Monday, May 30, 2016

Giant Chocolate Cookies

The weather outside is terrible. It hasn't literally stopped raining for 12 hours over here. The roads are flooded and atmosphere makes you feel like we're just a few seconds away from the apocalypse. Some of my colleagues are stuck on the highway and others even find their way home totally flooded. As a reminder dear weather gods, today we're writing May 30th, and we were expecting everything but rain at this time of the year!!!

Well.. I guess complaining won't change anything anyways. The least one can say is that on days like these, we need comfort food. I usually go for the 'sunshine in your plate' option with loads of fruit and veg, but even a big fat colorful salad couldn't make up for the big fat raindrops today. Luckily I took some cookies to work as well. My colleagues loved and hated me at the same time today because of the  great taste as they said on one hand and the high amount of carbs and chocolate on the other. Well from time to time, it's not that big of a deal. As long as your main meals are well-balanced.

For around 16 cookies you'll need:

250g flour
50g cacao powder
280g sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 pinch of salt
220g butter
1 large egg
2 tbsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180°

In a large bowl combine most of the dry ingredients such as flour, cacao, salt and baking powder.

In another bowl, whisk together the sugar and half of the butter until you obtain a fluffy dough. Melt the other half of the butter and pour into the sugar-butter mixture. Now add the egg and the vanilla extract and mix again until you get an even dough. Then slowly pour in the flour-cacao mixture.

Line a baking tray with a sheet of baking paper. With two tablespoons form medium-sized balls (diameter 6cm), which you then place onto the baking tray and slightly flatten them. Make sure to leave a distance of 10cm between them. 

Bake the cookies for 18 to 20 minutes.


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Cherry Coconut Granola

When I think granola, I think crunchiness, raw foods and energising elements. Unfortunately, many store-bored products are full of refined sugar and don't provide you with the nutriments you expect. At first, I thought making your own granola would be time consuming and complicated. A reason why I often went for the regular müsli. But let's be honest. müsli is granola's boring little sister. 

Following my fellow food bloggers, I saw granola recipes popping up everywhere. Foodies all over the world claim that you can make your own recipes in a glimpse of time. I have to admit that I was very skeptical at the beginning, but then I decided to give it a try. 

I was evaluating what ingredients I would expect. Dried fruits for sure because of their softness and sweetness. Then I wanted nuts. Nuts are a must because of their crunchiness and the good elements they provide you with.

You have many different ingredients to bind your granola with so I tried different combinations. For the present granola recipe I found the oil and maple syrup combination a good one because it would emphasise the nuttiness of this granola. The sweetness of the maple syrup goes very well with the dried fruits. I promise you there are some more variations to come and you'll find out for yourself which binder combination suits you best. 

For around 1kg granola you need:
70g pumpkin seeds
70 sunflower seeds
50 lin seeds
625g oats
150 chopped almonds
50g coconut flakes
1 tbsp cinnamon
125ml rice syrup
125ml maple syrup
1 pinch of sea salt
125ml extra virgin olive oil
1,5 tsp vanilla extract
50g dried apricots
50g sultanas
120g dried cherries

Preheat the oven to 150°

Prepare two rimmed baking trays with baking paper, then set aside.

If the different seeds are not yet cleaned, place them in a medium-sized bowl, fill it with water, swish the seeds around and let them settle for a while. Then pour the seed-mix into a strainer in order to pour off the water.

If your seeds are all clean, whisk them together as well in a medium-sized bowl.

In a second but larger bowl, place the oats, almonds, coconut flakes and cinnamon. Mix well to combine all the ingredients. Now stir the seeds into the oat mixture.

In a saucepan, warm the rice and maple syrup over medium heat. Add some salt and stir until the mixture begins to simmer. Now remove from the heat, pour in the olive oil and vanilla extract.

Pour the olive oil syrup mixture over the dry ingredients and stir regularly until all the ingredients are evenly combined.

Divide the unbaked granola between the two baking trays and bake for 15 minutes.

Now stir the mixture, rotate the baking trays and bake another 10 minutes. Repeat the procedure and bake for another 5 to ten minutes until the granola is golden and crunchy.

Place the warm granola into a large bowl, add the dried fruits and toss gently.

Wait until the granola has completely cooled down until you start deciding it in jars.


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