Honey Oatmeal Cookies

So…. my poor yet amazing boyfriend has been in the hospital for a week and let me tell you, hospital “food” is not only depressing it is disgusting! After sitting in the ER on a very hard wooden chair for 13 hours, then sleeping on a very hard chair next to his bed in his hospital room, then sleeping on the hard cement floor in the waiting room…. I was hoping for at least a hot cup of joe. Of course, after a week of hell, it would be crazy to have even that. I ended up with a slightly warm cup of sludge and a questionable pastry. It was enough to make me cry. Well, cry more that is.

I stayed by my man, like any good woman would do, but I was suffering too! We finally came home the other day, and I was hungry, sad, happy and worried all at the same time! So… I just wanted to make myself some comfort food. What says comfort like oatmeal in cookie form? I love oatmeal raisin cookies and I love honey. The simple idea of baking them lifted my spirits and gave me the energy to take care of my still very sick boyfriend. It was just what the doctor ordered!

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So, here is what you will need…

  • 1/2 C. Butter, softened
  • 1/4 C. Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 C. Light Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp. Vietnamese Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. Ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • I large Egg
  • 3 Tbsp. Honey
  • 3/4 C. All purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 C. Old Fashion Oats
  • 1 1/2 C. Raisins

Here was my process…

  1. In your mixer, cream together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until mixture is smooth.
  2. Add spices, salt, baking soda and vanilla. Mix on a low speed until combined.
  3. Beat in Egg and Honey.
  4. Add flour and mix until combined.
  5. Add oats and raisins and mix until your dough forms. About 2 minutes.
  6. Cover tightly and chill for at least 2 hours.
  7. Once the dough has chilled, pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F and line baking sheet with parchment. Drop cookies onto prepared baking sheet. Cookies will spread out, so make sure to leave  2 inches between cookies.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes, let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to cooling rack.

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Enjoy these super chewy cookies at breakfast, or lunch or really whenever you feel a little bit down. I’m telling you, after a week in the hospital watching the person you love suffer, these cookies will be like a giant hug for your soul.

Happy Baking!

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Peanut Butter and Honey Hearts

Yummy Yummy people! I am loving the whole candy making thing, and since it is so hot outside, I figured why not give my oven a break. This is a super easy way to make delicious, fairly guilt free Peanut Butter Cup type treats at home.

I can honestly say that i don’t get the PB&J thing… AT ALL! It is a bizarre combination of food that just doesn’t work for me. Lots of treats involving peanut butter call for salt, but I think peanut butter is salty enough. Some say it adds to the flavor, but so does the chocolate, the honey, etc. No salt needed here. These are the perfect addition to a summer ice cream sundae!

So, you will need…

  • 2 C. Peanut Butter, use the All- Natural kind, it just tastes better!
  • 2 3/4 C. Confectioners Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. Honey, local honey of course
  • 1/4 C. Butter, at room temperature
  • 1 C. Chocolate or Chocolate Candy Coating finely chopped, tempered for dipping

Here was my process…

  1. Combine peanut butter, butter, confectioners sugar and honey in a bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon until a thick mixture forms.
  2. Take your candy mold and fill each mold, pressing down to make sure all air bubbles have escaped.
  3. Scrape excess off top of each mold, and place in freezer for up to an hour until stiff.
  4. Pop hearts out of mold onto a piece of parchment on a baking sheet.
  5. Temper chocolate or candy coating, I used a double boiler for my candy coating but you can use the microwave too.
  6. Dip hearts into candy coating and let set.
  7. Enjoy!

These are so easy to make, and so much fun to eat. It is always nice to eat homemade candies, and they are going to make a great gift as well!

Happy Baking… or Candy Making!

Orange Honey Ice Cream Sandwiches

Yay!!! Summer is upon us and there is no end in sight. The endless possibilities of summer treats make me feel like I could bake forever! I have three pages of things I want to create and share with my loved ones. The fresh squeezed lemonade, strawberries and cream, fresh green salads… and watermelon! The flavors go on and on. For today I settled on Oranges and Honey. Yummy yummy!

I wanted a cookie that would be able to make a sort of “Dreamsicle” type Ice Cream Sandwich. SO, I made Orange Honey cookies and used some 1/2 fat vanilla bean ice cream for the filling. The ice cream complimented the cookies so well, you would think that the ice cream company had invented this cookie. Alas, it was I… just a simple baker.

 

So, you will need…

  • 2 C. All Purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 C. + 2 Tbsp. Canola Oil
  • 1/4 C. Honey
  • 1 C. Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice, yes, freshly squeezed!
  • 1 Egg

Here was my process…

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl combine canola oil, honey, sugar, orange juice and egg. Beat with mixer of your choice until all ingredients are well combined.
  4. Pour dry mixture into wet mixture and mix until all ingredients are incorporated. DO NOT over beat.
  5. Spoon dough onto prepared baking sheets allowing room to spread.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 9-11 minutes, until sides are a lovely honey brown.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool completely before creating a Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich!

These cookies are surprisingly delicious and work very well in this situation! They are also good on their own, or with milk. Milk and honey after all, are very good friends.

Happy Baking!

 

Honey Cinnamon Doughnuts w/ Brown Sugar Glaze (low fat!!!)

I was trying to think of the perfect Father’s day treat, and I had a few ideas, but I wanted to do something special. So, I thought of the things my dad enjoys, and Honey was right at the top of that list. And who doesn’t like a doughnut?! So, I took the ‘love of Honey’ idea and turned it into a delicious baked treat.  This is a masculine doughnut with bold flavors, yet light in consistency and low in fat. Win win!

And just like with anything else that is sweet, a little bit of honey goes a long way!

So, you will need…

  • 1 c.  Whole Wheat Pastry Flour ( makes a more tender doughnut)
  • 1/2 C. Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 3 Tbsp. Canola Oil
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. Buttermilk
  • 1 Tbsp. Honey

* I used the cinnamon sugar butter from the popover recipe to “grease” the doughnut pan.Just for a little extra pizzazz.

Here was my process…

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease doughnut pan with cinnamon sugar butter.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Whisk, and set aside.
  3. Combine eggs, buttermilk, Canola Oil and honey in another bowl. Whisk until mixture is foamy.
  4. Pour wet mixture over dry mixture and mix just until combined.
  5. Put dough into a pastry bag and pipe into each doughnut form until half full.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees F for 10  minutes.
  7. At 7 minutes, brush tops of doughnuts with cinnamon sugar butter.
  8. Remove from pan and let cool completely before glazing.
  9. While the doughnuts are cooling, you can whip up the glaze. I used 1/4 C. Brown Sugar, 1/4 C. Confectioners Sugar and added 1 tablespoon of Milk at a time until I got the consistency that I wanted.

These are a low fat doughnut so make sure to have at least two! They are light and not too sweet, and sooo easy to make.

Happy Baking!

Sweet and Spicy Cornbread

It is just starting to get a little bit warm around here, and so I have been cooking with fresh ingredients and loving every minute of it. I wanted to make some spicy spring chili with cornbread, but it just felt to boring! I love Cornbread and all, but geeze… it is really just a dull, dull bread. That can get very dry and tasteless if done wrong! Of course I am just not one of those people 😉

For Easter, the Easter Bunny (aka my mom!!!, yes, still…) brought me a guacamole basket filled with avocados, limes, tomatillos, Habanero peppers, chili peppers and jalapenos! We could only put so much in the guac, and then I made chicken tacos with some of them… they are damn spicy! So, I figured, why not Pump Up the Volume ( yes, I just went there) and pull a Christian Slater on this cornbread!

Sweet with honey (and love) and spicy with chilis! That would definitely be something to write about.

So, you will need…

  • 1 1/4 C. All-Purpose flour
  • 3/4 C.  Corn Meal
  • 1/4 C. sugar
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 C. Milk
  • 1/4 C. Canola Oil
  • 2 Egg Whites, beaten (NOT WHOLE EGGS)
  • 2 fresh jalapenos diced
  • honey to drizzle over uncooked cornbread before baking, hence the sweet and spicy… just saying!

Here was my process…

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and grease preferred method of baking pan, dish, skillet, etc.
  2. In a  large bowl combine flour, corn meal, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix lightly, just until everything is combined.
  3. Add Milk, Canola Oil and beaten egg whites. Mix well.
  4. Add jalapeno, diced, chopped however you like them!
  5. Spoon batter into prepared baking pan.
  6. Drizzle honey over each piece. The honey will sink into the cornbread and create a delicious crust.
  7. Bake for 20-22 minutes!

 

These are best served fresh, and don’t be afraid to add a bit more spice!

Happy Baking!

Honey Sea Salt Caramels

Fun Fun Fun!!! The last time I was in San Francisco I was staying with my darling friend Megan, and across from her little studio apartment there was a coffee shop that sold the most amazing chocolate covered Sea Salt Caramels. I went there nearly everyday to get one. So, I was having a little flash back and I thought to myself, “How hard could it be?”

Turns out it is pretty darn easy if you have the inspiration and the motivation! This caramel is soft, smooth and buttery with a salty finish. The Chocolate adds an entirely new layer of flavor and the whole thing is a delicious combo. Any woman who has ever craved the sweet and salty combo will adore this recipe! There is something to be said for making this combination work, there is a delicate balance, and after a few tries I found the balance I was looking for. I think that the honey really makes this recipe work, but you can decide for yourself!

So, you will need…

  • 1 1/3 C. Heavy Cream
  • 2 C. Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 C. Light Corn Syrup
  • 1/3 C. Honey
  • 6 Tbs. Butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 3 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 C. Dark Chocolate (Ghirardelli is the best!)

Here was my process…

  1. Prepare a baking sheet, a deep one, by lining it with tin foil and spraying it with non stick cooking spray. You want your caramel to sit about and inch high, maybe a little less.
  2. Next bring cream to a boil over medium high heat.
  3. Stir in sugar, corn syrup and honey until it begins to boil. Make sure to use a pastry brush dipped in water to wipe down the sides of the pot so that sugar crystals don’t form.
  4. Stirring the caramel occasionally, cook until the caramel reaches 257 degrees F.
  5. Immediately remove from heat and stir in butter, vanilla and Sea Salt.
  6. Pour into prepared pan and let sit at room temperature until it sets. You want the caramel to be hard enough to cut into pieces.

To given them a nice chocolate coat, melt chocolate (using your preferred method, I used the double boiler method), and dip each piece in the chocolate fully covering it. Allow the drips to drip off, and then place on a piece of parchment paper to set. While still wet, sprinkle with Sea Salt.Wait a dew minutes before sprinkling with Sea Salt to avoid the salt just melting into the chocolate.

These are some delicious caramels. They are soft and don’t stick to your teeth, which is a very huge plus! I am a proud lady! These are a great little gift, and just in time for Easter.

It seems like a scary task, but it is a fun process, and there is lots of room to get creative, which is, in itself, truly inspiring!

Happy Baking!