Blueberry Bars

Blueberry Bars

Blueberry Bars

While most of the country is still sweltering under record high temperatures, the summer season has begun to wind down and things are cooling off here up north. I’ve seen several leaves already begin to yellow and fall off the trees, and flocks of geese high in the sky flying south for the Winter.

Although I’m sad to see Summer come to an end, one of the things I’m really happy about is that, in many parts of the state, berries have ripened and are ready to pick. Last weekend the annual Blueberry Festival was held out in Girdwood. It’s a really fun event filled with music, food, and of course, berry picking. I wasn’t able to attend the festival this year, but I did get in the spirit of the blueberry season by stopping by the local market and picking up some blueberries there. Some of the blueberries were used to make Blueberry Pancakes, but the rest were used in these wonderful Blueberry Bars.

There’s nothing quite like the flavor you get from using fresh berries in baked goods. They just taste so delicious. The spices in this recipe are purposely kept to a minimal in order to ensure that the natural flavor of the blueberries really shines through.

~Enjoy~




Blueberry Bars

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
1 egg
2 cups fresh blueberries

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and allspice with a whisk. Blend the butter and egg into the flour mixture with a pastry blender, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Pat 3/4 of the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan, pressing firmly.

Place blueberries over crumb base in a single layer.

Blueberry layer

Blueberry layer

Sprinkle remaining crumbs evenly over blueberries.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top is slightly brown. Remove from the oven and place pan on a wire rack to cool. Cut into squares.

Skillet Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake

Skillet Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake

Skillet Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake

Skillet Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake

Skillet Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake

When they say that this cold & flu season is going to be a bad one, boy they aren’t kidding. For over a week now, I’ve been suffering with a horrible cold. It’s absolutely one of the worst colds I’ve ever had.

I’m just beginning to feel better, but in an attempt to help speed up the healing process, I decided to bake this wonderful Skillet Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake. 🙂

I don’t know about you, but a fresh baked goodie always makes me feel better. 😉

~Enjoy~




Skillet Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake

Cake

4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 cups blueberries

Topping

1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup cold butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 12-inch cast iron skillet, or make sure it’s well seasoned.

Combine all cake ingredients, except blueberries, in a large mixing bowl.
Beat until batter is well mixed. Gently stir in blueberries by hand.
Pour batter into skillet.

Skillet Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake batter

Skillet Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake batter

For topping, stir together sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Sprinkle over batter.

Skillet Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake topping

Skillet Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake topping

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.



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Skillet Blueberry and Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls

Skillet Blueberry and Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls

Skillet Blueberry and Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls

For today’s recipe, I decided to combine two of my favorite things – blueberries, and my new cast iron skillet. 🙂

I’ve been having a ball cooking all sorts of meals in my skillet, but I really get a kick out of baking in it. I don’t know what it is, but it just seems like the baked goodies come out better in the iron skillet. Maybe it’s just me though. 😉

Anyway, I haven’t had a chance to go out hunting again for the seemingly elusive wild Alaskan blueberry yet, but I still had enough blueberries in my freezer to include in this tasty treat.

~Enjoy~




Skillet Blueberry and Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls

1 loaf (1 lb.) frozen bread dough, thawed
4 ounces non-fat cream cheese, softened (regular works fine too)
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
6 ounces blueberries, fresh or frozen (thawed)

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll dough into a 12″x16″ rectangle. Spread cream cheese evenly over the dough. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle mixture over cream cheese. Drop blueberries evenly over top.

Roll up dough, starting at long side. Pinch seam to seal. Cut roll into 1-inch slices. Place slices, cut side down, in a greased or well seasoned 10″ or 12″ iron skillet. Cover skillet with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size – approximately 30-40 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove plastic wrap from skillet and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Enjoy plain, or frost with Cream Cheese Icing. (recipe below)

Makes 16 rolls.



Cream Cheese Icing
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In a medium mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Beat in milk. Gradually add powdered sugar until icing is of spreading consistency. Frost rolls.



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Blueberry Yogurt Cake

Blueberry Yogurt Cake slice

Blueberry Yogurt Cake slice

Blueberry Yogurt Cake

Blueberry Yogurt Cake

Blueberry Yogurt Cake with Vanilla Glaze

Blueberry Yogurt Cake with Vanilla Glaze

Fall is my very favorite season. Even though the temperature is decidedly cooler, I just can’t get enough of seeing all the brilliant colors of the turning leaves. They are so beautiful.

Another fall favorite, is the abundance of berries that can be found during this time of year. I just love settling down in a berry patch, taking in the view, and de-stressing while plucking the little berries off the bushes. I also enjoy contemplating all the delicious goodies I can whip up with them. 🙂

On my hiking trek at Alyeska last weekend, I brought along a few containers – expecting to find a plethora of blueberries along the way and stuffing the containers full. Even though I kept looking the whole way along the trail, I didn’t even come across one single berry. They must have already been snatched up by other berry picking enthusiasts, or by the bears – who are probably stuffing themselves before hibernation.

Instead of including the intended wild Alaskan blueberries in this latest recipe, I had to rely on store bought. Either way though, this cake turned out absolutely delicious. 🙂

~Enjoy~




Blueberry Yogurt Cake

3 large eggs
6 ounces light vanilla yogurt
2 packets True Orange
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup Smart Balance Omega cooking oil
1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
2 cups frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10 or 12-cup Bundt cake pan or a tube cake pan.

In a mixing bowl with electric mixer, beat together eggs, yogurt, True Orange, water, sugar, and oil. Slowly beat in the cake mix. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Gently fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into prepared cake pan.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center of cake comes out clean.

Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes. Invert onto serving dish and cool completely.
Drizzle cooled cake with Vanilla Glaze; if desired.



Vanilla Glaze

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon butter, melted

Mix all ingredients until creamy. Pour over cooled cake.



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Blueberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

Blueberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

Blueberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

It’s official…the oven in my new home works!! 🙂

Well, I finally got most of my belongings out of boxes and into their places.
Moving is such a chore, but I must say that I’m really enjoying my new home. I especially like my new fireplace…which I’m sure will come in handy during the long, cold winters that we have here in Alaska.

I’ll be posting some photos of my new home shortly. But in the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe.

This is my first creation in my new kitchen. It’s a very yummy muffin that includes two of my favorite ingredients – blueberries and chocolate chips.

~Enjoy~



Blueberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease and flour a 12-cup muffin tin, or line with paper baking liners.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.
Make a well in the center of dry ingredients. Add egg, milk, oil and vanilla. Stir just until mixed (lumpy not smooth). Gently fold in blueberries and chocolate chips.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan, filling three-fourths full. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool in pan for 2 minutes. Remove to wire rack.

Makes 12 muffins.



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