Fall Harvest Favorites

Ah… Thanksgiving!

What a great time to sit back, relax and rehash the “best of” harvest recipes. Here are five of our favorite fall recipes, each featuring ingredients you might still have on hand from your Thanksgiving feast.

Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend!

Cranberry Butternut Scones (above)

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins (below)

Sweet Potato Muffins (below)

Butternut Breakfast Muffins (below)

Sweet Potato Coffee Cake (below)

Devilishly-Dark Chocolate Tea Bread (below)

Although they don’t fit into our typical baking line-up, I also recommend the following season-appropriate soups:

Fantastic Fall Harvest Soup

Delicious Pumpkin Peanut Butter Soup

© Liesl K. Bohan  |  SavvyBaker.com

Triple Chocolate Chip Brownie Cookies

“Triple”—because of the cocoa, melted chocolate and chocolate chips; “brownie”—because of the texture; Triple Chocolate Chip Brownie Cookies—because sometimes a little chocolate just isn’t enough!

Adapted from a recipe published in Redbook magazine, this one contains half as much butter (proportionally) plus added whole grains and a touch of fruit.

Triple Chocolate Chip Brownie Cookies

Makes 3 dozen cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted

2 cups 50/50 flour*
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

* Note: You can buy this off the shelf, but I use a less-expensive homemade mix of all-purpose and whole wheat flour. If you don’t have a mix ready, use 1 cup each of whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour for this recipe.

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line baking sheet with a Silpat mat or parchment paper.
  2. Cream butter and sugars in a stand mixer.
  3. Add eggs, applesauce and vanilla. Mix slowly at first, then scrape down sides and beat until well combined.
  4. Pour chocolate into mixture and beat until well blended.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add to wet ingredients and blend until combined.
  6. Add chocolate chips and mix well. Dough will be stiff.
  7. Drop dough one medium cookie scoop or packed tablespoon at a time onto prepared baking sheet, 2 inches apart.
  8. Bake 10 minutes, until set.
  9. Cool for a couple of minutes on baking sheet, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

These are best eaten the first day or two. Store extras between layers of wax paper in a loosely covered container.

© Liesl K. Bohan  |  SavvyBaker.com

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Oat Rolls

I’m still having fun experimenting with cinnamon chip and sweet potato combinations. Here’s the latest recipe to receive a stamp of approval from kids and adults alike. Look closely at the photos, and you might get a sense of how the cinnamon chips are swirled between layers of tender sweet potato oat rolls. Best served warm, these taste as heavenly as they smell.

Happy Halloween!

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Oat Rolls

Yield: 12 rolls

1 cup cooked sweet potatoes, drained and mashed
1 cup dried cranberries or raisins
3/4 cup evaporated nonfat milk
1 egg
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons lightly packed brown sugar

1 cup rolled oats (not instant)
2/3 cup almond meal*
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons rapid or instant yeast

1/2 cup cinnamon baking chips

* I make my own almond meal by processing raw or toasted almonds with a coffee grinder and then sifting the meal to remove the larger pieces.

  1. Add all ingredients except cinnamon baking chips to bread machine in manufacturer’s recommended order and run dough cycle. (These are listed in the ideal order for our Breadman machines.)
  2. While the dough is rising, mist a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.
  3. Upon completion of dough cycle, use lightly floured hands to divide dough into two equal pieces, returning one piece to the bread machine pan and covering it with a tea towel.
  4. Place the other piece on a Silpat mat or lightly floured surface.
  5. Stretch and press dough into a rectangle of about 9 x 13 inches.
  6. Spread half of the cinnamon chips over the flattened dough.
  7. Starting on one of the 13-inch edges, roll the dough into a tube and seal the long seam by pinching the dough together upon completion.
  8. With kitchen shears or a sharp knife, cut the tube into 6 equal pieces and place each—with an open (swirl) side down—into a cup of the muffin tin. Pinch the tops closed (optional).
  9. Using the remaining dough from the bread machine pan, repeat steps 4-8.
  10. Cover muffin tin with a tea towel and allow dough to rise for 45 minutes. (Preheat oven to 350° F near the end of this time frame.)
  11. Remove towel and bake for 18-20 minutes, until golden.
  12. Remove pan to wire rack to cool for a few minutes before serving.



Store in a tightly sealed container at room temperature for up to three days.

© Liesl K. Bohan  |  SavvyBaker.com

Sun-Dried Tomato Bread

This is one of those recipes that took ages to perfect. Each experiment yielded beautiful bread that was delicate, aromatic and savory-sweet. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the tops to rise to perfection and stay there.

With almost every attempt, the loaf would climb toward the top of the machine and then sink slightly—or drastically—near the end of the bake cycle. Finally, Matt insisted on adding his favorite bread-baking remedy to the mix: gluten. I usually avoid this ingredient because most people don’t have it readily available in their kitchens. After the fifth or sixth failure, however, I gave in. Thankfully, it worked. This recipe now produces a gorgeous and cooperative loaf! Now we can readily share it knowing that the bread should behave for others as well.

Be sure that your bread machine has a Super Rapid, Express Bake or Rapid Bake option before you try this loaf. Like our Rapido! Speedy Italian Bread, our machine bakes this in just 80 minutes. Ah… the perks of modern technology!

Sun-Dried Tomato Bread

Makes one 2-pound loaf

1 1/2 cups nonfat (skim) milk
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

3/4 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 cup dried tomato bits
1 cup rolled oats (not instant)
3 cups bread flour

4 1/2 teaspoons rapid or instant yeast

  1. Add all ingredients to bread machine in the manufacturer’s recommended order.* Use the Super Rapid, Express Bake or similar setting for a 2-pound loaf.
  2. Once baked, cool for 20-30 minutes before slicing.

Store in a tightly sealed container at room temperature for 2-3 days.

* This list is in optimized order for our machine.

P.S. Thanks again for the plate, Katie!

© Liesl K. Bohan  |  SavvyBaker.com

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Scones

The leaves are beginning to turn here in Michigan, so there’s no more denying that fall is here. It’s time to embrace it and all of the gorgeous colors—and flavors—that go along with it, like sweet potatoes and cinnamon!

This recipe provides yet another opportunity to feed young ones (and yourself) some veggies at breakfast or snack time. As mentioned in the post for Sweet Potato Pancakes, this particular tuber provides a gram of protein and more than 100% of the DV for Vitamin A—per ounce! It’s also a good source of vitamin C and dietary fiber.

If you’re counting calories or avoiding processed foods, the down side of these scones is the added cinnamon chips, but they are really good. I bought them to use in a different recipe but decided to “borrow” just a few to see how they would work with sweet potatoes, and—voila!—an exceptional scone flavor combo was born. Forget the other recipe; now I want to use the rest of the bag to make more scones!

Seriously, these are rich, moist and sweeter than a typical scone. Even our youngest wholeheartedly endorses them. When I asked if he liked them, he said no: “I don’t like them. I love them!” So there you have it.

Note: You can use canned “yams” for this recipe. Just drain off any syrup first. (See A Sweeter Sweet Potato for an interesting article on sweet potato and yam labeling in the U.S.)

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Scones

Makes 8 scones

1 1/2 cups 50/50 flour mix*
6 tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs
1/2 cup cooked, peeled, coarsely chopped sweet potatoes (mashed or pressed into the measuring cup)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup nonfat (skim) milk

1 cup rolled oats (not instant)

2/3 cup cinnamon baking chips

* A 50/50 all-purpose/whole wheat flour combo is available in stores, but I mix my own for about half the price. If you don’t have a mix on hand, just use 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour and 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour for this recipe.

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F and mist a 10-inch quiche dish or a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray.
  2. Put first four ingredients (flour through salt) in a food processor and pulse until butter is fully incorporated. If you don’t have a food processor, whisk dry ingredients together and then cut in butter using fingers, knives or a pastry blender.
  3. Put eggs, sweet potatoes, brown sugar and milk in a blender and purée for about 15 seconds. Add oats and purée for another 30 seconds.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir just until moistened.
  5. Fold in cinnamon chips. Dough will be moist, similar to muffin batter.
  6. Transfer dough to prepared dish or plate and spread out evenly.
  7. Using a knife, “score” dough into 8 wedges, cleaning the knife as needed.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes if using a 10-inch dish or 28-33 minutes if using a 9-inch plate—until edges are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Cool in dish on wire rack for 5-10 minutes before slicing.
  10. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Store in a tightly sealed container at room temperature for up to two days.

© Liesl K. Bohan  |  SavvyBaker.com

Sweet Potato Pancakes

I love it when our kids have already downed a serving of whole grains and vegetables by the time breakfast is over. Just one ounce of sweet potato contains a gram of protein and more than 100% of the DV for Vitamin A. It’s also a good source of vitamin C and dietary fiber. As a parent it’s fun to deliver such a nutritional powerhouse via something they adore!

Note: You can use canned “yams” for this recipe. Just drain off any syrup first.

Sweet Potato Pancakes

Makes 18-20 (4-inch) pancakes

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 3/4 cups nonfat (skim) milk
1 cup cooked, peeled, coarsely chopped sweet potatoes
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Walnuts, dried cranberries and maple syrup (optional)

  1. Whisk together first four ingredients (whole wheat flour through salt) in a medium bowl.
  2. Combine remaining five ingredients (milk through vanilla extract) in a blender and puree.
  3. Once griddle or skillet is lightly buttered and preheated to medium (about 310° F), pour wet ingredients into dry and stir together using as few strokes as possible, mixing just until combined.
  4. Using about 1/4 cup per pancake, scoop batter onto griddle or skillet.
  5. Bake each pancake until set and bubbled through, about 2 1/2 minutes. Using a thin spatula, flip once and bake until golden, about 1 1/2 minutes.
  6. Serve immediately with maple syrup, dried cranberries and walnuts or your favorite pancake topping.
  7. Store leftovers in the refrigerator and warm them for breakfast the next day.

* If you want to make the whole batch before serving any, keep the finished pancakes on a baking sheet in a warm oven (200° F) until time to serve.

© Liesl K. Bohan  |  SavvyBaker.com

Peanut Butter Banana Bagels

Ever since posting a Cinnamon Raisin Bagel recipe this summer, I’ve wanted to try something more exotic. While it’s not uncommon to see peanut butter and banana paired together, you’re not going to find this bagel flavor combo at a typical supermarket.

Though I chose to go with walnuts as the add in for these “savvy” bagels, Matt and I agree that we should experiment with peanut butter chips and/or mini chocolate chips as a less-savvy-but-sweeter alternative next time. These are excellent sliced, toasted and topped with butter or peanut butter, but they’re not going to appeal to your sweet tooth unless you use Nutella or a sweetened cream cheese instead. (Hmmm… those options hadn’t occurred to me until writing this. I know what I’m having for breakfast tomorrow!)

Also, one reader is hoping to replicate a peanut butter banana bagel she once had that was adorned with a “delicious” streusel topping. Any ideas on how to achieve that without going overboard on the sugar or butter?

Peanut Butter Banana Bagels

Makes 12-16 bagels (2 pounds)

1 cup mashed bananas
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup nonfat (skim) milk
3 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 teaspoons rapid or instant yeast

3/4 cup walnuts, crushed or chopped

2 tablespoons molasses (for the water)

  1. Add all ingredients except walnuts and “water” molasses to bread machine in the manufacturer’s recommended order. (These are listed in the order best suited to our machine and instant yeast.)
  2. Run the dough cycle, adding walnuts at the add-in beep—if your machine has one—or about 5 minutes before the end of the kneading phase.
  3. Lightly dust a work surface or Silpat mat with flour. Upon completion of dough cycle, turn dough out onto prepared surface or mat.
  4. With lightly floured hands, divide dough into 12-16 equal balls.
  5. Working one at a time, stick your thumb through each dough ball and rotate dough until the hole reaches desired width. Keep in mind that the hole will shrink when the bagel rises.
  6. Cover and allow to rise for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
  7. While dough is rising, add 2 tablespoons of molasses to a large, wide pot filled with water (about two-thirds full) and bring to a boil.
  8. Preheat oven to 400° F and cover a large baking sheet with a Silpat mat or a light coat of cooking spray.
  9. After dough has risen, carefully drop bagels into boiling water in sets of two or three. Without allowing them to touch, boil for 30 seconds on each side. Do not leave them in too long. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bagels to a wire rack or floured tea towel to drain, and then boil the next set.
  10. Once dry, place bagels on prepared baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, until tops are golden.
  11. Allow to cool before slicing.

Store in a tightly sealed container at room temperature for 2-3 days.

© 2011 Liesl K. Bohan  |  SavvyBaker.com

“Knot” the Sailor Bread We Wanted


I don’t know about you, but I definitely prefer cookbooks with photos. Not just a few images here and there or the “best of” relegated to one section in the middle of the book. Nope, I like at least one photo per recipe.

With cooking blogs that’s not a problem. One of the many perks of the Internet is that not only do you have access to all sorts of free recipes, but you can typically count on one or more images per recipe—and often several!

As you may have noticed, I like to share one or two photos per post. Today, however, I’m trying something different. I’m posting a picture but no recipe. How’s that for a change?

Not good, eh? I agree. Thus the “Argh!”

The “Savvy Hubby” spent a good deal of time trying to get photos of this spinach bread just right, and he succeeded. Unfortunately, we’ve both failed in our attempts to get a loaf of this to rise perfectly in our bread machine. Matt has come close on a few occasions, but I’ve had to scrape the remains of my efforts off of the dome of our Breadman twice now, and I’m not about to share the recipe until I can consistently prevent that from happening!

The bread in this photo came from one of Matt’s first tries: a close-to-perfect loaf that missed the mark by falling a little at some point near the end of the bake cycle. Unlike some of our other test runs, thankfully, this recipe has consistently been palatable, yielding a light, airy loaf well worth finishing. Sadly, you’ll just have to trust me on that for now.

Eventually I hope to pass along a spinach bread recipe that children—and adults—will eagerly devour. Until then, I’ll leave you with just one photo and a link to two previous recipes: Cheddar Spinach Rolls and Blue Cheese Sourdough Spinach Bread.

And, appropriately, lyrics from a classic cartoon character…

I’m Popeye the Sailor Man,
I’m Popeye the Sailor Man!
I’m strong to the finish,
’Cause I eats me spinach;
I’m Popeye the Sailor Man!

© Liesl K. Bohan  |  SavvyBaker.com


This blog…

This blog is for sharing home-tested recipes with more whole grains, less fat and fewer calories than similar recipes. If you see something you like, or if you'd like to see more, let me know! - Liesl

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