Sunday, May 19, 2013

Homemade Granola Bars

This is a great recipe for easy, no bake, throw in whatever you have, granola bars.  I got the recipe off of a food blog, but I have tweaked it a few different times and used whatever sounded good at the moment.  If you look closely, you'll see in the picture that there are marshmallows in this recipe.  This was a s'more granola bar.  I have since made it using different kinds of chocolate chips and no marshmallows and also with almonds.  It would taste great with any nuts, coconut, variety of chocolate chips, or even craisens or other dried fruit.  It is so quick and easy and really yummy!  I cut mine into strips and then wrap them in plastic wrap to put in my kid's lunches.  Yay for no preservatives!!

Homemade Granola Bars
adapted from:

1/4 c. margarine or butter
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. oats
1/2 c. crispy rice cereal
1/2 c. chopped graham crackers, or almonds, or something else that gives substance
1 c. mini marshamallows (or leave this out, if you aren't doing s'mores)
1/2 c. chocolate chips

Line a small pan with wax paper (8X8-ish).  In a large saucepan, stir together the butter, sugar, honey and peanut butter and bring it to a boil.  Boil it for two minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly (the last time I made these, I took it off the heat before two minutes were up.  It started to look like it was going to burn.  Just watch it closely).  Take it off of the heat and stir in the vanilla.  Then add the oats, crispy rice cereal and graham crackers (or almonds, or whatever you choose) and stir it until it is all combined.  Very last, mix in the chocolate chips and marshmallows (or whatever you choose).  Press it into the pan and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Then you can cut it into bars and store them for later, or eat them all in one evening, as we often end up doing! 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Chocolate Tacos

In celebration of Cinco De Mayo (which we have never actually celebrated before, but then again, we've never found a recipe for chocolate tacos before, either!) we made chocolate tacos.  These were awesome!  They were kind of like chewy, thin brownies.  It's like having an amazing banana split, or hot fudge sundae, in the palm of your hands.  So yes, it is a little messy.  But totally worth it.  I've been thinking about using this recipe to make homemade waffle cones or bowls.  We opted to drizzle a little melted chocolate and sprinkles on our tacos.  Then we put them in the fridge until the chocolate hardened.  Chocolate on your chocolate?!  Si!

Chocolate Tacos
from: &

1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. flour
3 Tbsp. cocoa
1 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. egg whites (I used about 1 1/2 egg's worth)
1 tsp. milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla
cooking spray
1/2 c. chocolate chips
1 tsp. canola oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  In a medium bowl, combine the powdered sugar, flour, cocoa, cornstarch and salt and stir it well.  Then mix in the egg whites, milk and vanilla.  Coat a baking sheet with the cooking spray and draw six five inch circles with your finger onto the pan.  These will be a general outline for your batter.  Drop 1 tablespoon of batter onto each circle, and using the back of the spoon, spread the batter into your circle shape (I couldn't fit all six onto one pan, so I did it in two shifts).  Bake it for 6 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown.  While they are baking, find some wooden spoons and suspend them over deep bowls, as shown below (just imagine them without tacos draped over the top):  
Working quickly when the tacos are cooked, carefully loosen the edges of the tacos with a spatula, drape each taco over a suspended wooden spoon and gently shape them into the shape of a taco.  They are pretty delicate, but even with some helpers, ours all remained intact.  Let them cool completely in this shape.  When they are completely cooled, you are ready to add more chocolate!  In a small glass bowl, microwave the chocolate chips and canola oil for 30 seconds, then stir it until it is smooth.  Dip the edges of the tacos in the chocolate and then sprinkles (and drizzle the leftovers on, for good measure).  Put them in the fridge until it is hardened.  
When you are ready to eat, take them out, add some ice cream scoops and any toppings that you want and enjoy your chocolate taco!