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Patriotic M&M Cookie Bars | alidaskitchen.com

Patriotic M&M Cookie Bars #SundaySupper

Patriotic M&M Cookie Bars are a chewy, brown sugar cookie bar studded with red, white and blue M&M candies that takes minutes to make. Perfect quick and easy dessert for the 4th of July or any patriotic celebration (or any time!) 

Patriotic M&M Cookie Bars | alidaskitchen.com

Looking for a special dessert that is quick and easy to make for summer parties? Look no further than these Patriotic M&M Cookie Bars! This is one of my favorite recipes to make for a crowd (or a small family to enjoy all week long) 🙂 …

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Blueberry Buttermilk Waffles | alidaskitchen.com

Blueberry Buttermilk Waffles #SundaySupper

An easy recipe for Blueberry Buttermilk Waffles made with whole wheat flour, buttermilk, brown sugar and bursting with fresh blueberries throughout. 

Blueberry Buttermilk Waffles | alidaskitchen.com

With blueberry season upon us, everything is coming up blueberries! From these Blueberry Crumb Bars to this Blueberry Balsamic Salad, nothing beats the delicious taste of our favorite blueberry recipes made with fresh, juicy, perfectly in-season blueberries. With this Blueberry Buttermilk Waffles recipe, we have a new blueberry recipe to add to our list of favorites!…

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Apple Cranberry Baked French Toast | alidaskitchen.com

Apple Cranberry Baked French Toast

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of DairyPure Milk. All opinions are 100% mine.

Apple Cranberry Baked French Toast is an easy overnight breakfast casserole made with caramelized brown sugar apples, dried cranberries and cinnamon bread baked in an applesauce custard. Quick to make ahead, perfect for a holiday breakfast!

Apple Cranberry Baked French Toast | alidaskitchen.com On the night before Christmas and all through my kitchen, I will be sauteing and stirring a quick and easy breakfast casserole to bake for eager mouths the next morning. Even with how busy this time of year can be, an easy recipe like this Apple Cranberry Baked French Toast is perfect. It is effortless, made in about 15 minutes and then chills overnight,…all ready to bake into deliciousness the next morning! …

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Cinnamon Buttermilk Baked Doughnuts | alidaskitchen.com

Cinnamon Buttermilk Baked Doughnuts

Tracking PixelThis easy recipe for Cinnamon Buttermilk Baked Doughnuts transforms a family favorite cinnamon sugar dusted buttermilk doughnut into a healthier version baked in the oven. Insight for this post was provided by GE CaféSeries.

Cinnamon Buttermilk Baked Doughnuts | alidaskitchen.com

Cinnamon Buttermilk Baked Doughnuts have become a regular feature for our entertaining menus for the holidays or any time. They remind me of a childhood favorite doughnut my grandma used to make, but made easier and without frying. These doughnuts take minutes to prepare and bake in less than 10 minutes. Perfect timing for the kids’ short attention spans (or maybe just their eager tummies!)

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Orange Scream Baked French Toast | alidaskitchen.com

Orange Scream Baked French Toast

Halloween breakfast just got tastier with this easy recipe for Orange Scream Baked French Toast. Thank you to TruMoo Milk for sponsoring this post.

Orange Scream Baked French Toast | alidaskitchen.com

With Halloween only two weeks away, needless to say the kids are excited. We have visited the local pumpkin patch to pick pumpkins (and jump in the humongous pumpkin bouncy house!)  We have decorated the house. And we finally have costumes! We are eager for the big day, but…the anticipation seems to be also part of the fun, right? Since Halloween is on a Saturday this year, we look forward to making an entire day of it, starting with a special Halloween breakfast ~ this Orange Scream Baked French Toast!  …

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Apple Buttermilk Pancakes | alidaskitchen.com

Apple Buttermilk Pancakes

Apple Buttermilk Pancakes are a traditional, fluffy buttermilk pancake recipe with the addition of fresh apples, applesauce and cinnamon for a delicious breakfast. Thank you to the FoodSaver® Brand for sponsoring this post.

Apple Buttermilk Pancakes | alidaskitchen.com

One of the best things about fall, besides pumpkin everything of course,…is apple season!  We visited the local pumpkin patch over the weekend and were greeted by huge bags of apples. The kids get excited for apples to go with their lunches, and I get excited for apple recipes….

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Blueberry Crumb Bars | alidaskitchen.com

Blueberry Crumb Bars #SundaySupper

Blueberry Crumb Bars combine juicy fresh blueberries with a brown sugar crust and crumble topping for a delicious taste of blueberry crumb pie in an easy to make bar cookie.

Blueberry Crumb Bars | alidaskitchen.com

The month of July is National Picnic Month, and what better way to celebrate than to gather together some favorite picnic recipes to share with friends and family! That is the theme for Sunday Supper this week, and we have the honor of celebrating with our friends at Gallo Family Vineyards.  A picnic with tasty grillables, sandwiches and all kinds of salads, fresh product and dessert, paired with a favorite glass of wine…sounds pretty perfect!

A quintessential picnic dessert is a fresh fruit pie, with favorites such as strawberry, peach or blueberry topping the list. However these days when meal planning for picnics and with two little kids constantly underfoot, my main goal for anything in life is EASY….

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Coconut Oil M&M Cookie Bars | alidaskitchen.com #MyDataMyWay #shop

Coconut Oil M&M Cookie Bars

disclosure-#mydatamyway #collectivebias #shop Coconut Oil M&M Cookie Bars are a chewy, brown sugar cookie bar made with coconut oil and filled with lots of M&Ms…in other words, the best dessert ever! #MyDataMyWay via #CollectiveBias thanks to Walmart Family Mobile!

M&M Cookie Bars | alidaskitchen.com #MyDataMyWay  #shop

A while ago I declared these Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies to be the best chocolate chip cookies ever.  Since I’m often asked to bring desserts to potlucks or parties, those cookies (or depending on time, these Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars) are some of my go-tos.  Both are simple, classic and everybody loves them.  I especially love the flavor from the coconut oil in the cookies but also love the ease of baking the cookie bars. So why not combine the two (and toss in some M&Ms for good measure) to make Coconut Oil M&M Cookie Bars!

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Pineapple Oatmeal Muffins | alidaskitchen.com

Pineapple Oatmeal Muffins

An easy recipe for Pineapple Oatmeal Muffins made with buttermilk, brown sugar, cinnamon and crushed pineapple.

Pineapple Oatmeal Muffins | alidaskitchen.com

Mornings just got more tasty thanks to these Pineapple Oatmeal Muffins!  This is a simple muffin recipe featuring oats and buttermilk, which are always sure to make baked goods delicious. Made with real chunks of pineapple and pineapple juice, these muffins have a wonderful, light pineapple flavor.  Combine pineapple with brown sugar and cinnamon, and the result is a wonderful breakfast treat.  Even better, these muffins take about 10 minutes to mix together and then bake to tasty breakfast perfection!

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Oatmeal Raisin Muffins | alidaskitchen.com #recipes

Oatmeal Raisin Muffins

Oatmeal Raisin Muffins are a wholesome snack, or breakfast on-the-go, made delicious with raisins, oats, buttermilk and brown sugar.   

Oatmeal Raisin Muffins | alidaskitchen.com #recipes

The other day after school, while Greta was napping, Adam presented me with a cookbook.  A cookbook that was all about muffins. That’s my kind of cookbook!  He proceeded to point out several recipes that we should make…now!  I was inspired by an Oatmeal Breakfast Muffin, but needed to switch up the ingredients to use up what we had on hand (no way am I waking the baby to go to the store!)   After a quick peek in the pantry, I found oatmeal, brown sugar, buttermilk and California Raisins.  Sounds like the makings of a tasty Oatmeal Raisin Muffin!…

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Olive Oil Fudge Brownies | easy made from scratch brownies made with heart healthy olive oil #PantryInsiders

Olive Oil Fudge Brownies #PantryInsiders

Olive Oil Fudge Brownies are an easy from scratch brownie recipe made with heart healthy olive oil instead of butter.   

Olive Oil Fudge Brownies | easy made from scratch brownies made with heart healthy olive oil #PantryInsiders

I have a thing for brownies.  I also have a thing for doing things to brownies, such as making them with bananas, or zucchini, or s’mores.   So while olive oil may not be a natural transition from those goodies, it seemed like a good idea.  It ended up being a tasty one too!  …

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Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies | the BEST chocolate chip cookies I've ever had! #SundaySupper

Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies #SundaySupper

 Chewy, chocolaty and delicious, these Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies are the best chocolate chip cookies ever!

Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies | the BEST chocolate chip cookies I've ever had! #SundaySupper

I have tried many different chocolate chip cookie recipes  in my day.  There was a fantastic recipe I used to make when I was a kid,  and then my grandma’s recipe, plus many others in between.  There were pros and cons to each recipe, but in the end they were chocolate chip cookies and therefore delicious, right?  Then one day we had our real estate agent, and dear friend, over for a visit.  She generously brought us an oven mitt, a bag of chocolate chips and a recipe.  The recipe was for these Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies, which ended up being the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever had in my life!  

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Sweet Potato Pie without crust and a brown sugar-oat topping | alidaskitchen.com

Crustless Sweet Potato Pie

Tracking Pixel#PAMSmartTips Disclosure #PAMSmartTips Disclosure

Sweet Potato Pie made without crust | alidaskitchen.com #PAMSmartTips #ad

Crustless Sweet Potato Pie is a delicious pie made with sweet potatoes, a brown sugar-oat crumble topping and without a crust.!  Since there is no crust, this dessert is a healthier alternative and super easy to make!

Every Thanksgiving, I look forward to making Crustless Pumpkin Pie.  It’s always delicious, a bit healthier, and never disappoints.   This year I thought it would be fun to mix things up and try a sweet potato version of this favorite pie.  I love sweet potatoes just as much as I love pumpkin, so why not try a Crustless Sweet Potato Pie!…

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Pumpkin Baked Doughnuts

Pumpkin Baked Doughnuts

Pumpkin Baked Doughnuts #CMcantwaitCGC

Pumpkin Baked Doughnuts are healthier doughnuts, baked (not fried) made with whole wheat flour and topped with Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Icing.

Clearly we all know what I love best about Fall…pumpkin recipes!   We have gone pumpkin crazy over here this year, with pumpkin cake, muffins, pasta, cake again, and now doughnuts.   After finally acquiring a couple doughnut pans, naturally my first go-to recipe is for Pumpkin Baked Doughnuts….

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Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars

Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars

Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars

Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars have the classic taste of  a buttery, cinnamon-y snickerdoodle cookie in a quick and easy to make bar.    

While I love to make (and eat!) cookies, the simplicity of turning a cookie recipe into a quick and easy to make bar is very attractive.  Especially when life gets busy or you get a last minute request for goodies, it is so nice to be able whip the batter together, pour it into a pan and bake.  No portioning, scooping, rolling  required.   Just bake, cut into squares and serve.

These Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars are a wonderful treat for the holidays, or any time.  They are buttery and cinnamon-y, like their cookie cousins, yet can be made in minutes.  I thought this recipe would be perfect for Week #3 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats.  Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars offer a little variety for your holiday cookie platter and are loved by many!…

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Chocolate Pumpkin Bundt Cake is a rich, moist chocolate cake made with pumpkin and a hint of spice. Pumpkin replaces much of the fat in the cake that is made on the lighter side!

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

Chocolate Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake is a rich, moist chocolate cake made with pumpkin and a hint of spice.  Pumpkin replaces much of the fat in the cake that is made on the lighter side!

Lately I have been enjoying making chocolate desserts a bit healthier using various fruits and vegetables.  The results have been fantastic, with each recipe far exceeding my expectations.   This Chocolate Pumpkin Cake is no exception!  This cake kind of reminds me of a chocolate covered pumpkin truffle, only in cake form…and a little healthier….

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars are everything delicious about a chocolate chip cookie in a quick and easy to make bar.   This is the ultimate basic blondie recipe.

Chocolate Chip Cookie BarsChocolate Chip Cookie Bars

While I  love cookies, I don’t always have the time (or patience) to portion out each individual cookie for baking.  This is where the cookie bar is genius.  These Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars take only 10 minutes to prepare and then just spread in the pan and bake.  No rolling or cutting or shaping the dough.  And the result is everything delicious about a chocolate chip cookie in a quick and easy to make bar.  There are so many possibilities for variations with this recipe too, which is fun.  …

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homemade fig newtons

Oatmeal Fig Bars | Homemade Fig Newtons

oatmeal fig bars | homemade fig newtons
Oatmeal Fig Bars are a chewy, fig-filled bar made on the lighter side.  They taste pretty close to a Fig Newton, but homemade is always better, right?  When I was researching for a healthy fig bar recipe made with oatmeal, I was surprised to find there weren’t many (or rather any that were suitable).  So I decided to take the dough of a oatmeal date bar recipe and replace the date filling with a fig filling.  Because I wanted these to be healthier, I reduced the amount of sugar in the dough and eliminated added sugar from the filling.  In lieu of sugar, I added lemon juice and zest to the filling to brighten the flavor and also act as a thickener.  The result was just what I had in mind for a healthy fig bar, and they were also really simple to make.

When I was making these Oatmeal Fig Bars, I couldn’t help but think about my grandma and grandpa and chuckle.  I’ve talked many times about my grandma and what a wonderful baker she was.  While I’m sure my grandpa loved all of her (delicious!) baked goodies, he always had a stash of Fig Newtons in their pantry.  I really can’t blame him.  Not much beats a Fig Newton (except for these bars of course!.. but I digress).  I don’t think my grandma ever attempted to make a homemade variety of his beloved fig bars, but I’m sure they would have been similar to these…and my grandpa would have stashed these instead!

oatmeal fig bars | homemade fig newtons

Oatmeal Fig Bars | Homemade Fig Newtons
 
Yields: 16 bars
Ingredients
  • 1 cup chopped dried figs, stems removed (8 ounces)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1½ cups rolled oats (I used quick oats)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted (I used light butter)
  • 1 egg white
  • Cooking spray
Instructions
  1. In a small sauce pan, put figs, water, lemon juice and zest, and bring to a boil. Simmer until mixture starts to thicken (about 3 minutes). Let cool for about 5 minutes.
  2. Put filling in food processor and process until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together oats, flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  5. Add butter and egg white to oat mixture and stir until combined.
  6. Press half of the oat mixture into the prepared baking pan. [Note: I used waxed paper to press and spread the mixture into the pan]. Next, carefully spread with fig mixture. Last, drop pieces of remaining oat mixture over the fig mixture so it appears crumbly and then gently pat it down [Note: I used waxed paper for this step].
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack.

This marks the third installment of the Eating the Alphabet Challenge, hosted by Brenda of Meal Planning Magic.  This month we’re featuring healthy recipes using fruits, vegetables, grains or legumes that start with letters E or F.  This was a no-brainer for me.  I’ve been wanting to come up with a healthy Fig Bar recipe, so this was just the incentive I needed!

pumpkin white chocolate chip cookies

Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies from Alida's Kitchen

Every time I drop Adam off at Preschool, he asks what I’m going to do while he’s at school.  Last week I told him laundry and other boring things.  He told me I should make something…I should make something with pumpkin.  Little did he know, I had these Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies on my list of things to do, so easy enough.  I told him I would make some pumpkin cookies, and he just beamed!  That definitely sounds better than laundry 🙂

These Pumpkin White Chocolate Chips cookies are very soft with a little chewy bite from the oats.  I changed up the sugar ratio a bit from the original recipe because I love what brown sugar does to baked goods.  The original recipe calls for 1 egg, but I initially made a half recipe.  How do you cut an egg in half?  I used the full egg in half, and 2 in a full recipe.  The dough is a little gooey, so it helps to refrigerate it a bit before baking.    Otherwise I don’t know exactly how this impacts the recipe, but I do know these cookies are perfection and would not change a thing.

I am sharing these delightful cookies for week 3 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats, hosted by Meal Planning Magic.  While these cookies are perfect for any holiday cookie platter, I do think they would also make an excellent Halloween or Thanksgiving treat, or any time treat for other fellow pumpkin lovers!  

Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
Yields: approximately 48 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1½ cups white chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, cram butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon.
  3. Stir in flour mixture into butter mixture alternately with pumpkin. Fold in white chocolate chips.
  4. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes to overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet(s) with parchment paper.
  6. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets and bake for 12 to 13 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Adapted from Taste of Home

If you’re a blogger and want to join in on the fun, check out this post for the form to fill out to start baking along with us!

Black Bean Brownies

Black Bean Brownies


Black Bean Brownies

Black beans and brownies…sounds crazy right?  Well, as many have discovered, using black beans in place of flour is a clever way to make brownies a bit healthier (and gluten free) without sacrificing a delicious chocolaty, rich-tasting dessert.  Black Bean Brownies have been on my list of things to make for years, and had I realized how easy they are to make, they would have been made a long time ago!  Essentially you just throw everything in a food processor (or blender), process for a minute, pour in pan and bake.

Then comes the true test…how are they?  Amazing!  Mike and I were both excited to try them and very pleasantly surprised how good they are (or were…the brownies are long gone!)  They have a deep chocolate flavor, a not quite cakey and not quite fudgy texture, and were some of the best brownies I’ve had in a long time!

Black Bean Brownies
 
Yields: 16 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
  • Cooking spray (or additional oil)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray (or brush with oil) and set aside.
  2. Put black beans in a food processor and process until smooth.
  3. Add eggs, oil, cocoa, baking powder, vanilla and brown sugar, and process until completely blended. (Note: You may need to stop and scrape down the sides a couple times during this step).
  4. Add ¼ cup chocolate chips and pulse 5 times.
  5. Pour mixture in prepared baking dish. Sprinkle top with remaining chocolate chips.
  6. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Put on a wire rack and let cool completely before serving.

Source:  Whole Living

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S’more Muffins

These S’more Muffins are everything you love about a s’more baked up in a tasty little breakfast treat.  These are made with graham cracker crumbs, chocolate chips and lots of miniature marshmallows.  The marshmallows in the actual muffin melt into the muffin, while the marshmallows on top get sticky and gooey.  The buttermilk lends a moist crumb to these muffins and a bit of brown sugar deepens the flavor.

I recommend not using muffin liners with these, as these muffins live up to the reputation of the campfire treat and can be sticky.  I just used baking spray (the cooking spray that has flour) and let the muffins cool in the pan long enough.  They came out perfectly.  These S’more Muffins are moist and delicious and a fun way to start any morning!

Sâ??more Muffins
 
Yields: 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup graham cracker crumbs (about 4 sheets)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ cups buttermilk
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used mini)
  • 1¼ cups miniature marshmallows, divided
  • Cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk flour, cracker crumbs, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg, buttermilk, oil and vanilla until combined.
  4. Add buttermilk mixture into flour mixture, stirring gently until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips and 1 cup marshmallows.
  5. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Top with remaining marshmallows (2-3 marshmallows per muffin).
  6. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before gently removing from pan. Move to a wire rack to cool completely.

Adaped from Taste of Home: Cupcakes & Muffins

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Peanut Butter M&M Blondies

Many months ago, I made peanut butter cup blondies.  They were incredible, but also left me wondering about other candy possibilities.  The options seem limitless.  Since Peanut Butter M&Ms rank in my top 5 favorite candies, if not top 3 (after Nutrageous and Peanut Butter Cups, of course), Peanut Butter M&M Blondies were a logical progression.

Let’s just say the experiment was a success.  I used a generous helping of M&Ms instead of peanut butter cups.  I also used peanut butter chips to boost the peanut buttery goodness.  The result was dangerous.  Lots of tasty M&Ms in every bite, lots of good peanut butter flavor…yet they still come in around 210 calories.  Gotta love it!

Peanut Butter M&M Blondies
 
Yields: 16 bars
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ brown sugar, packed
  • ½ granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • ⅓ cup natural peanut butter (chunky or creamy)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup peanut butter M&M candies, divided
  • ¼ cup peanut butter chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir to combine butter, peanut butter, eggs and vanilla.
  4. Add peanut butter mixture to flour mixture, stirring until combined (do not over mix).
  5. Fold in ½ cup peanut butter M&Ms and peanut butter chips.
  6. Pour mixture into baking pan and spread to fill pan. Top with remaining ½ cup peanut butter M&Ms, pressing them into the batter.
  7. Bake for 19 minutes, or until set. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

 

peanut butter buttermilk pancakes

Peanut Butter Pancakes

As a lover of all things peanut butter and a frequent pancake maker, making Peanut Butter Pancakes was inevitable.  I searched online for some inspiration, but did not quite find what I was looking for.  Most recipes I found did not use natural peanut butter (some even discouraged it).  Natural peanut butter is a must for me, so I decided just to wing it.  The rest of the recipe just fell into place, and the result was just what I had in mind.  These Peanut Butter Pancakes have the perfect amount of peanut butter flavor, with a little sweetness from brown sugar.  Buttermilk contributes to the fluffy texture, and the whole wheat flour adds more nutrition.  They are delicious plain, with a little syrup, or even jelly to make a PB&J pancake!

Peanut Butter Pancakes
 
Yields: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 2-3 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1¼ cups low fat buttermilk
  • ½ cup chunky natural peanut butter (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • maple or chocolate syrup (optional, for serving)
  • chopped peanuts (optional, for serving)
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt (if using). Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk, peanut butter, oil, vanilla and eggs, until well-blended.
  3. Add peanut butter mixture to flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Preheat large nonstick skillet (or griddle) to medium (about 325 degrees).
  5. Pour batter onto griddle (2 tablespoons to ¼ cup, depending on desired size of pancakes). Flip pancakes when top are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked (about 2-3 minutes). Cook the other side until set (about 2 minutes). Serve warm.
Notes
To soften natural peanut butter and make it easier to work with, just microwave it in the jar for about 30 seconds (adjust depending on how much is left in the jar).

 

coconut chocolate bars {Alida's Kitchen}

Coconut Chocolate Bars

These bars are three layers of coconut, chocolate and brown sugar bliss!  While the layering may make them seem involved, these bars could not be any quicker or easier to make.  First you start with a brown sugar crust – bake for 10 minutes.  Then sprinkle the chocolate over the crust, put back in the oven for a minute to soften the chocolate, and spread evenly.  Last you make the coconut topping, spread over the chocolate layer, and bake again (be careful not to over bake).  The result is an elegant and delicious bar cookie that is sure to delight and impress!

Coconut Chocolate Bars
 
Yields: 36 bars
Ingredients
  • 1½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup (1 stick) light butter, cut into chunks
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cup sweetened flaked coconut
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, butter and salt until crumbly. (While messy, I found using fingers works best). Pat into baking pan and bake for 10 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle chocolate pieces over crust and put back in oven for about 1 minute to soften chocolate. Spread chocolate evenly over crust.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat eggs until thick and lemon colored. Beat in sugar and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder and salt and fold into sugar mixture. Fold in coconut. Spread evenly over chocolate layer. Bake 15-20 minutes (be careful not to over bake). Cool in pan and cut into 3x1-inch bars.

 

Source: back of C & H brown sugar bag

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Pumpkin Gingerbread

Evidently it has unofficially become pumpkin week here at Alida’s Kitchen.  I had something else planned for today, but it just seemed fitting to close the week with a new favorite and continue the pumpkin theme.  It does not get more seasonally appropriate for fall/winter than pumpkin and gingerbread.  This Pumpkin Gingerbread is no exception.

I have not done a lot of baking with crystallized ginger, so it was fun to try something new.  It definitely enhanced the flavors in this gingerbread.  The original recipe did not call for cloves, but I like my gingerbread a little spicy.  I thought the cloves were perfect addition.  I love that this is made with whole wheat flour and not a lot of sugar.   Healthy, delicious and perfect for the season, this Pumpkin Gingerbread makes a delightful breakfast, brunch or even dessert.
Pumpkin Gingerbread
Yields 16 servings
1 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup chopped crystalized ginger
2 eggs
1 egg white
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup molasses
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup pumpkin puree
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 8″ square baking pan with cooking spray.  Set aside
  2. Combine flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and baking powder in a medium bowl. Stir in crystalized ginger.
  3. Whisk eggs, egg white, oil, molasses and pumpkin in a large bowl.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, folding gently until just combined.
  5. Pour mixture in prepared pan.  Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.    Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack.  Serve topped with crystalized ginger, if desired.
Adapted from prevention.com

 

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Spiced Pumpkin Molasses Muffins

I am always looking for new and different recipes for muffins.  They are an easy make ahead breakfast that Mike can take on the go, on his way to work or while traveling.  They are also easy for me to grab while I’m chasing after Adam, who then insists (very persistently) that I share with him.  Pumpkin season seems to be very popular with everybody these days, and our family is no exception.  For this muffin, I was looking for something pumpkin, healthy and with a little pizazz.  Enter Spiced Pumpkin Molasses Muffins.

These muffins fulfill all of the above requirements and then some.  The pumpkin and molasses flavors are nicely balanced, with neither one outshining the other.  I topped the muffins with a mix of chopped pepitas, oats and brown sugar, which added some nice texture and visual appeal.  The muffins would be delicious without this optional topping, but I highly recommend it.  I also highly recommend making these muffins!

Spiced Pumpkin Molasses Muffins
 
Yields: 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup white whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup flaxseed meal
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ pepitas, chopped (optional for garnish)
  • 2 tablespoons rolled oats (optional for garnish)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (optional for garnish)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line muffin cups with liners (or sprady with cooking spray). In a small bowl, mix together chopped pepitas, oats and sugar for garnish, if using. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the flours, flax seed meal, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  3. In another large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, pumpkin puree, yogurt , eggs, molasses, oil, and vanilla until well-blended.
  4. Add the pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture, folding until just combined (do not over mix).
  5. Divide the mixture into the prepared muffin tins, and sprinkle each muffin with the pepitas-oats mixture.
  6. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes.

Adapted from All Recipes

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Brown Sugar Brownies

Back in college, I had a recipe for Brown Sugar Brownies.  They were honestly the best brownies I’ve ever had (aside from my grandmother’s of course). I still remember them, but that was ages ago, and sadly my dear recipe is long gone.  Fast forward to a few weeks ago, I was in the middle of baking and ran out of brown sugar.  Mike went on an emergency brown sugar run for me.  When he set the bag down on the counter, it happened to be recipe-side up (hmm…do you think that was intentional?).  What did I see?  Brown Sugar Brownies!

Quick and easy to prepare, this recipe makes a delicious brownie that is more fudgy than cakey.  In fact, they are light and airy and almost melt in your mouth.  Now, I used dark chocolate that I received from the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program with Ghiardelli.  This would be delicious using unsweetened per the original recipe, but I was pleasantly susprised at the results with what I used.  I also used light butter, which has half the fat and calories of regular butter.  I like using light butter when I can, because if it works why not, right? 

Now for the best part.  If I told you these brownies were under 115 calories each, would you believe it?  I hardly believed it myself!  I did the calculation a few days after making them (and after I had already eaten a few bars).  I was eating half a brownie each time because I expected they would come in a lot higher.   I did the calculation once, checked it again.  It’s true.  These babies clock in around 112!

Brown Sugar Brownies
Yields 16 brownies

1/2 cup (1 stick) light butter, melted and cooled
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 ounces unsweetened OR dark chocolate (such as Ghirardelli Twilight Delight), melted, cooled slightly
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
powdered sugar (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Spray 9 inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until combined.
  3. Beat in eggs, adding one at at time. 
  4. Stir in melted chocolate and vanilla.
  5. Gently fold in flour, until combined.
  6. Pour mixture into pan and bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool completely.  Cut into squares, and sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

Adapted from back of sugar bag (recipe found here here)

Disclaimer: While this is not my formal write up of my experience with Ghirardelli chocolate, I feel obligated to disclose the following:  “As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program, I was provided with Ghirardelli chocolate for free.  The details of my experience are exclusively my opinion, and I was not otherwise influenced or compensated.”  I will be sharing a full write up of my experience later this week. 

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Brown Sugar Coconut Blueberry Muffins

The hunt for tasty ways to use the remainder of our blueberries continues.  It’s not a bad problem to have, that’s for sure.  We have been happily enjoying Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, lots of blueberries in Greek yogurt, and many other treats.  But it was time to make something new.  I already have several blueberry muffin recipes that I love, but when I found a blueberry muffin recipe using brown sugar and buttermilk, I knew it would become an instant favorite.

While the recipe looked nearly perfect as-is, I decided to add a little twist and use coconut oil instead of canola oil.  This was my first time using coconut oil, but I had high hopes it would be the perfect addition to these muffins.

The coconut oil imparts a delicious coconut flavor to the muffins, which works beautifully with the tangy blueberries.  The muffins are incredibly moist as well.  Score for the coconut oil, and score for another fantastic recipe for blueberry muffins!

Brown Sugar Coconut Blueberry Muffins
 
Yields: 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil (or canola oil)
  • ⅓ cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar, for topping
  • 2 teaspoons sweetened flaked coconut, for topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 12 standard muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, stir flour, sugar and baking powder.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together oil, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla until well blended.
  4. Add wet ingredients to flour mixture, stirring gently until just combined.
  5. Gently fold in blueberries.
  6. Divide batter evenly among 12 muffin cups. Top each muffin with a sprinkle of brown sugar and a sprinkle of coconut.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes and then move to wire rack to cool completely.

Brown Sugar Coconut Blueberry Muffins
Yields 12 muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/3 cup coconut oil (or canola oil)
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
2 teaspoons brown sugar, for topping
2 teaspoons sweetened flaked coconut, for topping

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line 12 standard muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, stir flour, sugar and baking powder.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together oil, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla until well blended.
  4. Add wet ingredients to flour mixture, stirring gently until just combined.
  5. Gently fold in blueberries.
  6. Divide batter evenly among 12 muffin cups.  Top each muffin with a sprinkle of brown sugar and a sprinkle of coconut.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool in pan for 5 minutes and then move to wire rack to cool completely.

Adapted from Babble

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Triple Chocolate Malted Cookies

The baby was asleep. The husband was out to dinner. What’s a girl to do? Make Triple Chocolate Malted Cookies, of course!

I haven’t made cookies in ages, and these just happen to be one of Mike’s favorites. Actually, after one bite, they quickly become everybody’s favorite. These cookies are soft, chewy, and chocolaty with a hint of malted milk flavor.

The dough is quite sticky, but becomes much more managable after chilling it in the refrigerator. It is also key to either line your cookie sheet, or spray it with cooking spray. Otherwise the cookies have a tendency to stick. 

Despite the minor challenges presesented by a sticky dough, these cookies are worth every effort. They are delicious and the perfect accompaniment to a cold glass of milk!

Triple Chocolate Malted Cookies
Yields approximately 30 cookies

1 cup brown sugar, packed
6 tablespoons chocolate malted milk powder
5 tablespoons butter, softened
3 tablespoons chocolate syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

  1. In a large bowl, combine sugar, malted milk powder, butter, syrup, vanilla and egg; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour and baking soda.  Gradually add flour mixture to wet ingredients, stirring (or beating at low speed) until combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Chill dough for 30 minutes to overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Drop dough by heaping teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes.  [Cookies will appear puffy when first taken out of the oven]  Cool on pan for 2 minutes or until firm.  Remove cookies and cool on a wire rack.

Adapted from Cooking Light