Double Chocolate & Macadamia Nut Puddle Cookies

I totally missed the boat on a Thanksgiving post, guys. It’s hard to celebrate being so far away and all, although I did manage to get a big group of travelers in on a potluck dinner. My Thanksgiving this year consisted of a random assortment of dishes, from vegetable curry to bruschetta to mango dumplings. Everything was delicious, but the only traditionally Thanksgiving food was the stuffing I made. Which was delicious, and which may get a write-up this time next year, but I wasn’t quite on top of things enough to get it up before the holiday. I’ll do better for Christmas.


So instead, some more cookies. More gluten-free cookies, even! I’m still pretty busy and worn out with work, so this is another good quick recipe. Hopefully next week I’ll be back up to my usual tricks, making unnecessarily involved desserts for all my lovely new friends here in Australia. This week, though, you only need seven ingredients and about half an hour of your time.


And these are so good. Chewy and rich, with a smooth, slightly crunchy surface like a meringue. More crunch from the macadamia nuts, and plenty of deep, intense sweetness from the dark chocolate. They are one of my favorite gluten-free recipes and definitely a good one to have in your arsenal.

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Easiest Peanut Butter Cookies (Gluten-Free)

I can’t say I’m wholly sold on this whole “Australia” thing, but I will say this – it is so sunny and warm and beautiful. A little too windy down on the beach, maybe, but after a childhood spent on Northern California beaches (where you always need a sweatshirt and the water is so cold it hurts your bones), I can’t really complain about that either. And it’s only getting hotter and more summery.


 (Okay, that photo’s actually from up near Cairns because I haven’t shot much of Byron Bay yet, but you get the idea.)

I don’t mean to brag (I totally mean to brag), I’m just trying to explain how busy I have been at work lately. The tourists are starting to flock to Byron Bay, and everyday the little cafe I work at is packed out from about 9:30 am until sometime in the early-mid afternoon. Between the ever-busier days and some abrupt staffing changes, I have been pulling some long weeks. So the last time I went to bake, I just wanted something quick and easy and mindless. That’s what these cookies are for. The gluten-free thing is a nice bonus, but mostly they’re just so wonderfully simple. Not in a gross microwave-cake-in-a-mug (do you guys remember that fad?), just in a delicious, sometimes-you-only-need-three-ingredients way.


And then if you’re like me, you make it all a bit complicated and coat everything in chocolate. But that’s optional.

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Josey Baker’s (Gluten-Free, Vegan) Adventure Bread

Bake this bread. Seriously, stop what you’re doing, go buy some nuts and oats and seeds, and get started, because it won’t be ready for at least another five and a half hours, which is already way too long to wait. This stuff is delicious. I ate at least five pieces of it, and the part I brought over to my backpacker friends (you know me, I have to give my baking away to someone) received rave reviews. It’s great plain, it’s great with butter, it’s great with olive oil, I can only imagine how good it would be with some honey or peanut butter or the right kind of cheese (I’m thinking a really sharp, nutty cheddar). It’s got a bit of a daunting ingredients list, but it is one of the easiest breads I have ever made. I promise.


And it’s naturally gluten-free (although if you are baking this for someone with Celiac Disease, make sure your oats aren’t contaminated. I know a lot of major brands aren’t actually Celiac-friendly). Which is great, because I have a horrible confession to make, you guys: I’ve been cutting down on gluten. When I first got to Australia, I was all set to live off my favorite cheap diet of peanut butter sandwiches, but it turns out my stomach can’t handle quite that much wheat, and so I have become one of those obnoxious people with a fake gluten intolerance. I know, I’m not happy about it either. I will by no means be giving up flour on this blog, so don’t you worry. I’ve just been exploring some naturally gluten-free recipes as well. And this one, well, I think I may have mentioned that this one is delicious.


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Sunbutter Cups

Sorry guys – I’m decidedly behind on my blogging. I’m down to my last couple weeks (well, single week now!) here in Wellington, which means all I’ve been doing is lazing around, going out to eat, and very vaguely considering packing. I have not been productive in the least. But, in the interest of filling spare time and using up my ingredients, I have been baking quite a bit. So I promise I will sit down, edit some photos, and get back on my weekly blogging. Starting with some nice no-bake sweets.


I first made these a few years ago for my college dorm’s big end-of-term party, Wine & Cheese. This is a decades-old tradition – twice a year, all the members of the house would cook a bunch of hors d’oeuvres and desserts, buy some niceish booze, and invite their favorite alumni and professors to come over and hang out. At the time, I lived with a number of people with Celiac disease, and so I decided I’d make some gluten-free sweets on their behalf. I was initially going to make classic peanut butter cups, but having recently discovered the wonders of sun(flower seed) butter, I decided to use that instead. These would be tasty with peanut butter, as well, but the sunbutter makes them extra special.

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Winning Hearts & Minds (Flourless!) Cake

This cake is amazing. One of the simplest, most delicious cakes I know how to make. I have never had a bad review, not even the time I accidentally used way too much butter (five ingredients, you’d think I could do it correctly, and yet…) or the time I overbaked it (which you should never, ever do – this is a cake to be underbaked, if anything). It doesn’t have to be iced (it’s perfect as is), it can be eaten warm, it can be eaten cold two days later. In fact, it’s better two days later.


But my favorite thing about this cake is that it’s gluten free. I have no problem with eating gluten, and so I pretty much refuse to learn how to use alternative flours. However, I also have many lovely people in my life with severe intolerances and even Celiac disease, so I have built up a good repertoire of flourless recipes for their sakes. Because everyone should get to enjoy a nice cake every now and again.


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