Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Crumble Peanut Butter Mousse Parfaits for #SundaySupper

Semi-serious writer’s note: I am currently struggling through a prolonged, increasingly aggravated case of carpal tunnel onset. While I’m doing my best to keep this blog running in the meantime, if I don’t reply right away to your comments or leave comments on your blog, don’t think I don’t care–I do! It’s just this silly problem, so I’ll get back to you as I can :) thanks for reading!

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My first time on a red carpet was at my friend’s Netflix celebration, which took place at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles a few months ago. Sparkly gowns, diamond necklaces, stilettos: the whole shebang.

In my too-big white dress from the clearance rack at Ross, I fit in as well as a dairy cow at a dog show. A big fat one, too.

While it would be awesome to say that I’m completely at home on the red carpet, at big celebrity gigs, or attending all the other events that come along with the entertainment industry, I’m all too happy to sit here at my computer on a slow Saturday night. Black leggings, an oversized swim sweater, and messy hair that hasn’t met a brush in three days–that’s my kind of weekend in a nutshell.

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Of course, networking and big parties play a big part in the entertainment world, which is why I’m slowly working my way up to the big screens. Last week, I made my first TV appearance (!!) on The Price is Right. My family even recorded the episode so I could come home and watch for myself with them. My friends and I appeared a grand total of four times.

…Okay, I actually only made it on three times, since they seated me right at the very edge of the room and the panning camera didn’t even bother with my little dairy cow corner.

Moo. (Then again, one of the shots also showed one of my friends asleep on national television, so I felt slightly less bad about it afterward.)

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The only other times I’ve been in the presence of supernaturally good-looking people endowed with a top rung on the hierarchy of popular culture celebrities, the encounters have been fairly anticlimactic. On my list to date, I’ve met or seen/spoken to in close quarters: Morgan Freeman, Kim Jeong, Drew Carey, the cast of Expelled, half of the Netflix shows’ stars, and Kit Harrington.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m always excited to meet someone famous–more for the experience than anything else. But I find that I’m ten times more nervous about meeting with my boss than I am with that (admittedly attractive) B-list star from the latest dystopia/YA fantasy movie.

In a way, this realization is oddly reassuring. I guess somewhere along the line I actually did outgrow my tween hormones and set my priorities straight.

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The only famous person who ever made me sweat bullets and nearly pee in my pants before I talked to her was the author of Ella Enchanted, Gail Carson Levine. Do you remember this book? I will never forget the first time I opened my Scholastic book bundle and found this iconic Newbery Honor Medal cover staring back up at me.

A few years ago, I was interning at a children’s literature agency in San Diego and when the summer ended, the agent invited all of us to attend his annual publishing world party in L.A. Naturally, I was excited–but imagine my near-hysterical state when he poked his head into my office the next week and said: “By the way, guess who’s coming as a plus-one to the event?”

I’m pretty sure his eardrums regretted the name that followed.

For the next three weeks, I sat in a state of increasingly nervous celebrity awe. I took to eating ice cream straight from the tub. I alternately averaged baking four batches of rocky road brownies a day and refusing to bake anything at all out of sheer nerves. It was terrifying. And awesome.

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I’ll admit it: I spent the first 2 hours of the party flitting around with the other interns and our agent’s assistant, craning my neck at all the names and faces I had only ever seen on paper but whose talent I revered (Jon Sciezka and Mac Barnett are the only ones I remember now). About 20 minutes into the game, I spotted Gail Carson Levine–I had made sure to Google Image search her face extensively before arriving–and promptly ducked behind a big pillar in the room. I spent the next hour and 40 minutes ducking around the venue, at a far enough distance to not seem too creepy and yet close enough to seem really, really creepy.

Well, as it turns out, my agent had a lot firmer head on his shoulders than I did. He accosted me as I was chatting with the director of Saved By the Bell and basically dragged me over to meet Gail once he heard that I hadn’t talked to her yet. He introduced me as his intern, told me I loved her books, and left us to chat.

I certainly was not the smooth charmer I am these days *cough*, but we managed to have a pretty decent conversation. I asked her some offhand questions about her life and how she came up with the idea for Ella Enchanted, and she rattled off some answers while fandangling the last grape popsicle from one of the passing waiters. (Like a good starstruck fan, I did not attempt to eat anything on a churning stomach.) I watched, fascinated and most certainly gaping, as this 80-some year old woman actually stuck her entire face under the popsicle to eat the last piece before it slipped off the stick and fell on the floor.

If I wasn’t a fan before, this moment did it. –> #fangirl4life. I guess there are some things in life you never really outgrow.

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Anyway, what are your celeb stories? Any fun ones to share? Let me know in the comments!

And of course, enjoy these amazing, easy-to-assemble Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Crumble Peanut Butter Mousse Layer Parfaits + all the other #SundaySupper recipes for a tasty Red Carpet Party this weekend.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Crumble Peanut Butter Mousse Parfaits

These chocolate chip cookie crumble parfaits are an allergy-free dream come true! Soy-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, corn-free, bean-free: plus, you can sub another type of "butter" to make this yummy dessert nut-free. The perfect way to accommodate everyone at your next red carpet (or other fun) event!


    For the gluten-free chocolate chip cookies Adapted from Alton Brown
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups brown rice flour (I used Bob's Red Mill
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons tapioca starch (you may also use cornstarch for version with corn)
  • 1 teaspoon ground flax seeds (can use xanthan gum)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups dairy-free semisweet chips
  • For the peanut butter mousse:
  • 2 cups peanut butter (or other nut butter--Nutella would also work!)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk (or other non-dairy milk), and more as needed


    For the gluten-free chocolate chip cookies Adapted from Alton Brown
  1. In a large bowl, cream together coconut oil and both sugars.
  2. Mix in egg, egg yolk, coconut milk, and vanilla extract.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together rice flour, tapioca starch, flax seeds, salt, and baking soda. Add to wet ingredients and stir in until just combined.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Cover and refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours before baking.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet and set aside.
  7. Scoop out 1-inch dough balls and place 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. (If your dough is crumbly, just shape it together as best as you can with your hands! Or if you're not planning to give these away as cookies--only in crumble form--just plot them onto the cookie sheet in one-inch blobs.)
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 9-11 minutes, until set and golden around the edges but still soft and chewy in the center. Allow to continue cooling on baking sheet for ten minutes. In the meantime, make your peanut butter "mousse"...
  9. For the peanut butter mousse:
  10. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients, adding more coconut milk as needed to achieve desired, creamy consistency.
  11. To assemble:
  12. Set out approximately 20 paper baking cups, using more or less as needed. Crumble half of your cookies to start with and fill 1/3 of each cup with the crumbs. Scoop a dollop of peanut butter mousse on top. Fill cups with remaining cookie crumbles--you can crumble more cookies as needed at this point. (If you prefer more PB taste and run out of mousse, just whip up another batch!)
  13. Serve up and enjoy at your next (red carpet) party!

Nominees for Best Supporting Appetizers:

Nominees for Best Course in a Leading Role:

Nominees for Best Supporting Sips:

Nominees for Best Delectable Desserts:


Nominees for Best Dressed Table:

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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Cookies

63 Responses to Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Crumble Peanut Butter Mousse Parfaits for #SundaySupper

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  14. Oh sweetie, hope your hands get better soon, that does not sound fun! What a great story about meeting your heroine – sounds like you handled it very well in the circumstances! Your cookie crumble parfaits, by the way, look absolutely gorgeous! You are a ‘free-from’ magician!

    • Thanks so much, Katy!! I’m still wearing braces but keeping my stiff fingers crossed :) and I’m just glad I didn’t trip and fall flat on my face in front of her, to be honest. Have a lovely weekend!

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  19. So sorry to hear about your carpal tunnel pain :-( I had a mild case last year and it was hard to keep myself from using the computer and typing too much, it’s such an essential part of a blogger’s life! Hope it improves quickly :-)

    PS. This looks freeeekin’ amazing.

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  23. When I was a tad (in the 50s and 60s) you’d see parfaits all the time. It was one of my mother’s big company desserts. They they disappeared, but lately I’ve been seeing them again. Yours is unique! Really fun assortment of flavors and textures. Good stuff — thanks.

  24. Liz

    A chatty b-list actor took our seats in a food court in LAX’s international terminal in December. The kids got on IMDB immediately to figure out who he was. They knew him from Burn Notice and I my recollection was from an old sitcom. He was extremely nice. Congrats on going to a red carpet event. I’m certain you looked adorable!!
    P.S. your pb parfaits sound marvelous, Ala!!!

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  26. These are so much fun for a red carpet party, thanks for sharing!!

  27. I love your writing, Ala! You are so funny. Sorry to hear about your carpel tunnel problem. I hope you feel better soon. Your parfaits look so yummy!

  28. Fun post to hear about your trip down the red carpet and celebrity encounters.

  29. First I hope your carpel tunnel feels better soon. It’s always something, isn’t it? Now, I’m totally jealous of your red carpet events. That is my dream, to be a part of that world, to go to events. I work toward that goal every day. I have clothes and shoes . . . I just need the invite. Let’s see … I’ve met Regis Philbin three times (he told me I looked like Taylor Swift – I almost DIED! So cool!), all of the Detroit Lions, some local news anchors, and almost shook hands with Pink during a concert. I need to improve my list ;)

    • Aw, thanks, Laura! And yes, the big entertainment world is totally crazy out there. That’s awesome how many celebs you’ve met though! Sounds like you have a great list already–here’s to loads more!!

  30. I absolutely love everything about this recipe. It looks amazing!

  31. Congratulations on your Price is Right triple appearance, Ala. I completely agree that meeting the author of Ella Enchanted far outshines any bumping into minor celebs. Sorry about your carpal…Have you tried acupuncture? I’ve been offered surgery twice in my life for carpal but each time was saved by acupuncture. Just a thought =)

    Now on to winning desserts like your scrumptious creation…Don’t think I will pontificate but just say yummmmmy! And thank you for sharing the how-to =)

    • Haha “appearance”–thanks! I’m totally considering acupuncture, by the way…but at the moment, it’s unfortunately out of my price range. I’m SO glad to hear it worked for you, though! That’s excellent!! At least I know now that there’s still hope :)

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  36. Great recipe this week! Happy award show viewing. Feel better soon.

  37. The Price is Right is my dream! As is eating any kind of dessert that combines peanut butter and chocolate!

  38. I am so glad I saved your post for this morning. I started my day off with a belly laugh. Thank you.

  39. I wish I had half as cool of celeb stories as you! The Price is Right is just too cool!! Hahha! Love this mousse parfait….everything about it screams delicious combinations!

  40. Hey Ala, I’m sorry to hear about the carpal tunnel! That sucks, especially since you need your hands/wrists to type out all of those papers and assignments, not to mention the baking for the blog and for your Etsy page! I hope it’s not too bad and that it heals soon. I’m on the computer so much that I have wicked knots all through my forearms and my right wrist burns every night. Sigh. Not fun. What IS fun are all the celebrity encounters you’ve had! I’ve never met anyone famous. I can’t believe you were on the Price is Right! We need to see some screen shots, woman! I’m loving this gluten free chocolate chip cookie crumble peanut butter mousse parfaits (whew, what a delicious mouthful!). It sounds decadently delicious!

    • Ooooh who would you want to meet if you did, then? And seriously, my friends are all getting screenshots and I’m just here trying to avoid my computer like the plague :( darn wrists. Anyway, I hope you’re taking care these days–you’re going to get your celeb sighting super soon!!

  41. Ala, oh my gawd, what a fun post!!! so many stories!! wow, and you have some great ones! I would have loved to have seen that too-big white dress from the clearance rack at Ross!! no pics?! love these peanut butter mousse parfaits!! and I seriously feel for you sister regarding the carpal tunnel. I, too, suffer from it from time to time. I’m sure you know, but google exercises you can do at home. . I NEED to get a proper work desk at home!! it’s terrible!

    • Aww as always, you’re so sweet, Alice! I totally had pics but I think I left them elsewhere :( but at any rate, it was still a super good time! I hope your wrists are feeling better. Wrist pain is the worst! I’m totally starting to Google some exercises too, hopefully the doctor and OT can help though! You don’t have a work desk?! Oh noooo, please do invest! My standing desk is the only thing that keeps me going sometimes!

  42. Thanks for sharing your red carpet worthy stories and this delicious dessert!

  43. Wow! What a marvelous treat and a wonderful post to go with it.

  44. Mmm! These have EVERYTHING I love in them!

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