Breakfast, Snacks

Cinnamon Maple Granola

A Parker summertime tradition, homemade granola. My husband’s favorite is cinnamon, my favorite is dark chocolate peanut. It’s great for snacking, eating as cereal with milk, or sprinkled on yogurt or ice cream (especially delicious on homemade ice cream!). You can follow the basic recipe and make it your own by adding your favorite ingredients.

Cinnamon Maple Granola  Cinnamon Maple Granola 1

5 cups rice krispies
4 cups rolled oats
1 cup rough chopped walnuts
2 cups raisins
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup craisins
3 Tbl cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°.  In large bowl, mix together rice krispies, oats, walnuts, raisins, coconut, dates, craisins, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  In saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar together.  Add maple syrup, salt, and vanilla.  Pour over dry ingredients and stir gently until thoroughly combined.  Spread out evenly on two cookie sheets that have been sprayed with nonstick spray.  Bake for 8 minutes, remove and gently stir and spread out again.  Bake another 8 minutes, remove, gently stir and spread out again.  Bake 8 minutes more.  Remove and cool completely.  Store in airtight container.

More Granola!

Dark Chocolate Peanut Granola

Pumpkin Pie Granola 

Fruit & Honey Graham Granola

Chocolate Nutella Granola

Muffins, Quick Breads

Cinnamon Banana Muffins

More ripe bananas sitting on the counter? Not such a bad thing, make muffins!

Cinnamon Banana Muffins

Cinnamon Banana Muffins:
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs
1 cup mashed banana, about 3 bananas
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Cinnamon Sugar Topping:
2 Tbl butter, melted
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 heaping tsp cinnamon
pinch nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375°. Spray 10-12 muffin cups with cooking spray (I made 10 large muffins, can make 12 small muffins), or you can line with papers.

Whisk together sugar, oil, eggs. Add mashed banana and vanilla; whisk well. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add to banana mixture and whisk all together until combined.

Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. About 2/3 full or 3/4 full, depending on how big and how many muffins you like. Bake 17 to 21 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and tops of muffins are set. Remove muffins from pan to a cooling rack.

For cinnamon sugar topping, combine sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in small bowl. Put melted butter in another small bowl. Dip muffin tops into melted butter and then into cinnamon sugar mixture.

Cakes, Dessert, Snacks

Apple Cinnamon Snack Cake

We just needed some cinnamon comfort food tonight.

IMG_8150

IMG_8136 IMG_8138 IMG_8143

Cake Batter:
2½ cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
1¼ cups sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla
2 medium granny smith apples, peeled, cut into small pieces

Cinnamon Filling:
2 Tbl sugar
2 Tbl brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbl butter, melted
2 Tbl milk
1/2 tsp vanilla

Heat oven to 350°. Spray 13”x9” pan with non-stick spray. In small bowl, combine ingredients for cinnamon filling, set aside. In another small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt, set aside. In large bowl, cream butter, sugar, and brown sugar with electric mixer. Add eggs, sour cream, and vanilla, mix until combined. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture and mix just until combined.

Spoon 2/3 of batter into pan, spread evenly. Sprinkle chopped apple pieces evenly all over the batter. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar filling evenly over apples. Drop tablespoon size amounts of remaining batter evenly over cinnamon filling.

Bake 35 to 45 minutes until pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely. In small bowl, stir glaze ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over cake.

Dessert

Pumpkin Cheesecake Dessert

Who says pumpkin desserts are just for Fall, they tastes really good during quarantine too.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Dessert

1½ cups crushed gingersnaps* (about 30 cookies)
1/4 cup butter, melted
5 pkg. (8oz) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 can (15oz) pumpkin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
5 large eggs, room temperature, beaten
nutmeg
maple syrup
whipped cream

In a small bowl, combine gingersnap crumbs and butter. Press onto bottom of a greased 13×9-in. baking dish; set aside. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in the pumpkin, cinnamon and vanilla. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour over crust; sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of baking dish to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Cut into squares; serve with syrup, if desired (I forgot the maple syrup in the picture!) and whipped cream. Refrigerate leftovers. Recipe from tasteofhome.com.
*I used Biscoff cookies, chocolate cookies would be good too.

Pies

Apple Pie

This makes quarantine a little better! Recipe #15 on kingarthurflour.com‘s Best Basic Recipes Collection. This is a really good apple pie, not too sweet not too tart. In our family we usually have Cherry Apple Pie, it is a heavenly combination. It is always a nice treat to have pie!

Apple Pie 1

Apple Pie 2 Apple Pie 3

Apple Pie 4 Apple Pie 5

Crust
2½ cups flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup cold butter
7-10 Tbl ice water

Filling
8 cups peeled, sliced apple (from about 3 1/4 pounds whole apples)
2 Tbl lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tbl flour
2 Tbl cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 cup boiled cider or undiluted apple juice concentrate
2 tsp vanilla, optional
2 Tbl butter, diced in small pieces

To make the crust: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Work in the shortening until mixture is evenly crumbly. Dice the butter into 1/2″ pieces, and cut into mixture until you have flakes of butter the size of a dime.

Add water 2 Tbl at a time, mixing with a fork as you sprinkle water into the dough. When the dough is moist enough to hold together when you squeeze it, transfer it to a piece of wax or parchment paper. It’s OK if there are some dry spots in the pile. Use a spray bottle of water to lightly spritz these places; that way you’ll add just enough water to bring the dough together without creating a wet spot.

Fold dough over on itself three or four times to bring it together, then divide it into two pieces, one about twice as large as the other. The larger piece will be the bottom crust; the smaller piece, the top crust. Pat each piece of dough into a disk about 3/4″ thick.

Roll each disk on its edge, like a wheel, to smooth out the edges. This step will ensure your dough will roll out evenly, without a lot of cracks and splits at the edges later. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a 9″ pie pan that’s at least 2″ deep. This will make serving the pie easier after it’s baked.

To make the filling: Combine the sliced apples and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cornstarch, salt, and spices. Sprinkle the mixture over the apples, and stir to coat them. Stir in the boiled cider (or apple juice concentrate) and the vanilla, if you choose to use it.

To assemble the pie: Roll the larger piece of pastry into a 13″ circle. Transfer it to the prepared pan, and trim the edges so they overlap the rim of the pan by an inch all the way around. Spoon the apple filling into the pan. Dot the top with the diced butter.

Roll out the remaining pastry to an 11″ circle. Carefully place the pastry over the apples. Bring the overhanging bottom crust up and over the top crust, pinching to seal the two and making a decorative crimp. Prick the crust all over with a fork, to allow steam to escape. Or cut decorative vent holes, if desired. Alternatively, you can weave a lattice.

For extra crunch and shine, brush the top crust with milk (or an egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon of water), and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Place the pie in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to firm up the crust while the oven finishes heating.

Place the pie on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake the pie for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 375°F and bake for 40 minutes more, until you see the filling bubbling inside the pie (and perhaps dripping onto the parchment). Check the pie after half an hour of baking time, and cover the edges with foil or a pie shield to keep them from browning too quickly, if necessary. When the pie is done — you should see the filling bubbling vigorously, either around the edges, or via any decorative vents — remove it from the oven.

Cool the pie completely before slicing — really. Cutting any fruit pie that’s still warm is a messy business. The filling continues to thicken as the pie cools, and if you cut it too soon it will run out all over the place. It’s better to bake the pie in advance, cool it completely, then warm each slice as needed after it’s been cut. Store any leftover pie, lightly covered, at room temperature for several days. Freeze for longer storage.

My Favorite Pies!

Lemon Truffle Pie

Cookies, Snacks

Oatmeal Cookies

I love oatmeal cookies, so I was glad to see this recipe in kingarthurflour.com‘s Best Basic Recipe Collection. As bakers, I think we tend to have our favorite go-to recipes, so it’s fun to bake through this collection and try some new things. I love raisins in oatmeal cookies, but in my family there are a few who think it is a crime to put raisins in cookies. A poor, unsuspecting person sees dark brown lumps in their oatmeal cookie and they think they will bite into a chunk of chocolate and then aaaaahhhhhh! It’s a raisin! Trickery of the worst kind! This is why I usually put butterscotch or chocolate chips in my oatmeal cookies. ;o)

Oatmeal Cookies KAF

4 Tbl butter
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1¼ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vinegar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup flour
1½ cups oats, old-fashioned or quick
1 cup raisins (or other mix-in, chocolate chips, nuts, etc)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets, light-colored preferred. Beat together the butter, shortening, sugars, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and vinegar until fairly smooth; a few tiny bits of butter may still show. Beat in the egg, again beating until smooth. Add the baking soda and flour, beating until well incorporated. Add the oats (and raisins), stirring to combine.

Drop the dough in 1 1/4″ balls onto the prepared baking sheets; a tablespoon cookie scoop works well here. If you’re measuring, this is about 2 level tablespoons (using a tablespoon measure, not a dinner spoon). Space the cookies 2″ apart; they’ll spread. Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, reversing the pans halfway through (top rack to bottom, bottom to top). For softer cookies, bake the lesser amount of time; for crunchier, the longer amount. At 12 minutes, especially if you’re baking on a dark pan without parchment, a few of the cookies on the edge should just barely be showing a pale brown around their edges. At 14 minutes, they should be starting to color all over. Remove the cookies from the oven, and let them cool right on the pan. Yield: 22 to 24 cookies.

More Oatmeal Cookies!

Peanut Butter Fudge Oatmeal Cookies  Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies  Peanut Butter Oatmeal M&M Cookies  Healthy Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

Breads, Breakfast, Quick Breads, Snacks

Whole-Grain Banana Bread

Moist and flavorful is what I will say about recipe #10 on kingarthurflour.com‘s Best Basic Recipe list. I say that after much grumbling about the burned overflow in the bottom of my oven and the burned smell that exists in my house. I am following these recipes as exact as I can to see if I agree with the word BEST given in the title.

So, as I poured the batter of this banana bread into the loaf pan and it goes scarily close to the top rim, I say to myself, this isn’t going to work. In my mind there is a battle brewing, that is way too much batter for that pan, no, trust the recipe and the pan size it says, follow the recipe as exact as possible, you better use a larger pan or separate into two smaller pans. You add quarantine to this situation and it’s not good!

Well, I went with trust the recipe and the pan size it says. All is cleaned up now, it’s not the prettiest loaf you will ever see, and you have the full story. Use a larger pan or two smaller ones, and you will have a moist and flavorful Whole-Grain Banana Bread. Ü

Whole-Grain Banana Bread

Batter
2 cups mashed banana, about 4-5 medium bananas
1/2 cup oil
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional

Topping
1 Tbl sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the center position. Lightly grease a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan; if your pan is glass or stoneware, reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. In a large bowl, stir together the mashed banana, oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Weigh your flours; or measure them by gently spooning into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Mix the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and chopped walnuts into the banana mixture. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and mix again to thoroughly combine the ingredients. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle over the batter.

Bake the bread for about 60 to 75 minutes, until the bread feels set on the top, and a paring knife (or other thin knife) inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs (but no wet batter). If you have a digital thermometer, the bread’s temperature at the center should register about 205°F. If the bread appears to be browning too quickly, tent it with aluminum foil for the final 15 to 20 minutes of baking. Note: If baking in a glass or stoneware pan, increase the baking time by 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven. Cool it in the pan for 15 minutes, then loosen the edges, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely. Store leftover bread, tightly wrapped, at room temperature for several days. Freeze for longer storage.

Breads, Yeast Breads

Vermont Whole Wheat Oatmeal Honey Bread

My new favorite bread recipe! This is #7 of the Best Basic Recipe Collection on kingarthurflour.com. The flavor of this bread is wonderful, a little sweet from brown sugar and honey with a hint of cinnamon. I will be making it again and again!

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Honey Bread

2 cups boiling water
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbl honey
4 Tbl butter
1 Tbl kosher salt or 2½ tsp table salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbl yeast
1½ cups white whole wheat flour
4 cups all-purpose flour

In a large mixing bowl, combine water, oats, brown sugar, honey, butter, salt, and cinnamon. Let cool to lukewarm, which typically takes about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the yeast and flours, stirring to form a rough dough. Knead (about 10 minutes by hand, 5 to 7 minutes by machine) until the dough is smooth and satiny. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise for 1 hour.

Divide the dough in half, and shape each half into a loaf. Place the loaves in two greased 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ bread pans. Cover the pans with lightly greased plastic wrap and allow the loaves to rise until they’ve crowned about 1″ over the rim of the pan, about 60 to 90 minutes.

Bake the loaves in a preheated 350°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes, tenting them lightly with aluminum foil after 25 minutes, to prevent over-browning. Remove them from the oven when they’re golden brown, and the interior registers 190°F on a digital thermometer. Turn the loaves out onto a rack to cool.

Cookies

Sugar Cookies

This is kingarthurflour.com Best Basic Recipes’ #5. How are you doing with the “Stay at Home” or “Shelter in Place” order, depending on where you live, do you need a cookie? There’s something about a homemade cookie and a glass of milk. Well, I actually ate many of these cookies and a Diet Coke ;o). These sugar cookies have a crisp, sugary outside and a tender inside. I made half of the batch rolled in sugar and the other half rolled in cinnamon sugar, both are delicious! Wishing everyone happy baking and good health!

Sugar cookies 4

Sugar Cookies 2 Sugar Cookies 5 Sugar Cookies 1

Dough
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup (16 Tbl) butter, softened
1¼ cup sugar
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 large egg

Topping
3/4 cup sugar (add 1 tsp cinnamon, optional)

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets, or line with parchment. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts, and the egg; scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the flour mixture, and mix at low to medium speed until the mixture is evenly moistened.

Place the 3/4 cup sugar in a large plastic bag, or in a shallow pan. Scoop the dough by tablespoonfuls into the sugar, rolling them in the pan or gently shaking them in the bag to coat them with the sugar. Place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2″ between them. Using a flat-bottomed glass, flatten the cookies to about 1/4″ thick. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes — 10 minutes for softer cookies, 12 minutes for crunchier. The edges of the cookies will just barely begin to brown. Remove from the oven and cool on the pan for 5 minutes, before transferring to a rack to finish cooling completely.

More Comforting Cookies!
Peanut Butter Fudge Oatmeal Cookies
Fruity Pebbles Cookies
Brownie Cookies with Chocolate Fudge Frosting
Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies
Peanut Butter Oatmeal M&M Cookies
Biscoff Spread Cookies
Chunky Oatmeal Cookies

Dessert, Pies

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie isn’t just for Thanksgiving, it’s for quarantine too! This is recipe #4 of kingarthurflour.com Best Basic Recipe Collection. I’m enjoying baking my way through this collection, it’s delicious!

Pumpkin Pie 1

Pumpkin Pie 2 Pumpkin Pie3 Pumpkin Pie4

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbl flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp pepper, optional
3 large eggs, beaten
2 cups (15oz can) pumpkin
1¼ cups light cream or evaporated milk
1 single pie crust, your favorite or King Arthur single pie crust

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugars, flour, salt, and spices. In a large measuring cup, beat together the eggs, pumpkin, and cream or evaporated milk. Whisk into the dry ingredients. For best flavor, cover and refrigerate the filling overnight before baking. Roll the pie dough out to a 13″ circle, and transfer to the pan. Crimp the edges above the rim; this will give you a little extra headroom to hold the filling when it expands in the oven. Refrigerate the crust while the oven preheats to 400°F.

When the oven is hot, place the pie pan on a baking sheet to catch any drips. Pour the filling into the unbaked pie shell. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the filling is set 2″ in from the edge. The center should still be wobbly. Remove the pie from the oven and cool on a rack; the center will finish cooking through as the pie sits.

My other favorite pies: Pie Pie Pie!