Caramel apples are a favorite fall treat of mine. That’s probably why I tried making these Caramel Apple Oat Squares years ago when I clipped the recipe from a magazine—how could I resist a recipe with that wonderful caramel apple flavor? These dessert squares Continue reading
I’ve noticed lots and lots of recipes for overnight oats in the last few years and have been wanting to try making some. I finally got around to doing that after receiving some complimentary breakfast coffees from Community Coffee. They sent me one of their new products, Amber Sunrise Blend, along with their tried-and-true Breakfast Blend.
Amber Sunrise Blend has a smooth, bright, pleasant flavor and smells wonderful as you’re brewing it. As one of my friends said, “It’s a coffee you want to wake up to.” The light roast Breakfast Blend also has a nice smooth, mild flavor–a great coffee to start your day with.
So what do overnight oats and coffee have in common? Well, I came across an overnight oats recipe on the blog at the Community Coffee site that includes coffee as one of the ingredients–along with oats, cocoa powder, banana slices, and other yummy ingredients. I made a few tweaks to the recipe and added some chopped dark chocolate on top. It’s a special mocha-flavored treat for breakfast–or you can have it later in the day as a healthy snack!
MOCHA BANANA PECAN OVERNIGHT OATS by NancyC, adapted from Community Coffee
Makes 1 serving
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/3 cup vanilla Greek yogurt (or substitute the same amount of milk)
- 1/4 cup strong brewed Community Coffee (I used the Amber Sunrise blend)
- 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 banana, sliced
- 1 Tablespoon chopped pecans (toasted or untoasted)
- 1/2 Tablespoon chopped dark chocolate (72% Cacao works well in this)
In small jar or bowl with tight-fitting lid, combine oats, yogurt or milk, coffee, honey, cocoa powder, vanilla, and cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Top with banana, chopped pecans, and chopped dark chocolate just before serving.
I used 72% Cacao dark chocolate when I made these overnight oats–it gives the oats a good rich cocoa flavor without making it too sweet. I can see now why overnight oats are such a popular breakfast item–they’re so easy and convenient to make! Have you tried making overnight oats yet?
I’ve been in a chocolate chip mood lately! I recently posted a recipe for some Chocolate Chip Scones and then I thought I’d make some breakfast-type cookies, but with chocolate chips in them, too–I call them Dark Chocolate Chip Granola Cookies. A cookie made with ingredients that I usually put in granola, like honey, coconut flakes, old-fashioned oats, wheat germ, ground flaxseed, chopped nuts, raisins or dried cranberries, and a good amount of dark chocolate chips!
These cookies brown a little more around the edges because of the honey, I think. I read somewhere that baked goods made with honey brown faster, so that’s true of these cookies. They’re a good, slightly chewy cookies that make a great snack or quick breakfast if you like sweet things for breakfast!
DARK CHOCOLATE CHIP GRANOLA COOKIES by NancyC
Makes about 26 cookies
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2/3 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups sweetened coconut flakes
- 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1/4 cup wheat germ
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed (you can substitute wheat bran or oat bran for the wheat germ or flaxseed)
- 1 cup golden raisins, dark raisins, or dried cranberries (or a mix of 2 or 3 of these)
- 1 1/4 cups dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In large bowl, cream butter and sugar, until smooth, then add honey, vanilla, and eggs, blending well.
In medium size bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add this mixture, half of it at a time, to the butter/sugar mixture; mix until everything is blended, but don’t overmix.
Fold in, a few ingredients at a time, the coconut flakes, oats, wheat germ, flaxseed, raisins or cranberries, chocolate chips, and nuts, stirring to blend everything evenly into the batter (batter will be thick).
Using a measuring cup, drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls, 2 inches apart, onto parchment-lined cookie sheets (you should be able to fit 6 cookies per sheet). Bake at 350˚F for 12 to 13 minutes or until edges are browned. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 to 3 minutes, then move to wire rack to cool completely.
It’s nice eating cookies that have some healthy ingredients in them–I guess it helps justify eating cookies, right? 🙂 Do you have any healthier cookie recipes you like to make?
It was nearing the end of summer when Sylvia told me her pear trees were going to produce quite a bit of fruit. She didn’t like pears, so asked if I could use any when they were ready to pick. Of course I said yes, because it would be the perfect opportunity to use them in a fall recipe! I love eating pears, but don’t bake with them that much, and I’m not sure why–I guess I think of baking with apples more than pears. So I was inspired to bake something with Sylvia’s pears. And it’s always nice being able to use fresh-picked, organic fruit in a recipe!
This Fresh Pear Crisp is what I ended up making. It’s very yummy and the crumbly, buttery topping is so good! It actually tastes a lot like apple crisp, so apple–lovers will like this too. If you have any fresh pears on hand, this is a good recipe to use them in. Or, if you just have apples, substitute those instead. Or use some apples and some pears and make an apple-pear crisp. It’s very easy to make–the most time-consuming part is peeling and chopping the fruit, but it’s definitely worth it!
FRESH PEAR CRISP by NancyC
Makes a 9″ deep dish pie plate or 9 x 9″ square pan
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 5 cups peeled and chopped fresh pears (about 7-9 medium–size pears; or substitute apples for apple crisp; or use both pears and apples for an apple-pear crisp!)
- 1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease a 9″ deep dish pie plate or square pan well; set aside.
In large bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, blending well. Toss the chopped pears in this sugar mixture, coating pears evenly, then place in your greased 9″ deep dish pie plate or square pan.
In another bowl, blend flour, oats, light brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans; stir in melted butter with a fork to get a crumbly mixture. Sprinkle this crumb topping mixture over the pears and bake at 350˚F for 35 to 40 minutes, until topping is golden brown. Serve warm by itself or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.
As I mentioned earlier, this pear crisp tastes a lot like apple crisp. If you’d like it to have more of a pear taste, just use 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and no nutmeg in the fruit mix–and add a little lemon juice, about 1 teaspoon (the lemon juice tip is from my friend Davin who is a great cook and baker, but I have not tried that myself yet in this recipe). Have you been using pears much in your fall baking?
Breakfast just seems more like breakfast when maple syrup is involved! And as fall approaches, I like to use maple syrup in my recipes. These muffins have pure maple syrup in them and oatmeal is also an ingredient, so I like to think they’re a little healthy, too! 🙂 Chopped pecans also give these muffins a hearty texture and flavor. They’re topped with a very thick maple glaze, but you can leave the glaze off if you want…if you make them without the glaze, I recommend serving them warm with butter! These are just the thing for a fall breakfast or brunch!
MAPLE OAT PECAN MUFFINS by NancyC
Makes 20 muffins
- 2 cups quick-cooking oats
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
- 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
- Maple Syrup Glaze (recipe below)
Pre heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper baking cups. In medium bowl, combine oats and milk; let stand for 5 minutes.
In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg; set aside.
Going back to the medium bowl, stir the maple syrup, melted butter, and egg into the oat-and-milk mixture. Then add all of this mixture to the flour mixture in the large bowl. Stir just until moistened, then fold the chopped pecans into the batter.
Spoon batter into the lined muffin cups, about 3/4 full. Bake for 15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean or almost clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove muffins from pan onto a wire rack. Either serve muffins warm without adding the glaze, or let them cool completely and then top with the Maple Syrup Glaze.
MAPLE SYRUP GLAZE
- 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 Tablespoon milk
- pecan halves for garnish (optional)
Mix all ingredients together, blending well. This is a thick glaze–almost a frosting–if you want a thinner glaze, you can add more milk and maple syrup. Use a small spoon to add the glaze over each muffin top, then add a pecan half on top, if desired. Let the glaze set and serve.
You can serve these muffins with the glaze and a pecan on top, or with just the glaze, or no glaze at all…whatever way you like best!
The pure maple syrup gives these muffins a wonderful flavor and sweetness! Do you use maple syrup as a sweetener in any recipes?