I’ve been juicing a lot lately and more consistently which has led me to have an overabundance of shredded carrot/carrot pulp! I’ve managed to use it in quite a few different ways and this raw carrot cake granola cereal is the latest carrot inspired recipe!
I actually make what we call granola cereal (because we could never decide which one it was!) every week on Sunday mornings. I always let the kids pick which kind they want me to make and when I tell you this may be their favorite food EVER, it is not an exaggeration! They will even ask me every morning when they wake up “are we having cereal today?” in hopes that we will!
We’ve come up with just a few varieties over the past few months….chocolate cherry, peanut butter chocolate chip, blueberry chai, loaded oatmeal raisin cookie, pineapple upside down cake…the possibilities are endless! But their favorite HANDS DOWN in the strawberry version with freeze-dried strawberries. They’ll actually ask for it every time almost! But I’m able to convince them to try something different most of the time–as was the case with this carrot cake variation!
So enough about my kids, let’s get to the granola! For this version I deviated slightly from my original master recipe to make it even more healthy! I usually use quite a bit of Garden of Life Protein Powder (sometimes the plantbased meal replacement one or the Protein & Greens) and a hefty amount of melted coconut oil, but I eliminated the oil completely this time and cut WAY back on the protein powder, which you could definitely omit if you want to!
Even with the changes, what resulted was an absolutely DELICIOUS carrot cake granola cereal that my whole family liked better than the original master recipe. I love the fiber and protein you get from the hemp, chia and flaxseed, good carbs from the oats, bits of sweet from the raisins and a little crunch from the toasted pecans! Not to mention a little veggie from the carrots. It truly reminds me of carrot cake in a bowl! Ok, minus the cream cheese frosting but you get the idea. 🙂
One of the best combos around is apple and caramel and you can’t help but notice those ginormous dipped apples when you go in a store like Wal-mart at this time of year. You know the ones, covered in every sugary things known to man–M&M’s, Oreos, sprinkles, candy corn, gummy bears, three different kinds of chocolate, etc, etc–yeah, those.
The candy is bad enough but the caramel isn’t much better. Let’s take a peak at the ingredients…high fructose corn syrup, milk, sugar, butter, artificial flavors, palm oil and of course tons of preservatives. So essentially it’s crap. But thankfully there are some great alternatives to get your caramel+apple fix and this recipe in my opinion is better than any huge, sugar covered apple you could buy.
The salted caramel sauce has the perfect amount of salt to offset the sweet of the caramel and chocolate and I love the little bites of chocolate chips and pecans sprinkled over all of it. The best part of course is that it’s totally dairy and refined sugar FREE.
Last week I was contemplating whether I wanted to make and blog this recipe since I had started to see lots of fall/apple/pumpkin things popping up in my news feeds. Already. I mean, hello, isn’t it still August?? You know…SUMMER. Why yes IT IS so I decided no, I’m not giving in just yet and I’m squeezing in one last summer recipe. I’m DOING IT.
Of course the moment I decide this my husband walks in the door with a pumpkin coffee. Yes, pumpkin coffee. At first I was thinking “are you kidding me?!” but then I remembered how much I freaking love the gas station pumpkin coffee so I drank it. There. Confession. Back to the pudding…
I got the idea for this pudding from an Instagram post I had seen a couple of months ago. She didn’t have an exact recipe and used a few different ingredients than I did. But I loved the idea of key lime pie pudding because key lime pie is one of my favorite desserts ever. I actually have a GREAT Key Lime Pie recipe and after glancing at the ingredients to refresh myself, I knew I wanted to get it as close to tasting like my pie as possible.
This meant I needed to somehow add dairy-free sweetened condensed milk. But I don’t know of any that is sold anywhere and even if it did exist I’m sure it’s loaded with sugar. So I went ahead and made my own healthier version. It adds an additional step/recipe to the overall recipe so if you really don’t care about having sweetened condensed milk in your pudding, then I would go ahead and forego it and just use a sweetener such as xylitol, stevia, swerve, etc. (although I STRONGLY recommend making the sweetened condensed milk because it is DELICIOUS). I can’t guarantee the taste of the pudding will be as good without it, but I’m sure it will still be yummy.
I REALLY love that this pudding has veggies in it and you’d never know. My kids loved it. We enjoyed it with a little dollop of So Delicious Coco Whip and some Cadia Graham Crackers crumbled on top. Tart, sweet and creamy cold….perfect SUMMER treat. 😀
5.25 oz./1/4 c. Native Forrest Coconut Milk Powder
½ c. Water
2 T. Melted Coconut Oil
2 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
½ c. Truvia
¼ c. Sucanant
½ t. Sea Salt (more or less to taste)
Key Lime Pie Pudding
¾ c. Lite Coconut Milk
2 Large, Ripe Avocados
2 c. Spinach
Zest of One Lime
¾ c. Key Lime Juice (less if you don't want it as tart)
¾-1 c. Vegan Sweetened Condensed Milk (depends on how sweet you want it OR substitute Truvia, Stevia, Xylitol, Swerve, etc to taste)
So Delicious Coco Whip, Cadia Graham Crackers (optional)
For the Vegan Sweetened Condensed Milk
Combine all ingredients in a high-powered blender (I used a Vitamix) until smooth, creamy and thickened slightly. This will take several minutes. Set aside when done (if using right away....if refrigerating, the mixture will solidify and you can reheat or just scoop from the container).
For the Key Lime Pie Pudding
Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate for a couple of hours until chilled and slightly firm or overnight.
Top with coconut whipped cream and crumbled graham crackers.
Have you heard of dessert hummus? Sounds kind of gross, right? When you think of hummus you typically think savory, spicy, chickpea goodness served with veggies, crisp chips and deliciously soft, warm pita bread. You usually don’t think of dessert. But this recipe will forever change the way you view hummus! Because chickpeas have a fairly neutral flavor, they are a great base for MANY things (brownies, fudge, etc). Kind of like avocado…remember this awesome Chocolate Avocado Pudding made with avocados?! Yeah, it was awesome. But back to the hummus…in a word, this stuff ROCKS. You would never know it was made with BEANS and you definitely don’t have to tell people. I absolutely love that it is healthy and a perfect holiday treat. I served it with graham crackers, gluten-free cinnamon crisp cookies and tart fuji apples. I actually liked the apples best for dipping! That is when I was actually using something to dip it with and not just eating it with a spoon. Kind of addictive. But in a good way! Try this for your next holiday party just don’t mention the beans! 😉
I am into FAST recipes these days. But of course they still have to be delicious. And obviously were in the full swing of fall so they either need pumpkin or apples involved somehow. Which gives us this super moist, super yummy Praline-Apple Bread. I love quick breads, especially ones that are topped with a gooey praline topping. The chunks of apples, bursts of cinnamon chips and crunchy, toasted pecans make this bread perfect for a brunch, snack or after dinner dessert! I took it to a mommy/baby play date and it was almost gone by the time we left! I call that a successful recipe!
2 c. Finely Chopped, Peeled Jonagold Apples (or golden delicious, granny smith, etc. It ended up being about 3 large apples.)
1½ c. Cinnamon Chips
1 c. Chopped Pecans, toasted
½ c. Unsalted Butter
½ c. Dark Brown Sugar, firmly packed
½ t. Pure Vanilla Extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x5-inch loaf pan.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sour cream, sugar, eggs and vanilla on low speed for 2 minutes or until blended.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and apple pie spice. Add to sour cream mixture, beating just until blended. Fold in apples, ½ cup of pecans and 1 cup of cinnamon chips. Pour batter into loaf pan and sprinkle with remaining pecans and cinnamon chips, lightly pressing them into the top of the batter.
Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean, shielding with aluminum foil after 50 minutes to prevent excessive browning (I missed the tip about the foil and my edges were well done so I strongly recommend doing it.) Cool in pan on wire rack, placed over a baking sheet, for 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack.
Bring butter and brown sugar to a boil in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly; boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and spoon over top of bread. Let cool completely. Store in an air-tight container.
Fall is in the air! Cooler weather, leaves falling, sweaters and boots, bonfires, apple and pumpkin EVERYTHING. I love it! Definitely my favorite season. So I thought I’d start things right with this recipe for Pumpkin Crunch Cake. I saw this recipe on The Picky Apple and since it had over HALF A MILLION pins on Pinterest, I thought it might be a good one to try. The bottom is like a yummy custard type pumpkin pie and the top is cakey and slightly crunchy from the pecans. So good! I topped mine with homemade cinnamon whipped cream, Bourbon Salted Caramel from Fat Toad Farm and organic dark chocolate chips. If you’re looking for a delicious fall recipe, this is the one!
Pumpkin Crunch Cake with Cinnamon Whipped Cream, Bourbon Salted Caramel and Dark Chocolate Chips
1, 15 oz. Can Pumpkin Puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
1, 12 oz. Can Evaporated Milk
3 Large Eggs, room temperature
1½ c. Sugar
1 t. Cinnamon
½ t. Salt
1 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
1, 18.25 oz. Spice Cake Mix
1½ c. Pecans
1 c. Unsalted Butter, melted
Cinnamon Whipped Cream
Dark Chocolate Chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10½ inch springform pan or 9x13 cake pan. I used a springform pan which did leak a little so I put a large, round baking pan under it.
In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, salt and vanilla. Pour into the pan and sprinkle the cake mix on top (I only used about ¾ of the cake mix because I used a springform pan), then the pecans and drizzle with the melted butter. Bake for 1 hour or until the middle of the cake is firm (mine took about 1 hour and 10 minutes). Cool completely. Top with cinnamon whipped cream, caramel and dark chocolate chips.
I am officially obsessed, OBSESSED, with this recipe for pear (or apple!) butter. It was insanely easy and produced the most delicious pear butter I have ever had. Fortunately, my grandparents have a pear tree in their backyard and were generous enough to share their bounty with me! The only downside is that now that I know how awesome this stuff is, I can’t get my hand on any more free pears! They seem to have gotten to their peak and are no more. I am so, so sad about this. I’m still thinking about just hitting up a local apple orchard because I’d REALLY love to make apple butter from this recipe. We shall see.
Thus far, I’ve been spreading this yumminess on my bagels in the morning. Or eating with a spoon from the jar. I’m not proud of that but I can’t help myself. You could put it on waffles, pancakes, crepes…so many possibilities. The spices in it are perfection and the texture is so buttery smooth. I love that I was able to throw everything in the crockpot overnight and it was practically done! It does take a little time to peel and core all the pears (about 45 minutes) but it is so worth it. I also used Sucanat which is a great alternative to processed, refined sugar…much better for your body. Also used pink himalayan sea salt instead of overly processed table salt that’s been stripped of all nutrients. I wondered how it would work with the alternative sugar and honestly, I couldn’t tell a difference in texture and taste-wise, I thought it was better!
Take advantage of the pears and apples at the height of the season and make this stuff! So, so good!
This recipe started off as blondies but somehow turned into cake. Not sure what I did wrong but it’s all good because this turned out to be one of the best pumpkin cakes I’ve ever made. It’s super moist and the spices are very pronounced which I love. On top of all that, the orange cream cheese frosting is THE PERFECT frosting to complement all the spices in the cake…it’s absolutely delicious. I added semi-sweet chocolate chips and dried cherries but if I did it again, I’d omit the chocolate chips. The just seemed unnecessary and didn’t really add anything. I did love the dried cherries but you could also leave those out if you prefer.
If you’re looking for a fantastic pumpkin cake recipe, try this one. You won’t be disappointed.
Spiced Pumpkin Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
Spiced Pumpkin Cake
2 sticks, plus 2 T. Unsalted Butter, softened
1¾ c. Packed Brown Sugar
2 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
1½ c. Pure Pumpkin Puree
1½ T. Cinnnamon
½ t. Nutmeg
2 t. Allspice
2 t. Ginger
1 t. Ground Cloves
2¼ c. All-Purpose Flour
1½ t. Baking Soda
½ t. Salt
¾ c. Dried Cherries (optional)
Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
1 Stick Unsalted Butter, softened
1, 8 oz. Pkg Cream Cheese, softened
¼ t. Salt
4 c. Powdered Sugar
1 T. Orange Zest
4 T. Fresh Orange Juice
For the Spiced Pumpkin Cake
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and then vanilla and pumpkin until combined. In a medium bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients. Gradually add dry ingredients to wet and mix until thoroughly combined. Stir in dried cherries, if using.
Bake for 35 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Cool completely and frost with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting.
For the Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter, cream cheese and shortening until smooth. Add salt. On low speed, gradually beat in the powdered sugar. Beat in orange zest and juice. Frost cake.
I really enjoy finding recipes from other blogs to share with you guys. The only problem is I find so many that it’s hard to choose which ones to include without the post being incredibly long! So I managed to narrow things down to TEN pumpkin recipes. All look drool-worthy and absolutely freakin’ delicious. See if there is one you like and make it! If you do, please tell me about it in the comments…I truly would love to know what you end up making and loving!
Welp, it’s October. Pumpkin is everywhere. Pumpkin decor, pumpkin patches, pumpkin candy, pumpkin soup…it goes on and on. And then we have baking. The pumpkin recipes never end. You’ve got bars, cakes, ice cream, cookies, fudge, cheesecake, cupcakes and so many other things I’m not even able to think of right now! I of course want an EPIC pumpkin recipe to share with you all but it seems like so many ideas have already been done…but I’m working on it!
In the meantime, I’d like to share this super simple and healthy pumpkin muffin recipe. It’s like pumpkin pie in muffin form with a little chocolate thrown in. I LOVE the combo of pumpkin and chocolate. I first tried it a few years ago when I made pumpkin truffles and wow, the two flavors together are amazing! This recipe from Deliciously Organic was originally grain-free but I only had whole wheat pastry flour on hand so I went with that. I modified a few other things and these turned out fabulous. Super moist and full of pumpkin flavor. And the little touch of chocolate is delicious.
1 c. Canned, Pure Pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
½ c. Dark or Bittersweet Chocolate
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a regular muffin tin with 12 muffin liners.
Whisk eggs, egg whites, almond milk, sucanat, vanilla and safflower oil together in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together the whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon together. Add dry ingredients to wet and whisk until no lumps remain. Fold in pumpkin. Spoon batter into muffin cups and sprinkle with chocolate chips.
Bake for 15-17 minutes, until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an air-tight container.
Apples are SO good right now. Am I right or am I right? I can’t get enough. And this past weekend I wanted to make a special dessert for a family get-together and of course, wanted to include apples. But I didn’t necessarily want to bake something. Enter the Apple Snickers Trifle. You might have seen a version of this recipe on Pinterest called an Apple & Snickers Salad, made with a pudding/Cool Whip mixture. But first, the name had to go. Salad? It just felt wrong. I mean salads have vegetables and croutons and definitely don’t involve Snickers in any way. Apples maybe but Snickers…no.
Second, I put it in a trifle dish and layered the ingredients instead of just throwing it in a bowl. I think it definitely looks prettier, don’t you? Much better for presentation!
I will warn you: this stuff is good. It seemed a little odd to me at first to mix apples with Snickers but it totally makes sense: it’s like a caramel apple with some chocolate thrown in. Yum! It is VERY rich and decadent and a nice change of pace from apple cake or apple cookies (not that those are bad…they rock as well).
6 c. Chopped, Granny Smith Apples (about 6-7 apples, plus a few for garnish)
10 Regular-Size Snickers, chopped (I froze mine unwrapped in a large plastic Ziploc bag and took the flat side of a meat mallot to them...worked like a charm)
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. On low speed, gradually beat in the powdered sugar and then the vanilla. Fold in the Cool Whip.
Stir in the chopped apples, reserving a few for garnish. Stir in 1½ c. of the crushed Snickers. Spoon ⅓ of the mixture into a trifle dish. Sprinkle half of the remaining Snickers onto the mixture. You can also drizzle with caramel sauce, which is what I did, but I thought it was a little too sweet and not necessary and wouldn't do it again. Spoon another ⅓ of the mixture into the trifle dish and the remaining half of the Snickers (save a ½ c. or so for garnish). Spoon the remaining mixture into the trifle dish and garnish with chopped apples, Snickers and caramel sauce. Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve (it will probably get a bit runny the next day so I highly recommend making and serving it the same day).
I love fall. Hands down, my favorite season. Leaves turning colors, cooler temps and oh yeah, APPLES. Gorgeous apples from local orchards around town have been showing up at our farmer’s market lately. I absolutely love, love, love apple recipes. As kids, my sister and I knew that fall meant apple picking (can I just say there is nothing like a golden delicious apple right off the tree) and then of course BAKING with those apples. My mom would always make her German Apple Cake (which is still one of my favorite desserts) and an apple crisp! There was nothing like warm apple crisp right out of the oven with a big scoop of cold vanilla ice cream. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Yum.
So I wanted to do something just a little different and thought these Caramel Apple Sandwich Cookies totally fit the bill. I will say that these cookies are divine by themselves but sandwich them with caramel cream cheese frosting and wow, takes it to a whole other level! You could also sub the apples with raisins, craisins, white chocolate chips, nuts…this is just a very solid oatmeal cookie! Promise, you’ll love it!
1 c. Chopped Granny Smith Apple (one large apple should be enough)
Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
¼ Stick Unsalted Butter, softened
2 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
⅛ t. Salt
1 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
1¾ c. Powdered Sugar
3 T. Caramel Sauce (I used Smuckers brand)
For the Cookies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time and then vanilla. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, baking soda, salt and oats. Gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in chopped apples.
Drop by rounded spoonfuls 2 inches apart onto the cookie sheets. Bake for 10 minutes, rotating pans and switching racks halfway through. Let cool for two minutes before moving to wire racks and let cool completely.
For the Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the salt and vanilla. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar and then the caramel sauce.
To Assemble the Cookies
Spread 1-2 tablespoons of the frosting on the flat side of a cookie and place another cookie on top.
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.
I know everyone is getting really excited about the colder temps and winter-like weather that is happening right now, but we have PLENTY of fall left and I’m going to savor every last minute of it. Here are a few things I love at this time of the year (and some ah-mazing pumpkin recipes).
Fall Leaves. Can’t get enough of the beautiful colors. And it’s even better this year since this is the first fall in our new house and we have two gorgeous trees in our front yard. (and no, these are not our trees! I wish!)
Pumpkin Monkey Bread. I do believe I could eat this EVERY SINGLE morning for breakfast. I won’t! But I could.
Fall-Scented Candles. According to this blog, Bath and Body Works has a Bakeshop candle collection. Sad to say I haven’t been to the mall in so long, I have no idea if this is true or not! Shopping trip!
Andy’s Frozen Custard Pumpkin Pie Concrete. I think this is my favorite concrete concoction from Andy’s (besides my husband’s brilliant combination of cherry juice, Oreos and brownie mmmmm). Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a good photo which I suppose means one thing: I’ll have to go get a Pumpkin Pie Concrete and take my own photo. The things I do…
Lovely Fall Dessert Tables. I so wish I had been invited to this party.
I’ve been blessed lately with an overabundance of apples, as I’m sure many of you have. One of my favorite things to do with lots of apples, specifically Golden Delicious apples, is make my mom’s German Apple Cake.
She has been making this cake every since I can remember. As a kid, when the air got cool and the leaves started changing color, we knew that apple cake and apple crisp were in the very near future. Of course mine and my sister’s favorite part was each getting a beater to lick after my mom had whipped up the cream cheese frosting. I’m sure I tried more than once to either steal or somehow trick my sister into giving me her beater…I was obnoxious like that.
I love making this cake as an adult because not only of the memories, but I can appreciate the simple goodness of it even more now. The flavor of cinnamon and chunks of soft apples along with the smooth cream cheese frosting are downright yummy. And I love that it forms kind a kind of sugary “crust” along the edges. So, so, SO good. If you have apples coming out your ears, try this cake. You’ll love it.
4 c. Peeled, Sliced/Chunked Apples (About 4-5 apples. I prefer golden delicious.)
½-3/4 c. Black Walnuts
Cream Cheese Frosting
½ c. (1 stick) Unsalted Butter, softened
8 oz. Cream Cheese, cold
5 c. Powdered Sugar, sifted
½ t. Salt
1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
For the Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray (which is what I did) or grease and flour.
Whisk together flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Stir in oil, eggs and vanilla. Add the apples and walnuts, mix in thoroughly and let set for 5 minutes or so, allowing the juices to soak into the batter. Spread into your baking pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes (mine took 40) until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool completely and then frost with cream cheese frosting.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream the butter and cream cheese on high until smooth. Gradually add in the powdered sugar and mix thoroughly on medium-high speed for about 3 minutes, until smooth. Add vanilla and salt and thoroughly incorporate.
Holiday parties are getting into full-swing! The first round of festivities are gorgeous fall parties and spooky halloween bashes. Celebrate with one of these deliciously fun, fall themed desserts! My favorite are the black cats! What’s yours?
There’s only one thing hotter than football this fall…crockpots. Yes, CROCKPOTS. They are blowing up all over the Internet like they were invented yesterday. And there are many reasons to love crockpots…they require simple/few ingredients most of the time, they cook for you while you’re at work and it’s all done in one single piece of equipment. Yay! And there are soooo many recipes that you can make in a crockpot…from apple cider, to mexican casseroles, to appetizers and meatloaf, the possibilities are endless. And I recently discovered another use for my crockpot–cake!
Who would have thought you could make a cake without turning your oven on?? Simply amazing. Now this cake isn’t winning any beauty pageants any time soon, but in the taste department it takes home the gold! I literally threw the ingredients together for this cake in 30 minutes over my lunch break, went back to work for a couple of hours and when I got home my whole house smelled like chocolate. Yeah, I could come home to that smell every day.
It’s an interesting recipe because you make the cake batter and put it in the crockpot and then pour this water/sugar/cocoa mixture all over the cake. I mean, it’s a LOT of liquid! But amazingly enough while the cake cooks, the liquid turns to a yummy fudge sauce underneath. It’s hard to capture the full deliciousness of this cake in a picture just ’cause really, it’s not pretty, but alot of ugly recipes taste the best. This is one of those.
6 T. Unsweetened Cocoa (I used 4 T. regular unsweetened cocoa and 2 T. Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa)
⅔ c. Semi-Sweet or Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
1½ sticks Unsalted Butter, cut into chunks
1 t. Instant Coffee Granules
1¼ c. Granulated Sugar
⅔ c. Whole Milk
2 Large Egg Yolks
2 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
3 c. Hot Water
⅔ c. Granulated Sugar
⅔ c. Packed Brown Sugar
⅔ c. Unsweetened Cocoa (I used half regular unsweetened and half Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa)
1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
For the Cake:
Coat the inside of a 2½ quart to 5 quart slow cooker or crockpot with cooking spray.
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa. Set aside.
In another large bowl melt the chocolate chips, butter and instant coffee granules in the microwave at 20-second intervals, stirring between each until melted and smooth. Whisk in the sugar thoroughly and then the milk, egg yolks and vanilla until smooth. Add the flour mixture and mix thoroughly with a spatula. Pour into the bottom of your slow cooker and spread evenly.
For the Fudge Sauce:
Combine the hot water and both sugars and whisk until sugar is dissolved. Whisk in the cocoa and vanilla. Pour over the cake batter.
Cover the slow cooker with a tea towel and then put the lid on top of that (the towel will absorb any condensation that occurs). Cook for 2½ hours on high. You will know it's ready when nearly all of the cake is set and the edges begin to pull away from the sides. Let it set for 30-45 minutes and then serve in bowls with whipped cream or ice cream.
I know that I just posted a recipe for Key Lime Pie Ice Cream earlier this week, but the truth is I am already WAY into fall baking mode. After having several days of degrees well above 100 this summer, anything less than that seems cool and fall-ish in comparison even if it is still in the upper 80s! So now that it’s September, I am opening up the flood gates on everything pumpkin, apple and maple and the recipes are gonna come pouring out!
Let’s start with this recipe for Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies. I initially wanted a chewy cookie but these were some of the puffiest, softest cake-like cookies that I have ever made. And that was ok by me. And they weren’t too sweet which was perfect because the butterscotch filling more than made up for any lack of sweetness in the cookie. I took these to a get-together and they got rave reviews all around and not one made it back home with me. Always a good sign.
Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies with Malted Butterscotch Filling
Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies
1 c. (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened
1⅓ c., plus 1 T. Light Brown Sugar, packed
2 Large Eggs
1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
2 c. AP Flour
1 t. Baking Soda
1½ t. Ground Cinnamon
1 t. Pumpkin Pie Spice
½ t. Salt
2½ c. Oats
Malted Butterscotch Filling
1 c. Butterscotch Chips
2½ T. Unsalted Butter, cut into chunks
⅓ c., plus 2 T. Plain (not chocolate-flavored) Malted Milk Powder
1½ ounces Cream Cheese, softened and cut into chunks
3 T. Milk
1½ t. Pure Vanilla Extract
For the Cookies:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, salt and oats together. Mix the dry ingredients into the butter/sugar mixture. Chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or overnight.
Roll dough into 1½-2" balls and place two inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake 9-10 minutes (9 minutes was perfect for me), rotating pans half-way through. Let them sit on the cookie sheets for 2 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the Filling:
In a medium bowl, microwave the butterscotch chips and butter at 20 second intervals, stirring between each, until completely melted and smooth. Cool to warm. In an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese and malted milk powder until well blended and completely smooth. Beat in half the butterscotch mixture just until incorporated. Beat in the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until well blended. Beat in the remaining butterscotch mixture and the vanilla until evenly incorporated. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until somewhat thickened but not stiff. (The recipe then calls for you to beat the filling on high speed until light in color and very fluffy, about three minutes. I accidentally missed that step. Oops. So it's up to you, but I'd recommend NOT skipping that step.)
Spread about 1½ tablespoons of the filling on the underside of half of the cookies and then top with the remaining cookies. These can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
I am pretty much LOVING all things key lime right now so I thought I’d “squeeze” (Get it?! Squeeze? Limes?? Umm, never mind.) in one more summertime recipe before the temps start falling and pumpkins and apples become the baking ingredients of choice.
A couple of months ago I saw a recipe from My Baking Addiction for Key Lime Pie Ice Cream and I knew there was no way I could let the summer pass by without making it. And I am so glad I didn’t! This ice cream is awesome and so simple…you basically whisk all the ingredients together in a large bowl, put the mixture in your ice cream maker and let it do it’s thing and then transfer to your freezer to harden up. That’s it!
I only changed a couple of things about this recipe. For starters, I wanted a REAL graham cracker crust in my ice cream and let me tell you it is worth the little bit of extra effort to make it. I also thought the mixture was a little too sweet so I doubled the key lime juice to balance out the sweet and tart–perfect! If I do say so myself.
Enjoy this recipe! And enjoy what’s left of summer!
1 c. Fresh or Bottled Key Lime Juice (such as Nellie and Joe's)
½ c. Heavy Whipping Cream
1 (14 oz.) Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
For Graham Cracker Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x9 pan with cooking spray.
Stir together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and salt. Press into the bottom of the pan and bake for 10 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
For Ice Cream: In a large bowl, whisk together whole milk, lime juice, heavy cream, salt and sweetened condensed milk. Pour into your ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Meanwhile, crumble your crust into small pieces and place in a bowl. Set aside.
When ice cream is done, layer ice cream and graham crackers into a freezer-safe container. I had about four layers of each. Cover and freeze for one hour or until firm.