What Life Dishes Out A Gluten Free and (almost) Vegetarian Cooking Blog

November 1, 2010

Snickers Bar Trifle – The Perfect Halloween Birthday “Cake”

My husband loves Snickers Bars.  You probably won’t believe me when I tell you that his breakfast each morning is usually a half a Snickers and a Banana.  Really.

So, for this birthday (which falls on Halloween – and for those who know him well, this explains a lot!),  I decided to incorporate his favorite candy into the dessert which would bear the 40-something candles he’ll be blowing out.

Just because this is sort of  Halloween themed with the candy ‘n all, doesn’t mean that you can’t make this for any Birthday or other special occasion.  Trifles are incredibly easy to do – yet they look spectacularly fancy – and can be varied to include your favorite candies, fruits, or other flavors. 

Late this summer, when my garden Raspberries were abundant, I made a Gluten Free Rasberry Chocolate Trifle for a Labor Day picnic we attended.   The base was GF Brownies, soaked in Raspberry Sauce, layered with Chocolate Pudding and Whipped Cream, then topped with fresh garden Raspberries.   It disappearred in a flash and nobody, but nobody, ever realized it was gluten-free.

The first Trifle I ever tasted years ago was one consisting of chocolate cake soaked in Kahlua, layered with pudding, whipped cream and crunchy heath bar pieces.  I thought I must have died and gone to Heaven.

Instead of cake, this trifle starts with my favorite Gluten Free Brownies.  I like the texture that the Brownie chunks provide, contrary to the mushier mouth feel that you get with the crumbled chocolate cake which is typically used.

What you’ll need:

Prepared Brownies (I used about 3/4 of an 8 x 8 inch pan)

Instant Chocolate Pudding  (2 boxes or enough to make 4 cups)

4 cups Milk

1 Pint Heavy Whipping Cream

2 Tbsp Sugar

1 tsp Vanilla

3 Snickers Bars

Caramel Sauce

What to do:

Cut Brownies into about 1 inch cubes, and set aside.

Prepare your Pudding.  

I used Trader Joe’s Instant Chocolate Pudding. 

Isn’t that a cool retro box?  Plus, it’s Gluten Free!  And super easy to make.

You need 4 cups of cold Milk.

Pour Milk into a large bowl.

Add the pudding mix.

Stir with a wire whisk.

At first, it won’t look very appetizing, but it will get better.  Just keep stirring and scraping the sides of the bowl with your whisk for two minutes.

Then set aside to thicken.

After five minutes, whisk briskly to smooth out the pudding.

If you aren’t assembling your Trifle right away, cover the bowl and place in refrigerator.

Now, place the unwrapped Snickers bars onto a cutting board.

Chop into small pieces.

Make your Whipped Cream.

Pour Cream into a medium bowl.

Add Sugar…

…and Vanilla.

Beat, using an electric mixer on high speed.  This is one of the rare jobs that I shun my big KitchenAid Stand Mixer for in favor of my small hand mixer. 

Beat until soft peaks form.  You don’t want to overmix, or you’ll end up with Butter instead of Whipped Cream, and believe me – that can happen really fast! 

Soft, fluffy, even pillowy would be words to describe the texture you are going for.  Perfection!

Now that you have everything prepared: Brownies, Pudding, Snickers and Whipped Cream – it’s time to assemble.

But wait! 

I forgot the Caramel Sauce! 

Depending on the sauce you are using, you might need to warm it up a bit, so it’s a pourable consistency.  But you aren’t going to want it more than slightly warm when you assemble the dessert.

Off we go!

Start by crumbling the Brownie pieces into the bottom of a Trifle Bowl.

Drizzle with a few (or more!) spoonfuls of the Caramel Sauce.

Then, top with about half of the Pudding.

Spread the pudding evenly right out to the edges. 

See the layering effect we’re going for here?

Now, top with half the Whipped Cream.

Then, half the Snickers.

Wash, rinse, and repeat.

Okay….hold the washing and rinsing part (we’ll save that for the dishes when we are all done), just do the repeat part. 

Again, Brownies and Caramel Sauce,

Pudding and Whipped Cream.

Then, the remaining Snickers to finish it off!

This really is so easy and everything can be made ahead and assembled just a few hours before you are serving the dessert.  You will want to let it chill for a couple hours before serving, though.

Now you know what to do with all that leftover Halloween Candy, right?  :-)

October 13, 2010

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Filed under: Breads,Desserts — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 7:14 pm

I was wrong.

When I’d posted the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins recipe a few days ago, I’d said:

“I did alter the spices in the recipe, since it calls for not just Cinnamon and Nutmeg (which are also used to flavor my traditional Pumpkin Bread) but also Ginger, Cloves and Molasses.”

But my traditional Pumpkin Bread recipe does NOT have Cinnamon in it!  I had remembered it wrong, and when I set out to convert that original Pumpkin Bread recipe to gluten-free today, I realized my error. 

Will you ever forgive me?

Instead of Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Molasses, this bread is flavored with Nutmeg and Vanilla only.  It’s a quite a bit different flavor (the gingerbread-iness isn’t there) and now that I have sucessfully converted this recipe, dare I say it’s even better tasting than the muffins!  In fact, after conversion, there is no discernable difference between this bread and the traditional gluten-filled recipe that my younger son often begged for.  I just love when that happens!

He wouldn’t even let me finish photographing this bread before he nabbed a second slice!

Here’s what you’ll need:

1/2 cup Canola Oil

1 1/3 cup Sugar

2 large Eggs

1 cup Pumpkin (I used canned Libby’s again)

1/3 cup Water

1 2/3 cups Brown Rice Flour Mix* (you can use All-Purpose Flour if you are a gluten-eater)

3/4 tsp Xanthan Gum (only required for Gluten Free version)

1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Baking Soda

3/4 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Nutmeg

3/4 tsp Vanilla

1 cup Chocolate Chips

1/2 cup Walnuts or Pecans (if desired)

(*Brown Rice Flour Mix: 2 parts Brown Rice Flour, 2/3 part Potato Starch, 1/3 part Tapioca Starch)

What to do:

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan, and line bottom with parchment.

Combine Flour Mix, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Salt and Nutmeg in large bowl.

Whisk to combine, then set aside.

Place Oil and Sugar into large bowl of mixer.

Mix together until creamy, then scrape down sides of bowl , then beat in Eggs, Pumpkin, Water and Vanilla.

Add the flour mixture.

Mix until combined, then add Chocolate Chips (and Nuts, if desired).

Pour batter into pan and bake for 55-60 minutes or until tootpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean.

Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

Let cool completely, then wrap in plastic wrap and leave on counter overnight.  

It’s going to be difficult to wait, but this will be much tastier and much easier to slice the following day. 

Get up early, slice and serve for breakfast with your morning coffee.  This bread is ridiculously moist, so you won’t need any butter or other adornments.  Enjoy!

June 26, 2010

Gluten Free Brownies

Filed under: Chocolate,Desserts,Recipes,Uncategorized,Vegetarian — Tags: , , — admin @ 11:18 am

This recipe is adapted to be Gluten Free from the Brownie recipe on the back of a Meijer Chocolate Chips bag.   These were my favorite brownies before going GF, and they remain just as good as the original after removing the wheat flour.  These are great with a tall glass of cold milk, or as a base for an awesome Brownie Hot Fudge Sundae.  Just top with Vanilla Ice Cream, Hot Fudge (We love Sanders!) and whipped cream.   What a treat!

You’ll need:

2 Cups Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

2/3 Cup Gluten Free Flour  Mix

1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1/4 tsp Salt

3/4 tsp Xanthan Gum

1/3 Cup Butter, Softened

1/4 Cup packed Brown Sugar

1/2 Cup White Sugar

2 Eggs

1 tsp Vanilla

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter an 8 x 8 baking dish.

2) Melt 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips  in microwave on high power for one minute.  Stir until completely melted.

2) In small bowl, combine 2/3 cup Gluten Free Flour Mix (I use Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose GF Flour), 1/2 tsp Baking Powder, 1/4 tsp salt and 3/4 tsp Xanthan Gum.

3) In mixing bowl, combine 1/3 cup softened butter, 1/4 cup packed brown sugar and 1/2 white sugar.  Beat until fluffy. 

4) Add 2 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla to butter mixture.  Beat well.

5) Slowly stir in melted chocolate. Blend.

6) Slowly add flour mixture to chocolate mixture.  Stir until smooth.

7) Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 cup nuts, if desired.

8 ) Spread batter in prepared pan.

9) Bake for 30-35 minutes.  Cool and dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

10) Cool and cut into squares.

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