I love baking and cooking! Join me as I explore new recipes, old favorites, and healthier options.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Monster Cookies

Growing up we made these cookies:
loaded with chocolate chips and M&M's.
They adapt very well to a healthier version -
high protein and high fiber.
Monster Cookies
1 ½ cup peanut butter
4 eggs
1 1/4 cup pureed dried fruit (I used apricots and prunes)
2 tsp. vanilla
½ cup butter
2 tsp. baking soda
3 ½ cups oatmeal
1 cup oat bran
1 cup high cacoa chocolate chips 
1/2 cup raisins

Mix first 7 ingredients.  Add dry ingredients.  Stir in chocolate chips and M&M’s.  Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until light brown (centers will be soft).  Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet.  Cool on wire rack.  Enjoy.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Pita Bread

We wanted falafel for dinner.
But we didn't have any pita bread.
Figured I'd just find a recipe.
Turned out to be great entertainment, too!
Pita Bread
2 1/2 tsp. yeast
1 1/2 cup warm water
1/2 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 cups white flour
1.  Mix yeast and water.  Let stand 5 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients. 
2.  Knead in mixture for 6 minutes or knead by hand for 10.
3. Let rise for 1 hour or until double in size. 
You can speed this process up in the following way (works for all breads).  Turn your oven on set for 450 degrees.  Allow it to heat for 1 minute.  Turn the oven off.  Place dough in a bowl covered with a damp cloth inside the oven which is now warm, not hot.  The dough usually doubles in about 30 minutes.
4.  Divide dough into 12 balls.
5.  Roll flat until dough is 1/8 inch thick.
6.  Place rounds on a greased cookie sheet.
7.  Bake at 500 degrees on a low oven rack for 5-6 minutes.
The pita will be ready when the bread is lightly browned.
 8.  Optional:  Now the fun part!  The dough will POOF as it's rising. 
 My children thought this looked like balloons expanding.  After the bread's been in the oven for 2 or 3 minutes, invite your little ones to WATCH.
My kids were glued!
 This is how we served our pitas.
The balls are falafel.
(Falafel is a vegetarian protein made of seasoned chickpeas - very common in the middle east and introduced to me by my mom when I had Sean).
We ate them in our pitas with chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, and yellow bell peppers.
 Close-up of the Falafel.