the sweet stuff

“An even better” granola bar

  • 2 cups oats
  • 3/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1 cup nuts of your choice
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup dried fruit of your choice
  • 1/2 cup flax seeds, optional
  • 1/2- 3/4 cup chocolate chips, optional

Toast the oats and wheat germ in the oven for about 10 minutes or until starting to brown on the edges.  If your nuts are raw, toss them in with the oat/germ for the last 5 minutes.  If they are already toasted, set them aside for now.

Combine the sugar, honey, and butter in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, until the sugar dissolves and starts to get bubbly.  Remove from heat, add vanilla, salt, fruit, and optional flax seeds.  Add the toasted oats/wheat germ and the nuts.  Stir until well combined.

Line a square pan with wax or parchment paper, lightly spraying the paper with a non-stick spray.  Make sure to do this, as the paper will stick to the bars without the grease.  Pour the mixture into the pan, fold the paper over and press down hard to pack them tight.  This is important, as you do not want them to fall apart later. Sprinkle with optional chocolate chips and press them in.

Let cool for a couple hours and cut once cool.  Wrap individually or store in an airtight container with wax paper between layers.  Enjoy!

Chocolate & Frangelico brownies

Frangelico is a hazelnut flavored liqueur.  Bailey’s or Gran Mariner can be substituted.

Ingredients:

* 6 tbsp unsalted butter
* 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped roughly
* 1/4 cup cocoa powder
* 2 eggs
* 2 tsp Frangelico
* 1 cup sugar
* 3/4 cup of flour
* 1/4 tsp baking powder
* 1/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat an oven to 350. Melt the butter, chocolate, and cocoa powder in a double boiler. Set aside to cool.
2. Beat the eggs, sugar, and Frangelico together in a large bowl until the mixture becomes pale and thickens slightly. Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.
3. Sift the flour, salt, and baking powder into the egg and chocolate mixture, and stir together until just combined.
4. Transfer the mixture to a lined, greased 8 inch square brownie pan and cook in the oven for about 30 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting for best results.

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Gingersnap Cookies

(based on a King Arthur Flour recipe)

* 1 1/3 c all purpose flour
* 1 c white whole wheat flour (or regular ww flour)
* 1 t ground ginger
* 1 t cinnamon
* 1/2 t ground cloves
* 1/2 t salt
* 2 t baking soda
* 3/4 c shortening
* 1 c sugar
* 1 large egg
* 1/3 c molasses
* 1/2 c cinnamon/sugar mixture (2t cinn & 1/2 c sugar)

Preheat your oven to 375°.

You’ll need two bowls for this recipe. In the first bowl, sift together the flours, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt and baking soda.

In a separate bowl beat the shortening, sugar and egg together until fluffy. Beat in the molasses and stir in the dry ingredients to make a soft, sticky dough.

Measure the dough 1/2 oz (rounded teaspoon) increments. Roll the each piece of dough into a ball and then gently roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place cookies 2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheets.

Bake cookies at 375° for 10 minutes. Immediately after you remove them from the oven, raise the baking sheet 5 inches above the burners on your stove (or your counter, or the floor) and drop the pan quickly to push air out of the cookies. I usually do this 2-3 times per batch.

Cool the cookies completely on wire racks and store in a tightly closed container. Makes roughly 60 cookies.

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Pumpkin Flan
Ingredients:
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup milk, cream or regular 1/2 & 1/2, your preference
1 cup half & half
6 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preparation:
If using cooked pumpkin (vs. canned), puree with a hand blender and put through a strainer, discarding any fibers that remain. Set aside.
Place 1/4 cup sugar in a 9-inch round cake pan and place over low to medium heat on your stovetop.

Using a hot pad, tilt the pan as the sugar melts, coating the bottom of the pan. When the sugar has melted and is a deep, golden brown, remove the pan from the heat and tip it so the melted sugar coats both the bottom and the sides of the pan. Set aside.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. In a bowl, beat the eggs lightly. Add the sugar, salt and vanilla. Pour the cream mixture slowly into the egg mixture, whisking constantly but gently until fully combined. Vigorous whisking will create bubbles, the ruin of many a flan. Stir in the pumpkin puree.

Place the cake pan in another pan and add the custard, filling it to just under the rim. Pour very hot water into the larger pan until it comes up halfway on the cake pan.

Bake the flan for about 40 minutes or until the center jiggles when given a gentle shake and a knife inserted into the middle of the flans comes out clean.
Remove flan from the oven and allow to come to room temperature. I usually refrigerate them overnight before serving.

To serve, run a knife around the edge of the flan, place a plate over the top and, holding both the plate and the cake pan firmly in your hands, flip them both together allowing the flan to drop onto the plate. You may have to give the cake pan a shake if it doesn’t immediately release the flan. The caramelized sugar will run over the flans and down the sides, making a sumptuous presentation.

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Tiramisu

You will be surprised how easy and delicious this recipe is!
Espresso drizzle:
½ cup espresso
2 T sugar
2 T Kahlua

Filling:
1 (8 oz) block cream cheese, softened
1 (3.5 oz) carton mascarpone cheese
1/3 cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
2 T Kahlua

Remaining ingredients:
24 ladyfingers
Unsweetened cocoa
Bittersweet chocolate, grated

Combine drizzle ingredients, set aside. Combine filling, set aside. Arrange one layer of ladyfingers in the bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish. Drizzle half the espresso and spread half the filling. Continue with another layer of ladyfingers, espresso, and filling. Sprinkle with an even layer of cocoa and grated chocolate. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.
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Bittersweet chocolate pecan pie

Pastry dough:
1 ¼ cup flour
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
¼ tsp salt
3-5 T ice water

Blend flour, butter, and salt with pastry blender (or food processor) until mixture resembles course meal. Slowly add water until dough comes together, adding water if needed. Form into ball, flatten, wrap in wax paper and chill for an hour.

Pie filling:
3 oz bittersweet chocolate (60-70% cacao)
2 cups pecan halves, toasted
3 large eggs
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 T vanilla
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup dark corn syrup

Preheat oven to 375.  Melt chocolate in double boiler.
Roll out dough into a 13-inch round and place into a pie plate.  Trim excess and crimp decoratively.
Spread chocolate evenly into the bottom of the pie shell, let set and cover with pecans.
Whisk together eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt, then whisk in corn syrup and pour over pecans.
Bake pie until filling is puffed and crust is golden, 50-60 minutes

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Amish Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Frosting

1/3 cup milk
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup canned pumpkin or mashed cooked pumpkin
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg, beaten
1 package dry yeast
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup bread flour
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tbsp. melted butter
Caramel frosting (recipe follows)

In small saucepan, heat milk and 2 tbsp.butter just until warm (120-130
degrees) and butter is almost melted, stirring constantly. In large mixer bowl, combine pumpkin, sugar and salt. Add milk mixture and beat with electric mixer until well mixed. Beat in egg and yeast. In separate mixing bowl, combine flours. Add half of flour mixture to pumpkin mixture. Beat mixture on low speed 5 minutes, scraping sides of bowl frequently. Add remaining flour and mix thoroughly (dough will be very soft). Turn into lightly greased bowl, then grease surface of dough lightly. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch dough down. Turn onto floured surface. Knead a few turns to form a smooth dough, sprinkling with enough additional flour to make dough easy to handle. On lightly floured surface, roll dough into 12×10 inch rectangle.

In small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Brush surface of dough
with melted butter. Sprinkle with brown sugar mixture. Beginning with long side of dough, roll up jellyroll style. Pinch seam to seal. With sharp knife, cut roll into 12 1- inch slices. Place rolls, cut side up, in greased 9 inch square baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, 30 to 45 minutes.

Bake rolls at 350 degrees about 20 minutes or until golden. Remove from
pan to waxed paper-lined wire rack. Cool 10 to 15 minutes. Drizzle with
Caramel frosting. Makes 12 rolls.

CARAMEL FROSTING

1/4 cup (4 tbsp.)butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tbsp. milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla
Dash salt
1/2 to 3/4 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar.

In small saucepan, heat butter until melted. Stir in brown sugar and milk.

Stir in brown sugar and milk. Cook over medium low heat 1 minute.

Transfer to small mixer bowl and cool mixture. Stir in vanilla, salt, and confectioners’ sugar. Beat with electric mixer until well blended. If necessary, add more confectioners’ sugar for desired consistency.

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Pumpkin Granola Bars

These fruit-filled treats, lightly sweetened with honey and laced with orange rind and cinnamon, make a delicious dessert or afternoon treat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 10 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 Tablespoons      molasses-preferably blackstrap
  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup nuts-chopped. I prefer      walnuts
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries or      cherries or raisins
  • 1/4 cup oat bran
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange      rind

Blend the pumpkin, egg, butter, honey, and molasses in a mixing bowl or food processor.

Add the oats, nuts, dried fruit, oat bran, cinnamon, and orange rind, and mix well. Spread this mixture into a lightly greased 15 1/2-by-10 1/2-inch jelly-roll pan. Bake in a 350 oven for 40 minutes or until golden brown. While still warm, cut into 3-by-1 1/2-inch bars. For very crisp bars, remove from pan to wire rack and cool completely.

Yield: about 30 bars.

(recipe by Jean McFadden Layton, ND)

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