'Tis the season for all things PEPPERMINT!
I couldn't resist sharing this recipe because it is super easy, super tasty, and super festive. Super!
"Why is it gluten-free?", you may ask. Ah well, without delving into too long of a story, my oldest son was born with severe eczema and allergies. All these years we treat the symptoms with ointments and lotions, and prescription medicines. Recently though he started getting severe chest pains, and soon after was diagnosed with acid reflux. That ailment I could relate to, and boy, it is no picnic. We started cutting out all the foods you would if you have acid reflux, and saw no big improvement. That's when I decided to try gluten-free and see if he improved.
Why did I decide to do that?
Well, I had already familiarized myself with gluten-free foods because my step-dad was "recently" diagnosed with the allergy. I had even offered up the occasional gluten-free goodie at the farmers market. In my research, I came across the correlation between the gluten allergy and eczema and acid reflux. In a kind of a "no-brainer" moment, I decided that it doesn't hurt to see if it helps by cutting the gluten out!
I'm certainly NO EXPERT, and that is a disclaimer! We've talked with our son's allergist and doctor about this diet and he has not been diagnosed with Celiac's Disease or a gluten-intolerance. The suggestion was, try the diet, and if it helps then stick with it.
Now, while our son would never say he likes being gluten-free (because he doesn't) he will admit he feels a lot better. No more upset stomachs and quick trips to the bathroom. No getting up at night complaining of chest pains. No more prescription reflux medicine. And no more nasty, itchy red spots all over his skin. So right now we're sticking with it. I try to make the diet easier by making the occasional treat, like this Peppermint Poke Cake, which can easily be made Not-Gluten-Free!
Make this holiday, pepperminty, moist Poke Cake, with or without the gluten, and you'll have some happy campers either way!
Peppermint Poke Cake
adapted from Something Swanky
-1 box Gluten-free Chocolate Cake Mix (I used King Arthur brand)
Prepare the cake mix according to directions on box. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan, and bake as indicated. I baked my cake for 28 minutes.
-1, 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
-1 1/4 c. peppermint mocha coffee creamer, divided (I used International Delights)
-1, 15 oz. bottle of York Peppermint Sundae Syrup
-12 oz. container Cool Whip
-6 Glutino chocolate creme sandwiches, crushed (like Oreos)
-Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips
Once you've removed the cake from the oven, let it cool on a wire rack. When pan is cool enough to touch and it feels just slightly warm on bottom, use the back of a wooden spoon and poke holes throughout the entire top of cake. I also like to use a serving fork to poke smaller holes around cake.
In a medium bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk and 1 cup of the peppermint mocha creamer. Pour slowly and evenly over the cake allowing the milk mix to soak down into the holes of the cake.
In a small bowl, mix peppermint sundae syrup with 1/4 cup of the peppermint mocha creamer. Spread evenly over the top of the cake.
Dollop the top of the cake with the 12 oz. of Cool whip, using a spatula to spread evenly. Sprinkle with crushed cookies and Andes peppermint chips.
Return to fridge to let the cake cool completely and soak up all the pepperminty goodness for at least 2 hours. 4-6 hours if you can manage.
Cut cake and serve to all your loved ones! Trust me when I say, they won't notice it's gluten-free!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to ALL!
P.S.- The blog will NOT be going gluten-free! You may see the occasional "G-free" item. If you are gluten-free, I'm new at this, and if you see an error and think my item is not gluten-free, please let me know! I try hard and I read all labels and often double check myself. Just because it's gluten-free does not make it healthy, as you can see in this recipe! You can catch some other gluten-free recipes on my G-Free board on Pinterest!