Tag Archives: cinnamon

Spiced Cranberry Apple Preserves

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When we moved into our house over eight years ago, my husband and I planted a small apple tree. We were new homeowners and knew very little about gardening. We did, however, love  the idea of having fresh apples in our back yard.  So, when we were at the local hardware store and spotted the cute little dwarf macintosh apple trees all lined up, we had to have one.

Fast forward to the present. Our tiny sapling of a tree is now a full fledged apple tree full of apples. (Granted, it is a dwarf apple tree, so it’s not huge.) They always say that the best time to plant a tree is 10 years ago, right? There may be some truth to that saying.

In years past, the apples were very small and rotted or fell to the ground before we ever had a chance to pick them. This year, though, the tree was full of apples. So, on a sunny Saturday morning a few weeks ago, we headed out to the back yard to pick some apples.

I was just hoping for a handful of apples to make a pie, or perhaps an apple crisp.  We got to picking and having a good time (the kiddo LOVES to pick apples), and pretty soon we had two giant baskets full of apples. I didn’t weigh them, but I think there were 30 pounds of apples.Continue Reading

Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies with Pecans

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There is an ongoing debate in my house regarding chocolate chip cookies. I suppose there are much worse things that we could fight over… But, this chocolate chip cookie battle has been going on for years, and there is no end in sight.

You see, my husband and I have different definitions of what constitutes a chocolate chip cookie. I believe that the chocolate chip cookie is a blank canvas just waiting for inspiration to strike… Why not add oats? Or mix it up with some whole wheat flour? Perhaps we could add nuts? Or cocoa powder? Or peanut butter? My mind is just spinning with ideas.

My husband just wants a plain chocolate chip cookie. Give him the recipe on the back of the bag of chips. Every. Single. Time. Perhaps you can see where this is going…

I often bake cookies as a treat to go with our weekly pizza night on Fridays… And, it never fails that when I ask him what kind of cookies he would like, he will tell me that he wants chocolate chip cookies. Not those “fake” chocolate chip cookies that I make, mind you… He wants the “real” ones, which he claims I never make. (I do… More often than I’d like.)

So, a few weeks ago, when I came up with these chewy oatmeal cookies studded with chocolate chips and pecans and jazzed up with just a bit of cinnamon, he wasn’t impressed. We had friends over for dinner that night, and everyone ate the cookies happily (including my hubby, though he did protest the “fake” cookies). Of course, now I owe him a batch of “real” chocolate chip cookies.

If you’re like me, I think you’ll love these cookies… They are perfect for late summer/early fall when the sun sets a bit earlier, and the weather is just starting to turn, but you aren’t quite ready to dive in with a pumpkin pie yet. There’s just enough cinnamon to be noticeable, but not so much that it overpowers the chocolate chips. The oats and pecans make the cookies just a bit heartier than a typical chocolate chip cookie.

Of course, if you’re like my husband, you can just skip over this recipe and make my “real” chocolate chip cookies. I won’t judge… At least, not too much.

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Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies with Pecans
Makes 26-28 cookies

This recipe makes nice big chewy oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips and pecans. They are great for snacking or dunking. They’ll keep for up to a week in an airtight container, but I doubt that they will last that long.

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in the vanilla extract and beat again for about 30 seconds.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon.  Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, beating on the lowest setting until they are just incorporated.  Stir in the oats, chocolate chips, and pecans.

Cover the batter and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or overnight).

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F. Line your baking sheets with parchment or a silicone mat.

Scoop out ¼ cup of dough for each cookie (I have a ¼ cup ice cream scoop that makes this job simple!).  Press the cookies to flatten them just a bit on the pan before baking.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes, until the cookies are golden but still soft. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Banana Nut Snack Cake (Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free)

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I really enjoy each of the seasons as it comes. I’m always ready for the brisk air and cool nights in the fall. I get excited about the first snowflakes every winter. And, when spring finally rolls around, I embrace it.

I love cleaning out the flower beds and planning the garden for the coming summer. I enjoy getting out for some fresh air, going for a run, or chasing the kiddo around on the playground. And, when we have rainy, dreary days, I enjoy those, too.

Monday was a particularly dreary day, and I decided to embrace it. It was a bit on the chilly side, so we stayed in. I read the same book about Clifford’s First Christmas over and over again (yes, we are currently reading Christmas books… don’t ask), stopping to point out puppy Clifford on every page. We colored, and we watched it rain out the windows.

Then, in the afternoon, I took full advantage of nap time and decided to do some baking. Dreary days just call for baking, don’t they? The pile of overly ripe bananas sitting on my counter was calling my name, so I set out to bake a banana nut cake.Continue Reading

Almond Pecan Butter with Cocoa and Cinnamon

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It’s a funny thing sugar.

I think it is probably one of the most loved and most hated foods that we eat. One look on Pinterest and you will find more sweet and decadent treats than you could ever possible eat. (A few of them may have even come from this site.) But, you’ll also find equally many people posting about how sugar is addictive and the root of all evil… At least, the root of all health evils.

It can be hard to navigate it all, and I certainly don’t have all of the answers. But, I’m working on figuring out what works for me.

Until very recently, I ate a lot more sugar than I’d like to admit. At first, it stemmed from baking on a regular basis, often to post recipes here. Then, as I had less time to bake and write, I found myself needing a sweet treat in the afternoon. I’d munch on anything from cookies to candy to chocolate chips straight from the bag. I knew it wasn’t real healthy, but I also felt like I couldn’t stop. I craved it constantly.

Eventually, I decided it was time to stop. I was determined. While I’m not necessarily convinced that sugar is the root of all evil, I certainly knew that I needed to cut back.  That was the primary reason I decided to do a 10 day detox from sugar, gluten, dairy, and caffeine a few weeks ago (more about that coming soon, I promise!). I knew my habits and I knew that I was having trouble just “cutting back” on my own.Continue Reading

Sugar and Spice Cookies

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Today is a special day… Why? Because today we are having a baby shower for Jamie from My Baking Addiction!

I’ve “known” Jamie for quite a while… I think I probably knew her before she knew me. You see, she is a far more fabulous blogger than I am… She is the authority on all things baking, and I have been reading her site for forever. And, her photographs? They are absolutely gorgeous.

I had the pleasure of meeting Jamie in person at the Big Summer Potluck a few years back. And, as it turns out (and as I always suspected), she is even sweeter and fabulous in person.  She was kind enough to keep me company and hang out with me even though I was rather pregnant and rather cranky. I sincerely hope our paths cross again soon so that we can catch up!

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In addition to a love for all things baking, Jamie and I have something else in common… Our blog names are somewhat similar. We both get the same crazy pitches for TV shows about people who eat laundry detergent and other strange things and emails about rehab facilities. And, on occasion, there are people who think that I am Jamie… I always consider it a huge honor. And, then I promptly correct them and send them on their way to one of Jamie’s fabulous recipes!

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When I started thinking of what to bake for Jamie’s baby shower, the popular rhyme came to mind… “What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice, And everything nice. That’s what little girls are made of.”  Sounds like the start of a lovely recipe, doesn’t it?

I’m hoping Jamie will enjoy these sugar and spice sugar cookies (they’ll be arriving on her doorstep in a day or two!)… I’ve added just a bit of spice to a traditional sugar cookie.  Instead of just using granulated sugar, I’ve also added some brown sugar since I love how the caramel and molasses-y flavor pairs with the warm spices.

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I chose to decorate the cookies for Jamie, but you could also just slather them with a bit of buttercream and sprinkle them with some spiced sugar.  They’d also make an adorable cookie sandwich, too.

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My inspiration for these cookies actually came from a pair of Maddie’s pajamas.  She has a cozy pair of cream colored flannel PJs with a cute pink and brown leopard print pattern.  I decided to try my hand at the leopard print (every little lady needs some leopard print in her life, right?) and then use that color scheme to decorate the rest of the cookies.

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Want to see what other bloggers are baking up for Jamie and her sweet little girl? Don’t miss these great recipes!

Amber from Bluebonnets & Brownies | Lemon Strawberry Cupcakes
Julie from The Little Kitchen | Pistachio Pudding Cupcakes
Shaina from Food for My Family | Vanilla Raspberry Mini Meringue Kisses
Glory from Glorious Treats | Modern decorated cookies
Cheryl from TidyMom | Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Buttercream
Katie from Good Life {Eats} | Raspberry Hibiscus Soda
Aimee from SimpleBites | How to freeze a big batch of homemade waffles
Amanda from I am Baker | Heath Bar Cake
Steph from Steph Chows | PB Oatmeal cookies
Allison from Some the Wiser | Raspberry Chocolate Chip Muffins
Megan from Stetted | Strawberry Jalapeno Palmiers
Shelly from Cookies & Cups | Bacon Cheddar Scones
Emily from Jelly Toast | Meyer Lemon Scones
Kristan from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen | Samoa Layer Cake

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Sugar and Spice Cookies
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground ceylon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Royal icing or frosting of your choice

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Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line your baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners and set aside.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, sea salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cardamom in a small mixing bowl.  Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar.  Beat on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise.  Scrape the seeds out and add them to the creamed mixture.  Add the egg and vanilla extract and then continue to beat on medium speed for an additional 1 – 2 minutes, until the egg is well incorporated.

While mixing on the lowest setting, gradually add the flour mixture.  Mix just until the flour is incorporated. Gather up the dough and divide it into two sections.  Roll each portion of dough out to 1/4-inch thickness.  Use a cookie cutter to cut cookies out of the dough and transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheet. Gather any scraps and re-roll the dough as necessary.

Bake the cookies for about 14 minutes, until the edges are just starting to turn a golden brown.  Cool the cookies on a baking sheet for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting or decorating.

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