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Posts Tagged ‘Nuts’

This morning, the desire to make cookies suddenly overcame me. So this afternoon I found a reliable-looking recipe, gathered my ingredients, and made these delicious cookies.

I knew I wanted to make the original recipe a little more healthy. Thus I replaced half of the AP flour with whole wheat and used Demerara sugar instead of granulated. The large crystals from the Demerara sugar give the cookies a pleasing crunch.

We had used up the last of our pure vanilla extract, so I was forced to use *horrors!* imitation. Yes, that’s a bottle of pure vanilla in the picture. I just couldn’t bring myself to take a picture of GV imitation vanilla extract.

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Then, after all of the cookies were done baking, our order of vanilla arrived.

Oh well.

They are still excellent cookies, if I do say so myself. Mom thinks they’re a little on the sweet side, and I agree with her. Maybe next time I’ll use only 1½ cups of sugar instead of 2.

And maybe next time I’ll use a full tablespoon of Madagascar Bourbon vanilla extract.

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:: Chocolate Chip Cookies ::

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Adapted from Allrecipes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups Demerara sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons hot water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup toasted chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts are good choices)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Cream together the butter and Demerara sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to batter along with salt. Stir in flour, chocolate chips, and nuts.
  3. Drop by large spoonfuls onto ungreased pans. Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned.
  4. Remove from oven. Allow to cool for a few minutes on pan. Transfer to cooling racks to cool completely. Store in airtight containers at room temperature or in the freezer for longer storage.

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We’ll be heading out to go skiing tomorrow, so things will be quiet around here for a week or so. I leave you with this recipe…

This recipe makes a moist and flavorful loaf again and again. And can you beleive it’s 100% whole wheat? Serve warm or at room temperature slavered with butter, or spread with cream cheese.

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:: Banana Nut Bread ::

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Adapted from The New Best Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (8 ounces) white whole wheat flour
  • 1¼ cups walnuts or pecans, toasted and chopped coarse
  • ¾ cup sucanat, rapadura, demerara or granulated sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3-4  large, darkly speckled bananas, mashed well (about 1½ cups)
  • ¼ cup whole plain yogurt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 1-2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Extra banana, for garnish, optional

1) Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a 9×5 inch loaf pan.

2) In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and nuts. In a medium bowl, mix the mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla until well blended. Gently fold the banana mixture into the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula just until combined. Batter with be thick and chunky.

3) Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Garnish with slices of banana if desired. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean, about 55-60 minutes.

4) Remove from oven and cool in pan for 5 minutes. Gently loosen the edges with a knife. Transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes one large loaf

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A few years ago, my sisters and I were asked to bring a cheese ball to a bridal shower. We threw a few things together, tasting as we went along, until the flavors were just right. It was a great success, and to our pleasure, a lady asked for our recipe.

We have tried other cheese ball recipes, but none can compare to this one. Simple, yet very tasty. Dad complains if we try any other recipe.

The original recipe contained cranberries. We generally leave these out, but it is quite good with them. We have also tried it with a few drops of liquid smoke with excellent results. If you prefer a spicier cheese ball, simply increase the amount of cayenne, pepper, or onion. Or decrease the amounts if you like your cheese ball mild.

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:: Favorite Cheese Ball ::

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Ingredients:

  • 1 8-ounce package of cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • a pinch of cayenne powder
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries, optional
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped coarse, optional

Directions:

1) Place all ingredients except pecans in a large bowl. Beat with a hand mixer on medium-low speed until well combines.

2) Scrape the mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap. Cover with the plastic wrap and shape into a ball or log. Put the cheese ball on a plate and place in the refrigerator to harden, about 30 minutes – 1 hour.

3) Roll the cheese ball in the chopped pecans and place on a serving plate. Serve with crackers.

Note: This cheese is best if allowed to sit for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to blend. The flavors a best if allowed to sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before serving.

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Back when peaches were in season, I devised a baked oatmeal recipe to incorporate them. I just threw a few things together and pushed it into the oven. To my surprise, it was really good. We’ve tried it with pears and apples, with the same delicious results.

Hot fruit on the bottom, sweet oatmeal in the middle, and crunchy almonds on top. This could easily be a dessert…

:: Fruit-on-the-Bottom Baked Oatmeal ::

Ingredients:

  • Approximately 1 1/2 cup thinly sliced fruit* or enough to generously cover the bottom of a 9-inch square baking dish
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons demerara, sucanat or rapadura, divided
  • 1/3 cup slices almonds

*Peaches, pears & apples are good choices. If using apples, make sure to cup them thinly or they will be crunchy.

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Melt butter; pour 1/4 cup into bottom of a 9-inch square baking dish. Arrange sliced fruit on top of the butter and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons demerara. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together milk, maple syrup, eggs, remaining butter and vanilla.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well. Pour over fruit and smooth the top. Sprinkle with almonds and remaining 2 tablespoons demerara.
  4. Bake at 350° for 40-50 minutes, or until browned on top and fruit is bubbly. Allow to cool slightly. Serve with milk, cream or Vanilla Sauce.

Serves 6-8

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What a wonderful match of fall flavors! A while back Mom bought two lugs of pears, and we have been patiently waiting for them to ripen. Now they’re ready, and we have to deal with those two lugs of pears. NO problem! We froze some, dehydrated others, and turned them into jam. And I couldn’t help but put them into this scrumptious loaf!

: : Honey Pecan Pear Bread : :

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups (9.5 oz) whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped peeled pears
  • 2/3 cups chopped pecans, toasted

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease an 8 x 4 x 2-in. loaf pan. In a large bowl, combine honey and butter. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add sour cream and vanilla; mix well.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cardamom and cinnamon. Gently fold into the wet ingredients just into moist. Fold in the pears and pecans.

3. Pour into the prepared loaf pan. Bake in preheated oven for 60-75 min or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve with butter, cream cheese, pear jam, or a combination.




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