Spring (Cookie) Break! Outrageously Delicious, Gluten-Free Treats

Spring Cookie Break - Organic Gluten Free GinnyBakes.comGluten-free baking, it can be a beast. If you’ve ever attempted your own gluten-free adventures in the kitchen, you know the oh-my-gawwwd-this-is-disgusting ogre of which I speak. This monster might eat dense bread, flat cakes and cookies that could double as hockey pucks, but none of my kiddos will come near the majority of my initial gluten-free experiments. Not that I’m trying dissuade you from doing your own gluten-free baking – it can be done up right if you have a reliable recipe and know the tips for success.  I have a couple tried-and-true gluten-free goodies in my repertoire, Baked Honey Pistachio Donuts and Chocolate Chip Cranberry Pumpkin Bread , but many other recipes (like gluten free cookies) are not at all luscious and, frankly, lackluster.  I’ve got a tough crowd to please with my three teen boy taste-testers – you’d think that they’d eat ANYTHING to fill up those hollow legs, put they’re surprisingly persnickety.

cookies from ginnybakes.com

So, I’ve decided there’s no shame in buying cookies, no shame at all. Especially if they are OUTRAGEOUSLY DELICIOUS cookies— enter GinnyBakes.com into my life! Ginny Bakes creates outrageously delicious and certified organic, certified gluten-free, non-gmo cookies, bars and goodies that the whole family can enjoy. Ginny puts a lot of love and mindful attention into her products– all ingredients are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, genetically modified organisms and ionizing radiation. I appreciate that she’s treating my family with the same care and concern that she gives to her own brood.

Lucy stole our Ginny Minis!

Lucy stole our Ginny Minis!

Cookies fanatics are going to appreciate the wide variety of flavors available, included are Chocolate Chip Love, Chocolate chip Macadamia Love, Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bill, Coconut Oatmeal Bliss, Double Chocolate Happiness, Buttercrisp Love, Dreamy Vegan Delight and “Ginny Minis,” little bags of bite-sized cookies that are perfect for lunchboxes or purses.

chocolate macadamia nut cookie ginny bakes

gluten free organic brownie mixOh, and if you do have the time to bake but are worried about getting “gluten-free” right or just want to make sure you have quality ingredients, GinnyBakes.com also makes several unbelievable baking mixes.  I tried Lovely Brownie Bliss Baking Mix – let me just say between the organic dark chocolate chips, coconut oil and rich cacao powder, these decadent gluten-free brownie had to HIDDEN from the family for my own personal enjoyment.

I have a couple fun ideas for using the cookies – other than eating straight out of the  box. Crumble them up on Greek yogurt, sandwich two around ice cream or decorate the buttercrisp cookies for whatever reason or season is at hand.

Ginny Bakes Crumbled on Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt, my homemade chia seed and strawberry sauce, and Ginny Bakes Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie crumbled on top!

Ginny Bakes products are available online at GinnyBakes.com or at many of your favorite retailers like Target, Whole Foods and Natural Grocers – you can even print off a coupon. Time saved, better tasting, nutritious ingredients, kids happier, mindful munching –you MUST join me at winning at this healthy mom thing!

What is your favorite flavor of cookie?

This post was sponsored by GinnyBakes.com and Sverve

Keep Calm and Eat Brownies #SpecialKBrownies

Chocolate is awesome in so many ways! It tastes divine; it smells heavenly and is actually quite good for the mind and body (in moderation, of course). Scientists and nutritionist have spent years researching the positive health benefits of chocolate (tough job) and I’m happy to report that I’ve collected my fair share of anecdotal evidence! Chocolate is a winner!

Sitting around eating chocolate all day probably wouldn’t be a good thing though – I like to reserve chocolate-eating for a treat. I will admit that I do start my day off with a few dark chocolate chips alongside my hot chai or coffee – this ritual that gets me in a good mood to tackle even the craziest days. The kids always request my Best-Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies, but brownies are actually my favorite feel-good, chocolaty comfort foods – but it can be quite dangerous to have a whole, homemade pan sitting out! Oh, the temptation to eat the whole pan of my Mom’s decadent recipe that features entire big toffee-chocolate candy bars baked into the middle.

I was excited when Kellogg’s recently sent me a couple boxes of Special K Brownies to try out – Divine Fudge and Heavenly Caramel. What I noticed right away when sampling these brownies is that they taste like REAL brownies, not like some weird diet food “brownie.” That’s because Special K Brownies are REAL brownies made with real ingredients like cocoa, chocolate or caramel chips and topped with a drizzle of chocolate fudge. The other thing I appreciate about the Special K Brownies is that these convenient brownies are pre-portioned to be just an 80-calorie treat. The brownies aren’t huge, but just the right size to enjoy the indulgence and not end up feeling deprived later in the day (and eating that whole pan of Mom’s candy bar brownies I just mentioned). Sure, I COULD open up all the brownie packages in the box and eat them at one sitting, but I probably wouldn’t since they are wrapped as single servings – a great visual cue on portion-size awareness.

I stashed a few of these brownies in my gym bag for a reward after my 10 mile run and CrossFitWOD – washed down with a carton of milk, it was a totally on target recovery snack. Also, since February is sneaking up, I started experimenting with ways to incorporate Special K Brownies into a Valentine’s Day celebration. It so easy to use a cookie cutter to make a simple heart shaped – serve as a little chocolaty pick-me-up or sandwich two brownie hearts with frozen yogurt in the middle.

Visit www.specialk.com for more information on the new Special K Brownies in Divine Fudge and Heavenly Caramel, available now at grocery and mass retail stores nationwide.

What is your favorite chocolate treat?

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Special K Brownies.

Moreo Blondie Bars Loaded with Yum + Cookie Recipes

Moreo Kitchen Sink Blondies - TheFitFork.comIf MORE means “a greater or additional amount,” then my Moreo Blondie Bars have more MORE! This delicious treat is overflowing with a greater amount of good things than I typically eat at once – like Oreo cookies, M&Ms, chocolate chips, lots of butter and sugar.  Even though I preach clean eating most of the time, the holiday season is not the time to say “NO” to festive, frivolous and nourishment of dubious (yet delicious) quality – Halleluiah!  You HAVE to read on after the recipe to see my brother’s awesome idea of MORE – it’s a Cherblumpkin!

Moreo Blondie Bar Cookies with Oreos and Candy - TheFitFork.com

So, if you’re making Christmas cookies at home, these Moreo Blondie Bars are very easy to make – just mix up the ingredients and plop in the pan. I highly recommend lining the baking dish in foil before adding the batter. When baked and cooled, simply lift out the by the foil edges and then neatly slice into bars. If you don’t want to go whole hog, check out my recipe for The Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookie – it’s a classic.Moreo Blondie Cookie Bar with Milk - TheFitFork.com

Moreo Blondie Bar Recipe

  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 15 double stuffed chocolate sandwich cookies, coarsely broken
  • 1 cup broken pretzel pieces
  • ½ cup M & M candies
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
  2. Melt butter in microwave safe bowl. Add sugars and stir until combined and then mix in eggs.
  3. Stir in baking soda, salt and flour until combined, but don’t over mix.
  4. Mix in crushed cookies, pretzels, candies and chocolate chips until evenly incorporated.
  5. Line 9” x 13” baking pan with foil; spray foil with cooking spray.
  6. Add dough to pan, patting down with fingers or spatula.
  7. Bake on center rack for 25 minutes or until edges and top turning light golden brown and center looks set.
  8. Let cool completely in pan.  Remove contents from pan by lifting foil. Peel sides of foil back and cut into 12 bars.

Cherblumpkin Cake - Cherry on Blueberry on Pumpkin

Here it is . . . .the Cherblumpkin! It’s a cherry pie stacked on a blueberry pie stacked on a pumpkin pie – frosted to look like a layer cake. The contest was for Cherpumpple (cherry-pumkin-apple),but my little brother shook up the system with his heart stopper of a pie-cake hybrid, so proud of him.

Cherblumpkin - Cherry Blueberry Pumpkin Pie Cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Virtual-Cookie-Exchange-recipes-galoreIf you need more holiday goodie ideas, the Fitfluential ambassadors having a Virtual Cookie & Treat Link Up. Lots of goodness here, recipes to suit both sensible and sinful cookie bakers!

What’s your favorite holiday baked item — please share?