February 29, 2012

Well, Hello there Macaroons!

Alright, so I see that my last post was Macaroons.  I guess this may pose a problem, but really, these ones are SO much better, and very easy!  I think they are one of the best/easiest desserts I've made :)  I used my "traditional" ice cream scoop to get the egg shape, super fun for Easter! I hope you enjoy them!

Well, Hello there Macaroons

2 cups dried, finely shredded unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup honey
2 egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/8 tsp salt
4.5 oz dark chocolate (at least 73%)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Combine coconut and honey in a bowl.  Add unbeaten egg whites, extracts and salt.  Mix until well combined.  Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the "dough" up and pack firmly into the scoop.  Plop down on the parchment paper.  Do this with the remaining "dough".  Bake in preheated oven for 20-22 minutes.  Remove from the oven and, keeping them on the parchment, place them on a wire rack to cool.

Meanwhile, melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler.  Once melted, using a pastry brush, paint the bottoms of each of the macaroons with the chocolate, placing chocolate side up back on the parchment.  Place in the refrigerator and cool completely.  Once cooled, turn them over and drizzle with the remaining melted chocolate. Cool and Enjoy!

December 20, 2011

Countdown to Christmas Part 2

Today I'm getting started on the baking.  I've been thinking about these cookies for days and can't wait to share them with my friends and family :)


4 egg whites
2 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup coconut sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup dried unsweetened, unsulfured cherries, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup walnut pieces, toasted
2 oz dark chocolate pieces, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Combine egg whites, coconut, sugar, vanilla and salt in a double boiler.  Cook and stir 6-7 minutes or until mixture is very hot to the touch and egg whites have thickened, and turned opaque.  Stir in cherries. Cool.

Stir in pecans and chocolate.  Drop dough (about 2 TBSP) at a time on prepared baking sheet.  Bake 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.  Slide cookies (keeping them on the parchment paper) onto wire racks and cool.

December 15, 2011

Countdown to Christmas

I know, it's been awhile.  I have been extremely pre-occupied and not really spending much time in the kitchen at all.  But, I recognize that Christmas is right around the corner and I have put together my "candy" list for the items to be included in the gifts I give to my family.  I will highlight each one of these items within this next week :)  I don't have pictures of all of these things, but I can guarantee you that they have been tested and are extremely delicious!  The first item on my list is Toffee.  I grew up in a smallish town in Colorado, and there is a company called Enstrom Toffee that is located in that town.  I LOVED the toffee from Enstroms and up until this year, required Santa to put it in my stocking each year.  I've come up with a paleo version that I think is better than theirs.

Paleo Toffee
1 cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup pastured unsalted butter, or coconut oil
1 cup palm sugar
2 TBSP water
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla
4 oz dark chocolate
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Line a 9 inch square pan with tin foil, extending edges over sides of pan.  Sprinkle nuts evenly in a single layer in prepared pan.  Combine butter, sugar, water and salt in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly.  Continue boiling about 10 minutes or until sugar reaches hard crack stage on a candy thermometer (305 - 310 degrees F) stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Immediately pour over nuts in the pan. Cool completely.  Melt chocolate in a double boiler, or on 50% heat in the microwave.  Spread over the cooled toffee.  Sprinkle with coconut and place in the refrigerator to cool completely.  Remove toffee from the pan and chop up with a knife.  Enjoy!

October 20, 2011

Strawberry Freezer Jam

Did you happen to buy "too many" strawberries this year, you froze them and don't know what you will do with all of them?  I have the prefect solution!  This jam is really delicious!  We use it not only as jam, but also as an ice cream topping.  My children still eat gluten free bread, and they LOVE this jam on toast.  The lovely thing about freezer jam is that it won't mold if you don't use it often enough.

Strawberry Freezer Jam
4 cups whole strawberries (frozen or fresh)
2 cups honey
2 TBSP lemon juice

Hull strawberries.  Add strawberries and honey to a pot and bring to a boil. Use a spoon to scrape off the pink  foam during cooking time.  Stir and cook for about 10 minutes, or until desired thickness has been reached.  Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice.  At this point, you can process in a food processor to make it less "chunky".  Refrigerate overnight so mixture will firm up.  Add to jars and freeze.  Enjoy!

October 12, 2011

Oh What?! Pralines!

Every Christmas I spend hours in the kitchen making candies and desserts to give as gifts to my friends and family.  Last Christmas I made pralines as one of the candies, and a good friend of mine took one bite and requested that as her birthday treat!  Well, her birthday was last week and so I came through.  The pralines I made for her were NOT paleo (shame on me), but as I was making them I realized how easy it would be to convert them.  Well, today I tried and succeeded!  They are SO good!  Don't be fooled, there is no chocolate in them.  I did use pastured butter in these, but I'm positive they would work with coconut oil if you can not do dairy.

1/2 cup canned coconut milk
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup palm sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup pastured butter
1 1/4 cups pecan halves
dash of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla

Line a large cookie sheet or counter top with parchment of waxed paper. Mix coconut milk and vinegar together and allow to sit for a few minutes (this creates a type of buttermilk). Add milk, sugar and soda to a large saucepan over medium-low heat. (Make sure to use a large 3 qt saucepan because it rises very high and very rapidly!) Bring to a boil while continually stirring. Once boiling, boil and stir for 7 minutes making sure to stir even the bottom edges of the pan (you DO NOT want the sugar to burn!). Stir in the butter, salt and pecan halves.  Add a candy thermometer and continue to stir and boil until the thermometer reaches 236 degrees (soft ball stage). Remove from heat and quickly stir in the vanilla.  Drop by small spoonfuls onto parchment or waxed paper.  Cool completely and enjoy!

September 15, 2011

Paleo Mudd Pie!

Although I have not been blogging a lot lately, I have still been busy creating delicious paleo treats.  I'm a sucker for the treats :)  A recent visit to our local Red Robin had me convinced that I NEEDED to make a paleo version of their Mile High Mudd Pie.  It looked so delicious on their menu, but I resisted to temptation to order it.  The next week, I tried and succeeded in creating my own version, and it was so good that I had to shoo off 13 year old girls before they ate it all!  The process is a little bit involved, but if you plan it out and start it the day before you need it, it works out quite well.  I highly suggest serving this at your next party, the guests will never know that there isn't refined sugar in it!

Mile High Mudd Pie
1 recipe Paleo Brownies (below), crumbled
1 recipe Coffee Ice Cream (below)
1 recipe Chocolate Ganache (below)
1 recipe Chocolate Ice Cream (below)
1 bar 73% Dark Chocolate

To assemble the pie, you will need a large, concave bowl.  Grease the bowl with a thin layer of coconut oil.  Add paleo Coffee Ice Cream (straight from the ice cream maker) and place in the freezer for about 1 hour, or until ice cream has hardened.  Remove bowl and quickly spread a layer of chocolate ganache on top of the ice cream.  Then press about a third of the crumbled brownies into the ganache, trying to keep it a uniform layer.  Put enough brownie to cover the ganache completely.  Place back in the freezer for about 30 minutes.  Remove from freezer and quickly spread the chocolate ice cream (straight from the ice cream maker) on top of the brownie.  Place back in the freezer for about 1 hour, or until ice cream has hardened.  Remove from the freezer and quickly spread chocolate ganache on top of ice cream, then press the remaining brownie into the ganache.  Try to keep the brownie in a uniform layer so it will sit evenly on a plate.  Place back in freezer for 1 hour.  Remove the bowl from the freezer and place in a sink with hot water being careful to not let water splash over the top onto the pie!!!  Allow to defrost in the hot water until the pie comes loose from the bowl.  Remove the bowl from the water, dry the bowl and invert onto a platter or large plate.  Place pie in the freezer until ready to serve.  Once ready to serve, grate the dark chocolate over the pie.  I used about 1/3 of the 3.5oz bar, and just used my cheese grater.  Slice and enjoy!

Paleo Brownies
6 Tbsp palm sugar
6 Tbsp honey
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp coconut milk
1 cup almond butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  On medium speed or by hand, blend everything but the cocoa powder in a medium sized bowl.  Mix until completely combined.  Lower the speed and add the cocoa powder being careful to avoid a cocoa powder cloud.  Spread the batter into an 8x8 glass pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Cool completely before serving.

Coffee Ice Cream
1 can full fat coconut milk
7 oz drinking coconut milk (I just fill the empty can half way)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup palm sugar
1 egg
3 tsp instant decaf coffee

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, making sure the coffee is dissolved. Add to your ice cream maker and follow the directions of the manufacturer.  Remove when finished and place in the freezer until ready to serve.

Chocolate Ganache
2 bars (3.5oz) 73% dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
3/4-1 cup canned coconut milk

Heat the coconut milk over low heat until just about to boil, but DO NOT allow it to boil.  Pour enough over the chocolate to just cover all of the chocolate.  Allow to sit for about 2 minutes for the chocolate to melt.  Slowly fold the two together until completely combined. Cool to room temperature, or serve on top of ice cream like a hot fudge!

Chocolate Ice Cream

1 can full fat coconut milk
7 oz drinking coconut milk (I just fill the empty can half way)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup palm sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup cocoa powder

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Add to your ice cream maker and follow the directions of the manufacturer.  Remove when finished and place in the freezer until ready to serve.

July 17, 2011

Almond Joyous Bars

I tried a recipe from Elan's Pantry a few weeks ago, and it just didn't taste the way I had hoped.  I LOVE getting inspiration from her website.  All of the recipes I have tried are good, some are great!  The Chocolate Almond Joy Bars is the recipe that I adapted to be what I envisioned when I read the recipe.  I did make some changes, but I owe kudos to Elana for creating them :)

Almond Joyous Bars

3 eggs
3/4 cup palm sugar
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped almonds
2.5 oz bar of dark chocolate, chopped
coconut oil for greasing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a small bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients and sugar.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, salt, baking soda and shredded coconut.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well. Spread in a 8x8 glass baking dish greased with coconut oil.  Pour the batter into the dish and spread evenly.  Sprinkle the almonds on top of the batter.  Then sprinkle to chocolate on top of the almonds.  Bake for about 30 minutes.  Allow to cool for about an hour.  Enjoy!