Banana Chocolate Chip Bars #CreativeCookieExchange

Wow. I don’t know what’s happened to my brain these days, but I am all out of focusing power. Since I have the summer “off” (fellow teachers know that’s a huge lie), I’ve been stuck in the mentality that I’m “multitasking” during the day when in reality I’m doing a lot of things and getting none of them done. It’s been hot as blazes the past week or so too, meaning that the oven is off 90% of the time (which also saves us on energy costs), whatever fruit I glean from the farmers market with the eventual goal of turning into jam is banished to the freezer, and the ice cube trays are getting a workout. That said, I have learned that frozen lemon slices are perfect for chilling large cups of water, T-shirts make great re-usable shopping bags, a pair of socks can turn into an owl and I’m better at altering clothing than I thought.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bars



Normally at this time of year I’d also be regaling you with stories about the garden’s glorious bounty. While the produce and herbs are coming along perfectly fine themselves, we unfortunately have attracted a family or two of voles, which have decimated all my early harvest lettuce, kale, heirloom peppers and some of my prized heirloom tomatoes. Until those pests are under control for good, I’ve decided to patrol my little plot every morning, filling in holes and mourning my losses. Needless to say, this year’s haul might be somewhat spartan, and this realization has slightly deadened my usual drive to live the kitchen, heat be damned.

What has convinced me to crank up the oven lately are the almost weekly BBQ cookouts my family has. Voles aside, we have a spacious, well taken care of and (if I say so myself) rather pretty backyard, and now that our gazebo is once again securely anchored and screened in after an early season windstorm, it’s a decently comfortable location for a small group to dine. While mom takes care of making the burgers, corn, salads and fruit trays, she’s often too pressed for time to think about a secondary dessert option. I’m not saying fruit isn’t a good Summer sweet, but one can only have so many slices of watermelon in an afternoon, and when there are kids involved you know eventually one of them is going to pine for “real dessert”! 

Chocolate Chip Banana Bars

In the interest of pleasing both the sweet teeth of all our guests as well as the goals of many of the adults to stay svelte this season (and their desire to limit the kids’ sugar consumption) I devised these thin, cake-like banana bars. Essentially squares of indulgent chocolate-chip banana bread, they get a dense crumb and light tang from cream cheese that makes them perfect for a backyard BBQ or picnic lunch. The recipe makes a big pan’s worth and freezes beautifully, making the most of your oven time in the midst of the summer heat. With all the chocolate chips peppered throughout, you’d never suspect they were vegan, nut free and full of fibre from oats and whole wheat. If you need to dress it up, just spoon over a handful of seasonal berries and grab a fork! 

For #CreativeCookieExchange this month, we’ve decided that cheese makes everything better – even cookies! Sweet or savoury, you can find all sorts of inspiration here!

You can also use us as a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them here at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!

If you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:

Banana Chocolate Chip Bars
Makes one 15×10 inch jelly roll pan, 36 pieces
¼ cup non-hydrogenated shortening
½ cup cream cheese (I used Tofutti)
⅓ cup sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp Lyle’s golden syrup (or corn syrup)
4 mashed over-ripe bananas
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup rolled oats
¼ tsp nutmeg
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips 

  1. Heat the oven to 350F and line a 15×10″ jelly roll pan with parchment.
  2. In a bowl, beat together shortening, cream cheese, sugars, vanilla, golden syrup and bananas until smooth.
  3. Whisk together the flours, oats, nutmeg, baking powder and salt and add to the banana mixture, mixing to combine.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until firm.
  6. Cool completely in the pan before slicing

 Amount Per Serving
Calories: 104.5
Total Fat: 3.6 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 20.5 mg
Total Carbs: 18.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.3 g
Protein: 1.6 g

Pain au Levain avec Banane #BreadBakers

Pain of whatnow?

Relax, the fancy-schmancy French name I gave the hearty, crusty boule made for this month’s #BreadBakers event simply means Banana Sourdough. There’s only six ingredients – five if you don’t count water – and there’s no added sugar at all. All the sweetness comes from the namesake fruit, and in lieu of added butter or oil, a scoop of all natural cashew butter adds the “peanut butter and banana sandwich” nuance along with everlasting moisture.

Pain au Levain avec Banane et Blé Entier

Of course, sourdough anything, regardless of the sweetener or fat used, is usually far from being a mindless pursuit. There’s a starter to maintain (sort of… mine pretty much lives in the fridge unless I decide to bake one morning), baking stones to heat in the oven, and hours upon hours to wait for each rise. I’m not denying these steps exist with this loaf, either. They do – from almost a full day, followed by an overnight, rise as well as multiple stretch-and-folds in place of a one-shot knead. However, all this fuss and time allows the relatively heavy dough to strengthen, rise and eventually shape nicely into it’s final round.

Looking at it, of course, it’s not impressive. In fact, the perfectly baked loaf is pedestrian at best, not large or beautifully embellished with washes, score marks or egg paint. It’s something that would sit in the breadbox, untouched by passerby – and definitely nothing that would fly out of a boulangerie. The secret to this bread only reveals itself when it’s cut into – and even without butter or any other Toast Topper I dare you to declare it’s not delicious!

Pain au Levain avec Banane et Blé Entier

All our naturally sweetened breads:

BreadBakers

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

In brackets, I have included the baker’s percentages so you can easily scale up or down as you need.

Pain au Levain avec Banane 
Adapted from The Fresh Loaf
Makes 1 loaf, 20 slices

350g 100% hydration, recently fed (preferably rye) sourdough starter    (100%)

350g whole wheat bread flour  (100%)
246g mashed banana  (70.18%)
55g smooth cashew butter (this is my current fave) (15.79%)
49g water  (14.04%)
11g salt (3.16%) – use less if your cashew butter is heavily salted

  1. Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.
  2. Mix ingredients on low speed for 2 minutes, just to combine, then cover and let rest 20 minutes.
  3. Knead for 12 minutes on medium-low speed. 
  4. Cover and let rise 2 ½ hours, stretching and folding (30-40 times) every 50 minutes.
  5. Cover and let rise, undisturbed, for 2 hours.
  6. Place in the fridge overnight.
  7. Bring to room temperature, shape into a round loaf and let rise 4 hours on a sheet of parchment.
  8. Meanwhile, place a baking stone in the oven and heat to 410F.
  9. Transfer dough (on the parchment) to the stone and bake for 20 minutes.
  10. Reduce temperature to 375F, tent with foil and bake another 25 minutes.
  11. When fully baked, the loaf will be 190F internally.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 118.6
Total Fat: 1.8 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 1.6 mg
Total Carbs: 23.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.8 g
Protein: 3.7 g  

Kheer #SundaySupper

Is there anything more comforting than a big bowl of rice pudding? While the bulk of my experiences with the grainy dessert growing up were the result of opening and dumping a can into a couple bowls, dad and I were suckers for the stuff (nobody else, by the way, even remotely likes it here). Today, if you were to ask me to name what I crave in times of stress, you’d hear me wax poetic about the thick, creamy pudding warmed up in the microwave and shoveled down as fast as I could. Heck, even cold, a spoonful from the fridge could cure wonders.

I wanted to bring the great memories of sharing rice pudding to my Home Ec class this past year, and since we were working on a “food around the world” theme, I turned to the only other country with a rice pudding that I knew of – India. Kheer, as it’s called, is not always 100% rice based though – recipes vary from using wheat, tapioca, or vermicelli noodles as the starch and anything from cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, saffron, nuts and sesame seeds to flavour it. The version I made for class was culled from one of my old college professors and was what was served at her son’s first birthday – leftover cooked rice elevated by re-cooking it in thickened milk, coconut milk, saffron and sweet spices before being garnished with softened raisins and dates. It sounded absolutely incredible – even to someone allergic to coconut such as me!

Making this exotic comfort food is even easier than making rice (to me, anyways… I’m stovetop-rice challenged). The kids – from 6 to 8 years old – all had at least one heaping spoonful, and some even took extras home after polishing off thirds! What made it home with me was eagerly purloined by my dad to rave reviews (probably a good thing, otherwise I’d be making ice cream with the thick, custardy mixture and trying to figure out what to do with it then!). If you and your family can tolerate dairy and coconut, I really wouldn’t worry about the leftovers sticking around too long though!

A #bowlful of #Coconut #Raisin Kheer (rice pudding ) for a #glutenfree #snacktime

You know what else uses a lot of coconut? Piña Coladas! National Piña Colada Day is today, and those in the know are toasting the combination of coconut, pineapple and rum with their own libations. To our credit, the #SundaySupper gang is sharing over 40 coconut recipes today, with both sweet and savory dishes, breakfasts and drinks, almost anything you could think of! Check out our offerings below and don’t forget to leave a comment telling me your favourite coconut dish!

Great Starts

Dive in with Sides and Appetizers

Coco-Nutty Main Dishes

“Col-lots-a” Desserts

Sweet to Sip Beverages

Sunday Supper Movement

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Kheer
serves 8

1 ½ cups whole milk
¼ cup whole milk powder
pinch saffron (optional)
1 cup cooked brown basmati rice
¾ cup full-fat, canned coconut milk
¼ cup coconut sugar
¼ tsp ground cardamom
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
⅓ cup raisins, soaked in warm water and drained
¼ cup chopped soft dates (soak with the raisins if they’re too dry)
  1. In a large pot over medium heat, combine the milk, milk powder, saffron (if using) and cooked rice, whisking well.
  2. Heat until the mixture begins to boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring often, until the mixture begins to thicken – about 5 minutes.
  3. Increase the heat to medium and add the coconut milk, coconut sugar, cardamom and cinnamon.
  4. Continue to cook, stirring, until the mixture just begins to thicken again, approximately 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. When mixture begins to thicken, remove from the heat and stir in the raisins and dates.
  6. Serve warm, room temperature or chilled – if chilling, cover the surface directly with plastic wrap to avoid forming a “skin”.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 148.0
Total Fat: 5.3 g
Cholesterol: 8.5 mg
Sodium: 39.5 mg
Total Carbs: 22.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.6 g
Protein: 3.7 g

Extra-Buttery Snickerdoodles

I’ve become addicted to the combination of cinnamon, honey and butter. Ever since  making and sharing my Scented Cinnamon Honey Butter, I’ve been making batches every few weeks, both for spreading on bread and baking with. Since the Ethereal Spice Cake was such a hit – using the spread, cream cheese and aquafaba to boot – I thought the next step would have to be another spiced offering.

Extra-Buttery Snickerdoodles

What better option to showcase the flavours of butter and cinnamon than a snickerdoodle? I came late to the snickerdoodle fan club, but when they’re homemade, I’m totally on board. These ones were customized to my own personal tastes – tender and moist, with a little tang from cream cheese, extra richness from buttery Kamut flour, vanilla and butter extract and a nice hit of butterscotch schnapps! To make them without eggs, I tried my hand at a direct aquafaba one-to-one substitution. It worked fantastically and kept the balance of tenderness and chew (from bread flour) in check. A roll in crushed cinnamon cereal adds an unexpected layer of texture, all while adding to the cinnamon flavour. Perfection for a cinnamon-toast person like me, and the kids who shared in my bounty!

Extra-Buttery Snickerdoodles

Extra-Buttery Snickerdoodles
Makes ~36
¼ cup Scented Cinnamon Honey Butter, at room temperature
¼ cup non-hydrogenated shortening
½ cup cream cheese, softened
½ cup sugar
6 tbsp aquafaba
2 tbsp butterscotch schnapps
1 tsp butter extract
½ tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ cup flour
½ cup Kamut flour
⅔ cup whole wheat bread flour

Coating: 
crushed cinnamon cereal (I used Nature’s Path Jungle Munch® Cereal) or graham cracker crumbs

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
  2. Beat together the butter, shortening, cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
  3. Add the aquafaba, beating until smooth.
  4. Beat in the schnapps, extracts, baking powder and salt.
  5. Add the flours, mixing until totally incorporated.
  6. Place the crushed cereal or crumbs in a medium-sized zip-top plastic bag.
  7. Drop teaspoonfuls of dough into the bag and shake until they’re completely coated.
  8. Space the cookies at least 1 ½” apart on the prepared baking sheets. Use a flat-bottom glass to flatten them.
  9. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven, and cool them on the pan until they’re firm enough to transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 70.4
Total Fat: 3.8 g
Cholesterol: 7.0 mg
Sodium: 18.8 mg
Total Carbs: 8.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.5 g
Protein: 1.0 g

Big Batch Bran Muffins #BreadBakers

I’ve always had a soft spot for bran muffins. I don’t mean the standard bakery-fare, greasy but overbearingly dry and sweet concoctions available from our local coffee shop and grocery store – no, I grew up loving the homemade, modestly portioned muffins my mom and grandma made. If I was lucky, I’d bite into one with a heart of jam, or one laced with chopped dates, figs or even (gasp) fresh blueberries. Other times, I’d have muffins made with chunky applesauce and melted butter in place of oil – making each taste like eating apple crumble in a more portable format.

Any way you bite them, this recipe for endlessly customizable, moist and perfectly portioned bran muffins is a fantastic way to start your day. With this recipe primed and ready to go for a HUGE batch – 45 or so – there’s enough to divide, switch up the “extras” and bake for the office, or (if you’re like me) freezing unbaked for a la minute cravings.

Currently, my go-to flavour is apricot-cherry with a sprinkle of rock sugar on top. What’s yours?

Check out this month’s #BreadBakers entries below, all featuring stone fruit!

BreadBakers

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

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Big Batch Bran Muffins
Makes 45
5 cups wheat bran
¼ cup ground flaxseed
5 cups buttermilk
2 ½ cups plain non-fat Greek yogurt
1 cup canola oil
¼ cup maple syrup
2 tbsp vanilla
1 tsp maple extract (optional)
1 tbsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ cup Truvia Brown Sugar Baking Blend (or 1 cup light brown sugar)
1 ¾ cups sugar
½ tbsp salt
3 cups flour
2 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 ½ tbsp baking soda
1 ½ cups chopped dried fruit (I used cherries and apricots)
1 cup granola (optional, I used Flax Plus® Pumpkin Flax Granola)
Rock (or raw) sugar, for topping (optional) 
  1. In a large bowl, combine bran, flaxseed, buttermilk, sour cream, oil, syrup, extracts and spices.
  2. Cover and let sit overnight in the fridge.
  3. Stir in the sugars and salt until well blended.
  4. Gently mix in the flours and baking soda, then fold in the dried fruit and granola (if using).
  5. Use immediately or portion into lined muffin cups (fill ¾ of the way full), top as desired and freeze up to 6 months. (You can also store the batter, covered, in the fridge up to 1 month).
  6. Heat oven to 375F.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes (fresh) or 35-40 minutes (frozen).
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 182.7
Total Fat: 5.8 g
Cholesterol: 1.6 mg
Sodium: 112.8 mg
Total Carbs: 31.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.3 g
Protein: 5.3 g

Graham-Like Crackers

I loved deconstructing my s’mores as a kid. I know it’s totally sacreligious to the camping set (of which I am decidedly not a member), but to me, there was nothing better than devouring a slightly charred, ooey marshmallow before licking the chocolate off the cracker and finally biting through the base. I ate my Viva Puffs the same way – nuke them for about 10 seconds, eat the marshmallow, then chocolate, then cookie. The cracker was always the best part of the s’more for me, the perfect light sweetness that just so slightly softened when you bit into it (especially if chocolate had melted onto it!). These days for me, graham crackers and I aren’t the best of friends – but I’m loathe to shell out at the health food store for allergy-friendlier ones (although these ones are delicious!). When my classes were making batches of Key Lime Truffles for mother’s day, the one other celiac in the school tugged on my heartstrings, and I decided that I’d try my hand at concocting my own, gluten free and (almost) vegan version.

Graham-Like Crackers

I started with a solidly awesome recipe from Cara (Fork & Beans) and switched up a handful of things based on what I had around. My modifications resulted in slightly thicker crackers, needing slightly longer cooking time, but they were beyond worth it for the flavour (not to mention the solidity for double-stuffing smores… just sayin’). While they were completely nut free (a rarity I found with GF cracker recipes), the crispy treats were made with a rich-tasting blend of whole grain flours and ground flax for that “toasty, nutty” flavour. Sweetened with decadent honey and molasses, they’re delicious on their own, in s’mores (or camperless ones!) and absolutely perfect for making crumbs!

Shared with Gluten Free Fridays 

Graham-Like Crackers
Makes ~40
1 cup brown rice flour
½ cup sorghum flour
¼ cup tapioca starch
¼ cup buckwheat flour
¼ cup teff flour
2 tbsp flaxseed meal
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
½ cup dark brown sugar
⅓ cup non-hydrogenated shortening
½ tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp fancy molasses
2 tbsp honey
⅓ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used quinoa / rice)

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Combine all the dry ingredients together (flours, flaxseed meal, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and sugar) in a medium bowl.
  3. With a pastry blender or fork, incorporate the shortening into flour until the mixture has coarse crumbs.
  4. Add the vanilla, molasses, honey and milk and mix to make a workable dough.
  5. Between two pieces of parchment paper, roll out the dough to no thicker than ¼'”. Place on a baking sheet and peel off the top paper
  6. Using a pizza cutter make cuts to form squares or rectangles.
  7. Dock each cracker 2-3 times with a fork.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes, or until browned.
  9. Cool in the oven for 10 minutes, then cool to room temperature on the pan.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 62.4
Total Fat: 2.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 4.5 mg
Total Carbs: 11.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.6 g
Protein: 0.8 g

Ethereal Spice Cake

Well, we’ve stumbled our way into June, and along with the (mostly) warmer climate and ever growing garden comes the inevitable BBQs, picnics and late-night study (or report-writing) sessions. The coffee maker in the staff room has been getting a lot of use lately, and while there’s never a shortage of doughnuts or cookies on the table, sometimes it’s nice to have a homemade cake alongside the mugs of caffè crema and (my favourite) French vanilla.

Ethereal Spice Cake

I can never wait to get into the kitchen, and this time I went armed with a jar of aquafaba and the leftovers of both a block of cream cheese and my Scented Cinnamon Honey Butter. The contents of my spice cabinet and a cup of buttermilk soon followed, and eventually a rock sugar-crusted Bundt cake was stinking up the kitchen something fierce. The combination resulted in a soft, tender and exotically spiced cake, which needed nothing but a dusting of cinnamon and icing sugar to top it all off. 

Upon arriving in the staff room, half of the cake went like wildfire, enjoyed with the morning break routines. The rest of it was packed up and sent home with one of my teacher-parent-friends to enjoy over the weekend with her family!

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsEthereal Spice Cake
Makes one 9″ Bundt, 16 slices
 

Spice Mixture
1 tsp allspice
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cardamom
¾ tsp ginger
¼ tsp white pepper
1⁄4 tsp nutmeg
¾ tsp salt

Cake
¼ cup shortening
¼ cup Scented Cinnamon Honey Butter
¼ cup cream cheese
1 tbsp vanilla
¾ cup sugar
1 egg
½ cup aquafaba
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup cornstarch
½ tbsp baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda
2 tbsp rock sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9” Bundt pan.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the Spice Mixture. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl cream together the shortening, Scented Cinnamon Honey Butter, cream cheese, vanilla and sugar until well combined.
  4. Add the egg and aqafaba, followed by the Spice Mixture, beating well.
  5. Beat in the all-purpose flour, followed by all the buttermilk.
  6. Beat in the whole wheat flour, cornstarch, baking powder and baking soda until smooth.
  7. Fold in the rock sugar.
  8. Pour into the prepared pan and tap on the counter to remove air bubbles.
  9. Bake for 45 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.
  10. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 152.4
Total Fat: 6.3 g
Cholesterol: 20.1 mg
Sodium: 150.9 mg
Total Carbs: 20.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.2 g
Protein: 2.2 g

"Caramel Doughnut" Cake #SundaySupper

As a Canadian, I always forget that my friends to the south celebrate their “long weekend” – Memorial Day – a week after our Victoria Day holiday. In my household, at least, July 1 (Canada Day), not late May is the herald of Summer’s beginnings – in fact, this year’s blast of near 40°C (104°F) heat is a total anomaly that we didn’t even see in the middle of July last year!

Because of the swath of heat and humidity we got this week (not complaining at all!), we’ve been grilling outdoors or making no-cook meals more than usual. That said, the sweet teeth around here sometimes just need a baked treat. Nothing super-sweet or rich, but toothsome enough to fill that craving whenever it strikes. Coffee cakes, in my opinion, fit that purpose to a T – especially when they’re homemade, since you can keep the sweetness below tooth-aching storebought levels, add your own spices and ingredient twists, and (of course) know that it is perfectly fresh.

Remembering the Summer road trips my family took when I was young, where we always stopped at a local doughnut shop halfway to our destination, I decided to recreate the flavours of the “old fashioned” doughuts and muffins we used to savour all through the Summer. I decided to switch up the sweetener, ditching granular sugar for my favourite vegan caramel sauce (made with soy milk this time) to give it a richer, rounder flavour that worked perfectly in the 100% whole grain batter and heightened the spiciness of the nutmeg and light smokiness from the salt. To get the “edge” of savoury that comes along with the true “old-style”, tallow-fried doughnuts, I added just a hint of nutritional yeast – the popular vegan “cheesy flavour” secret for sauces. Thankfully, the cake doesn’t taste anything like those sauces – just delicious! Of course, being topped with a decadent streusel doesn’t hurt either! 

This #SundaySupper we’re helping celebrate Memorial Day and the beginnings of Summer by sharing our BEST recipes for our summer gatherings! How do you mark the start of hot, humid, happy weather and fun times? Take a look at all our recipes this week, hosted by T.R. Crumbley of Gluten Free Crumbley

Appetizers

Sides and Salads

The Main

Desserts

Plus Lemon Yogurt Pound Cake and Best Potluck Dishes from Sunday Supper Movement

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement

“Caramel Doughnut” Cake
Makes one 9″ cake, 12 slices
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 cup spelt flour
1 tsp nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
½ tsp smoked sea salt
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ cup vegan “buttery sticks”, cut into cubes
¼ cup shortening, cut into cubes
¼ cup large-flake rolled oats
2 tablespoons coarse raw sugar
¾ cup unsweetened soy milk
2 tbsp vinegar
2 tsp vanilla
⅔ cup Simple Salted Caramel Sauce – made with soy milk for nut free

  1. Heat the oven to 350ºF and grease a 9” springform pan.
  2. Whisk the flours, nutritional yeast, salt, nutmeg, baking soda and baking powder.
  3. Add the margarine and shortening, cutting into the flour mixture to create coarse crumbs.
  4. Reserve ½ cup crumbs, add the oats and coarse sugar and set aside.
  5. Combine the milk, vinegar, vanilla and caramel syrup, then stir into the remaining flour mixture until just combined.
  6. Spread in the pan and top with the crumb mixture.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes in a preheated oven. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.
  8. Cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then release the sides and cool completely.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 237.3
Total Fat: 8.8 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 149.6 mg
Total Carbs: 39.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.5 g
Protein: 4.5 g

Studded Spiral Cinnamon Brioche

It’s been a while since I’ve posted… blame the warmer (read: gardening) weather coupled with end-of-the-year school stuff, and spending time at the computer just doesn’t hold the same allure! Besides the usual annual demands for time, I was stuck with a slowly dying laptop which I (finally) replaced this past weekend! Hopefully, this will mean things are back to their slightly-less-sporadic posting… I still have lots to feed you!

Studded Spiral Cinnamon BriocheIf you know me at all, you know that the best way for me to blow off steam is to cook or bake something. Between the rhythm of preparing, mixing and cooking, the ability to be creative, the control over the situation and the smells that emanate while doing so, I don’t see any better solution on the pharmacy shelf! I must come by that trait honestly, since my grandfather would do the same – and, like me, he found bread to be the answer to all. 

Of course, just because bread is the ultimate tamer of hunger and nerves doesn’t mean it always has to be a plain old loaf of white or wheat! With the end of a carton of eggs and a container of Scented Cinnamon Honey Butter sitting in the fridge (it’s the new “cinnamon toast” staple here), I was thinking about a rich, exotically inspired loaf. Of course, I went back to the Middle East for inspiration after finding a neat spiraled Tahini Bread , this Noon Rogani loaf and this flaky pastry along with my stepsister-in-law’s donation of baklava to a family dinner. My mom (my bread-eater) prefers pecans to any other nut, and for me using them in the filling for my version of a spiral bread was only natural, as was using good ol’ Canadian dried cranberries and the same local honey I made this batch of butter with. To keep the filling in, I turned to this handy tip from King Arthur Flour and used the whites left over from my yolk-based egg wash. A spring-form pan coated with semolina helped the bread keep its shape while adding a light crunch.

Cutting into the loaf, the most incredible aroma wafts out and boldly declares that it is anything other than the ordinary. It was perfectly moist and tender, remaining so for days, and when toasted was the perfect foil for the Toast Toppers in the fridge. 

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Studded Spiral Cinnamon Brioche

Studded Spiral Cinnamon Brioche
Makes 1 large loaf, 20 slices
2 cups whole wheat bread flour
½ cup all purpose flour
3 tbsp skim milk powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp instant yeast
2/3 cup recently fed sourdough starter
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tsp orange flower water (optional)
2 large eggs
⅓ cup Scented Cinnamon Honey Butter

Filling:
¼ cup dried cranberries
½ cup diced pecans
1 tbsp honey
2 egg whites

Assembly:
¼ cup semolina, for dusting
2 egg yolks, beaten with 2 tbsp water, for egg wash

Dough:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, whisk together the dry ingredients.
  2. Add the sourdough starter and flavourings, mixing well.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing in well.
  4. Add the butter in small pieces, beating it in gradually. Continue beating until the dough is smooth and shiny, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  5. Cover and let rise until puffy, about 1 ½ hours.

Filling and Assembly:

  1. Line a greased 10” springform pan with parchment and dust the bottom with semolina.
  2. Punch down and roll out on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle about 9 inches wide and 3 feet long. Let rest 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine cranberries, pecans, honey and egg whites.
  4. Sprinkle the surface of the dough with the filling mixture.
  5. Beginning with a long edge, roll the dough into a log.
  6. Spiral the log into pan or other deep, round pan, tucking the end into the middle.
  7. Cover and let rise in a warm place until very puffy, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  8. Heat the oven to 350°F.
  9. Brush the risen loaf with the egg wash.
  10. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until its internal temperature is at least 190ºF on an instant-read thermometer. Check after 20 minutes and tent with foil if it’s browning too quickly.
  11. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then gently unmould onto a rack to cool completely.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 129.2
Total Fat: 4.9 g
Cholesterol: 41.4 mg
Sodium: 146.9 mg
Total Carbs: 18.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.2 g
Protein: 4.4 g

Tunisian Garlic Chickpea Soup #SundaySupper

While the weather is definitely starting to warm up (albeit slowly!), around here we’re still in the throes of ever variable climate conditions day to day. This past week, for example, I went from wearing a fuzzy winter jacket, mittens and hat to a light sweater and back to a spring coat – and inside vs. outside temperature is even more variable due to the heating / cooling systems in different buildings.

Even if it was consistently hot and sunny outside, it’s almost guaranteed that soup will play a role in our weekly menu at home. For me, it’s often a quick-fix dinner after a full day of work or a busy weekend of lesson planning or prep work. My mom, though, savours the pleasure of a warm potage at lunch (with homemade bread, of course!), and is as eager to travel the world via tasting as I am through cooking. Soup is perfect for taming even the most savage of beasts (hunger or otherwise), and I love this one in particular because it’s a filling, protein and fibre-rich, flavourful blend with a built-in antibacterial forcefield from the hefty doses of herbs, spices and garlic!

While the ingredient list seems long, a lot of it is spices that are fairly commonplace. The starch I chose – sorghum – is one of my favourites in the flour world, and when I found a bag of the raw grain at my local Asian grocery I snapped it up and fell in love. The slightly sweet, buttery, nutty flavour the sorghum has pairs perfectly with the mellowed garlic and onions, while its texture reminds me of Israeli couscous or tapioca. That said, brown rice (especially a short grain variety) would play just as well here and regardless the whole thing is basically an excuse to eat a bowl of hummus for dinner!
 

Tunisian Garlic and Chickpea Soup

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#SundaySupper is focused on “Spice is Nice & Some Like it Hot” this week – if you love spicy food of any kind (not just the “hot” spices), this event is one to check out! This week’s host is Sarah of The Chef Next Door

Aromatic Appetizers

 
Distinctive Drinks
 
Daring Desserts
 
Masterful Mains
 
Seasoned Sides

Plus Homemade Ginger Ale and Spice is Nice Recipes from Sunday Supper Movement

 

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Tunisian Garlic Chickpea Soup
Makes 10 servings
2 tbsp garlic-infused olive oil
1 large, sweet onion, diced
5 stalks celery, diced
3 carrots, diced
25 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
2 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp coriander
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
¼ tsp turmeric
¾ tsp paprika
½ tsp red pepper flakes
Zest of 2 Meyer or 1 regular lemon
7 cups vegetable broth
½ cup sorghum grain or short-grain brown rice
1 (19 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 tbsp Meyer lemon juice (or 2 tbsp regular lemon juice)
⅓ cup chopped parsley
2 tbsp minced lemon thyme (or regular thyme + ½ tbsp extra lemon zest)

  1. In a heavy saucepan, heat the garlic oil over medium until shimmering.
  2. Stir in the onion, celery and carrots. Sauté for 8-10 minutes, until onion is beginning to turn golden.
  3. Add the garlic and spices. Cook 2 minutes longer, until fragrant.
  4. Add the broth, sorghum (or rice) and chickpeas and simmer for 45 minutes.
  5. With an immersion blender, partially puree the soup, leaving some whole chickpeas and vegetables (alternatively, remove 2 cups of the soup and puree, then return to the pot).
  6. Stir in lemon juice, parsley and lemon thyme (or thyme / zest combination). Serve.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 151.5
Total Fat: 4.2 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 379.2 mg
Total Carbs: 26.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 5.5 g
Protein: 5.3 g