Carrot Oatmeal Cookies – #FilltheCookieJar

What do you think of when you hear spring cookies? Me, it’s all about carrots. I’m not 2961d-cookiejar
sure why, but carrots are something I always associated with spring. That’s why I decided to go with a carrot cookie recipe for this month’s recipe for the blogging group – Fill the Cookie Jar.

These cookies are delicious and more cake like. The carrot flavor is subtle, but reminds me so much of a carrot cake…if only I would have spread a little cream cheese frosting on top. I also don’t feel bad when my kids eat them for an after school snack since they’re “somewhat” healthy. They’re made with whole wheat flour, coconut, carrots and walnuts.

Carrot Oatmeal Cookies | Join Us, Pull up a Chair #FilltheCookieJar

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Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

My daughter has been asking for me to make her bars and as I was looking through the fridge and pantry to see what I had on hand and saw two containers of strawberries that no one had touched. I found this recipe for strawberry oatmeal bars and it was so simple to make!

Both kids have gobbled them up and I love they’re prefect for an after school snack or a sweet treat after dinner. I switched out the butter for coconut oil, but I’m going to try making them with butter next time. The crust was not as solid as I wanted and broke apart easily. They tasted great otherwise! They’re not too sweet and I love the crumble on top.

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

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Apple Sunbutter Overnight Oats

Now that summer is upon us, I’m ready to start making overnight oats again! I love them and they’re so simple and easy to throw together and grab on the way out the door in the morning…or down the stairs to my office. This version is a little different that previous ones I’ve made before, but it was a little too thin for me. I like my oats to be thicker and my husband agreed. I’m going to write the recipe as I made it but next time I make this version, I’ll substitute half of the milk for vanilla Greek yogurt to make it thicker.

The sunbutter and apples were so good together. I usually dip apple slices in sunbutter, so it reminded me of that but with all the added benefits of oats, chia seeds and almond milk. YUM!

Apple Sunbutter Overnight Oats | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

1 cup rolled oats
2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 Tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp sunflower seed butter
1 medium apple, chopped

In a large bowl, combine the oats and almond milk. Stir in the chia seeds, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Divide the mixture between your mason jars until they are 3/4 way full. I used pint sized mason jars and was able to fill three with a little leftover. Top each jar with a some apples and a dollop of sunflower seed butter. Close with a lid and place in the refrigerator overnight.

Source: Healthy Grocery Girl 

Chocolate Energy Bites – The Secret Recipe Club

It’s the third Monday of the month and that means…Secret Recipe Club reveals! This month my assignment was Loving Life. Kirstin is a mom to 2 gorgeous girls that she home schools.  She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her daughter and husband and she blogs about their home renovations to family recipes. I had a hard time picking a recipe this month. I was considering her Blueberry Chia Seed Jam or Hot Crab Dip,  but settled on her recipe for Energy Bites.  I’ve been wanting to make these for a while and thought it was the perfect time especially since my daughter had a lacrosse play day this weekend.

These bites were really good, though I had a hard time getting to them to stick together. I’m not sure if it was because I substituted the almond butter with sunflower seed butter. Regardless, it came out tasty and I’ll just scoop out a bite to eat on a spoon. I’m definitely going to try making them again and sticking to Kirstin’s recipe to see what the difference might have been. My daughter loved them and it was the perfect pick me up between her games.

Chocolate Energy Bites | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

2 cups rolled oats
1 cup ground flax seed
2/3 cup honey
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 cup sunflower seed butter
1/4 cup finely chopped sunflower seeds
2 Tbsp Chia seeds
2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

In a medium bowl, mix together all the ingredients until well combined. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to allow the mixture to chill and be easier to work with. Using a cookie scoop, scoop out balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place back in the refrigerator to chill for another 15 minutes and then store them in an air tight container in the refrigerator.

For more great recipes from this week’s SRC bloggers, use the button below!

Oatmeal Lace Cookies #FilltheCookieJar

This month’s Fill the Cookie Jar group is all about Christmas cookies! I had a hard time picking a cookie for this month’s theme. I’ve been making a lot of cookies recently and running out of ideas, so off to Pinterest I went. I did a generic search for Christmas cookies and found a recipe for oatmeal lace cookies. This was a new recipe for me and have never seen them before.

The recipe was super simple and it made the most delicious crispy, chewy cookies! They’re also buttery, sweet and reminded me of caramel. I sent the majority of them with my husband to work… they would be dangerous if they were left at home with me all day!

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
2 1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
2 1/4 cups rolled oats
3 Tbsp flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. 
In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter and brown sugar over medium heat. Stir the mixture together often until its combined and smooth. Turn off heat and add in the remaining ingredients. 
Scoop the batter out by teaspoons onto the prepared baking sheets. Leave two inches between cookies and they will spread. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes until they’re golden brown. 
Remove from oven and allow to cool for 1 minute on the baking sheet. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container. 
Source: Add a Pinch 

Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats

I’m always looking for different recipes to make for breakfast, especially ones my daughter will eat before school. She loves her carbs and is always hungry, so anytime I can add in a little protein to her breakfast, I know she’ll be good. Plus, she’s not a milk drinker anymore, so these little jars of overnight oats give a good amount of calcium each morning. She has become pickier over the last couple of months….I wonder if taste buds really do change as we age? 

I had some leftover pureed pumpkin and thought it would great to make a pumpkin pie flavored overnight oats. It was so good!! I topped mine with some chopped walnuts and loved the bit of crunch they added. I’ll definitely be making these again this week. 
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup vanilla unsweetened almond milk
2-3 Tbsp pumpkin puree
1/2 cup vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt
splash of vanilla extract
splash of pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
In a mason jar, mix together all the ingredients, Refrigerate overnight. Top with your favorite nuts and enjoy!

Oatmeal Cream Pies with Maple Cream – #FilltheCookieJar

I’m excited for this month’s Fill the Cookie Jar reveal! This month’s theme was Fall and it gave me so many options to choose from. My sister in law gave me a copy of The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook and I knew it was a great place to start looking for a recipe. The cookbook is broken down into the four seasons, so I went right to the fall section and found this recipe for oatmeal cream pies.

As a child I loved Little Debbie’s oatmeal cream pies, but have never made a homemade version. These are so much better than them! I called them a grown up version. They had the perfect amount of spice and toasting the oats brings out an amazing nutty flavor. The original recipe called for a ginger cream but I knew finding crystallized ginger would be difficult, so I substituted maple syrup instead. The cookies are crisp, but I had put the cookies in the fridge due to the heat and humidity and they softened up. That’s what I loved about them and really reminded me of my childhood.

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
Filling
8 oz cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1/3 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment papers and set aside. On a separate baking sheet, spread out the oats. Place on the baking sheet on the upper rack and make for 10 minutes until lightly browned and fragrant. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Keep the oven on to make sure it’s preheated to bake the cookies. 
In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and spices. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add in the egg. Slowly add in the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in the toasted oats by hand. 
Scoop the batter into two tablespoon sized balls and place them two inches apart on the baking sheet. With dampened hands, flatten each to 1/2 inch thick. Bake for 12 to 13 minutes until they were lightly browned and then remove and allow to cool 5 minutes on the baking sheets. Transfer to a wire rack to completely cool. 
While the cookies are cooling, beat the cream cheese with confectioners sugar until smooth. Add in the maple syrup until combined. Spread the filling onto half of the cookies and then top with the remaining cookies. 

Blueberry Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

Things have been a little quiet around here lately….my little guy was dealing with a random fever for over a week. So needless to say, I had very little time to do any cooking or baking since he was attached to me. He’s doing better now and we’re not sure what caused the fever, just some random virus. It’s been quite frustrating, he would be fine for most of the day and then after his nap, his temperature would spike to 103 or high….so scary!

I did manage to bake up a batch of these breakfast bars. Madeline was off swimming with some of her friends from the neighborhood and I figured they could use a snack after being outside most of the day. These were quick and easy to make. The girls gobbled them up and of course Madeline wanted seconds! I love that they featured whole wheat flour and oats plus fresh blueberries! They would be great for breakfast but I loved that they were great for an after school snack!

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
1 egg white, lightly beaten
3/4 cup fresh blueberries
10 oz jar of blueberry preserves

Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the flours, brown sugar, oats, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Mix until well combined. Cut in the cubed butter until coarse crumbs form with the dry mixture and butter. Remove 1 1/2 cups to another bowl and set aside.

In the remaining mixture, combine the egg white until mixture is wet. Gently fold in the blueberries. Evenly pat this mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes until the crust has set.

Spread the jarred blueberry preserves over the baked crust. Sprinkle the reserved flour/butter mixture over the preserves. Bake for an additional 30 to 35 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.

Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Lift out the bars using the parchment paper and place on a wire cooling rack. Cool completely and then slice into the desired sized bars.

Source: Parents Magazine, September 2013

Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies #FilltheCookieJar

It’s time for May’s Fill the Cookie Jar! If you’re not familiar with Fill the Cookie Jar, it’s a group of bloggers that are given a theme to make cookies about and then we all share them. It’s a lot of fun and I’m glad I participate monthly!

This month’s theme was Mother’s Day. Since I’ve already made a few of my mom’s favorite cookies (as well as mine), I decided to make a cookie with a few of my favorite things. I apologize for the lack of posts last week, I was doing a detox and was only eating mainly vegetables and few fruits…nothing fancy or exciting. But I did lose almost 6 pounds, so it was worth it and definitely something that I would continue doing occasionally.

So back to cookies, these are the perfect bite of a few of my favorite things – oatmeal, dark chocolate and coconut! YUM!! They were chewy and best when they were still slightly warm. To make it even better, the batch was donated to my daughter’s school for their staff appreciation luncheon. I hope all the teachers and support staff loved them as much as me. I know I’ll be making them again!

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 egg
 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup shredded coconut
7 ozs bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small chunks
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside. 
In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Mix well. 
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla and continue beating until well combined. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the flour mixture until just combined. 
Fold in the oats, coconut and chocolate chunks in by hand. Scoop the batter into rounded tablespoons and place on the prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to completely cool. 
Source: The Greyston Bakery Cookbook 

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Blueberry Oatmeal Cakes

As you know, I love making muffins for the kids! These oatmeal cakes were the perfect snack or even for breakfast. I made half with blueberries and the other half with strawberries. They’re the perfect combination of oatmeal and a muffin, plus I feel better that my kids are getting homemade snacks instead of snacks that are processed with a bunch of ingredients that I can’t pronounce!

So I’ve been thinking about adding some more lifestyle posts to my blog. I’ve tried Stitch Fix and thought about doing a review and have been refinishing a piece of furniture, but I want to make sure you guys would like to see those things. I’ll mainly focus on food, but I think it would be fun to do some new types of posts and you’ll get to learn a little more about me, my life and what else I do beside cooking and baking. What do you say?

2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups skim milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
Combine the oats and skim milk in a bowl and stir. Allow to sit overnight in the refrigerator until the majority of the milk has been absorbed (up to 12 hours).
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside. 
In the soaked oats, add in the egg, maple syrup, oil, vanilla, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Stir until the mixture is well combined. Divide the batter between the 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle the top of of each cake with 1/4 cup of blueberries. 
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the cakes spring back when they’re touched and have turned light brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Serve warm. 
If you have oatmeal cakes left, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 
Source: Eating Well Magazine