baking

The BEST Russian ‘Sukhariki’ // Walnut Raisin Biscotti

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Suhariki, in Russian, means croutons but sukhariki, means biscotti. Tricky right? Well, this weekend we had some guests visiting. Obviously we had to treat them with some delicious biscotti!

20140406-142916.jpgThe traditional recipe my grandmother uses has butter in it. This causes the biscotti to be a little softer and spread more while baking. My mother likes the traditional recipe more. I like the fact that these are so crunchy because I like to dip them in my coffee or tea. Our guests loved these and begged for the recipe!

20140406-142921.jpgAdapted from California Walnuts

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup granulated sugar + extra for sprinkling

2 eggs

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 tbsp orange juice

2 tsp grated orange rind

1.5 tsp vanilla

1 cup walnuts, chopped

1/2 cup raisins

1 egg white

>>Preheat oven to 350F. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside. Beat sugar and eggs in a seperate bowl for 2-3 mins until thick. Mix in the oil, juice, rind, and vanilla. Slowly add the flour mixture and then fold in the walnuts and raisins. On a floured table top, knead the dough and shape into 2 flat logs (about 8×2). Brush an egg white and water mixture on top and sprinkle with sugar. Bake 25-30 mins. Reduce oven to 300F, and let the logs cool slightly while you wait for the oven. Cut the logs into slices, and turn them onto their sides. Bake 15 mins, or until golden brown.

Makes about 30 biscotti, which yields 1 fat & 1 grain exchange per biscotti

 

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Secret Ingredient Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

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Apparently yesterday was national peanut butter and jelly day. How could I miss such a holiday?! Well, since I eat peanut butter and jelly every day (in one way or another) I wasn’t too surprised when I found myself making these PB&J bars anyways.

20140402-214330.jpgWhat I actually did was use up ALL the ‘leftover’ ingredients I could find. This includes: half a frozen pear from this recipe, the rest of the blueberry muesli from this recipe, and some blueberry jam that’s been sitting in our pantry untouched.

Here’s the whole bar fresh from the oven:

20140402-214416.jpgBe sure to read the substitution notes. As I said, I was trying to use up old ingredients but you can use more generic pantry staples.

And now cut into bite size pieces:

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1 1/2 cups Trader Joes Blueberry Muesli*

1/4 cup pear sauce**

1/3 cup jam

1 egg

2.5 tbsp peanut butter

>> Preheat oven to 350F. Add peanut butter, pear sauce, and beaten egg to the muesli. Line a 8×4 loaf pan with tin foil for easy removal. Press about 3/4 of mixture into the pan firmly. Spread jam on top. Firmly press remaining mixture bits on top. Bake for about 20 minutes. Let cool before cutting into 8 bars.

*Alt. use 1 1/2 cups oats + 1/4 cup dried blueberries or raisins

**I made this by placing 1/2 chopped frozen pear in a pan with some water, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves and letting simmer until soft. Then I blended into a puree. Alt. use 1/4 cup applesauce or other fruit butter.

Leftover Cereal Cookies

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In a potato chip bag you’re often fooled into buying half a bag of air. In a cereal box you’re fooled into buying crumbs. No, Kashi, I don’t want to eat your sugar crumbs for breakfast thank you very much!
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My latest box had so many crumbs in it. Maybe someone stepped on it twenty times, maybe the plane transporting it went through heavy turbulence, or maybe an evil child in the grocery store shook my box a thousand times. Either way, I needed a way to get rid of it.  20140310-165528.jpgObviously I had to made cookies. In the midst of things I actually forgot to add sugar to this batch, but thankfully the cereal made them sweet enough. They came out like little biscuits and I sandwiched some Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter in between- yum! Depending on the cereal you use, I would adjust the sugar accordingly.

1.5 cups cereal crumbs

1 cup flour

1/4 cup oats

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tbsp white sugar * adjust accordingly

>>Preheat oven to 400F. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Roll dough into balls and press down on cookie sheet. Bake for ~15 mins.

Carrot Cake Muffins: No Added Sugar & Vegan

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My mom’s absolute favorite cupcake mix is the Duncan Hines Carrot Cake. For some reason, the grocery stores in our area don’t carry it. While she was in the city this morning, I took the liberty of making a healthier version of the store bought brand. 20140310-165435.jpg

I love that this recipe uses real fruits and vegetables to naturally sweeten the muffin. With some lemon frosting, this would be perfect! 20140310-165442.jpg

Dry:

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 cup white flour

1 tbsp flax seed

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

Wet:

3 tbsp oil

1/3 cup dried dates, pitted (~7)

3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/4 cup orange juice

1 cup grated carrots

1/3 cup raisins

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/3 cup crushed pineapple

>>Preheat oven to 400F. In a blender, combine the orange juice, pineapple, and dates until smooth. Mix the wet and dry ingredients in two separate bowls. Combine all ingredients and mix. Spoon into tins 3/4 full and bake for about 15 mins.

Makes approx. 9-10 muffins