Monday, September 30, 2013

Secret Recipe Club: Maple Walnut Cookies

It is another Secret Recipe Club reveal day!  This month, we were assigned the blog A Healthy Jalapeno.  Laura, the author of A Healthy Jalapeno, loves cooking and is a self-described "health food junkie."  She has adorable dogs and lots of yummy recipes available on her blog.  With our latest attempts to focus on healthier eating, we were excited to explore Laura's blog... but then we found this perfect fall recipe and just had to try it out.

It is exciting that Kelsey and I are actually doing this post together.  She had a conference in Arlington and needed me to do the actual baking for the Secret Recipe Club.   We decided that we would half the recipe as there are only three of us to eat the cookies.  I was very excited about the Maple Walnut cookies as my favorite ice cream is Maple Walnut, so this combo is a favorite.  The recipe was very easy and after I halved the recipe, I decided that a little more flour was needed to make the dough stiff enough to roll.  We decided that we loved the flavor and that the cookies were not overly sweet.  These will be really good with a nice cup of tea on a fall afternoon.  Thank you, Laura!

Maple Walnut Cookies recipe

Maple Walnut Cookies

From A Healthy Jalapeno, recipe has been halved

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg white
1/2 cup real maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup oat flour
1/3 cup raw walnuts, crushed

Granulated or organic sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar. Add the egg, syrup and vanilla. Mix until well blended. Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda. Stir into mixture, add walnuts and combine until well blended. Shape into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar. Place on cookie sheets about 2 inches apart and flatten slightly.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Let cool on wire rack.

Serve warm and possibly even with a glass of hot apple cider. Yum!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Little People Apple Muffins

Kid-friendly Apple Muffins recipe

It has been a while since we've shared a family favorite with you on the blog, but this recipe should make up for that.  These "little people apple muffins" have been my favorite since I was in pre-school. Yes, that is a long time ago, and I still love these muffins.  These tiny, delicious muffins were the perfect size for my little person hands as a 4 year old, and they still satisfy years later now that I am a big person.

I did adapt this recipe a little bit, cutting the oil slightly, switching oat flour for some of the regular flour, and using apple cider instead of apple juice. You are going to love these!  They taste like fall.  Go pick some apples and make these muffins this weekend!

Apple Muffins recipe

Little People Apple Muffins

From Kim

1/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup oil
½ cup apple cider
2 ½ cup apples, peeled and diced small
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup ground oats (pulse 1 cup old fashioned oats in a food processor until finely ground)
1 tablespooon baking Powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup pecans

Combine brown sugar, eggs, oil, and apple juice.  Add apples and vanilla.

Mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Add to the

sugar mixture and stir well.  Add pecans.  Line muffin tins with paper or spray the

tin with nonstick spray.  Fill 2/3 full.  Bake at 400 for 12-15 mins.  Check after 10

minutes to make sure they do not burn bottom.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Paleo Maple Pumpkin Bread

Paleo Maple Pumpkin Bread recipe

Did you know you could make bread with ground up almonds?? I didn't, until I made this delightful, Paleo pumpkin bread!  It is moist, nutty, and spicy.

Now that it is officially fall, I'm sure that you will be inundated with pumpkin recipes. Even if you aren't Paleo, or gluten-free, or dairy-free, you should try this recipe.  It has tons of protein and healthy fats, and obviously it is delicious.

Your house will smell divine too after baking this. No need for pumpkin spice candles when you can bake pumpkin bread!

PS - you may be wondering "why Paleo?" It is not that I'm trying the Paleo Diet, I just wanted to mix things up. This bread fits into my "clean eating" regime and it also happens to be gluten-free, and I know that some of our lovely K&K readers are celiac, so sometimes it is nice to switch things up so that everyone can enjoy the recipes that you find here!

Paleo Maple Pumpkin Bread

Adapted from Paleo Newbie and Elena's Pantry

1-1/2 cups blanched almond flour (ground almonds)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Dash of cardamom
Dash of allspice
1 cup pure pumpkin purée (not the kind for pies!)
3 eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 tablespoons pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.

In a smaller, separate bowl, whisk eggs gently, then stir in pumpkin purée, vanilla, melted coconut oil, and maple syrup until well combined.  Pour the wet mixture into the larger bowl with the dry mixture, and stir until all of the dry mixture is incorporated.

Pour the batter into a parchment lined 8" loaf pan (I didn't line my pan, lining it let's you take the loaf out of the pan easily to cut it!).

Bake the loaf for 35-40 minutes at 350°F.  Allow to cool completely before removing from the pan and slicing.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Fall Favorites

Since I haven't been very prolific in the kitchen lately, I thought I would share some of my favorite fall "throwback" recipes today on the blog!  Fall may still be a few days away, but the cooler weather here has me dreaming of pumpkin / squash, Halloween decorations, and cozy sweaters.  Click the links to go to the original post and view the recipe.

Easy Maple Pumpkin Oatmeal: A cozy way to start the day!

Easy Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting:  These are so simple and so delicious!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup:  I actually made the squash soup this week, and was reminded of how easy and delicious it is!

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese:  A lighter take on my favorite comfort food.

Pumpkin Cupcakes: These are perfect for Halloween parties!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Chocolate Strawberry Overnight Oats

Chocolate Strawberry Overnight Oats recipe

It seems that K&K Test Kitchen is turning into a breakfast blog.  Breakfast has been the only meal that I have consistently experimented with this summer, and as the most important meal of the day, it is always good to keep it interesting.

Earlier this summer, I posted a version of overnight oats.  Before we get to fall temperatures and want to make regular oats (I know some of you are experiencing extreme heat still and this is the perfect breakfast for a heat wave), I wanted to share this extremely decadent and delicious version of overnight oats.  It might feel like you are eating dessert for breakfast, and that is perfectly fine in my book.  Except this breakfast is packed with protein, fiber, and healthy fats!  This breakfast is also perfect for those on the run, just make it in a mason jar and take it along with you on your way to work, school, the gym, etc.

Chocolate Strawberry Overnight Oats

1/3 cup oats (the type doesn't really matter, but I use old fashioned)
1/3 cup sugar-free chocolate almond milk
1/3 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
1/2 banana, mashed
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1 teaspoon chia seeds

1/4 cup fresh strawberries, quartered
1/2 tablespoon chocolate chips
Small handful of chopped walnuts

In a jar or resealable container, stir together the ingredients until well combined.  Refrigerate overnight. Top with fresh strawberries, walnuts, and chocolate chips in the morning, and enjoy!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Peach Bourbon Crumble Bars

Peach Bourbon Crumble Bars recipe

This is what I will affectionately call a "tone it down" recipe.  You won't see many more like this for a while, because I am cleaning my eating up again for the fall.  I fell off the wagon a little bit the past little while and have fallen into the habit of eating treats too often.  Treats are definitely okay in moderation in my book, but I was not exactly in the "moderation" zone!  But, if you are going to have a treat, it might as well be awesome, right?!

These bars are a delicious combination of salty, sweet, and tart.  The fresh peaches balance out the buttery, pecan-studded crust and the bourbon just gives these bars a little something extra special.  I couldn't help it but eat several of these myself.  Try them before the end of peach season and you'll understand why!

Peach Bourbon Crumble Bars

5 peaches
3 tablespoons high quality Kentucky bourbon
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon flour or cornstarch
1-3/4 cup flour
1-1/4 old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup cold butter, cubed

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Peel and slice the peaches.  Pour bourbon and one tablespoon brown sugar over the peaches and let them soak while you prepare the crust.

Whisk together flour, oats, remaining tablespoon of brown sugar, pecans, baking soda, and cinnamon. Cut in the butter, until the mixture is crumbly and starting to come together (don't be afraid to use your hands!) Press half of the mixture into the bottom of a greased or parchment lined 9x13 inch baking pan, layer peaches over, then crumble the rest on top.

Bake at 350°F for 30-35 mins.

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