Vegan Bourbon Balls (using GF cookies)

Merry Christmas everyone! This time of year can be difficult when living with dietary restrictions. For weeks, dozens of cookies and other baked goods have filled my house and I have watched my family and friends indulge in them. However, having dietary restrictions does not mean you cannot enjoy alternative treats! My sister made bourbon balls for a company cookie exchange and I was inspired to make my own gluten-free version. I hope you can indulge in holiday treats, restricted or not.

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Bourbon balls

Makes about 40 balls

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups “cookie” crumbs (I used Honeygrams by Schar) pulverized in a food processor. Make sure to measure 2 1/2 cups after the cookies have been processed.)
  • 1 1/4 cups pecans
  • 1/2 cup Makers Mark (or other high quality bourbon)
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus additional for rolling
  • 3 heaping tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  1. In a food processor, pulverize the cookie crumbs and measure out 2 1/2 cups.
  2. Pour the cookies crumbs back into the bowl of the food processor and pulse together with the pecans until the pecans are finely ground.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together the bourbon, 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, the cocoa powder, and honey. Add the mixture to the food processor and pulse until combined. Let the dough rest, uncovered, at room temperature for at least 4 hours or overnight. Letting the dough sit will dry it out a bit as needed.
  4. Use your fingers to roll the dough into balls and then roll the balls in confectioners’ sugar. Store the balls in an airtight container (if you like them moist) or keep uncovered if you want them to develop a crunchy sugar crust on the outside. Sprinkle with (or roll the balls in) additional confectioners’ sugar just before serving.

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Buckwheat Pancakes

This morning I was craving pancakes so I searched for a simple recipe to satisfy my craving ASAP! I stumbled across http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/breakfastbrunch/r/HodgsonPancake.htm and modified the recipe to my liking. Despite wheat being in the name, buckwheat flour is naturally gluten-free. Additionally, buckwheat is rich in flavonoids, which are known to protect against disease. Win-win situation!

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Ingredients

1 cup buckwheat flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp maple syrup

dash of salt

1 chia egg

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

2 tbsps melted Earth Balance

Directions

1. Mix 3 tablespoons water and 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds to make the chia egg. Let sit for 10-15 minutes or until it reaches an egg-like consistency.

2. Preheat skillet/griddle to 375 F.

2. While you’re waiting for your chia egg to form, combine the rest of the ingredients in a medium bowl with a whisk. Add the chia egg when ready.

3. Using 1/4 cup, scoop pancakes onto the griddle, flipping when bubbles form.

4. Serve with maple syrup and toppings of choice.

*I tried a pancake plain and wasn’t too impressed with the flavor, but once I added maple syrup, bananas, and strawberries, they were delicious!

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