Showing posts with label Dried Cherries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dried Cherries. Show all posts

Sunday, September 08, 2013

No Bake Cherry Chocolate Chip Crumble Bars and No Bake Cashew Butter Oatmeal Cookies—Secret Recipe Club

Gluten Free Fruit (Cherry) Chocolate Crumble Bars--Sept. SRC

Love, love, love these healthy, gluten free, no sugar, No Bake Cherry Chocolate Chip Crumble Bars I made for this month’s Secret Recipe Club.  These were easy to make, required no baking (hence the name ;)) and are tasty as can be, especially if you like cherries and chocolate.  Great combo!

I came up with this recipe after seeing (and taking most of the inspiration from) the No Bake Fruit Crumble Bars on my Secret Recipe Club blog, The Saturday Evening Pot, this blog is written by The Chef and The Lucky Wife—they have Two Well-Fed Kids they love cooking for.  My bars were made with gluten free oats and they just have unsweetened dried cherries, walnuts and a couple other essentials.  Then they are sandwiched with some homemade cherry jam I made that is delicious!  For kicks and because I just can’t seem to leave chocolate out of anything, I added a mere two tablespoons of Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips.  Mmmm!

No Bake Cherry Crumble Bars 9-2-13

No Bake Cherry Chocolate Chip Crumble Bars (Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free), by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, adapted from The Saturday Evening Pot

2 cups oats (I used gluten free)

1 cup walnuts

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsweetened dried cherries

2 tablespoons organic coconut oil

2 tablespoons raw honey

2 tablespoons Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips (or any brand you’d like)

1/3 cup (or more) homemade cherry jam**see recipe below

Line an 8 inch square pan with nonstick foil.  Combine the oats, walnuts and salt in a food processor and pulse until crumbly.  Add the cherries and blend until they are well combined with the oat mixture and are small bits of dried cherry.  Add the coconut oil and honey and pulse to combine and mixture just starts to clump together.  Add the chocolate chips and pulse again a few times.  Sprinkle half the crumbly mixture evenly in the bottom of the square pan.  Spread the jam over the crumb layer.  Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture evenly over the jam and press it down gently.  Cover the pan and refrigerator for an hour.  Remove bars from pan using the overhanging foil.  Cut into squares on a cutting board.  Keep bars in the refrigerator until serving.

**Homemade All Natural Cherry Jam

2 cups cherries, pitted (I used some that I had in the freezer)

2 tablespoons raw honey

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until pureed.  Leave it as chunky as you’d like.  Put the mixture in a small saucepan and boil for 15-20 minutes until thickened.  Cool.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  Use within 2 weeks. 


If I only had more dried cherries right now……..

Before I made the crumble bars, I also made the No Bake Cashew Butter Oatmeal Cookies.  Again, I used gluten free oats and unrefined sugar.  I also used coconut oil instead of butter.  The cashew butter I used was homemade.  These are great.  I put most of them in the freezer to share with my mom when my parents come here next week, since she doesn’t eat chocolate and loves cashews, she will like them.  My son, Parker really liked them and I thought they were great.

Ingredients for No Bake Cashew Butter Oatmeal Cookies

I made the brown sugar with some organic natural pure cane sugar and added about 1/2 teaspoon of molasses to it and mixed it together until it was brown sugar.  Love doing this.  I’m still trying not to use too much pure cane sugar even though it is pretty unrefined, but these had quite a bit.  We must “splurge” sometimes, right and I still even consider these bars pretty healthy compared to many other treats.

No Bake Cashew Butter Oatmeal Cookies

No Bake Cashew Butter Oatmeal Cookies (Gluten Free), by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, adapted from The Saturday Evening Pot

3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar (I made it homemade with 3 tablespoons organic pure cane sugar and 1/2 teaspoon molasses mixed)

1/2 cup organic natural pure cane sugar

2 tablespoons organic coconut oil

1/4 cup almond milk (or any milk you’d like)

1/3 cup cashew butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1  3/4 cups rolled oats (gluten free)

1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

pinch of salt

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, cane sugar, coconut oil, milk and cashew butter.  Whisk together and let come to a boil.  Boil for one minute.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, salt, oats and coconut.  Stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.  Drop dough with a cookie scoop onto waxed paper lined baking sheet or plate.  Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes until set.  Store in refrigerator until serving and any left over. 

No Bake Cashew Butter Oatmeal Cookies 2

I always enjoy looking through my monthly assigned blogs for the Secret Recipe Club each month and The Saturday Evening Pot was no exception.  Lots of great recipes!


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Quaker Oat Squares Snack Mix Recipe

Quaker oat Squares Snack Mix 2-19-13

Quaker Oat Squares Snack Mix with Dried Cherries, Pecans and Almonds

Of the four different things I took to my book group a few days ago, this was definitely the biggest hit and I promised the ladies I get it on my blog.  It is similar to making a mix with Chex cereal, but with Quaker Oat Squares Cereal.  It’s sweet and crunchy and tastes great. 

I’d bought a box of Quaker Oat Squares and the boys weren’t really eating like I thought they would, so I searched online for ideas of what to do with it and found this idea (I changed it quite a bit) on a Taste of Home Community forum. 

Try it—I can’t wait to make it again.  You could totally play with flavors and mix-ins.

Quaker Oat Squares Snack Mix with Dried Cherries, Pecans and Almonds, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

1/3 cup coconut oil

1/3 cup honey

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup dried tart cherries (you could also use dried cranberries)

3 cups Quaker Oat Squares Cereal

1  1/2 cups old fashioned oats

1/2 cup pecans (or any nut you’d like)

1/2 cup almonds

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.  Mix together in a small saucepan the coconut oil, honey, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.  Heat over medium-low until sugar is dissolved and the mixture just barely comes to a boil. 

Put the cereal, oats, pecans and almonds in a rimmed baking sheet and mix together.  Drizzle the sugar mixture over the cereal mixture and stir to coat evenly.  Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.  Let baking sheet sit on wire rack until cool, then mix in the dried cherries.  Try not to eat it all in one sitting!

Note—I thought it would be better to spray cooking spray on the baking sheet or use a silpat, but it didn’t stick as much as I thought it would, so it’s not necessary, but would make for easier clean up.

Quaker Oat Squares Snack Mix 2

Monday, February 04, 2013

Dried Cherry Pecan Quinoa Muffins—Secret Recipe Club

Quinoa Cranberry Pecan Muffins--Feb. SRC

I loved browsing around my Secret Recipe Club blog these last few weeks.  What great looking food and recipes.  As always, I had a difficult time choosing.  This month my assigned blog was Mellissa’s blog, A Fit and Spicy Life.  Check out her About Me page, but she summed up herself well saying, “I strive to find a balance between healthy foods and the occasional treat, eating healthy food, most if it cooked at home.  You will find me around the Twin Cities (and sometimes world) trying new restaurants, working out, enjoying wine and rarely making the same dish twice.”  She sounds like a great person!  I love finding new-to-me blogs.

Mellissa shares a love for quinoa as do I.  Now if I could just convince the rest of my family how good it is.  Working on it.  In my search of Mellissa’s blog, I found these Quinoa Raisin Muffins and was convinced that is what I needed to make.  Although as soon as I can get my hands on some macadamia nuts, I’m going to make these Paradise Macaroons—coconut macaroons covered in chocolate and sprinkled with chopped macadamia nuts.

I loved the quinoa muffins.  Instead of raisins, I used dried cherries and some pecans.  Before committing to two cups of quinoa, I decided to make just half the recipe.  I will surely make them again, but will probably stick with the half recipe, since I’m the only one here who will eat them.  I enjoyed the muffins for 3-4 days.

Cranberry Pecan Quinoa Muffins 1-28-13

Dried Cherry Pecan Quinoa Muffins, by Katrina, Baking and Boys! adapted from Mellissa at A Fit and Spicy Life

1 cup (185 grams) cooked quinoa

2 tablespoons (48 grams) canola oil

1/3 cup (73 grams) light brown sugar

6 tablespoons (3 ounces) skim milk

1/2 a large egg (25 grams or 2 tablespoons)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup (120 grams) whole wheat pastry flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup dried tart cherries, chopped

1/4 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  If you don’t already have some cooked quinoa, follow the package directions and cook enough for one cup of cooked quinoa, making sure to rinse it well before cooking (about half a cup of dry quinoa).  In a medium-sized bowl, combine the oil, brown sugar, milk, egg and vanilla.   In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Stir the dry ingredients in to the wet mixture and mix well.  Fold in the quinoa, cherries and pecans.  Divide the batter in to 8 muffins in a tin sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake for 20 minutes. 

Quinoa Cranberry Pecan Muffins 1-28-13

These are especially good still warm from the oven with a little butter (I use Smart Balance) or reheated.  Get on the quinoa bandwagon! ;) 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Cashew Cherry Chocolate Cookies (Sugar Free, Raw, Healthy)

Sugar Free Raw Cashew Cookies 1-12-13

Cashew Cherry Chocolate Cookies, Sugar Free & Raw—A Healthy Treat

I love these healthy, sugar free cookies.  They are just what I needed since I’ve been going down an almost no-sugar road since the beginning of the year.  I, like many others, feel like I need to take a break after the holidays.  I do find that I’m going more crazy to bake things than actually eat them.  I had to make some of my “famous” chocolate chip cookies to take to some friends, just so I could bake something.  Proud to say that I didn’t eat any of the cookie dough!

I heard a health and fitness gal say if you are really craving a treat to eat 12 dark chocolate chips (my favorite—Ghirardelli 60% cacao chips).  She said eat one per minute and really savor each one, within 12 minutes you’ll feel like you had a great treat.  I’ve done that a few times in the last couple days and it really does work.  After relishing the 12 chocolate chips I’ve felt like that was enough of a treat to keep me from eating other things.  Try it!

That said, sometimes I do want a snack with a little more substantiality.  I remembered these Cal-mond Cookies I made a couple years ago that are made with raw nuts and dates and dried cherries.  They were so good.  I started looking through the ingredients and realized I had everything to make them.  They are made with almonds and walnuts.  I decided at the last minute that since I have some raw cashews I’d try them instead of walnuts.  While I think the Cal-mond Cookies looked a little nicer, I love these new ones I made today.  They are kind of like the ever popular Larabars or other raw power bars out there.  These are a perfect treat for that little something more than just a bite of chocolate.  Of course, I had to put a little chocolate into them as well. ;)

Cashew Cherry Chocolate Cookies, Sugar Free and Raw, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

1/4 cup raw almonds

2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut

1/2 cup raw cashews

1/2 cup raw almonds

1/2 cup pitted dates, chopped

1/4 cup dried tart cherries

dash of salt

2 tablespoons agave nectar (or honey)

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips

In the bowl of a food processor, combine 1/4 cup of the almonds and the coconut.  Pulse until it is finely ground.  Put in a separate bowl and set aside.

In the food processor (no need to clean), put in the cashews and almonds and pulse until almost finely ground.  Add the dates and cherries and pulse all together until well combined and all chopped to about the same uniform size.  Add the salt, agave and vanilla.  Pulse to combine.  Add the chocolate chips and pulse just to break them up a little bit. 

Scoop out about a tablespoon of the mixture and shape into a balls with your hands.  Roll each ball in the almond/coconut mixture.  Set on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper and press down slightly on each one.  (You can leave them in a ball if you’d like.)  Store in refrigerator in an airtight container.  Makes about 18 cookies.   

Cashew Cherry Chocolate Cookies-Raw, Sugar Free 2

These might not be the prettiest things, but they are mighty tasty!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Marbled Choco-Banana Muffins & Crumb Blog’s Granola—Secret Recipe Club


Come on in, sit down—have some breakfast—or a snack!

Amanda contacted me this morning about doing a fill-in post for a blogger who was left out of The Secret Recipe Club posts this month.  I agreed immediately to whip something up from Isabelle's blog, Crumb.  Check out the cute picture of her holding a parsnip in wonder over what in the world to do with it on the link with her name to her bio!  She has a wonderful blog that showcases her love of food!  Browsing through her blog, I came upon a couple recipes and had a really hard time deciding between the two.  Then it hit me—they are both breakfast foods, I’ll do them both!

So it is with great pleasure I present to you Isabelle’s Crumb Granola and her fantastic Chocolate Banana Marble Muffins (I’ve adapted the titles and the recipes every so slightly).

First up—I had just run out of granola, which to me is like having nothing to eat for breakfast.  I eat it everyday with some Greek yogurt and fruit (usually banana unless berries are in season)!  I liked everything about Isabelle’s granola recipe, which she titles Chewy Blueberry-Apricot Granola.  I just needed to make a few changes to the things I put in my granola as to what I had on hand, but this turned out GREAT.  I didn’t get this done in time for breakfast today, so I can’t wait for tomorrow morning to come!

Crumbs Blog Granola 9-13-11 

Crumb Blog’s Granola, by Isabelle, adapted by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

2 cups old fashioned oats

1/2 cup quick oats (or just another 1/2 cup old fashioned if you don’t have both)

1/4 cups sesame seeds

1/4 cup shelled pistachios

1/2 cup almonds, chopped

1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

1/3 cup dried tart cherries, chopped

1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup white whole wheat flour

1/2 cup dry skim milk powder

2 tablespoons flax seed meal

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 cup canola oil

2/3 cup honey

pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat (foil works, too).  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, nuts, seeds, coconut, flour, milk, spices and salt.  In a medium sized bowl, combine the oil and honey and whisk together to combine.  Pour the oil/honey mixture into the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.  Turn the mixture out onto the prepared baking sheet and use your hands to gently press the granola mixture into a large mound in the center of the pan.

Transfer the baking sheet to second from the top rack of the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes.  Using a wooden spoon, gently break up the granola into large clumps (it will still be quite wet at this point).  Spread it evenly over the surface of the pan.

Return to the oven for another 20-30 minutes or until lightly toasted and brown, stirring the granola halfway through to ensure it browns evenly.  Allow the granola to cool completely before storing it in an airtight container (or bag or jar some up to give away!)

Variation—you really can add any nuts and fruit you’d like, just follow the amounts in total in the recipe. 


I’ve never “met” a granola I didn’t really like, but this one is up there with one of the best I’ve made and tasted!

I’m also a sucker for all things banana (you might have known that already), so while I was looking through Isabelle’s blog at what to make, I also ran across these Marbled Choco-Banana Muffins and couldn’t resist making them as well.  I am so glad I did!  These are fantastic and perfectly moist and chocolaty!  They might as well be a cupcake with frosting, they are that good—but I even made a few healthy substitutions and am perfectly happy with how they turned out and they just don’t need that frosting!

Chocolate Banana Marble Muffins from Crumbs Blog 9-13-11   

Marbled Choco-Banana Muffins, adapted by Katrina, Baking and Boys! from Isabelle at Crumb

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup Bestlife butter substitute, softened (you can use regular butter also)

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 cup mashed banana (2 medium-large bananas)

1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1  1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all purpose) (180 grams)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

3 tablespoons cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s dark cocoa)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray or line it with paper liners.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until creamy.  Beat in the eggs one at a time.  Add the mashed bananas, yogurt and vanilla.  The mixture will look curdled, but it’s okay.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture and stir just until combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips.

Measure out 1  1/2 cups of the batter into a small bowl and add the cocoa powder.  Fold together gently until combined.

Spoon the batter into the pan, alternating between the two batters.  Swirl each with a sharp knife or a toothpick to create a marbled effect.  You don’t want to swirl too much or it will just mix together.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.  Allow the muffins to cool in the tin for 5 minutes or so before gently removing them to cool completely on a wire rack.

Crumbs Blog 9-13-11

My four year old just ate one of these moist, delicious muffins for lunch and said, “When I grow up and get big, I’m going to make these all the time!”  Shh, don’t tell him there’s Greek yogurt and whole wheat flour in there! ;)  So glad I was able to bake from Isabelle’s blog, Crumb today as a fill-in for The Secret Recipe Club!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

TWD—Coconut Scones with Dried Cherries, Pistachios and White Chocolate


Scones, scones—get more scones here!  Last week we made Dorie’s Cream Scones to which I added chocolate chips and toffee bits.  This week our chosen recipe was for Chestnut Scones, which are supposed to have chestnut flour—which is near to impossible to find and if you do find it, it’ll cost you an arm and a leg.  I have a two pound bag of coconut flour that I’ve barely dipped in to, so I decided that is what I’d use.  If I’m going to make any scones, they can’t just be plain, so I looked through my baking cupboard and decided to add some dried tart cherries, pistachios and some chopped white chocolate.  All were well received to the coconut scones. 

I only made a half batch and ate a couple for lunch (they’re small), along with some snap peas and an apricot.  I always brush my scones with some cream, which is what adds a nice shine to them.  It’s simple to half a recipe when you use a scale, even the egg.  I weighed one cracked egg and it was 50 grams, so I just took out 25 grams of egg (cooked up the other half in the microwave really quickly, let it cool and gave it to the dog to eat—he LOVES eggs.  No really, would it be bad to just feed our doggy eggs and bologna/hot dogs as his main source of food?  Those things are cheaper than dog food and Chip won’t hardly eat any dog food!  By the way, I’m kidding—we wouldn’t only give Chip eggs and bologna, but he sure does love it when one of the boys don’t finish one they’re having and he gets their leftovers!)


Back to the scones!  The coconut flour made these just a little bit more crumbly than last week’s cream scones, but they are still good.  I used 1/3 cup of cherries, 1/4 cup pistachios, and 2 ounces of white chocolate. 

This week’s recipe was chosen by Andrea from Andrea In The Kitchen.  She’s got the recipe on the link to her blog.  Not too sure what you think about scones, especially if you grew up with these scones like I did (which are delicious in their own right), but give some like these or last week’s scones a try!  Scones galore over at the Tuesdays With Dorie website.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

TWD—Chocolate Biscotti—Two Ways

This is going to be a short post. (Ha, we’ll see, I always say that, but just can’t seem do it. ;)  I’m taking the three youngest boys to Idaho tomorrow (Tuesday) for the rest of the week.  (Scott is away at scout camp and Kevin gets to stay home alone, since he’s teaching a summer course.)  Anyway, I have lots to do, so I plan to make this a quick one.

TWD--Biscotti 6-13-11

I made the biscotti, which was chosen by Jacque at Daisy Lane Cakes for TWD this week.  Jacque will have the recipe on her blog.  I made it just as written, except as always, I omitted the espresso powder.  I made the full batch, then divided the dough in half and added almonds and tart dried cherries to half and left the other half with just the extra chopped chocolate.  Both are very good. 


How’s that for short and sweet?  I kept eating too many of theses.  I had to put them in the freezer.  For some reason, I tell myself that crunchy cookies like these have no fat/calories.  Whatever.  I know better.  Into the freezer they went.  Lurking.  I know they’re there. ;)

Here’s the “soldiers” all lined up.


We’ll end today with a cute little picture of the doggy.  Awww.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Walnut and Dried Cherry Bars—The Secret Recipe Club

I had the chance this month to bake from Margaret’s blog, Tea and Scones for The Secret Recipe Club.  I chose to make these healthy treats, Walnut and Dried Cherry Bars (with a little chocolate drizzle—my addition).  The recipe is from Ellie Krieger from the Food Network and was part of one of the many baking groups Margaret belongs to. 


These bars are good—anything from Ellie Krieger is, because it always tastes really good and is healthy!  I just ever so slightly changed the recipe.  After baking the bars, Ellie has you spread a little apricot preserves on the still warm bars.  I didn’t have any preserves, so I decided these needed a little something on top—so I drizzled them with a little melted dark chocolate (still healthy, right?!).  You can get the link for the recipe above, as I made them just as written except for the chocolate drizzle.  I actually left some of them without the drizzle since I’ll be heading out to see my parents in Idaho tomorrow for the week and I thought I’d take some of the bars to my mom, who doesn’t eat chocolate.

Cherry Walnut Bars 6-13-11

Check out Margaret’s blog, Tea and Scones.  I don’t know how she keeps up with all the baking groups she’s in, but she rocks in that realm! ;)  Want to know more about The Secret Recipe Club and/or join in?  Check out Amanda's blog, Amanda's Cookin'.  She’s our fearless leader and has made it super simple to sign up!