Cooking today with William Sonoma ~ Gluten Free Holiday Treats ~ Sneak Peak

It is always a pleasure to come out and share my passion for delicious, healthy eating with William Sonoma’s staff and customers. Today I am cooking up some yummy, decadent and   gluten free holiday appetizers and my gluten free brownie bites with a twist. I will be using William Sonoma’s famous Original Peppermint Bark as a topping for these rich and luscious brownies. I will also be making tuscan white beans stuffed in a roasted campari tomato and yummy zucchini bites stuffed with gruyere and parmesan cheese.

I am so excited to share some of my families favorite holiday treats today with William Sonoma’s customers, as they shop for wonderful gifts for their love ones. So stop by and find some great gifts for your family and have a brownie on me. Here’s a sneak peak of today’s menu.  

Zucchini Bites


2 cups zucchini, grated

1 egg

1/4 cup yellow onion, diced,finely 

1/2 cup cheese gruyere

1/2 cup parmesan 

1/2 cup gluten free  bread crumbs – I used Italian style

Salt and Pepper, to taste. 


Preheat oven to 375F. Spray a mini-muffin tin with non-stick spray, set aside. Grate the zucchini and then place in a dish towel to squeeze out the excess water- like when using frozen spinach.  In a bowl combine, the egg, onion, cheese, bread crumbs, zucchini, salt and pepper. 4. Using a spoon or a cookie scoop, fill the muffin cups to the top. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the top is browned and set.  

  • Gluten Free Brownies with Chocolate Ganache these will be topped with William Sonoma Original Peppermint Bark

1/2 cup Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Baking Chips 

4 ounces Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Baking Bar 

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar 

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs 1 egg yolk

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons gluten free-purpose flour. I love Bob Mills Gluten free baking flour or Pillsbury Gluten-free baking powder. 

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour an 8-inch square baking pan. Chop the 4 ounces of semi sweet chocolate bars into 1″ pieces. In the top of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl over barely simmering water, melt the 4 chopped chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Stir the brown sugar and vanilla into the chocolate mixture. Add the eggs and mix well. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly fold the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture, mixing well until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 -35  minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into 2-inch squares.

This recipe is gluten free, gluten-free flour can take a little more time to bake. It usually takes about 33 minutes on these. 


  • Campari Stuffed with Tuscan White Beans with a balsamic glaze


Ode to Chocolate Cake! Chocolate Pecan Ganache Cake with Chocolate Butter Cream Cheese frosting

Organic Chocolate Pecan Ganache Cake with Chocolate Butter Cream Cheese frosting[/caption]

So sometimes I get a craving for Chocolate! Ladies and Gents do you know what a girl is talking about! Last night the craving it hit a sista really hard.  I love too cook but baking is not my expertise. However, when a girl needs to do what she needs to do, it is on and popping.  Okay the Ganache and Pecans came after we ate half of the cake. LOL

Here’s to CHOCOLATE!! AND a few NUTS!! 🙂

This recipe was inspired by my southern mama, she always started every recipe with these words. “Lisa, first you need two sticks of butter.” So this is not for the faint of heart or tummy. This is just straight out , “Girl you put your foot in that”. LOL

Organic Chocolate Pecan Ganache Cake with a Chocolate buttercream frosting


2 tsp of unsweetened organic cocoa powder ( for dusting baking pans)

2 cups of organic flour

3/4 cups unsweetened organic cocoa powder

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp sea salt

2 cups organic cane sugar

2 sticks of organic butter, softened ( 1 cup ) and enough to grease baking pans

4 organic eggs

1 cup organic vanilla almond milk

1 tbsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp of organic sour cream


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease with butter two 9 inch round pans dust pan with 2 teaspoons cocoa powder or as needed.
  2. Whisk flour, 3/4 cup cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Mix sugar and soften butter in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Beat eggs into sugar and butter, one at a time, blending in the first egg before you add the second one. Slowly mix in the milk, vanilla extract  into sugar mixture until smooth and incorporated.
  3. Reduce mixer speed to low and gently mix flour mixture into wet ingredients. Stir sour cream into batter. Pour into prepared baking pans, evenly.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean about 40 minutes.

Chocolate Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

1 1/2 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese, softened

4 tbsp. organic almond milk

4 cups  organic confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup butter, softened

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup of organic cocoa powder

pinch of sea salt

In a bowl beat together the cream cheese, 3 tbsp of almond milk, confectioner’s sugar, butter, vanilla, cocoa powder and sea salt into a spreadable consistency.  Add the other tbsp of milk if needed.  Spread over completely cooled cakes. Remove the first cake onto cake dish, spread frosting on top of the first cake evenly. Add the other cake onto and spread the rest of the frosting over the entire cakes. Add cooled chocolate ganache and pecans if desired.

Chocolate Ganache

4 oz of chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup organic almond milk

Easy version
Place chocolate chips or pieces in a large bowl. Heat almond milk on medium high until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and immediately pour cream over chocolate and stir until completely mixed and glossy. Allow ganache to cool before spreading over the cake.  Best result is the allow the cake to set first before adding the ganache. You do not want the frosting to get warm.  I allowed my cake to set in the fridge over night and then I added the cooled ganache and pecans.