Dec 25, 2015 Dec 8, 2015
Here is the Christmas present I made for myself… or what’s left of it anyway. You don’t have to be Polish to love a slice (or 2 or 3) of makowiec (mah-KOH-viets). It’s usually a bread to be shared but this one is all for me! I made it without the powdered sugar glaze and opted for an egg wash and poppy seeds on the top.
The filling is made with ground poppy seeds, fresh orange and lemon peel, ground almonds and vanilla. It’s a Polish holiday bread for Christmas as well as Easter but I say make it for any holiday, or birthday, or laundry day, or tax day…. Click here for the recipe.
And Merry Christmas to all my fellow cooks and bakers. Thank you for all your comments and photos – I appreciate it so much when anyone takes the time to make a comment or send a photo. I have posted most of the recipes I make but I will try to add more as they make it into my kitchen. xoxoxo
Nov 4, 2015
Christmas is the best time to make sweet breads like my Christmas wreath bread but it doesn’t have to be a wreath. It can also be braided and shaped into a regular loaf. And it doesn’t even have to be for Christmas. With a simple white glaze you can enjoy it any time of year. If you want to toast it, just omit the glaze and you can make fabulous cinnamon-raisin toast.
I have actually made a dual loaf. I cut it in half and only glaze half so the other half can be toasted. So you see this lightly sweet raisin bread is really versatile and it’s made entirely without butter. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
Oct 3, 2015
Is it too soon to start some Christmas baking? Not at my house. I just made my Christmas wreath bread because it’s never too soon to start testing all my holiday recipes. This slightly sweet egg bread is filled with golden raisins and topped with a light glaze and sprinkles. I love sweet breads and I thought about adding some nuts but I prefer it with only raisins.
It’s very similar to my original holiday bread, which was a braided loaf, but this one is shaped into a circle to make a wreath. Use as much or as little glaze as you like but the sprinkles are what makes it a Christmas bread. If you use pastel sprinkles, it becomes an Easter bread, or make it with no sprinkles or glaze and it becomes a fabulous toasting bread. I know it’s early but I’ve been waiting all year to start my Christmas baking.
UPDATE: Please note the correct baking temperature is 350 and not 375 as initially posted.
Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
Aug 27, 2015
Believe it or not, you can make this amazing cake with no butter at all. Baking without butter has become my specialty. The cake is simple. It’s my easy one-bowl yellow cake but with half the vanilla and with added fresh lemon zest. (To keep the edges of the cake from over-baking, I suggest using a cake strip.) While the cake bakes, you make a super easy lemon curd for the filling. Then you spread the curd on a big dinner plate to cool.
And now the frosting. I make an old-fashioned seven-minute frosting because it has no butter, and because it’s light and fluffy and delicious. But seven minutes is a lie! It actually takes abut nine minutes to make and here’s why. You need to be at the stove with an electric mixer and you beat the frosting in a glass bowl, over a simmering pot of water. It’s basically egg white and sugar and it makes a beautiful, light and airy frosting that tastes like billows of meringue.
The cake is sliced in half to fill with the lemon curd and then the top of the cake goes back on and it’s frosted all over with 7-minute frosting. After that you sprinkle the top with sweetened shredded coconut and press more coconut on to the sides. The just wait for the raves, especially from lemon-lovers.
If you don’t want to make the frosting and want something simpler, you can slice and fill the cake and just spread it with the lemon glaze that I use on my lemon brownies and sprinkle the top with coconut. Here’s how that looks…
Either way you make it, you’ll have a delicious dessert without butter. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
Aug 14, 2015
When they say dark chocolate is good for you they mean dark. Like 70% dark. So that’s what I put in my easy fudge brownies. I start by melting a dark chocolate bar and it makes the most intense brownie! With no butter! And wait ’til you see how easy this recipe is. Dark chocolate bars are available in most grocery stores and they sell them at World Market (they’re cheaper there). To get health benefits, it should have at least 70% cacao.You can find bars from 68 to 72% that will work great but I try to keep it at 70-72%. I’ve used Scharffen Berger and World Market brand and there’s no difference in the end result.
Here is what I learned making these delicious brownies: You do not need butter to make rich-tasting, gooey, fudgy brownies and baking without butter is always my priority. (You can use melted butter in place of the oil if you like) I did a taste test at home and asked my man to try one that had butter and one without and he could not tell the difference. Besides making desserts without butter I always try to use whole grains when possible but that did not work here. I tried and was hopeful but they turned to mush.
So the best I can do is no butter and lots of heart-healthy dark chocolate. Most brownie recipes use a stick or two of butter so if you need a brownie, this one is a better choice than one loaded with saturated fat. My recipe uses extra light olive oil instead of butter but you can use any vegetable oil you choose. And the nuts are optional but nuts are nutritious and full of protein and healthy fats so include them if you can. And toast them first – what a difference! The extra chocolate chips, well… that’s up to you and the darker the better.
One thing about melting chocolate: Chocolate is delicate and burns easily so I melt it in a saucepan but with oil added and over very low heat so it doesn’t burn. It takes about 2-3 minutes to melt but needs to be stirred because chocolate tends to hold its shape when melted and you might not know it’s ready until you stir it. The other options for melting are the microwave (which I have never done) and a double boiler (too much trouble).
This is the second brownie recipe I’ve posted. The other whole wheat brownie is not as fudgy but still nice & chewy and also made without butter, but it’s 100% whole wheat. Both my brownies are easy to make but this simple recipe is good for beginners because it uses just a few ingredients and no mixer is needed. In fact, this batter should only be mixed by hand and not over-mixed. Oh, and don’t over bake the brownies! They should feel a little soft in the center when they’re done so don’t bake any longer than 20 minutes! Okay, that’s all. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
Jul 19, 2015
This is my go-to yellow cake, one you can make from scratch in 40 minutes. Try it with my 2-minute chocolate frosting that has only 2 tablespoons of butter. What I like the most is all the things you can do with this quick and easy recipe.
For a fast dessert, I make this cake and frost it right in the pan. It’s a healthier dessert I feel good about and it really satisfies my sweet tooth. I have made it using 1% and 2% low fat milk as well as whole milk. All versions turned out great.
I have also doubled the recipe and made two cakes using two cake pans and used it for my fresh strawberry cake so now you can make my wildly popular strawberry cake with no butter at all!
The one I really love is my Boston cream cake that I make with just one 9-inch cake, which I slice across in half, fill it with homemade custard and top with a chocolate glaze. (why do they call it Boston cream pie? – it’s not pie!)
One thing of note: this is a much better cake when you use a cake strip. See in the picture how the cake is perfectly flat? I highly recommend using a cake strip, also called a baking strip, whether you buy one or make your own. It keeps the edges of the cake from over-baking. Click here to learn about cake strips.
If you want a healthier cake that’s low in sugar and saturated fat, try my recipe. You can use my frosting or do your own thing with this simple, easy recipe. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
May 8, 2015
It must be Sunday morning because I’m making breakfast cookies again. Here they are before baking. There are three things that are a constant in my kitchen (besides me)… three things that when I almost run out, I make more. They are: breakfast cookies, granola bars, and tortillas. This morning I ate my last breakfast cookie, there’s one tortilla left and I made granola bars yesterday. So it’s breakfast cookie and tortilla-day today.
Are you wondering why these three? Because you can’t buy anything even close to homemade tortillas. My granola bars are out of this world. And my breakfast cookies may not be pretty, but they are fantastic, especially if you want more fiber in your diet. Those are chopped prunes you see there… or wait… those could be pieces of dark chocolate!
My recipe uses bran cereal, whole wheat pastry flour, and oats (did I mention there are 4 grams of fiber in one cookie?). Then I add some moist chopped prunes (they do not taste like prune cookies!) and either chocolate chips or this time I chopped up some of a dark chocolate bar. And here they are all done…
These are cookies of substance, great taste and texture, and many health benefits. Dark chocolate benefits the heart and all that fiber benefits your digestive system and keeps you regular. As for prunes, besides fiber, they are very high in antioxidants. Prunes benefit your eyes, heart, immune system and can help prevent bone loss.
Just like people, don’t judge this cookie by its appearance. It’s what’s inside that matters. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
May 4, 2015
On the menu this morning – bran muffins. And I’ll tell you why you should try this easy recipe. We all need fiber. You could try one of those cereals with tons of fiber — you know, the ones that taste like particle board chips. Or you can make your own delicious bran muffins, which by the way, are very portable for breakfast on the go.
Fiber is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and gastrointestinal diseases. Fiber also promotes regularity and can prevent constipation and hemorrhoids. By the way, when you increase your fiber you also need to increase your water intake. So I had one and a half muffins for breakfast with a big cup of green tea and some peaches. And that’s what I cooked today (so far). …just sharing… – Jenny Jones
Click here for the recipe.
May 1, 2015
I try to be good, I really do. But I made my amazing cinnamon rolls for brunch today. Well, it wasn’t really brunch – it was just breakfast but when I put cinnamon rolls on the table, it became brunch. Isn’t that why we all love going to brunch? “Let’s get the eggs and omelettes over with so we can get to the sweets!”
So that was me this morning, having my obligatory scrambled eggs and whole grain toast to clear my conscience in preparation for cinnamon rolls. Boy are they good! I see why so many people love this recipe. It’s easy and you can actually make this recipe with no butter at all, which is what I did. I used Canola Harvest instead of butter for the filling and didn’t miss the butter at all. Click here for the recipe.
These sweet rolls are soft and gooey and they smell amazing. I used Saigon cinnamon, which is more potent than the popular Ceylon cinnamon and I highly recommend it. Anyway, there’s only half a pan left now and that won’t be around long since I’m having it for dessert tomorrow.
Today I also made my ribs and potato salad for dinner so we’re having leftovers tomorrow. Tomorrow is going to be a good day with ribs, potato salad, and cinnamon rolls for dessert! And that’s what I cooked today. …just sharing… – Jenny Jones
Looking for an easy chocolate cake from scratch? This is it. Oh… and looking for a healthier chocolate cake recipe? This is it too. It’s not a fancy cake but it’s really moist and rich tasting even thought it’s made without eggs or butter. I make it with extra-light olive oil but my frosting does have two tablespoons of butter. If you use my frosting, that means each slice would have 3/4 teaspoon of butter. I can manage that. But you can also skip the frosting, make it a vegan chocolate cake, and just dust it with some powdered sugar.
For baking with chocolate I always use Dutch-processed cocoa for a beautiful dark color and it’s also less bitter than the regular one. It can be hard to find but World Market carries my brand (Droste), which I used in this recipe. This is the perfect cake to make last minute since there is no butter to soften and no eggs to warm up to room temperature. I often put it together before dinner and by the time we eat, the cake is cooled and then I whip up some frosting and… we have dessert.
This easy chocolate cake from scratch is perfect for Sunday family dinner… everyone does have a Sunday family dinner, don’t they? For the frosted version, click here for the recipe. For my chocolate cake with no butter recipe, click here. – Jenny Jones
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