Sunday, August 8, 2010

Can't Stop Baking!

Yesterday, I got the urge to bake. So I baked...a lot. None of them were my recipes (originally), but I vamped all of them to make them 1) (hopefully) tastier & 2) healthier. That's what it's all about anyway, right?

THE MENU: chocolatey, cakey, sconey.
THE MUSIC: An old new favorite...Ella Sings Broadway on vinyl...

Sometimes I wonder if I was born 60 years too late...she's definitely one of my top 3 faves. So, while she & I sang Hernando's Hideaway and I Could Have Danced All Night, I baked and baked. Joy!

Here's what happened:

Bethenny's Low Fat Fudge Chocolate Chip Muffins

I have a guilty pleasure, I'll admit. I like the Bravo reality show "Bethenny..." about a New York housewife and her craziness. She's witty, crass, & wears beautiful clothes while pulling off her hectic schedule and chaotic life. She's a self-proclaimed healthy foods chef, so I thought I'd give a couple of her recipes a shot. They're simple and really tasty! This particular one is vegan, completely guilt-free and so chocolatey! The only thing I changed was using dark chocolate (non-vegan) chips instead of the vegan variety. (I'm too cheap to spend $6 on a bag of vegan chips.) The key is applesauce instead of eggs and oil, which I use a LOT for a sub. You don't notice the difference when all is said and baked!

You throw everything into a bowl (easy cleanup and quick!) and pop it in the oven. I eat them for breakfast/dessert, a side with lunch, and (sorry mom) for dinner sometimes, too. They freeze well, too.

  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ cup raw sugar (1/3 cup packed brown sugar works, too; white if you must)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • ¾ cup oat flour (wheat works, too; white if you must)
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup semisweet vegan chocolate chips (for non-millionaires, reg milk/dark chocolate chips work, too)
  • 1 dash cinnamon (who am I kidding? I throw in MORE than a bitty dash.)
Preheat the oven to 375. Spray/paper-line 8 muffin cups. Fill each cup 2/3 full and bake for 17-20 minutes. You can use the toothpick method, but I usually know they're ready when the top is slightly firm and the visible chocolate chips look "melty." The applesauce allows for the entire muffin to bake really evenly, which is quite nice.

2) Low-Fat Coffee Cake (not the prettiest, but still tasty)

This came from that magazine "Taste of Home," you know, the one where you have to be Mary Sue Earl from Timbuktu and must have a degree in all things southern, just in order to submit your fave recipe! It's a simple, traditional cinnamon coffee cake you've had a million times before...lots of cinnamon, a sugary crumble on top, and gooeyness. I've gotta admit, this recipe wasn't my favorite. My grandmother loved coffeecakes, and she always used the base from Joy of Cooking...a classic. I like that one better. Of course, her's called for something like 2 sticks of butter...this LOW-FAT version requires no butter/margarine and only egg whites. The cake was moist and fluffy, but not as moist as the full-fat version served at every Baptist church breakfast and bridge club on this side of the Mississippi. (ha) This one is good (and guilt free!), but there are other really great ones that you can modify. Here's my moister (yet still low-fat) version:

  • 1 2/3 cups oat flour (all-purpose will work, too)
  • 3/4 cup sugar (turbinado or white)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk (cow's or soy)
  • 4 TB margarine/butter, unsalted & at room temp
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of granola/corn flakes, crushed


  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat egg whites, applesauce and milk. Add to dry ingredients. Pour into a 9-in. square baking pan that has been coated with cooking spray. Combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over batter. Bake at 375° for 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve warm. Yield: 9 servings.

3) Raspberry Scones Recipe

I got this one off of Joy of Baking's website. I've used a couple of her recipes, and they're fun. While this was not an authentic British scone, it was good. The dough was tasty (you have to taste it!), and I used Strawberry Jam (my favorite) instead of fresh raspberries, like the recipe calls for. They turned out tasty, a bit crisp on the outside and soft and moist in the middle. Yum! Here's my version:


2 cups oat flour (1 2/3 wheat flour works, too)

1/3 cup granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons unsalted butter/margarine, cold and cut into pieces

1/2 dark chocolate chunks or chips (optional)

1/3 cup strawberry preserves

1/4 unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 large egg, lightly beaten


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and place rack in middle of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Stir in the chocolate chunks (chips) and raspberries. In a small measuring cup whisk together the yogurt, vanilla extract, applesauce, and egg. Add this mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until the dough comes together. Do not over mix.

Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead the dough gently four or five times and then pat, or roll, the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches round and about 1 inch thick. Cut the dough into eight triangles. Place the scones on the baking sheet.

Bake for about 16-18 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack.

Although not necessary, if you want the tops of the scones to be crispy, then turn your broiler on high. Sprinkle confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar over the tops of the scones and place them under the broiler. Broil for just a few seconds, turning the pan as necessary, until the sugar has melted and turns golden brown. Make sure to watch the scones carefully as the sugar will burn very quickly. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Makes 8 scones.

Fun, fun! I'll put the rest of my baked goods up tomorrow! Happy Monday. Relax, enjoy the week and try not to stress the small things.

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