Cinnamon-Coconut Cookies with Orchidea Chips: Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2014

Cinnamon-Coconut Cookies with Orchidea Chips

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Who likes getting cookies in the mail?

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2014

I do!

This is my second year participating in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, and I love doing it.  Food bloggers come together (virtually) to exchange cookies, get to know each other a little, and raise money to fight pediatric cancer through Cookies For Kids’ Cancer. You send in a small donation, then get matched up with three other bloggers, and send them each a dozen cookies. In the meantime, three OTHER bloggers each send YOU a dozen cookies, and everybody blogs about on the same day, and sponsors match the donations, and everybody ends up happy: we raise money for a good cause, and cookies show up on our doorsteps. Win-win!

The dilemma for me is always what to make. The cookies have to ship well and should be somewhat holiday-ish, despite the fact that my decorating skills are sub-par. A double challenge.

With exquisite timing, just as I was poking around my Pinterest boards and baking blogs looking for the right recipe, my friend Scratchy started sending me packages full of exotic and unusual baking ingredients. (I don’t know why, really, except that she’s a wonderful person and she likes me. Also she loves food, and she sees a lot of cool stuff in her travels.) Among the gems that came my way was a trio of different flavored chocolate chips from La Boite. Fancy!

I set my sights on cinnamon-coconut cookies first, then brought out the chips. I tasted them all. I tasted them again. Then I ate some just because they had chocolate in them. (The website said I could.) Then I hid them again. What? No. Then I chose the Orchidea Chips! They’ve got Szechuan pepper, lime, and orchidea root, but instead of being spicy or scary or weird, they’re sweet and different and I thought they’d blend beautifully with both cinnamon and coconut.

Orchidea Chips

It was a good call. The chips gave the cookies an extra dimension of flavor that pushed them over the top, making them both festive and addictive. (I doubled the recipe to make four dozen, which meant we got to keep some.)

I started with dry ingredients, opting for a whole wheat white flour/wheat germ combination instead of all-purpose flour. Added baking soda, salt, and a whole lot of cinnamon.

dry ingredients

dry ingredients

Time for the butter! I beat it with cane sugar and dark brown sugar.

butter and sugars in mixer

Next up, egg and vanilla. I’ve been using this vanilla bean “crush” I got from the King Arthur Flour Company, which is basically extract flecked with some seeds.

Vanilla Bean Crush

I beat, per the instructions, until “whipped.”

Mmm…whipped.

whipped batter

After mixing in the dry ingredients, I happily poured in the coconut. I almost dove in after it.

adding coconut

And finally I added the chips. I started with a third of a cup, then added half of that again after a little eyeballing and a little sampling.

batter with chips

I used to think recipes that required dough-chilling were a pain in the butt, because of all the waiting, like in that Tom Petty song. But I’ve learned a few things. Not only do many, if not most, cookies shape better and taste better after some time in the fridge, the chilling can give you time to clean up and clear your counter space for the next phase. It’s efficient AND delicious.

A few hours later, I retrieved the dough and started scooping it into balls. Big round cookie dough balls are fun, but they bake up kind of puffy and lumpy.

dough balls

cookies-on-tray-round-baked

For the next round, I used the bottom of a glass to flatten them, and liked them better.

cookie-batter-on-tray-flat

cookies-on-tray-flatter

The flavors came together so nicely. The coconut added some texture without overpowering the flavor, and the orchidea chips gave everything a little boost, but a gentle one, creating a unique taste combination that seemed completely natural even though I’d never tried it before.

While they all cooled, I printed up some labels, and got my shipping supplies together. I used “blouse boxes” from Target, without even really knowing what a “blouse box” is. Does it matter? It’s a cookie box now.

Cinnamon-Coconut Cookies with Orchidea Chips

I packaged them up and shipped them off, then I sat back and waited for my bounty. First to arrive, these Spiced Yule Log Cookies from Leah’s Life.

Spiced Yule Log Cookie Spiced Yule Log Cookie

Next, Chocolate Mint Truffle Snowballs from Cooking With Curls.

Chocolate Mint Truffle Snowballs Chocolate Mint Truffle Snowballs

And finally, Double Chocolate Chip Cookies from Dang That’s Delicious.

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

I Instagrammed, I Facebooked, I emailed my thank yous, and I gobbled them up with a little help from the rest of my family.

So now, I bring you the recipe. Don’t forget, you can use any kind of chips you want, and the original didn’t have any chips in there at all, so feel free to experiment! These cookies are delicious.

CINNAMON-COCONUT COOKIES WITH ORCHIDEA CHIPS (adapted from Spache the Spatula)

makes 4 dozen

ingredients:

2 1/4 cups whole wheat white flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
1/2 cup cane sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla crush (extract is fine)
2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup, then half of that again of orchidea chips (you can be flexible on the type of chip and how many)

directions:

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, wheat germ, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars together until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat again until whipped.

Add in the dry ingredients and beat on low speed just until incorporated. Add the coconut and beat just until mixed. Take the bowl off the mixer and fold in the chips with a spatula. If you feel you need to, you can use the mixer for a few seconds to makes sure they’re evenly distributed.

Cover the dough in plastic wrap — I used a large ziploc bag — and chill for at least two hours.

When ready to bake, heat oven to 350 degrees, and line a couple of cookie sheets with silicone mats or parchment.

Using a medium cookie scoop (1-2 tablespoon-size), scoop the dough and place on the baking sheets, at least two inches apart. Use the bottom of a glass to flatten each cookie ball.

Bake for 10 minutes, just until the edges are set. Let the cookies stay on the tray for at least 5 more minutes, then move to a wire rack to finish cooling.

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2014

 

Round-up: A Quartet of Pumpkin Recipes

fall

Pumpkin Muffin

Miss me?

It’s been a busy time. Lots of writing, lots of baking, but not so much time for blogging.  But pumpkin season hit my messy kitchen and it’s worth blogging about, maybe even bragging about. I think bragging is acceptable as long as I supply the recipes, right?

CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN SPICE MUFFINS

Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Muffins

So maybe they look a little lumpy on top. But they had this perfect combination of chocolate and pumpkin, lightness in the texture with a dark, rich flavor, and I came home the next day to find one of my daughter’s friends with a mouthful of crumbs, saying (with difficulty), “These are delicious!” Next to the one she was eating was an empty baking cup from the one she’d had right before it. When the seven-year-olds are stuffing their faces with healthy muffins, you know you’ve done it right.

CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN SPICE MUFFINS (adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction)

ingredients:

3/4 cup canned pumpkin
2/3 cup low fat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 large egg whites
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla crush (extract is fine)
2/3 cup whole wheat white flour
1/3 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

directions:

Heat oven to 450 degrees, and spray or line a 12-cup muffin tin. I used my silicone baking cups, the nice free ones I got from the New York Baking Company.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin,yogurt,  brown sugar, maple syrup, egg whites, oil, and vanilla. Beat until smooth, eliminating all yogurt lumps if you see them.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt. Slowly add the wet ingredients, and stir just enough to fully incorporate. Fold in the mini chocolate chips.

Scoop the batter — it will be thick! — into muffin cups, distributing evenly.

Bake at 450 for five minutes, then reduce temperature to 375 and bake for another 12-18 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let sit in the pan for five minutes, then remove to a cooling rack.

 

PUMPKIN CUPCAKES A LA JULIET

Pumpkin Cupcakes by Juliet

Juliet and I have been watching a lot of Master Chef Junior. We already love Rachel vs. Guy Kids Cook-Off, and now we have another kids’ cooking show to watch together, and it’s inspiring her. “I want to bake something on my own,” she told me, so we set aside some time on the weekend and I back seat drove while she made pumpkin cupcakes.

The only things I had to step in and take care of? I separated the eggs, and took care of everything involving the oven. She did the rest. She measured, she whisked, she stirred, and she scooped. Sadly, I didn’t take any pictures of all this activity, but the truth is, we were having a lot of fun hanging out and I thought that was more important.

The cupcakes turned out great. They didn’t last long, not just because she gave some to her teachers and her friends, but because we all couldn’t stop eating them. A baking star is born!

PUMPKIN CUPCAKES (adapted from Self Magazine)

ingredients:

1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup almond milk
1/4 cup safflower oil
1/4 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup honey
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon clovescinnamon-sugar, for sprinkling (optional)

directions:

Heat oven to 375 degrees and spray or line a 12-cup muffin tin.

In a large bowl, beat together the pumpkin, almond milk, safflower oil, yogurt, honey, egg whites, and vanilla. Stir well.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, wheat germ, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir just until incorporated.

Scoop the batter into cups and sprinkle a little cinnamon sugar on top, if desired.

Bake at 375 for five minutes, then reduce temperature to 350 and bake for another 15-25 minutes. (Mine took a long time to bake all the way through, but my oven has been a little erratic lately; after this, I bought a thermometer to monitor things better.)  When a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean, take them out and give them 5 more minutes in the tin, then move to a wire rack for cooling.

PUMPKIN CINNAMON COOKIES

Pumpkin Cinnamon Cookies

I didn’t do anything to alter this recipe, so I will simply say the two most important things that must be said about them.

Thing 1: They didn’t look ANYTHING like the picture on the blog (Two Peas And Their Pod) the recipe came from.

Thing 2: They were not only the best pumpkin cookies I’ve ever eaten, they were maybe among the best cookies I’ve ever eaten.

You know how pumpkin cookies are usually kind of cakey, and just a little too soft? Not these! They were real cookies in every way, with a slight crispness to the outside, and a softness on the inside that was still cookie-like, completely. I am going to have to make these again and again, and then eat them all, and then make another batch for somebody else.

Since I didn’t alter the recipe, I will send you straight to the blog for the original. Get that recipe now!

 

PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE WITH CINNAMON-CHAI FROSTING (AND SUGAR PUMPKINS)

Pumpkin Cheesecake

 

(Snapped this photo with my iPhone)

This is my go-to dessert for Thanksgiving, and this year I was able to make it even nicer thanks to my friend Scratchy, who sent me these cute little shaped sugars. The pumpkins are have pumpkin spice in them as well as sugar, and they gave it that extra touch of perfection.

Get the recipe.

 

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Zucchini Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Zucchini Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

jump to recipe Everyone loved these. I thought they were just okay, but everyone I work with went nuts for them and kept coming back to ask if there were any left long after the last one had disappeared. So I'd consider that a hit. And they're … [Continue reading]

Peachy Keen Muffins (with Poppy Seeds)

Peachy Keen Muffins

jump to recipe I had to try one more time. I want a peach muffin without peach pieces, is that so wrong? Well, it may not be wrong, but I still haven’t achieved it. Not that these muffins are anything but sweet and delicious and good for you, … [Continue reading]

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

I had no idea you could make cookies without flour that aren’t disgusting. Seriously! I see these recipes all the time and they make me suspicious. And I don’t have any health issues with flour or reasons to avoid it; I am more than pro-gluten, I am … [Continue reading]

Maple Oatmeal Muffins

Maple Oatmeal Muffins

jump to recipe I’m back on the healthy muffin train. I was trying to come with something new to try for breakfast when I found this gem hiding at the bottom of one of my Pinterest boards. Being Canadian, I was drawn to this one by forces beyond my … [Continue reading]

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies for Juliet’s birthday

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

I swear, I think this will be my last not-healthy recipe for a little while. But it was Juliet’s 6th birthday last week so I sat her down with my iPad and we went through one of my Pinterest boards so she could pick out something special. She knows … [Continue reading]

Honey Tea Bread

Honey Tea Bread

jump to recipe I’ve been wanting to try making this recipe for weeks, but first I had to use up the carrots, zucchini, and bananas that were sitting around. Finally I ran out of everything, and felt it was morally okay to proceed. (I hate wasting … [Continue reading]

Carrot Oatmeal Muffins, new & improved

carrot oatmeal muffin

jump to recipe I already liked my carrot oatmeal muffins. A lot. But it’s been a while since I made them, and I decided it was time to see if I could make them even better. And I did! I knew it was meant to be when I grated the last carrot in … [Continue reading]

Baked Cinnamon Sugar Mini Donuts

Baked Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

The kids needed these baked cinnamon sugar mini donuts. They did!  I was just doing what my conscience dictated when I whipped up a batch. I was fulfilling a moral obligation. Really. Also, I had a new mini donut pan that needed a tryout. Also, … [Continue reading]

Washington DC

capitol building

That, my friends, is Julia Child’s kitchen, transported in its entirety to the Smithsonian Museum of American History, and reason alone to take a trip to Washington DC. Check out the saws on the wall! This amazing sight was part of the FOOD … [Continue reading]

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread (two misses and a hit)

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

jump to recipe Finally! This delicious, satisfying chocolate zucchini bread came on the heels of two very unfortunate baking experiments, and a last-minute mishap to boot. Failure #1: I tried to make a zucchini bread without chocolate chips … [Continue reading]

Peach Poppy Seed Muffins (take 2)

Peach Poppy Seed Muffins

jump to recipe These look better, don’t they? I’m still on a peach muffin mission, but before I tried a new recipe I wanted to go back to this one and get it right. That meant: A. using properly ripened peaches B. mixing peach puree with … [Continue reading]

Mocha Banana Bread

Mocha Banana Bread

jump to recipe Love this twist on a traditional banana bread. Next time I’ll push it even more and up the cocoa powder and the espresso, but even as is it was full of flavor and made for a nice spin on a familiar treat. First step, mash the … [Continue reading]

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins

jump to recipe Another win for the zucchini muffin! I’m always nervous about these, because I truly despise zucchini. But in a muffin it becomes transformed, adding a health boost without compromising on flavor one iota. They were also really easy … [Continue reading]

Peach Poppy Seed Muffins (take 1)

Peach Poppy Seed Muffins

jump to recipe I have been on a quest: the quest for a peach muffin. To reiterate what I’ve expressed in this blog multiple times, I do not like pieces of fruit in my baked goods. I don’t make or eat blueberry muffins, apple pies, cobblers, or … [Continue reading]

Soft & Thick Snickerdoodle Cookies

Snickerdoodles

jump to recipe When you need to whip together some crowd pleasing cookies, this is a perfect go-to recipe. They’re sweet, cinnamon-y, puffy and soft, satisfyingly filling, and don’t have any objectionable ingredients. I have yet to meet someone … [Continue reading]

One Banana Banana Bread (made with two bananas)

One Banana Banana Bread

jump to recipe I had a problem. My problem? These. They were getting more disgusting daily, they needed to be transformed into something delicious and lovingly baked, but they were small, smaller than they look in this photo, so my options … [Continue reading]

Peach Muffins

Peach Muffins

These didn’t turn out quite the way I’d hoped. I’ve been wanting to make peach muffins for a while, a muffin that would be all crumb but would be full of flavor from pureed fresh peaches. So I started with a Strawberry Mini Muffins recipe I’d made … [Continue reading]

Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Cake

It’s zucchini season! And that means it’s chocolate season too. (It’s not wabbit season, though.) I’ve had my eye on this healthy chocolate zucchini cake recipe for a while because it has cardamom in it, which piqued my interest. So I gave it a … [Continue reading]

Peach Ginger Tea Muffins with Lemon

Peach Ginger Tea Muffins

jump to recipe A few weeks ago, I picked up some peach-ginger tea at an interesting little spice store in Sayville. We were on our way to Fire Island, but had some time to kill before the ferry came, so we stopped in town to get some coffee (for … [Continue reading]

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

jump to recipe What to make, what to make…I really wanted to try something new with the 3 revoltingly overripe bananas in my kitchen. And I was in a hurry because I picked up a new laptop this morning so I could blog more portably, so I wanted … [Continue reading]

Buttermilk Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

Buttermilk Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

Flower muffin! I was out of breakfast muffins and needed to whip something together that looked easy and quick, and this fit the bill: Buttermilk Oatmeal Muffins. The chocolate chips came from me. First I had to soak the oats in buttermilk for … [Continue reading]

Carrot Tea Cake with Oat Crumb Topping

Carrot Tea Cake With Oat Crumb Topping

jump to recipe This tea cake is so delicious that I made another one three days after making the first one, and the only reason I waited so long is because we were away for the weekend. The cake itself is warm with spices, and the topping adds … [Continue reading]

Low Fat Coffee Cake Muffins

Low Fat Coffee Cake Muffins

jump to recipe I was in a state when I made these. It was the evening before a Day of Many Mishaps, and I think these are where it all started. Funny thing is, the muffins actually came out great, but the making of them was fraught with … [Continue reading]

Cinnamon Graham Banana Bread

Cinnamon Graham Banana Bread

jump to recipe I know I have a pretty good banana bread recipe, but this one is sublime. And it comes with cinnamon glaze. I’m not surprised it’s so delicious, since I found the recipe on Tutti Dolci, plus it gave me a chance to use more of the … [Continue reading]

Butterscotch Peanut Butter Cookies

Butterscotch Peanut Butter Cookies

jump to recipe It was the 4th of July, and the kids deserved cookies. And when we were in Pennsylvania, I’d picked up something intriguing called “butterscotch peanut butter”, and I thought that would make for an interesting variation. I was … [Continue reading]

Strawberry Mini Muffins

Strawberry Mini Muffins

jump to recipe Strawberry mini muffins? Please keep in mind that I am known as She Who Hates Fruit In Muffins.  Really. I don’t eat blueberry muffins, cranberry muffins, raisin muffins, or any sort of fruit pie or cobbler. I do not like them, Sam … [Continue reading]

Pennsylvania: Breakfast Heaven & Hobo Lunch Blues

food face

Every year, when school ends, we take a trip to Pennsylvania to stay at the magnificent Mussers’ Bed & Breakfast. (Last year I even had a baking adventure there.) Barb, who runs the place, is an exceptional human being; we love visiting her every … [Continue reading]

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Muffins

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Muffins

jump to recipe Another win for the peanut butter team! These Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Muffins are delicious, good for you, and hunger-satisfying in the best way. This recipe was as straightforward as a muffin recipe can be. Dry ingredients … [Continue reading]

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Muffins

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Muffins

jump to recipe Do you like cinnamon? These are a lovely treat for the cinnamon-lover, and no doubt a nightmare for the cinnamon-hater. Cinnamon muffins with cinnamon chips, and full of healthy ingredients like whole wheat white flour, wheat … [Continue reading]

Mini Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Mini Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

jump to recipe I thought I had the banana muffin market cornered, but these are just as good as mine and come in mini form! The recipe for these mini banana chocolate chip muffins had unusual instructions, and specific directions, and I obeyed all … [Continue reading]

Banana-Nut Oat Bran Muffins

Banana Nut Oat Bran Muffins

Gluten-free is not for me. I suppose the gluten-free crowd might appreciate these, but only because they’re used to eating muffins made without flour. Me? I’m a gluten-lover. Bring on the wheat! These have good flavor but the texture is a complete … [Continue reading]

Honey Orange Oat Bran Muffins

Honey Orange Oat Bran Muffins

jump to recipe These turned out great! I could have just added some orange zest to one of my existing bran muffin recipes, but I like to keep trying new things, plus it’s been a while since I baked with oat bran instead of wheat bran. The … [Continue reading]

Root Beer Cupcakes with Cream Soda Frosting

Root Beer Cupcakes with Cream Soda Whipped Cream Frosting

Happy birthday Dave! Time for root beer cupcakes with cream soda frosting! The week of his birthday, I sat my lovely husband down and showed up the recipes I’d been pinning for him. He’s a vanilla guy, so I walked him through vanilla layer cakes … [Continue reading]

Peanut Butter Muffins

Peanut Butter Muffins

jump to recipe If you love peanut butter, then you love these muffins, whether you know it now or not. (I love peanut butter.) They’re not healthy breakfast muffins, though. They’re dessert-y, peanut butter fantasy muffins. And they’re very … [Continue reading]

Espresso Muffins with Peanut Butter Chips

Espresso Muffins with Peanut Butter Chips

jump to recipe I found a recipe for low fat Mocha Chocolate Chip Muffins, and in a fit of I’m still not sure what, I turned them into Espresso Muffins with Peanut Butter Chips, and they are full of dark espresso cakey goodness. I started … [Continue reading]

Baked Apple Cider Donuts

Baked Apple Cider Donuts

Friday was National Donut Day. So I made donuts. I also needed some baked goods to take to photography class, and I figured we could use some interesting shapes. I had mini muffins and a small loaf, so I decided on donuts to round things out. … [Continue reading]

Honey Whole Wheat Bran Muffins

Honey Whole Wheat Bran Muffins

jump to recipe I already have some tried and true bran muffin recipes, but I had the itch to try something new and Nathaniel had the itch to grate nutmeg, so we scratched our itches together. While I toasted the walnuts, he got to … [Continue reading]

Peanut Butter and Banana Bread

Peanut Butter And Banana Bread

jump to recipe This was one of those nights when I had a non-specific baking itch. I had no idea how to channel the whisking urge until I spotted the overripe bananas on the counter, then this recipe from Delish leapt out at me. Who was I to argue … [Continue reading]

Orange Oat Muffins

Orange Oat Muffins

jump to recipe These muffins are such a nice little surprise! I’ve been feeling the loss of the great blood oranges of the season, but now I know the joys of a regular (non-blood!) orange muffin too. Phew! These are lovely. Nathaniel says it’s … [Continue reading]

Double Chocolate Chip Muffins (“Skinny”!)

Double Chocolate Chip Muffins

jump to recipe I have tasted the magnificence that is a “skinny” double chocolate chip muffin, and I’ve personally witnessed all the ingredients that went into them. I alone can vouch for the seemingly impossible truth: these healthy muffins taste … [Continue reading]

Baked Vanilla Donuts

Baked Vanilla Donuts

The kids needed donuts. We ran out of Eggo waffles a few days ago and I kept saying I’d get to the store to get more but I hadn’t had a chance, so to make it up to them, I offered to make something for for breakfast. “Donuts!” they cried. They … [Continue reading]

Baking Class: Ratios

baking class

I went to a baking class today! The class was based on Michael Ruhlman’s book Ratio, and we all got a copy of it to take home. It was called “Baking with Ratios not Recipes” and was a lot of fun. We started with eggs and sugar. Not those … [Continue reading]

Blood Orange Poppy Seed Bread

Blood Orange Poppy Seed Bread

jump to recipe I had the last blood oranges of the season, and I wanted to make sure that whatever I baked would be worthy of them, so I adapted this wonderful lemon poppy seed bread recipe from amyBITES and hoped for the best. I’d already adapted … [Continue reading]

Golden Oatmeal Spice Muffins

Golden Oatmeal Spice Muffins

jump to recipe I stumbled onto this recipe in a moment of desperation. I got out all the ingredients to try a new oatmeal muffin recipe and then, once everything was assembled, I read the first instruction, which was to let the oats soak in … [Continue reading]

Peanut Butter Bran Muffins

Peanut Butter Bran Muffins

jump to recipe I wasn’t sure how things were going to go with these.  I got brave and decided to swap out some of the flour for wheat germ (as my current obsession dictates) and I added some vanilla, and what I ended up with, to my delight, was … [Continue reading]

Lemon Yogurt Muffins

Lemon Yogurt Muffins

I’m blogging these for the sake of…education, I guess. I didn’t love these. The texture lacked that fluffiness I like in a lemon muffin, and the flavor was okay but not really enough to make up for it. Maybe a more seasoned baker can take a look and … [Continue reading]

Wheat Germ Bread

Wheat Germ Bread

I know, it doesn’t sound tasty, does it? Wheat Germ Bread. Wheat Germ Bread? How is a person supposed to get excited about that? Well, taste it. Because once you taste it, you’ll get it, and once you find out how easy it is to make, you’ll make … [Continue reading]

Chocolate and Cinnamon Chip Espresso Oat Muffins

Chocolate Cinnamon Chip Espresso Oat Muffins

jump to recipe I won’t pretend they’re pretty, but they sure are delicious. This is a grown-up sort of muffin. The espresso flavor is strong, the oats give the muffins a density that makes them nice and filling, and the only real sweetness … [Continue reading]

Cinnamon Molasses Muffins

Cinnamon Molasses Muffins

jump to recipe If you like molasses, these are the muffins for you. They’re definitely a little intense. You could un-intense them successfully, I think, by substituting half the molasses for honey, but I found that people really liked the depth … [Continue reading]

Blood Orange Wheat Germ Muffins

Blood Orange Wheat Germ Muffins

jump to recipe These muffins have turned me on to a whole new world of wheat germ. They taste SO good, full of orange flavor, contained in this wonderfully textured, soft, substantial muffiny package. I started by zesting the oranges. The … [Continue reading]

Blood Orange Tea Muffins (mini)

Blood Orange Tea Muffins

Mini muffins! jump to recipe A while back I made some delicious Meyer Lemon Tea Muffins, only I didn’t realize they were supposed to be mini muffins so I only ended up with 9 of them. Since they were delicious, I decided to give them another … [Continue reading]

Oatmeal Cookie Muffins with Cappuccino Chips

Oatmeal Cookie Muffins with Cappuccino Chips

jump to recipe Let’s just say that these live up to their name. They stick to the paper a little bit, but what’s a little paper when you’re devouring a sweet delicious healthy muffin full of cappuccino chips? A minor inconvenience. I made some … [Continue reading]

Chai Spiced Vanilla Bean Muffins

Chai Spiced Vanilla Bean Muffins

jump to recipe These are strange and tasty little muffins. An adult sort of taste, being Chai Spiced Vanilla Muffins, but we’ll test that theory in the morning when Nathaniel wakes up. My original plan was to make something for the kids to eat … [Continue reading]

Blood Orange and Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Blood Orange and Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

jump to recipe Sometimes an ingredient shortage can work in your favor. For want of a few more blood oranges, some Meyer lemons were used, and born out of the uncertainty of that unusual pairing, some poppy seeds were added. Thus, a brand new … [Continue reading]

Blood Orange Pound Cake

Blood Orange Pound Cake

jump to recipe I finally fixed the white balance on my camera. (Apologies for the previous two non-white-balanced blog entries.) I also found blood oranges at our local grocery store. I celebrated these events by baking with the oranges and … [Continue reading]

Honey Pumpkin Bran Muffins

Honey Pumpkin Bran Muffins

jump to recipe I still had the white balance settings wrong for this entire batch of photos and it’s annoying me because these muffins were really delicious and you can’t even see their true beauty. Trust me, they looked lovely. I found these … [Continue reading]

Banutter Bites

Banutter Bites

jump to recipe I invented these. I had some overripe bananas, which I had to protect with a label or our cleaning lady would have thrown them away: I also had an itch to do something new, a craving for peanut butter (which is really just … [Continue reading]

Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies

Sometimes, in the middle of all the healthy baking, it’s time to make something for the kids. They put up with the bran stuff and the pumpkin whatnot for a while, but they’ve become pretty blasé about all the (what I think are) goodies coming out of … [Continue reading]

Pumpkin Muffins, made over and still delicious

Pumpkin Muffins made over

jump to recipe I’ve made these before, but I put a spin on them this time: I wanted to know if I could make them healthier without compromising on deliciousness. And the answer: a resounding yes. I’ve been looking for a formula for a long time … [Continue reading]

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Quick Bread

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Quick Bread

I made this one night last week, when I wanted something hearty and robust and satisfying but not sweet and dessert-y. I know, that sounds weird. But I was after something that would ground me a little. And thus I made this delightful bread. I … [Continue reading]

Coconut Banana Bread

Coconut Banana Bread

jump to recipe Coconut banana bread, who knew? I had many doubts about this one as I was making it and AGAIN messed up with something egg-related (see Cocoa Banana Yogurt Muffins for another egg near miss) but but in the end, it turned out great … [Continue reading]

Cocoa Banana Yogurt Muffins (a Laurie original)

Cocoa Banana Yogurt Muffins

jump to recipe Yesterday, I played with my tried-and-true banana yogurt muffin recipe to see if I could add in some cocoa powder without ruining it. I’ve also been playing with my camera. My photography class started yesterday, and I got cocky … [Continue reading]

Maple Pumpkin Mini Muffins

Maple Pumpkin Mini Muffins

These have been on my to-try list for months. I’m so glad I finally made them! They taste far too delicious to be as healthy as they are, too. And the timing is good, I’m back on Weight Watchers and these puppies are only ONE P+ each. And they are … [Continue reading]

Malted Chocolate Chip or Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

Malted Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’ve made these before — they’re Dave’s favorites. But I made them again, with some small alterations, because the kids have both just had ear infections and they felt these would help. And why not? The tricky part, though, is that Juliet doesn’t … [Continue reading]

Meyer Lemon Yogurt Muffins

Meyer Lemon Yogurt Muffins

These were…meh. The flavor came through nicely after the muffins had been sitting for a day, and the texture settled a little, but spectacular they were not. I was going to make mini muffins as the recipe suggested, but I had these beautiful, … [Continue reading]

Oatmeal Muffins

Oatmeal Muffins

jump to recipe These are delightful. I took a very basic, healthy recipe that I found on food.com, read the reviews, made it mine, and created deliciousness. If I achieve nothing else over the weekend, at least there’s that. I kept very … [Continue reading]

I Miss My Yoga Teacher Muffins — Honey Sage Corn Muffins

Honey Sage Corn Muffins

Not only are these pretty tasty, they were made in honor of one of my yoga teachers, Nancy, who I have been missing terribly since they changed things up at the studio I go to and she doesn’t teach there anymore. I loved her class, and I miss her … [Continue reading]

Peanut Butter Pound Cake

Peanut Butter Pound Cake

This was my birthday cake. This was one of the most decadent things I’ve ever made. This was also the best cake I’ve ever eaten in my entire life. I may have to make it again next year. It started with two sticks of butter. Then, … [Continue reading]

Salted Espresso Oatmeal Cookies

Salted Espresso Oatmeal Cookies

I’ve made these before, but this time I added a twist. I made them at Christmas, and instead of using regular chocolate chips I used Christmas-colored red & green chips, but this time I really took these to another level flavor-wise by … [Continue reading]

Carrot Bran Muffins

Carrot Bran Muffins

jump to recipe These muffins. These muffins! The fact that they are so healthy and good for you makes no sense with how delicious they taste. And I took a risk with these, changing the recipe mid-process, on a whim. A crazy, carrot- bran whim! I … [Continue reading]

Blood Orange Poppy Seed Muffins

Blood Orange Poppy Seed Muffins

I’ve decided that there’s a property peculiar to baked goods with blood oranges in them: it’s all about the second bite. Just like the Blood Orange Muffins I’ve made before, the first bite is a little confusing to the palate, but the second one rolls … [Continue reading]

Meyer Lemon Sugar Cookies

Meyer Lemon Sugar Cookies

I know, there’s been a lot of citrus lately. I feel desperate to play with Meyer lemons and blood oranges while they’re still around, plus it helps remind me that spring is coming, despite the really weird snowfall we had yesterday. Full … [Continue reading]

Pumpkin Espresso Bread

Pumpkin Espresso Bread

jump to recipe Another home run. Make this bread right now. I mean it. It couldn’t be easier and your taste buds will thank you, as will anyone else who gets a bite. I brought some of this to work with me and had someone come back for thirds. Who … [Continue reading]

Greek Yogurt and Coffee Chocolate Chip Muffins

Greek Yogurt And Coffee Cappuccino Chip Muffins

jump to recipe These are insane. Now they’re not crazily low fat or anything, but they’re not anywhere near as decadent as they taste, and the flavor combination in these muffins is absolutely exquisite. Semi-sweet chocolate, turbinado … [Continue reading]

Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Oatmeal Muffins

Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Oatmeal Muffins

These muffins surprised me. The batter didn’t seem as thick as it should be, and the night I made them, I tried one and it stuck so much to the paper that it wasn’t worth the effort of prying it loose. But then I tried one the next morning for … [Continue reading]

Mini Meyer Lemon Bundt Cakes

Mini Meyer Lemon Bundt Cakes

These are tiny sweet lemony bites from heaven. Oh my. I didn’t even know I owned a mini bundt pan until about a month ago. I’m not 100% sure where I got it, but my money’s on it being a freebie from my friend Scratchy’s days at the Martha Stewart … [Continue reading]

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bars (fail)

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bars

I’m a little sad about these. There are so many other delicious things I could have done with those three overripe bananas. Instead I made these lame oatmeal squares. They were perfect, too, in an ideal state for baking. They mashed up … [Continue reading]

Carrot Spice Mini Muffins

Carrot Spice Mini Muffins

I make these carrot spice muffins pretty regularly. They’re freakishly healthy, and I say freakishly because they are just ridiculously delicious. The spices are a perfect blend with the carrot base, the texture is moist but fluffy, the turbinado … [Continue reading]

Meyer Lemon Pound Cake

Meyer Lemon Pound Cake

jump to recipe I changed this recipe up a fair bit, and it paid off.  Dave is normally immune to the charms of the endless stream of baked goods that makes its way through our kitchen, but this one hooked him. He’s even suggesting that there might … [Continue reading]

Peanut Butter Krispie Cookies

Peanut Butter Krispie Cookies

Man, these are good. They’re peanut butter cookies with a Rice Krispie crunch, how could they not be good? Plus they started with classic cookie ingredients, butter and two kinds of sugar. The recipe called for brown and white, but I … [Continue reading]

Stamped Honey Cookies

Stamped Honey Cookies

I got a lovely break in my day last Thursday by running out of the office for ten minutes to meet Dad at Grand Central. He was on his way to lunch, I was working, but he was going to Toronto the next day and I had two small items that needed to get … [Continue reading]

Double Chocolate Yogurt Loaf

Double Chocolate Yogurt Loaf

jump to recipe Let me just put this out there right away: this picture does not do this loaf justice. The how-to-use-your-new-DSL-camera class doesn’t start until April, so I’m still using the automatic setting, and I baked at night, so there was … [Continue reading]

Blood Orange Muffins

Blood Orange Muffins

I had my eye on this recipe for a few weeks before I got a chance to try it. I’d picked up a bag of blood oranges at Trader Joe’s and I knew there had to be a good recipe out there. Look at them! The recipe called for an entire cup of juice … [Continue reading]

Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies

Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies

I’m still not quite sure about these. The flavor is there, a strong lemon taste with the special twang Meyer lemons bring, with the right amount of sweetness to balance it out. But the texture feels off to me. It’s a little too cooked on the bottom, … [Continue reading]

Chai Spiced Snickerdoodles

Chai Spiced Snickerdoodles

jump to recipe There were so many alluring aspects to this recipe that I just had to give it a try. I’d been to yoga, Juliet & I had already gotten haircuts, the rain was steady, and all signs pointed to cookies. We already love snickerdoodles … [Continue reading]

Peanut Butter Bran Muffins

Peanut Butter Bran Muffins

I never would have thought to mix peanut butter and bran, but I am in love with these muffins. I also love that they come via a blog called The Teenage Taste, written by a junior in high school. It’s a simple recipe, not particularly low in WW points … [Continue reading]

Meyer Lemon Spice Bread

Meyer Lemon Spice Bread

I confess I find the name of this bread somewhat misleading. It’s not really about the lemons; this bread is all about the spice. A little too much spice, I think, which is a very big statement coming from this particular spice lover. That said, I … [Continue reading]

Meyer Lemon Madeleines

Meyer Lemon Madeleines

I made madeleines! I didn’t know I could do that. But I can, so I made Meyer Lemon Madeleines, and boy are they tasty. Dave’s parents gave me a madeleine pan for Christmas, so today it got its moment in the sun along with some Meyer lemons fresh … [Continue reading]

Cinnamon-Carrot Muffins

Cinnamon Carrot Muffins

First of all, don’t make these. My friend Bridget likes them, and she has graciously volunteered to eat them, but I don’t understand why, because I don’t get any flavor out of them whatsoever. I added spices, there’s sugar in there, two cups of … [Continue reading]

Oatmeal Tea Bread II

Oatmeal Tea Bread

It’s a bit of an odd concoction, but I love it. It’s a hearty, oaty bread, with a lot of sweetness, so it fills you up and feels healthy but dessert-ish at the same time. It’s an odd combination, though, and this is one of the few times that I’m … [Continue reading]