Incredibly Moist Applesauce Loaf

“Love doesn’t grow on trees like apples in Eden – it’s something you have to make. And you must use your imagination too.” – Joyce Cary

This recipe is a great way to enjoy a bucket of fall apples.  We made a quick homemade applesauce using fresh royal gala apples and then also grated in a whole apple.  Using whole wheat flour and a little bit of coconut oil lends itself to an incredibly moist and warm loaf cake.

Taken from  Hungry Healthy Girl

  • 1 large (1 cup) apple, peeled, cored and grated
  • 1 tsp cinnamon + 1/4 tsp
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup honey + 1 tbsp.
  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened homemade applesauce (or store bought)
  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (spelt or whole wheat)
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of all spice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Prepare a 9 x 5 loaf pan with cooking spray and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine grated apple, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp. honey and lemon juice in a small bowl and set aside. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl and combine all wet ingredients and sugar in a medium bowl and beat together. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and blend on low. Don’t overmix. Fold in apples. Pour mixture into loaf pan and bake at 350 for 55 minutes. Cool for about 20 mins before slicing.

Classic French Apple Tart

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree” – Martin Luther

Apple tart is a classic dessert that never goes out of style.  It’s pretty, flaky, and sticky in the best possible way! Cut up your apples, throw on some sugar and butter, bake and then spread with jam, that’s it! Feel free to substitute store bought puff pastry if you are in a pinch – it is still delicious.  You can serve the tart at room temperature, but we love it warm right outta the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Taken from Barefoot Contessa

Serves 6-8

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup ice water
For the apples:
4 Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, small diced
1/2 cup apricot jelly or warm sieved apricot jam
2 tablespoons Calvados, rum, or water

For the pastry, place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter and pulse 10 to 12 times, until the butter is in small bits the size of peas. With the motor running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Roll the dough slightly larger than 10 by 14-inches. Using a ruler and a small knife, trim the edges. Place the dough on the prepared sheet pan and refrigerate while you prepare the apples.

Peel the apples and cut them in half through the stem. Remove the stems and cores with a sharp knife and a melon baler. Slice the apples crosswise in 1/4-inch thick slices. Place overlapping slices of apples diagonally down the middle of the tart and continue making diagonal rows on both sides of the first row until the pastry is covered with apple slices. (I tend not to use the apple ends in order to make the arrangement beautiful.) Sprinkle with the full 1/2 cup of sugar and dot with the butter.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the pastry is browned and the edges of the apples start to brown. Rotate the pan once during cooking. If the pastry puffs up in one area, cut a little slit with a knife to let the air out. Don’t worry! The apple juices will burn in the pan but the tart will be fine! When the tart’s done, heat the apricot jelly together with the Calvados and brush the apples and the pastry completely with the jelly mixture. Loosen the tart with a metal spatula so it doesn’t stick to the paper. Allow to cool and serve warm or at room temperature.

 

 

Chocolate Chip Blondie Bars

“Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap” – Robert Fulgum

These blondie bars are perfect for last minute company.  They are soft, chewy, and oh so chocolately.  We’ve baked them so many times and they are really foolproof! Be sure to use room temperature butter and eggs to ensure a perfectly textured bar.

Taken from Ina Garten

Makes 12 Blondies

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1 1/4 pounds semisweet chocolate chunks, such as Nestle’s

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8 x 12 x 2 inch baking pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on high speed for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the vanilla, then the eggs, one at a time, and mix well, scraping down the bowl. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt and with the mixer still on low, slowly add flour mixture to the butter mixture. Fold the walnuts and chocolate chunks in with a rubber spatula.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 30 minutes exactly. Don’t overbake! A toothpick may not come out clean. Cool completely in the pan and cut into bars.

Raisin Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

“Sometimes me think ‘What is a friend?’ And then me say ‘Friend someone to share last cookie with’” – Cookie Monster

Share one of these with a friend.  This from scratch cookie is a basic oatmeal cookie recipe that can easily be adapted.  We have tried these with chocolate chips, various nuts, all of which yield a delicious, chewy oatmeal cookie.  We’ve even snuck in the wholesome goodness of whole-wheat flour – we don’t think Ina would mind!

Adapted from Ina Garten’s Raisin Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

Makes 30-35 cookies

1 ½ cups nuts (pecans and walnuts work great)
1 cup butter, unsalted and at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, scant (less than full)
1 cup granulated sugar, scant (less than full)
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon, ground
1 tsp salt
3 cups oatmeal (any kind, old fashioned, quick etc.)
1 ½ cups raisins or chocolate chips
 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

Place the nuts on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 5 minutes, until crisp.  Set aside to cool.  Chop very coarsely.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugars with a hand mixer (or in the bowl of an electric mixer).  Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.  Bring the speed down to low and add eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixer while the mixer is still on low.  Add the oatmeal, nuts and raisins and mix until just combined with a large wooden spoon.

Drop 2-inch mounds of dough onto a prepared sheet pan with parchment paper.  Flatten slightly with a damp hand.  Bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating pans halfway through.  They are finished when the edges turn slightly brown.  Transfer the cookies to a baking rack and cool completely.

Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze

“I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas.” – Hillary Clinton

These cookies are like dainty little cakes. The taste of ricotta is smooth and subtle and the lemon glaze is good even on its own!  Make them as part of your ‘something sweet’ at your brunch table or jazz up your afternoon tea.  They are highly impressive but a cinch to whip up!

Taken from Giada De Laurentis

Makes 44 cookies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested

Glaze:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the large bowl combine the butter and the sugar. Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.

Glaze:
Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon about 1/2-teaspoon onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours.

Strawberry Stuffed Muffins

“Oh yeah.  It’s the best part.  It’s crunchy, it’s explosive, it’s where the muffin breaks free of the pan and sort of (makes hand motions) does it’s own thing.  I’ll tell you.  That’s a million dollar idea right there.  Just sell the tops.” – Elaine, from Seinfeld

Strawberry stuffed muffins.  Have you heard of anything better? Tyler makes these muffins kid friendly, as you have the option of making mini muffins or regular ones.  We opted for the adult version, but don’t worry, your child will still be satisfied! The tablespoon of baking powder is key here, as it creates that beautiful muffin dome and the strawberry inside each one is a nice and juicy surprise!  Happy Valentines Day to you!

Taken from Start Fresh by Tyler Florence

Makes 12 *

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
12 medium strawberries, halved
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a large measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, butter, and vanilla. Add milk mixture to flour mixture and stir just until well blended. Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Top each with 2 strawberry halves. Bake muffins until tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18-20 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before glazing. In a small bowl, mix confectioners’ sugar with lemon juice (add a little milk to reach consistency if needed) and stir until smooth. Drizzle muffins with glaze and allow to cool completely.

*To make 24 mini muffins, bake for 10-12 minutes and top each muffin with a strawberry halve.

The Ultimate One-Bowl Chocolate Brownie

“Sometimes a girl’s gotta have some chocolate!” – Carrie Underwood

If your looking for that go-to recipe for brownies, you’ve come to right place.  These chocolate brownies are to die for!  They are fudge-like, nutty, and will satisfy any of your chocolate cravings.  We’ve added walnuts for added crunch and texture.  Share one or two with your bestie this Valentine’s Day!

Taken from Hershey’s Incredibly Easy Recipes

Makes about 36 brownies

3/4 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup boiling water
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 13x9x2 inch baking pan with parchment paper with overhang for easy removal.

Stir together cocoa and baking soda in a large bowl.  Add in 1/3 cup melted butter and boiling water.  Stir until the mixture thickens.  Mix in sugar, eggs and remaining 1/3 cup melted butter and combine until smooth.  Add flour, vanilla and salt and blend thoroughly.  Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts and spread in a prepared pan.

Bake 35-40 minutes, or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan.  Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.  Cut into squares.

Championship Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

“A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.” – Barbara Johnson

The easiest way to make a fresh, homemade cookie is by pressing the dough into a cookie bar instead of forming or dropping individual cookies.  A quick way of combining cold butter into flour is to shred it first.  This tip ensures the butter remains cold and makes it super easy to distribute into the flour.

Taken from Hershey’s Incredibly Easy Recipes

Makes about 24 bars.

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup (1 stick) cold butter
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) chocolate chips, divided
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped

Heat oven to 350°F.

In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar.  Using a fork or pastry blender cut in the cold butter.  The mixture will be crumbly.  Stir in 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.  Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with parchment paper (leave a bit of an overhang for easy removal) and press the crust mixture into the pan. Bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix together the sweetened condensed milk, egg and vanilla in large bowl.  Stir in remaining 1 and 1/2 cups chips and the nuts. Spread this evenly over the hot baked crust.  Bake for a further 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool completely in pan on wire rack.  Cut into bars.