Tag Archive | brown sugar

Any holiday is a baking holiday..australian anzac cookies

Hey there and happy Anzac Day from Australia! Anzac Day is Australia’s National Day of Remembrance, which stands to remember the service of Australian veterans. I had the day off from classes today, and nearly everywhere in town was closed, too. It really is a true day of honor.  I started the morning off bright and early with a sunrise service at 5:30 a.m. with some girlfriends. Despite the very early awakening, I am so glad I went. The music and words spoken were beautiful, and it was so nice to see such a big turnout to honor the veterans. I would say at least 600-700 people were there!
Sunrise Service

In my opinion, any holiday is a baking holiday, so in honor of Anzac Day, I wanted to bake the traditional “Anzac Cookie” that I’ve seen all over Australia in coffee shops, restaurants, airports, and supermarkets. I just wanted to make it a bit healthier than the traditional versions.  I have tried a few Anzac cookies at various places and believe me, they are delicious, but I know they are full of butter…lots of butter! What made of butter, oats, brown sugar, syrup and flour isn’t delicious? There’s nothing wrong with these ingredients at all, I just wanted to use less of them! In my search to find a healthier  recipe, I found a keeper from Cooking Light. This recipe uses minimal butter compared to other traditional recipes, but still uses enough to yield a soft texture and buttery-like flavor to the cookies.

These cookies take only minutes to put together, and you only need one mixing bowl from start to finish. Less dishes=happy Meredith. Hope you enjoy these as much as I am!
P.S. the dough is pretty great too…I would know, obviously : –)

Healthier Australian Anzac Cookies
Recipe from Cooking Light

  • 1 cup whole oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons golden cane syrup (I used maple syrup and it worked just fine!
  • Cooking spray


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (176°C). Line two cookie sheets with baking/parchment paper, and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Next, add the water, butter, and syrup; then stir well.
  4. Pat/roll the dough into ball formation, using about 1-2 TBSP of dough per cookie, and space the dough out evenly on the cookie sheets. Then bake at 325° for 12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove them from the oven, and let them cool. Once firm, remove them from the pans to cool completely on wire racks.
  5. Eat them with vanilla ice-cream…that’s an order! : )


I brought these to dinner tonight and my two girlfriends really enjoyed them. They said they tasted just like a traditional Anzac cookie…and they would know since they’re Australian! I’d say these are a winner for sure.

What’s your favorite type of cookie?
Oatmeal Raisin and chocolate chip are my top two!


A simple side of sweet potato

Back home, sweet potatoes were quite the trend for the last year or two. It seemed most, if not all restaurants began to offer some sort of sweet potato side dish, french fry option, or meal choice on their menus. I can’t say I’ve seen sweet potato fries as a “chip” option here in Australia, but I can say they have plenty available at the grocery stores. Since I’m semi-sweet potato obsessed(thank God Brandon is to!), we’ve been buying a few each week to incorporate into our dinners. My favorite way to prepare them is definitely as baked sweet potato fries; it’s easy, simple, and always delicious. However, my Mom shared a recipe with me that sounded just as easy, so I gave it a try. It incorporates one onion, and one large sweet potato (or 2-3 smaller sweet potatoes) and a few other small ingredients. It takes only minutes to prep, then let the oven does the rest of the work. I think you’ll like this, I know we did!

A simple side of sweet potato
serves 2

1 very large sweet potato (or 2-3 smaller)
1 yellow onion
2 TBSP brown sugar
2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
2 TBSP canola oil (olive oil would work, too)
2 tsp soy sauce

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204 degrees Celsius!) and cover a cookie sheet with tinfoil. Spray with cooking spray.
2. Chop sweet potatoes into cubes and chop onion up in similar sizes. Place in large mixing bowl.

3. Add oil, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and brown sugar to the potatoes and onion bowl. Mix well, then spread over cookie sheet.
4. Cook for 20-25 minutes, toss, and cook for another 5-10 minutes, or until browned.
5. Enjoy along side your protein and vegetable of choice!  We had ours along with roasted broccoli and veggie burgers.

sweetpot last

I judge the success of a dish by how much is leftover…we scraped the cookie sheet. I guess that’s a good sign?

What’s your favorite way to eat sweet potatoes?

Five minutes to Fantastic French Toast

I realize this is my second French Toast recipe post in less than a month, but I had to share. This is so simple to make and you‘ll feel good about eating it, too! Plus, it’s different from most traditional French Toast recipes. It’s low in fat but big in taste. Now normally, I’m a stickler for whole wheat breads. 99% of the time I purchase whole wheat pitas, tortillas, baguettes, and english muffins. I’ve grown to love the hearty, grainy, texture and taste of these options, and I enjoy the benefits: additional fiber and nutrients, so they keep me satisfied for longer! However, I didn’t always feel that way…and sometimes white breads just taste better. That’s why on certain occasions, I treat myself to the good stuff: sourdough bread, Italian Loafs, and Portuguese English Muffins. My parents came over for brunch last weekend, and I decided to make French toast. But not just any French toast…Portuguese Muffin French Toast. The short list of ingredients may surprise you, and the best part is, you can make this in 5 minutes or less! I used my Mom’s traditional French toast recipe, and added a special sauce to top off the muffins.

Ingredients (for two servings):
Two Portuguese English Muffins (sliced in half)
½ cup egg beaters (or use 2 eggs)
3/4 cup skim milk
1 tsp cinnamon

Sauce Ingredients
1 ½ tablespoon of margarine
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1 ½ tablespoon brown sugar

**Optional Toppings

1 tablespoon glazed pecans
1 tablespoon slivered pecans
Handful of raisins



1)Hit griddle on medium heat and grease cooking spray.
2)Beat or whisk egg beaters, skim milk, and 1 tsp of cinnamon in a mixing bowl.
3)Dip each side of each muffin into the liquid mixture, as you normally would for French Toast. (note-if the muffins are very thick and absorb all of the mixture before you’re done dipping, just add additional skim milk, egg beaters, and cinnamon, and whisk again).

all dipped

4)Place on griddle.

thick muffin face-down on the griddle!

5) Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients in small, microwaveable bowl.


6) Microwave for 30 seconds, stir thoroughly.

sugared goodness

7) Don’t forget to watch the muffins! Flip them once browned and cook the other sides.

browned beauties

8)Once thoroughly browned, remove from stove and move to a plate. Pour sauce mixture on cooked top of two of the toasts. Top with additional toppings of your choice.

Five minute french toast with all the fixin's!

I kept my toppings fairly simple, opting for slivered almonds, chopped glazed pecans, and raisins on top of the muffin for some protein and healthy fats, but you can make this recipe with your own favorite toppings, too. Fruit, cinnamon sugar, nutmeg, and cool whip are my next choices!