Saturday, June 04, 2016

Soft and Chewy Dark Brown Sugar Cookies

Using dark brown sugar in cookies has become unquestionable to me. It produces soft, chewy texture and gives moisture to cookies. It also doesn't let them spread very much so they turn out thicker than regular white sugar cookies. I adapted the recipe from my favorite coconut oil cookies (link below in pink) and these were very similar. They were slightly thinner as I used half white half dark brown sugar. I also used butter instead of coconut oil. Which cookies are better? It's really hard to say. I think I prefer the coconut oil cookies but that is just because I am crazy about coconut oil. And I like my cookies soft and extra thick (these had crispy edges). Just a reminder - don't overbake! It's better to underbake, trust me, unless you don't like soft and chewy.

Soft and Chewy Dark Brown Sugar Cookies

113g / 1/2 cup butter, softened
100g / 1/2 cup soft dark brown sugar
100g / 1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
220g / 1 3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder

1) In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugars, egg, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. 

2) Add flour, cornstarch, soda, baking powder and salt. Mix just until combined. 

3) Roll the dough into balls and place on a baking tray lined with a parchment paper. Leave a lot of space between each cookie - they will spread. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight (you can freeze them as well).

4) Preheat oven to 180C / 350F. Bake for 8-10 minutes (10-12 if frozen; do not defrost before baking) or until golden brown. Remove from the oven even if the centers look underbaked. That will give you chewy and fudgy texture. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe adapted from my favorite Soft Dark Brown Sugar Coconut Oil Cookies.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Coconut Oil Rice Krispie Treats

These rice krispie treats are made healthier with only two tablespoons of coconut oil instead of butter. Nevertheless, they taste just as good as the classic rice krispie treats, if not better. You only need 3 ingredients and five minutes to mix them up (okay, okay, plus one hour is needed for the to set). This recipe is for a small batch so if you want to feed a crowd feel free to double the amount of the ingredients. 

Coconut Oil Rice Krispie Treats

80g / 3 cups rice krispies
pinch salt
30g / 2 tbsp coconut oil
200g / 7 ounces marshmallows

1) Place rice krispies in a medium bowl.

2) In a small saucepan, melt coconut oil. Add salt and marshmallows and stir, over low heat, until marshmallows are melted and the mixture is smooth.

3) Turn off the heat and add rice krispies. Mix to coat evenly. Spread the mixture in a silicone loaf pan or a 20 x 20 cm / 8 x 8 inch pan for thinner bars. Press down using parchment paper so it doesn't stick that much. Once it cools, it becomes less sticky so press down after a few minutes once again. Let sit for 1-2 hours and cut into squares.

Recipe by collectng memories

Saturday, April 23, 2016

3 Ingredient Healthy Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats

Rice Krispie Treats made healthy without marshmallows. With only 3 ingredients you can mix these up in a few minutes. You may substitute agave for honey or any other liquid sweetener but the taste may differ slightly. Also, I used homemade peanut butter so make sure you use unsalted PB or simply omit additional salt. To be honest, these bars are heavenly. It's one of the easiest and the most delicious treats I've made, and the best thing about them is that they're not that bad for you. Of course, moderation is always a good thing!

3 Ingredient Healthy Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats

125g / 1/2 cup  homemade peanut butter
100g / 1/3 cup  light agave syrup
60g / 2 cups rice krispies 
pinch salt

1) In a bowl, combine together all the ingredients and press down to a silicone loaf pan. Refrigerate for a few hours before cutting into squares. For the best results, freeze them. I like storing them in the freezer because they tend to become very soft and slightly sticky at room temperature or fridge. 

Makes 1 loaf pan.

Recipe by collecting memories

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Garlic Hummus

A healthy, filling, low calorie dip that is not only good for you but also super delicious. There are plenty of ways to spice up your hummus, but garlic flavor is my all-time favorite. It's also super easy to make. You can use canned chickpeas instead of cooking them and use a store-bought tahini paste. Then all you have to do is throw everything in a food processor and mix. However, with a few extra steps you'll have a homemade tahini paste, and cooking chickpeas is definitely not that time-consuming. 

Garlic Hummus

100g dried chickpeas*
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
juice of 1 small lemon
1 tsp sunflower oil
1 tbsp tahini paste**
1/2 tsp salt
water, as needed
sunflower oil, to serve
smoked paprika, to serve

*Soak chickpeas overnight and cook in a pot for 1 hour. 

**To make tahini paste, place sesame seeds in a small saucepan and roast, stirring constantly, until golden and fragrant. Don't let them brown too much. Grind them in a coffee grinder or a small food processor until turns into paste. It will take time to get a smooth paste so add a splash of water or oil to add some moisture.

1) In a small saucepan, heat a teaspoon of oil. Add minced garlic and cook, stirring occasionally,  until golden brown and fragrant.

2) Add cooked chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, sunflower oil, tahini paste and salt into your food processor and pulse to make a smooth paste. Add as much water as you want to achieve a preferred consistency (start with 1 tablespoon).

3) Transfer to a bowl, sprinkle some smoked paprika on top and drizzle with sunflower oil. Serve with pita, flatbread or veggies.

Recipe by collecting memories

Friday, April 01, 2016

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse cake with Salted Caramel Sauce

Creamy chocolate mousse, melt in your mouth salted peanut butter mousse and salted caramel sauce. All these amazingly amazing things are combined together to create a wonderful cake that everyone will love. There's a bit of work involved but you can make the crust and caramel sauce the day before and the mousse doesn't take much time to prepare. Also, it's almost fool-proof because there's no baking involved (except for the crust but there's no way you can screw it up). It's very rich but has almost no flour so it won't make you feel heavy. It's best served cold so make sure you keep it in the fridge. I also froze two slices and served them almost completely frozen - it tasted like an ice cream pie! Anyway, don't count the calories, a real good cake is made of calories.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse cake with Salted Caramel Sauce

200g / 7oz chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed
45g / 3tbsp butter, melted

Chocolate mousse filling
225g / 8oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
240ml / 1 cup heavy cream, cold, divided
1 tsp vanilla extract

Peanut butter mousse filling
125g / 1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 tsp salt
35g powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
120ml / 1/2 cup heavy cream, cold

Caramel sauce
100g / 1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 tbsp honey or corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
30ml / 2tbsp water
60ml / 1/4 cup heavy cream
8g / 1/2 tbsp butter

Chocolate sauce
30g / 1oz semisweet chocolate
30ml / 2tbsp heavy cream

1) Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Line a 20cm / 8inch pan with a removable bottom with parchment paper. 

2) To make the crust, mix together finely crushed cookies with melted butter and press down to he bottom of the pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

3) To make chocolate mousse filling, place copped chocolate in a small bowl. Heat 120ml (1/2 cup) of heavy cream until hot enough but not boiling! Pour over chocolate and let sit for 1 minute. After 1 minute, stir to make a smooth ganache. Mix in the vanilla extract. Let cool slightly while you beat the cream. In a cold bowl, add the remaining 120ml of heavy cream and beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cooled chocolate mixture. Mix carefully until incorporated. Spread onto the prepared crust. Refrigerate for a couple of hours.

4) To make the peanut butter mousse filling, mix together peanut butter, salt, powdered sugar and vanilla extract in a small bowl. In another bowl, beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently mix the heavy cream into the peanut butter mixture. Spread over the chocolate mousse filling. Refrigerate for a couple of hours or until firm.

5) To make the caramel sauce: in a medium saucepan, combine together sugar, honey or corn syrup, salt and water. Bring to boil while stirring. When it starts bubbling, stop stirring and let it turn to a light/medium amber color. At this point it will NOT look like caramel. Especially if your saucepan has a black bottom, you won't be able to see the real color so turn off the heat when it looks just slightly golden, otherwise, it will be dark and bitter. The whole browning process should take no more than 10 minutes. When you reach the desired color, remove from heat and slowly start pouring in the heavy cream. Stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Stir in the butter. Let cool. Once it has cooled, drizzle over the peanut butter mousse. Refrigerate.

6) To make the chocolate glaze, heat heavy cream until hot but not boiling. Pour over chocolate, let sit for a minute, and stir to make a smooth ganache. Let cool slightly and drizzle over the caramel.

7) Let the cake sit in the fridge overnight or at least for a few hours before slicing and serving.

Recipe by collecting memories

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Healthy Pumpkin Honey Greek Yogurt Pie

Pumpkin is not only for fall. It is an amazingly versatile vegetable that should be enjoyed all year round. It always works so perfectly in healthified desserts as it produces smooth and velvety texture and allows to omit unhealthy fats such as butter. It works perfectly in brownies, muffins and cakes. And of course, probably the most popular pumpkin dessert, pumpkin pie can be made with good-for-you ingredients and still taste amazing. This pumpkin pie recipe has no butter, no refined sugars or bleached flours. It's totally guilt-free so you can have a slice or two for breakfast and feel happy about it. I find it more delicious after it sits in the fridge for a few days so definitely give it some time to set. Overnight is a must. Waiting is always hard, but this pie is worth it. 

Healthy Pumpkin Honey Greek Yogurt Pie

135g / 1 1/2 cup oats, ground into flour
20g / 2 tbsp ground flax
2/3 tsp cinnamon
20g / 1 tbsp honey
15g / 1 tbsp unrefined coconut oil
2 tbsp / 30ml cold water

1kg raw pumpkin (you will get 500g after you cook and puree it*)
285g / 1 cup Greek yogurt
pinch of salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
170g / 1/2 cup honey, melted
1 tbsp / 12g spelt flour

*To make the pumpkin puree, bring a large pot filled with water to boil. Cut the raw pumpkin into chunks (about 5cm/2inch) and cook in water until soft. Let cool. Transfer to a clean kitchen towel. Wrap the pumpkin up into the towel, twist up the ends and squeeze the water out until you have half of the weight you had in the beginning.

1) Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F and line the bottom of a 21 cm / 8 inch springform pan with parchment paper.

2) To make the crust, Mix together ground oats, flax, cinnamon and honey in a medium bowl. Add coconut oil and mix, using your fingers, until the mixture looks crumbly. Add water and mix until it forms a ball. If the dough looks too crumbly and doesn't hold, add more water. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan and place in the fridge while you prepare the filling.

3) To make the filling, mix together all the ingredients until very well combined. Pour onto the crust and bake for about 30 minutes or the pie is set and the center looks firm.

4) Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Transfer to the fridge and let sit overnight (if you have patience). It's much better cold! Serve plain or drizzle some honey/agave/maple syrup or anything you like.

Recipe by collecting memories

Friday, March 04, 2016

White Onion Garlic Pizza

If there's pizza, there must be a lot of garlic. And cheese. This is exactly what this pizza is made of. Eight cloves of garlic and a decent amount of cheese. What makes it even better? Onions. And yes, there's nothing else. And trust me, there's nothing else you want to add. This is probably the simplest and the best pizza I've ever made. I love that it is not packed with lots of different ingredients and it's so cheesy and garlicky. Smoked paprika makes it heavenly. I've been using smoked paprika everywhere recently - with potatoes, rice, stews, stir-fry, etc. It's so good. And the last thing - the crust. You probably noticed that I combined dried yeast and baking powder. Nobody does that. Maybe you shouldn't do that. I don't really know why I did that. But the crust came out so chewy and so delicious that I don't think I'll ever be making it any other way. I didn't even let it rise. Just for 10-15 minutes maybe. And it still came out perfect.

White Onion Garlic Pizza 

125g / 1 cup flour

1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp instant yeast
80ml / 1/3 cup warm water
oil, to coat

2 tbsp oil
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium onions (150g / 5.2oz) , thinly sliced
pinch salt

5 slices your favorite cheese (100g / 3.5oz)
pinch of smoked paprika
pinch of dried oregano

1) In a medium bowl, combine together flour, salt,baking powder and instant yeast. Add water and mix with a spoon. Start kneading the dough. Knead until very smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Form the dough into the ball and place in an oiled bowl. Make sure the whole dough is coated with oil. Cover with a plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place while you prepare the topping.

2) Preheat oven to 200C / 400F (grill function) and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

3) In a saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Add onions, garlic ans salt and fry until softened and golden brown.

4) Transfer the pizza dough to a surface and shape the dough into a disk, pressing down with your fingertips. If it sticks to the surface, sprinkle some flour to prevent it from sticking, however, I did not need to do that.

5) Transfer the dough onto the baking tray. Arrange cheese and onion mixture on top of it. You may first put cheese or onions. I've tried both options and both worked really well. If you put cheese on top, it browns nicely and onions remain soft covered with cheese. If you choose to put onions over the cheese, they may become slightly crunchy. Dust with smoked paprika and dried oregano.

6) Bake until nicely brown on top. Baking time is up to you. If you like a softer dough, it will only take a few minutes.

Recipe by collecting memories

Monday, February 22, 2016

Pineapple Coconut Upside Down Cake

Pineapple and coconut is a classic and one of the best combos. This pineapple coconut cake is light, fresh and perfect for spring. It is made with Greek yogurt and contains no butter which is replaced with only 25 grams of unrefined coconut oil. Which means, it isn't that bad for you! Just make sure you use unrefined coconut oil. To make the cake lighter I used reserved pineapple juice from a can but I'd love to try it with coconut milk in the future. However, this was moist enough and not overly sweet. The top is made with soft dark brown sugar which makes it gooey and caramelly. This almost guilt-free cake is perfect for breakfast! 

Pineapple Coconut Upside Down Cake 

90g / 1 cup quick cooking oats
35g desiccated coconut
125g / 1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
150g / 3/4 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
160ml / 2/3 cup pineapple juice from a can
25g / 1/8 cup unrefined coconut oil, melted
50g / 1/4 cup soft dark brown sugar
9 pineapple rings from a can

1) Preheat oven to 180C / 350F. Prepare a 20 x 20 cm / 8 x 8 inch silicone baking dish or line a metal baking dish with parchment paper.

2) In a small bowl, combine together oats, coconut, flour, baking powder, salt and white sugar. Set aside.

3) In a large bowl, beat eggs. Add pineapple juice and melted coconut oil and stir to combine. 

4) Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to combine. 

5) Sprinkle the bottom of the baking dish with dark brown sugar. Arrange pineapple rings on top of it. Pour the batter into the baking dish and bake in oven for 30-35 minutes or until the toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

6) Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Invert cake and let cool completely before slicing and serving.

Recipe by collecting memories

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