Monday, October 26, 2015

2015 Fall CSB, week 3

Bar cookies often don't get enough credit.  They seem like a lazier approach to drop cookies, mostly because it's a press-into-the-pan, one or two step effort.  With a bit of creativity, however, they can offer so much more flavor, and a welcome texture change from a typical cookie.  I made CSB members six different varieties to try today.

~Pecan Pie Bars:  Starting with a shortbread crust, these feature a pecan crusted sweet custard like topping.  My version is corn syrup free, instead using a combination of pure organic maple syrup and cane based Lyle's Golden Syrup…and I tossed in a couple of tablespoons of Buffalo Trace (GMO free!) Bourbon for good measure.

~Zesty Lemon Bars:  Always a favorite, always a classic, I knew I had to include these this week!  The crust is 100% whole grain, and I used organic lemons for a citrusy burst of flavor.

~Classic Fudge Truffle Brownies:  One of my most popular market treats, these have a well deserved reputation.  I'd like to take the credit for them, but their wonderfulness is really due to the pound of organic Lillie Belle chocolate that is in each small batch!  They're naturally gluten free and pack a rich wallop of dark chocolate flavor.

~Mint Creme Fudge Truffle Brownies:  These are exactly like the Classic FT Brownies, except that they have a layer of mint flavored buttercream sandwiched between the brownie base and the ganache frosting.  The mint oil that I use is locally grown and produced, from Mint To Be!

~Candy Cap Mushroom Cheesecake Bars:  Possibly my absolute favorite bar cookie ever, these cheesecake bars start with an organic graham crust that's sweetened with pure maple syrup.  I use organic Nancy's cream cheese (locally made in Eugene), and grind up candy cap mushrooms for the filling (I source these from Oregon Mushrooms in Keno, OR).  By grinding the dried mushrooms up, I avoid any odd texture issues, and they impart their wonderful butterscotch, earthy, maple notes perfectly.  Even my daughter, who hates mushrooms, loves candy cap goodies!

~Strawberry Rhubarb Oat Bars:  100% whole grain and featuring locally grown fruit!  Strawberry rhubarb is a flavor most often associated with June, so they may seem a bit out of season.  I was able to can a ton of rhubarb pie filling this year, however, so have that on hand just for occasions such as this, and I picked up some freshly picked strawberries yesterday from Adams Berries & Produce.  I'm trying to enjoy as many sweet, local strawberries as I possibly can before they all freeze (any day now!).

Please store bars in the refrigerator (especially those cheesecake bars!), or freeze to enjoy later.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Paleo CSB, Week 1

I really enjoy the opportunity to experiment with alternative, healthier ingredients, and the Paleo CSB gives me the chance to do just that!  Thank you for participating in this Fall 2015 session!

Today each member will receive some delicious Paleo-inspired Fudge Truffle Brownies.  I say "inspired" because they are not 100% cane sugar free; the vegan, organic, local chocolate that I get from Lillie Belle Farms does have some sugar in it.  But compared to MOST desserts, these are much, much cleaner, and many paleo recipes on the internet and in books use chocolate that has sugar in it.  Moderation, right?!

As a bonus for CSB members, I also whipped up some Paleo Pumpkin Bars.  These taste very similar to pumpkin pie, just without the crust, and much healthier!

Classic Paleo Fudge Truffle Brownies:  organic dark chocolate, organic expeller pressed raw extra virgin coconut oil, organic coconut cream, pasture raised organic eggs, organic coconut sugar, raw fair trade cacao, espresso powder, pure locally brewed vanilla, sea salt.

Paleo Fudge Truffle Brownies with "Frosting":  organic dark chocolate, organic expeller pressed raw extra virgin coconut oil, pasture raised organic eggs, organic coconut sugar, almonds, raw fair trade cacao, medjool dates, organic maple syrup, organic coconut cream, espresso powder, pure locally brewed vanilla, cinnamon, sea salt.

Paleo Pumpkin Pie Bars:  locally grown sugar pie pumpkin, organic coconut flour, organic maple syrup, pasture raised organic eggs, spices, baking soda, sea salt.

Store brownies and bars refrigerated.  They may be frozen, individually wrapped in plastic, or sealed tightly in a Pyrex container, to enjoy later (try cutting each in half to make them go further).

Sunday, October 18, 2015

2015 Fall CSB, Week 2

Six different cupcake flavors today!!

Turtle: brown sugar cake filled with fudge, caramel French buttercream, handmade
caramel drizzle, toasted pecans

Pumpkin Bliss: chocolate cake, pumpkin filling, pumpkin French buttercream, ganache drizzle, candied ginger

Pumpkin Pie a la Mode: brown sugar cake, spiced pumpkin filling, vanilla American buttercream, cinnamon sugar sprinkle

Caramel Apple: brown sugar cake, organic apple filling, caramel American buttercream, caramel drizzle

Cookies & Creme: chocolate cake, vanilla French buttercream stuffed with organic chocolate sandwich cookie bits, organic sandwich cookie decor

Chocolate Fudge: Classic chocolate cake, chocolate fudge center, chocolate American buttercream, ganache drizzle, chocolate shavings