Posts Tagged 'oats'

Oatmeal Raisin Whoopie Pies


Ellie’s rapidly closing in on five months old and there have been some big changes!

We quit swaddling her cold turkey and so far things are going great. We also got the OK from her pediatrician to introduce solid food, and we decided to start with bananas.

After a little bit of assistance with the spoon, she was ready to try it herself.

Success! (Kind of…)

I think this weekend we may move on to sweet potatoes!

I’ve been baking a lot lately, and as always I’m thankful for Mike’s office and my work both being so willing to take baked goods off our hands. In case you’re here because I occasionally make healthy things, I do have to recommend this salad, or more specifically, the dressing, which I now want to put on everything

Proceed directly to Shutterbean for the recipe!

I wanted oatmeal raisin cookies the other day, but I decided to branch out a little bit. These aren’t as cakey as normal whoopie pies (the ground up oats make them a little denser) and they have cream cheese frosting inside. Maybe it makes more sense to call them oatmeal raisin sandwich cookies. But whatever you call them, they’re good! I mean, can you really go wrong when cream cheese frosting is involved?

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:46]
(adapted from Whoopie Pies)

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Snack Cake with Coconut Topping

Weekends are so much better now that I’m back at work.  I appreciate them about a million times more than I did when every day was pretty much the same.  Obviously it was great having Mike home all day on the weekends, but now there’s even more of a focus for both of us on spending quality time with Ellie.

There’s more time for enjoying tea, which has become my new Friday night beverage of choice.

I did end up having a beer after this, but I couldn’t even finish it because I fell asleep on the couch at 8:30.  Oh parenthood, you do crazy things to people.

There’s more time to savor the view out of Ellie’s window as the sun is coming up.  I was never really big on sleeping in, so this getting up before the sun comes up thing actually isn’t too much of a life change.

And more time for BAKING!  When I was driving home from work yesterday I had pretty much made up my mind that I was going to bake oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  But then I realized I’ve done that too many times, and I had plenty of time to bake something new.  Oatmeal snack cake seemed like a good idea, but adding chocolate chips was essential.  For some people, this is probably too indulgent for breakfast or snack, but it makes a great casual dessert!

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:32]
(adapted from The Bitten Word)

Cinnamon Streusel Muffins


So, I have a one-week-old already. WHAT?!

The first few days were a complete blur of feeding, changing, and very sporadic sleeping. My parents were here all week, and Mike was home from work, so I really didn’t have to do anything other than hang out with the cutest baby in the world.

This weekend was so beautiful we had to get outside and show Ellie some sights, like Golden Gate Park…

and Ocean Beach.

Between our brief outings, being a human milk machine, and trying to squeeze in any naps I could, I pretty much did NOTHING in the kitchen (other than slicing up honeydew melon and all kinds of unpasteurized cheese, which I ate a ton of…but not together).

I made these muffins the morning I went to the hospital. They ended up being great to snack on while we were sitting around waiting for Ellie to get with the program and make her way into the world.

Recipe:
(adapted from The Curvy Carrot

makes 12 muffins

streusel topping
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in small cubes

filling
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

muffins
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
1 and 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch ground nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a 12-muffin tin with paper liners

To make the streusel topping, combine all of the dry streusel ingredients, then add the cubes of butter and mix with a pastry blender until crumbly. Set aside.

To make the filling, combine all of the cinnamon filling ingredients and mix until smooth. Set aside.

To make the muffins, stir the melted butter, milk, and eggs together until combined.
In another separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir with a rubber spatula until the batter is well-mixed and nearly smooth.

Fill each muffin tin halfway full with batter, top with a spoonful of the cinnamon filling, then fill the tin with remaining batter.

Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over each muffin.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes.

Cranberry and Pumpkin Seed Granola

This was supposed to be granola bars…but they failed. Well, they failed as granola bars, but were an EPIC win as granola. This stuff is relatively healthy, great for breakfast, and is infinitely adaptable to whatever you like. I think I’m going to bake another big batch this weekend because it’s just such a perfect fall breakfast.

The source for most of the stuff in here was my new favorite natural foods store in San Francisco, Other Avenues. If you ever find yourself in the Sunset area, stop in to be amazed by their beautiful bulk bins! Another bonus is that street parking is easy and it’s not too far from where we live.

Anyway, if you can’t find brown rice syrup, you might try some honey or possibly maple syrup. I’m still not good with my sweetener substitutions, so I’m not sure if a 1:1 switch is ideal, but I might play around with it and get back to you. And of course, if you make your own variety, I’d love to hear about it!

Recipe:
(adapted from Runners Kitchen)

2 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup flax seeds
1 cup pumpkin seeds
pinch salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup almond butter
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Combine the oats, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
Stir together the almond butter, brown rice syrup, and vegetable oil in a separate bowl. Add to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden and crisp. Let cool, then toss with dried cranberries and store in an airtight container.

Cranberry-Almond Granola

I’ve been trying to eat healthier breakfasts lately, which explains why we’ve been going through about a whole lot more spinach than we normally do. I blend it into smoothies, which totally grosses Mike out, but you honestly can’t taste it! Because he likes his breakfasts a little more solid and a little less green, I decided I should make some granola.

I know granola can seem healthy but be full of sugar and fat. When I worked at the bakery, we made ours with a ton of butter and brown sugar…which isn’t exactly what I was going for here. I found a great recipe on a clean eating website, which called for shredded apples and a little honey in place of melted butter and and refined sugar. I added almonds and cranberries (which I guess aren’t really “clean eating” because they’re sweetened, but I think I’ll live), and the result was a crunchy, hearty mix of oats and wheat germ with just a hint of sweetness. I can’t wait to try a whole bunch of different variations in the future!

Recipe:
(adapted from Clean Eating Club)

Nonstick cooking spray
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup coarsely shredded unpeeled apple (this was 1 1/2 apples for me)
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray and preheat the oven to 350 F.

Mix the apple, oats, and wheat germ in a medium bowl and set aside.

Bring the honey, water, and cinnamon to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, then pour over the oat mixture and toss well. Stir in the almonds, spread on the baking sheet, and bake for about 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Once the granola is golden brown, remove from the oven and stir in the cranberries. Let cool completely, then store in an airtight container.

Brown Butter Toasted Oat Cookies

I don’t know if I’ve just been living under a rock, but the whole brown butter concept is still relatively new to me. The idea of keeping butter on the stove just until the milk solids begin to brown to add a nutty flavor is definitely intriguing, but I could never decide what I would do with the butter once I browned it. Of course there are tons of recipes floating around out there, but I kind of wanted to do my own thing, so I just put off my brown-butter making until inspiration hit.

Which it did about 1 pm yesterday as I was eating a bowl of oats. I decided to toast a cup of oats, brown a a little butter, and toss in some brown sugar (keeping with the theme, I guess) and white whole wheat flour (my absolute favorite baking ingredient these days) and see what happened.

I’m really happy with the results. These cookies aren’t overly sweet, but they have a nice complexity from the vanilla, oats, butter, and brown sugar. I don’t really want to make them again soon because of how easy it is to eat way too many of them, but they’re great to give away!

Recipe:
1 3/4 sticks (14 tbsp) butter
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350.
Spread the oats on a jelly roll pan and cook until slightly browned (about 10 minutes), stirring every few minutes (keep a close eye on them, they can burn fairly quickly). Remove and set aside. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.

Place the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until light brown (if any turns black, it will be bitter and not good). Let cool, then pour into a mixing bowl. Add the brown sugar and beat until evenly mixed. Beat in the vanilla and egg, then add the oats. Finally, stir in the flour mixture and mix until combined.

Roll the dough, 1 tbsp at a time, into a small ball between your palms, then flatten slightly and place on a Silpat or parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until just set (be careful not to over-bake!)

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes

I have high standards when it comes to pancakes. When I was younger, my mom always used James Beard’s recipe, often with blueberries, and always incredibly good (particularly when drenched with maple syrup). I used to order pancakes when we went out for breakfast but now I don’t even bother because I can’t stand their spongy texture. The thought of using Bisquik to make pancakes makes me shudder. The bar was set very high, very early, and I don’t see the point of ever eating a sub-par pancake.

I don’t know where my sister in law found this recipe, but I do know that these are the best pancakes I’ve ever had. They’re Mike’s favorite too, so when I surprised him with these on Valentines Day morning, he was pretty excited.

I love them for their heartiness, the nutty flavor of whole wheat and the textural contrast of the oats. They cook up beautifully brown and lacy and are just perfect with a slather of jam. I love, love, love these pancakes. Unlike some recipes that make dozens, this makes just 6 4″ pancakes, so you don’t have to slave away over the griddle for hours trying to use up all the batter.

Recipe:
1/2 cup plain yogurt (I use nonfat)
1/4 cup milk (more if the batter seems thick)
1 egg
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp brown sugar
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
pinch salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
pinch cinnamon
pinch nutmeg

Whisk together the yogurt, milk, oil, honey, and egg in a large bowl.
Stir the remaining ingredients together in a medium bowl, then add to the wet ingredients and mix gently. If the batter seems especially thick, add a tablespoon or two of milk.
Heat a griddle and spray with nonstick spray.
Ladle out 1/3 to 1/2 cup of batter for each pancake and cook until golden brown on the bottom. Flip and cook an additional 2-4 minutes, or until golden both sides.
Serve with butter, jam, syrup, honey, molasses, applesauce, or whatever else you enjoy with pancakes.

No-bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

I want to preface this post with an acknowledgement. Yes, I realize I WAY over-edited that photo. My new camera and my recently downloaded copy of GIMP 2.0 have been so much fun to play with, I haven’t really figured out when to cut myself off. The good news is, I now know how to set my white balance, and I’ve figured out how to restrain myself a little better when playing around with color saturation and such. Now on to the food.

Since this decade started, my New Years Eves have varied from going to sleep at 9 PM on a relative’s couch (I was sick), to drinking far too many Coors Lights in a cabin on Mt. Hood, to dancing to DJ sets at a bar until 2 AM. It seems like far too often, New Years Eve is an over-planned, underwhelming night, but this year, we kept it simple. Black tie New Years Eves are not my style at all, and although I love making fancy desserts, I wanted something laid-back and low-maintenance to set the tone for 2010, which we rang in on a rooftop with our good friends.

These bars (which I found on the adorable site Buns In My Oven) come together quickly and just need to hang out in the fridge for a few hours before you eat them. You can almost consider them healthy, if you use old fashioned oats and natural peanut butter like I did (I guess maybe the butter and sugar and chocolate counter-act any health benefits, but lets overlook that). Mike thinks they taste like Snickers, and I can see where he’s coming from. They’re unfussy and highly addictive, and you probably have the ingredients for them in your pantry right now.

Recipe:
(addapted from Buns in My Oven, originally from allrecipes)

3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

Icing:
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp sweetened condensed milk

Line and 8″ square pan with wax paper.
Melt the butter in a large sauce pan over low heat. Stir in the brown sugar, vanilla, and oats. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring well. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate chips and peanut butter.
Spread evenly in the pan.
In the top of a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk, stirring until smooth (it may take on the consistency of frosting, and that’s OK). Spread evenly over the oat mixture.
Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, then cut into squares to serve.



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