Carrot Oatmeal Cookies (Vegan!)

As I mentioned in my previous post, I recently discovered the blog 101 Cookbooks.  After yesterday’s great success, I decided to try the carrot oatmeal cookie recipe this morning.  It has many ingredients that I love (carrots, oats, and maple syrup) so I felt I couldn’t go wrong.  I don’t want to over exaggerate, but this recipe is truly amazing! I could eat a million of these – okay a little bit of hyperbole – but they are just so flavourful with a perfect cookie texture.  It is definitely one of my new top five favourite cookies.

I feel like these could also be considered a breakfast cookie because they have the light sugary flavour from the maple syrup, relaxing oats, and always delicious carrots.  Perhaps they could be considered healthy-ish.  Adding carrots makes everything healthier right?  Also – no eggs – which makes them vegan!  The cookies went perfectly with a cup of tea and I have eaten four already.

The recipe makes the perfect amount of small cookies (about two dozen) and not that much mess.  One bowl to clean up, which is not bad, considering the major messes I have made in the kitchen in the past.  Jonathan and my Mom will attest to some of my huge kitchen chaos moments.

Ingredients

1 cup all purpose flour (you could use whole wheat pastry flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 cup rolled oats (I was bad and used quick oats, but they seemed to work out)
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup real maple syrup, room temperature
1/2 cup canola oil (the original recipe calls for coconut oil)
½ teaspoon of ground ginger and ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375F degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, ground ginger, ground cinnamon and oats. Add the shredded carrots.  Measure out the maple syrup and canola oil and then add to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.

Drop onto prepared baking sheets, one level tablespoonful at a time, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie. Bake in the top 1/3 of the oven for 10 – 12 minutes or until the cookies are golden on top and bottom.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

White Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Icing

Some people have hobbies like fishing or jogging, my hobby is baking!  Today I made these cute cupcakes and played around with the new set of piping bag accessories that I bought.  Overall I was very impressed with the way the cupcakes turned out – raspberry and white chocolate are a killer combination.  Seriously, these cupcakes are delicious!

Now, in the pictures the cupcakes look a little crumbly, the white chocolate and the sugar makes these cupcakes a bit stickier and thus, they stuck to the pan.  I also don’t have cupcake liners with me in Waterloo, where I am visiting Jonathan.

While making these cupcakes I was wondering why Martha Stewart doesn’t have a version of this cupcake on her website or in her cookbook.  I suppose white chocolate was overlooked with all the recipes for devil’s food cake cupcakes and triple chocolate cupcake recipes.

The recipe I ended up using was from this website.  I used it because it makes 12 cupcakes, which seemed better than having 24 extra cupcakes in the freezer.  The white chocolate cupcake recipe that I used had a subtle and yet decadent flavour.  The raspberry icing made the cupcakes delicious – who can resist such a pretty cupcake?

Ingredients

  • 3 oz. White Chocolate (I used Baker’s White Chocolate, 2 of the prepackaged cubes)
  • 1/2 cup Light Cream or Milk (I used milk)
  • 3/4 cup Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/8 tsp. Salt
  • 2 Eggs, Large
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup Butter, Softened

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place twelve cupcake holders in a muffin pan.
  2. Melt the chocolate with cream over a double broiler (or in the microwave, but be sure not to burn it) and let cool.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, cream-chocolate mixture, and butter.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and continue to beat at a low speed until blended.
  6. Pour the batter into the cupcake holders about 3/4 full.
  7. Put the pan in the oven and let bake for 25-30 minutes.  (Found my cupcakes only took 18 minutes.)
  8. After the cupcakes are firm on top, let them cool on a muffin rack for 30 minutes and ice them with your favorite frosting.

Icing

Cream together 1/2 cup of softened butter, 1 1/2 cups of icing sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon of milk and 1-2 tablespoons of seedless raspberry preserve or jam.  Add the raspberry preserve in last and use your judgement with the consistency of the icing.

Cheddar Cheese Scones

I made these lovely cheddar cheese scones yesterday for breakfast and they were phenomenal.  The warmth and perfect flaky texture was absolutely everything a scone should be.

The recipe is from Canadian Living – my Mom told me that their recipes are thoroughly tested, so it’s really no surprise that they turned out so well!  The changes I made to the recipe were to use buttermilk instead of Balkan-style yogurt and I didn’t have whole wheat flour in the cupboard.  (The recipe says to use one cup whole wheat flour and one cup all-purpose flour, but that is optional.)

If you are looking for a quick and easy breakfast or snack – this recipe is awesome! Even my sister Sarah – who is a picky eater – loved them.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preparation

Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Cut in margarine into the dry ingredients until a nice crumbly texture is created. Mix in grated cheese. Mix in the buttermilk and egg. You should have a nice firm dough. If it seems too dry, add a little bit more milk.

Roll out dough, or pat it out with your hand. Use a measuring cup to cut out 12 circles. Preheat oven to 400ºC. When oven is warm put scones in, and bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Pineapple Loaf Cake

The inspiration for this recipe came from Miss Susan’s Pineapple Sheet Cake recipe, which I found on Pinterest.  From this recipe I decided to make a few changes.  I decided to use white and brown sugar instead of just white sugar.  I also decided to take out two tablespoons of pineapple juice and replace it with one tablespoon of canola oil.

I would describe this loaf as similar to a banana bread, but with pineapple.  I’m not a huge fan of pineapple, however I wanted to give it a try.  I found the pineapple loaf cake to be sweet – with a nice amount of pineapple and vanilla flavour.  Experimenting is part of the fun with my food blog, so I think this was a success.  I didn’t make the cream cheese icing from the original recipe because I am tired of cream cheese frosting.  The icing sugar and milk drizzle was perfect and light.  My pineapple loaf cake was a sweet treat and turned out well.  If you are looking for an afternoon snack give this recipe a try.

Ingredients

2 cups flour

1 cup white sugar

1 cup light brown sugar

2 tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

2 eggs beaten

398 mL can of crushed pineapple – minus two tablespoons of the juices

1 tbsp canola oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

Drizzle

¾ cup icing sugar

2 tbsp milk

Instructions

1.  Preheat oven to 350 F.

2.  Mix flour, sugars, baking soda and salt together in a bowl.

3. Beat eggs and then add them to the dry ingredients.

4. Add in crushed pineapple, minus two tablespoons of juices to the dry ingredients.

5. Add in vanilla extract and canola oil and stir until thoroughly combined.  Don’t over stir.

6. Bake for 40-50 minutes in oven until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then remove.

7.  Make the drizzle by combining the icing sugar and milk thoroughly, then slowly drizzling on top.  Add more icing sugar lightly on top using a sieve.

Austrian Jam Cookies

I was craving cookies, so I found this recipe on the AllRecipes.com website.  As always I made a few minor changes to the recipe.  The cookies turned out very well; they weren’t overly sweet and they were nice and soft.  The black raspberry preserve that I used gave a delightful and sweet flavour to the cookies.  It makes a small batch of cookies, so if you want more than 15-16 cookies you should double the recipe.

These cookies are traditionally Christmas cookies, but I think they are delicious for any time of the year.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup organic sugar
  • tiny pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 cups organic all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup chopped almonds (I didn’t add these, but you can, if you like almonds)
  • 1/4 cup raspberry jam (I used a Seedless black raspberry preserve from Abbott Farms, but you can use any jam.)

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla, tiny pinch of salt and egg yolk; mix until fluffy. Stir in the flour, and refrigerate dough for 2 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Grease cookie sheets.
  3. Measure out the dough with a small spoon, and roll into balls. Dip the balls into chopped almonds and set on the prepared cookie sheet 1 inch apart.  (I didn’t use almonds here, but if you like almonds add them.)
  4. With a finger, make an indention in each cookie and fill the indention up with jam using a teaspoon.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, cookies should be golden brown. Remove from pan after baking to cool on a wire rack.
  6. This recipe makes about 16 small cookies, so double it, if you want more.

Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins

Jonathan and I were at COBS Bread before Easter buying hot cross buns and I decided to buy a cranberry white chocolate chip scone.  The scone was very tasty and I held the flavour combination in the back of my head – and added it to my baking to-do list.  While I was at the grocery store yesterday, I thought I should pick up some cranberries and white chocolate chips to make a muffin version.

Usually my stomach is sensitive to cocoa and milk chocolate, however some brands of white chocolate don’t cause any stomach pain.  I did some reading on Wikipedia about why this might be and the answer seemed to be because white chocolate doesn’t contain cocoa solids.  I am also very cautious about if nuts are processed in the same factory.  The Chipits brand doesn’t seem to aggravate any stomach sensitivity or allergies, so I used them for this recipe – hooray!

I love cranberry and the sweet and tart combination was definitely a winner.  I enjoy baking my own sweet treats and muffins are a splendid treat.  Making my own baked goods is really the only way to know they are allergy safe.  I made them in a mini version so that I can eat more of them and not gain ten pounds.    It probably wouldn’t be the best idea to eat these every day, but every once in a while they are great.  The mini muffins are rich and decadent, sweet and tart – simply yummy!

Some of these muffins are in the freezer for when I see Jonathan next.  I am sure he will enjoy them just as much as I do.

Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour

½ cup brown sugar

½ tsp salt

1 tbsp baking powder

½ cup milk

¾ cup sour cream

¼ cup canola oil

2 eggs, beaten

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup frozen cranberries – dusted with 1 tsp of flour

¾ cup white chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix together in a large bowl the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. Add in the milk, sour cream, canola oil, eggs and vanilla extract.  Stir until thoroughly combined, but do not over stir.
  4. Dust the frozen cranberries with a teaspoon of flour and then fold them into the muffin batter.  Add in the white chocolate chips until they are evenly distributed.
  5. Grease the mini muffin pans with margarine or cooking spray.
  6. Fill the muffin batter ¾ of the way full.
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes.  If you want regular sized muffins the cook time will be longer 20-25 minutes.
  8. This recipe makes 3 dozen mini muffins.
  9. Enjoy!

Snickerdoodle Cookies

Snickerdoodles are a fluffy, delightful, cinnamon cookie that is good for any time of the year.   My sister Sarah originally thought there were Snickers bars in these cookies – but no such luck, they are nut and chocolate free.  Perfect for me!

The cookies look delicate and delicious on a fancy plate.  I have photographed them here on an antique plate that has little feet.  As a small child, furniture and cake plates with little feet always seemed amusing.  I fully understand why adults adore them.  While I was at it, I brought out tea cups because tea and coffee tastes better in a fancy cup.  This is the reason why most people have a favourite mug or tea cup in their cupboard – something constant and cheery.

P.S: Jonathan – we are going to have lots of tea cups and antique plates in our future home for afternoon tea or when my Mom or sisters drop by.  You can tell by my Pinterest page that I have thought about our future home, and what I will bake in the future.

Ingredients

2 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

½ tsp cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated white sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla

Coating:

1/3 cup (66 grams) granulated white sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Instructions:

1. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, salt, cinnamon and baking powder.

2. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until smooth (about 2 to 3 minutes).  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Beat in the vanilla extract.  Add the flour mixture and beat until you have a smooth dough. If the dough is soft, cover and refrigerate until firm (about one to two hours).

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and place rack in the center of the oven.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

4. Shape the dough into 1 inch (2.5 cm) round balls.

5. In a large shallow bowl mix together the sugar and cinnamon.

6. Roll the balls of dough in the cinnamon sugar and place on the prepared pan, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart.

7. Bake the cookies for about 8 – 10 minutes, or until they are light golden brown and firm around the edges.

8. The centers of the cookies will still be a little soft. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.  Can store in an airtight container, at room temperature, for about 10 days.  Makes about 4-5 dozen cookies.

Maple Cupcakes

The other day, I was craving a Tim Hortons maple donut – so I decided to make maple cupcakes, which I topped with a drippy and delicious maple icing.  This recipe makes only 5 regular sized cupcakes.  I made this amount because I know no one in my family wants to put on any extra pounds before summer arrives. Five cupcakes was the perfect number – one for me, one for Jonathan, Mom, Dad and an extra one for good luck!

Not to perpetuate Canadian stereotypes, but I love maple everything!  Maple salmon, Mr. Maple cookies, maple donuts, maple syrup on pancakes and of course maple cupcakes.

The cupcakes turned out a bit crumbly, and there weren’t many of them to photograph, but sometimes the best things in life are a little messy.  The icing was divine – I will definitely be making these again soon!

Ingredients

½ cup all purpose flour

½ cup maple syrup

1 egg

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp salt

Icing

½ cup icing sugar

1 tbsp maple syrup

2 tbsp 5% cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together thoroughly in a bowl.
  3. In a small bowl beat the egg.
  4. Add in egg, vanilla extract and maple syrup to the flour mixture.
  5. Stir until combined.
  6. Fill cupcake pan ¾ of the way full.
  7. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until golden around the edges.
  8. Let cool fully.
  9. Mix icing sugar, maple syrup and cream until desired consistency.
  10. Drizzle on top.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal raisin cookies are one of my favourites.  Since I’m allergic to chocolate, it is always disappointing to see oatmeal cookies at a party and find that they are actually oatmeal chocolate chip.  I searched the internet for a new recipe and I found this wonderful one from the blog Smitten Kitchen.

These cookies were nice and chunky and had the perfect amount of raisins.  The recipe makes a half batch, so about 2 dozen small oatmeal cookies, which is perfect for Jonathan and I.  The recipe can be doubled if you need a mountain of cookies or if you are going to freeze half of the dough.  Most cookie dough can be frozen for up to a month.  Should you chose to freeze them, form the dough into cookie sized balls and freeze them in a freezer bag.

Whenever oats are mentioned around Jonathan, he always pipes up that the Quaker Oats factory is located in Peterborough, Ontario – where he is from. He loves to tell people how in the summer, the downtown core always smells quite yummy. Maybe Peterborough is on to something – something delicious!

Ingredients

1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, softened
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (large flake oats, not instant!)
3/4 cup raisins

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together.  Stir this into the butter/sugar mixture.
  4. Then stir in the oats, and raisins.
  5. Chill the cookie dough in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.  Chilling the cookie dough will ensure the cookies are chunky and don’t turn thin in the oven.
  6. Form the cookies to your desired size, place cookies approximately 2 inches apart, and then bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden around the edges.
  7. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes after they come out of the oven.
  8. Then transfer the cookies to a cooling rack.

Mom’s Banana Bread Recipe

Banana bread is a classic and we had some perfectly ripened bananas (nice and brown), which makes the flavour better.  It is a classic because it’s great comfort food and is always fun to make when there are extra bananas lying around the house.  I feel like this recipe could be made healthier next time by adding in some chia seeds, but I wasn’t able to go out to the grocery store today.

The recipe is super easy, just add the dry ingredients and mix well with a fork, beat egg in a separate bowl and then mix in with the other wet ingredients all at once.  It only takes one bowl, and a pot to melt the butter, which is nice.  I love recipes that make less mess and whip up quickly.  In addition the smell of warm banana bread is always welcome in the house.  I would recommend this as one my favourite recipes and a real treasure for a relaxing breakfast with a hot cup of tea or coffee.

Why buy banana bread at a bakery when you can make it yourself? Seriously.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

1/3 cup of milk

1/3 cup of melted and cooled butter

2 eggs beaten

1 cup of mashed banana

2 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup of sugar

½ tsp of salt

2 tsp backing powder

½ tsp baking soda

Mix dry ingredients and then mix in wet ingredients stir well.  Bake 45-55 minutes at 350°F.