Wednesday, May 9

Gluten Free Fig Bars

So I've been craving Fig Newtons, ever since I started buying some all natural whole wheat fig bars for my boys for an occasional treat.  They've gobbled them as I sat watching and drooling.  HA!

So I found this recipe and decided to tweak it, as per usual.  I really like simple, and I really dislike mixing flours. The only GF mix I allow in my kitchen is Pamelas.  I recognize the ingredients and that is enough for me. I also don't need to be dairy free or egg free (the original recipe is) Also, I don't usually use refined sugar in baking, preferring honey, but this time I did because I was making other changes and I really wanted these to turn out well the first time.  Next time, honey in the dough.

Here's my modified dough recipe.  All amounts are approximate.  That's why there are pictures.
2T coconut oil
4T butter
1 1/2-2 cups Pamela's Baking Mix
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 egg
2 tsp good quality vanilla

And here's my modified filling recipe
8oz dried figs
2 cups apple juice
pinch of salt

I followed the directions at the original recipe, de-stemming and chopping the figs, cooking them down together with the apple juice, creaming the oil/butter together with the sugar, adding the eggs and vanilla and then I basically added baking mix until the dough looked good to me.  Be advised that the fig filling made a lot more than I thought it would.  So I also made a second batch of dough and made a few tarts, and a few sugar cookie type things.  You definitely need to double the dough and make 2 batches of these little gems, or be ready to freeze 1/2 the fig filling for next time.

figs/juice after cooking
dough consistency
fig puree
puree in 9 x 9 on top of dough
top crust

the mistakes baked out

Final thoughts - I cut these into 25 squares, and it is a 9 x 9 pan.  That size bar is good for holding.  The fig filling kind of soaks into the bottom crust, which is very tasty but not ever so sturdy. They are SO GOOD.  Michael doesn't really like desserts, but these taste so buttery that he tasted, dutifully, and returned for more (not out of duty).  When they first are done, there is a really nice crisp to the top layer of crust, but after storing them in an airtight container overnight, the crust has a definite softness.  Either way is delicious!

If you test the flour blend in the original recipe, let me know!

Tuesday, May 1

of chicken most delicious

So I've been on a "real food" lifestyle change around here, but that doesn't prevent me from making this chicken. It's so good. It's so easy. It's so good. This is one of my few remaining holdout recipes that includes processed ingredients. And you could totally make this with homemade mayo (which I have not made to date) so I'm not that far off, right?! 

Chicken, 3 large boneless breast pieces, cut in half the long way (to make them thinner)
Mayo, about 2/3 cup, or a big spoonful
Mustard, (spicy brown or other grainy type works best) about a tablespoon, or a good healthy squirt
Onion Powder, a generous sprinkle, or green onions/chives
Cheese, any kind, about a cup shredded
Corn Flake or Bread Crumbs (I use GF)

Mix the mayonnaise, mustard, your choice of onion flavoring, and cheese together until it makes a thick mixture. Spread on the chicken, sprinkle generously with the crumbs of your choice, bake, covered, at 350* until done.  Serve with whatever you like. (I'm a sucker for fresh green beans or asparagus, personally) Uncover for the last little bit if you like a crunchy crust.