Strawberry-Vanilla Heart Scone

I’m not much of a coffee-shop fly. This may be because I don’t drink coffee. I was never part of the cool, “I-can-not-function-without-my-morning-latte” crowd.

First world problems, right?

But what I do find interesting about coffee shops is the baked goods section. I love the fanciful displays of bagels, and muffins, and fresh scones.

But I know, and you probably do, too, that the way these beautiful baked goods are prepared is anything but pretty. The ugly truth is they’re probably loaded with preservatives, refined sugars, and hydrogenated oils. Sigh.

I’m not the type to give up and wallow in self-pity. I’ll just find a better way.

I made up this scone recipe one Saturday morning, and I’m going to drop the modesty curtain for a minute and just say what I’m thinking: This scone is good!

For a bit of a drier scone, use oil instead of yogurt and reduce to 2/3 t. For a very, very moist one, opt for the vanilla yogurt.

Ingredients

1/2 cup whole wheat bread flour

1 T stevia

3/4 T canola oil or organic vanilla yogurt

1/2 t instant yeast

1/2 cup warm (but not burning hot) water

splash of pure vanilla extract

1 medium-sized strawberry, diced

Directions

Mix all dry ingredients, except toppings, and then blend in oil/yogurt and water. Knead for a few minutes, and then let rest for about 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Set aside.

Once dough has rested, pick it up again and easily knead a bit, adding in a few more t warm water if it has dried out too much.

Roll dough into ball and set aside.

Pick up the dough ball and use your thumbs to gently work in chopped strawberries. Mold into a heart shape, and once ready, place the scone on cookie sheet and bake for about 13-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Maple Syrup Oat Muffin

Not quite like oatmeal.

Not quite like a traditional muffin.

Not quite like a flapjack.

This delicious baked treat is deliciously odd. It takes from the three beloved breakfast staples, ones that can easily be prepared in a bland way, and pulls them together with a rich, flavorful syrup taste.

Yum.

Ingredients

2 T quick oats (save 1 t for topping)

2 T spelt or whole-wheat flour

dash of baking powder and cinnamon

1 t vegan butter

2 t pure maple syrup

1 flax egg

1 T nondairy milk

optional: chopped pecans or sliced almonds

Directions

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a muffin tin slot or a ramekin. Set aside.

-Combine all dry ingredients; then wet.

-Softly mold to prepared baking dish. Press in extra oats and nuts.

-Bake for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted and comes out clean. Alternatively, you can microwave for about a minute and a half.

Top with extra maple syrup or honey if you like. Serve fresh out of the oven.

My Good Morning Blueberry Muffin

A piping hot, fresh out of the oven blueberry muffin is a classic treat.

And Lord knows how I love classics.

And treats.

And blueberries!

Yes, I still have blueberries stockpiled in my freezer from my summer love affair with Berry Patch Farm. They are so close to gone, so I knew I had to make one more blueberry recipe before I ran out for good.

Until next summer, Berry Patch Farm. But right now, in the middle of winter, I’m warming up with this sweet summer fruit baked in the best way possible.

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp spelt flour (30g) (or ww pastry)
  • dash of baking powder
  • 1-2 T blueberries (chopped or whole)
  • splash of vanilla extract
  • 1 T organic vanilla yogurt
  • 2 T nondairy milk
  • 1 T stevia

Directions

Preheat oven to 330 degrees. Lightly grease a muffin tin or a single silicone cup. Set aside. (Note: You can microwave for 1-1.5 minutes for a quicker muffin, but it will probably turn out less moist.)

Mix dry ingredients; then blend in wet ’til combined, but don’t overmix.

Pop in berries or smear them around for a little tie-dye blue effect.

Bake for about 13-15 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Blue & Berry Good Bagel for One

A berrylicious bagel that will take you from saying “Good morning.” to “So good and more, please!”

Seriously, I can’t sing the praises of this berry bagel enough. I think the coconut oil is to blame. The sweetness of that oil paired with a scant splash of vanilla extract make for a scrumptious pairing. I contemplated spreading with a little vegan butter, but the finished creation tasted so delicious and moist on its own it didn’t need any extra help.

But you of course can bake and make this bagel work however you like. A little Neufchatel cream cheese or a drizzle of honey would be perfect.

Makes one really big bagel

Ingredients

1/2 cup whole wheat bread flour

1/2 T stevia

1 t coconut oil

1/2 t instant yeast

1/2 cup warm (but not burning hot) water

splash of vanilla

a few T blueberries, chopped

Directions

Mix all dry ingredients, except toppings, and then blend in oil and water. Knead for a few minutes, and then let rest for about 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Set aside.

Once dough has rested, pick it up again and easily knead a bit, adding in a few more t warm water if it has dried out too much.

Roll dough into ball and set aside. Sprinkle your toppings into another bowl.

Pick up the dough ball and use your thumbs to gently puncture a hole in the center. Mold into one bagel-shaped O, and once ready, press the top of the bagel into berries in a bowl or use your thumbs to press the berries into the dough. Place on cookie sheet and bake for about 13-15 minutes.

Zucchini Cookies & Mini-Muffins

 

Zucchini bread, otherwise known as Z bread to some, is a delicious treat. The best Z I’ve had came from a good friend of mine last winter. A Miss Angela Walther of Pleasureville, Kentucky, baked each of her friends a gift box full of southern treats right before we all left for Winter Break. They were all too tasty, especially the Z bread, and I loved that she shared with us the best recipes of her culture.

In cookie form

I’m not sure what was in Angela’s bread that made it taste so good, but I imagine lots of butter and sugar. I’ve got nothing against those ingredients. I’ll admit they’re tasty. And when a friend offers them to you, of course you enjoy them.

But I’ve found a Z bread recipe that rivals Angela’s sweet southern one. It comes from a mommy blogger committed to clean eating, and I just can’t get enough of it.

Makes four good-sized cookies, mini-muffins, or two regular muffins.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat or spelt flour
  • dash of cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and vanilla extract
  • 1/2 egg, mixed up
  • 2 T coconut oil (or vanilla yogurt or applesauce)
  • 1 T + 1 t honey
  • 1/2 cup grated zucchini
  • Optional: chopped walnuts

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheet, muffin tin, or small loaf pan (depending on what kind of bread you’d like to make.
  2. Blend the dry ingredients.
  3. Make a hole in the center and pour in the egg, oil, honey, and vanilla, but do not overmix.
  4. Fold in zucchini (and chopped nuts if using).
  5. Pour batter into baking dish or choice and bake until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the baked good. About 12-15 minutes.

    Are you feeling more mini-muffin or cookie-like today?

Enjoy each little treat thoroughly.

Or if you’d like to save some for later, these will stay fresh in the freezer for quite a long time.

 

Pumpkin French Toast Bake

 

Good morning, Pumpkin!

Whatcha got in the oven?

Oh, pumpkin! How seasonal.

Remember my Pumpkin Spice French Toast? Well, here’s a new version. It’s baked and can be prepared the night before (ideally) or in just a few minutes (if you’re impatient like me).
And I post it the day after Thanksgiving (also my wonderful momma’s 50th birthday!) because if your family is like ours, you’ve got some pumpkin leftover, and lots of bread. Put it to good use with this delicious breakfast bake.

Ingredients

2 slices whole-grain bread

1 t cinnamon

1 t pumpkin pie spice

1 t stevia

optional: scant 1/8 t salt (I omitted)

1 T organic vanilla yogurt

2 T pumpkin puree

2 T nondairy milk

splash of vanilla

Directions

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a ramekin. Set aside.

-Slice bread into cubes. If you have time, let it sit out for a while to dry out.

-If you’d like to prepare the night before, which is recommended for a softer bake, then toss all dry ingredients together in a small bowl (bread + spices). In another small bowl, combine all wet.

-Layer ramekin with one layer of bread cubes. Pour part of the mixture over. Repeat. Once all cubes are covered, press down a bit.

-Bake for about 10-12 minutes, longer if you left in the fridge over night.

Serve right out of the oven with warm maple syrup or organic honey. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Bread Donuts

I might have an obsession with pumpkin baked goods. Very well might.

This might be reason for concern if pumpkin puree was loaded with Vitamin A and other critical nutrients. It might also be a concern if my beloved pumpkin desserts were prepared  “unhealthfully.” But they never are.

What you put in your body matters. Pumpkin donuts with a little stevia or honey for sweetness and whole-grain or spelt flour taste fantastic to me, and many of my friends, who are used to eating refined sugars, like them, too.

It’s a simple taste. A subtle kind of sweet that you come to appreciate after some time of approach eating mindfully, weening your palate off processed sugars, and remembering what natural sweetness tastes like.

It doesn’t get much better than that.

So give these a try one morning. They’re delicious with either a little melted dark chocolate for icing or a cream-cheese frosting glaze. 

Ingredients

4 T whole-wheat or spelt flour

2.5 T pumpkin puree

dash of cinnmon, ground cloves, pumpkin pie spice, and baking powder

2 t stevia

2 T nondairy milk (I always use almond)

splash of vanilla

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a donut baking tray or a muffin tin. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine all dry ingredients; then mix in remaining wet ingredients. Blend well.

If using a muffin tin, divide dough into 4 small balls or two medium ones. Press a hole in the center with your fingers and smooth into a ring shape.

Place in tin and bake for about 10-12 minutes or until dough is fully baked and a little springy. If you’d like them to rise even more, just pop in the microwave for 30-45 seconds.  But know that additional baking time will dry them out a tad.

Top with my cream cheese frosting or take a few dark chocolate chips and spread over the tops of the donuts until the chip begins to melt and form an icing layer. Serve warm.

“Squashed” Bread Pudding

So I had a lot of butternut squash leftover and wasn’t sure what to do with it. Until, that is, I found a dessert recipe for butternut squash.

Hmm. I’m always up for trying new desserts, especially ones featuring squash.

Much to my surprise, the end result was pretty good. You’d never know squash was in this recipe. And it tastes almost exactly like warm bread pudding.

Top it with a dollop of ice cream and you’ve got a winning combination.

Winter isn’t my favorite season, but winter squashes are quickly becoming my favorites! Try this recipe next time you’re feeling adventurous.

Ingredients

2 T + 2 t squash puree

1 T stevia

2 t vegan butter

2 t lemon juice

1/5 of an egg, mixed (or try a flax egg)

1.5 T spelt flour

dash of baking powder, ginger, salt, cinnamon, and allspice

Surprise! I shaped a hole in the center of my pudding and filled with a little chocolate cake batter. Yum.

Directions

-Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a small ramekin and set aside.

-Mix puree, stevia, and butter. Blend in juice and egg.

-Then slowly add in the remaining dry ingredients. Once well mixed, transfer to ramekin and bake for 12-14 minutes.

If you like a gooey bread pudding, take the dish out a little early.

And don’t skimp on the ice cream. You deserve it!

The Great Pumpkin Roll

Charlie Brown: “Oh brother. When are you going to stop believing in something that isn’t true?”

Linus: “When YOU stop believing in that fat guy in a red suit and the white beard who goes, ‘Ho, ho, ho!'”

Like so many Americans, I love that movie. I’ve been conditioned to value faith, self-reliance, and the ability to pull oneself up by one’s bootstraps.

Some of won’t give up on believing we will eventually be redeemed by a holy squash. For me, I never gave up on my dream of mastering a most delicious cake roll recipe.

On my “Philosophies & Such” page of this blog, I write about slowing down to appreciate the time it takes to make a perfect dessert, and the patience it requires, too. Myself being notoriously impatient–an activator strength according to my Strengths Finder test–I often grapple with the idea of slowing down, but:

“…I realize, too, that this [hurrying] doesn’t always work, and more often than not, I realize this when I’ve hurried too much, and the cake roll I’ve attempted for the 3rd time has crumbled into a blob of mashed bread. It’s times like these when I’m reminded to slow down and focus on what I’m doing. Then the food comes out better and I’m reminded of the more delicious things life has to offer when I take my time.”

I have happy news to report: I HAVE FINALLY MASTERED THE CAKE ROLL!

And I did it my way 🙂

With a pumpkin-cream cheese spin I imagined unexpectedly one cold Thursday evening. The classic combination warmed me right up.

I’m going to post the regular cake jelly roll recipe below, but to modify for a pumpkin roll version, make the following swaps

5 T water instead of 1/3 cup+1T+1t

3 T pumpkin instead of oil or applesauce

Plus, you’ll want to add in a heaping dash of pumpkin pie spice as well as a dash or two of ground cloves and ground nutmeg if you like.

And to make my healthified cream cheese frosting spread, check out this recipe.

Enjoy!

Makes one huge cake roll (big enough to serve two)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup ww pastry flour, or white or spelt (70g) (For a gf version, use this: gluten-free option.)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 100g water or other liquid (That’s 1/3 cup plus 1 T plus 1 tsp)
  • 2 packets stevia or 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons applesauce or oil
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions

Combine all dry ingredients; then blend in wet (including applesauce), but be sure not to overmix.

Spread onto a greased pan.

Cook for 3-4 minutes in a NON-preheated oven at 420F and remove only once the edges are beginning to firm. (You might need to cook it longer, depending on your oven.) Let cool ten minutes for a few minutes, then spread on cream cheese frosting and sprinkle extra cinnamon if you like.

Cut off all four edges so it forms a rectangle (if you used the circle pan). Spread on jam, or whatever else you wish.

Roll carefully, using a spoon or spatula to help ease the roll over without tearing.

Return to oven and bake another 7-8 minutes.

Once a nice golden color has risen in the dough and it’s somewhat springy, it’s finished. Remove and slice into small pinwheel rounds.

And as always, it’s always better eaten warm.

And with chocolate chips 😉

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Pumpkin Spice French Toast

 

The pumpkin goodness just doesn’t get old with me. 

Here’s another tasty treat to warm up your Saturday morning, complete with honey-vanilla yogurt topping and plenty of cinnamon sweetness.

Ingredients

2 slices whole-grain toast

cooking spray

1 egg white

1 T canned pumpkin puree

dash of pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and cloves

1 T milk

Topping: 1-2 T organic French vanilla yogurt, all-natural honey, extra spice if you’re nice 😉

Directions

-Heat skillet to medium.

-Toast your bread in a toaster oven if you like. This is optional, but I think it keeps the bread from getting too soggy. 

-In a small bowl, combine egg, pumpkin, spice, and milk. Mix well.

-Dip each side of your bread slices in the mix. Coat well and quickly place on warm, greased skillet. Fry on each side for about 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown.

-Top with yogurt, honey, spices, or nuts if you like those. Enjoy warm!