Double Chocolate Cookie Cups {dairy + gluten free} and a SWEET giveaway!!

What is it about the month of February and Valentine's Day that always seems to sneak up on me? Maybe it's the too short break after all of the holidays before that gives me just enough time to pause and take a breath, then suddenly Valentine's Day is here. We don't make a very big deal about V-day around here. I always pick up a stuffed animal and maybe some (safe) chocolate for the boys, but besides the celebrating at school it flies by fairly quickly. 

Because of the chaos that is our life in February, I always like to come up with creative treat ideas. Due to our food restrictions, we cannot just head to the store and pick out festive sugar cookies or other fun, pre-made treats. Coming up with something I can easily throw together is part of the fun! That is where these Double Chocolate Cookie Cups came from.  

Double Chocolate Cookie Cups {dairy + gluten free} from Making it Milk-free

Wandering the aisles of my local grocery store on my lunch break one day (because yes, that is in fact my idea of fun "me time"), I found this Cake Mate Coffee House Icing in the baking aisle. It contains soy ingredients, but is dairy-free and there are a few delicious looking and sounding flavors, including this Creamy Coffee and a Mocha variety. Now, I believe this just contains coffee flavoring (not actual coffee and the caffeine that comes with it) and my seven-year old loved it. If you're making this dessert for kids for a school treat or something, you may want to go with a different flavor. Homemade, dairy-free buttercream is not difficult, but I wanted to try this as it looked like a fun and quick alternative. 

You could definitely make a from-scratch cookie recipe for this as well, but I used a box mix that is a go-to here at our house. While I love cooking, baking, and recipe-creation, sometimes I just like to have easy mixes on hand that I can throw together at the last minute and not stress about whether they'll turn out or not.

Double Chocolate Cookie Cups {dairy + gluten free}

  • 1 box double chocolate chip cookie mix (I like the versions from Aldi's LiveGfree line and Immaculate Baking Company's mix, but there are plenty of other varieties out there also)
  • 1 can frosting in your desired flavor
  • festive sprinkles in
Follow the directions on your boxed cookie mix to make the cookie batter. Spray a mini muffin pan with non-stick spray and scoop about 1 1/2 Tbsp of batter into each well. I like to use a medium-sized cookie scoop to do this step. Using the back of your scoop or a teaspoon, press down in the middle of each scoop to make a small well in the middle. This step should press the batter up the sides to create a cup shape.

Bake at the temperature indicated on your boxed mix. You may need to add a few extra minutes to the baking time since the cookie cups are thicker than an ordinary cookie. Mine baked for 18 minutes. Keep a close eye on the cookie cups to make sure they don't overbake and harden too much. 

Once baked through, remove the cookie cups from the oven and allow them to cool completely. When completely cooled, frost your cookie cups by filling the well with icing. Add sprinkles while icing is still wet. 

*The next time I make these, I'm going to fill the wells with a bit of raspberry jam and then top with the icing for a tart addition to these little sweets. 

I'm partnering up with a fabulous group of friends and gluten-free bloggers to bring you a fun "Sweets for your Sweets" Valentine's Day giveaway. You could win an incredible prize pack, including a KitchenAid 5-qt Artisan Design Series Stand Mixer with glass bowl in the color of your choice, plus we're throwing in a Stainless Bowl as well! Just enter through the widget below and be sure to visit the links below to find lots of delicious Love Day inspiration!

15 Sweets for Your Sweeties - Gluten-free recipes to share with your loved ones for Valentine's Day or anytime. Listed in the order they appear in the photo, left to right, row by row:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Creamy "Ranch" Pasta Salad {vegan + gluten free} and 21 Days Dairy Free!

After the holidays have passed, I always have great plans to eat healthier, quit all of the bad eating habits I developed from Halloween through New Year's, and maybe even lose some weight. While I've cut dairy from my diet on multiple occasions and felt immensely better than before, it always seems to be the hardest diet change for me to stick with unless it's out of necessity (like when I was nursing my firstborn and because of his milk allergy). I have had no problem cutting gluten for over three years, avoiding any fast food for a long time, and not drinking soda for almost three years.

While I've fallen off the no-soda-drinking wagon, the others are still no problem for me. But if I'm being honest with you (and with myself), I don't feel my best when I'm not keeping a handle on my eating habits. I can think of all of the excuses in the world ("I'm nursing so I need the extra calories," is my favorite one currently...) but I know that if I just commit to the change and focus on making a healthy diet a priority, I won't regret it. 

What is one of the key pieces to making a change and sticking with it? Having someone to hold you accountable, of course! My friends at So Delicious Dairy Free have created the So Delicious Dairy Free 21 Day Dairy-Free Challenge Group on Facebook to help those of us who need it find support and recipes on our quest to maintain a dairy-free diet. They are even giving away prizes such as gift cards, food kits, and a trip for 2 to Boulder, Colorado to meet with health and fitness expert John Pierre - who wouldn't love to win that?!

The 21-Day Dairy-Free Challenge with So Delicious begins January 21 and goes through February 10, 2016, but you can go ahead and join the Facebook group and get started now. What is so beneficial about going dairy-free? Here are the Top Reasons People Go Dairy Free. Also, over on Instagram, for every photo of a dairy-free meal or snack uploaded with #DairyFree4Good during the official challenge dates, So Delicious Dairy Free will donate $1 to the Farm Sanctuary (up to $10,000; limit 3 entries per person per day).

Want more dairy-free recipe ideas? Download the Free Snackable eBook from Go Dairy Free for 25 Dairy-Free, Plant-Based, Gluten-Free Recipes to Inspire Healthy Eats for the Dairy-Free Challenge. It’s available for free on Kindle, iTunes, Kobo, and via PDF. You will also find plenty of delicious ideas to stay satisfied on your dairy-free journey with Recipes from So Delicious Dairy FreeRecipes from Go Dairy Free, and many more right here on Making it Milk-free like my Creamy "Ranch" Pasta Salad.

Creamy Ranch Pasta Salad {vegan + gluten free} from Making it Milk-free


Nog French Toast Bake {dairy + gluten free}

Updated December 27, 2015

I love making Christmas a special time for my boys. We do lots of activities on Christmas Eve, including sprinkling reindeer food outside, leaving our magic key for Santa to get into the house, and our Elf on the Shelf, Teddy always leaves them a special gift. Teddy didn't show up this year though. Apparently he knew that his shenanigans would be too stressful for us with a new baby in the house or something. ;) 

In the past I've always made pancakes or coffee cake for breakfast on Christmas morning, and felt rushed to prepare and bake that early while the gift-unwrapping is occurring. A couple of years ago, I decided to make something for breakfast in advance so that I could just pop it in the oven first thing and enjoy the rest of the morning with the boys rather than standing over the stove the whole time.  

Nog French Toast Bake {dairy + gluten free} from Making it Milk-free


Winter Wonderland Holiday House {dairy+egg free}

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HoneyMaidHouse #CollectiveBias

Christmastime is full of traditions, whether new or old. Mason and I have a tradition that we started when he was just a year old. Every year around his birthday in early December, we create a "gingerbread house." Because of food allergies, we always have to be careful with the ingredients we choose for the house and decor. Honey Maid graham crackers have always been our item of choice to build the house from because they don't contain milk. Another bonus? Mom doesn't have to spend time baking safe gingerbread and cutting the pieces out because the graham crackers are ready to go!

Winter Wonderland Holiday House | Making it Milk-free


Cranberry Bliss Oatmeal Cookies {dairy + gluten free} + $50 Amazon gift card giveaway!

Now that I've discovered an awesome dairy-free white chocolate, it is my goal to create as many amazing holiday treats using it as possible each year. For some reason white chocolate makes me think of the holidays. Also, oatmeal cookies are one of my absolute favorites, so it's a win-win!

Cranberry Bliss Oatmeal Cookies {dairy + gluten free} from Making it Milk-free

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