My blogger this month was Nicole, who blogs at I Am a Honey Bee. She is a lifestyle blogger who shares lots of recipes, for delicious things I want to make like Homemade Cheez-Its, Coca-Cola Carnitas, and Crockpot Cool Ranch Chicken. She is married and has a young daughter named Autumn, and they recently moved to Florida. I looooove all her Mexican-inspired recipes, and I will definitely be trying out some this summer (when I have to cook. About three weeks, people!).
For now, though, I decided to make this snack mix with half a jar of cookie butter I’ve had sitting around awhile. What’s up with that? I think I had hid it from myself because I kept eating apples with about half a cup of cookie butter for dipping … So I unearthed it from the cupboard and used the recipe to make this delicious snack! (Cookie butter is also called Biscoff, from the kind of cookies used to make it.)
Confession: I went to a discount store to shop, because it was near where I was the other day. And they didn’t have any kind of Chex, so I used plain Cheerios. I think the Chex shape soaks up the coating a little better, but any unsweetened cereal should work if you’re in a pinch!
Welcome to this month’s installment of the Secret Recipe Club! It’s always one of my favorite posts of the month. I love perusing a new blog and scouring their recipe index.
This month my assigned blog was Fit Mama Real Food. While I’m not so good at the fitness part of her title (I try!), I definitely subscribe to a real-food philosophy as much as I can with three wee ones, so I really enjoyed reading through some of Heather’s posts. Heather is has two toddlers and another baby on the way – they will all be less than 4 years apart! Well … mine are not QUITE that close together but almost. So Heather, you are in for a wild ride, but it’s super fun. I like having my kids close together in age (even if maybe it wasn’t exactly on purpose with #3). They have a great time together and play so well. My best wishes to you!
I made a few changes just to use what I had in the house already since I’m trying to not waste food I have around! I just omitted the berries, although I bet they would be incredibly delicious and add some moisture, too! I did add in lemon extract, because I had just picked some up at ALDI and I wanted them to have a big lemon punch. I also doubled the recipe, because making six donuts when there are five people in your family is never a good idea. The recipe said it would make 6, but doubled I made 18, so maybe my donut pan is just smaller? I have a Wilton one. Oh, and I didn’t have any actual lemons, so no lemon zest. We added some yellow sugar to the tops instead for decoration.
Anyway, these donuts were delicious. I don’t think my husband even guessed they are gluten-free! The grain mixture does replicate a cake donut very well, and I love that my kids are getting the nutrition of coconut flour and oats in their donuts! They were a big hit all-around. I’ll have to make Heather’s Carrot Cake Donuts next!
No one will know these donuts are gluten-free! The flour blend makes a delicious cake-type donut that is still moist and tasty. Adapted from Fit Mama Real Food.
1 c. oat flour (grind oats in blender or food processor)
1 c. brown rice flour
6 T coconut flour
2/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
6 T unsweetened applesauce
3/4 c. milk
6 T grapeseed or other unflavored oil
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon extract
6 T powdered sugar
2 T lemon juice
2 T milk
lemon zest, yellow sugar, or other topping (optional)
Preheat oven to 350F and grease donut pan well.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together oat flour, brown rice flour, coconut flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. In another bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together eggs, applesauce, milk, oil, and vanilla.
Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix until just incorporated. Stir in lemon juice and lemon extract.
Fill donut cavities three-fourths full, then bake 14-16 minutes, until set and a toothpick comes out mostly clean. (Do not overbake. Tops should spring back when touched.)
Let donuts cool in the pan 5 minutes before removing them to a cooling rack.
To make the glaze, whisk together powdered sugar, lemon juice, and milk. If you want a thicker icing, add more powdered sugar. Dip one side of the donuts in the glaze, then sprinkle with any desired toppings.
I’m determined to make it through a bunch of the recipes I’ve Pinned this year. I have a mere 5,400+ Pins … and most of them are probably recipes. Because mostly I use Pinterest for its original intent: to have a visual bookmarking system.
Since I have a dorm full of high school boys waiting to be fed, I should have no problem finding someone to feed these recipes, right? Every Wednesday, Mr. V has a small group of boys (6), and then Thursday nights I aim to feed the whole dorm with a larger recipe (usually dessert).
I’m not sure if this coffee cake was a hit with the boys – I haven’t checked with Mr. V – because his small group is largely students from China and Hong Kong. The Chinese are not like Americans when it comes to sweets, I’ve found. But really, I don’t care. Because it’s AMAZING and I am so glad to have unearthed this recipe.
I also simplified the streusel and the frosting a little bit. And to be honest, I think I would like this even more without the frosting. I find buttercream to be too sweet for me – I prefer cream cheese frostings if any. But, sadly, the cake is not real pretty without it. Maybe if there was streusel on the top, too, it would help that? I may give that a try next time.
There is nothing really virtuous about this to make it breakfasty; the cake simply feels more like a coffee cake because it is dense, fruity, and has streusel. So tell yourself it’s breakfast, or be honest and serve it up for dessert.
(I had some for breakfast this morning. I won’t tell.)
2 T grapeseed oil or melted coconut oil or melted butter
Maple Buttercream Frosting
4 T butter, melted
2 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 T maple syrup
2 T milk
For the Filling
In a large saucepan, combines peaches, cinnamon, brown sugar, and flour. Cook over medium heat 10-15 minutes, until it melds together and the peaches are very soft. Try not to eat all the filling. Set aside to cool.
For the Cake
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a bundt pan well.
With a mixer, cream butter and sugars together. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and sour cream and mix well. Sprinkle salt and baking powder over the batter, then turn mixer on low. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time until batter is uniform.
By hand, fold in the peach pie filling.
Make the Streusel
In a bowl, mix almond meal, brown sugar, and cinnamon together with a fork. Drizzle oil or butter over the top, and then stir until clumpy and oil is mixed throughout.
Back to the Cake!
Pour half the batter into the greased bundt pan. Sprinkle two-thirds of the streusel mixture on top of the batter. Spoon remaining batter on top, then sprinkle with the remainder of the streusel.
Bake 50-55 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Cool in pan for 20 minutes, then turn over onto a plate, patting on the sides to release the cake. Cool before frosting.
Melt butter in a big bowl, then add powdered sugar and cinnamon and stir. Add maple syrup and 1 T milk. Add more milk if needed to reach a good consistency. If you want a runnier frosting, cut down sugar to 1 1/2 cups. For a more spreadable rather than pourable frosting, add more powdered sugar.
I talk a lot about “feeding the boys.” I even have a Pinterest board called “Goodies for the Boys.” But I realize if you’re a more recent reader to my blog, you might have NO idea what I am talking about.
We live in a boys’ dorm on a private high-school campus. Yep, IN the actual dorm. We live in the basement (which is why any decent pictures I’ve taken are probably outside). And once a week (at least), my husband is on duty. That means he’s in charge of check-in, monitoring study hours, and doing a last lights-out sort of run in the dorm. He also has a small group of 5 or 6 boys that he’s sort of responsible for. He keeps in touch with their parents and communicates with their other teachers. The small group meets once a week, too, in the morning of a school day.
You know who really appreciates home-cooked food? High-school boys (HOOOONGRY) who are away from their mamas.
That’s why I make a valiant attempt to cook something for his small group and also for the larger group when he’s on duty.
I thought he was on duty last night, but it turns out he had switched. I’d already planned to make this cake, though, so I went ahead and did it. And from what I hear, it was devoured in approximately 23 seconds. Mr. V and I taste-tested it and can tell you it really is delicious.
The cake batter is enhanced with extra eggs, making it, well, eggy, mimicking a sweet dough. With the brown sugar-cinnamon filling and glaze, it’s a lot like a cinnamon roll. But easier. And CAKE!
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl and use a hand mixer), combine flour, sugar, and baking powder. Use lowest setting to stir together.
Add sour cream, eggs, and oil. Beat for 2 minutes, until smooth and thick.
In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar and cinnamon.
Pour about 2/3 of the batter into the bottom of your pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar/cinnamon mixture. Drizzle the rest of the batter over the top (it should cover most, but not all of the brown sugar).
Bake for 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
While the cake is baking, mix powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt in a large measuring cup. Stir in milk gradually, until the icing is pourable but not thin. Pour over hot cake when it comes out of the oven.
Let sit at least 10 minutes before cutting into it. It tastes really good warm, but I don't think anyone will complain about it being room temperature, either.
The original recipe calls for a yellow cake mix. If you really don't keep flour and sugar on hand, it's fine to substitute the first three ingredients with one; however, I'm all for simplifying ingredients when possible. This way you avoid the additives in a cake mix.
Because really, why else would I be making truffles in the middle of Saturday afternoon for no apparent reason?
He likes Secret Recipe Club. I had to fend him off the truffles until I could take pictures.
My assigned blogger for this month was Searching for Dessert. Shannon is a former pastry chef, culinary school graduate, mother, and pescatarian.
I think I could have made anything off her page quite happily. She has a large collection of breads and desserts, alongside meatless main and side dishes, all with beautiful pictures. I was blown away by the recipe index yet tempted to make her most recent recipe (when I was looking), Upside Down Mini Apple Cakes. While I don’t eat cooked apples, I knew my family would like them, but I’ve bookmarked them for later to make for our dorm boys.
But I finally settled on Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles, because I already had all the ingredients on hand and really, how can you go wrong with truffles? I can’t resist the sweet-and-salty combination of chocolate and pretzels, and peanut butter just adds another lovely layer of flavor.
Since these are the basic flavors of Ben and Jerry’s Chubby Hubby ice cream, I decided to give them that cutesy name. But then … I thought hey, maybe I could make Chunky Monkey truffles, too!
It takes an enormous amount of dry ingredients to stiffen up a very ripe banana. By the time I got it into a scoopable dough, it was so sweet I think one truffle could maybe kill a diabetic.
Oh well. Live and learn! And maybe try again another day.
In a medium-sized bowl, stir together peanut butter, butter, and confectioner's sugar. Stir in pretzels. Roll dough into 1-inch balls; freeze on a silpat or cookie sheet for 20-25 minutes.
(If your dough is too sticky to roll, let set in the refrigerator for 15 minutes first.)
Melt chocolate or almond bark in a measuring cup. (I always heat in the microwave for one minute, stir, then heat for 30-second increments, stirring after each, until smooth. DO NOT ADD MILK OR ANYTHING AFTER CHOCOLATE IS HOT TO TRY TO MAKE SMOOTH. It will seize and be unusable.)
Dip frozen balls into chocolate. Place on parchment or wax paper and refrigerate until chocolate is set.
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.