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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cherry Almond Granola

A friend at church shared this recipe with us, and is has become our absolute favorite recipe for granola!  Feel free to use different types of dried fruit.  Dried blueberries, cranberries, raisins, etc. are all VERY good in this yummy granola!


10 cups instant oats
1.5 c. sunflower oil
1.5 c. maple syrup
2 c. sliced almonds
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
2 c. dried cherries


Preheat oven to 350*.
Combine all ingredients except cherries in a large bowl and transfer to baking sheets
Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden-brown
After cooled, mix in dried cherries and store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

**This recipe can also be made healthier by cutting back on the syrup and adding sunflower seeds and other kinds of nuts.

Happy munching!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Peanut Butter Brownies

Rumor has it these taste like Reeses Cups (c), but in a brownie form.  That sounds good to us!  You can add chocolate chips to the brownies and used crunchy instead of creamy peanut butter to give the brownies more crunch.  It really isn't possible to mess up these delicious brownies! 


1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
5 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Peanut Butter Swirl:
½ cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup powdered sugar
1½ cups creamy peanut butter
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9×13-inch glass or light-colored baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together.

Put the chocolate, butter and instant espresso powder in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room temperature.
Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.

Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the peanut butter swirl ingredients. Using a spoon, place dollops of the peanut butter mixture all over the top of the brownie batter. Using a butter knife, swirl the chocolate and peanut butter, running the knife crosswise and lengthwise through the batters.

Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Let the brownies cool completely, then lift them out of the pan using the parchment paper. Cut into squares and serve.

Store at room temperature in an airtight container or wrap with plastic wrap for up to 3 days.

Happy Munching!