Oatmeal Maple Scones from the Flour Bakery Cookbook

Friday, April 17, 2015


Oatmeal Maple Scones - Flour Bakery
Oatmeal Maple Scones from Flour Bakery cookbook

Three things:
Oatmeal
Maple Syrup
Scones

Please.

Just make these! Anytime you make them is fine. I could eat them all day long...breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack.

Oatmeal Maple Scones - Flour Bakery
These scones are from the totally awesome cookbook: Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe. It's definitely one of my favorites. I can tell because it is all torn up, spilled on, and written in. Written next to this recipe? My feedback in a sharpie: "Excellent!"

It's an easy scone recipe. The dough is "wetter" than others so it's simple to scoop it out onto a baking tray.

It has pecan pieces throughout the scone for a nice bite. You can add raisins or dried cranberries but I omitted the fruits.

After they cool, you make a delicious maple syrup glaze. I mean, come on. Glazes are so lovely and just a little bit decadent. Just what you need in the morning.

Oatmeal Maple Scones from Flour Bakery Cookbook
Scones are perfect simplicity. Who wouldn't want one of these at a brunch, or in my case, a morning meeting at work?

Oatmeal Maple Scones from Flour Bakery Cookbook
Hello Beautiful!
Make these today!

Oatmeal Maple Scones
(Adapted from the cookbook - Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe by Joanne Chang, page 41)
Find the book in your library or on Amazon!

Scones:
1 1/2 cups (210 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup (125 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (50 grams) pecan halves, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins or dried cranberries/cherries/etc (I omitted)
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg, cold

Glaze:
1 cup (140 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1-2 tablespoons water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place parchment paper on a half-sheet pan or baking tray.
2. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, oatmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pecans and fruit (if you are using it) on low speed until combined.
3. Drop in the butter pieces and beat on low speed for about 30-60 seconds until the butter has broken down into pea size pieces. You don't want the butter pieces too small.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, maple syrup, vanilla and egg.
5. With mixer still on low speed, add wet ingredients to dry mixture and blend for about 30 seconds until just combined. The batter will be slightly wet.
6. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure all the flour has been incorporated.
7. Scoop out with a #16 disher or ice cream scoop or 1/4 cup measuring cup onto your prepared baking tray. Joanne's recipe says you'll get 8 scones, but I got 10 scones After scooping the dough, I pressed down slightly on the mound.
8. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until tops and bottoms are golden brown.
9. Transfer to wire cooling tray and let cool about 30 minutes. Place the cooling rack with the scones over the baking tray before glazing (I keep my piece of parchment on the tray so it catches the drips and makes clean up easier).
10. Glaze: Whisk together sifted powdered sugar, maple syrup and water. Once the scones have cooled, brush or spoon tops with glaze.


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Why I Love My Planetbox Launch & Rover Lunchboxes

Monday, April 6, 2015

Planetbox Lunchboxes - Rover & Launch
Planetbox Launch Lunchbox with persimmon, pom, goat cheese, spinach salad, roast beef sandwich on a Trader Joe's roll, tomatoes, TJ pumpkin brittle and blueberries

Hello! Today's post is all about lunch and my cool Planetbox Lunchboxes! I take lunch seriously. I'm at work for 11-12 hours so lunch and snacks fuel me throughout the day.

I want to tell you about my Planetbox Lunchboxes - the Rover and Launch! I've been using them for six months and love them! They make food pretty, are easy to clean and reduce waste.

These containers are stainless steel with hinged covers. Get that? You can't lose the tops! They are dishwasher safe. I rinse mine at work and then wash it properly at home.

I'm Japanese American and love all things bento...but I would always end up with a drawer full of containers and missing tops or vice versa. And I would keep buying more bento stuff because it is so freaking cute. With the Planetbox, I get the divided container that I want, no plastic, less waste, and an organized way to think about my lunch. It's like creating your own lunchables. :)

Planetbox Lunchboxes - Rover & Launch
Planetbox Launch model with (left) leftover chicken, peas, potatoes, persimmon, apple, carrots, and (right) teriyaki chicken and rice, potato mac salad (these are leftovers from a dinner at a Hawaiian take out place), kishu tangerine, cucumbers and tomatoes. 

Of course, you can't put the metal container in the microwave, but you can purchase the optional glass insert with lid (above) for the Launch model to reheat food.

There are three models...sort of a baby bear, mama bear and papa bear. I own the mama bear (Rover) and papa bear (Launch). The Rover has 5 sections and can hold 4.5 cups of food. The Launch has 3 bigger and deeper sections and holds 6.5 cups of food.

Planetbox Lunchboxes - Rover & Launch
Planetbox Launch with a few favorite things: 1. Costco Pumpkin Pie - You know that massive pie? If you have leftovers, cut into squares and freeze. 2. That pink thing is the sakura mochi dessert and above it is a cut up cara cara orange. 3. Salad with turkey luncheon meet and some roasted eggplant.

The Launch is great for salads, food that needs to be reheated, or food that just takes up more space.

I purchased the Planetbox Launch (3 sections) in September 2014 for $49.99 (basic model without the bag). Because they are pricey, I read every review available online and was happy with how satisfied moms were with the product. (A lot of their comments didn't really apply to my 44 year old self since I'm not walking 5 miles in the snow carrying a backpack, I have access to a refrigerator at work, and well, I'm not the type of person who might use the box as a weapon on the playground - the "instruction" sheet says you shouldn't use it as a weapon! :)

planetbox_rover_dividers
After I bought the Launch, I was so pleased with it that I bought the Planetbox Rover (5 sections) for $39.99 (basic model without the optional inserts or bag). Having both styles has been great...although you don't need to do that in order to have a great lunch.

Here are a few things you should know...along with photos of some of my lunches!

1. Although many kids use the Planetbox system, I think they are perfect for adult work lunches! I even use the hashtag #grownuplunch!

Planetbox Lunchboxes - Rover & Launch
2. I carry my boxes upright/horizontal from home to car to office refrig, so I can have "wet" ingredients and not worry about leakage. My box isn't being walked to school. If your box is going to be tipped, know that you need to have dry ingredients in each section unless you have the glass container for the Launch or PlanetBox Big & Little Dipper containers (above).

3. Planetbox sells ice sheets for $8 to keep your lunch cool (I bought these and use when I have to go to meeting before going to my office) as well as insulated bags (I didn't buy any bags because I throw my lunch into a Trader Joe's bag and carry it into work - if you are wondering how big these are, they fit perfectly at the base of a Trader Joe's paper bag).

Planetbox Lunchboxes - Rover & Launch
Planetbox Rovers: Some of my favorites include avocado with a sprinkle of chile con limon, chicken salad with wasa crackers, pickles & artichoke hearts, goat cheese pasta. And yes, things taste better when you alternate the colors of carrots and cucumbers. In the top left, that's a Ramen Broccoli Slaw salad...post on that coming soon!

4. Bulk Bins at Sprouts are my friend. I get just a handful of treats to put in the center of the Rover box. You MUST fill the center space with something yummy...that's one of my rules! :) Also, the Trader Joe's chocolate wedges are perfect too.

Planetbox Lunchboxes - Rover & Launch
Planetbox with half sandwich, kishu tangerines (super duper small tangerines), apple, hummus, cucumber, carrots, and chocolate chips

5. The Rover's biggest section doesn't hold a full sandwich with most typical sandwich breads. I'm not a big sandwich person so this wasn't a deal breaker. I've seen others just cut off a small edge of the sandwich. You'll see I often use one piece of wheat bread to make half a sandwich or use a slider bun from Trader Joe's. The Kings Hawaiian roll also fits nicely in the Rover.

planetbox_rover_dividers
Planetbox Rover lunch with (left) Sandwich with Trader Joe's slider buns (I keep those in the freezer), leftover pasta, veggies including frozen corn, and those green blocks are kinako mochi for dessert, and (right) rice & salmon with furikake sprinkled on top, chocolate covered almonds, edamame and fruit. 

6. I purchased silicon cupcake holders from Amazon to separate food ($7.99 when I bought them in Sept 2014, they are $6.99 today). It keeps things neat and adds fun color!

Planetbox Lunchboxes - Rover & Launch
Planetbox Rover with optional Big & Little Dipper. These containers allow you to carry "wet" food such as yogurts and dips. I would suggest getting these if your lunch is going into a backpack. (Remember, I carry mine straight from car to office refrigerator and I keep it horizontal so I don't worry about wet/dry ingredients as much).

7. The boxes come with magnet decorations. Again, great for kids, but I have just stuck them on my refrigerator (you can choose from different styles). There are also companies online that make custom magnets (No, I'm not tempted to make ones of Cidney the Girl Dog :)

8. Need ideas? Follow the #planetbox hashtag and @planetbox on Instagram. My favorite grown-up lunch account is a fellow Californian: @kbqsurfs She fills her lunches with beautiful produce from the farmer's market - check her out. You'll definitely get hungry! Also, @Weelicious uses the Planetbox for her kid's lunch (The Planetbox is in her yummy book Weelicious Lunches too)

9. Things I always have on hand: carrots in different colors - from the Farmer's Market or TJ has Heirloom carrots, Persian cucumbers, bananas, avocados (my farmer's market carries really small ones that fit into the Planetbox! Yes, you start looking at food thinking, "will it fit?"), fruit, and in the freezer I have edamame, frozen veggies, rice, and salmon.

10. On the environmental side, I feel better that I'm not using a million ziploc bags. I keep silverware at work, and I just bought cloth napkins to use. And I carry the Rocket Bottle with me when I'm driving around on the weekend!

As if you couldn't tell, I love these lunchboxes. Parents have talked about having them last for over 3 years...and that's with kids. So I know I'll have them for a long time...making pretty lunches to brighten my afternoon! And yes, they are an investment, but I'm saving So Much Money not buying mediocre fast food lunches.

Whew, this was a long post. Thanks for reading! Follow my instagram @foodlibrarian to see more lunches! Have a good lunch! If you get one, please let me know and take pics on instagram! I get so many ideas from other lunches!

- mary the food librarian

P.S. I use the divided Lunchbot for snacks...I'll have to do a post about that in the future! :)

Disclosure: I purchased my own Launch (with glass insert) and Rover from Planetbox in September 2014 (Launch $60 and Rover $40 plus tax, shipping) - they take PayPal and the shipment was quick. Since I was posting lots of lunches to Instagram (they regrammed a few), Planetbox contacted me in February 2015 and offered items to review: Rocket Bottle ($28 value) and Rover inserts: Big Dipper ($10.25 value) and Little Dipper ($5.25 value) which I didn't own. I was already planning this blog post about the lunchboxes before Planetbox contacted me - dude, I love them! All opinions are my own.

I bought my Planetboxes directly from them, but you can also order some styles on Amazon. Another disclosure: I'm in the Amazon Affiliate program and if you buy something by clicking on these links, I get a few cents.

 

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Egg in a Grilled Cheese Sandwich Hole - Breakfast with Dad

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Egg in a Grilled Cheese Hole Breakfast

Happy Sunday!

It's been a weekend of amazing #MarchMadness basketball (sadly, my UCLA Bruins are out, but there have been great games in the tourney). Anyway, if you follow my Instagram, you probably know that I go to my folk's house every Sunday and have #breakfastwithdad (my little hashtag) while my mom attends church.

I usually roast some potatoes & carrots, cut some fruit and fry an egg over easy (my dad's favorite). This morning, I downloaded the latest Food Network magazine (via the library*) and it's "The Big Breakfast Issue." Perfect timing, no?

The article, "Hole in One!" has a dozen ideas for egg-in-a-hole...including grilled cheese! Give it a shot. Egg-in-a-Hole breakfasts are always fun to make and eat. My oven was already on because I was roasting potatoes and carrots so it was easy.

Egg in a Grilled Cheese Hole Breakfast

*Many libraries offer downloadable eBooks & Audiobooks, and now some are offering downloadable magazines - free with your library card! Ask about it at your local library!

Egg in a Grilled Cheese Hole
Adapted from Food Network Magazine, April 2015

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
1. Cut a hole in two pieces of bread with a cookie or biscuit cutter, small glass, or in my case, a knife.
2. Place cheese on bread. Butter the top of the sandwich.
3. In an ovenproof skillet, melt butter and place the grilled cheese sandwich in the skillet. Cook for 2-4 minutes, until the bottom is toasted.
4. Flip over the sandwich then crack an egg into the hole. Season with salt & pepper. Let cook until white of the egg starts to set (about 2-3 minutes)
5. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the white is set but yolk is still runny (4 - 8 minutes, deeper "nests" take longer). I did not have an ovenproof skillet so I used a spatula and carefully transferred the sandwich to a tray lined with aluminum foil.
6. Don't forget to make the "bread hole" into a small grilled cheese sandwich or pieces of toast to dip into your egg!
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Crispy-Topped Brown Sugar Bars - Tuesday with Dorie

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Crispy Topped Brown Sugar Bars - Tuesdays with Dorie
Crispy-Topped Brown Sugar Bars

Whew! I made it by 2 hours! I'm back with Tuesdays with Dorie. Oh, I lost a couple months due to the holidays and a full week of the flu...but I couldn't miss today! It's a bar with Rice Krispies on top!

Crispy Topped Brown Sugar Bars - Tuesdays with Dorie
These were super simple to make. A brown sugar shortbread is baked until golden brown. Then, you spread chopped chocolate (I used Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate block) on top and let it melt a bit. A quick spread of the chocolate creates a space for your cereal!

You can put a caramelized cereal topping too. Look at the book for this yummy option.

Crispy Topped Brown Sugar Bars - Tuesdays with Dorie

Tuesdays with Dorie doesn't publish the recipe. You should get Dorie's book: Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere (this recipe is on page 324)! I love all the recipes in the book and Dorie's kind words and encouragement. In this recipe, she says, "show it who's boss" referring the shortbread dough. Love it!

Be sure to check out the other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers and their take on this yummy recipe!

P.S. I love my 8 x 8 x 2 pan. It's by Magic Line/Parrish. The edges are perfectly square so you get sharp edges on brownies, cakes, etc. I have 8" and 9" square pans, as well as 9" x 13" rectangle pans too. And they are made in Los Angeles! (I've visited the factory store...here's a post about it)

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Blueberry Buttermilk Scones

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Blueberry Buttermilk Scones
Blueberry Buttermilk Scones

I bake in the morning.
I need to leave the house at 6 am for my commute to work.
Do the math.
So, I made these Blueberry Buttermilk Scones two days in a row at 4:15 am.
Why twice? Because the first time, I cut them incorrectly and made them too big. (Hey, it was before 5 am).

You should make these scones. Maybe even twice! But I'll let you sleep in. These would be great at a Sunday brunch.

Blueberry Buttermilk Scones
The first morning I made these, my circle cutting skills were way lacking. I was supposed to get cut it into 12 pieces, but I only cut them into 8 large pieces. Strangely, my mostly male co-workers were totally fine with the larger pieces (one said, "Then I only need to get one, and not seconds!")

The second morning I made these, I scooped them with an ice cream scoop. This is much easier. You don't have to turn out the dough onto the counter, and can just scoop it out of the bowl. This time, I got 12 mostly round scones. I did pat down the tops a little before adding the egg wash.

On both mornings, I used frozen blueberries.

Blueberry Buttermilk Scones
Blueberry Buttermilk Scones
Bake until nice and golden brown. I prefer the scooped, round scones - the blueberries stay whole. When you cut the dough, you also cut the blueberries.

Blueberry Buttermilk Scones
These scones are not overly sweet. In fact, you could add an extra tablespoon of sugar to the batter. Don't skip the sanding sugar on top either (in a pinch, you can use sugar in the raw or even granulated sugar) as it offers a nice crunch and sweetness. I've made a lot of scones with butter and heavy cream and those scones are richer (and more calories!). This scones uses buttermilk and butter so they aren't as rich.

Adapted from Martha Stewart Living

Blueberry Buttermilk Scones
Yield: 12 scones

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups (210 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
3 T granulated sugar
1 T baking powder (original recipe: 2 1/2 teaspoon)
3/4 t kosher salt
1 stick (4 ounces) butter, cold and cut into pieces
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup blueberries (I used Trader Joe's frozen blueberries)
1 egg
1 t vanilla (original recipe 1/2 teaspoon)

Egg Wash (don't skip this)
1 egg
Sanding sugar

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
3. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter until butter is pea sized. Add the blueberries and toss in the flour mixture.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 egg, buttermilk and vanilla.
5. Using a fork, mix the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients until it is mostly combined.
6. If you are making scone triangles or squares, turn dough onto a floured surface and knead gently a few times to incorporate the flour. Pat into a circle and cut into 12 pieces and place on a parchment lined baking tray.
7. If you are scooping the dough, scoop the dough and place on a parchment lined baking tray.
8. Lightly beat an egg. Brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash and top with sanding sugar.
9. Bake at 375 for 22-25 minutes until golden brown. Since I had frozen blueberries, it took 24 minutes.
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Chocolate Chip Cookies from WD-50

Friday, February 20, 2015

WD-50 Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies from WD-50

I usually make the Jacque Torres New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies but they take 2 days to prep (gotta let the batter rest in the refrig). I didn't have that time so I went looking for an alternate. These Chocolate Chip Cookies were on the New York Times Cooking website and are from WD-50 restaurant in NY.

WD-50 Chocolate Chip Cookies
These cookies have an interesting prep. It starts melted butter whipped together with sugars for 3 minutes (top two photos). It's pretty unusual to use the whisk attachment for cookies! Then you whip in eggs and let that go for 6 minutes (bottom two photos).

WD-50 Chocolate Chip Cookies
After adding the flour mixture (using bread and AP flour) and chocolate chips with a paddle attachment, the dough is very soft and wet. You need to refrigerate it until scoopable (I let mine rest overnight).

WD-50 Chocolate Chip Cookies
According to the recipe, the yield was supposed to be three dozen but I was three short of that.

WD-50 Chocolate Chip Cookies
These cookies are thin & flat with slightly crispy edges, but retain a soft middle. I would add more chocolate chips than the recipe to give it more chocolate flavor. I really enjoyed the taste of the "non-chocolate" cookie part - very nice!

Chocolate Chip Cookies from WD-50

Adapted from Malcolm Livingston II, WD-50, New York Times Cooking website

11 tablespoons/150 grams unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup/100 grams packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup/88 grams granulated sugar
1 egg plus 1 yolk
1 cup/150 grams bread flour
1/3 cup/50 grams all­-purpose flour
1 teaspoon/4 grams salt (I used kosher salt)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup/125 grams chocolate chips (I used Nestle semi-sweet. Next time, I would use a full cup of chips)
(Note: There is no vanilla in this recipe)

1. In a standing mixer with the WHISK attachment, whip the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar for 3 minutes.
2. Add the whole egg and one yolk to the mixture, and whip it for another 6 minutes. The batter will be light in color.
3. Sift together the flours, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
4. Using a PADDLE attachment, slowly add the dry ingredients until almost fulling incorporated. Then add the chocolate chips and mix until the batter is completely mixed together. The dough will be soft. 
5. Chill dough until you can scoop it. (I rested mine overnight). The original recipe says you can also put the dough on parchment paper, roll up, twist ends and chill for 1 hour and then slice the cookie pieces. 
6. After dough has chilled, preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
7. Scoop (or cut if you did the log method) a dozen cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet. You should get close to 3 dozen cookies. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the edges are golden brown but the center is still soft. 
8. After baking, let sit on baking sheet for a couple minutes and then remove with a spatula to a cooling rack. Enjoy!
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Brown Butter and Vanilla Bean Weekend Cake - Tuesdays with Dorie

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Brown Butter and Vanilla Bean Weekend Cake
Brown-Butter-and-Vanilla-Bean Weekend Cake

It's time for Tuesdays with Dorie! I made this last month and work really enjoyed it. I'm pretty exhausted so this is going to be super short.

Brown Butter and Vanilla Bean Weekend CakeTuesdays with Dorie group does not post the recipes as we want to support the great work of Dorie Greenspan so please purchase the book, Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere and turn to page 6 for this fun recipe!

Brown butter is always nerve racking to make. Is it ready? Is it too far? What's that smell? Is that toasty or is that burnt?


This is supposed to be baked in a loaf pan, but I couldn't get to it. I tweeted a plea for help and professional baker and author @janeofmanytrade came to the rescue. She said I could use an 8" round. Thanks Alisa!

I didn't have a vanilla bean, so I used 2 teaspoons of both Nielsen-Massey vanilla extract and vanilla paste. Do you have the paste? I love it. More economical than getting vanilla beans and you get all the yummy flakes. I also skipped the alcohol (dark rum or amaretto).

I topped mine with some powdered sugar so it didn't look so plain.

I have a bunch of other stuff to post, and I hope to get to it next month (there are some good oatmeal scones coming up).

Brown Butter and Vanilla Bean Weekend Cake

Good luck to Dorie Greenspan and all my friends on the East Coast as you get through this snowstorm!

See you next time,
Mary the Food Librarian

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Dahlia Bakery Banana Chocolate Chunk Walnut Loaf

Monday, January 19, 2015

Banana Chocolate Chunk Walnut Loaf - Dahlia Bakery
Dahlia Bakery Banana Chocolate Chunk Walnut Loaf

When you have those banana that have seen better days... make this recipe! It's from the Dahlia Bakery cookbook.

I really enjoyed visiting the Seattle bakery in 2013...it's a must see while in Seattle (along with the beautiful Seattle Library!)

Banana Chocolate Chunk Walnut Loaf - Dahlia Bakery
Bananas, chocolate chunks and walnuts...put some sour cream to make it rich and delicious. The loaf won't last long, but if it does, it tastes even better!

Banana Chocolate Chunk Walnut Loaf - Dahlia Bakery

Banana Chocolate Chunk Walnut Loaf
Adapted from: The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook: Sweetness in Seattle*
Find it in your library with WorldCat

1/2 c (2 3/4 ounces / 79 grams) bittersweet chocolate chunks (I used Trader Joe's Chocolate Chunks)
1/3 c (1 1/4 ounces / 35 grams) walnuts, toasted, cooled and roughly chopped (I used Trader Joe's Walnut Baking Bits and didn't toast them)
1 1/4 c (6 3/8 ounces / 180 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t kosher salt
About 1 pound of very ripe bananas (2-3) - 1 cup of banana puree
1/4 c canola oil
1/2 c (3 1/2 ounces / 100 grams) sugar
1 large egg
1/4 c (2 ounces / 58 grams) sour cream

Preheat oven to 350. Prep a loaf pan (they recommend 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches) with butter & flour, or spray with non-stick spray. I line my pan with parchment paper to make it easier to remove from the pan. I used a Parrish/Magic Line 9 x 5 loaf pan so mine didn't come out as tall as the one in the book.

Mix chocolate chunks and walnuts in a small bowl. Add 2 Tablespoons flour and toss to coat. Set aside.

Sift together the remaining flour, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl or some parchment paper.

The instructions say to beat the bananas into a smooth puree then measure out 1 cup. I just mashed mine with a fork and measured out 1 cup, and put it into the banana puree in the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment.

On low speed, add the oil, sugar, egg and sour cream. Mix until everything is combined.

Add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.  Fold in reserved chocolate-walnut mixture with a rubber spatula. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake until skewer inserted into the loaf comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging but no batter, 65-70 minutes (if you use a different size pan, start checking early). The loaf will be dark golden brown and there will probably be a crack running through the top. Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Unmold the banana bread, then cool on a wire rack to slightly warm or room temperature before slicing and serving.



 * I'm part of Amazon Affiliates and get a small % if you purchase from this link.
P.S. Turns out a made and blogged about this recipe in April 2013 and have no memory of it. Well, it's a good reminder that it's way yummy so you should make it! :)
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Granola Energy Bars - Tuesdays with Dorie / Baking Chez Moi

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Granola Energy Bars
Granola Energy Bars

It's time for Tuesdays with Dorie! I missed December's recipes (two words: Mochi Day) but I hope to get back to them. It'll be fun to make a buche de noel in summertime! This week, it's Granola Energy Bars! These are super easy to make and I'm sure your kids would love helping you. Tuesdays with Dorie group does not post the recipes as we want to support the great work of Dorie Greenspan so please purchase the book, Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere and turn to page 328 for this fun recipe!

Granola Energy Bars These bars are very versatile and you can add your favorite dried fruits. I used dried blueberries, dried cranberries and dried apricots. I also skipped the coconut because it feels like dental floss (I like coconut flavored stuff but can't handle the strands).

  Granola Energy Bars Luckily, I live near a Sprouts Market with the bulk bins so I was able to buy small bits of the ingredients needed: slivered almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and dried fruits. It also carried the brown rice syrup. This is an easy substitute for melted marshmallows in a rice krispie treat; I've been wanting to try it, and Dorie gave me a perfect reason to pick up a bottle. After measuring out your ingredients, it is a simple mix together and bake. Easy peasy and enjoy! Happy New Year everyone! And to those in TWD, I made the next recipe too (what?! I know, new year's resolution to have a tad less procrastination...) and it was delicious!

Granola Energy Bars See you soon, Mary the Food Librarian

P.S. If you didn't get this book for the holidays from Santa or your family, then buy it! You deserve to start the new year with awesome recipes. :)

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Christmas Cool Whip Jello / Gelatin

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Cool Whip Jello
Christmas Cool Whip Jello

Hey, it's almost Christmas! How did that happen?

Anyway, I'm working until 6 pm on Christmas eve. If you are like me, you need a quick and easy dessert. And here it is!

Jello + Cool Whip + Refrig = Easy Peasy.

It's not "natural" (have you seen what's in Cool Whip?) but kids love it and there is something nostalgic about Jello.

Christmas Cool Whip Jello
I made this before as Orange Creamsicle Jello. This time, I made it with Lime and Cherry Jello.

Just dissolve a pack of Jello (using less water than the package says to use so it will be stiffer) and add Cool Whip. Blend to melt and pour into containers. Fridge overnight. Done!

Christmas Cool Whip Jello
The Cool Whip layer rises to the top while it chills.

Another Christmas Jello recipe you might like is Christmas Broken Glass Jello! You need a little more time for this one, but it is super easy too!!

Christmas Cool Whip Jello
Christmas Cool Whip Jello / Gelatin 

You need to make two batches - one green and one red.

RED or GREEN:
1 cup boiling water
1 small box Green or Red Jello (3 ounces)
1/4 cup cold water
1 cup Cool Whip, thawed

1. Place contents of orange Jello packet in a large bowl. Add boiling water. Stir until completely dissolved.
2. Add 1/4 cup cold water.
3. Stir in 1 cup of Cool Whip. It will melt and dissolve. The mixture will be opaque. It will separate to a two layer Jello as it chills.
4. Pour into pan (I used 4-cup pyrex containers).
5. Chill until firm (preferably overnight) and cut into squares.
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