Browsing Tag

Gluten free dessert

Easy Gluten-Free Peppermint Bark

By December 19, 2012 Gluten-Free Recipes

I may have just discovered the BEST or the WORST thing ever.

Did you know peppermint bark is one of the easiest things to make? Why didn’t I ever know this? I thought the fact that you had to melt then cool…then melt…then crack and sprinkle toppings on, meant that I would be running around screaming What’s the next step?! before the chocolate hardened, like it was some type of rocket science.

Turns out I was totally wrong.

This recipe, given to me by Kathleen over at Celiac Baby, is one of the easiest things to make. It looks pretty fancy too, if I must say. I hope you like candy canes and chocolate, because it’

Gluten-Free Peppermint Bark


  • 300g dark chocolate (one large chocolate bar)
  • 300g white chocolate
  • 3-4 crushed candy canes (place in baggie, pound with flat of knife or rolling pin)


Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Break the dark chocolate bar into pieces (or pour bag of chocolate chips) and place into bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, remove bowl, stir, and return to microwave. Repeat this process until the chocolate is melted (2-3 minutes total).

Pour the melted dark chocolate onto the lined cookie sheet, smoothing to reach edges. Then, place the chocolate sheet of tastiness into the fridge until it is firm, or around 20 minutes.

Next, repeat the melting process with the white chocolate. When all is melted, pour on top of the dark chocolate, and immediately sprinkle your crushed candy canes. Place in the fridge to set.

Once the bark is hardened (another 20-30 minutes), remove from the fridge, lift from wax paper, and break into pieces. Then, try not to eat too much of it so you have some to share!

I hope you enjoy this gluten-free treat! It’s the perfect thing to make and is sure to please gluten AND gluten-free eaters. I promise it’ll be a hit at your get-together!

A big thank you goes out to Kathleen at Celiac Baby for sharing this recipe with me! Super easy, and the perfect balance of it looks like I tried really hard, and super easy to make.

Happy Holidays!



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Magic Gluten-Free Cookie Bars

By December 5, 2012 Gluten-Free Recipes

The below recipe for Magic Cookie Bars was shared by Jackie Ourman, culinary arts professional and food allergy mommy.

I am a food lover and mom of 3 with Celiac Disease and multiple food allergies. I completed Culinary Management School in August 2012 at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) in New York City and am currently enrolled in the Culinary Arts program. I started my blog, Celiac and Allergy Friendly Epicurean (C.A.F.E.) by Jackie Ourman, with the hopes of helping other with similar issues. I am so thrilled to be here as a guest on Laura’s blog. It is amazing to connect with and reach you through her site which is a fun yet powerful resource for so many of us.

Laura asked me to share my Magic Cookie Bar recipe and I am so happy to do so. It’s one of my most requested desserts. See the melty chocolate throughout these cookie bars? As you get to know me, you will realize I am a chocolate freak! There is literally not a day that goes by where I don’t eat at least a little bit of chocolate. Usually more than just a little bit. Desserts are the toughest to sort our when you have food allergies; gluten, nuts, or otherwise.

If chocolate is your thing and you want an easy dessert to bring to a party or to enjoy with your family, you should definitely whip up a batch of these. The recipe can easily be adapted to fit many different food allergy-restricted diets and will still be mouth-watering and an absolute crowd pleaser!

Magic Cookie Bars (Adapted from Betty Crocker’s Lucious Layer Bars)

Prep time:  15 mins
Cook time:  2 hours 50 mins (Includes cooling time)
Total time:  3 hours 5 mins
Serves: 24


These quick and easy treats can be made using a store-bought chocolate chip cookie dough or your favorite homemade gluten-free cookie dough as a base. I used Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix since it is peanut and nut free as well. Alton Brown also has a great gluten-free chocolate chip cookie recipe you can use for the base.

  • 1 Box Betty Crocker Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix, prepared or any other prepared chocolate chip cookie dough
  • 1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup of 2 of the following toppings*; milk, dark or white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, toffee, or nuts (if you are not allergic)
  • *In this recipe, I used Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Chips and Hershey’s Toffee (I often used crushed almonds in place of toffee)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray 13×9 dish with cooking spray
  2. Prepare cookie dough and spread it on the bottom of the greased pan (you only need a thin layer so don’t worry if it doesn’t seem too thick)
  3. Bake cookie base for 15 minutes and take it out of the oven
  4. Pour sweetened condensed milk over the cookie base
  5. Mix shredded sweetened coconut with semi-sweet chocolate chips and 2 other toppings you have chosen in a bowl
  6. Layer this mixture on top of the condensed milk and bake for an additional 30-35 minutes (until coconut flakes turn light brown)
  7. Let cool for about 2 hours, cut, serve and enjoy

Now try to stop drooling. I know your jaw is dropped to the ground right now because these cookie bars looks so…what’s the word? Magical.

I want to thank Jackie Ourman for writing this post for all you readers, and I hope you are able to whip up this treat and enjoy the chocolate wonderfulness that it will bring.

Jackie is no stranger to food allergies. Two of her children have been diagnosed with multiple food allergies, one with Celiac Disease (like herself), and the other with a life-threatening allergy to peanuts, among other things. Jackie decided to embrace allergy-friendly foods rather than live in fear of the food pyramid landscape. She enrolled in culinary school, on a mission to learn about food, recipes, and the realities of working in busy restaurant kitchens. As a recent graduate of Culinary Management School at the Institute of Culinary Educations in NYC, Jackie is currently in the Culinary Arts program. 

You can find more of Jackie’s delicious creations on her blog, Celiac and Allergy Friendly Epicurean (C.A.F.E). You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest


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Gluten-Free Lunch at Grumpy’s

By September 27, 2012 Gluten Free in Toledo, Gluten-Free Restaurants
Grumpy's pizza

You all now how amazed I was during my first visit to Grumpy’s, with all of the gluten-free bread, buns, cookies, and cheese cake…[mouth begins to water]…so of course I had to return.

Being that this downtown Toledo establishment is only open between the hours of 8am and 2pm, I am not able to stuff my face there as much as I would like. I suppose that is good for the figure though. But a girl can only hold off for so long, so this past week I scheduled an extended lunch, made my way downtown, and shared a gluten-free feast with my friend and fellow g-free’er, Elaine.

I walked in the restaurant and was greeted with, “Are you the gluten-free girl?” by Co-Owner Dustin Hostetler. Yes, Sir, that would be me!

I was seated at a table for two and waited for Elaine’s arrival. Looking at the menu literally excites me at this place. Why? Because you can basically have everything made gluten-free! Any sandwich, any burger…even the pizza! All Grumpy’s does is substitute that wheat-filled junk with some fresh gluten-free gloriousness.

This time around I decided to try the Hot Texas Chili for an appetizer because I like a little spice in my life. The chili was very tasty, and of course had that kick I was looking for. It was so good in fact that I didn’t realize I forgot to snap a picture to share with you all until the bowl was half gone. Woopsie daisies.

Being that Grumpy’s has a gluten-free pizza and I had not tried it yet, Elaine and I decided to split one. Of course to any normal human being, half of a pizza would suffice as their meal. Well, not me. I also ordered the Jennifer’s Special sandwich [because I am basically obsessed with the sandwich], and Elaine ordered a nice, healthy, low-cholesterol gluten-free grilled-cheese sandwich.

When the pizza came out it was one of those Is this really the gluten-free crust? kind of moments.

It was indeed.

We ended up eating all of the pizza except for two slices, leaving one for each of us to take home. I also ate half of my sandwich, because it is just TOO darn good to NOT eat, even if your stomach is telling you Hey, I’m full, you can stop now? I usually just reply with a Hey, I know. I’ll just run an extra mile later to make up for this whole fat-cell expansion thing.

Yes, I did just talk to not only myself, but to my stomach. Totally normal.

Elaine enjoyed her grilled-cheese, which looked really amazing. We opted for no dessert this time around since we had already done so much damage to every other portion of the menu.

As we boxed up our pizza [one slice each], and the second half of our sandwiches, I knew in my heart that not all of my leftovers would make it home. It takes hard work and dedication, but yes, I did eat my final piece of pizza in the car, on my way back to the office. That’s what good gluten-free food does to you. I can’t help it.

So what do I want you to take away from this post? 1) The urgency to visit Grumpy’s and give yourself the best gluten-free lunch ever, and 2) If you are not gluten-free, I want you to take another look at those pictures of the food and realize that we don’t live a life full of bland flavors. Time to break the myth!


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Gluten-Free Larabars

By September 19, 2012 Gluten-Free Products
Larabar Uber Bars

Larabar has answered many gluten-free prayers for me. First off, the original Larabar’s are absolutely delish and are not on my DO NOT EAT, YOU WILL GET SICK Celiac Disease/Gluten Sensitivity list, so thumbs up on that one. Secondly, the brand has recently unveiled a new line of über Bars, the perfect gluten-free snack. Now what is so überlicious about these bars? Let me tell you…

Larabar’s gluten-free diet friendly über bars come in 4 different flavors – Bananas Foster, Apple Turnover, Cherry Cobbler, and Roasted Nut Roll. Let’s start off with the fact that these healthy gluten-free snacks are named after desserts. Pretty good sign, eh? I must admit I was skeptical at first since the bars look like a pile of assorted nuts [and nuts aren’t my thing], but that feeling was quickly replaced by addiction.

To see why I am so in love with these gluten-free bars, and to read about a lot of other thoughts and feelings I have on the subject, visit the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness blog. You won’t be sorry, I promise. You can also visit the Larabar website and show your #gfreelove by following them on Twitter @larabar!

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Gluten-Free Bakery in NJ

By August 31, 2012 Gluten-Free Products
Butterfly Bakery Cookies

I’ve had quite a few gluten-free cookies in my day, and have dealt with several issues associated with them – too crumbly, weird after-taste, unnecessarily thin, too crunchy, and just plain old cardboard-tasting. In the beginning of my gluten-free journey, it at times felt like a never-ending struggle to find a good gluten-free cookie. But, I am happy to say, things have changed in the g-free world! Our wonderful gluten-free bakeries out there are onto something, and I was lucky enough to experience the magnificent chocolate chip cookies and blueberry muffins of The Butterfly Bakery.

To read my full review of Butterfly Bakery, visit the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness blog – Gluten-Free Hot Products Blog!


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NYC Gluten-Free Bakery

By August 21, 2012 Gluten-Free Products
Chocolate Chip Cookie

It’s no secret that I have a sweet tooth. Actually, I think I have about five sweet teeth, so I am always on the lookout for quality gluten-free goodies. When I stumbled upon Sans Bakery’s website, I knew that they would meet my high expectations.

With such a cute background story and an impressive product list, I instantly fell in love with the bakery. Contrary to popular belief, you are able to judge [some] books by their cover, because I did with this bakery, and I was right! I was even more impressed with the bakery when I got my package of samples in the mail, complete with an adorable thank-you card for reviewing their products. When I read the kind words included in the card, I thought to myself, I am the one that needs to be thanking them!

After being struck by Erica and Sherry’s kindness, and realizing they are the ultimate sweethearts,  I set off on my tasting journey. First on the list – chocolate chip cookies, made with garbanzo bean flour, sorghum flour, and tapioca starch. The cookies were very good, no after-taste, and it was hard to stop at just one! They did not fall to pieces like similar products, even after their long trip via the US Postal Service from NYC!  I couldn’t wait to try the other treats as well.

The classic brownie [which I was told is the most popular Sans Bakery treat] was AMAZING. I told my friend that it was the best gluten-free brownie I had ever had, and her response was that I say that about every brownie I eat. But I assured her that THIS was the best brownie ever, no if’s, and’s or but’s about it! Scouts honor!

Also included in the package were lemon crinkle cookies. I have to admit, I am not a lemon-lover, but man, these babies were good! Made with all natural ingredients like tapioca flour, sorghum flour, and sweet rice flour, you can’t feel TOO bad eating them up, right? My mom also tried them and thought they were perfection. I then found the rest gone the next day. Someone has sticky [lemon] fingers. NEVER trust your roommates with your gluten-free food, even if they are your parents!

The final two items in my Sans Bakery sample package were biscotti – both chocolate chip flavor and hazelnut. Being that I am not a coffee drinker (I loathe the stuff), I didn’t quite know what to pair these treats with. I decided to just nibble on them alone to see how they tasted. Honest opinion: I thought they were pretty darn good, even without the caffeinated beverage to dip it in!

All in all, Sans Bakery-NYC is definitely a gluten-free gem in the big apple! I urge you all to try their goodies!! If you are in New York City, you can even have the treats delivered [oh how I envy you!]. They also take wholesale orders [so you’re set for your next gluten-free shindig]! You can email for more information!

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