Sunday, May 22, 2011

one recipe can go a long way

Well, a blog that was originally created to be a sort of newsletter for friends and family about my goings-on has officially evolved into a food blog. So as a heads-up for those readers who just want to know what the heck I'm up to, this post will be more of the same food stuff. But before I do that, here are a few good things that have happened lately. There's no reason to totally abandon the newsletter style.

1. Spring semester ended. Yay! Overall, not a difficult semester, but it is so nice to have my weekends and afternoons free to try to relax.
2. I got a cold. That's right. I went five months without getting sick, through the whole semester, and then as soon as vacation hits, bam. Cold.
3. I joined a new gym...new for me, and new for the neighborhood. This has me giddily excited. Empty machines. Fresh gym smell. Summer around the corner. Couldn't get much better.
4. A few trips are officially in the works for summer. Can't wait to share them as they pass...

And now, business as usual...

I wavered a little bit in my commitment to sugar-free me this week. As I was getting sick, I got a craving for pretzels with Nutella, and since I was sick, I decided it was appropriate to indulge. The next day, I read this. And while I didn't berate myself for a couple of spoons of Nutella, I did renew my commitment and recall why I try to avoid sugar. It's a tough process for me, because sugar doesn't just taste good. It also provides the means for really beautiful desserts. And it has warm, emotional associations that date back to early childhood. Sugary confections are ironically, inextricably linked to comfort and care. Chocolate chip cookies, hot cocoa, shiny foil wrappers...they all seem to indicate nurturing, not destruction. So it was also good to read this, and remember that as difficult as it may be, it's good to struggle against our own demons. We've created a national sugar obsession, a national sugar addiction, and until we get it under control, we will literally be paying the price of it.

So here are a couple more alternatives.

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Both of these recipes use the dough found here, adapted to the ingredients in the kitchen. I used regular oats in the date cookies, but oat flour in the peanut butter cookies, which you can create by blending oats for a few seconds.

Agave-Sweetened Cookie Dough

Ingredients:
2/3 cup agave nectar
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup oats or oat flour
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda

Whisk agave nectar, butter and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mix flour, oats, cornstarch, salt and baking soda. Add to the liquids and stir until just mix. Let sit for 2-3 minutes, and then stir again.

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Thumbprint Date Cookies

Ingredients:
1 batch of agave-sweetened cookie dough
70 g dates
60 g almonds
4 oz water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend dates, almonds and water until pasty in texture. Roll dough into balls and place on a baking sheets lined with parchment paper. With a small, wet spoon, press a print into each ball. Fill the indentations with the date filling. Bake for 7-10 minutes, until the bottoms of the cookies are a very light brown.


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I Can't Believe It's Not Nutter Butter Cookies

Ingredients:
1 batch of agave-sweetened cookie dough
approximately 3/4 cup unsweetened peanut butter
liquid vanilla creme stevia, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Press dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper to make a thin rectangle. Use a ruler or pizza cutter to divide dough into squares. (Note: An easier technique might be to just roll dough into balls and smoosh them to form thin circles...let me know if any one has other ideas for creating these thinner cookies.) Bake for 7-10 minutes. When cool, carefully pull cookies apart. This dough is delicate. Mix peanut butter and stevia to taste, and spread onto cookies, making sandwiches. These cookies keep best in the fridge.


Oh, and they're dangerously delicious...

1 comment:

  1. looks like some deelish recipes.
    hope you feel better soon!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for making me smile. =)