Sweet Saturday


Saturday is rapidly becoming my baking day.  It seems as though, if I’m going to bake in a given week, it’s going to happen on Saturday.  This week I was baking in preparation for a business trip next week and for Mother’s Day.  Please forgive the lousy photo quality; between baking at 10 pm and having a less-than-professional camera that kept devouring my batteries, I’m impressed that I managed any at all.

First, for my business trip (and for general tastiness at snack time), I made homemade granola bars.  I’ve been experimenting with these a bit, modifying some other recipes to see what I like and what works.  This weekend’s attempt has its fair share of flaws, but lack of yum is not one of them.

This recipe is something of a bastardization of these from “Pennies on a Platter” and these from AllRecipes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup milled flax seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup vegetable/canola oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Some of the goods

Before the mix

Tonight I tried toasting the almonds and oats in the oven at 350* for about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.  It did firm up the texture a bit, but it had a side effect that, had I actually spared a moment for thought, I would have foreseen: hot-from-the-oven almonds/oats + chocolate chips = melty chocolate-y goodness.

This became apparent when I combined all the dry ingredients without giving the oats and almonds time to cool.  By the time I added the wet ingredient mixture, the chocolate chips had ceased to exist.  Instead, I simply had chocolate bars.

Freshly pressed

Awaiting the oven

They baked up just fine, however, and are surprisingly good, considering how little like the last ones I made they look.  If dried fruit weren’t so expensive (and I knew where to find dates around here), I would aim to follow the “Pennies on a Platter” recipe to the letter; it looks incredible.  Maybe next time… In the meantime, I have a container full of these beauties to enjoy:

And they're done!

Served up for your snacking pleasure

With the granola bars out of the oven and cooling, I cranked out a super-easy recipe for what I’m calling Black and Whites.  It’s something of a cheat for occasions when you need quick and simple cookies but don’t have much of anything aside from a cake mix (also known as broke college kid baking :D).

Preheat the oven to 375*.

Take a box cake mix.  Add two eggs and 1/2 cup of vegetable/canola oil.  You can also add up to 1 1/2 cups of extras, from chocolate chips to dried fruit to nuts.  I used a devil’s food cake and white chocolate chips.

Yum, batter!

Gooey chocolate-y cookie dough

Drop the cookies by the teaspoonful onto cookie sheets after you spray the sheets with Pam or otherwise grease them.  Bake like regular drop cookies for 9-11 minutes.  The recipe makes somewhere between three and four dozen cookies, depending on how much dough you put into each cookie.  I got 46 out of this batch!

Can I have one?

Out of the oven and ready for dipping in milk.

I’m going to serve these with brunch for Southern Honey’s mom, sister, and brother-in-law.  Then I’ll bag some up and take them with me when I go see my mom and grandmother, who is in the hospital.  Knowing everyone’s love of chocolate and love of cookies, I suspect they’ll be a Mother’s Day hit.

Now I’m off to bed.  I’ve got to get up, finish cleaning, and get brunch ready in the morning.  That means another food post tomorrow night.

About SouthernSugar

A Southern girl who's used to small town life, I found myself moving to Washington, DC, in 2008 for a new job, and living there was an eye-o
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