Jeannie's Healthy Breakfast Cookies

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What could be better than a cookie? How about a cookie that’s packed with nutrients and can be eaten anytime, especially for breakfast, guilt free?

I love cookies. They are my go-to when I want to whip up something with limited time, or don’t have much energy for other more entailed desserts. I’m sure this has NOTHING to do with the fact that cookies are also one of my favorite things to eat. It ends up turning into a win-win-win situation because I’m having fun, being productive, get to eat some of the ingredients while baking, get to eat some dough while baking, and BONUS if there is enough dough to actually be baked into cookies! So many wins.

I have to bring up the negative, however, to classic cookie baking. They’re kinda calorific and not very good for you. I’m all for eating cookies for breakfast, but that usually goes along with a sugar crash later on. What to do?

Bake healthy cookies! They have to be delicious of course, and not gross. I have just the recipe for you, made up by my mom many years ago when we needed a portable nutritious breakfast for a trip. This recipe has been in my recipe box ever since as “Jean’s breakfast cookies”, made with many adjustments because the add ins are very versatile depending on your tastes. My mom likes to be called Jeannie (not by her kids of course) so I adapted the title accordingly.

One thing this recipe is not is a taste-alike recipe to say, chocolate chip cookies with a surprise twist that it’s healthy. Nope, these cookies have a satisfyingly healthy look and taste and are upfront about it from the get go. They get positive feedback and recipe requests wherever they go!

The recipe that follows is just one version of many, many possibilities. Just keep in mind that major adjustments may need other adjustments. For example, if you don’t have any honey or maple syrup on hand for the sweetener, you could use raw or regular cane sugar. Substituting a liquid for a dry ingredient, however, will mean you may need more liquid from elsewhere. Maybe add another egg, a bit more oil, or even water until you get a cookie dough consistency once again. Other ideas to make the recipe your own:

  • Use any kind of flour you wish instead of wheat flour. Oat flour, almond flour, coconut flour…I often use wheat germ in place of part of the flour or flaxmeal, usually 1/4 cup.

  • If you want these cookies to be gluten-free, ensure that your oats are gluten-free, and use a gluten-free flour.

  • Change up the spices. Sometimes towards fall I also add a bit of ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Cardamom is also nice.

  • Beyond dried fruit and walnuts, get creative with your add-ins! Just try not to go too far beyond 1 cup, otherwise there might not be enough dough to hold everything together. In the photos on this post I used dried apples, dried cranberries, and walnuts. I’ve also added various combinations of dried cherries, prunes, dried apricots, raisins, dates, dried figs, dried pears, fresh apples, grated coconut, pecans, hazelnuts, dark chocolate, crystallized ginger, and anything else I had on hand!

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Recipe adapted from my mama


Jeannie’s Healthy Breakfast Cookies

Makes about 18-22 cookies

Ingredients:

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  • 1/2 cup / 112g olive or coconut oil

  • generous 1/3 cup / 120g maple syrup or honey

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 cup / 120g all-purpose or whole wheat flour

  • 1 1/2 cups / 135g rolled oats

  • 1/2 cup / 90g flaxmeal

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon

  • 3/4 cup / 105g nuts, roughly chopped

  • 1/2 apple, diced

  • 1/4 cup / 50g dried fruit, chopped if necessary

Directions:

Oven 375°F / 190°C. Baking sheet lined with silpat or parchment paper.

  1. In a large bowl combine wet ingredients: oil, maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla; beat with a spoon until smooth.

  2. In another medium bowl whisk together dry ingredients: flour, oats, flaxmeal, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

  3. Add dry ingredients, nuts, apple, and dried fruit to wet ingredients, mix until well combined.

  4. Spoon generous tablespoons of dough onto prepared baking sheet and flatten slightly as they won’t spread much, leaving at least 1 inch between cookies. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges turn lightly golden brown and centers are no longer doughy.

Jenny’s Notes:

  • you can make flaxmeal at home by simply processing some flaxseeds in a coffee or spice grinder.

  • olive oil has a rather strong taste so if you prefer to avoid that, try going with the coconut oil option or even a neutral oil like peanut oil.

  • 3 egg whites can be substituted for the 2 eggs for cholesterol-conscience people.

healthy, nutritious, cookies, gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, dried fruit, apple, fall spices, oats, nuts, coconut, portable
breakfast, dessert, snack
American
Yield: 12-16 cookies
Author:

Jeannie's Breakfast Cookies

Healthy cookies packed with nutritious ingredients that make for a great breakfast or anytime snack. Dairy-free, refined sugar-free, and can easily be made gluten-free.
prep time: 20 Mcook time: 10 Mtotal time: 30 M

ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup / 112g olive oil or coconut oil
  • generous 1/3 cup / 120g maple syrup or honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup / 120g all-purpose or whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups / 135g rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup / 90g flaxmeal
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup / 105g nuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 apple, diced
  • 1/4 cup / 50g dried fruit, chopped if necessary

instructions:

How to cook Jeannie's Breakfast Cookies

  1. Oven 375°F / 190°C. Baking sheet lined with silpat or parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl combine wet ingredients: oil, maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla; beat with a spoon until smooth.
  3. In another medium bowl whisk together dry ingredients: flour, oats, flaxmeal, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  4. Add dry ingredients, nuts, apple, and dried fruit to wet ingredients, mix until well combined.
  5. Spoon generous tablespoons of dough onto prepared baking sheet and flatten slightly as they won’t spread much, leaving at least 1 inch between cookies. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges turn lightly golden brown and centers are no longer doughy.

NOTES:

you can make flaxmeal at home by simply processing some flaxseeds in a coffee or spice grinder. olive oil has a rather strong taste so if you prefer to avoid that, try going with the coconut oil option or even a neutral oil like peanut oil. 3 egg whites can be substituted for the 2 eggs for cholesterol-conscience people.

Calories

265.40

Fat (grams)

15.87

Sat. Fat (grams)

2.49

Carbs (grams)

27.23

Fiber (grams)

3.34

Net carbs

23.89

Sugar (grams)

9.53

Protein (grams)

5.72

Sodium (milligrams)

188.36

Cholesterol (grams)

31.00
Nutritional information is approximate and based on 12 servings.
Created using The Recipes Generator
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Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

Some people are adverse to the word healthy.  Don't be one of those people.  Oh, but what I would give to have a little slice of this pie right now, healthy or not!  Actually, I wouldn't give much.  But that doesn't mean I don't want it.  Yes, Whole30January is still happening.  It has gotten easier in recent days...but you can ask my mom who is doing it with me if that's a true statement.  So here is yet another recipe you can make and eat in my stead.  Please, for my sanity.  Just don't tell me how delicious it is.  I like to ask the people around me who are eating delicious nonWhole30food to tell me how disgusting it is.  It almost make me feel better.  Won't you be glad when Whole30January is over so you won't have to hear any more of my sardonic complaining?  Yes ok, on to this nutritious pie that somehow tastes like dessert!

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

12-16 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans white beans or garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (navy, great northern, cannellini)

  • 1 cup oats or ground flax seeds

  • 1/4 cup applesauce or oil

  • 3 Tbsp oil (if you are not using applesauce, that would be a scant 1/2 cup oil total)

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 3 tsp stevia powder

  • 1 cup chocolate chips or chunks, plus more for sprinkling

Directions:

Oven 350 Fahrenheit.  Greased 8 or 9 inch pie pan.

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and mix until smooth.  Stir in chocolate chips. 

Scrape dough into prepared pan and sprinkle with additional chocolate chips. 

Bake in oven for 30-35 minutes.  Allow to cool before slicing and serving. 

Jenny's Notes:

This recipe is gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, and nut free.

I adapted this recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie.  She is very good about giving lots of options if you are gluten-free, vegan, have a nut allergy, etc.  I simply narrowed it down to my favorite combination of ingredients from her options, and preferred amount of sweetener so that it tastes like dessert without giving in to your sugar dragon too much. 

Feel free to add more sugar if you feel the need! 

If for whatever reason your batter comes out too thick or thin, (didn't drain the beans as much, the applesauce brand you use is soupier, etc.) you can add more oats or flax to thicken, or applesauce, maple syrup, or milk to thin. 

Adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie.

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

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Think of a delicately moist coffee cake with a cinnamon swirl and a crunchy, sweet streusel on top. That’s what we’re making today.

If the first thought that comes to your mind when you think of coffee cake is dry-crumbly-use-up-a-week's-worth-of-saliva-in-one-bite-cake, then think again.  No, no, no.  Coffee cake is supposed to be sweet, but not quite as sweet as regular cake, flavorful, and with a beautifully dense crumb.  That's fancy talk for moist.  But for the mental care of some readers who have an avid dislike for that term, I tried to avoid using it.  But I still did to explain myself.  Just can't win. 

Oh, and for some people who may be confused, there is (most often) no coffee involved in the batter.  The final product, however, pairs beautifully with a mug of coffee.  Hence the name.  (Speaking of words we don't like...mug?  No thanks.  It's like your mouth was too lazy to talk - "mmmm" - then made a huge effort and ended up with "ug."  Mmmmmmug.) 

On to more delicious sounding, looking, and tasting things!! 

This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!


Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

Serves 9-12

Ingredients:

For the Cake

  • 1/2 cup / 112g oil

  • 1/2 cup / 100g sugar

  • 1/4 cup / 50g brown sugar

  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder

  • 3/4 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 egg

  • 1/2 cup / 122g plain yogurt

  • 1/2 cup / 119g milk

  • 2 cups / 240g all-purpose flour

For the Cinnamon Swirl

  • 1/2 cup / 100g brown sugar

  • 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

For the Streusel

  • 1/3 cup / 67g sugar

  • 1/4 cup / 30g all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup / 23g rolled oats

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 2 Tbsp / 28g butter, melted

Directions:

Oven 350°F / 177°C.  Greased 8x8in / 20x20cm square baking pan, or 8in / 20cm round cake pan.

Make the Cake

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat oil, sugars, baking powder, salt, and vanilla until well combined.  Beat in egg. 

  2. In a separate small bowl mix together yogurt and milk. 

  3. Add a third of the flour to the oil mixture, mixing until almost combined.  Add half of the yogurt mixture.  Continue adding flour and yogurt mixture to oil mixture until everything is just combined. 

  4. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan, spreading all the way to edges; set other half aside. 

Make the Cinnamon Swirl

  1. In a small bowl combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and cocoa powder. 

  2. Sprinkle evenly over batter in pan. 

  3. Pour remaining batter over cinnamon filling and use a spatula to gently spread to edges.

Make the Streusel

  1. In another small bowl, combine sugar, flour, oats, and cinnamon.  Add the melted butter and mix until crumbles form. 

  2. Evenly distribute crumble over batter in pan. 

  3. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. 

Jenny's Notes:

  • Watch that bake time.  Toothpicks are your best friend.  I was testing this recipe using my Italian oven that didn't like to bake things on the bottom, so you may need less time.

  • REALLY like coffee cake?  Double this recipe and put in a 9x13 inch pan or two cake pans.  You can always freeze one pan!

  • Don't have plain yogurt on hand? You can also use sweetened yogurt and reduce sugar by 1/4 cup / 50g, or try Greek yogurt, fresh ricotta, sour cream, or mascarpone.  The dairy options are endless!!!!  I really liked fresh ricotta in this recipe. 

coffee cake, cinnamon swirl, brunch, streusel topping
breakfast, cake, dessert
American
Yield: 9-12 servings
Author:

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

Delicate, moist coffee cake with a cinnamon swirl and streusel to top it all off.
prep time: 30 Mcook time: 45 Mtotal time: 75 M

ingredients:

For the Cake
  • 1/2 cup / 112g oil
  • 1/2 cup / 100g sugar
  • 1/4 cup / 50g brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup / 122g plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup / 119g milk
  • 2 cups / 240g all-purpose flour
For the Cinnamon Swirl
  • 1/2 cup / 100g brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
For the Streusel
  • 1/3 cup / 67g sugar
  • 1/4 cup / 30g all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup / 23g rolled oats
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp / 28g butter, melted

instructions:

How to cook Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

Make the Cake
  1. Oven 350°F / 177°C. Greased 8x8in / 20x20cm square baking pan, or 8in / 20cm round cake pan.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat oil, sugars, baking powder, salt, and vanilla until well combined. Beat in egg.
  3. In a separate small bowl mix together yogurt and milk.
  4. Add a third of the flour to the oil mixture, mixing until almost combined. Add half of the yogurt mixture. Continue adding flour and yogurt mixture to oil mixture until everything is just combined.
  5. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan, spreading all the way to edges; set other half aside.
Make the Cinnamon Swirl
  1. In a small bowl combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and cocoa powder.
  2. Sprinkle evenly over batter in pan.
  3. Pour remaining batter over cinnamon filling and use a spatula to gently spread to edges.
Make the Streusel
  1. In another small bowl, combine sugar, flour, oats, and cinnamon. Add the melted butter and mix until crumbles form.
  2. Evenly distribute crumble over batter in pan.
  3. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

NOTES:

Watch that bake time. Toothpicks are your best friend. I was testing this recipe using my Italian oven that didn't like to bake things on the bottom, so you may need less time. REALLY like coffee cake? Double this recipe and put in a 9x13 inch pan or two cake pans. You can always freeze one pan! Don't have plain yogurt on hand? You can also use sweetened yogurt and reduce sugar by 1/4 cup / 50g, or try Greek yogurt, fresh ricotta, sour cream, or mascarpone. The dairy options are endless!!!! I really liked fresh ricotta in this recipe.

Calories

402.38

Fat (grams)

16.42

Sat. Fat (grams)

2.95

Carbs (grams)

59.80

Fiber (grams)

1.55

Net carbs

58.24

Sugar (grams)

35.85

Protein (grams)

5.08

Sodium (milligrams)

311.45

Cholesterol (grams)

29.23
Nutritional information is approximate and based on 9 servings.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Pumpkin Coconut Bars (Vegan)

One week until Thanksgiving!  'Tis the season for baking too much, cooking too much, and eating too much.  But sometimes you don't want to wait until Thanksgiving for a slice of pumpkin pie, yet you don't want to ruin it, or sometimes you just want something of a lighter nature that you can feel good about eating.  The upcoming season of delicious foods and feasting does not mean that you should be eating plain lettuce, carrot sticks, and rutabaga all day to "save up" for the holidays.  In fact, if it's not delicious, then you shouldn't eat it.  I believe food is a good gift and should always be enjoyed, and never suffered through.  If it's not delicious, then something isn't being done right.  Nutritious can be delicious.  But delicious does not always have to be nutritious.  Everything in moderation.  Do you follow me?  Well, never mind.  Now for something that falls into the three most important categories: Delicious, Nutritious, AND Festive. 


Pumpkin Coconut Energy Bars

Makes 8-10 Bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pitted dates

  • 1/2 cup nuts of choice, raw and unsalted

  • 2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds or chia seeds

  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut

  • 1/4 cup oats

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

  • 1/4 tsp cloves

  • 1/4 tsp ginger

  • 1/4 cup / 60g pumpkin puree

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a food processor.  Blend for several minutes, until slightly chunky or completely smooth, as you wish.

Line an 8x8 in baking dish with parchment paper.  Lightly sprinkle with oats or coconut to prevent mixture from sticking too much.

Scoop mixture into dish and carefully spread to the edges.  Use lightly oiled or wet hands to help this process.  Sprinkle with more coconut, pumpkin seeds, or both.

Place in the freezer for a couple hours, then slice into bars.  Store in at room temperature, in the fridge, or in the freezer, depending on how firm you want the bars to be. 

Jenny's Notes:

I used a combination of almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, cashews, and Brazil nuts.  Why use only 1 or 2 varieties of nuts when you can use 5?? Haha


White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

"Delicious Oats.  Sweet Oats.  Lovely, crunchy oats!  Splendid Oats."  If you've ever seen the live-action talking horse Black Beauty, you'll know what I'm talking about.  If you haven't, then you probably think I'm crazy and really like oats.  I'm not denying that.  But if you fall into the latter category and have never seen Black Beauty, the I suggest you make these cookies, pop a large bowl of popcorn, and do yourself a favor and enjoy this classic.  The stuff of childhood.   

White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups oats
  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries

Directions:

Oven 350 Fahrenheit.

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. 

In another large bowl combine oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla; mix well. 

Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients and combine.  Stir in oats, chips, and cranberries until evenly distributed. 

Drop by spoonfuls onto baking sheet and bake for 7-9 minutes, until edges are set but centers are still soft and wet looking.  Allow to cool for a few minutes before removing from baking sheet.

Jenny's Notes:

Dried cherries are also a delicious combination with white chocolate.  And if you live in Traverse City, Michigan, it may be obligatory for you to try it at least once...;)

Pumpkin Spice Energy Bites

These little balls of energy are all about that pumpkin and spice and everything nice, and health and wealth with all of that schmealth.  Or something like that.  These will not make you rich.  Or give you schmealth.  I would never wish schmealth on anyone.  That sounds like some terrible disease.  Nor will these actually bite you.  You bite them.  Nom nom nom.

The great thing about these is that they whip up so quick.  In less than 15 minutes you can have delicious morsels easy to grab for a snack, pack for a quick lunch, or take on long car rides.  They're so easy to make you might spend more time assembling the ingredients, or mis en place, than making them!  And if I would stop rambling you probably could've had them already made...Scusami.

Pumpkin Spice Energy Bites

Makes about 20 Bites

Ingredients:

    •    1 cup oats
    •    1/4 cup ground flax seeds or wheat germ
    •    1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    •    1/4 tsp cloves
    •    1/4 tsp ginger
    •    1/4 tsp nutmeg
    •    1/4 cup peanut butter
    •    1/4 cup pumpkin puree
    •    2 Tbsp maple syrup
    •    1 Tbsp honey
    •    1 tsp vanilla extract
    •    1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:

In a medium bowl combine all ingredients; mix well.

Roll mixture into approximately 1 inch balls.  Place in a container and store in the refrigerator, or freeze for snacking at a later date. 

Jenny's Notes:

With these types of recipes you do not have to be overly exact in your measurements.  If the dough seems too soft, simply add more oats or flax.  Too crumbly and you can add any number of things, honey, maple syrup, peanut butter...the choice is yours to personalize as you wish!

Now that didn't hurt, did it?  Happy snacking!

 

 

Peanut Butter Energy Bites

What is energy, and why do these bites have so much?  I'm not about to give you a lesson in physics, I'll leave that to Iggy Azalea, but basically they are filled with good calories (energy) from the nutrients and natural sugar.  If there is the word energy in the title, it probably just means it's high calorie.  But if they were called Peanut Butter Calorie Bites, who would make them?  Calories get such a bad rap, poor things.  Calories, I can't liiive without yooooou!  Literally. (If you just sang that to the tune of "Without You" by Badfinger, congratulations.  Me too.)  So if you need a boost of energy or a quick pick-me-up, these are your friends.  Also great if you are about to expend a lot of energy, like going for a run or playing Twister.  They are small but pack a punch, so they don't make you feel too full.  

Peanut Butter Energy Bites

Makes about 15 1-in. diameter balls

Ingredients:

A mass of energy...

A mass of energy...

  • 1 cup oats
  • 2/3 cup flaked or shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ, chia seeds, or ground flax seed
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients using a spoon or your hands.  If dough seems too dry, add more honey or peanut butter; if they seem too wet, add more oats or wheat germ. 

Form into balls and store in the fridge or freezer for when you want a quick snack.

Jenny's Notes:

For vegan bites, be sure to use diary free chips and replace honey with maple syrup.

For gluten-free bites, make sure your oats are certified gluten-free and use chia or flax seeds instead of wheat germ. 

Get creative with these bites, substitute or add to the chocolate chips with your favorite dried fruit or nuts, or even types of cereal, such as grape-nuts, puffed rice, granola, etc.

Adapted from Gimme Some Oven

Espresso Oatmeal Cookies

Coffee. What a beautiful word.  It incites such eager anticipation, excitement, thirst, and general burst of energy even before drinking said caffeinated beverage.  It's loved the world over, with different ways and preferences for roasting, preparing, and consuming, but in the end it's something we share together, with our family, friends, and our early mornings and foggy brains. 

My mom's coffee bar.  A nice mix of the Italian Moka pot on the left, an American drip coffee machine, Chemex, and a French Nespresso machine.

My mom's coffee bar.  A nice mix of the Italian Moka pot on the left, an American drip coffee machine, Chemex, and a French Nespresso machine.

In Italy coffee is a way of life.  More or less espresso, because if you order a caffé or caffé normale, you will get a shot of espresso.  Drip coffee, or so to speak "normal" coffee for Americans is rare to find here.  Almost all of their drinks are espresso based and served in small espresso cups, such as cappuccino, macchiato, ristretto, mocha, etc. Whereas our coffee is served in large mugs and not nearly as strong, usually the smallest size being a 12 oz if you go to a coffee shop.  If you think about it, the Americano is aptly named.  An Americano is watered down espresso.  And what is espresso?  Strong coffee.  So if you add water to strong coffee, what do you get?  A bigger cup of not as strong coffee, more similar to American coffee.  And we seem to like that quantity.  Soup bowls of it in the morning.  You know it, all the mugs that talk about "Don't talk to me before coffee," "Coffee First," and the likes.  And we go out for coffee dates with friends that last an hour, two, or three.  And that 20 oz mug of coffee will last for almost that long. 

In Italy, you go to a bar, order your coffee at the bar, and throw that espresso back within a minute or two.  Sometimes you sit down, but usually only if you are with someone and are at your leisure.  Un caffé, or espresso, only costs 1 euro usually, so it doesn't set you back too far.  You're not dropping $5 on an Ethiopian single origin organic latte with raw honey and cardamom with a twist of lemon.  Actually, that sounds really good right now.  

Un cappuccino from News Caffé in Florence

Un cappuccino from News Caffé in Florence

Not to infer that Italians always drink their coffee out and at the bar, especially when they drink it throughout the day; something with milk for breakfast, such as a cappuccino, espresso to finish off the other meals and at any other time of the day that tickles their fancy. They also prepare their own at home as well, usually involving the beloved Moka pot.  According to my Italian workbook, the average Italian drinks 600 cups of caffé and cappuccino per year, and of these cups 70% are drunk at home while only 20% are drunk at a bar, and 10% at work. 

Another interesting tidbit about espresso is that the word "espresso" is the Italian past tense of "esprimere" or "to express."  The Italians love to express themselves (but who doesn't?) and I like to think of it as just another way in which they do that, in their art and passion for creating and drinking coffee.  It also denotes express meaning the speed in which the beverage is both prepared and consumed.  The express lane.  So don't be too harsh on your friends when they call espresso "expresso."  They're actually not as far off as we think.  But still, be a good friend and correct them.

Does all this talk of coffee leave you wanting some?  Me too.  And cookies.  But I always want cookies.  You know those people who sport the mugs saying not to talk to them before coffee? Yeah, I can be that way before cookies.  So today, cookies with espresso in them!!!

Espresso Oatmeal Cookies

Makes about 30 small cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups oats
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp ground espresso beans, or ground coffee
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:

Oven 350 Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In another large bowl, mix together oil, brown and white sugar.  Beat in the egg, vanilla, and espresso powder until well combined.

Add the dry mixture and chocolate chips to wet mixture and mix until well combined. 

Drop dough by spoonful onto cookie sheets and bake for 7-10 minutes or until edges are set and center still looks a touch wet.  Allow to cool for 1-2 minutes before removing from cookie sheet.

Jenny's Notes:

Only have white sugar or brown sugar on hand?  In a recipe such as this they can easily be substituted for each other.  You can use all white or all brown sugar.  In Italy true brown sugar is hard to find, and it usually has a strong molasses taste.  I frequently use all white sugar and eliminate the brown sugar here, I can't have all my desserts tasting like molasses and gingerbread and Christmas time!

Adapted from She Bakes Here

Amaretto Mascarpone Coffee Cake

Guest Photography featuring Bailey Shoemaker

Guest Photography featuring Bailey Shoemaker

When my roommate Rachel moved back to the States at the at the end of June, it wasn't possible to take everything with her.  Some things got left behind, and I got to inherit them.  Dishes? Yay, I don't have to eat off my hands.  Laundry hamper?  Keeping all the dirty clothes in one place, I like it.  Coffee grinder?  Yahoo, fresh ground coffee in the morning!  And a of bottle Disaronno?? Oh, joy! What baking adventures lie before us, my sweet (literally), Italian made, amaretto flavored, almond liqueur? Maybe cupcakes, coffee cake, and cookies, oh my! 

Today, coffee cake.  With a layer of slightly sweet mascarpone in the middle to balance the sweetness of the Disaronno and oatmeal crumble on top. 

Amaretto Mascarpone Coffee Cake

Ingredients:

For the Cake

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 whole egg + 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup amaretto
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk or sour milk

For the Mascarpone Filling

  • 8 oz mascarpone, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk

For the Oat Streusel

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature

Directions:

Oven 325 Fahrenheit.  Grease well either an 8 in. spring-form or 8x8 pan. 

Make the cake

In a large bowl or in the bowl of an electric mixer, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Add oil and mix until crumbly.  Add eggs, milk, and amaretto and beat until smooth. 

Pour half of this batter into prepared pan.  Set remaining half aside while you make the mascarpone filling.

Make the Mascarpone Filling

In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer, beat mascarpone, sugar, and yolk just until creamy.  Pour over cake batter in pan and carefully spread to the edges. 

Pour remaining cake batter over mascarpone filling and spread to the edges. 

Make the Oat Streusel

In a bowl combine flour, sugar, oats, and salt.  Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, fork, or clean hands.  Combine until coarse crumbs form.  Evenly crumble over the top of the cake batter.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until center is almost set but still has a slight jiggle to it.  Allow to cool completely before slicing and serving. 

I suggest serving (to the adults, of course!) with hot coffee with a splash of milk and amaretto...your very own caffè corretto!  Caffè corretto means "corrected coffee."  Because we all know, coffee without alcohol isn't correct...haha.

Jenny's Notes:

Don't have mascarpone on hand, but do have cream cheese?  They can usually be substituted for each other, and certainly in this case if you wish.  Mascarpone is a decadently creamy Italian cheese, a touch thicker than cream cheese, but it is the same price here as the cream cheese, if not cheaper.  Despite what you've probably heard most of your life, even sadly from chefs and cooks on TV, it is not pronounced mas-car-pone nor mars-cah-pone, but mas-car-pone-NAY.  Let that Italian fly free and pronounce that hard E at the end!

You can get creative with what type of liqueur or liquor you use in this coffee cake!  Bailey's, rum, Kahlua, Triple Sec...

Adapted from Call Me PMc

No-Bake Pumpkin Date Bars

Happy Wednesday/Buon Mercoledì!! Still didn't quite make the "Baking Tuesday" but today I shall dub "Baking Wednesday."  And it shall be good.  And involve all things healthy disguised as dessert (did I just lose you? Don't go away just yet, I don't put gross food on my blog!), chocolate (there, now you'll stay), pumpkin, spice, and everything nice! Life is too short to eat and drink poorly.

"La vita è troppo breve per mangiare e bere male" - Eataly

These bars feature a creamy, pumpkin chocolate chip filling atop a wonderfully soft and chewy-sweet date crust .  They can easily be made gluten-free, vegan, and dairy-free.  And you can eat them anytime for breakfast or a healthy snack (to be pronounced snaaaaaack with the Italian hand going) because there is no refined sugar (except from the chocolate chips), protein from the beans, fiber from the oat flour and dates, antioxidants from the maple syrup and spices, and lots of vitamins and minerals from the pumpkin and above mentioned ingredients!  You guys, this is such a win-win.  In fact, these bars might help you not die.  That last claim is not backed by science. 

No-Bake Pumpkin Date Bars

Ingredients:

For the Date Crust

  • 1 cup packed dates
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • pinch of salt

For the Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip Filling

  • 1 15 oz can white beans (navy beans, great northern, etc.)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup packed dates
  • 5 Tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips, plus extra for topping

Directions:

Make the Date Crust

In a food processor combine dates, almonds, and salt.  Pulse until the almonds are finely ground and everything comes together into a soft, crumbly dough that sticks together when pressed between your fingers.  If after a few minutes the crust doesn't come together, add a few more dates.

Spread and press crust into a 8x8 or 9x9 in square pan.  Clean food processor, you are about to use it again.

Make the Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip Filling

In the food processor, combine all the filling ingredients except for chocolate chips.  Blend until smooth.  Scrape filling into a bowl and stir in chocolate chips.  Spread over crust and top with more chocolate chips. 

Cover and refrigerate for two hours before slicing and serving.  Of course, that's in an ideal world, if you just can't wait, it will be okay.  The center will just be softer.  (And I know this because...)

Jenny's Notes:

Vegan Version: Simply make sure your chocolate chips are vegan. 

Gluten-free: Use certified gluten-free oats.

Dairy-free: Make sure your chocolate chips are dairy-free.  Easy, no?

Don't have oat flour? Make your own! Put the amount of oat flour you need of oats in a food processor or blender, plus a little extra, and blend until finely ground into flour! Tada.

Regarding all spices ever, they should be ground for recipes.  I will indicate only if they should be whole.  For the most part I try to reduce redundancy, since most spices come pre-ground.  For optimal flavor I would recommend buying spices whole and grinding them as needed. A labor of love, but the flavor is so fresh.

If you like sweeter desserts, or are serving a crowd that isn't used to "healthy" desserts, you could always add an extra 1/2 cup or so of brown sugar to the filling.

Maple syrup made by my dad, home-ground oat flour, dry beans, homemade vanilla extract

Maple syrup made by my dad, home-ground oat flour, dry beans, homemade vanilla extract

Adapted from Imma Eat That

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars

IMG_4192.JPG

Blogging on a Friday? What happened to Tuesday Baking? Well, Tuesday Baking doesn't have that nice of a ring to it. I'm not married to it just yet. It just...has worked out that way. (I need a day of the week that starts with B...) This week I have been spectacularly busy, with not a moment to spare for blogging.  I beg your forgiveness, and I am hoping all will be forgiven once you make and bake and eat these bars. 

Because they are cheesecake. I really like cheesecake.  I mean creamy, not overpoweringly sweet, with a bit of graham cracker accompanying each bite.  Good morning, sunshine!  I also really like chocolate and peanut butter.  So today let's make some peanut butter cheesecake bars with chocolate chips. 

Fair warning: These can be very difficult to make.  You have to be able to resist eating all of the dough.  If you can do that, then the actual making of these are quite simple.  Va bene? Va bene.

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars

Ingredients:

For the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

  • 6 Tbsp oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips

For the Cream Cheese Filling

  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

Oven 325 Fahrenheit.

Make the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Mix together the oil, sugars, and peanut butter in a large bowl until well combined.  Add the egg and beat well.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and oats.

Stir flour mixture into sugar mixture, then add chocolate chips and stir until evenly distributed.  Set aside.

Make the Cream Cheese Filling

Beat cream cheese in a stand mixer or with an electric handheld mixer for about 30 seconds.  Add sugar, egg, and vanilla and beat until thoroughly combined. 

Assembly

Press half of the cookie dough into the bottom of an 8x8 in or 9x9 in pan.  Pour and spread cream cheese filling evenly over dough.  Using your hands, crumble the remaining half of cookie dough over cream cheese until it is thoroughly covered.

Cover with tinfoil and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove foil and continue to bake for another 10-15 minutes, until cream cheese center is almost set and the top is lightly golden brown. 

Adapted from Pinch of Yum

Coconut Banana Breakfast Cookies

Everyone wants to eat cookies for breakfast.  And lunch.  And for a snack, and dinner, and second breakfastsies.  If you don't, then you might not want to read this post.  Just...leave quietly.  But before you go, these are no Chips Ahoy. (No judgment there, if that was your breakfast.  In fact, invite me over next time.)  These are delicious and nutritious and with no refined sugar.  Think bananas, coconut, pecans, and apricots with a light tough of maple syrup and oats.  Of course, I practically just gave you the whole ingredient list so let's just get baking, shall we?? 

Coconut Banana Breakfast Cookies

Makes about 15 cookies

Ingredients:

Directions:

  • *1 1/2 cups oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut or flakes
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds
  • 1 Tbsp flax seeds
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Oven 350 Fahrenheit

In a medium bowl, stir together oats, coconut, pecans, flax, salt, and apricots.  Add the bananas, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla until combined.  Spoon generous mounds onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silpat. 

Bake 23-25 minutes, until lightly golden. 

Some raisins snuck into these ones

Some raisins snuck into these ones

Jenny's Notes:

Recipes like this are great because they can be so easily adapted to your tastes, or simply to change it up.  Feel free to use any kind of nuts you wish, or a combination of several, change up the dried fruit, or use honey instead of maple syrup.  I recommend also trying dried blueberries and dried cherries!

*Most recipes will list whether quick oats, rolled oats, or old-fashioned oats should be used.  You'll notice I don't specify unless I think the recipe really needs a specific kind of oat.  I've found that in most recipes the different kind of oats can be interchanged without affecting the quality of your product.  Just keep in mind that quick oats are more absorbent, so use slightly less than called for if substituting for old-fashioned or rolled, or slightly more rolled if substituting for quick.