super-simple graham cracker caramel pecan cookies

Hello, friends! I’m popping by with a quick, easy-peasy recipe for you today! I saw this recipe on the back of my box of Safeway graham crackers, and it looked intriguing so I decided to try it out.

It turned out delicious and was so simple to make, with only four ingredients! Plus everything comes together in a flash because you only need to bake the cookies for 10 minutes. My Grandpap said, “I don’t know what these cookies are called, but they are so good it’s sinful!” 🙂 Hope you enjoy!

sinful graham cracker pecan cookies

sinful graham-cracker caramel pecan cookies

– 1 sleeve graham crackers {about 9 large rectangular crackers}
– 1/3 cup butter
– 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
– 1 cup chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

2. Place graham crackers close together in a single layer on top of the aluminum foil.

graham crackers

3. In a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar and stir together until butter and sugar are well-combined. Bring mixture to a boil and cook for 4 minutes, stirring continuously.

4. Pour brown-sugar mixture over the graham crackers and spread evenly across the crackers with a spatula or wooden spoon.

5. Scatter pecan pieces on top of the caramelized sugar.

graham crackers prebake

6. Bake for 10 minutes.

graham crackers after baking

7. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before cutting them in half to make square cookies.

graham cracker cookies

And that’s it!

What are some of your favorite quick, simple recipes?

if you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like:
3-ingredient banana cookies
peanut butter breakfast cookies
ridiculously easy pumpkin spice cookies

apple cake with crumb topping & brown sugar glaze

Hi everyone! I’ve decided to designate the next few days as Apple Week here on the blog! I have a few apple-themed recipes I’m excited to share with you, so I thought why not group them together in a single week … after all, no time of year says apple like autumn does!

apple week

Today, I’m excited to share the recipe for the apple cake I shared a teaser picture of in yesterday’s post. Grandma and I baked this cake for our dinnertime get-together at my aunt’s house, and it was a huge hit! There were only six of us there, and pretty much the entire cake got devoured by the time we left.

apple cake with crumb topping and a brown sugar glaze

apple cake

for the cake:
– 5 cups apples {peeled, cored and chopped}
– 1 & 3/4 cups flour
– 1/4 cup almond meal
– 2 tsp baking soda
– 2 or 3 tsp cinnamon {depending on your tastes}
– 1 tsp salt
– 3/4 cup brown sugar
– 1/4 cup maple syrup or agave
– 1/2 cup vegetable oil
– 1 cup applesauce
– 2 eggs
– 1 tsp vanilla

for the crumb topping:
– 1/2 cup flour
– 1/2 cup brown sugar
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 2 tbsp butter

for the brown sugar glaze:
– 1/2 cup brown sugar
– 1 tsp vanilla
– 2 tbsp water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking pan and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, stir together the brown sugar, maple syrup/agave, and chopped apples. Mix until apples are well coated with sugar. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, vegetable oil, applesauce, and vanilla until well combined.

4. Sift together dry ingredients: flour, almond meal, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

5. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well.

6. Pour the batter over the apple-sugar mixture. Stir until well combined, then pour into the baking pan.

7. To make the crumb topping: mix together flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Add butter in small pieces. Mix until you have a fine, crumbly mixture. Generously sprinkle the crumb topping over the apple cake batter.

8. Bake for approximately 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. {Note: your house will smell AMAZING when this is baking!}

9. While cake is baking, make your brown sugar glaze by combining brown sugar, vanilla and water in a small bowl. Stir until smooth.

10. Remove cake from oven and drizzle with brown sugar glaze, which will harden as the cake cools.

In my opinion, this cake is best served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!!

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like this recipe? you might want to also check out:
baked cinnamon french toast
incredibly easy pumpkin spice cookies
chocolate spice zucchini muffins
apple banana oatmeal muffins

marvelous monday & happy october! baked cinnamon-sugar donut holes

There has been a briskness in the air lately that feels just. so. autumn! It’s lovely. It makes me want to curl up under a cozy blanket with a cup of tea and a good book. {If you’re looking for a good book, I’ve been devouring Elizabeth Berg’s novels lately … I fell in love with her novels Durable Goods and Joy School back in high school, and she is an author I can always return to and feel like, YES, she gets it — this is why I want to be a writer, this is what I want my books to do for people! I nearly always have at least one good, full-hearted cry while reading her books, and I always feel sad to finish them because I don’t want to leave her characters. I’m reading Open House right now and it is wonderful!}

But, yes, back to autumn … I was thrilled when Maria at Two Peas & Their Pod put together this fantastic list of 50 pumpkin recipes! I found myself checking off every one: yes, I want to make that; ooh, that looks delicious; yes, that one, too! Like a kid in a toy store a week before Christmas: I want them all! 🙂

One of the recipes that immediately caught my attention was baked donut-holes. I’m always looking for a way to health-i-fy things. Hmmm, homemade baked donut holes? Why not give it a whirl?

I am SO glad I did! They are pretty much mini-muffins, but roll them in cinnamon-sugar and they do taste like donut holes. These are pumpkiny, cinnamon-sugary, and perfect for autumn. Make them for breakfast and eat them warm from the oven with a big glass of milk!

baked cinnamon-sugar donut holes

ingredients:

For the Donuts:
1 & 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup canned plain pumpkin {not pumpkin pie filling}
1/2 cup skim milk

For the Coating:
4 tsp unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a mini muffin tin with baking spray and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. In a separate, large bowl whisk together oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin and milk until smooth. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined.

3. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.

4. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

5. While the muffins bake, melt butter in one bowl and combine granulated sugar and cinnamon in another bowl.

6. Remove muffins from oven and cool for 2 minutes. Dip each muffin in melted butter, then roll in cinnamon sugar to coat. Serve muffins warm or at room temperature.

{This recipe is adapted from The Craving Chronicles.}

YUM. And easy! And {for a donut} relatively healthy, too! Hard to beat that. 🙂

Happy autumn!
-Dallas

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Time spent: about 30 minutes
Cost: about $5

blueberry streusel muffins

I spent a rainy afternoon last weekend at Starbucks writing, reading and grading. Sometimes it’s nice to just get out of the apartment — if I stay inside all day without getting out at all, I start to feel a little claustrophobic. I call it the “closed-in feeling” and when it hits, the only solution is to grab my bag and books and keys and head out! Even just heading down the street to Starbucks is enough to clear my head and get me into productive mode.

I ordered my usual Zen green tea and since I was a little hungry I also tried a blueberry muffin. I really loved the crumb topping and as soon as I got home, I thought: I want to make my own version!

So this morning that’s what I did.

I found this recipe on the blog Stacey Snacks for peach streusel muffins … I didn’t have any peaches so I adapted it to make blueberry muffins. I’m looking forward to trying the recipe with peaches sometime soon though! The photos on Stacey’s blog look amazingly scrumptious.

Here’s how my blueberry streusel muffins turned out:

blueberry streusel muffins

for the topping:
– 1/3 cup uncooked oatmeal
– 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
– 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
– 1 tsp ground cinnamon
– 3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

for the muffin batter:
– 2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1/2 cup sugar {or 1/4 cup stevia/truvia}
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
– 2 tsp ground cinnamon
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 3 eggs
– 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
– 1 cup Greek yogurt
– 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
– 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
– 1 & 1/2 cups blueberries

1. For the topping: In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Stir in the butter, and mix until well blended. Set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin cups with paper liners or spray with nonstick spray.

3. In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients, from flour to salt, and set aside.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, butter, yogurt and vanilla.

5. Add the egg mixture to the dry mixture. Stir until just moist and blended, being careful not to overmix.

6. Fold in the blueberries.

7. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pan until the batter comes to the top of the paper liner or pan. Sprinkle with the brown sugar streusel topping, and lightly press the topping into the muffin batter.

8. Bake for 22-25 minutes, until tops are golden brown and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Update: These were delicious right out of the oven, and still moist and fresh-tasting a couple days later when I finished the last of the batch. They’re a great way to use up the last of your summer blueberries! I especially loved the streusel topping!

YUM!

Have a delightful day, everyone!

Always,
Dallas

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-Time spent: about 1 hour {including bake time}
-Cost: less than $5

You might also enjoy these previous posts:
blueberry/blackberry/raspberry muffins
good morning sunshine muffins

baked mango with brown sugar & cinnamon

I have a quick, easy & delicious recipe to share with you today!

At the grocery store yesterday mangoes were on sale for $1. I never really ate mangoes until a year or so ago — I’ve always enjoyed mango-flavored things, like gelato and tea and smoothies, but for some reason buying the actual fruit at the store was intimidating to me.

Then Mike came into my life. As I’ve shared before, Mike loves trying new foods, especially exotic and intriguing fruits. On one of our first grocery trips together, he bought a mango and showed me how to test it for ripeness. We let it soften for a couple days until it had some give, like a ripe avocado. Then Mike showed me how to prepare it: slicing the fruit off from the core and peeling off the skin. I was surprised at how easy it was!

Ever since then, I’ve been enjoying mangoes on a fairly regular basis. Last night I was in the mood for something new, so I decided to try baking a mango, much in the way I’ve baked peaches and pears in the past.

baked mango with brown sugar & cinnamon

– 1 mango
– 1 tbsp brown sugar
– 1 tbsp cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Slice the mango away from the core and arrange the pieces, skin down, in a glass baking dish.

3. Sprinkle the slices with the brown sugar and cinnamon.

4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the sugar-cinnamon mixture starts to bubble. Peel off the skin and serve warm, with ice cream or whipped cream if desired.

Mike and I enjoyed this as a healthy dessert tonight! I think it would also make a great snack, or even breakfast!

Hope you’re having a wonderful week! Make today a masterpiece!
-Dallas

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Time spent: 30 minutes {including bake time}
Cost: $1.00