Cocoa Cookies

Does anyone else love having cookies as part of their breakfast? I especially love dunking cookies in my morning cup of black coffee (Kicking Horse Coffee all the way!  Kick Ass being my favourite blend by the way). Lately, I’ve been enjoying these Gluten Free Dairy Free Cocoa Cookies with my morning coffee.

Gluten Free Dairy Free Cocoa Cookies

Because really, who doesn’t want to start their day off with chocolate? I know I’m all for it, but at the same time I don’t like the idea of filling my plate with sugary cookies containing absolutely no nutrients. Don’t get me wrong, I love sweets, but I believe there’s a time and a place for them. Maybe when I was younger and it was easier to burn off those extra morning calories, but let’s face it…those days are looong gone!

Gluten Free Dairy Free Cocoa Cookies

I made a first batch of these Gluten Free Dairy Free Cocoa Cookies a few weeks back for my father-in-law who had been asking for some low glycemic gluten free cookies. Since then, I’ve already made 2 more batches. Yup, they’re that good. At first I was a bit skeptical of making a cookie with no sugar. Yes, I realize I previously made these Almond Butter Blueberry Muffins only using agave nectar, but still…cookies….with no sugar?? Hmmm, wasn’t sure about this one. But I was surprisingly pleased when they came out of the oven (and popped right in my mouth!).  Aside from being a very quick and easy chocolate cookie to whip up, these Gluten Free Dairy Free Cocoa Cookies are so soft and chocolate-y, you’d think you were biting into a brownie!

Gluten Free Dairy Free Cocoa Cookies

I think these would taste great crumpled up in the Gluten Free Dairy Free Vanilla Bean Ice Cream I made about a week ago. Or even better…making chocolate ice cream sandwiches with them – hello!
So on another note, this will be my last post for a few weeks. Well at least my last post featuring a gluten free baked good I created. I will be heading away for a vacay to sunny Spain (yippee!). As I do every time I visit, I plan on exploring the latest and greatest gluten free products available in stores. It’s so exciting to see all the gluten free products available in other places. And so many options which I can’t find here at home. Needless to say, my suitcase will probably be crammed with gluten free goodies when I head back home. I will also have the opportunity to explore a new city on this trip – Barcelona! With the numerous visits I have made to Spain, it’s surprising it’s taken me this long to include Barcelona as part of my trip. I mean aside from the amazing architecture, it is afterall Desigual headquarters (aka my paradise!) – again, why has it taken me this long to plan a visit?? There are 2 places I am super excited to visit: 1) a small sandwich shop which has gotten rave reviews and also offers gluten free sandwiches. Do you know how long it has been since I have had a kick-ass sandwich??? Since I had to eliminate gluten over 5 years ago, so yeah, I’m excited. And, 2) an Italian restaurant, again with rave reviews, which offers fresh homemade gluten free pasta! Lucky for me, I plan on doing lots of walking so I can over indulge on food.  I’ll also be in Madrid at some point and plan on checking out Celicioso Bakery. After seeing shots of their delicious treats on Twitter, I know I MUST make a stop there.
So, I will try to post about my travels, but incase I get swept up in relaxation, please be sure to check out my twitter feed, as I will be tweeting along the way.
In the meantime, I leave you with the recipe for these yummy Gluten Free Dairy Free Cocoa Cookies. What are you waiting for? Go get baking!
Pure deliciousness!
Eva

Gluten Free Dairy Free Cocoa Cookies

Bake Time: 10 minutes

Makes: about 20 cookies

Super soft, easy to make chocolate cookies. Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Egg Fee.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened premium cocoa, sifted
  • 2 tbsp tapioca starch
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray or line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients and set aside.
  3. In bowl of mixer, cream together coconut oil, agave and vanilla.
  4. Add dry ingredients and mix dough comes together.
  5. Roll by hand about 1 tablespoon of dough at a time into small balls, and place on prepared cookie sheet. Place balls about 1" apart from each other. Flatten balls slightly, using the bottom of a glass.
  6. Place in oven and bake for 8-10 min. Let cool on cookie sheets for 2 min before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
http://www.pastelbakery.ca/gluten-free-dairy-free-cocoa-cookies/

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Happy Ice Cream Day everybody! The sun is shining and it’s another hot lazy summer day. What a perfect weekend to celebrate Ice Cream Day. Did anyone else melt away in the heat wave we recently got? If so, I’ve got the cure for you: Gluten Free Dairy Free Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.

Gluten Free Dairy Free Vanilla Bean Ice CreamI don’t mind hot days, but when humidity levels are so wack and making it feel like 40ºC outside, well that’s where I draw the line. Let’s face it; that’s just not enjoyable weather. The other day I went out for my morning walk just before 8:30 and couldn’t believe that after 20 min I was drenched in sweat. Ugh, gross! This made me wanting a cool refreshing dessert. After all, I did deserve it after my hot walk, right?
I had been eyeing some creamy ice cream recipes online, but all required an ice cream maker (d’oh!). Yes I know there are ice cream maker free versions which use whipped up bananas as their main ingredient, however as you may recall from my recent Strawberry Banana Frozen Yogurt Pops post, I don’t get along with my blender. So as much as I would have loved to use the overripe bananas I had, I just knew it wasn’t an option. Then I came across a post from David Lebovitz showing how to make homemade ice cream sans ice cream maker. Perfect!

Gluten Free Dairy Free Vanilla Bean Ice CreamGiven a pint of store bought gluten free dairy free ice cream can run you between $6-$8 (yikes!), I think I could totally justify getting an ice cream maker. Maybe a super early Christmas gift (hint to my hubby)? Or how about Christmas in July? It could totally be a thing! I suppose until then, making ice cream by hand is the way to go.
As I needed to make this dairy free, I used a full can of coconut milk (full fat – no light business going on in here!) and some almond milk. To thicken the mixture, I used some cornstarch (I’m sure tapioca starch would also work if you don’t have cornstarch on hand).  I also added a little bit of ground cinnamon and nutmeg to add a bit of spice to the vanilla taste.  This Gluten Free Dairy Free Vanilla Bean Ice Cream is really quick and easy to make…again, no ice cream maker required! The end result may not be as perfectly creamy as when using an ice cream maker, but I was still impressed with actually how creamy it did turn out. As you can see, I still enjoyed it either way.

Gluten Free Dairy Free Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
And if you can resist eating it all in one sitting, it actually tastes even better a few days after being made. One thing though, is prepare to work your muscles BIG TIME, as a lot of whipping by hand is involved. Did I mention no ice cream maker is required? 
In the coming week, I plan on making another frozen treat to help keep us cool during these hot summer days. I hope to share this recipe with you as well so stay tuned! Hint: it will be chocolate-y. 
Pure deliciousness!
Enjoy and stay cool!
Eva

Gluten Free Dairy Free Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Makes: about 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 can coconut milk (400 ml)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup corn starch or tapioca starch
  • 2 tbsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar or honey
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg (optional)

Method

  1. In medium pot over low heat, simmer coconut and almond milk.
  2. Slowly whisk in corn starch, ensuring no lumps are left. Continue to simmer gently until mixture thickens slightly (about 5 min).
  3. Remove from heat, then stir in vanilla, agave and spices (if using). Let cool. I placed my pot in a bowl of cool water to help bring the temperature down.
  4. Pour into a freezer safe stainless steel or plastic bowl, cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 45 min.
  5. Remove from freezer and whisk vigorously for about 1-2 min. Make sure to scrap sides of container where ice cream begins to freeze in clumps.
  6. Cover and return to freezer. Repeat this process every half hour for up to 4 hours, or until ice cream is frozen.
  7. After last stir,pour mixture into freezer safe container with secure tight fitting lid and freeze until ready to use.
  8. You will need to take out of the freezer a few minutes before serving so it's easier to scoop.
http://www.pastelbakery.ca/gluten-free-dairy-free-vanilla-bean-ice-cream/

Almond Butter Blueberry Muffins

Have you ever bought a baking ingredient, not knowing exactly what to do with it? You bring it home, add it to your pantry and say, ‘I’ll get to you someday’. And there it sits; patiently waiting for its turn. Each time you run into the pantry for ingredients, it pops right up and screams ‘Pick me! Pick me!’, but you always just walk away and say ‘I’ll get to you someday’. This was my relationship with agave nectar, but all has changed since I made these Gluten Free Dairy Free Almond Butter Blueberry Muffins.

Gluten Free Dairy Free Almond Butter Blueberry MuffinsAgave nectar is a great alternative to sugar. As it is sweeter than sugar, you don’t need to use as much in your recipes, making it a perfect substitute in these muffins, which I like to enjoy for breakfast. Since these would be my ‘breakfast muffins’ the only bit of sugar in these is the ½ tbsp of brown sugar I mixed with ground cinnamon to sprinkle on top – because really, who could resist the smell of warm brown sugar and cinnamon? As I did not have fresh blueberries on hand, I used frozen ones which worked just fine (no defrosting required by the way). When I make a batch of these muffins, I’ll typically leave a couple out for the next day or two, and then freeze the rest. This way I always have a yummy breakfast muffin on hand.

Gluten Free Dairy Free Almond Butter Blueberry MuffinsYes, I know… this recipe is a little different from the sweet treats I normally prepare, but I figured starting my day off with a big bowl of cupcakes topped sky high with buttercream probably isn’t a good idea…as much as I’d like to tell myself it is.

Gluten Free Dairy Free Almond Butter Blueberry Muffins

These are perfect for dunking in your morning coffee, or warm them up and top them with some dairy free buttery spread. Pure deliciousness!
Enjoy and thanks for stopping by! Comments are always welcomed.
Eva

Gluten Free Dairy Free Almond Butter Blueberry Muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Bake Time: 22 minutes

Makes: about 12 muffins

A moist and delicious muffin, perfect for breakfast!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/3 cup agave syrup
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup blueberries frozen (not thawed)
  • Optional topping
  • 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and place liners in muffin trays.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in medium bowl and set aside.
  3. If using optional topping, combine brown sugar and cinnamon in small bowl and set aside.
  4. In bowl of mixer, add agave, almond butter and oil and mix on medium-low until combined.
  5. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
  6. Add dry ingredients and milk, alternating between each addition, and mix until well combined.
  7. Fold in blueberries.
  8. Fill liners about 3/4 full and top with brown sugar topping. Bake for 22 minutes, or until muffins spring back when touched in the center.
  9. Remove from oven and let sit in trays for 2 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
http://www.pastelbakery.ca/gluten-free-dairy-free-almond-butter-blueberry-muffins/