Four Ingredient Banana Peanut Butter Oatmeal Toddler Cookies (Egg Free, Dairy Free, Added Sugar Free)

°Want a treat for your toddler you can feel good about giving them? These 4 ingredient cookies will have them fooled into thinking they are eating a sugary cookie (but they’re not!), and you can enjoy your Oreo in peace 🙂

It seems like no matter what I am eating, my toddler HAS to have a bite – and 99% of the time he doesn’t even know what it is! Am I alone in this?! Awhile back I decided he needed to have something that he considered a treat but was also healthy because I was feeling a little bit of mom guilt for letting him have a bite of my chocolate chip cookie every time I had one (in my defense, I’m pregnant so yes, I do have a cookie (or four) every day!). He loves these and has no idea that they are in the “healthy” world because let’s be honest, he doesn’t understand what healthy is except that he doesn’t like most veggies because they are green (we’re working on it).

The four ingredients in these are all pantry staples – oatmeal, peanut butter, honey, and a banana. Plus you have another recipe in your pocket for using up those browning bananas on your counter – this recipe is perfect because it only needs one banana which it seems is about all I can ever get to make it to the baking stage without getting eaten. Not complaining, just saying that my kid likes bananas so I get a little bit less banana bread making these days.

I hope you enjoy these quick and easy snacks for your kids or you! Please feel free to add any other goodies you like to them – chocolate chips, chia, flax seeds, M & M’s, etc. ♥

 

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Four Ingredient Banana Peanut Butter Oatmeal Toddler Cookies (Egg Free, Dairy Free, Added Sugar Free)
Quick, easy, and healthy cookie alternative for you kids or you! Throw in some chocolate chips and they will really think they hit the jackpot!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Dessert
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Cuisine Dessert
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet lightly with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, mash the banana until smooth.
  3. Stir in the oatmeal, peanut butter, and honey. Mix well.
  4. Spoon cookies the size of a Tbsp onto the cookie sheet. You can flatten them if you want them to look more like cookies - they won't change shape much at all while baking.
  5. Bake for 12 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

You can add any of the above mentioned mix-ins to your cookies to change it up. I occasionally add 1 Tbsp of chocolate chips for more sweetness but they are just as good without.

Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week on the counter or in the refrigerator. These would freeze very well too.

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Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Hand Pies

Looking for a weeknight dessert? Or something to impress your better half? These hand pies (with shortcuts!) give you the indulgence and zest of a lemon-y cheesecake with the simplicity and mess-free nature of a hand pie. Give them a try – you won’t be disappointed ♥

Every year I struggle with a Valentine’s Day gift for my husband. We’ve never treated it as a “gift” holiday, but more of a thoughtful gesture day. My husband knows the way to my heart is chocolate, and I usually make something for him or get him his favorite beer – although now that he has beer on tap at work, that doesn’t feel very special anymore.

Since he loves pie, and I could do without it I decided to go the route of handheld pies for Valentine’s Day – that way he could enjoy it and I wouldn’t have half a pie left over to go to waste. These would freeze great too for a treat now and then. To be honest, they always look a little more “rustic” than I expect but I’ve learned to appreciate it because, really, look at them – you can see right into the luscious swirls of cheesecake and blueberry.

To simplify this recipe, I used store bought Pillsbury pie crust and canned pie filling. Sorry, not sorry, but I don’t feel like standing over a hot stove to make homemade pie filling when I’m 37 weeks pregnant. Maybe next time. Enjoy! Let me know what you think in the comments below ↓ or if you make them tag me on instagram @midwest.mash

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Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Hand Pies
A beautiful, rich dessert that goes beyond a typical hand pie by adding the lusciousness of lemon cheesecake
Course Dessert
Cuisine Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
pies
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Cuisine Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
pies
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl cream together the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest. It will be a little bit tough to work with at first but it is best if the cream cheese is cold to start.
  3. Lay out the pie crust (you will only need one of the two in the package) on a light dusting of flour. Roll out about 1" to make the dough easier to work with.
  4. Use a circle cookie cutter of ~6" diameter to cut the dough into circles.
  5. Put 1 tsp of the cream cheese mixture and 1 tsp of pie filling on each circle. Fold the circle in half over the filling and press the edges tightly closed. Then roll up the edges for an extra seal.
  6. Place pies on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet. Cut a small slit in the top of each pie.
  7. Scramble the egg in a bowl and then egg wash the top of each pie. Sprinkle each pie with a bit of sugar, and then bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Do not be alarmed if the tops start to crack.
Recipe Notes

Since you are only using one of the two pie crusts in the package, you could double the recipe for the cream cheese mixture to make 16 instead of 8 hand pies. Otherwise, save the crust and make a yummy pot pie!

These would also be good with cherry or strawberry pie filling if you don't love blueberry ♥

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Butterscotch and Chocolate Chip Cookies (Bakery Style)

What’s the best smell in the world? Cookies baking in your oven, of course! These bakery style cookies are buttery, soft on the inside, and have just the right amount of saltiness to keep your sweet tooth in check. If you’re so lucky to get a bite with butterscotch and chocolate, it tastes like the topping on scotcheroos – yes, these cookies are pretty much everything you want a cookie to be.

If you’re still in a turkey coma like I am, the last thing you want to do is think about food, but it’s only 4 1/2 weeks until Christmas! I’m sure you’re already procrastinating about gift buying and present wrapping (raising my hand very high), so check one thing off your list and make some cookies to freeze to gift later. I’ve tried many different cookie recipes over the years, and when I found this one I honestly stopped searching for others. I tweaked the original recipe a bit because 1) I like a little bit more salt in my cookies and 2) holiday cookies need a little bit more flair, thus the addition of butterscotch chips. Also, this recipe consistently makes 40-45 cookies! Yes, almost 4 dozen! Great neighbor gifts, teacher gifts, thank the mailman gifts, or cookie swap additions.

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Butterscotch and Chocolate Chip Cookies (Bakery Style)
Bakery style cookies that will melt in your mouth, and with a yield of almost 4 dozen there's plenty to go around
Course Dessert
Cuisine Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12-15 minutes
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Cuisine Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12-15 minutes
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. With mixer, cream butter (at room temperature) with white and brown sugars until fluffy.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla to butter mixture and mix for 1-2 minutes on low.
  5. Gradually mix flour mixture into butter/egg mixture until all is combined.
  6. Mix in chocolate chips and butterscotch chips.
  7. Place tablespoon size balls of cookie dough (or use a standard cookie scoop) onto cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes (mine are almost always done by 12-13 minutes) until just tan around the edges. The middle will be soft but that's okay. Let cool on cookie sheet for 5-10 minutes then transfer to cooling rack or counter.
Recipe Notes

If you like your cookies less salty, you can use unsalted butter.

Keep an eye on your cookies the last 2-3 minutes, you don't want them overdone!

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Easy Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Happy Spring! Let’s take a moment to forget about the < 40 degree weather and the snow that fell this morning. I’m going to look at pictures of gardens, flowers, and baby animals on Pinterest to remain in denial about the current lack of Spring outside. Are you with me? Mmmmkay.

I recently came across an interesting Instagram post about how people really just want the recipes and don’t care about your recent trip to the mountains or how your baby did the cutest thing the other day when they go to your blog page. I don’t entirely agree with that but I can see both sides. I feel like half of my readers are people who I have known forever who genuinely are interested in what is going on in my life, especially since we moved. The other half probably does just want the recipe because they came across the post on Instagram or Pinterest. That being said, I’ve decided to write recipe posts and life posts separately on bigger topics. I am still going to include personal tidbits with my recipes because that is the whole concept of my blog.  (If you would like to read my first life post – tips for traveling without your infant click on Oh Baby in the menu above or go here)

This is hands down my favorite banana bread recipe because 1- it’s easy and 2 – I have tweaked it hundreds of times and it comes out great every time. I can’t not make it with chocolate chips so if you’re not into that, sorry not sorry. I make this at least once a month and I will continue to do so because I. LOVE. IT. and I like to pretend it’s a lil’ bit healthy (notice the giant slab of butter).


Print Recipe
Easy Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Have an hour to spare? Whip together this banana bread! It smells so good you'll want to trade in your candles for this bread every day.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Bread
Cook Time 50-60 minutes
Servings
slices
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Cuisine Bread
Cook Time 50-60 minutes
Servings
slices
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan.
  2. Smash bananas in a large bowl (I use a fork). Add melted butter and stir.
  3. Mix in the baking soda and salt. Add in the beaten egg followed by the sugar and vanilla extract.
  4. Finally, stir in the flour.
  5. Pour your batter into the loaf pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips on TOP and use a butter knife to swirl the chocolate chips into the top 1/4 of the batter. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT so the chips don't sink and stick to the bottom of the pan.
  6. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a butter knife comes out mostly clean. Note: a glass pan will need a few minutes longer than a metal pan.
  7. Let cool in the pan. Or eat warm with some melted butter mmmmm.
Recipe Notes

Halfway through cooling I transfer the bread to a piece of wax paper and let it cool on its side so it doesn't sink too much.

Enjoy!

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Chewy Molasses Cookies

There is nothing that will make your house smell more like the holidays than molasses cookies. Something about that cinnamon, ginger, and cloves makes you want to sing Jingle Bells.

Every year I swear I am going to start my shopping early, make cookies and freeze them, and wrap presents while the babe is sleeping. All I can say is oopsSigh. I think I secretly get an adrenaline rush from approaching the Christmas deadline in a scramble. I still have 5 treats on my list to make before Christmas, BUT my shopping is done! Hallelujah! I attempted wrapping presents in the middle of the afternoon yesterday and this is what happened: the baby decided to roll circles around the room to make his way over to tear wrapping paper and eat cardboard boxes while the dog followed him to lick up drool; the cat secretly sat in the corner and chewed on ribbon as I yelled at her every couple of minutes; in the meantime, I cut pieces of wrapping paper too small for the packages I was wrapping and had to do major patch work. Is R too young for me to blame bad wrapping on him? Ugh, probably. Sorry family!

Please enjoy these molasses cookies. I adapted a recipe from Taste of Home to adjust the spices, and my husband now swears by these cookies. I will be the first to admit that I kind of despise molasses cookies – they would rank around #162 on my “Cookies I Would Choose to Eat” list, but in all honesty – I had a couple of these and I would eat them again. I promised the husband I would make one treat a week if we both started working out at least 2 days a week (bribery will get you everywhere), and this is what he chose! I’m making Scotcheroo Bites for my choice next week mmhmm.

Print Recipe
Chewy Molasses Cookies
Spicy, fragrant holiday favorite. Yummy!
Course Dessert
Cook Time 13-15 minutes
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Cook Time 13-15 minutes
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. With stand or hand mixer: cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in eggs and molasses until combined.
  4. Combine the dry ingredients and then gradually incorporate into wet mixture.
  5. Shape into ping pong size balls (or use a cookie scoop) and roll into sugar. Place on baking sheet and bake for 13-15 minutes or until top just starts to show cracks. Cool on cooling rack.
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Double Chocolate Caramel Cookies

 

Well, it’s official. I’m in the 30-something club. I’d describe my feelings about this as “all of the emoji faces smashed into one”. Before my birthday I thought – this is going to be fine, actually 30 sounds nice and mature. On my birthday I thought – holy crap, I’m not in my 20s anymore; do I have to start shopping in a different section; is it reasonable to still wear t-shirts from high school; does my haircut make me look like an old lady instead of young and fresh? Today, two days later I have these thoughts –       . Exactly. I’m tired of analyzing my age.

This morning as my husband and I were leaving church with the little man we were chuckling about how our entire pew was full of young families. I swear there were at least 3 car seats and 10 children under the age of 5 sitting around us. Then he said to me, “I feel like all of those parents were older than us.” And we realized that we have no concept of how old we are because I’m certain that those parents were all about the same age as us give or take a few years. I don’t think I’ll ever think of myself as the age that I am. I mean really, in my mind I’m still a 22 year old college kid who doesn’t have life figured out when in reality I have a husband, a baby, a career, and a mortgage, so yeah, I’m REALLY 30. Also, I hope I’m not the only one who does this, but as I looked around church this morning and saw the other moms who have cute hair, a put together outfit, and children who are clean with their shirts still tucked in, and I’m like “wow, those women are mom-ing and adult-ing wonderfully”. I sincerely hope that occasionally someone thinks that about me.

What do I hope to accomplish in my thirtieth year? Well, when I was in college I wrote a bucket list full of adventurous things such as parasailing, cliff diving, and climbing Machu Picchu. Although I would still love to do those things, they now seem less important. Instead, I would love to just watch my son grow this year and teach him about life. I’d love to take him on small and big adventures like we did growing up. I think a yearly family vacation is important even if we just go to the national park a half an hour away. I would like to continue to grow this blog because it gives me an outlet for my thoughts and recipes. And something that was on original bucket list – I would like to someday write a cookbook; I don’t think it will happen when I am 30, but maybe in my 30s.

Enough about all of those crazy life thoughts. I’m sharing my recipe for these wonderfully gooey cake mix cookies today. I thought it was appropriate because I have been making them throughout my 20s, and this recipe has sort of grown with me over the years. I have tweaked it multiple times to get it just right.

Print Recipe
Double Chocolate Caramel Cookies
Simple and quick cookie recipe to add to your mix.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Servings
dozen cookies
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Servings
dozen cookies
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Unwrap your Rolos (trust me, do this first and it will save you a headache later)
  3. Mix together cake mix, eggs, oil, and flour. Then fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Take a ping pong ball sized amount of dough and wrap it around a Rolo (make sure it is completely covered). Place on nonstick or sprayed cookie sheet. A baking mat also works well.
  5. Bake for 8 minutes then remove from oven. Let cool on pan.
Recipe Notes

The time is important! 9 minutes is really too long and they will start to taste a little bit burnt.

I added the flour because it seemed that without it the Rolo always leaked out of the bottom of the cookies.

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