Slightly Sweet- Sad Apple Cookies

Have you ever abused an apple? You know, carried it around in your lunch bag or backpack for a few days. Well luckily apples have much flavor and nutrition to give, even after taking such abuse! Here’s a simple cookie recipe to use those ugly apples. This will make a batch of 5-6 slightly sweet cookies. They will satisfy your craving for a fresh baked dessert without going over the top with sugar.

Slightly Sweet- Sad Apple Cookies
1 apple grated, any variety
4-6 Tbs almond milk, divided (or your preferred milk product)
1 Tbs melted margarine or coconut oil
1 Tbs coconut sugar (or your preferred sweetener)
1 tsp flax egg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
pinch of ground ginger
Stir the above ingredients together in a medium bowl. Start with just 4 tablespoons of the milk.

Once it’s all combined, stir in:
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
Continue to stir. If you can’t stir the flour in, add a little more milk until you have a wet cookie dough consistency. Using a spoon, plop the dough into 5 or 6 globs on a parchment lined baking sheet, and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

I like to use flax eggs for binding in these small batch recipes because it’s easy to divide. To make a flax egg, stir 1 tablespoon of ground flax into 3 tablespoons of water and stir. Let it sit until it get’s gooey.

Since there are no eggs in the recipe you can pull the cookies while they are still a little gooey in the center. If they really aren’t sweet enough for you try a little sprinkle of sugar, that way the sweet will hit your taste buds on the first bite.

To learn more about my struggles with sugar, or to share your own sugar stories, visit the ‘Sugar Addiction‘ page.

Release YOUR Bon Vivant and Savor Your Life!

 

Advertisements

Lemon Bundt Cake – On the Light Side

lemon-bunt_8053

This lemon bundt cake with a light, airy texture and a crisp outside won’t stand a chance! Especially when you top it with a blueberry glaze.

Light Lemon Bundt Cake:
1.5 cups flour
2 tbs baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbs poppy seeds (optional)
2 tsp lemon zest
3 eggs
1 5 oz container of greek yogurt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup apple sauce

Combine the dry ingredients, combine the wet ingredients, then combine. Spoon the batter into a prepared bunt pan and bake at 350 degrees fro 20-25 minutes.

Blueberry Glaze:
In a small blender combine blueberries, powdered sugar and lemon juice from the lemons you used for zest. Blend the ingredients. The amount of sugar you use depends on your preference. I used two cups of blueberries to a half cup of powdered sugar.

Serve the cake fresh from the oven with glaze and extra blueberries.

lemon-bunt_8070

Until next time… Release YOUR Bon Vivant and Savor Your Life!

 

Turnovers, Empanadas, or Hand Pies?

puff_7789

I guess it depends on the filling!

Release YOUR Bon Viant and Savor Your Life!

Eat Dessert Like You Mean It

pudding_7986

So did you make a resolution to eat better this year? to cut the sweets out of your diet? That just doesn’t work for me. Life is too short to deprive myself of all things sweet. So here’s an alternative. Make a dessert that is more of a meal, with low sugar and protein, this dessert will leave your sweet tooth satisfied and your appetite satiated!

This is tofu pudding, yes tofu. Mori-Nu makes a great tofu pudding mix. All you do is place tofu in a blender with a little water and blend it until it’s smooth. Then add the pudding packet and continue to blend.  I like to add a little Kahlua or Frangelico too! Scrape down the sides and blend until well combined.

Spoon the pudding into dessert cups and refrigerate. To add a little decadence I like to add fresh berries and nuts to mine. You don’t have to give up desserts this year. In fact you can skip lunch all together and just have dessert!

You can accomplish the same thing with your own sugar and cocoa combination added to the tofu, melted chocolate works too. But until you get the hang of it, go easy on yourself, start with the packet.

Until next time… Release YOUR Bon Vivant and Savor Your Life!

Blackberry Lemon Pull Aparts

bb-bread_7974This is a variation of your standard pull apart bread with a subtle blackberry and lemon flavor. While I do enjoy the classic cinnamon and brown sugar flavored breakfast treats, the light fruity flavor of this one is refreshing.

I used a table mixer, but you can easily adjust the instructions to accommodate kneading by hand if you prefer. This recipe is a little larger than most, it nicely fills a 9″ spring form pan.

Dough:
3 Tbs butter
3/4 cup milk
3 tsp dry yeast
1 cup blackberry puree
1/4 – 1/3 cup sugar
3-1/2 to 4 cups flour

Filling:
2 Tbs butter
1 cup sugar
zest of 3 lemons

Combine the butter and milk, warm it just enough to melt the butter. Let it cool so that you don’t kill the yeast, I prefer to use a thermometer to verify the temperature. Anything over 120° puts your yeast at risk. Put the milk/butter mixture, yeast, sugar, and a cup of flour in a mixer with a dough hook and combine it. Let it sit until you see the yeast beginning to work (bubbles will begin to form). With the mixer on low alternately add the remaining flour and blackberry puree. If blackberry seeds offend you then strain the puree but in my opinion you’ll lose some flavor.

Let the mixer knead the dough until a slightly sticky ball forms. Remove the dough and place it in a greased bowl, turn it so that it’s greased on all sides. Cover the bowl and let it rise until doubled.

After the dough has doubled deflate it and remove it from the bowl. Roll it into a rectangle. The size depends on how thick you want the rolls to be. I rolled mine into an 20″ x 14″ rectangle. Melt the additional two tablespoons of butter and brush the surface of the dough. Sprinkle the cup of sugar and lemon zest evenly over the dough. Using a pizza cutter, I cut mine down the middle, making two 20″ x 7″ pieces, these I cut into 2″ x 7″ strips. Roll the strips and place them in a greased pan. Get creative, you can use a cast iron skillet, loaf pans, cake pans, etc. If you prefer the classic ‘leaf’ type of pull apart bread cut the dough into squares.

Let it rise a second time, until it’s almost doubled. Then bake the rolls at 375° for about 30 minutes. The time will depend on your choice of pans. Serve them warm from the oven. Try substituting other fruits, based on what’s in season and what’s available to you. Mango works well, as does pineapple.

Until next time… Release YOUR Bon Vivant and Savor Your Life!

Hit the Trail

trailmix_7809

Have you ever wished your trail mix had almonds instead of peanuts, or apricots instead of raisins? Try making your own to get your trail mix just how you want it. To speed things up, start with a granola that is packaged for breakfast.

For this week’s mix I used a scoop of cherry vanilla granola and a scoop of honey raisin granola.

In a large mixing bowl I combined the granola, cashews, semi-sweet chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, walnuts, shredded coconut, a few chopped prunes, and a few chopped dried apricots. Stir it up and package it in single serving bags or jars.

My trail mix is never exactly the same! I like to alternate what I add, some of my favorites are dried pineapple, dried papaya, almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds, and dried apples. I also like to use yogurt covered raisins when I want to make a really sweet mix. In a pinch you can even pour milk over a small bowl of the trail mix and call it cereal. I also like to sprinkle it on a hot bowl of cream of wheat!

What’s in your trail mix?

Until next time… Release YOUR Bon Vivant and Savor Your Life!

Cheddar, Cream, or Marscapone, What Tops Your Apples?

applepuff_7271

I love apple season. Of course we can purchase several varieties of apple year round but there’s something about the abundance of them in Fall that excites me.  They are a great stand alone snack or they can be baked in a myriad of ways.

One of the easiest apple desserts is to bake them in puff pastry. Defrost a sheet of puff pastry and lay it on a greased a baking sheet. You can use a variety of shapes and sizes, use a full sheet or make individual desserts.

Prepare your apples by slicing them or cutting them into chunks. Place them on the puff pastry sheet and bring the sides of the pastry up. I like to use half green and half red apples for better presentation. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon and a bit of brown sugar. I also like to add a few pomegranate seeds if I have them, nuts would also work.

Brush the exposed sides of the pastry with oil to facilitate better browning. Bake the pastries at 400 degrees until the apples soften and the pastry browns. If the apples soften before the pastry is ready use the broiler to brown it quickly. Remove the puffed apple dessert from the oven and now the hard part… How will you serve it?
applepuff_7259

With a dollop of marscapone?

applepuff_7260

With a wedge of cheddar cheese?

applepuff_7261

Or drizzled with fresh cream?

Until next time… Release YOUR Bon Vivant and Savor Your Life!

Pumpkin Butter

pumpkinbutter_6708

Pumpkin Butter… what a misnomer! Pumpkin Butter is vegan, there is no butter in it. It’s sort of like a jam, and it can be sweet or spicy depending on how you make it. We seem to always end up with an extra pumpkin or two. So every year I make a batch of pumpkin butter. It’s fairly light, freezes well, and it can be used on toast, to flavor oatmeal or as an addition to baked goods.

pumpkinwarts_6627

This year I used this warty pumpkin. After cutting it in half I removed the seeds and roasted it in the oven, cut side down, at 350 degrees until it softened. It took about an hour for this size of a pumpkin but the time can vary greatly so just check them frequently.

After it cooled I removed the skin and put chunks of the flesh in the slow cooker with 1/4 cup molasses (hence the dark color of my Pumpkin Butter), 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, and some nutmeg. I let this simmer for about 8 hours, stirring about every hour. The smell was divine! After it cooled I put it in a food processor and processed it until it was smooth.

Easy isn’t it?! Adjust the sugar and spices to fit your palate and enjoy a true taste of the season.

Until next time… Release YOUR Bon Vivant and Savor Your Life!