Holiday Gifts: Gluten-Free Chocolate Walnut Cookies

What to do when you’ve made a big batch of Spritz Cookies and now you have leftover egg whites? How about some Chocolate Walnut Cookies?

I get requests for these cookies all the time and bonus, they are gluten-free and taste like little brownie bites.

Notes: To separate eggs, the easiest way I’ve found is the Nigella Lawson method of using your hand. It is quick and easy.

The original recipe for these called for regular cocoa and 3 cups of powdered sugar, that sounded much too sweet, so I reduced that first thing and since I love dark chocolate I used 1/2 dark and 1/2 regular cocoa. Continue reading

Apple Strudel

I had a couple of apples about to go bad and decided to make something new. I hadn’t done a strudel in a long time and the recipe seemed simple enough, so here we are.  I made two small dishes, so I could freeze one.

Apple Strudel

  • 2 1/2 cup sifted flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 c. butter, melted
  • 3 tsp. boiling water

8×8 baking dish, well-greased Continue reading

Dark Chocolate Caramel Walnut Bars

Not surprisingly, I don’t have a lot of processed food in the house. I generally make things from scratch. And this week I was really craving something sweet and there was not a cookie or candy bar in sight.  Luckily, I keep a LOT of ingredients in the house. There are always chocolate chips, nuts and raw coconut flakes in the cupboard/refrigerator.

I didn’t have the time to make cookies, so these bars were born.

Dark Chocolate-Caramel-Walnut Bars

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp dash of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 8 oz 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chips
  • 1/2 cups walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 4 oz of caramel chips
  • shredded or flaked coconut (I use raw, unsweetened)

8×8 baking dish, bowl Continue reading

Tahini Walnut Rolls

I have included a little Turkish Cafe in my newest novel Underway (available in June) and I wanted to try out a few pastry recipes to use in the book. This was one of the simpler (and not deep fried) that I decided to give a try.

This is not the definitive recipe – if you Google Tahini Rolls you’ll find dozens of variations. Everyone’s grandma must make her own version. This one seemed the easiest to replicate.

These are much different than I expected. Light, crisp, flaky and not too sweet, they go great with coffee.  I really liked them.  This recipe makes about 2 dozen: Continue reading

A Little Baking: Tahini Rolls

I’ll post the full recipe once I’ve completed this. I like to make sure it works first, LOL.

A friend is coming over for coffee this morning and I wanted to prepare a little treat. Luckily my friends are used to me experimenting on them.  What I realized this morning, I really miss playing with recipes.

But at the moment, there is not a lot of time for that. I did have fun this morning doing this one and playing in the kitchen really is stress relief for me.

Stay tuned for the finished product. Until then…


 

Christmas Eve Dinner Menu: Dessert Tray, Pt 1

cranberry-upside-down-cakeWith the dinner menu being fairly simple, I’ve spent the week baking desserts. I started with Spritz Cookies. I used this recipe, and then I divided the dough in half. I added 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, about a 1/4 cup extra flour (a little at a time until it was workable dough again) and 2 tsp of lemon zest. I dusted those with powder sugar when done. The other batch was just the yummy butter half of the dough.

Next up, this cake. I had leftover Cranberry-Apple Sauce from Thanksgivingwhich I froze with this recipe in mind. It made for a very tasty fruit bottom.  Here’s the original recipe:

Cranberry Upside Down Cake

  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups cranberries, chopped*
  • ½ cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp orange zest (rind)
  • 1 ¼ cups flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup milk

Topping

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1-1/2 tbsp orange juice (more as needed)
  • 2 tsp butter, softened

8×8 glass baking dish & mixing bowl

Preheat oven to 350°

Melt 3 tbsp of butter and pour into baking dish, spread to cover bottom and up the sides. Add ½ cup sugar, mix with butter on bottom of pan. Add cranberries & walnuts, spread over bottom of pan. Cream remaining butter & sugar, add vanilla, egg, orange zest, mix well. Add flour, baking powder & milk, mix until well blended, don’t over mix. Pour batter over cranberry mixture. Bake for 1 hour, or until golden brown and center bounces back at the touch. Invert on plate. Let cool.

Topping: Mix together butter, orange juice & powdered sugar, pour over cake and serve.

* if you don’t have a food processor, you can leave cranberries whole.

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I’m not done yet. I’ll be baking more later this week, so stay tuned….