Saturday, December 30, 2017

Hot Chocolate

When you just gotta have hot chocolate...

1 cup raw, unsalted Cashews
2 cups Water
4 pitted Dates (more if you want it sweeter)
1 1/2 tbl Chocolate Powder

Throw it all in the Vita-Mix and blend until hot - about 2-3 minutes.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Generic Cookie Recipe

I’ve done some tinkering as I’ve progressed with my recipes. What I prefer with oven temps, timing, wetness of the dough, etc. has altered a bit. In general, my cookie recipes now have equal parts liquid to dry plus flavoring. What gets a little dicey is where things fall between liquid and dry, especially when you own a Vita-Mix.

1 cup of liquid plus 1 cup of dry makes about 20-25 bite size cookies. I like to use a melon baller or a 1 tbl measuring spoon to form the cookies. I’m not using parchment paper anymore, but rather dropping the cookies directly on the cookie sheet. The oven temp I prefer now is 300. Baking time is 40 minutes before the flip, and then another 20 minutes.

Dry: Defining this is fairly easy - the flours are in this category. What is sometimes here and sometimes in Liquid are things like ground nuts.
1 cup flour = 1 cup dry
1 cup oats or seeds and then ground = 1 cup dry
1 cup nuts and then ground = 1/2 cup dry
     depending on how the nuts fit in a measuring cup
1 cup coconut shreds = 1 cup dry
1 cup coconut flakes = 1/2 cup dry

Liquid: This might be easier to explain with examples.
1 cup “milk” = 1 cup liquid (even if it contains oats, nuts, and the like)
1 cup water = 1 cup liquid
1 cup applesauce = 1 cup liquid
1 banana = 1/2 cup liquid
1 zucchini = 1/2 cup liquid
1 sweet potato = Size matters, plus how much water it needs to form a nice liquid plays a role

Dates don’t count as a liquid or a dry even if they’re added to the liquid as a sweetener.

Flavoring: This can vary widely. 
For instance, with a 1 cup @ dry/liquid recipe, I add 2 tbl chocolate powder. For a 2 cup recipe, that only increases to 3 tbl. What I find with things like chocolate powder is that the bitterness needs to be balanced. Powders can also add a chalkiness that is more obvious with smoothies than with baked goods. Banana is great at balancing chalky aspects.
Other items like chocolate chips, nuts, seeds, fruit pieces, etc. generally fall under flavoring.

A recent cookie I baked had: 1 zucchini, 1 banana, and 2 cups coconut flakes blended together in the Vita-Mix. I added only 1 cup of almond flour as the liquid that came out of the Vita-Mix already had 1 cup of “Dry” in it. I also added flavoring: 3 tbl chocolate powder and 1 package dark chocolate chips.

On a cookie sheet, the cookies need to be tamped down a little as they will not flatten nor spread. Sometimes they will need to be herded into a cookie shape. Even with such a loose batter, I find they form up when baked.

These recipes are generally forgiving. Exact measurements are suggestions. Have fun. Play with your food.