Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies

It seems the older I get the stranger my grocery shopping cart items seem to get.  I just got back from the store and I not only picked up silken tofu (YUCK) for a recipe; I grabbed 2 because they were on sale. What is wrong with me??? Now not only do I hope the dessert I want to make with it tastes good, it better be good enough to make/eat two of them. Or I will have to find something else out there to make with the other container.
IMG_5473 (2)I have been doing pretty good watching what I have been eating lately; I have also been reading labels a heck of a lot more than I have ever done in the past. The one thing I have been craving is baked goods. I thought chips were my downfall but I am starting to think it is cookies, pies  and cakes basically anything with flour, sugar, butter and eggs throw in some chocolate or peanut butter and I am one happy camper.
IMG_5467 (2)Don’t get me wrong if I want one I have been having ONE and it’s totally fine but So I have been trying to find SOMETHING – ANYTHING where I can maybe have TWO of something. Well I am still looking 🙂 I can appreciate more protein, less fat and carbs is probably a better way of living healthier but when did all purpose flour go wrong. Don’t worry I will never leave you behind; even if you are bad for my behind wink wink.
IMG_5468My girlfriend had bought some Peanut Powder pretty foreign to both of us. I was given the task to figure out what the heck to do with it. So today I spent sometime online looking for something to make with it; I failed but I did come across a funky peanut butter cookie recipe that looked promising and it was probably the easiest cookie I have ever made and they taste great.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

½ cup vanilla protein powder
1 cup peanut butter
1 lg egg
½ cup sugar in the raw
Pinch of salt
¼ cup mini chocolate chips – not needed but a nice touch

Put all ingredients in a bowl and stir till everything comes together. It will be the consistency of a regular cookie
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Use either a tablespoon scoop or do you best to make 12 same size ball. Press in a crosshatch pattern and bake in a pre-heated 350’F oven for about 12 minutes.

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Let them cool on the sheet tray for about 10 minutes till they set up. Once completely cooled store in an airtight container. They also freeze well!

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Makes 12 cookies – serving size 1 cookie

170 Calories
8.3 Carbs
12.2 Fat
9.4 Protein

I know they are still high in fat but they also add some protein and are lower in carbs than some other peanut butter chocolate chip cookies…
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Recipe – dailyburn website

Fresh Raspberry and Lime Scones

The party we threw last weekend was a complete success! Minus the pop up thunderstorm and whipping winds about an hour before it was to start and the power outage that lasted a couple of hours in the beginning. We contemplated postponing it a day but in the end figured it was best to move ahead with our plans. We had spent the day before prepping most everything we could and the rest we would make due with the BBQ and stove top.
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The BBQ shrimp I wrote about last week was loved by all; actually all the food was so good that most of it went that day. There were a few ingredients that needed to be cooked up so since there were a few people here the next day so I held a small impromptu luncheon out by the grill. When you buy ingredients for a large or even small party there are always seems to be some leftover ingredients. I froze the leftover meat and we have been snacking on a few of the other leftovers but I had some fresh raspberries and a bag of limes that I wanted to address.
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In searching for what to do with them; I came across a scone recipe that sounded intriguing to me. I was curious how a cup of juicy raspberries would be in a dough. My daughter even made a comment that she thought they would make the dough too wet.  Well it was a little more wet that other scones I have made but the result was quite pleasant. The sweet raspberry and tart of the lime play very well together. I still have some limes leftover so I might be writing about something else made with limes soon.

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The wetness made them hard for me to keep them in perfect triangles

 

Scones
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoon sugar
zest of 2 limes
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoon cold, unsalted butter cut into 1/4″ cubes
1 cup heavy cream – I used half and half which is what I had on hand
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 cup fresh raspberries

Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
3-4 tablespoon heavy cream or milk
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
juice of 1 lime

IMG_5303Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, lime zest and salt. Cut in the butter, using your hands, or a pastry blender. Mix just until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

Mix 1 cup of heavy cream with lime juice and pour over the ingredients. Stir with a spatula until dough begins to form. Careful not to over mix. Gently fold in raspberries, they will smash a bit and turn the dough a little pink but it does not affect the flavor.
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Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead by hand just until it forms a ball. Form scones by patting the dough into a 3/4-inch thick circle. Cut into 8 even triangles.

Place scones on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until scones are light brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Make the lime glaze in a small bowl while the scones are cooling. Whisk together powdered sugar, heavy cream or milk, lime zest and juice. Whisk until you reach desired consistency. Drizzle glaze over the scones.

recipe adapted from website Angean

Almond Flour Blondies

I am a huge impulse buyer – KP stop laughing! My girlfriend KP gives me crap all the time for picking up something obscure and totally not what we were out shopping for. The area around the register is pretty dangerous for people like me; lucrative for the store though.
IMG_5279My daughter had made a few almond crust lemon curd tarts awhile back, at the time we couldn’t find almond flour in our little town so she had to make her own; she is so clever. So when I was out shopping and came across a large bag of Almond flour sitting at the end of an aisle I grabbed it.
IMG_5268Since I made this impulse purchase she hasn’t made any tarts; so now what am I supposed to do with it? Oh and I forgot to mention that I was at my club store when I “found” the bag so you might be getting a clearer picture that the bag I bought was a 10 pound bag of almond flour Yikes!
IMG_5271Since Almond flour is crushed almonds it is a little on the sweet side so I think it would only be good for something sweet; though I haven’t explored what to do with it extensively that is the way I am going with it.  I made an almond flour blondie that is sooooo good.  The only noticeable difference I found was that my blondie while ooey and gooey, it was also a little crumbly but that hasn’t stopped me from making them again.
IMG_5274Almond Flour Blondie

½ cup butter
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla
1 ¾ cup almond flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
½ cup chopped pecans (optional)

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If you need to soften your cold butter; slice it into smaller pieces it will soften quicker

Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13 pan.
Using a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla and mix on high till they become light and fluffy. Takes about 3 minutes.
Add the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until everything is incorporated. Stir in the chips and nuts if you are using them.
Pour the dough into the greased baking dish. Smooth the dough and bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 15-20 minutes slice and enjoy!
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Basic Focaccia Bread

I am sure this will not come as a surprise but I LOVE food! I know I know thank you captain obvious! Well my daughter and I; well mostly me as I needed some moral support; have decided to take a much closer look at our food intake since someone might be having a pretty big birthday later this year. So it took less than a week to find out that too many carbs, not enough protein and too large of portion sizes are not really great recipe for your figure. Yeah I know another captain obvious moment here. When you see it in black and white kinda hard to deny.
IMG_5194So what do I do when we have a friend coming for dinner, my husband asked me to make the Pasta Sausage pesto dish I blogged about last week. Yeah that makes it 3 times I’ve made it in the last 2 weeks. And I decided I really wanted to make focaccia – really Donna too many carbs and makes a jelly roll pan full what is wrong with you! Maybe I am rebellious in nature? Maybe it’s the red hair thing? I really have no idea but I wasn’t sorry I made it. I was already thinking of how I would make it next time. Adding rosemary and or thyme some garlic even some caramelized onions does that not sound absolutely delicious.
IMG_5176If you have ever made focaccia and found the recipe online, you probably already have this recipe because why mess with any other when you have the master of dough making Anne Burrell’s at your fingertips. She is a master of all kinds of dough making plus so much more. I am going to share her recipe here because it’s really yummy and though it sounds like it takes a long time. The hands on part isn’t so you can do other things while the dough is rising. Next up is what to do with leftover focaccia bread as it really is a use it or lose it kind of bread.  Croutons? Breadcrumbs? Cheesy Garlic Bread? the possibilities… 
IMG_51911 ¾ cup warm water
1 package or 2 ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar
5 cups all purpose flour plus some for kneading
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
Some coarse salt for sprinkling on top
1 cup extra virgin olive oil – ½ cup in the dough, ½ cup for pan

In a small bowl or the measuring cup combine the warm water, sugar and yeast. Let stand until the yeast bubbles this can take 5-15 minutes. If it doesn’t bloom/bubble start over.
IMG_5178Once ready add the flour, kosher salt, ½ cup olive oil into the yeast mixture. Using the dough hook mix on low until combined. Once the dough has come together and released from the sides. Continue to knead on medium speed for 5-6 minutes. If the dough is too sticky add a small amount of flour so you can handle it.
IMG_5179Transfer to a clean, lightly floured surface and knead a couple of times, if it is still too sticky sprinkle with a little flour.  Add a little olive oil to coat the bowl and add the dough back into the bowl to rise. Cover with plastic and put it in a warm place to allow it to double in size. This takes about an hour.
IMG_5180IMG_5181Coat your jelly roll pan with the other ½ cup of olive oil – if you are worried about it being too much, you can add less but you are making focaccia which is an oily crusty bread – just saying!
IMG_5183IMG_5185Add the dough to the pan and start pressing it so it fits into the pan. Flip the dough to make sure that the oil gets over all of it. Continue to work the dough in the shape of the pan. Using your fingers to make dents into the dough. I didn’t make actual dimple holes in the dough but I will the next time. Mine has dimples but they are not as defined as if I actually made the holes.
IMG_5190Place the tray in a warm place until it has doubled in size, which should take an hour. About 30-45 minutes in preheat your oven to 425’F.
IMG_5193Liberally sprinkle the top with some coarse salt and then lightly drizzle a little more olive oil on top. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the loaf is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and let it cool before cutting

Thank you Anne – you are a Rock Star

Homemade Cinnamon Roll under an hour

With Mother’s Day coming up next week I wanted to give you a breakfast or brunch option that tasted as good as it looked. It also needed to tick off a few of my important boxes; mainly using ingredients that most everyone has on hand; be pretty simple and not take you all morning to make.
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This is only the third homemade cinnamon roll I have ever made. My daughter reminded me that a few years ago while she was living in Japan we made maple bacon cinnamon rolls on Mother’s day. But my go-to; up until now; was my very old, very large white box bread maker. I’m sure some of you can envision the one I am talking about. That was what I used to make the dough for my cinnamon rolls. They always came out excellent but if I wanted to eat them in the morning for breakfast I had to get up around 5am so the machine could work it’s magic; as it took a couple of hours before I could roll out the dough; and then they had to rise for an hour or so. Needless to say I only made them on very special occasions.
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When my daughter came down in the morning and saw the cinnamon rolls fresh out of the oven; which is truly the only way to eat them. Her first comment was ‘they look beautiful’ she proceeded to eat two of them. So they definitely passed the test. This recipe is really very easy that I think if you have little ones around they could definitely help you make them.
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IMG_5111Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 ¼ teaspoon instant yeast – or 1 packet
½ cup water
¼ cup milk
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Filing
½ stick unsalted butter softened/room temperature
2 tablespoons cinnamon
¼ cup brown sugar

Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoon milk

Pre-heat your oven to 200’ and just before you place the rolls in the oven; turn it off.

I used my stand mixer but you can do this by hand

Making the dough: in a large bowl add the flour, sugar, salt and yeast; mix well. In a microwave safe bowl heat the milk, water and butter till the butter melts 30-40 seconds. Once melted stir into the flour mixture and the egg and knead until the the dough is no longer sticky roughly 3-4 minutes. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl to rest for 5 or 6 minutes.
IMG_5113Mix together the cinnamon and sugar for the filing. Roll out the dough after it is done resting; into a 15″x 9″ rectangle. Spread the softened butter on top and then sprinkle the sugar cinnamon mixture over the butter. Roll the dough on the 15” side tightly and cut into 9 large even pieces. Place them in a 9″x 9″ slightly greased pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the; turned off oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes remove the plastic wrap and turn the oven up to 375’F. Bake for 15-20 minutes until they are lightly browned.
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I lined my pan with parchment paper so I could lift the rolls out after baking

Make the glaze while the rolls are in the oven. Mix the powdered sugar, vanilla and use enough milk to make the glaze light enough for you to drizzle over the hot rolls when they come out of the oven.


Best served right out of the oven. They are OK re-heated but they do lose a little of their deliciousness. But I have never had any re-heated cinnamon roll that I truly loved.
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recipe adapted from: the recipe critic

Biscotti – Cranberry, White Chocolate, Pistachio

Happy Easter!
You might have been able to tell I have been on a baking kick these last few weeks. I am fairly certain it has a lot to do with my daughter and I binge watching the BBC’s The Great British Baking Show. What a great show with the too cute for words Mary Berry and the most handsome silver fox Paul Hollywood just their names make them stars and those accents. I am obsessed with British accents and how they speak so eloquently even when they are mad or make a mistake. I’m pretty sure if someone with a British accent were to tell me off for doing something I did wrong I would be totally OK with it. One of the most memorable phrases for me was in National Treasure 2 “Sir, please dismount the banister” it makes me smile every time. I’m smiling now while writing it.
IMG_5067Not sure if any of you see someone making something on TV or Online and think; I can do that! I can’t even tell you how many times I have done that, and I am proud to say that is one good thing I passed on to my kids. One of the challenges we watched they were to make biscotti. They could flavor them anyway they wanted; just that was pretty revolutionary for me; I’ve only ever had the almond flavored ones. I will admit that I’m not a big fan of almond extract so I never really ate them very much; I believe a little goes a long way and less is better for me.
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Abbi and I decided we were going to try making Biscotti! We had everything on hand; except the almond extract; which I am sure we could have left it out but we wanted it to be a little familiar. Within the last week my daughter has made them twice; she brought some into work and the chef du cuisine paid her to make him a batch. Yeah they are that good! And since I wanted to blog about them I made them again last night so I could share it with all of you.  If you are a baker you have to make these; they are DELICIOUS and way easier than I thought they were going to be.
Ingredients
¾ cup sugar
½ canola oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon – you can use a little more if you want
1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt – we omitted this because the pistachios were salted
¾ cup white baking chips
¾ cup dried cranberries
¾ cup pistachios

Directions
Preheat oven to 325’F
In a small bowl mixing bowl beat the sugar and oil till well blended, Add the eggs and extracts beat till blended. Combine the flour and powder and salt if you are using it. Gradually add to the sugar mixture.  Stir in the last 3 ingredients.
IMG_5062Divide the dough in half. On either parchment or your Silpat, with lightly floured hands; shape each half into a rectangle. Roughly 10” x 1½”  Bake for 30-35 minute or until lightly browned.
IMG_5063IMG_5064Place pan on a wire rack and when they are cool enough to handle, transfer to a cutting board; cut into ½ inch pieces. Place each piece back on the pan cut side down.
IMG_5065Bake for 6-7 minutes on each side until golden brown. Place them on the wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container. You can also freeze them if you don’t end up eating them all.
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Recipe adapted from Taste of Home

Healthy Yummy Oatmeal Muffins

A couple of weeks ago we were staying with some friends up North. The guys went skiing and us girls stayed back at the house. We got some things done, went shopping and then for a very nice walk. The inspiration for this weeks recipe came from my girlfriend making a healthy muffin as something to grab on the way out the door in the morning when in a rush. I can appreciate that; most mornings are pretty hectic around here.  We have also been eating a lot more healthy oatmeal for breakfast.
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My daughter purchased a really cool rice cooker that we try to put steel cut oats in the night before and set the timer for them to be ready when we wake up. It also keeps them warm until we shut it off; which is cool since my daughter wakes up several hours after us; bonus is they taste great and pretty healthy for us.


Back to the healthy muffin. I looked around online for a recipe that I might want to try. I will admit I wasn’t sure how well they would be perceived. I have tried to “health” up things before and haven’t been too successful; or at least well enough to make them a regular thing.
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The first thought about the recipe I found when I read No Flour No Sugar No Oil – I thought NO WAY!
IMG_5047I was very hesitant since I didn’t have any eggs or milk on hand that the recipe asked for and I didn’t have enough bananas so I also grated an apple and made them anyway. I ended up using egg beaters and some Kefir that I bought that no one liked drinking straight; but in a recipe how terrible could it be.  
IMG_5048They smelled good, looked good and believe it or not my husband LOVED them; seriously he immediately ate 2 of them and has done nothing but praise them since . Luckily my daughter and I both really liked them and I was totally amazed that even with my changes they were a hit so much so I have made 4 batches in total; mostly because I wanted to use up the Kefir before it went bad I plan on packaging them up and putting them in the freezer.
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Ingredients
2 ½ cups old fashioned oats (1 ½ cup ground, 1 cup whole) (keep some aside  and press on top of muffins before baking – optional)
2-3 large overripe bananas – I used banana & grated apple – applesauce would work too
2 large eggs – egg beaters also work
⅓ cup honey
¾ cup milk – I used kefir
2 teaspoon real vanilla
2 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
⅓ cup currants – optional
⅓ cup chopped nuts – optional – I used pecans

Directions
Preheat oven to 325’F. Place oats on a baking sheet and make for 10-15 minutes to brown; stir once. Once cooled; in a food processor place 1 ⅕ cups of oats and blend, you are going for a flour like consistency. Turn oven to 350’F
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Mash the bananas and grate the apple add to the rest of the wet ingredients; eggs, honey, milk and vanilla.
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Add dry ingredients; including all the oats to the wet ingredients and mix till incorporated. Let sit for 10 minutes to allow the oats to soak.  Add fruit and nuts if using

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Approximately 163 calories each

Line 12 cup muffin tin with wrappers; scoop batter into cup filling to the top.

Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Recipe adapted by cookingatclarktowers: Brendid.com