The Monthly Recipe: Toasted Oat PB & Cocoa No-bake Cookies

I’ve been wanting to try a classic no bake cookie recipe with maple syrup instead of sugar using oats that had been toasted in order to partially cook them. (Okay, so technically the oats are baked, but the cookies themselves are not.) I started by doing some research into pre-existing recipes. The main problem I had was – there were so many of them! And they were all a little bit different. Various recipes changed the ratios on the sugar, cocoa, and peanut butter, not to mention wildly different amounts and kinds of milk and butter or oil. Which way to jump?

I decided to start with a basic recipe that went high on the cocoa powder and peanut butter and sub in the maple syrup. I went with the recipe from Simple Joy. (Original recipe at https://www.simplejoy.com/chocolate-peanut-butter-no-bake-cookies/ ) I did cut the recipe in half and toasted the oats ahead. They turned out good – fudgy and rich with tons of peanut butter and chocolate flavor. The consistency was the only problem, they aren’t going to be able to sit out. These need to be stored in the fridge.

In putting the maple syrup in, I did a little research on making fudge with maple syrup too, and decided to cook the maple syrup a little longer to get a temperature that should set up better. The maple fudge recipes from Canada called for bringing the maple syrup to 236 to 240 degrees. I only went to 223 and didn’t cool it before I beat the air in. However, I did add cold peanut butter from the fridge which cooled it considerably.

I may play with this recipe some more in the future, but here’s what I came up with.

Toasted Oat PB & Cocoa No-bake Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 375.
  • Spread the oats on a large, clean cooking tin with an edge.
  • Bake for seven to nine minutes, stirring after every 3 minutes, until the oats brown.
  • Set them aside to cool.
  • In a medium pot, stir together the maple syrup, butter, and milk.
  • Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring gently but continuously.
  • Boil at a full rolling boil for approximately 3 minutes, stirring lazily.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter and vanilla.
  • Stir, stir, stir until it turns nice and glossy.
  • Now stir in the oats.
  • I used a medium cookie scoop to drop these onto parchment paper and they sat right where I put them, no running away.
  • Cool at least 30 minutes.
  • I cut the parchment paper into squares around the fudgy cookies and stored them in the fridge. This made 18 large no-bakes.

The Sunday Recipe: Wild Blueberry Tart with Almond Crust

Tarts have been big in my house this year. Easy to make with a gluten free crust and relatively low sugar, they are perfect for a fast and easy dessert. I had a yen for blueberries the other day and found wild blueberries in the freezer section of our local grocery store so this week’s recipe is a wild blueberry tart.

Wild Blueberry Tart with Almond Crust

Crust Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 160 grams or 1 1/2 cups almond flour

Filling Ingredients

  • 16 ounces or 3 cups blueberries, defrosted
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca flour (mixed with 1 tablespoon water)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prep your tin if needed. (I used a non-stick 9 inch tart pan but an 8 X 8 tin, greased and lined with parchment paper, will work just fine.)
  3. Heat the 2 tablespoons of butter in the maple syrup for 1 minute on 50% power in the microwave then stir to finish melting.
  4. Add the pinch of salt and almond flour.
  5. Stir to combine.
  6. Turn out into your tin and press evenly out to the sides and up a half inch.
  7. Bake at 350 for 10 to 12 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, combine all the filling ingredients except for the dissolved tapioca powder in a medium saucepan.
  9. Bring just to a boil over medium high heat.
  10. Stir in the tapioca flour and keep stirring for 30 seconds to a minute as it thickens.
  11. Remove from heat.
  12. When the tart shell is ready, fill with the blueberry filling.
  13. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
  14. Allow to cool before serving.
  15. This is best served the same day or the next because the almond pastry will soften if left for two days. Not a deal breaker, but it’s nicer when crisp.

The Sunday Recipe: Orange Cranberry Muffins

This is a reprise of a recipe I shared last year with just a few changes. Orange and cranberry are so ubiquitous at this time of year, that it doesn’t seem fair, most of it has wheat flour in it. This one is gluten free. (These got a tiny bit scorched as I’m still getting used to my new oven, but they tasted just fine.)

Orange Cranberry Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup melted butter, cooled
  • 3/4 cup white rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Zest of one orange (optional)

Directions

  1. Combine dried cranberries with orange juice in a glass bowl or measuring cup.
  2. Microwave on low power, about 50% power for one minute.
  3. Allow to sit for at least one hour, preferably overnight in the fridge.
  4. When ready to make the muffins, pour the cranberries into a strainer and set aside.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  6. Combine the oats and buttermilk then allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  7. Grease 12 muffin cups.
  8. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs.
  9. Add maple syrup.
  10. Mix the melted butter.
  11. Add white rice flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  12. Stir in cranberries and orange zest.
  13. Divvy up amongst the 12 muffin cups.
  14. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
  15. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  16. Enjoy.

Sunday Recipe: Chunky Maple Apple Tart #glutenfree

Chunky Maple Apple Tart #glutenfree

I’ve finally realized my two tart pans are two different sizes and the smaller one works much better for this recipe. It allows the dough to fill the tart pan and create a substantial but not overly heavy crust. It’s a Wilton non-stick pan, 9 by 1.125 inches. My 8 by 8-inch square tin works great too but I find you need to line it with parchment paper to get things out easily, and it’s not quite as pretty. I’d say this serves about 6. I wanted a simple apple pie type dessert since I have so many apples, but one that was gluten free. This one fits the bill. It’s easier to make than a pie and yet satisfies that particular desire without any gluten, and pretty easy to make vegan. I love to serve it with sharp cheddar cheese.

Ingredients

For the Crust

  • 2 tablespoons melted butter or olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 ½ cups or 160 grams almond flour

For the filling

  • 4 medium apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca flour mixed with 1 tablespoon cool water
  • ¼ teaspoon each cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Use a non-stick tart pan OR grease and line an 8 by 8 pan with parchment paper.
  3. Combine the crust ingredients and press into the prepared pan with your fingers, pressing the crust up the side.
  4. Bake for 12 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the apples and combine with the water, butter, and maple syrup in a medium sauce pan.
  6. Bring to a low boil over medium heat. (Takes about five minutes.)
  7. Simmer covered for another five minutes, stirring periodically, until apples are softened.
  8. Stir in the tapioca slurry and seasonings.
  9. Pour into the crust and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
  10. Cool completely before serving.

The Sunday Recipe: Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake

Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake

Crust

  • 9 ounces pecans
  • 1 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Filling

  • 2 packages (8 ounce each) cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Pinch of cloves

Topping (Optional – it made it prettier, but didn’t add much to the flavor palette.)

  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 ounce chopped pecans, reserved from toasting

Directions

  1. Lay all the pecans out on a tin or two in a single layer, creased side up, making sure there are no shell pieces left in the creases.
  2. I toast pecans in my toaster oven, darkness setting halfway between light and medium. Once the toaster dings, I leave them in there as it cools a few minutes to finish. (Pecans can also be toasted for a few minutes in a low oven or in a clean frying pan.)
  3. Allow pecans to cool thoroughly.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Process all but 1 ounce of the pecans in a food processor until they are finely ground or until they barely start turning to pecan butter.
  6. Prepare a 9 ½ inch spring form pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. You can also use a 9 X 9 tin  or even an 8 X 8 tin with high sides.
  7. Mix all the ingredients for the crust and press into the prepared pan.
  8. If using a spring form pan, wrap the pan with aluminum foil and set in a roaster.
  9. Bake for ten minutes then allow to cool while preparing the filling.
  10. For the filling, make sure everything is brought to room temperature. You can speed this up by heating the eggs in hot tap water for 10 minutes, and microwaving everything else at 30% power, at 30 second increments.
  11. Beat the softened cream cheese with the maple syrup until smooth.
  12. Add the eggs, then the pumpkin, and sour cream.
  13. Finally, add the tapioca flour and spices.
  14. Pour into the pan, over the crust.
  15. Add water to the roasting pan, about halfway up the sides of the wrapped tin.
  16. Bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour.
  17. Without opening the oven, turn it off and leave the cheesecake in the oven for another hour.
  18. Room from oven and from the water bath.
  19. Allow to cool an hour or so then refrigerate.
  20. To make the topping, place the butter, maple syrup, and cream in a saucepan.
  21. Stir gently on medium heat until the butter is melted and it comes to a boil.
  22. Add the pecans and reduced to low.
  23. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  24. Allow to cool then spread on top of cheesecake.
  25. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

The Sunday Recipe: Spiced Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins

The first time I made these, I went with the 400 degree oven, like I do for most muffins and baked for 22 minutes, but they scorched on the bottom. The crumb topping I was using, which was intended for apple crisp, was delicious, but sunk in a bit.

The second time I made them, I switched to the crumb topping that my Betty Crocker cook book gives for apple streusel muffins. I also turned the oven down to the 350 degrees that I used on the original cake recipe. The muffins without topping were great, the ones with it were good too, but the topping sunk in to make a filling.

Third try – 425 for 5 minutes to puff the top, like Sally’s Baking Addiction recommends, then down to 350 for the remaining 15 minutes. This time I refrigerated the crumb topping a bit. It melted AND sunk in.

I liked the muffins better themselves when they were baked at 350 so I’m forgetting about the crumb topping for now. Maybe a nice glaze made with powdered sugar and cider?

Spiced Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins

Dry ingredients

  • 3/4 cups white rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 3/4 cup oat flour (3/4 cups of oats processes into the same for oat flour.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Wet ingredients

  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 6 tablespoons applesauce
  • 3 tablespoons each melted butter and light olive oil
  • ½ cup overflowing maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Spray two 6 cup muffin tins with cooking spray, or grease.
  3. Whisk the wet ingredients together in another bowl. (There are a lot of wet ingredients, go with a big bowl.)
  4. Add the processed oats or oat flour and let sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, whisk the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
  6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk until just combined.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes, until a knife inserted near the center of one side of the round comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.

The Sunday Recipe: Peach Melba Tart

Peach Melba Tart

I’m a firm believer in making the most of what you have, and using up the little odds and ends before they can go bad. This week that meant part of a jar of Dole peaches in the fridge, half a package of peaches in the freezer, and a tiny bit of raspberries. I swear there was a peach melba ice cream when I was a kid and it was fantastic. Peach and raspberry is a match made in heaven.

Filling Ingredients

  • 16 ounces peach slices (defrost if frozen)
  • ¼ cup (or more) raspberries
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca flour plus 1 tablespoon water

Crust Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or other sweetener)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 ½ cups almond flour (about 160 grams)

Directions

  1. Dice or chop the peaches and combine with raspberries and maple syrup in a medium sized pot. Bring to a boil or a medium heat.
  2. Reduce to simmer for about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the tapioca flour mixed with water and stir well for about 30 seconds to thicken.
  4. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Preheat oven to 350.
  6. Melt the butter.
  7. Mix with maple syrup and salt.
  8. Add almond flour and combine.
  9. Press into a tart pan or square tin and up the sides a little.
  10. Bake for 8 minutes.
  11. Fill and bake for another 22 minutes.
  12. Cool and enjoy. (Vanilla ice cream is a perfect complement.)

The Sunday Recipe: Apple and Cheddar Cookie Tart

Apple and Cheese Cookie Tart

I loved the cookie recipe last week so much that I decided to use it as the basis for a tart. This one is best served cold. I think next time I’d leave the cheese off and just serve with a wedge of cheddar. I think a metal tin is better as well, the bottom was a bit soggy in the glass spring form pan.

Ingredients for Crust

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour

Ingredients for Filling

  • 5 medium granny smith or other tart baking apple
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ½ tablespoon butter
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca flour (mixed with 1 tablespoon water)

Cheddar Cheese (optional)

Directions

  1. Cream butter, sugar, and cream cheese.
  2. Add vanilla and egg yolk, blend.
  3. Measure flours and combine before adding to mixer.
  4. Mix until combined and chill dough for a couple hours.
  5. In the meantime, peel and grate the apples
  6. Mix maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg, and butter.
  7. Bring filling ingredients to a gentle boil.
  8. Turn down to simmer and stir occasionally for 15 minutes.
  9. Stir in the tapioca paste and continue stirring for about half a minute, until thickened.
  10. Set aside to cool.
  11. When the dough is well chilled, preheat oven to 350.
  12. Press the dough into a tart pan or roll out on a jelly roll pan, leaving a bit of a built up edge.
  13. Spread the filling out on the dough.
  14. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until edges are well browned.
  15. If you want to do what I did, grate a couple ounces of very sharp cheddar over the tart while still hot. (I will be just serving it on the side next time.)
  16. Chill thoroughly before serving.

The Sunday Recipe: Cream Cheese Thumbprint Cookies – gluten free

My grandmother’s original recipe used strawberry jam and was called a strawberry cream cookie. I wanted to make this gluten free and chose the nutty flours to complement a darker filling, like lekvar or mincemeat.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • Powdered sugar
  • Jam of your choice

Directions

  1. Cream butter, sugar, and cream cheese.
  2. Add vanilla and egg yolk, blend.
  3. Measure flours and combine before adding to mixer.
  4. Mix until combined and chill dough for a couple hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 350.
  6. Shape into 1-inch balls.
  7. Using something rounded on the end, like a measuring spoon, dip in powdered sugar and then press into dough to create a well.
  8. Fill with jam.
  9. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet 10 to 12 minutes.
  10. This recipe yields about 5 dozen cookies.

The Sunday Recipe: Peach and Almond Tart

Our local farm store got some lovely organic peaches in this week so I decided to do an almond crust tart with a peach filling. I chose a half dozen peaches and tried blanching them to make peeling easier. Unfortunately, they weren’t really ripe so that didn’t help.  I was also running out of almond flour but found some blanched slivered almonds in the fridge to process and make up the difference. #glutenfree #refinedsugarfree

Peach and Almond Tart

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 ½ cups almond flour (About 160 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Filling

  • 3 cups, peeled and pitted, diced peaches (about 6 medium)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a non-stick tart pan OR prepare an 8 by 8 pan with cooking spray, butter, or oil, and line with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the crust ingredients and press into the prepared pan with your fingers, using the edge of your hand or a finger to press the crust up the side.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes.
  4. While the crust is baking, melt the butter with the maple syrup in the microwave on half power until butter is completely melted, about 1 ½ minutes.
  5. Pour over the peach slices and stir.
  6. Add the vanilla.
  7. Stir in the tapioca starch.
  8. Remove the crust from the oven when lightly browned and puffed, and pour in peach filling.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes.
  10. Allow to cool and set up, at least an hour.
  11. May be served warm or cold. A dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream never hurts.
  12. Enjoy!

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