Cuccidati, or fig cookies as they are more often called, are one the popular treats that pop up around the holiday season. A staple in Sicily, these yummy Christmastime cookies are filled with figs, dates, raisins, and a variety of spices! They are a bit time consuming to make, but worth the effort!
- 2 cups dried figs
- 1 cups dried dates
- 1 cup raisins
- ¾ cup chopped almonds
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts
- ¾ cup orange marmalade
- ½ cup honey
- ¼ cup brandy
- 1½ tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 4 cups gluten free flour
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup butter
- 1 large egg
- ¾ cup milk
- 1 ½ tbsp. vanilla extract
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 egg white
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp water
- Finely chop walnuts and almonds using a food processor and place in a large bowel
- Remove hard tips from figs and pits from dates
- Grind dates, figs, and raisins in the food processor, until well blended. Add to large bowel.
- Place marmalade in food processor with honey, brandy, and spices and blend. This will also help chop up the marmalade a it so that it is a smooth consistency. Pour into bowl and mix well. Your mixture should be thick at this point.
- Cool for at least 4 hours, or overnight
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl
- Add butter to mixture and blend until well incorporated
- Whisk egg, milk and vanilla together then slowly add to dough mixture
- Divide dough in 4 sections, making a 18x3in rectangle (I use a pizza cutter to get straight edges once I roll it out. You can make longer rectangles but 12-18 inches is much easier to work with)
- Place filling in center of rectangle and roll dough over filling, pinching seam to close completely. Wet you fingers with water to help seal the dough
- Roll dough over so that the seam is facing downward, slice into 1 inch sections
- Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes until golden brown
- Allow cookies to completely cool
- Whisk together powdered sugar, vanilla, egg white and water. You may need to add additional water if it is too thick. Icing should be easy to spread and drip a bit down the sides of the cookies, but not watery
- Apply icing to cookies and decorate with colored sprinkles.
In case you’re not familiar with tiramisu, it is a popular Italian dessert. It is traditionally coffee-flavored, made with ladyfingers dipped in coffee between layers of mascarpone cheese and sugar with chocolate. Tiramisu literally translates as “pick me up”. How perfect is that? Now, lady fingers aren’t generally gluten free unless you search really hard for them and, to be honest, I prefer cupcakes to traditional tiramisu cake. The recipe is fairly straightforward, so don’t let the multiple steps scare you off! You’ll thank me later!
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2½ cups granulated sugar
- 3 eggs + 2 egg whites, room temperature
- 3 cups gluten free flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 packets instant coffee
- 8oz mascarpone
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp strong coffee (you can make your own strong coffee, but I usually add 1/2 cup hot water with 1 packet of instant coffee)
Combine ingredients until well mixed, do not over blend. (Now, feel free to make extra filling- it’s great to stuff in strawberries or ummm lick the bowl)
Cream cheese frosting:
- 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream
- Using a whisk, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract.
- Add cream and beat until beaks form. Unless you have crazy strong arms, I’d use a mixer for this step!
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Line pan with cupcake liners
- In a large bowl, cream butter, oil and sugar
- Add egg whites, egg, and oil.
- Sift dry ingredients
- Slowly add half of the dry ingredients to wet ingredients
- Add buttermilk and vanilla
- Combine the remainder of the dry ingredients
- Fill cupcake liners with batter until about ¾ full
- Bake for 16-18 minutes until slightly golden
- Allow to cool completely
- Scoop out the center of the cupcakes. I usually use a knife and cut out a cone shaped center. You can use those fancy gadgets to core cupcakes but this is the easiest way!
- Add filling to cupcakes to fill the hole you just removed
- Top with frosting
- If you want to be fancy, sprinkle cocoa powder over top of cupcakes or use chocolate shavings. You can use a Hershey bar and a knife to make shavings. Best part? You can eat the rest of the bar later!
Pasta has always been one of my favorite things to eat. In college, it was my go-to meal for late nights and even now it is a quick meal to prepare. I love heavier sauces and given the time of year, bolognese is one of my favorites! It’s easy to prepare but not something I want to do after working a long shift so I tend to make a pretty large batch. It freezes well so you can easily double to recipe (or triple!) and end up with a stash on hand in your freezer! I use this recipe a lot, especially with my arancini di riso (Italian rice balls- yum!) To make it easier on myself, I use my favorite gluten free sausage instead of regular ground pork. It’s already seasoned. Just make sure if you are using sausage that it is gluten free because some of the casings/fillings have gluten!
- 1 large onion
- 8 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 6 tbsp tomato paste
- 8oz tomato sauce
- ½ tbsp sugar
- ½ cup water
- In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat
- Sauté onions and garlic until soft
- Add pork and ground beef and heat until brown throughout
- Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, basil, and sugar
- Add ½ cup water
- Allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes
Gnocchi is a pretty great substitute for pasta when you’re looking for something a little heavier. Gnocchi are usually potato based, but flour is added to help bind so you need to make sure that you gnocchi is gluten free if you are going to pick up some at your local grocery store. They are pretty fun to make and you can easily have your kids help you out as well! When I make a batch I usually freeze some for later. For a sauce we usually try some extra virgin olive oil and minced garlic, but my favorite it enjoying it with Bolognese sauce! Delicious!
- 3 pounds russet potatoes
- 2 cups gluten free flour (rice flour works great)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 egg
- Roast potatoes until soft (you can boil them but I like the taste of roasted potatoes more, plus boiled potatoes take on too much water)
- Allow to cool slightly
- Peel potatoes
- Mash potatoes with a ricer (I don’t have one, I just mash the heck out of them and sometimes use my handheld mixer to help)
- Add flour, salt, and pepper to potatoes and mix thoroughly
- Add egg and knead dough being careful to not over do it!
- Divide dough into 4 to make it easier to work with
- Generously flour a board
- Roll dough into long ropes (estimate the thickness of your index finger)
- Slice into ½ inch inch pillows
- Use the prongs of a fork to make ridges in pillows
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil
- Working in batches, add a few handfuls gnocchi and cook until most have floated to top, 2 minutes
- With a slotted spoon, remove gnocchi as they finish and transfer immediately to your sauce.
***Note if you wait for them to finish at the same time you will end up with mushy gnocchi! Do not overcook them!
PS- if that’s way too much work for you, here is a list of some already made options that are pretty yummy!
DeLallo Gluten Free Potato Gnocchi
Conte’s Gluten Free Gnocchi
I know this recipe is a little late given that it is well into fall and just about wintertime, but I found two spaghetti squash in the corner of my kitchen this morning and decided to whip some up for dinner! Spaghetti squash is a great healthy substitute for pasta- regardless if you are gluten free or not! This recipe is super easy and if you wanna impress you friends, you can easily serve it on a bed of arugula and even add a few cherry tomatoes cut in half! If cheese isn’t quite your thing, you can cook the squash as directed and then add your favorite pasta sauce instead! It works great with a meat sauce or even a marinara!
- 1 large spaghetti squash (approx 5 pounds)
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 gloves of garlic, chopped (or you can cheat and use 2 tsp minced garlic. I always have a jar on hand!)
- 4 tbsp butter (or extra virgin olive oil)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/4 cup milk (if you want to make it creamy, but I usually skip this one)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Cut squash in half lengthwise
- Scrape seeds out with a spoon
- Place cut side down on a baking dish with 1/2inch-1 inch water
- Cover with foil
- Bake for 30 minutes
- Remove from oven and turn squash cut side up. Cover again and bake for 15 more minutes. You may need to bake longer if your squash is thick. You should be able to pierce squash with a fork
- Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly so you can handle touching the squash
- Use a fork to scrape the sides to make “noodles.” At this point they should feel pretty al dente
- Heat butter in a pan on the stove top
- Add garlic and simmer for 1-2 minutes to allow flavors to blend.
- Add spaghetti squash to pan and cook thoroughly
- Add grated parmesan cheese and cook for 5 minutes
- If you want to make your pasta a bit creamy, you can add the milk and cheese together.
A healthier version of potato chips? And delicious? Thats pretty hard to beat! This is one of my go-to snack recipes. Its pretty easy to turn a potato into a yummy treat. Completely gluten free, savory, and filling. That’s a pretty sweet combination.
- 1 large potato
- 1tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350
- Cut potato into 1/8″ slices. A mandolin is the easiest way to do this. I use mine pretty frequently so if it is not part of your kitchen, you should consider investing in one!
- Place potato slices, oil, salt, pepper, and cheese in a sealed container and shake shake shake!
- Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper
- Place potato slices on sheet being careful to not overlap slices
- Bake for 10-15 minutes or until slightly browned
- Turn chips over and cook for 5 additional minutes
- Allow chips to cool before storing in an airtight container
- Chips will keep for 2-3 days but they are so yummy I’ve never had any left over!
- If you decide to you do not want parmesan chips skip the parmesan cheese and bake as above, or take some chipotle seasoning and sprinkle over chips on the cookie sheets.
Tacos are one of my favorite things to eat. Not only are they delicious, but they are pretty easy to make (or have delivered)! The shell is the only part that can sometimes give celiacs a little scare. Flour tortillas are obviously not an option, but the corn tortillas are usually pretty safe! Just make sure they are not warmed up on the same spot they just heated flour tortillas without wiping it down! My favorite local joint heats up flour on one side of the grill and corn on the other so I never have to worry about it! However, this yummy recipe takes the worry out of the equation by completely eliminating tortillas and replacing them with jalapeno peppers! Now if spice isn’t your thing, you can easily substitute green pepper. For me, jalapenos are the perfect size to increase my veggie to meat ratio. More veggies without sacrificing taste? Score!
- 12-15 jalapeno peppers
- 1 pound ground turkey (If turkey isn’t for you- try 1/2 pound ground turkey, 1/2 pound lean ground beef)
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2½ tbsp taco seasoning
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
- ¼ cup cotija cheese
- ½ cup chopped lettuce
- fresh cilantro
- crushed tortilla chips
- fresh limes
- Preheat oven to 350˚
- Heat oil in large skillet
- Add turkey and taco seasoning and cook approximately 15-20 minutes
- Slice jalapenos lengthwise and remove seeds
- Add heaping tablespoon of meat to each jalapeno half. You may need to add more or less meat depending on the size of your peppers.
- Place peppers in baking dish to keep from tipping over while baking
- Bake for 20 minutes
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with chopped cherry tomatoes, cotija cheese, lettuce and fresh cilantro.
- You may also garnish with crushed tortilla chips for an extra crunch and fresh lime juice if you desire!
PS- if you make this for your family to enjoy and your kids aren’t fans of peppers, you can mix up all the other ingredients and have them use tortilla chips to eat their meat/veggies!
Taco seasoning is one of those staples in my pantry. I used to grab the premixed packages at the grocery store, but they are not always gluten free! To be safe, I make my own with gluten free spices. I always keep some on hand to add to other recipes as well! I usually double the recipe and put it in a shaker that is accessible while I’m cooking. I have found that the best way to NOT feel like I’m on a diet is to use spices to crank up the flavor.
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
Instructions: Mix it up. Yeah. You’re done.
Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, though I’m not sure how it got here so soon this year! One of my mom’s favorite treats this time of year are my oatmeal cranberry cookies. I missed enjoying them when I first started living gluten free, but I managed to make a few changes to the recipe and found great oats to use and again, my favorite flour to use for holiday baking. Now, if you didn’t already realize that oats can be a problem on a gluten free diet then listen up. Generally speaking- oats are gluten free. The problem comes in their production at the factory- lots of cross contamination! In fact, a story in the Chicago SunTimes a few years ago showed that the gluten levels can be over 900ppm! Gluten free food is generally considered to be under 20ppm so thats pretty insane! There are a few gluten free options on there for oats so feel free to use other brands as well- but just make sure that they are not instant oats since those will not work well in this recipe and you will end up with a crunchy blob instead of a soft yummy oatmeal cookie!
- 1 ½ cups gluten free flour (Namaste perfect blend)
- 3 cups gluten free old fashioned rolled oats (my favorite gluten free brand is Bob’s Red Mill
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, and baking soda
- In a separate large bowl, blend together butter and sugars until light and fluffy then beat in eggs and vanilla
- Slowly add dry ingredients until well combined
- Stir in cranberries
- Drop dough in approximately 1 inch balls 4 inches apart on baking sheets. You can make it really easy by using a cookie dough scoop
- Bake for 15 minutes or until golden
- Allow cookies to cool slightly in order to set, then transfer to a wire rack to allow them to cool completely
Goodbye Halloween! Hello Thanksgiving! Time to make the transition to the next holiday! Now, I am definitely one of those people that absolutely loves this time of year. However, if I am to be perfectly honest, I may love it a little too much and struggled to NOT pull out the Christmas decorations while looking for my Thanksgiving centerpieces. I nearly justified putting up a Christmas tree as long as I didn’t put the ornaments on. Yeah. I’m one of those. You would think I was six instead of thirty-something! So this recipe is a perfect reflection of my holiday dilema! Christmas gingersnap cookies combined with yummy fall pumpkin? Ah-maze-ing!
- ½ cup of pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup of maple syrup
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup of butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar, plus more to roll your cookies in
- 1 ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups gluten free flour (again I used Namaste Perfect Blend)
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, spices, and salt.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and 1 cup sugar together until smooth.
- Add the pumpkin, maple syrup, egg, and vanilla extract to the large bowl and mix until well combined.
- Add dry ingredients to large bowl slowly and mix until combined.
- Chill dough for 1 hour. If you skip this step your cookies may not be soft and fluffy!
- Peheat oven to 350° F.
- Place small amount of sugar in a small bowl.
- Roll tablespoon-sized balls of dough in sugar until well coated and place on prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 10–12 minutes, or until cookies look cracked and set at the edges.
- Allow the cookies to cool for a 2-3 minutes after removing them from the oven, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. They will be soft when you remove them from the oven, but if you allow them to cool before transferring them to the wire rack will alow them to set and firm up just a bit!