A Gaggle of Girls
I'm a divorced mom of 3 gluten-free daughters. We've outgrown dairy, soy, egg, and corn allergies, but still deal with a berry allergy in my youngest.
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Archive for the ‘desserts’ Category

postheadericon GF GrapeNut Pudding / GrapeNut Custard

My stepfather’s mom made GrapeNut pudding all the time – for every occasion. It wasn’t my favorite dessert, but it has so many nice memories attached to it. After we went gluten and dairy free (and therefore couldn’t eat Grape-Nuts Cereal), I figured we could never eat it again. When Gram passed away recently, I wanted to make a version of it for my stepfather in Gram’s memory, so I tweaked it.

I love to munch on the Bakery on Main Gluten Free Granola, and had found the (gluten, dairy, and nut-free) Enjoy Life Cinnamon Crunch Granola to be a bit too dry to be eaten plain. The Bakery on Main Gluten Free Granola is too chunky to cook with, but the Enjoy Life Cinnamon Crunch Granola is absolutely perfect to use in place of Grape-Nuts Cereal for GrapeNut pudding! Yum!

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, and vegetarian recipe.

Not-quite-extensive testing with my stepfather, my family, and some of my stepfather’s coworkers indicated that this recipe leads to great results – and people never knew it was gluten-free!


  • 1 1/2 cups Enjoy Life Cinnamon Crunch Granola

  • 4 cups milk (or milk substitute – I would suggest coconut milk)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Optional toppings: ice cream, whipped cream, or whipped topping

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the granola with the milk/milk substitute. Bring up just to the boiling point, stirring regularly, then remove from the heat.

While the granola and milk are cooking, combine eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon in a medium sized bowl. Whisk together well.

Pour the egg mixture into the milk/granola mixture slowly, stirring constantly. If you add too much at a time you’ll end up with cooked eggs, not a custard!

Once the custard is combined, pour into a 9×9 oven-proof pan, and put into the oven.

Bake at 350 for 45min to 1 hour, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Serve warm, with ice cream or whipped cream/whipped topping. (Whole Foods and other natural food stores now sell canned soy-based whipped cream next to the dairy whipped cream)

Yum! Enjoy this warm custard with your family, and make your own memories!

postheadericon Impossibly Easy Apple Pie

Just one slice

My family has been loving the Impossible Quiche Pie variations, and while I was Googling for more ideas, I found an apple pie variation. My oldest and youngest daughters love almost any dessert, but my middle daughter loves apple pie and chocolate only. It was lovely to find an easy workaround for the hassle of making gluten-free apple pie! As a bonus, it tasted delicious!

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, and vegetarian recipe.

After Baking


  • 3 large apples, peeled and sliced

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • several grates fresh, or 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup gf biscuit mix – we like Bob’s Red Mill Biscuit mix or Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix
    • 1/2 cup all purpose gf flour mix (or 1/4 cup rice or sorghum flour & 1/4 cup tapioca or corn starch)

    • 1/8 tsp baking soda
    • 1/4 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk or milk substitute (cow, coconut, or soy work the best, rice is a bit too thin)
  • 1 tablespoon margarine or butter, melted, or oil (Fleishmann’s unsalted is dairy & gluten free, Earth Balance has a dairy, soy, & gluten-free tub)
  • 2 eggs (these are necessary, don’t try to substitute)

Topping Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup gf flour or baking mix

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3-4 TBS cold margarine, butter, or shortening (for shortening, we like Spectrum)
  • 1/2 tsp allspice

Oil a 9″ pie pan with deep sides, and preheat oven to 350.

Peel and slice apples, and set in a medium-sized bowl. Add cinnamon and nutmeg, stir, and let sit.

Before Baking

In another medium-sized bowl, whisk together the biscuit mix, sugar, eggs, milk/milk substitute, and melted margarine/butter.

In a third bowl, combine the dry topping ingredients. Cut the fat into small pieces, and cut into the flour mixture into it using a pastry blender or two knives. Mix together until it becomes crumbly, as you would with a fruit crisp topping.

Pour the apples into the pie pan, and cover with the egg mixture. Sprinkle topping on top.


Slide into the oven, and bake for 30-45 minutes, until it becomes browned. Touch the top of the pie to make sure it’s firm and set.

Let cool and serve, with or without whipped topping or ice cream. Don’t expect there to be many leftovers!

postheadericon Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

This recipe contains peanut butter! (I do think that sunbutter or another peanut butter substitute would work well, but that hasn’t been fully tested as of yet)

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

A friend of mine linked me to a similar recipe, and I’ve adapted a bit and made it safe for our allergies. This is delicious, and much less work than one would think. I’ve been craving Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups for years now, and this hits the spot. It’s also a great recipe to use to wow friends who think that folks with dietary restrictions don’t eat well!

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, tree nut free, fish free, shellfish free, and vegetarian recipe. Unfortunately, my brownie recipe doesn’t work well without eggs, so this is not vegan or egg-free.


Ready to be eaten


  • 1/2 cup dairy-free margarine or shortening, softened

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (we like Jif Natural), OR sunbutter or another peanut butter substitute should be fine too
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons milk substitute (soy, rice, almond, hemp)


  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods have their own brands of dairy-free chocolate chips, and Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips are dairy/soy/nut free)

  • 1/4 cup margarine or shortening (half a stick)

Make super-easy brownies according to recipe instructions. Let cool in the pan.

In medium bowl, beat filling ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Spread the peanut butter mix evenly over the cooled brownies.

In small bowl, microwave the topping ingredients for 60 seconds; stir well with a whisk until smooth. You may need to microwave an additional 30 seconds if your chocolate was cold (we keep chocolate chips in the freezer so they don’t melt)

Spread gently and evenly over peanut butter filling. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until set.

Cut into 1-2 inch cubes, and serve to much applause.

This recipe is fine on a counter unless the weather is hot, in which case I suggest refrigerating. So, they were fine on the counter for most of the 2009 “summer” in New England!

postheadericon Brownie-Mallows

Gooey Goodness

My daughter heard that her friend’s mom made brownies with fluff on top, and had to have them right away. We came up with this recipe, which is delicious. When we told her friend about it, it turned out that my daughter had misunderstood, and her friend’s mom doesn’t make these, so it’s now our special recipe. They are gooey and good, but they need to stay chilled or they get very, very sticky!

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, and shellfish free recipe. Unfortunately, my brownie recipe doesn’t work well without eggs, so this is not vegan or egg-free.


A Batch of Brownie-Mallows

Follow the recipe for the super-easy brownies. Let them cool completely

Spread Marshmallow Fluff over cooled brownies, making an even layer.

Layers of goodness

Mix together margarine and chocolate chips in a bowl, then microwave in 60 second intervals, stirring until well combined.

Pour chocolate mixture over fluff, and spread with a spatula until you have an even layer of chocolate.

Place the entire pan into the refrigerator for at least an hour to chill.

Slice into 1 1/2 inch squares. Serve chilled.

postheadericon Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

2 loaves out of the oven

My dear friend Nanny Ogg had an overflowing zucchini crop last year, and every time I sent her an instant message, her status had something to do with making, serving, or eating Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread. It does taste every bit as good as I thought it would, too!

This makes 2 loaves. This doubles wonderfully, too!

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, and vegetarian recipe.

1 slice


  • 3 eggs

  • 2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 2 cups gf flour (sorghum, rice, brown rice, millet, or another mild flour)
  • 1 cup starch (tapioca, arrowroot, or corn)
  • 1 TBS xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (the miniature Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips are perfect here if you have them!)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour or use parchment to line 2 loaf pans

In a stand mixer or medium bowl, combine eggs, oil, and sugar. Beat well. (Since this recipe has 3 eggs, it is not easily changed to an egg free recipe)

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, starch, xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

Add zucchini and vanilla, and combine well. Stir in flour mix, and mix well.

Add chocolate chips and stir just until they are distributed well.

2 loaves, ready to go into the oven

Divide batter into two loaf pans, then bake for approximately 1 hour. Start testing with a toothpick after 45 minutes – when the toothpick comes out clean, it’s done.

Cool for 10 minutes on a cooling rack in the pans, then knock out of pans and cool completely. Slice and serve. While it’s delicious hot, it might be better to wait for it to cool – it’s only somewhat crumbly after it’s cooled, but quite crumbly when hot.

This recipe freezes well if your freezer isn’t already crammed with zucchini and the bread isn’t inhaled by your family!

postheadericon Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

This is my daughters’ favorite ice cream, so I finally tried to make it. I used my basic Coconut Milk Ice Cream recipe, and then tweaked it for mint. I used multiple taste testers, including a couple who can eat dairy, and all loved it. (I couldn’t be used as a taste tester because I dislike the taste of mint)

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, top 8 allergen free, and vegan/vegetarian recipe.

Mint Chip Goodness


  • 2 14oz cans coconut milk

  • 2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 8 drops green food coloring (optional, but a good way to differentiate between mint chip and chocolate chip)
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan or guar gum
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips


In a blender, combine coconut milk, peppermint extract, food coloring, xanthan gum/guar gum, and sugar. Blend until well combined.

Chill for 1 hour in the blender jar.

2 scoops

Blend the chilled mixture for a moment, then add to ice cream maker. Follow ice cream maker directions for time in the ice cream maker.

Add chocolate chips at the end of ice cream maker cycle

Scoop into a container with a lid and put in the freezer until ready to serve. This makes great sundaes or “milk” shakes too!

If you can’t use coconut milk, use 4 cups of your milk substitute in place of the 2 cans of coconut milk. The mouth-feel isn’t quite as creamy as coconut milk, but it still tastes great!

postheadericon Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Cake Mix review

Bunny ears and a toothless grin

Our family has been living gluten-free due to Celiac Disease for over 6 years. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and very similar to the protein found in outs. This means that any food needs to be made specially – bread, pasta, cake, pizza crust, pretzels, cookies, etc. Finding the Betty Crocker gluten-free mixes was a wonderful surprise!

Over the past 6 years there has been a huge increase in availability of gluten-free products, but most of the GF products have been found in the health food aisle of the grocery store or in a specialty store.

However, gluten-free products are becoming more mainstream as the number of people diagnosed with celiac disease rises, as well as the number of people living gluten-free for other reasons. Last summer, General Mills introduced a new, gluten-free formulation of Rice Chex (they changed the sweetener from barley malt to another sweetener). In addition to becoming more mainstream, gluten-free products are becoming much more commonly available and found in most grocery stores.
Read the rest of the review

postheadericon Chewy Chocolate Jam Cookies

Munching on a cookie

One of my friends on Facebook posted her variation of the Chewy Chocolate Raspberry Cookies in Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook. This is my adaptation of her adaptation.

I’ve now made this with 3 types of preserves – Lingonberry, blueberry, and raspberry (a special sneaky batch while the berry-allergic child was out of the house). Of the three, I have to say that the Lingonberry preserve version was the best, hands down. We used the preserves from Ikea, but you can buy 2 brands of lingonberry preserves them through Amazon if you don’t find any in the international section of your grocery store. This is a wonderfully easy and adaptable recipe, so I’m sure I’ll be trying more flavors soon!

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, top 8 allergen free, and vegan/vegetarian recipe.

Chewy Chocolate Blueberry Cookies


  • 1/2 cup preserves. Great flavors which work with chocolate include lingonberry, blueberry, pomegranate, cherry, or orange marmalade. (For those who can tolerate seeded berries, the original recipe called for raspberry preserves, and strawberry would likely taste good too)

  • 1 cup sugar if using a sweet jam, 1 1/2 cups if using a tarter preserve such as Lingonberry
  • 1/3 cup melted margarine, or canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cup GF flour (my current favorite is sorghum, but millet, bean, pea, or brown rice would also work well) Reserve the 1/4 cup, that might not be needed.
  • 1/2 cup starch (I prefer tapioca or arrowroot starch, but corn starch is acceptable if you aren’t sensitive to corn)
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum or guar gum
  • (if you can eat gluten, use 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus an extra 1/4 cup reserved, and omit the xanthan gum)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips – (we usually use Trader Joe’s semi-sweet chocolate chips, but Enjoy Life Baking Chips, Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips are allergy-friendly and also soy free)
Lingonberry in Chocolate Lingonberry Jam Cookies

Note: each brand and variation of preserves/jam is different. Just as we need to add more sugar if using lingonberry preserves, sometimes more flour is needed when the preserves are quite liquidy, and sometimes a bit more sugar is needed if the preserves are tart. Be patient with this recipe, as the results are well worth it!

Preheat oven to 350, and line a cookie sheet with silpat, Reynolds non-stick foil or parchment paper. Or you could grease a cookie sheet, if you don’t have any of the above.

Chewy Chocolate Raspberry Cookies

In a large bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer), stir together preserves of choice, sugar, oil/melted margarine & vanilla in one bowl. Set aside.

In another bowl, combine dry ingredients and whisk together well. (this replaces sifting in this recipe)

Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mixing well with a whisk or fork between additions (or using the paddle of your stand mixer). If the dough becomes quite stiff, doing the final integration of the flour with clean hands works very well. If the dough does not become stiff, add the reserved 1/4 cup flour and incorporate it into the dough.

Mix in the chocolate chips after the wet and dry ingredients are well combined.

chocolate lingonberry jam cookies

Use an 18/8 cookie scoop (or roll walnut-sized balls of dough) flatten to make a cookie about 2″ diameter. Drop the balls of dough and gently push them down, leaving about 2″ apart on cookie sheet (they can spread out a bit as they bake). This makes 24 cookies

Bake for 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack to let them cool completely. Eat and enjoy!

postheadericon Junior Mint Brownies

This is a wonderfully easy treat tip for those of you who like chocolate-mint! This reminds me of the Mint Chocolate Brownies I remember from volunteering at the nearby folk music coffeehouse as a teenager.

Allergy note: my brownie recipe contains eggs, but is gfcf, gluten free, and dairy free. Junior Mints have soy in the ingredients, and a “may contain” warning for dairy and egg. We have a dairy intolerance rather than allergy, so we have been Ok eating foods that “may contain” dairy, and have had no issues with Junior Mints. However, contact the manufacturer yourself before you introduce Junior Mints!

Junior Mint Brownies

First, make a batch of Super Easy Brownies.

Once the brownies are done, shake a regular sized box of Junior Mints over the brownies, then gently press them into the cooked brownies.

Place the pan of brownies back in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven, and use a spatula or butter knife to spread the Junior Mints over the brownies. Gooey minty goodness, and so, so easy!

This also works fine over half the brownies, if you want to keep some of them uncontaminated for those of us who don’t like mint.

Variation: Try this with other chocolate-based candies, you may end up with a new favorite flavor combination!

postheadericon Fabulously Fudgy Frosting

I was making a chocolate bundt cake for my middle daughter’s 9th birthday when I ran out of cocoa powder. I wanted to make an icing-type frosting, and modified it to include chocolate chips rather than cocoa. It turned into this delicious fudgy frosting. All three girls (and the other tasters) agreed it was the best frosting ever!

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, top 8 allergen free, and vegan/vegetarian recipe.


  • 2 TBS margarine or shortening (Fleishmann’s unsalted margarine is dairy/gluten free, Spectrum Naturals Organic Shortening is also soy-free)

  • 2-3 TBS milk substitute or water
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (Enjoy Life Baking Chips are allergy-friendly, and Trader Joe’s sells dairy/gluten free chocolate chips)
  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar

In a small saucepan over medium/low heat, melt margarine/shortening and chocolate chips. Once it is melted, remove from heat and whisk until well combined.

Whisk in 1 TBS milk substitute, then 1 cup confectioner’s sugar.

Whisk in 1 TBS more milk substitute, and the final 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar.

If the frosting is very thick and not pourable, whisk in a 3rd TBS of liquid.

This frosting drips almost like an icing, but is thicker, and doesn’t set as firmly – it has a wonderfully fudgy texture to go along with the fudgy taste! Enjoy it on top of a chocolate bundt cake – mmmm….

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