While I don’t have an extensive list of gluten-filled items that I miss, I really miss JoeJoes from Trader Joes. The Candy Cane version offered during the holidays are so delicious and the vanilla bean filling in the everyday version elevates the typical sandwich cookie to a whole new level. I’ve tried several varieties of gluten-free chocolate sandwich cookies and none of them had quite the right flavor. I was holding out hope that an alternative would become available…
Along comes Gluten Free Girl with another amazing recipe! This week there’s no recipe from me, only this link to the Gluten Free Girl’s recipe. It worked like a charm. Here are the tiny changes I made:
Vanilla replaced with Vanilla Bean Paste (I like the speckles in the filling)
Crushed peppermint candies added to half of the filling to recreate the Candy Cane JoeJoes
In future batches of these cookies, I’ll use a touch of peppermint extract in addition to the candies. I like the crunch the crushed candies add to the filling, but a bit more peppermint flavor would have worked well.
This week’s Sweet Friend is Renee. I work out with Renee and recently saw her cross the finish line at her first half marathon. So exciting! Oreos were part of her training plan.
Renee is mom to two adorable kids. When I held a cupcake bake sale earlier this year, Renee ordered cupcakes and shared this adorable photo of her daughter eating one of the cupcakes. So cute!
Here’s what I want to share about Renee and her cupcake-eating kids–she allows them to indulge in sweets but also encourages them to eat healthy. We chatted at the gym last week about San Francisco’s move to eliminate toys from unhealthy kid’s meals. Renee pointed out that kids will often pick a healthy option when given the choice. I love that she has given her kids those choices, yet still allows them to indulge occasionally. That balance seems like it would be hard to achieve to me.
Choosing which sweet to share with Renee was easy. While training for the half marathon, Renee was very open about the food cravings that came with so much running. On one long run day, as she ran up the hill toward home, she saw this:
Her family had sidewalk chalked, “OREOS” on the road with an arrow pointing home. Sometimes that is what it takes to finish the last mile strong, the promise of chocolate-y cookies with a yummy vanilla filling. Having a family that supports you in your fitness goals doesn’t hurt either. Renee and her family make me smile.