Mexican Wedding Cookies

Mexican Wedding Cookies
Made in mind for: Growing Gardens
Yields approx. 30 cookies

1 ¼ C Almond Flour
1 ¼ C Bella Gluten-Free Flour
¾ C Pecans, toasted and chopped
¼ tsp Sea Salt
¼ tsp Baking Soda

5 TBS Madhava Honey (substitute maple syrup for vegan version)
½ C Coconut Oil, melted
1 TBS Vanilla Extract

¼ C Powdered Sugar, optional

Combine dry ingredients and nuts together in a large bowl.  Add melted coconut oil, honey and vanilla. Mix until the dough comes together.  Using small ice cream scoop, place 1 ½” balls of dough on parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 7-10 minutes until outer edges just begin to brown.  Remove from oven and cool completely. Place powdered sugar in bag, add cooled cookies a few at a time and shake until fully coated. Enjoy!

Alternatively, for Pecan Shortbread, form dough into two logs. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and place in freezer for approximately 1 hour. Remove from freezer and remove plastic wrap.  Cut the log into thin (1/8″ to 1/4″ thick) slices, and follow baking instructions above.


Pressed Flower Sugar Cookies

Pressed Flower Sugar Cookies
Made in mind for: Mossflower Cooking Workshop

2 C Flour (Carly’s gluten-free blend: 1 C brown rice flour, ½ C white rice flour, ¼ C tapioca flour, ¼ C sorghum flour, 1 tsp xanthan gum)
½ C Granulated Sugar
3 TBS Confectioner’s Sugar
1 tsp Baking Powder
¼ tsp Sea Salt

1 (4 oz) Stick Unsalted Butter, softened (or substitute ghee)
1 Large Egg
1 ½ tsp Vanilla
Zest of ½ Organic Lemon
Edible Flowers*: Pansies, Borage, Roses, Cucumber Flowers, Lavender, Fennel Fronds, Chamomile, Mint Blossoms, Geranium (leaves are edible too!), Bachelors Button, etc…

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a standing mixer, blend all dry ingredients. Add the butter, egg, vanilla and lemon zest and mix until a stiff dough forms. If dough is too try, add 1 TBS water or milk and blend until all the dough comes together.

Divide the dough into 2 balls and flatten into disks. Roll out 1 disk at a time, between two pieces of greased parchment paper, until about ½ inch think. Punch out shapes with cookie cuter of your liking. Place onto prepared baking sheets, about one inch apart. Brush the top of each cookie with water or egg white. Gently press flower petals and blossoms onto the moistened cookie dough.

Bake in oven for 6-8 minutes until cookies just start to brown on the edges and slide easily when gently pushed on the baking sheet. Cool slightly and transfer to wire rack. Yields approximately (24) 2” cookies.

* Please note edible flowers must be pesticide free.  If you do not grow your own, consult with local farmers or purchase in clam shell packages at Whole Foods Market next to other packaged herbs.

Homebaked Granola

Granola Image 2

Homebaked Granola

Made in mind for: Cousin Amy

1 C      organic canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
½ C     coconut oil, melted and then measured
½ C     local honey
2 tsp    cinnamon
1 tsp    almond extract (OR 1 TBS vanilla extract)*
generous pinch sea salt

4 C       gluten-free oats (I prefer Bob’s Red Mill)
1 ¼ C   raw nuts, chopped (pecans, walnuts or almonds)
½ C      raw sunflower seeds
½ C      raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

1 C       dried fruit (cherries OR blueberries)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In large bowl, whisk pumpkin, oil, honey, cinnamon, extract and salt until combined into a smooth paste. Stir in gluten-free oats. Add chopped nuts and seeds and stir until evenly coated.

Divide granola onto 3 parchment lined baking trays and spread into single layers. Bake for 25 minutes and remove trays from oven. Shift granola on tray, moving browned edges to the interior and soft granola bits towards the outer perimeter. Bake 15-20 minutes longer until golden brown. (Timing may vary from rack to rack in your oven. I prefer baking to crispy brown as opposed to underbaking). Remove from oven.

Cool completely on trays.  Pour cooled granola into clean large bowl.  Mix in dried fruit. Store in tightly sealed mason jars. Keeps fresh for weeks, if you have that much willpower!

* When adding the extract, I love the simple combination of pairing dried blueberries with almond extract / dried cherries with vanilla extract. Check to ensure your extracts are gluten-free.


pumpkin bars


Made in mind for: Michelle Lazar

1 C white rice flour
½ C brown rice flour
½ C gluten free oat flour
1 TBS pumpkin pie spice (can substitute 1.5 tsp cinnamon, ¾ tsp ginger, ½ tsp nutmeg, ½ tsp allspice and ½ tsp cloves)
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp xanthan gum

1 C Earth Balance (2 sticks), softened
½ C packed brown sugar
½ C raw honey
1 egg
2 tsp gluten free vanilla extract
1 C organic pumpkin puree
2 C chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand are great)

4 oz coconut milk, from can
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9”x13” glass baking dish with parchment paper and spray with pan spray.

Whisk together all dry ingredients and set aside. In standing mixer cream Earth Balance, brown sugar and honey until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Add pumpkin puree, mixture will begin to look curdled, this is okay! In three different additions, add dry mixture to wet. Mix on low speed until incorporated.

Remove bowl from mixer. By hand fold in the chocolate chips. Spread into 9”x13” pan and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and inserted toothpick removes clean or with just a few crumbs.

Remove from heat and cool. While cooling, heat coconut milk in saucepan until boiling. Pour milk over chopped bittersweet chocolate. Let rest for 1 minute and then whisk until milk is fully incorporated into the chocolate. Spread in an even layer over the baked pumpkin bars. Let cool at room temperature for a soft icing, or in the refrigerator for a harder icing.




Made in mind for Cassie Werner

1 C raw walnuts
1 C raw pecans
½ C raw cashews
3 TBS brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
4 TBS coconut oil, melted

Preheat oven to 350.  In food processor, process nuts, brown sugar and cinnamon until finely ground.  Add melted coconut oil and process until mixture clumps together like wet sand.  Press mixture into the bottom and sides of pie dish. Bake in oven for 10 minutes to set.  Remove from oven and cool slightly.

½ C brown sugar
1 TBS  Pumpkin Pie Spice
2 eggs
1 can organic pumpkin  (14oz)
2/3 can coconut milk  (about 10 oz)

Meanwhile, in stand up mixer beat brown sugar, eggs and spices together until fluffy and well incorporated, about 2 minutes.  Add pumpkin and beat until combined.  Slowly add coconut milk while beating.  Pour mixture into partially baked crust.  Return to oven and bake approx. 40 minutes or until filling is set, not liquid when jiggled.   Let cool at room temperature before serving.


zucchini bread

Made in mind for: Cristin Napier

1 C canola oil
2 C granulated sugar
3 eggs, beaten
2 tsp gluten free vanilla extract
1 C white rice flour
1 C brown rice flour
½ C tapioca flour
½ C gluten free oat flour
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp gluten free baking powder
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 TBS cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
2 C raw zucchini, grated
1TBS sugar in the raw, reserved

In stand up mixer, cream oil and sugar over medium high speed. Add beaten eggs and vanilla and mix until light and fluffy (about 1 minute).

In separate bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients to remove any lumps. Add ½ of mixture to the wet ingredients, mix on medium until incorporated. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix on medium until incorporated. With spatula, fold in the grated zucchini by hand.

Divide batter into a parchment lined and greased bread pan/s (recipe will yield one hearty 9”x5” pan or two 8”x3” pans). Sprinkle the top of each pan with one tablespoon sugar in the raw. Bake at 350 for approx. one hour until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool and then unmold.



Made in mind for: Amanda Chesnutt & Osha Chesnutt Perry

½ C brown sugar, packed
½ C white rice flour
¼ tsp kosher salt
2 tsp cinnamon
4 TBS coconut oil, melted
½ C walnuts, coarsely chopped

In food processor, mix brown sugar, white rice flour, salt & cinnamon.  While running, slowly add melted coconut oil.  Mixture should appear like wet sand.  Turn processor off, add the nuts and pulse just a few times to incorporate nuts, but not chop.  Set aside

12 oz  organic fresh blackberries, whole
2 tsp  cornstarch
1 C white rice flour
½ C brown rice flour
½ C tapioca flour
2 tsp gluten free baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp nutmeg

2/3 C granulated sugar
zest of 1 organic lemon, reserve lemon
6 TBS Earth Balance butter spread
2 eggs
1 tsp gluten free vanilla extract
½ C unsweetened almond milk
½ fresh squeezed lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray sides and bottom of 8” square pan with pan spray.  Toss blackberries with cornstarch to coat and place on bottom of greased pan.  In separate bowl, whisk all flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices together and set aside.

In standing mixer, with paddle attachment, mix granulated sugar with lemon zest until fragrant and combined.  Add Earth Balance and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.   Add one egg at a time and beat until incorporated after each.  Add vanilla.  If batter looks curdled at this point, do not be concerned.

In measuring cup, mix almond milk with juice of ½ of reserved lemon, juiced.  Beginning with dry ingredients, add 1/3 of dry mixture to sugar mixture and mix until combined.  Next mix ½ of liquid almond milk/lemon mixture.  Repeat with dry, then liquid, and finish with remaining dry mixture, mixing until incorporated after each addition.

Scrape batter on top of the berries.  Batter will be thick.   Spread until smooth and level. Making a fist, by the handful, squeeze the crumb topping together to make clumpy and place on top of the cake batter.  Bake for approx. 60 minutes until inserted toothpick comes out clean or with just a few solid cake crumbs stuck to it.

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Made in mind for Cousin Amy

1          piece of lemon
1 ¼ C  granulated sugar, divided
4 oz     egg whites, at room temperature (about 3 large whites)
1 ¼ C  Spectrum organic shortening
4 oz     Earth Balance, softened and cut into pieces (1 stick)

Squeeze a slice of lemon into your metal saucepan.  With a paper towel rub lemon juice around to sanitize the pan.  Wipe two metal spoons with the lemon juice saturated paper towel.

Place 1 cup of sugar into pan. Add warm water from the sink, slowly around the edge of the saucepan, moistening the sugar on the outer edge.  With first cleaned spoon, stir sugar until water is incorporated into all of the sugar and a paste has formed.  Place on medium high heat with lid on saucepan.

Meanwhile, place egg whites into your Kitchen Aid mixer.  Attach whisk attachment. Begin whipping egg whites on high speed. When whites begin to foam, add second part of sugar (¼ cup) in a slow steady stream. Continue beating until shiny, stiff peaks form. If you reach this point before heated sugar is ready, simply turn mixer off temporarily.

Remove lid from boiling sugar water and take note when the mixture looks bubbly and syrup like*. At this point, dip your second cleaned spoon into boiling sugar water and transfer dipped spoon into a small glass of water. Heated sugar will either stay on your spoon tip or fall into the glass of water.  Using fingers, gather the sugar mixture from the cup of water or spoon and form into a ball with your finger tips.  If this forms a ball that you can squish, the sugar is ready.  This is called “soft ball” stage.  If the sugar does not come together into a ball cook longer and test again. Alternatively, with candy thermometer cook until 240 degrees is reached.

Turn your mixer back on and pour the soft ball boiled sugar in a slow steady stream into the stiff egg whites. Pour slowly between the side of the mixing bowl and the whisk attachment, (aiming to avoid direct contact with either surface) pouring directly into the egg whites until all boiled sugar is added.  Continuing beating on high speed for 10-15 minutes until the side of your metal mixing bowl is no longer hot to touch (this will cook your egg whites).

With mixer on high speed, add shortening and cubed, softened Earth Balance bit by bit, waiting in between for it to incorporate into your cooked whites.  When final bit of shortening and Earth Balance have been added the buttercream will miraculously come together into a wonderful, smooth, fluffy, spreading consistency.

If desired, use to fill in between cake layers and on the exterior surface of your cake (this recipe will fill and coat a 6” cake or just coat a 9” cake).  Other great cake filling options include jam, pastry cream and chocolate mousse.

When icing your cake, I recommend one coating of exterior frosting to seal any crumbs in.  Refrigerate the singular coated cake, remove from refrigerator once first layer has hardened and add a second later of exterior frosting for a clean, smooth finished coat.  If you have a piping bag and pastry trip.  Decorate the base and top of the cake with a piped pattern.

*NOTE: If sides of pan show tiny hardened sugar crystals, discard and start with fresh sugar in a new sanitized pan.  Unfortunately crystalized sugar will give your buttercream a gritty texture.  Additionally sugar water should not turn a caramel color. If it has, you have cooked too long.  Discard ans start fresh.




Made in mind for: Barron Harley

2 ½ C raw walnuts (divided)
3 TBS honey
4 TBS coconut oil, melted and then measured

By hand, coarsely chop ½ cup of the walnuts and set aside. Place the remaining 2 cups of walnuts in a food processor and hit pulse 20-25 times to finely chop (don’t leave blending in processor for too long or the nuts will turn to a nut butter).  Add honey and coconut oil and pulse until ground nuts absorb moisture and come together to form a dough (about 10 additional pulses).  Add remaining ½ cup chopped nuts and pulse just until combined (about 10 final pulses).  Press mixture into a 9″ pie dish and use fingers to evenly cover bottom and up sides of pan with mixture.  Place in freezer for 30 minutes.

8oz 100% Cacao Unsweetened Chocolate (I use Ghirardelli )
14oz can original coconut milk, NOT lite (found in the Asian section of your local grocer)
½ C honey
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Finely chop chocolate, place into a bowl and set aside.  Pour coconut milk and honey into a saucepan.  Heat over medium heat until it begins to boil (be sure to watch as it heats, to prevent it from boiling over in the pan).  As soon as it boils, remove from heat and pour hot milk & honey mixture over chopped chocolate. Let rest for 1 minute and then whisk thoroughly until milk mixture is fully incorporated into chocolate, yielding an even deep brown color.  Whisk in vanilla extract.  Pour mixture into chilled crust.  Place in freezer for 2 1/2 hours, level on the shelf.  Remove from freezer and place into refrigerator until ready to serve.  Can be made in advance.

Tart slices are delicious served with fresh sliced strawberries, raspberries or Bing cherries. This seasonal fruit will compliment the intense chocolate flavor and provide great visual contrast.  Enjoy dessert!


I’ve always tried to be sweet as can be…but maybe that is a result of being flat out sugar-crazed.  Sweets have, and continue to, encompass my existence.

As young girls, my sister and I would covet our ‘fudge stripe’ cookies and wear them as elegant rings around our fingers that we slowly munched away on.  Sunday evening dinners with Dad always involved going to Wegmans’ bakery and picking out a special cake to enjoy after dinner.  Weekend drives to Grandma’s always lent themselves to an aromatic greeting and sweaty window panes from a hard day’s work in the kitchen. Whether it was fresh baked rolls, pumpkin pie or halfmoon cookies, the treats were vast and hard to choose which to enjoy first. I would often beg my mom for us to try one of the ‘boxed’ mixes from the store, not realizing how spoiled I was to have a made-from-scratch cake every birthday. Once old enough for working in the restaurant world, I would get excited when my sidework for the night involved cleaning out the pastry case.  You were being paid to closely examine each special cake, with all of it’s hard work, creativity and delicious taste, and wrap them up with the utmost care for the next business day. When I relocated to Colorado, my heart continued to be pastry-centric.  After attending a pastry program at the Art Institute, I was ready to take my passion into a career.

I’ve been honored to work in boutique bakeries and for well established, independent restaurants in Boulder over the past six years. As luck willed it to be, in 2010 I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease (an autoimmune disease caused by ingesting wheat, rye, barley and the many condiments/sauces that contain these hidden glutinous ingredients).  Like anyone who learns of such news, it’s paralyzing, sad and impossible to not alter your lifestyle.  Although my love for the food industry has not faltered, I’ve evolved into different aspects of the business, such as managing the restaurant and catering company, Dish Gourmet in Boulder, CO.

Needing to adhere to a strict policy of no gluten, I also have allergies to dairy and potatoes.  All of the recipes I share with you on this site will include no gluten, no dairy and no potatoes.  While I now bake in a different light, I simply refuse to deprive myself of the confections that I once loved.  I am bound and determined to find creative ways to continue to concoct these great delicacies.  I am confident that you can make these recipes in your own homes and receive astounding reactions from your crowd when they discover that they are enjoying the gluten free/dairy free version as much as the original (whether they have food allergies or not).

I find extreme reward in discovering ways to replicate the recipes I’ve established over the years into tasteful, nourishing and artistic treats.  In the art of replicating, I invite you to share with me what sweets you long for and the food sensitivities that you have to substitute for.  Email me at and I’ll work underground to find an alternative and share my findings with you.  Together, we won’t be deserted of dessert!