Challah Bread

This weekend I made Challah bread.
Challah reminds me a lot of Italian sweet bread, a bread that Italians (at least in my family) have at Easter time. It can have raisins or other dried fruit in it. It’s wonderful freshly cut, or toasted. My mother makes two loaves, one with raisins and another plain.
Back to the Challah.

Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut butter, if you’re not allergic, is pretty amazing and I love how versatile it is. It can be decadent or  wholesome; chunky or smooth; a snack or a meal. Not to mention it’s inexpensive, something you can even make yourself, and pairs well with chocolate, banana, fruit…the list goes on.

I’m looking for an everyday peanut butter cookie. One that’s wholesomely decadent. One that doesn’t call for white flour and lots of butter, white sugar and brown sugar.

wait, there’s more!

Banana Chocolate Chunk Cookies (healthy style)

Today I was determined. Determined to make it to the AM spin class. I left on time. I got there on time. My determination paid off. Until, that is, I discovered I had arrived an hour late and the class was ending. I couldn’t walk out. I walked in and geared up my bike with such confidence and determination.  Instead of walking out, I decided to stay and spin on my own. I’ve never done this and at the start I thought I would never again, but by the end I was glad I made the mistake. I challenged myself and worked up a sweat. Feeling good, I went home and baked these cookies.

These cookies are packed with flavor. Banana, cinnamon, and chocolate. While in most cases it’s an oxy-moron, these cookies are healthy. Crazy-sauce! These cookies have no dairy, sugar (except for the chocolate chunks), or flour. How could they be good? They are good. Maybe it’s because they are guiltless, or maybe it’s because the cinnamon, chocolate and banana work so well together.

wait, there’s more!

Oatmeal Chocolate-Chunk Buckwheat Cookies

One day I’m writing about a detox and the next cookies. Welcome to my world! I missed spending time with butter, sugar and vanilla, not to mention a Pandora playlist of my choosing. So, in preparation for Sunday’s series two premier of Downton Abby I spent some quality time with the aforementioned ingredients and made some special cookies.

These cookies are good, like really, really good.

wait, there’s more!

Lemon Whoopie Pies

Lemon is a beautiful thing. I don’t know how it’s possible, but up until a few years ago I didn’t even like lemon sweets. The thought of a lemon bar or lemon tea cake made my mouth bored. I couldn’t believe people really liked it that much. I thought the craze was simply for chocolate-haters. I don’t know what changed my mind. My husband loves lemony sweets. So, to satisfy his sweet tooth I made lemon poppy seed tea cookies about two years ago. They were light and tasty and I believe that’s where it started. I didn’t solidify my new-found love until I made these lemon whoopie pies.

wait, there’s more!

Lemon Glazed Spice Cake

The forecast is calling for rain again today. In fact it looks like the only sunny day this week is Thursday. At some point you have to work through the gloominess and that is the point we are at my friends. Not only has the rain been falling, but the temperatures aren’t climbing. It’s like a rainy fall here and fall makes me think of spices, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. Warmth in food if not outside.

I found this cake on JoytheBaker.com, again! Do you see a trend here? I liked the dichotomy of this cake, that’s what drew me to it. The warmth of the spices and the cool, freshness of the lemon glaze. Very fitting for the month of April. The cake is smooth and spicy and the lemon glaze does just what it’s suppose to hardening over the top creating the perfect texture and bite.

It is a delicious cake that can be enjoyed on its own, with fresh whipped cream or with vanilla, sweet cream or cinnamon ice cream.

Lemon Glazed Spice Cake

{Recipe from JoytheBaker.com}

Cake:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup white whole wheat flour (you can use 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour if you don’t have wheat flour)

1 cup sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoons ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup almond oil (or any lightly colored oil)

1 cup buttermilk (if you’d like to make this vegan, use soy milk instead of buttermilk.  also add a splash of white vinegar to the wet ingredients)

Lemon Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

juice of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour a 8×8-inch baking pan.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.

In a smaller bowl whisk together the oil, buttermilk (or soy milk and a splash of vinegar) and vanilla extract.  Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients.  Fold together until the ingredients are well combined, but not overmixed.

Spread batter out into baking pan and bake for 25-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

While the cake is baking, assemble the lemon glaze.  Mix the powdered sugar with the lemon until smooth and loose enough to drizzle easily.

When cake is done baking, remove it from the oven and use a toothpick or fork to dot holes in the warm cake.  While the cake is still warm, slowly drizzle it with lemon glaze, spreading out the glaze to create a coating that will dry and harden slightly.

Let cool to room temperature and serve topped with slightly whipped cream.