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Gluten-Free Zucchini Brownies

Gluten-Free Zucchini Brownies

These brownies are everything you want in a brownie. Sweet, moist and very tender. The fact they are also flour and gluten-free is a nice bonus for those who can’t have gluten.

You might think, when you read the ingredients, that I left something out. I didn’t. They baked up beautifully and had a wonderful texture.

I made them for a dinner with friends and everyone liked them, a lot.  I think the next time I make them, I might also add some chopped nuts.

 

Gluten-Free Zucchini Brownies

1½ c. shredded zucchini
1 c. almond butter- but you could use peanut butter instead
1 c. chocolate chips
1/3 c. honey – but you can use 1/2 cup if you want a sweeter brownie
¼ c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
1 t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon
½ t. allspice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×9 inch pan, set aside. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir until well blended. Pour batter into pan and spread evenly. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool before cutting. Makes 16.

Spritz Cookies

Spritz Cookies

Some cookies are really about the memories for me. I remember making pressed cookies when I was a kid. I loved using the machine to press out dough in all sorts of magical shapes. My mother was so kind- she let me make whatever I wanted. We had one Christmas with a whole plateful of camels. The machine we had required turning a handle- watching carefully, and turning the handle backwards to stop the flow of the dough. There are much easier versions of cookie presses today. Mine has a ratchet which pushes out the right amount of dough with one click. I decided to make some little green trees and red flowers this year. These cookies are light and very crisp. Great for having with coffee. They are also fast to make, once you get used to the cookie press. The fun thing about using a cookie press is that you can crank out a high volume of pretty cookies in no time flat. They taste good, too. I used vanilla extract in the little trees. In the flowers, I added some sweet cherry flavor, which paired well with the vanilla.

 

Spritz Cookies

1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 T. vanilla*
½ t. salt
2½ c. flour
In mixing bowl beat together butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg. Stir in vanilla and salt. Tint dough, is desired. Add flour and stir until smooth. Using a cookie press with desired shape press cookies on to ungreased baking sheet. Leave about 1-inch between cookies. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for about 10 minutes- cookies should be a light golden color around the edges. Cool on a wire rack. Makes about 3 dozen.

 * You can play around with other flavors. I often add mintextract or a fruit flavor to these cookies.

Amaretto Pear Blintzes with Candied Almonds

Amaretto Pear Blintz with Candied Almonds

Amaretto Pear Blintz with Candied Almonds

I have a dear friend visiting from out of town. I wanted to make her a special dish for brunch today. I had some beautiful fresh pears and some tortillas, so I used them together. Since she likes all things almonds, I included them in the dish, too. I also added some Amaretto to the pears. Martha gave them two thumbs up. She would have said how much she liked them, but her mouth was full.

When she was able to speak, she said they reminded her of apple pie. In fact, she didn’t believe me at first, when I said they were pears. If you like the taste of homemade fruit pie, but don’t have the time to bake, these are a nice option. Because they are barely cooked, the pears retain some shape. In a pie, they tend to fall apart.

Since we had them for brunch, I left them plain, but these would make a great dessert topped with whipped cream or ice cream. Even a dusting of powdered sugar, would be nice. Simple and quite flavorful.

 

 

Amaretto Pear Blintzes with Candied Almonds

 

Blintzes:

4 (8-inch) flour tortillas, I used whole wheat

2 oz. milk

2 T. butter

Filling:

4 pears, peeled, cored and sliced

½ c. brown sugar

2 T. butter

2 T. Amaretto

1 t. cinnamon

1 t. vanilla

Pinch of salt

Almonds:

¾ c. sliced almonds

½ c. sugar

¼ c. water

½ t. cinnamon

 

Place tortillas in shallow dish and drizzle the milk over them. Try to get some milk on each of the tortillas to soften them. While the tortillas are softening, prepare the filling. In medium skillet, combine pears with the rest of the filling ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cook on low heat for 3-4 minutes. Set aside. Combine almonds with the sugar, water and cinnamon in medium skillet. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring often. Cook until liquid is evaporated, about 5 minutes. Pour almonds onto a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking sheet or foil. Spread out and allow nuts to cool.

 

Place butter in skillet and start to heat up the pan. While pan is heating, divide pear filling among the 4 tortillas. Place filling along center of tortilla and fold up edges over, to cover the filling. Heat the tortillas, seam side down, in the pan until golden, turning to toast evenly on both sides. Remove from pan and place on serving plate. Top with some of the candied almonds. Serves 4.

 

 

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