3 gluten-free holiday desserts

Just because you can’t have wheat, doesn’t mean you have to miss out on a delicious spread of holiday desserts. Here are three recipes you’d never guess were gluten-free

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Hazelnut Chocolate Blondies

Hazelnut Chocolate Blondies

Packed with hazelnuts and chocolate, these blondies are to die for.

8-inch square baking pan, lightly greased and bottom and sides lined with parchment paper
1 cup low-fat soy flour   
1?4 cup hazelnut flour   
2 tbsp tapioca starch   
11?2 tsp xanthan gum   
1?4 tsp salt   
1 cup packed brown sugar   
2 large eggs  
1?2 cup butter, softened   
2 tsp vanilla extract   
4 oz bittersweet (dark) chocolate, coarsely chopped, divided
2?3 cup toasted coarsely chopped hazelnuts, divided

1. In a bowl or plastic bag, combine soy flour, hazelnut flour, tapioca starch, xanthan gum and salt.

2. In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer on low speed, cream brown sugar, eggs, butter and vanilla until well blended. Stir in the dry ingredients just until combined. Stir in half each of the chocolate and hazelnuts.

3. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Using a moistened rubber spatula, spread to edges, leaving top rough. Sprinkle with the remaining chocolate and hazelnuts, pressing them into the batter. Let stand for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325 °F (160 °C).


4. Bake for 32 to 35 minutes or until golden. Let cool completely in pan on a rack, then cut into bars. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 2 months.


Makes 16 blondies


Nutritional value per serving (one blondie): 220 calories, 13 g fat (6 g saturated), 40 mg cholesterol, 111 mg sodium, 18 g carbohydrate, 1 g fibre, 5 g protein, 39 mg calcium, 1 g iron

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Cranberry Pistachio Muffins

Cranberry Pistachio Muffins

These muffins with a rich golden colour feature the tartness of cranberries and the nutty flavour of pistachios.

6-cup muffin pan, lightly greased
3?4 cup sorghum flour          
1?4 cup quinoa flour           
2 tbsp tapioca starch           
1?4 cup granulated sugar           
2 tsp GF baking powder           
1?2 tsp baking soda           
1 tsp xanthan gum           
1?4 tsp salt           
11?2 tsp ground cardamom           
1 large egg           
2?3 cup milk           
2 tbsp vegetable oil           
1 tsp cider vinegar           
1?2 cup dried cranberries           
1?2 cup shelled unsalted pistachios

1. In a bowl or plastic bag, combine sorghum flour, quinoa flour, tapioca starch, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt and cardamom. Mix well and set aside.

2. In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer, beat egg, milk, oil and vinegar until combined. Add dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Stir in cranberries and pistachios.

3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, dividing evenly. Let stand for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

4. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until firm to the touch. Remove from the pan immediately and let cool completely on a rack.


Makes 6 muffins


Nutritional value per serving (one muffin): 281 calories, 12 g fat (1 g saturated), 32 mg cholesterol, 230 mg sodium, 40 g carbohydrate, 4 g fibre, 7 g protein, 134 mg calcium, 2 mg iron

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Apple Cranberry Crisp

Apple Cranberry Crisp

This tasty crisp brings back warm, homey memories of days gone by for those of us who live in apple country.

Tips: ?
•Two medium apples yield about 11?2 cups (375 mL) chopped.?
•If you cannot tolerate cornstarch, substitute an equal amount of arrowroot starch.

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C)
3-cup round or oval casserole dish??

11?2 cups coarsely chopped apples   
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen cranberries   
1 tbsp cornstarch    ?
1 tbsp granulated sugar

Crisp Topping:?
2?3 cup large-flake (old-fashioned) rolled oats?
2 tbsp oat flour  
1 tbsp packed brown sugar ?
1?2 tsp ground nutmeg   
3 tbsp butter, melted

1. Base:? In casserole dish, combine apples, cranberries, cornstarch and sugar. Set aside.

2. Topping: In a medium bowl, combine oats, oat flour, brown sugar and nutmeg. Drizzle with butter and mix until crumbly. Sprinkle topping over fruit. Do not pack.


3. Cover and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until fruit is bubbly around the edges, apples are fork-tender and topping is browned. Serve warm.


Makes three servings


Nutritional value per serving: 297 calories, 14 g fat (8 g saturated), 31 mg cholesterol, 118 mg sodium, 41 g carbohydrate, 5 g fibre, 4 g protein, 28 mg calcium, 2 mg iron


All photos by Colin Ericcson

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