Bumble Bees + Maple Trees = Peanut Butter Cups

Yesterday, I was snowbound in my apartment post-run since my school cancelled classes after 3pm and through today (in other news, even though it wasn’t really a Snowpocalypse, SNOW DAY!!) Of course, rather than use the time to get ahead on reading for school, I decided to organize the kitchen cupboards and test out some recipes. I was rooting around and found an unopened jar of powdered peanut butter that I bought on a whim. I’ve found it tough to bake with regular peanut butter because it sticks in globs rather than spreading evenly throughout batter, so figured I might try the powdered version. Turns out, it works wonderfully well as the key ingredient for these darling and delicious Peanut Butter Cups!

I tried out a peanut butter, honey, and maple combination first – ingredients from bumblebees and oak trees. Each bite conjures up memories of eating peanut butter sandwiches as a kid, then going out into a fresh snowfall with maple syrup to pour onto the snow to make maple candy. Now one Peanut Butter Cup gives you the trifecta of flavors that’s perfect for a snow day (it isn’t complete without the honey because even the the most devoted snow-lovers begin to dream of the summer sun when the world is completely white for awhile!)

Cooling off in view of the flurries

Cooling off in view of the flurries

 

 

Star ingredients

Star ingredients

Prepped and ready to bake

Prepped and ready to bake

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats

1/2 cup gluten-free sorghum or all-purpose flour

6 oz vanilla Greek yogurt

2 large eggs

4 tbsp powdered peanut butter

1 tbsp pure maple syrup (NOT “breakfast syrup” or “butter syrup” – the real thing is the only way!)

1 tbsp honey

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

3 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

3 tbsp applesauce or olive oil (I usually use applesauce rather than oil in recipes because I like thicker muffins and cupcakes and the naturally sweet taste, but in this case, I think the oil works better with the combination of ingredients. It is totally up to you, though – applesauce still does the trick!)

Extra tbsp olive oil, butter, or cooking spray

Note: you can definitely vary the recipe, adding in some fresh blueberries (for PB&J Cups), tossing in some chocolate chips (for Reese’s-style), and apple and banana slices (since of course, you can eat peanut butter with these anytime for a wholesome snack). All work well, but you may find that you begin to lose the original combination of flavors if you toss in too many extras.

 

Base instruction: when the weather outside is frightful, make these!

Base instruction: when the weather outside is frightful, make these!

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add egg, yogurt, applesauce or oil, and vanilla extract and mix well, ensuring a uniform color and consistency.

3. Add honey and maple syrup and mix until they are spread throughout the batter (but you can still see the thick swirls).

4. Grease a 12-muffin tin with oil or butter. Pour in batter.

5. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes.

6. Let cool. If you like, top with peanut butter (Peanut Butter & Co. and Justin’s have awesome honey and/or maple PB) as icing, and a few berries or chips for sprinkles. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Perfect for a pre-snow-day-adventure breakfast (half the dozen will probably be gone by day's end!)

Perfect for a pre-snow-day-adventure breakfast (half the dozen will probably be gone by day’s end!)

 

 

 

 

© 2015 Renaissance Runner Girl. All rights reserved.

Sweet and Saucy Cinna-cakes

Pancakes. Flapjacks. Hotcakes.

Whatever you want to call them, good old-fashioned pancakes are delicious. My traditional birthday breakfast has always consisted of pancakes with strawberries and bananas, drizzled with maple syrup. Lately I’ve been experimenting with my own batter, because I like to use whole foods as much as possible and to try different combinations of flavors. I already have a favorite basic pancake recipe that uses oats, but after whipping up so many flourless oat muffins I got to wondering if I could do the same with pancakes. This morning, I landed on a winner…so good, I just had to share!

I started with rolled oats. Frequent readers will realize by now that I am obsessed with oats. I often use them as a base rather than gluten-free flours, simply because I’m not a big fan of rice flour and many of the others use nuts as a base or additive, and I’m also nut-free. The good news is, they work great as a base for pancakes. I almost called these oatcakes, but there is already a food called oatcakes (very popular in the UK!) and that would be confusing. So I decided on Saucy Cinna-cakes, because the next ingredients to go in the bowl were applesauce and cinnamon, one of my favorite flavors (similar to my Caramel Apple Cinnamuffins). From there, I figured out the rest, and after a failed first flip, the rest of the batch came out hot, creamy, cake-y and delicious!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats (here, I abandoned my usual Country Choice in favor of Chex quick-cook rolled oats, because I didn’t want to bust out a blender and the slightly broken-down consistency is better for the batter. Up to you to try your favorite brand!)

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/3 cup vanilla Greek yogurt (you can also use one of the seasonal apple flavors – Dannon Greek Caramel Apple is scrumptious, as is the Chobani 2% Apple Cinnamon)

1 large egg OR 2 egg whites

2-3 tsp cinnamon

1-2 tsp stevia or other sweetener (to taste)

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup chopped apples

1-2 tbsp maple syrup

Olive oil, butter, or cooking spray (to grease the pan)

Optional: berries, powdered sugar, or any other preferred pancake toppings.

 

Batter = light and frothy and bubbly

Batter = light and frothy and bubbly

Instructions:

1. In a small bowl, mix the oats, applesauce, yogurt, egg, cinnamon, sweetener, and baking powder. Beat until batter is light and frothy.

2. Bring a nonstick pan to medium heat and coat well with oil or butter.

3. Measure out just under 1/4 cup of batter and pour into pan. You can usually fit two cinna-cakes in the pan at a time.

4. Let cook for 2 minutes, watching to ensure there is no burning. Carefully flip each cake (this can be tricky!) and let cook another 1-2 minutes.

5. Transfer cinna-cakes to plate and repeat with the rest of the batter. It should yield 4-5 small cinna-cakes.

Cinnacakes cooking (pre-flip!)

Cinnacakes cooking (pre-flip!)

6. Chop 1/2 a small apple and toss with cinnamon. Ensure the pan is still greased well, and toss apples in to cook for 5-10 minutes (the exact time will vary based on how thoroughly you like your apples cooked, I like them with a little bit of crunch!)

7. Pour maple syrup over the cinna-cakes. Top with the apples and fresh berries.

8. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Saucy Cinna-cakes with scrambled eggs and fresh blueberries!

Saucy Cinna-cakes with scrambled eggs and fresh blueberries!

 

 

© 2015 Renaissance Runner Girl. All rights reserved.

More Marvelous Muffins: Apple-Berry-Nana Edition

The winter chill is in the air, I’ve got some time off from school, and I’m in training for a race – let the muffin-making commence! Like their banana-maple siblings, these muffins are made with gluten-free rolled oats and Greek yogurt, resulting in a hearty morsel of goodness. Using apples and blueberries with less banana results in a slightly fluffier texture, and a few secret ingredients create a crisp, browned muffin-top that sets them apart. The fruit is definitely the star of the show with these muffins, perfect to grab anytime you’re feeling like a healthy treat.

 

All the fruit!

All the fruit!

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats

1 small banana (roughly 6″ long)

1/2 cup chopped apple (about half of a regular-sized apple)

1/2 cup blueberries

2 oz unsweetened applesauce

2 large eggs

1/2 cup sweetener (I use brown sugar and stevia, but agave can also work great here)

6 oz 2% plain Greek yogurt

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

2-3 tsp cinnamon (to taste)

 

 

Muffin batter with fruit mixed in

Muffin batter with fruit mixed in

Instructions:

1. Dice apple and banana into small chunks.

2. Combine oats, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar in a large bowl.

3. Add eggs, yogurt, and applesauce. Mix the batter until it gets to a uniform color, about 8-10 good stirs. Add the fruit, and mix another 4-5 stirs. Once the batter is a smooth, uniform consistency with the exception of oats and fruit, stop stirring.

4. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.

5. Let cool.

6. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Muffins fresh from the oven, tops nicely browned!

Muffins fresh from the oven, tops nicely browned! (I just had to taste test one immediately…)

 

 

 

© 2014 Renaissance Runner Girl. All rights reserved.