Category Archives: Breakfast

Back to School Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast Cookies

“Cookies” should probably be in quotation marks.  But we’ll get back to that in a second.

It’s back to school time for us already.  The summer went by so quickly I can’t even believe it’s over.  My oldest is now in 4th grade and my boys are starting preschool in a few days.  For all of 2.5 hours a week the baby will have me all to herself for the first time ever!  (The other 2.5 hours we’ll be at jazzercise like normal).

The weather is still summer like and I expect it will be for a few more weeks yet – which is great because there’s still a ton of stuff on our summer bucket list that we never got to do or only did once.  But with school back in session it has brought our household back to the old familiar daily grind.  The one punctuated by pick ups and drop offs and afternoon homework.  It’s time to get organized and efficient again after a glorious summer of “whenever”.

So this morning I made breakfast cookies.  It took me literally 3 minutes to mix them up and 9 to bake them.  I’ve never actually attempted anything like this before and they came out quite wonderfully!   Cookies normally start with a base of butter and sugar and these cookies contain neither.  They are substantial; soft, and cakey, and subtly sweet.  A perfect little protein-rich bite to get the kids off to school with good food in their tummies.

Speaking of good food – there are two kinds of “breakfast cookies” out there.  There are cookies masquerading as health food and there is healthy food masquerading as cookies.  These are definitely in the latter group.  Peanut butter, banana, honey, egg, and whole oats make up the bulk of these cookies.  They would also be fabulous with some chocolate chips sprinkled in but then, you know, we’d be backsliding into the world of dessert for breakfast.  (Which is fine for you and me but not for our children who have to learn stuff during the day :p)

Here they are straight out of the oven.  They’re kind of like what you’d get if peanut butter cookies and banana bread had a baby.  Does that make sense?

Sorry for the lack of pictures.  You know how I said these took sum total 12 minutes to make?  That didn’t include taking pictures throughout.  But they’re super easy to bring together so I’m sure you’ll be okay.  Now get going, I’m sure you have as much to do as I do right now!


Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast Cookies

(makes 1 dozen cookies)

1 over-ripe banana, mashed

1 egg

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

3 Tbsp clover honey

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup gluten free oats (can’t wait for the day Quaker can say theirs are, for now they are not)

1/2 cup all purpose gluten free flour mix  (or regular flour if you’re not GF)

2 Tbsp nonfat powdered milk

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, mash banana and beat together with egg, peanut butter, honey, and vanilla.   Combine dry ingredients (you really just want to make sure the baking soda is evenly distributed – I didn’t even get out a second bowl for this) and mix with the peanut butter mixture.

Spoon even mounds of cookie dough onto parchment lined cookie sheet.  Mixture will not be as stiff as a traditional cookie dough.

Bake 9 minutes.

Cool and serve.

Makes 1 dozen cookies.


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Filed under Breads, Breakfast, Cookies/Bars

Rhubarb Crumb Cake

I had a mad craving for some New York style crumb cake last week.  I obsessed over the idea for like, five days.  Which is weird since that’s about as much time as I’ve ever actually spent in NYC.  And whilst there I didn’t even have any crumb cake.  Hmmm.

Anyway… so this post is about the crumb cake, but more than that, it’s about this.

Rhubarb.  My most beloved vegetable-that-we-eat-like-a-fruit.  It grows well here in NWPA so we have several plants in our garden.  They come back every year and need very little care (my favorite kind of plant).

Have you ever gone to buy fresh rhubarb in the spring at the grocery store?  I don’t know how much it is where you are but around here it costs $6/pound.  (!!!) And it’s only available once in a while.  I don’t get why everyone doesn’t just grow their own.

Unless you are one of those people who’ve never had it or think you don’t like it.  I’ve come across you folk before.  I know.  It looks like celery.  And yes, the leaves are poisonous.  But it is a thing of beauty, a true sign of spring and all the fresh fruits and vegetables that will follow in it’s wake.  Made into a crisp, a pie, a cobbler, a coffee cake, it is sweet and tart and with a flavor all it’s own.  It goes delightfully with strawberries, raspberries, even apples.  I love it best on it’s own though.  Rhubarb pie is actually my favorite “fruit” pie.

My rhubarb in my garden often doesn’t get red.  Contrary to what you may read, there is nothing wrong with green rhubarb.  It just looks dreadful when baked into a pie with nothing else to redden it up.  Very soon, I’ll be putting up my strawberry rhubarb pie recipe.  But anyway, today, as you can see, I had some beautiful red rhubarb to pull out of my garden so I did.

First, mix up your dry ingredients.  To 140 grams of our gluten free flour blend we’re going to add 1/2 tsp Baking Powder, 1/2 tsp Baking Soda, and 1/4 tsp salt.  Whisk that all up and set it aside.

Next, in your mixer, combine 1/4 cup of oil with 1/2 cup of sugar.  Add an egg…

…1/2 tsp vanilla, and 1/2 cup sour cream.  (Blue nails!  Yikes!)

Turn the mixer down to low and add in the dry ingredients slowly.  Your batter will look like this when you’re done.

Spread the batter into a greased 8″x8″ pan.

Next, we’re going to chop up 2 cups of rhubarb and add a couple teaspoons of cornstarch, 1/4 cup of sugar (you really don’t need more in this case since we’re going to cover the whole thing in sugary crumbs in a second here), and 1/2 tsp ground ginger.  I had no idea until recently how well ginger suits rhubarb!  Cinnamon is wonderful too if you’re averse to ginger.

Toss that around until it’s all nice and coated and sprinkle it over the top of the batter.

Finally, let’s make the crumb topping.  Melt a stick of butter in a bowl and add 1/3 cup brown sugar (this is dark brown but you can use light if that’s what you have on hand), 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.  Once this is combined, you can start working in 250 grams of flour (whatever kind you use!).

It makes a fairly solid dough.  Now, the fun part.  Grab roughly equal size hunks of your ball of dough and put them all over the top of your beautiful rhubarb.  You can go as big or small as you like with the crumbs.  Your choice!

I left mine kinda big as you can see.  This is straight out of the (325 degree) oven about 45 minutes later.  The house smells AMAZING.

We totally didn’t wait until it was cool to cut into it.  Nom.  Sweet and tart and buttery.  This cake is soft and fragrant – such a wonderful early summer treat.  We ate it for dessert one night and then again for breakfast the next morning.  It’s versatile like that 😀

You know it’s going to come to this.


Rhubarb Crumb Cake

(cake adapted from Ina Garten, crumb topping adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

For the cake:

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup sugar

1 extra large egg

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 tsp vanilla

140 grams AP GF Flour Mix (or 1 cup of regular wheat flour)

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1/4 tsp salt

For the rhubarb filling:

2 cups sliced rhubarb

1/4 cup sugar

2 tsp cornstarch

1/2 tsp ground ginger

For the crumbs:
1/3 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

a pinch of salt

a stick of butter, melted

250 grams AP GF Flour Mix (or 1 3/4 cups regular wheat flour)


Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease an 8″x8″ glass baking pan.

For the cake – in a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or a hand mixer or a whisk – whatever you’ve got), mix the oil and sugar on medium speed.  Add the egg, sour cream, and vanilla.

Turn mixer down to low and slowly add in the dry ingredients, scraping down the sides to make sure it’s all incorporated.  Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth.

Combine sliced rhubarb, cornstarch, sugar, and ginger.  Toss to coat and spread in an even layer over the batter.

For the crumbs – combine brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, and salt with melted butter until homogenous.  Mix in flour until you have a fairly solid dough.  Tear off roughly equal size nuggets (you can really go as small or big as you like with the crumbs) to cover the rhubarb.

Bake about 45 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.

Allow to cool before cutting into.

Serves 9-12.

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Filed under Breakfast, Cakes, Desserts

Funnel Cake with Chocolate Hazelnut Cream Sauce

Soooo… I got a deep fryer for Christmas.  I can admit it.

I can admit it NOW, that is… in February.  It’s been hiding under the bench in my kitchen.  I’ve secretly wanted to get one for years but I didn’t want to be that lady.  The lady that deep fries oreos and wears a mumu.  You know who I’m talking about.

Anyway, my mom (who got me my deep fryer, btw) had one of these when I was a kid.  She only used it once in a long long while.  And to my knowledge she only ever made one thing with it – funnel cake.

Did your eyes just light up thinking about amusement park/county fair funnel cake?  With the powdered sugar and maybe a little chocolate sauce drizzled all over it???

If they didn’t I have to say I doubt your claims of American citizenship.  You know you love it.  And if you’re here because you’re gluten free then breathe a sigh of relief because you can do this too.  As good as doughnuts but so much easier.  And yes, this is a “sometimes food” to be sure…

But folks, let’s do this in honor of Fausnaught Day! (Coincidentally my mom’s favorite holiday as a child.  More on that in some other post…) It’s the German version of Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday/the day before Catholics give up something for lent.  It literally means “doughnut day”.  And it’s this Tuesday so let’s make some funnel cake people!

It would just be wrong not to.

The basis for the funnel cake is a basic pate a choux dough, the same stuff used to make cream puffs, eclairs, profiteroles, gougeres, etc.  It works well gluten free because it mostly consists of eggs, water, and butter and not a whole lot of flour.

Start by pouring one cup of water into a small saucepan.  That picture is from when I made a double batch.  Unless you’re feeding like 25 people just do as I say, not as I did.

Add in a half teaspoon of salt.

…and a stick of butter.  (I know.  Grab your Rosaries now.)

Bring that to a simmer over high heat.

Once simmering, turn the heat down to medium and quickly stir in 4 oz of flour.  Gluten free or regular flour a mi no me importa.

The flour will soak up the water quickly, leaving you with a glistening weirdly elastic dough that pulls away from the sides of the pot when you stir it.  Remove the pot from the heat for a couple minutes.  We want our dough to cool down just a bit before we add our eggs.

This is what happens to your dough after whisking in 4 extra large eggs one at a time.  Actually I used large eggs ’cause that’s what I had.  You use extra large though, okay?  Thanks.

Now for this next part you do NOT need a deep fryer.  If you have one that’s great.  Set it to 350 degrees.  Otherwise, just grab a large, heavy-bottomed pot and fill it with at least 2 inches of oil.  If you have a deep fry/candy thermometer to monitor the temp so much the better.  Canola oil works well here.  Don’t use olive oil (in case you were thinking about making this “healthy”).  It has a low smoke point and cannot be used in this case.

I used a spoon to drizzle my batter in but you could always just pour it from a pyrex with a spout or you could try piping it in.  All fine for this purpose.  The great thing about funnel cake is that it’s supposed to look like a big ol’ mess!  Cook it until it’s golden on all sides (being careful, as always, around hot oil – that means kids out of the kitchen!)

Ooooh!  So excited!

Grab a…what are these called again?  A sieve?  A strainer?  (Is this what happens as you get older?) One of THESE – and dust with powdered sugar.

Now for the extra fun/naughty part.  Grab some cream and that jar of Nutella sitting in your cupboard.  PLEASE tell me you keep a jar of Nutella in the house at all times!  If you just said “no” I beg you to put it on your grocery list immediately.  I promise you won’t regret it.  (Unless you’re allergic to hazelnuts, dairy, or chocolate of course!  Then you can just skip this last section altogether.)

Mix equal parts Nutella and cream.  I think I have about a 1/2 cup of each here.  Microwave for about 15 seconds…

…and mix until it becomes a glorious, warm, chocolatey sauce.

Now you could just drizzle the whole thing in the chocolate hazelnut sauce.  That would be wonderfully messy.  Or you could keep the bowl out and just let everyone dip.  That’s what we did.

If there is a heaven, I have to believe there is a guy there selling funnel cake…for free.

Happy Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday/Fausnaught Day everyone!

And enjoy!

Funnel Cake

1 cup water

1/2 tsp salt

1 stick butter

4 oz (weight) AP GF Flour Mix (or regular flour)

4 extra large eggs

powdered sugar for dusting

canola oil for frying


In a small saucepan heat water, salt, and butter over high heat until simmering.

Turn down the heat to medium and quickly whisk in flour.  Remove pot from the heat and let sit a couple minutes to cool slightly.

Add eggs in one at a time, stirring after each to incorporate before adding the next.

If using a deep fryer, follow the instructions that come with the machine and set at 350 degrees.  If using a large, heavy pot, fill it at least 2 inches deep with canola or peanut oil and heat to 350 degrees.  A deep fry/candy thermometer is a lifesaver here!  Otherwise it’s a guessing game trying to keep your oil at the temp you want it.

Pour/spoon/pipe in batter in swirls and cook until golden, flipping once very carefully.

Dust with powdered sugar

For the Chocolate Hazelnut Sauce:

Mix equal parts Nutella and cream (heavy/light it doesn’t matter).  Microwave on high for 15 seconds and stir to combine.  Serve alongside funnel cake for dipping.

Makes 2-3 good size funnel cakes.

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Filed under Breads, Breakfast, Cakes

Banana Bread

You know how they say you’re supposed to wait until the banana bread is cool before you try to cut into it?

Yeah, we can never wait either.  I very carefully cut that banana bread up there straight out of the oven.  I had hungry little people in my kitchen.

I made this banana bread last Sunday morning.  Best time of the whole week in my book.  It’s about the only time I get to be in the kitchen, by myself, baking whatever I please.  And last Sunday I had a bunch of very dark bananas that were begging to be mushed up and baked into a wonderfully fragrant, moist banana bread.

There she is!  Fresh out of the oven 🙂  Not as domed as a wheat based quick bread but otherwise almost identical in both flavor and texture.

If you are gluten free and you love banana bread count yourself lucky.  Quick breads are one of the EASIEST baked goods to replicate without gluten.  I have used a lot of different recipes for gluten free banana bread over the years.  There are lots of good ones.  This is the best one I’ve developed yet.  Is it the last one I’ll ever use?  Probably not.  But nonetheless, this is a great recipe that can be easily converted into a number of other breads or muffins.  The batter is very thick, more of a dough, really, which means it can support lots of yummy additions like blueberries for blueberry muffins or, hee hee, chocolate chips for chocolate chip banana bread!

Oh, and the other great thing – if you’re reading this and don’t do gluten free, just use regular flour in place of the gluten free flours.  That’s it.  I just made a bunch of jumbo blueberry muffins using this recipe with regular flour and they came out fabulously.  So either way – you’re good to go!

Oh…and…we all know how to make quick bread right?  Mix the wets, mix the drys, mix the two together and bake?  Good, glad we got that out of the way because I didn’t take step by step pictures this time.

Nom. So so good.  You’ll notice in the ingredient list a flour I haven’t used on here before.  Teff flour is made from the smallest grain in the world.  When it bakes it just about dissolves and gives the baked good an almost gelatinous quality.  I use it in conjunction with my all purpose flour blend for quick breads and muffins because it gives them that squooshy texture that we love.  You can find it in the gluten free aisle if you have one in your grocery store.  I buy the Bob’s Red Mill brand, I think.

Don’t let those black bananas go in the trash!  Go make some banana bread stat!

(And as always, you’re gonna need to grab that kitchen scale.  If you don’t have one go get one!  They’re not expensive and they are indispensable if you bake a lot.  Especially if you bake gluten free a lot.)

Banana Bread

1 stick butter, melted

6 oz sugar (3/4 cup)

6 oz (weight – not volume) sour cream

2 large eggs

1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 1/2 medium – it totally depends on the size of your bananas so use the measuring cup this time.  This is one thing I’ve just never measured on the scale.)

1 tsp vanilla

7 oz All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend

1 oz Teff Flour

1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1/4 tsp Baking Soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a large loaf pan with oil.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  (If you’re doing this with regular flour, just sub in 8 oz all purpose flour).

In a small bowl, combine melted butter, sugar, sour cream, eggs, mashed bananas, and vanilla.

Combine the wet and the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined.  Little lumps are okay.

Use a rubber scraper to move all batter into prepared pan.  The batter will be very thick.

Bake 45-50 minutes, until a tester stuck into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.

Allow to cool before cutting (…ideally).


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Filed under Breads, Breakfast

Apple Bacon Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze

So… I’ve had this idea rolling around in my head since last Sunday.  I wanted to do something sweet with bacon.  No so weird.  We’ve all discovered the accidental euphoria of maple syrup on bacon before.  So why not do it in a cake of some kind?  But how to do it?  I let my brain mull this over for several days before waking up one morning knowing exactly how to execute my plan.  I ❤ my brain.

This coffee cake is a variation of an adaptation of an Ina Garten recipe I came across over the summer.  I am nothing if not diligent about citing sources of inspiration.  So thanks to Food Network Magazine for getting the basic structure down – but this baby – she’s all mine.  It’s like your entire Sunday brunch rolled into one glorious cake.  The soft baked apples, the sweet pillowy cake.  Walnuts, bacon, maple glaze, the scents of cinnamon and sugar and vanilla filling the house.  There’s even eggs in it.  And bacon.  Did I mention the bacon?

Now, if you’re intrigued by the bacon but are at the same time afraid, I wouldn’t be offended at all if you told me you only put it on half.  Because you know what?  This would STILL be the finest coffee cake I ever made even without adding the crispy, salty bacon.  But take a walk on the wild side with me.  I promise you won’t regret it.  Unless you eat the whole thing.  Thaaaat you might regret.  I should say this definitely qualifies as a “sometimes” food.

Let’s get started shall we?

First, butter an 8×8 inch baking pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Next, fry up 6 pieces of bacon nice and crisp.  Inhale the wonderful smell.  This may be more like 8 pieces.  I had leftover bacon so I just used that.  Chop/crumble it up.   Set that aside.

Grab your cutting board and chef’s knife and chop up about 1/2 cup of walnuts.  Peel, core, and thinly slice a Granny Smith apple.  This is about an apple and a half right here.  I only used the one though.  Set those aside too.

Now, put a stick of room temperature butter and a cup of sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer (or just a bowl if using an electric mixer).

And whip it up on Med High speed 3-5 minutes until fluffy.

With the mixer running on low speed add your eggs.  I beat mine in a little bowl beforehand and drizzled them in.  You know how they always say “add eggs in one at a time”?  That’s so you don’t throw them all in at once and break the emulsion of your batter.  A broken batter isn’t the end of the world but the texture will be finer and more even if you don’t.

It’s hard to see in this picture (as the mixer is running) but my batter is nice and thick and emulsified here because I added my eggs in slowly.  Yay!  Now I’m adding my sour cream…and completely forgot what I was doing and just dumped the whole cup in at once.  Fail.

After that my batter turned into a million little bits of butter floating in liquid and I couldn’t get it back together.  Learn from my mistakes people.  That’s what I’m here for.  Anyway, now would be a good time to add in a teaspoon of vanilla…so do that.  That’s it for the wet ingredients.

Grab your best Disney Princess cereal bowl and mix 1/2 cup of brown sugar with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.  Set it aside for a minute.  I promise it’s all coming together in a second here.

There’s my scale again!  If you’re doing this cake gluten free, in a medium size bowl measure out 280 grams of all purpose gluten free flour mix.  If you’re doing this with regular (wheat) flour, you’ll need 2 cups.

Add in 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon EACH baking soda and baking powder.  (If you’ve seen one picture of a spoon with white powder in it, you’ve seen three.  Moving on.)  Also, if you’re doing this cake GF, add in 2 teaspoons of Xanthan Gum.    That’s all your dry ingredients so mix them all together now.

Now, let’s finally bring this bad girl together.  (All my foods are female.  I can’t begin to explain why that is.)  With the mixer on low, SLOWLY add in the dry ingredients to the wet.  Unless you like flour to fly around your kitchen, then by all means, dump it all in at once.

…until it’s all combined.  If you’re using regular wheat flour make sure not to overmix it.  That darn gluten will start acting up and give your cake an undesirable texture.  If you’re GF there’s no worries.  You can beat the hell out of this thing and it won’t bat an eye.

Take half your batter and spread it evenly into your buttered pan, completely covering the bottom.

Take half your apple slices and arrange them on top of the batter and then sprinkle about 2/3 of the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture evenly over the apples.

What I just said…do that all again.  Batter, apple slices, cinnamon/brown sugar.  Got it.  Toss the walnuts and the crumbled bacon over the top.  Where is that shot of the bacon?  Oh yeah.

Somebody was gettin’ grabby with the camera.  I gave up at that moment.

Now into the oven it goes for about an hour or until a tester/knife stuck in the middle comes out clean.

Here it is straight out of the oven.  I have already drizzled it with a super simple maple flavored glaze that just puts it over the top.  All you need for the glaze are a cup of powdered sugar, 1 Tbsp milk, 1/2 Tbsp melted butter, 1/2 Tbsp brewed coffee, 1/4 tsp Imitation Maple Flavor, and a pinch of salt.  Whisk it together and drizzle it all over the hot cake.

And the taste…heavenly.  Oh my God.  All the different textures with the crunchy nuts, the crisp bacon, the supple apples, the gooey sugary layer, the soft cake.  And the flavors – the savory and the sweet, that meld together so perfectly – it really is your whole brunch buffet in one dish.  The kind of yummyness that will make your world stop and your eyes roll back into your head with pleasure.  Bring it to your next potluck and I can guarantee people will ask for the recipe.

Apple Bacon Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze

280 grams all purpose gluten free flour mix (or 2 cups regular wheat flour)

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp Baking Powder

1tsp Baking Soda

2 tsp Xanthan Gum (if using GF flour)

1 stick butter, plus more for greasing the dish

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs, slightly beaten

1 cup sour cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and sliced thinly

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

6 pieces of bacon, cooked crisply and crumbled

1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1 tsp ground cinnamon

Maple Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar

1 Tbsp milk

1/2 Tbsp melted butter

1/2 Tbsp brewed coffee

1/4 tsp Imitation Maple Flavor

a small pinch of salt

Butter a square glass pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Chop walnuts and peel, core, and thinly slice the apple.  Set aside.

Fry 6 slices of bacon until crisp, drain on a paper towel lined plate and crumble.  Set aside.

In a small bowl combine brown sugar and cinnamon and set aside.

In bowl of stand mixer, mix butter and sugar on low until fluffy.  Add beaten eggs in slowly until incorporated.  Do the same with the sour cream and vanilla.

In a separate medium size bowl, measure out flour (using the scale if using anything other than regular wheat flour).  Add in salt, baking powder, baking soda, and xanthan gum (if using).  Whisk together thoroughly.

With mixer on low speed add dry ingredients to wet slowly until incorporated.

Spread half the batter in the pan.  Arrange half the apple slices on top and sprinkle with 2/3 of the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.  Repeat.

Top with chopped walnuts and bacon.  Bake for 50 minutes to an hour or until a knife stuck in the middle comes out clean.

Whisk together all the ingredients for the maple glaze and drizzle over the top of the hot cake.

Cool and serve.


Filed under Breakfast