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
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 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 a bottom batter below)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 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 cobbler batter adapted from Paula Dean’s Cobbler recipe:

This version has the batter on the bottom and rises up during baking.

  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1.5 cups
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt 
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • Melt the butter in the baking dish before adding peaches.
  • MIx all dry ingredients in bowl.
  • Slowly stir in the milk.
  • Pour mixture over melted butter. Do not stir.
  • Spoon peach mixture on top of batter. Do not stir.
  • Sprinkle top with a little ground cinnamon.
  • Batter will rise to top during baking.
  • Bake for 30 to 45 minutes.


Vanilla Custard 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.

The amount of sugar added, in my opinion, is the least possible amount that should be added – it’s just sweet enough – very possibly not sweet enough for some. Taste the pudding while it’s still hot. If you’d like to add additional sugar, stir it in until fully dissolved.

Ingredients

Custard
  • 3/4 cup sugar (I use 1/2 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 large yolk (I skip this)
  • 2.5 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)
Whipped Cream
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1- 2 tablespoons powdered or fine grained sugar

Directions

  1. Off heat, combine sugar, cornstarch, salt, and eggs in a medium saucepan. Whisk to combine.
  2. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture reaches 172-180 degrees (or starts to boil), approximately 7 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla.
  4. Pass the mixture through a fine mesh sieve and into a bowl for cooling. To prevent a skin from covering the surface – cover the bowl and allow to cool on the counter, stirring occasionally. When the pudding is no longer hot, move to refrigerator to finish cooling, approximately 2-3 hours.
  5. When the pudding is cool, whisk or beat with a mixer to cream it up. Sometimes I add a bit of milk if it seems too thick.
  6. Spread a small amount of the pudding in the bottom of a 1.5 quart glass mixing bowl. Cover with a layer of vanilla wafers, followed by a layer of banana slices. Spoon 1/3 pudding on top of the bananas and repeat, ending with a layer of pudding.
  7. Put the whipping cream in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the sugar and beat with whisk attachment just until soft peaks form.
  8. Spoon the whipped cream over the cooled pudding and spread to cover completely.

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.

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

I’ve tried dozens of recipes for chocolate cake and this is the best one I’ve ever tried.

Recipe 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 kosher 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.



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.

Creamy Brown Rice Pudding

Creamy, delicious and nutritious.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked short grain brown rice
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon butter (optional)
  • 1 egg yolk (optional)
  1. Add rice, water, and milk to a saucepan and bring to a boil. While you are waiting for it to come up to temperature, add in the cinnamon and coconut palm sugar.
  2. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the liquid is absorbed. note: I’m not sure how long this will take. The one and only time I made this recipe, I had to leave the house before the liquid had absorbed, so I threw it in a 225 degree oven for about an hour. When I came home it was ready for the next step.
  3. Raise the heat to medium/low and stir in about 1/4 milk. At this point temper the egg and add it. Cook it down for a minute. Continue to add milk and heat through until it becomes the desired consistency. Keep in mind, this will thicken as it cools. I like mine really creamy. I add even more milk when I take it out of the refrigerator if it seems to have thickened up too much. 
  4. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and butter, if using.

Serve hot or cold – for dessert or breakfast!


Chocolate Pudding Cake (low-fat)

I love this recipe because it tastes decadent, but is inherently low in fat. It’s wonderful hot, served alongside ice cream or cold, served straight from the fridge.

Recipe from Dinner at the Zoo.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar (I use 1/2 cup)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (divided)
  • 1/2 cup milk (I use 1%)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted (I use salted butter)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups boiling water

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350-F. Grease a 9-inch square baking dish or round souffle dish.
  2. Combine flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 1/3 cup cocoa in medium bowl.
  3. Add milk, butter and vanilla, stir until just blended.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared dish.
  5. Combine brown sugar and remaining 1/4 cup cocoa in small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over the batter.
  6. Pour boiling water over entire mixture; do not stir.
  7. Bake 35 to 38 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the top layer comes out clean. Cool at least 10 minutes.

Emeril Lagasse’s “Big Chocolate-Chip Cookies”

This is the best chocolate chip cookie recipe I’ve ever found – from Emeril Lagasse’s book, There’s a Chef in My Soup! The recipe can also be found at www.emerils.com.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter (I use salted butter), softened at room temperature (if using a stand mixture, butter can be cold)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (I use kosher salt)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (don’t substitute!)
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips (don’t substitute!)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350-F (I use convection setting).
  2. Place the butter, salt, granulated sugar, and light brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and cream the ingredients on high speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  3. Add the vanilla and egg and mix on medium speed.
  4. Place a sieve over the mixing bowl (or use a separate bowl) and sift in the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
  5. Mix on low speed just until the batter is combined. It will be stiff–don’t over do it!
  6. Turn off the mixer and, using a large spoon or plastic spatula, fold in the chocolate chips (I use a stand blender and just turn it on high speed for a few seconds to incorporate the chips).
  7. Using a tablespoon, scoop about 2 spoonfuls of the dough into a ball and place on a baking sheet (or weigh them at about 50 grams).
  8. Repeat with remaining dough, keeping the scoops about 2 inches apart. You should get about 9 cookies on each sheet.
  9. Bake until golden brown, about 16-18 minutes. Makes 21 cookies.