baking

Apple Crisp

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I think my heart has a special portion just dedicated to all things seasonal, maybe about 30% of it. I’d say more, but Harry Potter references do hold quite a stock in there too. A part of this is being that person that dedicates everything to welcoming the autumn season. This includes wearing boots, looking for pumpkins, and yes, baking. I will say that I won’t fall subject to being a pumpkin spice fanatic (the hype for that is TOO much!) but I’m all for apples, cinnamon, etc. I saw Karlie Kloss’s video that inspired me to give apple crisp a try, then post it here in a blog rather than its original video format. The resulting taste was definitely worth it and the hardest part of this recipe was just having to wait while it was in the oven. Have at it!

Ingredients

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Filling –

  • Sliced & peeled apples — 4 cups
    I used about three apples. Maybe four.
  • Lemon juice — 2 teaspoons
  • Maple Syrup — 1 tablespoon
  • Vanilla — 1 teaspoon
  • Ground nutmeg — 1/4 teaspoon
  • Ground cinnamon — 1/4 teaspoon

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Topping –

  • Almond flour — 1/2 cup
  • Oats — 1/2 cup
    The original recipe calls for them to be gluten-free. I don’t really care so I just used regular rolled oats
  • Ground nutmeg — 1 teaspoon
  • Maple syrup — 1 1/2 tablespoon
  • Coconut oil — 1/3 cup
    Don’t have the oil be in liquid form, but also not totally hard. In the middle is perfect.

The original recipe doesn’t list any type of sugar in the topping ingredients, but when replaying the video, it sounds like 1/3 cup of date sugar is added even though it’s not listed. I didn’t add it to my recipe, but I did lightly sprinkle regular sugar on top of the apple crisp before placing it in the oven.

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place apples in small pan. I did barely spray olive oil in the pan beforehand in fear that the mixture would stick.
  3. Add the rest of the filling ingredients (lemon juice, maple syrup, vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon) and toss around till it’s evenly spread over all the apples.
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  4. In another bowl, combine the topping ingredients  except for the oil (flour, oats, nutmeg, cinnamon, and maple syrup) and mix. Add in oil afterward and mix evenly.
  5. Place topping over apples.
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  6. Bake for about 35 minutes.

Enjoy! I was pleasantly surprised by this and from now on will definitely reach for crisp recipes rather than pie. Don’t hate me, but I’ve always been more of a cake girl rather than pie, though this is a happy alternative for me.

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Healthy Banana Bread Muffins

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I’m convinced that certain things aren’t supposed to be “healthy,” like brownies. I’ve tried and failed twice to make those and it was a disaster. Recently, though, I found a recipe for banana bread muffins and I had to give them a try, if only for the sake of not going down without a fight. Chocolate treats may not be my strong suit at the moment, but these baked goods were worth my time. I will say that they’re not the sweetest (note no artificial sugar is involved) but the bread-type consistency is a-ma-zing.

Ingredients (makes 12 muffins):

  • whole wheat flour — 1 cup
  • Oats –1/2 cup
  • Applesauce — 1/2 cup
    * Try to make sure the ingredients are nothing but apples, as many brands use unnecessary sweeteners
  • Plain, non-fat greek yogurt — 3/4 cup
  • Almond milk — 1/4 cup
  • Cinnamon — 1/2 teaspoon
  • Baking powder — 1 teaspoon
  • 1 egg
  • 2 bananas
    * I suggest overripe bananas!

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Gathering the ingredients is pretty much the most difficult part of this recipe, as the process is as simple as…

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Combine dry ingredients (oats, flour, cinnamon, and baking powder) in one bowl
  • Whisk egg then combine it with other wet ingredients (yogurt, applesauce, and almond milk) in another bowl

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  • Combine wet and dry ingredients
  • Mash up bananas, leaving them smooth with just a few small chunks
  • Fold bananas in mixture
    * I actually had to look up “folding.” It’s essentially mixing in the bananas by using a spatula/wood spoon and “folding” it instead of stirring or mixing.

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  • Line muffin tin and place batter in each of the 12 muffin liners. The batter shouldn’t overfill any of the muffin liners.

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  • Place in oven for 20 mintes.
  • Let cool and enjoy!

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Chocolate Cookies

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After hearing raves about it, I stole this recipe from Tanya Burr’s blog. The only issue was transferring everything over to American units and finding my way around certain ingredients. The recipe ended up being more than simple with a bit of tweaking of my own. I’ve included both ounces and cups measurements to make it easier

Ingredients

  • Butter – 7/8 cup ≈ 7 ounces
    Although the original recipe doesn’t call for either, I used salted butter.
  • Baker’s sugar – 1.25 cups ≈ 10.5 ounces
    Original recipe calls for “caster sugar,” which essentially is British lingo for extra fina sugar. Look for sugar labeled “extra” or “very fine,” or “baker’s sugar.”
  • 1 large egg
  • Coco powder – 1/3 cup ≈ 2.6 ounces
  • Self-rising flour – 1.2 cups ≈ 9.7 ounces
    US grocery stores do carry “self-rising” flour, but regular flour could also be used as long as it’s combined with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder.
  • 1 large bar of white chocolate for baking
  • 1 large bar of milk/dark/bittersweet chocolate
    Original recipe makes adding one more milk chocolate optional, though I found adding just one to be more than enough.
  • Optional: dash of milk

Also needed: parchment paper.

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Method
Preheat oven to 390 degrees fahrenheit.
Mix together butter and sugar ( I just used a wooden spoon to do this).
Crack in the egg.
Mix in the rest of the dry ingredients: coco powder and flour.
If mixture looks too dry, add a bit of milk.
Add in broken pieces of chocolate bars to the mixture with your hands.
Line baking trays with parchment paper. I found that this recipe works wonderfully with huge cookies, so be generous with your handfuls when placing them on the tray. I was able to make a total of 13 cookies – a baker’s dozen!
Leave cookies in oven for 11 minutes. The original recipes stresses this point, as the cookies will not look done, but they are! Leaving them longer will make them harder than they need to be.
Wait for them to cool for 30 minutes (if you can!).
Enjoy!

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Peanut Butter Cookies You Could Totally Pull Off

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So I’m not exactly known as the baker of the family. Not only because everyone knows my sister is the Karate Kid of baking (Bakate Kid?), but also because I don’t often bake, and when I do, something always goes wrong. Good news is that nothing went terribly wrong this time! If I made these babies edible, I fully believe in your Betty Crocker abilities to pull these off without a hitch. Plus, you get to learn from my mistakes (which I will shamelessly outline below in my so-called “tips” section).

I stole this idea from A Cup of Joe, and the lovely Joanna took it from Ambitious Kitchen.

Recipe: Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies  

What you’ll need:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup all natural creamy peanut butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar (light will also work just fine)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoon honey
1/2 tablespoon sour cream or plain greek yogurt
1 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1/2 cup crushed pretzel
1/2 cup toffee pieces

Preheat oven to 350F. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, add in peanut butter, softened butter and brown sugar; mix on medium low until well combined. Switch mixer to low speed; add in egg, vanilla extract, honey and sour cream and beat one minute or until well combined, smooth and creamy. Slowly add in dry ingredients, increasing speed to medium low; mix until just combined. 

Grab a tablespoonful of dough and roll into a ball with your hands. You can also use a small cookie scoop if you have this available. Place dough on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving 2 inches apart between each dough ball. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Allow cookies to cool on cookie sheet for 5-10 minutes before removing and transferring to a wire rack. This allows them to set and harden slightly around the edges. Repeat with remaining dough. 

In a small bowl, mix crushed pretzels and toffee pieces.

Once cookies are completely cooled, you can prepare the chocolate. First, line two baking sheets with wax paper. Next, add chocolate chips and coconut oil to small pot and place over low heat. Watch carefully and stir often until chocolate is completely melted. Dip each peanut butter cookie in chocolate then sprinkle with toffee-preztel mixture. Place on wax paper and repeat with remaining cookies. The chocolate should set up within 30 minutes, but if you want to speed up the process, just place the baking sheet in the fridge for about 5 minutes.

Piece of cake (or cookie), right? I followed the recipe as accurately as I could, with a couple exceptions.

Tips (that may seem too obvious but not to the naive bakers of the world, aka me):

  1. The first paragraph actually calls for mixing in two separate bowls before mixing all together.I struggled to combine everything at once because I thought the “medium” bowl and “electric mixer” bowl to be the same thing. It actually calls to combine these two mixtures later on, which brings me to my next tip.
  2. ALWAYS KNOW A STEP AHEAD. I simply read step by step, then realize I did something wrong.
  3. The recipe calls for parchment paper. I didn’t have any and used foil with cooking spray. The bottom of my cookies ended up burning (which I scratched off with a knife), and I believe that to have been my mistake.
  4. I ended up NOT using the coconut oil. Instead, I melted the chocolate chips in the microwave. I added them to a bowl and heated it for 30 seconds, mixed it with a spoon, and repeated this process right to the point of the chocolate melting. DO NOT GO OVER OR THE CHOCOLATE WILL BURN, which I learned during another baking tribulation.
  5. Be careful of having the show Friends on TV because you might become too entertained by Ross getting married again and momentarily forget the oven is on.

There you have it! Have fun. If you prefer to just bake vicariously through me, I’m also happy with that and so here are your pictures that you took whilst baking. I wish the taste and smell could also transfer through the images.

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