Category Archives: Sweets

Cake Batter Bars

Cake Batter Bars, a super simple, sweet, sticky treat! And it happens to be gluten free!

I am not spontaneous. Like, not at all…well, maybe when it comes to home improvement projects. But other than that, I am definitely not spontaneous. A couple weeks ago, Mr. Maebell had the idea to go for some frozen yogurt at about 9pm. When he told me I just looked at him. I actually thought it was a joke. I am such an old person. I am in bed by like 9:30 every single night. I have been like this my whole life. As a kid, a teen, and as an adult. I am the only kid I know that never had a specified curfew. My parents never had to wonder when I would be home because my bedtime was pretty much set in stone.

I like to sleep! What can I say?!

Cake Batter Bars, a super simple, sweet, sticky treat! And it happens to be gluten free!

We did get froyo that night. I changed out of my pajamas, we loaded the dogs in the car, and drove across town to get the frozen yogurt. So we walk in and there are tons of flavors and these massive dispensers of topping choices and a big bar of fresh fruit, chocolate, nuts, syrup and whipped cream.

I am standing there trying to decide what I want and he grabs a cup, walks right up to the vanilla dispenser and fills his cup all the way up. Then he makes a B line for the register and then turns to look for me.

Vanilla? Are you freaking kidding me?! You drag me out of the house at night, make me change clothes, and drive all the way across town for a cup of vanilla?!?!

Cake Batter Bars, a super simple, sweet, sticky treat! And it happens to be gluten free!

I couldn’t believe it. Now, I know some of the foods were off limits because they weren’t gluten free, but still he had a TON of choices. I asked him why he didn’t put anything on it and he said, “Why would I?”

Good Lord.

I choose mine (coffee and dark chocolate, is anyone surmised by that?) grabbed a couple toppings and we left. My sad little cup of chocolate coffee and his uninspired cup of vanilla. But after we left all I could think about was the cake batter flavor that I had passed up. Days passed and I couldn’t get it out of my head. Cake batter, cake batter, cake batter…it is all I wanted.

Cake Batter Bars, a super simple, sweet, sticky treat! And it happens to be gluten free!

Luckily, the Vanilla Chex cereal already tastes similar to cake batter, so I just kind of ran with it. The result are these super sweet, sticky, fantastic cereal bars that taste just like cake batter! And a big bonus, no weird ingredients! They include cereal, butter, marshmallows, vanilla, and of course, sprinkles.

Cake Batter Bars, only five simple ingredients!

So,  just in case all of this cake batter talk has you craving it, too. Know you’re only five ingredients away from these sweet treats!

Cake Batter Bars, only 5 ingredients and gluten free!

 

Cake Batter Bars
Recipe type: Sweets
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8+
 
Ingredients
  • 5 cups Vanilla Chex
  • 5 cups of marshmallows
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-2 teaspoons sprinkles
Instructions
  1. Heat a medium size sauce pan to medium low heat, add butter and let it slowly melt. When butter is mostly melted add in the marshmallows and stir them regularly.
  2. When the butter and marshmallows are totally melted add the vanilla extract.
  3. Grab a 9x13 pan (for thin bars, if you want thick bars use an 8x8 pan) and line with wax paper, lightly spray with cooking oil and set aside.
  4. Add the cereal to the marshmallow mixture, stir well, and spread into the pan then top with sprinkles.
  5. Place in the fridge and let the bars firm up.
  6. When you are ready to cut turn them out onto a cutting board, removing the wax paper and cut into squares.
  7. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

Dark Chocolate Coconut Mocha Donuts

This is what a happy morning looks like in my house.

Baked Coconut Mocha Donuts  with Dark Chocolate Coconut Glaze
Last weekend I woke up to a quiet house and a clear schedule. I poured myself a cup of coffee and got to work.
I love baking. I know some people don’t enjoy the measuring or the mess that comes with proper baking, especially proper gluten free baking. But I adore it, something about the pouring, measuring, and mixing is totally therapeutic to me.

Baked Coconut Mocha Donuts  with Dark Chocolate Coconut Glaze

This particular morning I was ready to try my hand at donuts. I had written out a couple different flavor combinations and had finally decided on “Cherry Cheesecake.” My thought was to bake fresh cherries into the donuts, do a cream cheese glaze and drizzle crushed (gluten free) graham crackers over the top. Sounds fantastic right? Well I opened up the fridge to start getting out ingredients and a bag of unopened coconut fell out of the fridge. That was all it took. A quick glance of coconut and the smell of coffee already lingering around my kitchen and just like that “poof!” I didn’t want cherry donuts. I wanted Coconut Mocha Donuts. I didn’t just want them. I HAD to have them.

Baked Coconut Mocha Donuts  with Dark Chocolate Coconut Glaze

I scrapped my plans, turned to a different page in my notebook and started scribbling. Pretty soon cocoa powder was flying around the kitchen and through the cloud of flour and sugar in the kitchen these little beauties started to form. The donuts are filled with rich dark chocolate cocoa powder and espresso powder to make perfect, soft donuts. They are then dunked in a dark chocolate glaze laced with coconut extract and then dunked in toasted coconut.

Baked Coconut Mocha Donuts  with Dark Chocolate Coconut Glaze

Heaven folks. This is heaven.

Dark Chocolate Coconut Mocha Donuts

To be totally honest with you, I do not have a big sweet tooth in the mornings. I will almost always pick savory over sweet when it comes to breakfast, however these little beauties have totally changed me.

Bring on the chocolate!

Dark Chocolate Coconut Mocha Donuts

5.0 from 2 reviews
Coconut Mocha Donuts
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9
 
Ingredients
  • Donut Ingredients
  • 1 cup AP Flour or Bisquick (I used GF Bisquick)
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Special Dark)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder (I used one to go packet)
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • Glaze Ingredients
  • 1¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons coconut extract
  • ½ cup coconut for toasting
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and sugar until thoroughly combined.
  3. Add milk, sour cream, and beaten egg.
  4. In a small bowl or cup combine the hot water with the instant coffee powder until dissolved. Pour coffee into donut batter and mix well.
  5. Spray donut pan with cooking oil and spoon batter into donut molds.
  6. Bake donuts 12 minutes, carefully remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack.
  7. While donuts are cooling combine the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, milk, and coconut extract until a thick glaze forms.
  8. Turn the broiler on your oven to low. Pour shredded coconut into a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast coconut until lightly brown, this will take about one minute. Watch closely so it does not burn.
  9. Dunk cooled donuts in chocolate glaze and then dip in toasted coconut.
  10. *Note: There is enough glaze to double dunk your donuts or to completely coat with glaze. Donuts will need to be stored in the fridge.

For more Coconut Mocha creations try my Blended Coconut Mocha and my Coconut Mocha Snack Mix!

Adapted from Joy the Baker

Vanilla Bean Frappuccino

A couple weekends ago I was at Starbucks with a friend. I ordered my usual caffeine filled macchiato and she ordered a Vanilla Bean Frappuccino. I can honestly say it had never crossed my mind to order something at Starbucks that didn’t have any coffee! But I was intrigued, it looked delicious! I tasted it and was totally in love. It is a super fantastic vanilla loaded ice cold drink. I immediately knew I had to recreate it.

Skinny Vanilla Bean Frappuccino

I did some quick googling and figured out most homemade versions of the Vanilla Bean Frappuccino include loads of ice cream. I really wanted to keep this drink on the lighter side of things so I tried a couple different mixtures of milk/yogurt/honey/vanilla and none of it was quite right. Ultimately, I decided the key to this drink is frozen fat free cool whip! Weird, I know. But it totally works. It mimics ice cream in that it adds a great creamy texture but without the calories.

This version is super simple and can be whipped up in a matter of minutes! The only thing even slightly tricky is the vanilla bean. If you haven’t ever used them before, just slice it lengthwise and you will see all of these little black “seeds” (I know they aren’t really seeds, but I don’t know what else to call them) just grab a small spoon and scoop them right into your blender.

And just in case you end up as addicted to this drink as I am and don’t want to spend all your money on vanilla beans look in the ethnic food section at your grocery instead of the baking aisle. They are likely much cheaper! And If you happen to have a World Market near you, they are even cheaper!

Skinny Vanilla Bean Frappuccino

What are you waiting for? Drink up my friends!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Vanilla Bean Frappuccino
Recipe type: Drinks
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2+
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups ice
  • 1½ cup frozen fat free cool whip
  • 1 vanilla bean split lengthwise and inside scooped out
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons honey
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a bender and blend for one minute or until ice is totally crushed.
  2. This makes 2 large cups or 4 small cups

 

Fresh Strawberry and Vanilla Pudding Pops

It is hot.

Fresh Strawberry and Vanilla Pudding Pops

Like full on, you-will-melt-if-you-walk-outside. And it is only going to get hotter.

You know how some people love summer and frolic in the water and run around in bathing suits drinking fruity drinks? Yeah that isn’t me. The only good thing about summer is that school was out. Since I am no longer in school I really don’t care for this season. Terrible, right? I know. Give me fall with leggings, boots, and scarves and I am a happy girl.

I do try to like summer. There are certain things I do enjoy. I really like that it stays daylight until almost 8 at night. I like sun dresses and ponytails. I love the fresh produce this time of year, and I like Popsicles.

Fresh Strawberry and Vanilla Pudding Pops

So in an effort to embrace summer I have these Fresh Strawberry and Vanilla Pudding Pops for you. You won’t believe how simple this is, just fresh strawberries, milk, and a couple tablespoons of instant pudding mix. Toss it all in the blender, give it a whirl and then freeze. Not only are these easy, but they are also a great light summer snack. So just in case you are one of the ones that likes sun, summer, and bathing suits, this won’t wreck your bikini bod! :)

Fresh Strawberry and Vanilla Pudding Pops

And just in case you are looking for more “summer friendly fare” here is a list of my favorite things to make that don’t require turning on your oven!


Fresh Strawberry and Vanilla Pudding Pops
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups strawberries
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 3 tablespoons dry vanilla instant pudding mix
Instructions
  1. Remove stems from berries and place all ingredients in a blender and blend 30 seconds to one minute or until berries are crushed and completely combined.
  2. Pour mixture into molds and freeze 24 hours.
  3. Run the molds under warm water for 15 seconds to make them easier to remove.
  4. Enjoy!

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you are a peanut butter hater you were probably already super close to unfollowing me since I just shared the Peanut Butter Banana Granola Bars, and the Peanut Butter Protein Muffins. I am sorry! I can’t help it!

These cute little cookies are flourless. Yes, that’s right. These little beauties are full of creamy peanut butter, brown sugar, peanuts, chocolate chips, and of course a little vanilla.

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe is based off of a recipe I found in my Mom’s collection of recipes. It was on a tattered, yellowed little piece of paper and just said one cup of peanut butter, one cup white sugar, one egg. Since finding this recipe years ago I have played around with it and perfected the recipe for the perfect chewy peanut butter chocolate chip cookie.

So here is how we make it!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, flourless, gluten free, and ready in less than 20 minutes!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, flourless, gluten free, and ready in less than 20 minutes!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, flourless, gluten free, and ready in less than 20 minutes!

Pretty simple, right? Measure, mix, roll bake! My one suggestion is to bake these on a good thick pan. For me, they bake best on my stoneware. If you cook them on a thin cookie sheet without a liner the bottoms will get burnt. I always forget this. I used my cheap Ikea cookie sheets, which I love, but aren’t great for baking. So do as I say, not as I do! :)

5.0 from 1 reviews
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe type: Sweets, Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup peanuts
  • ½ semi sweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325
  2. In a medium size mixing bowl combine all of the ingredients. The mixture will be thick.
  3. Roll cookie mixture into small ball and place on a greased cookie sheet.
  4. Bake cookies 12 minutes for soft and chewy or 15 for crunchier cookies.
  5. Makes 2 dozen small cookies

 

 

Strawberry Milk

I know what your thinking…”Um..how old are you?”
The answer is, probably too old to be drinking strawberry milk.

Strawberry Milk

But this is sooo good! Like crazy wonderful fantastic good!

This whole thing started because I realized one day, as I was staring into the fridge trying to decide what I wanted, I couldn’t remember the last time I had a glass of milk. I mean I cook with it and I pour it over my cereal, I add it to smoothies, but just drink a big glass for the heck of it?
Nope. I have no idea when the last time that was.
And I am not anti-milk or anything like that, we had a dairy farm just down the road from the farm I grew up on so I actually have an appreciation for the stuff. Or at least for the little farmer man next door. :)

I am getting off topic. Anyway, strawberries, milk, honey, vanilla. DO IT! These four simple ingredients make such a wonderfully refreshing drink you will be wondering why the heck the grocery store version has so many chemicals and preservatives.

Strawberry Milk

As a big bonus this same recipe makes a mean strawberry smoothie if you just use frozen berries instead of fresh. Either way, you absolutely cannot go wrong!
So grab your blender and give this a whirl!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Strawberry Milk
Recipe type: Drinks
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
 
Ingredients
  • 2 heaping cups of chopped strawberries
  • 2 cups milk
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a large blender, blend approximately one minute until strawberries are completely crushed and incorporated, Serve ice cold!
  2. This makes approximately 40 ounces. So 2 large servings or 4 small servings.

 

Strawberry Pancakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Glaze

Sometimes there is only one sure fire way to deal with a bad case of the Mondays.

Strawberry Pancakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Glaze

Pancakes. Lots and lots of pancakes.

These pancakes are the cure to the I-cant-get-out-of-bed-please-tell-me-it-is-saturday mindset we are all in on Monday morning. This is what you reach for when nothing else will do. Strawberry Pancakes, with Strawberry Cream Cheese Glaze. Your welcome, my friends. You are welcome!

Strawberry Pancakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Glaze

Holy Moses! Don’t these look good!

I had a craving for strawberries so bad last weekend, but when I got home from the grocery and took a closer look I realized my berries left a lot to be desired. They were just past their prime, which meant the texture was totally off. Urgh. What am I going to do with a pound of not that great strawberries. Cake? Smoothies? Ice cream?

The answer (to this and most other questions) was pancakes. Lots and lots of them.

Normally, Sunday is my day to cook or prep for the week. So I make a couple snacks, bake some bread, maybe even make a dinner ahead of time, but I always make some type of breakfast to make mornings easier. This week these pancakes made their debut, let me tell you, if Mr. Maebell hadn’t already popped the question these beauties would have pushed him over the edge.

They are so good! They taste like strawberry cake, but in pancake form. Top them with the perfect Strawberry Cream Cheese glaze and you have a little slice of heaven right there folks.

Strawberry Pancakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Glaze

While these may seem like a super indulgent unhealthy breakfast they really aren’t too bad! The batter has no sugar or butter added, and I used reduced fat cream cheese for the glaze so at the very least these can be considered a light indulgent breakfast.

Strawberry Pancakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Glaze
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • Pancake Ingredients:
  • 1 cup GF Bisquick
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • 1 egg
  • ⅔ cup buttermilk
  • 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • Strawberry Cream Cheese Glaze Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
Instructions
  1. Directions:
  2. In a food processor or blender blend the strawberries until they are completely crushed. Scoop out two tablespoons of the strawberry puree and set aside.
  3. In a medium size mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add in crushed strawberries, milk, egg and vanilla extract. Combine mixture well.
  4. Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium to medium high heat. Melt one tablespoon of coconut oil. Scoop out the pancake batter with an ice cream scoop.
  5. Cook pancakes for approximately 1-2 minutes until you see little bubbles form, flip pancakes, cook for about one more minute or until golden brown.
  6. Continue until all batter is used, adding oil if you need it, as you go.
  7. For the glaze, combine the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, cream cheese, 2 tablespoons crushed strawberries, 2 tablespoons of milk. Stir well until glaze forms. The glaze can be made by hand, but it is easier with a mixer.
  8. Stack warm pancakes and serve with glaze. Enjoy!

 

As always, I made this dish using gluten free ingredients. I use Glutino Gluten Free Pantry All Purpose flour or Gluten Free Bisquick in place of flour.