Make-Ahead Gluten-Free Pork Meatballs with an Easy Apple Butter Glaze

*This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Smithfield at Walmart*

Make-Ahead Gluten-Free Pork Meatballs with an Easy Apple Butter Glaze

Are you still planning your holiday menus, like I am – at the last minute?  Then feel free to relax as you look no further!  These super simple, delicious meatballs are a sure thing no matter what your celebration looks like.

Make-Ahead Gluten-Free Pork Meatballs with an Easy Apple Butter Glaze | Sweet Anna's

They are incredibly easy, packed full of flavor and can be made ahead so all you have to do is heat them up when it’s time to serve.  

They can be served up big as a main course with potatoes or rice on the side, or served up as is for a satisfying little appetizer on a buffet table.  It doesn’t get much better than that!

Make-Ahead Gluten-Free Pork Meatballs with an Easy Apple Butter Glaze | Sweet Anna's

I think most of you would agree with me – a holiday smorgasbord table just wouldn’t be complete without meatballs.  Whether you like yours in a barbecue sauce, gravy, or a sweet glaze – meatballs are a crowd pleaser any way you serve them.

And especially when you make them a little surprising and a lot delicious.  Isn’t it fun to share something new, yet still comforting, on your holiday table?

These meatballs are gluten-free, so everyone can enjoy them, but feel free to use regular all-purpose flour if you’d prefer.

Make-Ahead Gluten-Free Pork Meatballs with an Easy Apple Butter Glaze | Sweet Anna's

And in case you need a little more motivation, Smithfield All-Natural Pork products are affordable and something you can feel good about feeding your family…  and you can find them at your local WalMart while you’re buying all your stocking stuffers and last minute gifts!

IMG_8427

Make-Ahead Gluten-Free Pork Meatballs with an Easy Apple Butter Glaze

Yield: makes about 2 dozen meatballs

Ingredients

    for the meatballs:
  • 1 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons 21-seasoning salute (no-salt-seasoning) or ground sage
  • 2 tablespoons dried minced onions
  • 1 tablespoon bacon grease or olive oil
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour blend
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • for the glaze:
  • 1/2 cup apple butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons cold water

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Lightly grease a large rimmed baking sheet and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, gently mix the meatball ingredients together until just blended. Don’t over mix!
  3. Form the meatball mixture into small balls, about the size of a golfball or smaller, and place onto the baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.
  5. If you are making these ahead, let them cool completely before transferring to freezer bags and storing in the freezer until you are ready to use them.
  6. When you are going to serve the meatballs, place them in a skillet with a lid, whisk together the apple butter & water and pour over the meatballs. Simmer until heated through, turning the meatballs once or twice to make sure they are well coated.
  7. You can also reheat these in the slow cooker if you would like an even more hands-off approach!
http://sweetannas.com/2015/12/make-ahead-gluten-free-pork-meatballs-with-an-easy-apple-butter-glaze.html

the best monster cookies

Rich, fun, extra-chewy and naturally gluten-free (if you make sure your oats are not cross-contaminated!), these Monster Cookies are absolutely the best I’ve ever made.  And I have made a lot of Monster Cookies in my time!

The BEST (naturally gluten free!) Monster Cookies!  | Sweet Anna's

I have been baking and tweaking this recipe for years.  It was my grandma’s recipe handed down to my mom and then me, and as you all know – I just can’t help but tinker.  (smile)

Now, I’m absolutely not saying there was anything wrong with the original recipe, but there is always room for improvement and I think I have found a few little tricks to make these even better.  If you’ve ever made Monster Cookies before and thought “these didn’t turn out like I expected”, then this recipe is for you!!

The BEST (naturally gluten free!) Monster Cookies!  | Sweet Anna's

I have included cup measurements, but I have left a few of the original weight measurements also for those of you who use a kitchen scale…  (If you don’t I suggest trying it.  I just love the ease of resetting the scale and adding to one bowl, without dirtying a bunch of dishes!)

You can make these big or small, just adjust the time accordingly and watch carefully to make sure they don’t get overdone.  You just want the edges to be golden so they are not dry.  These cookies are better under-baked then overdone!

The BEST (naturally gluten free!) Monster Cookies!  | Sweet Anna's

Oh, and I just have to share the show-my-insides cookie tip with you guys!  (You may have seen this already, I posted it on Instagram a few weeks ago!)

Scoop out the cookie dough (balls twice as big as you want in the end) closely onto a cookie sheet and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.  When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven and then take each cookie dough ball and break it in half like you are cracking open an egg and place the halves craggily-insides-up onto parchment-lined cookie sheets.  When the cookies bake, they will be nice and chewy and all the yummy insides (chocolate chips, m&ms, etc!) will be showing, instead of hiding inside!

 

the best monster cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups (1lb) creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/3 cups (1lb) firmly packed brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 9 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups lightly packed sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 2 1/2 cups m&ms, divided (1 1/2 cups + 1 cup)

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, peanut butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, egg yolks, vanilla & baking soda until well blended.
  2. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, except 1 cup of the m&ms, until just blended together. (You can transfer this to a very large bowl and mix with your clean hands if your mixer isn't big enough to handle the load!)
  3. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes while you preheat the oven to 350ºF and line several baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Scoop the dough onto the parchment lined cookie sheets, and flatten with a fork dipped in water. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cookies are just set and light golden brown around the edges.
  5. Store these (all cookies, really!) in the freezer for the best results. If they don't all disappear the first day, that is! :o)
http://sweetannas.com/2015/11/the-best-monster-cookies.html

The BEST (naturally gluten free!) Monster Cookies!  | Sweet Anna's

Salted Caramel Coffee Toffee

Yep, I said Salted Caramel Coffee Toffee.  Coffee Toffee…  Say that 10 times fast!  This sweet almond-roca-ish treat is easy to make, and more importantly – easy on the teeth!  (We all know, not all toffees can make that claim!)

Salted Caramel Coffee Toffee | Sweet Anna's

All you need is a good pot, a cheap candy thermometer, and a whisk.  Easy, peasy!

Salted Caramel Coffee Toffee | Sweet Anna's

If you really want to spoil someone you love this holiday season, this is the treat to make.  The hint of coffee and maple syrup are just out of this world in the sweet/salty toffee base, and chocolate and toasted almonds round out the topping!

You all know my love of Starbucks VIA instant coffee packets for baking (you remember this ice cream recipe from this summer, right?) and this toffee recipe is no disappointment.  Even if you don’t use them for anything else (I don’t drink them!) grab a box at the store and keep them on hand for baking.  Add them to brownie batter, cookie dough, ice cream, etc. and you will learn to love their versatility as much as I do!

Salted Caramel Coffee Toffee | Sweet Anna's

I am a big fan of homemade Christmas gifts.  Now, if I was handy enough, I would probably do all homemade gifts.  But all I do is bake, so my usual MO is to add baked goods, treats, homemade vanilla, etc. to the Christmas presents we give.  A little homemade love + a little store-bought token = a perfectly well-rounded gift, in my opinion!

(Hint: It’s not too late to make Homemade Vanilla Extract for your friends/family this Christmas.  It’s such a fun, unique gift…  And about the easiest thing in the world to make!)

Salted Caramel Coffee Toffee | Sweet Anna's

Salted Caramel Coffee Toffee

Ingredients

  • 2 cups butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pouch Starbucks VIA Instant Coffee*
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup sliced almonds, toasted and cooled**

Instructions

  1. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
  2. In a medium-large heavy pot with a candy thermometer clipped to the side, dump in the butter, sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, salt and instant coffee*. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the thermometer registers 250ºF.
  3. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the caramel reaches 290-300ºF.
  4. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the vanilla extract and then the baking soda. Pour onto the parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle the top evenly with the chocolate chips.
  5. Let the chocolate chips sit for about 3-4 minutes, until they are all soft and shiny, and then spread the melted chocolate gently with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula. Sprinkle the top with the toasted almonds. Let cool completely (in the fridge if your kitchen is too warm!) before breaking into bite-sized pieces and storing in an airtight container!
  6. *If you don't have any Starbucks VIA pouches, you can use regular instant espresso. I just hate buying that little jar and knowing how stale it was every time I wanted to use it!
http://sweetannas.com/2015/11/salted-caramel-coffee-toffee.html

Salted Caramel Coffee Toffee | Sweet Anna's

recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen!