Cookies

Pumpkin Biscotti

October 6, 2014

Back to school means back to working with 30 little funny, messy, sticky, gooey students. It also means that everyone gets sick – including the teacher. Being a substitute teacher I work at different schools, meaning I basically can never build up any immunity to the students because I’m usually in a different class each day. 

Last week, I was in one class for the majority of the week as their regular teacher was out sick, with strep throat. Luckily, it meant I got to work all week, unluckily it meant I was probably going to catch whatever cold she caught. And I did. Thursday night I felt it, the sore throat, achey ears congested cough. I quickly self-medicated myself and loaded up on vitamin-c. After school friday I curled up on the couch and didn’t move for most of the night – hello 9 pm bedtime. all. weekend. long.

Thankfully Adam was home this week and went out to get feel-better sushi Friday, because sushi is totally a meal you should eat when sick. Saturday was spent home for the most part, aside from a quick drive down the road to the park to walk the dog – i couldn’t go all weekend without enjoying the lovely sunshine. Sunday we had a pre-thanksgiving dinner with Adam’s family, since most of them are away next week visiting family back east.

My brother and his girlfriend are also away, currently travelling around Italy with my Nonna for the next 3 weeks probably eating cheese, salami, pasta and biscotti to their hearts content before returning home.I went to Europe 2 years ago and I am already dreaming about our honeymoon (hopefully going back to Europe) in 2016 (so. far. away) Since I can’t go to italy, I thought I’d make some biscotti. Biscotti means ‘twice baked,’ because you bake these cookies twice. Once, in a long dough log, then you slice and bake again to get crisp authentic biscotti. These cookies are great on their own, or even better dipped in coffee or espresso. (side note, this espresso cup is like super tiny, the handle can hold like your thump, but looks massive in these pictures – so deceiving)

Pumpkin Biscotti // bakeaholic.ca

Adam had to tease me, since I don’t drink coffee (i know, i’m like not grown up enough yet to enjoy its dark caffeinated substance) however, I let him know that “i’ll drink anything if I can dunk a cookie into it” – and I will. Biscotti being one of them. Its dry, almost stale crunch is the perfect partner for a glass of hot coffee, or even tea. 

I’m not sure you’d find ‘pumpkin biscotti’ anywhere in Italy, and I’m sure my Nonna would prefer the regular anise biscotti, but I love this version for Fall, apologies to my heritage. The cookies are great by themselves, and if you want to indulge go ahead and drizzle some chocolate on top. They also freeze well, make them ahead and take out for company. 

 

Biscotti might look daunting to make, but the cookies come together quickly and easily.

Pumpkin Biscotti
Yields 24
A twice-baked lightly spiced pumpkin cookie, perfect for dunking in coffee or espresso.
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Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  2. 1 cup whole wheat flour
  3. 1 cup of sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  5. big dash of cinnamon
  6. dash of freshly grated nutmeg
  7. dash of ginger
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 1/2 cup of pumpkin purée
  10. 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Sift together the flours, sugar, baking powder, and spices in a large bowl.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, pumpkin purée, and vanilla extract.
  4. Pour the wet pumpkin mixture into the dry flour mixture.
  5. Using a spatula, stir toy incorporate the ingredients, the dough will be loose and crumbly.
  6. On a clean floured surface, lightly knead the dough for a minute or two, until a slightly-elastic dough forms.
  7. On a lined baking sheet, form the dough into a large log, about 15-20 inches long by 3-5 inches wide. The loaves should be somewhat flat, only about 1/2 inch high. You can cut the dough in half, and bake the two side by side on the baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned.
  9. Transfer to wire rack and let biscotti cool for 5 minutes.
  10. Carefully transfer to a cutting bird, and with a serrated knife slice at a 45° angle about 1/2-3/4 inch thick.
  11. Return the slices back to the baking sheet face up, and return to the oven for another 15-20 minutes.
  12. Cool completely, you want the cookies to be crisp. You can keep them on the counter overnight to dry further.
Notes
  1. Alternatively, you can use pumpkin pie spice. You can top the biscotti with almond slices before baking, if you like.
  2. To drizzle with chocolate, melt dark chocolate with a tsp. of coconut oil, stir and pipe or drizzle on top. Allow to harden on counter or in fridge.
Adapted from Nonna's Recipe
Adapted from Nonna's Recipe
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/

 

 

 

Breakfast, Dairy-Free, Muffins, Wheat Free

Chocolate Peanut Butter Blender Muffins

September 29, 2014

blender muffins

Is it crazy to run a 10 K without ever racing in a 5 K? I’m trying to decide if I can jump (or run) into a 10 K with no real race experience, or if should prepare a little longer (than a month-ish) for a longer race. I’ve been doing my runs, most between 5 and 6 K, a few times a week casually along with other workouts. I want to do the 10K, but just want to make sure I’m fully prepared! Heck, I might sign up and then I’ll just have to do it – ya know? Is it wrong I’m most worried that I’ll have to wake up at like, 6 am to get ready for the race? lol – maybe I need to re-think this whole race thing.. for those of you who are seasoned racers, what’re your thoughts about diving into a slightly longer race before doing any shorter ones?

In the meantime I’m loving this whole fall-thing. I’ve purchased no less than 3 pumpkin pie candles, and lit my campfire s’mores candle thats been hiding in my cupboard since last fall. The house smells aromatically fall. I’ve talked before about how I love fall baking – it’s the best. Everything from soups to baked goods, comforting healthy fall foods are where it’s at. 

Now lets talk about these ah-mazing blender muffins!! I’ve seen them online for a little while, and I don’t know why it took me so long to make the first batch of them. seriously – they’re easy, wheat-free and the easiest prep ever.mini blender muffins bakeaholicThrow a few ingredients into the blender (or food processor) and whirl the deliciously thick batter together. Perfect as part of breakfast, a little snack or pre-post run tidbit because its packed full of healthy fats – avocado and peanut butter. Both of which give you fuel for a run or recovery from your workout. I used carob chips in place of regular chocolate chips, but you can use either. I think adding some nuts on top, crumbled almonds or even walnuts would be good too.

This is my first foray into mini-blender-muffins and I’m already thinking about the next combination I’m going to make. 

blender muffins // bakeaholic.ca

Chocolate Peanut Butter Blender Muffins
Yields 16
Flourless mini-muffins made with healthy-fats like avocado and peanut butter. Perfect for a quick grab-and-go snack.
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Cook Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup of natural peanut butter
  2. 2 eggs
  3. 1 small-medium sized ripe avocado
  4. 1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  5. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  6. 2 Tbsp honey or other liquid sweetener
  7. Mini Chocolate-Chips (I used carob chips)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a mini-muffin pan with baking spray - I use coconut oil.
  3. Place all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor.
  4. Blend/process until smooth - batter will be silky and thick.
  5. Use a small ice-cream scoop to pour into greased muffin pan.
  6. Top with a few mini chocolate chips (optional)
  7. Bake 9-10 minutes.
Notes
  1. Keep in container on counter or in fridge for a few days, or freeze.
Adapted from Heather's French Press
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/
Breakfast, Clean Eats, Granola, Healthy, Pumpkin, Vegan, Wheat Free

Pumpkin Spice Granola

September 23, 2014

pumpkinspice

pumpkin spice granola alicia bakeaholic

As soon as fall has officially arrived I’m way too excited to begin baking all things pumpkin. There is no better smell than pumpkin spice – ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon – all baked into a warm comforting pumpkin baked good. Pumpkin can be made both sweet and savoury and is so versatile when working with it. 

Fall is one of my most favourite seasons – the colours, cool days, candles, and holidays (Thanksgiving, Halloween) make it even better. 

I had to seriously stop myself from buying any sort of halloween or Fall paraphernalia from the Home Sense store in August. Now that it’s officially Fall, I feel I can let myself Fall fully with no inhibitions. Sorry, Adam. But really, they start bringing out those halloween and thanksgiving decorations in the summer, and by the time the holidays actually roll around all the decor has been packed up and its suddenly Christmas in October. 

Thankfully pumpkin is the ingredient of both halloween, thanksgiving and christmas so we can happily eat it for months. I don’t think I ever get sick of eating pumpkin, I even love adding it to my chili. 

I had actually seen this pumpkin granola recipe in April, when another local Vancouver blogger, Jennifer from Foodess, had posted it – pumpkin goods know no boundaries. I was all for pumpkin in April.

pkmp

I knew I needed to make it come Fall, and It turned out better than my tastebuds imagined. I changed a few things, subbing in brown rice syrup for maple (feel free to use either), adding in pumpkin seeds and cooking it for a little longer, leaving it in the oven, to really crisp up the clusters. I found it was just as crunchy as store-bought, only obviously much better. The spice is perfect, and not overly sweet.

spiced

I loved her idea of storing it in the freezer, it makes for a nice cold bowl of granola and milk, plus it prolongs its shelf life (that is, if you don’t eat it all in a week) – And as she says, most pumpkin granola is actually just ‘pumpkin spice’ with no trace of real pumpkin puree, whereas this recipe uses a whole cup. Feel free to make a half batch.

Happy Fall :)

Pumpkin Spice Granola
Serves 24
Crunchy, spiced pumpkin granola clusters with dried cranberry for added sweetness.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  2. 1½ tbsp ground cinnamon
  3. 2 tsp ground ginger
  4. ⅓ cup canola oil / coconut oil
  5. ½ cup coconut sugar / brown sugar
  6. ⅓ cup brown rice syrup
  7. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  8. 5 cups old fashioned large flake oats
  9. 1cups natural almonds - pulsed slightly
  10. 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  11. ¼ cup ground flaxseeds or whole
  12. 1-2 cups dried, sweetened cranberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, oil, sugar, brown rice syrup and vanilla extract. Stir in the oats, almonds, pumpkin seeds and flaxseeds.
  3. Divide mixture between two large baking sheets lined with parchment and bake 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally and checking frequently, until the almonds are golden and toasty and the granola is dry.
  4. Turn off oven and leave baking sheets inside, propping door open slightly. Allow the oven to cool down with granola inside to create dry, crunchy granola.
  5. Remove from oven, sprinkle cranberries overtop and mix in.
  6. Store in airtight containers for up to a week - or freeze in large freezer bag.
Notes
  1. Crunchy granola keeps well in the freezer, remove and eat with cool milk or yogurt.
Adapted from Foodess
Adapted from Foodess
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/