chocolate

Bready or Not: Matcha White Chocolate Cookies

Posted by on Aug 23, 2017 in Blog, Bready or Not, chocolate, cookies | 0 comments

I continue the matcha-in-baked-goods theme to celebrate the release of Call of Fire last week, this time with Matcha White Chocolate Cookies.

Bready or Not: Matcha White Chocolate Cookies

The weird thing about these cookies is that the green tea’s color didn’t carry through in the baked results, but the taste is still there.

Bready or Not: Matcha White Chocolate Cookies

In fact, when my husband took these to work, a guy kept going back for more. He finally asked, “What’s in these?!”

“Green tea,” said my husband.

Bready or Not: Matcha White Chocolate Cookies

“Oh, does that make these healthy?” the man asked, making a face of disgust as he grabbed another cookie.

I won’t go so far as to say these are healthy, but these do have caffeine, and maybe those provided him with a much-needed jolt.

Bready or Not: Matcha White Chocolate Cookies

The flavor of these is unusual and hard to describe. The sweetness of the white chocolate is bold, and behind that is a mild and pleasant aftertaste from the matcha. It’s enough for you to know there is something unique about the cookies, but not to identify what it is.

Bready or Not: Matcha White Chocolate Cookies

If you want to be sure that the green color comes through in this recipe, maybe add a little bit of food dye before mixing in the white chocolate chips.

Or you may be content with your cookies coming out as mine did: pale yet undeniably delicious.

Bready or Not: Matcha White Chocolate Cookies

Bready or Not: Matcha White Chocolate Cookies

These firm-but-chewy cookies combine the fresh, mild taste of green tea with white chocolate. If you want to be certain the cookies will turn out green, add a few drops of food coloring before adding the white chocolate.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon matcha
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 cubes), softened
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips (most of a bag)

Preheat oven at 325-degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, matcha, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a big bowl, cream together the sugars and butter until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and eggs.

Gradually add the dry ingredients until just combined, then mix in the white chocolate.

Use a teaspoon scoop or spoon to dole out cookies on a sheet; the cookies will spread, so be sure to space them out. Bake for 13 to 14 minutes. Let set on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes, then move them to a rack to finish cooling.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not Guest: Spencer Ellsworth with Un-Ruinable Gluten Free Brownies

Posted by on Aug 22, 2017 in Blog, Bready or Not, brownies, chocolate, gluten-free, guest, guest recipe, healthier | 0 comments

I’m happy to welcome Spencer Ellsworth with a Bready or Not guest post! His debut novel is out today. I was lucky enough to read A Red Peace a few months ago, and blurbed it: “This is space opera candy!” Seriously, if you love space opera, GET THIS. It’s fresh and fun, mixing up cozy tropes in fantastic new ways.

Which is pretty much what Spencer does with this recipe today, too. He shares a recipe for gluten-free brownies that look absolutely delicious. I bet they’d be perfect to eat in accompaniment with a brand new space opera novel…


I’m Spencer, and I have two big things in common with Beth: we both like to write a good swashbuckling adventure (here’s mine) and we both like to bake.

Unlike Beth, I have celiac disease, which means, although I bake all the time, I use gluten-free flours. I was diagnosed way back in the dark ages of 1985. I did all of elementary school in the 1980s gluten free. Let us all turn and salute my mother, who had to bake “special cupcakes” every time someone else in the class had a birthday and brought in gluten cupcakes.

*Salutes Mom*

Ahem.

Celiac disease is, like Crohn’s, arthritis and lupus, an autoimmune disease. Our immune systems, upon consumption of gluten, attack and inflame our intestinal lining, preventing the absorption of any food. Because autoimmune disease is on a spectrum, people often have reactions to gluten that are tricky to diagnose without an endoscopy or colonoscopy.

There are two great lies about gluten-free food

1) you can just substitute GF flour mix in most recipes

2) gluten-free food just doesn’t taste as good

1 isn’t true because different proteins act differently in different grains. Gluten-free flours are not sticky like wheat. You don’t need to knead any gluten-free bread product; you just need to mix the dough and let it rise. You may find certain GF flours, like sorghum or millet or brown rice, less palatable than wheat. But most celiacs can find a preferred flour mix.

Un-Ruinable Gluten Free Brownies

This picture shows plain rice flour (the fine-textured flour), a gluten-free mix, and a gluten-free pancake mix (the one with dark specks).

However, that leads me to…

2 isn’t true because there are a LOT of celiacs out there making a LOT of amazing food. But you do have to do some baking on your own. The best gluten-free food is made at home, with patience. Commercial kitchens can’t take the time and ingredients necessary.

So if you’re new to GF baking, here’s an un-ruinable recipe to start. Peruse Gluten-Free & More (formerly known as Living Without) for anything else you need, or just contact me through my website.

Un-Ruinable Gluten Free Brownies

 

Un-Ruinable Gluten Free Brownies

These are totally un-ruinable because they can be made with just about any gluten-free flour, flour mix, or pancake mix. They will have a slightly different consistency depending on the flour, but they work with anything from plain rice flour to Pamela’s pancake mix.

Your celiac friends will appreciate the attempt to make real brownies, rather than those flourless peanut butter cookies or rice krispie treats we ALWAYS get.

Make sure to clean ALL your work surfaces very well first. All counters and bowls should be scrubbed clear of any trace of gluten. Use non-porous materials like Teflon or glass. Make sure they are scrubbed completely clean of every last scrap of anything that ever contained gluten. (Even better, use the excuse to treat yourself to a new dish and new mixing bowl.)

4 eggs
1 cup sugar (add more to taste, especially if not using chocolate chips)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup cocoa powder (I much prefer the darker, richer Ghiradelli’s over the chalky Hershey’s)
1/2 cup butter, margarine or coconut oil
1/2 mushy avocado (this is weird, but it makes the whole endeavor much fluffier)
1 cup of any gluten-free flour, baking mix or pancake mix
2 tsp baking powder (if not already included in your mix)
Chocolate chips & nuts to taste

Set oven to 350.

Beat the eggs with the sugar and avocados.
Un-Ruinable Gluten Free Brownies

Melt the butter or oil in a saucepan or microwave-safe dish, and add the cocoa powder and beat until smooth.

Un-Ruinable Gluten Free Brownies

Allow the butter/cocoa powder mix to cool a bit, then mix into eggs, sugar and avocado.

Mix your flour in with the rest. Add baking powder if you simply have a basic flour mix.

Pour into a greased baking dish and bake for 30-40 minutes on 350.

Un-Ruinable Gluten Free Brownies

Un-Ruinable Gluten Free Brownies

Bready or Not Guest: Spencer Ellsworth's Un-Ruinable Gluten Free Brownies

Un-Ruinable Gluten Free Brownies

These are totally un-ruinable because they can be made with just about any gluten-free flour, flour mix, or pancake mix. They will have a slightly different consistency depending on the flour, but they work with anything from plain rice flour to Pamela’s pancake mix.

Your celiac friends will appreciate the attempt to make real brownies, rather than those flourless peanut butter cookies or rice krispie treats we ALWAYS get.

Make sure to clean ALL your work surfaces very well first. All counters and bowls should be scrubbed clear of any trace of gluten. Use non-porous materials like Teflon or glass. Make sure they are scrubbed completely clean of every last scrap of anything that ever contained gluten. (Even better, use the excuse to treat yourself to a new dish and new mixing bowl.)

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar (add more to taste, especially if not using chocolate chips)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder (I much prefer the darker, richer Ghiradelli’s over the chalky Hershey’s)
  • 1/2 cup butter, margarine or coconut oil
  • 1/2 mushy avocado (this is weird, but it makes the whole endeavor much fluffier)
  • 1 cup of any gluten-free flour, baking mix or pancake mix
  • 2 tsp baking powder (if not already included in your mix)
  • Chocolate chips & nuts to taste

Set oven to 350.

Beat the eggs with the sugar and avocado.

Melt the butter or oil in a saucepan or microwave-safe dish, and add the cocoa powder and beat until smooth.

Allow the butter/cocoa powder mix to cool a bit, then mix into eggs, sugar and avocado.

Mix your flour in with the rest. Add baking powder if you simply have a basic flour mix.

Pour into a greased baking dish and bake for 30-40 minutes on 350.

 


Red Peace

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Spencer Elsworth’s Site

A Red Peace, first in Spencer Ellsworth’s Starfire trilogy, is an action-packed space opera in a universe where the oppressed half-Jorian crosses have risen up to supplant humanity and dominate the galaxy.

Half-human star navigator Jaqi, working the edges of human-settled space on contract to whoever will hire her, stumbles into possession of an artifact that the leader of the Rebellion wants desperately enough to send his personal guard after. An interstellar empire and the fate of the remnant of humanity hang in the balance.

Spencer Ellsworth has written a classic space opera, with space battles between giant bugs, sun-sized spiders, planets of cyborgs and a heroine with enough grit to bring down the galaxy’s newest warlord.

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Bready or Not: Maple Walnut White Chocolate Biscotti

Posted by on Jul 19, 2017 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, chocolate, cookies, maple | 0 comments

Back in May, I posted my Snickerdoodle Biscotti recipe. This is the next installment: Maple-Walnut White Chocolate Biscotti, modified from a King Arthur Flour recipe.

Bready or Not: Maple Walnut White Chocolate Biscotti

I first made this following the original version pretty closely. I received feedback that it was good, but it was also way too nutty.

Bready or Not: Maple-Walnut White Chocolate Biscotti

Clearly, I needed to rewrite the recipe and make it work. I decided to halve the walnuts, and replace that half with white chocolate chips. This time, I received feedback that they were the most awesome biscotti ever.

Bready or Not: Maple-Walnut White Chocolate Biscotti

In a single bite, it’s easy to see why. The maple flavor is great, the walnuts add a wonderful crunch within the already-crunchy dough, and the white chocolate adds sublime sweetness to bring everything together.

Bready or Not: Maple-Walnut White Chocolate Biscotti

Since these are biscotti, they will keep well, sealed, for weeks. That makes these great for mailing (though perhaps not in the middle of summer, as there is some chocolate in these) or presenting as gifts.

Bready or Not: Maple-Walnut White Chocolate Biscotti

As I noted before, homemade biscotti cannot be compared to the store versions, which could be used as billy clubs to defend households against burglars. Homemade biscotti are crunchy but still chewy… and, of course, taste best if dipped into coffee or tea.

Bready or Not: Maple Walnut White Chocolate Biscotti

Bready or Not: Maple Walnut White Chocolate Biscotti

These twice-baked cookies bring together maple, walnuts, and white chocolate in glorious cookie-stick form. Eat these dipped into your hot beverage of choice. Biscotti will keep well for weeks. Adapted from a King Arthur Flour recipe.

  • 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 teaspoon maple flavor
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 Tablespoon maple sugar or turbinado sugar for topping, optional

Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Toast the walnuts for about 8 minutes, until they're light golden brown and smell toasty. Set them aside in a bowl to cool, but keep the parchment on the pan.

In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, sugars, maple syrup, and maple flavor. Add the melted butter, and beat until smooth.

Mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the walnuts next, followed by the white chocolate chips.

Divide the dough in half on the prepared baking sheet. Form each into a log about 4 inches wide and 10 inches long; make sure there is space between the two logs, as they'll grow in the oven.

Sprinkle maple sugar or turbinado sugar over the tops of both logs.

Bake about 30 minutes, until the biscotti is lightly browned with small cracks forming across the top. Remove the baking sheet, but be sure to leave the oven on.

Let the biscotti cool for 10 minutes. Use a large knife, such as a bread knife, to diagonally slice the logs 1/2-inch apart. Use a straight-down motion to cut; don't saw.

Arrange the biscotti spaced out on the baking sheet. Stand them up if possible, or lay them on their sides. Bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, flipping them over halfway if necessary, to equally crisp both sides.

Cool completely on the baking sheet. Store in an airtight container as long as a few weeks.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

Posted by on Jun 28, 2017 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, chocolate, gluten-free, healthier | 0 comments

Homemade Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola is delicious and oh-so-much cheaper than buying the pre-made stuff from the store.

Bready or Not: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

My son is autistic and has a very limited diet. With the help of feeding therapy, we have gradually introduced him to new foods and new combinations of textures. He has eaten yogurt for years, and it turned out he really liked the addition of granola on top.

Bready or Not: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

Me being me, I saw the prices of granola at the store and decided I’d start making it myself. My son loves peanut butter and chocolate, so I knew that it’d be a great combo for him.

Bready or Not: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

When I didn’t see an existing recipe that I liked, I decided to make my own. This is the result.

Bready or Not: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

This granola is quick to mix together and quick to bake, too. Just be careful to NOT overbake. It’s easy to do, since it’s hard to tell how crisp the granola will get after you remove it from the oven.

If you eat gluten-free, use GF oats and check your other ingredients!

Bready or Not Original: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

Bready or Not: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

A Bready or Not Original! Make your own granola for cheap with a few basic ingredients. Eat by itself, with milk, or as a topping for yogurt or pudding. This is an easy recipe to make gluten-free, too.

  • 2 1/2 cups rolled (old fashioned) oats
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven at 275-degrees. Line a large, rimmed cookie sheet with aluminum foil and rub with butter or apply nonstick spray.

Place the oats in a large bowl. In a small bowl, microwave the peanut butter and honey for 30 seconds; the peanut butter should be starting to melt. Stir them together, then add vanilla extract.

Pour the peanut butter mix over the oats; stir until the oats are completely coated. Spread the granola on the foil-lined sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Stir. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, then set out to cool. Note that it will continue to crisp up as it cools, so don't overbake!

Once the granola is cool, mix in the chocolate chips. Store in a sealed container.

OM NOM NOM!

 

Bready or Not: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

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Bready or Not: Cadbury Egg Brownies

Posted by on Apr 12, 2017 in Blog, Bready or Not, brownies, chocolate | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Cadbury Egg Brownies

Three years ago, I shared my recipe for Cadbury Egg Brownies. Today we revisit that glorious recipe–and double it.

Bready or Not: Cadbury Egg Brownies

Because it obviously didn’t deliver enough sweetness the first time around, right?

Bready or Not: Cadbury Egg Brownies

Here’s the thing about these brownies: they taste like Cadbury Eggs, but BETTER. That’s because they aren’t as cloying sweet. The brownie layer balances things out in a magical way.

Bready or Not: Cadbury Egg Brownies

This is a time-consuming recipe because of the layers and the refrigeration time involved, but it’s not hard. The first stage is the only one that requires baking.

Bready or Not: Cadbury Egg Brownies

I will forever be amazed at how the cream filling layer turns out, too. It’s eerily like the non-runny portion of the Cadbury Egg filling. But you make it yourself. It boggles the mind.

Even better, these brownies will keep as long as a week if sealed and kept in the fridge. Trust me, there is NOTHING healthy about these. You want to make these to share with a crowd!

Bready or Not: Cadbury Egg Brownies

I’ve modified this a good bit, but I must give credit to the original recipe from Love and Oil. They shared something amazing.

Bready or Not: Cadbury Egg Brownies

Bready or Not: Cadbury Egg Brownies

These Cadbury Egg Brownies taste like the candy, but better, as the brownie base balances with the acute sweetness of the top layers. This recipe produces a full 13×9 pan of goodness; make this to share with a crowd!

  • For Brownies:
  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
  • 12 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • For Cream Filling:
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 4 tablespoons (half stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • yellow food coloring
  • For Glaze:
  • 8 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons (half stick) unsalted butter, cut into cubes

Brownie stage

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Line the bottom and sides of a 9x13-inch pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, making sure to overlap the sides to create handles. Cover with nonstick spray.

Sift together flour, cocoa, and salt (and espresso powder, if using) in a small bowl and set aside.

Melt chocolate and butter together in a double boiler or in slow increments in microwave. Stir until smooth. Whisk in sugars and stir until dissolved and mixture has cooled slightly, then add eggs and vanilla extract until just combined.

Fold together the chocolate and flour mixes until just incorporated. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Transfer pan to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Cream filling stage

Beat together corn syrup, butter, vanilla, and salt on medium-high speed until smooth. Add powdered sugar, a little bit at a time, mixing until creamy.

Dump 3/4 of the cream mixture on top of cooled brownies and spread into an even layer. Add a drop of yellow food coloring to remaining cream mixture and stir until evenly colored. Drop dollops of yellow cream on top of white layer, and then swirl gently with a spatula. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until set.

Glaze stage

Slowly melt the chocolate and butter together in a double boiler or microwave bowl. Stir until smooth. Pour over cream filling, carefully spreading into a thin, even layer.

Chill in the fridge long enough for the chocolate to not quite harden, 15-20 minutes, OR let it chill for several hours and then let set at room temperature for about 15 minutes. The chocolate needs to be soft enough to cut through without cracking, but not soft enough to smear with each cut.

Use the foil/paper to lift the entire block out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Using a large sharp knife, cut into 2-inch squares. Keep in sealed container in fridge; brownies will keep upward of a week.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not: Hunter’s Cake

Posted by on Apr 5, 2017 in Blog, Bready or Not, bundt, cake, chocolate | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Hunter’s Cake

It’s April. We’re overdue for a cake recipe, yes? How about some Hunter’s Cake?

Bready or Not: Hunter's Cake

This is a cake that’s designed for some fantasy-style questing. The crumb is tender to eat but dense, so it doesn’t crumble much.

Bready or Not: Hunter's Cake

There’s no frosting, no fussiness. Wrap up slices of this cake to go in a lunch box, a picnic basket, a backpack, or Hobbit’s leather pouch.

Bready or Not: Hunter's Cake

Use whatever kind of chocolate you want. I used milk chocolate, because that’s what I tend to keep around. Whatever kind you use, be sure to coat the chocolate chips in flour before you add them to the batter. That will prevent them from sinking.

Bready or Not: Hunter's Cake

This cake is perfect to eat right out of hand. No fork required.

Modified from Rescued Recipes by Jan D’Atri in the Arizona Republic.

Bready or Not: Hunter's Cake

Bready or Not: Hunter's Cake

This dense, pound cake-like cake is named Hunter’s Cake because it’s great to slice and pack for adventures. It doesn’t crumble much, and it’s delicious out of hand. Modified from Rescued Recipes by Jan D’Atri in the Arizona Republic.

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups flour
  • 8 ounces chocolate chips (any kind)
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven at 325-degrees. Grease and flour a Bundt pan, tube pan, or angel food cake pan.

In a large bowl, beat together the shortening, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add eggs one at a time until smooth, followed by most of the flour.

In a small bowl, stir together the chocolate chips and remaining flour; this is important, as it will keep the chips from sinking in the batter as it bakes.

Stir the floured chocolate and walnuts into the batter. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 55 minutes and use the toothpick test to check for doneness; bake longer if necessary. The top of the cake will be golden brown and will likely develop cracks.

Let cool in pan for about 15 minutes, then invert onto a rack to completely cool. Store covered at room temperature. Cake is great to slice and pack for adventures!

OM NOM NOM!

 

Bready or Not: Hunter's Cake

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