Baking

Relax

Trapped

This past week I was looking for a few new recipes to try. I started out with a browned butter chocolate chip cookie recipe. Oh yes. I went there and you should go there too. There is nothing more intoxicating than the smell of browning butter. Nutty, caramel goodness.

The recipe I used was originally based on a Cook’s Illustrated recipe, adapted by Jenna at Eat, Live, Run.  http://eatliverun.com/perfect-chocolate-chip-cookies/

If you haven’t seen this food blog yet..please check it out. I was in food geek heaven for quite awhile. This recipe is indulgent, so, if you are looking out for calories, sugar, please, do not make this. It all starts with the butter, baby!

Bring on the butter...

Browning butter is becoming a regular thing in my house. I have used it in muffins, pancakes and now cookies. It is a wonderful, wonderful thing and so easy! A lot of butter was browned (10 tablespoons browned and 4 tablespoons mixed in cold). And I was ok with it. The rest of the recipe was pretty straightforward for chocolate chip cookies. I am not sure if you noticed but I made HUGE cookies. Next time ’round I would use my smaller cookie scoop. I think it would result in a cake-like cookie vs. the flat, crunchy cookie I ended up with. Either way these cookies are in the keeper file! I shared with my jazz band students – they worked extra hard this week on a new project. They needed to be thanked in a proper way!!!

I was feeling a little dazed this week as well and needed to come back to earth. What better way than to make my own granola!

Good morning!

It was easy. It was cheap. It is delicious!! I used a combination of a few different recipes. You can essentially put anything that you want into granola. I opted for a smaller batch of granola for a few reasons. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, how much it would make or if I would get tired of eating it. My recipe went a little something like this:
2 cups of rolled oats (I used quick cooking)
1/4 cup wheat germ (had it on hand)
1/4 cup of flax seed
1/2 – 1 cup of unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts (almonds next time)
The wet ingredients:
4 oz. unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup of coconut oil (totes love this. I halved this by the way)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
a few tablespoons of maple syrup (real stuff – no substitutions, please)
a little honey drizzled in

You mix the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients. Spread it out on a pan lined with Silpat (another totes love o’ mine) and bake at 300 degrees for about 30 minutes. Keep an eye out and give the pan a shake every so often. The granola will harden as it cools. The darker the granola, the crunchier it is. I stirred in some blueberry craisins after it had cooled. The result?

Not overly sweet and not too crunchy. Juuussst right.  A small dish of granola, a drizzle of honey or agave syrup, splash of milk and a side of Mocha Joe’s Costa Rican coffee has made for the perfect breakfast this week. I feel settled down again and ready for a week of vacation. Be prepared loyal readers…new recipes are ready to be baked, cooked, tried and reviewed. Are you ready? Are you excited? Thanks for reading!

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