What’s your favorite must-have Thanksgiving side dish? What’s bursting with flavor, both tart and sweet at same time, almost like a yummy dessert? The bright crimson holiday dish that just you can’t live with-out? (drum roll please!)…That’s right, cranberry sauce. It just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without it, now would it? This delicious cranberry jalapeño relish recipe was given to me by my friend Michelle, she said “Oh Lisa, you have to try this. It’s sooo GOOD!” Forget the stuff in a can. If you’re looking for a new more exciting, healthier way to serve cranberries, this is it!
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1 cup water
1 cup brown sugar (or substitute)
1 (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries
2-3 fresh jalapeños, seeds and ribs removed (finely chopped)
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro or parsley
½ teaspoon cumin
2-3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice (zest optional)
* Note: Cranberries really are good medicine. These gorgeous deep red berries are loaded with antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and resveratrol the powerful heart protector (found in red wine). Fights the battle against bacteria and infections without antibiotics (in some cases). Cranberry juice tastes great in a cocktail too!
1. Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add cranberries. Return to a boil, then simmer 10 minutes without stirring. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool down.
2. Add remaining ingredients and mix lightly. Refrigerate. Serve chilled or at room temperature. For the best (mellowed) flavor, make the day before. Can be frozen. Garnish just before serving.
I just love everything about pumpkin, and chocolate. Who doesn’t? So, I decided one day to bake-up a lower calorie, healthier, (and crispier) version of that popular old Maine classic pumpkin “cake-like” cookie. I wanted a decadent, whole-grain cookie, loaded with antioxidants, including more spices and lots of rich, dark chocolate chips. Okay, now we’re going to take this irresistible cookie to a whole new level….
The new heart-healthy recipe includes local ingredients: Maine pumpkin (loaded with fiber and vitamin A), Maine grown organic whole-wheat flour, oats, black-strap molasses, ginger, and gourmet dark chocolate (60% cacao).
Sugar and spice and everything nice, that’s what pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are made of!
4 2/3 cups of all-purpose flour (or sub. half with whole wheat flour)
2 Teaspoons of baking soda.
1 Teaspoon baking powder.
1/4 Teaspoon sea salt.
3 Tablespoons of Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 Cup of butter (or sub. Smart Balance sticks, softened)
1 Cup of canola or extra-light olive oil (or apple sauce for a cake-like cookie).
2 1/3 Cups of brown sugar (or sub. stevia).
1 1/2 (15 ounce cans) of pumpkin puree (or use fresh pumpkin).
2 Large eggs
1 1/2 Tablespoons of vanilla.
3 Tablespoons of molasses.
Zest of 1 lemon or orange
1 1/3 Cups quick-cooking oats.
2 Cups dark chocolate chips (or more!)
* Nutritional info: Calories 200, Total fat 8g, Total carbs 20g (for small cookies)
*Notes: This recipe makes a HUGE batch of cookies. You can easily fill these cookies with cream cheese filling and make some wicked good whoopie pies! Cream together 12 oz. of cream cheese softened, 2 egg whites, zest of 1 lemon and 1 teaspoon of vanilla or maple syrup. Add 3 cups of confectioners’ sugar slowly, add 1 cup at a time to avoid lumps. Beat until smooth and fluffy.
* Don’t forget to run into the health food store to buy some organic flours and other stuff. You will need some soft white whole-wheat flour for this recipe, oat flour, and whole-wheat pastry flour (for future recipes). Look around in there, and get some organic vanilla, and (bulk) spices are cheaper too!
** You can use the following in place of Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 1/2 Tablespoons of cinnamon.
2 Teaspoons of ginger.
2 Teaspoons of allspice. (optional)
1 teaspoon nutmeg.
1 Teaspoon cloves
Pre-heat the oven to 350*F. Makes 2 dozen HUGE cookies or 4 dozen smaller cookies!
Gather up several sheet pans and spray with cooking spray or use parchment paper.
In a large bowl stir together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices.
With a mixer, whip the butter and oil, add the brown sugar and mix on med. high-speed until light and fluffy. Blend in the pumpkin, egg, molasses, vanilla and lemon zest.
With the mixer on low-speed, add the dry ingredients using a large spoon. Add in oats and chocolate chips. Don’t over mix!
I like to use a quick-release ice cream scoop to get a nice round perfect cookie. Or just use a big spoon and leave a few inches between the cookies.
Bake for about 10-12 minutes. You can use a a toothpick to check for doneness. Try not to brown them too much or over-bake. Cool on wire racks.
Enjoy your wicked-good pumpkin chocolate chip cookies!
Whoopie pies are one of Maine’s most loved comfort foods. Who doesn’t love a whoopie pie? One of my favorite indulgences is the classic dark chocolate whoopie, loaded with rich, creamy peanut butter filling. As you know, a whoopie pie is two soft cake-like cookies, with a creamy filling of marshmallow, butter-cream or cream cheese. I just had to share my healthier version of this Maine classic with you. Traditional whoopies are made with white flour, vegetable shortening and not butter etc. You know me, I had to healthy-up the recipe a bit and if you’re still worried about calories just skip lunch, this luscious whoopie is so worth it…
* We like to claim that the original whoopie pie is from Maine, some insist that the recipe for whoopie pie has its origins with the Amish. You can find whoopies in stores all across the state of Maine. In Lancaster county Pennsylvania, you’ll find roadside farm stands offering homemade whoopies. These delicious cake-like whoopie pies were considered a special treat because they were originally made from leftover cake batter. Workers found that they could easily bring this little cake to work with the frosting safely inside. According to Amish legend, when children would find these sweet treats in their lunch bags, they would shout “Whoopie!”
* Nutritional info: Calories 250, Total fat 10g, Total carbs 25g (for small whoopies)
3/4 cup unsalted butter or sub. Smart Balance
1 cup sugar (or a sweetener like stevia)
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk (or sub. 3/4 cup yogurt 3/4 cup milk)
Pre-heat oven to 350ºF. Coat two baking sheets with cooking spray or line with parchment paper and set aside. Use baking silicon mats if you have them.
In a large mixing bowl, on medium speed, mix butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until smooth after each egg. Mix in vanilla extract and melted chocolate.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add half the flour mixture to mixing bowl and mix on medium speed until combined. Add half the buttermilk or yogurt and mix again on medium until smooth. Repeat with remaining flour and buttermilk or yogurt, and mix until smooth. The batter will be very thick, don’t over-mix.
I like to use a quick-release ice cream scoop to portion the batter onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between each to allow for spreading. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until puffed and set but still soft when touched lightly with fingertips. Or use the clean toothpick test. Let the whoopies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets before transferring them to wire racks to finish cooling, about 15-20 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter.
Prepare the filling while the whoopies are baking and cooling. In a large mixing bowl, mix on medium speed, whipping the cream cheese, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt until light and creamy. Add half the confectioner’s sugar; mix on low at first to combine, then on high until nice and smooth. Add remaining confectioner’s sugar and milk and blend on low, then on medium high until light and fluffy, about 5-6 minutes.
To assemble whoopie pies. Scoop the filling onto the flat sides of the whoopies, dividing it evenly. Top with remaining cakes, flat side against the filling, round side up. I like to wrap each whoopie pie individually in plastic wrap and store in the fridge, they freeze beautifully. Makes 12 big whoopies!
I love makin’ whoopies, and I love pumpkin. So naturally, (to ease my mind), I just had to update this very popular, old Maine classic pumpkin whoopie pie recipe. A lower calorie, healthier, (spicier) and a much more delicious version? Yes! We’re going to make a very moist, cake-like, yummy cookie, with less oil and sugar. Let’s fill them with lots of the creamiest, light cream cheese filling, YUM. Now, you can have your cake and eat it too…
Love at first bite. There’s something special about the mellow flavor of pumpkin those heavenly holiday spices: cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. I love fall. Pumpkin whoopies always remind me of the cool, crisp autumn in New England.
This brand new heart-healthy recipe includes: “One-Pie” pumpkin (from Maine) canned or fresh, loaded with vitamin A and fiber. I like to use organic whole wheat pastry flour (Maine grown), black-strap molasses, ginger, and Neuchâtel light cream cheese. Wicked good!
*Please leave me a comment below and let me know what you think…I love reading your comments! Lisa xo
* Nutritional info: Calories 200, Total fat 8g, Total carbs 20g (for 24 small whoopies)
1 (15 ounce) can of pumpkin puree (or fresh).
2 large eggs
1/2 cup canola or light olive oil.
1/2 cup butter or Smart Balance.
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar (or substitute).
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda powder
2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups of whole-wheat pastry flour
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, or Smart Balance, softened.
8 ounces cream cheese, or (Neuchâtel) softened.
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
a dash of lemon juice.
Prep Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare pans, using parchment paper, silicon mats or spray 2 cookie sheets.
Using a mixer (if you like), beat pumpkin, eggs, oil, brown sugar, molasses and vanilla together until light and fluffy.
In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients (with a whisk) and add to the pumpkin mixture slowly, mix until well combined.
Scoop rounded spoonfuls of batter (using a quick-release ice cream scoop) onto the cookie sheet and space at least 2-inches apart.
Bake for 10-13 minutes or until done. Check for doneness with a toothpick.
* Filling: Whip-up the butter and cream cheese. Slowly add the sifted confectioners’ sugar, add in vanilla, and dash of lemon. Beat until light and fluffy.
After the whoopies have cooled, place a scoop of filling between two cookies.
I like to wrap them individually in plastic wrap and chill. They freeze beautifully… ENJOY!!!
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What’s not to like about brownies? Everyone loves homemade brownies. Oh, can you imagine, a pan full of hot, homemade, decadent, dark chocolate brownies baking in your house? Now, let’s just healthy-it-up a bit and add some yummy, melty, dark chocolate chips, and sweet, wild Maine blueberries to the already rich, chocolately, whole-grain batter. In one word, Divine. Who needs to buy a mix when you can easily bake “real” brownies from scratch at home?
By far these are the best brownies that I’ve ever had, so I just had to share this fabulous recipe. Let me know what you think.
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If you can’t bake (or you just don’t want to), and need to place an order, just let me know….
5 ounces of dark chocolate chips, melted and cooled….. (I used Ghirardelli 60% cacao)
2 sticks of salted butter, softened (or sub. smart balance)
2 cups sugar (or sweetener of choice)
4 whole large eggs
3 teaspoons of vanilla
1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (buy this at the health-food store)
3/4 cup all-purpose white flour (I use organic)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup nuts (optional)
1 cup blueberries (dry on a towel)
Pre-heat oven to 350* Grease or spray a 9 X 13 pan.
Melt 5 ounces of chocolate chips (use your glass measuring cup) in the microwave ( 30 second intervals) and cool the chocolate completely before using!
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add vanilla.
Turn the mixer on low, and drizzle in the cooled, melted chocolate. Mix until just combined. Add flour, cocoa, baking powder and mix until just combined, scrape the sides of the bowl and mix 5 seconds more.
Add the chocolate chips, blueberries, and nuts (if using) mixing a few seconds more, until just combined.
Bake for about 30 min. You’ll know when they’re done when your house fills with the aroma of fresh baked brownies and you just can’t stand waitin’ any longer!!! People will start roaming around your kitchen asking “are they ready yet?” Just tease them a little at first and say “oh no, they must cool first!” While you carefully cut a crispy “corner brownie” and hide somewhere to eat that first hot, chocolatey, gooey piece of heaven! Trust me, these fabulous brownies won’t last long……