Flourless brownies

Adapted from Unicorns in the Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 8 oz chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 deg F. Coat an 8×8 baking pan with non stick spray and line with a parchment paper.
  2. Place butter, sugar and chocolate in a pan over medium heat until all melted. Let cool for a minute.
  3. Mix in the eggs one at a time using an electric mixer (this is important). Beat very well after each addition.
  4. Add in vanilla and cocoa powder. Mix well.
  5. Transfer the brownie batter into the prepared baking pan. Pound the pan on the counter twice.
  6. Bake in the heated oven for 25 minutes until the top is crackled.

Tips: It’s best to melt the butter, sugars and chocolate in a sauce pan over medium heat and NOT to use a microwave. Make sure all the ingredients are well mixed. Since this flourless brownie recipe has no leavening agent such as baking powder, over-mixing won’t cause a problem. Don’t over bake the brownies. We did not have nonstick spray — just the parchment paper. These kind of tasted like flourless chocolate cake — so really, no one could be disappointed. Mookie the cat got chastised for walking across the counter to inspect the mixing bowl (it was too far from his usual perch on the high chair by the bar counter).

~Jessica

Cinnamon granola

Adapted from Alton Brown

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup flax seed (can be grounded)
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • 6 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients (oats, nuts, coconut, brown sugar, etc.).
  3. In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients (maple syrup, oil, and salt).
  4. Combine both mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.
  5. Remove from oven and cool.

I find the granola is done when it all feels dry as you stir it, and doesn’t clump together all sticky-like. I still don’t have a baking sheet, but this time I tried baking the granola in two separate dishes to cook faster. The maple syrup was a souvenir I picked while visiting my friend Francesca in Montreal. It’s some good stuff, and came in a can! Last but not least, Jesse’s tip: don’t spill.

~Jessica

Maple almond granola

Adapted from AllRecipes

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup blanched slivered almonds
  • ¼ cup wheat germ (I subbed with ground flax seed)
  • 1 (14 ounce) package flaked coconut (optional)
  • ⅓ cup unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 6 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 6 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup raisins (I prefer cranberries)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Lightly grease a cookie sheet with sides, or a large cake pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together the oats, almonds, wheat germ, coconut, and sunflower seeds. In a separate bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, brown sugar, oil, 2 tablespoons warm water, and salt. Pour the liquid over the oat and nut mixture, and stir until evenly coated. Spread out on the prepared cookie sheet. If you want some chunky bits, squeeze some small handfuls into little clumps.
  3. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven, stirring occasionally until evenly toasted. Mix in raisins. Cool, and store in an airtight container at room temperature.

I first got the idea to make my own back in grad school — partly to be healthier, and partly for hiking! Now Jesse likes a little bit of granola in yogurt (my thing for breakfast), so why not recreate this? I used to make it for friends as a homemade care package. Good stuff — although I don’t have a cookie sheet so a lot of stirring is going to take place in the baking pan. Next time I’ll add dried cranberries and different nuts/seeds! EDIT: cooked for another 30 minutes, stir, 30 minutes, stir, to ensure baked through and nice and loose.

~Jessica