Sunday, April 27, 2014

Healthy Banana Bread Cookies

Making banana bread is a perfect weekend activity, it uses ingredients on hand, it's comforting and it makes the house smell amazing. My house was a mess this weekend and I had zero desire to clean so I figured if I make banana bread the delicious smell will distract people from the mess! The only drawback to making banana bread is the guilt factor, so much sugar and butter... oy vey. Well, enter my solution, clean, healthy, banana bread cookies. Just 52 calories a piece, 2 grams protein, only 6 grams sugar, and all that good for you potassium. The cookies are not crunchy, they are moist and cake like. I used Stevia along with brown sugar to add sweetness. If you prefer not to use Stevia, you could just add more brown sugar. Stevia is a natural, calorie free sweetener derived from the stevia plant and thus considered "clean". I like it because it isn't filled with chemicals like some other calorie free sweeteners. Let me know how the cookies turn out for you!

Healthy Banana Bread Cookies 
2 ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup organic rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon Stevia in the Raw (or use more brown sugar)
1/2 cup low fat yogurt
2 egg whites
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 345 degrees fahrenheit. Mix together dry ingredients, in a separate bowl blend bananas, yogurt and egg whites. 
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes until firm to the touch.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Pear Filled Chai Cookies

I'm ready for fall.... desserts! Chai tea, pears and oats make for one fantastically fallish cookie. I cooked down diced pears in a mixture of chai tea concentrate and brown sugar. On it's own, the reduction would be a great ice cream topping, but I had other plans, stuff it in a cookie!  The cookies are light and cakey, but the oats ground them and give them a chewy texture. I added about a half teaspoonful of the filling and it got a bit lost in the cookie. I was hoping for a juicer pear punch in the middle. I recommend adding more pear filling than what is called for in the original recipe.  The batter is quite sticky, it should be refrigerated before baking or the cookies will spread out.
 I loved the subtle spice and depth the chai concentrate imparted. The cookie pairs perfectly with a cup of tea and a fluffy blanket on a windy fall day.

Pear­-Chai Filled Cookies

1 cup Cored, diced, unpared Bosc pears
1 1/3 cup Brown sugar
2 tbsp. Honey
2/4 cup Chai Tea Latte Concentrate
1 cup Butter
2 Eggs
2 cups Flour
2 tsp. Baking powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 cups Rolled oats

Cookie dough:
Cream butter and 1­cup brown sugar. Beat in eggs. 

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. 

Add to creamed mixture alternately with ½ cup Chai concentrate. Stir in oats. Refrigerate dough for about one hour.
While dough is chilling, begin making pear filling.

Pear filling: 

In a saucepan, combine pears, 1/3 cup brown sugar, honey and ¼ cup Original Chai concentrate. Cook over medium heat until pear is soft and liquid is nearly gone. 
Cover, Set aside. Remove cookie dough from the fridge.  Drop spoonfuls of cookie dough on greased cookie sheet. 

Make a small depression in the center of the dough and add chai/pear filling. Top with another dollop of dough. Continue until cookie sheet is full. Bake 10­-12 minutes at 375*
Cuddle up and Enjoy!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Cinnamon Sugar Stuffed Chocolate Chip Scones

Scones are one of those baked goods that seem really simple to make, but are also really simple to mess up. A bit too much or too little of something and they venture off into the realm of the dry and unappetizing... You go along, following the recipe as you should, seemingly making no errors, yet they come out of the oven dense and crumbly. They must be good friends with pie crust. It also likes to journey to tough, dry, barely edible baked goods land. That being said, when a scone comes out well, it is heaven with a cup of coffee. 
These scones combat the dry, crumbly problem, giving you a leg up on the game with a rich, moist filling of cinnamon, butter, and sugar. It's pretty hard to go wrong with that! The batter is speckled with dark chocolate chips and they the recipe includes oats, which made me feel better about all the butter I was consuming. The recipe hails from one of my favorite sites, mykitchenaddiction.comI have tried many of the recipes on that site, and I haven't had a bad one yet! The original recipe calls for flax seed, so all you health nuts can go crazy with it ;) I left them out, some days I don't feel like a nut... okay, it's been a long day, and I need to stop with the puns, so here's the recipe, enjoy!! 

Cinnamon Sugar Stuffed Chocolate Chip Scones
For the filling:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 
2/3 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed 
1 tablespoon cinnamon 
1 tablespoon all purpose flour 
1 tablespoon dark cocoa powder (optional) 

For the dough: 
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats 
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour 
1/2 cup all purpose flour 
1/4 cup milled golden flax (I left this out) 
1/3 cup granulated sugar 
1 tablespoon baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter (cold) 
6 ounces plain greek yogurt 
1/4 cup lowfat milk plus additional to brush on tops of scones 
1 egg 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 cup chocolate chips 
Cinnamon sugar for sprinkling on top of scones 

Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a nine-inch cake pan and cut a circle of parchment to line the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the ingredients for the filling, using a fork to evenly incorporate the butter to form moist crumbs. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients for the dough – the rolled oats, white whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, milled golden flax (if using), granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. 
Use a cheese grater and grate the butter into the dry ingredients, working it in with your fingers until the mix resembles sand. 
In a separate bowl, whisk together the yogurt, milk, egg, and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients and the chocolate chips to the dry ingredients. 
Use a fork to incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry, just until a dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and use your hands to gently knead the dough and form it into a ball. Don't overwork the dough, or you may get a drier scone. 
Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into a disc that is approximately 9 inches in diameter (to fit into the pan). 
Place one of the discs of dough in the bottom of the prepared baking pan. 
Spread the prepared filling on top of the first disc. Top with the second disc of dough, pressing down lightly to remove any air bubbles.
Use a dough scraper to cut the scones into 12 wedges (as you can see from the picture below, mine was ten uneven wedges, nobody's perfect).
Brush with milk and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Bake the scones for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
Use a wire rack to flip the scones out of the pan, and then use a plate to invert the scones one more time so that they are right-side up. 
Thank you to 'My Kitchen Addiction" for originally posting this great recipe! Hope you all love it! 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

S'Mores Granola Bars

Granola bars are my favorite grab and go snack and you really can't get any easier than this recipe. I love the Quaker Chewy S'mores Granola Bars, so I tweaked the recipe to be as s'mores like as possible. I used Kraft mini marshmallows, they taste like the marshmallows in Lucky Charms, or the kind that come in those little packets of hot cocoa, so they were perfect for these bars. The finished product was quite similar to the Quaker bars, but a bit chewier and more chocolaty tasting. Definitely a keeper. 

No bake S'mores Granola Bars
Adapted From
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups quick cooking oats {not rolled oats!}
1 cup crispy rice cereal
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips, plus more for topping
1/2 cup mini marshmallows, plus more for topping
Mix together Rice Krispies, oats, 1/2 cup marshmallows, and mini chocolate chips (if you want them with less chocolate flavor, leave out the chips till the end). Set aside.
 In a small pot, melt butter, honey, and brown sugar together over medium high heat until it starts to bubble. Reduce heat and cook for another two minutes. Stir in the vanilla. 
Remove from heat and pour over oat/rice mixture. Mix well ensuring that all ingredients are moistened. Line a small jelly roll pan (12x8x1) with aluminum foil.
 Pour mixture into lined pan. Pack it in really tightly or the bars won't set and will fall apart when cooled.  
Sprinkle the top with more chocolate chips and mini marshmallows. Let cool, then cut into bars.
 Have a sweet day! 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Happy Easter! I'm keepin it brief today! Just a good old fashioned recipe for chewy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. The recipe has gotten over 2000 favorable reviews on, it's a definite winner! Have a great week!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla.
Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.
Stir into the creamed mixture until just blended. Mix in the quick oats, walnuts, and chocolate chips. Don't over mix! Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven.
Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Nutella Peanut Butter Cookie Cups

Hello everyone! It's officially Spring! To kick off the season in delicious style, I whipped up a batch of cookie cups. Simple really, just use your favorite cookie recipe, hollow out the middle and fill it up with nutella, white chocolate, peanut butter, or any combination of the three. I made peanut butter cookie cups and chocolate chip cookie cups. I tried a couple different flavor combos, my favorite was the chocolate chip cookie filled with Nutella and white chocolate. Amazing. Next time I want to do white chocolate macadamia cookies filled with nutella. The cookie/filling possibilities are endless.

Nutella PB Cookie Cups
Adapted from Pillsbury
1 batch of your favorite cookie dough
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup nutella
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F), line a muffin tray with muffin liners or coat well with butter. For the cookie cups you can use whatever cookie recipe you like, you may have to adjust the cooking time though.
Peanut Butter Cookie Dough
Chocolate Chip Dough
Once you've got your dough ready, scoop into the muffin tins (I used an ice cream scoop).
Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
Cool in muffin cups on cooling rack 30 minutes. Centers of cookies will sink slightly.
If the cookies don't sink enough to form a "cup" scoop out the middles using a spoon or a melon baller.

Peanut Butter Filling
In small microwavable bowl, microwave white chips on Medium 1 minute to 1 minute 30 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds, until smooth. Stir peanut butter into melted chips until blended. Spoon about 2 teaspoons peanut butter mixture into each cookie cup.

Nutella Filling
If you prefer nutella filling you can either mix it with the white chocolate or just spoon it as is into the middle of the cookies.
If you're feeling especially adventurous, combine white chocolate chips, peanut butter and nutella. It's delicious, I promise!
Have a sweet day!