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Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Cookies

Guess what?? I have a recipe for you!!!

So I’ve never been a fan of pumpkin pie…

I think it was mostly because it was hard to accept that a dessert incorporated a vegetable.

Because of that, I never felt the urge to jump on the pumpkin-flavored bandwagon.

But then my husband came home one day last week with Pumpkin Spice Morsels (or as I call them, pumpkin flavored chocolate chips).

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Look at those pumpkin spice chocolate chips!

I couldn’t just ignore them, so I ate a few…

I was hooked.

I used them to make these cookies and they were a hit!

In fact, my husband came over to me and said, “I can’t believe I’m eating ANOTHER cookie!”

And no one was forcing him.

That says a lot for a guy who doesn’t like desserts with flour in them (his words)…

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Fall plate, fall tablecloth, fall cookies…  🙂

I had already made pumpkin cakes for Halloween, just because I needed something simple to bake.

But it was the morsels that changed my life forever.

OK, I’m exaggerating a little, but… I’m all about vegetables in my desserts now!!

Well, not like broccoli or peppers or anything like that.

Alright, maybe just pumpkin.

So I also plan on making low fat pumpkin bread– and of course I will happily make pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.

Am I on the bandwagon or what?!?!  🙂

 

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Cookies (adapted from NESTLÉ)

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup NESTLÉ® Pumpkin Spice Morsels (or you can use more if you prefer!)

Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking sheet liners.

Mix flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in medium bowl.

Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until combined.

Add pureed pumpkin.

Gradually beat in flour mixture.

Stir in morsels.

Drop by rounded tablespoons 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake at 350° F for 12 to 13 minutes or until light golden brown.

Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. 

Welcome to pumpkin bliss!!

 

Lemon Cake

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It’s spring, so I just had to make something lemony!!

Lemon Cake 2a

Here are some facts about this cake:

1) It’s the moistest cake I’ve ever made.

2) It’s hard to describe, other than it tastes good and has a weird texture.

Lemon Cake 4a

3) It’s the kind of cake you want to keep eating, even if you’re not sure why.

Lemon 3a

 4) It’s really easy and fun to make, until you realize you don’t have lemons, the only yogurt you have is low fat, and the only flour you have is whole wheat. That’s when you get stressed out, but you continue with what you have.

Lemon Cake 5a

I wish I could I just cut the top off and eat it all.

 5) It kills hand mixers right in the middle of mixing. (Well, at least that’s what you think, until your husband informs you that you popped a circuit, and the mixer is fine.)

Lemon Cake a

I have no idea how I had the willpower to let the glaze dry before I cut it. I did make myself feel better by eating some glaze with a spoon, though. 🙂

 6) It’s lemony, so of course my husband doesn’t particularly like it. Or at least that’s what he said when he cut his third slice.

 So now that you’ve gotten to know the cake a little better—why don’t you try it for yourself? :)

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Lemon Cake (adapted from Barefoot Contessa)

  • 1-1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plain low fat yogurt
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 1 teaspoons lemon extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice (I used the kind in a bottle)

For the glaze

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into one bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon extract, and vanilla.

Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated.

Pour the batter into a prepared loaf pan and bake  at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

While the cake is baking, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan.

While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice and pour over the cake.

Low Fat Chocolate Chip Yogurt Cookies

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I’M BACK!!

Moved to Alabama 3 weeks ago and still living out of boxes.

But… I finally found all my baking supplies, so I can bake again!!  Yay!

I had some yogurt in the house and saw this recipe, so here are some yummy low fat cookies!

Low Fat Yogurt Cookies with Chocolate Chips 6a

I have to be honest with you– this one makes me want to eat my computer screen…

I actually got annoyed by the recipe because it called for mini chocolate chips, and I’m not a fan.  I prefer to have big chunks of chocolate.

I thought they were trying to cut down on the fat by adding very few itty bitty chocolate chips.

I was angry at the cookbook. 

I almost rebelled and put regular chocolate chips—and more of them!

Low Fat Yogurt Cookies with Chocolate Chips 5a

But at the last minute, I noticed I had exactly ½ cup of mini chocolate chips (what a coincidence, huh?)

So I used it.

And interestingly, I was glad I did. 

Look at all the yummy chocolate chips!

Low Fat Yogurt Cookies with Chocolate Chips 4a

I guess I can be a rebel next time.  🙂

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Low Fat Chocolate Chip Yogurt Cookies (by Pillsbury)

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Beat sugar, butter, and shortening until light and fluffy.

Add yogurt and vanilla; blend well.

Stir in flour, baking soda and salt.

Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake at 375°F for 8-12 minutes, or until light golden brown.

Butterscotch Caramel Bites

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My husband recently brought home a delicious cookie bar from work.

I wasn’t even sure what was in it, but I devoured it.

I later found out it was caramel and chocolate chips.

So I asked him to please get me the recipe.

At the last minute, I decided that I was going to use butterscotch chips instead.

Caramel Butterscotch Bites 3a
What did my husband say when he tried mine?

Something to the effect of, “I wonder if you didn’t bake them correctly, or if he gave me the wrong recipe.”

So I broke down into tears and kicked him out.

Haha, just kidding.

Actually, I remembered that he doesn’t like caramel or butterscotch. 🙂

Caramel Butterscotch Bites 2a
True, they didn’t come out just like the one he had brought home, but this one is delicious nonetheless.

To tell you the truth, many pieces didn’t even get past the cutting process.

I thought I was smart to cut them into bite-sized pieces, but that only makes you eat more of them!

They are addictive.

They sort of jump off the plate and into your mouth by accident.

I’m serious! 

Caramel Butterscotch Bites a
I definitely recommend that you make these.

Just don’t listen to my husband, ok?

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Butterscotch Caramel Bites (my adaptation)

Crust:

  • 2 Cups white wheat flour (you can use all purpose)
  • 2 Cups quick- cooking oats
  • 1.5 Cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Cup butter, softened

Filling

  • 1 Cup Butterscotch Caramel ice cream topping
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 Cup butterscotch chips

In a large bowl, blend all crust ingredients at low speed until crumbly.

Press half of the mixture in bottom of a greased 9 x 13 inch pan (reserve rest for topping).

Bake pan at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine ice cream topping and 3 Tablespoons flour.  Set aside.

When you take the crust out of the oven, sprinkle with butterscotch chips.

Drizzle with caramel mixture.

Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.

Bake and additional 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Cook completely.

Refrigate 1 or 2 hours until filling is set.

Cut into bite-sized pieces and enjoy!

Cake with Vanilla Mousse Filling

I’m tired.  Really, really tired.

So much to do and I can’t get enough sleep.

And that’s why this cake doesn’t look so pretty.

White cake with mousse 3a

OK, I’m lying.

No, I’m not lying about being tired.

I really am tired.

And I’m not lying about it not being so pretty.

I’m lying about that being the reason the layers are messy.

“That” being that I’m tired.

And messy meaning not so pretty, as I stated above.

Whoa, this is getting complicated.

Are you following me?

White cake with mousse 2a

OK, let’s start again.

The layers are messy because this is the first time I ever made a layer cake with mousse in the middle.

Phew, I feel much better now that I told you the truth.

I somehow have to figure out how to make the layers the same size.

But the good news is that it tasted really good!

Oh yeah, and that the mousse filling is ridiculously easy to make.

So please ignore the uneven layers and messy frosting (which is buttercream, by the way), and focus on how yummy it will taste if you make it yourself.

Yum.

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Really Really Easy Mousse Cake Filling (recipe from Food.com)

  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1 (3 1/2 ounce) box instant vanilla pudding mix
In a chilled metal bowl, beat whipping cream on medium-high speed until it begins to thicken.
Gradually add in the instant pudding mix and continue to beat, just until thick.
Put it in your cake!

Chocolate Syrup Cake

Somehow, I ended up with a HUGE bottle of chocolate syrup in my house, that no one was eating.

We have ice cream all the time, but the chocolate syrup is forgotten.

Then one day, I ran across a recipe for a Chocolate Syrup cake.

To my surprise, it actually called for 1-1/2 cups of syrup!!

Chocolate Syrup Cake 5a

Then I read how easy it was to make and thought it was too good to be true.

But I tend to get overly excited about baking, so I ran it past my husband to see what he thought.

And he was skeptical.  He thought it was a little odd that it required so much syrup.

He even asked if perhaps it was a typo and it was supposed to be 1-1/2 tablespoons of syrup.

Um, really?  🙂

So after I laughed a bit, I went ahead with the recipe.

Chocolate Syrup Cake 4a

My kids squealed when they saw all the syrup go into the bowl.

My husband raised his eyebrow (still not sure how he does that).

I wondered how it would become a cake when it was so liquidy.

But 35 minutes later, we had a cake!!

Chocolate Syrup Cake 2a

I’m not sure why we doubted this poor cake, but if you like chocolate syrup, you’ll like the cake.  We especially liked it with my cream cheese frosting.

In fact, my kids liked it so much that I had to take these pictures at night, because I was afraid I wouldn’t have a piece to photograph in the morning!

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Chocolate Syrup Cake (adapted from Hershey’s)

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-1/2 cups chocolate syrup

Beat butter, sugar and eggs until thoroughly blended in large bowl.

Add flour and baking soda, blending well.

Add syrup; mix thoroughly.

Spread batter in greased 9 x 13 baking pan.

Bake 35 minutes at 350 degrees, or until wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.

Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

Frost and garnish as desired.

Peanut Butter Cookies

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These peanut butter cookies were a hit.

Especially among the men.

I guess they’re manly cookies?

I wanted to drizzle chocolate on them, but I was met with opposition.  I guess that would make them less manly?

I don’t know– I still can’t figure it out.

Peanut butter cookies a

(On a totally random note…
why won’t WordPress let me change my font color anymore?

That is kinda stressful, because I was used to blue font.

And stress can kill, you know.  It nearly killed me yesterday, but that’s another story.

OK, that’s the end of my randomness…)

Peanut butter cookie a

The original recipe has these cookies rolled in sugar.

I tried a few like that, but once again– opposition.

Not manly enough either, it seems.

So… here they are, just peanut buttery goodness– no frills.

Peanut butter cookies 2a

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Peanut Butter Cookies (adapted from Betty Crocker)

  • 1/2  cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2  cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2  cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4  cup butter, softened
  • 1/4  cup shortening
  • 1  egg
  • 1-1/2  cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2  teaspoon baking powder

Stir together sugar, brown sugar, peanut butter, butter, shortening and egg.

Stir in flour, baking soda and baking powder.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 375ºF for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are light brown. Cool on wire rack.

Low Fat Raspberry Cookies

Let me start off by saying that these cookies were originally named
“Raspberry Strippers.” 

I couldn’t call them that without laughing (how mature), so I changed their name.

Just had to share that.

So anyway, here they are:

Raspberry Strips 2a

I’ve made these cookies many times, and they never disappoint.

They are easy to make, bite-sized, and yummy!

They’re also low fat, which makes them even more appealing (at least to me).

Raspberry Strips a

I thought I was finally done with the craziness of the holidays, but now it’s time to get ready for New Year’s Eve!

We eat lots of appetizers for New Year’s Eve (or hors d’oeuvres if you want to sound fancy), so small cookies would be fun, too!

OK, I’m not saying big cookies aren’t fun.

All cookies are fun.

But I was just trying to make a point.

Never mind…  go make these cookies!  🙂

Raspberry Strips 4a

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Low Fat Raspberry Cookies (adapted from Cooking Light)

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/3 cup raspberry preserves (I use jam instead)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Beat granulated sugar and butter with a mixer at medium speed until well-blended (about 5 minutes).

Add 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla and egg white; beat well.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt, stirring well with a whisk.

Add flour mixture to sugar mixture, stirring until well-blended. (Dough will be stiff.)

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Roll each portion into a 12-inch log.

Place logs 3 inches apart on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.

Form a 1/2-inch-deep indentation down the length of each log using your index finger or end of a wooden spoon. Spoon preserves into the center.

Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove logs to a cutting board.

Immediately cut each log diagonally into 12 slices. (Do not separate slices.) Cool 10 minutes.

Combine powdered sugar, lemon juice, and almond extract; stir well with a whisk. Drizzle sugar mixture over logs.

Transfer slices to wire racks. Cool completely.

Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies

My kids all LOVE oatmeal.

And they call it Oat-Mee-Meal. 

It’s what they want to eat on weekends—even more than pancakes, or waffles, or pretty much anything else.

It’s a huge thing in my house.

So… whose kids ARE they??

Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies 2a

I mean, I never liked oatmeal. 

I’m ok with oatmeal cookies, but hot mushy cereal? No way.

In fact, I don’t even like cold mushy cereal.

Cereal should not be soggy, if you ask me.

So I eat my cereal dry, and I’m happy.

Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies 4a

OK, why do I always digress?

Let’s get back to these cookies.

They’re really good- with lots of butterscotch chips.

Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies a

And so easy to make. 

Seriously easy, which makes me almost as happy as eating them.

What’s the point of all this?  Don’t waste your oats on hot mushy cereal, when you can make these yummy cookies instead!  🙂

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Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies (adapted from Nestle)

  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
  • 1-2/3 cups butterscotch chips
Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in small bowl.

In a large bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. Gradually beat in flour mixture.

Stir in oats and butterscotch chips.

Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 7 to 8 minutes at 375 degrees.

Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

I heard about these cookies, and I wasn’t sure why you might want to put cream cheese in chocolate chip cookies.

I had to find out of course, so I made them:

These cookies have a different flavor than your average chocolate chip cookie, kind of tangy—and they’re soft!

I also made some with M&Ms.

Why?  Because I was bored.

Or maybe because I needed a splash of color.

Or I wanted variety.

I’m not really sure what made me do that.

Whatever the reason, it was a good idea because we liked them even more!

And they’re bite-sized, so they’re a perfect snack.

As long as you can get them before your kids eat them all.

You can always play “Rock, Paper, Scissors” to see who gets the last ones– although I never win in my house.

I played with my 3-year-old recently, and when we said “shoot,” I put up a rock, and he put up a gun.  What??  And, well, a gun shoots a rock.

So I thought I’d be cool and use that trick with my 9-year-old.  But when I put up my gun, he put up a force field.  Really??

Apparently, nothing can enter a force field, and so I lost again.

So, in summary– make these cookies because they’re good, and don’t play
Rock, Paper, Scissors for them.

Just hide some for yourself instead!

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Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies (adapted from bakeorbreak.com)

  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces low fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups chocolate chips (or M&Ms)

Beat butter, cream cheese, sugar, and brown sugar until fluffy.

Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Mix in vanilla.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Gradually add to mixture in first bowl, mixing until almost combined.

Add chocolate chips (or M&Ms), stirring until dough is thoroughly mixed.

Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto prepared pans.

Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned.  (They almost seemed undercooked when I took them out, but were perfect once they cooled.)

Cool cookies completely on pan on wire racks.

Rum Cake

You know those times when you all of a sudden need a rum cake, and you just don’t have time to make one from scratch?

And you’re out of rum?

Don’t you hate when that happens?

OK, fine, it’s never happened to me either.

But you never know when you might have a rum cake crisis, and you need to be prepared.

This is when I cut it and it was still warm. Mmmmm…

That’s when this post will come in handy.

I love this recipe.  It is soooo easy.

OK, so it’s not made with real rum—but it still tastes like rum! 

And yes, I used a cake mix in there, but I was in a hurry.

But just look at it…  don’t you just want to take a bite?

OK, I hope I helped you through a potential rum cake crisis.

See you next time!

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Rum Cake (adapted from McCormick)

  • 1 box of yellow cake mix
  • 1 box of instant vanilla pudding mix (3.5 oz)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 C butter
  • 2 Tablespoons rum extract

Beat all ingredients in large bowl with mixer on low to moisten.

Beat on medium for 4 minutes.

Pour into greased 12-cup bundt pan.

Bake at 325 degrees for one hour or until cake begins to pull away from sides of pan.

Let cool for 15 minutes in pan.

Remove from pan and pierce with fork.

For Glaze:

Mix 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 butter and 2 tablespoons water.

Bring to boil on medium heat on boil one minute.

Remove from heat.

Stir in 1/2 teaspoon rum extract.

Pour over cake.

Start eating!

(NOTE:  If you want to use real rum, you can substitute 1 tablespoon of light rum for 1/2 teaspoon extract OR 1 tablespoon of dark rum for 1-1/2 teaspoons extract.)

Light Maple Cupcakes

So it’s autumn, and maple cupcakes sounded like the perfect dessert!

But what can one possibly say about light maple cupcakes?

They are light.

They taste like maple syrup.

They are cupcakes.

That’s all. 

Ha ha, ok,  I can also say that they’re delicious.

Oh, and I made them even lower in fat by using egg whites and skim milk.

They didn’t even make it to the taste-testers, because everyone at my house loved them so much.

And I’m surprised the frosting made it to the cupcakes after I tasted it–but we don’t need to talk about that.  🙂

And interestingly, a couple of the cupcakes decided to hide in the back of the fridge. 

By the way, did you know that little kids can’t reach the back of the fridge?

Just an observation.  😉

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Light Maple Cupcakes (adapted from Cooking Light)

Cupcakes:

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple extract
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

Beat first 4 ingredients at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended (about 5 minutes).

Add egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.

Combine flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk.

Combine milk and 1/4 cup maple syrup.

Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix after each addition.

Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups lined with paper liners.

Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

Frosting:

  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons butter or stick margarine, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon imitation maple flavoring
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1-3/4 cups powdered sugar

Beat 3 tablespoons maple syrup and next 4 ingredients (syrup through 1/8 teaspoon salt) at medium speed of a
mixer for 1 minute.

Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating just until blended (do not overbeat).

Spread over cupcakes.

Low Fat Soft Pretzels

OK, I didn’t actually “make” these pretzels… my husband did most of the work.

But I get a lot of the credit…

  1. I gave him the recipe and asked him to make them (yes, I was tired that day).
  2. I gave him all the necessary ingredients and tools to make them.
  3. I ran to the rescue when he put my stand mixer on high, and there were only dry ingredients in the bowl—and then all over the counter. 
  4. I shaped them when they started looking all contorted.
  5. I laughed when it took him like 17 hours to make them (story to follow below).

But the most important thing is that they were delicious.

We were all kind of surprised as we looked at each other and inhaled an entire pretzel each.

And we were even more surprised when I calculated that each was only 123 calories and 1 gram of fat!!

This was their shape before I stepped in…

So why did they take 17 hours to make?

Well, my 3-year-old wanted to help.

He’s lovingly referred to as our “delay fish.”  (Like in Nemo.)

Everything we do with his help takes waaaaay longer to do.

So by the time they had made the mix, shaped the pretzels (my son only did one—which needed lots of shaping and reshaping for some reason), and boiled them—it was time for bed.

So the pretzels went in the fridge until the next day. 

It wasn’t until about noon that we finally got to bake them.

But it was worth the wait!!

The end.

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Low Fat Soft Pretzels (adapted from Pillsbury)

  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour, divided
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (1/4 oz.) package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  • No-Stick Cooking Spray
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Pretzel salt

Combine 1 cup flour, sugar, salt and yeast in medium bowl. Blend well.

Heat 1 cup water and shortening in small saucepan to 100° to 110°F. Add liquid to flour mixture. Blend at low speed of an electric mixer until moistened. Beat 3 minutes at medium speed.

Stir in by hand an additional 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 cups flour or until dough pulls cleanly away from sides of bowl.

Knead in 1/2 to 3/4 cup flour on floured surface, until dough is smooth and elastic.  Place in greased bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and cloth towel. Let rise in a warm place (80° to 85°F) until light and doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Spray 2 cookie sheets with no-stick cooking spray.

Punch down dough and divide into 12 pieces.  Roll each piece into a 16-inch rope and form into pretzel shape.

Place on prepared cookie sheets. Cover and let rise in warm place about 15 to 20 minutes.

Adjust oven rack to top position. Heat oven to 400°F.

Combine 6 cups water and baking soda in a shallow sided saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil and slowly drop pretzels into water, one at a time, cooking 15 seconds on each side. Remove from water with slotted spoon.

Return to cookie sheet. Sprinkle with pretzel salt.

BAKE 10 minutes. Immediately remove from cookie sheet.

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate Chips

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I don’t like oatmeal cookies.

Maybe it’s because of the raisins.

Sometimes they’ve tricked me into thinking they were chocolate chips from afar. 

Huge letdown, if you ask me.

So, I guess if they were oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips, they would be ok.

But I found something even better– a recipe for these chocolate oatmeal cookies.

And guess what?  I added chocolate chips, just to annoy the raisins in the world.  🙂

They could totally win a cookie-stacking contest…

Everyone loved them—even me!!

You actually can’t even tell they’re oatmeal cookies.

Can you see the chocolate chips? I promise they’re in there!

They are very chocolatey– and so chewy in the middle.

Yum!

I got really good feedback for these, but the best was my 9-year-old’s.

I asked him what he thought and he replied, “They’re like… you need to make them 500 more times.”

Well, that sounds like he really liked them!

And it sounds exhausting.

So I probably won’t be making them 500 more times…

But I will definitely make them again!!

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Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate Chips (adapted from Hershey’s Kitchens)

  • 1 cup  (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy.

Blend in eggs and vanilla.

Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, mixing well.

Stir in oats and chocolate chips. (Batter will be stiff.)

Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes or until set; cookies will be slightly moist in center.  Do not overbake.

Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

(This recipe makes a lot of cookies.  I actually halved it when I made mine, and it worked out well.)

Crumb Cake

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I’m a frosting girl, so of course I tend to always want to bake stuff with frosting.

But my best friend Virginia told me I had to make this crumb cake, because it was really tasty.

Now, she’s been my best friend since we were 13 (and no, don’t ask me how long ago that was), so how could I doubt her?

And she was soooo right.

Now, I did make a little mistake. 

She said I would probably have all the ingredients lying around the house, so I didn’t pay attention—until I got to the biscuit mix.  (Gin [yes, I’m talking to you]– why would I have biscuit mix lying around?)

Um, I don’t think I’ve ever had biscuit mix in my house. 

Is that weird?

Anyway, I had to improvise, so you’ll find the changed recipe below.

I thought the crumb topping was going to be too much because there was A LOT of it.

Boy was I wrong.  Really really wrong.

The crumb topping was awesome!! 

So, listen to Virginia and me and make this cake.

Just don’t blame us if you eat the entire cake by yourself. 

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Crumb Cake (adapted from Food.com)

Cake

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream butter and sugar.

Beat eggs and milk; mix with butter.

In another bowl, mix flour and baking powder, then add to butter mixture.

Stir in vanilla.

Pour batter into a greased 9 x 13 pan.

 

Topping

  • 1/2 cup butter (cold)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Cut butter into sugars, biscuit mix, and cinnamon.

Sprinkle over batter in pan, and don’t be shocked at how much there is!

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until done. 

(“Or until done?”  Can you really say that in a recipe? Does it defeat the purpose of saying 30 minutes? What if someone doesn’t know when it’s actually done? I thought that was funny, so I left it in there.  How about we change it to:  leave in for about 30 minutes, and check that a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out fairly clean. Phew, I feel better now!)