Raspberry Cheesecake Bars with Brown Sugar Walnut Crust

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Ingredients:

For the Crust:

  • 1/3 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 4 Tbs. butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Cream layer:

  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream (unwhipped)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest or lemon grass
  • 6 oz. cream creese

Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies

Looking for a good cookie to have with your morning coffee? These cookies have just the right amount of sweet and crunchy to be nice anything but I love the combo of luscious butterscotch and dark coffee. They are pretty healthy (for a cookie) with not too much fat or sugar and the butterscotch could be substituted for nuts or toffee bits and that would work quite well. I brought these with me on a trip to go see my brother in college and they didn’t even make it to the next morning! Those boys ate the whole batch the instant I got there.

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Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup loosely-packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbs butter, softened
  •  1 Tbs peanut or almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup butterscotch chips

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Sift together flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt
  • In a seperate bowl thoroughly beat together sugars and butters until well combined (3-5 minutes)
  • Beat in egg and vanilla
  • Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until combined
  • Mix in butterscotch chips
  • Bake on greased baking sheet or parchment paper for about 11 minutes or until lop of cookies are golden

Happy Summer 🙂

Grandma’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Nothing beats a good chocolate chip cookie.. except a great chocolate chip cookie. The right amount of soft and crisp, balance or chocolate and and sugar is hard to come by. But of course, my grandma, one of the greatest bakers I know has almost perfected the recipe. She used just shortening though, and as a butter lover I thought it was wrong to completely leave it out of any cookie recipe, so I adapted it slightly.  This is my go to recipe for the classic comfort food chocolate chip cookie. The smell of these freshly baked cookies is simply irresistible as, for the moment I took them out of the oven I had to have one with some milk. I added walnuts but they can easily be left out or replaced with butterscotch chips, cashews, ect.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (or more)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (optional)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Sift Flour, salt, and baking soda
  • In a seperate bowl cream shortening, butter, and sugars
  • Beat in vanilla and egg
  • Add the sifted dry ingredients
  • Stir in nuts and chocolate chips
  • Roll into balls and bake on greased cookie sheet or parchment paper for about 8 minutes

Who’d have thought so much happiness and comfort could come from a simple cookie… even more reason to have more than just one!
Happy Summer

Healthy Brownies

Don’t fear the “healthy” in the title. These are so moist, chocolately, and decadent; they will definitely fulfill your brownie cravings. They are gluten free and even oil/butter free as well. I found a recipe (through pinterest) that used black beans as a base for it’s brownie recipe and I couldn’t wait to try out my own healthy black bean brownies! These are filled with good things and I sprinkled some dried fruit, nuts, and yogurt chips on top to make them really a healthy snack that is soooo good and super chocolately! What more could you want?

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Ingredients;

  • 1 can of black beans (15 oz.) rinsed and drained
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 Tbs. applesauce
  • 2. Tbs. Vanilla Yogurt
  • 1 Tbs. canola oil, olive oil, or melted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar or sugar substitute
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 or 3 Tbs. peanut butter or almond butter

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F and grease an 8×8 baking pan
  • In a food processor blend the rinsed black beans until smooth
  • Add the rest of the ingredients
  • If you want to add in some dark chocolate chips, nuts or any other addition fold it in now
  • Pour into pan and bake for about 25 minutes
  • I sprinkled on some trail mix in the last minutes of baking to add some crunch

These bars really are moist, delicious, and good for you. They are easy to make and travel well! I take them up hiking in place of a granola bar

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Pie

For Father’s Day it was only appropriate I made a dessert that included my dad’s favorite flavor combo- chocolate and peanut butter. Chocolate coated graham cracker crust is filled with a smooth peanut butter mousse, whipped cream, chocolate drizzle, and some Reese’s crumbles to top it off. It can be thrown together pretty quickly and if you really are pressed for time you can buy a store bought crust and cool whip instead of whipping cream. I had time to make it but… couldn’t wait to dig in before getting a picture of the whole pie! Whoops! (this way you can see the layers of pie better) What a perfect way to end a great day of fishing, hiking, and tennis playing out with dad 🙂
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Ingredients: 

For the crust

  • 1 1/4 cup graham cracker or pretzel crumbles
  • 3 Tbs sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • chocolate chips

For the filling:

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar plus (1/4 cup for topping)
  • 2 cups of heavy whipping cream (unwhipped) about 4 cups whipped
  • Chocolate syrup and Reese’s cups or peanuts for the top

Instructions:

For the crust:

  • Mix together the cracker or pretzel crumbles (I even put a bit of gound nuts in my crust) with the sugar
  • Melt the butter and stir it into the mixture
  • Press into pie pan evenly and firmly
  • Bake in 350 F oven for 10-13 minutes or until light brown and you can really smell the crust
  • If you want a chocolate bottom sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over the bottom
  • Place back in the oven for another 2-3 minutes and then spread the melted chocolate chips evenly across the bottom

For the filling:

  • Whip whipping cream until just whipped and set aside
  • In a seperate bowl mix together peanut butter, room temperature cream cheese, and vanilla
  • Gradually add in powdered sugar
  • Once thoroughly blended together fold in half of the whipped cream to make it fluffy- Don’t mix too much!!
  • Add filling to the cooled crust
  • Add 1/4 cup of powdered sugar and a dash of vanilla to the remaining whipped cream and whip just a bit more
  • Put Whipped Cream on top of the peanut butter mousse
  • Drizzle with chocolate syrup or ganache and top it off with some Reese’s Cup crumbles

We were so eager to dig in to this pie I forgot to get a picture before it was half gone!  The mousse is so smooth and very peanut buttery! If you aren’t a peanut butter fan-I don’t know how that is possible- I would recommend only putting in 2/3 cup of peanut butter into the filling and if you really texture crunchy peanut butter works well too! This pie is pretty quick to through together for an extremely scrumptious dessert! Enjoy and Happy Summer! 🙂

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Ginger Spice (Molasses) Cookies

I don’t think hearty spices are just for the holiday season. I think gingerbread, pumpkin, nutmeg, and cinnamon should be enjoyed all year long! These were inspired by my Grandma Marjorie’s perfect “Grannysnap Cookies.” They have always been my favorite cookie. The perfect amount of spice, not to chewy not to hard, and goes splendidly with milk. I couldn’t find her originally recipe which must have some other secret than the recipe I came up with because these don’t quite compare with hers. But I still think these are the right blend of spices. They are still splendid with tea and would probably be equally as good with some lemon glaze icing if I wasn’t “lemoned-out” at the moment.
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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger or ginger spread
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar- plus more for rolling the dough in
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and salt.
  3. With a mixer, beat butter and sugar until combined.
  4. Beat in egg and then molasses
  5.  Gradually mix in dry ingredients until a dough forms.
  6. Pinch off and roll dough into balls about 1 Tbs. in size
  7. Roll balls in reserved sugar to coat.
  8. Arrange balls on baking sheets- 2-3 inches apart. Bake until edges of cookies are just firm, 10 to 15 minutes Cool 1 minute on baking sheets; transfer to racks to cool completely.
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Rolling the dough in cinnamon sugar

ImageCookie for the Winter season good at any time of the year… Happy Summer!

Iced Lemon Cookies

We still had a good 10 ten lemons after I made lemon cake so I thought I could use a few more up in some lemon cookies. I was inspired by my Grandma Dot, who I am planning on sending these to, and added some ginger to the dough in her honor 🙂 These are just the right amount of lemon, with a light sweet glaze, and go quite well with tea. 

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Ingredients: 

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbs lemon zest
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (optional)
  • a dash of Limoncello (optional)

For the glaze icing:

  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 4-5 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Whisk and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, add granulated sugar and lemon zest. Rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingers, until fragrant.
  4. Beat butter and sugar/lemon mixture together until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla, ginger, and Limoncello. Mix until smooth.
  5. Slowly beat in flour mixture on low speed until blended. Drop dough by tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Gently flatten dough with the palm of your hand.
  6. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until cookies are just set and slightly golden brown. Move to cooling racks and allow to cool completely.
  7. In a medium bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice. Dip each cookie top into the lemon glaze. Let cookies sit until icing has set.

These cookies travel well and are so cute! When life hands you lemons make the perfect melt in your mouth lemon cookies to have with some tea 🙂 Happy Summer

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The Ultimate Lemon Pound Cake

My dad recently purchased the Costco pack of lemons- with only 3 of us in the house and no plan for the lemons I don’t really know what he was thinking…but I figured I could make use of them for I don’t know when else there would be 15 lemons laying around the house.
In my youth I lived in Italy and we had 2 huge lemon trees in our yard. Naturally us kids developed a love for homemade lemonade, and my mother a love for homemade Limoncello- we always manage to have some hidden around the house. I figured I would add this to the recipe to tang up the flavor a bit. When making the Ultimate Lemon Cake I knew I would need lots of lemon zest and juice to really get that wonderful lemon punch. This cake did not disappoint me from the name; it was perfectly moist, lemony, flavorful, overall just the ultimate lemon cake. I had to eat a piece… or two… instantly!
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Ingredients

For the cake:
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt – (Chobani Lemon would make it extra lemony but I used Greek God’s Honey Vanilla Yogurt)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 Tbs Limoncello
  • 4 Tbs lemon juice
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
For the glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbs Limoncello
  • 2-4 Tbs Lemon Juice (adjust as necessary)
  • 1 Tbs lemon zest

For the whipped cream topping (optional):

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup yogurt (Chobani Lemon is best)
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, sugar, oil, lemon zest, Limoncello, and lemon juice.
  3.   In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring just until incorporated, 15-20 stirs, being careful not to over mix.
  4.  Spray an 8.5 x 4.5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.  Pour the batter into the pan.  Bake about 40 minutes for the larger loaf pan or until a tester comes out clean and the top of the cake is golden. Cool the cake in the pan for about 5 minutes.  Remove from pans and continue cooling on a wire rack.
  5. When the cake is cool, whisk the powdered sugar with Limoncello and lemon juice in a small bowl until smooth.  Drizzle the glaze over the cake
  6. For the whipped cream whip the heavy whipping cream, sugar, and lemon juice until soft peaks are formed then fold in yogurt.

The family was quite happy with this cake. It is easy to do, fairly light for a pound cake, and perfect summer. Would be ideal at a picknik or bbq! I of course had the whipped cream and even a bit of vanilla ice cream on mine 🙂

Happy Summer

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Dark Chocolate Drizzled Coconut Macaroons

 

Today after a long day hiking to Huckleberry Lookout in Glacier Park I just had to make a special treat. I was craving some coconut and these cookies definitely get me my coconut fix. Not only are the extremely simple to make but are gluten free and paleo diet friendly!

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Ingredients: (makes about 24 cookies)

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 14 oz. bag of coconut (about 5 cups)
  • optional: 1/2 teaspoon of orange zest 
    Dark Chocolate chips for drizzling or dipping

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F and prepare a baking tray with parchment paper
  2. In a large bowl whip eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt (if you are adding orange zest it is added now as well) until glossy and very frothy
  3. Fold in coconut.
  4. Scoop mixture into balls of about 2 TBSP and place on parchment paper
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes of until top of cookies are golden brown
  6. Melt chocolate chips and drizzle them onto the cookies or dip them as desired 

So easy and so good! These will certainly satisfy any coconut craving with or without chocolate Image

 Happy summer everyone! 

First Post!

After graduating high school this past Saturday I have decided to turn my love of baking into a blog for summer. The sun has finally reached isolated Montana; with Farmer’s Market and many wonderful summer events, cooking inspiration is everywhere! When I’m not out hiking, running, or adventuring I will probably be in the kitchen making something splendid 🙂
Many recipes, tips, and tales to come 
Happy SummerImage
(My family and I at graduation)