Put away those winter blues with a sweet snack in the sunshine​

Oatmeal has all of these really great health benefits, like being good for your heart and lowering cholesterol. This must mean that oatmeal cookies aren’t bad for you, or at the very least draw even, like celery with peanut butter*.

Lucky for you, this weekend at the Tomato Head we are featuring two different recipes for oatmeal cookies. We’ll be pitting our Flour Head Bakery oatmeal spice cookie against Patti’s infamous oatmeal cookie recipe.

Which one is better? You be the judge by visiting our Facebook page to vote.

I tell you this, you’re going to get to try some top notch baking. Bust out your inner cookie connoisseur and come on down to the Tomato Head this Saturday and Sunday to enjoy an oatmeal cookie-off in the sunshine.

Don’t worry, we’ve got milk too.

In case you’re interested, Patti’s Infamous Oatmeal Cookie recipe looks like this:

1 cup Oats

½ cup Walnuts, Chopped

½ cup Dried Cranberry

¾ cup Flour

½ tsp Salt

½ tsp Baking Soda

½ cup Shortening

½ cup Dark Brown Sugar

¼ cup Sugar

1 Egg

½ tsp Vanilla

In a medium bowl mix together the Oats, Walnuts, Dried Cranberries, Flour, Slat, and Baking Soda.

In a medium bow, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat shortening with sugar until creamy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until egg is incorporated. Gradually mix in the flour and oat mixture until all the oats and nuts are mixed into the butter.

Drop by the spoonful onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake in a 375-degree oven for 12 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Makes 25 small cookies.

*this claim is not backed by any actual fact, it’s just here to help you feel better about sweets if you need the justification, because we care.

Click the video to watch Mahasti’s appearance on WBIR Channel 10.

TomatoHead's Infamous Patti Oatmeal Cookie WBIR

Flour Head Bakery’s Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake: a story of unlikely friends in the cupboard.

You might find yourself asking, “Who would think of mixing chocolate and mayonnaise together?” Truth is, we didn’t invent this odd pairing. Recipes for chocolate mayonnaise cakes dates back to the World War I, a time when ingredients such as eggs, butter, and milk were scarce. Bakers discovered that mayonnaise served as a suitable substitute, as the oils kept cakes moist and created a brownie-like texture. This trend continued into the Great Depression and has lasted to this day.

Today, mayonnaise is replacing butter in our recipe for Chocolate Mayonnaise cake to create a velvety-smooth texture that will keep well for days. Don’t let the name scare you off. Think of this as a chance to broaden your knowledge of the cake world—plus there is still chocolate.

Before this you can experience this tasteful enlightenment, you’ll need to pick up ingredients for both the cake and the frosting. The list of ingredients for the cake looks like this:

2 oz bittersweet chocolate

⅔ cup cocoa powder

1 ¾ cup boiling water

2 ¾ cups all purpose flour

1 ¼ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp baking powder

1 cup sugar

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 ¼ cup mayonnaise

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

Once you’ve gathered these, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare two 9 inch cake pans by lining the bottoms with parchment paper and greasing the sides. Break or chop the bittersweet chocolate into small pieces, then place in a bowl along with the cocoa powder. Add the boiling water and whisk until the chocolate melts. Set the bowl aside.

Fill in a medium sized bowl with the baking soda, flour, and baking powder. Whisk until mixture is lump-free.

In yet another bowl, mix the two sugars with the mayonnaise. Whisk until all of the ingredients have blended together well.

Next, add 1/3 of the flour mix to the sugar mixture. Whisk together until the flour is incorporated, add 1/2 of the cocoa mixture, and whisk again until well mixed. Repeat this step, adding another 1/3 of flour with 1/2 (the rest) of the cocoa mixture. Then add the remaining flour. Whisk until the batter is smooth, then distribute the batter evenly between the two cake pans.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. You can test the center of the cake by poking it with a toothpick; if it comes out clean then the cake is ready. Allow the cakes to cool in their pans. Once cooled, flip them so that the side that had been on the bottom of the pan is now facing up, and remove the parchment paper. Keep in mind that the end result is going to be something like a double-decker cake. Place the first layer on a large platter and cover with 1-1 ½ cups of frosting. Spread and smooth the frosting, then add the second layer on top of the first and continue icing. Serve this timeless recipe at room temperature.

It’s not a finished cake without the perfect frosting, and it’s not a finished recipe without the notes for the perfect frosting to pair.  Here are the ingredients:

10 oz bittersweet chocolate

2 oz white chocolate

3 sticks of butter (at room temperature)

3 cups of confectioner’s sugar

1 Tbl vanilla

Place a pot of water on the stove over medium heat. Fill a small bowl with the bittersweet chocolate, then place the bowl over the pot of boiling water so that the bottom of the chocolate bowl is not touching the boiling water. Keep the chocolate there until it melts completely. Next, remove the bowl and add the white chocolate. Whisk the chocolates together until the white chocolate has melted. Try to resist eating this delicious mix of warm chocolate during this step.

If you own a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment for the next step. If not, a hand mixer will do. In a separate bowl, beat the butter until smooth. Add one cup of the confectioner’s sugar at a time and beat well after each addition. Throw in the vanilla, and while the mixer is running, steadily add the melted chocolate. Beat well until the mix is smooth. Scrape down at least once to make sure the butter is completely mixed with the chocolate.

Finally, the best step: enjoy your cake.

Click the photo to watch Mahasti’s WBIR cooking segment from last weekend.

Flour Head Bakery Chocolate Mayonnaise

Flour Head Bakery’s Chocolate Cream Cheese Cranberry Pie

For the Crust:

20 Oreo cookies

1 Tbl melted butter

Or 1 prepared chocolate crust

Place the Oreos in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the cookies until fine. Add the melted butter and process until the cookie crumbs are evenly coated.

Press the cookie crumbs evenly into the bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie pan. Refrigerate the crust while making the filling.

For the Filling:

2 (8 oz ) packs of Cream Cheese

2/3 cup Sugar

2 Large Eggs

½ cup Heavy Cream

In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and beat well until smooth and creamy, scraping down the bowl a few times. Add eggs one at a time and beat until incorporated. Add heavy cream and mix until smooth and creamy.

Pour mixture into prepared crust and bake at 350 degrees 45- 50 minutes or until the cream cheese mixture puffs up and the center no longer jiggles (you will see some cracks in the cream cheese). Remove from oven and allow the pie to come to room temperature.

For the Cranberry Topping:

3 cups Fresh Cranberries

½ cup Water

½ cup Sugar

Look through cranberries for stems and bad pieces. Rinse Cranberries. Place cranberries, water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil, and cook stirring occasionally until cranberries have popped and the mixture has thickened slightly. Puree cranberries with an immersion blender or for a chunkier sauce, mash with a potato masher. Allow mixture to come to room temperature. Spread mixture over the pie.

Refrigerate pie overnight. Serve Chilled.

WBIR Chocolate Cream Cheese Cranberry Pie

Flour Head Bakery’s Sweet Potato Pie

The snow this morning was, as snow goes in the south, beautiful and disappointing. Regardless, even the smallest of a flurry shower can bring a stillness to the morning; one that I would love to fill with a cup of hot tea and a sweet bite for breakfast by the window. The early winter months can be so dreary with grey skies, biting wind, and early sunsets. I am no doctor, but I think having a healthy dose of sweets at any time of the day is good for one’s health this time of year. Which is why I’m going to share one of my favorite Tomato Head recipes with you: Flour Head Bakery’s Sweet Potato Pie.

First of all, you’ll need the ingredients:

1 ¼ cup sweet potato, baked, peeled and mashed

¾ cup sour cream

1/3 cup whole milk

3 egg yolk

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

½ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp salt

1 – 9inch prepared pie crust

Next, you need to prepare the crust. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Using the tines of a fork, prick the bottom of the pie shell. Then line the shell with parchment paper and place pie weights inside of the shell. Place into the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Take the crust out of the oven and set it aside to cool. Wait to remove the weights until the crust has cooled. Reduce the temperature of your oven to 325 degrees.

Now place the mashed sweet potatoes in a bowl large enough to mix in. Add the sour cream along with the milk and whisk until smoothly even. Add the yolks and whisk again so that everything comes together. Add the remaining ingredients in any order you choose, then whisk until everything is well mixed.

Pour your concoction into the pie crust and bake at 325 degrees for approximately 45-50 minutes. Look for the center to seem set. If you have a temperature measuring device, make sure the filling reaches 170 degrees. That will be your sign that it is ready to come out of the oven. Remove the pie from the oven, and allow it to cool. Warning: it will be difficult to refrain from diving right into the pie, but for your taste buds’ sake, wait for the pie to not be piping hot.

Sweet potato pie is best served at room temperature, and in my humble opinion, by a window in the morning or with friends in the evening.

Sweet Potato Pie

Flour Head Bakery’s Appalachian Trail Mix Cookies

Each week in Metro Pulse, contributor Benjamin Pounds explores often overlooked trails located outside of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Quite a few are around an hour’s drive from Knoxville making sure you spend more time on foot exploring abandoned farmlands or admiring mountain views than being trapped in the gridlock that sometimes overwhelms a trip to the Smokies.

Whether headed west to the Black Mountain section of the Cumberland Trail or north on I-75 to Cove Lake State Park in Cumberland County, it’s important to bring food that travels well and doesn’t add too much weight to your pack.

While out on the trail, Mahasti’s Appalachian Trail Mix Cookies are the added sweetness (white chocolate chips!) and crunchiness (Flour Head Bakery Honey Almond Granola!) your hike needs.

Take these cookies on your next outdoor adventure and share photos of your gang on Instagram with us. We’d love to see the satisfied faces after a few hours in the woods.

FHB Honey Almond Granola is available at both Tomato Head locations as well as Butler and Bailey Market, Kroger Bearden, and Three Rivers Market.

1 stick unsalted butter

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup light brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 ¼ cup all purpose flour

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

2  cups Flour Head Bakery Honey Almond Granola *

1 cup dried cranberries

½ cup white chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and the sugars. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth.

In another bowl mix together the flour with cinnamon, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter and mix well until everything is well combined.

Add the granola, dried cranberries and the white chocolate chips. Mix the batter until the ingredients are mixed in well.

Drop the dough by the tablespoonful onto a parchment lined baking sheet, leaving 1-½ inches between each ball.

Bake the cookies in a 350 degree oven for 12 – 14 minutes or until they are golden brown around the edges. Remove from the oven, and allow the cookies to cool.

Celebrate National Strawberry Parfait Day!

June 25 is National Strawberry Parfait Day and Mahasti wants you to cool off with her version of this classic, summer treat. She recently shared this recipe on her WBIR cooking segment, where you can catch Mahasti every first and third Saturday of the month. You can also find all of those special recipes right here on our blog. bon appetit!

Tomato Head’s Strawberry Parfait

1 quart strawberries, washed, stemmed and quartered

1.5 cup sour cream

1.5 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup plus 2 Tbl powdered sugar

Your favorite Sugar cookie dough

Make your favorite sugar cookie dough. Scoop the cookies out into small balls onto a cookie sheet and bake the cookies for 10 – 12 minutes or until done. Ideally the cookies will bake up to the size of a half dollar. You will need 3 cookies per parfait. Allow cookies to cool.

While the cookies are baking, wash, stem and quarter the strawberries and set aside. In a medium bowl mix the sour cream, heavy cream, and powdered sugar together with a whisk or hand mixer, until smooth.

To assemble the parfaits:

Place 1 small cookie in the bottom of a glass or bowl. Top with about ¼ cup of sliced strawberries followed by ¼ cup of the sour cream mixture. Place another cookie on top of the sour cream mixture and repeat the process.  Place one more cookie on top and top with ¼ cup more of the sour cream mixture. Parfaits can be assembled up to 6 hours before, or can be eaten immediately.

Strawberry Parfait from The Tomato Head

Tomato Head’s Roasted Apple and White Chocolate Bread Pudding

With temperatures in teens, you’re going to need something warm in that tummy of yours. We’re thinking some white chocolate and roasted apples would hit the spot.

Mahasti’s roasted apple and white chocolate bread pudding is rich without being overwhelming. White chocolate chips, brown sugar and cinnamon add a layer of sweetness, which is balanced by the tartness of the Granny Smith apples. Of course, we suggest using day old Flour Head Bakery bread for this recipe. Yum Yum Yum!

For the Roasted Apples:

4 large Granny Smith Apples, peeled and diced

4 Tbl unsalted Butter, melted

2 Tbl Granulated Sugar

1 tsp Cinnamon

Place apples, melted butter, sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl, and toss to coat.  Pour apples onto a baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for 12 – 15 minutes, or until semi soft.

For the Bread Pudding:

10 cups bread, crust removed and cubed

6 Eggs

1 cup Heavy Cream

¾ tsp Cinnamon

½ cup Light Brown Sugar

1 tsp Vanilla

½ cup white chocolate chips

All the roasted Apples

Remove the crust from the bread and cube – (any bread will work as long as it is not savory bread)

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs.  Add the heavy cream, brown sugar, and cinnamon.  Beat well.  Add the Bread, chocolate chips and roasted apples.  Toss all the ingredients to mix well and allow the mixture to sit for 30 minutes, until all most of the liquid is absorbed into the bread.  Place the bread pudding in a 10×7 baking dish and cover with foil.  Place the baking dish on a cookie sheet.

Place the cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven – fill the cookie sheet  ½ full with water.  Bake the bread pudding for 50 – 60, until the center is hot.  Remove the bread pudding from the oven, being careful not to spill the hot water on yourself.  Allow pudding to cool slightly or to room temperature and serve with vanilla icing.

Serves   8 – 10 people.

Flour Head Bakery’s Pecan Pie

Flour Head Bakery’s take on this Southern treat retains the rich and gooey texture without the heaviness of the traditional holiday dessert.

1 – 9 inch, deep dish prepared pie crust

2 cups pecan pieces

1 Tbl all-purpose flour

9 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

¾ cups packed light brown sugar

4 large eggs, room temperature

½ cup light corn syrup

2 Tbl dark molasses

2 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Prick the bottom and sides of the pie crust with the tines of a fork and place a coffee filter or parchment paper in the frozen pie crust.  Fill the crust with dried beans or rice.  Bake the crust for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow the crust to cool.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

For the Filling:

Meanwhile – in a small bowl, toss the pecan pieces with the flour and set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, with a paddle attachment or with an electric hand mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time and beat until incorporated.  Gradually add the molasses, corn syrup, vanilla and salt.  Beat well.  Pour the pecans into the egg mixture, and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula.  Pour the filling into the prepared pie shell.  Bake the pie for 1 hour or until the pie looks set, and does not jiggle when tapped.  Allow the pie to cool at least 4 hours before serving.

Serve at room temperature – with whipped cream if desired.

Flour Head Bakery’s Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

Flour Head Bakery’s pumpkin cranberry muffin is sure to add a little warmth to our lives on these gray, gloomy and wet winter afternoons. The sweetness of the cinnamon, brown sugar and molasses is balanced by the tartness of the dried cranberries. Try out this recipe the next time your home made brunch needs a little treat at the end. Yum Yum Yum!

1 cup pumpkin puree

2 eggs

½ cup packed light brown sugar

3 Tbl vegetable oil

1 Tbl molasses

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp ground cloves

¼ tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ cup milk

1 cup dried cranberries

¾ cup all purpose flour

¾ cup white wheat flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

In a large bowl whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, oil, molasses, salt, spices, and milk.    In another bowl whisk together the flours, baking powder and baking soda.  Stir in the dried cranberries.  Add all at once the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix gently until all the ingredients are well combined. (do not over mix)  Let the batter sit, covered at room temperature for 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Scoop the batter into greased or paper lined muffin cups.  Bake the muffins for 20 – 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.

Remove the muffins from the tin and allow them to cool.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes about 12 muffins.

© 2016 The Tomato Head Site by: Robin Easter Design