oats

Snack, Breakfast, Dessert, Gluten Free, Chocolate

PEANUT BUTTER GRANOLA BARS

peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen
peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen

Besides that I adore it staying light much later, I regret it hasn't felt incredibly summery over here. We have done a few picnics by the beach, my shoulders are tanned and I'm eating my weight in fruit, but I can't say I have felt this season. I think it's easier to see summer with kids or a school schedule, as these three months are marked by a break in routine. Now it's nearly Labor Day, the holiday that reminds us summer is fading, I just now feel called to be more present in this time. Maybe I'm not in school and my work demands carry on just as they did in the spring and winter past, but I want to be here. It's likely not just summer I'm needing to witness, I think it's the curse of the (primarily) self-employed that there is always something to do, which takes away from rest and presence. There is so much wonderfulness to take in if we'll stop and pay attention. I wish I'd stop and pay attention. Luckily September and October are my favorite months around here. Time to suit up and jump in. 

I keep tinkering with granola bar recipes to find just the right texture. Typically, I use brown rice syrup in granola-type bars, but wanted to try the maple route this round. I will say that the rice syrup creates a stickier bar, making everything hold together more easily. The maple is great, but expect the bars to be more loose and fragile. I added a few more dates and peanut butter in the written recipe than the photos reflect so they stay together a bit better. I toast the oats for a little extra favor, but otherwise these guys are no-bake, so they yield a chewier bar, not the crispy shattering sort. You can play around with the nut or seed butter, maybe a different dried fruit besides dates, but it's nice to have a tasty snack for your beach bag or lunch box. 

peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen
peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen

PEANUT BUTTER GRANOLA BARS // Makes 12 in an 11x7 pan

An adaptation from Minimalist Baker

I used a 7x11inch dish. Try to use something close, they will be thinner bars in a 9x13 or super thick in an 8x8. 

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2 cups crisp rice cereal
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 2 Tbsp. chia, buckwheat, flax seeds or a mix of these (I used this blend)
  • 2 cups pitted dates (about 14 large Medjool dates)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or brown rice syrup
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter (or nut or seed butter of choice)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 4 oz. dark chocolate
peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen
peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen
peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen
peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen

Preheat the oven to 350'. Toast the oats on a baking sheet for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the crisp rice, almonds, seeds, cooled oats and stir to mix. Chop up the dates well to make a chunky paste (this could be done in the food processor but I hate cleaning it for one small task). If your dates seem dry, add a splash of warm water to get them tacky. Think toothpaste sort of texture.

Warm the maple, peanut butter, cinnamon, salt and stir to mix. Pour the PB mix and dates over the dry ingredients and mix everything together, breaking up the date clumps with your hands to disperse. Just get your hands dirty, you need a big sticky heap.

Line a 7x11inch pan with parchment paper. Press the mixture down in an even layer, using the bottom of something flat to push the mixture down tightly as possible.

In a double boiler or a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water, melt the chocolate until smooth. Drizzle the chocolate (or spread it evenly) on top of the bars. Chill in the fridge for one hour before cutting. Keep covered in the fridge for optimum freshness or wrap them individually and store in the freezer.

The bars will keep for about 5 days in the fridge.

peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen
peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen
Print This Recipe

Dessert, Snack, Fall, Spring, Summer, Winter

MAPLED CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

MAPLED_CHOCOLATE_CHIP_COOKIES_01.jpg

It was my birthday earlier this week. It was smushed in between two trips to New York (Hugh has a wedding in Brooklyn this weekend), just after Mother's Day, the same week as my nieces birthday and nearly every female on my mom's side. I worked at Trader's most of the day and we had an excellent dinner in LA at Baco Mercat. I didn't need a bunch of celebration this year, there has been plenty going on and I just wanted to take account for the last 29 years. It kind of snuck up on me. My "twenties" have been abundant in experience - so many milestones and lessons and challenges and rewards and love and growth have been a part of this decade. I know I still have a year left, and not for a second do I believe my life is dramatically changing at the turn of a number, but still, there's only one year left! It has been so quick - but not - and somehow completely sufficient. I probably say this every birthday, but time fascinates me. How change is so sweeping in retrospect, but most of the time, you don't even notice the evolution of it.

These cookies actually don't have the slightest thing to do with my birthday but they need to be shared and we are celebrating. Ashley makes incredible cookies, and when I want to play around with a cookie combination or in this case, add something for my maple-loving husband, I use her recipe as a base and go from there. You really must try the original, but with the little bits of oats, tenderness from almond meal and the gentlest nudge of maple, I think I am calling this the "house cookie." I picked up some Valrhona feves, saving them for cooking glory, and they make the most gorgeous streaks through the cookies once baked. If you do try them, and even if you make a change of your own, just stay close to the oven. There is a time and place for a crispy cookie, but these babes are best consumed warm and just barely underdone.

PS. If you are in New York City this weekend, we will be at Posman Books in Chelsea Market on Sunday around 1pm signing cookbooks. It isn't an organized event, but we're signing their stock while in town so stop by and say hi if you'd like!

MAPLED_CHOCOLATE_CHIP_COOKIES_02.jpg
MAPLED_CHOCOLATE_CHIP_COOKIES_06.jpg

MAPLED CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES // Makes 18 small cookies

An adaptation of Not Without Salt's Almond Chocolate Chip Flax Cookies

Don't going searching high and low for chocolate feves, but I will say that they melt gorgeously in the dough. A chopped up bar of good-quality chocolate should work too.

If you need the cookies to be free of the glutens, a GF blend will work in place of the ww flour. Ashley's original gives you the option without the egg. I know maple extract isn't a pantry staple, but it's pretty fantastic and makes these cookies have a carmely-maple hint. This batch was made with maple flakes as well if you prefer a crunchy bit along with or instead of extract.

  • 1 stick/ 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup muscavado sugar
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp. maple extract
  • 3 T. maple flakes (optional)
  • 2/3 cup almond meal
  • heaping 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2/3 cup white whole wheat flour
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips/chopped chocolate
MAPLED_CHOCOLATE_CHIP_COOKIES_03.jpg
MAPLED_CHOCOLATE_CHIP_COOKIES_04.jpg
MAPLED_CHOCOLATE_CHIP_COOKIES_05.jpg

Heat the oven to 350'.

Cream the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add the egg, sea salt, vanilla and maple extracts and mix again to combine well.

In another bowl, mix the almond meal, oats, white whole wheat flour, pinch of cinnamon and baking soda together. Add the dry to the wet mixture and stir until almost combined, being careful not to overmix. Add the chopped chocolate and give it one more stir to combine. Allow the mixture to chill for at least 20 minutes, or covered overnight. 

Place your cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet or silpat, leaving space between for them to spread. Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating pan halfway through, until the centers are barely set. They will appear underdone, this is good. Allow them to cool and enjoy. 

MAPLED_CHOCOLATE_CHIP_COOKIES_07.jpg
Print This Recipe

Dessert, Breakfast, Snack

BROWN BUTTER ESPRESSO CHIP MUFFINS

ESPRESSO_MUFFINS_0001.jpg

While on a phone interview yesterday morning, a woman asked me if my cooking style has changed since I started the site 3+ years ago. First off, I am not a quick draw on those types of questions. I fill silence with a few "ums" and "well..." but it doesn't buy me the time I need to give an adequate answer. I said that I've taken into account what readers seem to respond to, where they comment the most (which I really appreciate), and I try to keep simplicity in mind as that always seems to be the overall theme of popular posts. People like simple - I get that. I like simple too.

I later thought about her questions and the passage of time in this space, and I realize that my cooking here has only changed as my life has changed first. A response to the different chapters of our story - my food somehow emotionally connected to other things going on. In posts of years past, I had mentioned a number of times how I did not like baking. I don't care much for precision or seeing the amount of butter in my cookies (I like to eat it, but maybe I don't want to see it). I would bake because I was building variety here and I wanted to learn, but it was motivated by an obligation of sorts. Those were days where I lived alone in a studio apartment and I mostly cooked for myself. Hugh and I worked on blog posts in my parents' kitchen on days off from work and the last thing my devil of a sweet tooth needed was a bunch of baked goods around. But after a wedding, a full apartment kitchen, and a stand mixer of my own, I now bake pretty frequently. My will power isn't any stronger, but I show love with food. It's a communication tool for me, and if you know anything about love languages this may make more sense and seem a little less eccentric. I bake because it's a way of care taking, it isn't for me, and I didn't really notice it until that lady asked me that question.

Hugh is a sweet-in-the-morning-with-his-coffee guy so I experiment with breakfast goodies (we don't even eat bananas, I just keep them around to go bad so I can make tasty banana bread. I really have gone to the dark side huh?). I tried these muffins for a little something different, as coffee seems to be the way to my husbands heart. The crumb is pretty light, the sweetness is subtle and we've already gone through half of them before a breakfast has passed so I will assume that means they're alright.

ESPRESSO_MUFFINS_0002.jpg

BROWN BUTTER ESPRESSO CHIP MUFFINS // Makes 8-10

Inspiration from Cannelle et Vanille and La Tartine Gourmand

These could easily be made gluten free with one quick change - just substitute GF all purpose flour or rice flour for the spelt. Spelt is wheat free, but not gluten free. I would suppose this would also come out well in a smaller sized loaf pan, but I can't attest to this from experience. Let me know if you try it.

ESPRESSO_MUFFINS_0003.jpg
  • 1/2 cup/ 8 Tbsp. unsalted butter or coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup plain whole milk yogurt or applesauce
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup packed muscavado sugar (or light brown sugar)
  • 3/4 cup, spelt flour
  • 1/3 cup oat flour (just grind up some rolled oats)
  • 1 cup almond flour/meal
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp. espresso or finely ground coffee
  • 3 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
  • // streusel //
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter or coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • pinch of salt
ESPRESSO_MUFFINS_0004.jpg

Preheat oven to 350'. Grease a standard muffin tin or fill with paper liners.

Melt the butter in a small pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until the solids turn a light brown color, it's a nice shade of amber and it starts to smell nutty. About 10 minutes. Remove from the heat to cool. If using coconut oil, skip this step.

Whisk the eggs, yogurt or applesauce and vanilla together. Once the brown butter is slightly cooled, whisk that in as well. Go ahead, put your nose in there, that smell is all sorts of amazing. In another large mixing bowl, stir the muscavado, spelt flour, oat flour, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, espresso together to combine. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to mix. Stir in the chopped chocolate but do not overmix.

In another small bowl, for streusel, combine the oats, butter, turbinado and pinch of salt. Press it together with your fingers to mash everything together.

Scoop the batter into the tins about 3/4 full. You will get somewhere between 8 to 10 depending on how you fill them. Sprinkle a bit of streusel on top of each muffin. Bake on the middle rack for 20 minutes or until centers are just cooked through. Remove to cool.

ESPRESSO_MUFFINS_0005.jpg
Print This Recipe