What do you do when your strawberries are getting too ripe to eat? Throw them in a baked good, of course! My kids were thrilled to have something different to eat for breakfast, and I even threw it in their lunch boxes one day in lieu of a sandwich.
I am excited about the arrival of strawberry season – are you? I guess it depends where you live, but here in Tennessee the strawberries are starting to be ready to pick. In fact, I was going to take my kids to pick strawberries today at a farm in north Georgia, but the zealous pickers on Thursday and Friday apparently dried them out. Oh well! We’ll try again soon.
1 c. white whole wheat flour (or use another cup all-purpose)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. buttermilk, or milk soured with lemon juice
1 to 1 1/2 c. diced strawberries
2 T sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
Grease a loaf pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 350F.
With a mixer, cream together butter, cream cheese, and sugar. Scrape sides of bowl, then add eggs one at time with mixer running. Add vanilla.
In a bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and mix until just blended. Add buttermilk and stir just until combined. Fold in strawberries by hand. Spoon batter into loaf pan and smooth the top.
Mix together sugar and cinnamon for topping, then sprinkle evenly over the top, pressing in gently. You may not want to use all the mixture.
Bake 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool before cutting.
These crispy cookies are chock-full of healthy ingredients. A drizzle of white chocolate might help you fool your kids into thinking they’re not.
I’ve been working on stocking my freezer for the school year lately. For lunches, I’ve made Pizza Sauce, Pizza Rolls, and Pizza Balls from Weelicious Lunches; some easy baked chicken nuggets; PBJ Smoothies frozen in silicone pop molds; and a couple muffin recipes that will work for breakfast, lunch, or snacks. For breakfasts, I’ve also thrown in a few waffles and extra pancakes as well as both baked and unbaked muffins!
I listed these cookies on a post I did two years ago at ParentLife: 25 Make-Ahead Breakfasts for Back-to-School. But I had never actually tried them. So today, tucked inside due to the pouring rain, I decided it was time.
The original recipe calls for mashed banana instead of eggs. I didn’t have any that were ripe enough, so I just used eggs as a binder. I added some coconut sugar for a little sweetness. I’ll admit that these still are not very sweet. I like the almost bitter taste from the allspice mixed with the sweet bite of dried fruit. But I drizzled a little white chocolate over most of them to help my kids enjoy them. They are used to pretty sweet baked goods (and yes, often prepackaged granola bars), but if yours will eat straight oatmeal or don’t have much sugar, you can leave off the topping.
I am super happy with how these turned out, and I will be enjoying them for breakfast along with my kids on these busy back-to-school mornings.
Note: These are gluten-free as written. Use gluten-free oats if necessary. For a nut free cookie, simply substitute some type of flour for almond meal.
These crunchy, granola-bar like cookies are simple to make and easily customizable. Add finely chopped nuts, mini chocolate chips, or whatever else suits your fancy. You can substitute 3 mashed bananas for the eggs or applesauce for the oil if desired.
1 c. dried fruit of choice, chopped if needed (I used dried blueberries and raisins)
1/4 c. grapeseed or melted coconut oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1 oz. chocolate of choice (white, dark, milk, whatever) (optional)
Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
In a bowl, whisk together oats, coconut, salt, cinnamon, allspice, sugar, and almond meal until combined. Add dried fruit and stir, making sure fruit does not clump together.
In a small bowl, mix together eggs, oil, and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and stir until moistened throughout.
Here is the method I used to bake these. You can also use a cookie scoop and press down until firmly packed, or roll balls with your hands.
Using a round-ish cookie cutter, scoop about 1 1/2 Tablespoons of dough onto your pan. Press down until the dough is packed together, then lift the cookie cutter off.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, until edges are browned. Cool on racks.
If desired, melt chocolate in microwave for about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until smooth. Drizzle over cookies or spread the tops with the melted chocolate. Let cool and harden before serving.
Do you suffer from grocery amnesia? I can’t count the number of times I’ve gotten halfway through a recipe and went to reach for that ingredient I was sure I had just to find it wasn’t there after all. My short-term memory is just nonexistent, so this is a regular occurrence in my kitchen.
A. Beg Send husband to store to pick up forgotten ingredient(s), while trying to maintain quality of already-cooked recipe.
B. Go to neighbor’s house. This works if you have friendly neighbors with well-stocked cupboards. If you live in a dorm with others who eat in a dining hall and are rarely home during the day anyway? Not so much.
C. Improvise or substitute.
The frequency with which I use Option C is the reason why I can’t direct my husband to just prep a recipe. It’s sad.
I was in the middle of prepping my Secret Recipe Club find for the month when I was forced to pursue Option C. Barb’s Almond Doodle Cookies looked delicious to me. And then I went to grab that bag of sliced almonds I was sure was in the freezer … and alas, it wasn’t there. Anywhere.
So I used pecans.
Fascinating story, right?
Barb’s blog, Mom’s Fridge, is full of monthly menu plans, simple recipes, and COOKIES. I love cookies. I don’t do much normal cooking anymore since we generally eat in the dining hall, but I do bake for us and for the boys who live in our dorm.
These delicious, puffy, sugary cookies will definitely be in my repertoire now. The cinnamon-pecan blend is a little unusual but absolutely mouthwatering.
Remember how I said that I don’t like pumpkin spice lattes? These cookies have convinced me that I need to give them another chance. I still don’t like pumpkin-flavored brewed coffee, but maybe the extra milk and stuff makes it tolerable. Honestly, I’m not sure I’ve ever had one of the Starbucks PSLs; I just haven’t ever liked pumpkin and coffee together.
These cookies change everything!
I was baking some of my regular pumpkin cookies as a treat for my husband, who is having a crazy week at work. I started thinking about these coffee chocolate chip shortbreads I made for Bible study this weekend … and how I had some extra instant coffee hanging around … and how much people like those pumpkin spice lattes …
1 c. butter (can sub shortening or use a mixture of the two)
1 c. sugar
1 c. pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 tsp. vanilla
3 T butter
1/4 c. milk
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. instant coffee granules
1 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 T heavy cream
Sift the first five ingredients together (flour through salt).
In a separate bowl, cream sugar and butter. Add pumpkin, egg, and vanilla. Beat well.
Add dry ingredients all at once and stir gently to form a smooth batter.
Drop by tablespoons on an ungreased cookie sheet. (I use a small cookie scoop.) Bake 12 to 14 minutes at 350.
Let rest on cookie sheets for a few minutes when they come out of the oven; then transfer to cooling racks and let cool.
Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add milk, brown sugar, and coffee granules and bring to a bubble over medium heat. Once bubbling, cook two minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely. (I transfer to a bowl and refrigerate.)
When cool, stir powdered sugar, vanilla, and heavy cream into the sugar mixture. Spoon or drizzle over cooled cookies.
When I told you I was taking a monthlong break … I kind of forgot about a few things I had promised to do. Oops!
First, I was lucky enough to participate in the Secret Recipe Club at Amanda’s Cookin’ this month! It’s a fun swap where you are assigned a blogger and make a recipe from his or her site. Someone else will make a recipe from my site, too! But none of us know who’s been assigned to our site.
I made a recipe from Itzy’s Kitchen. Erica is eight months pregnant and still teaching fitness classes. So, yeah, we’re so much alike! (Ahem.) She seems like a sweet girl, though, and her recipes are healthful and good for those watching their waistlines.
I want to involve Libbie in cooking one day, so I decided to see what I could find on Itzy’s Kitchen. When I saw Chocolate Coconut Oat Granola Bars, I knew they would be perfect for cooking with a toddler. Why? One bowl. Lots of ingredients for Libbie to dump in. Plus, granola bars are pretty much her favorite food on the planet.
I made a few adaptations to the recipe to just use what I had on hand—which Erica recommended, anyway! Here’s what I did to the recipe.
On Wednesday, I’m co-hosting a chat about cooking with your kids during summer over at the Motherhood. It’s called “Reddi” for Fun Summer, and we’ll chat about making cooking fun and educational for your kids, swap summer menu ideas, and brainstorm some yummy desserts.
Click on that link and join us for the chat Wednesday, June 15, at 1 p.m. Eastern time.
I love the idea of having a cookie exchange any time of year! Why not mix it up a little? Jen is a faithful reader and commenter of Vanderbilt Wife. Thanks, Jen, for this guest post!
There are some things I’ll never understand. Like, why do people only break out the pumpkin around Thanksgiving? And, deviled eggs. Yes, a great picnic food, but why not all year round? Next year, I think I’ll make pumpkin pie for Easter and deviled eggs for Thanksgiving. That will really throw everyone for a loop. Which brings me to Christmas and cookies. Why the big push for cookies at Christmastime? I need them all year round!
We recently had our annual mother’s club cookie exchange. What could be more exciting than going to a party and coming home with six dozen different kinds of cookies? It *could* have something to do with the fact that I’m 33 weeks pregnant. Maybe.
Never done a cookie exchange? Here’s how it works. Everyone who is participating tells the other participants what type of cookie they are planning to make. That way there are no duplicates and plenty of variety. The number of people participating is the number of dozen cookies you make and bring to the party. The extra dozen is for everyone to enjoy at the party.
One of our moms hosts the cookie exchange, and we all bring our kids. The cookies were wonderful and the company delightful! Here is what I came home with: Chocolate Pecan Bark, Butter Cookies, Cracker Candy (this should just be shortened to Crack Candy, really), White Chocolate Cranberry Shortbread Cookies, Chocolate Caramel Bars, and Chocolate Chip Cookies with Mint Sprinkles.
This year, I opted for my tried and true molasses cookies. Now, I never considered myself to be a fan of spice or gingerbread cookies. I think it’s because I love soft, chewy cookies and those cookies were always crunchy when I tried them. These cookies are chewy, spicy, sugary rounds of goodness. They are by far my husband’s favorite and most requested cookie.
Have you ever done a cookie exchange? What is your favorite crowd-pleasing cookie recipe?
Jennifer Young is wife to Jay and mommy to Tommy & Baby Girl due early 2011. She recently decided to leave a career in commercial real estate to be an at-home mom. Jen loves baking, reading, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. She also has a now-defunct blog A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That.