Baking


That was the question we were asking ourselves when Kayte came up with this week’s theme – Your Hearts Desire.Tuesday was Valentine’s Day.  The day for lovers.  The day for flowers.  The day for Chocolate!!  Well not for Kayte!! 

 I thought long and hard and decided it wasn’t a food that was my Heart’s Desire.  It was The Man in my life.  HE is my heart’s desire.  We’ve been married 43+ years.  We’ve had hard times and great times.  I almost lost him once.  Do. Not. Want. To. Do. That. Again!  So because of him it was easy to choose a recipe for this week.  Why?  Because his favorite small sweet treat is Peanut Butter Cookies.  And since I deny him almost nothing when it comes to food that is what I made. 

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These were good.  Very good.  It is the first time I have made PB cookies with natural PB.  I usually use the name brand stuff.  You know the ones –  with lots of sugar.  Sugar we don’t need.  And while the recipe did call for 3/4 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup regular {for which I subbed in 1/4 cup Splenda and a dash of Stevia}  they didn’t need the extra sugar in the PB.  Don’t get me wrong, we love PB and eat it with jelly on sandwiches.  Or melted over ice cream or chocolate cake.  Or out of the jar!!! But we know the extra sugar is bad for us.

Make these cookies.  They will be your faves.  Crunchy! Full of PB flavor (DUH!).  Trust me on this one.

The recipe is on page 260 of Ellie’s Comfort Food Fix.  130 calories in 2 cookies.  2 gm fat.  14 gm cholesterol and 14 mg of fiber.

What, or who, is the Heart’s Desire for the rest of the EwE Group? Visit Eating with Ellie and see.

The Man has been asking for something sweet.  The cheese cake is gone as are all the cookies.  So this morning I made some nice muffins from eating to beat high blood pressure my cookbook for February’s Cookbook Countdown.

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These came out well.  We both liked them.  They were fairly sweet and moist.  The crumble topping just added to the flavor and the apples just seemed to melt into the muffin.

    1 2/3 cup AP flour {I subbed in 1/2 with whole wheat}
    3/4 cup packed brown sugar
    1/2 cup oatmeal + 1 tsp cinnamon
    2 TBL margarine
    1 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp apple pie spice
    salt to taste
    1 1/4 cups unsweet applesauce
    1/4 cup veggie oil
    1/2 cup fat-free egg substitute
    1 large apple peeled and diced

375 Degree oven.

Mix together the crumble topping: 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 /2 cup oatmeal/cinnamon mix, and margarine. Set aside.

Mix together the rest of the flour with the baking soda, salt, oatmeal, and apple pie spice in a medium bowl.

In another bowl stir the applesauce, oil, remaining brown sugar, and egg sub together.  Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and mix just to combine.  Add in the diced apple.

Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 full and sprinkle the crumb mixture over the top.

Bake about 20 minutes or until done.

The recipe said 12 muffins but I ended up with 14.

Each muffin: 220 calories. 7 gm fat. 35 gm carb

The recipe is on page 33.

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown 14 hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2)

You know what I like about Dorie? Besides all of her delicious recipes? She takes the time to answer questions from the people who bake/cook from her books. Simple questions.  LIke – can I used dried hibuscus flowers in the Rose-Hibiscus Shortbread Fans instead of the called for hibiscus tea leaves?  Within just a few hours she tweeted me back that yes, I could do that but use less than the two teaspoons.  Thank you, Dorie.  You rock!  I crushed the dried flowers and added them into the mix.

I also didn’t have rose extract so I used about 2 tsp of rose water instead.  That also worked quite well.  And the fragrance of the rose was heavenly every time I opened the oven to check on the fans.  UUUuummmm!!

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I was excited to make shortbread fans because I had a new pan that I hadn’t used much yet.  Plus I love shortbread.  They came out perfectly.  In fact I may use this recipe and change the flavors because this recipe came out so well.  Soft yet crispy.  AND they didn’t crumble apart like many shortbreads do.  So, thanks again, Dorie!

I admit I couldn’t taste the hibiscus in the cookies but my dried flowers may have been past their prime.  Even the Man liked them which I didn’t expect with those particular flavors in them.  Sometimes he really surprises me.

I also didn’t put icing on the cookies.  Since Dorie said it was optional I just left my cookies plain.

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These cookies are on page 101 of Dorie’s Cookies.  I also found the recipe on the Daily Mail Site.

For more Shortbread Fans check in with the bakers at Tuesdays with Dorie .  BTW we’d love to see more of you bake with us.  Just get Dorie’s book and bake away.  You can leave your links with us.

I could eat brownies daily.  Good. Fudgy. Brownies.  The Man loves cookies.  Daily.  Any kind.  When I can combine the two it’s a good day.  Like today.  The Avid Baker’s Challenge made Deb’s brownies/cookies/ brownie cookies.  Whatever you call them are GOOD!!  Lots of chocolate flavor – not hard to understand since they have cocoa, chocolate chips and unsweetened chocolate in them.

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The Browniest Cookies

Little bites of intense!  The perfect way to end a meal  Not sweet but not bitter.  Just right!

I did make a couple of small changes.  I subbed Splenda for the 2 Tbl of sugar {the cookies also have 1 cup packed brown sugar.}  And I subbed in 1/2 cup WWF for 1/2 cup of the AP flour.  It didn’t make any difference in the taste or texture but it made me feel better about the sugar and increased ‘healthiness’ of the cookie.  LOL

These cookies are for February’s Avid Bakers Challenge.  I haven’t baked with them in quite a while but decided to join back in since all the baking won’t be JUST sweet stuff this year.  We are baking from Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen for 2017.  She is one of my favorite reads and recipe sources.   

 

When I was 8  and we lived east of Liverpool in the little village of Rainhill my Mom had a garden.  Not unusual to have a garden.  Except it was the first garden my Mom ever planted.  And it contained rhubarb which grew wonderfully in that area of England.  I loved it.  It was sour and sweet at the same time.  I haven’t had rhubarb but twice since then.  Both for Tuesdays with Dorie.  You don’t find it in the stores much.  But I have a friend who grew some and I had just enough to make this Crisp.

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Mix together two cups chopped apple and two cups chopped rhubarb with 1/2 cup sugar and 1 Tbl cornstarch.  {I added a heaping tsp of cinnamon.  Cinnamon and Apples are perfect together.}  Let this sit for about an hour.

With a pastry blender mix together 2/3 cup uncooked oats, 1/2 cup AP flour, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar. and 2 1/3 Tbl tub margarine until it resembles coarse crumbs.. {while I have enjoyed the recipes from this cookbook I will NOT miss using this awful  sub for butter!!!}.  

Sprinkle the topping mixture over the apple/rhubarb mix in a 1 quart casserole dish. Bake at 375 until the topping is light brown. {Mine took about 30 minutes.}  Let cool four about 2o minutes before serving.

I will tell you that this was NOT very good.  While The Man said it got better after a few bites I thought it was awful.  It could be that the rhubarb was picked too early and had no sweetness.  It could be the crumble which seemed stale.  It could be I just don’t like rhubarb anymore….There won’t be a repeat on this one.

The recipe is from Low-Fat, Low-Cholesterol Cookbook – my book for February Cookbook Countdown –  page 306.  The last recipe from this book as Countdown 14 starts tomorrow.  Still looking at a book for that one.

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown 13 hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

Nothing brings sunshine to a day like citrus.  A round juicy orange.  A tangy green lime.  A small yellow lemon all bring a taste of spring with them.

Trying to find a recipe that isn’t heavy and brings a thought of spring is not easy.  Donna Hay has TONS of lemon dishes to choose from.  I ended up making Donna’s

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LEMON AND COCONUT IMPOSSIBLE PIE

This is a super easy pie to make.  I don’t know why it’s called impossible.  All the ingredients are placed in a blender and then poured into a pie plate.  I just wish we had liked it.  Oh, well.  

The recipe is from Donna’s Website -> Lemon Pie

More Citrus -> A Taste of Critrus

Now you can have cookies for Breakfast.  Or after breakfast.  At least that is what Dorie tells us. A nice crunchy cookie with oats, dried fruit, granola, and almonds.  How can you turn that down?  Did I mention the orange zest?  Just an added flavor to make the biscotti extra good.

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Note to Dorie:  I made a couple of changes in your cookie.  I subbed in  1 cup whole wheat flour and I used splenda {1/2 cup} and bulk stevia {1/8 tsp} and sugar {1/4 cup}.  While not as sweet as they might of been they were a little healthier.  If I can sub out some sugar I can bake and we can eat more of the cookies.  Hope you don’t mind, Dorie.

These are from Dorie’s Cookies (page 98)and part of Tuesdays with Dorie – Dorie’s Cookies.

For more Cookies -> TWD

This is not at all what I had planned to make for this week’s IHCC ingredient – LEMONS!.  The weather was rather chilly when I picked out a nice lemon risotto and then the weather turned warm – mid 70s this week (and keep in mind it is mid-January) – so I switched to a nice citrus-y cake.

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Lemon Yogurt Cake

    4 oz butter
    1 cup superfine sugar {I subbed in 1 cup Splenda and 1/2 tsp bulk stevia}
    2 eggs, beaten lightly
    1 cup plain yogurt
    3 Tbl lemon juice
    1 Tbl lemon zest
    2 1/2 cups self raising flour
    1/2 tsp baking soda

Mix the butter and sugar together ’til fluffy.  Add the eggs and incorporate well.  Add in the yogurt, lemon juice, lemon zest, flour, and baking soda.  Mix well.

Spoon (it’s way to thick to pour) mixture into a 9″ cake pan and bake 45 minutes in a 350F degree oven.  {Mine only took 35 minutes}.  Cake is done if toothpick comes out clean.

While cake is still hot pour the syrup over the cake and let the cake sit for 5 minutes before slicing.

Syrup:

    1/3 cup sugar
    3 Tbl lemon juice
    zest of 1 lemon

My syrup didn’t turn out like I wanted but it did add some more lemon into the cake.  I ended up making a lemon drizzle and putting, way too much, over the cake.  The cake wasn’t real sweet and had just the right lemony flavor.  Good cake!

The recipe adapted from Donna Hay’s the new cook page 181

Want More?  -> LEMONS!

Peggy came up with a fun theme for this week’s Eating with Ellie – Barnyard Fun!  The theme left it wide open for just about anything one would find in a barn or farm yard – beef, pork, chicken, duck, eggs.  So many different things we could choose from.  The first thing I thought of was eggs.  Because I used to have fun collecting the eggs when we lived on a farm for a couple of years.  I also loved to help bring the cows down to the barn for milking and feeding the chickens.  But since I didn’t feel like making something from beef or chickens {We are basically chickened out!} I went with eggs which turned into a quiche.

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A lovely  Broccoli Cheddar “Quiche in a Bag”

In a bag because after cooking some ingredients all of the ingredients are ‘squished’ together in a bag before pouring into an no-roll olive oil pie crust.  Ellie also makes it in a bag so it will be easy to freeze to make it later if you want. 

I made the crust and I made the quiche.  Neither one set my palate on fire!  The crust is a crumble crust much like a graham cracker crust and while I like the idea of that it was tasteless.  Water, flour, salt milk, olive oil.

The quiche contained broccoli and sharp cheddar cheese with some dry mustard, salt, and pepper.  I didn’t think it had much flavor either.  With a little more seasoning and maybe a touch of nutmeg it would have been much better.  It wasn’t bad, but it just lacked something.  Doesn’t mean I won’t make it again, just with something more…

The crust and the quiche are from Ellie’s you have it made.  Pages 33 and 35.

Want more barnyard pickin’s -> Barn Yard Fun

And if you would like to join Eating with Ellie all the themes are listed.  Just cook something for the theme from one of Ellies books or online, post a comment.  We’d love to have you.  PS  We don’t include the recipe.  We would love you to simply buy her books.

I completely missed December for Cookbook Countdown.  Between bronchitis, sinusitis, and bursitis {I was really tired of the suffix “itis“.} I didn’t get a chance to do much of anything.  I even had my  cookbook picked out with recipes.  Ah, well – there’s always NEXT December! But you can check out what all the others made in December -> December Cookbook Countdown.

So, let’s start the New Year off right.  With a cookbook that should NOT have been sitting on the shelf without use for the last year.  Low-Fat, Low-Cholesterol Cookbook from the American Heart Association.  There aren’t any exciting recipes in this book but there are lots that have been trimmed down.  So I thought I would try some.

How about some Buttermilk Biscuits to begin with?

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If you notice, they don’t LOOK any different than regular buttery biscuits.  But they taste (almost) as good.  If you HAVE to have biscuits, these might be the ones.

    Veggie Oil Spray
    1 cup AP flour
    2 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp sugar
    1/8 tsp baking soda
    1/8 tsp salt
    1 Tbl acceptable stick margarine cut in small pieces {I used
    Smart Balance}

    1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
    1/4 cup fat-free plain yoghurt. {I used Greek}

Preheat the oven to 425F.
In a food processor mix together the flour baking powder, sugar, soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
Add in the margarin until small pieces form. Add in the buttermilk and yoghurtand mix until just moistened.
Turn the dough out onto a floured board, sprinkle with flour, and knead into a disk. {I needed to add a little more flour as the dough was rather wet.}
Using a rolling pin, or your hands, flatten the dough until it is a bout 1/2 inch thick. Cut out biscuits using a 2 1/2 inch or 2″ cutter.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until nice and golden-brown.

81 calories each. 1 mg cholesterol. Fat 1.5 gm
Low-Fat, Low-Cholesterol Cookbook page 272

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown 13 hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

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