Stovetop S’mores Sandwiches

stovetop s'mores sandwiches

stovetop s’mores sandwiches

Now that summer has started, the warm weather begs me not to turn on the oven. But, you ask, isn’t this is a baking blog? True, but the heat sometimes wins out. So I’ve decided that occasionally I will post a no-bake recipe instead of a baking tip. That means more goodies to taste and explore.

With the outdoor holiday coming up, I have seen a plethora of s’mores recipes across the internet. There were bits and pieces I liked from a few tasty treats, so today’s recipe is an adaption of a handful of them. There was no high altitude finesse needed, but at least this no-bake vegan recipe falls under the category of decadent. I dare you to eat a whole one.

Stovetop S’mores Sandwiches
12 graham crackers (choose gluten-free if desired)
4 oz dark chocolate squares
3 TBS vegan margarine (choose soy free if desired)
10 oz vegan marshmallows
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
Place waxed paper on a tray. Place six graham crackers in the tray. Top graham crackers with chocolate squares. Melt vegan margarine in a large pot on medium-low. Add marshmallows and stir constantly until melted. Stir in vanilla extract. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips. Working quickly, pour chocolate-marshmallow mixture over graham crackers in tray. Place six graham crackers on top of crackers in tray. Lightly press top crackers into the gooey mess to make sandwiches. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Separate sandwiches with a knife if necessary. Store in refrigerator.

Until next time, happy non-baking!

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Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookie

peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookie

What happens when you combine peanut butter cookies with oatmeal and chocolate chips? You get perfection. My choice for this cookie was simply pure decadence. And the fact that my husband said I hadn’t baked cookies in awhile (hint, hint).

Originally I was lazy and tried this as a non-gluten free cookie. They were so good that my husband ate 10 of them instantly. (He did say he was cookie-deficient.) When those were gone, two days later, I tried them again as gluten-free. I adapted them for high altitude by adding milk to the recipe, and the oats were ground slightly to make a more cohesive dough. I also switched out the oat flour and shredded coconut for a gluten free flour blend that a friend had given me for experimentation (again – hint, hint).

The results on the second round? Deliciousness.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies adapted from the Beaming Baker
1 cup gluten free rolled oats
1 1/4 cup gluten free flour blend
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup peanut butter (made from peanuts only and no additives)
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup organic brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 flax eggs (2 TBS ground flax + 6 TBS warm water, whisked together, set aside for 5 minutes)
1 1/2 TBS almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in top third of oven. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Put oats into a food processor and grind them slightly. In a medium bowl, whisk together oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a large bowl, use a rubber spatula to mix together peanut butter, oil, brown sugar, maple syrup, flax eggs, milk and vanilla. Add dry mixture to wet mixture. Using a rubber spatula, fold into a dough. Fold in chocolate chips.
Scoop 2 tablespoon-sized cookie dough balls onto cookie sheet, spaced evenly apart. Flatten slightly – these cookies won’t spread much. Bake each baking sheet individually for 13-15 minutes. Carefully slide parchment paper with cookies off baking sheet onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool. Store in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks. Makes 24 cookies.

Until next time, happy baking!

The Low-Down on Rhubarb and Crumbles

rhubarb

Image courtesy of Whitney at flickr.com

In my blog on Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble I mentioned that I had to scour the internet to do research for the post. I was only briefly familiar with rhubarb and needed to learn more in order to make a tasty treat. SeriousEats.com told me that “rhubarb—technically a vegetable, but usually treated like a fruit (is) … puckeringly tart when raw (and) is especially tasty when its sourness is tempered through cooking with sugar and/or pairing with sweet fruits … Note: Only the stalks of rhubarb plants are edible, while the leaves are poisonous.”

Once I got the info on the rhubarb plant, I went off in search of ways to bake it. I saw a multitude of recipes labeled “crumble” or “crisp” that looked like the same type of recipe. They are almost identical, but a little detective work uncovered their differences. “Crumbles and crisps are very similar … They both contain fresh fruit with a streusel-like topping that gets baked until the fruit is cooked … The original difference between the two lay in the streusel topping: crisps would contain oats and crumbles would not. In an actual crisp … the oats in the topping crisp up as it bakes, hence the name.”

At that point I had enough data to start my baking experiments. Strawberry was often paired with rhubarb so that was a good place to start. Also, it’s strawberry season and fresh berries were plentiful. I ended up with a crumble and not a crisp because it seemed easier, and who doesn’t like dessert to be simple. Next I threw in a little “healthy” and my Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble was born.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble

strawberry rhubarb crumble

strawberry rhubarb crumble

Rhubarb. I opened up my farm box and that’s what stared back at me. Of course I had heard of rhubarb before but I had never tried it. Not knowing what it tasted like meant I didn’t know what to do with it. I had seen rhubarb recipes before but they were for jam (with lots and lots of sugar) or for pie (and I don’t like pie – it’s a crust thing). So I began an extensive search on the vegetable.

The recipe that finally caught my eye was for a crumble. I was intrigued by the fact that it contained turmeric, that anti-inflammatory herb that has received so much press lately. Another ingredient in the recipe got my attention – the lack of refined sugar. I had found a recipe for a healthy and delicious dessert that I could easily modify.

The changes I made were simple. First off I adapted it to include my star ingredient – rhubarb. Next, I decided that this dish should contain some healthy fat in the form of coconut oil. Why add fat? Well, the crumble seemed like it would make a nice breakfast. It had protein, fruit and fiber, but it needed a little fat to round it out. Here it is, ready for breakfast or dessert.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble adapted from OrganicConnectMag.com
¼ cup + 2 TBS maple syrup, divided
1 TBS dried ground turmeric
2 cups diced rhubarb
2 cups hulled and quartered strawberries
1 cup almond flour
2 TBS cold coconut oil
¼ cup almonds, chopped
¼ cup walnuts, chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
⅛ tsp nutmeg
⅛ tsp sea salt
Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly grease an 8×8” baking dish. In a bowl, combine ¼ cup maple syrup and turmeric. Add rhubarb and strawberries and toss to coat. Add mixture to baking dish. In a bowl, combine almond flour, 2 TBS maple syrup, and coconut oil. Mix in almonds, walnuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Evenly spread topping over mixture in baking dish, breaking up clumps as you go. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, until berries are bubbling and topping is golden. Serve warm.

Until next time, happy baking!