Saturday, March 23, 2013

Fluffy Marshmallows

I have a bit of a marshmallow obsession at the moment and decided to make some marshmallow bits for Easter treats.  I used this recipe:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/homemade-marshmallows-recipe/index.html and I substituted the sugar syrup from this recipe, http://thecoconutmama.com/2011/05/homemade-marshmallows-2/, for the corn syrup.  I used organic sugar and organic powdered sugar because they are not as processed as conventional sugar and have a lovely natural honey color when melted.  This recipe is pretty self explanatory and not too difficult.  I used my stand mixer to mix, I don't use my hand mixer as some recipes suggest.  I have also never made the mini marshmallows because the liquid marshmallow is very sticky and I think it would just make a big mess.  It is just as easy to use a pizza cutter to make bitty marshmallows. 

The verdict:  This batch turned out super fluffy and they have a fantastic texture.  The last time I made these I use 1 cup of sugar dissolved in 1/4 cup of warm water for the corn syrup substitute and the marshmallows turned out a tad more dense with a little bit of a crust on the outside.  The sugar syrup I made this time definitely made a difference.  So far this is my favorite marshmallow recipe.  They are wonderful in my homemade hot cocoa :)  

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Cheesy Crackers

Next stop on our quest for clean eating, cheese crackers.  My daughter loves Goldfish crackers and the like, so it was only fitting that I at least make an attempt.  I found this recipe on Pinterest and gave it a go:  http://cleaneatingintexas.wordpress.com/2012/08/16/clean-eating-kids-recipe-goldfish-crackers/.  The only alteration I made is I used whole grain KAMUT flour, an ancient unaltered grain.  They were really easy to make, just zip up the ingredients in the food processor, chill, roll out pretty thin, and bake.  I didn't have any mini cookie cutters so I just made square crackers using a pizza cutter.  They turned out in several different sizes of squares, the smaller the cracker the crispier it was.

The verdict:  They are really tasty and very close to tasting like the whole grain Goldfish.  My husband and I think they are great, but I am not sure if my daughter is sold on them yet.  (I made almond meal cheese crackers before and I think she thinks these are those.  She is not a big fan of almond meal flour.)  She does like them fresh out of the oven and I think if I find a cute small cookie cutter she will like them better.       

Monday, March 11, 2013

Hot Fudge Brownie "Larabars"

In my quest to make healthy snacks for my family I came across this recipe many times:  http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/08/12/hot-fudge-brownie-larabars/.  The dates made me tentative to try it at first because I always thought of them as giant raisins.  I was looking for a bar recipe to try and this popped up.  "Hot Fudge" caught my eye, there wasn't a laundry list of ingredients, and the picture looked appetizing enough that I thought I would give it a try.  I have a 7 cup food processor which is small and it all fit in at once.  I put the dates in first and pulsed them until they were chopped.  I then added the rest of the ingredients and blended it until it was pretty fine/mixed.  The recipe direction said "feel free to experiment" and gave a few ideas, so I halved the amount of walnuts and added cashews.  I put 3 tablespoons of cocoa and added 1/4 cup of chocolate chips.  I put the mix in a plastic Ziplock bag to form the bars, just sort of mush them into a rectangle, and to store them.       

The verdict:  They were actually pretty awesome.  They have a great dense brownie texture and taste like fudge with a hint of fruit.  They were a little crumbly, but you can just smush them back together.  I was pretty surprised and kinda of impressed.