Gluten Free Cookie Butter

original cookie butterIf you don’t have a local Trader Joe’s you may be wondering just what is cookie butter. The original cookie butter was made from Speculoos cookies, a traditional Belgian cookie, that are crushed up and mixed with vegetable oil to make a spread. It is roughly the color and texture of peanut butter with the addictiveness of Nutella.

Unfortunately, cookie butter is clearly not gluten free. If you are a Celiac or suffer from gluten sensitivity, the holidays can be a trying time what with the cakes, cookies, and pies wafting their delicious aromas around you. Check out some of my gluten free cookie recipes below (including cookie butter!) to join in on the festivities!

Gluten Free Recipes

Cookie Butter

There are two ways to go about making gluten free cookie butter. You can make your own gluten free cookies, bake them, and then grind them up in a food processor with coconut oil or (if you are pressed for time) you can make a cookie butter substitute in about 10 minutes!

To make the quick version you will need:

  • 2 cups cashews
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ tbs molasses
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • scant ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • scant ¼ tsp cloves

Then all you need to do is throw the cashews in your food processor for a few minutes then add in your remaining ingredients. If the texture is too rough, add in a little oil at a time until it achieves your desired consistency. This will last for a few weeks when refrigerated.

Gluten Free Cookies

speculoos cookies

The original Speculoos cookies

Assuming you have more time on your hands or you want a more traditional albeit gluten free cookie butter, you can always make your own gluten free Speculoos cookies to start. For this method you will need:

  • 1 ¾ cup almond flour
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • 1 tbs cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tsp ginger
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp xantham gum
  • 1 ¼ cup granulated sweetener of your choosing
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup coconut oil (this is for moistening the crushed up cookies to make it into a spread).

Instruction

Mix the flour, spices, salt, baking powder, and xantham gum in a bowl and set aside. Using a mixer, blend your butter and sugar on high until fluffy. Add in your egg and continue mixing for another minute or so. Add in your mixed dry ingredients and blend on medium-high until evenly mixed (your dough will be very soft). Divide the dough into two equal parts, wrap them in plastic, then chill them in the fridge for 1 hour.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Roll your dough until it is approximately ¼ of an inch thick and cut it with cookie cutters. Continue rolling and cutting until all the dough is used. Bake for 8-10 minutes then cool for 30 minutes on a cookie rack.

Once cooled, add the cookies to your food process along with your oil and blend until it is about the consistency of peanut butter. Again, this can be stored in your refrigerator.

Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

gluten free sugar cookiesAssuming you don’t want cookie butter cookies, there are a variety of other gluten free cookie options available to you. Here is what you will need to make gluten free sugar cookies

  • 2 cups gluten free all purpose flour + some extra set aside for rolling the dough later
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbs water (or milk)
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp xantham gum*
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon

*Some gluten free flour already has xantham gum in it. Omit it if yours does.

Instructions

Cream your sugar and butter on medium speed then add in your egg, water/milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt. Mix until well blended. Next, add in your xantham gum and flour at a low speed until all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed.

Again, you will need to cover and refrigerate your dough for an hour. This is because gluten free flour does not absorb moisture like regular wheat-based flours. If your dough is too sticky to roll and pick up easily, continue to refrigerate it until it is easier to manipulate.

Roll out your dough on a floured surface to about ¼ inch thickness and begin cutting it with cookies cutters. Continue to reform your dough, roll it out, and cut it until the entirely is used. Bake 10-12 minutes and then cool them on a cookie rack before eating.

Gluten Free Christmas Cookies

gluten free ginger snaps

Gluten free ginger snaps for the holidays!

You may be wondering what exactly the difference is between a gluten free sugar cookie and a gluten free Christmas cookie. Honestly, there’s not much besides the shape of the cookie cutter you use. However, Christmas time is also gingerbread time. Here is what you will need to make gluten free gingerbread cookies also known as ginger snaps:

  • 2 cup gluten free all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar or ¾-1 tsp Stevia
  • ½ cup + 2 tbs melted coconut oil
  • 4 tbs molasses
  • 1 tbs cinnamon
  • 1 tbs ginger
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well. In a separate bowl, mix all wet ingredients together thoroughly then combine wet and dry ingredients.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spoon out roughly 1 tablespoon sized scoops of your dough onto a cookie sheet (this should make 24-28 cookies in total) and bake for 8 minutes. Allows cookies to cool before eating.

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

gluten free peanut butter cookiesIf sugar cookies and ginger snaps aren’t your thing, then gluten free peanut butter cookies may be more your speed. This one is also the simplest and does not require any flour whatsoever! You will need:

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Sea salt (optional)

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Add all of your ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Next spoon out tablespoon size portions of the mixture approximately one inch apart onto your baking sheet. Using a fork, flatten the mounds to add a cross hatch pattern. If you so desire, sprinkle the cookies with sea salt and bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool then enjoy!

Hopefully you are now well armed with an arsenal of gluten free cookie recipes to get you through the holiday season and beyond!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments Off

Paleo Tuna Cakes…IT’S WHAT’S FOR DINNER!

Today was a lovely Ohio day!  I know people must laugh when I say that, but I have been pleasantly surprised and pleased with the weather thus far (cough cough, I know I haven’t hit winter yet!) :-P .  I woke up at 5:20AM today to hit the ground running.  MAN, was it hard to get out of bed or what!?!  On days when I have a hard time waking up, a morphed CrossFit/circuit training workout is just what I need to wake up.  I did 5 rounds for time of 15 walking lunges with 50 lbs, and then 30 double unders.  I’m not very good at double unders, but I did get 13 in a row!  Those kick my butt :-)  After that, I begrudgingly did an elongated sprint workout:

4 miles total

.5 miles at 7.8 (7:47 pace)

1 mile at 9.3 (6:27 pace)

.5 miles at 7.5 (8:00 pace)

1 mile at 9.3 (6:27  pace)

.5 miles at 7.5 (8:00 pace)

.5 miles at 8.6 (6:58 pace)

Stick a fork in me, I’m done!

I decided to round out a healthy day, to make a healthy dinner.  Hubby did EVERYTHING except for the salad!  He did such a great job!

tuna-cakes-1

We had Tuna Cakes (Paleo) with an arugula, parmesan, artichoke, olive and cherry tomato salad with roasted butternut squash.

tuna-cakes-2

Hubby made everything perfectly!  The butternut squash was the best I’ve ever had.  Hands down, this man can cook!

tuna-cakes-2

Topped everything with avocado…bring on the fat!

I got the tuna cake recipe from Raf’s Kitchen.  Great job, Raf!

Pale0 Tuna Cakes

Ingredients:
Canned Tuna                                        1 can
Egg                                                           1 large
Coconut Flour                                     1 Tbsp
Almond Meal                                        1 Tbsp
Green Onion (Diced)                         1 spring
Paleo Mayo                                            1 tsp
Dijon Mustard                                       1 tsp
Dried Bell Peppers (soften in water)                2 tsp
Lemon Juice                                          1 tsp
Garlic Powder                                      1/2 tsp
Onion Powder                                      1/2 tsp
Crushed Black Pepper                       1/4 tsp
Sea Salt                                                      To taste
Cayenne Pepper                                    pinch
Tabasco sauce (Optional)                 1/2 tsp

Instructions:
1. Soak Dried bell peppers in warm water for 10 minutes to soften.
2. Mix all ingredients together and let it sit for 5 minutes to allow coconut flour to absorb some moisture.
3. Form the mixture into 3-4 patties/cakes
4. Pre heat an iron skillet and pan fry tuna cakes both sides in your choice of oil until golden brown. About 3-4 minutes per side on medium heat. (Every stove’s heat setting varies, check every few minutes to be sure.)
5. Serve with extra paleo mayo if desire. ENJOY!!!!

**I lined out the ingredients that I omitted**

And to top off the day, I got to listen to this awesome song :-)

tuna-cakes-4

Does anyone know who Marky Mark is???  :-) Answer coming next posting!

xoxo

Alyssa

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Gluten Free Cheese Blintzes!

img_2737

I woke up starving this morning! I had made a batch of gluten free cheese blintzes yesterday, so I warmed them up for breakfast!

Gluten Free Crepes

– 1 cup GF baking flour

– 2 eggs

– 1/2 cup almond milk

– 1/2 cup water

– 2 tbsp melted butter

Directions: Whisk everything together and let it sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to thicken. Then spray a small frying pan with non-stick spray and ladle in about 1/3 cup of the batter. Take the pan and swirl it so the batter spreads evenly. This will form a very thin pancake…or crepe. After the small bubbles appear on the top, you will want to flip the crepe. You may want to use a fork and a spatula to do this, and don’t forget to be gentle! Once the crepe is browned on both sides, remove from heat and let it cool a bit. Then fill/top with whatever you like!

Cheese Filling

– 1 block of cream cheese

– 1/4 cup brown sugar

– 1 tsp vanilla

Directions: Let the cream cheese come to room temperature. Then, using a standing mixer combine cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla and whisk until combined and fluffy. Fill crepes with cream cheese filling and wrap up to enjoy!

I topped ours with some thawed frozen berries tossed with agave…so good!

Ever had cheese blintzes? You have got to try this recipe!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Uber Bar Review and LARABAR GIVEAWAY!

Boy oh boy do I have a treat for you guys!  I secretly wish I could enter the giveaway and win this box of goodies for myself!

Lara Bar was nice enough to send me some of their newest line of bars, Uber Bars, for review.  I’ve enjoyed them to the fullest, as has Hubby, who I employ to review EVERYTHING I get in the mail because he is EXTREMELY critical :-) Plus, he brings to the product review fight something that I lack…he actually knows what glutenous products taste like!  After 4 solid years of being GF, I honestly can’t remember the texture of anything full of gluten.  Sometimes, if I eat a REALLY GOOD gluten free products, I quickly ask him to gluten test it for me because it is too good to be true!  However, us gluten free-ers are super lucky because GF baked goods have made huge strides in their product development.  I’m now happy when caught off guard by a product, rather than fearful for my foreshadowed tummy troubles :-)

Hubby busted into these before I could even fathom eating one.  He had the Bananas Foster with some Green Tea for breakfast and decided the bar was quite pleasant.  Now, this was a response that caught me off guard because Hubby is actually not a fan of Lara Bars in general (I know…it’s amazing we were able to overcome this hurdle in our marriage, but somehow we make things work).  He enjoyed the texture of the bar, still chewy but with a bit nuttiness and crispiness to keep your mouth entertained.  He said that the bar was delicious, but he didn’t get an overwhelming banana flavor.  I personally love bananas, but hate “banana flavored” things, so I think I would have enjoyed this one as well.

Moist, chewy and delicious!  A nice change from the traditional Lara Bar (but I’m still a huge fan of the traditional bars) :-)

One night as a pre-dinner snack, I had this apple turnover Uber Bar.  O.M.G. I don’t kid when I say it was better than most bars I’ve eaten.  This really did taste like an apple dessert, but more like an apple crumble.  The texture was spot on and the flavors were sweet but not overpowering.

You guys hit this one out of the park, Lara Bar!

And last up, the Roasted Nut Roll :-)

This one I popped into my bag before we headed to a NCAA First Four tournament game!  Thank goodness because I needed it in the 2nd half!  This one I thought was a bit deceving.  Not sure what I was expecting, maybe a Pecan Roll?  You know those southern treats that are comprised of sweet buttery brown sugar rolled with pecans?  Well, it wasn’t that.  It was still delicious, but I couldn’t put my finger on the flavor notes that I would have capitalized on in titling this flavor of bar.

The only negative I could think of with these Uber Bars is that they all have Brown Rice Syrup in them.  Not a huge issue because their sugar levels are still rather low, but if you’re trying to eat strict Paleo, these will not fly.  The traditional Lara Bars are still perfectly acceptable though!

Now to the fun stuff.  Who wants to win this??

Yup!  A 16 pack of assorted Lara Bar flavors!!!!  I’m so jel…I want them for myself :-) But don’t worry, I know I already got the Uber Bars…these are for my lovely readers only!

How to Enter:

– Comment which flavor of Lara Bar is your favorite, or which you would like to try

– Leave a comment on another blog about this giveaway (1 extra entry per comment)

– Tweet about this giveaway:  AWESOME @Lara Bargiveaway @GlutenFreeMuse! (1 extra vote)

And, in case you didn’t know,  Lara Barhas reforumlated their wrappers and they are now RECYCLABLE!  Be sure you do your part and recycle the contents of your winnings ;-)

Do you eat bars?  What are your favorites?  My favorite Lara Bar is probably Cashew Cookie (my Mom’s too)!

xoxo

Alyssa

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off