Tag Archives: desserts

My Chocolate Toffee Cracker Bark is a winner!

My recipe for Chocolate Toffee Cracker Bark will be published in the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness‘ Online Holiday Cookbook! The recipe contest stipulated that you had to use Crunchmaster gluten free crackers in your recipe. I decided to try a sweet dish, since it seemed like the majority of people would be making something savory. This bark would be a great option to bring to a holiday party, or give as a gift. I’m still chipping away at mine, and it will keep in the fridge for a couple weeks.

Chocolate Toffee Cracker Bark

3/4 package Crunchmaster original crackers
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 t. vanilla extract
a few pinches of sea salt
1 cup chocolate chips (I used milk, but you could use any kind)
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup raisins


1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil
2. Preheat the oven to 350F
3. Line the bottom of the sheet with crackers, filling about 2/3 of the sheet


4. In a saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar, cook until the mixture boils and thickens.
5. Remove from heat, add the salt and vanilla, and pour over crackers. Spread in a thin layer to cover.
5. Bake for 15 minutes
6. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Let stand 5 minutes, then spread with a spatula.
6. Sprinkle with pecans and raisins, push into the chocolate lightly with spatula.

Place pan in refrigerator to cool completely. Break into pieces and keep in the fridge.

So excited to see the rest of the winners’ recipes!


My four favorite “secret” gluten free bloggers

I follow a lot of blogs – some gluten free, some healthy living, some fashion/lifestyle, and some that are a mix of all of them. I’ve found that some of the blogs that I get the most out of, or like the best, are ones that aren’t explicitly focused on gluten free living/recipes, but are “secretly” gluten free. By “secretly” I mean that they often have recipes that are gluten free or give easy substitutions to make them gluten free.

I think what I like so much about these blogs is that, while I love reading about Celiac Disease and the gluten free community, sometimes it can get to be too much (or too depressing). These blogs are just fun, plus they all have easy and healthy recipes to boot!

These are four of my favorites!

1. Clean Eating Chelsea
Not only is Chelsea totally hilarious, but she’s gluten free! I’m always getting ideas from her on new ways to make my morning oatmeal, and totally appreciate that her recipes are made with whole foods and are heavy on the veggies!

Must make recipe = the perfect bowl of oatmeal. This is basically exactly how I make my oats in the morning, except I let them soak overnight and then microwave them in the morning. Chelsea gave me the idea to put jam in my oats, which revolutionized my breakfast – a spoonful of sugar-free raspberry jam in oatmeal makes the whole thing burst with raspberry flavor!


2. Chocolate Covered Katie
Katie somehow is always coming up with ingenious recipes and healthy twists on classic desserts. While most of her recipes are very close to being gluten free from the start, if they aren’t then she always makes sure to put in instructions on how to substitute ingredients to make them gluten free. Awesome!

Must make recipe = chocolate chip cookie dough dip! I use gluten free oats in mine and it’s one of my favorite healthy indulgences.


3. The Wannabe Chef
I love this guy. He has tons of simple recipes for quinoa, tempeh (one of my staples), and is notorious for delicious brownies.

Must make recipe = banana pancakes! With only five ingredients these are as simple as can be (because I don’t know about you, but early in the morning the last thing I want to do is measure out 7 different kinds of flour).


4. Dashing Dish
Katie’s blog has a ton of creative recipes. While they aren’t all gluten free, she’s great about putting substitutes in – not to mention pumping up her recipes with protein and keeping them low in sugar! Any girl who can actually come up with a recipe for “chocolate protein frosting” is a miracle-worker in my book!

Must make recipe = rich chocolate cake with chocolate protein frosting. (You should also check out her strawberry protein pancake roll ups)


Thanks to Chelsea, Katie, Katie, and Evan for all of your great recipes!

Fourth of July Strawberry Pretzel Jello Destiny

Now, I don’t believe in fate or destiny in the strictest sense of the word.  But there are sometimes when coincidences happen that seem too big to just be random.

For awhile now I’ve noticed that my post on my grandma’s rainbow jello salad is one of my most popular posts, and thought that I should post on something else jello-related.  People all over the web are apparently just dying to spend 24 hours making an artistic jello casserole.  So I was thinking about my other favorite jello dish, that my aunt used to make as a dessert for family gatherings – Strawberry Pretzel Jello “Salad”.

It’s this weird concoction of a pretzel crust (like a graham cracker crust but with a touch more salt), then a cream cheese and Cool Whip center, and a strawberry Jello topping.  It all comes together to be a surprisingly good layered dessert, and kind of a throwback to the jello-mold days of old.

Now here comes the coincidence.  Did anyone see the recipe from the winner of Rudi’s Gluten Free Bakery Contest?  It’s a layered dish with Rudi’s bread and ginger snaps as the base of the crust, a sweet goat cheese filling, and a sweet strawberry topping.  That looks exactly the same as the Strawberry Pretzel Jello “Salad”!

Rudi's Gluten Free Bakery Winning Dish

So I obviously am now destined to make this strangely addicting dish again, and luckily I have a get-together today that I can bring it to!  I modified this recipe slightly to make it healthier and gluten free, of course.  I also halved it, since I 1) don’t own a 9×13 pan, and 2) didn’t want to carry a giant pan on the mile walk to the party.

Strawberry Pretzel Jello Salad – Gluten Free Version

1/2 cup crushed Glutino gluten free pretzels

1/2 cup crushed Trader Joe’s gluten free ginger snaps

1 tsp. sugar

4 oz. Neufchatel cheese (could also substitute cream cheese, I was trying something new)

1/4 cup sugar

4 oz. Cool Whip

1/2 package strawberry jello

1 cup boiling water

1/2 package frozen strawberries (I substituted some fresh strawberries)

Mix first three ingredients and press in bottom of a 8×8 pan. Bake at 350 degrees (metal pan) or 325 degrees (glass pan) 8 minutes. Let cool completely.

Beat 1/4 cup sugar and cheese. Fold in Cool Whip. Spread over pretzels (at this point I transferred to a tupperware container for easy traveling).

Mix Jello and water until dissolved. Add strawberries. Stir into Jello, then set aside for 10 minutes.

Pour over cheese mixture (it will look too liquidy, but it will set up). Chill.

I’ll add a picture of it plated later, but for now it’s getting packed up and ready to party!

I also encourage you to test the Cool whip to ensure it’s thawed properly by dipping a few in as the crust bakes 🙂

I should have added blueberries to this to make it a true red/white/blue dessert.  But I think it looks pretty patriotic as it is 🙂 Happy Fourth of July!

Redemption for Sticky Fingers Bakery – Cookie Win

After a less than impressive trip to Sticky Fingers Bakery for a cupcake, I decided to give them another shot this weekend.  This time I had a laser focus on getting a chocolate chip cookie.

When I got there, however, there were none to be found in the case.  Only those darned dry cupcakes.   But then I asked the nice girl there if they had any, and she quickly retrieved one from the back room (not sure why they weren’t out…)

So I forked over my $2.25 and headed out to peruse the farmers market. Nothing like looking at rows and rows of vegetables while eating something made of 80% sugar and butter 😉

This cookie provided redemption for any wrong that Sticky Fingers could have done in the past.  It was more crispy than I usually like my cookies (which is just a bit more baked than straight-up dough), but the flavor was great.  Chock-full of brown sugar and so buttery it immediately greased up the brown paper bag (yum?).  Plus it reminded me of those giant bakery cookies that are sold at Panera or Starbucks that I usually drool over.

I ate a big chunk off, and saved the rest for when I had coffee in hand later, for the dunkability factor.

Now I will give Sticky Fingers my stamp of approval.  Steer away from the cupcakes, but crash head on into the cookies.

Sticky Fingers Bakery

Cake Batter Blondies – Gluten Free

The other day I was perusing Girl Meets Life, since I have a total girl crush on Gracie, when I came upon this amazing recipe for cake batter blondies.  I also happen to have an almost-full container of rainbow sprinkles that I’ve been looking for a use for from back when I found out that Carvel’s sprinkles weren’t gluten free. (They now are, according to their website – so good for you, Carvel!)


  • 1 box gluten free yellow cake mix (I tried Betty Crocker’s)
  • 1/4 cup oil (I used extra light tasting olive oil)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Directions: Combine the first four ingredients in a large bowl. Add the milk slowly – you want the batter to remain as dense as possible.

Then mix in the rainbow sprinkles and white chocolate chips. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

The fun part

Pull them out just when the edges are starting to turn brown, and cool for about 20 minutes.

These weren’t as gooey as Gracie’s were, or at least how they looked, which might have to do with the gf batter mix.  But they were still outrageously good.  I’m going to have to try to resist eating all of them before I bring them in for my coworkers tomorrow.

Maybe I should make some tweaks to these and submit them to Betty Crocker’s Baker’s Challenge gluten free recipe contest… hmm