Baking Without Butter

Apr 30, 2020

Fudgy, Chewy, Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Brownies

Fudgy Chewy Gluten Free BrowniesI like these brownies just as much as my regular and very popular chocolate brownies. I was surprised how well gluten free flour works in brownies, both my lemon brownies and these dark chocolate ones. I think it makes them even more fudgy and chewy. The only gluten free flour I could find was Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 gluten free baking flour and it works really well. I’m hoping if someone makes this recipe with a different gluten free flour, they will report back on the result.

I make them with avocado oil but you can also used melted butter. Surprisingly, I prefer the ones made with oil and saw no improvement in flavor using butter. That may be because there is so much rich chocolate flavor in these decadent brownies. I use a whole 3-ounce dark chocolate bar and Dutch process cocoa, which is very rich and dark. I also use dark chocolate chips so that would make them triple chocolate brownies that just happen to be gluten free. Click here for the recipe – Jenny Jones

Apr 21, 2020

My Lemon Brownies – Gluten Free!

Gluten Free Lemon BrowniesGood news for gluten free cooks! I was finally able to get the flour some people have mentioned in their comments and I tried it out with my lemon brownies. They turned out great – I saw no difference in taste or texture. This recipe is exactly the same as my regular lemon brownies only with swapping the regular flour for Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 gluten free baking flour. (This is not a paid endorsement, just a way to share a good recipe that’s gluten free.)

I have only made this recipe with this particular flour and can’t say how it will work with other gluten free flours so it you try it with a different brand of gluten-free flour please comment here on your results. I’m really happy to be able to share this very easy and very popular recipe for lemon brownies (some people call them “yellowies” 🙂) for everyone who has asked for more gluten-free baking. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Apr 17, 2020

You Can Bake Bread Without Yeast

Quick Easy Bread No Yeast

Can’t find yeast? Need to make bread? Here is a bread recipe that uses no yeast, instead using baking soda and buttermilk for a fast and easy loaf, good for sandwiches or toast. When I say “fast” check this: without yeast there is no rising time so the whole recipe, start to finish, takes 35 minutes!

This is basically my version of Irish soda bread so don’t expect it to taste like yeast bread. It might remind you of buttermilk biscuits. I used it for a salmon sandwich yesterday and had it toasted today with breakfast. Most soda breads don’t use eggs but I found that adding the egg makes it lighter and rise more; otherwise, it turned out more dense.

And I tried it with both real buttermilk and with a substitute of milk + white vinegar and I preferred the real buttermilk version. On the bright side, buttermilk should be easier to find than yeast these days. So bottom line, you’ll get the best result using real buttermilk and the egg but if you want to avoid the egg there are lots of Irish soda bread recipes available online for you to choose.

Bread made with yeast is ideal but for anyone in quarantine who can’t find yeast, this is my best version of bread without yeast. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Oct 1, 2019

I Should Have Called Them Breakfast Bars

Crispy Top Oatmeal BarsEvery time I run out of these delicious crispy top oatmeal bars, I need to make more. They are one of my all time favorites and for lots of reasons. There is no white flour, lots of dark chocolate chunks, and the recipe is easy to put together. The crispy top is the best part, made with pecans, brown sugar, and coconut. I have made the top with avocado oil and with melted butter and there’s not much difference to me.

I like something sweet after every meal, even breakfast, and this is my favorite breakfast dessert. Well, between the fig bars and these oat bars, maybe it’s the fig bars, no,,, the oat bars… oh well. I just love sweets so I have to keep finding  ways to make them healthier. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

May 26, 2019

Easy One Bowl Apple Cake

Easy One Bowl Apple CakeEverybody stay calm! 🙂 There is no cinnamon in my crispy top apple cake. You can add some if you like but I tried using cinnamon and I prefer it with just a little vanilla. This way the apples are the star. This is another easy one-bowl recipe for a healthy dessert that I absolutely love. Here’s why:

~ No mixer
~ No butter
~ Uses less sugar
~ Has whole grains and fruit
~ Minimal cleanup

This fresh apple cake is healthy enough to include with breakfast. (notice I said “with” and not “for!”) 😋 Be sure to keep the apple pieces small, no bigger than 1/2-inch so they cook through. I use Granny Smith apples 🍏. I have made this cake using 100% whole wheat pastry flour and it turned out well but using half all purpose and half whole wheat pastry flour makes it much lighter, so that’s the one I prefer.

I’m loving my one-bowl recipes and am always looking for an easier way to make my favorite foods. And it doesn’t get much easier than this. With or without cinnamon, this is still the easiest apple cake you will ever make. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Feb 28, 2019

Oatmeal Fig Bars

Homemade Fig NewtonsAre you getting enough fiber? You will if you make these super high fiber, soft and delicious oatmeal fig bars. I make the crust/topping with oats, whole wheat pastry flour, and vegetable oil (cold pressed avocado oil is my preference). The filling is simply cooked figs with a little added sugar. I have these healthy fig bars for dessert after dinner and after breakfast too. I love them.

The desserts I make the most are always the ones without butter, with whole grains, and with some added health benefits like fruit or chocolate. And these fit the bill.

Figs are loaded with fiber but that’s not all. They also provide a wide range of vitamins and minerals.  If you like fig newtons, these easy homemade bars will taste even better. Doesn’t everything homemade taste better?  Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jan 13, 2019

Oatmeal Bars With a Crispy Topping

Oatmeal Bars Cripsy Coconut TopI took my treasured oatmeal chocolate chip bars to a new stratosphere today. Besides using chunks of a dark chocolate bar, I added a broiled coconut-pecan topping and all I can say is, “Somebody, please hide them from me!” This hybrid dessert has no white flour, lots of fiber, dark chocolate chunks, and a crispy topping — I love love love it!

All I did was use the topping from my Oatmeal Snacking Cake and put it on my Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars. I broiled it for about a minute and I have a new dessert that is healthier than most and really easy to make. You can use butter or oil in the topping so anyone like me, who prefers baking without butter, will love this too. These healthy bars are so yummy, I froze some because… well I just had to. 😋

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars

I like this so much I added it as a new recipe. For my new Oatmeal Bars With A Crispy Coconut Top, click hereJenny Jones

Nov 4, 2018

Custard Filled Pączki – Polish Doughnuts

Custard Filled Polish PaczkiSomebody please stop me from eating five! These oven-baked Polish doughnuts are so light and so delicious and filled with homemade custard, well….. I can only make these a few times a year. It’s too easy to eat five. Pączki are most often filled with jam but custard is my favorite by far. These Polish doughnuts are light and airy and really simple to make.

Filling them is the hardest part and a pastry bag does make it easy. I used to use a long, slender pastry tip but I find it easier to use a wider tip, something like these:

Pączki are traditionally fried but I avoid eating deep fried food – nobody needs that. Besides, I could never eat five fried doughnuts without requiring medical care. Oven-baked is the way to go. Fill them with jam or custard. Either way you will love these delicious pączki (pronounced potnch-kee). Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Oct 13, 2018

One Bowl Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake

My favorite desserts are something a little sweet, and that is why I created this simple loaf cake.  It’s easy to put together (I like that) with barely any cleanup (LOVE that), and it’s not too sweet so I don’t feel guilty if I have a little piece after breakfast. I still prefer baking without butter and I always prefer easy recipes so this one is perfect. It’s a moist tender cake and so delicious I never seem to have any leftovers.

If you don’t have a mixer, you can make this recipe by hand. Just sift all the dry ingredients, including sugar, into a bowl, make a well, stir in the liquids, and proceed. It won’t be quite as tall but still very delicious – a bit more like a pound cake. As for the chocolate chips, I use dark chocolate chips but I also like to use part chocolate chips and part chunks of a dark chocolate bar, somewhere in the 63 to 70% cocoa range. I just chop it up into small chunks.

And I’ll say it again: toast  your nuts before baking with them and you will see a big difference in the flavor, especially with pecans, my favorite baking nuts. If you like sweets that are not too sweet, easy to make, and even easier to eat, you will love this easy loaf cake. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jul 12, 2018

Easy Lemon Blueberry Loaf

Lemon Blueberry LoafFresh blueberries and fresh lemon make all the difference in this easy lemon blueberry loaf, but you won’t need any butter. Or even a mixer. It’s really easy to make because you mix everything by hand. Sweet loaves like this often call for buttermilk but a lot of people don’t have it so I use whole milk and I add some lemon juice to the milk, which makes a substitute for buttermilk. But if you have buttermilk, you can use that instead of making your own.

It’s important to zest and squeeze the lemon first, and in that order. Zest it first, then cut and squeeze the juice. You’ll need the juice right away to add to the milk so it can stand as long as possible and get a bit lumpy. Before I start, I always inspect the blueberries and remove any stems and also any berries that are too soft or moldy. Tossing the berries with flour helps keep them from sinking to the bottom during baking, and I find a soft plastic produce bag just right for the job and for less cleanup.

I struggled over how much sugar to use. Naturally, the less the better but some blueberries are not as sweet as others. I tried 3/4 cup, then tried adding one tablespoon, and another time I added 2 tablespoons. This recipe works with any of those amounts so I split the difference and made it 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon of sugar.

As for the glaze, make as much as you want, as thick as you want. My preference is a thinner glaze that I can brush on the top and sides but you can make it thicker with less lemon juice and drizzle it on the top. This delicious, lightly sweet loaf is best served while still warm. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones