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
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
I 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
I 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
Fresh 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
I 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
If 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…
My 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
I love all desserts made with apples so I try to make them as healthy as I can and still be delicious. I did it with this easy homemade apple crisp. It’s made with 100% whole grains, no butter, and not too much sugar. You can use butter if you like but you’ll be using a lot less butter than most other recipes.
There’s not much cleanup here either – basically just one bowl and a cutting board. I combine the apples in a plastic bag and you don’t even need a mixer. I use granny smith apples, which are always available, but make sure you slice them thinly so they cook up nice and soft.
Considering the ingredients (rolled oats, whole wheat pastry flour, lots of apples) I thought, “Why can’t I have this for breakfast?” If you can have oatmeal and fruit for breakfast, well that’s what’s in my apple crisp. I even put it in the breakfast category because compared to some breakfasts, like a bagel with cream cheese (no fiber/no fruit), this is a healthier choice. And more fun. Sometimes my breakfast is a hard boiled egg, toast, and apple crisp for dessert. Yum!
Oh, and you can add nuts to the topping if you like (more protein if it’s breakfast!). Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
It seems that I’ve been making these crispy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies a lot lately. They keep well, there’s no white flour, they have lots of fiber, and instead of chocolate chips I’ve been using part of a 70% dark chocolate bar (the one that’s good for you), chopped up and added to the final batter. Of course the toasted nuts add a lot of extra flavor.
They are big – about 5 inches across – so we usually split a cookie for dessert. But then we split another one because… well… because I’m in charge in the kitchen and I said it was okay. Today I also made salad, salmon patties, and spaghetti with chard for dinner. Then we had half a cookie for dessert. That’s the truth. We each had half a cookie for dessert. What happened after that is… quite frankly… confidential. ? Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
Isn’t everything better with chocolate? Today I made my incredibly easy peanut butter cookies but upped the game by adding dark chocolate chunks and extra peanuts. Oh My! They are so good and so easy. These peanut butter cookies have no flour so they’re even gluten free. This is a simple one bowl recipe and I just added some chopped up 70% chocolate bar and some additional chopped salted peanuts. I don’t think I’ll ever make them plain again.
You could use chocolate chips but using a plain dark chocolate bar is a healthier choice. Just use my original recipe for peanut butter cookies and add about 1/4 cup of chocolate chunks or peanuts or 1/4 cup total mixture of both. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones