Blueberry Granola and Cinnamon Vanilla Yogurt Parfaits

Blueberry Granola and Cinnamon Yogurt Parfaits Yogurt and Granola Parfaits
This is a very simple snack that you can make ahead of time and have it ready to pull out of the fridge at any time during the week!  I had some blueberries in the freezer that needed to be used and so I created a soft granola that could be good cut into bars, or crumbled up like I did here, to add to yogurt, cereal, ice cream, whatever!  I love these little jam jar parfaits – I used the small 4 oz. size for Olive and used the bigger 6 oz. size for us big kids.  Layered with plain, rich Greek yogurt that I mixed with some cinnamon and vanilla bean paste – these are ready for my fridge and ready for a week of snack time, pregnancy cravings or a quick breakfast!

Sweetening plain yogurt with cinnamon and vanilla bean paste (which is slightly sweet) adds enough sweetness without adding several teaspoons of honey or sugar, like we all feel compelled to do with plain yogurt.  You’re getting plenty of sugar from granola (never let anyone tell you granola is a diet food) and so there’s no need to add even more by buying a pre-sweetened yogurt (which can have over 20 grams of sugar in each serving!) This recipe makes a really large batch of granola that’ll last you a while and I hope you enjoy the smell of your entire house while you make it!

blueberry granola parfaits

Blueberry Granola Parfaits
makes about 3 cups of granola

2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup steel cut oats
1 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 TBS cinnamon
1 TBS vanilla bean paste
1/2 cup honey
1 stick melted butter
1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1/2 cup dried currants, raisins, whatever you like

In a large mixing bowl, combine the rolled oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda and cinnamon.  In a medium bowl, combine the steel cut oats and 1 cup boiling water and let them soak for 20 minutes.  Drain and add to the other oat mixture.  If you don’t want to do this, simply add 2 more cups of regular rolled oats.  I liked the steel cut chewiness, but I’ve done this recipe with all rolled oats before and it works fine either way!

Add to the oat mixture the vanilla bean paste (can sub regular vanilla extract), melted butter and honey and stir well to combine everything.  Gently fold in the blueberries, currants and pecans (or any trifecta you desire).  Spread mixture out on a greased, rimmed baking sheet and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Take it out and let it cool and then break it all up and spread it out on the sheet again and let it bake at 250 for about 30 more minutes until it’s all golden brown.  If you want to make granola bars, increase your first bake time to 30 minutes and let it cool completely before cutting into bars.  While it’s cooling and still hot, I’d spread some white chocolate chips over the top and let them melt and then spread them all over for a topping for your granola bars, if you’re gonna swing that way.

Cinnamon Yogurt

1 cup Greek yogurt, plain
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix all ingredients together and whip up until fully blended.  Layer in cute little jars with the granola and top with fresh berries for the snack pictured here!  Garnishing with mint adds a wonderful flavor addition and brightens everything up.

*this can easily be made gluten-free by substituting the flour for coconut flour and insuring that your oats are gluten free.  Check the box – a lot of brands are, nowadays!

Cinnamon Yogurt and Blueberry Granola Parfaits

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Lemon Cream Crepe Cake with Pomegranate Seeds

crepe cake with lemon buttercream and pomegranate seeds 2Crepe Cake with fuilltine and lemon buttercream

So yesterday, I got myself all in a fluster about crepe cakes – talked too much about it and had to go make one.  Tough plight.  I had some pomegranate seeds from a spectacular sale at the grocery store this week – two HUGE ones for $3, and thought they’d be so pretty on top of a cake.  I sweetened up Alton Brown’s crepe batter and made a lemon zest butter cream that went perfectly with the delicate crepes and tart pomegranate seeds.  I think this would be such a wonderful addition to a Christmas party spread – it’s so bright and happy!  Those flecks of brown in the butter cream are a baker’s pantry staple called feuilletine, a ginger-snappy flavored crisp that is used for crunch in various confections at Momofuku Milk Bar.  I remember it being a huge mess to make, and we had about 4 cups of it, just sitting there, unused, so I decided to add it in the cake for crunch and I really loved the addition!  This step can be left out OR you could crumble up actual ginger snaps and I think that would be fabulous!

This cake is for a frosting lover.  The buttercream makes a lot and I used all of it. Think: very slender, ladylike slices and you won’t be overwhelmed.  Plus some black coffee or tea and you’ll have yourself an amazing bridal brunch/wedding shower/baby shower show stopper!
Crepe Cake with Lemon Buttercream and Pomegranate Seeds Crepe Cake with Lemon Buttercream, topped with Pomegranate Seeds

Vanilla Crepe Cake with Lemon Butter cream and Pomegranate Seeds
makes about a 20 layer cake

2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 tbs vanilla extract
1 cup flour
2 tbs sugar
3 tablespoons melted butter
Butter, for coating the pan

1 cup ginger snaps, crushed fine
1 cup pomegranate seeds from one large pomegranate

In a large cup, place all ingredients except the butter and blend with an immersion blender for a full minute, making sure all the flour is incorporated.  Then drizzle in the melted butter. Place the crepe batter in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Heat a small non-stick pan over medium high. Add butter to coat. Pour 1/4 cup of batter into the center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly. This takes a bit of practice and your crepes might look like mine and have tiny fingers coming off the sides.  They’ll taste the same, promise. Cook the first side for about a minute until edges brown and you can run your spatula around the edges to loosen.  Slide your spatula under the crepe and flip over.  Cook for another 10 seconds and set aside in a stack to cool for assembly.

For the Butter cream:

1 cup butter, softened
3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 lemon – zest and juice
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup butter, softened
3 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 lemon, juice and zest of
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

Combine butter, sugar and salt and beat till well combined and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add lemon juice, zest and vanilla and continue to beat for another 3 to 5 minutes.

Assemble!
Place a crepe on a cake stand on top of a dot of buttercream to hold it in place.  Spread about an 1/8th of a cup of frosting on the crepe, evenly spreading.  If using, sprinkle with crumbled cookies and top with another crepe and repeat the process until you’re left with one crepe.  Top with remaining buttercream and coat the top of the buttercream evenly with pomegranate seeds.  Freeze, uncovered, for about 30 minutes for ease of slicing!  Wrap before storing in the fridge, but the buttercream will keep the cake quite moist.  ENJOY!

vanilla crepe cake