Gluten Free Carrot Cake Cupcake Recipe

Three things about me:

1. I’m very competitive.

2. I always caught the bouquet at weddings & Kris always caught the garter.

3. I will always bring my own gluten free cake with me to a wedding.

This recipe was inspired by a particular wedding a few years ago. I caught the bouquet (no, cousin Carol, it’s not “your turn” – Jessica’s on the dance floor) and Kris caught the garter (cue the delightful bit of chatter among guests).

My gluten-intolerant mother and I chose to opt out of the catered dinner (with 184 other guests to provide for, the chances were overwhelmingly high that someone would mess up my gluten free meal), and she surprised me with a small bag filled with homemade gluten free carrot cake cupcakes that she had tucked away under her seat. I happily munched on cupcakes throughout the evening while Kris hit the dance floor with my very smitten grandmother.

“Caught the Bouquet” Carrot Cake Cupcakes

*For best results use a digital kitchen scale to measure ingredients in grams.

½ cup pureed apple (128g)

¾ cup sugar (150g)

¼ cup + 2 tbsp packed brown sugar (83g)

2 large eggs, room temperature

2 tbsp coconut oil (27g)

¾ tsp vanilla extract (3.75g)

¼ cup + 2 tbsp potato starch (64g)

¼ cup + 2 tbsp sorghum flour (48g)

¼ cup tapioca starch (32g)

¾ tsp xanthan gum (2.25g)

¾ tsp baking soda (3.6g)

½ tsp baking powder (2.4g)

1 tsp cinnamon (2.5g)

¼ tsp nutmeg (.5g)

¼ tsp salt (1.5g)

1 ½ cup finely grated carrots (150g)

½ cup finely chopped fresh pineapple plus the juice that leaks out as you slice it (90g total – I recommend weighing a 90g chunk of pineapple and then chopping it on a plate so you can catch the liquid)

½ cup unsweetened coconut (28g)

½ cup walnuts, finely chopped (58g)

¼ cup + 2 tbsp raisins (60g)

Cream Cheese Frosting

*This will make a liberal amount of frosting – have fun decorating!

3 oz butter (85g)

6 oz cream cheese (168g)

1 1/8 tsp vanilla extract (5.5g)

2 2/3 cups powdered sugar (327g)

Food coloring

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Place the sugar, apple, eggs, oil, and vanilla in a large bowl and stir with a spoon until just combined.

3. In a small bowl, combine the potato starch, sorghum, tapioca, xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Pour half of the dry mixture into the wet and stir, then add the second half and stir until just combined.

4. Add the carrots, pineapple, coconut, walnuts, and raisins. Stir until just combined.

5. Line a cupcake pan with liners (this recipe will yield a baker’s dozen) and scoop the batter into the liners. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely before decorating.

6. In a medium size bowl, use a hand mixer to cream the butter, cream cheese and vanilla extract together until smooth. Add half the powdered sugar and mix until combined. Add the remaining half and mix again until smooth.

7. Frost the cupcakes, leaving a few spoonfuls of frosting left over. Divide the remaining frosting into three small plastic bags. Add a few drops of food coloring to each (I recommend green, red, and yellow). Smush the frosting around in the bag until it takes on the color. Cut a tiny hole in the corner of each bag and pipe your bouquet – start with the stems, then flowers, followed by the ribbon.

Makes 13 cupcakes

Natural Contents “Good Food For Everyone” Cookbook Review & Giveaway

You may remember how much I loved the food from a small business called Natural Contents Kitchen. Now simply Natural Contents, duo Danielle and Jennifer have released a cookbook! I am beyond thrilled that I can now make their delicious, healthy creations in my own kitchen.

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Good Food For Everyone: Farm Fresh Clean Eating is entirely gluten free, grain free, soy free, mostly paleo, dairy-free friendly and vegan friendly. Once self-proclaimed fast food junkies, Danielle and Jennifer made a total food and lifestyle switch in an effort to change the health of their family. They embraced their local farmers market and everything changed for the better. They are now on a mission to inspire others on their journey to a clean and healthy lifestyle.

What I love about the book:

  • It is visually stunning. Flipping through the pages you’ll be transported to a rustic country house. Just looking at the pictures makes me feel incredibly relaxed and at peace. 
  • The recipes are very healthy and include lots of fresh produce. Even traditional desserts like apple tarts are made with healthier ingredients like almond flour and natural sugars.
  • All of the recipes are made with REAL food. No crazy fillers or junk items. Just nutritious food.
  • The book has a very personal flair – as if Danielle is a friend and made this book just for you.
  • It includes a list of handy pantry staples and recommended kitchen equipment.
  • The recipes are easy to follow and most recipes have a “Quick Tips” section to help you along. Cooking/baking healthy recipes from scratch does not have to be hard!

There are over 80 recipes including:

  • Rosemary Sweet Potato Quiche
  • Kale & Onion Fritata
  • Curried Kuri Squash, Apple & Pear Soup
  • Sweet Potato Rutabaga Casserole
  • Italian, Tex-Mex or Teriyaki Meatballs
  • Slow Cooker Short Ribs
  • Roasted Lemon Cauliflower No Bean Hummus
  • Rosemary Roasted Nuts
  • Coconut Chia Parfaits with Fresh Berries
  • Blueberry Coffee Cake
  • Strawberry Shortcake
  • Chocolate Beet Mini Muffins
  • Pumpkin Panna Cotta
  • Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls
  • Watermelon Honey Shrub

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I dived into the book and immediately baked the gluten/grain free Cheese Crackers. Made with almond and tapioca flours, I agree with Danielle when she wrote they are “crazy addictive”. She warns you that even thought the crackers have a shelf life of 14+ days, they will definitely be eaten much faster. Kris and I love them, and I’ve already baked them several times. And they are incredibly easy to make! I’m never buying store bought crackers again.

I can’t wait to cook my way through the entire book. 

Visit www.naturalcontents.com to order a physical or digital copy.

GIVEAWAY! One winner will receive a digital copy of Good Food For Everyone. Enter via the Rafflecopter link below. Giveaway ends Wednesday May 3rd 11:59pm EST.

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Disclaimer: I received samples of these products, but I was not paid to write this review. All opinions are my own, and I only recommend products that I, myself, use and love.

“The Warm Kitchen” Cookbook Review

I love the online Celiac Disease/gluten free community, but you know what I love more? – meeting my online buddies in person. I was so happy to hang out with Chef Amy Fothergill (also known as TheFamilyChef on social media) at the GFAF Expo over the past two years. With over 25 years of cooking/restaurant experience under her belt, it’s great fun to chat with Amy about gluten free food and Italian cooking techniques.

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Amy’s cookbook, “The Warm Kitchen” is gorgeous. Filled with pictures of delicious-looking food and her family enjoying the recipes, it is evident that all of her recipes come from a loving, nurturing place. Muffins, cookies, bagels, cupcakes, chicken pot pie, bread, meatloaf, gravies, sauces, even a full holiday menu – this book is flowing with homey classics that are easy to make and wonderful to eat.

What I love about the book:

  • It is filled with hundreds of gorgeous pictures that Amy and her family took themselves.
  • There are helpful “Chef Tips” all along the way.
  • Directions are easy to follow.
  • Informative pages about different types of gluten free flour and other ingredients.
  • She offers dairy, egg and sugar substitution options.
  • Great tips to make sure your gluten free pasta turns out perfect every time.
  • Tips to make sure that your gluten free ingredients truly are gluten free.
  • Classic dishes.
  • Wonderful for families and even children.
  • Even though you’re cooking nearly everything from scratch, the recipes are easy to follow and are not intimidating. Anyone can do it.

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I made these beautiful blueberry muffins from the breakfast section. Very simple and classic, yet she offers options for other variations (I’ll be trying lemon-blueberry next!). Amy has a specific flour blend that you mix yourself and can keep on hand for all of her baking recipes. Super simple and easy – and then you can brag to all of your friends about how you made muffins from scratch!

For more information about Amy Fothergill and to order her book visit www.amythefamilychef.com

Disclaimer: I was gifted a copy of The Warm Kitchen, but I was not asked nor paid to write this review. All opinions are my own, and I only recommend products that I personally love and use.

American Gluten Free & Green Banana Flour Pancakes

It’s no secret how much I love my American Gluten Free subscription box. My favorite part – every month I am sent a wonderful box filled with unique products from small businesses across the country. Most of these companies I have never heard of. Last month in the Island Getaway Foodie Box, I discovered a product that I had no idea even existed – Green Banana Flour.

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So naturally, when life gives me banana flour I make – pancakes? Super tasty, grain free, and healthy! I’m so happy that American Gluten Free introduced me to this company. It’s definitely going on my future shopping list.

Green Banana Flour Pancakes

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  • ¼ cup Green Banana Flour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp coconut oil
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract

Extra ingredients:

  • Butter to coat the pan
  • Pancake toppings – I recommend grass-fed butter or maple syrup
  1. Place all pancake ingredients together in a small bowl. Use a spoon to stir the ingredients together until combined. Let set for five minutes.
  2. Place a large nonstick pan on the stove top and heat on medium-low heat until the pan is warm. If you hover your hand an inch above the pan, you should feel a little heat radiating from it. I like to add about ¼ tsp of butter to coat the pan – it depends on how your nonstick pan behaves.
  3. Pour a spoonful of batter into the pan, eventually creating three pancakes. Cook for about three minutes on each side, until lightly brown.
  4. Transfer to a plate and serve with grass fed butter, maple syrup, or your favorite pancake topping.

Yields three pancakes

Want to discover great products like this for yourself? Head over to www.AmericanGlutenFree.com and learn more about their fabulous subscription boxes! Truly my favorite gluten free box on the market.

Next month’s box is themed “Fall in Love with Gluten Free”. I’m guessing there will be great Valentine’s Day ideas inside! Today is the last day to order this box so hurry over! Bonus discount – get 50% off your first boy in a month-to-month plan by using code “FIRST50”.

 

Disclaimer: I was not asked nor paid to create this recipe. I received samples of the above product and am an affiliate of American Gluten Free – using my affiliate link costs you absolutely nothing but will provide me will a small kickback that helps me continue to run this site. All opinions are my own, and I only recommend products that I personally love and use.

ProYo High Protein Frozen Yogurt Review, Recipe & Giveaway

When I was first diagnosed with Celiac Disease I found that yogurt was giving me a stomach ache. A temporary lactose intolerance is common in people with undiagnosed Celiac Disease, and many find that they are able to tolerate dairy again after a few months on the gluten free diet. I took a break from dairy when I first went gluten free, and several weeks later I was happy to find that I could eat it again without pain. Even so, I generally avoided yogurt. That is, until I discover ProYo. I am in love and want to eat it every day until forever.

ProYo High Protein Frozen Yogurt is a great tasting snack that comes in four flavors: Vanilla Bean, Banana Vanilla, Blueberry Pomegranate (my favorite!), and Dutch Chocolate. I absolutely love ProYo. Creamy and satisfying, each variation is packed with both flavor and protein.

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ProYo fast facts:

  • 20g protein per serving
  • Certified gluten free and made on a dedicated line
  • Soy free
  • Low fat
  • Good source of fiber
  • Non GMO
  • Made with cultured probiotic yogurt
  • Diabetic friendly
  • No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
  • Comes in handy tubes that are perfect for quick snacks

While any flavor would make an excellent base for smoothies, I was inspired by the versatility of the Vanilla Bean ProYo. My winter-time cravings for warmth, spices, and seasonal fruit lead me to create the follow recipe. And can I just say – WOW. I cannot stop eating it (well, I did run out of ProYo, so once I buy more I will make this recipe again and again). It is extremely healthy and perfect for a single-serving breakfast, lunch, or dessert. Double the ingredients and curl up by the fire with someone special on a cold night.

Baked Apples with Cinnamon Spiced Vanilla ProYo

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  • 1 small apple
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp (+ extra) cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp (+ extra) nutmeg
  • 1 tube Vanilla Bean Proyo
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut the apple in half vertically. Carefully remove the stem with a knife. Use a melon baller to scoop the seeds/core out of in the center of each apple half.
  3. Drizzle ¼ tsp lemon over each apple half. Add a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the apples on the parchment and bake for 30 minutes, until the apples are soft.
  5. While the apples are cooking, place the contents of one tube Vanilla flavored ProYo in a bowl. Add ¼ tsp cinnamon and 1/8 tsp nutmeg. Use a spoon to stir the spices into the ProYo until evenly incorporated. Place the bowl in the freezer until the apples are ready.
  6. Remove the apples from the oven and transfer to a plate. Place a scoop of spiced ProYo on top of each apple half and serve.

Want to try ProYo for yourself? Find a store near you by visiting www.proyos.com/where-to-buy/

You can also enter our GIVEAWAY! Three winners will receive a case of their favorite flavor ProYo plus fun swag. Enter via the rafflecopter link below. Continental US residents only. Giveaway ends Monday December 19th 11:59 EST.
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Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. Regardless, all opinions are my own, and I only recommend products that I, myself, use and love.

Strawberry Lemonade Vodka Martini Recipe

You asked and I oblige! Some of you have noticed my (ahem, somewhat frequent) social media posts about making lemonade martinis. I was asked for the recipe, so here it is!

It all began on a hot summer evening. I was feeling kinda tired of wine and thought that a simple fresh lemonade would hit the spot. I squeezed some fresh lemon, added filtered water and stevia and then thought, “You know what would be really good with this lemonade? – Vodka.”

I recommend using a naturally gluten free vodka. There are some people who say that the distillation process will remove the gluten from grain-based hard alcohol such as grain-based vodka and whiskey, but many Celiacs seem to get sick anyway. I say why risk it?

Liqueur is tricky. Often times companies will take a perfectly good, naturally gluten free alcohol and add gluten in it when they add a flavor. Don’t ask me why, it doesn’t make sense. So I was thrilled to find a potato-based Strawberry Sorbetta Liqueur from Long Island Spirits which is naturally gluten free (potato-based vodka) and stays that way. This recipe is inspired by their Long Island Strawberry Lemonade recipe.

Strawberry Lemonade Vodka Martini

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  • 1.5 oz potato vodka
  • 1 oz Strawberry Sorbetta
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon
  • 2 drops liquid stevia
  • 1 ice cube
  • 1 strawberry (leaves cut off)

Place the vodka, Strawberry Sorbetta, water, lemon, stevia and ice in a shaker (I use a mason jar cuz that’s how I roll) and shake. Poor into a martini glass. Add the strawberry – you’ll have a vodka-filled strawberry at the end! Serve. This will fill your martini glass and make a little bit extra.

Now hurry and drink up while we still have a bit of summer left!

Disclaimer: I may have been drinking one of these while writing this….

1-2-3 Gluten Free Mixes Review & Giveaway

1-2-3 Gluten Free is a company that truly goes the distance and I LOVE IT. They make some of the most fabulous gluten free baking mixes on the market, and you simply must go out and try their products now.

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Great facts about 1-2-3 Gluten Free:

  • Dedicated gluten free/allergen-free facility – no gluten, dairy/casein, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, eggs, and sesame
  • Certified Gluten Free
  • GMO Free
  • Certified Kosher
  • Produced in the USA
  • Many products are fortified with extra vitamins
  • No artificial flavors or colors
  • Established by a woman who was diagnosed with Celiac Disease over 15 years ago. Her nieces and a nephew were also diagnosed, and she was determined to create amazing gluten free versions of favorite foods to share with her family.
  • Donates to Celiac Disease, Autism and food allergy research (LOVE!!!)

You’ll find mixes for:

  • Biscuits
  • Pan Bars
  • Rolls
  • Buckwheat Pancakes
  • Lemon Pound Cake (sugar free variation available)
  • Brownies
  • Muffins/Quick breads
  • Chocolate Bundt Pound Cake (sugar free variation available)
  • Sugar Cookies
  • Yellow Cake
  • Corn Bread
  • Devils Food Chocolate Cake
  • Multi-purpose Flour

On their website there is a list of dozens upon dozens of different recipes that can be made with their mixes. Everything from carrot cake to pie crust to wrapped gouda appetizers. You’d have to buy all of their products ten times in order to take advantage of their versatility. I would seriously never get tired of 1-2-3 Gluten Free.

I recently had the opportunity to sample several products, and I was super impressed. I used the recipe for Pumpkin Bars using their Pan Bar mix, and it resulted in one of the best fluffy cake textures that I have ever found from a gluten free mix – so light and fluffy! The perfect crumb. It freezes super well and maintains its’ perfection once it is defrosted.

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I also made Pumpkin Pancakes using their Allie’s Awesome Buckwheat Pancake Mix (I’m on a pumpkin kick, anticipating the start of fall and the approaching cool weather). Though I may add a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg to my next batch, I loved everything about the pancakes, particular the texture and how well they formed. They came out perfect every time – look at how beautiful these pancakes are! Perfect with a bit of grass fed butter or maple syrup. As a bonus, this mix is also fortified with B vitamins, iron and calcium, which is important because many of us who are diagnosed with Celiac Disease often have nutrient deficiencies.

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All in all, I cannot recommend 1-2-3 Gluten Free more highly. I urge you to support this fabulous company and start your fall baking season off right!

For more information, a store locator or to purchase online visit www.123glutenfree.com.

Special Discount – my readers get 10% orders of $20+ when you order from 123glutenfree.com. Use code “Jessica” at checkout. This promo code will be good for the month of September.

GIVEAWAY! Two lucky winners will receive selections of 1-2-3 Gluten Free mixes! Enter via the rafflecopter link below. Continental US only. Giveaway ends Friday September 23rd at 11:59pm EST.
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Disclaimer: I received samples of these products, but I was not paid to write this review. All opinions are my own, and I only recommend products that I, myself, use and love.

Healthy Carrot Cake Cookies with Goat Cheese Frosting

A healthy carrot cake cookie that I can eat instead of lunch? Yes please!

After creating this recipe, I asked my four year old niece if she would like to help me make cookies.“YEEEAAAAAHHHH COOOOOOOOKIESSSSS!” We began with the oats, and all was well in the world. Then we started adding the banana. And carrots. And raisins. A skeptical look appeared on her face – “What kind of cookie is this? Where is the chocolate????”

When they came out of the oven and were frosted, she eagerly munched them down. “I LOOOOOVE your cookies, Aunt Jessieeeeee!!!!” – “Do you like the frosting, too?” – “YES I LOVE IT!” You heard right, this recipe is four-year-old-approved!

After one last cookie it was time to leave. She hugged me and said, “I love you Aunt Jessie! My mommy’s frosting is better.” Well, we can’t all be Betty Crocker. 😉

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Healthy Carrot Cake Cookie with Goat Cheese Frosting

  • 1 large banana
  • 1 oz shredded, unsweetened coconut (about ½ cup – do not pack down)
  • ½ cup diced/shredded carrot (60 g)
  • ½ cup gluten free oat flour (60 g) – ask you oat supplier if they use the purity protocol!
  • ¼ cup almond flour (28 g)*
  • ¼ cup raisins (40 g)
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Goat Cheese Frosting
  1. Place the banana on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and place in the oven. Turn the oven on to 350 degrees F. The banana will be ready to use when it is black. Remove it from the oven, cut it open, carefully scoop out the insides, place in a bowl, and let cool.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix with hands to combine well.
  3. Tightly form 12 disk-like cookies (about 1 ½ inches wide) with your hands and place them on a baking sheet lined with a fresh piece of parchment paper.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the outer edges and bottoms have just started to brown. Remove and let cool completely before icing with Goat Cheese Frosting.

Goat Cheese Frosting

  • 2 oz (1/4 cup) goat cheese
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup

Mix together with a spoon until smooth.

 

Happy baking!

Celiac Awareness on NBC Nightly News!

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Were you watching NBC Nightly News last night? If so, you saw myself and Antonella from Krumville Bake Shop chatting about Celiac Awareness!

In this two minute feature, Morgan Radford discusses how often Celiac Disease is often overlooked/misdiagnosed and how symptoms are not just stomach-related.

In case you missed it, you can now watch it online HERE!

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Want to know what Morgan was eating at the end of the episode that was so good? It’s my recipe for Feta, Basil & Olive Bruschetta made with Krumville’s focaccia bread! It’s up on Krumville’s blog – get the recipe HERE!

Amaretti Cookies

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! I am finally in the holiday spirit because last night Kristopher and I enjoyed my favorite holiday tradition – I call it the Christmas Cookie Extravaganza!

I began this tradition many years ago, borrowing it from a dear friend. She would spend two days in her kitchen making hundreds upon hundreds of cookies to give to all of her friends. She had two ovens working around the clock and the finished cookies would be stored in her spare freezer until ready to be gifted. Of course I live in a studio apartment and have only one oven and freezer (although I joke that I could get a second one and use it as a coffee table – drape a tarp over it and who would know?!) Regardless, I stick with one day of baking and a mere hundreds of cookies.

On our cookie list this year – Chocolate Chip, Double Chocolate Chip, my famous “Already Been Chewed” Gingerbread Man Massacre (see pic below), White Chocolate-Dried Cranberry-Almond, and classic Amaretti Cookies.

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Amaretti Cookies were a tricky one to tackle. No matter whose recipe you use, there is never much deviation of ingredients – almonds, sugar and egg whites. What does change baker-to-baker is the technique. I attempted many techniques over the past few weeks – I tried using coarse almond flour; blanching the almonds and peeling off their skin; using a hand mixer; mixing with just my hands; high speed blending – every technique I attempted yielded drastically different results in texture, none of which I was please with.

The good news – I finally worked out the perfect technique for these traditional cookies just in time for the Christmas Cookie Extravaganza! And I want to share it with you. Spreading the gluten free joy and love from my home to yours. Enjoy.

 

Amaretti Cookies (Classic and Chocolate)

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  • 1 cup sugar (201g)
  • 8 oz almond paste
  • 2 egg whites
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (30g) – optional; for the Chocolate Amaretti variation

 

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Place sugar in a blender and pulse for 7 seconds (this creates superfine sugar)
  3. Place sugar, almond paste, and egg whites in a bowl. Mix with a hand mixer for 3 minutes.
  4. If making chocolate cookies, gently stir in the cocoa powder with a spoon after using the hand mixer. Stir until incorporated.
  5. Transfer the dough to a small plastic bag. Using a scissor, cut one corner of the bag to create a large hole in which to pipe the cookie dough out.
  6. Pipe 12-16 mounds of dough onto the parchment paper (they should be 1-2 inches in diameter).
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the tops have cracked and lightly browned. Remove from baking sheet and cool completely.

 

Happy gluten free baking!