Try these tasty, gluten-free treats

These gluten-free lemon bars are “intensely lemon,” said Angela Barnes. (Courtesy photo/Angela Barnes)

Submitted to the Pioneer

BIG RAPIDS — Angela Barnes, of Big Rapids, sent these gluten-free dessert recipes to the Pioneer to share with readers.

If you have a recipe you’d like to share with other Pioneer readers, please email it to Candy Allan at Please attach a photo of the dish, if possible.

Gluten Free Lemon Bars

For the crust:

3/4 cup (180 ml) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar

2 cups of gluten free flour mix (“I use King Arthur, it seems less gritty,” Barnes said.)

1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) xanthan gum

pinch salt

For the Filling:

7 large eggs, at room temperature

2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar

2 tablespoons (30 ml) grated lemon zest (about 4 lemons)

1 cup (250 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 5 lemons)

1 cup gluten free flour mix

Icing or confectioners’ sugar for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).

2. Line a 9×13-inch (33×23 cm) baking pan with parchment paper, so the paper rises up the sides — I had it run up the 13″ sides, and left the 9″ sides bare. (This will make removing the squares much easier, as you can lift them out once they are cooled.)

3. For the crust, in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Combine the flours and salt, and slowly add to the butter/sugar mixture while the mixer is on low. Mix just until it is combined. Dump the dough into your prepared pan, place a sheet of plastic wrap over the top, and press the dough evenly over the bottom of the pan, building up a 1/2-inch (1 cm) edge on all sides.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until very lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before adding the filling. Do not turn the oven off yet, you still need it.

5. While the crust is baking, you can prepare the filling. For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, rice flour and tapioca starch. Pour the filling into a large spoon that you are holding about 1 inch (2.5 cm) above the pre-baked crust. This will stop the crust from eroding away where you are pouring it. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the filling is set. It is alright if it still has some wiggle when you remove it from the oven. It will set more as it cools. Let cool to room temperature.

6. To remove from pan, cut along 9″ edges, and use the parchment paper to lift the bars out and onto a cutting board. Using a sifter or wire sieve, dust the top of the bars with icing/confectioners’ sugar. Cut into squares, and serve. If you don’t plan to serve them immediately, wait to sprinkle them with the confectioners’ sugar, because it will melt over time.

“These are intensely ‘lemon’ with a shortbread crust, just delicious and always eaten first, even by those who don’t need to be gluten free,” Barnes said.

Death by Chocolate is fast and easy, said Angela Barnes. “My daughters love it because they can use pudding mix, brownie mix and Cool whip and have a quick dessert in a pinch,” she said. (Courtesy photo/Angela Barnes)

Death by Chocolate

1 batch gluten free brownies (recipe below, or use a mix like Ghirardelli or your favorite)

6 of your favorite gluten free candy bars, chopped (We like Heath Bars, Butterfinger or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups — reserve a few for sprinkling the top)

3 cups chocolate pudding, (recipe below or using a gluten free mix

3 cups whipped cream or a container of Cool Whip (I never thought I’d say this, but Cool Whip actually works better, it doesn’t “break”)

Crumble baked brownies, layer 1/3 into bottom of bowl. Add 1/3 pudding, 1/3 candy bars and 1/3 whipped cream. Continue layers until ingredients are gone. Sprinkle top with reserved candy bars, refrigerate until ready to serve.

Gluten Free Brownies:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for pan

1/3 cup cornstarch (spooned and leveled)

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon fine salt

12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 large eggs

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter an 8-inch square baking pan and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides. Whisk together cornstarch, cocoa, cinnamon, and salt. In a large microwave-safe bowl, microwave butter and chocolate in 30-second increments, stirring each time, until melted and smooth, about 2 minutes.

2. Stir in sugar and vanilla. Stir in eggs, one at a time, until combined. Add cornstarch mixture and stir vigorously until mixture is smooth and begins to pull away from side of bowl, about 2 minutes.

3. Pour batter into pan and smooth top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 35 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Using paper overhang, lift cake out of pan and cut into 16 squares.

Gluten Free Chocolate Pudding

1/2 cup white sugar

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 3/4 cups milk

2 tablespoons butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a saucepan, stir together sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt. Place over medium heat, and stir in milk. Bring to a boil, and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Remove from heat, and stir in butter and vanilla. Let cool briefly, and serve warm, or chill in refrigerator until serving.

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