Sweets

Jan 13, 2019

Oatmeal Bars With a Crispy Topping

Healthy Desserts No White FlourNEW RECIPE: I 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. 😋

Easy Healthy Oat Bars

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

Dec 10, 2018

Soft & Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies No ButterI’ve had a craving for soft oatmeal raisin cookies lately and never knew how to make them. My oatmeal cookies are always crisp so I decided to try making soft and chewy ones. It was easy. They turned out really well with several different variations.

My recipe works three different ways:

1) Made with only butter.

2) Made with half butter, half oil.

3) Made with only oil.

But here’s the surprise. I did a blind taste test (with my husband’s help) and I could not tell the difference between any of them. All of the cookies, made with butter, oil, or a mix of both, tasted the same to me. So if you’re like me and try to avoid butter, make them with oil. I use cold pressed avocado oil. If you prefer butter, use only butter. If you’re undecided, use a 1/2 and 1/2 mixture of each. I think you’ll like them no matter what but keep in mind that they are large cookies because that keeps them soft, and also do not over bake them. If you bake them until they are too brown and golden, they may not be soft. But they’ll still taste good, though.

Oh, and one more thing: You can skip the raisins and use chocolate chips instead. (Do I hear applause??) Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Nov 4, 2018

Custard Filled Pączki – Polish Doughnuts

Oven baked custard filled donutsSomebody 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 15, 2018

I Made Apple Pie

Easy Apple Pie Oil Crust

Autumn is here and that means it’s apple pie time. I always make it with an oil crust because if nothing else, it’s just easier. You can pat it into the pan but I find that rolling it between sheets of wax paper is the best way to use an oil crust, especially for the top. My apples of choice are granny smith 🍏 and my thickener of choice is tapioca but flour works too.

Homemade apple pie is something special. We were at a social gathering last night and when desserts were set out, I told some friends I had just made an apple pie and it was cooling on the counter at home. If they wanted to, we could skip the prepared desserts and go to my house for apple pie. “Homemade apple pie? Let’s go!”

That’s the power of homemade apple pie. My husband’s two favorite desserts are my Fresh Strawberry Cake and Homemade Apple Pie. Nothing compares. I love this delicious pie and I must admit I like the power. I think I hear him in the garage right now cleaning things up. 😍 Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Oct 13, 2018

One Bowl Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake

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

Aug 30, 2018

Carrot Cake with Chocolate Frosting? Yes!

Carrot Cake with Chocolate FrostingI didn’t have any cream cheese. But I wanted carrot cake. My husband said, “How about your chocolate frosting?” (He loves chocolate!) Once I stopped laughing, I decided to make my whole wheat carrot cake with chocolate frosting, knowing once he had a taste, he would agree to never make a baking suggestion again. Well after I ate some of the cake, I had to eat crow. It was delicious!

Homemade carrot cake is a real treat and worth the effort of shredding a big carrot. I’ve simplified my recipe so it works with or without crushed pineapple and this time I didn’t have pineapple either and this cake is really delicious without it, especially with chocolate frosting. I used my 2-Minute Chocolate Frosting and frosted only the top of my cake right in the pan.

Mine is a healthier whole wheat carrot cake make without butter so the only butter here is in the frosting. I sometimes double the frosting, split the cake and make it a 2-layer treat. If you want to try something different and delicious, make homemade carrot cake with chocolate frosting, or use the traditional cream cheese topping.  Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Aug 7, 2018

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies from ScratchI always look for a healthier way to make all the favorite things we like to eat and chocolate chip cookies are at the top of my “favorite things to eat” list. I posted my recipe some time ago but when I baked them today, I made a couple of small improvements. I reduced the oil and salt a little and I prefer them the new way. (the changes are noted in the recipe).

Anyone looking to bake with whole grains can make my version that uses part whole wheat & part all purpose flour. But these healthier cookies can also be made using only all purpose flour but honestly, there’s not much difference so I say go with the whole wheat version.

While most chocolate chip cookie recipes start out with a stick of butter, my recipe uses only three tablespoons of butter. I’m still not convinced we should be eating lots of butter as some people believe but when I use butter, I’m going with the grass-fed kind.

I always put nuts in these cookies and whether you use walnuts or pecans, I highly recommend toasting the nuts first. Toasting intensifies the flavor and it will add a lot to these delicious cookies, especially pecans. For chocolate chips, the darker the better for some health benefits.

To try my whole wheat dark chocolate chip cookies, just click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jul 12, 2018

Easy Lemon Blueberry Loaf

Best Lemon Bluebery 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

Jun 22, 2018

Apple Pie Bars Without Butter

Apple Pie Bars RecipeI was too lazy to make apple pie today but I needed an apple pie fix, so I made some healthier and easier apple pie bars. My simple recipe uses an easy oil crust and two pounds of apples and bakes in an 8 by 8-inch square pan so it makes nine servings. These did not last nine days, or even four days. Somebody around here thinks it’s okay to have one with breakfast because it has… you know… fruit.

To me, Granny Smith are still the best baking apples but I also use them because they are available almost everywhere. I use extra light olive oil or non-GMO canola oil for the crust so this recipe has not butter. This time I lined the pan with parchment paper so I could lift the whole thing out and cut it into bars on a platter. You’ll never miss the butter with these easy apple bars. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

May 23, 2018

This Marble Loaf Has No Butter

Butterless Marble LoafIf you like baking without butter, this marble cake is one to try. It’s not too sweet with lots of dark chocolate swirls. With all the controversy about butter being good or bad for you, I still bake mostly without butter just in case they are wrong again. And I don’t miss the butter in this moist and light cake.

A marble loaf never looks the same twice and when you slice it you never know what the swirl will look like. I always hope it will have an even mix of white and chocolate just like this…

Healthier Marble Loaf CakeMy baking cocoa of choice is Dutch process, which produces a rich dark color and is less bitter than regular powdered cocoa. You can find Droste brand at World Market. I also really enjoy adding some fresh orange zest to this pound cake because chocolate and orange go great together. Plain or with orange, you won’t find a marble loaf this good at any store. Try it for dessert or afternoon tea, or serve it when you have company and wait for the raves. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

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