Vegan Sugar Cookies with Icing

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Some vegans don’t eat cookies too often, unless they bake them at home. They are hard to find in the stores and always a bit pricey. If you can find any, they will usually be peanut butter or chocolate chip, but very rarely a sugar cookie and a great tasting one at that. In fact my daughter prefers these over the non-vegan ones!

I made this batch of cookies for the First Annual Veg-Fest in Sonoma County last month. Since these needed to look pristine, I ended up with some rejects left at home. My friend was visiting a few days after the event and ate the rest of my cookies, he claimed they were so good he couldn’t stop eating them. Today he asked for the recipe because he just needed to make some vegan cookies and he thinks I can go into business with these and sell them to places like Whole Foods or other vegetarian friendly places.

I hate to even call these a “Sugar Cookie”. Most sugar cookies are hard, chalky and dry. What makes these so different than a traditional sugar cookie, is the flax-seed meal and the cream cheese. Those two items give this cookie a much better texture and flavor than the old fashioned ones. To change it up once in a while, you could add some lemon or orange zest to the cookie dough and icing for a different taste.

These cookies are just as easy to make as any other cookie, with the added fun of cutting out different shapes and decorating them.  If you are not an artist, then no worries, you can just spread the icing over the tops then devour. If you are more artistically inclined, then you can pull out all the stops and really make some fun and gorgeous cookies!

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* VEGAN * ROLLED *SUGAR *COOKIES *

Ingredients for cookies:

  • 1 Cup Golden Flaxseed Meal
  • 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) Vegan Margarine – such as Nucoa
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1.5 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer
  • 2 tbls water
  • 1/2 container of Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
  • 1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract (or Lemon or Orange zest/extract)

Directions:

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  This should take about 3 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl, combine together the dry ingredients and set aside.
  • Prepare the egg replacer  by mixing replacer with warm water and whisk until frothy
  • Add egg replacer, vanilla and almond extracts to mixer and beat another minute or so.
  • Add the flour mixture slowly, mixing after each cup is added.  (Be careful not to add too much at a time.
  • Blend until all of the flour is incorporated and the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
  • Take the dough out of the bowl and place it on a piece of parchment paper.
  • Place the dough in a large plastic (zip-lock type) bag or Tupperware bowl with a lid and refrigerate for about 2 hours or overnight.

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  •  Take about half the dough at a time and roll it out until about 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick.
  • Carefully stamp each cookie cutter until that piece is full. (If cookie cutter starts to  stick, dip the edges in flour.)
  • Prep an area to roll out the dough. I use a roll out mat, and a little flour. If you don’t have height guides for your rolling pin, you can use two wooden spoons of the same height as guides as shown above.15 min before you remove the dough from the refrigerator, preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
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  • Pick up the scraps and re- roll the dough, continue to stamp cookies until full, then repeat.
  • Place cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet (you can use parchment paper or a silicone mat on top of the sheet if you prefer) and place in the freezer for about 5 -10 minutes. This assures that the cookies stay very cold and will help prevent spreading.
  • Take the other half of the dough and repeat the process until all cookies have been stamped.
  • If you don’t have enough cookies sheets you should leave the unrolled dough in the fridge until your first batches are completed.
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    PRO TIP: Place similar sized cookies on the same cookies sheet. That way all the cookies will cook evenly and you won’t have some cookies under-baked and others to crispy.

  • Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes depending on the size of the cookie.  Bake until they are just barely beginning to take on a golden tone.  They will continue to bake as long as then are on the pan, so don’t let then get too brown.
  • Cool for just a minute or so on the pan, then carefully remove cookies from the baking sheet and place on a cooling rack.

This recipe yields about 28, 2 1/2 inch cookies or 16, 3 1/2 inch cookies.

Once cooled, the cookies can be decorated with frosting, royal icing or rolled fondant.



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* VEGAN * ROYAL * ICING * RECIPE*

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (organic) powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp of non-dairy milk
  • 2 tsp of light corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract (or Lemon or Orange zest/extract)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

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See my Sugar Cookie Extravaganza Post for all the details and tools used to decorate cookies. COOKIE DECORATING TOOLS NEEDED

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Directions:

  • Using Kitchen-aide mixer, add sugar, non-dairy milk and whisk until smooth.
  • Add in extracts and corn syrup.  Whisk  until icing is smooth, shiny, and a little runny.
  • Pour in all the icing sugar at once and place the bowl on the mixer.
  • You will want this to be thicker at first so you can use this for your borders. So add more powdered sugar until icing is thick enough to hold its shape. (You will add water as needed later for the flood fill.)
  • In the icing bottles, place some of the white frosting in each one. Tint with food coloring or thin the icing with small amounts of warm water to reach the desired consistency. For the borders, you want it to be stiff and thicker, but still able to squeeze out.
  • Once your desired colors are mixed, then fill each bottle, or parchment bag.

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DECORATING : See my Sugar Cookie Extravaganza Post for links, ideas and more how-to’s.

  • While the borders are drying, use the same bowls as before to mix your thinner flood fill icing. This needs to be thin enough to “set” itself in about 10 seconds. Add only a few drops of water at a time. If it’s too runny, then you will had to add more powdered sugar and mix again.
  • Fill squeeze bottles with flood will icing. Use a toothpick or bamboo skewer stick to help move the flood colors to cover the surface area and reach into the corners.
  • Once your borders are set and dry you can begin filling in all your designs and colors. The possibilities are endless, so watch the videos for inspiration.
  • In-between uses, cover the bowl of plain white icing with a dampened tea-towel to prevent crusting and drying. You can also cover each bottle with a tip or damp cloth to prevent them from getting hard or clogged.

It took a little time to get used to the vegan royal icing.  It’s not bright white like the traditional recipe is, but its a lovely off-white color that still takes gel coloring well. I was able to paint on the dried icing  as well as add edible glitter, and fondant flowers. By the time I decorated a few cookies, I was used to it.  The cookie at the bottom right corner of the photo below is bright white, because I rolled out white fondant and used the same cookie cutter to cut a square shape, iced cookie with the flood fill icing, then stuck on the fondant. The icing acts like glue and worked great. Fondant will give you a smoother canvas to work on, as well as giving it the pure white color. Some people love the taste of it and some hate it, I personally prefer the icing flavor over the fondant, but its great to use as an accent such as the flowers.

 

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** H A P P Y * B A K I N G **

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How to Bake the PERFECT Chocolate Chip Cookie

Originally Posted on http://www.ozy.com

I have often wondered myself how people get that PERFECT chocolate chip cookie. I like them a little chewy, soft center, with a crisp edge. Looks like the cookie marked BOTH is the one for me! My daughter on the other hand loves the kind marked MORE FLOUR.  Now I will be able to fine tune my cookies to fit exactly what I am craving. Now if I only had some chocolate chips  ….

 

You like soft and chewy. He likes thin and crispy. If only there were a chocolate chip cookie recipe that pleased everyone…

There is! And, no, it’s not Martha Stewart’s. It’s science.

We’ve taken our cues from a few spots: a bioengineering grad student named Kendra Nyberg, who co-taught a class at UCLA called Science and Food, and chef and cookbook author Tessa Arias, who writes about cookie science on her site, Handle the Heat.

There’s also an illuminating Ted Talk animation on cookie science. And if you really want to go nuts (or no nuts, your call), Serious Eats offers 21 painstakingly tested steps for the Perfect Cookie, including kneading times and chocolate prep techniques.

“Even though I can describe what I like,” says Nyberg, “I didn’t know the role of each ingredient in the texture and shape of cookies.” So she looked into it — as only a scientist can.

(MORE: His Grandfather Invented Doritos But Tim West Prefers Kale)

Here, relying on the experts’ help and based on the classic Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, OZY presents no-fail tips for baking your perfect cookie. (You’re welcome.)

Ooey-gooey: Add 2 cups more flour.

A nice tan: Set the oven higher than 350 degrees (maybe 360). Caramelization, which gives cookies their nice brown tops, occurs above 356 degrees, says the Ted video.

Crispy with a soft center: Use 1/4 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda.

Chewy: Substitute bread flour for all-purpose flour.

(MORE: Food Waste – There’s (Finally) An App For That)

Just like store-bought: Trade the butter for shortening. Arias notes that this ups the texture but reduces some flavor; her suggestion is to use half butter and half shortening.

Thick (and less crispy): Freeze the batter for 30 to 60 minutes before baking. This solidifies the butter, which will spread less while baking.

Cakey: Use more baking soda because, according to Nyberg, it “releases carbon dioxide when heated, which makes cookies puff up.”

Butterscotch flavored: Use 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar (instead of the same amount of combined granulated sugar and light brown sugar).

Uniformity: If looks count, add one ounce corn syrup and one ounce granulated sugar.

More. Just, more: Chilling the dough for at least 24 hours before baking deepens all the flavors, Arias found.


 

 Check out more about the PERFECT COOKIE on this BLOG:   H A N D L E **  THE ** H E A T

 

 

 

 

Yam & Quinoa Fritters with Zesty Black Beans

 

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Looking for something unique to make for dinner? Perhaps it’s “Meatless Monday” and you are tired of the same old dishes.  I love yams and I love quinoa, but I have never come across a recipe that combined them until now. Adapted from makingthymeforhealth.com food blog, Sarah created these fritters, however with any recipe I find I modified it.

They are a little messy to make, when you are forming the fritters, but overall an easy meal to make. The flavors all compliment each other so well, you will be treated to a tasty treat, plus you are getting so many nutrients from the beans, yam and quinoa your body just won’t know what to do with itself.  These are vegan (and can be made gluten free),  however any meat eater is sure to enjoy these this tasty meal. The salsa mixed with beans makes them saucy and flavorful. Like things spicy? Then sub out the mild salsa for a hot one. This is an easy dish to customize to your tastes.

One of the things I love about this is that you can do all the prep work ahead of time, even a day or two. If you pre-cook the beans, yams and quinoa, then all you have to do is assemble and form the fritters. Or you can make the fritters ahead of time too and keep them in the fridge to cook them up as you need. The last batch I created, somehow made so many fritters that I ended up freezing them for later user. When you refrigerate or freeze, separate the fritters with wax paper so they don’t stick together.


Prep Time: 20 minutes        Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes        Makes about 15-20 fritters depending on size

Ingredients
  • 1.5 cup dry quinoa (before cooking)
  • 2 med-large sweet potato (about 2 cups cooked)
  • 1 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs (or gluten-free breadcrumbs)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • salt & pepper (about 1/4 teaspoon each)
  • juice of one lime
  • Egg Replacer for 2 eggs or 2 tablespoons flaxmeal + 6 tablespoons water
  • 32 ounces salsa (your taste preference)
  • 3 cups cooked black beans ( or two cans)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable or olive oil for frying
  • Vegan Sour Cream (or regular sour cream for non-vegans)
  • 1-2 Avocados (optional)

Instructions

  1. Prepare the quinoa: either use a rice cooker (1 part quinoa to 1.5 parts water/stock) This takes about 20 minutes and comes out flawless. I use water with a couple tablespoons of vegetarian chicken stock. If you use only water, add about 1/4 tsp salt and any other seasonings you prefer. Pour the quinoa and liquid in at the same time and press “Cook”.  Put cooked quinoa into large mixing bowl, and let cool. If you prefer you can prepare on the stove-top.
    • STOVETOP: Add quinoa to a medium size saucepan along with 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. As soon as it starts to boil (keep an eye on it or it will boil over), turn heat to low and cover with a lid. Allow to cook for 15-20 minutes, fluffing with a fork half way through. Put cooked quinoa into large mixing bowl, and let cool..
  2. Meanwhile, peel and cut the yams into 1 inch cubes. Place the yams in your Lekue Steamer or other microwave save container with a lid.  Add a tablespoon of water, close your Lekue or loosely cover other container and microwave for 8 to 12 minutes (time will depend on your microwave wattage). Allow to cool for at least five minutes, then mash with fork or potato masher.  Put yams into the same large bowl with the quinoa.
  3. If your beans are canned or cold (from pre-cooking) heat the black beans and salsa either in a microwave safe bowl, or on the stove-top, by pouring them together and then allowing it to simmer on the low setting until hot.
  4. Chop the cilantro and the green onion and place in the same bowl and yams and quinoa.
  5. Add the breadcrumbs, ginger, lime, egg replacer, cumin and salt & pepper,  to the mixing bowl then stir until well-combined.
  6. Taking about 1/4 cup of the mixture at a time, form small patties with your hands and set aside on a large plate or baking sheet lined with wax paper.
  7. Once all of the patties are formed warm the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Cook each fritter for about 5-7 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown and firm.
  8. Serve cooked fritters on a bed of the black bean salsa.
  9. Top with sour cream, avocado and a sprig of fresh cilantro.

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Vegan Glazed Steak, Peach, and Sweet Potato Skewers

::: SUMMERTIME GRILLING :::

Since I have posted a few desserts in a row, I thought I needed to share a dinner type item for you all to enjoy. Do not be afraid of the words VEGAN STEAK, when prepared properly, it’s quite tasty. But if you are a connoisseur of all things meaty, then please use some of your favorite in place of the vegan steak listed below.

These skewers are a nice change to the normal meat, mushrooms and peppers. Plus peaches are so amazing when grilled, it brings out something extra special in the flavor.  I was not sure of the spiced pecans at first. I thought the flavors wouldn’t go well with the peaches, but to my surprise they brought this dish to a whole new level.

With peaches coming to their peak season right now, you will definitely want to try these out the next time you are grilling. The grilled peaches work so well with the sweet potato, making a sweet harmonious taste sensation in your mouth!  If you are a nectarine fan, I am sure this will work great with those too.

Note: I thought for sure I had a photo of these, but sometimes my family is ready to eat and everything gets gobbled up before I can get photos of it. I will keep looking for one, or make them again this weekend so I can post some pics of these scrumptious little sticks of heaven.


Vegan Glazed Steak, Peach, and Sweet Potato Skewers

::: Ingredients :::

Gardein Beefless Tips

  • 1-2 packages of veggie steak
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes or yams
  • 1/2 cup sherry or rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup honey or agave
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 fresh peaches
  • 1 purple onion
  • about 10 mini sweet peppers
  • 1/2 cup pecans (coarsely chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

::: Instructions :::

  1. Prep Work:  soak the skewers in water while you prepare the items below
  2. Peel and dice sweet potatoes into about 1 inch cubes or slices (pieces should be big enough so they don’t fall off the skewers)
  3. Prepare your meat,  cut into 1 inch bites sized pieces.
  4. Peel peaches and pit them, then cut into about 1 inch chunks.
  5. Heat grill to medium.
  6. Remove outer skin of onion, then quarter and then pull apart the layers
  7. Place sweet potatoes in a covered bowl with a couple of tablespoons of water and microwave 3-5 minutes, until slightly soft (not completely fork-tender). Or if you have a Lekue steamer this is a great place to use it. You want the potatoes soft enough to skewer, but not so soft they will fall right off.
  8. Put the vinegar, 1/3 cup honey or agave, and 1 Tbsp olive oil in a small pan over medium heat.
  9. Simmer until thickened and reduced to 1/2 cup, about 10 minutes, and salt & pepper to taste.
  10. Thread the pieces of red onion, chicken, sweet potato, and peach onto the skewers.
  11. Reserve half the glaze. Brush the skewers with the remaining half of the glaze.
  12. Grill skewers about 5 minutes on each side.
  13. Toss the pecans in a small bowl with the remaining honey or agave, oil, cumin, pumpkin pie spice, 1/4 tsp salt, and a pinch of pepper.
  14. Place piece of foil on the grill and scatter the nuts on the foil, cooking 3 to 5 minutes (they can burn quickly so don’t forget to set the grill timer!)
  15. Plate the skewers, and drizzle the extra glaze that was set aside then sprinkle with the toasted pecans. Enjoy!

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Lékué Steamer – Amazing – You need one

Chicken Apple Sausage Orecchiette

Mooooooom. Mom! What’s for dinner? I’m starving!!!!
How often do you hear your family asking you what’s for dinner and then tell you how incredibly hungry they are?  (As if that will magically help dinner appear on the table right then.)  You then realize the day has flown by and it’s now 6:00 pm and you have not even thought about what to make for dinner yet. Pasta is always an easy way out, but pasta with red sauce gets old after awhile, and so does garlic, olive oil, tomatoes and basil. You can only have those two dishes so many times a month.
I recently discovered a great new fast, easy, and extremely tasty and filling pasta recipe. I am forever trying to sneak veggies into our dinners to add extra nutrients, and this one is perfect. Swiss or rainbow chard will give you more vitamins and good things than kale, and it works great in this recipe. Throw in a few other staple ingredients and voila! you have a gourmet restaurant version of pasta you would pay $22 bucks for.
Having a vegan in the family I used Tofurky Chicken Apple Sausages, but if you want the real stuff, go for it. If you happen to have some other italian sausage or ground beef, these will do as well, but it’s the apple sausage that really compliments this dish so well.
The real key is using a cup of the hot water that you boiled the past in, so DO NOT DUMP YOUR PASTA WATER. Carefully scoop out about 1.5 cups of water before dumping your pasta and set it aside. Or spoon out your pasta into a colander,  then you have saved all the water in the pot for the end.

Sorry, I didn’t have time to take photos of this process and dish, but I will the next time I make this.  Then I will update this post with some pics for all of you!

Chicken Apple Sausage Orecchiette

Ingredients

  • 1 pound orecchiette ( usually 1 bag/box)
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 package of Tofurky Chicken Apple Sausages
  • 2 med-large carrots
  • 1 med-large gala or fuji apple
  • 3 cloves minced garlic or 3 cubes frozen garlic paste
  • squirt of lemon
  • 1 bunch Rainbow Chard (or swiss chard)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons vegetarian chicken stock powder (or any other chicken or vegetable bullion)
  • Nutritional yeast or grated Parmesan to sprinkle on top
Directions

  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions.
  2. While pasta is cooking, prepare your other ingredients. Cut the sausages in half then into about 1/3 inch pieces. Next wash carrots and slice in very thin circles. Dice apple into about 1/2 inch size bites. Wash and trim stems on chard, then roll leaves up and slice into about 1/2 in strips.
  3. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add sausages and cook about 3 -5 minutes.  Add carrots and apples to skillet and saute until softened – about 3- 5 minutes more.  Scoop out and place into serving bowl.
  4. Add a little more oil if needed and garlic, then toss in rainbow chard, add squirt of lemon juice; cook until wilted, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer to serving bowl with sausages.
  5. Once pasta is done, drain water (reserving about 1.5 cups of water) and place pasta in bowl with other ingredients.
  6. Add bullion to the reserved hot pasta water, mix and let dissolve. Add 1 cup to start with to the serving bowl of pasta and other ingredients. You might need the extra half cup, but add only a little at a time. This will create a light sauce that coats pasta, but you don’t want it swimming in water.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Sprinkle with Parmesan or nutritional yeast (vegan).

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Mustardy Maple Pecan Brussels Sprouts

Today’s blog is short and sweet. We have so much going on with the end of school next week, it’s kind of insane. I am planing the end of school party for my daughters class, making a movie (iMovie) from their awesome “Age of Sail” overnight historical field trip we went on earlier this year, and trying to prepare for summer break by planning activities, our first ever Mother-Daughter Road Trip, went out of town for 2 Dance Competitions in a month, and keeping up with housework, cooking, major cleaning projects and normal life. I am not sure how I would have done all this when I worked a full time (commuting) job. Perhaps I just missed out on all this stuff when I was stuck in traffic or at work late to close the month or meet a deadline.  Somedays I think I work harder now than when I was in the office 45-55 hours a week.

So with all of this hectic energy swirling about me like a mini tornado, I wanted to share something so easy, that is so simple, yet mind blowing amazing and all you have to do is throw all the ingredients into a slow cooker, give it a good stir, then and press “on” and spend the next three hours doing whatever it is you are behind schedule for. (Or take a break and watch that TV episode you have been wanting to catch up on, or give yourself a manicure, or take a relaxing bubble bath!)

These are such a nice change from the butter, bacon and deep fried brussles that have been all the rage over the last few years. Slightly sweet and savory, I guarantee that even non brussels sprout loving kids, will at least entertain the idea of eating one or two of these.


 

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::: Mustardy Maple Pecan Brussels Sprouts :::

Ingredients

  • 1 stalk fresh Brussels sprouts (about 2-3 cups) or one bag of pre-washed whole
  • 2 Tbls Dijon or yellow mustard
  • 2 Tbls butter (vegans can use olive oil)
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbls pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbls lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

  1. If you are using fresh brussels sprouts, trim from stalk and remove any outer layers that don’t look good.
  2. I prefer to cut my brussels sprouts in half or quarters depending on how large they are. If you have walnut sized ones, halved is perfect. If you have larger ones, then quarter them. This helps all that yummy sauce get deep into the leaves.
  3. Add all ingredients except the nutmeg to your crock.
  4. Stir well and make sure the sprouts are covered.
  5. Cook on high for 2 1/2 to 3 hours until al dente.
  6. Adjust salt and pepper and add nutmeg.

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Oatmeal Chocolate Banana Bread Bars


So you are hungry. You have nothing yummy to eat and you don’t want to go to the store. Besides the last time you read the labels on those so called natural granola bars, it made you cry. Well, just whip up a batch of these super easy oatmeal bars and you have breakfast, lunch, or dessert!  I was really tempted to add some peanut butter, but I wanted to try them the way the recipe called at least the first time.  I did add pecans to half the pan which were not called for, and I actually like them better than the side without nuts.

These remind of something I have had before, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. My childhood? Food from an era before mass production of fake processed and chemically “enhanced” foods? Perhaps. It’s just simple homemade, chewy, moist and chocolatey with a hint of  banana. So what if you are one of the few people who do not like chocolate? I will allow you to omit the sinful dark confection for something else, but you will be missing out.

So if you are reading this and wondering what’s actually in that last store bought granola bar you ate, let me show you this. This is taken from what is advertised as “healthy” and “low fat”. All I see here is a long list of ingredients and many of them I have no idea what they are or how they are made or where they actually come from and we shouldn’t be eating them. In case you are not familiar with some of these items, I have provided links below to the definition and uses. Some were quite shocking to know that they are in these granola bars, but also can be used in jet fuel, cigarettes, or in cleaning products. Makes you think!

::: CHEWY CHOCOLATE CHIP BARS :::
Ingredients:

GRANOLA (WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED OATS, BROWN SUGAR, CRISP RICE [RICE FLOUR, SUGAR, SALT, MALTED BARLEY EXTRACT],WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED WHEAT, SOYBEAN OIL, DRIED COCONUT, WHOLE WHEATFLOUR, SODIUM BICARBONATE, SOY LECITHIN, CARAMEL COLOR, NONFAT DRYMILK), SEMISWEET CHOCOLATE CHIPS (SUGAR, CHOCOLATE LIQUOR, COCOABUTTER, SOY LECITHIN, VANILLA EXTRACT), CORN SYRUP, BROWN RICE CRISP (WHOLE GRAIN BROWN RICE, SUGAR, MALTED BARLEY FLOUR, SALT), INVERTSUGAR, SUGAR, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, GLYCERIN, SOYBEAN OIL. CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF SORBITOL, CALCIUM CARBONATE, SALT, WATER, SOY LECITHIN, MOLASSES, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, BHT (preservative), CITRIC ACID.

I don’t know about you, but how about we make something with far less ingredients and chemicals in it. You know they say we should be eating how our great-grandparents or grand-parents ate. Very little processed foods, homemade, organic (that was norm), whole foods and fresh ingredients. It’s really not that difficult, and this treat whips up in about 10 minutes and cooks in only 25.  Be prepared for a taste sensation – and try NOT eat the whole pan in one day.


Oatmeal Bars


Yield about 20-32 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil or softened butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 – 1 cup pecan halves (optional)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Lightly grease an 8×12″ stone baking dish and set aside.
  • In a large bowl or mixer, mash the banana.
  • Add the oil and brown sugar. Beat on medium until smooth.
  • In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients together.
  • Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients mixing slowly until combined.
  • Fold in chocolate chips until evenly distributed.
  • Spread mixture evenly into pan.
  • In a pattern, carefully place pecan halves in a row on top of the mixture.
  • Bake for 25 minutes, or until edges are golden.
  • Let cool before cutting into squares.