Posts Tagged ‘raisins’
When I first got to try Melt, I fell in love with how fantastic it worked in my favorite chocolate chip cookie. Who knew a butter substitute could taste so good? After that it because my go-to butter substitute and I even participated in a challenge where I used it for all my butter needs for a week. Never heard of Melt? It is a healthy butter substitute made with “good” fats like coconut butter and virgin coconut oil. It even comes in honey and chocolate flavors! Unfortunately, I was unable to find those fun flavors in stores near me, but I gladly snagged some more of the regular.
After so much success using Melt as a substitute in baking and cooking in the past I decided to post about it as a condiment on a nice, warm, toasty cinnamon-raisin bagel. And since it is Single Serving Sunday, it’s a recipe for just ONE bagel! Because if you are like me, you sometimes don’t need an entire batch of bagels, or don’t have room for them all in your freezer to save for later. So I whipped up this one bagel and immediately scarfed it down with some Melt spread on top.
Life without dessert is blasphemy. However, in an effort to get ready for all these weddings in which I am a bridesmaid I have recently been making slightly healthier options for dessert and then distributing the not-so-healthy treats you see on this blog to labmates and friends. Today I am sharing a healthier dessert option! It is actually one of the ways I suppress cookie cravings. Not that I don’t still eat cookies on a regular basis, but this is one way I resist having multiple cookies (or other baked buttery goodness) every single day – raw cookie dough balls made from ground nuts.
I have shared a couple other versions of these before such as chocolate chip cookie dough and s’mores cookie dough, and now I present peanut butter complete with traditional fork hash marks! The first time I made these bites they were a bit greasy so the second batch I reduced the raisins by 1 tablespoon and then added 2 tablepoons oats to absorb the oil from the ground up raisins and peanuts. If you are gluten-intolerant you can easily make these using gluten-free oats which can be found in the health food section of most groceries. I think dates would work in place of the raisins as well if you prefer. Allergic to peanuts? Try almonds and almond butter.
One year ago: Red Velvet Cake Batter Dip
Two years ago: Chocolate Covered Sunflower Seed Cookies
I have not touched a single plant other than my baby basil growing on my porch in weeks. Yet somehow last week I contracted what looks like a small patch of poison ivy rash on the back of my right hand. It is strategically placed in an area that leads me to believe I shook hands with someone who had it on their thumb. WASH YOUR HANDS PEOPLE. Ugh! I’ll be soaking it in the Atlantic ocean this weekend for my cousin’s bachelorette party so hopefully that will help dry it out.
Speaking of washing your hands, be sure to also do so whenever you immerse your hands in raw meat to make burgers or these lamb meatballs. Mixing and forming raw meat is one of my least favorite tasks while cooking, so I took advantage of Bob since he was visiting for BBQ fest/a long weekend and delegated this step to him. Add that to the list of reasons why I like cooking with others O:-). Don’t worry, I was kind enough to turn on the faucet and dollop soap onto his hands afterwards.
These gyros would be a perfect weeknight meal because it comes together quickly and satisfies. But if you feel the need for a side, go for a Greek salad or if you have more time, oven roasted Greek potatoes.
One year ago: Spicy Basil Chicken
Memphis may be experiencing highs in the 80s and lows only in the 60s, but that doesn’t stop me from craving a warm breakfast. The great thing about this oatmeal/cereal is that you can prepare it the night before and then reheat it in the morning, complete with some great toppings. It even has some quinoa in it instead of just being all oats so it’s packed with extra protein. And by the way even if you are not a quinoa fan, it blends right in. Which got me to thinking, maybe I should try adding quinoa to granola bars?
In my opinion the best granola bars are the soft chewy ones, and after the no-bake peanut butter granola bars I made I wasn’t sure a granola bar could get any better. But after seeing Lindsay’s recipe for oatmeal cookie dough granola bar in her Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook, I decided that the granola bar base from the peanut butter bars were destined to be combined with cookie dough. And not just any cookie dough, but an oatmeal raisin cookie dough with Speculoos cookie butter mixed in. I even went so far as to mix the cookie butter into the granola bar base itself. They may not be the healthiest granola bars, but they taste just like an oatmeal raisin cookie but are better for you than a cookie! Which means they are highly addicting.
Yet again, another holiday has snuck up on me. Hard to believe it is already April and Easter is this weekend! I feel like I had corned beef and cabbage just yesterday. But thanks to Erin of Big Fat Baker and the Holiday Recipe Club, I remembered to start whipping up Easter treats in the nick of time.
For this holiday, our designated ingredients from which we had to choose at least one were spinach, carrots and eggs. This recipe incorporates the last two to create carrot cake waffles! Because what’s better than carrot cake for dessert than for breakfast? What took these waffles over the edge for me was the maple nut cream cheese spread. It’s divine!
Don’t forget to check out what everyone else made who participated this holiday. I am especially curious to see what Easter-themed recipes contain spinach since that one stumped me.
One year ago: Chocolate Cookies ‘n’ Creme Cookies
CARROT CAKE WAFFLES
Makes approximately 7 waffles
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup 100% whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1-3/4 cups lowfat buttermilk
2 eggs, separated
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1-1/2 cup finely grated carrots
Cooking spray for waffle iron
MAPLE NUT CREAM CHEESE SPREAD
8 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, softened
3-4 Tbsp maple syrup
1/8 cup chopped walnuts
- Heat 4 tablespoons butter in skillet over medium heat until melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Continue to cook, swirling pan constantly, until butter is light brown and has faint nutty aroma, 2 to 4 minutes. Add spices and continue to cook, stirring constantly, 15 seconds. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, sugar, baking soda. Set aside.
- Mix together the buttermilk and the egg yolks. Stir in the spiced butter and vanilla. Spray the waffle iron well and preheat it. Stir the wet into the dry ingredients. Add carrots, walnuts, and raisins. Stir gently to combine.
- Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl with a whisk or electric mixer (make sure bowl and mixer are spotlessly clean) until they hold soft peaks. Stir them gently into the batter.
- Spread a 1/2 cup or so of batter onto the waffle iron and bake until the waffle is done, usually 3 to 5 minutes, depending on your iron. Spray iron with cooking spray between waffles as needed.
- To make Maple Cream Cheese spread, simply combine nuts, syrup, and cream cheese and mix well. Serve waffles immediately with a schmear of Maple Cream Cheese spread, or keep them warm for a few minutes in a low oven. (You may also freeze cooled leftovers for homemade frozen waffles!)
Source: Adapted slightly from Willow Bird Baking.
Is anyone else deprived of Trader Joe’s like I am? Memphis used to at least have World Market but those were all closed down for some reason unknown to me a couple years ago, leaving me completely out of the loop when it comes to fun food finds. While visiting my family in east TN over the weekend, I made a trip into World Market (oh and btw they are getting a Trader Joe’s soon and I may start visiting a lot more) and snatched up a couple things.
One thing I found was the Peanut Butter & Co‘s cinnamon raisin swirl peanut butter. I have been wanting to try it out for so long, sweet victory! First things first, I had to do the plain spoon test which this passed with flying colors – as if there were any doubt. But unfortunately, I decided I couldn’t eat the entire jar by itself, so I substituted it for regular peanut butter in a bar recipe I had seen awhile back on Two Peas & Their Pod.
Peanut butter and apples definitely work, and the combination was even more wonderful with the addition of cinnamon and raisins. Sure there’s a lot going on but none of it is overpowering. And the glaze on top seals the deal.
One year ago: Strawberry Fig Newtons
PEANUT BUTTER CINNAMON RAISIN APPLE BARS
Makes 24 bars
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Peanut Butter*
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 heaping cup diced apples, peel removed (I used a Granny Smith apple)
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
2 Tbsp milk
2 Tbsp cup Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Peanut Butter
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
*If you cannot find this, add some cinnamon and chopped raisins to regular peanut butter
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch by 13-inch pan and set aside.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and brown sugar, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from the heat, and stir in the peanut butter, until creamy and combined. Set mixture aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, to the peanut butter mixture, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared dry ingredients, and stir until batter is smooth. Fold in the diced apples.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, spreading the batter evenly to the edges of the pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden and the edges are slightly browned. Remove bars from oven and place them on a wire rack to cool.
- While the bars are cooling, make the peanut butter glaze. In a small bowl, combine the sifted powdered sugar, milk, peanut butter, and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth. Add more sugar if too thin, or more milk if too thick. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled bars. Cut into squares and serve.
Source: Adapted slightly from Two Peas & Their Pod.
My friend Amber mailed a batch of this granola to me for Christmas this year. Even though I did not make this I sure did get to enjoy it again and again. It is incredible and I need to share it with you. The orange peel is the superstar of this recipe. I love it in milk, in yogurt or just as a snack all by itself.
One year ago: Chicken Sallopine with Sage and Fontina Cheese
CRANBERRY AND ORANGE GRANOLA
Makes 4 cups
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup sliced almonds
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1/2 cup agave syrup
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp grapeseed oil
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup candied orange peel, sliced into long thin strips
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spread oats on a large rimmed baking sheet. Toast, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and fragrant, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a heatproof bowl, add almonds and let cool slightly.
- Coat same baking sheet with nonstick spray. Whisk agave syrup, butter, and grapeseed oil in a small bowl to blend. Pour syrup mixture over oats; stir to thoroughly coat. Spread mixture on prepared sheet.
- Bake granola, stirring occasionally, until the oats are light golden, about 15 minutes. Stir in the cranberries and raisins; bake for 10 minutes longer. Remove the granola from the oven and let cool slightly. Stir in the orange peel. Let cool completely, then break into pieces.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Source: Bon Appétit, December 2011
I never understood the aversion to fruit cake. Until I realized it was because I was spoiled by my dad’s version (seems to be a trend when it comes to anything my dad cooked/baked). I doubt I will ever stray away from this recipe, unless he finds some inconceivable way to improve it. It’s dense and moist like a pound cake, but filled with an insane amount of fruit and nuts. This is one fruit cake that will not be pawned off.
PECAN FRUIT CAKE
Makes 2 cakes
2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
2-1/4 cups sugar
6 large eggs, beaten
4 tsp lemon juice
4 cups flour, divided
2 tsp baking powder
1 lb (2-1/2) cups candied red and green cherries, cut in pieces
1 lb candied pineapple, cut in pieces
1 lb golden raisins
1 lb (4 cups) chopped pecans
1/2 lb (2 cups) whole almonds (I opted to chop mine a little)
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees for tube/bundt pans or 275 degrees for loaf pans. Generously grease and flour two pans and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift together 3 cups flour and the baking powder.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar. Add beaten eggs and lemon juice until incorporated, then add the flour/baking powder mix.
- In a separate extra large bowl, mix candied fruit and raisins with the remaining cup of flour until well coated. Add nuts and then the batter and mix well.
- Pour evenly into the two prepared tube or loaf pans. Tube pans cook the best. Do not use glass pans. Bake tube pans at 250 for about 1.5-2 hours; loaf pans cook at 275 for about 1-1.5 hours.
- Cook times are approximate. Test for doneness with a toothpick after one hour and as needed afterward. Do not over cook! Slow baking keeps the cake moist. Let cool completely before removing from pans. Keep covered in fridge.
Source: My dad