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One-Bowl Yogurt and Honey Olive Oil Cake

It’s been…quite a while since I’ve baked.  Or cooked.  Or gone grocery shopping, to be honest.  Life’s been a bit nuts.

Easy one-bowl yogurt & honey olive oil cake, flavored with fresh lemon & thyme

And last Sunday I had every intention of actually cooking a real meal that I could use for lunch all week, but as the hours flew by on Sunday I lost all my motivation.  I ended up getting Uber Eats and actually getting to sit and read for a half hour, which was lovely, but then I decided that I needed to bake something to prove that I wasn’t entirely lazy.

Yes, I realize that’s a weird justification, but it was very compelling so I went with it.

Yogurt & Honey Olive Oil Cake with Lemon & Thyme...one bowl, easy cleanup, moist with subtle flavors

The key was, it had to be super easy and fast.  I had just found this recipe on The Kitchn and it checked a lot of boxes for me.  One bowl (and not even the mixer), yay.  Lemon, check.  Add some herbs, check.  Super moist because of the yogurt, check.

Easy one-bowl yogurt & honey olive oil cake, flavored with fresh lemon & thyme

I literally threw it together in about 15 minutes, while a hair deep-conditioning treatment was soaking in.  It was fast, easy, and tasted amazing.  My house smelled divine, and it made for lovely leftovers.

The flavor combination is very subtle (very much my style), and a bit of homemade whipped cream or mascarpone cream provides a great texture counterpoint.  I’m looking forward to taking this base recipe and trying some different flavor combos…I’ve got my eye on orange and rosemary next. [Read more…]

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Single-Serving Cherry Crisp

Sometimes I get obsessed with things.

Single-Serving Cherry Crisp

Sometimes that’s just obsessed with eating something. Sometimes it’s creating something that I can’t find. Other times it’s finding the perfect version—which may mean making it a TON of times. Homemade pad thai. Black bean brownies. Dreamy scones.

This is one of those things. I love fruit crisp, but sometimes it’s not worth the effort to make a whole pan (plus, then I eat the whole pan, which…).

Single-Serving Cherry Crisp done

I first got the idea when I made a sweet dark cherry pie for Thanksgiving last year. I’d never really worked with cherries before, always sticking instead to apples, pears, and peaches. I kind of winged it (wung it?) and made up the recipe after reading a few different ones, and it turned out great. And then one night recently I was jonesin’ for something sweet, and the idea of fruit crisp hit me (I wasn’t in the mood for chocolate for some reason). All I really had, though, was a bag of frozen cherries for smoothies. I decided to give it a go, and made two—one in the oven and one in the microwave. Shockingly, I liked the microwave version and it took WAY less time.

Single-Serving Cherry Crisp finished

Since then I’ve made it several more times because I couldn’t quite get the flavors exactly like I wanted. This is a pretty fluid and forgiving recipe. You can add a little honey or sugar to the filling if you feel it needs it (or are using tart cherries), but mine is plenty sweet. Also, you could make it gluten-free by using a flour alternative like oat flour, coconut flour, almond meal, etc.  I tried a few different spice combinations in the filling and topping (cardamom, ginger, etc.), but ultimately found that simpler was better—cinnamon and some almond extract. [Read more…]

Peanut Butter & Jelly Ice Cream

I found a way to make something awesome EVEN BETTER.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Ice Cream

I raved about the peanut butter, honey, & sea salt ice cream I made a few weeks ago. It is seriously the best. So naturally, peanut butter & jelly was the logical next step. Take sweet, peanut butter-y creamy goodness and cut strips of tangy strawberry jam through it, and you have the world’s best lunch update. [Read more…]

Roasted Apricot & Honey Ice Cream

I’m on an ice cream kick. I’ve tried like four different recipes in the past few weeks, all with this super easy coconut milk base. Because it’s been HAWT!

Roasted Apricot Ice Cream wiht Coconut Milk

I had seen several recipes for roasted plum ice cream, which I found super intriguing, but when I went to the store they were out of plums. And then these beautiful, firm apricots just jumped out at me.

Roasted Apricot Ice Cream

Apricot is such a strong flavor that I couldn’t think of a good spice complement (I’d planned to do cardamom with the plums), so I just kept it super simple—honey, vanilla, and a little bit of sea salt.

roasted apricot ice cream apricots

While it was a bit tart for my taste (I was trying to go easy on the honey but probably went a little TOO light), it was refreshing and delicious! [Read more…]

Moist Strawberry Shortcake (for a Large Group)

Does this picture not just epitomize summer?

I was back home in Kansas a couple weekends ago with my family for a memorial service, which involved a LOT of people and a LOT of cooking. Friday night we had a smaller get-together (maybe 15 people?), and we needed to figure out a dessert to feed the masses.

playing croquet

Strawberry shortcake is my go-to summer dessert when I have people over. It’s basically perfect—juicy strawberries, just a hint of sugar, fluffy cake, pillowy whipped cream. Healthy. And the easiest thing to throw together for an impromptu get-together.

Super Moist Strawberry Shortcake for a Large Group

moist strawberry shortcake strawberries

While angel food cake will do in a pinch, usually I try to go the extra mile and make traditional homemade shortcakes, kind of scone- or biscuit-like (or like this oat & brown sugar version). They’re not hard to make, but they’re not good for big groups and are not as great when you make them ahead of time—like biscuits, they’re great fresh but get tougher and stale once cool.

Moist Strawberry Shortcake baked

When I started thinking about dessert for a bunch of people (plus getting dinner on the table), I knew that individual shortcakes would be too much trouble. I knew I wanted something that made a lot, and something that would stay moist so we could make it several hours ahead. After quite a bit of digging, I discovered this recipe, and was quite pleased with the results.

Moist Strawberry Shortcake

It literally took less than five minutes to mix  the ingredients together and throw it in the oven, and it was super moist, not too sweet, and basically perfect for soaking up strawberry juices. My brother-in-law gave it his stamp of approval, and finished off the leftovers the next day. While it’s not quite as pretty as the traditional shortcakes, it’s got great texture and is delicious! [Read more…]

Honey Roasted Peaches with Cream

I didn’t plan to buy peaches last weekend, but when I walked into the produce section I was almost knocked over by the amazing smell of ripe peaches. They were so soft you had to hold them super gently so they didn’t bruise. Fuzzy. Juicy. Amazing.

Honey Roasted Peaches with Cream

Since I was trying to eat really well this week, and already had like five things I was planning to make, I wanted something simple and super healthy.

honey roasted peaches peach whole

This dessert feels fancy in a completely undeserved way. You seriously just cut fruit in half, drizzle a little honey and butter over it, and bake for a while. And the result is a dessert that embodies summer, adds a little class to any dinner, and takes five minutes, tops, to prepare. Sign me up!

Honey Roasted Peaches

Also, peaches. They’re the best! [Read more…]

Black Bean Brownies with Honey – The Runner-Up

Last week, I shared my perfected black bean brownies recipe. They’ve got amazing texture, taste great, have more protein and fiber than regular brownies, and aren’t packed with sugar (like most black bean brownie recipes are). You’d never even know they have beans in them and are gluten-free.

Black Bean Brownies made with honey

But I wanted to share the runner-up in my weeks-long search as well. These brownies are great in their own right, though they’ve got a different texture than the others. They’re very moist and light, very fudge-y. The big difference? These are made with honey instead of sugar.

Black Bean Brownies with honey

The reason these couldn’t win the top spot is that the honey does change the texture a little. Specifically, it’s white sugar that gives the tops of the brownies that crisp, slightly crackly look, and you just can’t replicate that with honey.

Black Bean Brownies with honey baked

But if you’re trying not to use white sugar, this recipe is a great alternative. 

Black Bean Brownies with honey done

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease an 8×8 pan. Blend all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Pour into the pan, sprinkle with the chocolate and peanut butter chips, and bake for 43-47 minutes.

Black Bean Brownies made with honey bite

The brownies should be solid, shouldn’t really wiggle at all when shaken. Let come to room temperature before cutting and serving.

Black Bean Brownies (made with honey)

Makes 8×8 pan; for 9×13, double everything

  • 1 can of black beans (drained, well-rinsed)
  • 1/4 cup of cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of instant espresso or coffee powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • Optional:  dark chocolate chips & peanut butter chips for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper or spray with non-stick spray and set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, pour all ingredients. Process until smooth. Pour the mixture into the pan and sprinkle wiht the chocolate and peanut butter chips.

Bake for 43-47 minutes. Cooked brownies will be solid, fragrant, and dark, and will not jiggle when the pan is shaken. Allow brownies to cool to room temperature before cutting.

Original recipe here

Perfect Black Bean Brownies

So, I have been on the hunt for the perfect black bean brownie recipe. Why, you ask? Honestly, I’m not sure. I got it into my head a couple months ago after I tried out my healthy deep-dish chocolate chip cookie pie, which is also chock-full of fiber and gluten-free. Having friends who are gluten-sensitive, I’m always on the lookout for dessert recipes for dinner parties.

Perfect Black Bean Brownies

I’d seen people pin different black bean brownie recipes, but every time I checked out the ingredients I was shocked at how much sugar they called for—I guess to compensate for the lack of other unhealthy things. So I started browsing through all sorts of recipes and trying several of them find one that was still fairly healthy without compromising on taste or texture.

AND I HAVE FOUND IT.

Perfect Black Bean Brownies baked

These brownies are perfect. They’re fudge-y and rich but light and not too sweet, and just as good days later as they were fresh out of the oven. My co-workers were shocked when I told them that they were gluten-free and made of beans. You also blend all the ingredients in a food processor, so there are no bowls to clean, no stirring—just blend, pour, and bake.

FAQs (because I can hear you asking):  Do these brownies taste like beans? No. Do they have a weird texture? No. Will anyone be able to tell they have beans in them? No. Will they make me toot? Possibly…that’s really between you and your intestines.

[Read more…]

Gluten-Free Chocolate Financiers

As someone who loves all things gluten-y (I did grow up on a wheat farm, after all), the whole idea of gluten-free makes me sad.

But the reality of gluten-free baking makes me even sadder. And it’s a reality for lots of people. I never really thought about it much until recently, when I had a friend who had realized he had a pretty decent level of gluten-intolerance and so he and his wife have gone gluten-free. This guy used to devour all my cookies, load up on waffles, and eat my leftover pasta, so this is a majorly big deal. So I’ve tried to start playing around with alternative, gluten-free dessert recipes…and have discovered that it’s really hard!

Chocolate Financier Heart

See, the thing about most gluten-free recipes that I’ve found is that—in addition to their strange and interesting flour alternatives—they often call for some weird ingredients to use as a binding agent, since that’s normally where the gluten comes in. But as much as I love cooking with real ingredients and whole foods, I just shrink back from recipes that include xantham gum and other things that don’t sound like they’re that natural. So, other than puddings and custards, the pickings are slim.

Then I found this gem of a recipe…

chocolate financier inside

I wasn’t even looking for a gluten-free recipe when I found it. I was (as I tend to do) going down a rabbit hole on Smitten Kitchen’s site and hopping from link to link. I was browsing the red wine chocolate cake when I found these. They’re called financiers (pronounced all fancy and French like “fee-nahn-see-ay”), and they’re made with almond flour. I don’t know the full history, but they probably weren’t even meant to be gluten-free initially—just delicious. In fact, the traditional ones aren’t even chocolate as far as I know.

Chocolate Financiers

I whipped these suckers up in five minutes flat, and so they were done in about 15-20 minutes from start to finish. The almond flour gives them an interesting consistency, somewhere between a brownie and a cookie. Kind of fudgy. All delicious. And the Dutch dark cocoa powder adds a super special flavor, as does the hint of almond extract in there. If you don’t have almond flour, you can get it at Trader Joe’s, probably in the health section of your grocery store, and most certainly online (Amazon Prime is your friend!). You will wow people with these, and they are a super speedy crowd pleaser to have in your dessert arsenal! [Read more…]

No-Bake Cookies…a.k.a. Haystacks

Sometimes I forget how much I love these cookies. When I mentally flip through desserts I want to make, somehow I never think of these. Maybe it’s because the first couple times I made them, they never set up. I had this delicious, totally liquid, gooey mess, but no actual cookies. I finally figured out that I wasn’t boiling the mixture for long enough, which meant it would never set up.

ANYHOO…gooey cookie mess is all in the past, and these cookies are glorious and delicious and chocolatey and peanut buttery and awesome.

haystacks finished

I made them last weekend because some friends had just bought a house and were moving, so I wanted to contribute to the “moving day lunch” but couldn’t actually help them move due to my bum hip. It was gross and humid this weekend, so turning the oven on didn’t sound fun, and a few of the people were gluten-intolerant, so I needed something gluten-free. After thumbing through and discarding a bunch of recipes, I all of the sudden thought of these. They were perfect for the occasion, and a great blast from the past as well. [Read more…]

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