Coconut Tarts

Well it’s MAY! Did you now that May is Celiac Awareness month? Now you do!

To celebrate the start of May and Celiac Awareness how about some cute little tarts!! Coconut Tarts that is! So break out some tart pans and get baking!

Coconut Tarts

adapted Simply Gluten Free

Ingredients

  • 1¾ cups sweetened coconut flakes – use divided
  • 1 cup gluten free graham style crumbs (Kinnikinnick)
  • 5 tablespoons Earth Balance vegan butter, melted
  • 1 – 13.5 ounce can coconut milk
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup tapioca starch or corn starch
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Place 1¼ cups of the coconut on a sheet pan and spread into an even layer.
  2. Toast the coconut in the oven until it is fragrant and lightly browned, 8 – 10 minutes, stirring once or twice during cooking for even browning. Reserve ¼ cup of the toasted coconut for garnish.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining 1 cup of the toasted coconut with the graham style crumbs and the coconut oil.
  4. Press into four 4 inch tart pans with removable bottoms, an 8 inch tart pan or even a 9 inch pie plate, making sure to get the mixture up the sides as well as on the bottom. Place in the freezer to cool and harden – about 15 minutes. While the crust hardens, make the filling.
  5. In a medium saucepan whisk together the coconut milk, brown sugar, tapioca starch and salt.
  6. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens, just about 3 minutes. Stir in the pure vanilla extract, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  7. Press the mixture through a sieve if you like to make sure there are no lumps.
  8. Stir in the ½ cup of coconut flakes you did not toast. Pour the mixture into the prepared tart pan(s) or pie plate.
  9. Let the tart cool in the fridge until ready to serve. Garnish with reserved toasted coconut flakes.
ENJOY!!Kwegyirba Croffie is a freelance Associate Producer at News 12 Connecticut and a Special Events/Event Planning and Social Media Intern at College Lifestyles (TM). She is a Quinnipiac University alumni and a sister of Alpha Delta Pi. She enjoy cupcakes,Broadway musicals, Forever 21 ,giraffes, peacock feathers, orchids, lillies and anything Disney.

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Snickerdoodle Bread

Snickerdoodles. Great as a cookie so why not a snickerdoodle bread? Perfect for breakfast or a nice snack. Enjoy with your favorite cup of tea!

Snickerdoodle Bread

Ingredients

For the Bread:
  • 2 1/2 cup gluten free flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup vegan butter, softened
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup vegan sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cup cinnamon chips
  • 2 tablespoon gluten free flour

For the Topping:

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  1. Preheat your oven to 350º. Grease four/five mini loaf pans and set aside.
  2. Combine 2 1/2 cups flour and baking powder in a bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl cream butter, 2 cups sugar, salt and cinnamon until fluffy, about two minutes.
  4. Add eggs one at a time mixing well after each addition.
  5. Add vanilla and sour cream and mix to combine.
  6. Add flour mixture stirring until just combined.
  7. Coat the cinnamon chips with 2 tablespoons flour and stir into batter.
  8. Spoon batter into four/five greased mini loaf pans (5 3/4 x 3 1/4 x 2 1/4). Don’t fill more than 2/3 full. Combine 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon and sprinkle over the top of batter in the pans.
  9. Bake at 350º for 35 to 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into a crack in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  10. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before removing from pan.
  11. Note: You can also make this in two 9×5 loaf pans. Bake at 350º for 60 to 70 minutes until a toothpick inserted into a crack in the center of the loaf comes clean.
Love the cinnamon and sugar combination!
ENJOY!

Kwegyirba Croffie is a freelance Associate Producer at News 12 Connecticut and a Special Events/Event Planning and Social Media Intern at College Lifestyles (TM). She is a Quinnipiac University alumni and a sister of Alpha Delta Pi. She enjoy cupcakes,Broadway musicals, Forever 21 ,giraffes, peacock feathers, orchids, lillies and anything Disney.

Mardi Gras King Cake

OH MY GOODNESS! How could I do all these Mardi Gras posts with a Mardi Gras King Cake recipe?!

Mardi Gras King Cake

King Cake– the preferred dessert/snack of Mardi Gras.  It wouldn’t be Carnival without one.  From the Twelfth Night (January 6) to Fat Tuesday (date varies) King Cakes are baked and gobbled up all over New Orleans. Although the name implies cake, it is essentially a sweetened, enriched bread dough similar to a brioche.  Think coffee cake (yes, you can eat it for breakfast, too, MMMM). They are glazed with a simple confectioners’ sugar mixture, then colored sugar or crystals in Mardi Gras colors crown the top; purple for justice, green for faith, and gold for power. Nowadays there are other versions filled with cream cheese, praline, and even one with a coconut filling and chocolate icing–yum!

Ingredients

makes one 12-inch oval cake
For the Dough
  • 1/2 cup coconut or almond milk
  • 2 Tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted vegan butter (Earth Balance)
  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 extra large egg
  • 1 extra large egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose gluten free flour
For the Filling
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose gluten free flour
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted vegan butter, melted (Earth Balance)
For the Icing and Decoration
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Colored sugar crystals (Mardi Gras colors of course!)
  1. For the Dough: In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk until bubbles appear around the edges.  Add the butter and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, dissolve the yeast in the warm water with 1 tablespoon of the sugar.  Let stand until bubbled and frothy, about 10 minutes.  Add the cooled milk mixture, the eggs, remaining sugar, vanilla, salt, and nutmeg.  With the mixer on low, knead in the flour one cup at a time.  Increase the speed to medium-high and knead until smooth, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead into a ball.  Spray a large bowl with non-stick spray, cover with a sheet of plastic wrap, and place in a warm, draft free place until doubled in volume, about 60-90 minutes.
  4. For the Filling: In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and flour.  Pour in the melted butter and mix until a paste forms; set aside. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
  5. When the dough has risen, transfer it to a lightly floured surface.  Roll the dough into a 10×24-inch rectangle.  Spread the filling (it won’t be smooth and even) over the dough.  Starting with the widest end, roll up the dough into a jelly roll, pinching the seems well.  Bring the ends together to form an oval, pinching the end seams, as well.  Place the oval onto the prepared baking sheet.  Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise in a warm draft free place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375° F.  Bake the cake for 30 minutes, tenting with a sheet of foil the last 10 minutes if it appears to be browning too quickly.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. For the Icing and Decoration: In a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, milk, corn syrup, and vanilla until smooth.  Place the cake (still on the rack) over a rimmed baking sheet. Pour the icing over the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides.  Sprinkle with the sugar crystals, alternating colors as you go.  Allow the icing to set before slicing.

ENJOY!!

Kwegyirba Croffie is a freelance Associate Producer at News 12 Connecticut and a Special Events/Event Planning and Social Media Intern at College Lifestyles (TM). She is a Quinnipiac University alumni and a sister of Alpha Delta Pi. She enjoy cupcakes,Broadway musicals, Forever 21 ,giraffes, peacock feathers, orchids, lillies and anything Disney.

Cinnamon Bun White Hot Chocolate

It’s (still unfortunately) winter time. Yea I am officially finished with winter, BRING ON THE SNOW!! Nothing beats the chilly winter nights or rainy winter days like a nice cup of hot chocolate and a good book. I am in the mood for something a little different that just run of the mill hot chocolate. Hot chocolate will always be delicious no matter what (nothing beats a classic right?) but how about some WHITE hot chocolate with the delicious twist of cinnamon? Hmmm yea cinnamon would be nice. Maybe brown sugar, a little caramel? Sounds like some of the ingredients to a yummy cinnamon bun! YES! Cinnamon Bun White Hot Chocolate.

Cinnamon Bun White Hot Chocolate

The overwhelming flavor is cinnamon, with a nice vanilla undertone and a caramelized flavor from the brown sugar. It’s a fun change from regular hot chocolate. This almost reminds me of the Starbucks White Hot Chocolate but this version has all the cinnamony goodness of a cinnamon bun AND its gluten and dairy free!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almond milk (you can use rice milk if you like)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, coarsely broken
  • 4 ounces good-quality, gluten free white chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Optional garnishes:

  • 2 tablespoons rice whipped cream
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pecans or candied pecans, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon caramel sauce
  1. Combine the milk and the broken cinnamon sticks in a saucepan and bring the milk to a simmer. Once simmering, remove the pan from the heat, cover it with a lid, and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to infuse the milk with cinnamon flavor.
  2. After 30 minutes, remove the cinnamon sticks and return the saucepan of milk to medium heat. Add the chopped white chocolate, brown sugar, vanilla bean paste, salt, and ground cinnamon. Heat, whisking frequently, until the milk is hot and the white chocolate is completely melted.
  3. Pour into two mugs to serve. Garnish with your choice of whipped cream, additional cinnamon, toasted or candied pecans, or a drizzle of caramel sauce. (Or all of the above!) I would go with of the above!

Great…now I want a cinnamon bun 🙂

ENJOY!

Kwegyirba Croffie is a freelance Associate Producer at News 12 Connecticut and a Special Events/Event Planning and Social Media Intern at College Lifestyles (TM). She is a Quinnipiac University alumni and a sister of Alpha Delta Pi. She enjoy cupcakes,Broadway musicals, Forever 21 ,giraffes, peacock feathers, orchids, lillies and anything Disney.

Cinnamon Streusel Dessert Pizza

Cinnamon Streusel Dessert Pizza 

Ingredients

For the Crust:

  • Gluten free pizza dough
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter, melted (Earth Balance)
  • Cinnamon
For the Streusel:
  • 1/2 cup plus 1/3 cups all purpose gluten free flour
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegan vegetable shortening (Earth Balance)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the Icing:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Mix together streusel ingredients with a fork, or your clean hands, then side aside.
  2. To make pizza, pat dough into a 12 inch pizza pan that has been sprayed with oil.  Perforate pizza dough with a fork (this keeps bubbles from forming), then brush with 1 tablespoon melted vegan butter. Sprinkle cinnamon all around buttered crust. Top pizza crust with streusel mix.
  3. Bake at 460º F for 8 to 9 minutes depending on the thickness of the pizza.  Mix icing ingredients until it is of a drizzle consistency. If it is too thick, then thin with a small amount of milk until you have reached your desired thinness.
  4. When finished baking, top with icing in a circular pinwheel pattern. Cut up and enjoy!

Cinnamon Caramel Corn

Popcorn is a quick and easy snack that can be used in so many ways and have some many flavors. I love popcorn and there are great brands that have great gluten free popcorns. Popcorn is great by itself, extra butter, light butter or whatever your favorite might be. Kettle corn is one of my favorites and natural popcorn is always a treat.

Here is a great recipe for Cinnamon Caramel Corn.

Cinnamon Caramel Corn 

Ingredients

  • 12 cups popped popcorn (about 1/2 C kernels)*
  • 1 cup roughly chopped pecans
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup or honey makes a good substitution)
  • 1 stick buttery spread (1/2 C) – Earth Balance is a great brand and come in a spread and stick
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 squares almond bark (or gluten free white chocolate)

*You can use air popped or microwave popcorn. If using microwave, anything works, so you can use your favorite gluten free brand.

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees
  2. Place popcorn and chopped pecans in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a large capacity microwave safe bowl.  Mix well.
  4. Chop butter into chunks and place on top of sugar mixture.  Pour corn syrup over the top of everything.  Microwave on high for 30 seconds and then stir to combine.  Return to microwave and heat for 2 minutes.  Remove and stir and then microwave for 2 minutes more.
  5. Remove from microwave and add in vanilla and baking soda.  Stir to combine.  Mixture will foam and rise.  Pour caramel mixture over popcorn and pecans and stir very well so everything is well coated.
  6. Spread popcorn mixture onto a foil-lined jelly roll pan.  Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and spread out on a large piece of parchment, waxed paper, or foil.
  8. Melt almond bark according to package instructions.  Drizzle over popcorn mixture.  When almond bark is hardened and popcorn is cool, break into chunks and enjoy!

La la la YUM! 25 Days of Yum – Apple Ginger Sparklers

Ok. So you’ve got your muffins and your cookies and cakes. You have a few fun drink and cocktail in your arsinal but what about for the kids and the under 21 year olds? What are they going to drink? Well, Martha Stewart has the answer – Sparking Apple Cider with a little kick! Ginger and cinnamon help this drinks sparkle and shine while your guest wine and dine. This recipe is nice and simple and sure to be a hit.

Apple Ginger Sparklers

First, you’ll need to make some tasty ginger syrup!

Ginger Syrup

For a more intense flavor, make this syrup a day before using, allowing the ginger to sit in the syrup, refrigerated, overnight.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 six-inch piece fresh ginger, finely diced
  1. Place sugar, ginger, and 2 cups water in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook about 1 hour, until ginger flavor is quite strong. Let cool; strain before using.

Now lets make the drink!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Ginger Syrup
  • 4 1/2 cups sparkling apple cider
  • 6 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 pieces crystallized ginger
  1. Place 2 tablespoons ginger syrup in each of six glasses. Fill glasses with ice cubes, pour in cider, and stir to combine. Garnish with cinnamon sticks and fresh ginger, and serve.

With the combination of the bubbling crisp apple and the kick of ginger, this certainly isn’t just some ginger ale. So break out your favorite glasses and toast to good times, great family and friends and an amazing holiday season.