Holiday Almond Crescents and Walnut Cakes

Almond Crescents

A holiday favorite! Always a hit! Walnut Cakes are also scrumptious. Make them both and watch them disappear!

Makes about 5-6 doz

Oven: 325-350

  • Mix together:
  • 1 c. butter or margarine (Earth Balance)
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 2/3 c. ground almonds
  • Sift together and mix in:
  • 1 2/3 c. flour
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • Chill dough. Roll with hands into pencil thick pieces, about 2 inches long.
  • Form into crescents and place on ungreased baking sheet.
  • Bake 14-16 min. until set, not brown. Cool on pan.
  • While slightly warm, roll in 1 c. confectioners’ sugar mixed with 1 tsp.cinnamon.

Walnut Cakes

  • Follow recipe for Almond Crescents, except use chopped walnuts. Roll in 1” balls
  • And bake 10-12 min. Roll in confectioners sugar. Cool and roll in confectioners sugar again.

Best Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

When you want an old fashioned Toll House cookie, make these…

  • 2 ¼ c flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 c butter
  • ¾ c brown sugar
  • ¾ c sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 c chocolate chips, semi-sweet
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped, optional
  • Oven 350. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl or kitchen aid mixer.
  • Add vanilla and eggs; mix well.
  • Add flour, baking soda and salt (mixed together in a bowl) to the mixture.
  • Add chocolate chips (and walnuts if desired) just to blend.
  • Drop by rounded tablespoon, or cookie scoop, to lined baking sheet.
  • Bake 11-13 minutes.

*Or try these, adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 c flour (I added ¼ c buckwheat flour to total 2 ¼ c)
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 c butter (lactose free)
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 2/3 c beet sugar (white sugar)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 12 oz chocolate chips or chopped chocolate, semi sweet or 70%
  • 1 c chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
  • Follow directions above, except Dorie says bake them at 375 for 10-12 minutes.
  • It depends on your oven; go with what works for a slightly crispy edge and chewy center.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’ve been working on these for awhile… wanted them to be cakey and light, and taste like pumpkin muffins. These hit the spot with a cup of tea on a Fall afternoon.

  • ½ cup butter
  • scant 1 ½ cups sugar ( I used brown mixed with coconut)
  • 1 egg
  • scant 1 cup of pumpkin (if you use a full cup, just add a little more flour)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 ¼ cups gluten free flour (if you use one with xanthum gum, they won’t be as light and cakey)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup chocolate chips ( I use Enjoy Life)
  • Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla, and then add the pumpkin. Mix the dry ingredients together in a smaller bowl, and add them, mixing just until blended. Add chocolate chips.
  • Drop by tablespoon, or small scoop onto parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  • Press slightly with palm of your hand to flatten and form rounded cookie.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350.

Note: If you use a full cup of pumpkin, you may need up to 2 ½ cups of flour. It depends on the kind of gluten free mix you’re using. I make my own with brown rice flour, tapioca starch, and potato starch. Bob’s is good, but has xanthum gum, so use less and don’t mix a lot.

Apple Crumb Cake

What to do with all these fresh apples? Maybe a crisp, or a crostata, or maybe this delicious apple cake! Adapted from a Smitten Kitchen recipe, mine is gluten and lactose free, and totally organic, with a divine crumb topping. Everyone deemed it delicious, so it’s a keeper!

Heat the oven to 325 and grease a 9″ round cake pan with butter or non-stick spray.


  • 3 small-medium apples, peeled (or not), cored and cut into 1/2″ wedges.
  • Toss with 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. sugar, and juice from half a lemon; set aside.

Crumb Topping:

  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1/3 c. dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 c. beet sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/3 c. flour (I mixed 1/3 c. teff flour in but plain GF flour is fine)
  • Whisk butter, cinnamon, sugars, and salt until evenly mixed. Add flour with fork until it’s incorporated; it will be thick; set aside.


  • 6T butter, softened
  • 1/2c beet sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 c. yogurt (I used coconut milk yogurt)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • Beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, yogurt, and vanilla and beat until combined. Sprinkle surface of batter with baking powder and salt, and mix well. Add flour and mix just until it disappears.
  • Scrape batter into greased pan and smooth top. Arrange apples on top, slightly overlapping, and add any remaining juice. Sprinkle crumb topping over the top, leaving some larger chunks.
  • Bake until a toothpick comes clean, or when you stick it in an apple, it’s soft, or when you see juices bubbling around some apples…about 55 minutes, depending on your oven etc. I had to bake mine an extra 15-20 minutes just fyi.

Cool on a rack and cut into wedges. Enjoy!

This cake keeps at room temp for 3 days with a loose cover over it, or wrap it well and keep it for 6 days in the fridge. Mine was gone in 3 days!

Raspberry Muffins

I love picking raspberries in September at Old Frog Pond in Harvard, Ma, and when I do, this is one recipe I have to make with them. Adapted from Silver Palate’s Good Times Cookbook, they are delicious! I almost always have streusel topping in the freezer ready to go, which makes this go even faster. You can also omit the topping or just sprinkle with a little turbinado sugar if you’re in a hurry. The lemon zest is nice in the topping though, so do try it sometime!

  • 1 ½ c Gluten free flour
  • scant ¼ c beet sugar
  • scant ¼ c light brown sugar
  • scant 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4-1/3 c lactose free butter, melted
  • ½ c almond milk
  • 1 1/4- 1 ½ c fresh raspberries
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

Streusel Topping:

  • scant ½ c brown sugar
  • 1/3 c gluten free flour
  • ¼ c oat flour
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 T melted butter, lactose free

Preheat oven to 350. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners or melted butter.

  • Whisk flour, sugars, baking powder, salt and cinnamon together in a medium bowl.
  • Make a well in the center and add the egg, milk, and melted butter.
  • Stir and mix together just until combined.
  • Quickly and lightly, stir in the lemon zest and raspberries.
  • Distribute equally among 12 muffin cups.
  • Make the streusel topping…
  • Combine the flour, oat flour, sugar, lemon zest, and melted butter in a small bowl and stir with a fork until crumbly.
  • Sprinkle 1 tsp on each muffin.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes until tester comes clean.
  • Enjoy! Or freeze a few for another time!

Summer Pizza

adapted from

I’ve made this pizza several times this summer and now that the corn, tomatoes, and squash are abundant, I’ll be making it even more! My version is gluten and lactose free, but you can use a regular pizza crust and cheese if you like. I love the pure veggies and basil garlic oil taste myself…delicious!

  • 1 frozen GF pizza crust (I like Cappello’s)
  • 1 handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 ears of fresh corn (about ¾ cup), cut from the ears
  • 1 small-medium zucchini or yellow squash, thinly peeled into ribbons
  • 2 oz plant based cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 440.

  1. Chop basil leaves and place in a small bowl. Add the minced garlic, salt and olive oil and mix.
  2. Place the red onion, tomatoes, corn, and zucchini/squash in a medium bowl.
  3. Add 1-2 T of the garlic basil oil to the mixed veggies.
  4. Put pizza crust on parchment lined baking sheet.
  5. Spread/brush garlic basil oil on the crust to edges.
  6. Arrange veggies on top evenly.
  7. Sprinkle with cheese if desired.
  8. Bake 11-15 minutes until edges are brown.
  9. Top with more fresh basil leaves if desired.

Cut into wedges and enjoy!

Chewy Brownie-like Cookies

Slightly crispy on the outside, chewy in the center…just the thing if you need a little chocolate pick me up, like if you have a migraine!

  • 1 stick butter
  • ¾ c brown sugar (or half beet sugar)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¾ c flour
  • ¼ c dark cocoa
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1 c chocolate chips; ½ c melted
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cream butter and sugar; add vanilla and beat in.
  3. Add 1 egg, and beat til light and fluffy.
  4. Whisk flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda together in a bowl.
  5. Melt ½ c chocolate chips; stir til smooth, and add to sugar egg mixture quickly.
  6. Add flour mixture in and blend til just mixed.
  7. Add ½ c remaining chips.
  8. Scoop into golf size balls and place on baking sheet.
  9. Bake 9 minutes and check…do not overbake.
  10. Remove when edges are done and center looks slightly wobbly.

Cool and enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

(adapted from Equal Exchange and King Arthur flour recipe)

These are a nice variety of basic chocolate chip cookies. Adding some Teff flour added a nutty taste that I liked. You could use buckwheat flour instead or just go with all purpose flour, your choice! They are crispy on the edges and chewy inside, which I love! If you want them chewier, take them out sooner. They will crisp up after they cool…yum!

  • 2/3 c brown sugar
  • 2/3 c beet sugar
  • 1 c unsalted butter, lactose free
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp almond extract (optional)
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 2 c flour, gluten free mix (part Teff, about 1/3 c)
  • 2 cups Equal Exchange semi-sweet or 70% chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugars, salt, vanilla, almond extract, vinegar, and baking soda until smooth.
  4. Add the egg, and beat until smooth.
  5. Add flour and chips and thoroughly combine.
  6. Spoon or scoop 1 1/4” balls onto prepared baking sheets.
  7. Bake 11-12 minutes.

Easy Veggie Stir Fry

Make the sauce: Whisk together the sauce ingredients, making sure cornstarch dissolve; set aside.

  • 1/3 c water
  • 2 T Tamari sauce or Coconut Aminos
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 T minced or grated ginger
  • 1 tsp white miso
  • 1 tsp cornstarch

Make the stir-fry:

  • 2-3 T safflower or coconut oil
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into diagonal 2 inch pieces
  • 8 ounces sugar snap peas, ends trimmed, large pieces halved
  • 1-2 medium red or yellow peppers, cut into strips, about 2 inches long
  • 8 ounces shitake or cremini mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium high heat until a drop of water sizzles on it. Drizzle 1-2 T of the oil around the pan and swirl. Add the asparagus and a pinch of salt. Stir fry 2-3 minutes. Add mushrooms, and stir fry 2 minutes. Add 1 T oil and add peppers, snow peas and a pinch of salt. Stir fry 1-2 minutes; add garlic and stir fry 1 minute. Stir the sauce and pour into the pan, stirring constantly, until thickened and the veggies are coated, about 1-2 minutes. Serve over brown rice or rice noodles. Top with cashews if desired.

This is good with so many different veggies. I’ve used celery, zucchini, carrots, bok choy, so use what you have or want and enjoy!

Zucchini, Squash, and Eggplant Tian

This is a versatile, delicious recipe to make right now when summer produce is fresh and abundant! You can vary the squashes and the herbs: I’m loving fresh basil and thyme mixed together. My recipe is gluten and dairy free, but you can top it with grated cheese or breadcrumbs for the final 10 minutes if you like.

  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced about 1/8 inch thick
  • 1 yellow zucchini or squash, sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • 1 Japanese eggplant, sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste (I like lemon pepper)
  • 3 T fresh basil, chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat.

Add the onions, thyme, lemon pepper and salt, and saute until the onions are soft and caramelized, about 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, basil and garlic and steep 15 minutes.

Put a little of the basil oil on the bottom of a large deep dish pie plate or casserole dish.

Spread the onions in a layer on the bottom of the dish. Arrange a row of zucchini over the top, overlapping edges slightly. Lay a layer of squash on top, and then a layer of eggplant. Repeat the sequence with remaining ingredients, drizzling a little olive oil mixture between the layers.

Cover with foil, and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on thickness, until veggies are cooked through. If you’re adding cheese or crumbs, leave the foil off and bake until golden brown. Enjoy!