Soft Molasses Cookies

These cookies really are the cherry on top of any day.

These Molasses Cookies are soft, spicy and sweet. This recipe has been passed through many generations of my family. It’s one of our many family jewels that will hopefully never be forgotten. My mom first taught me how to make them when I was 8 years old and experiences hands out christmas baking for the first time.

These cookies really are delicious and put a twist on a classic molasses cookie. They’re my dad’s favourite and I make them every once in a while just as a special treat for him! 🙂

They’re rather simple too. Some butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour and spices, and you’ve basically got it. Throw a cherry on top and voila! Perfection!

They also freeze great! So if you plan of pre freezing cookies for the holiday season these are a great option. Have no fear, they taste just as good after being frozen.

Give them a shot!

Molasses Cookies

Ingredients:

–          ½ cup unsalted butter or margarine (room temperature)

–          1/3 cup packed brown sugar

–          1 large egg, lightly beaten

–          ½ cup molasses

–          ¼ cup milk

–          2 cups all purpose flour

–          ½ teaspoon ginger

–          ½ teaspoon cinnamon

–          ½ teaspoon salt

–          1 teaspoon baking soda

–          8-12 maraschino cherries (cut in half)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare and line baking sheets.

In a large bowl beat together sugar and butter. Add the egg, molasses and milk; mix until combined.

In a small bowl combine together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.

Incorporate flour mixture into butter mixture. Mix well. If the batter is too sticky, add additional flour.

Using a spoon or your hands, make round mounds of dough about the size of a Ping-Pong ball and place them on the baking sheet 2 inches apart from each other. Flatten them slightly. Top each cookie with a half maraschino cherry.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Store in an air tight container or freeze for future use.

Oatmeal Cranberry Squares

I’ve been sick with the stomach flu for the past few days so alas, I was unable to bake. The horror! But the best part about the flu? You get better and then baking is worth the wait 🙂 So this morning I was pondering what to make. It needed to be something healthy to help me re-coop from the past 3 days in bed, and also couldn’t be insanely sweet, because I highly doubt my stomach would enjoy that.

I decided on these little Oatmeal Cranberry Squares. They’re low in fat and they’ve got healthy oatmeal and cranberries as their main ingredients. The not too sugary centre gives these healthy treat just the right amount of sweetness to make them a perfect breakfast, snack or dessert. What a great way to start baking again!

In other news, it’s also been snowing like crazy over here. It’s really been getting me into to the christmas spirit (I know I know, it’s only November, but a girl can dream!). When I think of cranberries, I usually relate them to the holiday season. I’ll be sure to be whipping out this recipe once again when old saint nicholas comes to visit.  

 So if you’re craving something sweet, fruity and with a hint of cinnamon, but don’t want to throw a bunch of junk into your system, try these out!

Oatmeal Cranberry Squares

Ingredients:

Oatmeal Crust

–          1 cup all purpose flour

–          1 cup quick rolled oats

–          ½ brown sugar, packed

–          ¼ teaspoon salt

–          ¼ teaspoon baking soda

–          ½ teaspoon cinnamon

–          7 tablespoons melted butter

Filling

–          1 ¼ cup dried cranberries

–          ¾ cup light sour cream

–          ½ cup granulated sugar

–          2 tablespoons all purpose flour

–          1 teaspoon vanilla extract

–          1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

–          1 large egg white, lightly beaten

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease an 11 by 7 inch baking dish.

Prepare crust by combining flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Mix well. Drizzle the melted butter over top of the dry mixture; stir until mixture is crumbly. Put aside ½ cup of crumble and press the remaining oat mixture into the bottom of the greased baking dish.

To make filling, combine all filling ingredients in a medium sized bowl and mix well.

Spread the filling over the crust in the baking pan and sprinkle the remaining ½ cup oat mixture over top.

Bake for 40 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and let cool completely before cutting into squares.

Makes approximately 24 squares.

Recipe Adapted from: Cooking Light

Low-Fat Pumpkin Apple Muffins

Halloween, now being almost a week gone, is still fully present in my kitchen in the form of chocolate bars and pumpkin. A lot of pumpkin. We carved about 3 large pumpkins this year and my mom decided to cook them after all the little ghouls and goblins had been to our house that night. So now, my freezer is full to the brim with frozen pumpkin puree. So of course I had to find a way to get rid of it slowly 🙂

My solution today was Low-Fat Pumpkin Apple Muffins. Now I’ll let you know, I’m not really a huge fan of pumpkin. Pumpkin pie for example, I just can’t handle it, it seems far from appealing to me. But I think these muffins might have changed my view on pumpkin.

These moist spiced pumpkin muffins paired with apple chunks and cinnamon streusel are heavenly. And your house will smell just as heavenly after baking these. They’re also low-fat. It’s like pie but with a different kind of muffin top 😉

Enjoy, I sure did! 😀

Low-Fat Pumpkin Apple Muffins

Ingredients:

Muffins

–       1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour

–       1 ¼ cup whole wheat flour

–       1 cup packed brown sugar

–       1 cup granulated sugar

–       3 teaspoons cinnamon

–       1 ½ teaspoons ginger

–       1 teaspoon allspice

–       1 teaspoon nutmeg

–       ½ teaspoon salt

–       2 eggs, lightly beaten

–       1 ¼ cup pumpkin puree

–       ½ cup unsweetened applesauce

–       ¼ cup canola oil

–       2 cups peeled and chopped apples

Streusel

–       4 tablespoons all purpose flour

–       ½ cup brown sugar

–       1 teaspoon cinnamon

–       2 tablespoons butter

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line or grease muffin pan.

In a large bowl, combine flours, sugars, spices and salt.

In a small bowl, combine eggs, pumpkin and applesauce.

Add wet mixture to the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Fold in apples.

Fill muffin tins ¾ full with batter.

In a small bowl mix streusel ingredients until mixture resembles crumbs. Sprinkle streusel evenly over the muffins.

Bake muffins for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in them comes out clean.

Store in an airtight container, or freeze (these muffins freeze fantastically).

Makes about 18 regular sized muffins.

Recipe Adapted From: Back To The Cutting Board

The PERFECT Chocolate Chip Cookies

After having a long tough week at school, there’s nothing quite as nice as a bubble bath, a glass of milk and a plate of warm cookies. In times like these I call to the classic chocolate chip cookie. A while back I found this recipe for the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies. These cookies are the bee’s knees (har har har).

I can only think one flaw with this recipe, you have to wait a whole 24 -72 between making the dough and baking the cookies. Oh the horror! But let me tell you now, it’s so worth it! These cookies are thick, soft and full of chocolate chip goodness. And the dough? It tastes exactly the Toll House refrigerated dough, so I counted myself lucky when even half of the original dough survived until baking day.

Let me tell you know, refrigerating this dough makes all the difference. The longer you refrigerate it for, the better your cookies turn out. And the cornstarch in this recipe you might ask? Well the original recipe called for half cake flour, and I, probably along with many of you, don’t always keep a supply of cake flour in my pantry. Replacing some of the all purpose flour with cornstarch gives you the same results cake flour would!

When (and if) you share these with your friends, they won’t believe you when you insist that you didn’t simply whip out the Pillsbury or Toll House dough for these .

So here’s the recipe 😀 :

The PERFECT Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

–       3 2/3 minus 6 tablespoons all purpose flour

–       4 tablespoons cornstarch

–       1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda

–       1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

–       1 ½ teaspoons salt

–       1 ¼ cup unsalted butter

–       1 ¼ packed brown sugar

–       1 cup and 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar

–       2 large eggs

–       2 ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract

–       2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (plus extra if desired)

 

Preparation:

In a small bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer or by hand (I prefer by hand), combine butter and both sugars. Mix for about 5 minutes until the mixture is light. Add in eggs and vanilla; mix until combined.

Incorporate dry ingredients and mix. Stir in chocolate chips.

Put dough in an airtight container and refrigerate for 24 up to 72 hours (I chose 48).

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare and line baking sheets.

Form cookie dough into small golf ball sized balls and place 6 evenly spaced on the baking sheet (do not try to fit anymore on one sheet, the cookies do spread). Dot the tops with extra chocolate chips if desired. There is no need to flatten the cookie dough balls; they will flatten out while baking.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until centers are soft and edges are golden brown. Let cool on baking sheet for 15 minutes then transfer the cookies to a cooling rack, to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough.

 

 

Recipe Adapted from: The New York Times

Low-Fat Lemon Cranberry Loaf with Lemon Glaze

Let’s be honest here, mornings suck. You wake up, drag yourself over to the pantry and start the morning off with a boring ol’ bowl of Cheerios.

My solution? Low-Fat Lemon Cranberry Loaf with Lemon Glaze! A perfect breakfast makes for a perfect day! And the best part? It’s low-fat 🙂

This loaf takes only around 10 minutes to throw together and then after an hour in the oven, it’s ready. Easy peasy.

I usually make this loaf for breakfast or brunch, but it could just as well be a snack or dessert. It’s perfect for any occasion! It’s by far my mums favourite recipe, she’s a sucker for cranberries.

Here’s the recipe! Get bakin’ 😀

Low-Fat Lemon Cranberry Loaf with Lemon Glaze

Ingredients:

Loaf:

–       ¼ cup canola oil

–       2 ¼ tablespoons lemon juice

–       2 eggs, slightly beaten

–       ½ milk of choice (I used 1%, but soy, 2% etc. would also work)

–       1 ½ cups flour

–       2 teaspoons baking powder

–       ¾ cup sugar

–       1 teaspoon salt

–       2 tablespoons lemon zest

–       1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries

Glaze:

–       3 tablespoons unsalted butter

–       1 cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioners sugar

–       ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

–       1 tablespoon lemon juice

–       1 tablespoon warm water

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a loaf pan or use a non stick loaf pan.

In a large bowl, mix oil, lemon juice, eggs and milk together.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.

Add dry ingredients to the oil mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in cranberries and lemon zest. Don’t over mix the batter or the loaf won’t turn out as fluffy and moist.

Pour batter into the greased or non stick loaf pan.

Place in oven and bake for an hour or until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let cool in the pan for 20 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to let cool.

While the loaf is cooling, combine the butter, confectioners sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and water in a bowl to make glaze. Mix well.

Once the loaf has become just luke warm to the touch, drizzle the glaze on top with a spoon and let set for 15 minutes.

Enjoy!

Loaf Recipe Adapted from: Low Fat Cooking – About

Glaze Recipe Adapted from: My Baking Addiction

P.S. This is my first post, so please bear with me