Saturday, January 30, 2010

Spiced Buckwheat Pancakes with Sautee'd Apples

buckwheat pancakes with sautee'd applies

Oh yeah. You heard right. Buckwheat. It happened.

Don't worry, I'm not gettin' all fancy and organic on ya.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not typically a pancake person. Sure, they are good... but I only get a craving for them maybe once or twice a year. Preferably on thanksgiving morning with a tub of whip cream, maple syrup and bacon on the side. Other than that, I'm not really into the whole pancake obsession thing. But after today, I think I might be.

I forget whose blog I was looking at, but I had seen pictures on foodbuzz for buckwheat pancakes, and they looked so beautifully brown and sounded so good I vowed that very moment that at some time of the week, I was going to track down buckwheat flour and make them. And after four trips to the store turned up nothing, I had pretty much given up. It seemed that this flour had disappeared from the world, even in organic supplied markets. I was a sad panda.

But then, last night, at a last minute trip to the store for some milk and chocolate covered pretzels, I thought 'eh, hey, why not' and trudged over to the flour aisle. Surprise, surprise! What did I see? Buckwheat flour.
I was a very, very happy foodie.

buckwheat pancakes with sautee'd applies

While I'm not personally vegan, vegetarian, or anything like that, I am obsessed with this pancake recipe. And with buckwheat added in, it's a lot better for you health-wise than most pancakes. Not that that's going to stop you (or me) from drenching it in maple syrup but hey -- you only live once. And maple syrup... it makes everything better. Except, maybe, brussel sprouts (no offense to any maple syrup brussel sprout lovers out there). I also have an aversion to dairy so this recipe is easily adaptable so that I can make my cake and eat it too (Hah, cake, pancake, get it?).

If you have time, and you can find it -- make these pancakes. Make them with buckwheat flour. Make them with sautee'd apples. Make them with blueberries. Heck, If you're feeling extra decadent, make them with chocolate chips. I won't judge you.

Just don't leave out the maple syrup. Seriously. Maple syrup. Pancakes. It's essential.

buckwheat pancakes with sautee'd applies

Or, if you're my brother, serve yourself a pair with a generous scoop of vanilla bean ice-cream.
It'll be our little secret.

Spiced Buckwheat Pancakes with Sautee'd Apples
(makes about 8 medium sized pancakes, and around a dozen silver dollar sized ones)


3/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1-2 tablespoons sugar (depends how sweet you like your pancakes)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
3/4 cup almond milk mixed with 1 teaspoon lemon juice (or 3/4 cup buttermilk)
1/4 cup water (or additional milk)
1 egg white, beaten until foamy
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons unsalted vegan butter, melted (or regular butter) and cooled completely

1/2 cup add-ins (optional, such as blueberries, nuts, chocolate chips, etc)
1 tablespoon sugar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, for sprinkling (optional)

Sautee'd Apples
1 large apple, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon sugar


1. Combine dry ingredients and any mix-ins (such as blueberries/chocolate chips/nuts) in a large bowl with a whisk, set aside.

2. In a large liquid measuring cup, combine almond milk, water, egg white, vanilla extract and melted butter. Whisk together till just combined.

3. Slowly pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients, stirring gently with a spatula or wooden spoon. Stir JUST UNTIL there are no signs of flour left. Don't worry if it's lumpy. It's suppose to be. Do not overmix.

4. Heat up a skillet to medium heat and spray lightly with cooking spray. When skillet is hot enough, test the heat by sprinkling water on it. If the water drops start to sizzle and dance, it's hot enough. If they evaporate immediately, turn down the heat a notch. If they don't evaporate or dance, turn the heat up.

5. Drop by 1/4 cupfuls (use a 1/4 measurement cups or 3 tablespoons) onto skillet. When the top of the pancakes start bubbling (it shouldn't take very long), flip pancakes over with a spatula and cook just a minute longer. Take off skillet and continue until there is no batter left. Makes about 8 medium sized pancakes, or a dozen silver dollar sized ones. Sprinkle with sugar/cinnamon mix if using.

6. To sautee' apples, take a seperate skillet and melt 1 teaspoon of butter over low heat. Throw in sliced apples, cinnamon, and sugar, and stir together until apples are coated. Cook until apples are soft, but still slightly firm.

7. Serve pancakes warm with sautee'd apples, real maple syrup, whip cream and freshly brewed coffee. And vanilla ice-cream, if you're feeling particularly naughty.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Glazed Orange Tea Cake

Glazed Orange Tea Cake

I guess you'll be happy to know that no, I haven't gone away forever, and yes, I am back to fill in the space between your hips and your jeans. ;)
I went out of town for two weeks and had a wonderful time in Louisiana and, although I did not have any beignets this time around, I can assure you that I made up for the loss in double stuffed oreos, fudge striped cookies and a marathon of star wars. Yeah. Killer combo.

Even though I didn't want to come back home, I did miss dusting flour off my clothes and the way the house smells right before you're ready to take a batch of homemade brownies out of the oven; and I am entirely inspired to try more new recipes than ever before. Actually, I'm inspired to try a lot of new things lately.

Like my newest fascination with peanut butter and jelly. Whoa. Why I never liked this combo when I was a kid is beyond me. I feel robbed.

Glazed Orange Tea Cake

Anywho, we'll save my peanut butter and jelly laments for another day. For now, let's talk cake. This glazed orange tea cake, for example.
When I first read over the recipe from Cooking Light, I thought to myself. "Ah, okay. Not too bad nutrition wise, I guess..." and then I thought to myself I could seriously reduce the amount of sugar and fat in the recipe while still keeping the great orange flavor simply by swapping out 3 tablespoons of butter with low-fat, plain yogurt and cutting the sugar in half. The results? A very dense, yet light tasting tea cake that is perfectly sweet enough to enjoy with tea or coffee or heck, a tall glass of milk works just fine, too. The best part has to be the glaze ontop which definitely completes the entire dessert. The only thing I'd watch out for is that this cake is not meant to be left on the counter at room temperature over night, or it will dry out. If you don't eat it all in a day (which, I can promise you, will be difficult not to), wrap it up in plastic wrap and keep it in your fridge. I find that it tastes five times better the next day when it's nice and chilled and still completely moist.

Glad to be back in the baking saddle. Look out for more recipes to come this week as I am definitely in the mood to shell out some interesting recipes.
That, and I really, really need an excuse to make some pancakes. Stat.

Glazed Orange Tea Cake

Glazed Orange Tea Cake
(Adapted from Cooking Light)



1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 egg
3 tablespoons low-fat, plain yogurt
1 2/3 cup cake flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (can substitute with low-fat, skim or whole milk)
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 large egg whites
cooking spray

1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon orange liqueur (can substitute with orange juice)
1 teaspoon orange juice


1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. To prepare the cake, place the granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at high speed until well-blended. Add the egg and yogurt, beating well.

3. Combine cake flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk.

4. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in zest and extract.

5. Beat the egg whites with a mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form using clean, dry beaters (do not overbeat).

6. Fold egg whites into batter; pour batter into an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray.

7. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack, and remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

8. To prepare the glaze, combine the powdered sugar, liqueur, and juice in a small bowl. Poke holes in top of cake using a skewer; drizzle glaze over cake.

Friday, January 22, 2010

We now return to our every day programming.

Hey everyone! Sorry for the lack of posts. I was out of town for two weeks and totally forgot to make a post about it. Don't worry, I didn't leave the blogging world. It'll probably be a day or two before I get some new stuff up but hang tight 'cause I got a lot of goodies to share that will make up for time lost. :)

Stay spiffy.

Proudly dunking twice,

Friday, January 8, 2010

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

chocolate chip peanut butter cookies

Let me tell you something about my grandfather.

My grandfather does not approve of refined sugar, gluten, and caffiene. He is strongly against anything with that "really bad high fructose corn syrup stuff", prefers a glass of goats milk over cows milk, and would not be caught dead in ordering a burger from McDonalds. He does not like any ingredients that he cannot pronounce, and he is an avid lover of all things with seeds and anything labeled with the words "organic". When he's not busy talking about how I should really get out, exercise more, get some sun, etc, he is telling me all about the health benefits of raisins and protein drinks. In short, my grandfather is a very "healthy" man who eats all the right things and exercises daily and never sleeps in past ten in the afternoon.

Now, let me tell you something else about my grandfather.

chocolate chip peanut butter cookies

My grandfather is the first person to order dessert at a table. My grandfather is the first person to go for a second helping of cookies. He is the first to try everything and anything when it comes to sweets and he does not skimp when he gets his frozen yogurt (fat-free!) from the yogurt bar. He is the one that will have "just a little" slice of cheesecake, only to five minutes later come back and have "just a little" slice more. And yes, my grandfather would like whip cream and chocolate syrup with that. Thank you very much.

I always find it funny when our family gets together and my grandfather spends all night talking about being healthy and such, and everyone just rolls their eyes because they know he will be the one who dives head first into the brownie pan as soon as he smells them coming out of the oven, or as soon as he even gets the faint sound of someone opening the fridge door to get the nights big dessert out. It is something we all expect, and there hasn't been one time where he has let us down. My grandfather, needless to say, is a secretive sweet-tooth, and I am never surprised when I catch him sneaking a cookie into his mouth when no one is looking. And if you even think of saying, "Popops! (that's what we call him) I thought you don't eat sweets?" he will just laugh at you and say, "oh, i'm only having one, and that's it. I'm done. Really."

Sure, pops, whatever you say.

chocolate chip peanut butter cookies

So, by all means, my Grandfather would probably not approve of these cookies. Not only are they full of wonderful, beautiful butter, but they are also jammed pack with a cup full of Jif peanut butter, a duet of brown and white sugar, and a good helping of chocolate chips. Oh, and yes, it has flour in it.

In other words, these cookies are perfect, scrumptious, and a great addition to any cookie platter or just a really tall glass of milk. They are both chewy, soft, and definitely have a prominent "peanut butter" taste that I think a lot of peanut butter cookies lack (I personally never make a peanut butter cookie unless it has at least 1 cup of peanut butter in it).

I think that all things should be enjoyed in moderation, whether it be healthy or not. And that splurging a little on something sweet wont ruin your day. Actually, I'm pretty sure that these cookies could cure any bad day. Ever.

And if you're still not convinced, and going, "gosh, those look good, but my pants can't take it!"...

chocolate chip peanut butter cookies

You could always send your cookies to my Grandfather.

Afterall, he wouldn't "want them to go to waste". ;)

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies
(Adapted from multiple peanut butter cookie recipes)

1 1/4 to 2 cups all purpose flour* (please, PLEASE see note below)
a dash of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter (do not use sugar free/organic/reduced fat)
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
3 tablespoons milk* (optional, once again, PLEASE see note)

NOTE*: Please be wary that the amount of flour you'll use for this recipe will vary on your weather/house conditions, so DO NOT BE AFRAID of using more flour than recommended. I ended up using a whole two cups, and then my dough was too dry. If you do add flour and your dough gets dry, add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time to the batter until it reaches a smoother consistency.


1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. Whisk together flour, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and peanut butter until just creamy and combined.

4. Beat in sugars, again, until just combined into the batter. Take care to smooth out any brown sugar chunks.

5. Beat in egg and vanilla.

6. Add the flour mixed and beat together until no flour remains to be seen. If your dough is too sticky, add 1/4 cup of flour. If your dough is too dry, add up to 3 tablespoons milk until it gets a creamy but not too sticky consistency.

7. Fold or stir in 1 cup chocolate chips.

8. Drop cookies onto sheet in rounded 1 inch balls onto the cookie sheet. Press each cookie down lightly with the back of a fork vertically and horizontally to get a "criss cross" shape (if you don't want the criss cross shape, press the ball down lightly with the bottom of a glass). Bake at 350F for about 10 minutes. Your cookies may look a little bit "soft" coming out of the oven but that's okay.

9. Leave the cookies on the sheet for a minute or two to set up, and then remove them and place them on a cooling wrack. Let cool completely.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Black and White Chocolate Chip Cookies


I always get funny looks when I talk about chocolate with other people. Everyone, obviously, has their favorite brand of chocolate. Ranging from the well known Godiva, Lindt, and if you're REALLY a chocolate connoisseur, Vosges is probably up your lane of choices as well. Not to say that any of these chocolates are bad. I like all of them, to be honest. Some more than others (I personally dislike anything from Lindt unless its their truffles). Either way, every foodie who enjoys the wonderful taste of chocolatey goodness usually has a favorite brand.

So when I tell people what my favorite chocolate ever is, they usually look at me and go, "Really?" as if they expected me to come up with some exotic chocolate from belgium that costs more than all my baking utensils put together.

But i'll be honest with you. My favorite chocolate is neither Godiva, nor Ghirardeli, nor any other special kind of chocolate from any country outside the US...

My favorite chocolate ever in the world is Hershey's Hugs Kisses.


Yes, that's right. Hershey's. Of all the chocolate I could pick from, I pick one that comes from Hershey's.

Call me crazy. Call me insane. It's okay, I won't mind. But I will do backflips for a bag of Hugs. It might be because everytime I've had them it's always been a special thing. Like sharing a bag with my sister while watching her play Zelda when I was a little kid, or the fact that my mom would always put a bag of them in my stocking for Christmas and in my Easter basket, or the fact that they are somehow ten times more stupendous when you eat them with someone you love. I don't know what it is about them. But biting into a hershey hug right out of the freezer, breaking open the white chocolate and milk chocolate swirly shell around it and then letting the pure milk chocolate center melt in your mouth -- Good Lord. I'm about ready to go to the store right now to get some. They are seriously that good, and I am not ashamed to say that I could munch on a bag mindlessly all day if given a chance (the boyfriend as my witness!).

So you can only imagine my reaction when I saw a bag of mini chocolate and white chocolate swirled morsels on the baking shelf of my local grocery store. Yeah. You bet I grabbed one. And ever since, it has been waiitng patiently in my freezer, waiting to be used.

While the mini chocolate morsels in themselves don't taste much like Hugs (unfortunately), they still get the job done. I've been waiting to come across the perfect recipe to incorporate them in and I honestly think that this might be it. Unlike your typical chocolate chip cookie, these are made with cake flour, a dash of Kahlua (a coffee liquor), and egg substitute. Lending for a much more healthier cookie in general that doesn't sacrifice or skimp on taste. The toasted pecans definitely lend a wonderful contrast, though I didn't use many of them because I like to have more chocolate in my cookies than I do nuts ;).


I won't lie, these are addictive. Though I didn't have Kahlua on hand, I replaced it with some brewed Espresso and I think that they came out just as good as they would if I had used Kahlua. These cookies are absolutely awesome and though they are originally meant for a blend of white chocolate chips and semi-sweet chocolate chips, I'm pretty sure that using the swirled kind lends its own flavor that lets you enjoy both at once instead of separately -- and I like it better that way.

If you don't happen to find the swirled morsels in your grocery, feel free to use a mix of white chocolate chips and semi-sweet ones. But if you do find them, I gotta say: use them! Do it. You won't regret it. I absolutely pinky promise you.

Black and White Chocolate Chip Cookies
(adapted from Cooking Light)

2 cups cake flour (about 8 ounces)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons egg substitute (OR 2 tablespoon egg whites)
1 1/2 tablespoons Kahlúa (coffee-flavored liqueur) OR 1 1/2 tablespoons brewed espresso
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup white chocolate/semi sweet chocolate swirled morsels OR
6 tablespoons semisweet chocolate minichips
1/3 cup premium white chocolate chips

2 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans, toasted (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; stir with a whisk.

3. Combine sugars, butter, and shortening in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

4. Combine 1/4 cup water, egg substitute, Kahlúa, and vanilla in a small bowl. Add Kahlúa mixture to sugar mixture; beat 2 minutes or until well blended.

5. Gradually add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until combined.

6. Fold in all your chocolate chips (whether you used the swirled or individual kind) and pecans. Drop by level tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.

7. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, at 350° for 14 minutes or just until set and beginning to brown around edges and on bottoms.

8. Remove from oven; cool on pan 1 minute. Remove from pan; cool completely on wire racks.

Makes about 40 cookies.

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