Monday, July 26, 2010

Peanut Butter Crusted Sweet Potato Fries

I've mentioned before how much I enjoy Amanda's blog, Fake Ginger. I find her recipes to be unique and appealing, and these sweet potato fries were no exception. Combining two of my favorite foods and calling it dinner? Sweet! I made these on a night when I had promised Joe steak pinwheels. I don't eat steak, and I knew that he wouldn't touch these fries, so I made these for myself. And ate them all. They were so good! I used crunchy natural peanut butter and it complimented the slight sweetness of the potatoes perfectly. These need no condiments at all - they are perfect as they are.

Peanut Butter Crusted Sweet Potato Fries

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into thin fry-like strips
3 tablespoons chunky peanut butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

Preheat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium size bowl, mix together the peanut butter, olive oil, and salt. Take sweet potatoes and toss in bowl with your hands until fully coated. Line up on baking pan and cook at 400F for 20 minutes. Flip and bake for another 10 – 20 minutes or until crisp.

Snickerdoodle Blondies

Like most people, when I think of snickerdoodles I think of Christmas. Snickerdoodles are one of the cookies I make each holiday season. They're not my favorites - my heart belongs to peanut butter blossoms - but I just feel like they are quintessential to Christmas. So I surprised myself by by rushing right out and making these snickerdoodle blondies. In July. But when I saw them on Michelle's blog I thought they looked so good I couldn't resist. I've been all about the bar cookies recently, and I knew I had all the ingredients in the house. I literally made these about an hour after I came across them in my Google Reader. And I'm glad I did! Not only did these smell awesome while they were baking, but they tasted exactly like my holiday snickerdoodles. Light and slightly tangy with that sweet/spicy topping. Yum! No need to wait until December for snickerdoodles - give these blondies a go to hold you over.

Snickerdoodle Blondies

2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan; set aside. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl; set aside. Beat together the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, and then the vanilla. Beat, scraping the bowl, until thoroughly combined. On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture until just combined. Give the dough a final stir with a spatula or wooden spoon to make sure the flour is incorporated. Spread the dough evenly into the pan (I found an offset spatula was the best tool for the job, as it’s a thick batter). Combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over the top of the batter. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the surface springs back when gently pressed. Cool completely before cutting. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Pineapple Coconut Bread

A few weeks ago my friends Colleen and Jenn brought their babies, Abbie and Owen, over for a play date with Charlie and Lily in our spalsh pool. Colleen brought hummus and chips and Jenn made some yummy spinach dip, so I wanted to contribute something sweet. I knew I wanted to make a quick bread of some sort, and I wanted it to have summery flavors. Like pineapple. I LOVE pineapple, and I had a big can of the crushed stuff in my pantry. After a little searching on All Recipes I decided on this one to make. Since it is swimsuit season after all, I chose to lighten it up a bit. I kept the butter, but used Egg Beaters in place of the egg and Splenda instead of sugar. I also substituted coconut for the walnuts to make it even more tropical-tasting.

This bread was delicious! It was tender and crumbly and just sweet enough. It was awesome warm with a bit of butter. I will definitely be making this again!

Pineapple Coconut Bread

2 eggs (I used Egg Beaters)
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup white sugar or Splenda Baking
1 cup crushed pineapple with juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9x5x3 inch loaf pan.
Beat eggs slightly. Add butter and sugar. Beat smooth. Stir in pineapple and vanilla.
In separate bowl put flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and walnuts. Stir well and pour into pineapple mixture. Stir to moisten. Pour into greased 9x5x3 inch loaf pan.
Bake in 350 degree F (175 degree C) oven for 1 hour. Test with toothpick. Let stand 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool and wrap.

Pool party!