Desserts, Other, Recipes

Baked Pears and Apples with Crispy Granola Topping

My recipe for Baked Pears and Apples with Crispy Granola Topping has been submitted for the Steviva Blogger Recipe Challenge. Product samples received in exchange for posting this recipe as part of the recipe challenge. #steviva #sweetandeasy

My recipe for Baked Pears and Apples with Crispy Granola Topping has been submitted for the Steviva Blogger Recipe Challenge. Product samples received in exchange for posting this recipe as part of the recipe challenge. #steviva #sweetandeasy

Happy Halloween! I love candy as much as the next girl, but if I was being really honest I would tell you that I prefer fruit-based dessert more than chocolate-based desserts. Hence sharing a fruity dessert on the day ‘o candy, right? 🙂 But this isn’t just ANY fruity recipe. It’s a versatile sweet treat that’s healthy enough for breakfast and indulgent enough for dessert. Say whattt? Yup! Breakfast or dessert, it don’t matter. Originally I set out to make an apple crisp–using apples from a recent trip to the apple orchard, natch. But then I spied some pears in the fridge (from my brother-in-law’s parents’ house!) and added those bad boys in. Extra yum!

My recipe for Baked Pears and Apples with Crispy Granola Topping has been submitted for the Steviva Blogger Recipe Challenge. Product samples received in exchange for posting this recipe as part of the recipe challenge. #steviva #sweetandeasy

Since I was making this recipe as part of a recipe contest for Steviva, I wanted to make the crisp topping a little healthier than usual. (If you want, you can find Steviva on FacebookTwitterGoogle +,  Pinterest, and Instagram.) Instead of loads of butter and sugar in the crisp topping, I decided to toss in additional crunchy elements… chia seeds and sliced almonds, to be exact. And let me say… what a great idea! The crisp topping turned into this fanastic crunchy, granola-y layer. It actually stayed crisp in the fridge for a few days until we polished off the leftovers. Amazing! I used just enough Steviva Blend (erythritol and pure stevia) to sweeten up the topping a little bit. Plenty of warm fall spices and apple and pear flavor come through. This might be one of my new favorite recipes! It’s delicious served with vanilla yogurt or ice cream, and I think it would be perfect with a bit of whipped cream too! Enjoy!

My recipe for Baked Pears and Apples with Crispy Granola Topping has been submitted for the Steviva Blogger Recipe Challenge. Product samples received in exchange for posting this recipe as part of the recipe challenge. #steviva #sweetandeasy

one year ago: Apple Cider Pancakes
three years ago: Honey-Thyme Roasted Pork Tenderloin
four years ago: Sweet Potato Pie with Cranberry Compote
five years ago: Pumpkin, Kale, & Black Bean Stew
six years ago: Individual Pumpkin Pie Parfaits
seven years ago: Aunt Charlotte’s Tex Mex Corn

Baked Pears and Apples with Crispy Granola Topping

  • Servings: 12
  • Print

Ingredients:

for fruit

  • 8-10 cups chopped pears and apples, unpeeled in 2-3 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger

for topping

  • 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup Steviva Blend
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2-4 tablespoons sliced almonds, optional
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • vanilla yogurt, ice cream, whipped cream, etc. for serving, optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 10 inch round baking dish with cooking spray. (A square baking dish or pie pan would also work.)

In a large bowl, toss together pears, apples, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Spread in prepared pan.

In the same bowl, stir together oats, Steviva Blend, chia, cinnamon, and nutmeg. If desired, stir in almonds. Cut butter into small chunks, then use a pastry blender or two knives to cut butter into the oat mixture until it is evenly distributed in tiny pieces. Sprinkle over fruit.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until topping is golden brown and crispy. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then serve with some vanilla yogurt, ice cream, or whipped cream, if desired.

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Breakfast, Oatmeal, Recipes

S’mores Oatmeal

Creamy oats topped with your favorite campfire dessert… S’mores! What could be a better way to wake up?

Creamy oats topped with your favorite campfire dessert... S'mores! What could be a better way to wake up?

looove oatmeal for breakfast. No matter the weather, I could eat oatmeal almost everyday (and sometimes I do!). Sometimes I like them cold (yay overnight oats!), and sometimes I like them hot (made with milk and topped with berries and almonds)… and sometimes I like them baked (but not in the pot nine days old #thankyouverymuch).

Creamy oats topped with your favorite campfire dessert... S'mores! What could be a better way to wake up?

Flahavan’s recently sent me a fun little oat-licious care package that included a box of their famed Irish Oatmeal and some packets of quick-cooking steel cut oats. Both were DELICIOUS! There’s something to be said about enjoying oats from Ireland made by a family who has been in the oat business for over 200 years. I think these people know oats! And what Flahavan’s is known for is their flaked oats that cook up fast (only three minutes on the stovetop!) and creamy as can be. Thank you, Flahavan’s, for letting me try your amazing oatmeal! Now I know what all the hype with Irish oats is… and I’ll be seeking them out. If you’re curious, you can find out where to buy them yourself here.

Creamy oats topped with your favorite campfire dessert... S'mores! What could be a better way to wake up?

Naturally, I had to fancy up my first bowl of Flahavan’s oats. Since Ben was out when I made my morning oatmeal, I decided to top my oats with a combo that only I would enjoy… S’MORES! Ben does like s’mores, but s’morifying other recipes isn’t really his jam… oh well, more for me! So I wasn’t basically eating dessert for breakfast, I chose to be intentional about the amounts of marshmallows and chocolate chips I added to my oatmeal. That way I didn’t go overboard! Is this is a bowl of oatmeal I’d eat everyday? No, probably not. But it’s a fun treat! The best part is that these oats cook up in just a few minutes and are the absolute creamiest oats I’ve ever tasted! I think some of that is the marshmallows stirred into the hot oats, but it is also the Irish oats doing their thing. 🙂 Hope you enjoy!!

one year ago: Bacon, Potato, and Egg Casserole
two years ago: Cheesy Taco Muffins
three years ago: Coconut Curry Popcorn
four years ago: Guacamole Salsa
five years ago: Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing
six years ago: Sausage Egg Apple Strata

S'mores Oatmeal

  • Servings: 1 but can be easily scaled up
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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup Flahavan’s Irish Oatmeal (or other old-fashioned oatmeal)
  • dash of cinnamon
  • dash of vanilla
  • 15 mini marshmallows, divided
  • 1 tablespoon graham cracker crumbs, divided
  • 1 tablespoon sliced, toasted almonds
  • 1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips

Directions:

Combine milk, water, Flahavan’s Oats, and cinnamon in a small saucepan set over medium-high heat. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook until liquid has absorbed, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and half of the marshmallows and half of the graham cracker crumbs. Stir until melted, then transfer to a serving bowl. Top with remaining marshmallows, graham cracker crumbs, almonds, and chocolate chips. Enjoy immediately!

Disclosure: I received samples of Flahavan’s Irish Oatmeal to try. However, I was not required to blog about them or provide positive feedback. I was not compensated in any other way. The thoughts expressed above are entirely my own. Thanks to Flahavan’s for some great oats! 

Cookies, Desserts, Recipes

Chocolate Biscotti for #Choctoberfest

Deep, dark, rich chocolate biscotti studded with dark chocolate chunks and topped with crunchy almonds! Thank you to Imperial Sugar for providing the product used in this recipe! All opinions are my own.

Deep, dark, rich chocolate biscotti studded with dark chocolate chunks and topped with crunchy almonds! Thank you to Imperial Sugar for providing the product used in this recipe! All opinions are my own. #sponsored #Choctoberfest

Last recipe for #Choctoberfest! Be sure to enter the giveaway now if you haven’t already! You don’t want to miss this. 🙂 These past two weeks have been so fun and so delicious! I’ve shared Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cobbler, Banana Espresso Chocolate Crumb Cake, Salted Caramel Mocha Overnight Oats… and now, to end the week, some tasty Chocolate Biscotti!

Ben loves it when I make biscotti. Those crunchy little biscuit-cookie hybrids are the perfect excuse to eat cookies for breakfast! 🙂 I know that breakfast cookies are a thing… but they sound a little weird to me, if I’m being honest. But biscotti on the other hand? Sign me up! They’re just so exotic and fancy that I can’t resist them!

Deep, dark, rich chocolate biscotti studded with dark chocolate chunks and topped with crunchy almonds! Thank you to Imperial Sugar for providing the product used in this recipe! All opinions are my own. #sponsored #Choctoberfest

In my past biscotti dealings I’ve stuck with more neutral flavors: pumpkin and almond. This time though, I went all out: chocolate biscotti that’s been amped up with vanilla and almond extracts for maximum flavor, dark chocolate chunks that melt just a bit when you dunk that baby in your coffee [ohhh yeah], AND topped it all off with sliced almonds and a bit of sea salt. This biscotti is a chocolate lover’s dream!! It’s perfect for dipping in your morning [or afternoon or evening] coffee, but kiddos would love it dipped in milk or even hot chocolate for a double dose of chocolately deliciousness!

Deep, dark, rich chocolate biscotti studded with dark chocolate chunks and topped with crunchy almonds! Thank you to Imperial Sugar for providing the product used in this recipe! All opinions are my own. #sponsored #Choctoberfest

To make this biscotti, I used Imperial Sugar. Imperial Sugar served as the Gold Sponsor of #Choctoberfest this year. They were generous enough to send me 40 pounds of granulated sugar, plus a silicone baking mat and a cute apron to use during my #Choctoberfest baking. You can find Imperial Sugar on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube. What I love about Imperial Sugar, aside from their excellent sugar products, is that they are based in the southeast… so they are somewhat of a local company for me in Nashville. Fun! It’s be a great time baking with Imperial Sugar and chocolate over the past couple weeks with #Choctoberfest. I hope you’ve enjoyed it too! Happy weekend! 🙂

two years ago: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
four years ago: Mom’s Lasagna
five years ago: Pumpkin Brownies
six years ago: Pumpkin Chicken Tacos, or My Misadventures with Spicy Food

Chocolate Biscotti

  • Servings: 30
  • Print

from David Lebovitz

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups [280 grams] all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups [75 grams] good cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature if you can [I forgot and all was well!]
  • 1 cup [200 grams] granulated sugar – I used Imperial Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chunks – any kind of chocolate chips would work too
  • ~1/3 cup toasted and sliced almonds
  • sea salt, for sprinkling – optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.

In a small bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a medium bowl, beat together eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, then fold in chocolate. Batter will be thick! Use a mixer if you like.

Divide batter in  half, and shape each half into a log the length of the baking sheet. Press almonds into the log, gently flattening log into more of a rectangular shape. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired.

Bake for 25 minutes, then remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Then, remove logs to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, slice into 1/2 inch thick pieces, about 15 per log. Place cut-side down on baking sheet and return to oven. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the biscotti feels mostly firm. They will harden further as they cool, so you can error on the side of caution for baking time.

Cool completely on a cooling rack before storing in an air-tight container. Serve with a dunking beverage–coffee, hot cocoa, or milk. Enjoy!

For more chocolate, click on the link below!

Breakfast, Muffins, Recipes

Coffee Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins #bookclubcookbookCC

When you have leftover coffee, why not turn it into some chocolately streusel muffins?!? These muffins are dangerous to have around your kitchen. 🙂

Coffee Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins #bookclubcookbookCC - these chocolate & coffee filled muffins are SUCH a treat!

OH MY MUFFIN GOODNESS! These are fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. And I owe them all to a book. Not any old book though, one of my new favorite books–A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. This month for a #BookClubCookBookCC, our hostess was Emily at Life On Food. She asked us to make a recipe inspired by this wonderful classic, and suggested chocolate russe, a cake that the book’s main character, Francie, idealized as a dessert of the rich, only visible to her in the fancy bakery windows, never in her [poor] home where all the dessert she got was stale pie and sugar buns. Well, chocolate russe sounds delicious and all, but I’ve reached a point of lazy cooking and baking these days so muffins it is!

Coffee Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins #bookclubcookbookCC - these chocolate & coffee filled muffins are SUCH a treat!

I promise you this–even though these muffins aren’t the recipe for the month, or even something mentioned in A Tree Grows in Brooklynthey are definitely inspired by the book. If you haven’t read this classic, you should. It’s one of those that I never read as a kid or in school, but read as an adult a few summers ago [I actually listened to the audiobook]. The book takes you through Francie’s life, from early chidhood to college. It is truly a coming of age story that captures a poor family in Brooklyn in the pre-war era. It is lovely and full of wonderful character descriptions. Since her family is so poor, food is a large part of their daily existence and coffee is their daily luxury–even the kids! The vivid descriptions of how the kids would be served as much “hot strong coffee” as they liked, with a pre-determined amount of sweetened condensed milk [to stir in or spread on toast] was crazy to me. As a kid, I didn’t like coffee at all! My dad prefers instant [gross] and my sister and I were talking recently about how he used to pay us a quarter to try his coffee. Haha! Unsurprisingly, Francie and her brother Neeley didn’t like the coffee either but still take a cup as their luxury and to be a little more grown-up. So, muffins. Coffee as a nod to Francie and Neeley [my favorite character!] and chocolate chips for the chocolate russe. And because chocolate is yummy. 🙂 If you can’t tell, I ADORE this book and am so glad I got to make a recipe inspired by it!

Coffee Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins #bookclubcookbookCC - these chocolate & coffee filled muffins are SUCH a treat!

If you love coffee and chocolate, these muffins are for you! The coffee flavor is mellow but unmistakable. They’re perfect with a glass of cold milk or a cup of coffee… but it’s the streusel that wins the award! Since I made the streusel with melted butter, almonds, and oats, you really have press it onto the batter… but it bakes up nice and crispy creating a fantastic crunchy texture. Yum! I can’t get enough of these muffins. Hope you love ’em too! Thanks for hosting this month, Emily!

P.S. Scroll down for the giveaway, running through the end of the month!

one year ago: Mujaddara: Mediterranean Lentils and Rice with Carrot Slaw
two years ago: Apple Rubies in Coconut Milk
three years ago: Double Blueberry Walnut Muffins
four years ago: Quinoa Pancakes
five years ago: Lemon Blueberry Bread

Coffee Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins

  • Servings: 12-14
  • Print

slightly adapted [mainly the streusel] from Bakerita

Ingredients:

for muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour [or all purpose]
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee, chilled or at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

for streusel

  • 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour [or all purpose]
  • 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sliced and toasted almonds
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon strong brewed coffee, chilled or at room temperature

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper liners or grease cups with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, baking powder, and baking soda. In a small bowl, whisk together egg, coffee, oil, and vanilla. Fold wet ingredients into the dry, mixing until just incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips. Batter will be thick.

Divide batter between muffin cups, filling about 3/4 of the way full. I use silicone baking cups and got 14.

In a small bowl, stir together flour, oats, brown sugar, and almonds with a fork. Pour in butter and mix to form crumbs. Streusel will be thick. Spread about 1/2 tablespoon on top of each muffin.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until tops turn golden brown and streusel starts to caramelize. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean. Serve warm! Muffins also freeze well.

Giveaway
This month Emily at Life on Food, this month’s host, is giving away a copy of the book.* Enter to win a copy of the cookbook so you can join us in future months, if you wish!
One of our lucky readers – US and Canada only! – can enter to win a copy ofThe Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club’s Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp, courtesy of Tarcher-Penguin. Giveaway runs from March 1st till March 31st at 6 o’clock PM, Pacific time. Please see terms and conditions in the rafflecopter widget below. Many thanks to Tarcher Books. You may find Tarcher: on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Pinterest.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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*Disclosure: Emily received a complimentary copy of The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club’s Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp as an opportunity to give a copy away. Opinions are our own. We received no further compensation for our posts.

 

Breakfast, Muffins, Recipes

SRC: Almond Poppyseed Muffins

Sweet and tender muffins… these glazed almond poppyseed muffins are a great addition to your muffin repertoire!

Almond Poppyseed Muffins

Welcome to my first Secret Recipe Club post for 2016! Woohoo! I can’t believe that this November will be the FIFTH anniversary of when I joined the club. It’s crazy. I had no idea it had been this long until I was notified that I was featured on the SRC blog as a Gold Member. Crazy! And fun. 🙂 So it’s fitting that my SRC assignment this month is also a blogger who has been a member since 2011. That’s right, this month I was assigned to Sara’s blog, Cooking with Sara. With a name like Sara(h), you know she has to have lots of great recipes [even though I think she spells her name wrong. Hahaha!]. She’s a midwestern girl who’s passionate about sharing family friendly recipes–in both taste and time. My kind of recipes! When perusing Sara’s blog, I wanted to make pretty much every other recipe–if not more! Sara and I must have pretty similar tastes. 🙂 So I made up a short list and as usual, asked for Ben’s advice. So if you don’t like this recipe, you can blame him. Hehehe! The choices I gave him included: Spiced Pear Muffins, Creamy Orzo and Chicken, Frosty Coffee Pie, Shrimp Pad Thai, Custardy Baked Orzo with Bacon and Spinach, and the winner… Almond Poppyseed Muffins. Well, her original recipe was for bread, but I prefer muffins so we went with that. 🙂

Almond Poppyseed Muffins

After taking one bite of these sweet little treats, Ben exclaimed, “I sure made a great choice!” And he did. These muffins are incredible! I’m not gonna lie–these muffins are more on the cupcake side of the muffin spectrum, not healthy in the least… but they are tasty so we’ll let it slide! 🙂 The texture of these muffins is perfectly cakey and soft, very similar to my trusty Grandma’s Blueberry Muffins… even though this recipe uses oil instead of butter. Crazy! If you have an almond lover in your life, I think this base recipe–sans the poppyseeds–would be wonderful with some buttercream frosting! As it was, the poppyseeds gave these muffins a decidedly nutty taste with a wee bit of crunch… and that crunch was intensified with the orange juice-almond glaze that I brushed on top as the muffins were cooling. Oh man! Don’t skip that part–it’s pretty much the best.

Almond Poppyseed Muffins

Interestingly enough, this glaze is made with granulated sugar, orange juice, and almond extract. I’ve made many glazes in my baking life, but never with granulated sugar. The result [that you can’t see in these photos] is a sparkly glaze with more than your average amount of glaze-y crunch. I was skeptical that a glaze made with granulated and not powdered sugar would actually work, but this recipe proved me wrong. Woohoo! New baking trick! 🙂 The orange juice in the glaze gave these muffins the hint of citrus they were begging for, without being overpowering. I think next time I make these muffins, I might stir some orange zest into the glaze and sprinkle some almond slivers on top! And yes, there definitely will be a next time! Enjoy–and be sure to thank Sara as I am doing for this wonderful recipe!

one year ago: Skinny Lasagna
two years ago: Broccoli Stuffed Loaded Potato Skins with Avocado Cream
three years ago: {Healthy} Mexican Hot Chocolate Breakfast Bars
four years ago: Perfect Black Beans
five years ago: Triple Chocolate Oat Cookies

Almond Poppyseed Muffins

  • Servings: 14-16 muffins
  • Print

from Cook with Sara

Almond Poppyseed Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar*
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs*
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon butter extract*
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon poppyseeds

for glaze*

  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon butter extract*

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin cups with paper liners or grease with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, stir together flour, sugar, and baking powder. In a large bowl, whisk together oil, eggs, and vanilla, almond, and butter extracts. Alternate adding flour and milk until just combined, then fold in poppyseeds. Divide between prepared muffin cups, and bake for 20-22 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool in muffin pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack. In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, orange juice, and vanilla, almond, and butter extracts. Spread over warm muffins and let cool to set.

Notes:

Original recipe yielded 2 9×5 inch loaves of bread. I reduced the recipe by half. I reduced the sugar for the half batch from 1 1/4 cups sugar to 3/4 cup; used 2 eggs instead of measuring out 1.5 eggs since the original recipe called for 3 eggs; and omitted the butter extract. To make this recipe as bread instead of muffins, bake for approximately 1 hour.

Be sure to check out all the other delicious recipes featured this week from Secret Recipe Club bloggers in group C at the link below!