Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Berry Shortcakes Franco American Style—Tuesdays With Dorie—Baking Chez Moi

Strawberry Shortcakes Franco Amercian Style--TWD

Today’s post for Tuesdays With Dorie--Baking Chez Moi are Strawberry Shortcakes Franco-Amercian Style (pages 338-340 and 424-425).  They are basically a ladyfinger dough, piped onto a baking sheet.  Two cookies/cakes are sandwiched with fresh whipped cream and berries.  Dorie’s recipes has a great filling with a strawberry compote as well as another option for roasted strawberries.  My family likes fresh berries, so I made the cakes, whipped some fresh cream and washed some berries—raspberries, blackberries and strawberries and let everyone choose what they wanted.

It was fun to make the ladyfinger batter, which I hadn’t done before.  The simple dough is made with whipped egg whites added to minimal ingredients of the yolks, a little flour and sugar and some cornstarch.  So easy and I liked doing something new.  The dough is put in a piping bag and piped into three inch circles and baked for a short time.  The cookies are tender and cake-like.  I tasted a little piece of one.  They could easily be made with a gluten free flour and organic sugar.  I will try that next time. 


If I have learned anything from all my years baking from Dorie’s cookbooks with TWD, it is mise en place—everything in its place.  I love getting everything ready to go before I begin assembling a recipe.  The parchment is ready to go and the piping bag.


Quite the simple batter and piping is easy—don’t be afraid of it.  Yes, filling the bag gets just a little messy, but that’s what baking is all about, right?


Baked to a perfect golden color, the shortcakes are ready to go with whipped creamy goodness and fresh berries!


I set up a quick dessert station and let my family have at it.

Berry Shortcakes Franco-American StyleGlad I participated in this one.  Check out the other bloggers’ posts for their shortcakes here.  Who knew that ladyfingers dough/cookies were so easy?  

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars (Gluten Free)

Gluten Free No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

I know there are some great health benefits to having raw honey in your diet each day.  A friend recently told me to just add some honey to some warm water in the mornings.  I did that.  And had to really choke it down, then ended up adding a little lemon juice and ice just to finish it.  So I decided to come up with my own way of getting some honey in everyday.  I put together these easy no bake granola bars and they have been my dose of daily honey for the last week or so.  Happy me!

These are perfectly sweet and just a little bar does me in for that little bit of sweetness I sometimes think I need.  No guilt since they are gluten free.  If you don’t want the chocolate chips, leave them out, they’d still be a great peanut butter and honey granola bar.  Because there isn’t a bunch of other sugars, you can really taste the honey, which I like.

No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

2 cups gluten free old fashioned oats

1 cup gluten free crisp rice cereal (I used Nature’s Path Organic Chocolate Koala Crisp, mmm)

2/3 cup raw honey

1/3 cup natural peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup roasted, salted peanuts

1/2 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips

Line a 9 inch square pan with nonstick foil.  Cover lightly with coconut oil.  Put the oats and cereal in a bowl and stir to combine.  In a microwave safe bowl or a small saucepan, put the honey and peanut butter in and heat just until barely heated enough to whisk together.  It only took 30 seconds in the microwave.  (If it gets too hot, let it cool slightly, you don’t want it to melt the chocolate chips—although that wouldn’t be the end of the world.)  Stir the vanilla into the honey peanut butter mixture.  Pour over the oats and cereal mixture and stir until all of dry mixture is moistened.  Stir in the peanuts and chocolate chips and fold together until they are well mixed.  Spread the granola bar mixture into the prepared pan and press down evenly.  Refrigerate the bars for about an hour.  Remove from the pan using the foil edges.  Peel the foil off the bars and cut into rectangles (I cut them into 12.)  Keep stored in an airtight container in the fridge (they stay perfectly firm and chewy).

GF No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bars

This potato masher is the perfect way to press down on things like these granola bars, or my other favorite—Rice Krispies Treats.  I just coat it with a little cooking spray or in this case, coconut oil (I don’t use cooking spray on things I eat), then tamp down all over the bars until they are even.  I find that it reaches in the corners better than a glass would or something like that.  And whenever I use my hand, I don’t like the sticky.  Try it sometime.

potato masher

 Have you had any raw honey lately?  Don’t buy the commercial stuff, even though the label doesn’t say, many are filled with more than just honey.  Get ones that saw raw and unfiltered on them.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Chocolate Cherry Brownies—Tuesdays With Dorie—Baking Chez Moi

TWD--Chocolate Cherry Borwnies

Chocolate Cherry Brownies

These Chocolate Cherry Brownies we made for Tuesdays With Dorie as our pick today from Baking Chez Moi were pretty easy, are super fudgy and dare I say it—delicious.  I mean, I wouldn’t really know how good they are, since I didn’t eat them, but just look—perfectly fudgy brownies and in my opinion, you can’t go wrong adding cherries to chocolate! 

I followed Dorie’s recipe exactly, except instead of red wine or port added to plump up the dried cherries, I used POM Wonderful Pomegranate juice.  I think any red juice would work just fine.  These are a “traditional” brownie with chocolate and butter melted together, the sugar and eggs added, then the salt, pepper (wait, pepper is not so traditional, but a fun addition), and flour.  Stir in some cherries and finely chopped chocolate and bake.  Easy!

Chocolate Cherry Brownies

Dorie suggested cutting these brownies when they are just warm or barely at room temperature.  Normally I chill brownies before cutting, but I did what she said and these cut just fine.  I saw others in the group mentioning their brownies needed a much longer bake time than Dorie suggested, but mine were perfect at 28 minutes.  The bottom of the pan was still slightly warm when I cut them and they were easy to cut!  Dorie did suggest cutting them into 25 squares and I only did 16.  My oldest said these were great.  I have a feeling he’ll be eating at least 95% of the brownies (or all of them).  Kevin doesn’t like fruit with chocolate.  (Crazy, crazy man.)  Winking smile 

I didn’t want to feel left out this week, so I made a gluten free, organic sugar version of these with half a recipe in a 9x5 inch bread pan.  I even used apple juice sweetened cranberries (all pomegranate juice, instead of half juice half water).  I used an organic 70% dark chocolate and I used some gluten free pastry flour.  I think they are great!  Mine are a little more crumbly.  They might be perfect if I’d have checked them earlier and only baked them about 20 minutes.  I took them out of the oven after 23 minutes. 

TWD Chocolate Cherry Brownies

I’m happy.  Scott is happy.  (Parker is at scout camp this week, and the other two boys cringed when they heard they have cherries.)  If you’re looking for a super easy, but slightly changed up brownie with cherries added, try this recipe.  Oh, you’ll need to get Baking Chez Moi for the recipe!  If you’re interested in my gluten free version, let me know and I’ll send you my version of the recipe!

GF Chocolate Cranberry Brownies

Gluten Free Chocolate Cherry Brownies

Check out the other Tuesday With Dorie participants’ Chocolate Cherry Brownies for more chocolaty goodness!