Sunday, July 31, 2011

Vermont Maple Pecan Cookies!


I have found my new favorite Oatmeal Cookie recipe! From the Relish magazine that comes in our local paper.  You can find other cool recipes at relishmag.com.  Anyway, I have had this recipe since fall 2010. Yea I am not sure what was up with me and all the sudden things that were from fall 2010! But they were all great recipes and I am so glad I did!  The only thing I was to try next is to add raisins, but I didn’t even realize they were not in them until the next day.  Mom said that they could very well be the best cookie she has ever had!
The recipe calls for us to flatten the cookie slightly. I felt that the cookies were a little too thin for my liking. My next batch will stay in the puffs of dough non-flattened. They stay wonderfully soft and flavor is amazing! I definitely love these cookies!!!

Vermont Maple Pecan Cookies:

3 c old-fashioned oats
1 c shredded unsweetened coconut
2 2/3 c all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 c packed light brown sugar
1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter
½ c maple syrup
2 tbsp light corn syrup
2 tsp baking soda
¼ c boiling water
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c chopped toasted pecans

1.       Preheat oven to 300 and position racks in the middle of the oven evenly.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2.       Combine oats, coconut, flour, salt, cinnamon and brown sugar in a large bowl, whisk to blend.
3.       Combine butter, maple syrup, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until butter melts, stirring occasionally; remove from heat.
4.       Combine baking soda and boiling water, stirring to dissolve. Add to maple syrup mixture, stirring well. It will foam up tons.. so make sure it is a medium and not a small sauce pan.  It made me think of how brittles foam a bit. Add vanilla extract.  Stir into dry ingredients.  Add pecans, stir well.
5.       Place ¼ c size balls of dough on baking sheets, 3 inches apart. Flatten slightly.  (I wanted smaller cookies and used less than 1/4c).
6.       Bake 18-20 minutes, until golden brown and set, rotating positions halfway through the baking process. Cool on the baking sheets 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 2 ½ dozen cookies.

I definitely want to remake them with raisins and not flattened. The recipe was so easy to put together and I was tripping out that it took no eggs and used the baking soda process.  It is an awesome recipe and am so glad we found it in the Relish mag!!

Cooking Light Apple Upside Down Cake


The day I made all my banana bread, I was at my brother and Sister in laws house. We, Ashley and I that is, were kind of baking together.  Towards the end my brother had everyone come over for dinner and begins flipping through my Cooking Light 2010 issue and comes across this Upside Down Apple Cake recipe. He chirps up that oh we should make this for dessert.  I couldn’t believe it; He hates sweets and is asking for a cake??? Apparently he likes apple stuff! So he went to buy apples and I set out to prep the rest of the ingredients.  I of course added an extra apple but that was the only thing I did differently.  The cake was wonderfully light and oh so tasty. We did all feel it needed a little something.  Some cinnamon would have been an ideal addition. I wanted maybe some cranberries with the apples for color. 
I think a swirl of cinnamon crumb something through the cake would be wonderful in the cake and simply enhance the entire cake. It was quite tasty!

Apple Upside Down Cake:

Topping:
Cooking Spray
¾ c sugar
¼ c water
3 c (1/4 inch thick) sliced peeled Rome apples (about 2 large)
¼ c chopped walnuts

Cake:
5.3 oz cake flour (about 1 1/3 c)
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2/3 c sugar
3 tbsp butter, softened
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ c 1% low-fat milk
3 large egg whites

1.       Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. 
2.       To prepare topping, combine ¾ sugar and ¼ c water in a small heavy saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until sugar dissolves, stirring gently as needed to dissolve sugar evenly (about 3 minutes).  Continue cooking for 4 minutes or until golden (do not stir).  Immediately pour into prepared cake pan, tipping quickly to coat bottom of pan.  Arrange apple slices in concentric circles in pan over the warm caramel. Sprinkle with nuts, set aside.
3.       To prepare cake, weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups. Level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt, stir with a whisk.
4.       Combine 2/3 c sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add egg yolks and vanilla to sugar mixture; beat until combined.  Add flour mixture and milk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, mix after each addition.
5.       Place egg whites in a large, clean bowl. Beat egg whites with mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form using clean, dry beaters.  Gently fold egg whites into batter. Spread batter over apples. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack in pan for 5 minutes. Loosen edges of cake with a knife; invert cake onto a serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

It was a fun day of baking with Ash.. and she took all the pictures so at least for these posts my pictures had some creativity to them!! It was a great day and 5 posts out of it!

Cooking Light Bananas Foster Bread


The Best for last of course!! The final bread made from Cooking Light's 2010 issue is Bananas Foster Bread.  This recipe is the reason I wanted to make the breads in the first place.  I admit the rum was one of the reasons I wanted to make it, and how could rum not make banana bread taste better!!  Make sure to pay attention though, I read to quickly and did not add the rum when I was supposed to, and ended up just adding 2 Tbsp to the batter itself, which made the rum flavor very intense.  It was very liked, but I felt the rum was quite strong between the bread and the glaze! Either way it was a wonderful variation of banana bread!




Bananas Foster Bread:
1 ½ c mashed ripe banana
1 c packed brown sugar, divided
6 Tbsp butter, melted
1/4c dark rum, divided
1/3c plain fat free yogurt
2 lg eggs
6.75 oz all purpose flour (about 1 1/2c)
¼ c ground flaxseed
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground allspice
Cooking spray
1/3 c powdered sugar
1 Tbsp 1% low-fat milk

1.       Preheat oven to 350.
2.       Combine banana, ½ c brown sugar, 5 Tbsp butter and 3 Tbsp rum in a nonstick skillet. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to bubble. Remove from heat, cool.  Place banana mixture in a large bowl.  Add yogurt, remaining ½ c brown sugar, and eggs. Beat with a mixer at medium speed.
3.       Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.  Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through ground allspice).  Add flour mixture to banana mixture, beat just until blended.
4.       Pour batter into a 9x5 inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. 
5.       Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Remove from oven, cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack.  Remove bread from pan.
6.       To prepare glaze combine remaining 1 tbsp melted butter, remaining 1 tbsp rum, and powdered sugar, stir until well blended. Drizzle over the warm bread.

Such a tasty treat!  I would definitely call this a special occasion bread, deep flavors and wonderful, I loved the way the bananas were cooked down, and cannot wait to remake it properly with the rum cooked into the bananas.  A wonderful recipe!!!
Again pictures supplied by the awesome Sis in Law.. Ashley!

Cooking LIght Peanut Butter Banana Bread



The next one I tested with the 21 ripe bananas would be the Peanut Butter Banana Bread, still from the October 2010 Cooking Light Issue.  Peanut Butter and Bananas yummy!  . My favorite am treat, when I actually eat something in the morning (horrible to admit I know!!) is an English muffin toasted with peanut butter, bananas and a drizzle of honey.  I definitely couldn’t pass up testing this recipe and really liked that it actually had chopped peanuts in it.  My note, make sure they are roasted peanuts.  I used just plain unroasted, not thinking and it made the flavor not as intense or peanutty.  It was almost bland peanut.. kind  of weird.  I will definitely remake it with properly roasted peanuts, and maybe chunky peanut butter for added nuttiness!  Not a horrible bread, but I will redo and make sure I have roasted nuts!! Ohh and I also added extra nuts over the 2 Tbsp stated lol.

Peanut Butter Banana Bread:
1 ½ c mashed ripe banana
1/3 c plain fat-free yogurt
1/3 c creamy peanut butter
3 Tbsp butter, melted
2 lg eggs
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 c packed brown sugar
6.75 oz all purpose flour (about 1 1/2c)
¼ c ground flaxseed
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground allspice
2 Tbsp chopped dry-roasted peanuts
Cooking spray
1/3 c powdered sugar
1 Tbsp 1% low-fat milk
1 Tbsp creamy peanut butter

1.       Preheat oven to 350.
2.       Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed.  Add granulated and brown sugars; beat until combined.
3.       Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.  Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through ground allspice).  Add flour mixture to banana mixture, beat just until blended.
4.       Stir in nuts
5.       Pour batter into a 9x5 inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. 
6.       Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Remove from oven, cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack.  Remove bread from pan; cool completely.
7.       To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar, milk, and 1 Tbsp peanut butter in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Drizzle glaze over bread.  I sprinkled chopped peanuts on top of the glaze as well. 

Overall good bread, just an off flavor because of my lack of attention! Definitely try for the peanut butter flavor! Again pictures supplied by the awesome Sis in Law.. Ashley!

Cooking Light Banana Chocolate Walnut Bread

The next one I tested with the 21 ripe bananas would be the Chocolate Walnut Banana Bread.  Heck yea.. Chocolate, Walnuts and Bananas what could possibly go wrong!!! The result is nothing. It was awesome and chocolaty and tasty! Truth be told.. I did add a bit more chocolate chips and walnuts, cause well I just like a little bit more than the little amounts.  True it takes out some of the lightness, but it was just so good! 
It took a bit for me to leave the walnuts as walnuts, as I have grown I have discovered that I prefer pecans as my nut
nut of choice, but I really try to test recipes as they are and make changes later.  I do not think I will ever change the walnuts in this bread, they compliment the banana and chocolate perfectly.
Chocolate Walnut  Banana Bread:
1 ½ c mashed ripe banana
1/3 c plain fat-free yogurt
5 Tbsp butter, melted
2 lg eggs
1/3 c granulated sugar
1/3 c packed brown sugar
6.75 oz all purpose flour (about 1 1/2c)
¼ c ground flaxseed
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground allspice
2/3 c semisweet chocolate mini chips, divided
1/3 c chopped walnuts, toasted and divided
Cooking spray
2 Tbsp fat-free milk

1.       Preheat oven to 350.
2.       Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed.  Add granulated and brown sugars; beat until combined.
3.       Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.  Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through ground allspice).  Add flour mixture to banana mixture, beat just until blended.
4.       Fold in 1/3 c of the mini chips and nuts into batter.
5.       Pour batter into a 9x5 inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. 
6.       Bake at 350 for 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Remove from oven, cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack.  Remove bread from pan; cool completely. Combine remaining 1/3 c mini chips and milk in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave at high for 30 seconds, stirring until smooth. Drizzle over bread.

Omg this was soo yummy, a definitely chocolate Fix!!  Again instead of a large loaf and I chose to make small loafs, this yielded 4 mini loaves. I drizzled and froze them and have had no issues with the glaze once thawed.  So very good!!! A definite top of the list recipe and will be remade again.  As much as I like the traditional banana bread recipe I prefer more than just plain so this was perfect!!
Again pictures supplied by the awesome Sis in Law.. Ashley!