Peppermint “Hot Chocolate” Cookies {Good Cook Virtual Cookie Exchange}

The awesome bloggers and kitchen experts at Good Cook are hosting a Sweet Creations Virtual Cookie Exchange. Each of us that participated received a huge box filled with two cookie sheets, a cookie turner, sweet mixing bowls, cookie dropper/scoop, high temp rubber spatula, and a set of 12 cookie cutters pretty much everything you need to bake some delicious cookies. We were asked to use at least one of the items listed above in our recipe…I chose to use the cookie turner, cookie dropper, and cookie sheet…all of which were awesome! these sheet trays are some of my favorites and that cookie scoop is perfect – so easy to use, nothing got stuck to it, and the cookies came out pretty uniform.

964334_10151833454178848_1596390271_oI’m not going to lie…I am not the best baker due to the fact that measurements really do have to be precise, hence why I cook. I find that my creativity comes out more in cooking rather than baking and I utilize my other senses of smell, sight, and touch with cooking if I can’t taste something (basically in school if something isn’t gluten-free). When it comes to come up with an original recipe without looking at others for inspiration. I have to say thought I think I did rather well with this recipe. I just looked at some “regular” cookie recipes just to see what the ratios are and these came out pretty darn good.

As part of our virtual cookie exchange our readers are entitled to receive 5% off for any sweet creations products by entering the code: COOKIES during check out. Also be sure to check out the Good Cook to like these cookies (or any others) and be entered to be one of 10 lucky winners that will receive a great gift prize from Sweet Creations/Good Cook! Be sure to head to Good Cook on December 18th to vote for your favorite cookie(s) and be entered to win one of 25 Sweet Creations Cooking Making Kits! Contests ends on December 31, 2013!

Peppermint “Hot Chocolate” Cookies

(Think of all the delicious goodies you put into hot chocolate – chocolate, peppermint, marshmallows and wrap those up into one delicious cookie)


Yield: 24 cookies


  • 3/4 cup Sugar (granulated)
  • 3/4 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup/stick Unsalted Butter
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1 cup Blanched Almond Four
  • 1 cup Gluten-free All Purpose Flour (Cup4Cup) (if your mix does not have xanthan gum in it add 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Marshmallows (or mini ones, cut in half)
  • 1 cup Chopped Peppermint Chocolate (I used Chocolove, you can always add 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract instead)
  • 2 Candy Canes – crushed

Method of Preparation

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer add granulated sugar, brown, sugar, butter, and egg. Mix on low-medium until creamed together.
  3. While the sugar, butter, and eggs are creaming together, add the almond flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl, and mix until there are no lumps (a fork works just fine for this).
  4. Turn mixer to low and gently add dry ingredients. The dough will be a bit stiff.
  5. Add chopped marshmallows and chocolate chunks, mix until incorporated.
  6. Place unwrapped candy canes into a zip lock back and using a rolling pin, crush the candy canes until they are in small bits.
  7. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  8. Using the cookie dropper scoop 6 cookies on to each tray, gently press down each cookie.
  9. Top each cookie with a sprinkle of candy cane bits
  10. Bake for 12 minutes – turning half way through.
  11. Let cool on pan for 2-3 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.
  12. Serve warm with a glass of soy milk (or which ever milk you prefer).

Chef’s Note: the addition of the almond flour and marshmallow gives these cookies a nice little chew to them…they are a great mixture of crunchy and chewy cookies with a delicate peppermint flavor.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored review – I was provided products for review from Good Cook. Please note that the opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced by outside sources of any kind.

#goodcookcom #goodcookkitchenexpert #goodcookblogger #sweetcreations

Art of the French Macaron


Last night the Sans Gluten JWU club was privileged to have Chef Lumi, master of French Macarons  share her vast knowledge and experiences of making these delicate little treats.

Chef Lumi is originally from Transylvania, Romania and moved to the United States in 2001. When first moving to the United States, she lived in Chicago where she enrolled in Culinary School at Kendell College. She earned her Associate’s Degree in Baking & Pastry in 2008. Over the years she gained much experience in the field of baking & pastry arts, and we are fortunate to have her as a Chef at Johnson & Wales and learn from such an amazing and accomplished Chef.

Below are some photographs I took last nights demo and production of French Macarons. This was the first time I had ever tried a French Macaron and oh my goodness these little gems are delicious! Still kind of nervous to make them at home, mostly because I don’t want to be dissapointed in the final product!

Thank you Chef for taking the time to share your tips and knowledge with us, it is truly appreciated.

Apple Crisp

I LOVE the Fall and everything about it: The Weather. The colors of leaves. The smell in the air. Sweaters. Hot apple cider. Hearing the leaves crunch under my feet as I walk. Apple picking. Pumpkins. Soup and lots of it. Most of all is Apple Crisp! I can’t live with out that come this time of year. With that said, I was on the hunt for some gluten free oats. I kept hearing that Bob’s Red Mill carried them, but they are on hold right now. So I was even more determined to create a new apple crisp recipe with out oats and here it is:

Apple Crisp

7-8 Medium/Large Apples (Macs or any baking apples…I used pippins)

Flour Mixture:
1 Cup Almond Flour
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup White Sugar
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 Cup Slivered Almonds
1 Stick of melted butter

(I double the above flour mixture so I can have a layer in the middle of the apples…see below)

~Butter the bottom of a 9×9 baking dish
~Mix together the dry ingredients
~Mix in butter (stir until well combined)
~Peel and slice/cube apples, squeeze a little bit of lemon juice over the apples to keep from turning brown
~Pour half of the apples on the bottom of the buttered baking dish.
~Spread half of the flour mixture over the apples.
~Pour the remaining apples over the flour mixture.
~Spread the remaining flour mixture evenly over the apples.
~Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.
~Turn the heat to 375 and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until it starts to bubble.
~Serve with vanilla ice cream and enjoy!

Quinoa Muffins

Quinoa Muffins
(Makes 12 Muffins)

1 cup quinoa rinsed
¼ cup vegetable oil, such as safflower, plus more for pan
1 ½ cups all-purpose gluten free flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for the pan
½ cup almond flour
¾ teaspoon of xanthan gum
¾ cup packed dark-brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ crasins
½ chopped nuts
¾ cup whole milk (I use soy milk)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

~ Preheat oven to 350°F
~ In medium saucepan, bring quinoa and 1 cup water to boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until water has been absorbed and quinoa is tender, 11 to 10 minutes.
~ Meanwhile, brush a standard 12-cup muffin pan with oil; dust with flour, tapping out excess.
~In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt, crasins, nuts and 2 cups cooked quinoa (reserve any leftover quinoa for another use)
~In a small bowl, whisk together oil, milk, egg and vanilla. Add milk mixture to flour mixture and stir just until combined; divide batter amount prepared muffin cups.
~Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, 25-30 minutes.
~Cool muffins in pan, 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
~Store in an airtight container up to 5 days

Adapted from Martha Stewart: Everyday Food Jan/Feb 2008 pg. 142