it’s been again a very long time since my last post but in the weeks before Christmas I was very busy. It seems that everything still wanted to take place in the old year for finalizing. To get kind of cleaned up for the upcoming year. :) However, my awareness was more ore less always in place and therefore I really enjoyed the past few weeks. Even if I hadn’t lot time to bake. Indeed I made some Christmas cookies, but no time for documentation and therefore no proof for the blog.. awwwh…Maybe I will find one or two pictures of the vegan cinnamon cookies and will post it afterwards, but I am not sure if anybody is still interested now when Christmas is already over. :) But since it is over I had again more time and that’s why I am happy to provide two recipes which I had already since longer time but never had a chance to post them.
On one side I would like to share with you a recipe from David Lebovitz. When I have seen the recipe for the first time I was already curious on the taste of the Date Bars. I am not a good date eater but used for baking I was sure this must be wonderful. The original recipe says that the dates have to be tossed in Rum, but this is a liquid which I never had and still not have in my appartment. Instead of Rum I took Whiskey, and not just one Whiskey. :) Actually I am not a Whiskey connoisseur or something like that. But last year a friend of mine opened a Whiskey shop. This was the time when I got in contact with it and I really have to say that I like it. I mean, its not an everyday drink is it :) But sometimes for good occassions it’s absolutely worth it. So, when my friend had his opening of the shop I thought that I have to purchase also one bottle of a good Whiskey. I took advice from him and two other good Whiskey drinkers ;) decided to go for the Port Askaig Single Malt. Everyone said to me that this is one of the better ones and for my taste it was just perfect.
So coming back to the date bars. As I hadn’t any Rum left I was kind of forced to take the good bottle of Whiskey. One of my friends was kind of shocked when he got to know that I used such a good bottle for ONLY baking the date bars. haha :) But I still believe in my principles –> high quality ingredients, good product! I am sure that these bars are also so good because of the fine Whiskey flavour which comes through eating. I am sure the bars will be good as well with Rum. But the one thing I would like to give and take along with you is to use always a very good bottle of Rum or Whiskey.
The second recipe I used just yesterday. I made them early in the morning just after I woke up. I really love staying early in the kitchen for baking. Well, it wasn’t actually baking, it was making caramelized Macadamia nuts. (I really don’t know in which category caramelizing comes into, is it cooking, baking or anything else?) However, as I still had some good Macadamia nuts in stock I thought that they must be used for this beautiful ‘staying at home’ day. :) And not to forget the Caramel flavour in my appartment…mmmmmmmmmh!!!
I already got the recipe from last year, seen in a newspaper of a Swiss grocery called Coop. They looked just perfect and they already had me when I read the word Macadamia. The recipe says to use salted nuts but this time I used unsalted ones and I must say that I like them more in the end. The nuts are perfect for a present and even if this recipe was in the newspaper during Christmas time I think that this is also good for every other occassion during the year.
I really hope you will try at least one of them as both recipes are easy to do and tastes so good in the end. They are already in my standard repertoire, maybe in yours as well soon? ;)
I would like to wish everyone of you and also to myself a very good start for the year 2013! Hope the recipes and posts will be continued with even more passion and satisfaction! Good luck on your projects and see you next year!
Date bars (adapted from David Lebovitz, recipe adjusted):
225g diced pitted dates,
1 tbsp Whiskey,
toss the dates in the rum and let them sit for a few hours
preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius and line a 23 cm square pan with foil and coat the inside with non-stick spray
140g spelt flour,
1 1/2 tsp baking powder,
whisk together in a small bowl
1/2 tsp sea salt,
2 large eggs, at room temperature,
whisk together in a large bowl until smooth
1 tbsp melted butter,
1 tbsp hot water,
1 tsp vanilla extract,
mix into the large bowl, then add the flour mixture
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped,
the tossed dates,
stir in with a spatula
Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
let cool down and then cut into bars
Caramelized Macadamia nuts (adapted from Coop Newspaper):
60 g coconut flour,
1 tsp fine rose salt,
1 ⁄4 tsp coarse pepper,
mix in a bowl
1 dl water,
400g macadamia nuts, unsalted or salted,
in a pan let boil on mid heat, stir constantly, until the sugar gets dry, stir further until the sugar gets liquid again and the nuts get glossy (you need to be patient, trust me)
immediately put the nuts into the coconut flour mixture and mix well, let cool down on a baking sheet
note: the nuts can be stored in a box up to 4 weeks