cinnamon sugar butter cookies

Well now, isn’t that just a lovely thought?  Cinnamon & Sugar in a butter cookie?  Why didn’t I think of that before!?

The cookie uses my favorite buttery, dense norwegian shortbread base, with a lace of cinnamon and a dusting of cinnamon-sugar on top.  And the best part – there are only 6 ingredients, that I’m almost positive you have in your kitchen right now.  All good things, right?

cinnamon sugar butter cookies

Yes, I know it’s similar in concept to a Snickerdoodle, but not being a huge Snickerdoodle fan myself, I am much happier with these.

Give these a try the next time you are craving a cinnamony, buttery treat but yet you just don’t feel like getting your hands dirty.  (Does anyone else get tired of the mess of rolling cookies in sugar, like I do?!) These are a much quicker, much butterier (Is that a word?!?), and much cleaner cookie to make.

Amen, amen, amen!

Oh you guys.  I wish you could just SMELL these cookies.  I really do.  Even if you can’t eat them (diet, allergies?!) please just make them to enjoy the achingly cozy aroma (and then give them to your friends or neighbors!).

All the glorious smells of fresh homemade cinnamon rolls, in a fraction of the time and effort.  Make these once and you’ll make them again and again.  I promise!

cinnamon sugar butter cookies

cinnamon sugar butter cookies

Yield: makes over 4 dozen medium cookies

Ingredients

    for the dough:
  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5 1/4 cups flour
  • for dusting, stir together:
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large mixer bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Beat in the egg, salt and cinnamon until well mixed.

Mix in the flour, on low speed, until just well combined. Scoop the dough (using a spoon, or a medium pastry scoop) onto the parchment-lined baking sheets, at least an inch apart.

Press the balls of dough down to about 1/4" or so thickness with a fork dipped in cold water. After you have pressed down all the dough on a cookie sheet, go back and generously sprinkle each cookie with the cinnamon and sugar mixture.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, until just set and very lightly golden brown around the edges. Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the freezer for several weeks!

http://sweetannas.com/2014/12/cinnamon-sugar-butter-cookies.html

 

spiced honey nut granola

I’m standing in my kitchen surrounded by the intoxicating aroma of baking granola.  The sweet, spicy smells and the anticipation of the perfect crunchy satisfaction are almost driving my bonkers, and my stomach is growling insistently.

There is almost nothing better than baking a batch of fresh, homemade granola.  It is so incredibly simple to throw together, and the scent of granola in the oven is just plain heaven.  The sweet, nutty, cozy aroma just screams fall!

honey nut granola | Sweet Anna's

Have you ever made homemade granola?  If you haven’t, now’s the time!  Making granola is about the easiest thing you can do in your kitchen.  (And it’s an easy hands-on project for the kids too, if that’s your sort of thing!)

With less than 5 minutes of prep, and into the oven, sometimes I think I could make granola every day.  We snack on it by the handful and enjoy it on our morning bowls of yogurt.

honey nut granola | Sweet Anna's

Of course, I rarely seem to be able to make the same recipe twice (there are just too many fun variations of granola to enjoy!) but this spiced, nutty version is definitely one of my favorites.

And really, what’s better than a quick bowl of homemade granola and yogurt on a busy fall morning?!

spiced honey nut granola

Yield: makes about 8 cups of granola

Ingredients

  • 5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar*
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil
  • 2 cups sliced almonds, or other chopped nuts

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325ºF.

In a large bowl, stir together the oats, brown sugar, spices and salt.

(I like my granola pretty mild since we usually eat it with yogurt and jam. If you want a sweeter granola, increase the brown sugar to 1/2 cup!)

In a small bowl, melt together the coconut oil and the honey in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until just melted (you can also do this in a small pan on the stove).

Stir the honey mixture into the oat mixture until well coated. Spread evenly onto a large, rimmed baking sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes, remove from the oven and stir in the nuts, and then bake another 15-20 minutes, until the granola is golden.

Remove from the oven and cool completely, stirring occasionally as it cools to prevent big clumps (unless you like big clumps, then by all means, leave it be!)

http://sweetannas.com/2014/10/spiced-honey-nut-granola.html

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What’s your favorite way to eat granola?  On yogurt?  With milk?  Just plain??

Perfectly Fudgy Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Brownies

You guys.  You guys!  I am so so so excited about these brownies.

I’m not even exaggerating saying I was tearing up when I tasted the first one out of the pan.  The first bite crackled as it hit my tongue and then dissolved into a dense, chewy, moist, fudgy bite of perfect brownie.

Gluten Free Dairy Free Perfectly Fudgy Brownies | Sweet Anna's

But why all the dramatic tearing up, you ask?

Here it is: I struggle with restrictive-diet foods.  I hate making something that is only “ok”, or even “good, for being gluten free”.  I currently don’t have anyone in my immediate family on restrictive diets, but I have so many friends and loved ones who are.  And it breaks my heart to only have half-way things to offer them.

Food matters to me.

Beyond nutrition and basic needs, food is important.  Food cements our memories and our experiences, infusing them with an unforgettable taste and aroma that have the power to bring up the face of our beloved grandma with just a bite of her famous cookie recipe.  Or a memory of the day we gave birth to our firstborn, because we ate spicy thai food that morning.

However your experience looks…  food matters.

And even when I can’t serve the people I care about my favorite treats,  I want to serve you something great.  Something memory making.  Something that makes you forget that there is any other option of that type of treat.  A just-as-good treat, if not better that the memory you have, instead of a good-enough treat that just barely reaches the edge of a craving.

So, I’ll stop talking and give you what you want now.  If you can’t eat gluten or dairy, I hope you enjoy these.  And if you can, I hope you can enjoy the feeling of having a great recipe to bless your gluten-free or dairy-free friends with.

Gluten Free Dairy Free Perfectly Fudgy Brownies | Sweet Anna's

I love you, friends!  Enjoy!

Perfectly Fudgy Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Brownies

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 3/4 dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour mix*
  • 1 1/2 cups dairy-free chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9x13" glass baking dish with coconut oil, lay a piece of parchment paper down and then grease that.

In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and baking soda. Whisk in half of the melted coconut oil until smooth, then whisk in the hot water until smooth and thick.

Whisk in the sugar, vanilla, salt & eggs until smooth, then the remaining coconut oil.

*When you measure the flour mix, please stir it up well before scooping, or use a spoon to spoon it into your measuring cups so it's not overpacked. I use Namaste Perfect All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Blend because I love it and it's readily available at Costco and Amazon.

Sprinkle the flour over the top of the batter in the bowl and then 1 cup of the chocolate chips on top of that. Use a fork or spatula to gently mix in the flour, just until the flour is mixed in.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan, sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips and bake for 30-40 minutes.

(Start checking them at 30 minutes, and then every few minutes until they are just set and the brownies start to pull away from the edges of the pan. Don't overbake these. They will finish off baking in the pan as they cool on the counter!)

Let cool completely before cutting for prettiest results (if you can wait that long!).

http://sweetannas.com/2014/10/perfectly-fudgy-gluten-free-dairy-free-brownies.html

Oh, and Costco chocolate chips (Kirkland Signature Brand) are naturally Dairy-Free!  YAY!

cinnamon chip pumpkin blondies

Pumpkin already?!  Well, it’s raining and cool here today.  My kids start school in a week and a bit, and yours are probably close to it if not there already.

It doesn’t get much more fall-ish than this!

Cinnamon Chip Pumpkin Blondies | Sweet Anna's

So, to celebrate the beginning of fall (my favoritest season!) and the excitement of back-to-school (yay!), and the return of my all-time-favorite-cinnamon-baking-chips… here is an easy, delicious, fall-filled treat that will make your house smell amazing and your tummies happy.

If you’re looking for something different than your usual pumpkin bars/breads and you’re as ready for fall as I am, make these pumpkin blondies soon!

They are sweet, dense, flavorful, everything you love in a great brownie, but loaded with pumpkin and spices instead.  Delicious!

cinnamon chip pumpkin blondies

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, melted & slightly cooled
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups pure pumpkin purée (one 15oz can)
  • 1 2/3 cup cinnamon chips (one 10oz bag), divided (1 1/3 cup + 1/3 cup)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350ºF and lightly grease a 9x13" glass baking dish.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, spices and salt.

In a large bowl, whisk together the melted & cooled butter and the sugars until very smooth (and not warm at all). Whisk in the egg, vanilla & pumpkin until smooth.

Gently whisk in the flour mixture and then fold in the 1 1/3 cup cinnamon chips.

Spread the batter into the greased 9x13" baking dish and sprinkle the remaining 1/3 cup cinnamon chips over the top of the batter.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean.

Let cool completely before cutting and store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 weeks if you'd like!

http://sweetannas.com/2014/08/cinnamon-chip-pumpkin-blondies.html

recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

Fudgy Twix Brownies

Because you can never have enough brownies…  especially when said brownies are chewy, fudgy, and loaded with chopped up Twix candy bar pieces, right?

Fudgy Twix Brownies | Sweet Anna's

I know, I know…  enough with the brownie recipes already.  You guys are probably sick of them by now, aren’t you?

I don’t know why I just can’t seem to stop.  Maybe it’s because they are so easy to make, so incredibly satisfying, or so crowd-pleasing?  Whatever the reason, I haven’t gotten tired of making brownies from scratch yet.

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