Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Best Granola Bar Recipe

Homemade Cliff Bars (no bake!) from

There is plenty of room for variation here, so let your mind and tastebuds run wild. I have a few variation ideas to get you started. And yes, you can definitely double this recipe and press into a 13x9-inch pan instead of an 8-inch pan.

1 and 1/4 cups crisp rice cereal (e.g., Rice Krispies)
1 cup uncooked quick-cooking oats
3 tablespoons ground flaxseed (flaxseed meal)don't overdo the flax, it makes them crumbly
1/4 cup finely chopped dried fruit (e.g., raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries, etc.)
1/4 cup finely chopped nuts (preferably roasted or toasted)
1/4 cup brown rice syrup (or honey, maple syrup, or light molasses)-I use honey, and maybe a tablespoon more than this calls for...
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/3 cup nut butter (e.g., peanut, almond, cashew, soynut)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Optional: 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Combine the rice cereal, oats, flaxseed meal, dried fruit, and nuts in a large bowl.

Bring the syrup and brown sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly; remove from heat. Stir in nut butter and vanilla until blended.

Pour nut butter mixture over cereal mixture, stirring until coated (mixture will be stiff). Press mixture firmly into an 8-inch square pan (sprayed with nonstick cooking spray) using a large square of wax paper. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 12 bars. (Wrap bars tightly in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator).

Nutrition per serving (1 bar):
Calories 228; Fat 7.4g (poly 2.3g, mono 4.1g, sat 0.9g); Protein 10.8g; Cholesterol 5mg; Carbohydrate 34.3g; Sodium 156mg)
(Note: I did the nutrition analysis using Diet Analysis Plus 7.0.1)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream

Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream

There is one image from my childhood that is seared into memory, that of the yellow octagonal box of Mexican chocolate on the top shelf of our kitchen pantry. I can still remember my mother making pots of hot chocolate for us, and even using a Mexican chocolate stirrer to beat up the hot chocolate until it was frothy. What makes Mexican chocolate different from regular chocolate? The cinnamon. That's the distinctive flavor. With this ice cream recipe you can skip all of the little extras - coffee, vanilla, chili, and as long as you keep the cinnamon, you will have an ice cream that tastes just like Mexican hot chocolate.

I've made the ice cream both using Ibarra chocolate and using regular chocolate with added cinnamon. Both work fine, though if you use regular chocolate, you can have more control over the quality of the actual chocolate, and the bitterness level (I like bittersweet).

Print Options

Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe

If you have access to Ibarra Mexican chocolate you can use this instead of the semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate and cinnamon called for in the recipe. Use about 1 disk and 2 triangles of the chocolate. After heating with the cream, blend in a blender. Do not add any additional cinnamon as there is enough in the Ibarra.


  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 4 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch cayenne
  • Pinch espresso powder (or instant coffee)
  • 6 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp brandy (optional)


1 Heat one cup of cream in a small saucepan (1 qt). Whisk in cocoa powder. Bring to a simmer. Whisk until cocoa powder is well incorporated. Remove pot from heat. Stir in chocolate until completely incorporate.

2 Put mixture into a metal bowl and add the remaining cup of cream. Set that bowl over a larger bowl half-filled with ice water to help cool it down. Place a mesh sieve over the bowl with the chocolate mixture.

3 Put one cup of milk, the sugar, cinnamon, salt, cayenne, espresso powder (or instant coffee) into a saucepan and heat until steamy (not boiling), stirring to incorporate the spices and dissolve the sugar. Place egg yolks in a medium sized bowl. Slowly pour the heated milk and mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly so that the egg yolks are tempered by the heated milk, but not cooked by it. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

4 Stir the milk egg mixture constantly over medium heat with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spoon so that you can run your finger across the coating and have the coating not run. This can take anywhere from 3 to 10 minutes, depending on how hot your burner is.

chai-ice-cream-4.jpg chai-ice-cream-5.jpg
If the custard base doesn't coat the back of the spoon, it's not ready.

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The custard base coats the back of the spoon.

5 As soon as the mixture coats the spoon, remove it from the heat and immediately pour it over the mesh sieve into the bowl of the chocolate cream mixture. (The sieve is there to catch any curdled bits.) Stir into the cream mixture.

6 Add a teaspoon of vanilla. Let the mixture cool a bit in the ice bath and then chill in the refrigerator until completely chilled, a couple hours or overnight. Right before churning, add 2 Tbsp of brandy to the mix. This is an optional step, but it will help keep the ice cream from getting too icy if it is stored beyond a day. If you are planning on eating the ice cream the same day you make it, you can skip this step.

7 Churn the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Store ice cream in an airtight container in your freezer for several hours before eating. The ice cream will be quite soft coming out of the ice cream maker, but will continue harden in your freezer. If you store it for more than a day, you may need to let it sit for a few minutes to soften before attempting to scoop it.

Makes 1 quart.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Savoury Waffles

Yield: 6


Savoury Waffles

  • 1 x acorn squash
  • 1 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 6 x basil leaves, sliced finely
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup asiago cheese, finely grated
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 x eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 5 slices black forest ham, cut thicker than usual and diced
  • 3 x sage leaves, sliced finely
  • 2 x chives, sliced finely
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Savoury Waffles

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F
  2. Cut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. To a baking dish, add water until it is 1/4-inch deep. Place squash, cut side down in water and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 1/2 hour.
  3. Remove squash from oven, discard any remaining water. Turn squash over and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Return to oven uncovered and roast for 45 more minutes, or until squash begins brown at the edges. Let cool, then scoop out flesh. Reserve.
  4. In a small pot over medium heat, reduce balsamic vinegar until it is 1/4 of the original volume. Reserve.
  5. Slice cherry tomatoes in half. In a medium bowl, add tomatoes, 1/3 cup of olive oil, basil and salt to taste. Reserve.
  6. In a large bowl, add asiago, flour, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Mix.
  7. In a second large bowl, add eggs, milk, 1 cup roasted butternut squash, 1/4 cup olive oil, ham, and sage. Mix.
  8. Slowly add the contents of the dry bowl to the wet bowl.
  9. Ladle batter into a preheated waffle maker and bake until cooked throughout.
  10. To serve, set a waffle in the middle of each plate. Top with tomato salsa and sour cream. Drizzle balsamic vinegar reduction around the plate.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Chewy Granola Bars

These homemade chewy granola bars are easily customized to taste with your own favorite fruits and nuts. Step-by-step photos illustrating how to make these granola bars are available at Bakers' Banter, our King Arthur blog.

  • 1 2/3 cups quick rolled oats
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons Sticky Bun Sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar, optional (see "tips" at right)
  • 1/3 cup oat flour (or 1/3 cup quick oats, processed till finely ground in a food processor or blender)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional
  • 2 to 3 cups dried fruits and nuts*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup melted butter or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup honey, maple syrup or corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • *We like 1/2 cup each dried cranberries, chopped dried apricots, chopped pecans, sunflower seeds, and coconut. Walnuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, dried cherries or apples, or even chocolate chips would all be delicious as well.


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan.

1) Stir together all the dry ingredients, including the fruit and nuts.

2) In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, melted butter or oil, syrup or honey, and water.

3) Toss the wet ingredients with the dry until the mixture is evenly crumbly.

4) Spread in the prepared pan, shaking the pan to evenly cover the bottom and patting down gently

5) Bake the bars for 25 to 30 minutes, until they're golden brown around the edges.

6) Remove them from the oven, loosen the edges, and cool for 5 minutes.

7) Use a knife (or bench knife) to cut the bars while they're still warm in the pan. Carefully remove warm bars from the pan, and cool on a rack. Alternatively, remove from the pan before cutting into bars; it helps to cut in half first, then loosen the bottom of each half with a turner/spatula before turning out onto a sheet of parchment to cut into bars.

8) Wrap bars individually to store; or place in a single layer on a plate, and cover with plastic; or store in layers with parchment in between. In humid weather, it's best to store bars in the refrigerator. They also freeze well.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Rustic No-Knead Bread

Rustic No-Knead Bread

3 cups flour

1/4 tsp yeast

1 1/4 tsp salt

1 5/8 cups water

-mix ingredients and let ferment in a bowl with a cover for at least 18 hours.

-fold dough twice and place in a cotton towel lined with cornmeal or flour and then let rise for 2 hours

-Preheat oven to 450 degrees for 1/2 hour with baking pot in the oven

-Bake covered for 30 mins (seam side up)

-Bake uncovered for 15-30 minutes.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Veggie Meatloaf--SO YUMMY



  1. Add salt to water and boil in a saucepan.
  2. Add lentils and simmer covered 25-30 minutes, until lentils are soft and most of water is evaporated.
  3. Remove from fire.
  4. Drain and partially mash lentils.
  5. Scrape into mixing bowl and allow to cool slightly.
  6. Stir in onion, oats and cheese until mixed.
  7. Add egg, tomato sauce, garlic, basil, parsley, seasoning salt and pepper.
  8. Mix well.
  9. Spoon into loaf pan that has been generously sprayed with Pam (non-stick cooking spray) or well-greased.
  10. Smooth top with back of spoon.
  11. Bake at 350 degrees for 30- 45 minutes until top of loaf is dry, firm and golden brown.