Category Archives: Delectably Sweet

All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt!

Another busy week has come to an end.  This one was full of exciting good news, a couple of celebrations, and plenty of chocolate! 

My Week in a Nutshell

On Monday Luke and I adopted a little sister for Jasper.  Her name is Luna (formally known ad Bebe) and she is incredibly sweet!  She’s two years old only weighs 5.8 pounds (Jasper weighs 14!).  Before going to the animal shelter she came from a one bedroom home with over 50 cats!  Looking like a baby herself, she had a litter of kittens this past March, all of which have been adopted.  So far Jasper seems to love her, following her around everywhere she goes.  She doesn’t seem to mind too much, but is still getting used to her new home and her new brother.

Miss Luna girl lounging on the couch

On Tuesday, we had a party at work for my work study student Mireille.  She is graduating from UNH and leaving us to go teach in Tennessee.   At 6 am I decided to make a batch of gluten free brownies before work.  I was in a hurry so I used Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free Brownie Mix.   At first I didn’t even tell anyone they were gluten free because I wanted everyone to try them.  They were a hit!  They were really chocolaty and very moist.  No one even noticed the difference!

Congrats Mireille!

UNH President's Office saying goodbye to Mireille!

Wednesday my sister Kasey and her boyfriend Ryan came over and we made my Chipotle Chicken Fajitas!  YUM!!! 🙂  If you haven’t tried them yet, I suggest you give them a try!

Thursday was an awesome day for me.  I was offered a job at Timberland Boot Company.  I was really excited.  I had been trying to find a job there for the past year!  To celebrate Luke took me to my favorite restaurant, The Puritan Backroom in Manchester, NH.  They have an amazing gluten free menu… review to come!!

Friday my friend Jodi and I were up all night making gluten free cupcakes for our best friend’s bridal shower.  Because my vanilla cupcakes were a hit on my birthday, (see my “birthday cupcakes” post) we decided to make a dozen vanilla and a dozen gluten free chocolate cupcakes. For the chocolate cupcakes we used a similar “revised” recipe using Betty Crocker’s chocolate cake mix.

Note: Use the recipe below, DO NOT follow the recipe on the box.

Update Betty Crocker Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix

Ingredients

4 large eggs and 1 egg white

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup orange juice

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract (gluten free)

1 package of Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix

3.4 ounces of jello instant chocolate pudding (powder mix not pre-made)

1/3 cup sugar

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 325°

2) Mix eggs, oil, orange juice,and vanilla extract in a small bowl.

3) In a large bowl mix cake mix, pudding mix, and sugar. Slowly add wet ingredients into the large bowl and mix thoroughly until batter is smooth.

4) Fill muffin tins 2/3 full and bake for approx. 25 minutes.

5) Let cool. Top with your favorite frosting.

I thought these cupcakes came out great!  Like the vanilla, the result was very moist and much better then the original recipe on the box.  Some people say they can taste the orange a little, and others couldn’t tell at all.  The people who could taste it still said they enjoyed the flavor.  We did a mixture of strawberry frosted (my fav!) and vanilla frosted, each sprinkled with edible glitter stars!

Wedding Shower Cupcakes!

And of course… Happy Wedding Shower Day to my beautiful and amazing best friend Ashley Wilson!!

The Bridal Party

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Filed under Celebrate!, Delectably Sweet, Eat-Drink-Review, It's All About ME!

Birthday Cupcakes (Improved!!!)

“Birthdays are nature’s way of telling us to eat more cake!”

This past weekend Luke and I both celebrated our 26th birthdays (yes, I am the older woman…but only by a day!).  As a special birthday treat I decided it was time to revisit the cupcake baking mix dilemma from my post back in February (“Whats up cupcake”).  Last time I tried Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix.  It’s not that my cupcakes came out bad, they actually tasted great, they were just much dryer compared to  the non-gluten free cupcakes I remember.

As promised I looked up some ways to moisten up this mix.  Using the same gluten free yellow cake mix by Betty Crocker, I read that adding instant vanilla pudding and orange juice would do the trick!  (Note-other measurements change from the package directions)  I was skeptical about putting orange juice in my vanilla cake mix, but surprisingly the result turned out to be great!  The cupcakes were moist, and were not crumbly the next day like the original recipe.  I got a hint of orange in the flavoring, but this was very slight.  In my opinion the orange may have even improved the flavor!  I made these cupcakes Saturday before Luke and I had some friends over. Knowing that many of my friends had not ever tried gluten free products I asked them to test them out.  They loved them!  A couple of them even asked me if they could wrap one up for the next day!  🙂

If your looking to make some quick and easy gluten free cupcakes I suggest you try Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix using the directions below!~

Update Betty Crocker Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix

Ingredients

4 large eggs and 1 egg white

1/2cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup orange juice

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract (gluten free)

1 package of Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix

3.4 ounces of jello instant vanilla pudding (powder mix not pre-made)

1/3 cup sugar

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 325°

2) Mix eggs, oil, orange juice,and vanilla extract in a small bowl.

3) In a large bowl mix cake mix, pudding mix, and sugar. Slowly add wet ingredients into the large bowl and mix thouroughly until batter is smooth.

4) Fill muffin tins 2/3 full and bake for approx. 25 minutes.

Delicious colorful spring cupcakes!


Some birthday fun…

Happy Birthday Luke!

Birthday love from my little guy!

Great times with my amazing friends!


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Filed under Delectably Sweet, Eat-Drink-Review, It's All About ME!, Just Plain Good

Flourless Almond Butter Cookies w/Chocolate Ganache and Toasted Coconut

Whether or not you celebrated Easter this past Sunday, I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful weekend with friends and family!

This weekend was great! I spent a lot of quality time with my family, ate lots of good food (and way too many jelly beans!), colored Easter eggs, and made all sorts of delicious gluten free cookies!

My Easter Cookie Platter- IMMACULATE Chocolate Chunk, Almond Butter and White Chocolate Chip, & Almond Butter w/ Chocolate Ganache and Toasted Coconut Cookies... YUM! 🙂

I started off with gluten free chocolate chip cookies.  IMMACULATE BAKING CO. makes my absolute favorite gluten free cookie dough.  Their Jumbo Chocolate Chunk cookies are super easy and come ready-to-bake.  Just take them out of the fridge, break apart, and stick on a pan!  One package will make a dozen cookies in less than 20 minutes.  These cookies are incredibly soft and chewy, and they taste just like a chocolate chip cookie should!  They do not flatten out like cookies traditionally do after when in the oven, but form a round plump cookie instead. Personally I liked them like that, but if you prefer something thinner just flatten out the dough a little before baking.

Chocolate Chip w/ IMMACULATE BAKING CO. Gluten Free Chocolate Chunk Cookie Dough

IMMACULATE BAKING CO. Gluten Free Chocolate Chunk Cookie Dough can be found in the refrigerated section in most natural food markets.  I did not have any luck finding this product at my local Shaw’s, Hannaford, or Stop and Shop supermarkets, however, I have noticed it appearing on shelves at several Market Baskets in my area.

The second batch of cookies I made were sort of an experiment.  Using an old recipe given to me for flourless peanut butter cookies I decided to try to make my own flourless almond butter cookies with white chocolate chips (see recipe below- add 1 cup of white chocolate chips/ without chocolate ganache and coconut).  The first tray of cookies I made were not the best, but then I realized I forgot the baking powder… Oops!  The second tray came out pretty good, but I still wasn’t satisfied.  I knew I could do much better…

For the final batch of cookies I decided the white chocolate needed to go.  Instead I made an all almond butter cookie.  Then to add some PIZAZZ, I stirred up a chocolate ganache and toasted shredded coconut in my toaster oven.  When my almond butter cookies were baked and completely cooled I drizzled the chocolate ganache over half of each almond butter cookie and topped each one with the toasted coconut.  Finally a creation I could be proud of! 🙂   Check out my recipe (below) and let me know what you think!

Flourless Almond Butter Cookies w/Chocolate Ganache and Toasted Coconut

Gluten Free

Flourless Almond Butter Cookies w/Chocolate Ganache and Toasted Coconut


Ingredients

(Cookies)

2 cups of creamy Almond Butter

2 cups light brown sugar packed

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons of baking soda

(Chocolate Ganache)

½ cup heavy cream

1 cup of chocolate chips

¾ cup shredded coconut, toasted

Directions

(Cookies)

1) Preheat oven to 350°F

2) Mix together almond butter, light brown sugar, eggs and baking soda in a large bowl until smooth.

3) Drop oversized tablespoons onto an ungreased baking sheet for 10-13 minutes or until lightly browned (depending on how large you make them).

4) Place cookies on wire racks and allow to cool completely.

5) Meanwhile, toast coconut in warmed oven or toaster oven until browned.

(Ganache)

1) In a medium sized glass bowl microwave cream on high for 1 minute.

2) Add chocolate chips and let sit for 2 minutes. Then stir chocolate until mixture is smooth.

3) When cookies have been cooled, spread half the melted chocolate over half of each cookie. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.

4) Let set at room temperature.

And just for fun I thought I would add some photos of us coloring our Easter eggs. 🙂  Jasper decided he was going to help too!

Our bright and colorful eggs (too bad we broke one)!

Trying to get creative with the pink!

Very interested in Luke's blue egg!

My handsome guy 🙂

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Filed under Delectably Sweet, Eat-Drink-Review, Fast from the Freezer, Jamie's Favorites

Sunday Morning Happiness

Gluten Free Coffee Cake Muffins

Gluten Free

This morning while flipping through Eating Well Magazine I came across the most delicious looking Coffee-Streusel Bundt Cake (non-gluten free of course).  It reminded me how much I LOVE coffee cake muffins, and I haven’t had one in years!  I decided it was time to make my own version of this delicious treat!

For me baking can be difficult.  Unlike cooking you need to be exact with measurements.  Just one mistake can leave you with an awful product.  To make things a little easier on myself and save some time I decided to use Gluten Free Pantry’s Muffin and Scone Mix.  I prepared the mix like the box said, but added an additional 1 teaspoon of cinnamon for extra flavor.  I then prepared the crumbly filling and coffee glaze very similar to Eating Well’s Coffee- Streusel Bundt Cake recipe.  Substituting the all-purpose flour for Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour and making sure to use a gluten free vanilla extract.  This recipe turned out to be really easy, and the final product came out EXCELLENT! It definitely fulfilled my coffee cake muffin craving!

Ingredients


Muffin Mix

1 box Gluten Free Pantry’s Muffin and Scone Mix

6 tablespoons softened butter

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon of gluten free vanilla extract

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon cinnamon (additional to box mix directions)

Streusel- the crumble filling in the middle of the muffin

3 tablespoons of gluten free all purpose flour (Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour)

3 tablespoons of dark brown sugar

3 tablespoons of chopped hazelnuts

1 tablespoon of melted butter

Coffee Glaze Topping

1/2 cup of confectioners sugar

1 teaspoon of  instant expresso (dry)

2 tablespoons of brewed hazelnut coffee

chopped hazelnuts to sprinkle on top

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 375 F

2) Prepare muffin batter according to package directions.  Add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to mix.  Hold aside.

3) Mix gluten free flour, dark brown sugar, hazelnuts, espresso powder, and melted butter in a small bowl.  This should make a crumbly mixture.

4) Fill muffin tray half way with muffin batter. Spoon a layer streusel filling. Then fill the rest of the tray with muffin batter.  If desired sprinkle a thin layer of streusel on top (I did this with half the muffins).

5) Bake muffins for 15-18 minutes (until lightly brown and cooked all the way through).

6) Meanwhile, prepare coffee glaze topping.  Mix confectioners sugar, instant espresso, and hazelnut coffee. If mixture is too runny add more sugar, if too thin add more coffee.

7) Drizzle coffee glaze over cooled muffins. Top muffins with chopped hazelnuts.

Mmmm... perfect breakfast!

Now it’s time to go enjoy this beautiful Sunday!  Off to the outlets with my love to pick up some new running sneaks as an early birthday present!  Hooray!! 😉

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Filed under Delectably Sweet, Jamie's Favorites, Just Plain Good

Sunday morning treat: Gluten Free Banana Mango Bread

Happy first day of spring!

Started off this bright and sunny Sunday with the most amazing breakfast!  Gluten Free Banana Mango Bread, strawberries, and coffee.

Simply Organic Banana Bread Mix

My Review: I give this product an A+!  This makes an excellent banana bread, and is my “go to” baked good that I usually bring to family gatherings.  I don’t even tell people it is gluten free!  There is more cinnamon in this mix than traditional banana bread, but in my opinion it makes it even better.  The only thing I do differently is use 3 bananas instead of the 2 the recipe calls for.

This morning I decided to give this mix a tropical twist.  Instead of only using bananas, I mashed up 2 bananas and 1 mango to make the  Gluten Free Banana Mango Bread!  Its super easy and tastes even better than the original recipe!

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Filed under Delectably Sweet, Jamie's Favorites, Just Plain Good