February 2013 Recipes


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It’s the last day of the month and time to recap the noteworthy recipes and events from the month:

One-Hour Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (vegan) – This dough only takes 1 hour to make and rise. And it’s a now-or-later dough. Make it now or save it for another day, up to 2 days later. The recipe healthier since wheat flour is used and it’s vegan. The dough is soft, chewy, thick and hearty, versatile, and most of all, easy to make

One-Hour Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

Browned Butter Buttermilk Banana Bread with Strawberry Butter – Buttermilk and browned butter are combined to create this banana bread that’s fluffy, soft, moist, and packed with rich, nutty, and deep flavor. Browning the butter takes just a few minutes and makes all the difference in the flavor

Browned Butter Buttermilk Banana Bread with Strawberry Butter

Nutella Chocolate Chip Baklava – There are no nuts in this version, and instead, plenty of chocolate. In between flaky, buttery delicate layers of phyllo are thick smears of Nutella. Morsels of chocolate chips are sprinkled in between buttery, flaky layers before the whole pan in drenched in a sweet honey syrup

Nutella Chocolate Chip Baklava

Thick and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies – A recipe for thick and chewy oatmeal raisin cookies, that are also soft and moist, and this one delivers. The cookies are very texture-filled and are loaded with oats and an abundance of raisins in every bite

Thick and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Fruit Seed and Nut Crackers – Now you can stop buying overpriced store-bought crackers. These crackers are customizable, easy, crunchy & healthy. They begin as a loaf of hearty and dense bread, made with sunflower and flax seeds, raisins, and a variety of nuts

Fruit Seed and Nut Crackers

15 Sweet Valentine’s Day Recipes

15 Sweet Valentine's Day Recipes

Blueberry and Cream Cheese Muffin Top Bread – Tastes like one big muffin top and is more like a dense cake-meets-muffin-top than bread because it’s falling-apart soft, tender, and moist. It’s dense yet springy and bouncy, and it oozes with blueberries.There’s a cream cheese filling that’s baked in, adding more softness and moisture. Some of the moistest quickbread I’ve ever had

Blueberry and Cream Cheese Muffin Top Bread

Caramel Corn Chocolate Chip Cookies – The cookies are loaded to the max with caramel corn and chocolate chips, providing plenty of chewy texture. The cookies have a slight sweet-and-salty vibe between the abundance of caramel corn and oozing chocolate

Caramel Corn Chocolate Chip Cookies

Roasted Sweet Potato and Goat Cheese Pizza (on One-Hour Whole Wheat Crust) – Roasted sweet potatoes, crunchy bell peppers, and tangy, creamy goat cheese are piled onto a soft, thick and chewy homemade crust. The dough for the crust only takes one hour to make and rise, and it’s a now-or-later dough. So you can make a pizza within an hour, or save it for up to 2 days later. The easiest and fastest way to make pizza at home

Roasted Sweet Potato and Goat Cheese Pizza (on One-Hour Whole Wheat Crust)

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie Granola Bars (no-bake, vegan, GF) – Both peanut butter and oatmeal cookies are favorites. I incorporated the flavor of those cookies into these fast and easy, no-bake granola bars

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie Granola Bars

Soft Batch Dark Brown Sugar Coconut Oil Cookies – NO Butter, NO White sugar, NO problem! These are some of the softest and most flavorful cookies, sweetened entirely with dark brown sugar. Because it has a higher concentration of molasses and molasses added to the dough, the cookies are rich and caramely with molasses undertones. A bit of cornstarch helps the cookies bake up extremely soft, and they stay soft for days, and actually get softer over time. The coconut oil flavors the dough very subtly, and although you can ‘taste it’, it’s much milder and more subtle than coconut flakes. I love these cookies and they’re an absolute new favorite!

Soft Batch Dark Brown Sugar Coconut Oil Cookies

Overnight Buttermilk Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls – To date, the best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever had. They’re soft and fluffy and taste better than the kind you get at the mall. The recipe is very do-able even if you’ve never made cinnamon rolls. The overnight make-ahead option means you can wake up, pop cinnamon rolls into the oven, and enjoy fresh, warm, gooey rolls with your morning coffee. The dough is buttery soft, light, and fluffy

Overnight Buttermilk Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls

Peanut Butter and Jelly Coconut Cashew Sandwich Cookies (no-bake, vegan, GF) – Healthy, all-natural sandwich cookies are made easily in a food processor by blending nuts and coconut, before filling them with peanut butter and jelly. Full of rich nutty flavor, and packed with texture from the coconut flakes and nuts, with creamy peanut butter and sweet jelly oozing

Peanut Butter and Jelly Coconut Cashew Sandwich Cookies

Chai-Spiced Triple Citrus Tea (vegan, GF) – Can be served warm or cold, and the flavors of chai – cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and cardamom – bring this citrusy, bright tea alive. Three forms of citrus are used – pineapple-mango juice, sliced oranges, and lemons

Chai-Spiced Triple Citrus Tea

30 Favorite Banana Bread and Banana Recipes – Posted for National Banana Bread Day (February 23) I shared 30 of my favorite banana bread and banana-based recipes. That’s no where near a comprehensive list of my banana-based recipes. I just love cooking, baking, freezing, blending, and using them any way I can. For example, in mid-2012, I ran a series called Banana Bread Fest and shared 7 weeks of banana bread recipes.

30 Favorite Banana Bread and Banana Recipes pic collageBanana Yogurt Muffins and Little Banana Bread Loaf – So moist, tender and soft, thanks to the addition of Greek yogurt. Because there’s sprinkles baked right in, no need to bother with a glaze and goes from cupboard to oven to mouth in 30 minutes. The batter makes enough for 18 muffins or 1 dozen plus 1 little loaf

Banana Yogurt Muffins and Little Banana Bread Loaf

Thick and Soft Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies – NO Flour, NO Butter, and NO White sugar used! The flavor is intensely chocolaty, balanced by the sweet and creamy peanut butter. The cookies are brownie-like in density and thickness. They’re soft, chewy, moist; more rich and bold than they are overly sweet. It’s a small-batch recipe, and makes just a baker’s dozen. Made for National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day on March 1

Thick and Soft Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Hawaiian Bread and Maple Banana Baked French Toast – Hawaiian Bread is so light, soft, and fluffy, and is the perfect sponge to soak up a sweet, buttery marinade made with brown sugar, maple, cinnamon and spice. The bread is tossed with bananas before baking, which get nice and chewy as they bake

Hawaiian Bread and Maple Banana Baked French Toast

Noteworthy Events & Announcements:

My Cookbook: Peanut Butter Comfort – The biggest professional accomplishment of my life and over a year in the making. 100 Recipes, 200 photographs, all featuring peanut butter, all exclusively created and photographed by yours truly. I almost announced it many times in 2012 but didn’t because I wanted to surprise you. Well, Surprise!

Front book cover of Peanut Butter Comfort book

Yesterday (Wednesday 2/27) I attended Todd and Diane’s #thermadorwhiteparty at the Thermador Kitchens in Irvine, California. It was a wonderful, special, fabulous evening, graciously hosted by Thermador and was the brainchild of Todd and Diane. The kitchens are beautiful and the event was first class, all the way.

Diane and I from my Instagram Feed

Two women standing next to one another smiling

So many friends were there including Lori, Jenny, Joy, Lynn, Kathy, Catherine, and so many more friends not in this photo. More photos on Instagram and in this Facebook Album, straight off my iphone and unedited.

Photo of multiple women

Almost one year ago to the date, I attended Todd and Diane’s KitchenAid, Cook Books, & Photography Event (February 29, 2012) and just as that event was a highlight I’ll always remember, the Thermador event will be the same. Great friends, great food, fabulous champagne, a gorgeous venue, what more could I ask for.

Reflections on the Month:

I made lots of bread this month: Pizza Crust (not bread in the traditional sense, but a yeasted dough), Browned Butter Banana Bread, Homemade Crackers that start off as a loaf of bread before being sliced and baked, Blueberry Cream Cheese Bread, Sweet Potato Pizza on homemade crust, Cinnamon Rolls, Muffins with a Little Banana Bread Loaf, 30 Recipes using Banana, including about 15 bread recipes; and Hawaiian Bread French Toast. It sure was carbalicious and wonderful.

Five new cookie recipes: Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Caramel Corn Cookies, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies, non-traditional no-bake vegan sandwich cookies, and my personal favorite cookies of the month, Soft Batch Dark Brown Sugar Coconut Oil Cookies. I really loved all the cookies I made this month, each for different reasons and each filled a very different taste preference and need, but those Soft Batch Dark Brown Sugar Coconut Oil Cookies are ones that I cannot stop thinking about. They are so soft, rich in flavor, and I love everything about them. Even if you don’t ‘love’ coconut oil, please give them a try.

I also was pleased with the photography in that post, making the cookies taste that much better in my mind. There are some recipes and posts I look at after the fact and even though I know how good the recipe tasted, if I personally don’t care as much for the photos I took, I don’t fully embrace the recipe retrospectively as much as maybe I should. Crazy but true; but I eat with my eyes and am very critical of the way I photograph my food.

And there two other cookie mentions: Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie Granola Bars, granola bars that taste like cookies as well as a Valentine’s Day Roundup post, recapping older cookie recipes.

Between bread and cookies, I was busy but crossed off two huge bucket list items: Baklava and Cinnamon Rolls. Both are the best I’ve ever had. The baklava isn’t traditional, the cinnamon rolls are fairly traditional. Both get Best of Class in their respective category, as judged by me and my family; the people I want most to be pleased. If they’re happy, I’m happy.

I also came up with three overnight/make-ahead recipes: Pizza Dough, Cinnamon Rolls, and French Toast. I know it’s important for many readers to be able to prep food in advance or make things in advance, and when I can, I like to provide options for that. Anything to help save time or streamline things is a bonus.

All in all, I loved the month, not only because I was happy with the recipes and photography I put forth, but because I finally announced my cookbook! and thanks to everyone who’s already pre-ordered on Amazon!

Previous Recaps:

January 2013 Recipes

What did you do or make in this month that was memorable?

Any recipes you’d like to tackle or like to see me tackle?

About the Author

Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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  1. Your photography is always stunning and you look gorgeous! I’m about to bake for I’m pretty sure the first time this year? Haha I haven’t baked in a while :D Hope all is well – sorry for lack of commenting.

  2. Your photos are just gorgeous! And I love your healthy dessert recipes. Treats without all the calories are the best!

  3. February was a great month for you between all of your fantastic recipes and the cookbook!! I am just so happy for you!!!!

  4. I MUST try that pizza dough! I love making homemade pizza, but I usually use a recipe that rises slowly in the fridge overnight…so if you don’t plan ahead you’re outta luck :(

    1. This is so nice b/c it can either be ready in an hour or you can make it ahead for a day or two in advance. Lmk if you try it!

  5. It seems like it was a great month for you! I always love your photographs and am constantly impressed at your skills. I am trying so hard to take better pics but know I have a very long way to go.

    1. Well thanks and it’s a work in progress. I look back at things I shot last year that I loved, really thought they were so good, and am not longer in love. We all grow and just keep practicing. That’s all you can do!

  6. How do you keep the creative juices flowing? All these recipe’s look so good and inventive. Let me in on your secret! : )

    1. My brain NEVER shuts off. If I didn’t have to write much about it, or edit photos, I could post 2x a day, every day, and not run out of ideas. I wish I could shut it off sometimes!

  7. I loved this month, Averie. I see lots of bread and lots of cookies. And lots of fruit! Bananas, blueberries, jam, citrus. And of course, the cookbook! My favorite post of yours ever. :) The photography of my recipes makes them that much better in my mind, too. We eat with our eyes don’t we? The two bucket list items – fabulous! Good job with those my friend. Baklava will always be one of my very favorite desserts. I like them with a ton of nuts! I know we differ on that topic. ;) Recipes I want to tackle: monkey bread! I have had this strong craving for it lately and I want to make it completely from scratch. And you know what? I think that’s what I will do tomorrow night!

    1. Better you than me with the monkey bread. Lol The two French toast bakes I now have recipes for are close enough to monkey bread that I get that pull-apart nature without having to make the bread from scratch but I love that YOU’RE doing it! I wish I could eat your hard work for you :) As always, thanks for your friendship & support with everything…xoxo

  8. SO many good cookie recipes!! Yum!! :) I do not know how I would even choose which ones to make first! ;)

  9. Well you had a pretty good month! So very excited about your forthcoming book (my copies already preordered) and that Thermador event looks SO FUN! #jealous

    Looking back over your month’s worth of photos does nothing less than make me drool, and crave banana bread, peanut butter, and SPRINKLES!!

  10. What a busy lady you’ve been this month! (Every month really :) ) Great round up of so many delicious looking recipes.

  11. What a fun month—I always get sucked in to these end of the month posts…how did I miss some of these goodies, like those jelly cashew sandwich cookie thingies? Wow, that jelly glows, I need to make those. And you look adorable in the photos.

  12. My spring break from school is coming up soon, so I have a long list of recipes I want to try when I get the time then… and several of these are on there! I am most looking forward to trying those crackers because I really do buy those ALL the time BUT they’re super pricey. Yours look so good!

    1. It’s a recipe (crackers) you need to start a day or two in advance b/c of the cooling/well-chilling of the bread before it’s turned into crackers so just remember that. There’s no harm in starting early. “Stale” is okay since it gets double-baked anyway!

  13. I saw all your photos on Instagram last night… you are gawdgeous, my dear! GAWDGEOUS! Looks like you had a fantabulous time last night.

    1. It was a super fun time & thanks for the compliments! I have not been a regular IG user in like a year! It was fun to publish all of them last night!

  14. I typically go crazy over anything chococolate, but those brown sugar coconut oil cookies were fantastic–and it was my first time baking cookies with coconut oil. I also loved the granola cookie bars (and am toting one to work with me today). Looking back over your month of creations–wow–you have been busy as always..and you managed to squeeze in a great party. Congrats again on the cookbook..I think it’s a wonderful accomplishment and so satisfying after investing so much time and effort!

    1. I’m glad you agree that the brown sugar coconut oil cookies were fantastic and that you have a granola cookie bar in your work stash today! Love that! And thanks as always for your support and compliments and praise about my cookbook! It was truly the hardest thing, but the best thing, I’ve ever done!

  15. I love all of your bread recipes. I’m going to test out a version of your muffin top blueberry bread this weekend. I like your monthy post round-ups. You post so many great looking recipes sometimes I forget them!

    1. Can’t wait to hear about your bread trials. Please write back and LMK what you do, change, etc and how it all goes!

  16. I added your cookbook to my wishlist, and can’t wait! That’s so funny that you all wore white to a foodie event. I suppose it would be good for hiding flour mishaps, but not for chocolate, tomatoes, blueberries, or basically anything else!

    1. It was a White Party so it was required!:) Glad the book is on your wishlist! I hope your wish comes true :)

  17. The event in Irvine looked like a blast! Maybe one day I’ll get to go, too. :) I’d love to see you tackle opera cake or tiramisu, whether in their traditional forms or in cupcake/cookie/bar forms!

    1. I don’t even think I’ve ever had “Opera Cake”! So wouldn’t know where to start with that one..Tiramisu, now that’s one that I could envision doing when the whether is warm and no-baking sounds especially awesome :)

  18. Woahh…what a great round-up of recipes this month! As always you have been busy, girl. I loved all your cookies this month but especially the brown sugar coconut oil ones. The pictures make me want to bite into my screen!
    I think my highlight of the month was doing a dark+moody food shooting for the first time http://specialtycakecreations.com/literally-rocky-road-bars/
    My photography isn’t nearly as great as yours but still I was quite happy how this first moody shoot went.