Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Caramel oatmeal bars

A month or so ago I was craving a simple dessert, but lacking inspiration.  I started flipping through my old binder full of hand written recipes that I started over a decade ago (does anyone else feel nostalgia for hand written recipes? or am I the only one to do that still...), looking for some old forgotten recipes I used to love.  I came across a bunch of simple classics that I had forgotten about, that made a great distraction from my macaron obsession.

There are a great number of classic, simple, reliable recipes - the kind that used to be a standard on the side of brand name candy and cereal bags.  For some reason these recipes seem to have been forgotten by the road side as everyone strives for new creative or fancy desserts, and I'm excited to start cooking through these again.  I love the reliability and consistency from these recipes, and they often bring back fond childhood memories, like making a mess in the kitchen.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Almond Joy Cookies

 These cookies are inspired by "Almond Joys", the American candy bar made of a coconut filling, a layer of almonds on top, and then covered in chocolate.  The use of almond butter (like peanut butter, but made with almonds) was a great idea - I hadn't baked much with this in the past.  These are a dense chewy hearty cookie full of delicious flavors that make you want to reach in for just one more.  I find them a little less sweet then the average american cookie, which is one of the reasons why I think they were so popular with my british friends (who had never heard of Almond Joys).

The desiccated coconut flakes we can buy in the UK are reported to be a little bit drier and less sweet than the sweetened coconut flakes available in the US - I found the only difference this makes is that the dough is a bit more crumbly, requiring more effort to form the balls before baking.  However they came out tasting great for me in both countries.  The only real change I made from the original recipe was to add in chocolate chunks instead of drizzling it on top, and I went for the thicker chewier size.  The original recipe has all the weights of the ingredients, if you prefer that to measuring cups.

The Fudgy (chai/mocha optional) brownie

In my house chocolate is basically always an appropriate choice. Whether you are celebrating, mourning, or having a stressful or happy d...