Showing posts with label oats. Show all posts
Showing posts with label oats. Show all posts

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Chocolate chip cookies with oats

Cookies com pedaços de chocolate e aveia / Chocolate chip cookies with oats

I made these cookies last week and the inspiration was something very simple: while I was grabbing a can of chickpeas in the cupboard to make a soup, I saw the jar of oats right next to it, and thought that I hadn’t baked cookies in a very long time. Some more searching through the bags, jars and cans and I found some very good dark chocolate begging to be used.

It is a simple cookie but the bitterness of the chocolate really makes it. There is not a lot of oats in the recipe, but I do feel virtuous eating my cookies and thinking that they have a little bit of goodness in them, from the oats and from the chocolate. These days, isolated and feeling blue, thinking positive is one of the things I try to do the most.

Chocolate chip cookies with oats
slightly adapted from Donna Hay

1 ½ cups (210g) all purpose flour
½ cup (44g) rolled oats
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon table salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup (150g) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
2/3 cup (116g) light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
200g dark chocolate, chopped – I used one with 70% cocoa solids

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
Place the butter, sugars and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and creamy – scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally throughout the making of the recipe. Add the egg and beat until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until incorporated and a dough forms. Fold through the chocolate pieces.

Roll 2 leveled tablespoons of dough per cookie into balls and place onto prepared sheets, 5cm (2in) apart. Bake for about 14 minutes or until cookies are golden around the edges. Cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then slide the paper with the cookies onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 28 cookies

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Apple crumble with corn flour and orange and my eating habits during quarantine

Crumble de maçã com fubá e laranja / Apple crumble with corn flour and orange

I don’t know about you guys, but during this quarantine my eating habits have varied a lot: breakfast with homemade bread and fruit, followed by lunch, also homemade, the very Brazilian combo of rice & beans with vegetables on the side, and sometimes beef or chicken (usually once or twice a week, tops). When it comes to dinner… my will power is usually gone.

Some days I make soup, some days I make a hearty salad with beans and eggs, but there are days I crave food that makes me feel hugged – that is when my dinner becomes pizza (homemade, because I am too afraid to order), or a nice loaf of bread with cheeses and some wine. If there are avocados dinner is guacamole. And on top of all that my cravings for sweets are now daily, and no longer only during my PMS days.

In the very few times I went out for groceries I brought home some chocolate, but my stash sometimes vanishes in no time at all. In one of those days I was desperate for something sweet I used one apple that had been in the fridge forever to make a crumble, my favorite dessert. To make the recipe a little bit more interesting, I replaced the all purpose flour with corn flour (finer than cornmeal, but this would also work) and added orange zest – it turned out delicious!

I share the recipe with you today and I hope you like it as much as I did – I am sure this crumble topping would also be delicious with other fruit, like bananas or pears: use whatever you have at hand.

Apple crumble with corn flour and orange
own recipe

Crumble topping:
2 tablespoons demerara sugar – I use it for the crunch, but it can be replaced by granulated sugar
finely grated zest of 1 orange
½ cup (70g) corn flour – it is finer than cornmeal, but the latter works just as fine
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
2 ½ tablespoons (35g) unsalted butter, cold and diced
¼ cup (22g) rolled oats

Filling:
2 medium Granny Smith apples
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Have ready two 1-cup capacity each heatproof bowls.

Topping: in a medium bowl, rub together the sugar and orange zest until sugar is fragrant. Add the corn flour, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and rub the ingredients with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. With a fork, stir in the oats. Freeze the mixture while you prepared the apples: peel and core the apples. Cut them into small dice and transfer to a medium bowl. Add the sugar and cinnamon and stir to coat. Divide the apples between the two dishes and sprinkle with the crumble topping. Bake for about 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Serve warm.

The crumble topping might be frozen for up to 1 month in a tightly sealed plastic bag.

Serves 2

Monday, March 12, 2018

Simple breakfast bread (dairy free)

Simple breakfast bread / Pão de forma do meu jeito

I wanted a bread recipe I could make sandwiches with, turn into toast for breakfast, and do everything we do with packaged white bread. I no longer buy that and most of the homemade versions I found called for milk or butter (or both). I thought of making Kim Boyce’s oatmeal bread, which is delicious, replacing the butter with olive oil, but the making of that recipe is not as straightforward as I needed it to be.

I reached out to King Arthur Flour’s website and I bring you my take on their white breakfast bread: a bit of whole meal flour, a bit of oats, no dairy. It is not a light bread and I like it that way, but the big surprise came when my 3-yeard old nephew saw the bread cooling on the counter and asked for some. I gave him a tiny piece, so sure that he would not enjoy such a dense kind of bread, but he devoured it in seconds and asked for seconds (and thirds). :)

Simple breakfast bread
slightly adapted from here

1 1/3 cups (320ml) lukewarm water
1 ½ teaspoons dried yeast
1 tablespoon demerara sugar – for the caramel flavor; use granulated if you prefer
½ tablespoon honey
1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cups (420g) all purpose flour
½ cup (70g) whole wheat flour
1/3 cup (30g) rolled oats
1 ½ teaspoons table salt

Place the water, yeast, sugar and honey in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook. Whisk with a fork and set aside until foamy. Add the olive oil, flours, oats and salt and knead for 8-10 minutes until a smooth and elastic dough forms. Transfer to a large bowl brushed with olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to prove for 1 ½ hours, or until doubled in size.

Brush with olive oil a 5-cup capacity loaf pan. Punch the dough to remove the excess of air and transfer to a slightly floured surface. Roll into a large rectangle, then fold it like a letter and fit into the prepared pan. Cover and set aside to prove again for 1 hour – in the meantime, preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown – bread should sound hollow when tapped with your fingers. Cool in the pan over a wire rack for 5 minutes, then carefully unmold onto the rack to cool. Cool completely.

Makes about 10 slices

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Lemon and raisin oatmeal cookies

Lemon and raisin oatmeal cookies / Cookies de aveia, limão siciliano e passas

Days ago I was thinking (again) of certain ingredients and why they are so hated: aside from coconut and cilantro, I can’t think of anything that divides people as much as raisins do – at least here in Brazil. Every December there are hundreds of memes on Facebook and Twitter of either people saying how much they hate raisins and begging others not to add them to the Christmas dishes or people saying how much they love them, “please add raisins to everything”. It is crazy. :)

I like raisins and have nothing against them, but have to say I prefer them on sweet dishes rather than savory ones. In cookies they work beautifully and here, combined with lemon and oats, make them even more delicious.

Lemon and raisin oatmeal cookies
own recipe

¾ cup (105g) all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (58g) light brown sugar, packed
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups (120g) rolled oats
1 cup (150g) raisins – use golden raisins if you prefer

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, rub sugars and lemon zest together with your fingertips until sugar is fragrant. Add the butter and beat until creamy and light – scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally throughout the making of the recipe. Beat in the egg and the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and the oats at once and mix on slow only until a dough forms. Stir in the raisins.

Roll 2 leveled tablespoons of dough per cookie into balls and place onto prepared sheets, 5cm (2in) apart. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until cookies are golden around the edges. Cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then slide the paper with the cookies onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 20

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Gingerbread granola

Gingerbread granola / Granola de gingerbread

My favorite time of the year has arrived and my Christmas tree is already up – I have been thinking of the Christmas Eve menu already, planning the food and the drinks. However, unlike previous years, I don’t think I will be able to have my oh, so beloved Christmas series here on the blog – too much work, other priorities at the moment.

Having said that, I felt I had to bring you at least one recipe with a holiday touch and it is my gingerbread granola: filled with spices it will make your house smell like Christmas immediately.

Even if I am not able to bring you other holiday recipes aside from this granola, there is plenty of inspiration from previous years: it is just a matter of clicking on the Christmas tag here on the blog.

Gingerbread granola
own recipe

2 ½ cups (225g) rolled oats
¼ cup (40g) golden flaxseeds
¼ cup (35g) raw pumpkin seeds
½ cup (60g) flaked almonds
pinch of table salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground ginger
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup (80ml) agave or honey
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (75g) dried cranberries, chopped in half if too large
½ cup (90g) dried apricots, diced

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line a large baking sheet with foil.

In a large bowl, mix together the oats, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds and salt. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the spices, oil, agave/honey and vanilla. Pour over dry ingredients and stir well to coat. Spread mixture over foil and bake for 10 minutes. Stir the granola around and bake for another 10 minutes – the granola will still be soft and will get crunchy once cooled. Remove from the oven and stir in the dried fruit. Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Serves 6-8

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Peanut butter panna cotta with oat praliné

Peanut butter panna cotta with oat praliné / Panna cotta de amendoim com praliné de aveia

Months ago, when the doctor told me I was lactose intolerant I felt quite sad: I immediately thought of my deep love for cheese and how that would impact my food habits. However, days after that, it hit me really hard: many of the desserts I love so much are cream based, not to mention the ice creams…

I felt miserable.

Now I have learned to deal with it and it is not as bad as I thought it would be: I can replace some of the ingredients with lactose free versions, plus I always have located pills in my purse – they are not foolproof, but it is indeed better than nothing. I have yet to try making a panna cotta with lactose free heavy cream, and I might start with the one I bring you today: it is absolutely delicious and one of my favorite recipes from the times I was working on recipes for the cookbook.

Peanut butter panna cotta with oat praliné / Panna cotta de amendoim com praliné de aveia


Peanut butter panna cotta with oat praliné
panna cotta: own recipe, oat praliné adapted from this book

Panna cotta:
½ tablespoon powdered unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water
½ cup (150g) smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons demerara sugar – I used demerata to enhance the caramel flavor; can be replaced by granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
1/3 cup (80ml) whole milk

Oat praliné:
½ cup (45g) rolled oats
1/3 cup (67g) demerara sugar – I used demerara to enhance the caramel flavor; can be replaced by granulated sugar

Set aside four ½-cup capacity (120ml) glasses or ramekins.

In a small bowl, mix together the gelatin and water. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, sugar, salt and vanilla. In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream and milk together until they start to boil. Remove from the heat and pour over the gelatin, whisking well to dissolve it. Pour this over the peanut butter mixture and whisk well until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve and divide the liquid among the four glasses. Refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours – the panna cotta can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days, just keep it covered with plastic wrap so it does not dry out.

Now, make the praliné: line a baking sheet with a piece of foil. Spread the sugar in a medium frying pan and cook over medium heat, without stirring. When sugar starts to melt and get golden around the edges, stir gently using a rubber spatula until all the sugar is melted. As soon as that happens, remove the pan from the heat and add the oats, stirring to cover it well with the caramel. Quickly pour the mixture on top of the foil and spread as much as possible, creating a thin layer. Set aside to cool completely. When it is time to serve the panna cotta, break the praline into smaller pieces and place on top of the the panna cotta – do not do this ahead of time for the moisture in the panna cotta can dissolve the caramel of the praliné.

Serves 4

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Banana and blueberry crumble

Banana and blueberry crumble / Crumble de banana e mirtilo

I do not mean to sound like a broken record (again), but things have been a bit slow on this blog and that usually happens when things are everything but slow on this side of the screen. Too much work, all sorts of other things going on… And on top of that I have had almost no energy to cook or bake, let alone photograph and type posts.

Many times in the past I read my favorite food bloggers write about burnout syndrome and I think that maybe the time has come for me, too: I don’t know for sure and my mind sometimes is a blur, to be honest. I have just come back from a wonderful trip to NYC in which I had fabulous food in all sorts of ways, and I thought this would give me inspiration to go back to the kitchen, but honestly, that has not kicked in yet.

Anyway, on a sweeter note: I have baked this crumble several times in the past year and a half and it has become one of my favorites, so here is the recipe.

Banana and blueberry crumble
own recipe

¾ cup + 2 tablespoons (125g) all purpose flour
¼ cup (50g) demerara sugar
¼ teaspoon baking poder
pinch of salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons (42g) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
¼ cup (22g) rolled oats
¼ cup (25g) flaked almonds
4 bananas, about 140g/5oz each
1 cup (120g) blueberries, fresh or frozen (unthawed)

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Set aside four 1-cup (240m) heatproof ramekins – if you prefer, bake the crumble in one 1-liter heatproof baking dish.

Crumble topping: in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add the butter and rub the ingredients together with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Using a fork, stir in the oats and almonds. Freeze the mixture for 5 minutes while you prepare the fruit.

Cut the banana in round slices and divide among the ramekins. Sprinkle with the blueberries. Cover the fruit with the crumble topping and bake for 25-30 minutes or until topping is golden and blueberries are bubbling. Serve warm with ice cream or heavy cream.

The crumble topping can be kept tightly sealed in a plastic bag in the freezer for 1 month – whenever you feel like having a crumble for dessert, sprinkle the mixture over the fruit of your choice and bake – do not unthaw before using.

Serves 4

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Chocolate granola to make breakfast even more delicious

Chocolate granola / Granola de chocolate

I know that for those of us who like to cook making things from scratch is actually fun and does not feel like a burden, but even for those who are not very fond of cooking I would recommend making their own granola – the difference in quality is huge, you have complete control over the ingredients (especially sugar) and can tweak flavors as you wish, creating delicious types of granola.

I have been making this chocolate granola for a couple of years now for it is so insanely delicious and very easy to put together – it is my favorite granola, hands down, the tastiest I have ever tried. The only real challenge is to NOT eat the entire batch while it cools down – be warned. :)

Chocolate granola
own recipe, inspired for several others I saw online

400g jumbo oats
100g sweetened coconut flakes
50g flaked hazelnuts or almonds
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon table salt
½ cup (45g) unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1/3 cup (80ml) extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup (100g) agave or honey – I prefer agave here because its flavor is more subtle, letting the chocolate flavor shine
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
50g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line a large baking sheet with foil.

In a large bowl, mix together the oats, coconut, nuts, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine cocoa, oil, sugar and agave (or honey) and whisk over medium heat until melted and sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla.

Pour over dry ingredients and stir well to coat. Spread mixture over foil and bake for 15 minutes. Stir the granola around and bake for another 15 minutes – the granola will still be soft and will get crunchy once cooled. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the chopped chocolate. Wait 1 minute for it to melt, then mix everything together. Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Serves 8-10

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Oatmeal dulce de leche choc chip cookies and some teary days

Oatmeal dulce de leche choc chip cookies / Cookies de aveia, doce de leite e gotinhas de chocolate

I don’t know why, but I have felt very sensitive in the past few days – I even thought it was PMS, but no.

I saw a photo of a father playing with his two little girls in a destroyed bathtub – someone posted it on Facebook – and cried my eyes out. I was not having a very good day, and when I saw those kids playing in a place completely destroyed by war I felt so insignificant… My problems were nothing compared to that.

Then I watched Michelle Obama’s amazing speech last night and the tears came down hard – wow, that woman touched my heart in so many ways! My husband was in the kitchen making dinner and he was like “what happened? Are you OK?”, and I was just watching Michelle being fantastic.

Minutes ago, as I reached for this recipe and started writing down the post, I thought of my nephew and how much he enjoyed these cookies: it was a matter of remembering him eating them and bam, there came the waterworks. Lately, actually, everything related to him makes me cry: as I spend time with him, watching him discover the world, I think of my mom and of how much she would enjoy sharing these moments with us. My nephew is a very smart kid – he has long conversations with us, even though we don’t understand everything he says – and he is very tender and sweet – I get kisses and hugs all the time, plus he sometimes calls me “mom”. I get emotional every time I think of her and of how much she would love her grandson if she was around. I have cried often lately, sometimes they are tears of joy and sometimes they are tears of sorrow. I guess that is life, right?

These are Martha’s oatmeal raisin cookies that got turned into something a bit different: as I grabbed the ingredients to bake them, I saw the dulce de leche left from making the molten cakes I posted days ago. So I added a very generous dollop to the batter – cutting back a bit of the sugar – and replaced the raisins for chocolate chips, since dulce de leche and chocolate go so well together.

The cookies turned out fabulous and if you don’t believe me take my nephew’s word for it. ;)

Oatmeal dulce de leche choc chip cookies
slightly adapted from the goddess Martha S.

2 cups (280g) all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon table salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks/226g) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup (130g) packed light-brown sugar
½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
½ cup (150g) dulce de leche
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3 cups (240g) rolled oats
1 cup (165g) chocolate chips – I used ones with 53% cocoa solids

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter with both sugars, and beat until light and creamy. Beat in the dulce de leche and vanilla. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and mix well. Add flour mixture, and mix on low speed just until just combined. On low speed, mix in the oats and chocolate chips.

Drop 2 leveled tablespoons of dough per cookie onto the prepared pans, 5cm (2in) apart. Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes, or until they’re golden-brown around the edges. Cool completely in the pans.
Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Makes about 28

Friday, June 10, 2016

Nutty butter cookies and a wandering mind

Nutty butter cookies / Cookies de paçoca

As I was driving home from work days ago, in the middle of a massive traffic jam, I started listening to The Wallflowers and that led to a trip down memory lane: in the far, far away year of 1996, I spent months listening to Bringing Down the Horse, a CD I bought because I fell in love with One Headlight the minute I heard the song for the first time.

So there I was, driving in the rain listening to 6th Avenue Heartache (my second favorite track of that album), and my mind wandered a bit and I thought about the music video clip, so beautiful, directed by David Fincher, one of my all-time favorite directors.

One band, one song, one video clip, one favorite director.

One good thing leading to another, like my purchase of a huge jar of peanut butter leading to a bunch of recipes made with it, like the super easy fudge I posted the other day and these cookies. These cookies are delicious – the oats are toasted in butter before being added to the cookie dough and that, combined with the demerara sugar that I decided to use instead of the granulated one, gives the cookies the most delicious caramel flavor (and I added a bit of whole wheat flour to help with the nuttiness of the whole thing).

Nutty butter cookies
slightly adapted from the always fabulous Martha

¾ cup (170g/1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened – divided use
1 cup (90g) rolled oats
1 cup (140g) all purpose flour
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1/3 cup (67g) demerara sugar
½ cup (88g) light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
½ cup peanut butter
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (70g) whole roasted salted peanuts

Melt ¼ cup (½ stick/56g) of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add oats, and cook, stirring, until toasted, 5-7 minutes. Spread oat mixture on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Let cool completely. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together remaining ½ cup (113g/1 stick) butter and the sugars until pale and creamy. Add egg, and beat until combined. Add nut butter and vanilla, then beat on medium speed until well combined.
Add oat mixture and peanuts, and mix on low speed until combined. Add flour mixture, and mix just until combined.

Drop 2 leveled tablespoons of dough per cookie onto the prepared pans, 5cm (2in) apart. Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes, or until they’re golden-brown around the edges. Cool completely in the pans
Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Makes about 28

Monday, April 25, 2016

Cranberry and peanut oatmeal cookies

Cranberry and peanut oatmeal cookies / Cookies de aveia com cranberries e amendoim

One quick look at the blog’s recipe index and one can quickly learn that I love oatmeal cookies – I have made them in many different ways, with many different add on ingredients, and they are always a crowd pleaser (not to mention are great to have on hand for a snack between meals).

There are many recipes on this blog, and today I bring you another – these are delicious, and the salty and crunchy peanuts go very well with the sweet and tender cranberries. I highly recommend you bake these if you like oatmeal cookies like I do – and the peanuts and cranberries can be swapped by other nuts and dried fruits – , but I feel the obligation to tell you that of all the oatmeal cookies on this blog the ones I made for last year’s Christmas series are my favorites. :)

From a cookbook I haven’t used much and I hope to change that – fingers crossed here for the cold weather to finally come our way.

Cranberry and peanut oatmeal cookies
slightly adapted from this cookbook

½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
½ cup (88g) packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (140g) all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
pinch table salt
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1 ¼ cups (112g) old-fashioned rolled oats
½ cup (85g) dried cranberries
½ cup (70g) whole salted, roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until creamy and light in color, 1-2 minutes. Add the egg, mixing well, and then add the vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. Add them to the butter-sugar mixture along with the oats and mix on low just until combined. Add the dried cranberries and peanuts. Mix on low briefly until well distributed.

Drop 2 leveled tablespoons of dough per cookie onto the prepared pans, 5cm (2in) apart. Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes, or until they’re golden-brown around the edges but still soft. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then carefully slide the paper with the cookies onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Makes about 22

Friday, December 11, 2015

Gingerbread pepper cookies

Gingerbread pepper cookies / Cookies de gingerbread com pimenta do reino

So you know that I decided to bake for the Christmas series, got carried away and made cookies beside this cake – I have to tell you, without false modesty, that the cookies turned out wonderful! Soft, packed with oats and perfumed with spices, they were a hit with my family and also my coworkers.

I used to take my baked goods to work all the time in the past, but this was the first time I baked for my new coworkers and I did not know if the girls would like the cookies – they loved them and now I want to bake more delicious things for them.
Gingerbread pepper cookies
slightly adapted from the wonderful and beautiful Home Baked: More Than 150 Recipes for Sweet and Savory Goodies

200g all purpose flour
150g rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon table salt
generous pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
150g unsalted butter, room temperature
250g light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Cointreau (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, salt, pepper and spices. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and creamy. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and Cointreau. On low speed, mix in the dry ingredients just until combined (do not overmix).

Using a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop drop portions of dough per cookie onto prepared sheets, spacing 5cm (2in) apart. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until cookies are golden around the edges. Cool on sheet over a wire rack for 5 minutes, then slide the paper onto the rack and cool completely.

Cookies can be stored between layers of parchment in airtight containers at room temperature up to 5 days.

Makes about 28

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Oat, orange and ginger cookies and Saul Goodman

Oat, orange and ginger cookies / Cookies de aveia, laranja e gengibre

I know no one likes being sick and I am no exception: I’m still not sure if it is a very strong cold or the flu, but I have been in bed for the last two days – I had many plans for the weekend that had to be dropped, unfortunately (like making burgers for lunch again, including the bread), and those got replaced by watching TV in bed between naps (all the medicine I’ve taken makes me quite sleepy).

I picked up Better Call Saul but I’m not sure I’ll go on with it: maybe I was expecting more than I should because of how much I love Breaking Bad, but aside from the pilot I did not enjoy it much (I’ve watched four episodes), and I think it is a shame since Saul was one of my favorite characters (and Bob Odenkirk played him to perfection). Have you watched the show? How did you like it?

Aside from making burgers I planned on baking cookies too this weekend, but that is not going to happen – I’m off to bed again, but I’ll leave you with a tasty and easy cookie recipe that doesn’t even require a mixer. These cookies smell amazing from all the orange zest and ginger and since they are packed with oats I find them great for snacking between meals.

Oat, orange and ginger cookies
adapted from the always delicious Donna Hay Magazine

¾ cup (130g) light brown sugar, packed
¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
finely grated zest of 1 large orange
2 cups (180g) rolled oats
¾ cup (105g) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of salt
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon (90g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
In a large bowl, combine sugars and orange zest and rub them with your fingertips until sugars are fragrant. Stir in oats, flour, ginger and salt. Add butter, egg and vanilla and mix until combined.

Roll 2 leveled tablespoons of dough per cookie into balls and place 5cm (2in) apart onto prepared sheets. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden around the edges. Cool in the sheets over a wire rack for 5 minutes, then slide the paper with the cookies onto the rack and cool completely.

Makes about 30

Friday, February 20, 2015

Toasted oat, cherry and hazelnut cookies, Michael Keaton again and the readers

Toasted oat, cherry and hazelnut cookies / Cookies de aveia e avelã tostadas e cerejas secas

I know I’ve told you several times already that I love having a food blog and I’ve given you lots of reasons for that, but what can I do if that is the absolute truth? My readers keep on giving me joy and I apologize for being sounding like a broken record. :)

Days ago I posted on the Facebook that I now that I have two baby nephews I started browsing baby clothes in department stores and got so mad because 90% of them are for girls – it was a matter of moments before many readers commented that they had boys, too, and agreed with me, and others even recommended websites in which I can find more options. How great is that? I mean, I have a food blog but I can write about anything I want and get a nice response from the readers.

Something else that I love is when they see something cool and think of me: today, for instance, a reader sent me this link because of my love for Birdman and I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes – I am now, more than ever, hoping that Michael Keaton takes the award home next Sunday. Thank you, Andreza! I loved the video!

I get such nice messages and they surely make me want to go on writing on this blog and bringing you good, delicious recipes – the cookies I bring you today are like a tasty version of granola bars and they can be adapted to your liking: the hazelnuts and dried cherries can be replaced by other nuts and dried fruit, such as almonds, Brazil nuts, dried apricots, raisins… I even think that rye flour could be used here – its nuttiness would go beautifully well with the flavor of the hazelnuts.

Toasted oat, cherry and hazelnut cookies
slightly adapted from the oh, so beautiful Scandilicious Baking

150g rolled oats
50g flaked hazelnuts
100g all purpose flour
50g whole wheat flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon table salt
125g unsalted butter, softened
100g light brown sugar
50g granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100g sour cream*
75g dried cherries, halved if too large

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Place the oats and hazelnuts in a medium baking pan and roast for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through. Cool (turn off the oven).

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugars until light and creamy. Beat in the egg. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Beat in the vanilla. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture, sour cream, oats and hazelnut and cherries and stir just until incorporated. Cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
Using 2 leveled tablespoons of dough for each cookie, drop batter onto prepared sheets 5cm (2in) apart. Bake cookies until the edges are golden brown and the centers are still slightly soft, 12-14 minutes.
Let cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then slide the paper with the cookies onto a wire rack and cool completely.

* homemade sour cream: to make 1 cup of sour cream, mix 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream with 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice in a bowl. Whisk until it starts to thicken. Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 1 hour or until thicker (I usually leave mine on the counter overnight – except on very warm nights – and it turns out thick and silky in the following morning; refrigerate for a creamier texture)

Makes 28

Friday, November 21, 2014

Cranberry oatmeal cookies with coconut and a good TV show

Cranberry oatmeal cookies with coconut / Cookies de aveia, coco e cranberry

Many times I sit in front of the computer eager to share something delicious with you but I don’t feel like I have much else to say, so I postpone the post, sometimes for quite a while. Then, when I’m doing something else completely and can’t reach the computer at the moment loads of things come to my mind, things I would love to share with you other than food, but it all happens so quickly that when I’m once again sitting here my mind goes blank.

How frustrating is that? :S

Months ago I accidentally discovered a British TV show called Dates and I loved the pilot so much I pretty much devoured the whole nine episodes in two days or so. It was smart, sexy, fun, sad at times, the actors were spot on – everything a good TV show should be/have.

Unfortunately I haven’t read anything about a second season, but I still hope it happens. In the meantime, I’ll keep listening to the beautiful theme song Chloe, especially when I’m in the kitchen making tasty treats such as these cookies: I had no idea (or did not remember) that coconut and cranberries were so good together, and they make these oatmeal cookies extra special.

Cranberry oatmeal cookies with coconut
slightly adapted from the delicious The Seasonal Baker: Easy Recipes from My Home Kitchen to Make Year-Round

¾ cup (105g) all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon table salt
½ cup (1 stick/113g) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup (88g) light brown sugar, packed
¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups (135g) rolled oats
½ cup (50g) unsweetened desiccated coconut
1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugars together until light and creamy. Beat in the egg, and scrape the sides of the bowl. Beat in the vanilla.
On low speed, beat in the flour mixture just until incorporated. Stir in the oats, the coconut and the cranberries.

Using 2 leveled tablespoons of dough for each cookie, drop batter onto prepared sheets 5cm (2in) apart. Bake cookies until the edges are golden brown and the centers are still slightly soft, 12-14 minutes.
Let cookies cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet, then slide the paper with the cookies onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Makes about 25 cookies

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Chocolate oaties

Chocolate oaties / Biscoitos de aveia com chocolate

I’ve loved oats ever since I was a teenager and my favorite way of having the ingredients was sprinkled over mashed banana and a drizzle of honey for a sweet and healthy treat, not to mention how wonderful oats are for those of us in the need of iron or with cholesterol problems.

Besides mashed bananas, cookies made with oats have a special place in my heart (a quick look at the blog recipe list and will see I’m not lying). :D That is why I’m always interested in trying new recipes, and the one I bring you today is perfect for when you’re in a hurry and have no time to wait for the butter to soften up.

If you’re pressed for time as I was, you can bake the cookies one day, keep them in an airtight container and brush them with chocolate later on – I thought of sandwiching the cookies with some ganache, but did not want to go out just to buy cream.

I’ll leave you with that suggestion. ;)

Chocolate oaties
slightly adapted from Good Housekeeping magazine

150g all purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
125g light brown sugar
125g rolled oats
125g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon runny honey
70g dark chocolate, melted

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and oats. In a small saucepan, melt together the butter and honey over medium heat. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
Roll 1 leveled tablespoon of dough per cookie into balls and place 5cm (2in) apart onto prepared sheets. Bake for about 12 minutes or until golden around the edges and slightly firm. Slide the paper with the cookies onto a rack and cool completely.
Using a pastry brush, paint half of each biscuit with chocolate. Transfer to a rack and set aside until set.

Makes about 30

Monday, August 25, 2014

White chocolate granola cookies - turning something bland into something delicious

White chocolate granola cookies / Cookies de granola e chocolate branco

I told you weeks ago that my experimenting with new types of recipes had had good and bad results: luckily more good than bad, but some things just did not work at all.

There was an almond cake from this book that ended up in the garbage can – I should have followed my instincts and added flour to the batter once I realized it was much too runny – and there was the granola that tasted funny (the one I mentioned the other day). I felt sad about the cake – it was too rubbery and not flavorsome enough for me to come up with something to do with it – but the good thing is that I managed to save the granola.

If life gives you bland granola, make cookies with it. :D

These are super easy to make and taste great – I used homemade granola, which wasn’t too sweet, and it worked perfectly with the white chocolate. If your granola is sweeter (store-bought usually is), using dark chocolate instead of white chocolate might be a good idea.

White chocolate granola cookies / Cookies de granola e chocolate branco

White chocolate granola cookies
adapted from the most complete dessert cookbook I own

1 cup (140g) all purpose flour
heaping ¼ teaspoon baking soda
heaping ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (175g) light brown sugar, packed
¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
250g granola (I used homemade)
150g white chocolate, in chips or chunks

Whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars in large bowl until creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add flour mixture; mix on low speed just until blended. Using wooden spoon, stir in granola and chocolate.
Line two large baking sheets with baking paper. Using 2 leveled tablespoons of dough for each cookie, drop batter onto prepared sheets 5cm (2in) apart. Chill 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Bake cookies until golden around the edges, 10-12 minutes. Cool in the sheet for 2 minutes, then slide the paper with the cookies onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Makes about 25

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Vanilla and cinnamon bread

Vanilla and cinnamon bread / Pão de baunilha e canela

Many people I know have been complaining a lot about the weather for many days now, but not me – I’m actually celebrating the cold days, especially after the dreadful summer we had months ago. \0/

Nothing worse than to start sweating seconds after taking a shower – I’m glad that is part of the past (at least for now).

Because of the low temperatures, keeping the oven on is always a great idea: you stay warm and there is delicious food as a result – win/win situation. :)

Last weekend was perfect for baking, and making bread is something I enjoy deeply. Without thinking too hard about what to prepare, I chose Signe Johansen’s vanilla loaf to be my afternoon project, and added cinnamon, whole wheat flour, oats and a bit more sugar to make it more my taste. The bread turned out delicious and it was also great toasted and slathered with butter.

Besides being tasty, the bread was the perfect project for another reason: I could watch a couple of Law and Order: SVU episodes while the dough proved twice.

Vanilla and cinnamon bread
slightly adapted from the über beautiful and delicious Scandilicious Baking

½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds removed with the back of the knife
1 cup (240ml) whole milk
50g unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
400g all purpose flour
100g whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
75g granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon table salt
3 teaspoons dried yeast
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon whole milk, extra, for brushing the loaves
handful rolled oats, for sprinkling

Place the vanilla seeds, milk, butter and vanilla extract in a small saucepan and heat until almost boiling and then allow to cool till lukewarm.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the dough hook, mix the flours, cinnamon, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center and sprinkle in the dried yeast. Pour over the egg and the warm milk mixture and mix on low speed until the ingredients are incorporated. Continue mixing on low-medium speed until dough is elastic and smooth, about 8 minutes.
Place the dough in a lightly buttered large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave to rise in a warm place for 45-60 minutes or so until it has doubled in size. Butter two 4 cup capacity loaf pans.
Knock back the dough and divide it in half. Roll each half into a large rectangle, roughly 20x30cm (8x12in), then roll each forming a tight cylinder. Place each cylinder into the prepared pans. Cover and leave to prove in a warm place for about 40 minutes – in the meantime, preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
Brush the loaves with the extra milk and sprinkle with the oats. Splash a little water in the bottom of the oven to create steam to help the loaf rise, then bake on the upper middle shelf for about 30 minutes or until the loaves are deep golden and sound hollow when tapped on the base.
Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then carefully unmold and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 2 loaves

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cashew oatmeal cookies and a story from the past that could be happening to someone right now

Cashew oatmeal cookies / Cookies de aveia e castanha de caju

As I was baking these cookies the other day, I recalled a time in my life when I was entering my teenage years and used to flip over my older cousins’ magazines – they used to read a mag called Capricho, a Brazilian version of Seventeen. I remember reading something about a Brazilian model called Ana Paula Arósio and the 70+ magazine covers she’d been on till then – she was only fifteen. She was stunning and looked like a grown up, and she was only two years older than me.

One of the questions the reporter asked her was how she managed to stay “in shape”, to what she replied that she ate lots of fruits and vegetables (surprise!), and things like banana with oats and honey, because they were so good for you. My thirteen-year-old brain captured that information instantly, only to feel disappointed seconds later for I, too, ate lots of fruits and vegetables, and I, too, loved bananas with oats and honey, but I did not look like Ana Paula Arósio. At all. I was a thin girl, but not skinny, and I was short and my face and arms were covered in freckles (still are, actually). I did not have any fashionable clothes and my hair was pretty much in a ponytail most of the time. I did not wear lipstick or fake eyelashes – I did not even have boobs, for crying out loud. But I did not know back then everything there is behind a magazine cover, I just thought that there was something very wrong about me because even though I ate (and loved) my greens I did not look like a model. :(

All that crossed my mind while I baked these cookies because oats are, indeed, good for you, even though for a moment in my teen years I doubted that. They are wonderful with bananas and honey (and a pinch of cinnamon, yum), great in granolas and cookies.
Fruits and vegetables are excellent for you, too, and they taste delicious, which is always a plus. So let’s keep eating our greens and our grains to stay healthy and try to stay positive and shield ourselves from all the crap the media throws our way every single day.

Cashew oatmeal cookies
slightly adapted from the always gorgeous Delicious Australia

¾ cup (110g) plain flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
125g unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup (150g) demerara sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
110g rolled oats
150g salted cashew nuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in the vanilla, then the egg, and mix to combine. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally. On low speed, beat in the flour mixture and the oats, just until combined, then add the cashew nuts.
Place 2 leveled tablespoons of dough per cookie onto the prepared sheets, 5cm (2in) apart. Flatten slightly. Bake until golden around the edges, 13-15. Cool in the pan for 2 minutes, then slide the paper with the cookies onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Makes about 22

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Jam and rye crumble bars - falling in love with rye flour

Jam and rye crumble bars / Barrinhas de centeio e geleia

There was some beer left from Nigella’s spectacular cake, and I started looking for a good recipe to use it in. I froze part of the beer for another day and part of it was transformed into a rye bread. Very flavorful, it was gladly devoured in open sandwich form – I mixed Brazil and Scandinavia and made the open sandwiches with hearts of palm and cheese. They were extremely simple but oh, so delicious.

I liked the bread so much I couldn’t wait to use the rye flour again, and it was such a revelation to me to use it in baked goods other than bread – I’d seen the recipes before, but hadn’t tried them myself. In these bars, for instance, it adds a very interesting depth of flavor, not to mention it paired beautifully with the jam flavors I chose – I mixed apricot jam and marmalade because I did not have 1 cup of either to use in the recipe, and it ended up being a very nice thing. Because I was using marmalade, I added orange zest to the topping, and you can’t imagine how great my kitchen smelled while the bars were in the oven.

I still have some rye flour left and several ideas in my head from the recipes I’ve seen, like using it in cakes and tarts. Such a wonderful addition to my repertoire – and it all started with a simple (yet delicious) loaf of bread.

Jam and rye crumble bars
slightly adapted from the glorious Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours

Shortbread base:
55g rye flour
105g all-purpose flour
40g light brown sugar
pinch of salt
75g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Crumble topping:
70g rolled oats
2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
40g rye flour
25g all-purpose flour
1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon table salt
finely grated zest of 1 orange
55g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup jam – I used ½ cup apricot and ½ cup marmalade

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F. Lightly butter a 20cm (8in) square pan, line it with foil leaving an overhang in two opposite sides and butter the foil as well.

Crust: in a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar and salt. Add the melted butter and vanilla and stir until thoroughly combined. Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan. Put the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Crumble topping: add the oats, brown sugar, rye flour, all purpose flour, granulated sugar, salt and orange zest to the bowl of a food processor and process until the oats are partially ground, about 5 seconds. Pour the mixture into a bowl. Add the melted butter and stir with your hands, squeezing the dough as you mix to create small crumbly bits. Set aside.
Bake the frozen shortbread until golden brown and firm when touched, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and increase the temperature to 180°C/350°F.
Spread the jam over the shortbread crust and top with the crumble. Bake the bars for about 35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely in the pan. Cut into squares to serve.
The bars can be kept in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Makes 16

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