Category Archives: Desserts

Honey, Peanut Butter & Coconut Cookies {dairy free}

P1070791For those of you who don’t know me that well, I love sugar.  Despite knowing how bad it is for you, keeping my self-control in front of a delicious cake or a plate of cookies has proven impossible.  I have been working on weaning myself off of sugar and to toot my own horn, I have been doing pretty darn good.  I still dream of cookies dancing above my head, but have not given in, not in quite a while.

So, on this cloudy Colorado day, I was in the mood for a bit of baking.  I wanted to keep true to my avoidance of a 500 calorie cookie, but wanted to reward myself with something delicious from the oven.  I came across this recipe on Pinterest (which may be another one of my addictions).  All I can say is…. hello delicious, healthy cookie.

Yield:  12 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup oat flour (can use gluten free oats)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut flakes

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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.  Take 1 cup old fashioned oats and place in food processor or blender and blend until texture of flour.
  2. In a large bowl, add in peanut butter, honey and vanilla.  Mix together until well combined.  Add in oat flour and baking soda, mix well.   Lightly wet hands and roll dough into small balls and then roll each ball in the coconut flakes.  Place onto baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough until all is used.  Using a fork, press down on top of each cookie, to slightly flatten.
  3. Bake for 5 minutes or until cookies are only slightly brown on the edges.  Do not over cook.  Place on wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

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Adapted from:  My Happy Place

Sugar Cookies with Cassia Glaze

As we head very quickly into Christmas week, I want to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season and to those of you who have procrastinated and still have to go to the mall for Christmas gifts, I am truly sorry.   I would rather pull all my eyelashes out, then have to venture into that madhouse called the “mall at Christmas.”  Circling around to find parking, being bombarded by the Lancome lady trying to spray perfume on you and then the pressure of finding the perfect gift at the last second.  If you haven’t jumped onto the shopping online bandwagon, I highly suggest it.  Amazon, baby!!!

Now, back to the story and by story I mean cookies.  Yes, the second level on the food pyramid in my mind.  I decided to make sugar cookies for our cookie exchange at work this week, but wanted to give them a bit of a twist.  So, since my wonderful adventure into essential oils has started I wanted to try a bit of cooking with them.  I decided to make a cassia glaze.  Cassia is the little sister of cinnamon.  It has a bit more sweetness to it then cinnamon.  I must say they were DELICIOUS!  A bit of sweet and spicy.  They were a hit.

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!!

Yield:  3 dozen

Ingredients:
Cookies:

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Glaze:

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 375.  In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and whisk together.  Set aside.

2.  In a bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until smooth.  About 1 minute.  Add in egg and vanilla, mix well.  Gradually blend in the dry ingredients.

3.  Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls.  Place on un-greased  cookie sheet.

4.  Bake 8-10 minutes, or until slightly golden.  Let stand on cookie sheet for two minutes before moving to cooling rack.

**make sure NOT to OVER cook.  Cookies will look slightly “doughy” in the center, but will continue to cook when left on cookie sheet for 2 minutes.

Glaze:
1.  Allow cookies to completely cool before glazing.

2.  Place powdered sugar, milk and essential oil in small mixing bowl.  Stir together until smooth.  You may add more or less milk depending on how thick you want the glaze.  Also, Cassia is slightly spicy like cinnamon, feel free to add more or decrease the amount added to glaze depending on taste.

*** If you are interested in how to learn more about essential oils please visit my website at:
http://www.mydoterra.com/genoayox/

Peanut Butter Nanaimo Bars

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So, you may be asking, “what is a nanaimo bar?”  Good question.  I didn’t know what they were either before I came across this recipe.  Well, let me give you a bit of background on this delicious bar.  It is a Canadian dessert, made popular back in the 1950′s by a local housewife who happened to live in the city of Nanaimo, British Columbia.  This is the theory anyway, I am not sure this would be stated as a fact in an encyclopedia or history book, but we are talking about desserts after all.   Its original version was a no-bake, chocolate crumb base topped with a custard and then a hardened melted chocolate layer.  Well, since the 1950′s many versions have come about.  I decided to make this one considering two of my husbands favorite things in life are peanut butter and chocolate.  Also, as you may have guessed just by looking at the ingredients list, it was amazing.   It is a very rich dessert so a little goes a long way.  Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

Ingredients:
For the Base:

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ¾ cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder

For the Filling:

  • 1¼ cups creamy peanut butter
  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • ⅓ cup milk

For the Topping:

  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

 Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350°.  Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper, set aside.

2.  Make the Base: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together melted butter, sugar and eggs.  Using a wooden spoon, stir in graham cracker crumbs, coconut and cocoa powder.  Stir until completely combined.  Transfer mixture into prepared baking pan and using hands press evenly.  (Hint:  the mixture is very sticky, wet your hands slightly before you press the mixture)  Bake crust for 12-15 minutes, or until firm and no longer shiny.  Transfer pan to cooling rack and allow to cool completely before preparing filling.

3.  Make the Filling: Microwave peanut butter and butter in large microwave safe bowl until completely melted and smooth.  Whisk in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, alternating with divided milk.  Whisk together until completely smooth.  Spread evenly over the crumb base and refrigerate until firm.  Usually takes about 1 hour.

4.  Make the Topping:  Using a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter together.

5.  Spread over the chilled filling and allow to set at room temperature.

6.  Make sure it is completely cooled before cutting into bars and serving.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerate for best results.

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Adapted from:  Browneyedbaker

Toasted Coconut cookies

When thinking about coconut cookies I always imagine macaroons or those hard coconut tea cookies.  I went browsing the Internet for something different in a coconut cookie.  And, voila, out came the toasted coconut soft cookie.  I tweaked a few things in the recipe to give them a more intense coconut flavor.  I think next time I may substitute all the vanilla extract for coconut extra and give an extra coconut kick.  I hope you enjoy these soft delicious cookies, I know I did.

 Yields:  3 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • Extra shredded coconut, for topping

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 ° and line baking sheet with parchment paper.  Pour the 1/2 cup coconut onto the sheet and bake for 5-7 minutes, tossing a few times during cooking with a fork, until lightly browned.

2.  In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and toasted coconut.  Whisk together.

3.  In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, cream cheese and oil.  Add in egg, vanilla extract and coconut extract.  Blend thoroughly.

4.  Gradually add flour mixture to wet ingredients, mix well.

5.  Roll dough into 1″ balls.  Place on baking sheet and slightly flatten each ball with the palm of your hand.  Sprinkle top of cookies with extra coconut.

6.  Bake for 11-13 minutes or until edges are slightly browned and coconut topping is toasted.  Transfer cookies to a wire rack for cooling.

Adapted from:  sugarcrafter

Blueberry Breakfast Cake

I came across this recipe when I was looking for a spring breakfast snack.   I didn’t want it to be too dessert like, but still tasty.  I think this fits the bill.  Plus, I seem to be in this lemon kick.  I’ve been adding it to breads, cookies and even pasta dishes.  Love it.  There is something about a sweet blueberry taste with a tart lemon kick.

The original recipe called for buttermilk, but I used non-fat Greek yogurt instead.  I hate buying buttermilk at the store, you use a tiny bit for a recipe and then your left with the rest of the carton.  What am I supposed to do with that?  So, since Greek yogurt is a staple in my refrigerator, I decided to give it a whirl.  It was amazing.  One of the most moist cakes I have made in a while.  But if you are  a buttermilk fan, go ahead and substitute the yogurt for the buttermilk, using the same measurements.  Either way you will not be disappointed. 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest, about the zest from 1 large lemon
  • 7/8 cup sugar (3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour (set aside 1/4 cup of this to toss with the blueberries)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups frozen wild blueberries
  • 1/2 non-fat Greek yogurt (I used Fage)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, for sprinkling on top

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350°.  Spray a 9×9 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

2.  Using an electric mixer cream butter, lemon zest and 7/8 cup sugar in medium sized bowl until light and fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla, beat until thoroughly combined.  Set aside.

3.  In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

4.  Place blueberries in a small mixing bowl and toss with remaining 1/4 cup flour.

5.  Add the flour mixture to the batter a small amount at at time, alternating with the yogurt.  Then fold in the blueberries.

6.  In prepared baking dish, spread batter.  Sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of sugar.  Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean.  Let cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting.

Adapted from:  alexandracooks

Red Velvet Poke Cake

If you have been following my blog, not too long ago I had a recipe for coconut poke cake, well it was such a hit I decided to make a different flavored poke cake.  One of my husband’s favorite cakes is red velvet, so I decided to give it a try.  It was delicious, so delicious in fact my husband and I ate a quarter of the cake in one sitting.  I know, put the fork down.  It is so much easier said than done when it comes to me and sweets.  For the next week we were motivated to hit the gym everyday so we wouldn’t feel guilty about having a piece of cake every night after dinner.  Life is all about balance, right?  Even despite making it to the gym everyday, I think I am going to wait a while before I make another poke cake, my skinny jeans will thank me.

Ingredients:

  • 1 red velvet box cake
  • 1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • For the Frosting:
  • 8 ounces butter, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4¼ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract

*sprinkles if desired

Directions:
1.  Make cake according to box directions.  Remove cake from the oven and immediately poke holes all over the top of cake while still hot.  I used the end of a wooden spoon to poke the holes.

2.  Slowly pour the can of condensed milk all over the top of the cake, as evenly as possible. 

3.  Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting and decorating.


Making the Frosting:
1.  In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, whip together butter and cream cheese on high speed for about 5 minutes.  Next, reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add in powdered sugar until all is incorporated.  Add in vanilla and mix thoroughly.  Increase mixer speed to medium and whip for 3 minutes, or until frosting is light and fluffy. 

2.  Spread the frosting evenly over top of cake and decorate as desired.  Make sure to store cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Cut and Enjoy!!!!

Adapted from:  browneyedbaker

Baked Donut Muffins

 

This is a wonderful recipe that’s a cross between a mini muffin and a donut hole! Plus, since they are baked and not fried we could say a bit healthier than your ordinary donut.  But I dare you to try and eat just one.  It’s impossible.  They are like Pringles, once you start, you can’t stop.

Yield: 20-24 mini-donuts

Ingredients:

For Donut:

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup flour


For Sugar Topping

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 375 °.  Spray 2 mini-muffin pans with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In medium sized bowl, mix 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup melted butter and nutmeg.  Stir in milk and baking powder, mix well.
  3. Next add in flour, stir until just combined.
  4. Fill prepared mini muffin cups, each cup half full.
  5. Bake in preheated oven about 15-20 minutes, or until tops are lightly golden.
  6. While muffins are baking, place 1/2 cup butter in a microwave safe bowl and melt.  In a separate small bowl combine 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon.
  7. Remove muffins from pan. Dip each muffin top, first in butter and then roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Allow to cool and serve.   

Adapted from:  allrecipes

Coconut Poke Cake

 

I decided to make this recipe for Christmas dinner.  I know I’m a bit behind in posting this, but hey better late than never.  We were having a low key Christmas, just my husband and I and we invited my best friend Melissa to join us.  She taught me to make dressing, gravy and turkey stock from scratch.  So, I let her choose dessert for the evening.  She said anything “coconut”!  So I went on the search for a coconut dessert and came across something called a poke cake.  I had never heard of such a thing.  Then I found a coconut poke cake and decided to give it a try.  I used fat free condensed milk and lite cool whip to lighten up the calorie content and it was plenty sweet.  It was amazing.  The cream of coconut and condensed milk make the cake extra moist and the added coconut extract I put in the batter and frosting, bumped the flavor into coconut heaven.  Even my husband who is a chocolate fanatic couldn’t stop eating it.  It was a hit.  I am excited to try other flavors and varieties of this new found “poke cake.”

Ingredients:

  • 1 package white cake mix (not one with pudding)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 (14oz) can cream of coconut
  • 7 oz fat free sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (16oz) container lite cool whip, thawed
  • 1 (14oz) package shredded sweetened coconut

Directions:
1.  Prepare and bake cake according to package directions, adding 1 teaspoon of coconut extract to batter before baking.
2.  Remove cake from oven and while still HOT, using the end of a wooden spoon poke holes all over the top of the cake.

 

3.  In a medium bowl, mix the cream of coconut and sweetened condensed milk.  Pour mixture evenly over hot cake.
4.  Allow cake to completely cool.  In a large bowl mix cool whip, 1/2 the bag of coconut and 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract together.

 

5.  Frost cake with mixture and sprinkle remaining coconut evenly over top of cake.

6.  Refrigerate cake for at least 1 hour before cutting.  Make sure to store cake in refrigerator.

Adapted from:  allrecipes

White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

I decided to make these when I signed up for a cookie exchange at work.  I wanted something different than your everyday chocolate chip and I thought the cranberries and white chocolate seemed so Christmas.  They ended up being such pretty little cookies and they tasted delicious.  I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday.  A time to enjoy family and friends, give thanks and eat good food.  So, go ahead put on your elastic band sweat pants and savor every bite. 

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
 
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 °.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars together until combined.  Add in egg and vanilla and mix well.
  3. Combine flour, salt, baking soda in separate bowl, mix until combined.
  4. Slowly add flour mixture into sugar mixture.  Stir well.
  5. Fold in cranberries and white chocolate chips. 
  6. Drop a heaping tablespoon of dough onto baking sheet.  Space cookies evenly to fit 12 cookies per sheet.
7.  Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned.  Allow cookies to sit on cookie sheet for 1 minute, then transfer to a wire rack.   Allow to cool completely.
 
Adapted from:  taste of home

Salted Caramel Butter Bars

I think the title alone says enough about this dessert for anyone to make it.  Any sentence containing salted and caramel has my attention.   Even my husband who is a die hard chocolate lover liked this one.  He actually said they were fabulous.  And after not winning the giant powerball jackpot, I needed something to make me feel better about knowing that I get to continue working for the next 30 years.  I think this was it.   A sweet caramel flavor, with a salty bite.  For a few moments, I was lost in the sugar bliss.  Okay, now back to reality, time to hit the gym and go to work.  Oh well, at least there is the option of having a calgon moment with a dessert bar.  Yummy!


  Ingredients:

  • 2 cups salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 (14-ounce) bag caramels, unwrapped
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 325 °.  Line a 9×13 cake pan with parchment paper, cutting paper to fit just the bottom. Lightly spray paper with cooking spray.
2.  In a large mixing bowl combine butter, sugar and powdered sugar. Using hand mixer, beat until creamy.  Then add vanilla and beat until combined.
3.  Next, add flour to sugar mixture.  Add 1 cup at at time and mix until a soft dough is formed.
Press half of dough mixture into prepared pan and place remaining dough in refrigerator.  Bake for 20 minutes.

4.  Remove from oven and set aside.
5.  Place caramels into a microwave safe bowl, add cream and vanilla.  Microwave mixture for 1 minute.  If caramels are not completely melted, microwave for additional 20 second intervals until caramel mixture is smooth.  Making sure to stir mixture after each interval.

6.  Pour caramel filling over cooked crust, making sure to pour evenly, because it is difficult to spread once mixture is poured.  Sprinkle salt over melted caramel.

7.  Take remaining dough from refrigerator and crumble it over caramel layer evenly.  Return pan to oven and bake for 30-40 minutes.  Bars will be done when top is a firm golden brown.
8.  Allow to cool completely before cutting it into serving size squares.

 Adapted from: cookiesandcups