Gluten-Free Easter Treats

I was planning to make Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting for Easter again this year, and when I saw these no-bake Easter treats, I wanted to make these too.   I was converting the Cupcake Recipe to gluten-free this year, so I was nervous about the results.  They actually turned out pretty well – though they were a little flat and dense.  My favorite out of all of the treats were the Crisped Rice Treats – the side dipped in chocolate was amazing.  

I totally forgot to buy cupcake wrappers and didn’t have any, so they looked a little naked. 


Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting
Adapted from this Bon Appetit recipe
Make approx. 16

Cupcakes:
1 1/4 cups gluten-free flour (I used Jules All-Purpose with xanthum gum added)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 very ripe large bananas, peeled
3/4 cup sour cream or greek yogurt (lite works fine)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg, plus 1 egg yolk

Frosting:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (more or less to preferred consistency)
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature (I used neufchatel)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
mini candy coated chocolate eggs, like Cadbury or Hershey
 
For cupcakes:
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Mash bananas with fork in another medium bowl until smooth. Mix sour cream and vanilla into bananas.
Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and egg yolk and beat until well blended. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with banana-sour cream mixture in 2 additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture and beating just until blended after each addition. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups (generous 1/4 cup for each).
Bake cupcakes until tester inserted into center of each comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to rack and let cool completely.
For frosting:
Sift powdered sugar into large bowl. Add cream cheese, butter, and peanut butter. Using electric mixer, beat mixture until smooth. If it’s too thin, you can stir in more sifted powdered sugar until you get the right consistency.  If you use 1/3 less fat cream cheese, you may need extra powdered sugar.  You’ll want it to be able to hold a little shape if you intend to make it look like a nest with the eggs.  Spread frosting over top of cupcakes, dividing equally.  
 
I tried to make mine look like nests by spreading the icing on with a knife and randomly pulling the knife up off of the frosting (does that even make sense?) to create peaks.  If you want to make the frosting look even more like a nest, stir in some coconut so it looks like straw.  Place the mini candy eggs in the “nest” of frosting before serving.  If you are going to store these for more than a couple of hours, add the eggs at the last minute because the shell get a little soggy and weird.

Chocolate Dipped Crispy Rice Eggs

1/4 cup butter
40 large marshmallows (5 cups mini or 250g)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
6 cups crispy rice cereal (I used GF Koala Crisp)
Chocolate for dipping
sprinkles or crushed m&m;’s

Melt butter and marshmallows over low heat. Stir in vanilla. Remove from heat and add cereal. Stir until equally incorporated.
Using a greased 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop out some of the mixture and form into an egg. Set aside and repeat until all of the mixture has been used up.  Dampen hands occasionally to keep from sticking.
Melt chocolate.
Dip the tops into chocolate, then into sprinkles or crushed candy.  Store covered at room temperature for up to two days. Freeze for longer storage.

Peanut Butter No-Bake Nests 
(I halved this recipe and it made around 24)

2 cups sugar
1/4 cup margarine

1/2 cup milk

1 cup peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups gluten free rolled oats (old fashioned)

coconut, if desired
m&m;’s for “eggs”

Lightly grease a mini muffin tin.  In lg saucepan, mix sugar, margarine, and milk; bring to a full, rolling boil over med heat. (full, rolling boil = large bubbles rising to surface that can’t be stirred down).
Boil for one minute, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla, stirring until peanut butter is melted; stir in oats.  Scoop spoonfuls of the mixture into mini muffin tins.  Use a spoon to create a divot for the nest – you can also use your thumb if it’s cool enough. 
Stick in the freezer for 20 minutes or so.  In order to get these out of the muffin tin, I had to slide a toothpick down the side of the each tin to pop out the nests.  I used a dab of leftover peanut butter frosting to “hold” the coconut and m&m;’s in the nest so they wouldn’t spill during transport, but it probably isn’t necessary. 
 

 

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