Saturday, September 7, 2013

Granola Bar Experiment - In Progress

Based on this recipe, with some inspiration from this one

4.5 oz peanut butter
1/3 c brown sugar
1 medium banana, peeled and mashed (about 4oz or 1/2 c)
4 oz applesauce
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 c rolled oats
1/3 c roasted, salted pumpkin seeds
1/3 c sweetened shredded coconut
1/3 c flax seeds
1/2 c roasted, salted sunflower seeds
1/2 c raisins
1/2 c dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350
Line 8" x 8" pan with parchment
Mix all ingredients and spread evenly in pan
Bake 30-35 minutes - it'll start to brown around the edges.

So this is... just ok. I don't object to anything about it in particular, and I definitely like that you can taste the banana and peanut butter. I'm thinking I might include almonds next time, maybe instead of the pumpkin seeds. And if I want to be sure I'll be happy to eat it, I bet replacing the fruit with chocolate chips would work well.

It's a little crumbly, but it doesn't really upset me. Maybe toasting the oats first would give it better flavor?

I'm also wondering if I might make it in a 9" x 13" pan, and reduce the baking time - that should give me thinner bars, more like what we're used to getting commercially.

Any ideas?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Loaded Blondies

Based on Blondies with Chocolate Chips and Walnuts 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8" x 8" pan with parchment paper.

1 stick butter, melted
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c sugar
Mix together
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
Add and mix well - fluff that egg!
1 c flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
Add and mix until just combined
1/2 c chocolate chips
1/4 c shredded, sweetened coconut
1/4 c chopped walnuts
Add and mix in
1/2 c chocolate chips
1/4 c chopped walnuts
Spread batter into pan, sprinkle over the top

Bake for 30-35 minutes.
After fully cooled, cut into 16 squares.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

(Vegan!) Applesauce Cake

I didn't take a picture, but we ate more than half of it at Women Who Hack today, and the recipe was requested.

1/2 c oil
1 1/2 c sugar (sometimes I make these scant half cups as I'm measuring)
1 1/2 c applesauce
2 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 handfuls of raisins

45 minutes at 350 degrees in a greased bundt pan.

My actual recipe just says "spices" but the cinnamon/cloves/nutmeg combo above is what I used this time.
It's great with vanilla or cream cheese frosting. It's great plain. You can keep all this stuff in your pantry, especially if you can find canned applesauce (it uses just under a can worth.)

Monday, January 21, 2013

How Pasta Causes Biscuits

I have a few recipes that I keep supplies for on hand all the time. This Baked Ziti is one of them. Of course, you have to make a few substitutions for this - I use dried basil, and I was using powdered milk as a sad stand in for the cream. (I also use the pre-diced canned tomatoes. But that's because I'm lazy.) Since moving to Portland, I've been able to make a better version because Trader Joe's carries shelf stable heavy cream. But my baked ziti only uses half the box! The first few times, I just stuck the other half in the fridge for a week and hoped inspiration would strike. It finally did! Last night, I suddenly remembered there was such a thing as cream biscuits.

And here is a scaling down of the recipe I used and some notes, so that I don't have to do that math in the morning again. 

1 scant cup of flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup of heavy cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

I recommend decanting the cream from the box first - it's hard to get it all out of the tetrapak. It's almost lumpy, but that seems to be a feature. Though it adds to the removal from box difficulty.

Stir together the dry ingredients, then stir in the cream until the dough comes together. If you need more liquid to get everything to hold, more cream is great if you have it, but in my case, I used a little water - added to the cream holding measuring cup in hopes of getting any bits of cream that clung to it involved. Knead for 20-30 seconds, getting the dough fairly uniform.

I rolled out and cookie cuttered this time, but I think rough balls would probably work great too. I made four - three actually rolled and cut, and then shoved all the last scraps into the form of the cookie cutter.

Bake for 15 minutes.

They are a different wonderful from the buttery flaky biscuits I also like (but still pretty flaky!) and it's amazing how much faster and less messy they are to make. And the cream doesn't go to waste!