Gluten Free Chewy Molasses Cookies

Chewy, moist, lightly-spiced, gluten free molasses cookies…  These cookies have all the comfort of your favorite family recipe with a fun secret ingredient and without the gluten (but you’d never know!).

Gluten Free Chewy Molasses Cookies | Sweet Anna's

Here we go again!  Another gluten-free recipe conversion.  Now, I am definitely not going to be an exclusively gluten-free blog, but for now I have a child who can’t have gluten and that means you will be seeing several new recipes here and there.

Gluten Free Chewy Molasses Cookies | Sweet Anna's

Sometimes I get so down about this whole gluten free thing.  I hate seeing Bjørn’s hurt and longing for things he used to have (we have yet to find a decent gluten free bagel or donut – tips appreciated!), and the extra brain-power involved is just plain exhausting.

I long for the days of easy food choices and grabbing anything handy to feed my kids, but that is just not our life anymore, and it’s time for me to to put on my big girl pants and get over myself!

Yes, this is hard.  But my love for him is huge, and every gluten free thing I make is a physical act of love for him.  And my goodness, you should see his joy when I can answer “Yes!” to his never ending “Is this gluten free?” question!

Gluten Free Chewy Molasses Cookies | Sweet Anna's

These cookies were a no-brainer to put on top of the list of recipes to convert, because it’s a family favorite around here.  My grandma’s original Molasses Crinkles Cookie recipe (which is in my cookbook – releasing in June!) is one of our must-haves in the fall, especially on the Christmas table.  (And every time I get a craving during the holiday season!)

Gluten Free Chewy Molasses Cookies | Sweet Anna's

The blackstrap molasses in these cookies makes them a bit healthier than the originals, and a few delicious essential oils are the perfect compliment to the warm richness of the dough.

Trust me, you won’t notice anything is missing, and you will love these as much as our family does!

 

Gluten Free Chewy Molasses Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil
  • 2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 3 drops clove Young Living essential oil**
  • 2 drops ginger Young Living essential oil**
  • 1 drop cinnamon bark Young Living essential oil**
  • 4 1/2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour blend*
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • sugar for dusting

Instructions

  1. *I use Namaste brand Gluten Free Organic Perfect Flour Blend. As with all gluten-free recipes, your recipe may turn out differently with a different brand of gf flour!
  2. **PLEASE don't use just any brand of essential oils. Not all brands are safe for internal consumption, Young Living is the only brand I trust for my family! (Email me if you want to chat!) And of course, if you don't have essential oils right now, feel free to use 1 teaspoon ground cloves, 1 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in place of the oils!
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, coconut oil and brown sugar until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Beat in the egg, molasses and essential oils until smooth. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour blend, salt and baking soda and then add the mixture carefully into the mixing bowl and mix until just well combined.
  4. Cover and place the dough into the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes, or overnight. When you are ready to bake, take the dough out of the fridge and preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper and scoop the dough out (with a small scoop) about 2-3 inches apart.
  5. Press the dough down gently with a fork dipped in cold water, and then sprinkle each pressed cookie with sugar. Bake for 6-8 minutes, until just set and no longer wet looking in the middle.
  6. Let cool on the baking sheets and then transfer to an airtight container to store in the freezer!
http://sweetannas.com/2015/11/gluten-free-chewy-molasses-cookies.html

Gluten Free Chewy Molasses Cookies | Sweet Anna's

No-Bean Pumpkin Chili (Whole30 & Paleo friendly!)

No beans and wholesome ingredients make this cozy pumpkin chili a perfect Whole30, or Paleo friendly meal.  It is rich, comforting, easy and the best part – it tastes even better the longer it sits.

Make a double batch if you have a big enough pot and freeze some for a busy day.  You’ll be so happy to have this ready to go!

No-Bean Pumpkin Chili (Whole30 & Paleo friendly!) | Sweet Anna's

I am on Day 5 of the Whole30 (If you’re not sure what that is, Google away! It’s great!)…  The only side-effect I’m having right now is that I am absolutely starving all the time, no matter how much I eat. (Starving!)

This chili is the perfect solution to that problem.  I really don’t think it’s even possible to eat this and still be hungry, there is so much meat and good things in it!

Don’t let the “healthy” part deter you, though…  if you are serving this to your kids, or you don’t care about Whole30 or Paleo recipes,  then by all means top this with some shredded cheese, sour cream and your favorite chips!  It will be a crowd pleaser, for sure!

No-Bean Pumpkin Chili (Whole30 & Paleo friendly!) | Sweet Anna's

I will absolutely be making this again and again, and I have to say… as much as I love beans, it was kind of nice to have a bean-free chili for once!

 

Pumpkin No-Bean Chili (Whole30 & Paleo friendly!)

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons 21 Seasoning Salute*
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons olive or coconut oil**
  • 3 lbs lean ground beef
  • 2 large onions, chopped and divided (3/4 + 1/4)
  • 1 large bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 jalapeños seeded and diced (if the flesh is too spicy, only use one!)
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 28oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups pumpkin purée
  • salt & pepper
  • chipotle chili powder, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the first 5 ingredients.
  2. *"21 Seasoning Salute" is from Trader Joe's and Costco has an almost identical blend called "Organic No-Salt Seasoning". If you don't have either of those stores near you, don't worry. The chili will be just fine without it!
  3. In a large 4-6 quart pot or dutch oven, heated over medium high heat, brown the ground beef in two batches, seasoning each half with a generous spoonful of the spice blend. Remove the first batch to a plate while you are browning the second batch of meat and then scoop the second batch of meat onto the plate also. Don't worry about cooking the meat through at this point, just get a good browned sear on it!
  4. **If the meat was very lean, add 2 tablespoons of oil to the pot. If the meat was not as lean, drain off all but about two tablespoons of the grease and don't use any additional oil.
  5. Stir about 3/4 of the chopped onions, the bell peppers and the jalapeños into the hot oil or grease in the pot. Season with a generous spoonful of the seasoning, and some salt & pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and starting to brown. Stir in the garlic and let cook for about 30 seconds, until very fragrant, before adding back in the meat (along with any juices that have accumulated on the plate!), the crushed tomatoes and the pumpkin.
  6. Stir well, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to make sure you get up any good bits on the bottom, and add in the rest of the seasoning mixture. Stir well to combine, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for as long as you can!
  7. At this point, taste for seasoning and add more salt & pepper as needed, and if it's not spicy enough for you, add some chipotle chili powder (or crushed red pepper flakes if that's what you have!).
  8. Stir in the remaining chopped onions just before serving, or sprinkle onto the top of each bowl for a nice fresh bite!
  9. You can eat the chili right away, but like all chilis, it gets better the longer it sits. That's why the batch is so big... feed a crowd, or save the rest for other meals!
http://sweetannas.com/2015/10/no-bean-pumpkin-chili-whole30-paleo-friendly.html

 

Fresh Strawberry Pie with Cardamom Shortbread Crust

Fresh Strawberry Pie with an Easy Cardamom Shortbread Crust & Fresh Cardamom Whipped Cream!

I just can hardly contain my excitement when it comes to our local strawberry season.  I become obsessed for the entire duration.  I wake up dreaming of berries and I go to bed with stained fingers.  No joke!

Maybe it’s the long-time city kid in me, but I just can’t believe that I get to drive 5 minutes to the most gorgeous berry farm and grab freshly picked berries all summer long.  You guys!  It is just bliss!

Fresh Strawberry Pie with a Cardamom Shortbread Crust  | Sweet Anna's

We can pick our own berries if we are feeling fiesty, but usually I just grab a couple of already picked flats and enjoy the fruits of my non-labor.  With 3 little kids always in tow, it doesn’t get much better than that.

Now, we all love berries, so we usually don’t get much farther than eating the berries as fast as we can, with a few batches of freezer jam thrown in for good measure.  But this morning I was hit with a bit of nostalgia and I just couldn’t resist whipping up a fresh strawberry pie.

Fresh Strawberry Pie with a Cardamom Shortbread Crust  | Sweet Anna's

Does anyone else remember the days of Marie Callender’s restaurants?  (Are they still around at all?!)  I don’t remember much about the food, but I do remember that I lived for their fresh strawberry pie when it came into season and I would just dream of the chance to go eat there and have a slice.  I was never disappointed with that slice of amazing strawberry goodness, and this morning I couldn’t figure out why I had never made one myself?!

I threw together a quick press-in-the-pan shortbread crust, and an easy glaze made out of my homemade strawberry freezer jam.  Adding a touch of cardamom was a given, as my norwegian blood can never get enough, but if you are not a cardamom fan, feel free to leave it out.

Fresh Strawberry Pie with a Cardamom Shortbread Crust  | Sweet Anna's

This pie is best served the day it’s made.  I can’t tell you how it is on day two, it will never last that long around this house!

(My pie philosophy is: “If you’re going to make a pie, you might as well make two!” which is why this recipe makes two deep-dish pies.  You could even make this in one big 9×13″ pan if you’d like!  As I’m sure you can guess, fresh strawberry pie is not the easiest thing to slice and serve, but even with a mess of a plate, I can promise that your tastebuds and your loved ones will be happy!)

Fresh Strawberry Pie with a Cardamom Shortbread Crust  | Sweet Anna's

Also, the amount of strawberries needed is just an estimate.  Use enough to fill your pie crust.  That’s what matters!

Fresh Strawberry Pie with Easy Shortbread Crust and Cardamom Whipped Cream

Yield: 2 deep-dish pies, or one 9x13" 'slab' pie

Ingredients

    for the crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • for the pie:
  • 4 lbs fresh ripe strawberries, washed & stems removed
  • 1 cup strawberry freezer jam
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

Instructions

  1. In a large mixer bowl, mix together the butter, flour and powdered sugar for the crust until just combined. Divide the mixture in half and press each half into the bottom and up the sides of a deep-dish pie plate. Place in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes while the oven preheats.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Bake the crusts for 12-18 minutes, until golden, and let cool completely on a cooling rack.
  3. When the crusts are cool, in a large bowl, whisk together the strawberry jam and water until smooth. Dump in the strawberries and toss very gently (use your hands!) to coat all the berries. Arrange them evenly into the two cooled pie crusts.
  4. Chill in the fridge while you make the whipped cream, and up to several hours, before serving!
  5. To whip the cream, whisk together the heavy cream, powdered sugar and cardamom in a cold bowl until very light and fluffy. Chill until you are ready to serve!
http://sweetannas.com/2015/06/fresh-strawberry-pie-with-a-cardamom-shortbread-crust.html