Posts Tagged ‘almonds’
Every year come May in Memphis, the 90 degree and up temperatures begin. Except for this year and I’ve been loving every minute of the 70 and 80 degree weather. That was until Monday hit with high 90s and doesn’t seem to want to give up. I saw 103 on my car’s thermometer yesterday, boo! Apparently it’s time to summer through the heat and humidity once again, which means I really dislike turning on my oven. When it’s still over 80 degrees outside at night, turning on the oven just seems wrong with all the hard work my central air is doing.
Time for no-bake granola bars to strike again, this time using almond butter. I love how adaptable this granola bar recipe is, allowing me to try all kinds of flavors and mix-ins. This most recent creation involves almond butter, chopped almonds, dried cherries, and a little bit of dark chocolate. I brought them to my cousin’s bachelorette party weekend and they turned out to be as big of a hit as the coconut pecan cookies. I should have made a double batch!
What’s you favorite mix-ins for granola bars? I’m always looking for new ideas!
DARK CHOCOLATE CHERRY ALMOND GRANOLA BARS
Makes 12 bars
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup creamy no-stir almond butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups quick oats
1/2 cup crispy rice cereal
1/2 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped
1/2 cup almonds, roughly chopped
1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks (or chips)
- Line the bottom of an 8 x 8 inch baking pan with parchment paper, allowing for an overhang on two opposite sides.
- In a large sauce pan, add butter, brown sugar, honey and almond butter. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture starts to bubble. Once bubbling, cook for 2 minutes while stirring. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Stir in the oats, crispy cereal, cherries and almonds. Stir until well coated. Pour into the prepared pan. Press the mixture evenly into the pan. Sprinkle the dark chocolate over the top and gently press into the granola bars with your hands.
- Place the bars in the refrigerator and let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting. Cut into bars and serve.
One year ago today, I posted about meeting my nephew Luke for the first time and just yesterday I saw a video of him walking (more like running)! I wish I could witness it in person but unfortunately am not sure when I will be able to visit next, especially with all the weddings I am in this summer/fall, trying to graduate and then they are moving to southern California in August! Which means my job searches just got expanded to include the west coast as well, haha. In the meantime I thrive through Facebook and Dropbox photos and videos.
…and baked goods. When it comes to sweet breads, I love making mini loafs. They are cute, fun and you just want to eat them right up! Just like Luke but I digress. These mini applesauce loaves also have toffee bits and almond slices mixed in for a little bit of crunch and extra sweetness.
One year ago: Inedible Favorites – Luke
ALMOND TOFFEE APPLESAUCE BREAD
Makes 1 loaf or 3 mini loaves
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
5 oz toasted sliced almonds (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup toffee bits
1 egg, beaten
1 cup applesauce
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a standard sized loaf pan or three mini loaf pans.
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and cardamom in a large bowl. Add the sliced almonds and toffee bits to the dry ingredients, reserving about three tablespoons of the almonds.
- In another bowl, combine the melted butter, egg and applesauce. Add to dry ingredients and mix until a dough forms (do not overmix).
- Smooth batter into loaf pan and top with reserved sliced almonds. Bake for 1 hour (30 minutes for mini loaves) or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before slicing.
Source: Adapted slightly from Eat, Live Run.
After seeing Christina’s S’mores Cookie Dough Bites, I decided to make my own using the recipe for Raw Cookie Dough Bites. Visually they might not look as pretty or resemble traditional cookie dough, but they certainly taste like cookie dough and they are packed with good-for-you nuts. Just overlook the marshmallow bits, chocolate, and graham crackers haha.
Speaking of nuts, I’m going to tell you a little tale about innocent highschool-me. As part of my senior AP English class, we wrote different styled/themed poems and one particular assignment involved writing a customer complaint in the form of a poem (I cannot remember which style). These poems were then read in front of the class by either the writer or the teacher (I always let her read mine, I preferred the anonymity although one time I wrote one about my mom and everyone knew it was me but I digress). One student wrote a poem to a candy bar company complaining about the use of nuts in nearly all of their products. The poem went on and on about how much it ruined the ability to enjoy said candy bars and my uncensored reaction was “::GASP:: I love nuts!”, to which everyone turned to stare at me at laugh. Yea, I said that out loud and not in a low voice. And no, I did not realize what it sounded like until it was too late.
But you know what, I do love nuts dang it and I’m not ashamed to say it no matter what it sounds like! These cookie dough balls are proof of my profession, because they actually curb my real cookie cravings. In other words they are magic.
One year ago: Corned Beef with Blackberry Mustard Glaze
RAW S’MORES COOKIE DOUGH BITES
Makes about 2 dozen
2/3 cup raw almonds
2/3 cup raw walnuts
2/3 cup raw rolled oats
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup raw agave nectar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp mini chocolate chips
2 Tbsp mallow bits (or cut up miniature marshmallows)
2 Tbsp crushed graham crackers
- In a food processor, process the almonds, walnuts, oats, cinnamon and salt to a fine meal.
- Add the agave nectar and vanilla and process to combine.
- Fold in the chocolate chips, marshmallows, and graham cracker crumbs.
- Roll the cookie dough into balls (about 1 Tbsp each) and place them on a cookie pan lined with parchment paper.
- Place the pan in the freezer for about an hour to firm up. Store balls in a tightly covered container in the freezer.
Thanksgiving is tomorrow, so many of you are probably not thinking about what to make for dinner tonight. Since I will be on the road during dinner time, sweet potato pie oat bars will be keeping my belly filled. But for the rest of you, I have a quick and easy dinner idea. It’s called trapanese pesto and is filled with all kinds of wonderful things, such as cherry tomatoes, almonds, basil and a pepperoncini. Who knew pesto could be so much fun? If you have some time to spare, this is great served with some oven-fried chicken and a spinach side salad.
What are you plans for Thanksgiving? Are you hosting dinner or bringing a side dish to someone else’s home? Or will you be enjoying the couch, away from any responsibility in the kitchen?
One year ago: Butter Pecan with Brandy Ice Cream
PENNE WITH TRAPANESE PESTO
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
1/3 cup almonds, lightly toasted
2 cloves garlic
12 basil leaves
1 pepperoncini, stem removed
1 pinch crushed red pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound whole wheat penne pasta
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- In a food processor, combine the tomatoes, almonds, garlic, basil, pepperoncini, crushed red pepper, cheese, and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Pulse a few times to get it going. With the motor running, add the oil in a thin stream. Taste it. Add a little more salt if needed.
- Meanwhile, cook your pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente. Drain and return to pot.
- Pour the pesto over the pasta and toss to combine. You don’t have to use all the pesto if you don’t want to. Store whatever is left in a sealed container in the fridge for a week.
- Serve with with more cheese and basil.
Source: Bev Cooks
You may already know of Cassie of Bake Your Day from her wide array of tasty recipes: Cinnamon Toast Greek Yogurt Dip, Biscoff Banana Grilled Cheese, and Key Lime Cream Cheese Frosted Cake Doughnuts to name a few. And today I am excited to have her guest posting for me!
One year ago: BBQ Chicken Burgers
Hi there, Spiffy Cookie readers! I am thrilled to be posting for Erin today because I have what might be my new favorite snack to share with you!
I love simple snacks with tons of flavor. But I also love being able to make them at home. It is really easy to buy great snacks at the grocery store but cooking is half the fun for me. I love being able to choose my own spices and switch out ingredients, especially for roasted almonds and mixed nuts!
I’ve chosen buffalo flavoring, rosemary and my newest to share with you: Sriracha-soy & sesame almonds! We love Sriracha sauce in our house. Actually, we love any spicy condiment, this being one at the top of the list. And these were so simple to make, and a perfect snack for any party!
Sriracha-Soy & Sesame Almonds
2 cups almonds
2 Tbs. Sriracha sauce
2 Tbs. soy sauce
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 tsp. sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
In a large bowl, stir the Sriracha sauce, soy sauce, olive oil and sesame seeds together until blended.
Add the almonds and stir well to coat. Pour the almonds and the Sriracha mixture onto a 9×13 sheet pan and spread in an even layer.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, stirring the almonds every 10 minutes. Place the almonds back into the oven for an additional 5 minutes, watching closely so that the flavoring doesn’t burn.
I enjoy Steph from Steph’s Bite by Bite. Her blog is really fun and full of creative recipes, but she balances out her food splurges with a healthy workout schedule. I have to say it is awfully thoughtful of her to have included Work It Out Wednesdays in between her recipes in order to recover from tempting goodies such as her S’mores Cinnamon Rolls, Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Pies, and Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough Dip. Sometimes she throws in something crazy like a Strawberry Breakfast Margarita that is surprisingly healthy. But today she’s taking us down a rocky road… filled with doughnuts!
One year ago: Chicken Parmesan Quesadillas
Rocky Road Doughnuts
makes 12 incredible doughnuts
For the Doughnuts:
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the Marshmallow Frosting:
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup marshmallow crème
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
For the Topping:
1 1/2 cups almond meal
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray doughnuts pans with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl combine flour, dark cocoa, baking powder, sugar, and espresso powder. Add in the egg, buttermilk, applesauce, and vanilla whisking until batter is smooth. Spoon batter into doughnut pans filling 3/4 of the way full. Bake doughnuts for 10-12 minutes. Let cool in pan for a few minutes then turn out on to cooling rack to cool completely.
In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter, marshmallow crème, and vanilla for a few minutes until blended and fluffy. Add in the powdered sugar a little bit at a time. Then add in the tablespoon of milk beating for just a minute to thin out the icing (add more milk if icing is too thick).
Place ground almonds on a small plate or bowl. Dunk the tops of the doughnuts in the almonds.
Pour a cup of coffee and get your doughnut on.
Frosting adapted from Kraft
Remember a few weeks ago when I mentioned the care package I sent to my brother and sister-in-law just in time before their first child was born? And that the contents went with them to the hospital? Ok you probably don’t remember but here are the granola bars which satisfied their bellies while waiting for Luke to enter into the world.
Knowing that Kate is a chocolate freak, I decided to use the Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter from Peanut Butter & Co. in the making of these bars. And it was the correct choice. When it is never not a good idea to combine chocolate and peanut butter anyway? I even crumbled one of them up in some vanilla Greek yogurt. Oh yea.
Speaking of Luke, I get to meet him in 23 days!! He has been going through a big cuddler phase lately and I hope it hangs around. Kate says he seems to be getting even more cuddly as time goes on, so he might be Velcro by the time I am there. Totally okay with that, until I have to leave and be cuddle-deprived. Did I mention that he is already a sharp dresser as well? Just look at that fabulous bowtie!
One year ago: Bacon-Corn Fritters
DARK CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER GRANOLA BARS
Makes 16 bars
2 cups dry rolled oats
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/3 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup Peanut Butter & Co.’s Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter
1/4 cup honey, plus more if needed
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8×8-inch baking dish with non-stick spray, set aside.
- Combine oats, flax, wheat germ, salt, nuts and chocolate chips in a bowl and mix. Add peanut butter and mix with 2 spoons, coating as much as you can. Eventually you may need to mix with your hands – I did this to create more of a dough.
- Add honey slowly and coat thoroughly. If the granola won’t stick together, add more honey 1 teaspoon at a time and really mix with your hands.
- Press dough into prepared baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares (2×2-inch), or bars (1×4-inch).
Source: Adapted slightly from How Sweet It Is.
The other day while driving home at night I was being a bad driver by taking my eyes off the road to crane my neck up to see the stars out my car window. Orion is one of the first constellations I spot every time I look at the night sky, and I have always been amused by how he is upside down. That was until Bob ruined it by telling me he is in fact up right. Mind-blowing. My entire life I have believed that he was upside down and now I have to completely readjust how I look at him in the sky. I was not okay with this realization and proceeded to look away from the road to stare at Orion in disbelief. No worries I did not crash.
Yesterday Bob decided to rub it in even further by sending me this XKCD comic about Orion and his mysterious stars between his legs (the stars are what sparked the conversation about which direction he was positioned in the sky – yes I have unusual conversations with my friends). It’s cruel to keep killing my childhood memories of gazing up at the stars with my family while waiting for meteor showers. I need to move to the Southern hemisphere so that I can be correct about my views on Orion. Am I the only one you thought this?
While we are on the subject of being wrong, have you ever made a grocery list and omitted something because you “knew” you had it only to discover that it has mysteriously disappeared (aka you used it all and forgot)? This happened to me when with the almond butter in the chocolate almond cupcakes I shared with you yesterday. But I came to the rescue of myself by whipping up some from scratch! Thank goodness for my zombie-apocalypse-worthy pantry of supplies which contains several large Sam’s club sized bags of nuts.
Making this almond butter from scratch was so easy that I almost feel ashamed for buying any sort of nut butter from the store. I see many nut-butter creations in my future.
One year ago: Over Easy Breakfast Bagel Sandwich
HOMEMADE ALMOND BUTTER
Makes approximately 1.5 cups
2 cups raw almonds
1 tsp salt
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread almonds on a 9×13-inch baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool for 20 minutes.
- Place roasted almonds in a food processor and grind for 15 minutes, stopping regularly to scrape down the sides. After 15 minutes the almonds will turn smooth and creamy. Add the salt and blend. Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator.