Friday, February 27, 2009

Nutty Granola

Nutty Granola

I have been craving granola for a while now. It is a great topper to most anything sweet. Lexi has been on a yogurt kick and I thought homemade would be a better option so I found this one from Ellie Krieger. It uses maple syrup versus sugar and not many ingredients either. When it was baking it made my house smell spectacular. You could almost taste it, like a strong oatmeal cookie. It was awesome! This is a super easy recipe, I decided to omit the raisins because no one in my house will eat it, I was nervous about the pecans and walnuts too but you know they can't always get what they want huh. Enjoy!

Nutty Granola

3 cups old-fashioned oats 
1/2 cup chopped, raw, unsalted walnuts
1/2 cup chopped, unsalted almonds
1/2 cup chopped, unsalted pecans
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins, optional

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray.  In a medium bowl combine the oats, nuts, maple syrup, salt, cinnamon and the raisins (if using). Spread the mixture onto the baking sheet and bake until golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Transfer the sheet to a cooling rack and let cool completely. Store in refrigerator. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

TWD: Carmel Crunch Bars

Carmel Crunch Bars

This weeks Tuesday post is from Whitney of What's on the table. You can get the entire recipe on her site here

These Bars were easy. If you want simple quick bars these are it. First you make the shortbread layer, bake it, and then top with chocolate of your choice. The options were semi or milk chocolate and I choose milk chocolate because I think it complements the toffee well. Chris doesn't like toffee so I did half with toffee and the other half with mini M&M's. The M&M's are semi sweet so they weren't overpowering. 

First day Chris liked them a lot but after they rested overnight he could taste the espresso and he doesn't like coffee so they became give away bars. The kids still enjoyed them so don't be shy on day two if you don't like coffee ( he is tender about that flavor ). 

I will make these again, I think next time I will use semi sweet chocolate in the batter and white chocolate and almonds on top. Wow! getting hungry already.

Coffee Break Quickie

Coffee Break Quickie

I will say that coffee has to be my favorite thing, well I have several favorites, but anyone who has spent more than, oh about, 20 minutes with me knows that Coffee, Diet Dr. Pepper, and Chocolate are my loves. I have battled with my weight for almost a decade and suffered through Steroid use which saved my life but sure did make it difficult to maintain any type of weight loss. I guess where I was going with this is that I have an enormous sweet tooth and can't indulge in all these wonderful goodies. So... I have a team ... my family ...  and then my nose. 

So, these babies were a good combo. The Coffee and Cinnamon really complimented each other and the baking soda and buttermilk gave a rich, light crumb. They smelled wonderful. The strudel topping was really the best part. Simple and tasty. I named them "Quickies" because they don't have icing and are portable, and of course, hello... Gotta have a play on words from time to time.

I didn't have much time to take pictures today... sorry... I wished I did. But here is my: 

February Iron Cupcake Challenge : Earth 

Coffee Break Quickie

2 C All Purpose Flour
1/2 C sugar
1 Tbsp instant Espresso Powder
1.5 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C light brown sugar
1 C buttermilk
1 stick (8 Tbsp) butter, melted and cooled
1 Lg Egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400. Line 12 Regular tins with paper liners or spray with Pam.

In large bowl, combine first 6 ingredients. Stir in brown sugar, making sure you don't have any lumps. 

In seperate bowl, whisk buttermilk, melted butter, egg, and vanilla together until well combined. 

Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and with a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Don't mix too much; a few lumps are better than over mixing. Divide evenly among tins. 

Bake 20 min ( or until toothpicked center is clean ) When you have about 3-5 min left, top with cinnamon, sugar, and room temperature butter mixture. ( For this I just winged it and when it looked good I topped the cuppies)  Cool in tin 5 min and then transfer to rack to cool completely. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday's Late this week

Devil's Food White Out Cake

Sorry my post is late this week... seems like I have been taken over by the Educational Gods (haha) and realized that a project was due at the beginning of the week and not at the end of the week so my last minute has been upgraded to Hurry the Hell up if you want a good grade project. Wonder if the instructor would find humor in that title??? 

Well it's a good thing I made this cake early for Valentine's Day or I wouldn't have anything to post. The choice this week was from Stephanie of Confessions of a City Eater. It's the Devil's food White Out Cake pg 247-249. You can get the entire recipe here. I was so glad Stephanie choose this one because it's the cover of the cookbook and it's chocolate YA! I will say it was rich and good. I did not put enough of the icing on it however. I was afraid, after tasting the batter a lot, that the cake was so rich and to add more richness with icing would be bad. After letting the cake rest in the fridge overnight and having a SMALL slice, both Chris and I realized the icing was not sweet at all. It was a great complement to the rich chocolate of the cake. This was a good recipe. I enjoyed it and it saved pretty well. 

I am going to try to get next week on time but this is a theme I am sticking with for a the week I guess... running late. And to top it off somehow my alarm was ten minutes behind. How does that happen???

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine Cuppie Earrings

Happy Valentine's Day (early)

Just wanted a pic of the adorable cupcake earrings I made for Valentine's Day. Lexi has requested holiday cupcake earrings or necklaces for her dance teacher and these were the ones I made this holiday. They are super cute and I didn't forget myself this time so this is a pic of mine. Pretty damn cute huh!