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Posts Tagged ‘apricots’

While browsing through the current issue of the Whole Living magazine, I came across an article about snacks. Avocado with Black Bean Salsa, Sharp Cheddar, Hummus, and Sprouts, Dry-Roasted Edamame with Cranberries, Chocolate Apricot Nut Bars… I don’t know if I was hungry at that particular time, but all of them sounded super tasty. No?!? I decided to make the Chocolate Apricot Nut Bars.

The recipe is super simple. You pulse 1½ cups of apricots with ½ cup toasted almonds, 2 teaspoons of toasted coconut flakes (I used a lot more since I had shredded coconut), and a pinch of salt until finely ground. You then add the mixture into a dish lined with parchment paper, and spread it pressing firmly to form it into a block.

Lastly, you remove the formed bar from the dish, drizzle it with 2 ounces of melted chocolate (I used unsweetened chocolate), and sprinkle it with a bit of toasted coconut flakes. Before cutting it into bars, refrigerate it until firm, about 15 minutes. That’s it! So simple, but so delicious!

As I was making the bars, I thought of other different dried fruits that I can experiment with. Dates, figs, raisins… the possibilities are endless!

If you are looking for a good snack, I highly recommend these bars. I look forward to eating them throughout the week. (Except that Joel informed me that they will be gone in 2 days. HA!)

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I have been on a baking kick lately. It’s Kristin’s fault! :) A few weeks ago, while we were making plans to get together, she kept mentioning this Nectarine Upside Down Cake that she discovered in her new cookbook called Everyday Greens: Home Cooking from Greens the Celebrated Vegetarian Restaurant. I really wanted to try it, so I asked her if she would make the cake in return for a dinner at my house. She agreed. The cake was fantastic! I asked her for the recipe and she gladly gave it to me.

This past weekend we were going to a small get together with a few friends so I decided that it was the perfect opportunity to make the cake. The recipe is very simple. You make a caramel mixture from butter, brown sugar, and some rum. You add the sliced nectarines (or peaches, which I bought by mistake, since I thought that the recipe required them) on top of the caramel in a spoke-like fashion, and then you top if off with a cake batter made from almond paste, flour, sugar, butter, eggs, baking powder, and salt.

As I was making the cake batter, I noticed the almond paste requirement. I apparently did not read the recipe very well before going to the grocery store, since I did not buy the almond paste. I decided to pulverize a bunch of almonds in my small food processor and add it to the batter. The end result was delicious! The cake was a hit! In fact, I liked the cake so much that I made it again this past Sunday. :) The recipe mentions that the cake can also be made with other fruits such as peaches (HA!), apricots, plums, and fresh cherries. I think that even pears and apples would work. The possibilities are endless!

I am a sucker for fresh things… bread, fruit, anything. Oh, and especially if they are locally made/grown. While I was grocery shopping on Sunday, I saw these beautiful apricots that were brought in from a local farm. I could not resist! I bought a fairly large pint, and as soon as I got home from the grocery store, I ate a bunch of them. An hour later my stomach was killing me. (I am unable to eat a lot of fresh fruits. That pesky stomach! But I could not resist!)

It was another rainy day in Rochester, which put a damper on my bike riding plans, so I decided to make something with those beautiful apricots, especially since Joel informed me that they were getting very ripe. I searched on my trusted sites and came across a recipe for a Breakfast Apricot Crisp. Perfect! And oh, how perfect it was. YUM!

I did however make a few adjustments to the crisp recipe. I doubled the amount of oats and flour (I used white and whole wheat flour), cut the sugar to only 4 tablespoons, added a teaspoon of honey to thicken it a bit, substituted pumpkin seeds for almonds, and added vanilla and coconut flakes. :)

Ok… so I did make a fair amount of changes, but I think that you can add whatever you like in it. Next time I will try adding some cinnamon and cardamom. (My friend Sally gave me a delicious granola recipe a few years ago that included cinnamon and cardamom, and it worked wonderfully.)

Happy baking!

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