Surprise! It’s me. 🙂 Yep, I’m blogging again…a year later! I took a break to do a little something called bhsmealplans.com (ebook coming soon!) and while it was a great year of creating, testing and perfecting recipes, I’m ready to get back to blogging!
I decided to give the ‘ole blog a fresh new look (thanks to my super talented and creative hubby) and even a new direction…HEALTHY desserts! It’s my true passion and pretty much the only type of sweet anything that happens in this house most likely contains chia seeds, some kind of nut butter and agave. 😀 Whereas I used to never run out of butter, refined sugar and all-purpose flour, I don’t even keep those things stocked!
I’m super excited about the new direction for Desserted Planet and started to think about what recipe I’d debut my new-ish blog with but instead of agonizing FOREVER about the recipe I wanted to use, I decided to just do one that I make ALOT around here and my kids LOVE–Chocolate Hummus!
It’s super easy, great for dessert OR breakfast (yes we totally eat it for breakfast) and just good. Really, really good! So here you go, hope you try it and find it as incredibly yummy as we do!
My friend Shana had raved many times about a little place in Branson, MO called Grandma Ruth’s that apparently has some of the BEST cinnamon rolls around. So the first opportunity I got, I high-tailed it down to Branson and stopped into this little hole in the wall cinnamon roll shop!
The first thing I noticed was the music coming from the room that had the table and chairs where people were eating their treats…it was live music! A guy with a guitar singing your typical country western tunes and he wasn’t bad! And there is nothing fancy about this place, just basic tables and chairs in one room and then you enter the next room and it’s the “kitchen” and counter where you place your order. It’s completely open so you can see all the baking happening and Grandma Ruth herself is sitting there making cinnamon rolls! Adds a nice personal touch!
The day we visited they had three kinds of rolls: Cinnamon, caramel and toffee. We purchased two of each kind and made our way back to the tables and chairs area to eat them. My favorite was the classic cinnamon followed by the caramel and then the toffee. These rolls were HUGE, enough for two people to share! And they were indeed delicious! Tender, yeasty, not to sweet (ok the toffee was a tad too sweet for me!) and so good, just like you expect a classic cinnamon roll. My daughter LOVED them and my hubby and I both enjoyed ours immensely.
If you’re in Branson and looking for some sweet indulgence, these cinnamon rolls are just the thing!
I love banana bread but when you throw in deep, dark chocolate and a hint of espresso, something magical happens to this delicious breakfast staple–it gets even BETTER. This bread was so moist and decadent, I’m not sure I’ll ever go back to my standard banana bread recipe again! And I love that I get a little extra jolt of caffeine from the chocolate AND the espresso. Pair it with a mug of steaming coffee and you’re good to go until lunch!
2 c. Mashed, Very Ripe Bananas (I used 6 large bananas for this)
¾ c., plus 2 T. Granulated Sugar
¼ c., plus 2 T. Packed Brown Sugar
¾ c. Coconut Oil, melted (original recipe calls for butter but coconut oil was all I had on hand)
2 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
3 Large Eggs, room temp
2¼ c. All-Purpose Flour
2 t. Instant Espresso Powder
1½ t. Baking Soda
¾ t. Baking Powder
1½ t. Salt
1 c. Bittersweet Chocolate Chips (I prefer Ghirardelli)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray one, 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
In the bowl of an electric mixer on low speed, beat together bananas, ¾ cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, melted coconut oil, vanilla and eggs. In another medium bowl, whisk together flour, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. With mixer on low, add flour mixture to banana mixture and thoroughly combine. Beat in chocolate chips. Pour into loaf pan. Sprinkle remaining 2 Tablespoons of granulated sugar on top.
Bake 50-55 minutes, until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on cooling rack.
Last week at my Bible study someone brought in scones. Normally scones don’t tempt me but a friend I was sitting with got a plate and brought it over to share. There were two kinds, blueberry and orange. Not expecting much I took a bite aaaannnnndddd….hold me back. These scones were good. No, not just good, AMAZING. I initially thought someone in our study had made them but I soon found out they were from Panera! I haven’t had much from Panera except their soups and sandwiches and of course when bagels were “healthy” a few years ago and I worked in an office that had them on a regular basis in the break room, I stuffed my face happily with the carb-y goodness. But I had never given their scones a second glance and I now realize that was a huge mistake! They are simply delicious. Out of the two, blueberry and orange, the orange was my absolute favorite. They were both flaky and buttery and not too sweet but the chunks of orange zest along with the delicious orange glaze on top, sent that one over the top in my opinion.
So naturally I went home and was obsessed with finding a recipe to duplicate my own Panera orange scone! I finally came across this one from Love Grows Wild. Overall this was a great recipe and everyone who tried the scones loved them. While I thought they were good, they didn’t quite meet my Panera scone standards. Haha. The scones I made were more cake-like and a tad on the bland side in my opinion. I think I was hoping for a lot more citrus flavor and a more crumbly biscuit texture. However, if you like your scones dense and cakey and not overwhelming sweet, these are the scones for you! They do go well with a nice hot cup of coffee!
4-5 t. Orange Peel, finely shredded (I used two whole oranges)
1½ c. Powdered Sugar
1 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
⅓ c. Fresh Orange Juice
Zest of One Orange
For the Scones
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl whisk together flour, 4 tablespoons of sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter (I grated mine first with a cheese grater) until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, 1 cup plus 2 tablespoon of heavy whipping cream, vanilla and orange peel. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Using a fork, stir until just moistened and the mixture comes together in a ball. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough by folding and gently pressing for 10-12 strokes or until dough is nearly smooth. Divide dough in half. Pat or lightly roll each dough half into 8-10" circles. Cut each circle into 10 wedges. Place dough wedges two inches apart on baking sheets. Brush scones with remaining two tablespoons whipping cream and sprinkle with remaining two tablespoons of sugar. Bake 12-14 minutes or until golden. Remove from baking sheet onto a rack.
For the Glaze
In a medium bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, vanilla, orange juice and orange zest. Spoon and spread over warm scones (I had enough to do this twice after the glaze dried the first time). Serve warm.
I have been seriously struggling lately with inspiration for my blog. And motivation. I mean, I WANT to bake and blog and there are plenty of recipes out there that I’m dying to try, but it’s just a little daunting trying to find the time with a baby to be in the kitchen for an hour or more. Not gonna lie, it kinda sucks. Love my daughter but I miss baking!!! Just keeping it real, people.
Anywho, most of my recipes lately have been fairly simple and quick to make and honestly will probably stay that way for awhile. And I really don’t see anything wrong with that as long as they TASTE good. That’s the main objective, after all…something you want to eat! Last week I was racking my brain trying to think of something easy to make and it occurred to me that I had quite a few overripe, frozen bananas in my freezer that I needed to use. If for nothing else, I just needed that freezer space back! I went to see how many I had and I counted 20 bananas. Twenty!!! That’s a lot. Unbelievably enough, I couldn’t find a recipe that uses 20 bananas at once (shocking, I know) but I did manage to adapt this Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread from Sally’s Baking Addiction and use a whopping four bananas. Woo hoo, my freezer will be cleaned out in no time! NOT. I have a feeling we’ll be eating a lot of banana bread in the future.
So like I said I adapted this recipe and threw in a little cocoa powder (I love the combo of chocolate and cinnamon) and added a crunchy cinnamon sugar top to the loaf. It turned out moist and so delicious. The only disappointing thing was that you couldn’t see the cinnamon sugar layer in the middle of the loaf because of the cocoa…I didn’t even think about that! But it still tasted amazing. Simple, homey and just good. It’s a favorite banana bread recipe in our house now!
½ c. Unsalted Butter, melted (this will be reserved for the top of the loaf)
½ c. Powdered Sugar
1 T. Heavy Cream (or milk...all I had was almond milk so I used that)
1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x5-inch loaf pan.
For the Banana Bread
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and sugar. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs, bananas, sour cream and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do NOT overmix.
Spoon half of the batter into prepared pan. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle half of the cinnamon sugar mixture onto the batter in the pan. Top with remaining batter and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar mixture. Pour melted butter evenly over loaf. Bake for 50-55 minutes until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.
While the bread is cooling, make the glaze in a small bowl by combine the powdered sugar, heavy cream and vanilla. Drizzle over the cooled banana bread. Store in an airtight container.
A few weeks ago a new donut (doughnut? I never really know) shop opened in downtown Springfield, MO and people went NUTS. I mean, NUTS. It was lines out the door, front page news, donut PANDEMONIUM. So of course I had to check it out and see what all the fuss was about. We ventured downtown late one Saturday morning with stinker butt (that would be our daughter, Avery) and to our surprise there was no line out the door and hardly anyone inside. Apparently we had just missed the rush. Yay! So we got to swagger right up to the counter where we were greeted with a plethora of brightly decorated, candy and cereal crusted donuts.
The variety was pretty big….from your basic glazed yeast donut to maple bacon long johns and cake donuts dipped in frosting and covered with cereal, candy bars, sprinkles and almost anything else you could imagine. It reminded me of a place I had seen on Food Network years ago called VooDoo Doughnut in Portland, Oregon.
So how were the donuts? Pretty tasty. I wasn’t a fan of the cake donuts with all the crazy toppings (cereal and candy on a donut just isn’t my thing) but the streusel yeast donut and glazed maple long john we had were quite delicious. I can definitely understand the appeal to so many people with all the variety they have. You’re bound to find something you like! At this point, they are open 24 hours a day so check them out if you are in the area. Hopefully this place will be around for awhile!
One last recipe before the big day of love tomorrow! This one is for a super simple and delicious breakfast, Raspberry Cream Cheese Pull Apart-Rolls. The original recipe was first published in Cooking Light Magazine in 1999. It was a little different with dried fruit and citrus zests and far less fat and calories than my recipe has. But I’m not going for “light” on this one. I wanted full fat and loads of sugar! And that’s exactly what I did. Because it tastes good.
Imagine a soft, fluffy yeast roll, brushed with butter, studded with tart raspberries and finished with a layer of cheesecake topping. That’s what you get with these rolls! They are simply divine. The only thing I didn’t get to do (and regret immensely) was drizzle them with a yummy glaze. I highly suggest whipping up a simple powdered sugar/milk mixture and drizzling it over the rolls while they’re still warm. Just too add a little more sweetness since the only sugar is in the cheesecake mixture. They would make a great Valentine’s Day breakfast treat or even dessert!
One, 25 oz. Package Rhodes Dinner Rolls (36 rolls total)
1 stick Butter, melted
12 oz. Frozen Raspberries
2, 8 oz. pkgs. Cream Cheese, softened
1 c. Sugar
2 Large Eggs, room temperature
2 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
2 c. Powdered Sugar and ⅔ c. Milk whisked together until smooth
Thaw rolls at room temperature for 1 hour. Place 36 rolls in two, 9-inch round pans (18 rolls in each), coated with cooking spray. Brush melted butter evenly over rolls. Cover and let rise in warm place, free from drafts for 1 hour.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Sprinkle rolls with frozen raspberries and then pour cream cheese mixture over rolls. Cover and let rise 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake rolls for 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle with powdered sugar glaze.
OVERNIGHT VARIATION: After pouring the cream cheese mixture over rolls, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 12 hours. Remove plastic wrap from rolls and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Proceed with baking the rolls as directed.
A big, indulgent breakfast is very, VERY rare around our house. Which is why I looooved this past Christmas with my in-laws. We did breakfast together at my brother and sister-in-laws house on Christmas morning and it is a breakfast I shall never forget. Bagels, toast, doughnuts, waffles, pancakes…what are those?? No, no, no people. I’m talking BREAKFAST. Ham, hashbrown casserole, thick-cut maple bacon, fluffy scrambled eggs and a yummy fruit salad. Oh and…..Baked Caramel Soaked French Toast Casserole. Holy crap.
My sister-in-law Rachel, of Foodie Rachel, did the majority of the baking and cooking and man, she totally outdid herself, especially with this French toast casserole. My intention was to have a small piece of the sweet, syrupy baked goodness but once I had a taste, I was mentally restraining myself from eating whatever was left in the pan. It was TO. DIE. FOR. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of her French toast casserole that morning but just envision thick slices of French bread, drenched in a sticky, gooey caramel syrup sauce. (The picture above is the best I could come up with but definitely does NOT do the casserole justice.)
Are you drooling yet? Yeah, it’s good. Try it this weekend or maybe make if for a special New Year’s Day breakfast! Fabulous way to start the new year.
Up until recently I have bought Jeremy granola every week for I don’t even know how long. I buy a very specific organic brand that is healthy and he likes it so even though it’s a little pricey, I don’t mind pay a little extra for the health benefits. I’ve even made my own granola before but he really likes this specific kind so we’ve always stuck with it. Until now.
That’s right, I managed to find a granola recipe that BEATS THE CRAP out of the store-bought granola. Yesssssss. Not only does he LOVE it, it is even healthier than the organic stuff and, oh yeah, cheaper. The original recipe is here and yes, I took a little liberty and changed some things (shocker, I know). The combination of cinnamon and almond flavor totally works in this recipe and it turns so crunchy after it has cooled. It’s honestly hard to stay out of it. I like to mix some Nature’s Path Heritage Flakes into mine just to give it that cereal aspect so feel free to add or not add…totally up to you. You could throw in nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips, etc. Whatever sounds good at the moment!
1 c. Thick Rolled Oats (if you don't have access to rye or red wheat flakes, just use all thick rolled oats)
1½ c. Rye Flakes
1½ c. Red Wheat Flakes
½ c. 7-Grain Cereal (can be found in bulk section of health food store or substitute uncooked millet)
2 T. Chia Seeds
½ c. Sucanat
1¼ t. Sea Salt (I prefer pink himalayan)
1½ t. Cinnamon
⅓ c. Safflower Oil
¼ c. Light Agave
¼ c. Maple Agave
⅓ c. plus 1 T. Raw Almond Butter
2 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
1 t. Almond Extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk all dry ingredients together. In a medium bowl, stir together all wet ingredients. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir to combine. It will seem dry at first but keep stirring and it will all get coated.
Divide the mixture between the two pans and spread in an even layer.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring, rotating pans and switching racks (if your oven cooks unevenly, like mine does) halfway through. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack and store in an air-tight container.
I am so, so, SO excited to introduce the very first fall recipe for 2012 on Desserted Planet–Chocolate S’mores Muffins!! Yes, I know it’s still August but here in Missouri the temperatures have drastically plunged and we’ve been seeing highs in the 70’s and low 80’s and people are more than ready to break out their scarves and throw some chili on the stove. Bring on fall! If only winter didn’t come after it…oh well.
Anyways, back to these amazing muffins. A couple of weeks ago Jeremy and I went camping with some other couples and all their cute kiddos. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not a fan of camping. I didn’t grow up camping so I think that is part of the problem. I just don’t see how people enjoy being dirty and sweaty and sleeping on the ground and doing their business behind a tree…I honestly just don’t get it! However, this camping trip was a little different so I wasn’t quite a reluctant to go…but reluctant nonetheless. Everyone had a camper, including Jeremy’s brother and his wife so we had somewhere to sleep that was not that ground and it was even air-conditioned! It also meant we had a bathroom. Ok, I could do that.
So after agreeing to go, I began to think about what we should bring to eat. Since we’d only be there overnight and the next morning, I wanted something sweet and appropriate for breakfast. Of course! S’mores! In muffins! Brilliant. And yes, the recipes were already out there. Like this one from Elle’s New England Kitchen. It was pretty much a perfect recipe as is, but not very sweet so I added a bit of extra sugar and doubled the recipe, as the original stated that it only made twelve. They were a BIG hit and pretty much like eating a chocolatey, marshmallow studded cupcake for breakfast. Yes, cupcake. But we didn’t call them that…they are MUFFINS. And that makes them totally appropriate for breakfast. But if you want to eat one for dessert, that’d be ok too…
12 Whole Graham Cracker Sheets, broken into chunks but not too small (for a total of 3 cups graham cracker pieces, with one cup reserved for topping muffins)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 32 muffin cups in a muffin pan.
In a large bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, salt and both sugars. In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Stir the wet mixture into the dry and gently fold until everything is incorporated. Fold in 1 cup chocolate chips, 2 cups mini marshmallows and 2 cups graham cracker pieces.
Divide the mixture evenly between the muffin cups. Top each muffin with the remaining chocolate chips, marshmallows and graham crackers. Bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
After baking, cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes and then run a knife around the edges, remove the muffins from the pan and continue cooling completely on the rack. Or eat warm!
VERY IMPORTANT: You MUST remove the muffins from the pan after 5 minutes or they will NOT come out. Also, muffin liners will NOT work with these muffins--they will stick to the liners and be a mess.
Doesn’t the title of this post make your blood sugar skyrocket just reading it? It does mine! As it should because these doughnuts are loaded with LOTS of sugary goodness. After I made Key Lime Pie, I still had some key lime juice I wanted to use up so it wouldn’t go bad. I really wanted something easy and I remembered the buttercream recipe that was part of my key lime roundup so I thought that would be delicious to try out! Although…I wasn’t feeling cake or cupcakes. Hmm, sandwiched between cookies? Nah, not it. Then it hit me…DOUGHNUTS. I literally felt like I was a mad scientist and brilliance had just struck me! A loooong time ago I had made these super easy doughnuts (notice this was when I was a beginner blogger and wanted to achieve that Bakerella look…and uhh, DIDN’T haha) and they were so dangerously good that we ended up eating an obscene amount within minutes and I had not even dared to make them since.
But the time had come.
So I fried. And powdered. And filled. And powdered again. And behold, deliciousness was born. The key lime buttercream was outstanding. It would definitely be wonderful on cupcakes or cookies. And the doughnuts, well, they were fried to perfection and so wonderfully doughy and warm…ahhhh. My poor husband split a half of one with me and was then tortured the rest of the night with the knowledge that they were just sitting in the kitchen, mocking him. But he resisted and I was very proud of him for that! We strongly believe that desserts should be treats and not something to eat in massive quantities (unless doing bakery research..ahem) but these doughnuts made doing so extremely difficult. Extremely.
In a large skillet, heat the oil to at least 290 degrees. Carefully drop four of the biscuits into the oil and cook on each side for about 1.5-2 minutes until lightly browned on each side. Place on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels and let cool off. Put a couple of cups of powdered sugar into a large plastic Ziploc bag. Place the doughnuts, one at a time in the bag and shake until they are covered with powdered sugar. Set aside on a large cooling rack.
To Make the Buttercream
Beat the first four ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar alternately with key lime juice, beating at low speed until blended and smooth after each addition. Beat in green food coloring (if using).
With a pastry tip inserted into a pastry bag or large Ziploc bag, fill with buttercream and insert into the side of the doughnut. Squeeze and fill with buttercream. The doughnut will get noticeably "puffier" and expand a bit from the buttercream. (One of mine even burst a little on one side because I got slightly carried away, but that was ok..it still tasted good.) After they have all been filled, dredge one last time in powdered sugar. Eat immediately or store in an air-tight container.
Makes 8-16 doughnuts.
*How many doughnuts you want will depend on how full you fill them. I only made 8 and I had some frosting leftover but if I had done 12 or even 16, I would have just filled with a little less buttercream in each one and it would have filled all of them.
It’s the middle of summer. It’s freaking hot. Like hotter than it has ever been in my 31 years of life. Sweating, sticky and smelly are pretty accurate descriptive words of just about everyone around me, including MYSELF. Who knew it was possible to gross yourself out SO much?!? But it totally is.
Naturally, people are wearing less clothes. And thinking about their figure a little more. Ok, not all people are thinking about their figure but I know I am! Can’t you tell by all the low-calorie, fat-free, sugarless, uber-healthy recipes that I post?! Oh. Maybe not. Ok, usually my recipes are sinful and totally NOT healthy but I like to think of them as treats and hope that other people think of them the same way (am I delusional or what?!). However, I have posted a few nutritious cookie, cake and brownie recipes and hope to keep that list growing. And these pancakes most definitely qualify as good-for-you food! We are totally addicted to these things in our house. I have made them once a week, every week for probably the last month or two. They are an absolutely fabulous gluten-free option and are perfect for breakfast or a snack. I have even thrown some cocoa powder in them for a chocolate version that was quite delicious!
Of course you could always throw in some chocolate chips but I like the cocoa powder because it gives it that chocolate factor without all the added fat and sugar. Feel free to use this recipe as a base and and throw in things like nuts, dried fruit (unsweetened is best) or whatever you happen to be craving at the time! It is so, so good.
3 c. Gluten-Free Oat Flour (I just process thick cut oats in my processor until I get three cups of oat flour)
½ t. Aluminum-Free Baking Soda
1 t. Aluminum-Free Baking Powder
1 t. Ground Cinnamon (feel free to add more if you really like cinnamon...I probably do more like 1¼ t.)
½ t. Fine Ground Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
3 c. Water
1 c. Creamy, Unsalted, Raw Almond Butter
¼ c. Pure Vanilla Extract
4 t. Fresh Lemon Juice
½ c. Light Amber Agave (or honey, sucanat, etc)
6 T. Chia Seeds
¾ c. Thick-Rolled Oats
In a large bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients. In a blender, mix the wet ingredients until smooth and it has a milk consistency. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until thoroughly combined. Fold in add-ins. The chia seeds will make the mixture VERY thick as it sits (almost the texture of a drop cookie) so if you'd like it thinner, don't add as many or just thin it out 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach the consistency you want. Warm a griddle to medium (I do 325 degrees) and coat with a bit of coconut oil. Scoop batter with a large spoon onto your griddle. Cook for four minutes on each side, until the sides and tops start to look dry. Top with maple agave and fresh blueberries (my personal favorite way to eat them!) and enjoy!
July 4th is on a Wednesday this year. Middle of the week. No vacation days before. No vacation days after. I’m not liking it. Not one bit. Especially considering everyone in my office is taking off leaving me alone to man the phones and do what else? Hmmm, not sure. I’m predicting a lot of Words with Friends.
Since it’s going to be SO WEIRD to have July 4th in the middle of the workweek, I thought we could use something to get us into the patriotic spirit first thing that day! And that something are these fun star pastry pie turnovers. Made of puff pastry and cherry pie filling (store-bought or homemade) they are the perfect breakfast treat! I would actually liken them more to a turnover than a pie…flaky layers of buttery dough and ooey gooey cherry filling. My only frustration with these things was the amount of cherry pie filling I could fit into each star. I carefully placed four cherries in the middle of each and was able to just barely fit another star over the top and seal it shut. So it’s a little more puff pastry than filling but they are still quite delish.
1 Egg White + 1 T. Water, whisked together (for egg wash)
1 T. Coarse Sugar (such as Sugar in the Raw)
Flour (for dusting)
Thaw puff pastry on kitchen counter for 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface, unfold one sheet of puff pastry. (I did not roll it out any thinner, just unfolded and cut with my cookie cutter, but feel free to do so if you'd like...you might get a couple more turnovers that way.) Using a 5-inch star shaped cookie cutter (yes, you need a VERY large one), cut out four stars from the puff pastry sheet and place on the parchment lined cookie sheet. Brush egg wash onto edges of each star. Put one tablespoon of cherry pie filling (I literally picked out four cherries and placed in the middle of the stars..didn't want all that goo oozing out as it baked) in the middle of each star. Unfold the other puff pastry sheet and cut out four more stars. Place on top of the stars on the baking sheet. Crimp edges of the star with a fork to seal (I dipped the tines of the fork into the egg wash periodically). Brush egg wash onto the top of each star and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Using a sharp knife, cut a couple of small slits into the top of each star.
Bake for 20 minutes, until tops and bottoms are golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes on baking sheet. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely or eat warm.
Makes 4 star turnover.
*There is alot of leftover puff pastry scraps with this recipe. I used a small star cookie cutter and just did smaller star puff pastry bites. They need less time to cook, about 15 minutes.
Brunch, it’s what every dad wants. Trust me on this. Sure, when you ask him what he wants for Father’s Day he’ll throw out the usual grilling/golfing/fishing ideas, but what do men REALLY want?? Food. Homemade, from scratch, fill-your-belly FOOD.
Now I know that typically the word “brunch” invokes thoughts of girly tea rooms and fine china and quiche and ya know, things that don’t sound too manly. But throw in a couple meats (bacon, sausage, etc) and some kind of breakfast casserole (one with eggs and hashbrowns and loads of cheese and absolutely NO vegetables…unless it’s jalapenos..those are manly) and brunch is no longer just for the ladies.
And I’m sorry, but it just wouldn’t be brunch without something sweet. Luckily, I have a few recipes that would fit the bill for any dad’s mid-morning sweet tooth. Like these Mini Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Muffins.
Or maybe he’s a health nut…this Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola is uber-healthy and most importantly delicious. Great plain, with milk or over greek yogurt with fresh berries. Yum.
Blueberry syrup reminds me of childhood. When I was a kid, we’d go every year around the beginning of blueberry season to a blueberry patch about 20 minutes from our house and pick buckets and buckets of blueberries…and also eat quite a few in the process. It was so fun. Blueberry picking in the late spring and apple picking in fall are honestly some of my best memories from childhood. Probably because they involved food I guess?! Hah.
So after picking for a couple of hours we’d take our load of blueberries home and would freeze most of them right away but a few fresh ones would be reserved for homemade blueberry syrup. My mom made THE BEST blueberry syrup and pancakes. It was a reason to get up before noon on Saturday morning! So when blueberries, blackberries and peaches started showing up at our local Farmer’s market recently, I definitely had her yummy blueberry syrup in mind.
Although I didn’t have my mom’s exact recipe, this turned out just like I remember hers. Who knows, it might be the same one! And can I tell you it could not be easier to make blueberry syrup? Put ingredients in pot and heat. That’s pretty much what it comes down to! The use of orange juice may seem odd, but trust me, once it sits overnight, all the flavors meld together and you taste nothing but blueberry the next day! It’s thick and quite sweet and just delicious over pancakes, waffles or crepes. Will definitely be making it alot over the next few weeks!
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the blueberries, ¼ c. water, orange juice and sugar. Stir gently and bring to a boil.
In a cup or small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and ½ c. water until the cornstarch is completely dissolved. Gently stir the cornstarch mixture into the blueberries so as not to mash the berries. Simmer gently until thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla or almond extract and the cinnamon. Cool completely and refrigerate over night. Serve warm over pancakes, waffles, etc.
Every time I walk into the grocery store lately, all the beautiful berries are calling my name. Strawberries, blackberries and raspberries are just begging to be bought right now and I just had to find a recipe that I could use some of them in. I was struggling to find something that wasn’t a pie or layered cake when all the sudden I remembered a recipe I had made years ago for Strawberry Almond Muffins. I also remembered it was very good so I thought maybe I’d give it a shot…but with a few changes, of course. 😉
Instead of strawberries I decided to use blackberries and also wanted to add some white chocolate. The original recipe called for all-purpose and whole wheat flour but I wanted a slightly lighter muffin so I went with cake flour in place of the whole wheat. What resulted was one of the most delicious, tender and tastiest muffins ever! Now you could say this muffin was verging on cupcake status but hey, I see nothing wrong with that! All I know is I loved these and if you need a recipe to use up some berries, I encourage you to try this one! Feel free to substitute raspberries or sliced strawberries, if you’d prefer. You really can’t go wrong with whatever you choose.
Line 2, 12-cup regular muffin tins with cupcake liners. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in almond and vanilla extracts.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder and salt. Beat ⅓ of the flour mixture until the butter/sugar mixture, then beat in half the milk. Beat in another ⅓ of the flour. Beat in the final half of the milk and then the last ⅓ of the flour. Fold in white chocolate chips and almonds. Very gently fold in the blackberries and divide the batter evenly between the muffin tins (some of mine were quite full so you could probably get more like 25-28 muffins out of this recipe).
Bake in preheated oven for 22-25 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool completely on a wire rack or eat while they are still a bit warm...they are VERY good like that. (I topped mine with a little white chocolate and single blackberry for the photos..up to you if you want to do that but be sure they have cooled completely if you do.)
Have I mentioned that all I did in DC was eat and shop? Well, it was. And part of that eating included these AMAZING scones that Joelle made while I was staying with her. I had one bite and knew I was doomed. They are light, soft, flaky…just…amazing. They are seriously the best scones I have had yet.
Now she made hers a maple flavor which I loved and will most likely do the next time I make these, but I wanted to do something a little “springy-er” so I chose a yummy lemon and coconut combination. I figured with Easter coming up, these would make the perfect sweet addition to a brunch or even a delicious Easter dinner dessert.
These scones are also unique because of what’s in the recipe..or should I say what’s NOT in the recipe. They are totally void of eggs and butter! I had to double check with Joelle to make sure I was reading the recipe right. Interesting! And one important thing about these scones–you do NOT want to overbake them (I learned the hard way ugh). In fact, you want to UNDERBAKE them. If they start to get brown around the edges, then they’ve baked too long. The perfect time is somewhere around 16-17 minutes so start checking them around 15 minutes. They’ll probably still look just slightly not cooked on top in the middle but that’s ok..they’re done, trust me!
Oh and did I mention these take about 10 minutes to throw together? Gotta love that!
1½ c. Cream of Coconut (NOT coconut milk. Look for it in the alcohol section at your store; it should be in with the drink mixers.)
½ t. Coconut Extract
Zest of one Large Lemon
¼ c. Fresh-Squeezed Lemon Juice (2 large lemons)
1 c. Powdered Sugar
½ c. Toasted Coconut (toast sweetened coconut on a baking sheet in oven at 350 degrees for about 7 minutes)
Line a 9x9 pan with foil, letting the ends hang over like "handles".
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and then pour in the heavy cream, cream of coconut, coconut extract and lemon zest. Mix the batter together, by hand, with a wooden spoon until just moist. (I used my hands at the end to get all the flour mixed in.) Pour the batter into the foil lined pan and press into an even layer. Cover the dough with another layer of foil and smooth the top.
Freeze overnight. In the morning, let it set out for about 20 minutes. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Place on a cutting board and carefully peel away the foil linings. You can slice them however you like; I cut diagonal and then straight across and then cut some of the slightly larger pieces in half for triangles.
Bake for 15-17 minutes, checking often to make sure they don't brown around the edges. Let them cool on the pans for a couple of minutes and then move them to a wire rack to cool completely. Top with glaze (see below).
In a medium bowl, whisk together lemon juice and coconut. Top each cooled scones with a small spoonful of lemon glaze, sprinkle with toasted coconut and let sit out until glaze has dried and hardened slightly.
I have to say that this whole new world of baking without flour is really quite exciting to me. I never knew that there were so many options! I wanted to do another gluten-free recipe and also wanted some kind of muffin and was so excited when I stumbled upon this recipe from So Good and Tasty for Cherry Almond Meal Muffins. I only modified it a bit by subbing blueberries for the cherries and throwing in some applesauce and additional spices and extracts. And wow, this muffin is delicious! I absolutely love the taste of texture from the almond meal and can honestly say I think I like it better than flour! Jeremy also loved them which was the real test to me..he could hardly wait for them to cool off before trying one! We ate them warmed up for just a few seconds with a teensy bit of unsalted butter and a drizzle of honey (not needed but oh so good)…mmmmmm!
¼ c. Unsweetened Applesauce (I used all-natural, chunky applesauce)
1 c. Fresh Blueberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a regular size muffin tin with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
In a separate, large bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add in the honey, oil, vanilla and applesauce and stir to combine.
Add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients, stirring just until combined. Carefully fold in the blueberries.
Pour batter into the muffin tin, filling to the top if you want a nice muffin dome. Bake for 25 minutes or until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in muffin tins for about 5 minutes then remove and place on wire rack until completely cool.
Have you ever wanted a nice warm bowl of oatmeal in the morning but just didn’t have the time to actually make AND eat it?? Yeah, been there. Our mornings are fairly rushed around here and we hardly ever have a sit down breakfast, except for the occasional big splurge breakfast on a lazy Saturday morning. And those are few and far between. What a shame.
So, if you’re like us and just want something to grab on your way to work, these baked oatmeal bars are what you need! It’s all of the ingredients in a hearty, filling bowl of oatmeal put them into one neat little bar. Besides heart-healthy oats, they’re sweetened with honey and have wheat germ and wheat bran for added fiber and protein. They’d even be great for an afternoon snack when vending machines are practically screaming your name. Delicious, nutritious, yummy and most importantly, travel-ready!
¾ c. Chopped, Dried Apples (or raisins, cherries, etc)
⅓ c. Chopped, Toasted Pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl whisk together the oats, wheat germ, wheat bran, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl stir together the eggs, honey, vanilla, applesauce, oil and milk. Add wet mixture to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add chopped apples and pecans.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Makes about 18 bars.
Tip: Feel free to substitute any kind of add-in for the dried apples and pecans...whatever nut, fruit, chocolate chip, etc you may like.
Happy New Year!! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend! I’m sure that you celebrated to the max and are now on to thinking about all those New Year’s resolutions, one of which is most likely to lose weight. Now, that’s all good and everything and I believe in you, I really do, but don’t go thinking dessert can’t fit into a healthy diet…in moderation, of course! I mean, you have to have a little treat every now and then or else you’re bound to get so deprived that one day you snap and go to the nearest gas station, raid the candy bar aisle and have a total diet meltdown inside the confines of your car in a very dark parking lot somewhere and find yourself buried in a heap of wrappers and half-eaten Snickers…
Ummmm, ok. Ahem. Where was I?? Oh yes! New Year’s resolutions. I am not going to go totally health conscious on this blog but do want to support all of you out there in your healthy eating endeavors and in order to do so, I am making my very first post of the new year an uber-healthy one! This banana bread is seriously delicious and seriously healthy. I don’t mean low-fat, low-calorie healthy (although it is that also), I’m talking about chalked full of NUTRITION healthy. There is ZERO oil in this bread and a healthy dose of Greek yogurt which is packed with tons of protein. I also used wheat bran, thick cut oats and white whole wheat flour to give it some extra fiber and nutrients. The edges got just a little well done, as you can see, but the bread turned out fabulous and I’ll definitely make this a staple in our household.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, wheat bran, oats, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. In a large bowl, stir together egg and egg white, honey, vanilla, Greek yogurt and bananas. Add flour mixture to wet mixture and stir until just moistened. Pour into loaf pan and sprinkle with oats.
Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack and cool completely.