“Babe, we should make homemade bagels…”


This is what Luke said to me Sunday afternoon while we were meal planning together. It’s this new thing we started doing. On Sundays when he is off work, we sleep in, lounge around till we feel fully awake, then seize the day by heading to Trader Joe’s and Schnuck’s for our weekly grocery needs. I whip out my laptop and hop on Pinterest and stalk a bunch of other blogs till I find exactly what I want to make (or read enough of the same concept to make my own version). This Sunday was St. Patrick’s Day! Our routine was a little different this week–we celebrated the Irish holiday with Luke’s family at the Missouri Veterans Home. His grandfather, who has alzheimer’s, is living in the home now and the family gathered there for a small lunch and to hang out. We were out late the night before and family time took a toll on our energy so we came back to relax before we made our trip. This was when Luke said the soon-to-be famous line. 

Homemade bagels? I’ve never even thought to do such a thing. I mean, it’s possible. But how do I do that? Pinterest is my new Google.

The recipe is claimed to be from a baker who made bagels for years. I went with a basic bagel this time, hoping I could at least figure the plain version out. I was so nervous. I actually don’t think I have ever been so nervous about cooking something before in my life. It was a combination of something new and not wanting to disappoint Luke that got me all jittery. I made these while I was making gluten-free cookies and granola bars so that I was in the zone and could put all my attention to the food and not to my worries. 


Photo by Allyson Grillo

And here they are. The best freaking bagels I’ve ever had. Seriously. For a plain bagel, this did not disappoint. They are nice and crunchy on the outside with a soft center. And they are huge. Perfect for an on-the-go breakfast. We ate two right out of the oven, nice and warm. I’ve been toasting mine when I get to work and adding a tablespoon of Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter. If you have never tried this, you need to get in your car and drive to a TJ’s right this second. It is heaven in a jar. This recipe made 8 bagels, so next time I’ll probably double the batch to make enough for the entire week. I’m also going to figure out how to make different flavors. This is the most exciting thing I’ve done since I started cooking on my own! Please make them. I’m never buying store-bought bagels again. Ever.


Photo by Allyson Grillo


Plain Bagels

adapted from John D Lee

yields 8 bagels


  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water


  1. Mis all the ingredients in a bowl. The dough should feel stiff, but add extra water if it’s really stiff, or you can’t get all the dry flour incorporated.
  2. Plop the dough down onto the counter, and knead for about ten minutes, or until the dough is uniform and smooth.
  3. Cut the dough into 8 equal sized balls, and let rest for 10-20 minutes.
  4. Pre-heat your oven to 425.
  5. Take each of the dough balls and using two hands, roll it into a little snake on the counter. When the snake is longer than the width of your town hands, wrap it around your dominant rolling hand. The dough rope should be wrapped so the overlapping ends are together at your palm, near the start of your fingers. Now take the two overlapping ends, and use your palm to squish/roll these two ends together. 
  6. Let bagels rest on the counter for about 20 minutes, and meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil and grease a large baking tray lightly.
  7. After the 20 minute wait, your bagels will start to look puffy. Add them to the boiling water, as many at a time as you can fit without crowding them. Boil for about a minute, turn over, and boil for another minute. Take them out and let dry for am inute and then place them on your oiled baking tray. Repeat until all the bagels are boiled.
  8. Add the tray to the over, bake for 10 minutes, flip, and bake for another ten minutes. 
  9. Add cream cheese (but really, you’re missing out if you don’t have cookie butter!).




I’m also throwing in the recipes for the gluten-free cookies and granola bars I made. OMG, both are so stinking good. I like the granola bars because I know exactly what went into them and they taste way better than anything I’ve had from a store. Honestly. The cookies are really good too. A peanut butter dark chocolate chip combo makes my mouth water. I might go eat one now…

And I won’t feel guilty about it because they don’t have any flour, white sugar, or butter! 🙂


Photo by Allyson Grillo


Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

adapted from Averie Cooks

yields 12-16 cookies (depending on size–I got 12)


  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 6 oz dark chocolate chunks (I found morsels and just used those!)


  1. Combine peanut butter, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla and beat on medium-high speed until well-combined and the sugar is fully incorporated and the mixture is no longer grainy, about three minutes.
  2. Add the baking soda and beat to incorporate. Add the chocolate and stir well. Transfer dough to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 5 days, before baking.
  3. Preheat oven to 350, line baking sheets with foil and spray with oil. Make about 2 tablespoons worth of dough into a ball and place on baking sheet. 
  4. Bake 8-10 minutes, until edges are set and the tops are barely set, even if slightly under-baked in the center. The cookies will firm up as they cool so leaving them in too long will burn them and give you a crunchy cookie.



Photo by Allyson Grillo


Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

adapted from Shugary Sweets

yields 24 bars


    • 4 Tbsp butter
    • ½ cup brown sugar
    • ¼ cup honey
    • 2 cup granola (mine was a Praline Granola…delicious)
    • 1 cup Rice Krispies
    • ½ cup lightly salted peanuts
    • ½ cup pretzel sticks, broken
    • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels


  1. In large saucepan, heat butter, sugar and honey over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and continue to cook about 2-3 minutes (until sugar is completely dissolved).
  2. Remove from heat. Add in granola, rice Krispies, peanuts and pretzels. Quickly add in chocolate chips. Press into a parchment lined 13×9 pan. Refrigerate for about 15-20 minutes. Cut into bars and enjoy!



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