Monthly Archives: November 2013

Granola Bars: The Master Recipe

Granola Bars

Over the past year I have been working on perfecting a Granola/ Oat bar recipe (Like here and here) and I think I finally managed to perfect my master recipe. I have been tweaking it a lot but I think I have finally  solid reliable recipe that I can easily change out the components as my pantry allows and as I wish.

The key to this base recipe and technique is using very overripe bananas. As I have, pretty much everyday weekday, for breakfast I have Greek yogurt with banana and flax seeds I tend to have bananas that get a bit ripe for me to eat as is (I like them more on the unripe side). When this happens I put them in the freezer to keep them for later and then just defrost them to make these granola bars. This ensures they are extra soft and easy to mash but any over ripe bananas work just fine.

GRANOLA BARS

As this recipe is a master recipe the key ingredients are the Oats, Bananas, Dates, Soy Milk, and Salt everything else can be adjusted from those, see the some variables options below.

Makes 8 – 1 1/2″ x 4″

2 Cups Oats

2 Overripe Bananas (or frozen and defrosted to make sure they are soft)

6 (about a cup loosely packed) Medjool Dates diced into 1/4″ pieces

1/3 Cup Soy Milk

about 1/4 Cup Goji Berries

1/4 Tsp Salt

2 Tbsp Flax Seed + Some for dusting

2 Tbsp Wheat Germ

1/4 Tsp Cinnamon

1/4 Tsp Fresh ground Nutmeg

Non stick spray or butter

Medium mixing bowl

7 “x 8” baking pan

Granola Bars

TO PREPARE

Preheat oven to 350F Degrees.

In your medium mixing bowl place the banana’s with out the skins and mash them up until they are all combined.

Mix in the oats and combine together with the banana.

Add in the Soy Milk, Dates, Goji Berries, Flax Seeds,Wheat Germ, and Salt. Mix everything together until fully combined and everything is distributed evenly amongst the oats.

Spray your baking pan with your non stick spray or grease the pan with butter.

Pour in your oat mixture and spread evenly in the pan patting it down with your hand our utensil of your choice to make sure the top is even.

Sprinkle on the top of the oat mix some flax seed to your liking, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Press the toppings into the mix gently with your hand.

Place in your preheated oven and bake for 20min or until golden brown at the edges.

Remove from the oven and let cool completely then cut into squares and serve. Cover this will keep for 1 week in the refrigerator.

Granola Bars

VARIATIONS

You can swap the dates for dried figs or add diced almonds, diced walnuts, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, dried diced apricots, or chia seeds amongst other things. If you are adding in dried cranberries, dried apricots, or any other dried fruit you should reduce the amounts of dates you add or else the mix will be too wet.

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Autumnal Scones

Autumn Scones
October has ended and November is here with full force which is fantastic, as it is my favorite month of the year.

The air is crisp, the breeze light, the trees are endlessly changing in color. The days grow shorter and the night grows longer which is still novel and nice. The rain sprinkles down and the air is permeated with the essence of change.

Once fall finally comes all I want to do is stay home to cook and bake through the long cold nights. This time of year also is great for all those nice and tasty hearty strong flavors. I love a good soup or stew and I adore the mix of gingery spices with everything which is why I always drawn to recipes involving some sort of ginger + sweet combination. So when I saw this for Roasted Apple Scones with Ginger from The Vanilla Bean Blog I knew I had to make something similar especially since I had just come across a recipe for Candied Ginger on Food 52 which to me just meant I had to make some apple ginger scones.

Instead of using the recipe that inspired me I decided to use my go to scone recipe from the Bouchon Bakery Cookbook because you cook the scones from frozen. I like this a lot because I am usually cooking for one and I don’t need a full recipe of scones but with this recipe I can prepare them all and only cook what I want to eat. This recipe does require a lot of inactive time but the results are worth it so please don’t skimp on the resting time!

Autumn Scones

Autumnal Apple Ginger Scones

recipe adapted from Bouchon Bakery

2 1/4 Cups + 2Tbsp All Purpose Flour

1 3/8 Tsp Baking Powder

7/8 Tsp Baking Soda

3/4 Tsp Salt

4.7oz Cold Unsalted Butter – cut into small pieces (aprox 1/4″ in size)

3/4cup Heavy Cream + additional for brushing

1 Small Apple

aprox 1/8cup Candied Ginger (either store bought or homemade) diced into small pieces

1/4 Tsp Cinnamon + Additional for dusting

1/4 Tsp Ground Nutmeg (ideally freshly ground for maximum flavor) + Additional for dusting

Stand Mixer with Paddle Attachment

2 Sheet Pans

Parchment Paper or Silpat

Pastry Brush

TO PREPARE

In the bowl of your stand mixer combine Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Powder, and Salt. Mix on the lowest setting for 15 seconds to combine

With the mixer off add in the butter cubes into the flour mix.

Mix the butter into the flour on the lowest setting breifly to incorporate the butter into the mix, then mix on the second lowest speed (“Low” on Kitchen Aid Mixers) and mix for about 3 minutes or until the butter is broken up and incorporated into the flour mixture. If any large pieces of butter remain break them up and mix them in by hand with the mixer off.

While the butter is being incorporated add to your cream the Cinnamon and nutmeg

With the mixer still on add in the cream mixture, pouring it in slowly, mix for 30 seconds or until all the dry ingredients are moistened and the dough starts to come together.

Turn the mixer off and scrape down the paddle and sides of the bowl.

Add in the Apple and Ginger pieces and mix in on the low speed until incorporated.

Turn out the dough on to your work surface and push it together with your hands into one combined mass.

Place the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap and shape with your hands into a rectangle of about 6 inches by 9 inches, smoothing out the top so there is an even surface and straightening out the sides of the block with your hands

Wrap the dough completely with the plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours until firm

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper

After 2 hours take the dough out of the refrigerator, remove plastic wrap, and with a large knife cut the dough as follows

  1. In half lengthwise
  2. In thirds crosswise
  3. Cut each of these small rectangles on the diagonal to create two isosceles triangles (you should have 12 triangles)

Arrange the triangles on the prepared baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap

Freeze until solid; which should be at least 2 hours if not overnight (they can also keep in the freezer for a month. once frozen solid I wrap them in wax paper and store in a plastic freezer safe container)

When ready to cook preheat your oven to 350F

Line the second sheet pan with parchment and transfer the frozen scones to the newly prepared pan leaving at least 1 inch in between each one.

Brush the tops of the scones with cream and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg as desired

Bake for 25 to 28 minutes until golden brown

Let cool completely and enjoy!
Autumn Scones

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