Category Archives: Gluten-Free

Coconut Balls, with Cranberries and Chocolate {vegan}

Coconut Bites, with Cranberries and Chocolate

Summer has arrived in full force, temperatures are rising, and (if you’re like most people I know) the last thing you want to is bake a cake, or cookies, or ANYTHING… But then there’s that nagging little itch for something sweet… What to do? What to do?

Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

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Granola Bars

Granola Bars

I’ve been meaning to make my own  granola bars for a while, but some how they kept getting pushed to the side, to make way for cookies and cupcakes… You know how it is :-)… Recently, I made a big batch of Cranberry-Pumpkin Seed Granola and knew it would make fantastic bars. That convinced me, it was time to let granola bars take centre stage.

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Cranberry-Pumpkin Seed Granola

Cranberry-Pumpkin Seed Granola

One of the first recipes that I shared here, was for a simple, nut and seed granola. I figured that since that was over two years ago, we were long overdue for another.

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No Bake Rocky Road Squares

No Bake Rocky Road Squares

It’s a sad, sad week when I can’t find time to bake anything. Yes, sometimes it happens, like this week, when work kept me out the kitchen… Those pesky job obligations do have a way of interfering with the important stuff!… But you can’t keep a good cook down, and I did manage to squeeze a few minutes together to whip up these chocolaty bites of heaven.



No Bake Rocky Road Squares



No Bake Rocky Road Squares (gluten free)

6 tbsp Melted Coconut Oil

1/4 tsp Salt (omit if using salted peanut butter)

3 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (I used Enjoy Life)

1 cup Smooth Peanut Butter (I used natural)

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

4 cups Koala Crisp Cereal

3 cups Vegan Mini Marshmallows (I used Dandies)

Sprinkles (optional)


Grease a 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Set aside.

In a large pot (I used a stock pot), stir the salt into the oil. Add the chocolate chips and melt over low heat, stirring constantly. Add peanut butter and stir until smooth and well mixed.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Add cereal and marshmallows and quickly stir in, until completely coated… Avoid over stirring, as your marshmallows may dissolve.

Press chocolate mixture into the prepared pan. Garnish with sprinkles, if desired.

Refrigerate for 30 – 60 minutes until firm… Lick pot clean while waiting ;-)

Slice and serve.

Store in the refrigerator.



If Koala Crisp cereal is unavailable to you, substitute with any crispy rice cereal (chocolaty or plain).

Although the squares are firm enough to slice and serve after 1 hour, I found that they held together better after “resting” in the refrigerator overnight.




Recipes and Ramblins with the Tumbleweed Contessa



Chocolate Eggnog Fudge

Chocolate Eggnog Fudge

Years ago, I came across a recipe for eggnog fudge. It sounded so festive and delicious, I had to try it… The verdict: it was awful. The texture was fine and all, but it was painfully sweet… I was forever enamored, though, with the idea of eggnog fudge.

Fast forward to this summer, when I stumbled upon Kraft’s Fantasy Fudge. It seemed simple enough so I gave a try at veganizing it. The fudge turned out perfect and got rave reviews from my tasters… Except for the nuts. Apparently, many people don’t like nuts in their fudge… Anyway, the experience rekindled my interest in playing around with fudge, especially of the eggnog variety.

I was so happy with the simplicity of the Kraft fudge, that I decided to use that as my base. I switched the evaporated milk for vegan “eggnog” and used unsweetened chocolate to cut back on the sweetness… Delicious! Rich chocolate flavour with yummy eggnog undertones. Big thumbs up came from my #1 critic (Dave) :-D

My recipe calls for eggnog extract, if you cannot find any then substitute with vanilla. I do recommend trying to find the eggnog though, as it makes for a much bolder flavour. It can be found in specialty cake making shops or online.






Chocolate Eggnog Fudge

1 cup Vegan “Eggnog” (I used Vitasoy Holiday Nog)

3 cups Sugar

3/4 cup Margarine

12 oz (340 g) Unsweetened Chocolate, chopped

7 oz (198 g) Suzanne’s Ricemallow Creme

1 tsp Eggnog Extract

1/2 tsp Rum Extract


Line an 8-inch square baking pan with tinfoil and lightly grease.

In a large heavy saucepan bring the eggnog to a simmer, stir frequently. You are reducing the liquid to 2/3 cup, so remeasure periodically to check your progress (it took me about 10 minutes).

When eggnog has been reduced to 2/3 cup, add sugar and margarine. Bring to a full boil (will continue to bubble even when stirred), stirring frequently.

Reduce heat to medium and boil for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Remove from heat and stir in chocolate, until melted.

Add ricemallow creme and extracts. Mix well.

Pour into baking pan and cool at room temperature.

Slice into 1 inch squares (I chilled the fudge in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before slicing).