Saturday, July 25, 2009

Lavender Chocolate Bars

Veggie Belly recently posted about several interesting things to do with lavender (both edible and not). It reminded me that I'd been meaning to write up the lavender chocolate bars that Rhubarb made. It's another recipe from Ani's Raw Food Desserts; the ingredients include lavender, almonds, raisins, and cacao powder. I'd never noticed it before, but raisins plus chocolate creates a wonderful caramel-like flavor. Lavender plus chocolate is simply divine. The bars need to be kept in the freezer, which makes for a cool, chocolatey summer treat.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Spelt Chocolate Chip Cookies

I like to start my work day with cookies. Not for breakfast, of course. Instead, I eat a bowl of cereal or some peanut butter toast at home, then head to the office and, within five or 10 minutes of arriving at my desk, break out the cookies. It's basically my treat for going in to work.

Since I eat cookies on a regular basis, I like to think about ways to make them slightly less bad for me, while not sacrificing taste or texture. One of my tricks is to make peanut butter cookies using whole wheat flour instead of white flour -- while I'm not always a fan of whole wheat cookies, I think that the nuttiness of whole wheat blends really well with peanut butter.

After some experimentation, I've adapted my usual chocolate chip cookie recipe to include spelt flour in place of some of the all-purpose flour. (I tried making chocolate chip cookies using only spelt flour, but they turned out thinner and less chewy than I like.) The revised recipe also uses a little less sugar than the original.

2 sticks butter, at room temperature
1 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup white spelt flour
1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 12-ounce package of chocolate chips
1 cup nuts (right now, I'm on a macadamia kick)

Preheat oven to 375.
Cream the butter, sugar, molasses, and vanilla extract.
Beat in the eggs.
Stir in the salt and baking soda.
Slowly stir in the spelt and all purpose flour until the mixture is thoroughly combined.
Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.
Using a teaspoon, scoop up little bits of dough and drop them onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for approximately 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack.

Makes approximately 4 dozen cookies.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Strawberry, Avocado, and Spinach Salad

Rhubarb says that avocado is the vegetarian bacon. But would bacon taste this good with strawberries and a balsamic vinaigrette? I think not.