Monday, 6 January 2014

Jammy Baked Oatmeal Cups

Ah, the New Year.  That time of year when I quasi-pledge to eat healthier, develop some healthy recipes, and then add sugar...

Happy 2014!

Sugar. Brown sugar!

Although this recipe is not quite as healthy as my New Year's muffins from last year, it still gives you a healthy dose of fibre and protein with the oats.  I added the jam for flavour and prettiness.  That is absolutely a legit reason.

I developed this recipe for my mother, who has been trying to add oats to her diet for cholesterol reduction but cannot stand oatmeal!  I got the seal of approval from her on this one ;)  These gems come together with a lovely squidgy texture and comforting subtle molasses notes from the brown sugar.  However, please note that, unlike many of the baked recipes on this website, these oatmeal cups contain egg.

Jammy Baked Oatmeal Cups
Adapted from Eat, Live, Run blog.

Makes 18 muffin cups
  •  2 1/4 cups quick cook or rolled oats
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 1/2 cups milk (I use skim dairy)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp apple juice
  • 6 tbsp jam of choice (or enough for 1 tsp of jam per cup)
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a regular-size muffin tin with silicone liners (or grease tin).
  2. In a large bowl, mix together oats, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and brown sugar.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together milk, eggs, and apple juice.
  4. Add the wet mixture to the dry oats mixture and combine fully.
  5. Fill each section of the muffin tin 1/3 full with batter.  Add a teaspoon of jam atop the centre of the batter.  Add more batter to each section of the muffin tin until 2/3 full.
  6. Bake each batch of oatmeal cups for 25-30 minutes.  Cups will be ready when the top of each cup is set and just beginning to turn golden brown.
  7. Let oatmeal cups cool in tin for 10 minutes then transfer to a rack until cooled to room temperature. Serve!
I hope you enjoy :)

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Diabetes Friendly Chocolate Crinkle Cookies (eggless)

Finally, deadlines are calming down enough for me to return to the kitchen and keyboard!  Christmas is coming, so... Bring. On. The. Baking.  I've started off the baking season by making a diabetes-friendly version of the Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies that my family and I enjoy so much.

Fig. 1. Crinkle cookies, a comparison.

You may remember from my Strawberry Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf recipe that my father is a quite recently-diagnosed diabetic.  While that recipe is a previous attempt at diabetes-friendly baking (i.e. delicious by not as diabetes-friendly as I would have liked), I've learned a lot more about what he needs for an improved diet.

This version of the crinkle cookies is made with whole wheat flour, sucralose, and ground almonds.  The result is a denser, springier version of the cookie.  They are quite different in comparison, and the family favourite is still the original sugar-laden version.  However, these little fellas are still delicious.  My father loved them and my mother, who is a diabetes-free sweet lover, couldn't believe that they were made with whole wheat! Score 1 for Elise ;)  I'm going to try hard to make sure that there are sweets on the table that my father can eat this Christmas.

Comfort and joy.

I'm posting the full recipe here because I made some serious adjustments to make these diabetes friendly.  However, full credit for the original recipe, which is sugary and peppermint based, goes to Sarah of The Sweet Life.

Diabetes-Friendly Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies
Adapted from The Sweet Life blog.

Makes 4 dozen small cookies
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups granulated sucralose (e.g. Splenda)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (my preference is canola oil)
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 1-2 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest of one small orange
  • 1 cup ground almonds, preferably toasted, for rolling (there will be left over almond)
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cocoa powder, sucralose, oil, applesauce, vanilla extract, and orange zest.  Stir until well incorporated.
  3. Add flour mixture to wet mixture and mix until combined.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
  4. Once dough is chilled, preheat oven to 350F.  Line one or two baking sheets (i.e. however many can fit on the middle rack of your oven!) with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  5. Take tablespoon size portions of the dough and roll into balls.  Toss in ground almonds until evenly coated. Space evenly on the tray with approximately 1 inch of room between each cookie.
  6. Bake for 10-11 minutes. Cookies should have started to crack and be slightly firm to the touch.  Cool on the baking tray for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve!
I hope you enjoy :)

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies (vegan)

Here is a super quick post to say "I'm still alive, but my brain disagrees".  Waaaay too much work.  Unfortunately this means that I am eating all kinds of packaged sweets and processed foods rather than being able to make my own at home.

What's better than a crinkle cookie? A stack of crinkle cookies, of course!

To remind me that good things are to come in a month or so - when I can finally relax and get in the festive Christmas mood - I'm sharing one of my favourite recipes from the blogosphere.  Hopefully I'll be able to make them again soon!

These chocolate orange crinkle cookies are soft, fudgy, and generally to-die-for.  They are also a brilliant cookie as they don't really need any extra decoration beyond the prescribed icing sugar to look festive.  The original recipe is peppermint based (which is also tasty), but I am in love with my orange version.  Sub-out the peppermint oil for the zest of 1  medium orange, and replace crushed peppermint candies with the equivalent in hard orange candies.  Et voila!

Or up the festiveness with some crushed candies on top!

This awesome recipe can be found via The Sweet Life.  Thanks for sharing such a wonderful cookie with the blogosphere, Sarah!

I hope you enjoy :)

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (eggless)

I hadn't planned on baking chocolate chip cookies so soon after part one of The Chocolate Chip Cookie Experiment. Then I came across a recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip cookies that also happened to be eggless. I also had leftover pumpkin from making cheesecake... so the matter was out of my hands, really. (I plead not guilty!)


Of course, I wasn't satisfied with leaving the recipe well alone, and I tried some variations. Following the recipe exactly produces a cake-y cookie, which is delicious but doesn't deliver the chewiness that I prefer (but some in my circle of friends and family did). However, it was easy to increase the chewiness by shaping the cookies into a disk (rather than the recommended ball shape) and slightly under baking. 

The Chocolate Chip Cookie Experiment 1.5?

I also suspected that the pumpkin flavour would be very subtle and made one batch without the pumpkin spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves - I omitted allspice in both batches).  I was correct in this assumption - the taste was subtle and you would be unlikely to identify it as pumpkin. If you like the cake-y texture of these, it might be a good staple chocolate chip cookie for you.  However, it is equally delicious with the spices included and gives the taster all sorts of warm autumnal feelings! I would recommend these flattened before going in the oven, slightly under baked, and full of every recommended dose of spice-filled goodness :-)

Head over to the Baked by Rachel blog for the wonderful recipe.

I hope you enjoy :)

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

"Sausage" Stuffing

I have taken a stand! No longer shall I suffer through Thanksgivings and Christmases existing on naught but trimmings and dessert! (Which I have done in the past because I really like trimmings and desserts, and because I was too lazy to do anything else...but that is besides the point!)  This year I ventured into unknown territory and made stuffing.  I was armed with only knowledge of my mother's classic (read: meat-filled) and insanely delicious stuffing recipe and a package of vegan sausage.  The results were very encouraging!  Tasty, even ;)

Not quite as delicious as pumpkin cheesecake, but certainly a contender!

I am accustomed from my pre-vegetarian days to meat-heavy stuffings.  I did not want to compromise on richness or flavor in this vegetarian version, so I chose a good vegan sausage as my base. I really like the Field Roast brand of vegan sausages - although I reserve them for special occasions as they are not cheap!  Their apple sage sausage provided a perfect flavour base for an autumn celebration stuffing.  The upside of doing a substitute meat-heavy stuffing is that this can handily serve as the protein part of the meal for any vegetarians present.

Tip: You can do the initial baking of the stuffing (i.e. for 40 minutes at 350F covered in tinfoil) one or two days before the holiday meal. Let the stuffing cool, cover, and refrigerate.  Then, 15 minutes before serving on the day, finish it off uncovered in a 375F oven.


"Sausage" Stuffing

Makes 4-5 cups
  •  450g vegetarian or vegan sausage (equivalent to 5 Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage sausage links)
  • 4 cups cubed crusty Italian-style white bread
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onions
  •  2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 1/4 cup of butter (or vegetable oil to make recipe vegan)
  1. In a food processor, blend sausages until they resemble coarsely ground meat.  Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add remaining ingredients to bowl and mix thoroughly. Cover and let stand for half an hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a loaf tin.
  4. Pack stuffing mixture into the greased tin and cover with tinfoil.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes then remove tinfoil and bake at 375F for another 15 minutes.
  6. Remove stuffing from oven, place in your shiniest holiday serving dish, and serve!

I hope you enjoy :)
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