Categories
Sweets

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Bars

This Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup-inspired recipe represents my aesthetic well. It was inspired by my favorite menu item in the kitchen at Clearwater Camp for Girls, the classic peanut butter bar. I use hippie ingredients like oats and honey, but also sweet, sweet trash like actual Reese’s cups. I recommend it for self-medicating OR celebrating after the election!

Makes: 1 9×9 pan

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt + more for sprinkling
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter + 2 tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • as many mini peanut butter cups as your heart desires (but probably 6)

Step-by-step

  • In a blender, blend oats to a powder, or as fine as the blender will allow.
  • Melt butter in a pan over medium heat. 
  • Once melted, stir in oats, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and honey. Once combined, stir in 3/4 cup of peanut butter.
  • Cover bottom and sides of pan with foil or parchment. Spoon peanut butter mixture into pan and smooth to form an even layer that fills pan.
  • Unwrap peanut butter cups and press them down throughout the mixture.
  • Melt remaining 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and chocolate to form a smooth mixture. The easiest way to do this is in the microwave, heating for 30 seconds, stirring, and then repeating. Or heat in a double boiler.
  • Pour chocolate mixture over peanut butter mixture and smooth with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle salt over top.
  • Place in fridge to harden for at least two hours.
  • To serve, remove from fridge and cut into squares.
Categories
Sweets

Chocolate Pistachio Oat Breakfast Cookies

These cookies are inspired by Heidi Swanson’s thinnest oatmeal cookies, which are an extremely classy treat. They remind me of something my fanciest aunt would eat at an afternoon tea in a garden. My version (which in truth has strayed quite far from the original, so be sure to try that recipe too) is like the girl next door version. Since they are so easy (one bowl!) and quick, I’ve taken to making them for breakfast.

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup unpacked brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sourdough discard (or 1 tablespoon whole grain flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon crunchy salt
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, roughly chopped (or nuts of choice)
  • optional: 1/4 cup dried cherries

Step-by-step

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
  • In a bowl, whisk together egg and sugar until smooth. Add olive oil, sourdough discard, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine. Mix in oats, chia seeds, chocolate chips, and pistachios until combined. It will be a fairly wet, loose mixture.
  • Spoon heaping tablespoons of the mixture onto baking sheet, leaving plenty of room for the cookies to spread.
  • Bake for 10-14 minutes, until the edges start to brown. Let cool for 5 minutes and enjoy!
Categories
Sweets

Peanut Butter Olive Oil Brownies

A sweet treat for you, dear readers. Here is a brownie recipe that would honor any middle school bake sale table. They’re rich and fudgy but not too sweet.

Makes: 1 9 x 9 in pan

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (white is fine, but sweets are a great opportunity to sneak in more fiber)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing pan
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup sourdough discard (optional)

Step-by-step

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease bottom and sides of 9 x 9 inch pan with a drizzle of olive oil. 
  • Bring water to a boil, then turn off heat and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, mix flour, salt, and baking powder together. Set aside.
  • In another small bowl, pour 1/4 cup of the water over peanut butter and stir together until incorporated. The consistency should be pourable but not  runny. If it’s too thick, add more water, a bit at a time. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl (last bowl, promise), pour 1/2 cup of water over chocolate chips and whisk until smooth. Mix in olive oil, vanilla extract, eggs, and sugars, whisking in between each addition. If using sourdough discard, mix in now.
  • With rubber spatula or wooden spoon, mix flour mixture into wet ingredients until just combined.
  • Pour batter into greased pan. Spoon peanut butter on top. Using a knife, make figure eights and swirls until peanut butter is marbled throughout the batter.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a tester knife comes out mostly clean (you want your brownies a little undercooked).
Categories
Sweets

Chocolate Buttermilk Cake

I make a lot of cultured butter at work. I’m always trying to find creative ways to use up the buttermilk, the liquid byproduct of the butter-making process. Here is one such endeavor – a lovely, little cake. Easy to whip up and satisfying without feeling decadent. Serve with fresh berries and whipped cream for a satisfying afternoon snack.

Makes: 1 cake

Equipment

  • 9-inch round springform or other cake pan
  • parchment paper

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour (I use whole wheat pastry flour, but choose your own adventure)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk (or milk or yogurt)
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • (Optional) 1 cup mix-ins such as chopped nuts, chocolate, and/or coconut flakes

Step-by-step

  • Preheat oven to 375 °F. Cut a round piece of parchment and line the cake pan so the bottom and most of the sides are covered. Lightly rub a splash of olive oil onto parchment.
  • In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Crack the eggs directly into the flour mixture, breaking the yolks with a wooden spoon. Add buttermilk, olive oil, and vanilla extract and mix until there are no more dry bits of flour.
  • If adding optional mix-ins, gently fold into the batter now.
  • Pour batter into the parchment-lined pan, and bake on the middle rack in the oven for about 35 minutes. Insert a toothpick to be sure the cake is cooked all the way through (There should be no wet batter sticking to the toothpick). Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Carefully remove cake from the pan. Gently peel away parchment, and let it finish cooling, ideally on a wire rack.
Categories
Sweets

Orange and Olive Oil Cake

The first time I made this cake, one of the resident artists proclaimed it to be the best cake-eating experience of her life. But so much more importantly than the fact that it is exquisitely delicious, YOU ONLY NEED ONE BOWL TO MAKE THIS CAKE! It’s now become my go-to dessert. I make some variation of it two or three times a month. It’s satisfying, unfussy, and fast. You decide you want cake, and you’re eating it within the hour.

I’ve included several variations on the theme below the basic recipe.

Makes: 1 cake

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups flour (I recommend whole wheat pastry flour, but choose your own adventure)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅔ cup orange juice (fresh is best)
  • ⅔ cup olive oil
  • Parchment paper
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest (optional)

Step-by-step

  • Preheat oven to 375 °F. Place a piece of parchment in a 9-inch round cake pan (a springform works well) so the bottom and most of the sides are covered. Lightly coat parchment with a splash of olive oil.
  • In a large bowl, thoroughly mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Crack eggs directly into the flour mixture, breaking the yolks with the spoon. Add orange juice, olive oil, and zest (if using) and mix until there are no more dry bits of flour.
  • Pour batter into the parchment-lined pan, and bake on the middle rack in the oven for about 40 minutes. Insert a toothpick to be sure the cake is cooked all the way through. There should be no wet batter sticking to the toothpick. Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Carefully remove cake from pan. Gently peel away parchment, and let it finish cooling, ideally on a wire rack.
Variations
  • Grapefruit and Blueberry: sub grapefruit juice for the orange juice, sprinkle a generous handful of blueberries over batter in pan before baking
  • Lemon and Rosemary: sub lemon juice for orange juice, add 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary to batter
  • Lemon and Yogurt: sub 1/3 cup lemon juice and 1/3 cup yogurt for orange juice
  • Vanilla Buttermilk: sub buttermilk for orange juice, add 1 tablespoon vanilla extra to batter
  • Chai Spice: replace half of orange juice with cooled chai tea, add 1.5 tablespoons chai spice mix to batter
  • Berries and Cream: sprinkle two handfuls of mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, chopped strawberries, etc) over batter in pan before baking. Frost with homemade whipped cream.
  • Chocolate and Orange Cake: frost with chocolate ganache and decorate with roasted citrus slices for a special occasion