Tag Archives: paleo treat recipes

How I Met Your FIG Tart

11 Sep

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that this season is all about FIGS. FIG scones. FIG jam. FIG Fashion Week at Lincoln Center. (Breaking news: FIGS are the new black.)

Failed pun attempts aside, when I saw these homemade gluten-free/sugar-free Fig Newtons, I knew they would be my next challenge. Like most people, Fig Newtons were not my go-to treat as a kid–but the thought of layering FIG jam between two slightly-sweet and crumbly cookies was just too good for me to pass up. Stef over at the Cupcake Project came up with this recipe, and she got hers to come out looking like this:



By now, the discerning reader is asking herself, “Isn’t this a post about a FIG tart? How did we get on the topic FIG Newtons?” And the discerning blogger would answer, “Good FIGGIN’ question.”

I followed the recipe in spirit (ie: I changed the type of oil and type of sweetener but kept everything else the same) and it’s possible that my substitutions were denser than those of the original cookie recipe–to be honest I don’t know the molecular makeup of grape seed oil. Perhaps there is supposed to be some baking soda in there somewhere–who knows. All I know is that the dough I made was never going to result in those beautiful, crumbly cookies pictured above.

Spirits were pretty low in the Kefi Kitchen when I put the “newtons” in the oven, but when they came out…

2013-09-07 14.14.12

a tart was born! I brought this with me to a picnic full of gluten LOVERS and they all gushed over it (including GingerKef, who won’t even eat at Sweetgreen because he finds their lack of Ranch dressing to be a class critique–so we’re not talking about  mamby-pamby eaters here).

So you see kids, this convoluted post with tangents, twists, turns, failures, and bad puns was really just all about how I came to fall in love with this truly awesome FIG tart.  Below is the recipe as I made it, complete with substitutions and hail-Mary additions and alterations.  To try your hand at the Newtons proper, play around with the original recipe and let me know how it goes.

A FIG Tart That Might Come Out as FIG Newtons If You are a Better Baker Than I Am


  • 1 batch of FIG Jam (or jam of choice)
  • 3 c almond meal
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2-3/4 c maple syrup
  • 1/4 c vegetable oil
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract
  • 3-4 TBS coconut flour (optional, as I’m not sure it really made a difference, but I used it so I thought I’d list it)


1. Get your jam ready to be slathered. It should be room temperature.

2. Combine almond meal and salt in a medium mixing bowl.  Combine maple syrup, oil, and extract in another bowl.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until well combined. It will look runny and like it will never turn into anything. Do not despair.

3. Chill “dough” for at least an hour. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (yes, you really need the parchment–a silicon baking sheet may also do the trick but I think parchment is best here).

4. After dough has chilled, it should be thicker than it was when you first mixed it. This is good. Add coconut flour one TBS at a time, making sure each is absorbed before adding the next.

5. Using a flat spatula, divide dough into two halves. Spread the first half of the dough into a thin-but-not-transparent rectangle- mine was about 1/4-inch thick and probably 5X10 inches. The dimensions don’t really matter, so long as you have an evenly-spread base.

6. Spread a thin layer of jam over entirety of dough, all the way to edges. I used about 1 cup of jam to do this.

7. Spread remaining half of dough over top of jam, all the way to edges. If you’re having a great day, it will fit perfectly; if you’re having a not-so-great day, you’ll have some spots where it won’t quite match up. That’s okay.

8. Bake for 15-17 minutes at 350F. Tart will be getting firmer but not dry or set. Increase temp to 375F and cook for another 15-20 minutes, rotating pan at least once. Tart is done when edges are browned and center is golden and firm.

A New “Nice” Cream

25 Apr

Many moons ago, my amazing nutritionist cousin introduced me to Banana “Nice” Cream, which completely revolutionized the way I thought about frozen desserts. Since then I’ve been wondering if there’s a way to replicate the idea with other frozen fruits, and yesterday I stumbled upon the way to make a strawberry version.

My original plan was to make this frozen mango pie.  My superimpressive friend Allison (HIVWarriorKef? NoLongerClevelandParkKef?) surprised me with a little visit to help me eat said pie, but we were both disappointed to find that the flavor was way more coconut than it was mango (although I was glad to find out today that after a night in the freezer the mango was more pronounced–but I digress). So I got to wondering about a strawberry flavor and–voila!– Strawberry Nice Cream was born.


I’ve given you several posts with good pictures and could not be bothered with this one. Just trust me. It’s THAT good.

Basically, I combined lime juice, almond milk, coconut cream and frozen strawberries and the result was a very thick soft-serve consistency. I used some Pyrex to test how well my little experiment would hold up to some freeze/thaw action and was thrilled to find that within about 20 minutes it thickened and took on the texture of real, live ice cream. Over the next few hours I discovered that you can put it into and take it out of the freezer as much as you want without its devolving into a sloppy mess. Then I got really cute and spooned some in between two of my paleo graham crackers for an ice cream sandwich (!). And the church said, “Amen!”

So- if all you want is some gf/sf/dairyfree ice cream, follow the below instructions and ditch the crust-just combine and freeze. Next time I make the pie I will definitely do just the strawberry cream–but if you want to try the mango flavor, follow the above link. As always, you do you.

Frozen Strawberry “Nice” Cream Pie



  • prepared graham cracker crust (if you use the paleo grahams, prepare them the exact same way, but instead of rolling the dough out flat, press 1/2-2/3 dough into the bottom and sides of a greased pie dish. Let freeze, then use fork to poke holes all over crust and bake at same temp for same time)
  • 3/4 c coconut cream*
  • 1/4 c almond milk
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 bag frozen strawberries
  • maple syrup/honey/agave, to taste (I used about 3 TBS)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

*Trader Joe’s sells this by the can, or you can refrigerate a can of full-fat coconut milk for at least 30 minutes, open it gently without shaking, and scrape off the solid white cream at the top. 2 cans should give you enough cream to get through this recipe.


1. Prepare your graham cracker crust and let cool completely.

2. Pulse everything but the crust (duh) in a strong blender or food processor until mixture is very smooth and creamy.

3. Taste and add more sweetener/vanilla extract if you feel so inclined.

4. Pour mixture into prepared crust. Smooth with a flat spatula. Freeze for at least 4 hours, but overnight would be even better. When ready to serve, let pie sit out for at least 10-20 minutes to thaw–otherwise it just tastes kind of, well, frozen.

Grainless Graham Crackers

24 Apr


Somewhere, a dog barked.

Meanwhile, back at the barn, I whipped up something as surprising as it was delicious– gluten-free, sugar-free graham crackers. In my previous life as a Leave No Carb Behind eater, I could flatten a box of graham crackers in the course of a car ride (and not

necessarily a long one). Today, I flattened some in a totally different way: by rolling out my own!

Usually when I follow a recipe exactly, I just link to it and let you do the work.  This recipe is perfect, but I will re-write the instructions, as I made these without some of the fancier tools she used. You should definitely take a peek at The Paleo Mom one of these days, though–she has awesome stuff.

So, back to that dog…

Gosh Darn Good Graham Crackers


  • 1/2 c shortening (I used Spectrum brand palm shortening–I am sure Crisco is just as good)
  • 1/3 c honey
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 TBS coconut flour
  • 1/4 c tapioca flour
  • 2 c almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • parchment paper (yes, you really need this)


1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients (everything but the shortening  and honey). Use a whisk to mix it all together evenly.

2. In a separate, larger bowl, combine the shortening and honey with a rubber spatula until it is well combined. Then add the dry ingredients and mix very well, until a dough ball forms. I had to do a little hand kneading at the end.

3. Split the dough in half. Put one half of the dough in between two pieces of parchment paper. Do not try to be cute and sub with wax paper. It won’t work.

4. Roll out dough to about 1/8th of an inch thick. Peel off the top layer of parchment and set aside (you can use it again for the other half). Using a very sharp knife, a pizza cutter, or a pastry wheel, cut the dough into rows of the desired cracker shape/size. Do not try and peel crackers off the parchment–put the entire piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Repeat this process until the dough is finished. You can stack pieces of parchment with crackers on them right on top of each other on the same cookie sheet.

5. Put crackers in freezer for at least one hour.

6.Preheat the oven to 300F. Remove the crackers after at least an hour–they will now easily peel off the parchment. Separate them from each other and arrange in a single layer on 2 cookie sheets. Use a fork to make holes that penetrate about half-way through the crackers.

7. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until just golden brown and a just little crisp. Let cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack–this is when the texture moves from cookie-like to cracker.

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