Some years ago (pre-kids so at least 11, but probably more), there was a recipe on the side of Jello pudding for “Five Minute Pie”. I was extremely skeptical. Oh, sure, I thought, they say “five minutes” but that probably only includes the time to put everything in the bowl or something. In my kitchen experience, nothing ever takes less than twice as much “prep time” as indicated by the recipe.
But…it did sound delicious. And easy. So what if it did take 10 or 15 minutes to throw it together? That’s still pretty quick, right? So I gathered everything up and started whisking. I’ll be damned if that pie wasn’t in its crust and ready to eat in 5 minutes, including package opening time.
The next one I made, I took to a party. Everyone was SUPER impressed. What a lovely chocolate mousse pie I had made! I absolutely must give them the recipe! Holy cannoli, this 5 minute pie thing was a huge hit! I started making it for everything. You can fancy it up by piping on the whipped cream or adding chocolate shavings. People will think you’ve spent hours on this thing. And it really is very tasty.
I lost the recipe a while back, but thanks to the interwebs have recently rediscovered this magical, mousse-ical pie.
I’ve been seeing a thing on food blogs lately where it’s a bajillion pictures of the same thing and you have to scroll forever to get to the actual recipe. So I won’t be doing that, ever. BUT, I thought I might try doing some step-outs in the recipe itself. I’m not sure I like it, but let me know what you think!
So, obviously I did not make it back to Make’n’Tell last month. I still haven’t finished that sweater, though the end is finally in sight (and it turns out the deadline was May 12, not April, so at least I didn’t actually miss the deadline). I’ve been sick with allergies and busy doing lots of stuff with family (both the one I live with and my derby one), so I haven’t been making much, or at least not making new stuff.
Although, now that I think about it, I did cook quite a bit, and I really should have blogged that. One of the things I cooked(baked) was these delicious oat-nut bars — I love them for breakfast, and used to make them all the time, but I ran out of coconut oil and never restocked. But a member of my derby family recently was hospitalized with bacterial meningitis, and we wanted to show her some love at our last bout by baking some treats in her honor. I picked these because they remind me of her: Sweet, full of goodness and energy, a little nutty, and totally awesome!
I originally found this recipe on Half Baked Harvest, and modified it just a tad (mostly by adding the nuts).
Sweet Nutty Goodbars
A quick energy boost in every bite of these delicious bars.
In a large bowl, mix oatmeal, flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, oil, eggs, and vanilla
Beat until dough holds together -- it will be somewhat oily
Stir in chocolate and nuts
Turn batter into pan, smoothing and evening
Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes, until top is no longer shiny
Do not overbake
Allow bars to cool in pan, then lift out and continue cooling on rack
Slice in to 1 1/2" squares
* I have made this with different flour ratios depending on what I have on hand and it comes out just fine.
** You may sub another oil or combination of oils -- I sometimes do a few tablespoons of flax seed.
*** Use whatever chocolate you like. The batch shown has all of the leftover chocolate chips I had -- semi-sweet, dark, bittersweet, even a few minis and some white!
**** Y'all, my baking life has completely changed since I started lining things with parchment paper. If you prefer to butter or spray your pan, you do you. But I'll be over here stuffing my face full of these delicious bars while you're washing that pan.
Yep, another re-publish from Tasteful Diversions. Next week it’ll be a new one, I promise.
To follow up last week’s lemonade recipe, I give you brownies. Specifically, I’m publishing these two recipes close together because one of my very favorite summertime combos is brownies and lemonade.
I avoided making brownies from scratch for years because not only were they WAAAAY too much effort (double boiler? No thank you very much!) but they also never came out fudgy like I like them. Then I stumbled across this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated which is only slightly more work than making from a box (no double boiler!) AND makes the fudgiest brownies I’ve ever had.
Updated 6/6/20: It turns out that for awhile now, I’ve been shorting the baking chocolate. I discovered this accidentally, and didn’t have enough to make up the shortage, so I upped the cocoa, and they turned out even better. The recipe below reflects the new measurements.
Updated 11/30/20: Um. Apparently I neglected to give the sugar measurements in the ingredients list when I transferred this from the old blog. Big oops. So sorry if you’ve made these without sugar. Fixed now.
These brownies are perfect every time...dense and fudgy on the inside with a lovely crisp top.
(Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, March & April 2010)
Servings: ? I dunno -- depends on how big you like your brownies
Preheat oven to 350°.
Line 13×9 pan with foil; spray lightly with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk cocoa and boiling water together until smooth.
Add in unsweetened chocolate and continue to whisk until chocolate is melted.
Whisk in melted butter and oil. [CI notes at this point that the mixture may look curdled; I have not had this issue.]
Whisk in eggs, yolks, and vanilla.
Whisk in sugar.
Stir in flour and salt [CI indicates a rubber spatula for this part; I use a wooden spoon and it seems to work fine] until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
Fold in chips.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 350° 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted halfway between edge and center comes out clean (or with a few moist crumbs).
Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan on a rack for 1 1/2hrs.
Using foil, remove brownies from pan and place on rack to cool another hour before serving.*
*Okay, look, this is 2 1/2 hours of cooling time. I don’t know about you, but there is no chance in hell that fresh brownies are going to get that much alone time at my house. I usually make it about 45 minutes before I start cutting.
Ever since Kit discovered he’s wildly gluten intolerant, I’ve been trying to recreate his favorite foods. The thing he always requested the most before he went all freeky* were my chocolate chip cookies.
The first thing I tried was just throwing in some gluten free all purpose flour mix. It turns out one of the flours used in most GF AP flour blends is tapioca…which makes my throat start to close up. So that’s no good. Also, the texture wasn’t great. Then I played around with a bunch of other combinations and found a mix of rice flours and oat flour that made a decent tasting but very crumbly cookie.
For Father’s Day last year, we got him a bunch of gluten free cookbooks, including one that had amaranth flour in just about every recipe for doughy things. It was also the only GF source I’d seen that didn’t recommend xanthan gum for everything chewy. (If you don’t know what xanthan gum actually is, go have a look. I’ll wait. Gross, right? Oh and bonus, if you’re sensitive to xanthan gum, which isn’t uncommon, it gives you the same symptoms as being glutened.) The only drawback to amaranth flour is that it tastes like dirt. Literal dirt from the ground. If you’ve ever had to clean something very, very dusty and gotten that taste in your mouth, that’s the taste of amaranth.
So I played a little more. Coconut flour was promising, but does have a strong coconut flavor. I happen to like coconut, but it’s not the flavor profile I was going for. I went back to the oat, which was nice, but you could still taste the amaranth under it. I added a little coconut back in, and bingo! Good taste, good chew, good cookie.
I was, frankly, shocked the first time I bit into one of these. It’s not a good gluten free cookie. It’s a good cookie, that happens to be gluten free. I am super proud of these. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.
*Being gluten free sucks pretty hard. In an effort to lighten it up, we started calling it being a gluten freek. It turns out we are not the only clever ones — there are several blogs who use the term, and even a couple of gluten free beers.
Add half of each flour, the baking soda, and the salt, mixing until fully incorporated. (If you prefer to do this more traditionally, you can mix together all of the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then add that mix half at a time. I just prefer not to dirty another bowl, because I am lazy and I haven't noticed it makes any difference at all in the final product.)
Add the rest of the flours and mix thoroughly.
Fold chocolate chips into dough, distributing as evenly as possible. (I like to use a wooden spoon for this, but whatever works is fine.)
Scoop dough onto lined cookie sheet in teaspoonfuls. (You can use one of those fancy cookie scooper things if that's your bag, but I just use a regular kitchen spoon.)
Bake for 11-13 minutes, until slightly brown and no longer wet looking on top.
Let cool on sheet for 2 minutes.
Transfer to cooling rack.
* Some people who have celiac cannot tolerate oats, even those labeled gluten free. If that is the case for you or your freek, I recommend using 1/2 cup of brown rice flour and a 1/2 cup of buckwheat flour in place of the oat flour.