we had brian’s parents over last weekend for dinner, mostly as a thank you for all they’ve done to help us move in. my parents had their turn the weekend before, so don’t feel badly for them! we have a grill now, which has already proven itself to be worth it’s weight in gold. we got a simple weber charcoal grill. we love the flavor of charcoal, and i can’t wait to get a smoking box for it. brian’s mom gifted us with a few toys for the grill: a vegetable basket and some nice long-handled grilling tools. so of course we had to grill their “thank you dinner”.

~a side note~ i wanted to give one last big thank you to brian’s and my parents for the ridiculously huge amount of help they’ve given us with moving into our new home. we couldn’t do it without you guys!

i made bacon-wrapped scallops, which brian and his dad grilled to perfection. the bacon was crispy, and the outer crust of the scallops were lightly charred while the inside was still soft and buttery. we had roasted fingerling potatoes with lemon zest and a salad of green beans and yellow zucchini with caesar dressing and pecorino. last week i discovered my hidden talent of whipping up a caesar dressing with no recipe, though i can roughly estimate the ingredient amounts:

roasted potatoes and warm caesar salad

caesar dressing:

1 egg yolk

1/8 cup olive oil

1/8 cup lemon juice

3 anchovy fillets

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 tbsp dijon mustard

1 tsp worcestershire sauce

s & p to taste

method: with immersion blender, puree all ingredients until completely liquid. pour over everything.

for desert, i made a clean version of hostess “zingers”. i’m not sure if you’ve ever had one of these (i haven’t had one in probably 20 years, or ever…) but they are a vanilla cake base filled with strawberry, and topped with marshmallow fluff and coconut. they are packed with horrible things that don’t even qualify as food, and the ingredient list scares the hell out of me. compared to the hostess brand, my zingers were spotless..

this version was obviously grain free. i used a recipe for jelly donut cupcakes from elana’s pantry, and the rest i winged. i filled them with strawberry jam instead of raspberry, topped them with strawberry jam and a thick dollop of whipped cream, and sprinkled them with coconut.

did they taste like zingers? i don’t know. like i said, it’s been a while. but they were amazing. so fluffy and light. they certainly rekindled my love affair with novelty desserts like this. these may look involved, but were fairly simple to make.

HINT: these would make a great father’s day treat.


fluffy, strawberry filled snowballs

ingredients for the cupcake batter:

3 eggs

1/2 cup applesauce (no sugar or crap added)

1/2 cup oil (i used olive)

1/2 cup honey

1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup coconut flour (sift it, please)

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

strawberry filling ingredients:

1/2 cup seedless strawberry jam

1 tbsp arrowroot powder

method: combine jam and arrowroot powder until completely dissolved. be sure there are no lumps or dusties lingering. set aside.

preheat oven to 350f and place racks in center of oven. prep muffin tin with paper liners- i use unbleached, non-stick papers. i’m sure whatever you use will be fine.

combine all dry ingredients in a bowl. i do this by sifting together. in a food processor, combine all wet ingredients until combined. be sure to scrape the bottom just in case any honey is sticking around down there on it’s own.

pour dry ingredients into processor with the wet and pulse until just combined. let it sit for 5 minutes or so.

spoon 2 tbsp batter into each cupcake paper, then 1 heaping tsp strawberry filling on top of the batter.

spoon one heaping tbsp batter on top of filling, being sure jam is completely covered. you don’t want any seepage.

bake for 30 minutes or so, until tops are golden brown. now, since you can’t test them with the toothpick test due to the filling, you’re going to think to yourself, “are these completely done?”. there is no easy answer to that question. just know that these suckers burn easily, and that they will set up a little after coming out of the oven.

once done, pull ’em out of the tins (GENTLY) and cool on a wire rack completely before topping, maybe 2 hours to be safe.

i topped them with another dollop of jam, then a huge thud of whipped cream, which i made, then sprinkling of coconut.

top these just before serving. they will not keep well frosted with whipped cream.

honey whipped cream

tasty mess

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

3 tbsp or so honey

1 tsp vanilla

method: whip with blender or by hand until fluffy. don’t overdo it or you’ll make butter. (delicious butter….) eat out of the bowl or use as frosting. this kept for 4 days in the fridge before i ate it all.


11 thoughts on “zingers

  1. I was there. Every menu item from the outdoor BBQ was delicious!! Leftover Zinger was sampled by Whitney Hare – yummy!!

  2. So, we are not gluten free–how do you think coconut flour acts differently in baking than unbleached white flour or whole wheat flour? Does it absorb about the same amount of liquid as WW? Love the fact that your recipes don’t use refined sugars, but can’t stand paying for alternative flours if I can modify this to work . . .might try it tonight. Thanks for the great stuff!

    • coconut flour will act very differently than wheat flours. the beauty of coconut flour is that while it is 9$ a bag, you typically need about 1/4 the amount that you would in a traditional recipe. so yes, it is more expensive, but you are using less. i’m sorry i can’t tell you how to modify into a more traditional recipe! i really don’t know how you would. if you do buy coconut flour, though, let us know how all of your tasty & nutritious treats turn out!
      thanks for stopping by!

    • thank you! i hope you do try it and let us know how it works out for you! looking forward to visiting your blog, as well!

  3. I made these for a coworker’s birthday today (the one who makes cakes for everyone else’s birthday in our office) and they were a total hit! People will not stop asking me for the recipe, and they were all totally stumped as to what went into the zingers. I think I need to make more to satisfy all my coworkers who feel gipped because they didn’t get one. And I love experimenting with almond meal and coconut flour, so this was really fun to make.

    • hooray for your success!
      i really enjoy this recipe, and though it may appear involved to some, i thought they were super fun to make!! it’s even more fun when people really appreciate the love you put into making something.
      did you get to try one too, or did everyone but you get to try them? (often the case!)
      thanks for the comment!

      • I managed to skimp and squeeze 13 out of the recipe, so I got one! Tonight I made the creamsicle sponge cake to take to some friends in a few days. Amazing texture you managed to pull off with the butter, eggs, coco. flour, and almond meal. Do you ever use ground flaxseed?

      • i hope your friends like the cake as much as i do!
        yes, i sometimes use flaxseed, but only ground flaxseed.
        i do use it sparingly because i find it.. *ahem..* difficult to digest at times. i do like to add it to quinoa breakfast cereal for a creamy texture, and sometimes to baked goods, like my banana nut bread.

  4. Pingback: valentine’s day recipe “round-up” « Eat the cookie!

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