Amazing and Easy Cake Mix Cookies

Warm, Gooey cookies are always a favorite in my tummy.  Gifting cookies is a favorite in my heart.

Did you all know you can make cookies from boxed cake mixes? Yea!  For real!  I used to make these fudgy, chocolate cookies when my kids were little. They are still a favorite for me at during the holidays or just making them for the grandkids.

And then spice cookies came to mind.  So I had to make them too. There are a few ways to enjoy these spicey cookies. Other than just a plain spice cookie, you can add cinnamon chips or white chocolate chips to the batter, you could top with a little bit of cream cheese frosting or drizzle cinnamon glaze over them.

        

But, these lemon cookies came into my life….. Heaven! These little sweeties are perfect for spring. I just added about 1tsp of lemon extract to the batter to enhance the lemon flavor. I have also made a lemon glaze to drizzle over them, that takes the lemon flavor over the top! These lemon cookies are perfect to serve when you are sitting outside and enjoying a gorgeous spring afternoon.

I don’t like using “boxed and food” due to chemicals and processing BUT, occasionally I do indulge in certain things! If I am making cookies for guests and my time is limited, I will make these.

Or, if I want to make cookies and gift them so someone just because I love them, I will make these too.  Especially if my time is limited.

I love being in my kitchen cooking and baking things from scratch but sometimes, I just need some shortcuts to help me out a little.  And these are a great time saver and as an added benefit, they are so very delicious.

And addictive.

The possibilities are absolutely endless! There are so many flavored cake mixes available and you can create your own cookies based on the flavors you love.

The basic recipe is to one box cake mix, add ½ cup vegetable oil and 2 large eggs. That’s it. The creativity is up to you! You can add various flavors of chips (chocolate, white chocolate, etc), extracts and spices like cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, etc.

Have fun creating and developing you own favorite cookies and be sure to let me know what you make!

Baked Cinnamon Apples

Did you ever buy apples and when you get them home and bite into them…. They are not very tasty, hard to bite into, just not at all what you expected?!

And then you are wondering, what the heck! Now what do I do with all of these apples?

I just did that, they were on sale at my store so I thought I would give them a try. What a disappointment.

And this is not the first time this has happened. I have even bought my regular tried and true favorite variety, but they were not tasty at all.

When this happens, I usually make apple pancakes, or sauté them and put them in maple syrup, or make baked cinnamon apples.

These baked apples taste like an apple pie without the crust. You can pour these over ice cream, French toast, pancakes or waffles. They are delicious over yogurt and oatmeal too. And I am sure there are a bunch of other yummy ideas that you can come up with

You could also make a crumb topping and turn this into a crisp.

I prefer the apples peeled for this recipe. I “rough” peeled them, meaning that there was some random pieces of the peel still on the apples. I did not like it! The apples were soft and the skin was tough

If you don’t have the cardamom, that’s okay. They will still be delicious without it. But I love cardamom so I almost always have some in my pantry and if I have a recipe that calls for cinnamon, I like to add the cardamom too.

After the apples are cut into 1 inch chunks and peeled, put them in a bowl and coat them with the juice of half a lemon. Make sure you zest the lemon first! Set the apples aside and put all of the spices, brown sugar, salt & pepper, lemon zest and cornstarch into a small bowl, blend well and then pour over the apples coating them evenly.

Now, let’s chat about the pepper for a second. You do not need to add the pepper BUT… Did you know that the pepper “spices” up the cinnamon and cardamom? When I make my chai tea, I toss several cracked peppercorns in the mix to really kick up the spice level.

Okay, so next you are going to put the apple mixture into a greased 8×8 inch baking dish and dot the top with cubes of butter. Cover the dish with foil. It’s really important to cover the dish with the foil! It helps to steam the apples and keep them from drying out.

Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until the apples are tender. I check on the apples at 20 minutes and then check about every 5 minutes to make sure they are perfect and not over baked.

I hope you give these glorious baked apple a try!

Baked Cinnamon Apples

6 apples, cut into 1” cubes, skin removed optional

1/3 cup brown sugar, heaping

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp ground cardamom

3 tsp ground cinnamon

1 T cornstarch, heaping

Salt and pepper

Lemon zest from one lemon

Lemon juice from half of a lemon

2-3 T butter, cubed

  1. Place apple chunks in bowl, coat with the lemon juice and set aside.
  2. Put the brown sugar, nutmeg, cardamom, cinnamon, cornstarch, salt and pepper, and the lemon zest in a small bowl and mix together.
  3. Pour sugar mixture over the apples and coat evenly.
  4. Place apples in an 8 by 8 inch greased baking dish, spread evenly in the dish.
  5. Dot with butter and cover with foil.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees for about 35-40 minutes or until apples are tender.

 

End of Summer White Peach Crisp

I found some incredibly delicious white peaches and white nectarines at the store the other week. They were so sweet, juicy and full of yummy flavor!

I practically inhaled the nectarines. So with the peaches, I made peach crisp. Oh. My. Gosh.

I had 6 large peaches, I peeled them and sliced them into bite size chunks and tossed them in a bowl. I may or may not have eaten a few chunks. I added about 3 tablespoons each of white sugar and brown sugar, I didn’t want to add too much sugar since they were already pretty sweet naturally. Then I added 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, a sprinkle or two of nutmeg, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla and tossed gently. Depending on your peaches, you may need to add more sugar.

In a separate bowl I added ¾ cup of flour, 1/3 cup brown sugar, ½ tsp cinnamon and stirred with a fork to combine. Then I added 6 T cubed, chilled butter and cut in until crumbly. At the end of cutting in the butter I like to use my hands and quickly crumble the mixture too, you do not have to do this but I always feel I need to get in there with my hands and help it along! Sprinkle the crumbles over the top of the peaches and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until bubbly and the top is golden.

I made cinnamon ice cream to go with the crisp, it was a perfect combination and a wonderful treat to end the summer.

Here’s the recipe:

Crumb Topping

¾ cup flour

1/3 cup brown sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

6 tablespoons butter, cut in cubes

Fruit Filling

6 large ripe peaches, peeled and sliced into bite size pieces

3 tablespoons sugar, more if your peaches are not very sweet

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

Ground nutmeg, few dashes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Gently combine sliced peaches with sugars, cinnamon and vanilla. Set aside.
  3. For crumb topping, in a separate bowl add flour, sugar and cinnamon and stir gently to combine. Cut in butter until crumbly.
  4. In an 8×8 greased glass baking pan, add peaches and spread evenly.
  5. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the peaches.
  6. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the topping is golden and the peaches are slightly bubbly and tender.

 

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did! Have an awesome day!

Pumpkin Crumb Muffins with a Cream Cheese Center

Fall has finally arrived! And with that comes hot chocolate, soups, and pumpkin. Pumpkin everything! And I am one of those people that loves everything pumpkin.

I also love muffins. And cream cheese.

Last year I made a pumpkin muffin that had the cream cheese swirled in it, this year I made them with a cream cheese filling. Oh. My. Gosh.

First you will need to make the cream cheese filling and pop it in the fridge to chill. Super easy, just take an 8oz block of cream cheese, room temperature and blend in 1 cup of powdered sugar.

Next, make the sugar crumb topping. I used ½ cup sugar, about 6 tablespoons of flour, 1 tsp cinnamon and 4 tablespoons of butter cut into chunks. Cut the butter into the sugar and flour until it resembles crumbs. Guess that’s why it’s called crumb topping! Anyway, I usually like to use my hands towards the end of the blending as I can get better crumbs. Just my thing. Set aside.

Now for the muffins! I used my stand up mixer for this. Pour in your bowl 1 cup of vegetable oil, one 15oz can of pumpkin puree, 1-1/2 cups sugar, and 4 large eggs. Mix until just combined.

Then add your spices, I used 1 teaspoon each of cinnamon and nutmeg, ½ teaspoon ground cloves, and ½ tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice. Also add 1 teaspoon of salt and baking soda. Blend until the spices are just blended in.

Now add your flour, one cup at a time, 3 cups total. Scrape the bowl often. Once the flour is blended in do not mix any further.

Preheat your oven to 350 and line your muffin tins with paper cups. I still spray the paper cups. Remove the cream cheese filling from the fridge and be prepared to assemble!

Put a little of the batter in each of the cups making sure that the bottom of the cup is totally covered. Drop in about 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese filling. Then fill the muffin cup with batter until no less than ¾ full. I tap the muffin tin gently on the counter to make sure there are no air bubbles and that the cream cheese is completely surrounded with the batter.

Top with a sprinkling of the sugar crumb topping. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Remove the muffins from the pan to cool.

I can’t tell you how long they will last because I can promise you ….. they won’t! You and everyone that you share them with will scarf them up!!

Enjoy!

Pumpkin Crumb Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling

Makes 24-26 muffins

 Cream Cheese Filling:

1 8oz block of cream cheese, softened to room temp

1 cup powdered sugar

Blend until soft and creamy, refrigerate until ready to use

Sugar Crumb Topping:

½ cup sugar

6 T flour

1 tsp cinnamon

4 T butter, cut into cubes

Cut butter into sugar, flour and cinnamon mixture until crumbly, set aside

Muffins:

1 c vegetable oil

1 15oz can of pumpkin puree

1-1/2 sugar

4 eggs, large

Blend until combined

Add in 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg, ½ tsp ground cloves, ½ T pumpkin pie spice, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking soda. Mix until just combined.

Add 3 cups of flour, one cup at a time and only mixing until blended, scraping bowl frequently.

Preheat oven to 350, line muffin tin with paper cup liners. Drop in enough batter to cover the bottom of the paper liner, drop in about 1 T of the cream cheese filling, fill the rest of the cup with batter. No less than ¾ full. Tap the muffin tin on the counter to remove air bubbles. Sprinkle with crumb topping. Bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from pan to cool.

Banana Bread with Walnut Crumb Topping

I was craving banana bread! And this time I wanted it to have a crumb topping, absolutely heaven!

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Nothing soothes my soul more than a delicious moist loaf of banana bread. Okay, well maybe the beach does that too, but I sort of mean my tummy soul!!

The craving probably started when I went to the grocery store, wandering around the produce section and found a display of really over ripe bananas! And bags of walnuts laying on the display too. Very clever marketing strategy! It was almost as though they purposely bought over ripe bananas and walnuts just for those that wanted banana bread!

Anyway, this recipe is for one loaf, which is more than enough for me. In fact, half of it will go in the freezer. But it will be hard to part with, if even for a few weeks.

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To a bowl I added all of the ingredients for the bread and blended on a medium speed until completely mixed and poured into a greased loaf pan. Easy!

Next I made the crumb topping, carefully place on top of the batter making sure it is completely covered with this delicious nutty and sugary mixture.

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As mentioned before, my oven…. I have a love hate relationship with the smaller over and I really need to learn to bake in the larger bottom oven, but when will I actually do this? The bottom and sides often are over done before the center is finished baking. *sigh

Here’s the recipe:

Banana Bread with Walnut Crumb Topping

For the bread

2 large eggs

1-3/4 cup of flour

½ cup sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

½ tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup mashed banana

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Add all of the ingredients except the mashed bananas. After the batter is mixed well, gently blend in the banana, do not over mix. Pour into a greased loaf pan.

For the crumb topping

½ cup of soft butter (1 stick)

1 cup light brown sugar

1 cup flour

1 tsp cinnamon, optional

½-3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Place all of the ingredients except the walnuts into a bowl and cut with 2 knives or a pastry blender until it resembles crumbs, then add the walnuts and cut in until just blended through. Sprinkle on top of the batter making sure it is covered in the topping.

Bake for about 1 hour or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Be happy and live well!  And be sure to follow me on Facebook!

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Blueberry Crumb Coffee Cake with Honey Lemon Glaze

I was hungry for blueberry crumb muffins

I was hungry for a cinnamon coffee cake.

What happens when you have that craving? You combine them and make an incredibly delicious blueberry crumb coffee cake!

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I have been in heaven every time I have a piece. And it’s even better when you pop in the microwave and warm it for just a few seconds.

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This would be a great breakfast cake when you have over night guests.  Or for a  brunch, or just yourself!

I had a bag of frozen blueberries that I wanted to use up. I’ve been on a mission to use everything in my freezer before it’s too late! The bag of mango’s didn’t make it though, they were freezer burnt!

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Anyway, they worked well. I thawed them first, then drained and coated them with flout before tossing them in the batter.

The crumb topping was enormous! If you don’t want that much you could easily cut the recipe in half.

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The honey lemon drizzle was a spur of the moment decision, I had just a small amount of honey remaining in the container. And I had a lemon that desperately needed to be used.

And the cake batter was just a basic coffee cake recipe, super easy and delicious.

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Here is what I did for the cake:

First I sprayed an 8 x 8 glass pan, lined the pan with parchment paper and sprayed again. You don’t need to use the parchment, you can just use the greased pan.

As I mentioned, I thawed and drained the berries then coated them with flour.

Into my mixer I creamed together ½ cup (1 stick) very softened butter and ¾ cup sugar. Then I added 1 large egg, ½ cup milk, baking soda and salt. Once that is blended I added 2 cups of flour, one cup at a time, stopping to scrape the bowl in between each addition. Just a quick note about the milk, I used what I had on hand which is 1%, I know a lot of recipes call for whole but the 1% worked!

I then removed the bowl from the stand and gently folded in the blueberries. Once the berries are evenly distributed through the batter, pour into the prepared pan.

To make the crump topping I used ½ cup (1 stick) softened butter cut into pieces, 1 cup light brown sugar, 1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Cut the butter in with the flour and sugar until crumbly, sprinkle over cake batter.

I baked the cake at 350 for about an hour. My oven is gas and after 2 years I still can’t get the hang of it. It runs about 25 degree’s hotter than what I want so I really have to watch it. I also have a double oven; the top oven is small, and the bottom is larger but not as large as a standard oven. It’s large enough to roast a turkey. I love it, and it’s convenient for me because it’s just me. BUT, baking in the smaller oven can be a challenge. SO, in your oven you might want to start checking the cake around 40-45 minutes.

The cake is done when a cake tester comes out clean. Then just lift the cake out of the pan and onto a cooling rack or a cutting board to cool.

To make the glaze I just used the juice of one lemon, ½ teaspoon of vanilla, about 1 tablespoon of honey and I just stirred in the confectioners’ sugar until I got the consistency that I wanted. Sorry, I didn’t measure, I just flew by the seat of my yoga pants!!! I added the glaze when the cake was just warm.

This cake is delicious and best when served warm and fresh from the oven. But is still quite yummy the next day, warmed for a few seconds in the microwave.

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Here is the recipe, I haven’t figured out how to add the option to print the recipe yet, but I’m trying!

BLUEBERRY CRUMB COFFEE CAKE with HONEY LEMON GLAZE

For the cake:

½ cup very soft butter

¾ cup sugar

1 cup milk

1 large egg

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

2 cups flour

About 2 cups of blueberries

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the milk, egg, baking powder and salt. Then add the flour, one cup at a time, scraping the in between. Pour into a greased 8×8 pan.

For the topping:

1 cup light brown sugar

1 cup flour

1 tsp cinnamon

½ cup (1 stick) soft butter cut into pieces

Cut together until you have a crumbles, sprinkle in top of cake batter.

For the glaze:

The juice of one lemon

½ tsp vanilla

1 T honey

Confectioners sugar, still in about 1 tablespoon at a time until you get the consistency you want. I may have used about ¾ cup.

Live well friends!

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Snicker Doodle Cookies

I love Snicker Doodle cookies!! I didn’t make them for Christmas, but instead I decided to wait until after the Holidays.

I used my Mom’s recipe, but I wanted to change the cinnamon and sugar part and make some of the cookies with some chai spices.

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The chai spice cookies are the darkest , the cinnamon sugar are the lightest, and then I just combined both the chai mixture and the cinnamon sugar and those cookies are in the middle!

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Mom’s recipe calls for all shortening but I used half butter. They still turned out delicious!

The chai spices I used were:

½ teaspoon of each of cinnamon, allspice, ground cloves, ginger, nutmeg and a pinch of ground black pepper.

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As much as I adore my chai tea latte’s, I think I favored the cookies with the cinnamon sugar. Maybe I just didn’t have the chai spice mixture quite right….

So I combined the cinnamon sugar mixture with the chai spice mixture, and I really loved it!

Here is my Mom’s Snickerdoodle Cookie recipe:

Mix together 1 cup shortening and 1-1/2 cup sugar

Beat in 2 eggs

Sift and then stir in 3 cups flour, 2 tsp cream of tartar, 1 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp salt

Roll dough in balls the size of walnuts, then roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Place 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 8-10 minutes.  These cookies will puff up, then flatten out with crinkled tops.

I hope you enjoy, these always turn out great!  Live well!

Be sure to follow me on Facebook, I sometimes post things that don’t make it to the blog.

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