Thursday, September 8, 2011

I baked?

So yesterday I gave myself a mission. I never bake. I am not very good at it due to the necessary preciseness of the measurements... I'm more of a "throw stuff in to a pot/skillet/bowl kinda gal" and see what comes out. Usually, that turns out well.

Well I got overenthusiastic based on the hint of Fall weather (which I love, but I will miss you, Summer - especially when Fall weather turns cold.) I decided to make Pumpkin Spice Muffins and Vegan Banana Everything cookies.

I ran to Target to grab the few things (I thought) I didn't have in my pantry and proceeded to go home. I talked myself out of working out and in to baking instead. I got all of my little ingredients out on the counter, and my bowls, and my measuring cups, and spoons. And I ate dinner (so I didn't eat all of the batter/dough and actually had an output from my baking to prove that I did it).

And then I realized. I didn't have any sugar. Splenda with fiber was not going to cut it for this cookie recipe - I needed the real deal. I decided that God was punishing me for not working out, so I walked to the CVS (which is the closest store to me that sells anything resembling groceries. Also, they sell beer which is super important). I managed to snag the last sack of sugar they had - of course I paid a premium, but that's why they call it a convenience store right?

So now I am back at my apartment and I have EVERYTHING I need now. For real this time. First come the pumpkin spice muffins. Again, this is a super duper easy one bowl recipe. This picture looks a lot like mine (except these muffins don't puff up quite as much), but I didn't bother to take a picture of them this time around...

Photo credit

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

1 box of spice cake mix
1 can of pumpkin puree
1 individual container of applesauce

Mix up. Pour in to muffin tin. Bake according to directions on spice cake box for cupcakes.

Easy enough for ya?? Anyone can bake these muffins.

Now on to the Vegan Banana Everything Cookies. So so so delicious. I was skeptical of a Vegan cookie recipe. I mean, the sugar/butter mixture at the beginning of every cookie recipe is totally the best part. But, my new outlook on eating healthy and homemade is allowing me to try new things. This recipe is a winner!!

Vegan Banana Everything Cookies

Nonstick cooking oil spray

1 very ripe medium banana

1/3 cup canola oil

2/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, or as needed

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 cups quick-cooking (not instant) oatmeal or rolled oats

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup chocolate chips (vegan, if desired).

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray two baking sheets with oil. In a mixing bowl, mash banana well. Add oil, sugar and vanilla, and mix with a strong fork. Add flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, and mix until just moistened.

2. Add oatmeal, walnuts and chocolate chips. Using your hands or a sturdy spoon, mix well, making sure oats are well moistened. (If dough is very slippery, add one or two extra tablespoons flour.)

3. Using clean, wet hands, re-wetting as needed, roll dough into balls slightly smaller than a golf ball, about 1 1/3 inches in diameter. Flatten slightly and place 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 2 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Yield: About 2 dozen cookies.

I would say that I followed this recipe to a T (translation: I mostly measured correctly and only estimated a little bit), with the exception of rolling the dough in to balls. I kind of slopped it on the cookie sheet and made sure any outlying dough crumbs were put in to a cookie. This recipe yielded exactly 2 dozen cookies minus the dough I ate out of the bowl (so much for having dinner before baking...). I also ate way too many cookies after they were taken out of the oven. So, I brought some cookies and pumpkin spice muffins in to work to share (aka so I don't eat all of my baked goods in the next 24 - 48 hours).

These cookies turned out delicious, only used one bowl for mixing, and are relatively healthy! I think next time I am going to do half oil, half applesauce and see how that turns out.

What are some of your favorite fall recipes??

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