Tag Archives: #easyglutenfreedesserts

Graham Crackers (Vegan, Oat-Free & Gluten-Free)

My daughter has a sensitivity to oats. When she was little she had reflux and would explode with eczema whenever she was exposed to them, but I didn’t know what was causing it until we had her blood tested. Before I was desperate enough to give her a blood test, I was slathering her with Aveno Baby Lotion and giving her oatmeal baths to sooth her eczema, only to make it worse. Recently, I tried to test the sensitivity with a couple servings of gluten-free oats, and she seemed to do okay. However, when she thought she was over the intolerance, she ate a bowl of oatmeal and a granola bar in one day; then, she got a huge tummy ache. I’m remaining positive. At least we are progressing beyond the eczema.

This oat intolerance, along with her sensitivity to wheat, makes it very difficult to find graham crackers at the store. Schar makes a wheat-free and oat-free graham cracker, but it has honey – so it’s not vegan. I’ve searched for vegan and gluten-free graham crackers, and I haven’t found any, so I decided to make my own. My daughter says that mine taste as good as the Schar ones! That’s a huge gluten-free vegan win, because mine are also refined sugar-free! Healthy and tasty!

Here’s what you do. Combine the dry ingredients…

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Slice the vegan butter into little chunks...IMG_0232.jpg

Cut-in vegan butter...IMG_0233.jpg

Stir in the wet ingredients until it begins to clump...IMG_0234.jpg

Form dough into a ball...IMG_0235.jpg

Roll dough over parchment paper, score it, and decorate it with a fork…IMG_0236.jpg

Bake, divide, and devour.IMG_0243.jpg

Make sure to save some graham crackers for s'mores or a pie crust. I'll post the recipe soon for this s'mores cake that I made with vegan marshmallows and dark chocolate (see below). It was delicious and easy!

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  • Servings: 20
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Easy gluten-free, oat-free, refined sugar-free, and vegan homemade graham crackers.

Tips: Make sure your gluten-free flour blend has xanthan gum, if not you will need to add 1/4 teaspoon. I really like the Namaste Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend, because I never have to add anything extra to the flour and it rises very well. It contains sweet brown rice flour, tapioca starch, brown rice flour, arrowroot powder, sorghum flour, and xanthan gum.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4  gluten-free flour (I used Namaste Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (I used Redmond Real Salt)
  • 8 tablespoons vegan butter (I used Earth Balance Soy Free)
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free pure vanilla extract


Directions

  1. Combine gluten-free flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and Redmond Real Salt in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Slice vegan butter into tablespoons (you can do even smaller pieces if you prefer).
  3. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut-in vegan butter one tablespoon at a time into the bowl until it resembles the texture of cornmeal. You also could do this easily with a food processor.
  4. Add cold water, maple syrup, and vanilla; continue to stir until dough starts to form large clumps. If dough is too dry, add more cold water one tablespoon at a time.
  5. Heat oven to 325.
  6. Lay out parchment paper.
  7. Spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
  8. Gather dough into a large ball and divide in half.
  9. Lightly flour the rolling-pin  (I used Namaste Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend because it was out already).
  10. Roll half of the dough into a rectangle to ~1/8″ thick.
  11. Score dough with a pizza cutter, knife, or multi-purpose scraper and chopper (I used this OXO Multi-purpose Scraper & Chopper) into desired shapes. I chose 2” x 2” squares, and used the OXO Multi-purpose Scraper & Chopper to measure easily with the measurements on the blade.
  12. Prick dough all over with a fork or toothpick.
  13. Repeat with the other half.
  14. Transfer the two parchment paper sheets to cookie sheets, and bake for 20 – 23 minutes or until golden brown.
  15. Let graham crackers cool for 5 minutes.
  16. Separate and eat.


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susanellenlogoweb

Tahini Cookies (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

My son cannot eat peanuts. So when Trader Joe’s put the Tahini on the end cap display by the checkout, it inspired me to make my sweet boy some cookies that he could eat! I had never had Tahini before, so I didn’t know what to expect.IMG_1560

The tahini cookie batter consistency was just like that of a peanut butter cookie.

IMG_1561.JPGI rolled the batter into balls, and I used a meat beater in order to see what the pattern would look like, but then decided to dip the fork in water and press – the old fashioned way.

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The result was a crispy wafer tahini cookie, which rivaled a peanut butter cookie (in my humble opinion). But regardless, he didn’t have an allergic reaction to them, so that’s a win in my recipe book!

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My daughter wanted to make sandwich cookies, so we made a vanilla filling. Honestly, I was already happily eating the crunchy tahini goodness with a glass of homemade cashew milk, but she was persistent. The kids often inspire my recipes, because I bake to not only make them healthier gluten-free vegan treats, but also to avoid allergic reactions.

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On the other hand, my son, my husband, and I prefer chocolate EVERYTHING, so I pulled a jar of the Best Vegan Chocolate Sauce from the fridge. It’s thick and spreadable, so I used it as a filling! FYI – I didn’t spread and leave the sandwich cookies sitting out, because we ate all of them before I could blink! However, I’m afraid the sauce would melt if you did. I would fill the tahini cookies right before eating each one, or keep them in the fridge. IMG_1583.JPG

Gluten-free and vegan deliciousness!

tahini cookie pinterest

  • Difficulty: easy
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A crunchy gluten-free and vegan tahini cookie

These tahini wafer cookies are gluten and sugar cane free and vegan. Eat them plain or make a sandwich cookie with chocolate or vanilla filling. If you use the chocolate filling recipe, it contains cane-sugar.

Ingredients

– 1/2 cup (~1 stick) vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)

– 3/4 cup tahini butter (I used Trader Joe’s)

– 1/2 cup coconut sugar

– 1/2 cup maple sugar (I use Coombs Family Farms Maple Sugar from Fresh Thyme)

– Egg replacer for 1 egg (1 ½ teaspoon Ener-G + 2 tablespoons warm water)

– 1/2 teaspoon gluten free pure vanilla extract

– 1 cup all-purpose gluten free flour (I used Namaste Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend)

– 3/4 teaspoon baking soda

Sandwich Cookie Filling (Optional)

Vanilla Filling:

– 2 tablespoon melted vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)

– 1 tablespoon almond milk (or any non-dairy milk)

– 3/4 – 1 cup powdered xylitol or confectioner’s sugar

Chocolate Filling:

Follow the recipe for the Best Vegan Chocolate Sauce.


Directions

  1. The chocolate filling: if you chose to make the chocolate filling click here for the recipe, it's best to prepare this the night before or at least a couple hours before in order to let it cool and firm in the fridge so that it is spreadable.
  2. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Heat your water for the egg replacer - I used a tea kettle.
  4. Add vegan butter, tahini, and both sugars to a mixing bowl.
  5. Cream with the paddle attachment for the mixer until they are well combined.
  6. Switch your attachment for your mixer to a regular beater.
  7. Prepare your egg replacer.
  8. Add egg replacer and vanilla, and mix on medium speed until combined.
  9. Shape 1 ½ - 2 tablespoons of dough into a ball.
  10. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.
  11. Place dough balls 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
  12. Make a design on your cookies with a small dish of warm water and a fork. Dip the fork's tines in water each time before you press. You can also try the meat beater to make a pattern, but it wasn't as pretty.
  13. Bake for 18 - 20 minutes until they are brown; rotate the baking sheets between the oven shelves halfway through baking (at ~9 minutes).
  14. The vanilla filling: If you chose to make the vanilla filling, make it while they are baking with a hand mixer. Mix the butter and non-dairy milk slowly adding the powdered xylitol (or powdered sugar) 1/4 cup at a time, mixing until smooth. You may need extra xylitol until it thickens well or matches your desired level of sweetness.
  15. When cookies are finished baking, transfer them to a wire rack to cool.
  16. Once they have cooled, fill them with icing if desired (refrigerate any remaining sandwich cookies) unfilled cookies, or in an airtight container at room temperature.

 

 

Chocolate Coconut Bars (Vegan & Gluten-free)

My mother-in-law makes these Black and White Bars, also known as Mound Bars. They rule, but are filled with dairy and gluten that I can’t have. So, I successfully transformed them into a vegan gluten-free treat. There are three parts to this recipe: the crust, coconut filling, and dark chocolate topping.

Crust

  • 3.5 cups almond meal (I used Just Almond Meal Great for Baking & Breading from Trader Joe’s)
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 8 tablespoons vegan butter  (I used Earth Balance)
  • ½ cup xylitol (you can use regular sugar, I just try to reduce it when possible)

I talk about my use of xylitol in my Vegan Broccoli Carrot Slaw recipe. I bought the XyloBurst brand made of birch sugar at Swansonvitamins.com.

Coconut Filling

  • 2 cans coconut sweetened condensed milk (I used Nature’s Charm Evaporated Coconut Milk; I got it from Fresh Thyme, but you can get it on Amazon too)
  • 2 – 4 cups shredded coconut (depending how much you like the taste and texture of coconut. My husband doesn’t like a lot of coconut, so I used only 2 cups)IMG_0737.JPG

FYI – This sweetened condensed coconut milk, has changed my baking world. I also use it when I make a vegan dulce de leche and vegan chocolate sauce. Everyone else agrees apparently, because it is constantly out of stock at Fresh Thyme.

Chocolate topping

  • 2 tablespoon vegan butter  (I used Earth Balance)
  • 3 packages dark chocolate vegan chips (I used Lily’s Baking Chips)
  • 2 bars unsweetened baking chocolate (I used Lily’s)

Lily’s is sweetened with stevia. The sweetened condensed coconut milk has enough sugar, I’m sure. Also, Enjoy Life also makes a yummy vegan chocolate chip.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Melt 8 tablespoons of vegan butter in microwave or stove
  3. Prepare crust by combining almond meal, xylitol or sugar, flour, and melted butter in a bowl.
  4. In a large baking dish 12 x 13 spread the almond meal crust.IMG_0750.JPG
  5. Bake crust at 350 for 15 minutes.
  6. Prepare coconut filling while crust is in the oven. Combine coconut sweetened condensed milk and shredded coconut in a bowlIMG_0754.JPG
  7. When the crust is done, spread the coconut over the crust, and bake again for 15 minutes.IMG_0757.JPG
  8. Set aside and let it cool.
  9. Prepare your topping. I tried melting the chocolate chips in a pot with the butter on the stove. However it was very thick. I had trouble spreading it on the coconut. Round two – heat the chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second increments until smoothly melted. Then spread evenly.
  10. Then, heat the 2 bricks of baking chocolate in the microwave. Pour it evenly over the top of the chocolate chips to make it look smooth.IMG_0762
  11. Put the dish in the fridge for 2 hours.
  12. Pull it out of the fridge and make lines on it with a knife so that it is easy to cut.
  13. Put it in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  14. Pull it out and cut your squares. You can put them on wax paper and store them in a plastic container so that they are easy to pull out one at a time, and eat! They aren’t the prettiest looking. I should have cut them with a sharper knife. Regardless, it didn’t take away from the taste!IMG_0768.jpgcover chocolate coconut bars.jpg

What are your favorite treats?

  1. susanellenlogoweb

Chocolate Wafer Cookies & Ice Box Cake (Gluten-free & Vegan)

Every year we made an icebox cake for Christmas. My daughter wrote all about it in her tradition story project at school. That’s when I got scared. This was the first year with the kids being wheat, egg, and dairy free. How was I going to make a gluten-free and vegan cake without the Nabisco cookies and whipped topping? I couldn’t break the tradition. See how sweet they are making this cake! My son was 2 here.

Last Christmas, we traveled to Florida to see my mother-in-law, so my husband and I went to the local Walmart on Christmas Eve, in attempt to get Christmas gifts and the ingredients to recreate the treasured icebox cake.  Peace & Calming to the rescue; seriously it helped me survive the crowds and chaos! I deserved the mother of the year award for a trip to Walmart, followed by Toys “R” Us on Christmas Eve!

While at Walmart, I bought Pillsbury Best Multi-Purpose Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Blend, Smart Balance (Vegan Butter), and Hershey’s Cocoa Powder. I was sincerely surprised at how delicious and crisp these gluten free vegan chocolate wafers were, and very inexpensive! FYI,  I don’t recommend the heavy coconut cream from Wal-Mart, it has tons of sugar and water, because of the dilution it doesn’t whip well – it tastes like marshmallows. I prefer the Trader Joe’s Brand or Tai Kitchen full-fat coconut cream.

Since it was Christmas, my mother-in-law requested that I try to stick to traditional cane sugar and cocoa powder instead of cacao and coconut sugar. I get it, she didn’t want to “ruin” the cookies with my typical healthier experimentation. I’ll have to experiment another time and report back!

Regardless, my mother-in-law (who had wanted to go buy the Nabisco cookies and make her own separate cake) declared, “These are really really good! Are you going to put these on your blog? You should!” I take that as a vegan gluten-free win!

Chocolate Wafer Cookies (Gluten-Free  & Vegan)

  • 1 1/2 cups (6.75 ounces) gluten free all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (2.4 ounces) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 14 tablespoon vegan butter, slightly softened (I used Smart Balance)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut cream or full fat coconut milk (I prefer Trader Joe’s brand)
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Combine the gluten-free flour, cocoa, sugar, salt, and baking soda into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Using a pastry cutter, scoop 1 tablespoon of vegan butter at a time into the bowl, continually combining with the pastry cutter as you incorporate each tablespoon. (If you don’t have a pastry cutter, you could put them in a vitamix or a food processor).
  3. Combine the coconut cream and vanilla in a small cup.
  4. Add the liquid mixture and continue to combine with the pastry cutter until it is fully combined.
  5. Knead a few times to make sure that it is evenly blended with your hands.
  6. Transfer the dough onto a cutting board lined with wax paper or foil.
  7. Form the dough into a log about 14 inches long and 1 3/4 inches in diameter.img_9255
  8. Wrap the log in wax paper or foil and refrigerate until firm, at least one hour, or until needed.
  9. Place your oven racks on the top and bottom slots.
  10. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  11. Using a pastry cutter (the Betty Crocker with measurements printed is great for this), slice the cookies as thinly as possible.
  12. Place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper approximately 1 inch apart. The first time I placed them too close like this and they grew together, but were easily separated. The next time I placed them 1 inch apart and they were perfect.img_9286
  13. Cook for 6 minutes on the top rack of the oven. After 6 minutes, transfer them to the lower rack.

Makes ~60 cookies if you slice them very thin. What’s good about these cookies is that they are flat at the bottom and are perfect for making an icebox cake!

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Icebox Cake (Gluten-Free & Vegan)

Ingredients:

  • Chocolate Wafers
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 can coconut cream or full-fat milk  (refrigerated overnight)

Directions:

  1. First, make the vegan coconut whipped cream. Since I made this dairy free, I used 1 can coconut cream (you can also use full fat coconut milk) that had been in the fridge overnight and ¼ cup powdered sugar. Mix with a mixer on high until fluffy. If you don’t have a good mixer, you can use a Vitamix, or put your metal bowl in the freezer before whipping the cream.IMG_9451.JPG
  2. Then, ice your gluten-free vegan chocolate wafers and create a stack of cookies.
  3. After four sandwich cookies, lay them on a wax paper covered tray, and continue to put a layer of whip cream on each chocolate wafer, lay it down on the tray creating a row of cookies. Repeat this for three rows. If you’re fancy you can try to make a design – like a Christmas tree with your icebox cake, but I’d try traditional rows for the first time.
  4. Carefully push the chocolate wafer rows together with a cookie inside the filling of another. Then, smooth the vegan whip cream around the entire outside of the cookies.
  5. The icebox cake needs to sit over night. The wafers will soak up the cream and become soft. Note below how the chocolate wafers absorb the coconut cream.img_9378-updated
  6. So in the meantime, the kids didn’t want to wait. I took extra chocolate wafers, put them in a cupcake liner, topped them with coconut cream, and enjoyed them right away! They are little mini-icebox cupcakes!img_9369

What are some of your favorite holiday food traditions or recipes?

susanellenlogoweb

Inspiration: https://smittenkitchen.com/2009/03/homemade-chocolate-wafers-icebox-cupcakes/. I adapted her recipe to make it gluten and dairy free (vegan), and changed the directions.