Cinnamon Raisin Bagels and Skinny Brownies: A Perfect Snowstorm Sunday


It’s snowing. A lot. I woke up at about 9:30am and there was already 4 inches on the ground. I did end up making the trek to Trader Joe’s this morning with the company of my little brother who is in town from college. He lives in New Orleans now where it’s currently 80 degrees and sunny. I’m sure he’s super thrilled to be home for his SPRING break with what appears to be now 7 inches (at least) out there. It’s literally pouring snow from the sky. I’m looking outside my window right now and I can’t even tell the different between the sky and the white top of the apartment across the lot.

It’s not even really that cold outside. It’s just wet and gross. But it sure is pretty out there. The trees are catching the perfect snowflakes and the hill outside the window hasn’t been touched by the young sledders yet. I’ll be sad when the first footprints show up. That always ruins a hillside for me this time of year. What am I talking about? This time of year there should be green grass and flowers outside! Doesn’t the sky know it’s the end of March?


Photo by Allyson Grillo

I’m currently making cinnamon raisin bagels. The dough is rising and I can already smell the cinnamon. It’s taunting me in there. I want to go in there and just eat the dough; why bother even baking them? Okay…fine. I’d probably regret that when either my stomach feels like crap or when I realize I don’t have any breakfast this week.

We’re having dinner tonight at my parent’s house. With my brother home from school and requesting dinner, we couldn’t really pass up good company and a delicious meal. With the snowstorm going on outside, it’s going to be a perfect evening to be with my family and my dogs sitting by the fireplace (in their new furniture that was delivered yesterday!).

Tonight I will be baking “skinny” brownies, a dessert that will only have about 120 calories per serving. When I read that, I knew I had to give them a try. If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m all about my favorite sweets being on the healthier side. I love that I can still enjoy good food without all the processed ingredients. I ate Taco Bell with my brother this afternoon and I’ve felt disgusting since. My stomach is torturing me for putting that in my body. “WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME?!” I can hear it screaming. I know, I know…quit eating that shit. I get it people. Sometimes you’re just in a rush and theres 6 inches of snow falling from the sky and your brother is saying he’s hungry and you just pull into the closest, fastest place you can think of. Okay? Geez.

Eat these bagels. Eat these brownies. And have a very very happy Sunday.


Photo by Allyson Grillo

Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Bagels

adapted from Ambitious Kitchen

yields 12 bagels


  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1-1/2 cups warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, divided
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2-3/4 to 3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of raisins


  1. Place warm water in a large bowl and add yeast, 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins, and salt; mix well. Next, add in enough flour to form a soft dough that doesn’t stick to the bottom of the bowl.
  2. You can use a dough hook or your hands, but continue to knead, until dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Next, place dough in a bowl coated with oil, and cover the top allowing it to rise in a warm place until dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
  3.  Punch down the dough and shape into 12 balls. Push your thumb through the center to form a 1 inch hole. Strech the dough to form an even ring. Cover, place in warm place and let rise again for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray.
  5. Fill a Dutch oven two-thirds full with water and add remaining brown sugar; bringing water to a boil. Drop bagels, two at a time, into boiling water. Cook for 1 minute on both sides. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain well on paper towels. Place on baking sheets and bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and cool on wire racks.
  6. Eat with COOKIE BUTTER and a dash of cinnamon sugar. It won’t disappoint 🙂

Photo by Allyson Grillo

“Skinny” Brownies

adapted from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice

yields 16 (2-inch) brownies


  • non-stick olive oil cooking spray
  • 2/3 cup mild honey like clover or orange blossom
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder like Ghiardelli
  • 1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour like King Arthur Flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment and spray with olive oil.
  2. Measure the honey into a deep-sided small bowl and microwave on high power 45 seconds. Whisk in the cocoa powder and let cool.
  3. Meanwhile in a small bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
  4. In a large bowl whisk applesauce, oil, egg, and vanilla together until well combined. Whisk in the cooled honey-cocoa mixture until smooth. Add the flour mixture and stir until all the flour is incorporated. Stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips if using.
  5. Add the batter to the prepared pan and spread out evenly. Bake until the surface looks dry around the edges and a toothpick in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it, about 25 minutes or 30 minutes if you added walnuts and chocolate chips. Don’t over bake.
  6. Cool the pan on a wire rack. Once cool refrigerate for 20-30 minutes. Remove the brownies using the parchment to a cutting board and slice into 16 squares. For clean cuts wipe the knife clean after each cut and dip in hot water. Store in an airtight container in a cool place 3-4 days.
Photo by Allyson Grillo

Photo by Allyson Grillo


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