Archive | November, 2012

Brown Sugar Shortbread

27 Nov

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Like it or not the holiday season is upon us. Yes I already have my tree and decorations up and I know it’s not even December. My excuse is the hubby is gone to sea until the week or so before Christmas so I wanted to decorate while he was home. The holidays to me are about family, friends, snuggling up watching old christmas movies (national lampoons is my ultimate favorite!), and baking up a storm. This years first holiday baked good is brown sugar shortbread. This is a super easy recipe that any one can do. Just a few ingredients and some time is all that is needed. It is not overly sweet but melt in your mouth buttery. Perfect for those cold nights that roll in from over the ocean.

Brown Sugar Shortbread (or Scottish shortbread)
*recipe adapted from Bake with Anna Olsen

3/4 cup room temp butter (unsalted)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease a removable bottom baking dish or you can use a greased pan. Mix butter and brown sugar together until fluffy. The key to shortbread is to make sure you really mix the butter and sugar together for a good few minutes. It ensures the shortbread sticks together and also breaks apart nicely when cooked. Add the flour and salt together in a separate bowl then add to the butter-sugar mixture slowly until a crumbly mixture. Pour mixture into greased pan and press mixture together until even throughout. Poke holes with a fork all over shortbread. Cook in oven for a whole hour until lightly browned. Cut into squares or pie shapes while still warm. Enjoy!

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Clean out your pantry Granola

6 Nov

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It may be the nesting going on in my house or maybe it was the rainy day but my pantry has never looked so good. I was in Staples the other day looking for the perfect pen. Found it thanks to my friend Harp. Good old bic fine point ink pen. As I was walking around I spotted a whole wall of Martha Stewart organizational products. I had to buy the labels, I couldn’t help myself. I’m a sucker for stationary. As soon as I got home I went crazy and took everything off the shelves, cleaned them off, and labeled those jars. I noticed I had a lot of random bags of nuts and seeds and fruit. If you have never made granola before you should. It’s a lot healthier when you know what’s in it and you can control the ingredients. I don’t have any strict measurements for you here. I just eyeball and do what tastes good. Here’s my list of what went in this lastest batch and it was damn tasty.

First I melted this in a saucepan over med-low heat:

coconut oil
peanut butter
honey
agave syrup

I poured this over a few cups of quick oats then toasted it in the oven on a tray until golden brown.
I made another small batch of the melted sauce and poured it over a mix of the following:

almonds
coconut flakes
chia seeds
flax seeds
pecans
walnuts
pumpkin seeds

I then toasted this mixture in the oven until golden brown. When done I mixed with the oats and let cool. Once cooled I threw in a handful or so of dried cranberries. Easy and good for you! I usually eat mine over yogurt. This is also something to keep in mind for handmade gifts over the holidays!

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