Dessert

The Ultimate Gluten-Dairy-Grain-Nut-Soy-Sugar-Free Carob Cake

I have a best friend. On here I call her Muffin.

Muffin has a history with illness; a much more storied, dangerous, and exacting one than mine. Our friendship began when our bodies were strong and our spirits unstoppable. We’re so thankful now that we were reckless, and lived dangerously and fully back then. Now we’re so careful, so precise, and so used to premeditating physical complications and energy black holes. This recipe is from her, and for her.

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{gluten-free} Meyer Lemon Coconut Cake for Two

Years ago, I was an avid blogger.

I had a network of talented bakers that I interacted with regularly, was part of baking circles and recipe swaps, and eagerly combed through various websites on a constant basis every morning. I loved blogging, and I’m thankful for what it brought into my life. Like the chance to make some new virtual friends and occasionally write a recipe for their wildly successful blogs.

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{gluten-free} Peanut Butter Krinkles!

I’ve made these classic crinkly peanut butter cookies every holiday season for as long as I can remember. As a child, I’d help unwrap Hershey Kisses and plop them onto still-warm cookies that were made by the hundreds in my family home. For years they were (by far) my favorite out of the many on my mother’s holiday plate and, as an adult, friends request these more than any other from my own kitchen.

In order to “save my spoons” (see here and here for what that means), I’ve cut back on baking a lot in the past year or so. But this Christmas I was gifted with such kindness that I popped into the kitchen to make them as a “thank you” to someone who particularly enjoys them. Someone who has shown me not a passing bit of kindness, but one that is sustained and repeatedly generous. One that, especially during this beautiful but stressful time of the year, I’ve greatly appreciated. One that was folded into another kindness, and two very special people to thank with something sweet.

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{gluten-free} Mini Black and White Cookies and my 300th post!

I guess it’s fitting that my 300th post features the most New Yorky of cookies; the Black and White cookie.

Much of this blog has focused on my living in New York: balancing random jobs as a performer, writer and baker; dragging standing mixers to the apartments of boyfriends past; working for a local gluten-free magazine or meeting famous chefs; and eventually refocusing my work to bake less and write more. Yes, these cookies are not an adaptation of a chef that I know or am working with, but they are quintessentially New York.

And insanely delicious.

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{gluten-free} Toasted Walnut Butter Ball Cookies

Growing up, there were several cookies my mom would always make around the holidays: crispy chocolate-chip laden biscotti, delicately caramelized lace cookies filled with melted chocolate, little cups of gooey nut pastries, and these tiny bombs of buttery walnut cookies I only knew as Butter Balls.

When the gluten thing hit in my early teens, those were all off limits for years. Later, as my mom started experimenting with gluten-free flours by my side, she easily adapted some of her favorites so that I could enjoy them along with my family. To this day, her biscotti come out better than mine, even though she uses my flour blend to make them. Some things just need that extra bit of mom love, I guess.

But the walnut butter balls eluded me. Until now.

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The Very Best {gluten-free} Spicy Chocolate Chipotle Brownies

 

These are the best fu*king brownies I’ve ever made.

No joke, no lies. They’re definitely not the easiest brownies in my arsenal: definitely not as easy as the Divine Cocoa Brownies that are literally dubbed “the easiest brownies you will ever make”, nor as easy as using the Kitch+Table mix I adore, nor as easy as the booze-bursting Boyfriend Breakup Beer Brownies. They’re definitely easier than the Peppermint Patty Brownie Bars, though, but those are all Christmasy.  And, while all of those brownie recipes (and I obviously adore brownies) are awesome; while they definitely fix a sweet tooth and are ready while the “I can’t believe he just broke up with me” snot is still running down your sister’s face; they’re not these brownies.

These brownies are the best. They come from Chef Johnny Iuzzini’s new book, Sugar Rush, on stands and digital clouds everywhere. And they’re my new favorites for when I have serious brownie people to impress.

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Dairy Free Creme Brulee with Chef Joe Murphy

Welcome to my first installment of Pro Pastry. This series focuses on recipes from chefs I’ve worked with, adapted with the gluten and dairy removed so that my body can indulge in them. I’ll also be simultaneously posting long-form interviews or book reviews of the chefs over at WordsFoodArt.com. Take a look at the why’s behind this series, and click on the links within to sneak into the fun little life I have as a chef writer. xoxo

My Creme Brûlée Recipe Needed an Update

It’s been one of the most popular posts on this site for years now and, though I haven’t made it recently, creme brûlée so easy and fun to make that I used to devour it often.

But the original recipe went up in 2011. Time fricken flies, man. In that time I shifted from blogging and playwriting to “chef writing” and, 150 some-odd chefs later, I’ve lived so many beautiful moments and seen countless plates of breathtaking food. Recently, I was chatting with a bartender while Brent shot away in a neighboring dining room, when a “creme brûlée” hit my ears, and inspired this first Pro Pastry recipe. Continue reading

{gluten-free} Peppermint Patty Brownie Bars

In general I’m a lady of simple pleasures. But now and then I need a little ooh-la-la!

These bars pack a ton of ooh-la-la and a bit of fa-la-la-la-la and a heaping scoop of ho-ho-ho to boot!

I’d had a package of candy  canes on my baking shelf since October. Yes, October. Because that’s when my roommate (kinda sorta) lets me at least bring up the subject of Christmas without throwing something at me. But with all the molasses-ing and ginger-ing and cookie-ing of various sorts, I didn’t play with peppermint until last weekend. Continue reading

{gluten-free} 3-Gingers Snaps!

“If you want really spicy cookies, go try those ginger snaps…”

This was said to me last Monday at the Serious Eats 5th Annual Cookie Swap, a fun little shindig with an impressive variety of sweets and some serious cocktails that I was told (but had a hard time believing) were somehow even stronger last year. Of course I didn’t actually get to try anyone else’s cookies (or the gorgeous canelles that Dessertbuzz brought and we were all oohing and aahing over!) because mine were the only gluten-free option of the bunch. I wasn’t going to even label them as such, but did just in case there was another “me” in attendance. When Niko (Dessertbuzz) told me to check out the “really spicy cookies” and I responded, “They’re mine!”, I was rewarded with a happy face standing next to them, noshing away. He’d been trying to stick to a gluten-free diet, and was psyched to find my little plate amongst the gorgeous spread.

So, yes, these are really spicy gluten-free ginger snaps! Continue reading

{gluten and dairy-free} Chewy Molasses Cookies

Chewy molasses cookies - lots of flavor, no gluten!

Chewy molasses cookies – lots of flavor, no gluten!

I love spicy molasses cookies. They’re like gingersnaps’ saucier big sister.

I made these for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap benefiting Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, and an online auction Bake Sale for the Philippines, since they travel well and lack the gluten and dairy my swap matches can’t digest.

They’re rather easy to make and have that crackly, sugary top that makes me think of the holidays, for some reason!

They’re also 100% kid tested and approved. I can say that because the tiny little baby friend I had in my apartment the night I was making them gobbled one up. So 1 outta 1! Woohoo! She then got naked and started playing with the silver shakers at my living room bar, so I don’t know if we can trust a 1-year old with a drinking problem, but whatever.

Anyway, they’re delicious on their own, and even better when crumbled into another cookie, sandwiched around frosting or dunked in ice cream. A classic, chewy in the center and crispy at the edges. Yum. Continue reading

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