Tag Archives: gluten free dessert

Gluten Free Banana Cookies

gfbcWith several overripe bananas staring me in the face, I decided that it was high time I defied the excessive late summer heat, cranked up the oven, and made the first banana bread of fall. I also decided that I should try making some gluten free banana bread.

As you may have noticed, this is a post about Banana Cookies, not Banana Bread. That is because I learned an important lesson in my baking today. There is not an exact quantity match between regular flour and gluten free flour, at least not Coconut Flour. I probably should have read up on how to properly convert a recipe to gluten free BEFORE I started baking, but it was 6:30 AM, so that kind of baking research was simply not going to happen.

So there I was with what was more like dough than batter. I could have just tossed the whole mess and made my regular Banana Bread but that seemed wasteful. So I decided to just go for it. I shaped my dough into cookie like shapes put them in the oven, and decided to name them after they were done and I could see how they looked.

Gluten Free Banana Cookies
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups coconut flour
1 tsp Chinese Five Spice
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup chopped nuts (optional)

  1. Combine the first five ingredients and mix until all the banana lumps are gone.
  2. Stir in the flour, spices, baking soda, and salt. The flour is going to absorb all the moisture very quickly. If your dough seems too dry, add some milk, but no more than 1/4 cup at a time.
  3. Stir in the nuts, if you are including them.
  4. Shape into patties and bake for 20 minutes at 350.

The cookies will come out soft and a little crumbly. Definitely cookies, though. ¬†With the Chinese Five Spice, they have a very rich, sort of exotic flavor. And since there isn’t a lot of sugar, they aren’t very sweet. I would totally have these for breakfast with some fruit. Coconut flour is pretty high in fiber (5 grams per 2 TBSP compared with 3.4 grams of fiber per CUP of wheat flour) so one cookie is pretty filling.

I am thinking that if I had used butter instead of oil, these would have been less crumbly. I will probably try again with butter and see how that works. I am pleased with my final product and am looking forward to having them for breakfast this week.


Mini Pavlova

mpI was raised in a Jewish home and like many Jewish homes, ours was filled with traditions that centered around food. Passover with its ban on eating leavened items, was filled with food related traditions. Besides the obvious matzoh, we had some other items that were a part of our Passover seder. For years, dessert was a spice cake that was made with matzoh cake meal. It was not wonderful. My brother came up with a flourless chocolate torte at some point. It was okay. Then came the Pavlova. If you aren’t familiar with it Pavlova is a meringue named for Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova that is most popular in Australia. It’s normally topped with fruit and whipped cream. It wasn’t a huge hit. But as it is with most holidays, I find myself thinking of my mom and I decided to share this treat that she so loved with my kids. I figured it would be best to make mini versions just in case they didn’t love them.

Mini Pavlova
4 egg whites
1 cup sugar – superfine if you can find it
1 tsp vanilla

1. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks begin to form.
2. Gradually add the sugar and vanilla and continue beating until the peaks are more stiff.
3. Spoon onto a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
4. Bake at 250 for 90 minutes.
5. Turn off the oven and leave the pan in until the oven is cool and the Pavlova have formed a crust.

Your Pavlova should have a slightly firm crust and be soft on the inside. I topped the mini Pavlova with some white chocolate I melted with a little bit of cream with the fruit on the side. The verdict? A huge hit. There were 12 of these gems and they were devoured pretty fast. I told my boys how Grandma used to make it for Passover and it was unanimous. I am to make a large one for Easter with whipped cream and fruit. Yay!

There are many variations of this. Feel free to invent your own by using almond, orange or lemon extract. I saw some chocolate ones and even one made with Nutella. I’m going to stick with this version. I’m happy to bring another food tradition from my childhood to my children.


Coconut Macaroons

cmToday, my church friends and I are in the midst of preparing for the annual Spaghetti Lunch and Dessert Auction. It’s a tremendous amount of fun. So many very creative bakers spend a lot of time planning the most amazing cakes. The youth serve us lunch. It’s a great time.

This year, in addition to the Oreo Stuffed Brownies and a couple other things, I decided to make some Coconut Macaroons. I thought it would be nice to make something gluten and chocolate free for the sale table. I’ve never made macaroons before but they were very easy and fast! The recipe below is from The Joy of Cooking.

Coconut Macaroons
1- 7 or 8 oz. bag moist coconut shreds
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 egg whites, beaten to stiff peaks

1. Combine coconut, sweetened condensed milk, salt and vanilla.
2. If you haven’t done it, yet beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. You’ll be done when you pull the beaters out and there is a little tower of egg white that doesn’t fall down.
3. Fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.
4. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes until golden brown around the edges.

If I had some lime extract, I would have added a bit of that too. Another citrus extract would be good as well. Because I was striving to make something without chocolate and gluten, I had to fight the urge to dip these in chocolate. It goes without saying that they would be magnificent like that. And with the right Kosher for Passover ingredients, these would be a great homemade Passover treat, too!

My macaroons are all wrapped up in trios in little purple cellophane bags with green bows.

Time to get back to the kitchen! Enjoy!