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ancientgrainscookies12_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

I came up with these cookies after noticing boxes of “ancient grains cookie mix” at the grocery store – for $7 a box! When I use alternative flours I try to work with the different textures rather than against them. These cookies are chocolate peanut butter because everyone expects peanut butter cookies to have a more shortbready, crumbly texture by nature.

I used a blend of quinoa flour and spelt flour, in combination with some regular unbleached white flour and some extra wheat germ. These are good keepers, and are great with a cold glass of milk on the side.

Ancient Grains Cookies, Makes about 36 3″ cookies

  • 1/4 c. butter, at room tempertaure
  • 3/4 c. packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 c. natural peanut butter (The ingredient list should read: Peanuts.)
  • 4 T. dark cocoa (I use Hershey’s Special Dark.)
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 c. quinoa flour
  • 1/2 c. spelt flour
  • 3/4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 3 T. wheat germ
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1 c. bittersweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350. Combine the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and cream until light and fluffy.

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Beat in the eggs one at a time.

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Beat in the peanut butter.

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Then the flours, baking powder and baking soda.

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Beat in the cocoa and then the chips. You should have a nice creamy batter.

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Drop the batter by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet.

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Bake for 10-12 minutes.

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Cool complete and then store in an airtight container. These keep nicely for about five days. Freeze in a ziplock for longer storage. I freeze half the baked cookies and use them to replenish the cookie jar – but they aren’t bad frozen 😉

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Four years ago: Champagne Sabayon
Three years ago: Chard Quiche
Two years ago: Burmese Chicken Soup
One year ago: French Breakfast Puffs


pbcookies4_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

Thanks for sticking by me everyone – it’s going to be a rocky road until June I’m afraid post-wise, as I mentioned earlier I have a son ready to fledge and we are going through all the college signups at the moment with graduation hot on its heels. I do think of you every day, regardless, and wonder what amazing things you are cooking up!

These little cookies are like a Reese’s in reverse, crunchy-tender peanut butter cookie with a center of dark chocolate. They are great on their own, or with milk. It’s worth noting I only use natural peanut butter, the ingredients on the label should say Roasted Peanuts and that’s it.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies, Makes about 36 3″ cookies

  • 10 T. softened butter
  • 1 c. light brown sugar
  • 1/3 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 3/4 c. peanut butter
  • 2-3/4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. dark chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli 60%)

Preheat the oven to 350. Cream the butter and the sugars, then cream in the eggs one at time, followed by the vanilla and peanut butter.

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Beat in the flour. Beat for about two minutes, until the flour is hydrated and the batter goes back to being more creamy.

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Drop tablespoons onto a greased cookie sheet.

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Criss-cross them with a fork, and push two-three chips into the center of each one.

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Bake for about 10-12 minutes.

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Three years ago: Lemon Curd
Two years ago: Charred Asparagus
One year ago: Butter Pecan Banana Cake


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by Heather Harris Brady

A healthy sundae – whaaaa? Yes, maybe you just can have it all.

Again, I apologize for these photos. This time my camera battery charger disappeared, so please bear with me until my new one gets here. Here’s something to sweeten the deal, a light, healthy (mostly!), and refreshing but chocolately summer dessert. On the bottom we have a nice fudgy brownie square and on top – banana peanut butter ice cream.

Sounds normal enough right? Well hold on to your retro avocado-colored appliances because things are about to get weird. These brownies are made with an avocado (no other added fat) and only 1/3 c. of sugar. The ice cream – no added sugar or cream. I’m calling these fudge squares instead of brownies, because they are somewhere in between fudge and a brownie. It’s nice if you can do a little prep work the day before – put the banana slices in the freezer, make the brownies and refrigerate them.

Banana Peanut Butter Ice Cream, Makes four 1 c. servings

  • Two large bananas
  • 1/3 c. natural peanut butter (the only ingredient should be peanuts)
  • 1-1/2 t. lemon juice

Fudge Squares, Makes nine 3″ squares

  • One large Haas avocado
  • Two eggs
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 1/3 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c. dark cocoa
  • 3 oz. melted dark chocolate
  • 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 c. greek yogurt
  • 1/3 c. unbleached flour (can use gluten-free)
  • Kosher salt and mini chocolate chips for sprinkling the top

Slice the bananas onto waxed paper and put them in the freezer until completely solid (preferably overnight).

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Preheat the oven to 350. Combine the avocado, eggs, vanilla, yogurt and sugar in the food processor.

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Blend well.

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Scrape down the bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Or be a rebel like I am and scrape it down after you put the dry ingredients in.

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Blend to a dark creamy batter.

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Spread it in a well-greased pan and sprinkle the top with the salt and chips.

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Bake about 20 minutes, until the center is set.

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Let cool, preferably refrigerate overnight. When you’re ready to serve, combine the banana slices in the food processor with the peanut butter and lemon juice.

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Blend well. After about 20 seconds it will smooth out to something very much like soft-serve ice cream.

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If you want it firmer return to the freezer for a few minutes. To dish put a fudge square on each plate.

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Top each square with a large scoop of the banana peanut butter ice cream.

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Serve immediately.


Two years ago: Strawberry Shortcake
One year ago: Thousand Island Dressing

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by Heather Harris Brady

Growing up we never really had anything around other than white (wheat) flour, and I’m slowly branching out. Although given the looks of my flour drawer slow is probably a point of debate. For now, until I really understand how the different flours work I’m sticking to things that don’t rely so heavily for gluten on their structures – that is, the more sandy, crumbly types of baked goods. I developed the recipe below based on Maida Heatter’s Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Cookies.

These cookies are soft right out of the oven but they soon crisp up for a nice, peanut buttery crunch. You could replace the whole wheat and brown rice flours with regular all-purpose flour if you like, but I promise, no one would ever know you’re sneaking them some whole grain deliciousness. And yes, I finally found my camera at the bottom of one of the dance bags – so, yay!

Peanut Butter Chip Cookies, Makes about 40 3″ cookies

  • 1/2 c. (one stick) butter
  • 3/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. granulated sugar
  • One egg
  • 1/2 c. natural peanut butter
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 3/4 c. whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat.)
  • 3/4 c. brown rice flour
  • 1 c. mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350. Combine the butter and the sugars in a mixing bowl. Cream well.

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Then cream in the egg.

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Beat in the peanut butter.

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Then the baking soda and flours.

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Then stir in the chips.

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Drop teaspoons onto greased cookie sheets and give them the little criss-cross with a fork.

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Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes, until the edges barely begin to brown.

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If you want to keep these soft just add a slice of bread to the cookie jar.

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“I’m ready for my glass of milk Mr. DeMille!”

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Two years ago: Apple Oat Bran Muffins
One year ago: Cinnamon Scones

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by Heather Harris Brady

We have a little office fitness challenge going on and when I looked at my daily routine I realized my snacks could use some work. I needed to bump up the protein. The problem was still keeping it snack-like, because while my brain says “eat healthy” all the other cells are an unruly mob shouting “give me cookies or give me death!”. Drama queens.

The cookie base is very close to a recipe from a recent edition of Cooking Light. These bars are the best compromise I’ve found so far, a larabar masquerading as a peanut butter cookie, ready not only for your desk but also summer hikes and trips to the beach.

Cookie Protein Bars, Makes about 18 3” x 2” bars

  • 1 c. natural peanut butter (just ground peanuts), creamy or chunky
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • ½ c. vanilla protein powder
  • ½ bar – salted almond 70% chocolate bar, chopped

Filling

  • 1-1/2 c. peanuts
  • 1 c. medjool dates (soaked if necessary to soften them)
  • ½ bar – salted almond 70% chocolate bar
  • 1/3 c. protein powder

Preheat the oven to 375 and generously grease a 13 x 9 pan. To make the cookie base, stir together well the peanut butter, egg white, vanilla and protein powder.

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Stir in the chocolate bits and press the mixture in the pan. (It will be on the thin side but that’s okay.)

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Bake about 10 minutes, until the outside edges barely begin to brown. Let it cool while you make the filling.

Put the dates in a food processor and roughly chop, then pulse in the peanuts.

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Add the protein powder and chocolate, blend until the mixture begins to stick together.

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Press the date mixture on one half of the cookie base. Cut the rest of the cookie base into squares and put them on top of the date filling.

Chill thoroughly before cutting the stacked layers into bars.

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I like to wrap these individually and freeze them, ready to go for hikes and trips to the beach.

One year ago: Breton Butter Cake (Kouign Amann)

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pbpie9_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

It seems so wrong to do this with leftover Halloween candy sloshing all over the place, but there you have it. Truth of the matter is, I can take or leave most storebought candy anymore. If I’m going to blow the calories better be on something worth eating. So the holiday left me craving this pie.

The gods have seen fit to favor me with transcendent pie experiences, and this is one. While I came across the rhubarb pie in Canada, this one came much closer to home – at the little bar in my hometown. As a rule of thumb I always order the specials there, and one fine day peanut butter pie was the dessert. It was amazing, rich and silky with a pure flavor of peanut butter.

I’ve taken a few liberties here, adding the marbling, etc. This would be a good choice for all those holiday potlucks coming up. You don’t have to bake it and you can throw it together in 15 minutes – late at night, practically with your eyes closed. You can even skip the marbling and just sprinkle some mini chips and chopped peanuts on top, or a drizzle of hot fudge topping. As you can see from the two photos, the pie will set up more over time, so if you want a clean slice allow a day in the fridge.

Peanut Butter Pie, Makes one 9″ pie

One graham cracker pie crust, or chocolate cookie crust (recipe follows)

2 c. heavy cream

1 c. natural, creamy peanut butter

8 oz. light cream cheese

1 c. powdered sugar

1/2 can sweetened condensed milk

1 t. vanilla

1 t. fresh lemon juice

1/2 recipe chocolate ganache for marbling, cooled (optional)

Beat the peanut butter, cream cheese and powdered sugar together.

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Then beat in the condensed milk.

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Beat in the vanilla and lemon juice. Whip the cream in a separate bowl. Fold in 1/3 of the whipped cream, and then fold in remainder.

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Pour the filling into your pie shell.

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Drop spoonfuls of cooled chocolate ganache on top.

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Using a butter knife, draw it through the chocolate. Use a folding motion to draw it down through the filling.

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Refrigerate at least four hours or overnight. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

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Graham cracker crumb crust: Crush one packet (usually a box has three packets inside) of graham crackers. Mix with four T. melted butter and press into the pie dish. You can substitute half a package of Oreos or gluten free cookies for the graham crackers as well.

One year ago: Roasted Squash Soup

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