Cinnamon Bun Muffins

Cinnamon Bun MuffinsLast night, my husband was rummaging through our refrigerator. Frustrated with finding nothing of note, he asked, “Don’t we have anything sweet?”

No, we sure didn’t. My heart sank as I realized I hadn’t cooked any treats for us lately.

I decided to do something about that today during my break from work. I was excited to try to this recipe for Cinnamon Bun Muffins as I had recently purchased palm shortening. Although fairly common in paleo recipes, this particular type of shortening was new to me.

Unfortunately for the muffins, I was distracted. Thinking about everything under the sun–along with the muffins–I happily began gathering the flour, eggs, and such. Mixing it all up and filling the muffin tins, I was pretty proud of it all.

And then it hit me. I had forgotten to add the vanilla extract. Seriously.

I didn’t want to throw it all in the trash, so I put the topping on the muffins and set the pan in the oven. I just hoped it would be edible.

The smell while the muffins were cooking was just wonderful. And you know what? The muffins still taste yummy. I can only imagine how great they would taste if I hadn’t forgotten an ingredient.

The moral of the story is “Never bake when you’re tired or distracted.” And even if you make a mistake, sometimes everything will turn out OK.

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Almond Flour Scones with Chocolate Chips

almondfloursconesPerhaps they don’t have this product available in your neck of the woods, but around here, the grocery stores carry Two-Bite Scones. Have you seen these little treats? My husband and I certainly have. We were hooked on these sweet little things for quite awhile, buying at least two containers per week. Obviously, this wasn’t a healthy (or frugal) habit.

What to do? Well, I decided to make our own two-bite scones!

After a bit of searching, I found this recipe for Almond Flour Scones with Chocolate Chips. It looked simple–always a plus for me–and only included ingredients that I already had on hand. Another big bonus was that it would use up some of the chocolate that I had purchased awhile back from Bulk Foods.

These mixed up really easily, in only about 5 minutes. When I don’t have to drag out the stand mixer, it’s a good baking experience! As we prefer the small scones, I shaped ours like “cookies” rather than the traditional pie shape. In the oven they went, taking only about 8-10 minutes to finish baking. (One tip for summer baking: do all of your cooking in the morning or late evening so that it doesn’t heat up the house too much.)

And the verdict? Delicious, light and fluffy little treats. They are lightly sweet and perfect with morning coffee. To be honest, I actually prefer these over the store variety as they are satisfying and still provide some nutrients. And with such a short mixing and baking time, there’s no reason to go out and buy the super-sweet and expensive scones.

Making your own can be overwhelming sometimes, but in the case of these beauties, there’s no reason not to. To the kitchen!

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Simple Treats: Almond Meal Cookies with Chocolate Chips and Coconut

almond meal cookiesI have to admit that lately I’m feeling a bit worn out. Although I actually enjoy cooking and baking, it just seemed too overwhelming in the midst of all of my work lately. I must confess that we’ve been eating out a lot. Not frugal, but sometimes necessary for sanity’s sake. Rising early and staying up late, I found that cooking can be simply too much when faced with such a schedule. I don’t think it’s bad to ask for help in such times, and seeking rest eventually will help with the soul as well as the mind.

“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.” —Psalm 62:1-2

Luckily, I believe I’m at the end of the heavy work period and so will be able to dive into baking and cooking. To celebrate–a tiny bit, at least–I decided to bake a quick batch of Almond Meal Cookies with Chocolate Chips and Coconut. I had some time and all of the ingredients, so off I went to the kitchen.

For my cookies, I chose to use coconut sugar in place of the brown sugar, and I used chocolate from Bulk Foods. The batter was easy to mix up but resulted in a somewhat crumbly mixture. I was able to form the cookies, though, after the refrigeration period, and they cooked up nicely. One tip might be to do the smooshing of the cookies after a few minutes in the oven so that they don’t crumble into pieces. I also baked mine about 9 minutes, which seemed perfect for my oven.

The cookies were sweet, but in a natural way, with a light texture and taste. I would definitely make these again as they satisfied the tastebuds of both children and adults.

So here’s to simple pleasures and treats! Be sure and take some time for rest for your bodies and souls in the midst of heavy schedules. And don’t forget some nourishing treats as well.