Category Archives: Dessert/sweet treat

Success on Sunday!

Happy Monday!!! :)
I hope you had an excellent weekend! Ours was pretty uneventful but somewhat productive and completely enjoyable. ALWAYS a great combination.

So this weekend I finally got to a recipe that I’ve been wanting and meaning to get to for about 2 weeks. Zucchini Brownies courtesy http://www.about.com/. This is an egg free recipe which is great as I am trying to limit Justice’s exposure to eggs. It’s also got 3 cups of zucchini stashed in it! Brownies made healthiER. 😉 Now before you get too taken aback by the ‘zucchini in brownies?!?!’ part, let me assure you…You’d never know!!! With the exception of the consistency not being quite brownie-like, (as the recipe says it’s more muffin like than brownie), they’re pure brownie! Now this recipe is designed for veggie picky toddlers that are used to sweet treats but it’s absolutely perfect for anyone in the family. I had a very skeptical adult declare that he thought they were delicious. Evan hasn’t tried them yet, but he had a small taste of the batter and became an immediate fan. I personally, not being a chocoholic, could have had several helpings last night! 😉

These brownies turn out moist and delicious with the consistency somewhere between brownie and muffin. They make a delicious treat, breakfast or snack and have 3 cups of zucchini hidden inside. Your toddler will never know! This recipe is also great for vegans (choose ingredients like sugar wisely of course), families with egg allergies or those who haven’t introduced eggs to their children yet.
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Total Time: 40 min

Ingredients:
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups shredded zucchini (about 4 small – peel first)
Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan.
(I used 10×15)
Using a large bowl with plenty of space for all ingredients, thoroughly mix the oil, sugar and vanilla.
Now cream in the cocoa.
In a separate, smaller bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt and then stir that into the sugar and oil mixture.
Fold in the zucchini and do not be afraid. Depending on the moisture level of your zucchini, this turns out looking somewhere between chunky hot cocoa mix powder and stringy brown paste. It’s ugly. That’s OK. The zucchini releases a lot of moisture as it cooks.
Spread it in the prepared pan evenly and bake it for about 30 minutes or until it just springs back when touched in the center. (Don’t use the toothpick test on this because if it comes out clean, they’re probably overcooked.)

These were a great success and I will be making these more often. A nice treat for everyone with the bonus of a healthy addition. I may use a baking sugar sub next time. I’ve never baked with substitute before, so if you have any tips, I’d LOVE to have them.

Can’t wait for the feedback
Enjoy-
Mo

A recipe referral-Home made Graham Crackers!

I wanted to pass this one along for any and all to try. A great friend of mine, Amber, tried this recipe and passed it along. I don’t have a mixer to try this one out yet but it’s definitely a goal. I’m posting the recipe with Amber’s notes along the bottom. This recipe is courtesy http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/05/graham-crackers/.

Graham Crackers
Adapted from Nancy Silverton’s Pastries from the La Brea Bakery, and 101 Cookbooks, because for some absurd reason that will be immediately rectified, this book is not yet in my collection.
If you’re new to graham crackers, do know that the word “cracker” is misleading. They’re moderately sweet, like a cookie or biscuit, but they do have the snap of a cracker. I can’t say that I’d serve them with cheese, but if you’ve never schmeared them with cream cheese frosting, you’re missing out.
The topping amount will make a heavy coating, like the store-bought ones. Make only half if you just want a light-to-moderate sprinkling.

Makes 10 4 x 4.5-inch graham crackers or 48 2-inch squares

2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (375 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour (a swap of 1/2 cup with whole wheat flour or 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour works well here, too)
1 cup (176 grams) dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon (6 grams) baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt (4 grams)
7 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces or 100 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen
1/3 cup (114 grams) mild-flavored honey, such as clover
5 tablespoons (77 grams) milk, full-fat is best
2 tablespoons (27 grams) pure vanilla extract

Topping (optional)
3 tablespoons (43 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon (5 grams) ground cinnamon

Make the dough: Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade or in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Pulse or mix on low to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse on and off on and off, or mix on low, until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal.

[Alternately, if you don’t have a food processor or electric mixer, you can cut the ingredients together with a pastry blender. Just make sure they’re very well incorporated.]

In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, milk, and vanilla extract. Add to the flour mixture and pulse on and off a few times or mix on low until the dough barely comes together. It will be very soft and sticky. Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap and dust it lightly with flour, then turn the dough out onto it and pat it into a rectangle about 1-inch thick. Wrap it, then chill it until firm, about 2 hours or overnight. Meanwhile, prepare the topping, if using, by combining the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and setting aside.

Roll out the crackers: Divide the dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator. Sift an even layer of flour onto the work surface and roll the dough into a long rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. The dough will be sticky, so flour as necessary. Trim the edges of the rectangle to 4 inches wide. Working with the shorter side of the rectangle parallel to the work surface, cut the strip every 4 1/2 inches to make 4 crackers. [This makes a traditional graham cracker shape. I rebelled and made mine into 2-inch fluted squares with one of these.]
Place the crackers on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets and sprinkle with the topping. Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes in the fridge or 15 to 20 minutes in the freezer. Repeat with the second batch of dough. Finally, gather any scraps together into a ball, chill until firm, and re-roll.
Adjust the oven rack to the upper and lower positions and preheat the oven to 350°F.

Decorate the crackers: Mark a vertical line down the middle of each cracker, being careful not to cut through the dough (again, this is for the traditional cracker shape). Using a toothpick or skewer (I like to use the blunt end of a wooden skewer for more dramatic dots), prick the dough to form two dotted rows about 1/2 inch for each side of the dividing line.
Bake for 15 to 25 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the touch, rotating the sheets halfway through to ensure even baking. [The baking time range is long because the original recipe calls for 25 minutes but my new oven — which I suspect runs crazy hot but have yet to confirm with the actual purchase of an oven thermometer — had them done in way less. Be safe, check them sooner. Nobody likes a burnt cracker!]

“Not too hard to make, but you have to keep cooling the dough in the fridge because it gets goopy really easily.” Oh, and of course, the most important note of all I’m not gonna lie…They are pretty amazing!”
That last one was all I needed to hear!

So I hope everyone enjoys this totally tantalizing sounding recipe and reports back immediately!
Mo
(Thanks Amber!!  <3  <3 )