Dessert

Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls by audrey gebhardt

I’m not here to tell you to eat your vegetables.

carrot cake cinnamon rolls

My strategy lately is more like, eat all of the sugar until your body absolutely cannot take it anymore and it’s actually craaaaaving green things.

Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls

So like, have a salad and the next morning throw some carrots in your cinnamon rolls and we’ll call it even, yeah?

I was really skeptical of carrot cake for a while, I promise you. And then I saw one that I just couldn’t resist with stripes of cream cheese frosting and I was quickly in love. I even choose carrot cake over chocolate things sometimes!

Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls

These cinnamon rolls are rich, creamy, and bursting with flavor having been stuffed with toasted pecans and brown sugar. For a yeast dough, this one is fairly simple and straightforward! Don’t be alarmed by the amount of ingredients and steps, just read the whole recipe through once and then take it one step at a time. That is allllll bread is. One step at a time.

The carrots in this recipe add a really nice texture to the dough, they almost melt into it and it feels like you’re eating funfetti cinnamon rolls!

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Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls
makes 2 dozen

for the dough:
2 cups whole milk
1/2 c unsalted butter (1 stick)
1/2 c sugar
1 packet yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1 1/2 c grated carrots (about 3 medium)
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
4 1/2 c all purpose flour, divided
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

for the filling:
1/2 c unsalted butter, melted
1 c brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
2 c pecans, chopped
1/2 c shredded coconut (optional)

for the cream cheese frosting:
4 oz cream cheese (or mascarpone! I used mascarpone! it’s so creamy!)
1.5 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 TBSP milk

For the dough:
-Combine the milk, butter and sugar in a large pot over medium heat. Bring just to a simmer and stir to dissolve sugar. Allow to cool to a temperature that feels like a hot shower you’d want to get into after a day in the snow (about 105 degrees). Sprinkle the yeast over the top and allow to sit for about three minutes.

-While the yeast mixture is setting, grate the carrots over a clean dishtowel that you don't care about at all. Squeeze the carrots out over a sink and squeal in delight at the vibrant orange color that carrot juice actually is. You’re drying the carrots out as much as possible here so the water content doesn’t mess with the dough.

-Pour the yeast/milk mixture into a large bowl. Stir in two cups of the flour, the nutmeg and the ginger until combined. Stir in another cup, and stir in a final cup of flour with the grated carrots until combined. Cover with a damp towel and allow to proof for about an hour in a draft free space. (you can put this in the oven with the oven turned off but the oven light turned on- the heat from the light creates a really great temperature for proofing!

-After an hour the dough should be doubled in size and smell yeasty. Stir in the final 1/2 cup flour along with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Turn out onto a generously floured surface and knead slightly. You want this dough to be soft but not too sticky to roll out- add flour 1/4 cup at a time if it feels too sticky!

-Grease two 9” pans with butter or canola oil. Set aside.

-Divide dough into two equal rounds and then roll out into rectangles that are about 1/4” thick, about 10”x16”

-Melt the butter. Pour half of the butter mixture onto the first rolled out rectangle, brush the butter to evenly cover the surface leaving a 1/2” boundary around all edges. Sprinkle half of the brown sugar evenly across the surface, followed by half of the cinnamon and pecans and coconut, if using.

-Starting from the far edge, slowly roll the dough into a log (lengthwise). I like to use my fingers in a typewriter fashion here, moving from one end of the log to the other. Cut the log into 12 equal rolls using a bench scraper, then place in the pie dish cut side up. It’s okay if it’s not perfect! You’re covering it with icing later! And no one on this good earth has ever been mad about an ugly cinnamon roll once it goes in their face, I promise.

-Repeat with the other half of the dough, and allow both trays to sit on the stove for a second proof while you preheat the oven to 375.

-Bake for 20-22 minutes, until golden brown.

-While the rolls are baking, whisk together all the ingredients for the frosting until it’s pourable, adjusting the confectioners sugar and milk as needed to get it to your desired texture.

-Pour the frosting onto the rolls immediately after they come out of the oven- these are fantastic hot or at room temperature, we ate them for every meal for an entire day!!

YAY! YOU DID IT! NOW YOU GET TO EAT SOME BUNNNNNSSS TO CELEBRATE!

Deep Dark Fudge Brownies (GF) by audrey gebhardt

Let's talk about babysitter slices for a minute.

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You know, the kind you take when you're babysitting and they have MUCH better snacks at their house than you do at yours.

I'm talking entenmanns fudge frosted cake.

Or like two day old glazed munchkins.

Capri Sun. Ugggghhhhhh. 

The best houses though are the ones with a tray of boxed brownies. Shiny and crinkled studded with chocolate chips. You would slice off millimeter by millimeter of those brownies so the parents wouldn't know that you ate all of their snacks, right?

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Now, as a functioning adult, I am totally aware of the fact that the parents would not give a hoot about whether or not I was eating their snacks. In fact, they probably would want me and my 15 year old metabolism to help them with that tray of brownies. But for whatever reason it felt like a scandalous secret to sneak slices of sugar after the kids went to bed, did it not? 

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These brownies are reminiscent of that simple add oil water and egg boxed mix you made when you were a kid except they're about a billion times fudgier and gooier and yummier. 

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Deep Dark Fudge Brownies
(this recipe is kind've in weight. Please don't hate me. I promise it makes a difference)

85g Gluten Free Flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
300g sugar
3 eggs
75g cocoa powder
1 TBSP vanilla (for real no joke)
4oz dark chocolate, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 and line an 8" square pan with parchment paper.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.

In a different bowl, whisk together the eggs, cocoa and vanilla for about a minute until super smooth and glossy.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and sugar over medium low heat whisking constantly. Don't let it bubble! Keep it low until the sugar has dissolved! Rub a tiny bit between your fingers to see if it's smooth. 

Slowly stream the melted butter mixture into the egg/cocoa mixture while whisking constantly until combined and then whisk for another whole entire minute- this is what will give you that glossy cracky top! Fold in the dry ingredients juuuuuust until combined, tossing the chopped chocolate near the end and folding that in too!

Spread evenly into the parchment lined pan and bake for 25 minutes, until the center is just set and doesn't jiggle when you wiggle the pan.

Let cool in the pan or be impatient like me and dig in with a spoon and burn the roof of your mouth with melted chocolate, both ways are totally okay.

Let's go have some brownies about it, shall we?

xo
Audrey

Peach Apple Pie (V) by audrey gebhardt

Let's talk about making people feel special for a second. 

Vegan Peach Pie

The other day I was at the doctor for my annual when she asked me to hop on the scale.

I do not own a scale, I don't much care about the number and I don't really feel a need to obsess over it the way I did when I was 14. I care so much more about how I feel in my body and my clothes.

Anyway, I hopped on the scale and the doctor immediately looked at the number and subtracted two pounds and said, 'how do we feel about this number'. And I just couldn't get over her willingness to overlook science for how someone might feel. I thought it was the simplest thing ever that could make the majority of women standing naked on a scale feel so so good, that she's willing to record the weight as a lower number because at the end of the day those two pounds don't really matter. 

It got me thinking about where else could we make people feel special when it's not really expected- which got me thinking about injecting small kindness everywhere. I can't even tell you how many grocery store check-out clerks are astonished when I make eye contact and ask them how their day is and actually listen to the answer on the other end of that question. 

Palisade Peaches

Tiny things like when someone holds the top of the receipt for you when you sign it make me feel so human to human with other humans. And my faaaaavorite- when someone holds your hand in both of yours when you shake their hand for the first time. Omgggg that is the best way to make a person feel special.

How else can we make people feel special? What if you baked this pie and left it cooling in the windowsill and then invited your neighbor over for a slice and some tea this afternoon like it was 1956? Would that be so strange? Could it also be SO GOOD?!

Vegan Peach Pie

Peach Apple Pie (Vegan)

1 Olive Oil Pie Crust, divided in two

3 medium ripe peaches
3 medium apples (I used Gala because it's what I had, anything super crisp will do-- honey crisp, gala, green)
1 TBSP cornstarch
1/3 c sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 TBSP almond milk
1 TBSP maple syrup

Prepare the crust, separate into two parts and wrap tightly before setting aside while you prepare the filling.

Cut the peaches in half, remove the pit and then cut each half into eighths lengthwise. Cut the apples into quarters, cut out the core and then cut each quarter into thirds. (You read that right. We are barbarically not going to peel these fruits because you won't event notice the peel after it's baked and you will do like a tenth of the work to make this pie.)

In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg. 

In a large bowl, toss together the spice mixture with the cut fruit.

Preheat the oven to 375.

Roll out one half of the dough so it's 1/8" thick (about the thickness of a nickel) between two pieces of parchment. Peel away the top layer of parchment and use the bottom layer to help you flip the dough into the 10" pie plate.

Roll out the other half of the dough and if you plan on losing your mind and making yourself crazy cut it into 1/4" strips but if you want to stay sane just use it like a regular pie crust.

Top the crust with the fruit then top the fruit with the crust however you see fit! To make it look how I did there's a bunch of pinching and twisting and crust breaking and tears involved. To make it look like a regular pie, just run a fork around the edge of the pie to seal it all together.

In a small bowl, mix together the almond milk and maple syrup.

Bake at 375 for 30 minutes until the fruit just begins to bubble then remove from the oven and brush with the almond milk/maple syrup mixture. 

Bake for another 10 minutes until it's golden brown on top and let cool before serving! 

This pie is BOMB the next day after it's been in the fridge. Or maybe it's just me. I love cold pie. I love you!

xo
Audrey

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake (V/GF) by audrey gebhardt

It wouldn't be fair to this dessert to call it a brownie. 

Vegan/Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cake

There are hundreds of health food junkies out there running around calling recipes similar to this 'Sweet Potato Brownies' but that's just not okay. 

Because a brownie- a brownie needs to be dense. A brownie feels like dead weight in your hands. It sticks to the roof of your mouth it's so fudgy. It has a crackly shiny top and just a 1" square is enough to satisfy.

That doesn't mean there's anything wrong with what this is- it's just simply not a brownie. It's a light, fluffy chocolate cake with a depth of flavor and ZERO DAIRY, GLUTEN or REFINED SUGAR! 

Are you kidding me? I wouldn't have believed it either. This cake is unbelievably decadent and moist and you won't even miss the sugar- I promise.

vegan gluten free peanut butter chocolate cake

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake (vegan/gluten free)

1/2 c almond butter
1/2 c cooked sweet potato (from an actual baked sweet potato, not canned puree)
1 flax egg (1 TBSP flaxseed meal + 2.5 TBSP water)
6 TBSP maple syrup
1/4 c cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 c coconut manna
1/2 c creamy peanut butter
1 can full fat coconut milk, chilled overnight
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBSP maple syrup

Start by making the flax egg- in a small bowl combine the flaxseed meal and water and set aside for five minutes until it firms up.

Preheat the oven to 350 and line an 8x8" pan with parchment.

In a medium bowl, combine the almond butter and sweet potato with a fork or whisk until smooth and creamy. Whip in the flax egg and maple syrup until combined. Whisk in the cocoa powder, vanilla and baking soda. 

Pour the batter into the parchment lined baking pan, bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Once the brownies have cooled completely in the pan, prepare the peanut butter frosting.

DO NOT SHAKE the can of coconut milk. Open the can and scrape the top into a small bowl, saving the transparent liquid in the fridge for smoothies at another time. Beat the coconut cream until it's light and fluffy like whipped cream. Set aside. 

In a medium bowl, beat the coconut manna with the peanut butter and maple syrup until completely combined. Fold in the whipped coconut cream until smooth and spread over cooled cake. 

Store cake in fridge until you're ready to serve. Prepare for people to propose to you when they take a bite. And then tell them it's made with all wholesome ingredients!

xo
Audrey

Watermelon Sherbet by audrey gebhardt

There are plenty of words in the English language that I avoid saying altogether. 

3-Ingredient Watermelon Sherbet

Having grown up in a very Italian area, I am distraught when I have to speak, "ricotta" aloud. 

Mozzarella is not a simple one either.

Don't even get me started on bruschetta.

The worst part is, I loved Italian class more than all of my others. I love love love the language and I know how to annunciate these things properly, I just know I'm opening myself up for unwarranted ridicule by doing so.

Sherbet fits in that category too. It's a word that sounds wrong no matter how it falls out of your mouth. The kind've word that when you order it at Friendly's, you just point to it on the menu to dodge the discomfort of saying it out loud to your server and everyone else around you. 

The best part about this being a blog and not a Youtube channel is that I get to share this magical recipe with you and none of us have to say the word. Which most definitely is not sher-bert.

I see you in your mid-summer glory, cubed melon sitting in the back of your fridge that's juuuuuuust starting to get a tiny bit slimy around the edges. Not slimy enough to throw out yet but also not crisp enough to eat right now. Let's do something about it, shall we? 

I made this with nothing but watermelon but I suspect it would work well with cantaloupe and honeydew as well, or perhaps a combination? MAYBE A MANGO?!

You don't even know it yet but you're like an hour away from the dreamiest creamiest fruitiest sherbet on the block.

3-Ingredient Watermelon Sherbet

Watermelon Sherbet
Makes 1 quart

~4-5 cups cubed watermelon, frozen solid (at least 1 hour)*
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 tsp salt

*This is a rough estimate because we all have a different definition of cubed. My cubes are about 1". For me, this was 1/2 of a smallish watermelon (not a personal tiny one, a regular small one).

In a food processor, combine all three ingredients and process for about five minutes until all of the chunks and seeds have been swallowed up by the sea of pink. 

Freeze in an airtight container for about 3 hours before serving.

I served mine with cacao nibs and lime zest, reminiscent of the ever-nostalgic watermelon roll! 

xo
Audrey 

Meyer Lemon Blackberry Cake (GF) by audrey gebhardt

I started my first business when I was 14 without having ANY idea what I was getting myself into.

Gluten Free Lemon Blackberry Cake

It really all started when I was in 3rd grade, and I really REALLY wanted the book "A Smart Girl's Guide to Money" from the Scholastic Book Fair (best day of the year). I think this might've been the only time I ever once in my life heard the word 'no' from either of my parents (I am extremely lucky and I know it). It was the best no I could've ever gotten. My mom's reasoning was that she always bought me these books that I never read, and that if I really cared that much about this book I could take it out from the library and take notes on it. 

I ended up doing exactly that, filling out an entire spiral bound notebook that I titled, "I Wanna be an Entrepreneur" and that was it for me. I wrote business plans for everything from a birthday party business, to a craft summer camp that would be held in my backyard (I was planning on being the head counselor at eight years old), to babysitting services (again- I was 8).

Gluten Free Lemon Blackberry Cake

I am so grateful for that no, because without it I would not have read that book nearly as thoroughly as I had to when I was copying it down into my notebook. 

Fast forward to the end of 9th grade. I had been decorating cakes with my mom for a few years for various cousin's birthdays, communions and every holiday under the sun. I decided that I had gotten good enough at my craft that people were going to pay me for it! It can't be that hard, right? At the time it felt so simple, all I had to do was say, "hi, this is a thing I do and you can pay me for it". So I did what anyone would do in 2009 when they want to get paid for something, I created a blogspot website complete with prices and a few photos of my creations and Plays With Food went live. 

Meyer Lemon Blackberry Cake

I had the lemonade stand effect at first after handing out my first batch of business cards (actually business magnets) to everyone within a 1/2 mile radius of Wantagh High School. People ordered cupcakes and cakes from me because I was undeniably sweet as pie and it was cute that I started a business. Looking back at my work, it wasn't all that great and to be honest most of it was made from a box with canned frosting. It might've been full of processed sugar and strange stabilizing substances, but it was also full of passion and drive and effervescent love that only a kid can create when they are excited about something. 

I remember the first time someone told me I wasn't charging enough for what I was doing- I was handing Mrs. Harclerode her daughter's communion cake for 100 guests that I had charged her $60 for, which I felt pretty good about at the time! Holding three $20's feels like a lot when you're 16 and you seemingly made this money appear out of thin air by doing something you love! She took the cake from me and with the most genuine shock looked at me and said, 'you should be charing $200 for this cake!'. That's when I started taking myself seriously. I switched to scratch-baking almost immediately and realized that this was more than a fun thing I did for the heck of it. 

Here I am, nine years, thousands of cupcakes, countless wedding cakes, dozens of baby showers and first birthdays and Christmas pear tarts later- diving back into the catering world. I took a bit of time off to explore being a young twenty something, traveling alone and staying up until the sun came up and moving across the country. I took time off and realized that I miss it. I miss being part of everyone's celebrations. The happy days- the ones where people that love each other gather and eat and drink and be merry. 

Here I am in Denver, starting where I started almost a decade ago- a little less naive, a little more serious and a LOT more stoked to join your party. 

Let's have some cake about it, shall we?

Gluten Free Lemon Cake

Meyer Lemon Blackberry Cake (Gluten Free)
makes one 8" cake (enough for 8-10 guests)

3 c gluten-free flour
1.5 tsp xanthin gum
1/3 c cornstarch
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 TBSP baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks (16 TBSP) butter, softened
zest of 2 meyer lemons (or regular lemons)
2 1/3 c sugar
6 egg whites + 1 whole egg
2 tsp vanilla
2 c buttermilk (or 2 c almond milk + 1 tsp white vinegar)

2 c fresh blackberries
juice of two meyer lemons (or regular lemons) ((use the lemons that you zested for the cake!))
1/4 c sugar
1 tsp cornstarch

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 lb confectioner's sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Grease and flour three 8-inch cake pans, preheat the oven to 350.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the gf flour, xanthin gum, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of a mixer, combine the sugar and lemon zest. Rub together between your fingertips until the zest is evenly distributed and the sugar is fragrant. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg whites, egg and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl and beating until everything is totally combined (about 1-2 minutes more). 

Slowly stir in 1/3 of the flour mixture juuuuuust until combined. Now slowly add 1/2 of the buttermilk (or almond milk mixture) and stir just until combined. Repeat with 1/2 of the remaining flour mixture and the rest of the milk, finishing with the last of the flour mixture.

Distribute evenly between the three greased baking pans and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the top springs back when lightly pressed into with a finger. Let cool in pans for no more than five minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

While the cakes are cooling, make the blackberry filling! 
In a small saucepan, combine the blackberries, lemon juice and sugar. Bring to a simmer over a medium flame then lower the heat to low and keep bubbling for about ten minutes, until the berries start to break down (you can push a few of them against the edge of the pan with a fork to help them along but don't break them all up!). Whisk in the teaspoon of cornstarch then remove from the heat and allow to thicken. Let this cool allllllll the way down before assembling the cake or you will be a very sad baker.

Make the buttercream!
In the bowl of your stand mixer, slowly mix the softened butter and confectioner's sugar until it's all cohesive. Once there are no more bits of sugar flying around your kitchen, crank up the speed on the mixer to high and add the vanilla. Let that go- scraping the sides of the bowl once in a blue for about five minutes. I mean it, five minutes. You want this buttercream to be hella fluffy.

To assemble the cake:
Level any layers that need leveling. What I mean by that is, get eye level with your cakes on their cooling racks and if they have a huge dome you're gonna want to cut across the top to make them all even. 

Place a little dollop of buttercream on the center of the platter you are assembling the cake on, center the first cake on the platter. Using a piping bag, pipe about a 1/2 border of frosting around the top edge of the cake (almost like you're making a fence to hold the filling in, which you are). Pipe a small amount of frosting inside the fence you just made and spread it out evenly so the entire topside of the cake is frosted. Spoon about half of the blackberry mixture on top and spread that out evenly as well. Top with the next cake and repeat this whole process.

Now you should have a three-layer, unfrosted cake. Dollop about 3/4 c of frosting on top of the cake and start spreading out until you get to the edges, then spread along the edges to kind've seal the filling in. Here's where you get to have some fun with it. I kept the top of my cake extra frosted and took a spoon to add bits of the leftover filling to the cake as I was frosting it to create that streaky thing that you see. 

You are the artist. This is the cake that you get to be the boss of. Go ahead! Tag me on instagram if you make this one @audreygebhardt, I'd love to see what you come up with!

xo
Audrey

Grilled Cinnamon Pineapple Shortcakes (GF) by audrey gebhardt

I went to Hawaii kind've on a whim this week last year.

Grilled Pineapple Shortcakes

I was on a 'finding myself, I'm gonna buy one one-way ticket at a time and see where I end up' trip.

I showed up on Oahu at the same time that the first swell in months had shown up, which meant that the friends I had there were in the water for 18 hours at a time, surfing way above my pay grade while I explored alone.

The first day, I drove up to the North Shore and stopped at this roadside smoothie shack. I had heard such phenomenal things about the pineapples there that I ordered an entire pineapple and ate it all while chatting with the girl who worked there. I made plenty of friends that week exploring on my own, some of them I'm still in touch with!

Grilled Pineapple

An hour later I found myself writhing in pain on the beach, like my stomach was eating my body from the inside out.

Dear reader, do not eat an entire pineapple by yourself. You will probably regret it. 

Since then, I've discovered that if the pineapple is cooked (grilled), my stomach can handle more of it than if it's raw! I guess the heat changes the levels of acid or something like that. 

Not only that, but grilling pineapple gives it this caramelized sweetness. In this version, I added some cinnamon sugar just to up the dessert factor since the biscuits and whipped cream are not all that sweet.

Grilled Pineapple Shortcakes

Grilled Cinnamon Pineapple Shortcakes
makes 6

gluten free biscuits
6 Tbsp butter
2 1/2 c gluten free flour (I like Bob's Red Mill)
1/2 c brown rice flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
1 egg
1 c almond milk
3 Tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp white vinegar

grilled cinnamon pineapple
1 whole pineapple, peeled and sliced into 1" thick rounds
1 Tbsp white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon 

whipped cream
2 c heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Make the biscuits:
Preheat the oven to 450, line a baking sheet with parchment. 

Dice the butter into 1/2" cubes, freeze for fifteen minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine the gluten free flour, brown rice flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Whisk to combine.

In a small bowl, combine the almond milk, heavy cream and vinegar. Allow to sit for five minutes or so (this will cause the milk to curdle, you want that! This adds the traditional buttermilk flavor you're looking for). Whisk in the egg until combined.

Using a pastry blender, mix the frozen butter chunks into the flour mixture until it's all cohesive and the butter is the size of small peas. 

Fold in the milk/egg mixture juuuuust until combined. 

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, pat the mixture out until it's about 1 1/2" tall. Use a 3" round cutter to cut the biscuits (or just slice into squares, we're not picky here).

Transfer the biscuits to parchment lined cookie sheet, bake for 15 minutes until they just begin to lightly brown around the edges. Cool completely.

Grill the pineapple:
Heat the grill to medium high, place the rounds of pineapple on the grill & close it.

In a small bowl, stir the sugar and cinnamon together.

After about ten minutes on the grill, flip the pineapple over (it should be pretty caramelized with nice char marks on this side already, if it's not give it a few more minutes).

Gently spoon the cinnamon sugar mixture on top of the already grilled side of the pineapple (from this point on you won't flip it again or your grill will be hella sticky). Close the grill and cook for another ten minutes or so, until the cinnamon mixture is bubbling on top and the bottom side of the pineapple is nice and caramelized as well.

Remove from grill and cool completely.

Make the whipped cream:
In a medium bowl, add the heavy cream and vanilla. Beat with an electric beater for about two minutes until soft peaks form (don't overmix or you'll have butter!)

When the biscuits and the pineapple are completely cool, cut the pineapple into chunks (removing the hard core). Slice the biscuits in half, top them with a nice dollop of whipped cream and pineapple and repeat. 

These keep beautifully in the fridge for about a day in an airtight container! 

xo
Audrey

 

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (V/GF) by audrey gebhardt

I have been obsessed with a podcast lately. 

gluten free banana bread

It's called Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard, and half of my favorite duo (Kristen Bell & Dax Shepard) created it. I'm totally not a Hollywood person at all. I don't really pay attention to that world and until recently it felt so distant from my own. 

He tends to interview many of his famous friends who grew up similarly to him, in a lower middle class middle America family with a single mom working two jobs. And all I keep thinking about is that everything ever created came from inside of somebody's mind. The personality that sent him into fame and fortune came from inside of him. 

The Apple computer started with something Steve Jobs imagined. 

The first recipe ever created was something a human made up.

The roads that pave the way to the Palace of Versailles were designed by a human. And another human dreamt up the hall of mirrors and then another human reigned a country for 72 years and resided there. 

Vegan Banana Bread

What I'm getting to is that all of this stuff happened because someone at some point in time had a brain that made it happen. 

If you could use your brain to turn your dreams into the real life that you walk through every day, what would you dream? What is the wildest thing you can't imagine possible that you want? 

WOULD YOU DREAM ABOUT FLUFFY BANANA BREAD STUDDED WITH CHOCOLATE CHIPS TOPPED WITH CRUNCHY SUGARY CRUST? 

Because omg would you look at that you just used your brain to manifest your dreams into reality.

Gluten Free Banana Bread

Vegan & Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
2 c gluten free flour blend (I like Trader Joe's)
1/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 medium super ripe bananas (like, so ripe that your houseguest looks at your counter and says you should probably throw those out)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 c refined coconut oil, melted
1/4 c applesauce
1 c bittersweet chocolate chips
2 TBSP raw sugar

I used a 6" round cake pan for this because I made it for the full moon and I only eat round foods on the full moon because I'm a LUNATIC. You can totally make it in a standard loaf pan!

Preheat the oven to 375. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the gluten free flour, 1/4 c sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. 

In a medium bowl, mash the bananas with a fork leaving some chunky bits. The chunky bits will caramelize in the oven and create sugar pockets that you definitely want. Add the coconut oil, applesauce and lemon to the bananas and mix until combined. 

Stir in 90% of the flour mixture. Toss the chocolate chips in the remaining flour mixture before folding in.

Spoon the batter into your greased and floured pan, sprinkle the top with the raw sugar. 

Bake for 35-45 minutes, until it doesn't jiggle when you move the pan and a toothpick comes out clean. 

Serve immediately. Or not. You can also slice into the size slices that your future self wants to eat and freeze! I made the mistake of slicing this into quarters and now every time me (future self) wants this, I have to eat a quarter loaf of banana bread.

xo
Audrey