Tu-Lu’s Gluten-Free Bakery, NYC and My Secret Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

I recently had the pleasure to sit down with Tully, the proud owner of the fabulous Tu-Lu’s Bakery here in Manhattan.  Like me, Tully is gluten-intolerant, as well.  Tully graduated from Le Courdon Bleu school in Texas and enjoys creating her own mix of gluten free baked goods. I love Tully’s treats because she offers a vast array of gluten-free and vegan treats that are incredibly tasty.

Me and Tully at Tu-Lu’s Gluten-Free Bakery, NYC

How did you come up with the idea for Tu-Lu’s Bakery?

I had been cooking professionally for about 4 years at catering companies in NYC. I left my job and enrolled in NYU’s Food Studies masters program. While taking a food entrepreneur class, I came up with my business plan to start a wholesale gluten-free company. After being 3 months in business, I quickly decided that I wanted to open a retail shop to sell my baked goods fresh and be able to interact with my customers.

Tell me about your typical day at Tu-Lu’s Bakery.

I think people have the misconception that my day is spent in the bakery. I actually spend most of my time in the office! Placing orders, emailing, dealing with payroll, paying bills, etc. take up most of my time. The best moments are playing with new recipes and talking to customers.

What is your favorite gluten-free dessert?

A Chocolate soufflé.

What is your favorite gluten-free meal to cook?

Parmesan polenta with roasted chicken and oyster mushrooms.

What is your favorite New York City restaurant?

It’s so hard to choose one! From fancy to casual, my picks are Eleven Madison Park, Little Owl, and Caracas Arepa Bar.

What is one kitchen tool that you couldn’t live without?

A microplane.

What do you see in the future for Tu-Lu’s Bakery?

I would love to expand the online ordering to include many of our other treats and perhaps cupcakes.

Describe your kitchen at home.

TINY! It’s crammed with all sort of cooking ingredients and gadgets. I’m thankful I have a dishwasher though.

Even though you are a famous baker, do you consider yourself to be more of a cook or a baker at home?

Well…I wouldn’t call myself famous! I am definitely a cook. I did not go to culinary school to specialize in pastry, but when I went gluten-free all I wanted was baked goods. That’s how it all started.

What is your best kitchen advice?

Prep all your ingredients (chopping, grating, etc.) before you being so you complete the recipe quickly and correctly.

What inspires your baking?

I try to think of what people miss eating the most. We just came up with a delicious peppermint chocolate cookie that resemble another cookie whose name I won’t mention. I hope that people will be thrilled to find treats in my bakery that they used to love!

Did you always have a passion for food growing up as a child and throughout your adolescence?

Growing up I loved being in the kitchen with my mom and taking cooking lessons. I’ve always read cookbooks like novels.

What is always in your pantry?

Olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, agave, sliced almonds, dried cherries, polenta, brown rice pasta…and so much more. Remember? I have a small kitchen that is about to burst!

Desert island cookbook?

Any of the Barefoot Contessa books. I love the simplicity of her cooking.


The next time you find yourself in the East Village of Manhattan, stop into Tu-Lu’s Bakery and taste Tully’s delicious baked goods…my favorite are the chocolate chip cookies and dark chocolate brownies..they’re quite delish and by far the best freshly baked gluten-free treats I’ve come across here in Manhattan.

And, to go along with the ‘Gluten-Free Bakery’ theme of today’s post, I thought I’d share my secret Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookie recipe with all of you…Enjoy!

The Healthy Apple’s Secret Gluten Free Peanut Butter Nibbles

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. gluten-free vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/4 tsp. ground flax seeds
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Optional: Pinch of Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. organic smooth peanut butter

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Beat egg, sugar, baking soda, almond extract, vanilla extract, salt and cinnamon on medium-low speed with an electric mixer.
  • Slowly add in peanut butter.
  • Spoon teaspoon sized amounts onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper.
  • Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and transfer to wire rack for cooling.
  • Enjoy!

Emmer-Flour Zucchini Cakes

Ingredients

  • 3 large zucchini, grated
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 large eggs, whisked
  • 1/4 avocado, mashed
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 4 Tbsp. emmer flour
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • Sea Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Topping: Greek plain yogurt

Directions

  • In a large bowl, combine zucchini, onion and garlic.  Add eggs and avocado; mix well.  Slowly add remaining ingredients; mix until combined.
  • Heat a large pan over medium heat with nonstick cooking spray.  Using a ladle, pour batter onto hot pan making a pancake shape. Reduce heat and flip to ensure each side is golden brown and fully cooked.
  • Transfer to a serving platter.  Serve hot.
  • Enjoy and top with a dollop of Greek plain yogurt.

Today, March 2nd thru next Tuesday, March 9th I am hosting a 15% discount on my Belle Fleur- Jasmine Verbena Candle in my Open Sky Shop.

Enter the code: 15belle upon check-out to redeem this magnificent candle that I light every evening while making dinner in my kitchen.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Here is a fabulous recipe that I baked last night for a flourless chocolate cake.  It was incredibly delicious and I loved the taste of the macadamia and hazelnuts…they added the perfect touch.  And of course, this recipe would not be the same without my favorite, most delicious eggs from Eggland’s Best. What are you waiting for? Whip up this tasty cake for a special treat tonight…I assure you…your taste buds will be thanking you.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole macadamia nuts
  • 1 cup whole hazelnuts
  • 4 Eggland’s Best eggs
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 6 Tbsp. cocoa
  • 2 Tbsp. stevia
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • Topping: Greek plain yogurt or dairy-free ice cream
  • Topping: Fresh mint leaves

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a spring-form pan with baking spray, then line with parchment paper.
  • In a food processor, combine nuts; process to meal-like texture.
  • Add remaining ingredients and continue to pulse for another minute.  Scrape sides of the bowl and process another 20 seconds.
  • Transfer batter into prepared pan.  Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool for 20 minutes before cutting around the edges to loosen the cake.  Release pan sides and parchment paper.
  • Serve and top with a dollop of dairy-free ice cream or Greek plain yogurt and a fresh mint leaf.
  • Enjoy!

Gingerbread Cookies

How adorable are these cute little gingerbread men and women? I couldn’t resist…as with every year I have to make my special gingerbread people.  It’s a fun, festive ritual that I take part in and enjoy every second of the process from grading cutting shapes with my cookie cutters to decorating the clothes and features on the gingerbread people.  Here is a wonderfully delicious gingerbread recipe that will surely compliment your gingerbread house this season.

I was so excited to make these gingerbread guys and gals because I used two of my new Open Sky products, my Winco Aluminum Rolling Pin, which was fabulous and created an even and smooth surface for my cookie cutters and my Copper Bowl, which was perfect for mixing my ingredients to create the gingerbread dough.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • ½ tsp. cloves
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. wheat germ
  • ¼ cup ground flax seeds
  • 1 stick butter, unsalted and softened
  • 1 tsp. honey or agave nectar
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1 cup sugar or stevia
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat several baking sheets with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl combine whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, flax seeds, wheat germ and salt; mix well. Beat butter, honey, oil and sugar in another large bowl with an electric mixer until it forms a creamy texture.
  • Add egg, molasses and balsamic vinegar; beat until combined. Add the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  • Divide the dough into 4 equal portions, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours or overnight.
  • On a floured surface, roll each portion separately to create a 1/4 inch thickness. Cut cookies using cookie festive cutters. Combine scraps and roll dough again to make additional cookies.
  • Place cookies on baking sheets.
  • Bake the cookies, about 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  • Decorate with icing and personalize each gingerbread man and woman.

In The News…

95% Celiac Disease Sufferers Go Undiagnosed

Companies Fall Short in Advertising Health Foods To Children

2010 Predicted Food Trends

Coffee and Tea May Lower Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Try a One Size Fits All Dinner for Vegetarians and Meat Eaters

Chef Creates Healthy Pizza

Scrumptious Sage Stuffing

You simply cannot go wrong with a gluten-free bread stuffing, especially when its enlivened with fresh sage, white balsamic vinegar and dried cherries. Chunks of bread, golden and crisp on top, soak up turkey stock and buttery juices from the sautéed onions and celery.


Ingredients

  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 1 ripened avocado, mashed
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 6 cups gluten-free bread, chopped into cubes
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. sage, chopped
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped
  • Sea salt and crushed white pepper, to taste

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.  Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  • Over medium heat, cook onion and celery in a large skillet with olive oil, salt and pepper; stirring occasionally, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Transfer to a bowl and toss with bread cubes, dried cherries, white balsamic vinegar, mashed avocado, celery leaves, and sage.  Set aside to cool for five minutes.
  • Whisk together vegetable broth and egg in a large bowl.  Gently toss with bread mixture until absorbed.
  • Transfer to baking dish and bake, covered with foil for about 45 minutes.

In The News This Week…

Sodium Reduction- A Top Trend

Relaxation Snacks- A Trend for 2010

Whole Foods Endorses Healthy Lunches

Pumpkin Bran Cookies

pu

Earlier this week I was in the mood for some serious pumpkin…it must be the fall foliage and autumn breeze that spark my yearning for harvest foods.  These are the days when Central Park is remarkably beautiful; the leaves turning beautiful shades of auburn and rust…reminds me of pumpkins and produce-packed cornucopias.  It’s hard to believe Thanksgiving is next month, although we still have time to enjoy these October days I’m eager to whip up new tasty seasonal recipes.  And what better ingredient to use than good ‘ol pumpkin?

For this particular recipe I used canned pumpkin, which can easily be found in your food store.  Be sure not to purchase ‘Pumpkin Pie Mix’ because the can looks quite similar to regular ‘Pumpkin’.  I always reach for Libby’s canned pumpkin as it has a delectable taste and is incredibly delicious eaten directly out of the can (Yes, you caught me…I have been known to scoop a few spoonfuls of Libby’s right into my mouth).  In this case, try not to eat all of the pumpkin as you’ll need 1/3 cup for the recipe.  I do recommend, however, purchasing another can of Libby’s pumpkin as it is incredibly inexpensive and is wonderful when mixed with a dollop of Greek yogurt and cinnamon for a tasty treat.

I have yet to test this recipe with fresh pumpkin, however, I will be experimenting soon and I’ll be sure to fill you in on the recipe.  For this particular case, canned pumpkin is a perfect option for a quick and easy way to create these healthy treats.  When I’m short on time, but desire flavor I reach for canned pumpkin and it always does the trick.

As for the bran crumbs, they can also be found in your food store…just take a peak down the baking aisle and you’ll be amazed to see numerous boxes, all of which are perfect suited for this delectable recipe. Bran crumbs are a fantastic way to enrich your recipes with a hearty crunch and a dose of heart-healthy fiber.

Not only are these cookies incredibly tasty, but they’re chock full of fiber and pack scores of beta carotene, as well.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
  • 1/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 egg (or egg substitute)
  • 1/2 cup rice milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup butter (or butter substitute), melted
  • 2 cups bran crumbs or (stale bread mashed into crumbs)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp. dried basil

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Sift together dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Combine wet ingredients, then add to dry mixture.
  • Slowly add melted butter and bran crumbs; mix well until it forms a cookie dough consistency.
  • Drop teaspoon sized spoonfuls of cookie dough onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until done.

There are ways to enjoy these fiber-ific pumpkin cookies.  Here are some of my favorites:

  • Pumpkin Cookies crumbled and sprinkled atop morning oatmeal, Greek yogurt and fruit parfait, applesauce or whipped banana pudding.
  • Frozen Greek yogurt sandwiched between 2 Pumpkin Cookies, then rolled in chopped nuts to make ‘Flying Saucers’.
  • Add soft baked Pumpkin Cookies (cut into quarters) to your trail mix or popcorn for a harvest taste.

What is your favorite way to enjoy fiber-rich cookies?

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Continuing with my fall harvest theme, I have created a delectable Pumpkin Bread Pudding that will knock your socks off, leaving your taste buds yearning for more.  I was excited to use a fresh loaf of Nature’s Pride Soft 100% Whole Wheat bread, which has an incredible consistency and is perfectly suited for bread pudding.  Thanks to the pumpkin, whole wheat and ground flax, this tasty treat packs a healthy dose of beta carotene, whole grains and fiber.

pumpkin

Ingredients

  • 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
  • 1 can can canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 5 slices of Nature’s Pride Soft 100% Whole Wheat bread, cut into cube-like pieces
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, finely chopped in food processor
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • Dash of sea salt
  • Plain Greek yogurt, for topping
  • Ground flax seeds, for topping
  • Handful of fresh mint, for topping

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, combine egg yolks, pumpkin, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Slowly add in milk; mix well.
  • Fold in Nature’s Path Soft 100% Whole Wheat bread cube piece, chopped macadamia nuts and dried cherries.
  • In a small bowl, beat egg whites until peaks form.
  • Slowly fold egg whites into the bread mixture.
  • Transfer into a baking dish.
  • Bake for 45 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
  • Serve warm with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, fresh mint and a sprinkle of ground flax seeds.
  • Enjoy.