Saturday, April 23, 2011

Carrot Cake for zee Easter bunneh

I totally meant to post this earlier, but whatever. Carrot cake isn't a seasonal thing, it's just nice to make it for such occasions like Easter. Easter bunnies dig carrot cake. This recipe comes from a random, great baker from I will NEVER use another recipe. That's how flippin' good this one is. This recipe makes an excellent layer cake. I've done this in the past and got ooos and ahhhs. Make it with or without nuts; both ways are great.

A food processor makes the carrot shredding easy work, and the cake comes together in minutes. You'll need 3 cups of shredded carrots.

Eggs in oil. Odd looking, yet pretty.

Adding the dry ingredients to the wet.

Not the best looking batters. Not even the nicest looking cake, but the taste makes up for it. The icing hides any ugliness anyway.

The icing for this beast is awesome. Whip it until it's nice and fluffy.

Schmear it on. For a sheet cake, I cut out an entire cup of powdered sugar. If I'm making a layer cake, I'll definitely put the 4th cup in. Tastes great either way.

Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Schnack bars!

Those snacky folks among us probably spend a nice wad of money on snack bars/granola bars. The truth is is that they're easy to make, they're customizable, they make a lot per batch, and are pretty darn tasty.

These bars are layered, but I think it might work to just stir all of the ingredients together, but don't quote me. The layers aren't that much trouble anyway. To begin, preheat your oven to 325 degrees and line a square, 8 inch baking pan with parchment paper or foil, extending the paper/foil over the pan edges. I suggest you do this and not just grease the pan like I did. I ended up with many broken bars.

First, combine 1/2 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of rolled oats, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, a pinch of salt, and (optional) 2 Tbsp of flax seeds. Pour 1/4 cup of melted butter into the flour/oat mixture and stir until combined. Divide this mixture in half. Spread half of the mix evenly on the bottom of the lined pan. Press down a bit; like you would a graham cracker pie crust.

For the center layer, combine 3/4 cup of sweetened condensed milk, 1 cup of (preferably unsweetened) flaked coconut, 1 cup of nut of choice (I used walnut), 1 cup of dried fruit of choice (I used cherry), and 3/4 cup of chocolate chips in a separate bowl. Stir well, and pour into the pan - on top of the first layer. Spread it out evenly.

Now pour the remaining oat/flour mixture on the top. Spreading that layer out evenly. Now give it a nice press to bind the layers together. Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly golden. Let it cool, then cut into bars or squares. You can package them individually with a little plastic wrap. Store them in the fridge, and take them on the go!