Monthly Archives: November 2012

Holiday Foreplay

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Pumpkin is the foreplay to the holiday season. This time of year, we are bombarded with pumpkin flavored everything, and for good measure- that shit is bomb. When you see that pumpkin latte at starbucks, you know it’s only a few days until you’ll start making those christmas (or Hanukah, kwanza??) lists and checking them twice. I’ve personally been amping up my pumpkin intake through my breakfasts (a little pumpkin in your oatmeal or green smoothie goes a long way), and of course dessert!

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This recipe is a take on pumpkin pie, and adapted from a recipe I found on a blog en Español (thank you google translate), which made for an interesting baking adventure. The crust is baked a bit beforehand, which browns the butter and makes a deliciously nutty base to a thick, rich pumpkin cheesecake-like bar. It’s really simple and only calls on a few ingredients. Pumpkin needs less than a bit of cinnamon and sweetness to take center stage.

Happy holidays y’all!

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Pumpkin Pie Bars

Adapted from here

Ingredients for the crust:

1.5 C butter, at room temperature
1.5 C brown sugar
1.25 C flour
.25 C oats

Ingredients for the cake:

2 eggs
1.5 C sugar
1.5 C pumpkin puree
1 C sweetened condensed milk
½ TBS salt
1 TBS cinnamon
½ TBS ground ginger

Make the crust: In a medium bowl, beat butter brown sugar. Add flour and rolled oats gradually. Line a 8 x 8 baking pan with tin foil. Dump the crust mixture into the pan and pat down to condense. Bake at 350F degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven.

In a large bowl whisk the eggs with the sugar. Add the pumpkin puree, condensed milk, salt, cinnamon and ginger. Pour the mixture over the base and bake at 350F degrees for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted wood comes out clean (if it tends to brown too much, cover with foil ). Chill in the refrigerator overnight (or at least 4 hours, to desired consistency).

Granola Bars, Part Deux

Good morning hunger pains! Per the usual, I woke up this morning completely ravenous, eagerly anticipating stuffing my face voraciously with granola (also quite typical). Shuffling my sleepy self to the kitchen with a craving for peanut butter, I realized I had prematurely gobbled up my granola supply (#firstworldproblems), so I quickly scrounged up the ingredients for these rockingly easy granola bars. This is a recipe so simple that any pre-caffeinated brain can handle on the emptiest of stomachs. However, waiting for these buddys to set before cutting may be a different story… These are definitely a new essential to keep on handy for satiating frequent morning (or afternoon, midnight, 3am…) hunger pains. Customize with chocolate, nuts and dried fruit to your hearts content! Peanut Butter Granola Bars adapted from here

2/3 cup brown rice syrup

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup agave syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste

3 cups oats

1 cup dried unsweetened coconut flakes

Optional Add-ins:

1/3 to 1/2 cup raisins (or any bite-sized dried fruit will work)

1/2 cup almonds, roughly chopped (or walnuts, pecans, peanuts…)

1/3 to 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Line a 9 x 13″ baking dish with tin foil. In a large microwave-safe bowl (think big, you’ll be mixing everything in here), combine brown rice syrup, peanut butter, agave, and heat on high power for 1 minute; stir to combine. Add vanilla, cinnamon, salt.

Add oats and coconut to the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Add any dried fruit, nuts and chocolate and fold to incorporate. Pour mixture into prepared pan, spread parchment paper over mixture, and pack down firmly with a fists. Place pan in the freezer for at least 1 hour, or until you can’t take waiting anymore. Slice bars and wrap in parchment or tin foil for easy snacking and/or breakfasting!