Tahini Pear Loaves

Tahini Pear LoavesA few summers ago, before Lawrence and I were even dating or really friends at all, we took a trip to Seattle. It was random and exhilarating, especially because I had just finished my first year in college and going on a spontaneous road trip with new people just wasn’t something I did.

We stayed with some family friends of Lawrence’s on Bainbridge Island, which is both stunning and calming in every way possible. Their house had this wonderful kitchen looking out on a spectacular water-filled view, and each morning, before we’d head out for an excursion, Lawrence and I would amble into the kitchen and find some sort of breakfast to eat.

For whatever reason, I remember Lawrence always mixing up different cereals and pouring (rice?) milk on top. But what I remember more than that is the pears I would eat. I didn’t really eat too many pears as a child, as I was always more of a basic berry or peach girl. So, slicing into delicate — and to me, exotic — pears each morning exemplified our whole trip.

Tahini Pear Loaves Tahini Pear Loaves Tahini Pear LoavesMy brother used to live in Seattle, so I had visited plenty of times growing up, but this trip had different highlights. New memories with new people (and a future boyfriend!) were made in a favorite city. Sweet and savory all at once, like these tahini pear loaves, our Seattle adventure filled me up to the brim with this sense of excitement about what I was doing in college and all the experiences I would have in the years following.

And now, as my college experience winds down, I think about the pears from time to time. They were an adventure in taste and enjoyment. Much like these cake loaves and much like treasured memories, they were something to be savored.

Ingredients:
- 2 ripe pears
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup Soom Tahini
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup unsweetened nut milk or low-fat milk
- 4 teaspoons sanding sugar

Directions:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease four mini bread pans. Set aside.
- Peel, core, and slice 2 pears. Set slices aside.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and tahini together until only small pieces of butter remain visible. Add sugar and beat until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add eggs and vanilla and beat on medium-high speed until thoroughly incorporated. On low speed, pour in half of the flour mixture and combine. Follow with half of the milk and then the rest of the flour mixture. Once combined, add the rest of the milk and beat thoroughly until fully incorporated.
- Divide the batter between the four pans. Place 1/4 of the pear slices on top of each cake, submerging about halfway up the sides of the slices. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of sanding sugar on top of each pan.
- Bake for 38-42 minutes, until a tester comes out clean and the tops start to brown.
- Let rest in the pans for about 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool further. Serve warm or cold and enjoy.
Tahini Pear Loaves

20. November 2014 by Elisabeth
Categories: Bread, Desserts | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Blood Orange Almond Granola

Blood Orange Almond GranolaBack when I lived by myself a few years ago, I went through a serious granola phase.

I would buy a different brand or flavor every week. Sugary spoonful by sugary spoonful, I would eat the stuff alone or with the occasional cup of Greek yogurt. But for whatever reason, when I moved in where I am now, I kind of stopped with the granola and started my smoothie phase (which is still alive and kicking!).

Sometimes we should revisit and revise our past, though. I have no problem eating this blood orange almond granola by the spoonful, perhaps because there’s no refined sugar added, or more than likely because I’m sharing it with someone.

Lawrence likes the granola more than I do, which, given my history with this perfect snack, says quite a bit. Baking and cooking out of love is so much more satisfying than buying out of boredom. Even if you’re just making granola for yourself, the rewards are still there.

Blood Orange Almond Granola Blood Orange Almond GranolaGranola is just one of those things that’s both hearty and heartwarming, no matter how you choose to serve it. And this granola in particular is so good for you, mind and soul. Only a little bit of honey sweetens the whole batch, and the rest of the flavor comes from the blood oranges.

You can use regular navel oranges if you prefer or can’t get your hands on the blood variety. Cashews would also sub in fine here, but the triple almond effect is something I dig, and I’m guessing y’all will too.

I might be back in a granola phase now, but this time around, I’m sharing. That’s a phase I can get behind.

Ingredients:
- 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups almonds
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
- Zest + juice of 2 blood oranges
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 coconut oil
- 1/2 cup almond butter
- 1/2 cup dark or bittersweet chocolate chips

Directions:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together rolled oats, almonds, ginger, flaxseed meal, and the zest of the blood oranges. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan over high heat, stir together the juice of the blood oranges, honey, almond extract, coconut oil, and almond butter. Bring to a boil then remove from heat immediately.
- Pour liquid mixture into the large mixing bowl and stir together with a rubber spatula until fully incorporated. Spread wet granola on the baking sheet into a flat layer.
- Bake for 12 minutes, and then stir with a spatula. Bake for 12-14 more minutes, until golden brown and only slightly wet. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Stir in chocolate chips. Serve and enjoy.
Blood Orange Almond Granola

15. November 2014 by Elisabeth
Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Caramelized White Chocolate Chunk Scones

Caramelized White Chocolate Chunk SconesHow much of “Whiplash” was Miles Teller drumming and how much was his double? I don’t know. But I bet these scones might.

If these scones were moviegoers, they wouldn’t be the person who sits in the back, “whispering” in between loud popcorn chewing. The scones wouldn’t be the person who guffaws at dark humor when no one else does, either.

Rather, these scones would be your quiet, analytical friend who you go to see all the good movies with. You like the same snacks and, after the movie is over, you both think about your cinematic experience and ask questions. Good questions.

That’s what these scones are. They’re not overbearing in taste, but they make you rethink every former experience you’ve had with white chocolate. These scones are reflective, just like your good movie companion.

Caramelized White Chocolate Chunk Scones
Is my crazy personification of scones freaking you out? Basically, all of this to say, these scones rule. Buttery, tender, and oozing with chocolate. The only things that matter for a breakfast — or really any meal.

Caramelized white chocolate is a gift to us all (check out this Food52 tutorial for more specifics on it), and you should probably go ahead and roast a whole pound so that you can keep snacking on the chocolate long after the scones are gobbled up. Trust me.

So, to recap, stop going to movies with people. Scones are the ultimate companion.

Ingredients:
- 8 ounces good white chocolate (I used Valrhona 35%)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
- Preheat oven to 265 degrees and place chocolate on a small, unlined baking sheet. Place sheet in the oven and cook for 30 minutes, stirring with a rubber spatula every 5-7 minutes. Chocolate should be lightly caramelized at the end, as it will continue to cook once in the scones.
- Spread chocolate in an even layer on the baking sheet and let cool and harden completely. Once hardened, break it up into chunks using a knife. Set aside.
- Raise oven temperature to 425 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut in butter with your hands until only pea-sized pieces remain.
- Whisk together cream, egg, and vanilla extract in a small mixing bowl. Make a well in the large mixing bowl and pour the cream mixture into it. Stir with a rubber spatula until all the flour is fully incorporated, but be careful now to overmix. Dough will be sticky. Add the caramelized white chocolate chunks and combine thoroughly.
- Place the dough on a lined baking sheet and spread out into a 9-inch circle with your hands. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Remove from fridge and cut circle into eight equal pieces. Separate the pieces on the baking sheet and bake for 16-19 minutes until golden brown.
- Let cool on the baking sheet for several minutes then remove scones to a wire rack to cool further. Serve warm and enjoy.
Caramelized White Chocolate Chunk Scones

08. November 2014 by Elisabeth
Categories: Bread, Desserts | Tags: , , | 2 comments

Chocolate Spelt Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting + Pomegranate Syrup

Chocolate Spelt Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting + Pomegranate SyrupIt’s barely cooling down these days, but we’ve already broken out our blankets for winter. They’re in every room and in every variety. Soft and furry, plush and coarse, too big to fold, too small to cover our feet.

They’re comforting, especially now, when the idea of winter and cooler temperatures starts to creep up on us. Even Guss has started sleeping with us again — a sure, adorable sign that real blanket weather is getting closer.

Let’s be real here, though. The only thing potentially more comforting than blanket weather is chocolate. And in today’s case, chocolate spelt cupcakes with a mascarpone frosting and thick pomegranate syrup on top.

That’s a whole lotta things happening in one cupcake, but they are all so in sync and combine to make the most wholesome sweet treat you could indulge in. It might seem intimidating, but please believe my promises that this is pretty no-fuss and worth every delicious bite.

Chocolate Spelt Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting + Pomegranate Syrup Chocolate Spelt Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting + Pomegranate SyrupChocolate cake is a fickle friend, and for the longest time I wasn’t a fan. But it’s just right here, and the nuttiness of spelt flour comes through in a big way to lend a hand with flavor. Vote for spelt this November, ya hear?

If you don’t have mascarpone on hand, you can opt for a standard buttercream instead. Though, the mascarpone flavor balances so well with the pomegranates, it’s hard for me to imagine buttercream beating it out at the polls.

So, before you break out your blankets, think about heading into the kitchen and breaking out your cupcake tin and some cocoa powder. Comfort will soon follow.

Cake Ingredients:
- 1 cup spelt flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup preferred nut milk

Topping Ingredients:
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds (about 1 pomegranate)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar

Directions:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. This will take several minutes.
- Add vanilla and beat until combined. Then add eggs one at a time and beat until fully incorporated, about 1 minute per egg.
- On low speed, add half of the flour mixture and beat until combined. Then add half of the milk, followed by remaining flour mixture. Once combined, add the rest of the milk and beat until combined.
- Divide batter between the 12 cups and bake for about 18 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Let cool slightly before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare the pomegranate topping by placing 3/4 cup of seeds in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until some juices are released and the seeds soften – about 4-5 minutes.
- Place the heated seeds in a blender with about 1 teaspoon of water and blend slightly. Place the topping in a small bowl and chill in a refrigerator.
- To make the frosting, cream butter, mascarpone, vanilla, and powdered sugar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until fully incorporated.
- Pipe or spread frosting on the cupcakes, then top each cupcake with the blended pomegranate sauce. Sprinkle the reserved 1/4 cup of seeds on top. Serve immediately and enjoy.
Chocolate Spelt Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting + Pomegranate Syrup

28. October 2014 by Elisabeth
Categories: Desserts | Tags: , , | 1 comment

Pumpkin Seed + Strawberry Honey Shake

Pumpkin Seed + Strawberry Honey Shake [Gluten-free]Just the two of us, we can make it if we try, just the two of us. Isn’t that how it goes? That’s how it’s going with me and this shake, anyway.

On this lovely Friday, getting ready for the weekend, all I know is that I love this shake and this shake loves me.

But really, in our smoothie/shake-obsessed apartment, this one is at the top of the list right now. Plus, it’s still in the high 80s down here in Austin, so cold beverages are the way to go.

Keep the chia seeds out if you’re not a fan of them and the texture they add to smoothies. Otherwise, enjoy this lovely, creamy fall concoction. And have some Guss links, too!
Pumpkin Seed + Strawberry Honey Shake [Gluten-free]Keep it chill with these autumn acai bowls topped with all the good stuff, including pomegranate seeds. So decadent.

This five-spice roasted butternut squash from Taste, Love, & Nourish looks delicious and super easy to pull together. So smart. So seasonal.

Peanut butter cookies with a chocolate-peanut topping. Um. Yes, please.

Are you not a fan of fall? Because these candy cane chocolate cookies are getting me in the wintry spirit.

And lastly, just to have a dose of spooky, check out these monster s’mores. They make me want to throw a Halloween party. Spooky, for real.

Shake it up this weekend, y’all!

Ingredients:
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- 1/4 cup hulled pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1-2 tablespoons chia seeds (optional)
- 1 heaping teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon almond butter
- 1 teaspoon unsweetened coconut milk yogurt
- 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk or non-fat milk

Directions:
- Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. If too thick for your liking, add more milk in tablespoon increments. Serve and enjoy.
Pumpkin Seed + Strawberry Honey Shake [Gluten-free]

24. October 2014 by Elisabeth
Categories: Desserts, Gluten-free | Tags: , | 2 comments

Raw Pumpkin Spiced Caramel Cups [Vegan/GF]

Raw Pumpkin Spiced Caramel Cups [Vegan/Gluten-free]Of the things in life I love most, chocolate and caramel are pretty high on the list. But, unfortunately for me, consuming inordinate amounts of chocolate and caramel isn’t exactly the healthiest decision ever.

Enter these raw pumpkin spiced caramel cups. I ate four in succession without any hesitation or guilt. I also ate one as part of my (balanced?) breakfast today. All of this to say that these rule and my addiction to chocolate and caramel can live on – and be seasonally inspired by pumpkin! Hurrah, hurrah!

Guss and I were left to our own devices this weekend while Lawrence served groomsman duties for a wedding in Houston, and boy, did we party hard making these luscious cups.

Raw Pumpkin Spiced Caramel Cups [Vegan/Gluten-free] Raw Pumpkin Spiced Caramel Cups [Vegan/Gluten-free]They are crazy easy to put together, and use a minimal amount of ingredients. No refined sugar. Completely vegan and gluten-free. Gooey and chocolate-y. Delicious times a million. AKA everything you could ever want for in an indulgent treat.

Tip: if you have leftover pumpkin puree from a can, throw it in ice cube molds and freeze to add to smoothies. Like I said, Guss and I partied hard. Also, if you don’t care about these being vegan, you can sub in honey for maple syrup. You could also melt down your favorite chocolate, but this coconut oil method is what keeps the cups “raw.”

And that’s it. So easy to make and even easier to enjoy. In fact, I think I’ll head back to my fridge now and sneak a few more of these before the weekend comes to an end. Because what is a weekend without lots and lots of chocolate and caramel?

Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/3 cup cacao powder
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 3/4 cup pitted soft Medjool dates (about 9-10 dates)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions:
- Line a mini muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside.
- Whisk together coconut oil, cacao powder, and maple syrup. Pour one teaspoon of chocolate into each muffin liner, and tilt them to coat the sides. Place in the freezer for 15-20 minutes, until frozen solid.
- In a food processor fitted with the s-blade attachment, process dates until they form a ball. Add coconut oil and process for about 15 more seconds.
- Scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula and add remaining ingredients. Process until combined — the caramel will be thick, so be sure to stir with the rubber spatula after to fully combine everything.
- Evenly distribute caramel into each of the cups (about a teaspoon each) and use your finger or a spoon to flatten the caramel into a layer. Freeze for 10 minutes.
- Pour remaining chocolate over top of the caramel (about a scant teaspoon per cup) and tilt the cups to make sure the chocolate covers the entire caramel surface.
- Freeze until ready to serve, or serve and enjoy immediately.
Raw Pumpkin Spiced Caramel Cups [Vegan/Gluten-free]

19. October 2014 by Elisabeth
Categories: Desserts, Gluten-free | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Jumbo Maple Sugar Cookies

Jumbo Maple Sugar CookiesWe lost a friend this week. A giant, beautiful tree in front of our apartment complex was a casualty of loopy Texas weather and abnormally high winds.

Said beautiful tree took down some power lines with it when it was uprooted by the wind, and as a result, we were out of electricity for four days (though, I felt guilty being too mad about that, because the poor tree had been at our apartment way longer than we had). There was a mad shuffle for Lawrence, who is still mourning the loss of the tree and it’s glorious shaded security, to bring all of our food to my office so we could store it in the fridge there.

Our apartment is now back up and running, and stacks of butter and eggs are in their rightful places in our fridge. And these jumbo maple sugar cookies were first up on the to-do list after a week of no baking. Let the record show that the sound of mumbling electricians is not as beautiful as the *clink* of a cookie scoop.

Jumbo Maple Sugar Cookies Jumbo Maple Sugar Cookies
These have been deemed the most “luxurious” sugar cookies ever by our approved Food Mouth taste testers, and I totally agree. They are bakery style sugar cookies — crunchy on the edges with the perfect softness on the inside. Not to mention, they are as big as your hand…if not bigger. Plus, do you see the beautiful sanding sugar coating each cookie? Luxury.

No stand mixer is required, and you only need to chill the dough for about 10 minutes. How easy is that? I’ve been on a cookie kick lately, but these are just about as no-fuss as it can get.

One thing to note: the recipe calls for vanilla bean maple syrup. I got mine from Williams-Sonoma, but you could also do a DIY version and stick a whole vanilla bean in your maple syrup of choice and let all of the goodness steep. Or, forego the vanilla bean and just add in a dash more extract to the dough. Just don’t skimp!

The tops of these cookies somewhat resemble tree bark, which seems fitting. We’ll miss our tree. But jumbo sugar cookies seem like an appropriate farewell ode, don’t you think?

Ingredients:
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar + 3 tablespoons for rolling
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup vanilla bean maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons sanding/shimmering sugar

Directions:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
- Place butter in a large mixing bowl and melt in a microwave. Let cool slightly before adding the cup of granulated sugar and dark brown sugar. Stir with a rubber spatula until smooth.
- Add egg, vanilla extract, and maple syrup and stir until fully incorporated.
- In two increments, add the flour mixture and combine thoroughly. After mixing in all the flour, place the dough in the fridge to chill for 10-15 minutes.
- After the dough has chilled, combine remaining 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar and sanding sugar in a small bowl.
- Using a 1/4 cup scoop, scoop dough into the sugar mixture and roll each scoop into the sugar mixture completely. Place scoops onto prepared baking sheets and flatten slightly into discs. Top with more of the sugar mixture.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the tops of the cookies crackle and the edges firm up. Let cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Jumbo Maple Sugar Cookies

17. October 2014 by Elisabeth
Categories: Desserts | Tags: , , | 4 comments

Soft Salted Rosemary Pretzels

Soft Salted Rosemary PretzelsOf these things I am sure: soft pretzels are the ultimate in baked snacks and watching FX’s “Justified” makes my southern drawl come out more.

Let’s expand. Out of my immediate family, I have the most pronounced accent. A heavy user of “y’all” and “goodness gracious,” I’ve always been happy to have my little bit of twang. “Justified” has since changed my perception of twang, though. Based for the most part in rural Kentucky, the show sure doesn’t mess around with its lingo — we even have to use subtitles.

And while I may not use phrases like “horn-tossing mood” or “don’t rile the wagon master,” as soon we finish watching a couple of episodes, I feel my drawl expanding. And I kind of like it. (Hint: here’s a list of “colorful” Texas sayings that will give you something to yeehaw about).

Soft Salted Rosemary Pretzels Soft Salted Rosemary PretzelsYou’re probably here for these pretzels, though. As you should be. I think pretzels can be a bit intimidating for people and leave them staying in the shadows of their mama’s apron (see what I’m doing here?). But, they’re really so easy, and once you put them in the oven, you’ll be chomping down in no time.

Even if this isn’t your first rodeo, keep a few things in mind. Be sure to use good, coarse salt – in the dough and for sprinkling. What is a pretzel without salt? No good. Also, be careful not to over-knead your dough or work it too hard when you’re rolling it out.

So, go on now, ya hear? Get all gussied up, throw your hat over the windmill, and eat these glorious pretzels. You’ll be happy as a hog in the mud.

Ingredients:
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups hot water (about 110 degrees)
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt + more for sprinkling
- 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
- 1/4 cup baking soda + 8 cups water

Directions:
- Place water, yeast, and honey in the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Let sit for 10 minutes.
- Add bread flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, and rosemary. Knead with the dough hook attachment for several minutes until all ingredients come together to produce a smooth dough. If your kitchen is hot, you will likely need the extra 1/2 cup of water.
- Place dough in a lightly greased mixing bowl and cover with dishtowels. Let rise for about 1 hour, until doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line two baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.
- Divide dough into 12 equal pieces, then roll each piece into a long rope (about 14-16 inches long). Twist each rope into a small pretzel and place on the prepared baking sheets. Let sit.
- Bring baking soda and water to a boil in a large pot. Using a small strainer or slotted spatula, drop 3 pretzels in the water at a time. Cook for 30 seconds, then flip each pretzel and cook the bottom side for 30 more seconds.
- Remove from water and place back on the prepared baking sheets, topside up. Let cool slightly (about 30 seconds) before generously sprinkling each pretzel with salt.
- Bake pretzels for 8-10 minutes, until they are a deep golden brown and cooked throughout. Let cool on the baking sheets for 1 minute before removing to a wire rack to cool further. Serve warm and enjoy.
Soft Salted Rosemary Pretzels

02. October 2014 by Elisabeth
Categories: Bread | Tags: , , | 4 comments

Spiced Chocolate Chip Buckwheat Cookies [GF/Vegan]

Spiced Chocolate Chip Buckwheat Cookies [Gluten-free/Vegan]]You will take one bite of these cookies and be transported into some movie set in autumn, where all the beautiful red and yellow leaves litter the ground and trees rustle and the carving on your pumpkin is perfect, not a single tooth in the jack-o-lantern cut improperly.

Oh, and your oven always has a batch of these beautiful, spiced buckwheat cookies at the ready. Mhmm. A batch of cookies with those types of powers sounds like a batch of cookies worth investing in.

In the real world, the spices in these cookies dominate your tastebuds and even sort of remind you of pumpkin pie (win!), while the chocolate chips stay mindful of what’s really important in a cookie’s texture.

Spiced Chocolate Chip Buckwheat Cookies [Gluten-free/Vegan]] Spiced Chocolate Chip Buckwheat Cookies [Gluten-free/Vegan]] Spiced Chocolate Chip Buckwheat Cookies [Gluten-free/Vegan]]     I suppose I’m biased, but these cookies are actually amazing. Vegan, gluten-free, and oh-so-tasty. And my favorite lazy statement applies here: No stand mixer required. Even the pickiest of eaters at my workplace loved these. Rewarding on all levels, you guys.

The time commitment involved is minimal, and you’re able to get other things done during the baking process. No arduous time spent at the stovetop or chopping random ingredients. Huzzah! Also, if you want to make it glutinous, just sub in about 1 1/4 cups AP flour and remove the guar gum. Not vegan? Use butter and one real egg.

Have I convinced you yet? Let me just reiterate sentiments from the pumpkin bar post — fall is here, and we should celebrate by loading up our baked goods with wonderful spices and flavors. These cookies bring it all together. They are magical. And perfect to chomp on while you watch the real leaves fall.

Ingredients:
- 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal, plus 3 tablespoons water
- 1 1/2 cups almond flour
- 1 cup buckwheat flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon guar gum
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup margarine
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips (vegan if preferred)

Directions:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare baking sheets and set aside.
- Mix flaxseed meal with water in a small bowl and let sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together almond flour, buckwheat flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, guar gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Place margarine in a large mixing bowl and microwave it to melt. Let cool slightly, then add coconut oil and stir with a rubber spatula to combine.
- Add in dark brown sugar and granulated sugar, stirring until the mixture becomes smooth and fully incorporated. Add flaxseed mixture and vanilla, stirring again until smooth.
- In two increments, add the flour mixture to the large mixing bowl, stirring until fully incorporated. Gently stir in chocolate chips and place dough in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
- After chilling, use a two-tablespoon scoop to place dough onto the cookie sheets. Slightly flatten each scoop into a thick disk, then bake for 8-10 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are crisp and the centers look only slightly underdone.
- Let cool on the baking sheets for several minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve and enjoy.
Spiced Chocolate Chip Buckwheat Cookies [Gluten-free/Vegan]]

22. September 2014 by Elisabeth
Categories: Desserts, Gluten-free | Tags: , , | 5 comments

Dark Chocolate Swirled Pumpkin Bars

Dark Chocolate Swirled Pumpkin BarsThis was supposed to be a frittata full of all sorts of fun veggies. But things happen, and somehow fun veggies end up being roasted for dinner after you realize that two people probably couldn’t down a whole frittata all by themselves.

Right around the same time, you also realize you caught “pumpkin fever” and just have to go to find some pumpkin puree and do super fun things with it immediately.

I would say a browned butter graham cracker crust and swirls of quality dark chocolate are particularly fun. Wouldn’t you? Oh, and I guess I should mention that there’s browned butter in the pumpkin base also. Like I was saying…FUN.

Dark Chocolate Swirled Pumpkin Bars Dark Chocolate Swirled Pumpkin BarsHint: these are exceptional when slightly warm or when refrigerated. Pick your pumpkin bar preference. And while you try to decide, here are a few Guss Links for your weekend.

If you think you know how to make the best funfetti cake around, you’re probably wrong. Unless you’re Molly Yeh. Go read about her extensive testing with funfetti and how to get the best results. She made homemade sprinkles, y’all.

Lawrence doesn’t love peanut butter quite like I do, but he might after he tries this three-ingredient peanut butter fudge. Only five minutes of cooking time and no processed ingredients. All the yum.

Brussels sprouts and I are in a very committed relationship, and these tart cherry glazed B-sprouts just cement that love even further. Thank you, Love & Olive Oil.

You know those roasted veggies I was talking about earlier? This makes me want to toss them in some really tasty quinoa, pack it up, and take it to my office for a healthy meal.

And here’s some chocolate for you, because it just wouldn’t be a good weekend without an extra dose of the good stuff. Salted chocolate macadamia apricot bites. Yum.

Anyway, I hope you’ve all caught pumpkin fever, too. Turns out being “sick” can be quite fun.

Ingredients:
- 1 1/3 cup unsalted butter, browned
- 12 graham crackers
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- One 15 ounce can of pure pumpkin puree
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 6 ounces quality dark chocolate (72-78%)

Directions:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a food processor fitted with an s-blade attachment, grind graham crackers into a very fine crumb. Pour 2/3 of a cup of the melted browned butter into the food processor with the graham crackers and process until incorporated. Reserve the rest of the butter in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Evenly spread the graham cracker mixture into the bottom of the 8×8. Use the back of your hands to flatten it properly.
- Bake for 5 minutes, then remove from oven and let cool while you assemble the filling.
- Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.
- In the large mixing bowl with the reserved browned butter, add the pumpkin puree and sugars. Stir with a rubber spatula until thoroughly combined. Add egg and vanilla, mixing until smooth.
- Add flour mixture to the pumpkin base in increments, stirring thoroughly to rid the batter of any lumps. It should be thick, but smooth.
- Melt the chocolate in a microwave and let cool slightly.
- Add half of the pumpkin filling on top of the cooled graham cracker crust and spread into an even layer. Drizzle half the melted chocolate over top, then use a knife to swirl the chocolate and pumpkin together. Repeat.
- Bake for 28-32 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Let cool in the pan before serving and enjoying.
Dark Chocolate Swirled Pumpkin Bars

12. September 2014 by Elisabeth
Categories: Desserts | Tags: , , | 2 comments

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