Browsing Tag


Oatmeal Raisin Peanut Cookies

October 20, 2010
As much as I enjoy a good recipe, I’m just as much a sucker for all things pretty. I’m not overly girly, but give me a piece of lace, a ruffle, floral pattern or cookies tied up in a ribbon and I swoon. 
Fact: When I was a little girl, my mom hardly ever let me out of the house without a giant bow perched atop my head. To this day, I plan to do the very same thing with my own girls. 
So even though I had planned to post this recipe Thursday, or even Friday, the ribbon has me feeling a little impatient and itching to share. That, and the fact that I brought these cookies to work and got some pretty great reviews. They’re based off the simple little recipe from the back of the Quaker Oats container – Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. 
But instead of the raisins, I substituted the golden variety. And added peanuts in the mix, too, for added crunch and a salty bite that highlights the sweetness of the cookie and raisins. These cookies are exactly how I like them: thin, crispy on the edges and chewy on the inside. And I think you’ll like them, too. 

Oatmeal Raisin Peanut Cookies 
Adapted from Quaker Oats’ Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
(Printable Recipes)
*1 stick plus 6 Tablespoons butter, softened
*1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
*2 large eggs
*1 teaspoon vanilla
*1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
*1 teaspoon baking soda
*1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*3 cups oats 
*1/2 cup golden raisins
*1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts 
*Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats and raisins and peanuts; mix well.
*Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
*Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.
Happy Baking!

Homemade Cranberry-Almond Granola

January 14, 2010

I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for specialty grocery stores and the health-food sections of regular grocery stores. Countless hours of my life have been spent wandering through isles, transfixed by pretty packaging and obscure, high-quality ingredients. There are many instances when I believe it’s worth the splurge. Cheese, seafood, olive oil, certain cuts of meat? Totally worth the splurge.

But no matter where I buy my groceries, the absurdly high price of granola (even the cheapest option) never ceases to amaze me. I mean, you’re basically paying for oats, mixed with some sort of sweetener, typically honey, with a few nuts and dried fruits tossed in. Companies give this granola all types of labels: “Protein Packed” “Antioxidant Rich” “A Full Serving of Fruit!” Truth be told, if you know one basic granola recipe, you can customize it to fit your needs.

Start with the recipe listed here, but don’t get caught up in the fruit and nuts I added. If you want a few more antioxidants, add some dried blueberries to the mix, for additional protein just bump up the nuts. Need a few more omega-3s in your diet? Try walnuts! (I think you get the picture) Basically, just have fun with it! And enjoy spending a whole lot less.

Homemade Cranberry-Almond Granola
Adapted from

*3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
*2 Tbsp. brown sugar
*1 tsp. ground cinnamon
*1/4 tsp. salt
*1/3 cup honey
*1/4 cup canola oil
*1 tsp. almond or vanilla extract
*3/4 cup dried cranberries
*1/2 cup golden raisins
*1/2 cup chopped almonds

*Preheat oven to 300*F.
*In large bowl combine oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. In another bowl, combine honey, oil, and extract and stir until well combined. Pour mixture over oat mixture. Stir until well-combine. Use hands, if necessary.
*Pour mixture into a large baking sheet or pan. Spread into a thin, even layer. Bake 45 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. Stir the mixture once or twice while it cools (it will harden as it cools). Once cooled, add in cranberries, raisins, and almonds. Store in an airtight container or zip top bag.

Happy cooking!


January 3, 2010

This post marks a first for Espresso + Cream because it’s the first time I am posting in my new apartment. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am about this. No longer will I be a bogging nomad, jumping from kitchen to kitchen, because I have a kitchen and dining room of my very own!

The kitchen is quite small, the dining room is actually a table in my living room, and I am currently storing canned goods in the drawers of my entry way table, but 2010 is about new beginnings and being thankful, and what really matters is that it is a place of my own, to live and cook and eat and blog!

Today I give you an oats alternative for everyone, including myself, who is tired of oatmeal. I go through phases when it comes to oatmeal, but for the last six months, I’ve just been stuck on one emotion when it comes to oats: bored. (unless you put them in a cookie, which is a whole different story)

So this morning for breakfast I enjoyed a bowl of oat-pudding, which reminds me that I should find a better name for this dish since I don’t think oat-pudding really screams ‘delicious’. Allowing the oats and yogurt to rest makes for a creamy, pudding-like consistency, and the beauty is that you can throw it together the night before and wake up with a delicious breakfast in no time.

*1/3 cup rolled oats
*1 low-fat vanilla yogurt
*2 Tbsp. golden raisins, craisins, or raisins
*1 tsp. brown sugar
*1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
*1 Tbsp. ground flax seeds

*Mix together the uncooked oats and yogurt and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. Stir in remaining ingredients before serving.

Happy cooking!


No-Bake Chocolate Clusters

November 12, 2009

Crazy, busy, wonderful. Those three words really are not even close to being enough to describe my past two weeks, but they will have to suffice for now, because my brain is only functioning at 50% at the moment due to over-use and exhaustion. I’ve spent the better part of the last couple weeks filming holiday craft and decorating videos for Better Homes and Gardens – 100 Days of Holidays.

I was introduced to a whole new world that doesn’t involve food and had the opportunity to learn so much about decorating! It was awesome to spend days going to the Christmas tree farm, decorating wreaths, and hanging garland. It really got me in the holiday spirit, so much so that I feel like Christmas should be right around the corner. The videos aren’t online yet, but I’ll make sure to post a link when they are, which should be right around Thanksgiving time.

Simplicity is the name of the game for these chocolate clusters, because sometimes you just want a bit of something sweet right now, instead of laboring in the kitchen over a fancy dessert. I melted a bag of milk chocolate chips, though I would have used dark chocolate if we had it around the house, then stirred in a cup of shredded coconut, a cup of chopped pecans, and a half a cup of dried cranberries. Stirred it all together and dropped it in heaping tablespoons onto parchment paper. Give these little chocolate treats a half an hour in the freezer before eating and you have yourself a delicious and quick no-bake chocolate dessert.

Happy cooking!