Gluten-Free Almond Coconut Berry Tartlets

Summer is officially here and i hope you have some fun things planned for the long weekend. If you are looking for a fun, healthy and simple recipe for your July 4th celebrations, here’s the perfect red, white and blue recipe for you. Few weeks ago I was asked if I’d be interested in coming up with a recipe using coconut flour.  I didn’t want to pass up on the opportunity because I’ve been intrigued by this new flour flooding the market for the past year or so. Coconut flour is a gluten free healthy substitute for regular flour. It is a soft flour produced from dried coconut meat. This flour is rich in protein and fiber. Read up more on the health benefits of using coconut flour here.

gluten free breakfast tartlets

I love tarts especially the mini ones simply because I can eat two of them and still not feel guilty. This is a super simple mini tart that you can whip up in 20 minutes. These mini beauties have almond, coconut, honey, berries and yogurt, so they totally qualify to be eaten for breakfast. If you feel fancy, replace the yogurt with whipped cream or even coconut cream for a nutty flavor. Enjoy your July 4th celebrations and stay safe and cool!

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Ingredients for the tart

1 cup almond meal

1 cup coconut flour

2 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

For the filling

1 cup non fat vanilla yogurt

handful of strawberries, sliced

handful of blueberries

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with liners, coat with cooking spray and set aside.

2. Place all tart ingredients in a bowl and mix well until they all come together. The mixture will be a little crumbly.

3. Place a tablespoon of the above mixture into each muffin cup and press them well so the mixture sits well on the bottom and sides of the liner.

4. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

5. Let the shells cool completely before filling them. You can even make this ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to be filled.

6. Fill each tart shell with cold yogurt and top with berries when ready to serve.

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Eggless Yo-Yo Cookies

Yo-Yo cookies are an Australian favorite made with custard powder and filled with  butter cream. Also known as “melting moments”, these cookies are delicious, buttery and make a fun dessert. Two delicious melt- in- your- mouth cookies are sandwiched with butter cream and these are way less sweet than the American sandwich cookies which makes them a delightful accompaniment to tea or coffee. If you are not in a mood for butter cream filling, nutella or any chocolate based nut butter spread would work just fine. This is a fun way to engage kids in baking and filling their own sandwich cookies, makes for a great rainy day activity too.yo-yo cookies

Ingredients for cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup+1 tablespoon butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup vanilla flavored custard powder or corn starch

Ingredients for filling

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup powdered sugar

2 teaspoons cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon custard powder or corn starch

 Method

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

3. Stir in the flour and custard powder, mix until it forms a smooth dough.

4. Roll into logs and cut it up into equal sized pieces.

5. Form into balls and place on the prepared baking sheet. Gently press tops with a fork.

6. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until light golden color and cool the cookies completely.

7. Mix ingredients listed under filling until light and creamy.

8. When the cookies are completely cooked, spread the filling on one cookie and place another on top to make a sandwich.

9. These cookies store well in the refrigerator for up to a week.

 

 

Vegan Raw Coconut Cream Pie Energy Bites

Home made energy bites or bars are so much more healthier than the store bought ones. You can control what goes in and play around with toppings and its easy on the wallet too. You’d be surprised how many Lara bars you can make at home for less than $10. These coconut cream pie bites is a Lara bar inspired recipe. The nicest thing about these bites are that you can use any kind of nuts and if you want to make it nut free, use sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds and they would still be delicious. A money saving tip on buying nuts, hit the bulk bin section at your local grocery store, sometimes even the organic ones are cheaper than you’d imagine. I coated some of these bites with unsweetened cocoa powder, some in toasted coconut flakes and the coconut flakes got a double thumbs up from everyone who ate them. They make a great mid morning snack or in my case even dessert.

coconut cream pie

Ingredients

1 cup pitted dates

1 cup cashews or pecans or any nut of your choice ( I used toasted pecans)

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes or shredded coconut

Method

1. Soak cashews and dates in warm water for at least one hour if you don’t have a powerful blender.

2. Blend all the ingredients until the mixture is well blended and begins to stick together.

3. Transfer the mixture on to a cutting board and use your hands to form a big ball.

3. Using 1 tablespoon measurement, scoop the mixture and roll them into balls. Alternatively, you can cut them into rectangles or squares and wrap individual portions in plastic wrap.

4. Coat the balls with unsweetened cocoa or toasted coconut (optional)

5. The balls store well at room temperature for 2 days and in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

 

Brown Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Fridays deserve something special and if its a long weekend, it totally deserves something extra special like this brown butter chocolate oatmeal cookie. We are not talking about any ordinary chocolate here, it is Milky Way and I’m yet to meet someone who doesn’t like this ooey- gooey caramel chocolate goodness. Milky way is comparable to Mars in the UK and Five Star in India. So if you can’t find Milky Way where you live, use Mars or Five Star and you will enjoy the same results. This recipe uses brown butter, which is nutty and fragrant. Brown butter is made by melting butter on stove top until nutty and fragrant, the process is almost similar to making clarified butter, but less time consuming. These not so vegan cookies from Sally’s baking addiction are chewy and ooze with chocolate and caramel in every bite and because it has oats, you can even have it for breakfast;)

milk way cookies

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup old fashioned oats

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup brown sugar (dark or light)

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1.5 cups chopped milky way ( I used dark chocolate milky way)

Method

1. Freeze the chopped milky way pieces for at least 30 minutes.

2. Melt butter in a saucepan and stir constantly till the butter begins to brown. This process may take about 10 minutes on medium heat. Transfer brown butter into a bowl and let it solidify at room temperature.

3. Cream the brown butter and sugars with an electric mixer on medium speed.

4. Add the egg and vanilla, mix well.

5. Mix in the flour, baking powder and salt.

6. Stir in the oats with a wooden spatula until the dough comes together. Chill the dough for about 30 minutes.

7. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

8. Roll the dough into 1 tablespoon measurement balls. Stick 2-3 pieces of frozen chocolate on top of each cookie.

9. Bake for 9-10 minutes or till the cookies are lightly brown on the edges.

10. Cool cookies in baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

 

 

 

 

Orange Olive Oil Pound Cake

Have i ever mentioned how crazy i am about oranges? You should search for “orange” on this blog and you will know what i am talking about,  i once even made a chutney with orange peel 🙂 .That’s how much i love this fruit. This orange olive oil pound cake is the moistest cake i have ever baked. Pound cakes typically have large amounts of butter, this olive oil cake is comparatively healthy without comprising on the taste and texture. I used Ina Garten’s orange pound cake recipe and substituted olive oil for butter and left out the glaze because it is quite sweet as it is. This cake tastes best when eaten the following day, it is very fragrant and the citrus flavor really stands out in each bite. You can substitute lemon, blood orange or even mandarins for orange in this recipe. I am sure it will be still be an outstanding cake to serve along with tea.

orange olive oil cake

Ingredients

1.5 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs at room temperature

zest from 3 oranges

1/4 cup+2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup+ 2 tablespoons buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons orange juice

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and line a loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Cream olive oil and sugar until light and fluffy with an electric mixer.

3. Add eggs, one at a time and beat well.

4. Add orange zest and mix well.

5. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

6. In another bowl, combine orange juice, vanilla and buttermilk.

7. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the sugar/oil mixture, beginning and ending with the flour.

8. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

9. Cool for 10 minutes in pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

10. This cake stores well in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Chocolate Truffles

If there’s one thing that anyone can make, its got to be chocolate truffles. All truffles start with a rich, chocolate ganache center and to finish you can dip them in chocolate, coat them in cocoa or roll them in nuts or other toppings of your choice.  If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty in chocolate, this is a great treat to make. The quality of truffles really depends on the type of chocolate and cream you use. I made two batches, dark chocolate chili and plain dark chocolate truffles. Yumjay preferred the spicy after taste in the chili dark chocolate while Scooby liked the dark chocolate truffles. It is so easy to come up with flavorings for these truffles, you can choose from mint, chili, chai-spice, raspberry, orange or just leave it plain. The recipe adapted from here yields about 30 truffles. While i personally like speculoos over chocolate, i couldn’t help but come up with these truffles for all you chocolate lovers out there. Happy Valentines day!

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Ingredients for truffles 

8oz chocolate ( i used Scharffen Berger  62% cacao dark chocolate)

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Ingredients for coating

2 cups dark chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Method

1. In a small saucepan, bring the heavy whipping cream to a simmer. This may take about 10 minutes.

2. If you are using a flavoring like fresh mint or chili, then add at this stage and let it steep for an hour. Strain the solids (if any) and return the cream to a simmer. If you want to keep it plain, skip this step.

3. Place chocolate in a bowl and pour warm cream and vanilla. Let it sit for couple of minutes. Stir until smooth.

4. When the ganache (chocolate cream mixture) is cooled, place it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

5. Remove from refrigerator and using a mellon baller or teaspoon, scoop out the chocolate and roll it into a ball. Chocolate may melt in the heat of your hands, so do it as fast as you can. Using a mellon-baller may help because you can skip the rolling. Place the chocolate balls on a parchment sheet lined tray. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

6. You can coat the truffles in cocoa powder or nuts to keep it simple. If you want to do a chocolate coating, melt chocolate in microwave and stir constantly until smooth and shiny. It took me about a minute and 20 seconds to melt 2 cups of chocolate.

7. The easiest way to coat is to insert a toothpick into each truffle and dip each truffle into melted chocolate.  If you want uniform coating, don’t stir the ball around in the melted chocolate. Just drizzle chocolate on the uncovered areas with a spoon.

8. Place the coated truffles on a wax or parchment sheet lined tray. If you want to garnish the coated truffles with nuts or cocoa nibs, do it when the chocolate is still warm so the garnish with stick to the truffles.

9. Place coated truffles back in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Remove from refrigerator and discard the toothpicks. Dab a little melted chocolate into the hole from the toothpick with a spoon or your finger. Place it back on the tray.

10. Melt white chocolate chips in a microwave. Use a squeeze bottle or fork and drizzle melted white chocolate over the truffle balls.

11. Refrigerate until ready to be served.

No-Bake Speculoos Pie

The lovely Sonal from Simplyvegetarian777 reached out to me few weeks back to do a guest post on her blog. Sonal blogs about food, photography and writing and has some great vegetarian recipes on her blog. She never ceases to amaze me with her fusion cooking and makes it look so effortless. I can’t wait to try out spicy black beans rolls, one of her new recipes.

cookie butter

For most people Valentines day is all about chocolate and strawberries when it comes to desserts. But i say, step aside chocolates, make way for Speculoos. If you love ginger, cinnamon and British biscuits, then speculoos is just your thing. Speculoos is my opinion should be sainted. This  no-bake speculoos pie is every busy girl’s dream come true. This pie will make you look like you’ve toiled hard in the kitchen for hours when all you’ve done is assembled a few ingredients. Speculoos cookies and butter are vegan, you can use non-dairy whipped cream for a vegan version of this pie. For the recipe and the story about how i discovered speculoos , hop over to Sonal’s blog www.simplyvegetarian777.wordpress.com.

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