Long time no post! Obviously the first week back at school was busy, chaotic, hectic… so no time to post! Never fear though, I have made a TON of good stuff to share :) On my final day of Spring Break I decided to test out this recipe for gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, since it had a lot of good ratings! The guidance counselor at my school (who is GF) said that they were hands down the best GF cookies she has ever had! Yay! Joe and I also really liked them and agreed that we wouldn’t have even known they were GF – chewy, moist, yum! Here’s what they came out like:
This past weekend Joe and I met up with a colleague of his and his wife. It just happened to be the wife’s birthday this weekend, so I made her some Lemon-Limoncello Cupcakes – TO DIE FOR (Thanks Brown-Eyed Baker for the recipe)!!! I only got to eat the divot that I cut out of each, but I mixed it with the lemon curd and some frosting to get the full effect. These would make a fantastic layer cake, and I can definitely see making them again in the near future as cupcakes. Here are some pics of the process:
Cupcakes with divot cut on top (there were 4 more on a separate plate to make it 1 dozen):
Cupcakes filled with the curd:
Frosted and garnished with a strawberry half. I LOVE LOVE LOVE cream cheese frosting, and this one was no exception.
This weekend I was baking to itch (shocking), and desperately trying to avoid work. I looked over at the counter and saw some over-ripe bananas, and I had just bought Joe some brand new ones for the upcoming week. So, I made him some Strawberry Banana Muffins to take to work. I got the recipe from joyofbaking.
Check out that strawberry chunk in the middle row! I of course didn’t try them (banana hater), but they went over well with Joe’s staff.
I also made some Mexican Chocolate Biscotti with a cayenne kick. I combined a few recipes and made up my own additions.
As Joe said… “these are bangin'”! Recipe is at the end of the post.
Finally, I can’t believe I haven’t shared photos/recipe of my weekly baked good – breakfast bars! Joe and I eat on the road/desk, so I came up with this portable recipe. My absolute favorite breakfast is hot, stovetop oats – but those can only happen on the weekend. This is my best shot at getting in some oats during the week. I LOVE to smear these with some nut butter. My most recent nut butter was an eclectic homemade mix of brazil nuts, pepitas, sunflower seeds, almonds, peanuts, cashews, flax seeds, and hazelnuts with a little maple syrup, a little salt, and a touch of canola oil to smooth it out. Anyway, onto the breakfast bars.
All of the dried fruit and nuts = holy YUM!
Breakfast Bars (~200 cals each, 6.5 g fat, 4.5 g fiber, 7 g protein)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup brown sugar, NOT packed
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried cranberries
5 dried apricots, chopped
2 Tbsp EACH: pepitas, chopped walnuts, sliced almonds, chopped pecans – all toasted
3/4 cup liquid egg whites
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1. Line a 9×9 pan with foil (and spray with pam) or parchment (no pam needed); preheat oven to 350.
2. Mix ingredients from salt to the nuts in one bowl.
3. In a separate bowl (I use a measuring cup) mix the egg whites, vanilla, and applesauce. Pour liquids into dry ingredients and fold until mixed.
4. Spread into the prepared pan and bake for 15-18 min – until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan, and then remove using the parchment/foil overhang. Cut into 8 bars. (I use a pizza cutter and it works perfectly!)
These keep really well for a week. I give Joe 5 and I take 3 and then I make more the next weekend :)
Mexican Chocolate Biscotti
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate (chips or chopped)
1 c. brown sugar, packed
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp instant espresso powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment and preheat the oven to 350. When heated, toast the pecans for about 8 min. Then reduce the oven temp to 300
2. In a food processor, pulse the bittersweet chocolate and brown sugar until crumbly.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cayenne.
4. In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and vanilla until combined. Add in the chocolate/brown sugar mixture and beat until incorporated. Gradually add in the flour mixture – add in the pecans about halfway through the addition. Beat until just combined.
5. Separate the dough into two equal portions (the dough is pretty sticky) and on a well floured surface, shape each one into a 10 in by 2 in log. Place both on prepared baking sheet about 3 inches apart – the logs will spread. Bake for 35-40 min, until fairly firm to the touch. Remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.
6. Once cooled, use a serrated knife to slice each log into 15 slices (about 3/4 in thick) at an angle. Return to the baking sheet (or two) cut side down and bake for 15 more minutes. Flip the biscotti to the other cut side and bake 15 minutes more. Remove from baking sheet and let cool on cooling rack completely.
7. Dip these babies in some coffee, tea, milk, or just eat them plain… they are AWESOME!!!
On a side note… my running game has been REALLY down… My left knee has been killing me. I ran 1 mile today to try to get back in the game after not running all last week and skipping my long run this weekend. Any advice on how to heal my knee?? Anything is greatly appreciated.
On a more positive note, things for the farmers market are really coming together. I got a canopy, a table, all kinds of packaging material, and best of all…. A LOGO!!! Carly’s Confections is in business :) I’ll post the logo when it is finalized, but I love it thus far. My brother’s best friend created it for me – his job is in web design/graphic design, so needless to say he is fantastic! Now I’m just trying to get all my vendors straight, and figure out pricing. The market starts in a little over a month. Yikes!
Hope all is well with you guys :) Thanks for reading!