we.bite | white chocolate oatmeal cookies

 

i LOVE oatmeal cookies. the texture is JUST right, gooey, yet firm, and perfectly chewy. the only thing that can make them better is no raisins (just my personal opinion–or add craisins instead of those pruny things) and a nice fluffy layer of white frosting in between. WHOOPIE PIE WHATT??! today we have white chocolate oatmeal cookies for your munching pleasure.

 

enter the lovely leslie grow:

For the last 4 months, I have patiently waited for Beatrice Peltre’s cookbook of latartinegourmande.com to be reprinted, after she sold out insanely fast after her initial release in February 2012.  It’s finally here!!! It finally came and my anxiety can be put to rest.  Who doesn’t love her?!  Her food is simply out of this world and her photography is absolutely stunning.  If you haven’t got a copy yet, it’s an absolute must have!

I thought it would only be right to do a post on a recipe from her cookbook.  I have been craving, and I mean CRAVING, cookies.  Why?  Not sure, but once I saw the Oatmeal Cookies with White Chocolate and Cranberries, I knew that was exactly what I was going to make.  Milk and cookies is always a nice treat, especially when they are healthy (without the cardboard taste of ‘healthy’ store bought cookies).

Since I’m not vegan (but slowly working that way), I don’t have all the vegan flours that she uses, so I adapted to what I have in my pantry.  They came out a bit dense, more like a dry granola bar, but the flavors were still harmonious and exquisite.

Note: The (*) is where I made my substitutions.

Oatmeal Cookies with White Chocolate & Cranberries

yield: 18 cookies

Prep time: 15 min., Bake time: 15min.

For the (*) ingredients, I substituted ½ Cup whole-wheat flour and ½ Cup all-purpose flour for the flours, and sea salt for fleur de sel.

Ingredients:

* ½ Cup quinoa flour

* ¼ Cup millet flour

* ¼ Cup brown rice flour

½ Cup rolled oats or quinoa flakes

½ tsp. baking soda

*¼ tsp. fleur de sel

8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

2/3 Cup packed light brown sugar

1 small egg

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

¾ Cup slivered almonds or coarsely chopped walnuts

¾ Cup coarsely chopped white chocolate

½ Cup dried cranberries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375ºF.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, combine flours, rolled oats, baking soda, fleur de sel. Set aside.

In a large bowl (or bowl of stand mixer), beat the butter with the sugar until light and pale in color.  Stir in the egg until well incorporated, then add vanilla.  Slowly stir in the flour mixture; mix until just incorporated.  Fold in the nuts, white chocolate, and cranberries.

Drop heaping tablespoons of batter onto the baking sheets, making sure to leave 2-inch space between the cookies, as they spread slightly while cooking.  Place in the oven and bake for 14 minutes, rotating halfway through.  Bake until cookies are light golden in color.  Remove from the oven and, using a spatula, transfer immediately to a cooling rack.  The cookies will firm up while cooling.  Keep them in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

 

 

we.bite | HEATWAVE creamsicles to the rescue!

man alive it’s hot outside! hotter than blazes! and i’m enjoying the scorching sun sans humidity, unlike my comrades in other parts of the country (right, family? nebraska is sticky icky icky.) when i was little the dinging of the … Continue reading

we.bite | peach raspberry crisp

okay, okay, i know what you’re thinking. JEEZ! another we bite, and no other posts this week? actually, i’d be quite flattered if that’s what you were thinking. it would mean you noticed and you pay attention. so i’m going to go on thinking that’s what YOU’RE thinking…hmm?

this week marked the dawning of my twenty-something-ith year here on earth, and i was too busy celebrating, basking in gifts and revelry to be sitting at home blogging, ok? false. just busy, and yes a little celebrating. more on that later.

ah, fruit of the summer. an ice cold juicy watermelon and sweet peaches, little can beat it. this week our very own spectacular leslie shows us a tantalizing little cobbler, perfect for your contribution to a summer picnic. pick up some fruit at your local farmers market and get to baking!


from leslie:
It’s peach season! I love biting into a sun-ripened peach and having the juices drip down my arms and all over my face. Nothing like a real sticky, juicy mess. The delicateness of the tender fruit and the sweetness of the juice just can’t be beat! Fresh peaches are one of those fruits that I wish I could bottle up and have year round. I guess you could freeze them, but then you lose the experience of the juices dripping everywhere.

It was such a beautiful day today, perfect for an afternoon at the farmer’s market. I arrived early and it’s a good thing I did because it was bustling with locals grabbing all of the freshest peaches like it was the last time they would see them until next year. Luckily I got my hands on a dozen before the lady next to me almost swiped them out from under me! And then came the, oh crap, part…what do I do with a dozen peaches for 1 person? The next booth down I saw some perfectly ripe raspberries that would be great on my cereal…but would be even better with the peaches that I just walked away with.

Ah ha! I got it! What’s better than juicy peaches and sweet raspberries in their raw form? Nothing, really, but once they are baked into a crisp and topped with rich creamy vanilla bean ice cream, I think that tops the charts. It’s the velvetiness of the peach and raspberry juices mingling together in a sugary concoction with orange zest, and the crunchy oatmeal crumble on top that puts me on cloud nine. I could literally each the entire pan of this it’s so good!

Peach Raspberry Crisp
Yield: 10 servings
Prep time: 25min, Bake time: 1 hour
Adapted from: Food Network Ina Garten

Ingredients:
4-5 lbs firm, ripe peaches (10-12 lagre peaches)
1 orange, zested
1 ¼ Cup granulated sugar
1 Cup light brown sugar, packed
1 ½ Cup plus 2-3Tbsp. all purpose flour
½ pint raspberries
¼ tsp. salt
1 Cup quick cooking oatmeal
½ lb. cold unsalted butter, diced

post by alex michael may, photos and recipe by leslie grow

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter the inside of a 10x15x2 ½ in oval baking dish, or something similar.
Immerse the peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds, then place them in cold water. Peel the peaches and slice them into thick wedges and place them into a large bowl. Add orange zest, ¼ Cup granulated sugar, ½ Cup brown sugar, and 2 Tbsp. of flour. Toss well. Gently mix in the raspberries. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes. If there is a lot of liquid, add 1Tbsp. of flour.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine 1 ½ cups flour, 1 Cup granulated sugar, ½ Cup brown sugar, salt, oatmeal, and the cold diced butter. Use the paddle attachment on low speed. Mix until the butter is pea-sized and the mixture is crumbly.
Pour the peach and raspberries into the baking dish and gently smooth the top.
Sprinkle the crumb mixture evenly on top of the peaches and raspberries.
Bake for 1 hour, until the top is browned and crisp, and the juices are bubbly. Serve immediately with vanilla ice cream. Store in refrigerator. Reheat in preheated 350ºF oven for 20-30min., until warm.

we.bite | chewy granola bars

TGIF! with such a short, choppy week behind us, i think we can all agree it’s nice to head into the weekend. i think being put into holiday mode midweek threw me for a loop (note my lack of posts!) especially since i took off for a super-mini vacay to balboa island. i LOVE it there, and could easily see myself living the island life. i hope you did something fun and relaxing with loved ones!

i didn’t want to leave you completely empty-handed (normally i’m stuffing some kind of craft or recipe in your face, begging you to do a weekend project, after all!) and today i have a perfect weekend project that will be a gift that keeps giving all the week long.

last week i met with my friend, leslie, who is an AMAZING photographer, to brainstorm and talk food (who am i kidding, of COURSE that was the real agenda there.) her food shots are absolutely gorgeous, and the coolest thing is the recipes are REAL and the food is all natural, as is the lighting. it’s a very organic process, and i’m SO excited to announce that she will be contributing to the blog for the next few weeks with original photos and recipes!

we’re going to kick it off with some gooey, chewy granola bars!

a bit from leslie about the recipe:

I’ve been very snacky lately. I want to eat everything in the cupboards but nothing is really satisfying my snack attack. I think I’ve been wanting chocolate, but not a whole chocolate bar, but I also want the sweetness of dried fruit, oh and something gooey.

I remember the summer after 8th grade at bible camp in Montana when our cabin had to spend ‘quality time’ with nature to reflect on the week’s lesson. We were getting packed up for a hike, but before we hit the trailhead we had to have some ‘quality bonding time’ with our cabin mates. Oh joy! (sarcastically). I thought it was going to be another one of those ‘trust your friend to catch you as you fall backwards’ game. But it wasn’t. Actually it was making our own gorp (aka trail mix). The kitchen staff set up a smorgasbord of nuts, dried fruit, and chocolate pieces. We went crazy grabbing handfuls of this and that and mixing who knows what with that. It was an interesting gorp to say the least.

I wanted to recreate that gorp but with more thought out decisions about what was going into it and making it easy to eat one handedly. I found Kristin’s recipe at her blog iowagirleats.com. It’s a fantastic, protein packed, got-to-have-another-without-feeling-guilty kind of granola bar.

Chewy Granola Bars:
Yield: 12-16 bars
Prep time: 15min., Cook time: 4 hours
Adapted from: iowagirleats.com

Note: (*) are my additions

Ingredients:
1 Cup almonds (whole, half, or slivered)
1 Cup pecan or walnut roughly chopped
*1 ½ Cup any trail mix
*½ Cup chocolate chips
1 Cup old fashion oats (not instant)
1 Cup dried fruit (cherries, orange, craisins) roughly chopped
1 ¼ Cup plus 2 Tbsp. honey
3 Tbsp. coconut oil (or natural peanut butter with oil)
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. almond extract (optional)
dash of cinnamon
* 8 oz. dark chocolate (optional)

photos and recipe by leslie grow, post by alex michael may

Directions:
In the bowl of a food processor, add ½ Cup each of almonds, pecans, trail mix, chocolate chips, and oats. Process until fine (but not too long or it will turn into nut butter), then pour into a large bowl. Roughly chop the remaining pecans and almonds, then add to the bowl. Add remaining trail mix, oats, and dried fruit. Mix well and set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine honey, coconut oil, salt, vanilla & almond extracts, and cinnamon over medium heat. Stir until mixture melts, then foams, the cook for 15 seconds longer (or even longer for harder bars). Pour over nut mixture and mix thoroughly to coat all the ingredients.
Line a baking pan or 8×8 pan with enough parchment paper to let it hang far over the sides, then our in granola. Press firmly with your hands or something with a flat bottom (may need to spray it with non-stick spray). Wrap the overhanging parchment paper up and over the sides. Refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours.
OPTIONAL: Chocolate drizzled topping. Using a double broiler set-up, melt 8 oz. of any chocolate. Spoon and drizzle on top of bars. Refrigerate again until chocolate hardens.
Using a sharp knife, cut chilled granola into bars. Wrap individually in saran wrap and store in fridge or freezer.