Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Soft Blueberry Cookies with Lemon Glaze

As winter is coming to a close and spring is finally peeking its head through the clouds I start to crave things like fresh fruit smoothies, iced sweet tea, home grown vegetables, and a colorful fruit salad.

I don't know about you, but I could sit down and eat fruit for days!  Especially delicious, juicy berries!

If you know anything about me, you also know that I have dangerously active sweet teeth.  Not tooth, teeth.  I'm talking like every tooth I have is a sweet tooth.

If I didn't know how nutritionally awful it was for me, I could definitely survive on cake, cookies, pie and candy. 

I actually gave up chocolate for lent this year, and, let me tell you, it may be the hardest thing I've ever done.

These cookies are the perfect combination between my (our?) love of fresh fruit and sugar.  They are so soft and filled with fresh blueberries that burst in your mouth when you take a bite.  The lemon glaze on top of the cookies is so refreshing, it almost feels like you aren't even eating a cookie!

I also slightly altered the original recipe to improve it health wise, and you can't even tell! 

Soft Blueberry Cookies with Lemon Glaze
Recipe Adapted from: A Happy Food Dance

1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C unsalted butter
1/2 C natural apple sauce
1 C brown sugar
1 C granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 C old-fashioned oats
1 1/4 C blueberries
1 C powdered sugar
Juice of one lemon

Preheat your oven to 350 Degrees (make sure your rack is in the middle position) and line your baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk, or mix with a fork the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.

in a separate bowl, or bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, apple sauce, and sugars until creamy.  Should take about 2 minutes.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then incorporate the vanilla.

With a wooden spoon or spatula, stir in the flour mixture until just moistened.  Stir in the oats, and then the blueberries.  Be gentle when stirring in the blueberries so you do not crush them.

Spoon the dough out onto the parchment paper, spacing them 1-2 inches apart.

Bake for 12-14 minutes, the edges should just be turning golden brown.  

Allow the cookies to cool on the sheet for 2-3 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack.

While the last sheet of cookies are in the oven, measure out the powdered sugar into a small bowl.  Squeeze the lemon over top and mix until smooth.  The glaze should be a little thinner than the consistency of royal icing, you may need to add more powdered sugar depending on the size of the lemon.

Drizzle the glaze over the cookies after they are nearly cooled, and allow it to harden.

For best preservation, store in an airtight container.

Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cinnamon Bread

My family absolutely loves it when I bake bread.  Banana bread, yeast bread, cheesy bread; it doesn't matter!

Every single time I come home my mother presents me with a bag of frozen bananas, or a new recipe she wants me to try out. 

As soon as the smell of baking bread begins to fill the house, my brother races to the kitchen and asks what I'm making.  (His favorite is Banana Bread)

My family is definitely my biggest fan.

This bread recipe was one my mom emailed me, begging me to make. 

Nobody was disappointed.

Cinnamon Bread
Recipe Adapted form: Redfly Creations
1 C butter, softened
2 C sugar
2 eggs
2 C buttermilk
4 C flour
2 tsp baking soda
2/3 C sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 350 Degrees and grease a loaf pan.

Cream together the butter, sugar and eggs in a large bowl until smooth.

Add the buttermilk, flour, and baking soda.  Mix until fully incorporated. 

Mix together the topping ingredients in a separate bowl.

Pour half the batter into the loaf pan, then sprinkle 3/4 of the topping mixture on top. 

Pour the rest of the batter into the pan, and sprinkle on the remaining topping mixture.  Swirl with a knife.

Bake for about 45 minutes, test with a knife to be sure the bread is done.  Allow the bread to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes before removing. 

Enjoy! :)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Apple Granola Muffins

A couple weeks ago my school was off for spring break.  Many people I know went to places like South Padre, California, or Florida.  But me, I went home for the weekend and then came right on back to good ole' Lincoln, Nebraska. 

Exciting right? 

While I was home, I took advantage of my mother's credit card to buy ingredients to bake all kinds of scrumptious goodies. 

This was definitely not to the displeasure of my mother though; in fact, she presented me with various recipes to make for her!  So really, we all benefited right?

These muffins are a recipe that my mother found in one of her several "mom magazines."  I believe it was Good Housekeeping. 

Not only were they delicious, but also packed full of healthy and filling ingredients.  Definitely a better choice than the package of mix with the long list of ingredients you can't pronounce.  

Even my extremely picky brother thought they were tasty!  And that is a feat, let me tell you.

These were described as a "One-Sentence Recipe" because they are so easy to make.  They even make the perfect amount: one dozen!

Apple Granola Muffins
Recipe Adapted From Good Housekeeping Magazine

2 C all purpose baking mix (Bisquick)
2/3 C milk
1/3 C packed brown sugar
1 egg
2 Tbsp melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 apple, peeled and choped
1/2 c crumbled granola
1/2 c dried cranberries

Preheat your oven to 375 Degrees and line a muffin tin with paper liners.

Mix the baking mix, milk, brown sugar, egg, butter, vanilla and cinnamon in a large bowl.

Stir in the apple, granola and cranberries.  

Fill liners 3/4 full and bake for 15 to 18 minutes.  Test with a toothpick to ensure they are done.

Enjoy! :)