Posts made in December, 2016

Bready or Not: Coffee Marshmallows

Posted by on Dec 28, 2016 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, gluten-free, no-bake dessert | 0 comments

Let’s end the year on an obnoxiously sweet note with homemade Coffee Marshmallows. If you want to send someone a late gift or sabotage a New Year’s resolution, here you go.

Bready or Not: Coffee Marshmallows

This recipe involves lots of beating. No, not with a stick. You’ll want a good stand mixer, or be ready for your hand to vibrate to numbness if you use a hand mixer. I don’t recommend doing this with a whisk in hand. Your hand might fall off.

Bready or Not: Coffee Marshmallows

Not recommended, unless your last name is Skywalker and you have access to cool prostheses.

Bready or Not: Coffee Marshmallows

Once I started the recipe, I had the bulk of it done in about an hour. My stove is reeeeaaally slow to heat up. I did the mixing in my valiant Kitchen Aid.

Bready or Not: Coffee Marshmallows

The results were fantastic: soft yet dense blocks of sugary goodness, coated in more sugary goodness.

Bready or Not: Coffee Marshmallows

This makes a 9×13 pan. That’s a lot of mallows. They’re supposed to stay fresh up to a week if they are well-sealed. Bag these things up! Eat them by themselves, or plunked in coffee or hot chocolate.

Originally posted at the Holy Taco Church.

Bready or Not: Coffee Marshmallows

Bready or Not: Coffee Marshmallows

This recipe makes a big batch of Coffee Marshmallows! Eat them straight or plonked in hot chocolate or coffee. They make for a lovely homemade gift.

  • Powder coating
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon Dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted
  • Marshmallows
  • 3/4 cup warm water, divided
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso granules
  • 3 envelopes of Knox gelatin
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Later mixing stage additions
  • 2 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Pam or oil for pan

Whisk together 1/2 cup warm water and the instant espresso. Let this cool in the fridge for a bit.

In a medium bowl, sift together the powdered sugar, corn starch and cocoa powder.

Grease a large casserole dish (like 9x13 or 10x8) with Pam or vegetable oil. Sift a small bit of the powdered sugar/cocoa mix over the bottom of the pan.

Pour the cooled coffee into the large bowl you will use for the mixing phase. Sprinkle the gelatin onto the coffee and let it sit for at least 10 minutes. Have a whisk attachment ready on your mixer.

In a medium sauce pan with an attached candy thermometer, combine the granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt and remaining 1/4 cup of water. Start heating this on medium until the sugar is dissolved and then crank it to high heat. Bring the mixture to a hard boil and cook for 1 minute, until the candy thermometer reaches 240 degrees. The color will start to change.

With the mixer on low, VERY CAREFULLY pour the boiling liquid into the gelatin/coffee mix. Once it's all in there, turn it to high and beat for 10-15 minutes, until it has doubled in volume and holds stiff peaks. Note that the color will change dramatically in stages.

Add in the remaining cocoa powder and vanilla extract and beat for another minute or so, until they are mixed in.

Pour the very sticky goop into the ready casserole dish. Use a well-greased spatula to even it out. Add a few tablespoons of the cocoa/sugar mix and use your fingers to dust that over the top. Cover the dish with foil or plastic wrap and let it firm up. Give it at least four hours, or overnight.

Run a knife along the edges of the pan to loosen the marshmallows. You can try inverting the whole block onto a large cutting board, or use a knife or pizza cutter to do basic rectangles and then remove portions at a time. Cut the marshmallows into 1-inch cubes and toss them in the cocoa/sugar mix.

Store the coffee marshmallows in an airtight container for up to one week. Enjoy them straight-up, or in coffee or hot cocoa.

OM NOM NOM!

 

Bready or Not: Coffee Marshmallows

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Sunday Quote wishes you a blessed day

Posted by on Dec 25, 2016 in Blog, Quote | 0 comments

“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”
~ Frank Herbert

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Bready or Not: Maple Pecan Pie Bars

Posted by on Dec 21, 2016 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, maple, pie | 0 comments

These Maple Pecan Pie Bars offer all the goodness of pecan pie in a form that is 1) more readily portable, 2) keeps well for up to a week, 3) freezable.

Bready or Not: Maple Pecan Pie Bars

Oh, and did I mention these are DELICIOUS? They seriously are. My dad is a native Alabaman and he knows pecan pie and pecan in all forms. He LOVED these bars.

Bready or Not: Maple Pecan Pie Bars

The base is shortbread, and atop that is a just-right thickness of pecans in syrup. This avoids the usual butt-ton of corn syrup that other recipes use and relies on a combo of maple syrup and brown sugar. Which is… maybe healthier? Kinda?

Bready or Not: Maple Pecan Pie Bars

What matters to me, though, is that it tastes good. The maple syrup adds the right sweetness here to complement the nuts.

You don’t have to use pecans here, either. You could certainly try walnuts, cashews, or a combination. Do go for “softer” nuts, though, to make it easier to cut the bars.

Bready or Not: Maple Pecan Pie Bars

I froze a bunch of pecan bars between layers of waxed paper in a freezer container. They thawed again with no difference in taste. They also keep well for at least a week, making these a good candidate for shipping.

As my dad can attest, these bars are perfect for breakfast, snack, or dessert. While you could eat them along with vanilla ice cream, they are good eaten out of hand. Heck, you can even zap them in the microwave if you want them warmed.

Bready or Not: Maple Pecan Pie Bars

However or whenever you eat them, these Maple Pecan Bars will be delicious.

Modified from Bake or Break.

Bready or Not: Maple Pecan Pie Bars

Bready or Not: Maple Pecan Pie Bars

These Maple Pecan Pie Bars offer the deliciousness of pecan pie in a portable, delicious hand-sized bar. These bars keep for up to a week and also can be frozen for later enjoyment.

  • Crust
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
  • Filling
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 a stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled for a few minutes
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans (or mixed soft nuts like walnuts or cashews)

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Line a 13x9-inch pan with parchment paper and lightly apply butter or nonstick spray along the bottom and sides.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, brown sugar, and salt. Add the cold butter and use a pastry blender or a fork to mash it down into small crumbles. The overall mix will feel sandy, but it'll hold together after baking.

Pour the crust mixture into the prepared pan. Use some wax paper and a heavy glass to compress the crumbs.

Bake for 15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Set aside as you make the filling.

Lightly beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the maple syrup, melted-and-cooled butter, brown sugar, white sugar, and salt, stirring until combined. Stir in the pecans to coat.

Pour filling over the partially baked crust. Bake for another 30 to 35 minutes, or until filling is set.

Cool bars to room temperature and then use the overhanging parchment to lift the contents out to cut into bars. Store in a sealed container for up to a week, or freeze bars for later enjoyment.

OM NOM NOM!

 

Bready or Not: Maple Pecan Pie Bars

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Sunday Quote is an optimistic pessimist

Posted by on Dec 18, 2016 in Blog, Quote | 0 comments

“Life’s under no obligation to give us what we expect.”
~ Margaret Mitchell

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D is for Dinosaur Cover Reveal

Posted by on Dec 15, 2016 in anthology:story, Blog | 0 comments

I’m contributing a story to the fourth volume in the Alphabet Anthology series… and this new book focuses on DINOSAURS. How cool is that?! And here’s the cover, revealed this week:

D is for Dinosaur

For the fourth installment of Rhonda Parrish’s Alphabet Anthologies, contributors were challenged to write about dinosaurs. The resulting twenty-six stories contain widely different interpretations of the dinosaur theme and span the spectrum from literal to metaphoric.

Within these pages stories set in alternate histories, far-flung futures and times just around the corner, dinosaurs whimper and waste away, or roar and rage. People can be dinosaurs, as can ideas, fictions and flesh. Knitted dinosaurs share space with ghostly, genetically engineered and even narcotic ones.

Teenagers must embrace their inner dinosaurs in order to find peace and belonging, a dying woman duels a God in a far future city that echoes aspects of our past, an abused wife accompanies her husband on a hunt for an ancient power and finds more than she could ever have imagined and a girl with wonderful magical powers stumbles across the bones of a giant long-dead lizard. And so much more!

The book will be released on February 21st. It’s already listed on LibraryThing and Goodreads.

#SFWAPro

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