Sweet Tooth

2017 Hersey Dessert Tin Challenge

A few years ago, my husband gave me a tin of Hersey dessert recipes and gave me a challenge. The challenge was to convert the recipes into gluten free recipes that we could enjoy. Challenge accepted! This year, I have taken 12 recipes from the tin and will convert 1 a month into gluten free and dairy free desserts. 


GF, DF Chocolate Glazed Citrus Poppy Seed Cake

1 package gluten free Yellow Cake Mix
1/3 cup poppy seeds
1/3 cup Almond milk
3 Eggs
1 8 oz container plain dairy free yogurt
1 tsp lemon peel

--> Preheat oven to 350*, grease and flour bundt pan. 
-->Mix all ingredients well, but try not to over mix. It is best to soak the poppy seeds in the milk for about 5 minutes before adding them into the mixture. 
-->Pour mixture into bundt pan, bake for 40-45 minutes, until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.

Chocolate Citrus Glaze

2 Tbsp dairy free butter
2 Tbsp gluten free cocoa powder
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp orange juice
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
zest of 1 orange

-->Melt butter in the microwave (around 15-20 sec) in a microwave safe bowl.
-->Combine with cocoa, water, orange zest, and orange juice.
-->Whisk in powdered sugar.
-->Immediately pour over cake.



In my family, we all have a sweet tooth. We love our sweets; from cookies to cakes to ice cream. I have to be careful about what I eat now because of Celiac's and discovering that my body does not like sugar and can not process a lot of dairy products. Still, every now and then I will indulge my sweet tooth and have a treat. As with everything I eat, I have to know what is in the ingredient list. So I err on the side of caution and make all my sweets. 
These recipes range from tried and true to experiments that have gone surprisingly well. These recipes are gluten free but can be turned back to "regular" recipes by replacing the gluten free flour with All purpose flour. Most of the time it cup for cup unless otherwise noted. Indulge your sweet tooth and enjoy!

Gluten Free Chocolate Jam Cookies

These cookies came about as an accident, as most of my favorite recipes have come about. This is the cookie that sealed the deal for deciding on the best type of flour to use when baking. I got a box of Gluten Free Rice flour from Betty Crocker because it was cheaper than the other gluten free flours. When I made these cookies, instead of being heavy and dense, they were light and crisp and fluffy. The only thing I changed was the type of flour I used. So, from now on, with any baking, I will be using the Gluten Free Rice Flour by Betty Crocker,
The jelly part of the cookie can be a little tricky. Here are some pointers. Make the cookie ball smaller than normal. Add very small amount of the strawberry or raspberry jelly to the very center of the cookie ball. Make the "thumb" indention very slight. Finally, let the cookies cool completely and then some before you lift them off the cookie sheet. Otherwise, the cookie will fall apart and the middle won't be there.
These cookies didn't last very long in my house. Hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

You will need:
1/2 cup butter, soften and cubed
1/2 cup butter flavored Crisco, soften and cubed
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups Gluten Free Rice Flour
1/8 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
Raspberry or Strawberry Jam

  • Cream butter, Crisco, and sugar until fluffy
  • Fully incorporate egg and vanilla until smooth
  • Sift flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda together
  • Slowly add to flour, 1/2 cup at a time until fully incorporated
  • Chill for 1 hour
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Roll dough into smaller than normal balls, make a small indentation into the center, going only half way through the dough
  • Fill the indentation with the jam
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes
  • Cool completely before removing from pan
  • Happy Eating!!
Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies

This recipe is the second recipe in the Hersey's challenge my husband issued me at Christmas. For those unfamiliar with this challenge, let me bring you up to speed. One of my Christmas presents this year was a recipe box of Hersey's recipes. Since I have lost the weight and discovered that I have a gluten allergy, my husband decided to challenge me. Turn these recipes into gluten-free, sugar-free or somewhat sugar-free recipes that we can enjoy. I accepted that challenge and this is the second recipe that I turned around.
This one was a little more difficult to accomplish. I had not realized that oats were not gluten-free, so trucking to the store I went and found Gluten free oats. The second complication was whether or not keep the butterscotch bits. I decided to keep them, but only use 1/4 of what was in the original recipe. Adding, instead, raisins and walnuts. My intuition was correct and the cookies were devoured within a couple of days. Hope you enjoy this healthier version as much as we did.

You will need:
1 1/2 sticks butter or margarine
1/2 cup Splenda
1/2 cup Splenda brown sugar mix
2 eggs
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1/2 cup ground flaxseed mill
1/2 cup gluten free flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups gluten free oats
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup butterscotch chips

-->Preheat oven to 375*F
-->In a food processor, cream Splenda and brown sugar with butter until smooth.
-->Add eggs and vanilla, pulse until fully incorporated.
-->In a large bowl combine gluten free oats, flaxseed mill, gluten free flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
-->Add wet mixture to the dry mixture in the large bowl, slowly until fully incorporated.
-->Fold in the raisins, walnuts, and butterscotch chips gently.
-->With a small ice cream scoop or a spoon, place cookie dough on the pans. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown. 
-->Place on a wire rack to cool. Serve with a glass of ice cold milk. Happy Eating!

Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Choco-Orange Cheesecake

Cheesecake. The epitome of some dieters downfall from grace. I have a solution for that...welcome to the world a gluten-free, sugar -free choco-orange cheesecake. *applause*
I have made cheesecakes before, the boxed and graham cracker crust kind; but never a "real" cheesecake. It was a little intimidating at first, but the directions are there a for a reason. If you can read, you can cook. The directions are your road map, and I was hanging on for dear life with this one.
I have taken yet another one of Hershey's recipes and turned it into a gluten-free, sugar -free recipe. The only part that isn't sugar free is the crust. (It's actually very hard to find gluten free and sugar free cookies; so I compromised, and went with the gluten free.) I have also done this cheesecake with an almond crust, which is a little lower on the carbohydrate level.
This recipe does take time to make, around 3 hours from start to plate. It is well worth the effort. This is a light and airy version of ones that are heavy and rich. Happy Eating!!

You will need:
1 package Gluten-free shortbread cookies
1/4 cup melted butter
1 1/4 cup Splenda
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3  8oz packages of cream cheese
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup dairy sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
freshly grated orange peel from 1 orange (optional)

-->In the food processor, crumble cookies with 1/4 cup splenda. Pulse together butter and cookie crumbs. Pat firmly onto bottom of 9 inch spring-form pan.
-->Beat cream cheese, 1 cup of splenda together in the food processor.
-->Add one egg at a time with sour cream and vanilla extract.
-->Take 1 1/2 cups of the cream cheese mixture out and mix together with 1/2 cup cocoa powder.
-->Pour into crust and place in freezer. Freeze for 10-15 minutes, until chocolate is set.
-->Preheat oven to 325*F. Gently stir in orange zest.
-->Spread gently over the chocolate mixture.
-->Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until set except for 3 inch circle in center. Turn oven off. Let stand in oven, with door ajar for 1 hour.
-->Remove from oven. With a knife, loosen cheesecake from side of pan. Cool completely.
-->Remove side of pan. Serve and Enjoy!!

Sugar-free, Gluten-free Strawberry Sugar cookie tarts

Long name, yes; really didn't know what else to name it. This cookie/tart was made in a happy mistaken way. Every Valentine's day, I make heart shaped sugar cookies sandwiches with strawberry jelly. Well, this year I decided to make my traditional sugar cookies gluten-free and sugar free. I don't know whether it was the different sugar or the gluten free flour, but the dough was really dry. Even adding 2 Tbsp of milk, the dough was not as dry, but still crumbling. I was unable to roll them out without them crumbling in my hands. At some point, I had a thought, "This (meaning the dough) would make a great tart or pie crust." *Light bulb going on right now.*  So I grabbed the first cupcake pans I could find, cupcake liners and made the prototype. Once those were in the oven, I proceeded to fill 2 mini tart pans with the cookie dough and topped off with sugar-free Strawberry jelly. Happy mistake, makes happy tummy. Enjoy!

You will need:
1 cup Splenda
2 1/4 cup gluten-free flour
1/2 cup butter
1/2 butter Crisco
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
pinch of nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp milk
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 jar of sugar-free Strawberry Jelly

-->Preheat oven to 350*F
-->Cream butter, Crisco, and sugar together until smooth.
-->Add egg, milk, and vanilla extract. Mix until incorporated.
-->Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, and nutmeg. Slowly add to mixture until fully incorporated.
-->Line mini tart pans with mini cupcake liners. Dust hands with cocoa powder, form dough into small balls. Place in mini tart pan and press down with your thumb to make an indentation.
-->Fill each mini tart with a small amount of Sugar-Free Strawberry Jelly. ( I also used Sugar-free Blackberry Jelly because I ran out of the strawberry.)
-->Bake at 350*F for 11-14 minutes, until the jelly is bubbly. Cool on a wire rack.
-->Enjoy with a large glass of milk. Happy Eating!

Four Great Tastes Blondies

For Christmas this year, one of my gifts and challenges was a Hersey recipe box. The challenge  from my husband was to try and turn the recipes into gluten free/ sugar free recipes. I accepted that challenge with a smile on my face seeing I am always up for a good challenge.
This cookie bar was my first challenge. I changed several indigents and the name of the recipe from the original. The original name of the recipe is Hersey's Three Great Tastes Blonde Brownie. There are two differences between the original and my own. 1. I changed the all-purpose flour to a gluten-free flour, and 2. I added chopped nuts to the top ( I can't help it, I'm nuts about nuts.)
I decided not to go sugar-free with this recipe because of the multitude of morsels used. You can substitute the brown sugar for Splenda's brown sugar baking mix, cup for cup.
My recipe turned out pretty good and makes a lot of bars (approx. 72.) Great for a party or church gathering. I know I will be taking some to work with me.
Happy Eating!!

You will need:
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups gluten-free all-purpose baking flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup peanut butter chips
2/3 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts

-->Preheat oven to 350*F. Grease a 15.5x10x1 inch jelly roll pan.
-->Mix together brown sugar and melted butter.
-->Add eggs and vanilla, mix well.
-->Add 1 cup of flour at a time with salt, incorporate well before adding the 2nd cup of flour.
-->Gently stir in chocolate, white chocolate, and peanut butter chips until just added. Don't over do it.
-->Spread into pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until knife comes out clean upon testing.
-->Serve with a glass of iced cold milk or a nice cup of coffee. Enjoy!!

Banana Oat Walnut Bread

This recipe is my Grandmother Bramblett's recipe. Before she got sick, she was able to write down a few of her recipes and gave them to my mother, uncles and myself. Like most of the older generation, my grandmother knew her recipes by heart, never following something written down. These recipes were passed down through the generations by word of mouth, so when grandma decided to write hers down, she forgot a few ingredients.

I did not come to this realization until after I made the recipe a few times. There was always something missing. It was either too dry, or not enough of something....so, I started to experiment and added a few of my own touches to it. This post is for you, Grandma Sue.

You will need:

1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3-4 very ripe spotted bananas
1 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp applesauce
2 cup Gluten free rice flour blend (I use Betty Crocker's)
1 cup Gluten Free oats
3 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup walnuts or pecans

-->Preheat oven to 375*, toast walnuts and oats for 10 minutes while the oven is preheating.
-->Mash bananas with apple sauce and lemon juice. Add sugar, eggs, and melted butter.
-->Sift together flour, baking powder and salt; slowly add to the banana mixture. Fold in 1/2 of roasted oats and walnuts.
-->Transfer into a greased and floured loaf pan.
--> Sprinkle remainder of oats and walnuts on top.
-->Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Bread is done when a knife comes clean when tested through the center of bread.

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

As far as desserts go in my household, this has got to be the most requested and gone the fastest once made.  Needless to say, they are my husband's favorite. They are also my favorite and hold sentimental value for me every time I make them. They are the first type of cookie that I handmade in our first year of marriage. The cookie that gave me the confidence to try other pastries and delectable.
Over the years, the simple recipe that I started with has evolved into something more. As with all my cooking and baking, I try the original recipe and then add my own personal touches. This recipe is no exception; in fact, it has taken years to perfect. Hope you enjoy it as much as my family does.
As a side note, I will be entering this recipe in the SC State fair this year.

You will need:
2 cups Gluten Free rice flour blend
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa
1 stick butter
1 stick margarine
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
2 eggs, slightly beaten

-->Cream butter, margarine, and sugars together until smooth. 
-->Add vanilla and eggs, stir until the batter looks grainy.
-->Shift together flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa, and cinnamon. Add to wet mixture 1 cup at a time until well incorporated.
--> Gently fold in chocolate chips and nuts. Refrigerate for no less than 1 hour.
-->Preheat oven to 375*. Drop dough by spoonfuls onto un-greased cookie sheet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.
-->Let cool on a wire rack. Enjoy with a big glass of milk or a mug of coffee.

Apple/Pear Pie

This past weekend was my best friend's wedding. It was a beautiful formal affair. The rehearsal dinner was a lovely southern treat of BBQ, mac and cheese, potato salad, Cole slaw, and baked beans. Dessert was a spread of some of the best of southern sweets: all homemade; pound cake, strawberry trifle, lemon meringue pie, and the American classic Apple pie.
The apple pie and I have a long history together. It was the first pie that I decided to try to make before I was married. I feel that it is my piece de resistance; the one that I have perfected over the past 10 years. I started with my grandmother Bramblett's simple recipe, tried several different types of apples and pears, and added a few different ingredients to come up with the following recipe.

You Will Need:
2 Gluten free pie crusts
3 Large Breaburn Apples
1 Large Granny Smith Apple
1 Large Bartlett Pear
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons butter, cubed
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of salt
2 Tablespoon Gluten Free Rice Four Blend
2 Tablespoons of Gluten Free rolled oats

->Preheat oven to 400*
->Peel and dice apple/pears; combine with brown sugar, flour, oats, and spices in a large bowl.
->In a deep dish pie pan, gently place the pie pastry, cutting the edge off. Score the pastry with a fork.
->Fill the pie pastry with the apple/pear mix. Sprinkle with cubed butter.
->Gently place the remaining pie pastry over the filling. Pinch the edges together and make slits on the surface. Sprinkle with sugar.
->Bake for 40 minutes.
->Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

Fried Apples
Paleo, AIP

This recipe was inspired by my husband who decided to be helpful with my new eating plan. On this plan, I am unable to have any of the "good stuff" that all sweets are made. There is always a way around things, and my husband had the insight on this one. 
You will need:
2 apples, sliced
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1/8 cup fresh pineapple juice
1/3 cup raisins (optional)
pinch cinnamon
pinch nutmeg

  • In a cast iron skillet, melt coconut oil on medium heat.
  • Place apples in skillet and dust with cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Add pineapple juice and raisins. Simmer until apples are tender.
  • Enjoy with a hot cup of tea.