Monday Menu ~ Whole wheat sugar cookies

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a recipe with you but since baking is my favorite thing ever and I’ve been really trying hard to lose weight I’ve set aside baking.

Well I couldn’t do it. I just had to bake something! It wasn’t that I really wanted to eat something sweet but more that I missed baking and trying to find a recipe that is great. I was given the chance to try out Melt again and knew that I wanted to use it for a cookie and with that my journey began!

First of all, I want to let you know what Melt Buttery Spread really is. It’s an organic butter alternative that is made from virgin coconut oil, flax seed oil, palm fruit oil, and canola oil with no artificial colors or additives. It is the perfect blend of healthy fats that can be used just the same as regular butter, whether you bake or cook with it or even spread it on your toast it really is one of the more healthy oils that you can use. Best of all…. it’s delicious! I love it!

My first thought was chocolate chip cookies because those are just about everyone’s favorite, but I really wanted something that was lower in calories. What I came up with was whole wheat sugar cookies and the recipe needs some improving.

Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies – Round 1

  • 1 cup white sugar – I used Stevia
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter flavored shortening – I used Melt!
  • 2 tablespoons milk – skim
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg – I used egg beaters 1/4 cup
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour

Ingredients

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In large bowl, combine first 10 ingredients and blend well. Stir in whole wheat flour. (I chilled the dough while the oven was pre-heating but I don’t think it was really necessary)
Shape into 1 inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Flatten each cookie slightly with a fork or your hand.

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Bake in pre-heated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown

cookies

I did succeed in making them healthier and lower calorie than your typical cookie! I mean take a look at those nutrition facts! 50 calories per cookie!
nutrition
Alright here’s the final results…. one kid took a bit, handed me the cookie, and then asked what it was, the 2nd barely took a bite and said she didn’t like it oh… and that they smelled like bread, and my oldest daughter said that they weren’t to bad & agreed with me that they were missing something.
I have to agree… something is missing. I think that they need maybe 1/2 to 1 cup more sugar and 1 1/2 tsp vanilla instead of 1. Another idea is to roll the cookies in sugar before baking.
Alright all of you foodies out there…. what are your thoughts?

Monday Menu ~ Chocolate Chip Cookies

I had this great plan for today’s post but it didn’t work out at all. This weekend was my daughter’s 16th birthday and we went to Detroit for the day and ate dinner in Greektown at the Pegasus Tavernas and I was going to write about how great our meal was and write an incredible review full of beautiful pictures. But I can’t…. our meal wasn’t all that great, the service was less than stellar, and half way home we started to not feel so well.

Because of that I didn’t have anything for today. So I started thinking and with the holidays coming up and all the baking everyone will be doing I thought that I would bring back one of my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes. This recipe is based on the cookies made at Levian Bakery in NYC and if you’ve ever had one of their cookies you’ll know how amazing they are and that the recipe isn’t readily available.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 cup cold butter – cubed *
  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup light brown sugar **
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, cold
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips – I used Ghiradelli Semi-Sweet

* I used salted butter. You can also use unsalted just add 1/4 tsp of salt.
** I was out of light brown sugar too. I used 1 cup white & 1 cup dark sugar.

Preheat oven to 350 and make sure the rack is in the middle. If it’s to close to the bottom of the oven the cookies will be way to dark on the bottom.

  • Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy and then add eggs one at a time, then vanilla and mix until well incorporated.
  •  Add dry ingredients and mix till combined. Add chocolate chips.
  • I used the medium scoop from Pampered Chef which is about 2oz twice to make about a 4oz cookie.
  • Bake 10 – 15 min (up to 20 depending on how big your cookies are) and are lightly brown on the bottom.

Place on a rack to cool.

Mock Levain Chocolate Chip Cookies

This picture doesn’t do the cookies justice… they’re thick, crisp on the outside, and warm & gooey on the inside. You can change these up by adding in walnuts, pecan, peanut butter chips, or any other combination you can come up with.

Do you have a favorite mock recipe?

Monday Menu or Meals!

By now you make have figured out that I have a regular feature on Monday… food! Recipes to more exact.

I love cooking, baking, and of course eating all those tasty creations! And it’s great to be able share those recipes with all of you and see what you think of all them. But I have been thinking about a witty name for the weekly feature and haven’t been able to come up with something I like. I have a couple ideas… Monday Meals or The Monday Menu.

My thought is that I would continue to feature a great recipe each Monday, spotlight other bloggers and their tasty recipes, and possibly have a link up. What do you think?

You’re wondering what’s this week’s recipe, right?

It’s another zucchini recipe because I’m still trying to work through all that zucchini that my garden has produced this year. My brother laughed at me and told me enough with all the zucchini recipes and just give it all away. But I’m sure that I haven’t found them all yet… there are a lot of recipes to try still!

Zucchini Pound Cake

I found this recipe a while back on Sophistimom website and finally tried it. It was amazing! I made a couple changes based on what I had in my pantry and they’re in parentheses.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar (I used demera since I was out of brown)
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted (I use regular salted butter)
3 eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups finely grated zucchini (I used 2+ cups… I just used the entire zucchini and grated it normally)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Butter or spray a bundt pan and then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

The pan with sugar cinnamon coating

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugars and butter. Add in eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in vanilla, sour cream and zucchini. Add the dry ingredients and mix well. For me this was a one bowl cake. And I love that because it means less mess!

The batter

Bake for about 30 – 40 minutes. Now this is an estimate because I can’t remember how long it was that I actually baked mine! Sorry…

When it’s done let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and then remove to a rack to finish cooling.

Finished cake

When it’s done it will have a sweet crust on the outside from the cinnamon sugar that was in the pan!

The cake is good plain, with a glaze or frosting, or with whipped cream!

Cake with whip topping

I love this cake and the sweet, buttery taste of it and I’m sure you’ll love it too!

So I need your help with my new features name!

  • Monday Meals
  • The Monday Menu
  • Or.. something else!

What do you think?

Peanut Butter Pie

Last week on Twitter SuZ from Not Your Typical Mommy sent out a Tweet seeing if anyone wanted something written or something along those lines (I don’t remember the exact wording). Well, I jumped on it and asked if she would want to guest post for me this week!

Let me tell you…. when I read her recipe I was all but wiping the drool off my computer! I’m a HUGE fan of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and have been known to dip my mini Hershey bar in the jar of peanut butter for a quick snack. So when I saw this I knew that it was something that I would love as well as my family! I’m thinking of topping it with some hot fudge & whipped cream! YUM!

You can find SuZ on her blog, Twitter, and Facebook. Go check her out!

 

With my official baking season right around the corner (Hello, Fall!), I’m gearing up to spend my days knee deep in cake mixes, pies, bread dough and more.

Baking season, for me, runs from the beginning of October to very end of December. I picked these months as my baking season because who really wants to spend the hot summer months in front of a stove or spend the glorious spring season inside?

I celebrate baking because anything that is yummy and tasty deserves its own season. I love baking so much and I’m not biased about just one bakery item. I make cookies, cakes, pies, candy, ice cream… you name it. I’ve baked it, or attempted to bake it (I’m not the best baker, but I really do try. I swear!).

The one item I make constantly (especially because it’s my husband’s favorite) is peanut butter pie. A staple in any family holiday event we host. Seriously, if we show up and we don’t have peanut butter pie in our hands, we’re told to run back home and get it.

It’s that good.

It started with my husband’s grandmother and the recipe has been passed down and now it’s in my hands. I think that because it was started by this wonderful woman we want it on our table at every family event so it feels like she’s still with us.

PB Pie

Ingredients and Directions

• Mix four ounces of cream cheese and 1 cup of powder sugar together in your stand mixer.
• Then add in 1/3 cup of creamy peanut butter (any brand will do).
• In a separate bowl, mix together 1 box of Dream Whip Whipped Topping with 2/3 cup of milk (Whole milk works best).
• You want to whip that until it’s stiff then add in the peanut butter mixture.
• After it’s good and mixed, put it in a graham cracker crust and freeze overnight.

Pure heaven, I swear by it.

And don’t worry, you don’t have wait until Baking Season to make this, go ahead and do it now.

Seriously, now! Your family will thank you, I promise.

Zucchini Bread ~ Summer Harvest Series

This summer I planted a garden and to help out with the terrible soil (clay) that we have my husband put some top soil and horse manure down on it and then had it all tilled into it. Wow…. this was great! Things started growing wonderfully and I was pretty excited to finally have something growing as opposed to previous years.

As the summer progressed the garden grew and then the weeds did too. And they grew… and grew…. and … well you get the idea. There was no amount of weeding that could have kept up. Needless to say it’s a virtual jungle out there now. Of course there is also the incredible amount of vegetable plants that are all over the place.

Note to self… no more manure and plant things further apart. Oh… and use those cage things for tomatoes.

Anyway, I have more zucchini than I know what to do with now and have been baking almost non-stop.

My family loves zucchini bread so I thought that I’d share the recipe with you.

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  1. Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans (I used 9 x 5 pan and used the extra batter for muffins. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
  3. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  4. I sprinkled mine with a little bit of cinnamon sugar before putting it into the oven.
  5. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

Note: to keep the bread from browning to much on top I covered it with aluminum foil.

 

zucchini bread

This week I’m going to try the chocolate olive oil zucchini bread recipe that Alison from Mama Wants this wrote about last week!

What’s your favorite summer harvest recipe?

This is the first in a series of posts about all the great things that you can make from the fresh fruits and veggies that I’ve either grown or bought at my local farmers market! I would love you to join me and post your own recipe or you can guest post right here!