Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies – and Stacey Ballis!

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies // Flour and Fancy

Stacy Ballis’s new book, Recipe For Disaster, debuted this week, and I’ve been in eager anticipation of its arrival for months. Stacy’s novels are some of my most loved reading for a number of reasons.  First, they always involve food, and in each story, food is almost a character unto itself, lightning every key moment in the prose.  And secondly, I find her work deeply relatable, with a strong but very human female central character that is always child-free and highly dynamic.

To celebrate the release of Stacey’s latest work – and I’m always looking for a good reason to celebrate! – I immediately referred to her e-cookbook.  Big Delicious Life: Stacey Ballis’s Most Awesome Recipes was published in October of last year and is a culmination of all the recipes that appear in her many works.  I have so many favorites in this recipe collection, and one of my go-to recipes is Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies.  If Big Delicious Life was laying on my kitchen counter in print form, the page with the recipe for these cookies would, no doubt, be heavily stained and barely legible.

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies // Flour and Fancy

These cookies were served up in her novel, Good Enough To Eat, and the first I’d read of her prose.  So, it only seemed appropriate that I whip up a batch of these cookies in my personal celebration of the debut of her newest title.

I’m a big fan of these cookies because they incorporate healthier ingredients while still being flavorful and delicious.  Whole wheat flour adds some whole grain to these chocolatey cookies, and the recipe only invoices one half cup of light brown sugar. None of the white stuff and no copious amounts.

Of course, like with all recipes, I am compelled to add my own touch.  While I’ve posted the original recipe here, I tweaked it a bit for my cookies.  I used egg white versus egg, 1% chocolate milk instead of skim milk, and nixed the rolled oats.  However, I’ve baked these cookies completely in line with the recipe and found them delectable.  And the “healthy” elements don’t detract from that classic chocolate chip cookie taste we all know, love, and leave for Santa.

Speaking of Santa, one of the other recipes in Stacy’s e-bookbook, Holiday Chocolate Loaf Cake, has become a holiday staple at my house.  I can’t describe how exceptional this cake is – moist, dense, perfect.  In short, everyone needs her e-cookbook.  And I hope you, too, are enjoying her newest release, Recipe For Disaster.

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies // Flour and Fancy

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe from Big Delicious Life: Stacey Ballis’s Most Awesome Recipes
Serves 12

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup organic brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 5 ounces dark chocolate chips or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium bowl, mix dry ingredients with a whisk to combine.  In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and milk, and combine well.  Mix in dry ingredients.  Add chocolate chips and oats.  Drop rounded teaspoons on greased cookie sheets, and bake for 12 to 14 minutes until browned around the edges.

Double Berry Muffins with Greek Yogurt

Double Berry Muffins with Greek Yogurt

Nothing beats a great muffin recipe for a delicious breakfast or afternoon snack.  Flour and Fancy is a testimony to my belief that muffins make everything better.  What you may not know is that I’m also a big fan of Greek yogurt.

I eat Greek yogurt every day.  Whether at home or traveling, Greek yogurt is always in my refrigerator, my spoon, or my mouth.  And why not?  With its high protein and probiotic content, it’s a superfood in its own right.  So, when Chobani contacted me and asked if I would feature one of their delicious yogurts in a recipe, I needed to look no further than the kitchen.  Chobani is, hands down, my favorite Greek yogurt brand.  My friends and I have conversations centered on the new Chobani flavor debuts and their thick, flavorful yogurt is one of my favorite desserts and snacks.  How could I refuse?

Muffins are a food best made at home.  Commercially produced muffins available to your grocery, the corner coffee shop, or your favorite local bakery are almost always packed with as much sugar, calories, and fat as cake and offer little nutritional content in return.  In short, they are nothing more an a decadent dessert.  And while we all know those versions, they don’t make for a balanced breakfast or a healthy snack.  To bite into a muffin packs nutrition and sweetness without all the junk, you’ll need to bake them first.

Double Berry Muffins with Greek Yogurt // Flour and Fancy

Fortunately, muffins are fun to make and not highly difficult.  You don’t need to be an accomplished baker or culinary school graduate to make a muffin that is flavorful and good for you!  And in your own kitchen, you can incorporate nutrient dense ingredients that give your body more than a fat-laden sugar rush.

Any muffin I eat comes straight from my oven, often burning my mouth because I can never wait for them to cool!  And I wanted to share one of my favorites in my muffin arsenal that incorporates fresh berries, wheat flour, Greek yogurt, and flax seed.  My Double Berry Muffins with Greek Yogurt make a great breakfast.  I enjoy them most on weekends with a good book.  With a total prep and baking time of 30 minutes, you don’t have to wait long to devour these muffins.

I hope you’ll enjoy these as well and arm yourself with this recipe anytime you’re craving a delicious, fruity muffin without breaking your health goal for the new year!

Double Berry Muffins with Greek Yogurt // Flour and Fancy

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons flax seed
  • 2/3 cup 1% milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 container (5.3 oz.) Chobani Greek Yogurt Simply 100 Vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  • Cooking spray

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease two six-cavity muffin pans with cooking spray.  Grease the bottom only of each cavity.
  2. In a standing mixer, combine all wet ingredients – milk, oil, greek yogurt, honey, and egg – until well blended.
  3. Add sugar. baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, and flax seed.  Mix well on a low setting.  Then, add the flours one at a time until just mixed.  Do not over mix.
  4. Mix in the raspberries and blueberries on a low setting, allowing the raspberries to break down and become thoroughly incorporated throughout the batter.
  5. Fill each muffin cavity.  Do not fill more than halfway to allow for rising.
  6. Bake for 15 – 17 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Allow muffins to cool in muffin pan for five minutes.  Then, remove to a cooling rack for five minutes additional cooling.  Serve warm.  Muffins may be stored in an airtight container for up to two days.

Note: The opinions expressed here concerning Chobani Greek Yogurt and their products are entirely my own.  I only work with and endorse brands that I have personal experience with and enjoy.

Holiday Recipe Favorites from Flour and Fancy


Christmas Tree // Flour and Fancy

It’s Christmas Eve, and if you’re like me, you’ve begun your menu planning – late.  You’re thinking about what you’re eating tomorrow and hoping you can squeeze in a last minute trip to the grocery for those must-have items.  And you’re thinking chocolate, sugar, and butter.

Here’s my top list of recipes from Flour and Fancy to make your holidays a little sweeter, a bit more delectable.  So while you’re savoring time with family and friends, don’t forget the sweet!

I hope each of you enjoy every giggle, every hug, and, of course, every bite this holiday season!  See you in 2015!

For The Food Lover: A Selection of Gift Picks

Flour and Fancy

Nothing gets me thinking about gift giving like Thanksgiving.  With all the publicity surrounding Black Friday, Shop Local Saturday, and Cyber Monday, it’s hard not to think about shopping and the friends and family on your list, but it’s when I begin thinking about the people I’m thankful for in my life that I start plotting my holiday gifts.  And after I clean up the Turkey Day mess.

Edible gifts are great, and I bake a number of the items in the recipe archives to give as gifts.  However, sometimes you’ve got to open your wallet to give the gift that fits just right.

With Cyber Monday coming tomorrow and that gift giving spirit in full, post-Thanksgiving swing, I wanted to share my picks for some great gifts for the cook, food lover, baker, and shaker in your life:

  • A Year of Bi-Monthly Kitchen Letters – Provisions: The recipient of this gift receives a letter twice a month from the minds behind great food and restaurants, including some content from the ladies behind Food52.  For the reader that doubles as a kitchen extraordinaire, this is the perfect gift that keeps giving all year long. I really enjoy them!
  • Mountain Rose Apples – Mikuni Wild Harvest: These apples have a beautifully pink relish and a taste that blends the perfect balance of sweetness and tart.  Absolutely one of my favorites!  They are only available from October to December and quite rare.  A perfect gift for the fall and winter apple lover.
  • The Must-Have Cookbooks for their baking collection:
    • The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book – it’s a pie book.  What more do I need to say?  Really, if your pal or kitchen lovin’ family member only has one book on pie, this should be it.
    • Bouchon Bakery – For the more advanced baker and the ingredient adventurer, this is a perfect fit.
    • Baked: New Frontiers in Baking – I featured the Chipotle Cheddar Biscuits from this cookbook here.  This text is fun and varied with lots of savory and sweet to keep the baker in your life busy.  One of my favorites.
    • Tate’s Bake Shop: Baking For Friends – Give this book for your baking bestie and drop that hint.  “I need some cookies – stat!”
  • State Shaped Cutting Board – AHeirloom: For the person who spends most of their time in both the kitchen and a state close to his or her heart, these cutting boards are perfect.  I always think of them when I have a long-time friend who moves from Nashville like I did six years ago.  What better to memorialize a former home that with some state love?
  • Santa and Reindeer Cookie Cutters – Crate & Barrel: These two cookie cutters are perfect for the holiday baker!
  • Holiday Pie Crust Cutters – William-Sonoma: One of my favorite relatives got these pie crust cutters for me last year, and I’ve delighted in getting to use them this year for my pies large and small.
  • Foodie Subscription – Quarterly: Quarterly is my favorite (and only!) subscription service, and they’re a great place to find a unique gift for the food lover in your life.  The curated packages by Animal Restaurant look fantastic – the last one was themed around Southern breakfast.  And Food52’s boxes are a super pick as well.
  • Paw Print Muffin Pan – Greater Good: This muffin pan is the perfect gift for the animal lovin’ baker who makes muffins and dog treats on lazy weekend afternoons.  And the best part: all purchases fund food for animals in need.  This purchase funds 14 bowls of food for shelter animals in need.
  • Southeast Louisiana Food: A Seasoned Tradition: Whether you or your gift recipient love Louisiana’s Cajun flavors or enjoy reading about the history of food culture, this book celebrates the tradition of food in this region of the south and explores both its traditions and its future.  A great read!  It’s written by Addie and Jeremy Martin.  Addie is the brilliance behind Culicurious.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with lots of food and gratitude.  I’m especially thankful for each of you.  Thank you for continuing to support me through your reading, trying my recipes, and sharing my blog with those in your life.  And have fun shopping for everyone on your list (and yourself).

Note: I received no sponsorship, financial compensation, or other incentive to endorse these products, nor was I sought out by any of the makers of these products to write about them.  These are simply items that I enjoy and wanted to share with my readers.  I do not share products or services that I do not have knowledge of or a personal preference for.

Cranberry Cherry Pies

Cranberry Cherry Pies // Flour and Fancy

Holidays are a time for, undoubtedly, pie.  I like to mix things up, to expand beyond the usual pumpkin or apple pie at the holiday table, and share other twists on common flavors.

Last year, I served dark chocolate pecan pie tarts and apple pear tartlets.  This year, I’m serving up new flavors.  Sure, we still have a pumpkin pie on the table, but there are two things I love baking around the holidays: miniature desserts that serve one and great combinations.  Pecans and dark chocolate, apples and pears – both great combinations.  This year, I’m serving up tangy meets sweet in a combination of cranberries and cherries.  The result: delicious!  I wanted to share this recipe with you both as a last minute dessert go-to for tomorrow’s big day and as a great pie to serve throughout the holiday season and winter months.

I prefer serving my holiday desserts in a single-serve version for multiple reasons.  Baking time is reduced, and we all know that any spare moment in the kitchen around the holidays is a necessary one.  And it also gives each person a personal dessert, a pie backed just for them.  It’s all his or hers to devour.  No sharing!  For me, it provides a more personalized, special experience.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving – a day of rest, bountiful eating, football, and perhaps a little reflection squeezed in.  A time to be thankful for the bounty in our lives, the goodness and happiness that fill the small and the monumental moments.  I hope you enjoy it in the kitchen, in front of the television, and in your hearts.

Cranberry Cherry Pies // Flour and Fancy

Cranberry Cherry Pies
Makes four small, single-serve pies

Ingredients

Crust
2 1/2 cups organic flour
1 1/4 teaspoon pink sea salt
1/2 cup ice water
1 cup unsalted butter – should be well chilled and cut into small squares
Egg wash – one beaten egg yolk combined with one tablespoon water

Filling
4 cups fresh red, tart cherries, pitted
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of salt

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine nutmeg, cinnamon, sugar, and cornstarch.  Mix well.  Add the cherries and cranberries and coat well in the dry mixture.  Set aside for a minimum of 10 minutes.
  3. Combine salt, butter, and flour in your standing mixer using the paddle attachment. Mix for approximately one minute until well blended. Gradually add the ice water into the mixture and blend until just combined. Be careful not to over blend. You will see small dots of butter in the mixture.
  4. Remove dough from mixer. Blend together with your hands. Separate the dough into two balls.  Place one dough ball in the refrigerator and the other on an amply floured work surface.
  5. Roll the dough on your work surface into a circular area. Should be very thin.  Using a large circular cutter or even a 1 cup measuring cup, begin cutting small circles in the dough.
  6. Transfer each circle to an oven safe ramekin and press in.  You should have enough dough to fill four standard ramekins.
  7. In a small bowl, combine egg yolk and water.  Mix well.  Using a brush, apply egg wash to the pastry-filled cavity of each ramekin.
  8. Place approximately a cup of filling in each tartlet cavity. The filling should stand just below the top of the pan.
  9. Using the remaining dough, roll flat and thin.  Using the same cutting method you did previously, cut four circles.  Delicately and carefully place each circle atop the ramekin.  Using your fingers and a small amount of water if necessary, press the pie top into the dough.
  10. Using a fork, create a trim pattern along the edges.  Apply remaining egg wash to each pie top.  Place two small slits in the top of each pie for venting.
  11. Place ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until the pie tops are golden brown.  Let rest for five minutes.  Then, remove the ramekins to a cooling rack for additional cooling.

Pumpkin Honey Butter



Pumpkin Honey Butter / Flour and Fancy

When fall is upon us, there’s one spread that I always reach for first: my pumpkin honey butter.

At any given point in the year, you can always find pumpkin puree in my cabinet of staples.  Why?  Because I buy the canned version at the grocery and make my own in such quantities that it’s always lingering, hanging out in eager anticipation of fall.  This is deliberate.  For me, fall hasn’t truly ignited around me until I have my first taste of pumpkin for the year.

That taste is often ushered to my lips long before I make my first loaf of spiced pumpkin bread or have my first latte spiced with beloved finer, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  It’s when I grab butter, pumpkin, and honey, make this simple yet richly flavored bread, and slather it on the first thing I can get my hands on.  This flavored butter is my toast to fall’s beginning.

Pumpkin Honey Butter / Flour and Fancy

It’s easy to make and goes wonderfully on virtually anything.  I love it on my Sunday Morning Pancakes combined with maple syrup or on fresh-from-the-oven bread.  I love to spread some on my brown butter banana nut bread or carrot walnut bread to add a distinctive hint of fall flavor, too.  I’ll find any excuse to add this spread to what I happen to be munching on.

My husband will emphatically against honey butter, but this spread is one he adores.  The effect that comes when pumpkin and spices are combined create a whole new dimension of flavors that do more than just sweeten the butter.

This is a simple recipe but one that I had to share.  It’s an important part of fall in my home, and I hope it will be in yours as well.  With less than 10 minutes required to make this spread a success, why not?

Pumpkin Honey Butter // Flour and Fancy

Pumpkin Honey Butter
Makes approximately one cup

Ingredients

  • Two sticks salted butter
  • Two tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • Three tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice

Method

  1. Ensure that your butter is at room temperature.  Remove it from the refrigerator and allow to sit for approximately 30 minutes before using.
  2. In a small dish, combine pumpkin and pumpkin spice.  Using a spoon, combine well.  Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine butter and honey.  Mix well, mashing the butter.
  4. Once the honey and butter are well combined, add the spiced pumpkin mixture.  Mix well.  There will likely be chunks of pumpkin through the butter.  That’s OK.  The objective is to distribute throughout, not create a uniform mixture.
  5. Place in a sealed container in the refrigerator to allow to chill.  Serve after cooled.

 

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread // Flour and Fancy

And so I’m back – from outer space!  Well, not from outer space, but I’m back nonetheless.

Flour and Fancy celebrated one year of photography and recipe sharing on September 16th.  One year of recipes, stores, photos, and gardening!  How did I choose to celebrate?  I took a step back, took a break from it all, and collected my thoughts on year two.  I needed some rest and relaxation, some time to bake and cook without Flour and Fancy in mind, and to formulate the culinary avenues I wanted to travel down in year two.  So, I’ve been baking, settling into my new title of Mrs. Hubbard, and having fun.  Everyone needs a little time away.

To celebrate the beginning of year two of the blog, I went back to the beginning – the recipe that started it all: Spiced Pumpkin Bread.  This recipe marked the start of Flour and Fancy and also happens to be the most popular recipe to date.


IMG_1087

I’ve made pumpkin bread fall after fall, and it never gets old.  But I wondered, “What can I do to change this up, to mix it up and add a new flavor note to my old favorite?”

There’s one rule I always live by: It’s always better with chocolate.  Pumpkin bread is no exception.

I revisited and revamped my pumpkin bread to include miniature, semi-sweet chocolate chips.  The added flavor note brings a new dimension to this bread.  It actually mutes the pumpkin flavor just a bit – but not too much – making this a great way to share pumpkin bread with someone that isn’t typically a big fan.

This bread is moist and gooey with the inclusion of the chocolate chips.  And it’s a great celebration of fall – with chocolate along for the ride.  It makes wonderful muffins, a large 9×5 loaf, or four mini loaves.  If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know I love personalized sizes in my baking.  It cuts baking time and, in my opinion, makes a better gift.

I’m incredibly excited about the second year of Flour and Fancy - another year of sharing foods to savor.  As I’ve always written, cooking and baking are acts of love that are best shared.  Sharing my cooking and baking journey with you is incredibly rewarding.  Thank you for reading.  Thank you for commenting.  Thank you for baking a batch of my cookies, muffins, or scones in your kitchen.  And thanks for coming back again and again.  In short, you rock.  Really.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread // Flour and Fancy

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
Makes four mini loaves, 18 standard-size muffins, or one 9×5 loaf

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, unbeaten
  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin, oil, and eggs. Blend in standing mixer on low setting until well combined.
  3. Using a sifter, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Then combine with sugar and pumpkin mixture.
  4. Add water. Mix well.
  5. Fold in 1 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips, mixing well.
  6. Using a well greased four mini loaf pan, fill each cavity to half full with mixture. A 9×5 loaf pan or muffin pan can also be used if you prefer.
  7. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips over the top of the mixture.  This creates a beautiful, chocolatey top!
  8. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes. Bread is ready when a dark brown color is achieved and a knife can be cleanly removed.  Bread will be fairly dark due to the inclusion of the chocolate chips.  It will be darker than the color you typically look for in pumpkin bread.
  9. Let cool for 10 minutes in loaf pan. Then, remove each loaf and carefully place on a cooling rack.
  10. Serve and enjoy!

 

Sand and Sweets: Images From Our Wedding

Our Wedding // Flour and Fancy

Just under two weeks ago, my long-time beau and I were married.  Yes, yes – we made it legal on the North Carolina coast at Ft. Fisher Beach.  We were both elated, anxious, overwhelmed, and filled with joy.  It was a beautiful day.

And like any beautiful day, this day had beautiful food.  It was the edibles that I most wanted to share with you.

Our cake was simple in its decor with coloring that complimented my dress.  It was exactly as I wanted – simple and refined.  Ruffles of icing roses with beach blue accents.  Inside, however, it was a chocolate smorgusboard!  Our cake was created by One Belle Bakery, a phenomenal Wilmington-area bakery with a plethora of offerings that brought a sweet accent to our day.  Our wedding cake was one of the bakery’s signature choices: “Lord Have Mercy.”  The cake is comprised of chocolate-chocolate chip cake with layers of chocolate fudge.

The cake was so rich and decadent and, combined with our butterfly-filled bellies, we were scarcely able to take more than two or three bites.  Combined with the rich icing, this was the epitome of what chocolate cake is meant to be – rich, dense, and supremely flavorful.


Our Wedding // Flour and Fancy

Alongside the cake, we had champagne, raspberry macarons, and lots of love.  Our ceremony was very intimate – I called it “elopement style” – and private.  So, while food is typically something I revel in sharing, these treats were more about savoring.

The beauty of the cake, the other sweets, all the flourish – it was the perfect accent to a perfect day.  A day that celebrated the relationship that we’ve shared for several years now and our commitment to a future together.

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So many of the sweet memories in my life are accented by food.  Call it a Southern thing.  We accent every special milestone and memory with a cake, a multi-course dinner, a signature dish.  Every memory worth remembering has a fork in the foreground.

Our nuptials were no exception.

Our Wedding // Flour and Fancy

September will now be an extra special month for us.  And I’ll never look at a multi-layered chocolate cake the same way again.

And thank you to everyone who shared with us love and well wishes.  You were held closely in our hearts on “the big day.”

Our Wedding // Flour and Fancy

Carrot Walnut Bread

Carrot Nut Bread // Flour and Fancy

Nothing beats fresh baked quick breads with ingredients right from the garden – or, in this case, your neighbor’s garden.

When I was writing about our garden this year, one element of the process that I emphasized was how much more enjoyable gardening was when you had people around you to share with.  The giving and receiving of fresh produce added a communal aspect to our gardening.  In years past, before we planted a garden of our own, we happily accepted fruits and vegetables from our neighbors.  But this year, we had our own garden bounty to share and be proud of.

So, when one of our neighbors shared some of their bright carrots, I had to give back.  Even after including the carrots in stir fry and salads, we had some left over.  And I went straight to work baking three mini loaves of carrot walnut bread, both for us to munch on and to share with our generous neighbors.

Our Garden // Flour and Fancy

Carrot walnut bread is a great way to use those leftover carrots that are just hanging around.  Salads and a colorful stir fry, among other dinner recipes, are great ways to carrot-up your food, but carrots taste great in baked goods, too.  Instead of baking a calorie-laden carrot cake, I like to opt for carrot nut bread.  Packed with carrots, walnuts, and spices, it’s a sweet and satisfying way to eat your carrots and soothe that sweet craving, too.

This quick bread is easy and fun to make.  Two bowls, one spatula – done!  No standing mixer necessary for this one.  My recipe yields one large loaf or three ample mini loaves.  This is one you can feel good about eating as well, with olive oil versus vegetable oil and only a moderate amount of sugar.

So, here’s to gardening, here’s to carrots, and here’s to great neighbors!

Carrot Walnut Bread // Flour and Fancy

Carrot Walnut Bread
Yields one standard loaf or three mini loaves

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, grated
  • 3/4 cup walnuts

Method

  1. Crack eggs and place in a bowl.  Beat well.  Add sugar and olive oil to eggs and mix until well combined.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and sea salt.  Blend very well.
  3. Add dry ingredients to egg mixture, incorporating slowly and mixing well.
  4. Fold in carrots and walnuts, ensuring a thorough distribution through the batter.
  5. Using a 9×5 loaf pan or mini loaf pans, pour batter into the pan(s).  If you’re using mini loaf pans, fill until around 1/2 full.  If using a standard loaf pan, fill with all of the batter.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees.  For a standard loaf, bake for one hour or until golden brown.  For mini loaves, bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until golden brown.  Either loaf will be fully baked when a toothpick can be inserted and come out clean.
  7. Allow to cool in pan for five minutes.  Then, gently remove to a cooling rack for further cooling.

 

 

Land Lover’s Icebox Pie

Land Lover's Icebox Pie

While many are already counting down the days until sweaters and pumpkins, we all know that summer is still with us, and she isn’t letting go just yet.  Temperatures are still quite high, and it’s not time to trade in cool desserts for warm apple pie.  No, folks, not just yet.

By now, you may have heard of Atlantic Beach Pie.

When I first encountered the recipe for Atlantic Beach Pie, I had an immediate thought: “This is so similar to the first pie I ever made!”  In terms of the filling ingredients, the similarities are strong.  With one single difference: The filling in my pie doesn’t require baking.  It also doesn’t require a source for good lemon or lime juice.  It incorporates a more semi-homemade approach.

When I was a young child and visiting my grandmother – who I called Gran Jean – she taught me to make her secret pie.  A pie I devoured.  A pie I loved.  A pie I had no idea was so simple.  She pulled together three ingredients and a store bought graham cracker pie crust and set me to work.  “Some of the best things in life as simple, Callie.  This is one of them.”  Then, one crust and three ingredients mixed together, and voila!  A pie was born.  My first pie.

Unlike the Atlantic Beach Pie, this pie has no eggs and the filling requires no baking.  The crust I make with this pie does, however, but only for seven to eight minutes.  The result is a pie with the same flavor notes but without all the baking, without the eggs, and with a crust that is, in my option, far superior.  You see, I’ve tried the Atlantic Beach Pie, and while I love the history and story surrounding it, I don’t endorse Saltine cracker crusts.  No, thank you.

So, when I learned this recipe as a kid, I was introduced to it with Cool Whip and store-bought crust involved.  I’ve since amped it up to include a homemade crust – it’s easy! – and homemade whipped cream – also easy!  The taste is more sophisticated and less processed.  You know what I mean.  Both of my grandmothers taught me a thing or two in the kitchen, and while they are both now deceased, their mad kitchen skills live on in my home day by day in the recipes I execute and an inherited way of knowing just the right combinations of ingredients to execute something amazing.

Fortunately, this pie is an excellent choice for any experience level and is also a great one to involve the kids in whipping up. It’s also great in a kitchen pinch when you need to whip up a refreshing, easy to make dessert.  This is a frozen pie that is stored in the freezer.  Just remove and cut off a slice or two to serve.

So, for we land locked many, I give you Land Lover’s Icebox Pie.  Move over, Atlantic Beach Pie.  ‘Round here, we like our crackers with pimento cheese and our pie crusts sweet.  This pie is cool, refreshing, and simple in the most perfect of ways.  And you don’t need a SPF or a local seafood joint to enjoy it!

Land Lovers Icebox Pie

Land Lover’s Icebox Pie
Yields eight servings

Ingredients

  • 1 12oz. can of frozen lemonade concentrate
  • 8 oz. whipped cream
  • 1 14oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cups graham crackers, finely ground
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Using a food processor, grind graham crackers until you have one and a half cups.  Place the crumbs in a medium bowl.  Add sugar and melted butter.  Mix well.
  3. Press the crust into a 9-inch pie plate.  Be sure it is evenly distributed.
  4. Bake for seven to eight minutes.  Then, remove from oven and allow to cool completely.  Placing the pie plate on a cooling rack assists in the process.
  5. While waiting for your crust to cool, make your whipped cream.  (Or make a mad dash to the grocery store!)  If you need a recipe for whipped cream, follow my directions included with this previously featured recipe.
  6. Once the crust is cooled completely, combine whipped cream, condensed milk, and lemonade concentrate in a medium bowl.  Mix until fully combined.
  7. Pour the filling into the pie crust.  Be careful not to overfill.
  8. Cover the pie plate and place in the freezer.  Allow to set for a minimum of three hours.
  9. Once frozen, it’s ready to serve!  Always store this pie in the freezer.

Easy Shortcuts

Need to make this pie in a pinch or just not in the mood for any baking?  Arm injury got you steering clear of the mixing spoon?  Opt for a store-bought crust and whipped cream.  This will cut the total execution time to five minutes!  Face it – we aren’t all perfect domestic divas.  Sometimes, to share something delicious with your family and friends, you’ve got to cut corners.

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