cinnamon roll cookies

Yet another example of [insert delicious pastry here] + [insert another delicious pastry here] = heaven.  Cinnamon rolls and cookies, unite!

As unhealthy as this recipe likely is, I justified eating several spoonfuls of cookie dough tonight by sticking to my exercise regimen.  Currently on day 17/60 of the Insanity workout routine, and still feeling the burn.  Woo! :)

Original recipe credit to Reddit user maggiefiasco.

Cinnamon Roll Cookies

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Ingredients

1 1/4 cup flour
1/3 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted soft butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla

Filling:

3 T. maple syrup
1/3 c. dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

The Glaze:

1 c. powdered sugar
2 T. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
dash of cinnamon

Combine the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl and set aside. Cream the butter and sugars together in a large bowl. Add the egg white and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients by thirds, mix until just combined. Roll between two pieces of parchment paper or wax paper to form a 12-inch square. Chill for about 30 minutes. Carefully peel the bottom paper off the dough. Flip the dough and do the same with the other paper. Top the chilled dough with the maple syrup and then sprinkle with the cinnamon and brown sugar. Carefully roll the cookie dough up in a spiral and wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze until firm. Preheat your oven to 350. Slice into 1/4-inch slices and bake on a parchment lined sheet pan for 8-10 minutes. Place the sheet pan on a cooling rack and allow the cookies to cool on the sheet pan for about 10 minutes. Remove them from the sheet pan and continue cooling them on a cooling rack. Drizzle with the powdered sugar glaze.

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blueberry banana sorbet

Let me begin by saying that this was one of the easiest treats I have ever made.

Total prep time took about 5 minutes, not including the time the sorbet spent in the freezer.  Recipes which are this delicious, healthy AND easy to make should be illegal. (Okay, maybe not.  But that’s like the trifecta of the perfect food!)

Blueberry Banana Sorbet

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Ingredients: (serves 2)

2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
2 ripe bananas, sliced
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Blend ingredients in a food processor until mixture is smooth.  Store in a plastic container in the freezer for about 2 hours, then take out to stir the half-frozen mixture thoroughly and freeze again.  Let thaw for about 5 minutes prior to serving. Enjoy!

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blueberry banana bread

So this is kind of delicious.

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…and strawberries. Strawberries go with everything. Almost.

It’s a wonder I still find the motivation to bake, let alone do anything anymore over winter break, given that my early mornings have disintegrated into daily battles with the alarm clock and love affairs with my pillow.  I end up getting most of my work done in the afternoon and late evening, sometimes pushing past midnight or 1 AM.  Including baking.  (Woo, college!)

Nonetheless, I found a way to milk the last of the blueberries and overripe bananas in my pantry to their most useful potential.  Combine my recent obsession with baking with my love for blueberries and voila — you get blueberry banana bread!  Mmmmm.

Looks like breakfast will be taken care of for the next week or two!

Blueberry Banana Bread

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Ingredients: (makes 3 mini-loaves)

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  (If the butter isn’t cooperating, try microwaving it for 30 seconds first.)  Beat in eggs and vanilla extract.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt and gradually add it to the creamed mixture until just combined.  Stir in banana mush and gently fold in blueberries.

Pour into three greased 5-3/4-in. x 3-in. x 2-in. loaf pans. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Use discretion; depending on the size of your pan(s), it could take up to an hour!  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.  After bread is entirely cooled, slice and enjoy… preferably with strawberries on the side.

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blueberry yogurt cookies

What do you do when your fridge is stocked with gallons’ worth of healthy, fresh fruit?

Bake it into unhealthy sugary desserts, obviously.

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All joking aside, these cookies are much healthier than ordinary cookies – they use no butter! – and were definitely worth the use of blueberries.  On day 2 of my baking expedition, I decided to try out this quick 30-minute blueberry yogurt cookie recipe.  The result?  These perfectly sweet, doughy cookies with tart, burst berry bits dispersed throughout.  Delicious!

Blueberry Yogurt Cookies

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Ingredients: (makes about 48 cookies)
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  In a large bowl, thoroughly blend sugar, yogurt, egg and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, salt and baking powder and then blend with the wet yogurt mixture.  Gently fold the blueberries into the batter.  Drop tablespoonfuls of the cookies onto cookie dough onto greased baking sheets with about 2 inches of space in between.

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Bake for about 10 minutes until cookies are barely browned at the edges.  Some of the blueberries will burst during baking – not to worry!  Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for two minutes, and then move the cookies to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.  Once cooled, serve plain or frosted.  Enjoy!

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homemade apple pie with brown sugar glaze

One of my biggest goals this winter break was to learn how to cook.  While I can safely say I’ve mastered the art of grilled cheese (or maybe I just can’t get enough of it), knowing how to cook pretty much necessitates that I also learn how to bake.  (A woman’s gotta know how to bake, y’all.)

you can even see my cat in the upper left corner.

you can even see my cat in the upper left corner.

Not that I really mind.  This Sunday I tried my hand at some good-old apple pie.  The result?  Delicious savory pie with a warm apple filling and light, flaky crust.  Not too sugary, but a perfect treat to satisfy the sweet tooth.  Did I mention this was my first time baking something from scratch? :)

Homemade Apple Pie with Brown Sugar Glaze

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Ingredients: (serves 6)

Pie Crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening
1/2 cup water

Apple Pie:
2 pie crusts (1 for base, 1 for making the top lattice)
6 apples, cored, peeled and sliced/diced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup water

Pie crust: In a large bowl, combine flour and salt.  Mix in shortening until mixture resembles course crumbs, then add water and stir until mixture forms into a ball.  Divide dough into half and shape into balls, but make sure not to overwork it. Refrigerate for at least four hours (I did overnight).

Apple pie:  Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Melt the butter in a saucepan, and stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer. Place the bottom crust in your pan and cover with apples, mounded slightly. Cover the top with a lattice work crust. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust so it does not run off. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven, and then continue baking at 350 degrees F for 35 to 45 minutes until apples are soft.

Serve hot and enjoy!

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