Whole Wheat Banana & Blueberry Muffins

Whole Wheat Banana and Blueberry Muffins
If you follow my blog posts, you may know that I am a morning baker who loves to wake up before the sun rises to start experimenting with almost any kind of dough or batter. For me, there’s something so peaceful about the subtle aroma of warm vanilla, or the feel of kneading dough in a quiet, morning kitchen.

The other morning I decided I needed to bring blueberry muffins to work. I had no idea this recipe would get added to my blog until I handed the muffins out at work and received really positive feedback, and got several requests for the recipe. Who knew that something so simple as blueberries and bananas would make such an exciting muffin?

If you’re looking for a subtly sweet, healthy morning muffin (with bursts of juicy blueberries) you found yourself a winner!
Enjoy!

Whole Wheat Banana & Blueberry Muffins
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (I prefer King Arthur's White Whole Wheat)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup brown or granulated sugar
  • 1 stick butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups fresh or frozen blueberries
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease muffin tin with butter or baking spray and lightly flour.
  2. In bowl of stand mixer, or medium mixing bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder and baking soda, salt. On low speed, add butter and mix until well-blended, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add bananas, sugar and beat until incorporated. Add vanilla extract and eggs, one at a time; beat on medium for another 20-30 seconds. Gently stir in blueberries.
  4. Fill muffins cups to ¾ full and bake about 22 minutes until golden brown and center springs back when lightly touched.
  5. Let cool on rack for 10 minutes before carefully removing muffins.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Almond Biscotti

Chocolate Almond Biscotti

If I could make and eat homemade biscotti everyday, I would. I just love them and all their dunkableness. How do you like that word? Dunk-a-ble-ness, it’s a good thing.

Chocolate Almond Biscotti
Since I’m going through a phase of eating healthier, I made these chocolate biscotti with 100 percent whole wheat flour. Since I like biscotti with no butter (Italian style) I thought there was a chance they’d  be too crunchy, but they turned out great.

If you’ve not made biscotti before, don’t worry – they are totally easy!

Whole Wheat Chocolate Almond Biscotti
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 1¾ cup whole wheat flour (I prefer white whole wheat)
  • 3 tablespoons high quality cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • I teaspoon anise seeds
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup toasted almonds (roughly chopped)
  • optional - 1 cup dark chocolate chips for dipping
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Note: If you have raw almonds, lightly toast on medium heat in pan for about 5 minutes until they become aromatic. Once cool, chop roughly.
  3. Combine all dry ingredients (except sugar and almonds) in bowl and whisk a few times to blend.
  4. With electric mixer, beat eggs with sugar for a few minutes until mixture has a pale yellow color.
  5. Slowly add dry ingredients and mix on low for about 30 seconds until just blended. Stir in almonds.
  6. Turn out onto dry surface and knead a couple times. If dough is too dry or crumbly, dampen hands with water while shaping until it holds shape. Shape into rectangular log, about 10-12 inches long and about one inch high.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes and then remove from oven. Let cool about five minutes and then slice with serrated knife in 1 inch diagonal pieces.
  8. Return biscotti slices (on baking sheet) to oven and reduce heat to 325. Bake for 10 minutes, flip biscotti and bake for another 10 minutes.
  9. If dipping in chocolate, melt chocolate chips (or chocolate Wilton candy melts) in microwave. Dip (or spread) one side in chocolate and let dry chocolate side up.
  10. Enjoy!

 

Summer Berry Drop Scones

Summer Berry Drop Scones

I love this time of year when you can walk in any store and get bombarded with colorful, ripe, sweet berries everywhere you look. I love to grab a few pounds and just add them to muffins, scones or parfaits, or just eat them by the handful just as they are!

Blueberries are delicious, but I love them just a little more when they are baked because the heat just seems to bring out the best in them. They plump up a little more, and get a little darker and sweeter.

On weekend mornings I love to hop out of bed to bake. It’s a great way to take advantage of the extra energy I feel in the morning and love the scents of vanilla and butter wafting through my home.

These scones are so easy, and can really be whipped up in minutes – especially by just dropping the dough onto the pan, as opposed to forming and cutting the dough. Trust me, the shape doesn’t take away from the flavor of the scones one bit!

As if I haven’t raved enough about these scones, I wanted to add that while they may be a little on the rich side – they are packed with nutrients from the whole grain flour – and the berries. Oh, did I mention they are absolutely delicious mildly sweet, filled with luscious summer berries, and definitely melt in your mouth.

So what are you waiting for? Get those berries from the fridge and make yourselves some summer berry scones!

Enjoy!

Summer Berry Drop Scones
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour (or all purpose flour)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 stick butter, chilled and cut in small pieces
  • ½ cup heavy cream or half and half (or more for whole wheat flour)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, diced
  • ½ cup fresh blueberries
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. Add flour mixture to food processor with butter and pulse about 20 times until butter is incorporated. Alternatively, grate or cut butter into flour mixture until well incorporated.
  4. In small mixing bowl, gently whisk together the cream and egg. Pour half of the mixture into the flour mixture and gently stir. Add the vanilla extract and remaining cream; continue to stir until just blended.
  5. Add berries to the dough mixture and gently stir until the berries are evenly distributed. Doug should be shaggy, but still resemble dough. If too shaggy, add a little more flour up to 2 tablespoons.
  6. With spoon, drop onto baking sheet, spaced about two inches apart.
  7. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, until tops are light, golden brown.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Oat Scones with Chocolate Chips

The simplest and most wholesome whole wheat oat scones

If you love to bake and you haven’t discovered whole wheat pastry flour yet, you’ve got to put it on your grocery list! As I’ve mentioned before, I love the idea of making sweet treats as healthy as possible and selecting the right whole wheat flour is probably one of the most basic ways to start.

If you’ve baked with whole wheat flour before, you may have had less than great results, depending on the brand or type of flour you selected. I’ve had to throw away food because I didn’t like that cardboardy, saw dusty taste and texture. But using white whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour from brands like Bob’s Red Mill or King Authur will make a big difference.

These scones are very easy to make with just one bowl, no electric mixer, and have a very buttery texture, even though there is no butter in the batter! You don’t need to use butter at all, but I brushed a bit on the tops of each scone before baking. I brought these to work earlier this week and they were wiped out in no time!

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Oat Scones with Chocolate Chips
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • ¾ cup rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons almond meal (optional)
  • ¼ cup sugar (you can use brown sugar if you prefer)
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups heavy cream (or a little less)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (or more if you like) semi-sweet chocoate chips
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whisk just to blend. Add the vanilla extract to the heavy cream and slowly stir into the dry ingredients. No need to beat, just stir until blended.
  3. Turn out onto floured surface and knead about five times so bring the dough together. Form into circle and gently flatten so the disk is about one inch thick.
  4. Cut out 2 inch circles, place on parchment lined baking sheet, brush tops with melted butter, sprinkle lightly with oats and a little turbinado sugar. If you don't have it, any sugar will do.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes until tops are lightly golden.

Enjoy!

Baked Whole Wheat Doughnuts


I don’t really eat them that much, but I have to say that I totally love doughnuts when I do eat them. What I don’t like,  is realizing the amount of sugar and fat that can be consumed in a matter of seconds. I’ve been experimenting for a long time with whole grain flours, and I’m always very happy to find out how satisfying semi healthy, whole grain sweets can be. But I was skeptical about how tasty doughnuts could be that didn’t have both the fried component and that evil processed white flour – after all – that’s sort of what makes doughnuts doughnuts!

So I did a little research on some recipes and tried three today. It was like a whole wheat doughnut-making marathon! But it was totally worth it, because I found a couple that taste pretty good that I want to share with you. You won’t believe how easy they are. They do take a bit of getting used to, and I will definitely continue experiementing, but they will totally do the trick if you’re in the mood for doughnuts and want to avoid the fat and white flour. They are certainly fun to make, especially because you can create any topping. And of course, it’s great that you don’t have to feel guilty about eating them, or serving them to the little ones! Yay!

I’m sharing recipes that I found on the lovely blogs Salad in a Jar and Alli ‘n Son. The first one is for plain doughnuts with powdered sugar and the second is for chocolate doughnuts with Alton Brown’s chocolate glaze.

Note: I made a few minor changes to both recipes.

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[amd-recipeseo-recipe:4]

Prosciutto, Garlic and Lemony Arugula Pizza

I was recently in New York and whenever I’m there, it’s always goodness all
around because it’s where I was born, where my Dad was raised, and just filled with the best food you can find anywhere! I’m just always in love while I’m there.

I’ve shared one of my favorite photos/moments below. Anyway, whenever I return from NY, I always hit the kitchen because I come home so inspired by all the wonderful food. Of course I had New York pizza while I was there, but the best meal I had was in SOHO at a cool place called Mercer Kitchen. I ordered scallops with green pea ravioli that was to die for! I will make an attempt to duplicate that dish, but for now, I’ll just share the pizza I made today just because it was so simply delicious. It never ceases to amaze me how the simplest ingredients can be so compelling! The thing that’s so great about this combo, is the hint of lemon that compliments the arugula and mixes so well with the savory prosciutto. And of course the garlic! Hope you try it!

Prosciutto, Garlic and Lemony Arugula Pizza
 
Ingredients
  • Pizza Dough:
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1½ cups unbleached flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1½ packets, active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • Topping
  • about 2 cups cleaned, dried arugula
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • a splash or two of white balsamic vinegar and lemon juice or my favorite Tres Classique Lemon Splash (http://bit.ly/noT4wl).
  • slices of mozzarella cheese (thinly sliced)
  • thin slices prosciutto
  • a little olive oil and kosher salt
  • a couple pinches oregano
Instructions
  1. Prepare whole wheat pizza dough:
  2. In one cup of luke warm water, add sugar and yeast and let dissolve until a little foamy. In large mixing bowl, add flours and salt. Add the olive oil to the water and yeast mixture. Now pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until everything comes together. Turn out onto dry and lightly floured surface.
  3. Now the fun part. Knead the dough (by hand) for about 8-10 minutes. You will need to add a tiny bit of flour to your hands and the surface if it gets a little sticky.
  4. Form a large ball and pull the sides under to make a tight ball, coat lightly with olive oil and let rise for about an hour in a olive oil coated bowl, covered with a towel. note: I always cover the ball of dough lightly with plastic wrap before you cover with a towel, but you don’t have to.
  5. After it’s doubled in size, punch it down, cut it in half and knead a couple times. Let rise another 45 minutes and then they are ready to use. If you’re not going to use right away, freeze or place in refrigerator. I just slip into ziplocs.
  6. Preparation and Assembly
  7. On a floured surface, roll the dough out. I use my hands to stretch the dough in combination with a rolling pin. It about 10-12 inches in diameter. Make a little crust by pushing lightly from the middle toward the outside edges. It will come out more evenly if you just roll up from the middle, turn the dough a couple inches and repeat until finished. Place the dough on pizza peel dusted in cornmeal.
  8. Rub a little olive oil in your hands and then lightly coat the top of the pizza dough. Lightly sprinkle with kosher salt.
  9. Toss arugula with the lemon splash or a little olive oil and lemon juice.
  10. Make sure to prepare the pizza on a wooden pizza spatula (dusted with corn meal or cornflake crumbs) or something that will help you easily slide into the oven and on to the pizza stone.
  11. Arrange one layer of mozzarella cheese on the pizza cruzt and then layer the prosciutto. Note: Bake for about 1o minutes, or until the topping and the crust looks a little browned and done.
  12. Remove pizza from the oven and toss the greens on the top. Then slice with a pizza cutter.

Serving Suggestion
Get the wine or the beer, and eat it hot! Enjoy!