Lower-Sugar Fresh Peach Cobbler

I was drawn to this recipe because it had less sugar than every other recipe I’d found. It came out perfectly sweet and delicious. The recipe is from letsdishrecipes.com. and can also be found at allrecipes.com.

Ingredients

FOR THE FILLING:

  • 8 fresh peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced (or sub frozen peaches – 1 pound frozen is equal to about 3 fresh)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar (I use 3 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (I use 3 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Topping

(Alternate recipe for bottom batter below)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar (I use 3 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (I use 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, combine sliced peaches, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, vanilla or almond extract, and cornstarch.
  2. Toss to coat peaches evenly and pour into a 2-quart baking dish or 5-6 individual baking dishes. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine flour, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in butter with a pastry cutter or your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in boiling water until just combined.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together the 3 tablespoons of white sugar with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
  5. Remove peaches from oven, and drop spoonfuls of topping over them. Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar mixture evenly over the topping. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until topping is golden brown. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Alternate bottom batter

In this version, rather than topping the fruit, the batter starts out on the bottom and rises up during baking.

Recipe adapted from Paula Dean’s

  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1.5 cups
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt 
  • 1.5 cups milk

  1. Melt the butter in the baking dish before adding peaches.
  2. MIx all dry ingredients in bowl.
  3. Slowly stir in the milk.
  4. Pour mixture over melted butter. Do not stir.
  5. Spoon peach mixture on top of batter. Do not stir.
  6. Sprinkle top with a little ground cinnamon.
  7. Batter will rise to top during baking.
  8. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes.


Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix

Rather than paying a higher price to consume artificial flavor, disodium phosphate, tetrasodium pyrophosphate, mono and diglycerides, artificial color, yellow 5, yellow 6, bha (preservative)make your own mix! It only takes a minute.

Ingredients

For the dry ingredients – make in advance and store:

  • 1/2 cup granulated *sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened *cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

The wet ingredients when ready to make:

  • 3 cups 2% milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon butter (optional)
  1. In a cold saucepan, whisk together dry ingredients.
  2. Turn on the heat and slowly pour in the milk and whisk.
  3. Cook, stirring often until it reaches a full boil; remove from heat.
  4. Stir in vanilla and butter.
  5. Allow to cool, covered, to help prevent a skin from forming on top of the pudding. Stir occasionally as it cools. Refrigerate to cool completely.

*1/3 cup sugar with 3 tablespoons cocoa powder works well too.


Vanilla Pudding with Banana & Vanilla Wafers

This recipe is adapted from an Alton Brown’s Refrigerated Banana Pudding recipe. This version reduces unnecessary fat and sugar.

This photo shows the pudding before it is fully assembled.

Ingredients

For the Custard

  • 3/4 cup sugar (I use 1/3 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 large yolk (I skip this)
  • 2 cups whole milk (I use whatever milk I have)
  • 3 tablespoons butter (I use 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (I use 1 teaspoon)
  • 45 vanilla wafers (I like Trader Joe’s Organic Vanilla Wafers)
  • 3 ripe bananas, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 4 ounces banana liqueur (I skip this)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (I skip this)

For the Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1- 2 tablespoons powdered or fine grained sugar

Directions

  1. Beat the eggs in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan – before turning on the burner – whisk together the milk, sugar, and cornstarch.
  3. Turn on the heat to medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture reaches 172 to 180 degrees F, approximately 5 to 10 minutes. The mixture will begin to thicken and bubble around the edges. Do not boil.
  4. Meanwhile, when the pudding gets hot – while waiting for the mixture to almost come to a boil – temper the eggs by adding about 2 tablespoons of the hot mixture into the bowl with the eggs.
  5. Add the tempered eggs into the hot saucepan, stirring constantly.
  6. Stir gently until the custard thickens, another two or three minutes – do not boil.
  7. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Taste the pudding to make sure it’s sweet enough (I reduced the sugar from the original recipe). If you’d like it sweeter, add the sugar now while the pudding is still hot. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  8. Pour pudding through a fine mesh sieve (to catch any egg solids) into a bowl and cover (to prevent skin from forming) until cool enough to refrigerate. Stir occasionally while it cools. Sometimes I’ll stir in a splash of cold milk or cream to jumpstart the cooling process.
  9. When the pudding is no longer hot, move to refrigerator to finish cooling, approximately 2-3 hours.

To assemble

  1. If needed, whisk the pudding to get it all nice and creamy again. If it’s too thick, whisk in a bit of milk or cream.
  2. Spread a small amount of the pudding in the bottom of a 1.5 quart glass mixing bowl.
  3. Cover with a layer of vanilla wafers – followed by a layer of banana slices – followed with 1/3 of the pudding; Repeat and end with a layer of pudding.
  4. Put the whipping cream in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the sugar and beat with whisk attachment just until soft peaks form.
  5. Spoon the whipped cream over the pudding and spread to cover completely.
  6. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Another one I’d like to try: Southern Banana Pudding from Add a Pinch

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (I would use no more than 3/4 cup)
  • pinch salt
  • 3 large eggs separated (you’ll need whites later for meringue)
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 box vanilla wafers approximately 45 wafers
  • 5-6 bananas
  • 3 egg whites reserved from above
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 325º F.
  • Combine flour, sugar and salt in a large, heavy saucepan.
  • Lightly beat egg yolks and combine with milk in a large bowl or measuring cup. Pour the egg and milk mixture into dry ingredients in heavy saucepan. Cook over low to medium heat, stirring constantly, until ingredients are thickened and smooth. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in vanilla.
  • To layer your banana pudding, begin by placing vanilla wafers on the bottom of a 2 quart oven-safe glass bowl or baking dish.
  • Slice bananas and place on top of wafers.
  • Pour one-third of custard over wafers and bananas.
  • Repeat layering process two more times until all wafers, bananas, and custard have been used, ending with a final layer of wafers. 

For the Meringue:

  • Whip egg whites with an electric mixer set at high speed.
  • Allow egg whites to foam, add cream of tartar and then gradually add sugar one tablespoon at a time.
  • Continue whipping until sugar is well-dissolved.
  • Add vanilla once stiff peaks have formed and whip until well-combined.
  • Spread meringue over banana pudding, making sure to spread to the edges of the dish.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes until the meringue is lightly browned.

3 Ingredient, Gluten Free Coconut Cookies

In my failed attempt to make coconut macaroons with unsweetened shredded coconut, I discovered a simple coconut cookie that is really nothing like a macaroon, but delicious nonetheless.

Ingredients

  • 1 (14-ounce) can *sweetened condensed milk
  • 14 ounces unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions

  1. In a large bowl add all ingredients and form into desired shape. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
  2. Set the oven to broil and allow to brown to desired shade, approximately 1-2 minutes.
  3. Best eaten immediately.

*I had some extra sweetened condensed milk and decided to drizzle some on top of the cookies once they were finished baking. It turned out to be a wonderful glaze.


Fudge Pie

Original recipe: Sheryl’s Fudge Pie
You will need a metal pie tin for this recipe. Ceramic doesn’t work well. I have yet to try glass.

Ingredients

  • †2 ounces unsweetened chocolate squares
  • 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter (salted is fine, except Kerrygold, which is too salty)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1⁄4 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt (skip if using salted butter)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease a 9-inch metal pie tin.
  2. Place chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high for one minute; stir. Heat for 30 more seconds. Let it sit for a minute and stir until the chocolate melts completely.
  3. Add sugar, flour, eggs, vanilla, and salt. Whisk until well blended.
  4. Pour into prepared pie tin.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the center is firm.
  6. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Lebanese Orange Blossom Pudding (Mahalabia)

Delicious Lebanese Orange blossom pudding (Mahalabia) topped with simple syrup and ground pistachios. This is a popular Middle Eastern dessert. It’s low in fat and sugar (the way I make it) and totally addictive. 

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3.5 cups of milk (I use 1%) – use a little less milk if you like thick pudding.
  • 1 tablespoon orange blossom water (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon rose water 
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup crushed pistachios
  • Simple Syrup or Attar

Directions

  1. Whisk the cornstarch and sugar together in a cold pot.
  2. Add milk, orange blossom and rose water and turn on the heat
  3. Cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens.
  4. Pour into ramekins and refrigerate for at least 2 hours
  5. To serve, sprinkle with crushed, raw pistachios, a drizzle of simple syrup (or Attar) and a light sprinkling of sea salt.

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Adapted from Add a Pinch

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar (I use 1 3/4 cup)
  • 1 cup milk (I use 2%)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder (I skip this)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Recipe for Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (below)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Preferably using a bundt pan, prepare by spraying with baking spray or butter and lightly flour. You can also use two 9-inch cake pans prepared the same way.
  3. In a stand mixer or bowl mix sugar, milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.
  4. Place a sieve over the bowl and sift in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder (if using). Use your paddle attachment and mix at medium speed until combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter until well combined.
  5. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan or distribute evenly among the two cake pans.
  6. Bake for about 35-40 minutes in the bundt pan or 30-35 minutes in the 9-inch pans, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If making cupcakes, bake for approximately 17 minutes,
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Then, remove from the pan and cool completely.
  8. If using frosting, allow cake to cool completely. If using glaze, apply while warm.

Note to self: Baked cupcakes on middle rack in small oven. 15 minutes in small muffin tin. 

My Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • 6 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1.5 cups confectioners’ sugar 
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-4 tablespoons milk

In medium bowl, beat butter and vanilla. Add confectioners’ sugar and cocoa. Add 2 tablespoons milk, and then 1 tablespoon at a time more, until a spreadable consistency is achieved.

Chocolate Glaze

  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put the unsweetened chocolate and 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan and place it over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the chocolate and butter have melted. Sift the powdered sugar and add it to the chocolate mixture along with 2 tablespoons of boiling water. While stirring constantly, continue adding boiling water in very small amounts until the glaze is thin enough to drizzle over the cake. Add about 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract, if desired.

For Portal Cake:

After frosting the cake, carefully place crushed Oreo cookies evenly around the entire surface. Then top with Maraschino cherries placed inside a dollop of whipped cream.



Niran’s Vegan/Gluten Free Thin Mint Cookies

This is my friend, Niran’s wonderful recipe. Check out all of her amazing plant based recipes on Instagram at @niranfoodiegal.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder
  • 3 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint oil
  • 3 cups vegan chocolate

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350-F.
  2. In a bowl, mix dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients and mix well to combine.
  3. Flatten the dough onto a plate and cover with parchment paper. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out to about 1/4 inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to shape the cookies into 2.5 inch rounds.
  5. Bake for 11 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool.
  6. In a double boiler, melt 3 cups of vegan chocolate. Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon peppermint oil.
  7. Dip the cookies into the melted chocolate to fully coat.
  8. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to allow the cookies to set.
  9. Place remaining melted chocolate into a piping bag (or use a ziplock with the corner cut out). Drizzle the chocolate over the top of the cookie.
  10. Place in the refrigerator to set again for about 10 minutes.
  11. These are best stored in the refrigerator. They are a bit hard straight out of the fridge (my preference), but will soften up at room temperature.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies or Bars

Makes about 4 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened 
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350-F. note to self: try 410
  2. Beat together butter and sugars until creamy.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.
  4. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well.
  5. Stir in the oats and raisins; mix well.
  6. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.
  7. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire rack.

For bars: Bake 30-35 minutes in ungreased 13 x 9 inch metal baking pan.

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Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Oat Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350-F. Grease a 13×9 inch casserole dish with cooking spray.
  2. Add sugars to a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixture.
  3. Melt butter in a saucepan, stirring constantly until golden.
  4. Add the butter to the bowl with the sugar and stir. Allow to cool slightly.
  5. Add the egg and vanilla and stir well. Stir in the oats and salt.
  6. Place a fine mesh sieve over the bowl and add flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Mix until just combined.
  7. Add the chocolate chips and mix until combined.
  8. Pour into prepared baking dish and bake 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.