Category Archives: Tea time

Streusel Coffee Cake

It seemed appropriate to have a really, really special coffee cake to start the day of college graduation.  I found this recipe and tweaked it a bit.  The promise was something akin to a Starbucks offering. I don’t know about taste, but Starbucks baked goods are in a class by themselves in presentation.  I was sold!

What I love about this recipe is it doesn’t take any unusual ingredients.  If you have the following on hand, you are 2 hours or so from coffee cake bliss!

All purpose flour–4 1/2 cups

Granulated sugar–approx. 2 1/3 cups

Brown Sugar–1 1/3 cups

Butter–1 cup (2 sticks)

Cinnamon–2 tablespoons

Greek Yogurt, plain (can use regular)–3/4 cup

Milk–1 1/4 cup

Eggs-3 large

Chocolate chips–white/dark chocolate, 1/3 cup each

vanilla & salt & baking powder & cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare a 9 x 13 pan with baking spray.

Mix together for streusel topping:

2/3 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup flour

1/2 tablespoon cinnamon

4 tablespoons butter, melted

Mix together for filling:

1 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

For Cake:

Beat 3/4 cup butter until creamy in mixer.


1 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, 1/3 cup brown sugar.  Beat into butter.  Add 2 teaspoons vanilla.

Now–beat in 3 eggs, ONE at a time. 

Whisk in a bowl:

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3 3/4 cups flour

Whisk in a measuring cup:

3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 1/4 cups milk

Okay, here’s the part that is a bit more work…you want to add about a third of the flour, BEAT, a third of the milk/yogurt, BEAT until you have added it all. 

I like to throw a towel over the mixer when adding flour so it doesn’t “fly” everywhere. 

When the batter looks like this

you are ready to assemble your cake

Put half the batter into your prepared pan

Sprinkle with filling and half of your chocolate chips–I did a black/white version–half with dark chocolate/half with white chocolate

Spread remaining batter onto filling/chips;swirl batter slightly with a knife to incorporate filling

Sprinkle with topping

Sprinkle remaining chips on top

Bake a full 60 minutes.  Check with a toothpick into the middle to make sure it’s done.

Let cool on wire rack for 20 minutes.

Cut and serve from pan.



This post is linked to Real Food Wednesday:


Thanks to Baker Chick for the inspiration:


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Filed under Breads and such, Breakfast, Eating well, Special Desserts, Tea time

Apricot Almond Bars

Apricot Almond Bars are another “must have” on the cookie plates.  Delicate apricot, buttery crust and crunchy almond slices………a perfect tea time treat.

Apricot Almond Bars

Line a 13 in x 9 in x 2in pan with non-stick foil (if you haven’t tried this product–trust me–it’s amazing).   Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In mixing bowl, add

1 1/2 cups flour

3/4 cup powdered sugar

3/4 cup butter

Mix together until it looks like this:

Pat into bottom of pan and up the sides about 1/2 inch.  I like to roll after patting to make it level.

Bake crust for 15-18 minutes, until lightly browned.

While the crust bakes, prepare the topping.

Whisk together:

1 egg

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup apricot preserves

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Spread over hot crust. Top with:

1 cup sliced almonds

Bake 15-20 minutes until set and the almonds look slightly toasted.

Cool pan on rack.  Lift out bars, using foil lining.  Cut into small squares.

Enjoy with your cup of tea.

Makes about 2 1/2-3 dozen.


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Filed under Christmas Baking, Tea time

Better Breakfast Cookies

Not everyone would consider chocolate chips a good addition to “breakfast cookies” but I am not in that camp.  Especially the Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate chips, the only ‘chip’ in the market for me.  In fact, I have given up using any other kind of chocolate for eating or baking.  But, I digress.  This is not a sales pitch for chocolate chip varieties but another installment in the search for the perfect breakfast cookie.  This is a better breakfast cookie recipe but I am not calling it ‘perfect’ yet.

Better Breakfast Cookies

Grind one cup whole almonds in your food processor.

Add and process with ground almonds, one cup old fashioned oats.

Sprinkle in 1/2 cup raw sugar.

Into the processor goes:

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup almond flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Whirl together until thoroughly mixed.

Now add one whole egg.

Process briefly.

Using a spatula, mix  in 1/2 cup chocolate chips, if desired.

Shape into about 1 inch balls.

Put 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut in a plastic container and fill with several cookie balls.

Put on the lid and shake.

Place the coconut-ty balls on parchment and flatten with your fingers.

Admire your handiwork.

Bake at 350 degrees for 13-15 minutes.  Remove cookies when puffed and slightly browned.

Cool on rack.  Serve.  Makes approximately 14 cookies.

Bon Appetit!



Filed under Breakfast, Gluten Free, Snacks, Tea time

Soaked Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today’s post is a guest post from a great friend and fellow ‘real food’ cook – Lucy. These cookies are mostly refined sugar free (most chocolate chips have some type of refined sugar, although Sunsprie makes grain sweetened chocolate chips – if you use these, they are 100% refined sugar free) and whole grain. I haven’t tried this recipe yet because I am waiting on my source for maple sugar to be back in stock. I will post when I do. I also think they would be delicious with palm sugar.



Soaked Chocolate Chip Cookies

loosely based on Sally Fallon’s Raisin Nut Cookie recipe


Total prep time: about 14 to 26 hours

Hands-on prep time: about 20 minutes


½ c whole yogurt (or more, depending on texture)

½ c butter, softened

¼ tsp sea salt

1 ½ c whole wheat, kamut, or spelt flour

1 c maple sugar

1 overflowing tsp vanilla extract

½ to 1 bag dairy-free chocolate chips


Two hours (or so—depending on ambient temperature) before you want your flour to start soaking, set out butter to soften and yogurt to come to room temperature.

When butter is soft, cream together butter and yogurt in a large bowl. Thoroughly mix in flour and salt. (Consistency will be more like bread-dough than regular cookie dough—but make sure it’s not too stiff, or the sugar and vanilla won’t mix in well.) Cover and leave at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours. (The longer the mixture soaks, the stronger the flavor will be.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease your cookie sheet(s). Add maple sugar, vanilla extract, and chocolate chips, and stir or knead thoroughly into dough. Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet(s). Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Move from cookie sheets to cooling racks before they’ve finished cooling. The dough can be refrigerated for a few days and baked in small batches.


Filed under Eating well, Snacks, Tea time

Better Almond Butter Cookies

Although we had no trouble consuming the Almond Butter cookies, I wanted to improve them.  They were a bit heavy and crumbled in your hand……’s what I did for batch #2 ….a big improvement in texture and taste.  I also simplified the recipe by making it all in my food processor–what could be easier?

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment.

In a food processor–

Whirl I cup old fashioned oatmeal until finely ground.

Add I cup dark brown sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, sprinkle of kosher salt and process briefly.

Put 1/2 cube (1/4 cup) unsalted butter and 1/2 cup almond butter into processor and mix thoroughly.

Add 1 egg…process until a soft mass.

Make into 12 balls and roll in unsweetened finely grated coconut (instead of sugar).  Smash with a fork.

If you want the chocolate as before–bake 9 minutes.  Remove.  Make an impression; drop on a few chocolate chips; bake 3 more minutes.  Spread the chocolate while warm.

I found them so improved, I wouldn’t even bother with the chocolate next time.  The texture was chewy; the taste much more mellow.  Think almond macaroon :)…..still wheat free.

We would love to hear how you play with our recipes, too!



Filed under Breakfast, Eating well, Gluten Free, Snacks, Tea time

Almond Butter Cookies

At some point in years past, I embraced the discipline of giving up something for the Lenten season. I take some time to think and pray about what would be good for me to set aside and for a brief six weeks I find, with God’s grace, pleasure in NOT doing something I enjoy.  Past years have found me giving up sugar, coffee, reading the morning paper……you get the idea.  This year it is “wheat”, especially flour.  I have been relatively surprised at how dependent our society is on wheat!  I have had several public eating opportunities since and have been extremely limited in what there was that didn’t have wheat.  All this to say that since biscotti is out,  a wheat-free treat was wanted.

I had some almond butter to use, found a recipe online and promptly altered it and made:

Almond Butter Cookies

1 cup almond butter , sprinkled with a bit of kosher salt

1 cup dark brown sugar, packed

2 teaspoons baking powder (gluten free)

1 egg

Cream almond butter with sugar.

Beat in egg.

Blend in baking powder.

Make into 12 large balls.

Roll in granulated sugar.

Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Smash like a pb cookie with a fork.

Bake at 350 degrees for 9 minutes.  Remove pan from oven and…..

Make a depression with a spoon in the middle of each cookie  and put several chocolate chips in the depression.

Return to oven and bake an additional 3 minutes.

Spread chocolate with a pastry knife.

Let cool thoroughly on pan on rack.

Very rich and satisfying, albeit a bit crumbly.


This post is part of Real Food Wednesday


Filed under Breakfast, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Tea time

Butterscotch Pecan Biscotti

Couldn’t resist letting you all know that replacing the sugar in the Pecan Biscotti recipe with dark brown sugar transforms it into Butterscotch Pecan Biscotti 🙂


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Filed under Tea time