Category Archives: Treats

Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins

It is no secret that I love to bake muffins. Who doesn’t love a fresh warm muffin with their morning coffee? Adding veggies to muffins is a great way to get those required veggies into your diet (or your toddler).

I decided to mix it up this time and make it an inside out piece of carrot cake. It is a lightened up recipe, using a mixture of whole wheat and all-purpose flour, golden raisins, oats, carrots, yogurt and applesauce. Using substitutes like applesauce and yogurt creates gives the muffins a nice, sweetened taste and moist texture. However, the consistency of these muffins will be a little chewier than a fluffy oil, flour and butter muffin.

These muffins would be just fine without the frosting middle, but for a little extra fun and a tiny bit of effort (and calories) it is well worth it!

Carrot Cake Muffins
1 C shredded carrot (about 2-3 medium-sized carrots)
1/2 C rolled oats
1/2 golden raisins, chopped
1/2 C whole wheat flour
3/4 C all-purpose flour
1/2 C brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1/2 C applesauce
1/2 C plain yogurt (regular or Greek-style)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon zest
1 8 oz package 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
2/3 C powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Add oats and raisins until combined. Set aside.

With an electric mixer, whisk eggs, applesauce, yogurt and vanilla. By hand, add carrots and lemon zest. Mix until combined.

Fold wet mixture into dry mixture until just combined.

With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until fluffy.

In a greased muffin pan, add one tablespoon of batter to each cup. Top with about one teaspoon of cream cheese frosting. Top with another tablespoon of batter. You will likely have a little bit of frosting left over.

Bake in oven for 30 minutes, turning pan half way through. Remove from oven and cool slightly on cooling rack.

Go ahead and sneak one right out of the oven, they are delicious warm!

Enjoy some more sweet and savory carrot recipes from these fabulous bloggers as part of Food Network’s Fall Fest!

Feed Me PhoebeRoot Vegetable and Black Bean Chili
Napa Farmhouse 1885Roasted Carrots With Chile and Agave
And Love It TooVegan Carrot Cake Coconut Macaroons
Virtually HomemadeThe Silver Palate’s Carrot Orange Soup
From My Corner of SaratogaCopper Pennies aka Glazed Carrots
The Heritage CookMaple Roasted Carrots, Apples and Onions
Made By MichelleCarrots and Caramelized Onions
Thursday Night DinnerBraised Carrots
HGTV GardensGarden-to-Table: Carrots
FN DishBest Carrot Sides for Thanksgiving



Filed under Breakfast, Healthy, Kid Friendly, Treats

Mini Rustic Apple Pies and Bake Sale Wrap-Up

A big thank you to everyone who came out last week to support Team IZ and the Children’s Tumor Foundation! The bake sale was a huge success thanks to all of you. We made over 100 bags, jars and wrappers of treats and sold out of all but about 15 of them. In total we raised $230 towards Team IZ. I’m grateful for and humbled by all of the support.

Some of the recipes of the bake sale will show up in future blog posts, but I wanted to send links to some of the other goodies, so you can make them at home!

Cake Batter Puppy Chow
Lemonade Chex Mix (I doubled the chocolate and butter mixture)
Snickerdoodle Blondies
Jumbo Blueberry Muffins

The item that flew off the table the quickest was the mini rustic hot apple pies. Now maybe it’s because of our name, or because one customer told me, “There are two things you can’t resist. Warm chocolate chip cookies and fresh apple pie.” Regardless, these pies were a hit and fun to make. The mini pies are great for a bake sale, or for a fun, different presentation for a dinner party.

Mini Rustic Apple Pies
Makes 8 pies

2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1 TBSP sugar
1 tsp salt
2 sticks butter, cold
1 C ice water (don’t use it all)

The key to making a good pie crust is keeping everything cold! So don’t attempt this in a hot kitchen on a 90 degree. Prior to making the dough, I put my metal bowl, knife and cutting board in the refrigerator to start it out right. Keep your butter in the fridge until the last minute.

Add ice to a cup of water and set aside.

Start by mixing flour, sugar and salt. Cut your butter into small, 1/2 inch pieces. Try not to touch the butter to make sure it doesn’t melt. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter into the flour mixture. Scoop and mix as you go, until the butter crumbly and to the size of a tiny pea.

Remove ice cubes from water. Begin to drizzle about 1/2 C of water into the mixture and mix with a rubber spatula. Continue to drizzle water, about 1/4 C more, until the dough begins to stick together. Gently work with hands to mold the dough. Split the dough into two disks and refrigerate for 2 or more hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease the mini pie pan.

When dough is chilled, flour up a board or flat surface, be generous so the dough doesn’t stick. Using a rolling pin, Gently press and roll upwards continually. Rolling dough takes some time, don’t beat it up. Move in a clockwise position until the dough is about 1/4 inch thick. Using a large cookie cutter or pie cutter (my mini pie pan came with one), cut out circles. Place the dough into the pie pans, molding them to the shape. Add apple filling and top with another circle of crust, pressing the top dough with the bottom dough. Sprinkle with sugar, if desired.

Bake pies in oven for 35-45 minutes. Rotate halfway through. Pies should be golden brown. Allow to cool a bit before removing from pan.

Apple Filling
10 apples, cored and sliced
1 C sugar
1 TBSP cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ginger

Mix apples together with sugar and spices until combined.

Thank you again for your support! If you missed the sale and would like to donate to Team IZ, please click here.


Filed under Fall, Treats

Earl Grey Creme Tea Cookies

I recently helped host a bridal shower for a dear friend at Anaba Tea Room, a local tea room/restaurant plus home and garden boutique. Considering the location, we continued a “tea in the garden” theme throughout the shower including these delicate tea cookies that I made as shower favors.

Using a Martha Stewart recipe that I’d been wanting to try for awhile, I incorporated my favorite black tea, Earl Grey Creme, which has an amazing aroma and subtle vanilla undertones. The results were spot on for an elegant afternoon event.

Earl Grey Creme Tea Cookies
1 C butter
2 C flour
1/2 C powdered sugar
1/2 tsp fine salt
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 Tbsp finely ground Earl Grey Creme black tea leaves

Preheat oven to 350. Use a spice grinder or coffee grinder to grind tea leaves into a fine powder.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt and ground tea with a whisk to fluff. In a separate large bowl, beat together butter and powdered sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Gradually beat in dry mixture, taking care to scrap dough from the sides of the bowl, until all dry ingredients have been incorporated but mixture is still solid and not beaten to the point of crumbling.

Divide dough into two balls and set on two pieces of parchment paper.  Roll dough into a long tubular shape using the parchment paper. Reposition dough tube on the parchment, rolling it tightly and tucking the ends under. Freeze dough for 30-45 minutes.

Remove dough from freezer and unwrap from parchment, placing parchment on a baking sheet. Slice dough into 1/4″ slices and place on cookie sheet. If cookies are slightly misshapen you can let the cookies sit for 10-15 minutes so that dough thaws enough for you to gently reshape the cookies.

Bake for 13 minutes.


Filed under Entertain, Treats

Haute Apple Pie Bake Sale

You’ve virtually seen our treats for almost three years. Now it is time to taste them first hand at the very first Haute Apple Pie bake sale! On Wednesday, August 22nd, come to the Hartung Park Farmer’s Market in Wauwatosa (at the corner of the Menomonee River Parkway and Keefe) to purchase some delicious HAP goodies for a good cause.

Six months ago, I’d never heard the word Neurofibromatosis. It has now become a regular word in our families vocabulary as our sweet four year old niece Izzy was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2) this spring. NF2 is a very rare disease, affecting less than 4,000 (only 400 children) in the U.S. It a genetic defect that stops cell growth in the nerve cells, which later develop into multiple, benign tumors throughout the body, called schwanommas. Almost 100% percent of patients with NF2 become deaf and may also experience issues with vision and blindness as well as facial and limb paralysis.

On September 15, Team IZ will be walking in the Children’s Tumor Foundation NF Walk at Havenwoods State Forest. It is a two mile walk to raise funds and awareness of NF1, NF2 and schwanommatosis. Family and friends are pulling together to help raise the greatly needed funds for this devastating disease. This is where you come in! The ladies and I will be selling some treats at the Farmer’s Market, with all of the proceeds going to the Children’s Tumor Foundation.

So if you are looking for some muffins, cookies and other baked treats or to help a cause so very near and dear to our hearts, please come down. You can also peruse the fresh produce from some local farmers and if you are lucky, get some delicious grub from the Asian food truck that usually parks nearby!

If you are unable to make the market and would like to donate to Team IZ, please click here.

If you are interested in walking in the Children’s Tumor Foundation NF Walk, please click here.

We look forward to seeing you next week at the market!


Filed under Treats

Campfire Cones

We were invited to Stef’s house for a BBQ last weekend and she asked that I bring a dessert.  It was roughly 105 degrees out, so turning on my oven was not an option.  I had come across the idea for campfire cones on pinterest, and decided to give it a try.  They were quick and easy to make and were a huge hit!  Adults and kids were drooling over these rich and gooey treats.

Campfire Cones
Ice Cream Cones
Mini Marshmallows
Mini Chocolate Chips
Chopped Nuts
Peanut Butter Chips

tin foil

Start with a cone and fill with marshmallows and other treats.  Cover with foil and place on inderect heat on a grill or campfire for about 5-10 minutes or until all of the contents are melted.

Unwrap and enjoy!


Filed under Cook, Grill, Treats

Mango Strawberry Smoothie

When it is 104 degrees outside, cooking is the last thing on my mind. Smoothies are one of my favorite ways to beat the heat. They replace the need for ice cream and are filled with great ingredients to help your body stand up to the heat. Recently, I’ve been using mango in my mixtures. It gives the smoothie a wonderful creaminess. When it is too hot to even drive to your nearest frozen yogurt stand, try this recipe out!

Mango Strawberry Smoothie
1 C no-fat vanilla yogurt (I use Stonyfield Organic)
1 mango, sliced
1 C sliced strawberries
1/2 TBSP agave nectar
1 C ice cubes

In a blender, add yogurt, mango, strawberries and agave nectar. Blend until smooth. Add ice cubes and crush until smooth. Pour and enjoy!

I promise this will be my last recipe involving strawberries for a while. I just can’t help myself!

What food or drink recipes do you make to beat the heat?


Filed under Healthy, Quick & Easy, Treats

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

As I mentioned last week, strawberries have been in full effect in our house. One of my favorite desserts (more than pie! shhh…) is a good, warm fruit crisp. I’ve yet to try a recipe that tops this one. The rhubarb and the orange flavoring perfectly balance out the sweet and tart of the strawberries. The top tastes like a warm crumbled oatmeal cookie. I found this recipe in Food Network Magazine awhile back and have adapted it a little bit to meet my taste buds. If you brave turning your oven on in this heat (it’s not too bad in the air conditioning), give this recipe a try! You won’t regret it.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
Adapted from Food Network Magazine

5 C hulled and quartered strawberries
3-4 stalks rhubarb, diced
1 1/4 C sugar
Zest of one medium sized orange
1 TBSP cornstarch
Juice of one medium sized orange
1 C all-purpose flour
1/2 C light brown sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 C quick cooking oats (not instant)
10 TBSP cold unsalted butter, diced
Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, add strawberries, rhubarb, 3/4 C sugar and orange zest. Stir until gently mixed together. In a small cup, dissolve the cornstarch into the orange juice. Add to the fruit mixture and stir. Pour mixture in an 8×8 square baking dish. Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper in case of bubble over in the oven.

With an electric mixer, combine flour, remaining 1/2 C sugar, brown sugar, salt and oatmeal. With the mixer on low, add the butter and mix until the dry ingredients turn moist and the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit mixture, covering completely. Bake for 1 hour or until fruit is bubbling. Serve warm with a small scoop of ice cream.


Filed under Cook, Treats

Strawberry Shortcake with Toasted Coconut

With strawberry season in full swing, I have been finding ways to sneak strawberries into everything lately.  I recently made this delicious bunt cake and dressed it up with sliced strawberries, whipped cream and toasted coconut.  The coconut adds an nice crunch to this traditional dessert and another delicious layer of flavor.

Strawberry Shortcake with Toasted Coconut

8 oz brick of room temperature Cream Cheese
1/2 cup warm water
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup oil
1 box white cake mix, butter recipe
1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs

Sliced Strawberries
Whipped Cream
Toasted Coconut

Cream the cream cheese, butter and water until soft and fluffy.  Add the cake mix and beat well.  Then add the oil and sugar and stir until combined.  Add one egg at a time and beat until fully mixed.  Spray a bunt pan and pour batter into pan.  Bake at 325 for 45 -50 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool slightly ans turn onto a plate.

Slice and top with strawberries, whipped cream and toasted coconut.

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Filed under Cook, Treats

Mango Coconut Cookies with Salted Caramel Drizzle

After recently returning from a vacation in Florida, I’ve been looking for ways to infuse a little more “tropical” into my life. So when some friends were hosting a shrimp boil over the weekend I decided to get experimental with flavors that would continue the beachy vibe of their party for dessert. The Mango Coconut Cookies I put together would be good on their own but the salted caramel drizzle gives them that extra something to make them quite addictive!

Mango Coconut Cookies with Salted Caramel Drizzle
1 C butter
1 C brown sugar
3/4 C sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 C flour
2 tsp ground flax seed (optional)
1 C coconut flakes
1 C dried mango, chopped into small bits
1/2 C prepared (or homemade) caramel topping
sea salt flakes

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugars until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Next, beat in vanilla, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Finally, mix in flour, one cup at a time until batter is thick.

Use a spatula to stir in coconut, mango bits and flax seed if using until all items are well incorporated into batter.

Bake for 12-14 minutes. Place a cooling rack on top of aluminum foil or waxed paper. Transfer cookies cooling rack. Once cool, drizzle with caramel topping and sprinkle lightly with sea salt.


Filed under Treats

Honey Almond Frozen Greek Yogurt

Summertime means…ice cream! Or for those a little more health conscious, frozen yogurt! The recent warm weather put me in the mood to whip up my first batch of frozen treats for the summer. I love Greek yogurt and currently use it in everything. So why not try it frozen? This cool concoction is packed with protein for a truly nutritious and heat beating experience.

Honey Almond Greek Frozen Yogurt 
1 32 oz container of vanilla Greek  yogurt
1/2 C 2% or skim milk
1/2 C sugar
1/2 TBSP almond extract
1 TBSP honey
1 C honey roasted sliced almonds

In a large bowl, add greek yogurt, milk and sugar. Stir until blended. Add honey and almond extract. Stir until mixed in. Cover and place in refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight.

In a food processor, pulse almonds until roughly chopped. Set aside.

Add yogurt mixture to ice cream maker. Churn on low for about 15 minutes. With about five minutes left, add almonds.

Either place in container to freeze for later use (which will produce a harder consistency) or serve it up soft serve right out of the bowl.



Filed under Healthy, Treats