Posts Tagged ‘dessert’

I came up with this recipe when I attempted to make the Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Shortbread Cookie mix, only the dough was so crumbly that I had visions of a miserable afternoon trying to roll out fussy dough to make cut-out cookies.  So instead, I squished the crumbs together to make balls for the kids to press into and up the sides of mini-muffin pans.  I filled the cookie cups with caramel, then the kids pressed in chocolate chips (and pecans in a few, which I definitely like).  Part way through, I decided to get out our bag of Nestle’s red and green semisweet morsels to dress up a few for gift plates and parties.  The tasty cookie bites look fancy on a plate, but were a whole lot easier than making cut-out cookies!  If you don’t have a Bob’s Red Mill cookie mix, you can use the shortbread recipe from Living Without magazine, which I made last year and is very good.  (Just cut the recipe in half or use the other half of the dough to make cut-out cookies.)

Shortbread Cookie Cups

Shortbread Cookie Cups

1 package Bob’s Red Mill GF Shortbread Cookie Mix (or homemade dough)
3/4 c. unsalted butter
1 egg yolk
2-3 T. water (the recipe calls for 2, but I added 3 because it’s so crumbly)
Caramel ice cream topping
Semisweet chocolate chips
Chopped pecans, optional

Make the shortbread cookie dough according to package directions.  (It will just be dough crumbles until you squish them together in your hand.)  Grab a small handful of dough and squeeze it together in your hands until compacted, then roll it into a ball that’s about 1 1/4-in.  The recipe makes exactly 36 balls.

Place dough balls in greased mini-muffin pans, then use your thumbs to press the dough down and up the sides until it reaches the top of the muffin cup.  Using a 1/2 tsp. measuring spoon, scoop out 1/2 tsp. caramel topping (you may need to heat it a little) and pour into each cup.  Press about 6 chocolate chips into the caramel, along with a few coarsely chopped pecan pieces, if desired.

Bake at 350 degrees for 14-16 minutes.  Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then gently slide a knife around the edge of each cookie cup to loosen it and pop it out of the pan.  Cool completely on a wire rack.

Makes 3 dozen.

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Looking for some easy, gluten free, holiday recipes to make with your kids that don’t require you to blend a bunch of flours together?  Whether you’re new to the gluten free lifestyle, baking for gluten free guests (and have no idea what a “flour blend” is), or just looking to add a few easy recipes to round out your holiday baking, you’ll find that these recipes are both delicious AND fun to make with your little bakers.

We do a lot of “dipping” for Christmas goodies because it’s something the kids can easily help with, and because everything tastes better dipped in chocolate!  There are some tasty gluten free products that make wonderful substitutions in some of our favorite chocolate-dipped, holiday desserts.  Plus, if you’re giving away plates of goodies to friends and neighbors, you can easily use the “regular,” less expensive wheat versions and still make some gluten free goodies for home!  (Just be sure to always dip the gluten free items in chocolate first, before anything containing wheat, so there’s no risk of cross-contamination.  Also, label the waxed paper where you set the cookies to harden so you can tell which ones are gluten free when you’re finished!)

Some favorite, kid-friendly goodies with gluten free substitutions include:

  • Chocolate-Dipped Glutino Pretzels.  You can actually buy these dipped in chocolate already, but we like to dip them in white almond bark (according to package directions) and sprinkle them with colored decorators sugar (my daughter’s favorite activity).  Glutino’s gluten free  pretzels are better than wheat pretzels, in my opinion, and can be found online at Amazon and Vitacost.  To make this super easy for the kids, we get the stick pretzels and let them dip them half-way, like wands.  It makes a nice sweet/salty combo.
  • Pretzel Turtles with Glutino Pretzels.  This was the first holiday goody my kids helped make, starting when they were 2-years-old.  Have your child place some pretzel twists (the regular shape, not sticks) on a foil or parchment-lined baking sheet.  Your child can then unwrap a Rolo candy (with help from you, if he’s really young) and place one on top of each pretzel.  Melt the chocolate slightly in an oven preheated to 250 degrees for 3 minutes.  Set out pecan halves, red and green M&Ms, or whatever you’d like on top.  When the chocolate has melted, your child can gently press a pecan half or M&M onto each Rolo to squish it down.  Just let it cool and that’s it!  If you’re concerned about the hot baking sheet, you can slide the foil onto the counter for the last step.  WARNING: Be sure to get regular Rolos.  The new mini Rolos and other new miniature versions of gluten free candies (like mini Butterfingers) are NOT gluten free.  Always read labels on every new product, even if other variations are gluten free.
  • Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies.  These sandwich cookies that we used to make with Ritz crackers were always a hit at parties, and my personal favorite.  We’ve found that the Glutino original round crackers work just as well (although they’re a little less salty).  Kids can make peanut butter cracker sandwiches, then simply dip them in melted chocolate almond bark.  (I use a baby fork to gently turn the cracker sandwich over in the chocolate, then lift it out, tapping the fork on the side of the bowl to shake off excess chocolate before placing the cookie on waxed paper to harden.)  The best thing about this recipe is that it’s ready to eat almost immediately!  The downside of the Glutino crackers, though, is that it seems like half the crackers in the package are broken.  So we just try to match up halves and make half-sandwiches to dip.  They still taste good, even if they’re not round – plus you can call them “reduced-calorie”!
  • Mint Chocolate-Dipped KinniToos (gluten free coookies that taste just like Oreos, only they’re a little softer).  Similar to the recipe above, we dip half of a KinniToos cookie (available at Amazon and Vitacost) in melted green mint chocolate chips (we use Guittard chips, but you could also pull out the green chips in the Nestle mint chocolate chip bag).  If you can’t find the mint chips, dip the cookies in white almond bark and sprinkle crushed candy canes or decorative sprinkles on top for a festive looking treat.

Some of our favorite recipes are naturally gluten free, like Peanut Butter Balls.  I like to make the peanut butter balls early in December because I freeze the balls for dipping in chocolate, which means I can dip a few now and save the rest to dip later for Christmas parties (or for Valentines Day fondue!).  For guests or kids with multiple allergies, check out my recipe for Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, No Bake Cookies (which can also be made peanut free by substituting sunflower butter).  My 11-year-old son likes to make these, and does most of it by himself.

Another naturally gluten free holiday goody is fudge.  The recipe I came up with is so quick and easy that my 8-year-old daughter made it all by herself this year.  It can easily be dressed up by sprinkling Andes Peppermint Bark Chips (found next to the chocolate chips) on top to make festive looking Mint Fudge.  You can also make Turtle Fudge by mixing in some chopped pecans right before spreading it in the pan, then drizzling some caramel sauce on top and pressing in a few coarsely chopped pecan halves.  (I like to save the caramel dipping sauce that comes with apples at McDonald’s for little baking projects like this.  Yes, I’m THAT cheap.)

Christmas 007

Brenda’s So-Easy-An-8-Year-Old-Can-Make-It Fudge

3 c. chocolate chips (I use semi-sweet)
14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2 T. butter
1 tsp. vanilla flavoring (not extract)

Line a 9″ square baking pan with foil and grease with butter.  Pour the chocolate chips into a microwave-safe mixing bowl that is completely dry (otherwise you’ll end up with frosting instead of fudge).  Add sweetened condensed milk and butter.  Melt chocolate in microwave at 70% power for 90 seconds.  Stir until smooth.  If necessary, heat the chocolate for another 15 sec. at 70% power and stir.  When chocolate is melted, stir in vanilla (and pecans, if making Turtle Fudge).  Immediately transfer to pan and smooth top.  If desired, press Andes Peppermint Bark baking chips into half or all of fudge – I like to make half mint and half plain – or top with caramel and pecans for Turtle Fudge.

Another easy recipe is Rice Krispies Treats made with gluten free Rice Krispies (be sure you get the box labeled “gluten free” – the regular cereal is not GF).  My mom used to add food coloring to the marshmallow mixture and shape the treats into trees, with silver candy balls on top.  You can make all sorts of fun shapes by using cookie cutters (and decorating like sugar cookies) or checking out the myriad variations on the Rice Krispies website.

Of course, if you want to bake, you can make my Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies as bars, using the Nestle Tool House holiday morsels that are red and green (if you can find them) or red and green M&Ms.  Or you can make Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies with the dough by pressing an unwrapped Hershey’s Kiss into the cookies as soon as they come out of the oven.

I also like to use the red and green M&Ms to add a festive touch to my allergy-friendly Homemade Kettle Corn, which I often give as a Christmas gift in a jar or ziplock bag that the kids have decorated with holiday stickers.

In addition to the 10 flourless recipes above, if you have the ingredients for my flour blend, you can also check out my recipes for:

  • Gluten Free Sugar Cookies that don’t require frosting, only a little decorators sugar
  • Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies (by far, my most popular dessert recipe) that can be made festive with Nestle’s red and green morsels or holiday M&Ms
  • Gluten Free, Dairy Free Brownies that taste as good as any boxed mix I’ve ever had, and can be dressed up with chocolate chips, peanut butter cups, or anything else you’d do with a boxed mix.
  • Brownie Pie that uses Pamela’s Pancake and Baking Mix for the flour, and tastes AMAZING with mint chocolate chips.

I’ll do my best to add pictures as I bake throughout the month, but I wanted to share the recipes right away for you early birds.

Merry Gluten Free Christmas!

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This healthy, high fiber, versatile recipe tastes great with any fruit combination – whether you’re in the mood for banana muffins, pumpkin coffee cake, mixed berry cobbler, strawberry rhubarb muffins, peach cobbler, or apple cranberry coffee cake – and can easily be made completely allergen free: gluten free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, nut free, etc.  Depending on your mood, you can make muffins, cobbler, or a streusel-topped coffee cake utilizing whatever fresh or frozen fruit you have on hand.  I make some variation of this recipe at least once a week for our family’s breakfast because it’s such a healthy and delicious way to start the day, and keeps us full all morning when served alongside some eggs, sausage or Greek yogurt.

Not only is this recipe 100% whole grain – a rarity in gluten free baking – it’s full of other good-for-you ingredients like 2 types of fruit, heart-healthy canola oil, and cinnamon, which has made headlines recently for its myriad health benefits.  Because I use cinnamon, vanilla, lots of fruit, and brown sugar instead of white sugar (since the molasses in brown sugar adds a little more flavor without adding more sugar), I’m able to use very little sugar and salt without sacrificing flavor.  (To find out why we limit sugar at breakfast, read this post.)

There are so many different ways to use this basic recipe that I like to make extra mixes and put them in resealable bags or containers for busy mornings or trips.  When our family drove to Chicago last summer, I added Ener-G brand egg replacer to the dry mix, so all I had to add at the hotel (which had an oven) was the oil, individual applesauce cup, and 1 T. water.  So easy!  The cinnamon and ascorbic acid from the commercial applesauce act as natural preservatives, so the breakfast snack cake kept for an entire week in the fridge/cooler without spoiling.  And the high fiber breakfast kept us from experiencing the – ahem – “sluggish digestive system” that typically comes with traveling.

Cranberry Apple Breakfast Cake with Pecans

All you need to do is assemble the basic recipe that follows and take note of a few suggestions for some of the variations.  (The cobbler variation is at the bottom.)  Or feel free to experiment with your own creations and leave a comment to share your great idea!

One Baking Mix To Rule Them All

Dry ingredients to make ahead, if desired (yields 1 dozen muffins or an 8″x8″ cobbler or coffee cake):

  • 1 1/2 c. oats (we get Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free oats through Amazon)
  • 1/2 c. whole grain flour blend, like Hodgson Mill’s GF Multipurpose Baking Mix (I make my own blend by mixing equal parts brown rice flour, sorghum flour, and millet flour, which I store in a container in the fridge.  These flours can also be found on Amazon.)  Or you can use whatever flour you have on hand.
  • 1/4 – 1/2 c. brown sugar, depending on recipe (You may want to add this ingredient with the wet ingredients later because it tends to clump in the bag, and the amount used can vary.)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. xanthan gum (omit if using wheat flour for non-gluten free baking)
  • For egg-free recipes, also add 1 tsp. Ener-G brand Egg Replacer, then add 1 T. water when you mix in the wet ingredients.  (I’ve only tried this with the cake version, and it does make it resemble more of a breakfast bar than a coffee cake.)

Basic Muffin or Coffee Cake Additional Ingredients:

  • 1 dry mix with 1/2 c. brown sugar OR 1/3 c. brown sugar if making a streusel topping (see notes below on sugar for peach variation and streusel instructions)
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce (or an individual applesauce cup), flavored applesauce, pumpkin, or other fruit puree
  • 1/2 c. canola oil for cake OR 1/3 c. oil + 2 T. milk of choice (we use almond milk) for muffins
  • 1 egg (see note under dry mix ingredients for egg-free baking)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla (not extract – but you can use 1/2 tsp. extract if you prefer)
  • 3/4 c. fresh, frozen or dried fruit (see notes below for variation suggestions)

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Add applesauce or fruit puree, egg, vanilla, oil and milk (if using) to dry mix and stir until combined.  Gently fold in fresh, frozen or dried fruit.  Divide into 12 greased muffin cups or pour into a greased 8″x8″ baking pan.  Top with streusel*, if desired, and bake cake for 24-26 minutes or muffins for 18-20 minutes.  Serve warm.

*Optional streusel topping:Sprinkle 2-4 T. chopped pecans, if desired, and 2-3 T. brown sugar over top of cake or muffins.  Dot each muffin with a sliver (about 1/8 tsp.) of butter or butter spread, or top cake with 8-10 slivers.

Muffin or Coffee Cake Variations & Suggestions

Zucchini Muffins with Cinnamon Chips


  • Add 1/4 tsp. nutmeg and 1 c. shredded zucchini to dry mix.  (Have a ton of zucchini from the garden?  Toss the shredded zucchini in a dry mix bag without sugar & freeze for later!)  Don’t worry about squeezing the water out of the zucchini.
  • In addition to the egg and applesauce, add 1/2 c. oil, 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract and 1/2 c. brown sugar (if not in the dry mix already).
  • If desired, stir in to batter or sprinkle on top 1/2 c. Hershey’s Cinnamon Chips, found by the chocolate chips.  (Trust me, you desire this.)  I made mine with 1/3 c. brown sugar in the mix, plus cinnamon chips and chopped pecans on top.  Mmmmm.

Apple Cranberry – the easy recipe I use when traveling or to give as a gift:

  •  Use 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce and 3/4 c. dried cranberries (or raisins, if you prefer).

Pumpkin, preferably with streusel topping:

  • Use 1/2 c. canned or pureed pumpkin instead of applesauce.
  • Add 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice to dry mix.
  • If desired, add 3/4 c. dried cranberries.

Strawberry Rhubarb, Blueberry, Blackberry, Raspberry, or Mixed Berries:

  • Unsweetened strawberry applesauce mellows the tartness of the berries, but regular applesauce can also be used.
  • If using rhubarb, use 2/3 c. chopped rhubarb and 1/3 c. diced strawberries or whole raspberries.
  • Instead of a streusel topping, try just sprinkling a little cinnamon and sugar.
  • If using frozen berries, do not thaw, but add a few minutes to bake time.
  • Be sure to let cool for 5-10 minutes since berries retain the heat.


  • Instead of applesauce, cut a very ripe med. banana into chunks and place in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Add oil and brown sugar, then mix on low with your hands covering the top of the bowl to keep the bananas from flying out (ask me how I know this…).  Increase mixing speed to med. high and continue mixing until banana is completely mashed.  Mix in remaining wet ingredients, then dry mix.
  • Use 1/3 c. oil + 2 T. milk of choice for this variation.
  • I used 1/3 c. brown sugar and the streusel topping.


  • Substitute 1/2 c. white sugar for brown sugar.
  • Omit applesauce.
  • Use 2 eggs instead of 1.
  • Finely chop 1 can of drained peaches or enough fresh or frozen peaches to equal about 3/4 c.  (I used homemade frozen peaches that were very finely chopped.)
  • Use 1/2 c. oil and no milk.

Mixed Berry Cobbler with Vanilla Yogurt

Cobbler Variation
  • 1 dry mix with 1/4 c. to 1/2 c. brown sugar, depending on taste (I use 1/4 c. for breakfast for my family, but usually 1/3 – 1/2 c. for guests or a dessert cobbler)
  • 1/4 c. chopped pecans, if desired/tolerated
  • 1 T. ground flax, if desired
  • 1 egg (see note in dry mix for egg-free baking)
  • 1/3 c. canola oil
  • Enough fresh or frozen fruit (no need to thaw) to cover the bottom of a greased 8″x8″ baking pan, about 1 1/2 – 2 c.

Directions: Add egg, oil, flax and nuts (if using) to dry mix in a mixing bowl.  Spread evenly over fruit until all fruit is covered by the topping.  Bake 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees.  Add 5-10 min. to baking time if using frozen fruit.  Serve warm with vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt for breakfast or with frozen yogurt as a dessert.

Notes: Variations we’ve tried include blackberries, mixed berries, chopped peaches with mixed berries, apple, and apple with dried cranberries.

  • For apple cobbler, toss peeled and sliced apples with a little apple juice (containing citric acid) or lemon juice.  If using tart apples, like Granny Smith, sprinkle apples with some cinnamon and sugar.
  • If using dried cranberries, soak them in hot water or apple juice to plump them up while you assemble the dry mix, then drain and sprinkle over apples.  (Dried fruit on the bottom of a pan can sometimes burn.)

Wake the kids up in the morning with the delicious smell of any of these variations and you’ll  have no problem getting them to get dressed and come down for breakfast.  

Happy fall baking!

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I cut a lot of sugar out of this recipe and added extra nutrition without sacrificing any flavor.  These soft, chewy bars are so good that my family ate the whole 9″x13″ pan in 4 days.  (But they’re low in sugar!)  I’m always looking for ways to cut flour out of recipes, since gluten free flour blends require effort to make, are often expensive and low in nutrition.  So I borrowed an idea from my favorite oatmeal cookie recipe which uses ground oats, and substituted a cup of ground oats for 1 c. of the flour.  For the remaining 1/2 c. flour, I used the Gluten Free Pantry flour blend that has the guar gum already added.  It’s reasonably priced through Amazon, and perfect for recipes that call for just a little flour.

To lower the sugar content, I cut out 1/4 c. of the sugar called for in the recipe, but added more flavor by substituting an additional 1/4 c. of peanut butter for 1/4 c. of the butter in the recipe.  The original recipe also called for melting 3 c. chocolate chips over the top and sprinkling with toffee, which would certainly be yummy, but added a lot of sugar.  So instead I mixed 1 c. chocolate chips into the dough, which provides plenty of chocolately goodness.  The combined result of all these changes is a delicious, low sugar, gluten free, dairy free (with dairy free chocolate chips and margarine), cookie bar that’s loaded with fiber and protein.  Hooray!

Peanut Butter Oat Bars with Chocolate Chips

3/4 c. creamy peanut butter
1/4 c. butter or dairy free margarine, softened
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. GF oats, divided
1/2 c. GF flour blend
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips (Ghirardelli and Guittard are dairy free)

Grind 1 c. of oats in a food processor until it looks like flour.  (There may still be a few oat bits, and that’s okay.)  Set aside.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, peanut butter and sugar.  Add the egg and vanilla.  Beat until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Add the oat flour, remaining 1/2 c. of oats, GF flour blend (plus a pinch of xanthan gum, if not included in flour blend already), and salt.  Beat until just blended, about 30 seconds.  Mix in chocolate chips.

Press dough into a greased 9″x13″ pan.  Bake 15 minutes until the edges just start to brown.  Cool and cut into bars.  These stay moist and soft for days – if they last that long!

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Our family’s favorite Thanksgiving dessert has a pumpkin filling on the bottom that is sprinkled with cake mix and pecans, then drizzled with butter for a crispy, buttery topping.  It’s absolutely wonderful with real whipped topping on it!  So it was one of the first Thanksgiving recipes I converted to be gluten free. You can make the cake mix from scratch using the recipe below, but I’ve found that the GF Pillsbury yellow cake mix works perfectly.  (It’s the best of the GF cake mixes I’ve tried.) Since it makes a 9″x13″ pan, it’s great for a crowd – or lots of leftovers! Happy Gluten Free Thanksgiving.    

14 oz. can pumpkin puree (not the pie filling with spices added)
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. evaporated milk or canned coconut milk (with full fat)
1 1/3 c. sugar
1 T. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. salt

Cake Mix (or GF Pillsbury yellow cake mix):
1 3/4 c. gluten free flour blend (see recipe below)
1/4 c. cornstarch
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. xanthan gum


1 1/4 c. chopped pecans (I use the “cookie pieces” or bits that come pre-chopped)
1 c. melted butter or dairy free margarine (I use Earth Balance for dairy free)
1 tsp. vanilla extract (omit if using a boxed mix containing vanilla flavoring)

In a large mixing bowl, stir together pumpkin filling ingredients until smoothly blended.  Pour filling into a greased, 9″x13″ pan.  In a separate bowl, mix together cake mix.  Sprinkle cake mix evenly over top of filling.  Scatter nuts over cake mix.  Melt butter and stir in vanilla (unless using a boxed mix containing vanilla).  Drizzle melted butter over nuts, moistening as much cake mix as possible (to avoid fights with your husband over who gets the yummy pieces where the butter pooled).

Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until set and golden.  Cool at least one hour in pan on a wire rack before serving.  Serve with whipped cream.  Store leftover dessert in the refrigerator, if you’re lucky enough to have leftovers.

Brenda’s All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend:

1 c. white rice flour
1 c. brown rice flour
1/3 c. tapioca flour/starch
1/3 c. cornstarch
1/3 c. potato starch
1 T. sweet rice (also called sticky rice) flour
1 T. potato flour

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For my suffering friends in the hot Midwest, I have a great treat to share with you.  I discovered a while ago that you can make all sorts of fabulous frozen drinks using vanilla sweetened almond milk that’s been frozen in ice cube trays.  It’s so easy to make these inexpensive, yummy treats.  From chocolate shakes that taste like a Wendy’s Frosty to mocha frappuccino’s that taste like a Starbucks drink (for a fraction of the price), just click on the link to my food blog, More Joyful Choices, to see the variety of delicious ways you can cool off this summer!

Chocolate Shake:
6-8 frozen vanilla sweetened almond milk cubes*
2-4 T. additional almond milk, not frozen
1-2 T. Hershey’s chocolate syrup (it’s dairy free)

*This recipe makes a small, child-size shake that works well in our little Magic Bullet blender.  You may want to double or triple the recipe for an adult if you have a larger blender.  

Put all ingredients in a blender.  Add enough almond milk to make it blend easily, and blend until smooth.  Serve with a spoon.  (Use extreme caution when trying to scrape all the yummy goodness off of the bottom near the blades with your finger.  It’s not worth a trip to the emergency room…or is it?)

Click here to see lots of tasty variations on this recipe.

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I recently needed to make some cookies that were free of gluten, dairy and soy for some folks with multiple allergies.  So I turned to an old favorite that can be easily modified.  I was even able to lower the sugar content without noticing a difference.  My son was able to make most of the recipe on his own, since this is also a very kid friendly recipe.  These cookies are delicious and come together in a snap!

1-1/2 c. sugar (or 2 c. sugar, for sweeter cookies)
1/2 c. + 2 T. butter, margarine, or coconut oil (if using oil, add 1/4 tsp. of salt)
1/4 c. + 2 T. cocoa powder
1/2 c. milk or rice milk
2/3 c. creamy peanut butter (Skippy Natural is soy free)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 c. GF oats (like Bob’s Red Mill)
2 T. ground flax (optional)

In a large saucepan, mix the sugar, butter or oil, cocoa and milk.  Bring to a boil.  Immediately remove from heat and stir in peanut butter until melted.  Mix in vanilla and oats (and flax, if using).  While still hot, use a cookie scoop or tablespoon and drop mounds onto a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet.  Allow to cool and harden (or if you’re impatient, like me, put the cookies in the fridge to cool).

Depending on the size of your cookies, this recipe makes 3-1/2 to 4 dozen cookies.  These also freeze well, if you can manage to resist eating them all at once!

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