The Baking Blog

You guys must wonder if all I do is bake and eat sweets these days! Yesterday, I mentioned baking as being my boredome-buster for being snowed in. I guess that’s not so surprising considering…well, I bake when I’m not bored, too. In fact, at this very moment, all I can think of is what I want to bake. And so, I’m sitting on my hands (or, typing this blog post if you want to be literal) because we have plenty of food in this house, and I know I have Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday to bake. Four days in a row without baking won’t be happening, so I figure I might as well give myself until Thursday to eat through Super-Charge Me cookies, cookie dough balls and muffins.

Had I mentioned how, after baking so much for friends and co-workers, all I wanted was some Super-Charge Me cookies? The craving was pretty intense, and I figured I had to make some for Santa on Christmas Eve so that he could be charged for his long night delivering joy and presents.

While nosing through my cupboard to see what I had in terms of dried fruit, I was reminded of an old obsession I had; dried apricots. I used to have dried apricots on a daily basis -how did I forget all about them?! They wound up being paired with roasted almonds in some good old-fashioned Super-Charge Me cookies. Hit the spot.

Is there something you used to have all the time, only to completely forget about it all of a sudden?

And yesterday, I made muffins. Mini muffins. When Ipopped these littlebabies out of the tin, I couldn’t stop ooh-ing and awww-ing, even shoving them in my mom’s face proclaiming “loooook at these little babies they’re so adorable!

I am officially wierd. You knew this.

My mother gave me Vive le Vegan! for Christmas, and naturally – I had to test it out. I was thinking muffins, and settled on the Orange-Poppyseed Muffins, but then when I was flipping through the desserts section, I saw coconut-lime cookies.

…Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Do you see where I’m going with this?

It had to be done, folks. I mean – who doesn’t cook with coconut and limes while there’s a blizzard outside? I realized afterwards how backwards I am. Here, in the middle of a blizzard, I am cooking coconut-lime poppyseed muffins while I should be standing over a pot of bubbling chili.

Ohhh, my life.

Before we get started, a few notes, mainly because I have this sudden obsession with bulleted lists lately:

  • They aren’t very pretty because I never bother smoothing out my muffin tops. Note to self: smooth out your muffin tops! We’ll just call them rustic.
  • If you bake these in mini-mini muffin tins you’ll probably die at the cuteness.

Coconut-Lime-Poppyseed Muffins

  • 1/2 c. + 2 T. ground oats
  • 1 T.¬† poppyseeds
  • 1 T. (generous) sugar
  • 1/4 c. shredded coconut
  • zest from one lime
  • 1/8 t. sea salt
  • 1/4 t. nutmeg
  • 1/4 c. white whole wheat flour
  • 2 T. coconut flour (or another 1/4 c. white whole wheat)
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • juice from one lime
  • 1 T. milled flaxseed
  • 1 t. chia seed
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 T. almond milk
  • 1 t. vanilla extract (I bet coconut extract would be good, though)
  • 1 T. coconut oil
  • 1/4 c. dried cranberries
  1. Preheat oven to 375*.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, flaxseed and chia seeds.
  3. In a large bowl,combine the ground oats, poppyseeds, sugar, coconut, lime zest, salt, nutmeg, flours, baking powder and baking soda. Tip: sift in the coconut flour and baking powder and soda.
  4. To the lime juice and flax mixture, add your remaining wet ingredients, stirring to combine. Stir in the coconut oil. Combine everything and stir until well combined. Fold in the dried cranberries.
  5. Spoon the batter into sprayed/nonstick muffin tins until 3/4s of the way full. Bake for 20 minutes (longer or shorter is depndent on the size of your muffins. My baby ones were pretty crispy on the outside after 17 or so, while the large ones I left in for twenty.)
  6. Now, pop those little babies in your mouth like they’re popcorn, while watching the violent snowstorm from inside your safe and humble abode.

Oh, and for what it’s worth – sitting on my hands to prevent myself from baking totally didn’t work. I started writing this post shortly after lunch to keep myself entertained. It’s not 3:35 and I had to do something. It’s still frigid outside, I did all of my cleaning yesterday, and I don’t feel like going out again, either. I’m still chilled from being at the barn all morning.

So, naturally, I convinced my mom she wanted a dessert. She didn’t really, but I needed an excuse, you know. I convinced her she wanted date squares. And when I mentioned it, she realized she wouldn’t mind some date squares after all.

Touch-dowwwwwnnnnn, Jessica!

She’s used to this game I play by now – me suggesting she wants a dessert or a snack or something. And then I play a guessing game, until I say something that she actually says “oh, yeah, okay!” to. Her mom used to make date squares, I guess – so I hope these are just as good!

I followed the recipe in Vive le Vegan, however I used orange zest instead of lemon, coconut oil instead of canola, and date syrup instead of molasses. I quite like them, myself Рthey are not too sweet, and have the subtle tones of orange in the creamy date layer. The oats in the subtly sweet crust are a nice touch, too.

My thoughts on the cookbook? Another great one to add to my collection! None of the recipes are so complex that they are off-putting, nor are any so simple that I sort of laugh and say “well gee, maybe I should write a cookbook.” They are all health-conscious but not in a restrictive way, and there is a good, diverse selection, too. Lastly, the ingredients are all pretty easy to find, save for tamari and barley flour – though I think I could find both of those things if I knew to look for it at the co-op. The author does give subs for the barley flour, luckily – but it does make me want to try baking with it!

Have you “read” any new cookbooks? What’s your favorite one, or a favorite “kind”? I enjoy reading my cookbooks from cover to cover, not just skimming recipes. I find it really gets my creative juices flowing, and helps to teach me what works with what, too.

I’ve also found that I enjoy all types – not necessarily just vegan cookbooks or just “healthy”cookbooks. In fact, I love flipping through magazines with recipes for meat or things that aren’t trying to be healthy, too – because it’s another take on marinades and dishes!


Filed under cooking, foodblog, healthy living, recipe, Uncategorized

23 responses to “The Baking Blog

  1. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – you are a baking MACHINE.
    I just got a new cookbook yesterday – Rose Elliot’s New Complete Vegetarian – and it’s sooo good! I now have some mojo back, and a ton o’ ideas swimming about my head :D

  2. The date bars look so good! I want one! I read cookbooks cover to cover too. There is so much great knowledge in a good cookbook! I love them all!

  3. You never ever fail to impress me with your incredible baking skills. You should seriously consider a career that would put them to good use!
    Haha what you do with your mum sounds like what I do with my brother – I keep suggesting things that he might like until he’s goes ‘oooh yeah please!’
    The date squares sound delicious – I love dates so so much :)
    I think I need to invest in some good cookbooks to inspire me again – I seem to be stuck in one of those ruts of having the same kind of foods. Can you recommend any??

  4. I think I spend just as much time as you looking for recipes or trying to figure out what I’ll bake next. Then it’s just a matter of when I’ll actually do it (I try to space it out).

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  6. Stefanie

    I have the urge to bake today too. It is just a matter of baking something that everyone will eat and that won’t go to waste. Those muffins are cute. The date bars sound interesting. I may have to try some on of these days.

  7. I read any and all cookbooks! Haha, my brother thinks every book I read is a cookbook because he knows how much I love them!

    They totally help to get the creative juices going and give me new inspirations on dishes to try, even if I don’t follow the recipe exactly!

  8. Hehe.. I love baking too! These next couple of days are going to be full of it for me, because I told my mom I would make tons of healthy muffins and freeze them for her so she can still have breakfast when I move out. Haha! I’m excited :P

    Erm… does Everyday with Rachael Ray count as a cook book? Because that’s the only one I read!

  9. I am basically in love with anything mini so I know I would be ooing and aw-ing at these. They ARE so cute! I just got Ani Phyo’s cookbook. I’m a bit intimidated by it, but it looks fun.

  10. ahh, I’ve been wanting that cookbook after browsing at it months ago! I just got “clean start” by terry walters for xmas and can’t wait to read more of it. I love it so far! I do love going through most cookbooks though!

  11. I bought Ryan a wonderful cookbook with Vegetarian recipes from around the world…I can’t wait to get back home to explore with him! I know we will find some creative and delicious recipes. I loved seeing all the goodies you made. Your mini muffins look adorable…and they are probably so fun to just pop into your mouth. I hope you are having a lovely week. Thank you for always sharing such great eats with me. Take care, sweet woman!

  12. I love baking and I love mini foods too! Lol
    Thats why I wish I was not GF so then I could have little baby sandiwch thins! So tiny and perfect!

  13. i totally recommend Veganomicon! your treats look fantastic!

  14. I wish I got a cookbook for Christmas :)
    Gotta try those muffins, I love poppyseeds in all kinds of things

  15. I got two cookbooks for Christmas, but I’m so cooked out after the big day that I’m waiting a bit to use them. I’ve already bookmarked a ton though!! I love just perusing cookbooks. We have a ton of French pastry ones that are absolutely mouthwateringly gorgeous.

  16. Vive le Vegan sounds like it has some great recipes. I love date squares!

    I got Clean Food by Terry Walters for Christmas and it has so many amazing recipes that I can’t wait to try out. I love that it is organized by season, so it makes it really easy to eat locally and in season! I really like healthy and sustainable-living cookbooks like that one, but I’m not restrictive with what I read either. I like any cookbook or magazine related to food!

    • was totally reading Clean Food bookage today and loving it!

      It’s funny that you had to convince your mom on the date squares. I’m so used to my family eating everything. Two words : teenage boys. Might as well be “black holes.”

  17. teenagehealthfreak

    barley flour is great- i use it all the time in pie crusts, cakes, cookies, etc. it works well with wheat, white wheat…it’s almost like an all purpose flour!! so i say it’s worth finding you some!! i constantly try to think of things i can make too!! my fave cookbook is Nourishing Traditions!! i absolutly love it!!! :)

  18. haha my mom wouldnt need convincing with ur date squares!! she LOVES DATE BARS LIKE CRAZY! wow urs are amazing! if she saw these she would say “Kelsey, now why cant you make them like her!!!” haha

  19. Your muffins look *fabulous.* And I do believe we think a lot alike, because I totally bake myself out of house and home when I’m either (a) bored or (b) stuck inside during a blizzard or (c) craving something special.

    I completely forgot about apricots too! I’ll have to pick up a bag today at the grocery store. :D

  20. Keep baking, Jessica! You are my inspiration :) .

    I’ve been baking like crazy these days, too. I baked so many things that we’ll probably have snacks till the end of January. I don’t even have time for blogging. I spent half of the day in the kitchen and the other half doing some crazy holiday stuff. But it feels sooo good!

  21. Pingback: Orange Date Cookies + GIVEAWAY!!! | Healthy Exposures

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