Ridiculously Easy 4 Ingredient Apple Cinnamon Snack Mix

4 Ingredient, Ridiculously Easy Apple Cinnamon Snack Mix

This apple cinnamon snack mix comes together in seconds with just 4 ingredients and no cooking, chopping or prepping required! It’s also super addicting–put it out at your next party, and it will be gone in minutes!

4 Ingredient, Ridiculously Easy Apple Cinnamon Snack Mix

I don’t know when I became 87 years old, but there is nothing I love more lately than a lazy Sunday. In fact, I won’t even make plans with people on Sunday anymore unless it involves them coming to my house, and even then, I’m ready for them to leave after an hour or two. It’s like I’m becoming an introvert, but only 1 day a week.

4 Ingredient, Ridiculously Easy Apple Cinnamon Snack Mix

Also, have we discussed that my bedtime is approximately 8:30 pm? Three nights this week I was up past 10, and I was a zombie! I can’t do it. I seriously can’t wait for the weather to change so I can go back to getting up at some sort of normal hour, and then maybe I will only act 57 instead of 87. ;)

4 Ingredient, Ridiculously Easy Apple Cinnamon Snack Mix

Anyway, this was the perfect recipe for a lazy Sunday. I literally had to do nothing but throw the ingredients in a bowl, and lightly toss it around. Then I spent a total of 10 minutes photographing it (again, WHO AM I??? I usually spend at least an hour), and left it out since my family was coming over for brunch. Ummm…it’s all gone. And I made a full on brunch. Even after eggs and waffles, they still kept reaching back into the bowl. It’s amazing how the simplest ideas can be the biggest crowd pleasers!

4 Ingredient, Ridiculously Easy Apple Cinnamon Snack Mix

I have to admit, I was didn’t exactly get excited about this month’s theme of dehydrated foods for The Recipe ReDux. It’s just not something I really do, but I do loooove me some dried apple chips. In fact, I could snack on them all day long, so I threw this baby together in seconds, and it has instantly become a household favorite. Crunchy cinnamon almonds, Apple Cinnamon Chex (I’m obsessed with that stuff), pecans, apple chips and extra cinnamon–it’s the perfect, simple fall snack!

Ridiculously Easy 4 Ingredient Apple Cinnamon Snack Mix

Prep Time: 1 minute

Total Time: 1 minute

Yield: 2 cups

Serving Size: 1/4 cup

Ridiculously Easy 4 Ingredient Apple Cinnamon Snack Mix

This apple cinnamon snack mix comes together in seconds with just 4 ingredients and no cooking, chopping or prepping required! It's also super addicting--put it out at your next party, and it will be gone in minutes!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Apple Cinnamon Chex
  • 1 cup dehydrated apple chips, broken into pieces
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon roasted almonds
  • 1/2 cup pecans (roasted or raw)
  • extra cinnamon, if desired

Instructions

  1. Gently toss all ingredients together in a large bowl and serve immediately. Leftovers may be stored in an airtight container for about 2 weeks.
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Vanilla Bean Snickerdoodles + a $500 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

Vanilla Bean Snickerdoodles {vegan & gluten-free}

Classic cinnamon sugar snickerdoodle cookies made with bold vanilla sugar. Crunchy on the outside with the perfect soft baked texture inside. Vegan and gluten-free, so almost everyone can enjoy!

Psssst: There is a really sweet giveaway at the end of this post that you don’t want to miss!

Vanilla Bean Snickerdoodles {vegan & gluten-free}

The other day I had a craving for sugar cookies. I almost never make sugar cookies, so it was weird. I asked Steve if he thought that sounded too plain. He thought about it for a second, and then, overly proud of himself for his creative contribution, he said “What about cinnamon sugar cookies???” Silly boy, those are snickerdoodles, and yes, they are awesome.

Vanilla Bean Snickerdoodles {vegan & gluten-free}

I have always been a huge snickerdoodle fan. Have you ever had those huge ones at Paradise Bakery? I can’t even handle them. I’m pretty sure they use something really awful like shortening to get the texture that perfect.

Vanilla Bean Snickerdoodles {vegan & gluten-free}

And can we talk about how my screen keeps yelling at me with that awful red squiggly line every time I type the word snickerdoodle? Snickerdoodle, snickerdoodle, snickerdoodle. I even googled it to make sure I wasn’t spelling it wrong. Get with the program, computer, and stop yelling at me!

Vanilla Bean Snickerdoodles {vegan & gluten-free}

At Healthy Living Summit, my BBFF {blog-best-friend-forever} Nicole gave all the girls in our room this amazing vanilla sugar. It was love at first site smell.

Vanilla Sugar via foodiemisadventures.com

Such a simple idea, but a really easy way to take your baked goods to the next level, especially if you’re as vanilla bean obsessed as I am. More than anything–chocolate, peanut butter, even fro yo, I love all things vanilla bean. It’s such a distinct, clean flavor, and you don’t see it as often as you would think.

Vanilla Bean Snickerdoodles {vegan & gluten-free}

I thought a lot about what I wanted to use it for, and eventually decided snickerdoodles were the perfect vehicle–with the vanilla sugar baked inside and a crunchy, sweet cinnamon vanilla sugar coating, you get the most out of the vanilla flavor. These were some of the best cookies I’ve ever made, and everyone I gave them too was a huge fan. They have the same perfect texture as my chai snickerdoodles that I loved so much, with just the twist of extra vanilla flavor. They are definitely a must for your holiday cookie exchanges!

Vanilla Bean Snickerdoodles

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 2 1/2 - 3 dozen

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Vanilla Bean Snickerdoodles

Classic cinnamon sugar snickerdoodle cookies made with bold vanilla sugar. Crunchy on the outside with the perfect soft baked texture inside. Vegan and gluten-free, so almost everyone can enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups gluten-free baking blend (or 2 cups white whole wheat flour)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • dash salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup apple butter
  • 3/4 cup vanilla sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • For coating:
  • 1/4 cup vanilla sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together apple butter, vanilla sugar, maple syrup, and almond milk until well combined. Add vanilla, then add dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
  4. In a wide, shallow bowl, combine remaining vanilla sugar and cinnamon for the coating. Lightly spray hands with nonstick spray, then roll dough into one inch balls. Roll in the sugar mixture to coat completely, then transfer to baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. They may look underdone, but do not over bake. They will set more as they cool. Let stand for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

If you do not have vanilla sugar, you can easily combine the seeds with 1/2 vanilla bean with your total 1 cup sugar before baking. Mix together thoroughly, then divide out your 1/4 cup for coating.

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Giveaway details:
The giveaway will be open from Friday December 6th, 2013 until Wednesday December 11th, 2013 (@ 11:59pm EST). You must be 18 years old to enter and you must live in the USA. One winner will receive a $500 Amazon gift card.

Please check out my fellow healthy recipe blogging buddies that are also hosting! They all have amazing recipe, beautiful photos, and lots of greatness to share with you!

Healthy Seasonal Recipes | Running to the Kitchen | Yeah…imma eat that | The Adventures of MJ and Hungryman | Tasty Yummies | Real Food Whole Health | Texanerin Baking | Beard and Bonnet | With Food + Love | So…Let’s Hang Out | Healthy Green Kitchen

Apple Cinnamon Puppy Chow

Apple Cinnamon Puppy Chow #glutenfree

Insanely addicting sweet cinnamon puppy chow with crunchy apple chips–the perfectly sweet fall snack, and an awesome gift!

Apple Cinnamon Puppy Chow #glutenfree

So we’ve established how I have the maturity of approximately a 6 year old. On a good day. Also, kind of the taste buds…minus my love for vegetables. I’m just a…n eccentric 6 year old. ;)

Apple Cinnamon Puppy Chow #glutenfree

Ever since before I learned to cook, I LOVED baking around the holidays. I would make a huge batch of puppy chow and put it in everyone’s stocking. It was kinda my thing. Such a simple little treat, but people went crazy for it! I never even strayed from the simple original recipe either until last year. I made a batch with cookie butter and a batch with nutella. I can’t even go there. They were ridiculous.

Apple Cinnamon Puppy Chow #glutenfree

But ya know what? I ended up falling equally in love with this batch! The apples bring a little tartness that cuts some of the super sweetness from the white chocolate and powdered sugar. Not to mention, apples + pb? It’s only the world’s greatest combo. Add a healthy (and I’m talking serious here, people) dose of cinnamon, and it’s kinda dreamy. In the way a little kid (AKA me) finds foods dreamy. The simplest no brainer foods that just bring you a happiness. Not like this girl’s bike apparently <—never gets old.

Apple Cinnamon Puppy Chow #glutenfree

I have been obsessed with those Apple Cinnamon Chex for a good year now. I put them on my Greek yogurt every.single.day. and while I know they are just a half step up from fruit loops, I just love them, and I can’t go without them. It’s only fitting that they would be a part of this perfect puppy chow. And the best part? Puppy chow literally takes all of 10 minutes to make. Just make sure you have lots of friends to give it to, otherwise you will find yourself with a stomach ache, and those slight pangs of regret after you realize you just polished off the entire batch in 24 hours. ;)

Apple Cinnamon Puppy Chow

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: approx 12 cups

Apple Cinnamon Puppy Chow

Insanely addicting sweet cinnamon puppy chow with crunchy apple chips--the perfectly sweet fall snack, and an awesome gift!

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips (or cinnamon chips, or butterscotch chips…)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 9 cups Apple Cinnamon Chex cereal
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon
  • 3 oz apple chips, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine peanut butter, coconut oil and white chocolate chips until fully melted and combined, stirring constantly. Slowly fold in cereal, mixing gently until cereal is fully coated.
  2. Transfer to a large trash bag or paper bag and pour in powdered sugar and cinnamon. For lack of a better term, shake the heck out of it! Just keep shaking it around (make sure the top is fully sealed! ;) ) until everything has come together. Lay out to cool on parchment paper. Evenly sprinkle chopped apple chips in with cooling puppy chow. Store fully cooled in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Notes

You can easily make this recipe vegan by using vegan white chocolate if desired.

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Autumn Spiced Toddy (Cold-brewed Iced Coffee)

Autumn Spiced Toddy

Easy & smooth cold-brewed iced coffee spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice & cloves. 

Autumn Spiced Toddy

Lately I’ve been wondering if it’s time to start acting like a grown up. I can’t even tell you what that means, because I just act like, well, me. The other day someone thought I was wayyy younger than I am (this isn’t even including the almost daily basis in which I’m mistaken for a student), and although this should be a compliment (YAY!! You didn’t notice those lines decorating my forehead!), I immediately got into my head thinking “OMG do I need to start acting like I’m in my *gulp* late 20’s?”

Autumn Spiced Toddy

Again, not that I could even tell you what that means. But sometimes I feel like maybe I need to stop talking like a teenager, getting upset when children beat me at games, and locking my husband out of our room so I can win at the who gets into bed first game. That’s a whole other story that I should probably be embarrassed of, but I’m not because I have the maturity of a 6 year old.

Autumn Spiced Toddy

I find this whole “growing up” and “maturing” business incredibly confusing. I guess I just assumed it would happen naturally, but I’m starting to wonder if it’s something people make a conscious effort to do? You know, like washing dishes (something I find equally appalling).

Autumn Spiced Toddy

But then on the other hand, I go to bed at 9 pm, I make my own coffee and I even pretend I’m fancy and call it toddy. That really is the name for cold brew, but I feel like it’s this secret coffee snob name that no one really knows about. I am totally a coffee snob, but in an all inclusive name. Feel free to join me in my snobbery and use words no one else knows. ;)

Autumn Spiced Toddy

There are few DIY projects I love more than making a huge batch of toddy. It is ridiculously simple, and not a single drop ever goes to waste. It’s one less thing I have to worry about in the morning. My coffee routine is simply fill my glass with ice, pour in toddy, add some almond milk and grab a straw. Nothing to prep the night before, and I never have to worry about running out of time to feed my caffeine addiction.

Autumn Spiced Toddy

Of course, sometimes I like to spice things up. One of my favorite local coffee shops offers spiced toddy this time of year (although I’ve never actually tried it there), and it always sounded so delicious. I am a huge fan of pumpkin spiced lattes, and pretty much any fall coffee drink you can imagine, so I wanted to incorporate my favorite flavors right into my cold brew.

Autumn Spiced Toddy

I was a little worried I wouldn’t be able to taste the spices over the bold flavor of the coffee, but they shine through without being over powering. You can always add more if you want a bolder spice flavor, but I like the nice hint that adds depth–it makes you wonder what’s different about this coffee, and why it tastes special.

Autumn Spiced Toddy

Adding the spices doesn’t really take any extra time–just add them right into your batch while it sits. I used a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves. You could also add ground ginger, cardamom (for a chai flavor), or any other spices you want. If you want to see detailed instructions with step-by-step photos on how to make your iced coffee, check out this post!

Autumn Spiced Toddy (Cold-brewed Iced Coffee)

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 24 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 12-15 cups

Serving Size: 1 cup

Autumn Spiced Toddy (Cold-brewed Iced Coffee)

Simple & easy cold brewed iced coffee seasoned with warm, comforting fall spices.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb good quality bold coffee, coarsely ground
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 2 gallons water

Instructions

  1. Pour ground coffee into a 2.5 gallon airtight container. Add spices. Top with 2 gallons filtered water. Pat down the top to ensure all coffee is incorporated. Cover and store for 24-48 hours (the longer it brews, the stronger it will be).
  2. Scoop out as much of the grounds as possible with a fine mesh strainer. Rinse strainer, then cover with a double layer of cheesecloth. Place covered strainer over a 1 gallon jug Use a measuring cup to pour coffee over your covered strainer to filter any remaining grounds. Repeat until jug is mostly full, then repeat with a second 1 gallon jug. If your coffee begins to have trouble filtering through, change your cheesecloth out for a fresh one.
  3. To serve, fill glass with ice and add 1-2 inches of water. Add coffee, and any desired cream or sweetener.
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White Chocolate & Cinnamon Chip Banana Cake

White Chocolate & Cinnamon Chip Banana Cake

I want to tell you about one of my favorite nights ever in life.

White Chocolate & Cinnamon Chip Banana Cake.jpg

I was training for my first half marathon, Steve and I invited Kara, Charlie and Hermano over for dinner to celebrate Long Run Day. It’s a real holiday when you’re training. Trust me.

White Chocolate & Cinnamon Chip Banana Cake.jpg

We went to Whole Foods and each picked out our meat of choice, and I made a sweet potato hash on the side. We ate a delicious dinner paired with lots of dark, sweet beer (my favorite), and then we watched the Muppets Christmas Carol. It was December, and that is pretty much my favorite holiday movie.

White Chocolate & Cinnamon Chip Banana Cake

Around the middle of the movie, we all started to want dessert. I was maybe, kind of, a little…tipsy. I usually at least follow a base recipe for an idea of liquid/flour/leavening agent ratio, but I didn’t measure a single thing. I flew by the seat of my pants, and hoped for the best.

White Chocolate & Cinnamon Chip Banana Cake

Well, Hermano has been obsessed ever since. He calls it his favorite dessert I’ve ever made. Although, like my husband, I feel like he says that a lot. ;) Anyway, he’s been asking me to recreate for the last year, and I kept telling him I didn’t know how.

White Chocolate & Cinnamon Chip Banana Cake

Last weekend, he performed in the southwest regionals concert. He got second chair as a sophomore! He was also asked to play with the choir. I was feeling like a super proud sister, so Steve and I surprised him with a steak from Whole Foods, and I told him I could make him whatever he wanted for dessert. He, again, requested “that one thing….with the banana…” He has a way with words.

White Chocolate & Cinnamon Chip Banana Cake

So again, I decided to wing it. This time I measured, but I just made it up as I went, and hoped for the best. I had no intentions of photographing it, or blogging about it, but after one bite, I knew it was too good not to share. Hermano immediately confirmed that this was the dessert he wanted. I know I changed it up a little, but the idea was similar, and the cream cheese frosting just took it to the next level.

White Chocolate & Cinnamon Chip Banana Cake

Sweet, tender, soft and gooey banana cake filled with white chocolate and cinnamon chips, and topped with rich cream cheese frosting. I don’t know how I ever doubted the success of this dessert! Whenever I make things up as I go, I almost always have a moment where I decide I’ve “ruined it”, or it’s a total flop, but usually it’s just my silly anxieties. Now I know I had absolutely nothing to worry about here!

White Chocolate & Cinnamon Chip Banana Cake

 

White Chocolate & Cinnamon Chip Banana Cake

yield 16 servings

  • 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • dash salt
  • 2 very ripe large medium bananas
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp butter extract (optional)
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon chips

Cream cheese frosting:

  • 4 oz reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp light whipped butter
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8×8 pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and extracts. Mix in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in white chocolate and cinnamon chips.
  3. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish and bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack.
  4. Meanwhile in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Slowly, 1/4 cup at a time, beat in powdered sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowl when necessary. Beat in vanilla.
  5. Remove completely cooled cake from baking dish and top with cream cheese frosting. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Cinnamon Raisin Sunflower Seed Butter

Cinnamon Raisin Sunflower Seed Butter #vegan #glutenfree

Cinnamon Raisin Sunflower Seed Butter #vegan #glutenfree.jpg

 

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, there are a few things you’ll know about me.

Cinnamon Raisin Sunflower Seed Butter #vegan #glutenfree.jpg

 

1. I am addicted to nut/seed butters. Peanut, almond, pistachio, macadamia, pecan, sunflower….you name it, I love it. and 2. I am obsessed with all flavors of PB&Co, but my two favorites are white chocolate wonderful and cinnamon raisin swirl.

Cinnamon Raisin Sunflower Seed Butter #vegan #glutenfree

 

It’s funny, sometimes I have ideas floating around in my head for months before I get around to making them, and sometimes I just go to the kitchen to get a glass of water, and before I know it, I’m whipping up some new recipe that I had no plans on making. We were out of most of our nut butters, so I stuck some sunflower seeds in the food processor to make more, and before I knew it, this came out!

Cinnamon Raisin Sunflower Seed Butter #vegan #glutenfree

 

Okay, maybe not before I knew it. I must confess that sunflower seeds took longer to process, and form a nut butter than anything I’ve tried before. BUT with patience (and overheating my food processor), I finally got the result I was looking for! Thick, creamy, slightly sweet, with the bold flavor of cinnamon, and sweet, soft raisins in the mix. It was well worth the wait.

Cinnamon Raisin Sunflower Seed Butter #vegan #glutenfree

 

I’ve learned a little bit of patience since I first started making my own nut butters. I used to quickly get frustrated that it wasn’t coming together quickly enough, and add oil to help it along. Well, I’ve learned that *most* of the time, it really isn’t necessary. Most of the time, if you are patient, it will come together on it’s own, but patience isn’t really my forte, so I recommend spending the time while you wait reading a book, or blogging, or making dinner to keep yourself occupies. ;)

Cinnamon Raisin Sunflower Seed Butter #vegan #glutenfree

 

In the end, it’s 100% worth the wait. Pinky promise.

 

Cinnamon Raisin Sunflower Seed Butter

  • 8oz roasted sunflower seeds (I used salted, if you don’t, add a pinch of salt)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1-2 tbsp brown sugar (depending on how sweet you like it. I used 1 1/2, but I love sugar, and could have easily added more…)
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Directions:

  1. Place sunflower seeds in your food processor. Blend for 3-4 minutes at a time (less if your food processor starts to sound like it needs a break–give it one!), scraping down the sides of the bowl in between. Eventually, sunflower seeds will form a paste-like consistency, then finally a nut butter consistency. This took me about 30 minutes.
  2. When seeds have reached your desired texture, add cinnamon and brown sugar to food processor, and blend to combine. Start with 1 tbsp brown sugar, and add the rest at your discretion.
  3. Remove sunflower seed butter from food processor and fold in raisins. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. I do not refrigerate mine, but you may if you like.

Skinnified Sunday: Apple Cinnamon Crumb Muffins

Skinnified Apple Cinnamon Crumb Muffins via Ari's Menu

A couple of weeks ago after one of our Monday runs, we got back to Nicole put the most amazing muffin in my hands to send me off with. It was drool worthy, and let’s just say it didn’t even last my 3 mile drive home.

 

Good friends end runs with muffins. Just sayin’. Actually, I’m a little bit surprised that spending so much time with an other food blogger hasn’t caused both of us to gain 100 lbs. That girl is always giving me delicious things to try like these. So.much.food.

These were actually fairly healthy already, so it didn’t take much tweaking, but ya know what I learned? There is no substitute for butter in a crumb topping. Well, I’ve seen some people use coconut oil, but there is no “low fat” option. UNLESS YOU KNOW THE SECRET?!?!?! I tried light whipped butter–no dice. I tried pumpkin puree and ended up with a goopy mess, so I finally sucked it up and told myself that using 3 tbs for 1.5 dozen muffins was not the end of the world. So there. I used real butter. I actually couldn’t believe I had any in my house, but I dug in the back of the fridge, and there it was in all it’s butter glory.

Just call me Paula Dean, I guess. ;)

I was super happy that my muffins came out just as delicious as the original, and they were definitely my tean’s favorite. Chunks of apple in the middle with a crumbly cinnamon streusel top? You just can’t go wrong there!

Ya know, in case you wanted to be ALL UP IN THIS MUFFIN’S BUSINESS.

 

Original recipe via Foodie Misadventures

My Swaps:

  • White whole wheat flour for all purpose (+fiber, + protein)
  • Less sugar
  • Reduced fat buttermilk for regular (-fat, -calories)
  • Apple sauce for canola oil (-fat, -calories)
  • Liquid egg substitute for real egg (-fat, calories, -cholesterol)
  • 1/2 streusel topping (-fat, -calories, -sugar) <—I made the all of it at first, but there was SO MUCH that I only ended up using about half
Skinnified Apple Cinnamon Crumb Muffins
yield 1 1/2 dozen

  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • dash salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground all-spice
  • 1 cup reduced fat buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large apples, peeled and diced (I used gala, but honey crisp would be AMAZING)
For the cinnamon crumb topping:
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 tbs white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tbs butter, melted
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 muffin tins with 18 paper liners. Spray lightly with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and all-spice. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, applesauce, egg substitute, and vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until just combined. Do not over mix. Gently fold in the apples until just combined.
  3. To make the crumb topping, in a small bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and melted butter. Mix with a spoon (or your fingers…) until crumbly.
  4. Fill the prepared muffin pans 3/4 full with batter. Evenly sprinkle each muffin with crumb topping. Bake for 20 minutes, or until muffins are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve immediately or store in an air tight container.

 

Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Muffins

Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Muffins via Ari's Menu

Ultra-soft whole grain pumpkin muffins filled with a sweet and spicy cinnamon sugar swirl.

The weekend before last, most of my team was completing their longest training run bright and early Saturday morning. Even though I had already completed my 20 miler the day before, I wanted to go cheer on my friends, and Susan had ordered some muffins for the team to celebrate all of the hard work we’ve put in over the last 4 months.

Obviously I had to bring something pumpkin, and these were a huge hit! Of course, I had to taste one before sending them off, so I shared one with my pumpkin hating husband who loved them just as much as I did! I don’t know know if it was the pumpkin, or the perfect amount of baking time, or what, but the texture of these muffins was absolute perfection!

They are so light and fluffy and the cinnamon swirl really spices them up perfectly!

And GUESS WHAT!!! This was the first time I took all my own pictures without my fancy camera husband around to even help me get my settings and everything adjusted. 100% me (and, you know, the fancy camera helps a little ;) ). I feel like I know absolutely nothing about photography, so I was thrilled at how these came out!! I’m really excited to learn be learning more, and getting a little more self sufficient on the photography end, since it is such a big part of the blog.

Anyway, back to the muffins! They would be the perfect treat to wake up to on Thanksgiving morning for a quick and easy breakfast while you prepare for family and the big day. Cut them in half, slather them with pumpkin butter because there really is no such thing as too much pumpkin! Trust me.

These babies will definitely be a fall (well, pretty much year round since I’m an all season pumpkin lover) staple in my house!

Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Muffins

Yield: 1 dozen

Serving Size: 1 muffin

Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tablespoon milled flax seed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • dash salt
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 1 cup reduced fat buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line 12 muffin tins, then spray lightly with nonstick spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, flax seed, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, beat 1/2 cup sugar and pumpkin puree, vanilla extract and egg substitute until well-combined.
  4. Alternate adding dry ingredients/buttermilk to wet ingredients (flour mixture, buttermilk, flour, buttermilk, flour).
  5. Fill muffin tins 1/3. In a small bowl, whisk remaining 2 tbsp sugar with cinnamon. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar evenly over the top of the batter. Top with remaining batter.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Let stand for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Notes

Ultra-soft whole grain pumpkin muffins filled with a sweet and spicy cinnamon sugar swirl.

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Pumpkin Spice Churro Bites

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One of my favorite things about going places like Disneyland, well, aside from the fact that I am freakishly obsessed with Disneyland, was always the churro stand.

Crispy on the outside, and warm and gooey on the inside. How can anyone not like churros??? Seriously. They are so soft on the inside, I used to be convinced that there was actually a filling. I didn’t quite understand the depths, and amazingness of deep frying. Don’t worry, I get it now. Deep frying = instant texture success. Sad, but true.

However, we all know greasy, oily, deep fried food and I are not besties, and, clearly, I need churros in my life. These things are the real deal. Crispy and cinnamony on the outside, while still gooey on the inside with a hint of pumpkin. Pumpkin + cinnamon = always delicious.

Also, why are all foods in life not served dipped in chocolate? That sounds like the cure for all things bad in the world. War. World hunger. People you don’t like. Just serve them dipped in chocolate.

Okay, don’t dip people in chocolate. That’s weird. I am, at least it’s definitely weird if you plan to eat them. This isn’t Silence of the Lambs or anything. In fact, I don’t even like scary movies. And this has taken a turn for the weird, so um, where was I? Chocolate. Cinnamon. Pumpkin. Churros. Mini. Oh yes, they’re mini. Which means you can eat 10 churros instead of 1. We all know I like to eat in volume, so that is obviously a plus.

Okay, before we get to the recipe, I have to tell you a secret about how I messed these up the first time. I made the bites, all was going well, but then I mixed the butter with the cinnamon sugar instead of dipping and rolling. Needless to say, it was delicious, but not quite what I was going for. Also messy, very messy. However, if you don’t mind mess, and don’t care what they look like, I would say that is an equally delicious way to achieve churro love :)

Pumpkin Spice Churro Bites adapted from Erica’s Sweet Tooth yield approx 3 dozen

For the churros bites:
  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • dash pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 egg substitute
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
For the cinnamon sugar topping:
  • 1/4 cup light whipped butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp cinnamon
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a pan of mini muffin tins with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.  Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat sugar and pumpkin together. Add egg substitute and vanilla. Beat until well combined.
  4. Slowly alternate adding the flour mixture and milk, starting and ending with the flour.  Mix until just incorporated.
  5. Use an extra small cookie scoop to fill each muffin tin and bake for 10-15 minutes (depending on how small your cookie scoop is), or until just golden brown.
  6. While the churro bites are baking, melt butter in a small bowl and combine cinnamon and sugar in a shallow dish. When churro bites are finished, immediately remove from the pan and dip each bite in the butter and roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container for 2-3 days.

Cinnamon Toast Graham Cracker Cookies

What's that you say? Each of those big gooey cookies only has 75 calories? Oh okay, then I feel less bad about the 3 I demolished today ;)

I have a lot of ideas. Sometimes they turn out okay, sometimes they turn out terrible, and sometimes I want to bring cookies to absolutely everyone I know so that they can enjoy the deliciousness. Sometimes I even surprise myself with how delicious something can be, while still being moderately healthy. I mean, these aren’t a great source of nutrients. They are dessert. However, with only 1/4 cup of light butter and 1/2 cup of sugar in the entire batch + being whole grain, I’d say they’re not too shabby on the health scale.

What's that you say? Each of those big gooey cookies only has 75 calories? Oh okay, then I feel less bad about the 3 I demolished today ;)

My very favorite thing about the way these came out is the texture. Slightly crunchy on the outside, while gooey and doughy on the inside with the crunch of graham cracker throughout and an extra crunch of cinnamon cereal on top. Happy birth week to me!!!! Yes, I like to celebrate my birth for months weeks at a time. What can I say? I love my life, and I feel like it’s something to celebrate. To celebrate you wonderful people who are in my life, the goal is to do lots of baking this week. My way of saying you all make my life feel worth celebrating!

Cinnamon Toast Graham Cracker Cookies

yield about 2 dozen cookies

inspired by this recipe

  • 1/4 cup light whipped butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup fat free cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup honey apple butter (I was out of apple sauce and I ended up LOVING this substitution!)
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup Splenda
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup cinnamon whole wheat graham cracker crumbs
  • 1-2 tsp cinnamon
  • dash salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • approx 48 pieces organic whole grain copy cat of Cinnamon Toast Crunch (my fav is Cascade Farm Cinnamon Crunch)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Beat butter, cream cheese and apple butter together in a large bowl.
  3. Add brown sugar and Splenda, and beat until fluffy.
  4. Beat in vanilla, egg substitute, cinnamon, and baking soda.
  5. Add flour and graham cracker crumbs and beat until just combined.
  6. Use a cookie scoop (or your hands) to drop dough onto a large baking sheet in about tablespoon amounts. This dough is not super sticky, so you could also just spray a wide tablespoon and use that.
  7. Flatten slightly and press 2 pieces of cinnamon cereal on top of each cookie.
  8. Bake 8-10 minutes until just set, then remove and let stand 5-10 minutes to finish baking themselves.
  9. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely.