Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie – gluten-free

Servings: 8 serving(s)

Prep time: 10 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

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Think of everything you love about a warm chocolate chip cookie and then imagine that in a pie, a chocolate chip cookie pie.

chocolate chip cookie pie is gluten-free

You know the taste of slightly warm chocolate chip cookies? Warm enough that they’re a little gooey with chocolate that practically drips when you take a bite…? That would be a chocolate chip cookie pie.

chocolate chip cookie pie is gluten-free

It’s a celebration kind of pie. March Break has officially begun in my house so a special dessert is in order. This pie is dessert tonight, a decadent treat that is the stuff of my kids’ dreams.

Never mind that it’s made with almond flour and coconut (so is gluten free).

Enjoy it served slightly warm with sweetened Greek yogurt or a little whipped cream. chocolate chip cookie pie is gluten-free

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie Recipe

Adapted from All day I Dream About Food

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cups almond flour
  • 3/4 cups finely shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ cup chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F and grease a 9-inch oven-proof skillet or pie pan.
  2. Whisk together the almond flour, coconut and baking soda.
  3. In another bowl beat butter and sugar then beat in molasses, egg and vanilla.
  4. Stir almond flour mixture into butter mixture and stir until well combined.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Spread dough in prepared pan and bake 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.
  7. Cookie will be very soft and a little jiggle-y in the middle.
  8. Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

chocolate chip cookie pie is gluten-free

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Classic German spice cookies – the beguiling Pfeffernusse

 Pfeffernusse German spice cookies

 

 

I’m beginning to think that there are two Christmas cookie camps: there’s the very sweet, sometimes gooey, chocolate-usually-included camp and there is the often spicy, been-around-for-hundreds-of-years, goo-less camp.

A simplified view, I know, but the idea of special Christmas cookies covers the gamut.

For me, simple is beautiful. I love traditional cookies with complex flavours and pleasing textures, exotic spices and no food colouring.

Pfeffernusse German spice cookies

 

I eat more than my fair share of chocolates over the Holidays and I won’t turn my nose up at gooey sweets but when push comes to shove it’s the unassuming cookie on the tray that catches my eye.

Take these Pfeffernusse for example. These German Spice Cookies of my childhood are a humble-seeming biscuit that didn’t really catch my eye until I was in my 20s.

I have no German roots but my mom is an adventurous baker and was always drawn to European treats. I grew up eating Saint Lucia buns on December 13, Lebkuchen decorated with candied angelica and Vienna crescents rich with ground nuts. We devoured cardamom gingersnaps, Linzer cookies and pfeffernusse alongside shortbreads and Aunt Mary’s sugar cookies.

Pfeffernusse German spice cookies

 

This isn’t the exact recipe I grew up with though. Since pfeffernusse translates to “peppernuts” I was wondering about the “nut” bit. My recipe has lots of ground pepper but no nuts so I went hunting for other recipes and came across this version, complete with ground almonds, citrus zest and rolled in spiced icing sugar.

Slightly chewy and very aromatic these cookies became a new family favourite, especially for my 13-year-old who also has a fondness for Timbits.

 

German spice cookies – Pfeffernusse

Adapted from Chow.com

 For the cookies:

  • 3 cups flour (I used 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour and two cups of white flour)
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • ½ cup butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp. packed finely grated lemon zest (from about 2 medium lemons)
  • 2 tsp. packed finely grated orange zest (from 1 medium orange)
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses

For the spiced sugar:

  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice

Directions:

For the cookies:

  1. In a medium bowl whisk together dry ingredients (flour through almonds).
  2. In a large bowl beat together the butter and lemon and orange zest. Add the brown sugar in three batches and mix until well combined.
  3. Beat in the egg then the molasses.
  4. Add the flour mixture in three additions, mixing until just combined.
  5. Cover and refrigerate the dough until firm, at least 1 hour.
  6. Roll the dough into one inch balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet (at least an inch apart).
  7. Bake at 350 F for about 12 minutes. (Don’t let the bottoms get too dark).
  8. Let them cool a bit then drop warm cookies into the spiced icing sugar and cool on a rack.

For the spiced sugar mixture

While the cookies are baking, sift all ingredients together into a large bowl; set aside.

To freeze, don’t roll them in the sugar mixture until they’re thawed and ready to eat.

Do you have favourite Holiday recipes that you make year after year? I’d love to hear all about them.

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If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. The sign-up form is on the top left hand side of this page. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. Our Making Life Delicious newsletter includes cooking tips, menu ideas and featured recipes. Here’s the link to our monthly email sign-up form.

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 German spice cookies pfeffernusse

Dark Chocolate Almond Bars Recipe

Servings: 24 bars serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

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These one-pan wonders are quick to mix up, bake in 20 minutes, and are moist and wholesome. 

Dark chocolate almond bars recipe - made with flax and dried fruit. They're moist and wholesome, gluten free and full of healthy stuff

Dark Chocolate Almond Bars Recipe: Made with flax and dried fruit these bars are moist and wholesome, gluten free and full of healthy stuff

I love and lament August.

I love how the most dramatic flowers in my gardens are in bloom and how the sun has a brighter feel and that hot days never feel as sleepy as they do in July.

I love how the farmers’ markets are laden with produce. The blackberries are ripening along the dirt road to our cottage and edible mushrooms have appeared in our woods.

It’s birthday month in our family.

These dark chocolate almond bars with flax and dried fruit are gluten free and full of healthy stuff

Dark Chocolate Almond Bars Recipe: The perfect after school snack.

But the air carries with it a hint of fall. Dusk comes earlier.

There are just three more weekends until school begins. (I’m trying not to count. After all, as Lenny Kravits says, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.”)

These dark chocolate almond bars with flax and dried fruit are gluten free and full of healthy stuff

Dark Chocolate Almond Bars Recipe: If it’s still too hot to bake in your kitchen try this easy, wholesome snack.

These one-pan wonders are quick to mix up, bake in 20 minutes, and are moist and wholesome. The recipe comes from my colleague, Jeanette.

These dark chocolate almond bars with flax and dried fruit are gluten free and full of healthy stuff

Dark Chocolate Almond Bars Recipe

Makes 24 squares (or 12 generous bars)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal (ground almonds)
  • 2 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
  • 6 Tbsp.  desiccated  coconut
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil or butter
  • 1/4 cup  Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate or chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries or cherries

Instructions:

  1. In a medium bowl combine the almond meal, ground flax, pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
  2. In another bowl combine the oil or butter, molasses, eggs and vanilla.
  3. Add wet mixture to dry and mix well.
  4. Stir in the dried fruit and chocolate chips.
  5. Press into a 9×9 pan that has been greased or lined with parchment paper.
  6. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes.
  7. Cool before cutting.

Chocolate chip options:

  • Instead of adding the chocolate chips to the batter, as soon as the bars come out of the oven, top with ½ cup chocolate chips. When the chocolate melts spread it evenly over the top.

Recipe adapted from Delightful Taste Buds

Does anyone else have a push-me-pull-me relationship with August?

You might also like our Crispy Almond Butter Bars

crispy granola bars 2

Nutritional info:

Jeanette's granola bars

One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. It includes cooking tips, menu ideas, featured recipes and more. Here’s the link to subscribe.

One-bowl chocolate almond brownie recipe

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One-bowl chocolate almond brownies are dense, decadent and gluten free

Dense and rich almond brownies, or cake. You decide.

When you hear “one-bowl cake” what comes to mind? Something cake mix-ish may be? Something easy, but not necessarily from scratch?

What if I told you I had a recipe for a cake that can become brownies on a whim? That you can mix up in a food processor. That’s cake-mix simple. That has the decadent taste and texture of a dense and rich chocolate cake. Oh, and it can be made gluten free with zero effort.

 

Chocolate almond brownies are dense, decadent and gluten free

 

Here it is:

  • A spiced chocolate almond cake that’s dinner-party worthy (sliced into lovely dense, sticky wedges.)
  • Or, gooey and wholesome spiced chocolate almond brownies.

Take your pick, it’s the same recipe.

 

Chocolate almond brownies are dense, decadent and gluten free

 

I have to hide these from my kids or they’d be gone in a flash.

The next time you think to yourself, “I don’t have time to bake,” pull out this recipe. Or, if you want to teach your kids to bake, here you go…

 

Spiced chocolate almond brownie recipe (or cake)

  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger or cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 4 tablespoons flour (gluten-free if you like)
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 150g quality dark chocolate, chopped (about 1.5 bars) I use 70% chocolate

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Method 1:

In a medium bowl whisk together dry ingredients. In a small bowl whisk eggs and molasses. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix well. Stir in chocolate. Pour into a greased and floured 8” cake pan (round or square) Bake 30-35 minutes, until batter is set and cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Method 2:

Fire all ingredients into a food processor and whirr until well combined. Add chocolate and whiz just enough to distribute it in the batter. Pour into a greased and floured 8” cake pan (round or square) Bake 30-35 minutes, until batter is set and cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.

 

Adapted from the blog Pen and Spoon

 

Molasses helps to make brownies moist but it also helps intensify the chocolate flavour. Try our one-bite brownies, or our deceptively delicious zucchini brownies with molasses and flax.

 

 

 

Gingerbread spiced almonds – a quick hostess gift

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Whenever I see cans or jars of roasted nuts I think of my dad. He loved to nibble salty peanuts and cashews along with a drink before supper so as kids that’s what we’d often buy him for his birthday and for Christmas.

His birthday was December 21st so by the time Christmas arrived the house was usually full of nuts (so to speak). Sometimes he’d hide the special tins in his armoire (along with his fudge) but more often than not there would be a bowlful of mixed nuts on the table before supper.

I always liked the almonds best and used to pick them out of the bowls of mixed nuts. That`s why I use almonds in this recipe rather than the pecans originally called for. I also amped up the spices since I like more than a hint of that gingerbread taste. (The original recipe came off the LCBO Food & Drink website.)

I sometimes make these to give as gifts, or to bring as a hostess gift when we`re invited out to eat. If you`re having friends over these are a speedy (and delicious) nibble with drinks before supper.

Gingerbread spiced almonds

Gingerbread spiced almonds

  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • Pinch cayenne or a few grinds of black pepper
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 2 cups raw almonds (or your favourite nut)
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat melt the butter with molasses, sugar, spices and salt.
  2. Stir to combine and continue to stir until sugar has dissolved.
  3. When mixture starts to bubble add nuts and stir until well coated.
  4. Turn nuts onto a parchment lined baking sheet, spread in a single layer, and bake at 300 until nuts are nicely toasted, about 20 minutes.
  5. Stir from time to time while baking and begin testing after 15 minutes or so (you don’t want the nuts to get too brown).
  6. Cool and break into pieces.
  7. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

 

One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email.

 

We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. Our Making Life Delicious newsletter includes cooking tips, menu ideas and featured recipes. Here’s the link to our monthly email sign-up form.

 

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