Zucchini Sweet Potato Bread

Call me crazy, but I turned my oven on again. I’ve been baking in the early mornings to keep myself less hot and can’t say I regret it. I NEED a new breakfast in my life.

I chose this bread because it was quick and full of good stuff. Good stuff being sweet potatoes, zucchini and walnuts. Yum! I feel like I’m existing off of cheese and chocolate and I sometimes have chocolate cereal for breakfast! Hellllppppp! So, I made this quick bread to put some green and orange in my life. Also, this bread is moist and super tasty. It tastes like carrot cake actually, which makes me feel like I’m eating cake for breakfast. This makes me happy. Let’s get baking!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9x5x3- inch loaf pan and set aside. Sift the first 7 ingredients into a medium sized bowl.

Then, grate your sweet potato.

grate your zucchini…

and chop your walnuts.

In a separate, large bowl, mix the sugars, oil, eggs and vanilla extract.

Beat them together well.

Mix in the zucchini and sweet potato. Mmm it’s looking good now.

Add the dry ingredients and stir just to combine. Fold in the nuts and stir well.

Transfer batter to prepared pan.

Bake until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Cool bread in pan on a rack for 15 minutes. Loosen the edges of the bread with a butter knife and turn out on a rack to cool completely.

Zucchini Sweet Potato Bread
Recipe taken from Joy the Baker
Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar (I used 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 cup brown sugar)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup grated zucchini
1 1/2 cup peeled and grated sweet potato
1 cup chopped walnuts
(optional) you could also add 1/4 cup of raisins or dried cranberries to add some fruit if you’d like!

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9x5x3- inch loaf pan and set aside.

Sift the first 7 ingredients into a medium sized bowl.

In a separate, large bowl, beat the sugars, oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Mix in the zucchini and sweet potato. Add the dry ingredients and stir just to combine. Fold in the nuts and stir well.

Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Cool bread in pan on a rack for 15 minutes. Loosen the edges of the bread with a butter knife and turn out on a rack to cool completely.

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Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies

I made you some cookies. Healthy cookies? Maybe, they have fruit! And oats. Yum. They also have butter and sugar in a blend of deliciousness. I’ll let you decide their health points.

These cookies are a blend of apples, walnuts and oats with a swirly mixture of sugar and cinnamon. They are also thick and chewy and feel so satisfying as you chew. I like a good cookie, and Joy the Baker did these one’s right. So give ’em a try, and let me know how it goes!

Peel and dice the apple and toss with lemon juice. Set aside for later. Beat the sugar and butter in the bowl until creamy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add egg one, beating for 1 minute. Add the vanilla extract and beat until blended.

Whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt.

Add to the butter and egg mixture slowly beating on low speed until just incorporated. Stir in the walnuts and apple chunks last.

Spoon onto a greased baking sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees F for about 10-13 minutes. I like my cookies chewy so I cook them for about 9 or 10 minutes.

Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies
recipe adapted from Joy the Baker
makes about 24 cookies

Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter , softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 small apple, peeled, diced small (i used a granny smith apple)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Directions:
Place a rack in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Peel and dice the apple and toss with lemon juice. Set aside.

Beat the sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment. Beat until creamy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add egg one, beating for 1 minute. Add the vanilla extract and beat until blended.

Whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Add to the butter and egg mixture slowly beating on low speed until just incorporated. Stir in the walnuts and apple chunks last.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 to 13 minutes or until they’ve reached your desired doneness. I like mine a little underdone and cook them for 10 minutes. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Freaking Awesome Apple Dumplings

Dear healthy lifestyle,
For the most part I think we get along great. I always follow our fitness schedule, I eat the right amount of carbs, dairy, protein, fruits and vegetables, and I go to our regular doctor, optometrist, and dentist appointments. But other times I plain and simply do not like you, and sometimes cheat on you with your two arch enemies – Tonsa Sugar and Lotsa Butter. They know what I really want.

Sometimes in life we come across little specialties that warm the soul. Like snuggling under the covers on a weekend when it’s raining, reading on a sunny front porch, or dipping our toes into the water for the first time and realizing it’s warm!

For me a big comfort food is warm apples. Warm apples with cinnamon, butter, and sugar specifically. I’m such a big fan of apple crisp, apple pie, baked apples…anything really. This recipe is my boyfriends favorite thing that I make. FAVORITE! That’s hard work for a girl with a baking blog. I continue to try and top this recipe over and over again and fail. But alas, it’s hard to live up to these warm, baked, deliciously sweet rolls of goodness. You should make them.

To begin, peel and core apples.

Cut each apple into 8 slices each. Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll.

Place in a 9 x 13 buttered pan.

Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir.

Add vanilla, stir, and pour entire mixture over apples.

Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan.

Sprinkle with cinnamon

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.

Apple Dumplings
Makes 16 dumplings
Recipe taken from The Pioneer Woman

Ingredients
2 whole Granny Smith Apples
2 cans (8 Oz. Cans) Crescent Rolls
2 sticks Butter
1-½ cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Cinnamon, To Taste
1 can (12 Oz.) Mountain Dew Soda

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 9 x 13-inch pan.

Peel and core apples. Cut each apple into 8 slices.

Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in the buttered pan.

Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir a little, and pour entire mixture over apples.

Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan, and through the middle.

Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake for about 40 minutes, or until the dumplings are nice and brown on top.

Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Streusel Muffins

Today’s been an interesting day. I woke up and had a mad craving for muffins, so I rummaged around my cupboards to see what ingredients I had, checked my favorite baking blogs for recipes that included these ingredients, and got to work. After choosing Two Peas and Their Pod’s Pumpkin Cinnamon Streusel Muffins, I realized that I didn’t have any muffin tin liners (which I prefer using as opposed to spraying the muffin tin). Then once I got to work on the muffin batter, my favorite, trusty spatula snapped in half!! So, I used the half-spatula, and giggled through the whole recipe. Sometimes my mornings don’t go as smoothly as I imagine them. Jeepers…

Despite my broken spatula, these muffins turned out great! Thank goodness. Actually, these muffins are now my new favorite!! They beat my Strawberry Banana muffins, which have been a favorite of mine for years. Change is weird.

These muffins are made with the perfect blend of pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg, are swirled with a cinnamon sugar center, and are topped off with a gorgeous streusel topping. Tasty.

To begin, preheat the oven and line two muffin tins with cooking spray and set aside. Then, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set that aside too.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, water, pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla extract.

Whisk until smooth and combined.

Slowly stir in the flour mixture.

Mix until ingredients are combined.

For the streusel topping: mix together the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix in the butter with your hands until the mixture is crumbly. Make brown sugar cinnamon filling too (no picture since it’s so easy, peasy).

Fill muffin cups half way full with the pumpkin batter.

Sprinkle the brown sugar cinnamon filling over each half filled muffin cup.

Fill the muffins cups with the remaining batter. Top each muffin with streusel topping. I ate some of this streusel before baking it and went to heaven for a few minutes. This stuff is delish.

Bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove pans from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Remove muffins from tins and enjoy.

Hello beautiful!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Streusel Muffins
This recipe makes 24 beautiful muffins
Taken from Two Peas and Their Pod

Ingredients
Muffin batter:
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/3 cup water
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Filling:
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Streusel Topping:
1 1/4 cup oats
1 tablespoon flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into chunks

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two muffin tins with paper liners or spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, water, pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth and combined.
4. Slowly stir in the flour mixture. Mix until ingredients are combined.
5. For the brown sugar cinnamon filling: in a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together. Set aside.
6. For the streusel topping: in a small bowl mix together the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix in the butter with your hands until the mixture is crumbly.
7. Fill muffin cups half way full with the pumpkin batter. Sprinkle the brown sugar cinnamon filling over each half filled muffin cup. Fill the muffins cups with the remaining batter. Top each muffin with streusel topping.
8. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove pans from oven and cool on a wire rack. Remove muffins from tins and enjoy.

Pumpkin Molasses Cookies

I feel like I don’t make enough pumpkin recipes. If I do, they are generally made quickly and at night so I can never blog about them! This is why I have chosen to make cookies. After seeing all of the amazing pumpkin baked goods at Christmas time, I knew I had to try to make at least one of them!

These cookies are amazing, and I owe a big thanks to petite kitchenesse for lending this recipe on her blog. The blend of spices is perfectly matched inside of this chewy, moist cookie. Just look inside of that thing…

The only problem?? I only used 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree and now I have almost a whole can left! If you have any suggestions on what I could make with the leftover pumpkin, let me know! I’m looking forward to suggestions!!

Let’s bake. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, cloves and salt in a large bowl.

Beat butter and sugar together in a medium bowl until fluffy. Add pumpkin puree, molasses, and egg and mix until well combined.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and beat until a well-blended batter forms. Refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Fill a bowl with your rolling sugar. Roll tablespoon-sized balls of batter in sugar until well coated and place on sheet. The cookies will spread, so give them a couple inches of room.

Bake 10–12 minutes, or until cookies look cracked. Let them sit on the sheet for a few minutes after removing them from the oven, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Molasses Cookies
Recipe take from petite kitchenesse
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:
2 ⅓ cups AP flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
½ cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar, plus more for rolling (if you have it, I recommend turbinado sugar for rolling)
½ cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup molasses
1 egg

Directions:
1. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, cloves and salt in a large bowl.
2. Beat butter and sugar together in a medium bowl until fluffy. Add pumpkin puree, molasses, and egg and mix until well combined.
3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and beat until a well-blended batter forms.
4. Refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour.
5. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or two, if you’d like to prep a second sheet while the first one bakes).
6. Fill a bowl with your rolling sugar. Roll tablespoon-sized balls of batter in sugar until well coated and place on sheet. The cookies will spread, so give them a couple inches of room.
7. Bake 10–12 minutes, or until cookies look cracked. Let them sit on the sheet for a few minutes after removing them from the oven, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

I’m so excited for Halloween this year. I have my own apartment to decorate as I please AND I just adopted a new cat from the humane society. So, I have a new friend to watch me prep for the 31st. In honour of my new kitty (Molly), my boyfriend and I carved our Halloween pumpkin into a cute kitty pumpkin! This was good for several reasons, the most important being the amazing pumpkin seeds that we roasted.

I look forward to roasted pumpkin seeds every year, and am obsessed with the plain sea-salted variety. This year I scoped out Cookin’ Canuck‘s blog and tried her Cinnamon sugar seeds as well. It was a very good idea. To begin, scoop all of the innards out of a large pumpkin.

Thoroughly separate the seeds from the “guts” and place the seeds into a strainer. Rinse the seeds leaving a bit of pumpkin on them (I like them better this way).

Dry the seeds with a kitchen towel, and place them on a large baking sheet. Toss with oil. See recipes for salted pumpkin seeds and cinnamon sugar pumpkin seeds below.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds – Two ways
Makes approximately 2 cups roasted pumpkin seeds

Ingredients:
Plain, salted seeds:
1/2 the seeds from 1 large pumpkin (about 1 cup)
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp sea salt

Cinnamon sugar seeds:
1/2 the seeds from 1 large pumpkin (about 1 cup)
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, with rack placed in the middle of the oven.
2. Scoop all of the innards out of a large pumpkin.
3. Separate the seeds from the “guts” and place the seeds in a strainer. Rinse (leaving a bit of pumpkin on the seeds) and drain.
4. Place all of the seeds on a kitchen towel, cover with another kitchen towel, and pat dry thoroughly.

For plain, salted seeds:
5a. Place half of the seeds on a baking sheet and toss with oil.
6a. Add sea-salt and spread in a single layer.

For cinnamon sugar seeds:
5b. Place the other half of the seeds on a baking sheet and toss with oil.
6b. In a small bowl, stir granulated sugar and ground cinnamon. Toss the oil-coated seeds with the cinnamon sugar mixture.

7. Place baking sheet in the oven and cook until the seeds are golden brown and crunchy (test one, but be careful because it will be hot), about 25 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Cool and serve.

These stay good in an air tight container for weeks!!

Caramelized Butternut Squash

It’s fall, and I’m excited.

It’s my favorite season to cook and bake, and find myself going through magazines, scrounging through books, and checking out websites non-stop to find good fall recipes. I’ve noticed that fall is the favorite season of a lot of my fellow food bloggers too, which makes me happy. For happy and inspired food bloggers = yummy posts!

So, as a happy blogger myself I made squash last night for dinner. My Nanny gave it to me and right away I knew what to do with it – caramelize it! Begin by peeling the squash and chop into large pieces. This peeling process takes a while, but it’s totally worth it.

Then combine squash, butter, sugar, cinnamon, salt and pepper in a bowl and toss together. Pour squash out onto a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about an hour or until browned.

This recipe is original and serves 8 hungry squash lovers as a side dish.

Caramelized Butternut Squash
Ingredients:
1 medium sized butternut sqaush
6 tbsp butter, melted
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 400°F.
2. Peel squash and chop into large pieces.
3. Combine squash, butter, sugar, cinnamon, salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss.
4. Pour squash out onto a rimmed baking sheet.
5. Bake for about an hour or until browned.

The Absolute Best Cinnamon Rolls

I seriously love cinnamon rolls. The smell of fresh cinnamon and bread baking in the oven is overwhelming. Perfect. Beautiful.

I have made a number of recipes in my life and always go with the same one when trying to impress company.

The secret is in the frosting. Maple baby. I could eat a whole bowl of the stuff. Sugar comas are a common thing in my house. Just mix together all ingredients listed and stir until smooth. It should be thick but pourable.

The recipe I’m about to share with you was taken from the Pioneer Woman, and she knows her rolls! Golly I love her. Let’s get started, sugar mamma! Begin by mixing the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan and heat until just before the boiling point. Turn off heat and leave to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour. When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in both packages of Active Dry Yeast. Let this sit for a minute. Then add 8 cups of all-purpose flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.

After rising for at least an hour, add 1 more cup of flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir mixture together.

When ready to prepare rolls: Sprinkle rolling surface generously with flour. Take half the dough and form a rough rectangle. Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape. Drizzle 1/2 to 1 cup melted butter over the dough. Now sprinkle 1 cup of sugar over the butter followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.

Now, starting at the opposite end, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Next, pinch the seam of the roll to seal it.

Spread 1 tablespoon of melted butter in a seven inch round foil cake or pie pan. Then begin cutting the rolls approximately ¾ to 1 inch thick and laying them in the buttered pans.

Repeat this process with the other half of the dough. Let the rolls rise for 20 to 30 minutes, then bake at 400 degrees (see note below) until light golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes.

Generously drizzle that yummy maple frosting over the warm rolls. Go crazy and don’t skimp on the frosting. Seriously.

Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls

Serves 8

Ingredients:

Cinnamon rolls
1 quart Whole Milk
1 cup Vegetable Oil
1 cup Sugar
2 packages Active Dry Yeast
8 cups (Plus 1 Cup Extra, Separated) All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
1 Tablespoon (heaping) Salt
Plenty Of Melted Butter
2 cups Sugar
Generous Sprinkling Of Cinnamon

Maple Frosting
1 bag Powdered Sugar
2 teaspoons Maple Flavoring
½ cups Milk
¼ cups Melted Butter
¼ cups Brewed Coffee
⅛ teaspoons Salt

Directions:
Mix the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan. “Scald” the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point). Turn off heat and leave to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour. When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in both packages of Active Dry Yeast. Let this sit for a minute. Then add 8 cups of all-purpose flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.

After rising for at least an hour, add 1 more cup of flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir mixture together. (At this point, you could cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you need it – overnight or even a day or two, if necessary. Just keep your eye on it and if it starts to overflow out of the pan, just punch it down).

When ready to prepare rolls: Sprinkle rolling surface generously with flour. Take half the dough and form a rough rectangle. Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape. Drizzle 1/2 to 1 cup melted butter over the dough. Now sprinkle 1 cup of sugar over the butter followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.

Now, starting at the opposite end, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Next, pinch the seam of the roll to seal it.

Spread 1 tablespoon of melted butter in a seven inch round foil cake or pie pan. Then begin cutting the rolls approximately ¾ to 1 inch thick and laying them in the buttered pans.

Repeat this process with the other half of the dough. Let the rolls rise for 20 to 30 minutes, then bake at 400 degrees (see note below) until light golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes.

For the frosting, mix together all ingredients listed and stir well until smooth. It should be thick but pourable. Taste and adjust as needed. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls. Go crazy and don’t skimp on the frosting.

Oat-tastic Low Fat Banana Bread

If I’m being perfectly honest, I must admit that my day to day eating habits are pretty healthy. Because I’m a vegetarian, I eat according to the vegetarian food guide and am constantly consuming tons of fruit and vegetables, whole grains, soy, nuts and seeds. I have a soft spot for chocolate, and sweets in general, but I don’t binge on these foods when I’m by myself. When I’m baking for myself I tend to bake healthy foods – such as Light and Lemony Poppyseed Bread, Energy-Packed Granola Bars, and this oatmeal banana bread.

This bread is packed full of fiber filled oats, and yummy ripe bananas. As you may have noticed, I love making muffins and breads with bananas. They are so tasty, and easy to bake.

So I hope you’re ready to get bakin’. This bread freezes so well. You just slice it, and then wrap it up individually. Perfect.

Begin by stirring together dry ingredients, including the oats and cinnamon. Look at those yummy oats!

In a smaller bowl, mash bananas with a potato masher or fork. Add oil and whole egg and mix thoroughly. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well. Batter will be fairly thick.

In a medium sized bowl, with an electric hand mixer, beat the egg whites until medium stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter in three additions. Pour batter into pan and bake until top of loaf is firm to touch, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes.

Flip out and cool on a wire rack for another 10 minutes. Slice loaf into 8 equally sized slices

I got this awesome recipe from Joy the Baker. It makes 1 loaf. Cut it into 8 slices for 4 weight watchers points per slice.

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp  salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp canola oil
1 large egg, beaten
2 medium egg whites, beaten
3 large bananas, ripe
1/2 cup uncooked old fashioned oats

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a loaf pan and set aside. In a large bowl, stir together dry ingredients including the oats and cinnamon.
2. In a smaller bowl, mash bananas with a potato masher or fork. Add oil and whole egg and mix thoroughly.
3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well. Batter will be fairly thick.
4. In a medium sized bowl, with an electric hand mixer, beat the egg whites until medium stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter in three additions.
5. Pour batter into pan and bake until top of loaf is firm to touch, 45 to 50 minutes.
6. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes. Flip out and cool on a wire rack for another 10 minutes. Slice loaf into 8 equally sized slices

Marathon Cookies

I’m currently training for the Ottawa half marathon on May 30th. What is a half marathon? It is a 21.1 km (13.2 mile) run that requires intense training. Luckily, I love running and also LOVE the training that goes along with it. Maybe it’s because of the “runners high” I get during, and after every long run. The runners high is the effect of endorphins that are released during long, continuous workouts. Gotta love natural drugs!

Because I run so often, and for so long, I constantly need to be re-fueling my body with essential nutrients and sugars. Not chocolate bar sugars, but natural sugars such as fruit. Check out these dates!

My boyfriend’s aunt had us over for dinner recently and afterwards came out with a giant plate of amazing tasting baked goods. One of the many cookie-types to choose from on the platter was a cookie she called energy cookies. I totally understand why. These cookies were chalked full (and I mean FULL) of dried fruits and nuts. So clearly I asked her for the recipe.

The base of the cookie is so scrumptious, and the nuts and fruit are perfect to fill your body with energy after a long run, walk, or hike. I also brought these cookies camping recently, and they were perfect.

Why did I change the name to “Marathon Cookies”? Because I’ve been eating them after my long training days, and will certainly be eating them after my big day. The cookies freeze perfectly. Wish me luck!

Ingredients:
1 lb dates, chopped
1/2 lb dried apricots, chopped
1/2 lb dried cranberries, chopped
1/2 lb raisons
1/2 lb dried pineapple
1/2 lb almonds, chopped
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
2 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp each of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl mix together dates, apricots, cranberries, raisons, pineapple, and almonds.
2. In a separate large bowl cream butter and sugar together. Add the eggs one at a time.
3. In another separate medium bowl combine flour, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, salt, and baking soda.
4. Mix together creamed mixture with flour mixture until well combined. Add in dried fruit and almonds. The mixture will be very “chunky” and this is A-OK. You want it this way.


5. Spoon by tablespoonfuls onto a greased cookie tray.


6. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.