Friday, September 22, 2017

More 222 Cookie Variations


I’ve started waking up thinking about baking cookies. The ingredients swirl in my brain as the fog of sleep slowly dissipates.

My first shot at baking cookies while also feeding the hordes of animals and getting ready for work, I did without the blender - more minimalist. It went well. The hardest part was mashing the bananas because they were still at the ripe stage and not the banana bread side of mushiness.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Stir together in a bowl: 2 bananas, 1 cup (8 oz) applesauce

Add in: 1 cup coconut shreds, 2 tbl chocolate powder, 1 cup almond flour, 1 pkg chocolate chips

Bake as usual: parchment paper on a cookie sheet and either as cookies or as a big rectangle. These I did as cookies, the next bit I did as a big rectangle.

Baking time was about 15 minutes on each side.

So the previous thought about blending in air is really not necessary. It might make a difference when trying to make cupcakes, but that’s further down the baking road.


The next time, I wanted to do oats and seeds as my base for dry ingredients. That requires the blender - Vita-mix with the dry container works well.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In the blender: 1 cup rolled oats; 1 cup raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds; 1 cup coconut shreds; 3 tbl chocolate powder

Coarse blend is fine, though I prefer it to be on the finer side. Scrape this into a bowl.

Back to the blender: 2 bananas, 1 cup (8 oz) applesauce

Combine this with the dry ingredients and add 1 pkg chocolate chips. Pascha has a bittersweet dark chocolate chip that is 85% cacao. That was perfect for these cookies to keep the sweetness in check. Not tasting the coconut as much with these though, so I might scale back the oats and seeds next time to get more coconut flavor in there.

Bake as usual…


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Onion Rings - Proof of Concept


I’ve been pondering buttermilk and batter, and here’s where my mind went with it…

1/2 cup Rolled Oats
1 1/2 cups Water
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper

This works best in a Vita-Mix, using the liquid container. It takes 3 minutes to cook oats in the Vita-Mix on high speed. Adding all of the above to the container, work up to the highest speed.

At the 2 minute mark, add:

1/2 cup Raw, Shelled, Unsalted Sunflower Seeds
1/2 cup Raw, Unsalted Pumpkin Seeds

This will be thick, but still able to spin in the blender. Stop at 3 minutes and empty the mixture into a bowl.

Using a cast iron pan (or other frying pan), add 1/4” of olive oil. Turn on the stove at a low heat. Let the oil get hot.

Disclaimer: I’ve never made onion rings before. Or fried chicken, or anything remotely like this.

Dipping the onion ring into the batter probably works best with a fork or ice pick. I used my fingers.

The first set lost the batter when I turned them. For the second set, I let them cook awhile before attempting to flip them with tongs. The batter stayed on the onion.

Pull out when brown and place on paper towels.

The best ones had the center of the onion - the ratio of onion to batter leaned more towards onion. As a proof of concept attempt, it went well and tasted really good.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Oatmeal To-Go


I’m stretching the idea that you don’t need a binder to make cookies. This is a very simple recipe. The basics are 1 tbl cinnamon and 1/2 cup applesauce to every 1 cup of dry ingredient. In this case, I had open bags of almond flour and hazelnut flour, so I used both.

I think this could become a granola if I crumbled it and stuck it in the dehydrator for a day or so.

Equipment needed: Bowl, 1 cup Measuring Cup, 1 tablespoon Measuring Spoon, Spoon, Cookie Sheet, Oven, and optional: Parchment Paper, 2nd Cookie Sheet, and Knife

2 cups Flour (I did 1 each of Almond Flour and Hazelnut Flour)
2 cups Rolled Oats
2 cups Applesauce
4 tbls Cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. If you put in the dry ingredients first, you can use the same measuring cup for everything.

There are the two basic ways to go for baking. The first is to make individual cookies, and the second is to make bars. This time, I did bars.


Cookies:
Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper. The parchment paper will help them not stick and will make clean up easier. Spoon onto cookie sheet. Shape these into cookies as best as possible. They will not flatten or spread.

Bake for 20 minutes. Flip. This can be accomplished by using a turner and individually flipping each cookie directly onto the cookie sheet while slowly removing the parchment paper. Or you can take a second cookie sheet, turn it upside down on top of the cookies, flip the whole lot, and peel off the parchment paper.

Move around as needed - our oven doesn’t bake evenly and I find the edge cookies need to be swapped with the middle ones. Bake another 20 minutes.


Bars:
Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spoon this mixture into the middle of the cookie sheet and spread it to become one large rectangle. Because there is no binder, the spreading has to be on the gentle side. I used the spoon to pat it down and spread it out.

Bake 20 minutes. Flip using another cookie sheet. Peel off the parchment paper. Score into squares or other desired shape. Bake another 20 minutes. Take out of the oven and allow to cool. The middles will continue baking as they are cooling.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Bacon-ish Bits, Part II


For use as a salad or pasta topper, or as a snack

I tried these with balsamic vinegar (contains sulfites). These came out caramelized and very tasty.
Tip: Do not breathe in when opening the oven door while baking a strong vinegar ingredient. Your lungs will thank you for holding your breath. 

First baconish bits recipe

Here’s today’s shot at it without soy and without sulfites, and straying from a baconish flavor…

Equipment needed:
Blender, 1/2 cup Measuring Cup, 1/2 tablespoon Measuring Spoon, Bowl with Lid, Baking Dish (9"x13" or thereabouts), Spatula or Spoon, Oven

1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
~1/2 cup diced Red Onion
2 cloves Garlic
1/2 tbl Salt (optional)
1/2 tbl Black Pepper
1 tbl Oregano
1 tbl Thyme
1 tbl Basil

Blend the above ingredients. It will probably be frothy and separate rather easily. Pour into the bowl.

Raw, shelled, unsalted Sunflower Seeds that can be covered in the mixture: ~1 1/2 to 2 cups

Add sunflower seeds and stir in as you go. Be sure the seeds are covered in the liquid. Cover, shake gently, and place in the fridge to soak. I soaked these about 8 hours and they absorbed nearly all of the liquid, so straining was not required.

Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees

Rough strain the liquid if needed - this can be done by holding the lid against the top of the bowl but not quite sealed so the liquid can drain out or by using a strainer. You don't have to get it all, just most. Pour/scrape the remaining contents into the baking dish. This may be an inch or so deep.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, stirring occasionally. These are done when they're crispy, but not burnt.

Coconut, Chocolate Chip Cookies


Seriously, seriously, not low fat. Really, really delicious. Must love coconut.

Equipment needed: Vita-Mix with the Dry Container or Blender or Food Processor, Cutting Board, Knife, one or two 1 cup Measuring Cup(s), one 1 Tablespoon Measuring Spoon, Bowl, Spatula, Spoon, one or two Cookie Sheet(s), Parchment Paper (optional), Turner, Oven

2 Avocados
1 cup Water 6 pitted Dates
2 tbl Coconut Nectar (Amber)

Put all of these in the blender and blend; work up to a higher speed to macerate the dates as much as possible with your equipment. Blend more at a medium speed to allow the mixture to build up some air.

The coconut nectar is optional. The dates can be replaced with other fruits that are lower in sugar and/or easier to blend if desired. That will change the flavor, of course.

2 cups Almond Meal
1 cup Unsulfured Unsweetened Coconut Shreds or Flakes
1 pkg Dark Chocolate Chips

Put these dry ingredients in a bowl and stir. You can either measure these first before using the 1 cup for the water above, or you can wipe out the measuring cup before doing this part. One less dish to wash.

The brand that we use for the coconut is Edwards and Sons Let’s Do Organic.

If you want a different flavor than chocolate, change the dates in the blender portion of this recipe to whatever fruit for the flavor you want.

Scrape the wet mixture into the bowl and stir gently.

Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper. The parchment paper will help them not stick and will make clean up easier. Spoon onto cookie sheet. Shape these into cookies as best as possible. They will not flatten or spread.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Flip. This can be accomplished by using a turner and individually flipping each cookie directly onto the cookie sheet while slowly removing the parchment paper. Or you can take a second cookie sheet, turn it upside down on top of the cookies, flip the whole lot, and peel off the parchment paper.

Move around as needed - our oven doesn’t bake evenly and I find the edge cookies need to be swapped with the middle ones. Bake another 20 minutes. Makes ~43 cookies.