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Posts Tagged ‘coconut flakes’

Julia has been really interested in helping me cook lately. She loves to crack eggs, add ingredients to the bowl or pot, and mix everything. It is fun cooking and baking with her!

I have been thinking about these coconut date bars that I have found while browsing the Isa Does It cookbook. The recipe is simple… it requires smooth peanut butter, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, a bit of salt, oats, crisp rice cereal, unsweetened coconut, and dates.

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After looking at the ingredients, I realized that I did not have any crisp rice cereal and brown rice syrup. Purchasing the crisp rice cereal was easy enough. The brown rice syrup on the other hand was not. After visiting the grocery store several times with no luck, I finally asked someone about it. Apparently, Lundberg brown rice syrup, which is the only brown rice syrup that I have ever found around my area, had a factory malfunction, so they have been out of commission.

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The woman at the grocery store mentioned that it was probably going to be out until the summer. So much for my bars! But she also mentioned that a substitute exists… Lyle’s Golden Syrup. Luckily I was able to locate it in the grocery store, so I was now ready to bake the bars.

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I asked Julia if she wanted to help me make them and she agreed.

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We mixed everything together and added the batter to a lined baking pan. I pressed it pretty firmly per the recipe and placed it in the oven.

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The bars were pretty good! I did find them a bit sweet. I wondered if it was due to my brown rice syrup substitute. The recipe required 1/3 cup of brown rice syrup and 1/3 cup of maple syrup. I will have to try them again once I can find the brown rice syrup. Or I wonder if I can cut the sugar a bit… maybe to a 1/4 cup each.

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I also found the bars to be flaky. For some reason I was expecting them to be firmer, similar to a rice crispy bar but maybe not quite as firm. The coconut flakes that I used were not finely shredded… I wonder if that was the culprit. Although, the recipe does not require finely shredded, so maybe not.

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Lastly, I think that next time I will add a bit more peanut butter. I did not taste it too much and I think that it will be a good change.

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Nevertheless, we enjoyed the bars!

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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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