I started thinking about blueberries after my 6th friend posted on Facebook that they were blueberry picking. No joke. Who knew that all the cool kids go blueberry picking in August? Actually, come to think of it, a few weeks ago when my sister watched my munchkins, she took them out to harvest some blueberries from a local farm. I totally should have though of doing that! Man! When did I become such an un-fun mom? Gotta work on that! It seems to me that with all this berry picking going on, folks might appreciate a recipe (or seven) to use up some of that abundant fruit. So here’s the great big Bakerlady’s Best of Blueberries post!
My kids discovered a new joke this week. I’ve heard it about 100 times in the past few days. It goes like this:
Just in case you didn’t catch that, here’s the dialogue.
Madison: What is Captain Hook’s favorite kind of breakfast?
Donovan: I dunno.
Madison: Peter Pan-cakes!
<insert hilarious laughter here>
I’m always on the lookout for ways to eat dessert for breakfast. These delightful little muffins have perfectly light flavor and a melt in your mouth oh-my-goodness-this-is-so-amazing texture that’s to die for. What would you call a dessert that you pass off as breakfast? I mean, besides the obvious…pie. Bressert? Deskfast?
My nieces came over unexpectedly today. My gluten/dairy free sweet lovelies. I had just pulled a Blueberries & Cream Pie out of the oven…which, (of course) they cannot eat. It’s absolutely unacceptable for my sweet girls to come over to Auntie’s house and not get a treat. But what to make?
I remembered seeing this recipe on Pinterest ages ago and thought I remembered it being gluten free. A couple quick keystrokes and I the recipe pulled up. A speedy scan of the confirmed I had all the ingredients and was gluten free as I remembered. Bonus, it got rid of some bananas that were rapidly heading towards a ripeness only enticing to fruit flies.
Do not be tempted to sub out the sugar for applesauce (as someone started suggesting on Pinterest to do). Applesauce will make these bars turn into a mushy mess. You can however sub out the milk for almond milk (or rice milk) to make these gluten & dairy free.
These are sweet enough to pass off on unsuspecting children as dessert and nutritious enough to eat yourself for breakfast. Top with extra peanut butter if desired. Or, if you are feeling wild and crazy, (and are a fan of chocolate hazelnut in general) give it a little dollup of Nutella. Hello delicious! It should be noted that Nutella is not a low calorie or “health” food. Shocking, I know. Enjoy!
Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bars
adapted from Gingerbread Bagels
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar (I rounded my measuring cup just a bit)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 medium mashed bananas
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
Preheat the oven to 350°
Mix together the quick cooking oats, light brown sugar, baking powder, kosher salt and ground cinnamon.
Add in the vanilla extract, milk and egg. Mix the ingredients together.
Add in the mashed banana and peanut butter. Combine all of the ingredients.
Pour the mixture into a lightly greased 8 by 8 inch metal baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes.
Cool Completely. Cut into squares and enjoy!
I’ve been making french toast the same way for years. Eggs, a little milk, some sugar and vanilla. Beat, dunk, pan fry. Nothing to write home about, but good enough. Until I made THIS recipe I didn’t know just how delicious french toast could taste.
I guess I never realized what good french toast was supposed to be like. Now I know. Here’s what it should NOT be.
1. Dry in the middle
2. Soggy in the middle
4. In need of a gallon of syrup to make it delicious
The technique for this recipe is the key. Yeah, the custardy egg dip is delicious. I’ll bet you can guess the secret ingredient just by the recipe name. Ya’ know, cause you guys are super-genius type people. Honey makes the eggs sweet and thick. Yum. First, we soak our bread well then set on a cookie rack to settle in the eggs for just a minute.
Then, melt up some butter. Mmmmmm. Butter.
Grill up two pieces at a time in the butter.
Set all the finished pieces on the cookie rack inside a cookie sheet. Bake for 5 minutes.
The fry then bake gives you a nice golden crust on the outside and perfectly consistent cooked sweet eggy bread throughout. Gloriously good.
This golden toast doesn’t even really need syrup. My kids (ages 3 and 5) gobbled down several pieces each with only some strawberries on top. Not one complaint.
It’s that fantastic. Rich, moist and delicious.
Honeyed French Toast
from Alton Brown
1 cup half-and-half
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons honey, warmed in microwave for 20 seconds
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 (1/2-inch) slices day-old or stale country loaf, brioche or challah bread
4 tablespoons butter
In medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, honey, and salt. You may do this the night before. When ready to cook, pour custard mixture into a pie pan and set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Dip bread into mixture, allow to soak for 30 seconds on each side, and then remove to a cooling rack that is sitting in a sheet pan, and allow to sit for 1 to 2 minutes.
Over medium-low heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a 10-inch nonstick saute pan. Place 2 slices of bread at a time into the pan and cook until golden brown, approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan and place on rack in oven for 5 minutes. Repeat with all 8 slices. Serve immediately with maple syrup, whipped cream or fruit.
I’m always trying to find new ways to use up bananas. Somehow, there are always a few growing freckles on my counter. Banana bread or delicious Monkey Bites are usually what I bake up, but a breakfast cookie intrigued me. These “cookies” have the texture of baked oatmeal, but since they’re dropped and baked on cookie sheets they get the cookie moniker.
These are dairy free, egg free and using gluten-free oats makes these babies a perfect snack for all you GF folks. They are soft and filled with flavor. Perfect for on-the-go breakfast or stashing in your bag for an afternoon snack. You could use blueberries or dried cranberries instead if you’re not a fan of raisins.
Here’s where the obvious food preferences of my children come into sharp focus. I called these cookies when offering them to my daughter, which made her decide not to even try them at first (she is her father’s non-sweet tooth child). Later in the day she consented to have one (and loved it) after I explained that it was oatmeal and not really a cookie cookie.
My son heard the word cookie from across the house and came bounding down the steps and lightning speed to gobble down three for breakfast. I was celebrated as the nicest, greatest mom ever because I said yes when he asked for more. The look on his face was priceless. Like he was trying to figure out what bizzaro world he’d woken up to where mom was doling out cookies for breakfast. It was great. Make up a batch and be a hero in your house too! Enjoy!
makes 19 cookies
3 mashed bananas (ripe)
1/3 cup apple sauce
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup almond milk
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Drop spoonfuls onto parchment lined cookie sheets, flatten slightly and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
My son started t-ball this week. I made the monumental mistake of telling him a month ago that t-ball was starting “soon”. Apparently I have no idea how slowly time moves for a three-year-old. Daily he has looked at me with big hopeful brown eyes “Mommy? Do I have t-ball today?”. Finally, I got to say yes. Of course, I had to make a special treat for him for when he triumphantly arrived home from his first practice. What goes with t-ball? Hmmmm. T-ball is like baseball. Baseball…Americana…American as apple pie. Bingo! Problem is, apple pie takes a while to prepare and bake. Little munchkin t-ball practices are done in an hour. Which was plenty long enough for Donovan to come home drenched and covered in mud, but not really enough time to throw together a pie.
So, I improvised. Took a look in the fridge/freezer/fruit bowl and came up with this braided danish. It’s kind of like a pie. Except you can hold it in your hand, eat it for breakfast, dessert or a snack and it takes just minutes to throw together. Don’t let the braid part scare you. It’s really easy.
I’ve actually been practicing braiding on my daughter recently. She has incredibly gorgeous long hair that becomes a wild crazy mane if I don’t rein it in. One of her favorite things for me to do is a french braid. Or my attempt at a french braid anyway. It’s a work in progress. I’m not going to lie…I’m braiding challenged. But even I can manage this danish braid.
We start with some puff pastry, thawed. Roll it out a little then cut two triangles out of the bottom and slice off the corners at the top. Like this.
Then, starting at the middle of each side, slice into strips. Cut directly in the middle, towards the center of the dough. Then, cut each half in half. Then cut the four strips in half again. You’ll have 8 mostly even pieces of dough to braid. Repeat on the other side.
Slice some apples and give them a little mix with a some sugar and cinnamon.
Slap on some delicious cream cheese spread sweetened with a little sugar, vanilla and a hit of lemon zest. Right down the middle of your pastry. And top with the apple slices.
Fold up the bottom and top over the lip of the apples.
Then braid. Start with whichever side you want. Bring a piece of the dough up and over to the other side.
Then take a piece from the opposite side, overlapping it over the previous piece of dough.
Repeat all the way down until you’ve used all your dough pieces. Trim the ends if you need to so it’s nice and neat. Repeat with the other piece of pastry.
A little egg wash, a little bake and you have a perfecto danish with rich sweet cream cheese filling and perfectly cinnamony apples. Of course, it needed a drizzle of icing. Mmmmmm.
Cut into pieces and enjoy! My little t-ball star certainly did!
Apple Pie Braided Danish
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 tablespoons greek yogurt
1/2 lemon, zest and juice used
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 Gala apples
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 box of frozen puff pastry, defrosted
3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon milk
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, place the cream cheese, yogurt, lemon zest, vanilla, 4 tablespoons of powdered sugar and mix until smooth, using an electric mixer. Set aside.
Peel and slice your apples into 1/4-inch slices. In a small bowl toss them with 1 tablespoon of sugar, cinnamon and juice from the half a lemon.
Carefully unfold 1 sheet of puff pastry and roll slightly with a floured rolling pin until it’s about 1/4-inch in thickness. Transfer the sheet of puff pastry to a piece of parchment.
At an angle, slice off the top corners and cut two notches in the bottom. Slice 1-inch strips diagonally down both sides of the puff pastry, leaving the center uncut. Try to cut the same amount of strips on both sides. I had 8 strips per side. It helps if you start at the middle. Cut in half, then half again, and half again. Then all your pieces will be even.
Add half of cream cheese filling, spreading it evenly down the center of the puff pastry. Top with apple slices.
Fold in the bottom and top flaps. Braid the puff pastry, by folding the strips over the filing, alternating sides, until you’ve worked your way down the puff pastry. Using your knife, trim off any leftover strips or extra dough. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry.
Transfer the danish (with parchment) to a baking sheet, and brush top with egg wash (an egg with 1 tablespoon of water). Transfer baking sheet to oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until puffed up and golden brown.
While baking, mix confectioner’s sugar with milk and mix. When the danish comes out of the oven, drizzle top with icing and serve warm.
I simply adore the bright fresh flavor of lemon. It just makes for happy food. I’m not really sure what the right label for this treat is. It’s too sweet to be a bread, too light to be a true pound cake and too bread-like to be a cake. It’s fabulous, whatever it is. Filled with cheery tart lemon and sweet succulent blueberries, this pseudo-pound cake is a taste explosion. It’s double glazed and is absolutely delicious.
I pulled portions from several different recipes to create a version of pound cake that was flavorful without the traditional heaps of butter in it. This version gets its dense richness from non-fat greek yogurt and a little bit of oil. It is perfectly balanced between sweet/tart and rich/light.
You will love it. Eat it for breakfast, a snack or for dessert. Or, all three! Yum!
Double Glazed Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake
- 1/3 cup oil
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 eggs
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour + 1 tablespoon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup non-fat plain greek yogurt
- 1 cup fresh or *frozen blueberries
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon peelLemon Sugar
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- In a large bowl, beat the oil, sugar, lemon juice and eggs. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir into egg mixture alternately with greek yogurt, beating well after each addition. Toss the blueberries with the 1 tablespoon of flour and fold the blueberries and lemon peel into the batter.
- Transfer to a greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pan lined at the bottom with parchment paper. Bake at 350° for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.
- While bread is cooling (in the pan), combine lemon sugar ingredients in a saucepan and cook until sugar is dissolved. Cook 2 minutes longer. After removing from pan, poke holes in warm bread and brush lemon sugar on tops and sides. Allow to sink in, then brush again.
- Combine ingredients for lemon glaze; drizzle over warm bread. Cool completely. Brush with glaze again after cool. Yield: 1 loaf (16 slices).
* If using frozen blueberries, use without thawing to avoid discoloring the batter.
I had some leftover cinnamon butter in my fridge from making Snickerdoodle Bread. Not enough to make a full recipe of anything really, so I’ve been pondering how to use it. Then I thought of something I saw a while ago (on Pinterest…yes, all good ideas come from there it seems). After eating these cinnamon roll pancakes, my kids declared that I am “the best Mommy in the whole world”. So, that pretty much made my day. Even if it was a result of buttery goodness on their plates.
If you make the cinnamon butter the night before and pop it in your fridge, these pancakes won’t take any extra time in the morning. Just pop it in the microwave to soften it to a drizzling consistency and then swirl away. I used a ziploc baggie with the end snipped to swirl mine.
The big bonus for me is that instead of messy syrup which always ends up EVERYWHERE, my kids got a homemade cinnamon swirl that cooks right into the breakfast so there’s no sticky mess!
You can use your favorite pancake recipe if you’re making these for a Sunday brunch or if you are crunched for time, just whip up a batch of Krusteaz and make it special with the addition of that gorgeous cinnamon butter.
You will LOVE these. Yum!
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1-2 tablespoons cream
Pinch of baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
In a saucepan over medium high heat, melt the butter. Add in the brown sugar and whisk, bringing it up to a boil. Let it boil for about one minute, remove from heat, and whisk in the cream. Add the baking soda and cinnamon and whisk until combined. Set aside to cool slightly. Or, place in the fridge until ready to make pancakes.
Put cinnamon butter into a ziplock bag and snip one corner (microwave if necessary to bring to liquid consistency). Combine ingredients for pancake batter and dollup on hot griddle. Swirl cinnamon butter around the pancake starting along the outside, moving to the center. Flip pancake. Allow to cook on other side, then serve.
It’s time for me to fess up. I adore oatmeal raisin cookies. I know they get no love and, when compared to chocolate chip they are the wallflower of cookies. But I love them. These waffles have all the flavor of plump sun-kissed raisins and hearty oats, AND you get to top them with butter (and syrup if you like). I found them perfectly sweet on their own though. They are a great change of pace from your typical breakfast fare! I froze half this batch and then just popped them in the toaster during the week for a quick breakfast that I felt great giving to my kids. They got a huge thumbs up from both my munchkins. Yours will love them too!
Delicious and full of raisins and cinnamon. Mmmmm. Yummy.
Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Waffles
adapted from Cuisinart
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup oatmeal (regular rolled oats, not quick oats)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
6 tablespoons applesauce
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup raisins
Crumble the brown sugar to remove any lumps and place in a medium bowl with flour, oatmeal, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir to blend. Add buttermilk, eggs, applesauce, and vanilla. Stir until well blended and smooth. Stir in raisins. Let batter rest 5 minutes before using. Preheat your Waffle Maker. Pour a scant 1/2-cup batter onto the center of the lower grid; spread batter using a heatproof spatula to within 1/2-inch of the edge of the grid. Close lid of waffle maker until indicator shows done. Open lid and remove baked waffle. Repeat with remaining batter. For best results, serve immediately. You may keep waffles warm until ready to serve on a wire rack placed on a baking sheet in a 200°F oven.