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Archive for October, 2011

For all of the sweets that I eat I probably should have had a zillion cavities by now. And yet here I sit, having never had a cavity all my life. Now that I’ve mentioned it I’ll probably have a major break out of them…

But here’s the thing, I’ve made up for my lack of cavities with other dental issues. Having an appliance that needs to be cranked tighter with a key every night? Check. Having more teeth than I can remember pulled out? Done. Braces? Please, those were a cinch. Getting a gum graph done where they cut some of the gum on the roof of your mouth off and then stitch it else where? That was probably the worst one of them all, followed closely by the bone graph, which is exactly what it sounds like…cutting a piece of bone out of your jaw and then graphing it in elsewhere. Fortunately that one was a walk in the park thanks to some pretty powerful drugs! And lastly, having a fake tooth implanted into my mouth? Also been there, done that. The upside? I don’t have any wisdom teeth to pull out! Such a bonus!

Where am I going with this? Rule number one of dental surgeries, when in doubt have a McDonald’s milkshake. It’ll fill you up and certainly goes down easy. Who wants to chew food anyway? Rule number two: eat soft foods.

This leads me to these cookies. Smushed banana (always a winner when it comes to eating soft foods) combined with oats and yes, even chocolate chips, make for a soft cookie that doesn’t require too much effort to eat and more importantly, they taste great.

After all of this talk about teeth, cue the trip to the bathroom to brush and floss away all of the Halloween candy that’s already crossed my path.

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Recipe Girl

1 1/2 cups flour                        1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda                  3/4 cup butter

1/2 cup sugar                           1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg                                       1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup ripe banana, mashed    1 cup oats

Chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375F.

Combine flour, slat and baking soda in a bowl.

In a separate large bowl, beat butter and sugars with a mixer, mixing on medium speed until pale and fluffy.

Add eggs and vanilla and mix on low speed until combined. Mix in banana.

Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.

Stir in oats and chocolate chips.

Drop dough by heating tablespoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet.

Bake 12-13 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown and just set.

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How about something on the healthy side? Something that doesn’t include a ton of sugar and butter. I know, unlike me, but I figured I’d give it a shot…and it worked!

I surprisingly really enjoyed these cookies. But here’s the thing, I would never label them as cookies, even though that is what the recipe said. Instead let’s call them granola bar cookies, or granola bar-ish snacks. If you’re wanting a good dessert, this isn’t it. But maybe you want a healthy afternoon snack? These are definitely that. It’s all about changing your mentality!

These were enjoyed back in the summer when I was climbing mountains and exploring Whistler with the best friend. And then we went back to the place that we were staying and stuffed ourselves silly with other delicious foods. Such a good decision.

Adaptable. That’s what these are. I threw in raisins and craisins but I’m sure nuts would be a good addition, as would dried cherries or blueberries. Healthy. I like it.

 

 

 

 

 

Banana Applesauce Cookies

3 ripe bananas     2 cups oats

1 cup raisins        1/3 cup applesauce

1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Stir in oats, raisins, applesauce, and vanilla.

Mix well, and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly brown.

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Pumpkin Pie Bars

Today wasn’t a good day. The rain came pouring down, matching exactly how I felt. I needed to take my mind off of things, I needed to bake, but I needed to bake something good. Mission accomplished.

Step 1: Select favourite baking ingredient. Pumpkin? Check.

Step 2: Select second favourite baking ingredient. Cream cheese? Check.

This is looking promising. Thank you Joy the Baker for making Pumpkin Pie bars last year and for twisting my arm to make these. Thank you to another friend for supporting my pumpkin baking addiction. You add, for lack of a better word, joy to my life. If only you lived closer…(ie. these aren’t making their way out east to you in the mail, sorry)

Sometimes recipes give you options regarding toppings. Sometimes I don’t choose, I use both. Such was the case today. Why choose between chocolate chips or butterscotch chips? Why not do half on one side and half on the other? Why am I so smart?

These were really good, a crisp crust, delicious centre and the perfect topping. Just make sure that you store these in the fridge. I love you fall baking!

On a different note, today is Thanksgiving, even though it’s been a tough one I’ve been reminding myself that I have so much to be thankful for…an amazing family, a job at a school that I love, the best co-workers in the world, beautiful friends, good health, and most importantly, a Saviour. So blessed.

 

 

Pumpkin Pie Bars

Adapted from Joy the Baker

1 1/3 cups flour             3/4 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup brown sugar      3/4 cup butter
1 cup oats                      1/2 cup  chopped walnuts
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
3 eggs                            2 cups pumpkin
1 tsp  cinnamon             1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp all spice                 1 tsp vanilla
a handful of butterscotch or chocolate chips for sprinkling on top (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F.

Line a 13×9-inch pan with foil, with ends of the foil extending over sides; grease foil.

Mix flour, 1/4 sugar and brown sugar in a bowl.

Cut in butter with two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in oats and nuts.

Reserve 1 cup oat mixture; press remaining onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 15 min.

Beat cream cheese, remaining sugar, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice and pumpkin with mixer until well blended.

Pour over crust; sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture and a handful of butterscotch or chocolate chips (if desired).

Bake for 25 min.

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Marbled Mocha Cake

Last year around this time I decided to start up this blog in order to document the different things that I tried my hand at baking. I’ve really enjoyed the process of it all and have been learning more and more as I go.

This recipe actually comes from last year. My dad had been raving about a mocha cake, from a bakery, that he had had at school one day and decided that he wanted that cake for his birthday. We fulfilled the request but the cake was not what he was expecting and left much to be desired.

Needless to say, I decided to try my hand at baking him the cake that he had been dreaming about. Even though we aren’t a coffee drinking family, this cake is full of coffee flavour. A two tiered, marbled black and white cake (aka the best of both worlds) is filled with coffee flavoured chocolate pudding and then iced with a mocha frosting.

Result: better than store bought. As if it were ever a competition. Homemade wins every. single. time.

The only problem, even though it tastes delicious, this cake looks atrocious thanks to my lack of photo skills and understanding of how to make food look appetizing. Embarrassing. I’d like to think that I’ve improved over the past year!

 

 

 

Chocolate Marble Sheet Cake

Adapted from MyRecipes

1 cup butter                            1 3/4 cups sugar, divided

2 eggs                                     2 tsp vanilla

2 1/2 cups flour                       1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt                              1 cup half-and-half

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa     3 tbsp hot water

Preheat oven to 325°.

Beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar at medium speed with a mixer 4 to 5 minutes or until creamy.

Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt.

Add to butter mixture alternately with half-and-half, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition.

Spoon 1 1/4 cups batter into a bowl, and stir in cocoa, 3 tbsp hot water, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar until well blended.

Spread remaining vanilla batter into 2 greased and floured 9 inch cake pans.

Spoon chocolate batter onto vanilla batter in pans; gently swirl with a knife or small spatula.

Bake for 23 to 28 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

Chocolate Mocha Pudding

1 package Jello chocolate pudding       1 tbsp instant coffee

Follow the package instructions on how to make the pudding. When completing the liquids section, add in instant coffee and allow to dissolve.

When the cakes are cool, spread the pudding on one layer and top with the other layer.

Mocha Frosting

3 cups icing sugar              2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

3 tbsp hot brewed coffee    2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup butter                   3 to 4 tbsp half-and-half

Whisk together sugar and cocoa in a medium bowl.

Combine coffee and vanilla.

Beat butter at medium speed with a mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar mixture alternately with coffee mixture, beating at low speed until blended.

Beat in half-and-half, 1 tbsp at a time, until smooth and mixture has reached desired consistency.

Frost the cooled cake with this icing.

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