March 25, 2012

Bird Seed Bars

So this recipe truly is my adapting of anything...although it is a bit of a copycat ;)  Last fall, my co-worker brought me this bar that she gets at a vegan place in Portland.  She left it on my desk with a note saying something about eating it and then recreating it.  Well, after a few trys, I think I have it.  It may not be exact but it's pretty darn close. Regardless, Andrew, people in my office, basically anyone that has tried them, LOVE THEM!!!  

I will tell you, it's an easy recipe except for the amaranth.  Learning to pop your amaranth is a true skill.  I don't know any better so I'm not sure if you can buy it already popped...probably.  However, it's extremely cheap to do it yourself.  I may try and come back and add some photos but seriously it just takes trial and error.  Once you figure it out, it's no biggie!

Bird Seed Bars

"Dry" Ingredients
2 c popped amaranth (approx. 6 tablespoons dry amaranth)
1 1/4 c unsweetened, shredded coconut
1/4 c pumpkin seed or sunflower seed
1/4 c + 1T flax seed
1/2 c chopped dates, neglit ones don't have to use fancy ones
pinch of salt

"Wet" Ingredients

1/4 c coconut oil (measured after it is melted)
1 c brown rice syrup
1 c peanut butter or homemade nutella if you have it
2 T water

TO POP THE AMARANTH:  Find a pan and a clear lid that fits it well.  Heat the pan until very hot.  Take it off of the burner, put a tablespoon of the amaranth in the pan, cover and IMMEDIATELY start swirling around in a circular motion.  The amaranth will start popping and turn white.  Only takes a few seconds, maybe 20-30 at most.  Take the lid off and dump into a bowl.  Make sure you get all of the amaranth out of the pan.  Heat it again and repeat the process until you have 2 cups popped amaranth.

Mix dry ingredients together with your hands, breaking the date pieces up and coating them with the dry ingredients so they disperse throughout the bars.

Heat wet ingredients in small saucepan.  Bring to a boil and boil for approximately 1 minute.

Pour over dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Pour into greased 9 x 13 pan.  Pat down and smooth with a rubber scrapper.  Refrigerate until firm.  Enjoy!

March 20, 2012

Gluten-free Cornbread

Andrew told me repeatedly that he did not like cornbread when we got married.  We've been married for a little over 8 years and I think I honored the not liking cornbread crap until about a year or two ago.  I finally told him I like cornbread and he would just have to deal.  Well, guess what....he likes this cornbread.  Go figure ;)

Gluten-free Cornbread

2 c gluten-free flour blend
1/2 c white sugar
3 T baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 c shortening
4 eggs
2 c milk
2 c cornmeal

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum in a large bowl. 

Cut the shortening in the way you would when making a pie dough. You should end up with pea-size pieces in a sandy flour.

Combine the eggs and milk in a small bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid. Stir with a rubber spatula until everything is combined.

Stir in the cornmeal, whisking fast, until it is just combined. Do not overstir.

Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Slide it into the oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the sides of the cornbread are slightly shrinking from the pan and a toothpick comes out clean.

March 4, 2012

Double-Crusted Crisp

I'm not sure why I didn't think of this before.  A double-crusted crisp...the crust is my favorite part!  This recipe is adapted from one in Rustic Fruit Desserts by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson.  My version is gluten-free and uses fruit out of my freezer.  Hopefully I'm not violating any copyright stuff...I suppose Rose will tell me if I am!

Double-Crusted Crisp

Crust x2
1 1/3 c gluten-free flour blend of your choice
1 c oats
3/4 c packed brown sugar
1 heaping tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick butter, melted

1/2 c white sugar
2 T cornstarch
pinch of salt
1 qt sized bag full of apricots you froze last summer, defrosted
1 qt sized bag full of plums you froze last summer, defrosted
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degree.s

Make the first crust by mixing the dry ingredients together.  Then, stir in the melted butter.  Press into a 9x13 pan.

Then, make the fruit filling by mixing the sugar, cornstarch and salt together.  Toss with the fruit and vanilla.  Spread evenly into the pan.

Then, make the top crust by again mixing the dry ingredients together and stirring in the melted butter.  Crumble the crust over the top of the fruit.  

Bake for 60-70 minutes...until the crisp is golden and the fruit bubbles through the crust.  Cool for 20 minutes before serving...but remember it tastes amazing warm!

Love Letters to My Sons..