Dreaming of Holiday Sweets

Aren’t the holidays the best excuse to bake?

They most certainly are for me! In fact, discovering holiday baking recipes on blogs, websites and Pinterest has been my go-to method of procrastination. I’m even daydreaming about cookies, muffins, brownies, trifles and casseroles as I write this post!

Even though I’m not at UF this semester, I definitely have the “finals fever” (a.k.a. the panic and mental exhaustion that result from studying for hours upon end). I only have one final exam Monday, but I’m still tired from responding to never-ending emails at work; writing a 20-page research paper on domestic violence; assembling a portfolio about my semester in Washington, D.C.; and trying to find housing for the spring semester, which is turning into a nightmare.

Luckily, last week was a bit of a break because I flew home to Florida for Thanksgiving. Besides enjoying the perfect weather, I spent most of my time in the kitchen ringing in the holiday season. Here’s a few recipes I made to kick-off the best time of the year:

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

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If you love oatmeal and you love pumpkin, you MUST try this recipe. I ate a few brownn-sugar-topped slices filled with raisins for breakfast and dinner the day I made it. My brother ate half the pan on his own!

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As you can see, I enjoyed my first serving fresh out of the oven with a small, sliced banana and a spoonful of peanut butter. Yum!

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The recipe is courtesy of Kath at Kath Eats Real Food. Trust me – she knows her oats. In fact, she loves oatmeal so much that her blog includes a tribute to them.

Healthy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

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These cookies from were an instant hit! One of my best friends and I whipped up a small batch the night before Thanksgiving, and the cookies quickly disappeared at both my house and hers before the night was finished.

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The cookies boasted a unique but awesome flavor and texture due to the mix of oats, dark chocolate chips, dried cranberries and chopped walnut pieces. Unfortunately, my friend clipped the recipe from Shape magazine, and I can’t seem to find it online. This recipe seems like the one we used, but it uses all-purpose flour instead of whole-wheat pastry flour; about 1/2 cup more sugar; and a whole stick of butter as opposed to a half.

Healthy Banana Applesauce Mini Muffins

Note: this recipe makes about 30 mini muffins, which means they are perfect for snacking!

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These mini muffins were literally bursting bananas. Just look at the chunks peeking out! I topped a few of these puppies with melted butter each morning. The moistness and flavor reminded me of really good banana bread.

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I followed the method used to make my Healthy Pumpkin Pie Spice muffins. However, I substituted two mashed bananas for the one cup of pumpkin, and I also omitted the pumpkin pie spice. I added about two teaspoons cinnamon instead.

Sadly, I know this is just the beginning of my holiday baking obsession. Luckily, I’ll be back in my beloved home kitchen cooking the recipes you’ll find below in 11 short days!

Warning – Although the recipes in this post were healthy, I do like to indulge from time to time. :)

Interesting holiday recipes:

Candy Cane Peppermint Patties - haniela’s from my kitchen to yours

Homemade Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups -  The Luxury Spot

Colorful Christmas Swirl Cookies - Our Italian Kitchen

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4 thoughts on “Dreaming of Holiday Sweets

  1. Pingback: Perfect Holiday Topping – Glazed Pecans « Hungry Gator Gal

  2. Pingback: Whole-Wheat Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins « Hungry Gator Gal

  3. Pingback: Double Chocolate Gingerbread Nut Bars « Hungry Gator Gal

  4. Pingback: Double Chocolate Gingerbread Nut Bars « Hungry Gator Gal

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