blue Strawberries take the chocolate covered strawberry idea and flip it inside out(literally). These take a little more time and skill but they’re worth the effort. If you’re up for a challenge and ready to impress, give these a go.

Happy Memorial Day!

Banana White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Banana White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Bananas get a worse rap than any other fruit. You never hear of people who refuse to eat blueberries or mangoes; what makes the banana so loathable?

If you do love bananas then this is the right cookie recipe. They aren’t overly cakey or fruity–they’re just right.

The flour I used was Betty Crocker’s gluten free baking flour. It’s mostly rice based which keeps the cookies light and airy. If you use wheat flour I’d suggest all-purpose or cake flour.

Banana White Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made mine with coconut oil and the flavor was even better. If you don’t have coconut oil, try adding shredded coconut.

Banana White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 12 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 18 cookies):

  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup oil(coconut oil works well here)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips 

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the banana, eggs, oil, and vanilla. 
  3. Add in the baking powder, sugar, flour, and salt and mix well until it makes a soft dough.
  4. Fold in the white chocolate chips evenly. 
  5. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and flatten them to about 1/2 inch thickness before putting them on a nonstick baking tray. 
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the bottoms begin to brown and the top is crispy. 
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.