Homemade Granola Bars

Don’t let the step-by-step instructions deter you. Mix it all together. Press in pan. Chill. It really is that easy.

Homemade Granola Bars

1 c packed Medjool dates, pitted
1/4 c honey (or sub maple syrup or agave for vegan option)
1/4 c your favorite nut butter

1 c slivered, unsalted almonds
1 1/2 c rolled oats (gluten-free if that’s your thing)
Optional additions: chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, apple chips chips
Process dates in a food processor until small bits remain (about 1 minute). It should form a “dough” like consistency.
Note: if your dates don’t feel sticky and moist, you can soak them in water for 10 minutes then drain before processing. This will help them blend better and hold the bars together better. It shouldn’t be necessary if you find fresh, sticky moist dates.

Toast oats in a 350 degree F oven for 10 minutes or so, until slightly golden brown. Optional: skip toasting and just leave them raw.

Toast almonds in a 350 degree F oven for 10 minutes or so, until slightly golden brown. Optional: skip toasting and just leave them raw.

Place oats, almonds, and dates in a large mixing bowl – set aside.

Warm honey and peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and then mix, breaking up the dates to disperse throughout.

Once thoroughly mixed (stir in any optional ingredients at this point), transfer to an 8×8-inch baking dish which you’ve lined with parchment paper.

Press down firmly until uniformly flattened. Tip: use something flat, like a drinking glass, to press down and really pack the bars, which helps them hold together better.

Cover with parchment or plastic wrap, and let firm up in fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes.

Remove bars from pan (lifting carefully by lined parchment paper) and chop into 10 even bars (or 9 squares). Store in an airtight container for up to a few days or in the freezer.



Iced Lemon Pound Cake

Iced Lemon Pound Cake
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (8 ounces) plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 to 2 tablespoons lemon extract, to taste (not teaspoons; and not lemon oil and not lemon juice – see step 4 in directions)

1 1/2 cups organic all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice, or as necessary for consistency

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with floured cooking spray, or grease and flour the pan; set aside.

In a large bowl combine eggs, sugar, and yogurt, and whisk vigorously until smooth and combined. Drizzle in the oil while whisking to combine. Add the lemon zest and lemon extract, and whisk to combine. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and stir until just combined, don’t overmix. Some lumps will be present and that’s okay, don’t try to stir them smooth.

Turn the batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula. Bake for about 50 to 52 minutes, or until top is domed, set, and toothpick inserted in the center crack comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs but no batter. In the last 10 minutes of baking, tent pan with foil (loosely drape a sheet of foil over pan) to prevent excessive browning on the top and sides of bread before center cooks through.

Allow loaf to cool in pan on top of a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before turning out onto rack to cool completely before glazing.

Lemon Glaze: In a small bowl, add the confectioner’s sugar and slowly drizzle in the lemon juice while whisking until smooth and combined. You may need to play with the sugar and lemon juice amounts a bit as necessary for desired consistency and flavor.

Drizzle glaze over loaf before slicing and serving. Pound cake will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Chocolate Beet Bundt Cake

Unprocessed, veggie-packin’, and whole wheat. DESSERT is back on the menu!

Chocolate Beet Bundt Cake

For the Glaze:

For the Cake:
3 medium beets, cooked and cooled
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup light olive oil
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup honey
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup organic, unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup organic whole wheat flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 10-cup bundt pan and dust it lightly with cocoa.

Grate the beets on a box grater and measure them; you should have 2 cups of grated beets. Transfer them to a medium colander and allow them to drain of any excess moisture while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter, olive oil, maple syrup and honey until everything is well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until smooth. Add the vanilla extract.

Sift together the flours, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Gently fold the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, but do not over mix.

Fold the beets into the batter until distributed, then scrape the batter into the prepared bundt pan and spread around until it is even.

Bake for about 35-45 minutes, until a wooden skewer comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool, in the pan on a wire rack, for a good 20 minutes.

Carefully invert the pan onto a plate, tap gently, and the cake will drop out. Serve warm—unglazed—or allow to cool, then drizzle warm glaze. Will keep for up to four days, well wrapped in plastic.

To make Glaze:
Combine all ingredients in a bullet blender. Warm slightly either on stove top or in microwave. Drizzle over cake. Makes 1 cup.

Caramel Pear Cookies

Caramel Pear Cookies

2 cups + 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
12 Tbsp. (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled until just warm
1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, plus 1 large large egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup caramel bits
1 pear, finely diced (about 1 cup)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Use an electric mixer to cream together butter and sugars until well blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add in the dry ingredient mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Carefully stir in the caramel bits and diced pears until combined.

Use a small cookie scoop or a spoon to form the dough into tablespoon-fulls. Place on a cookie sheet at least 2.5 inches apart, and then dot on top with a few additional caramel bits. Bake cookies until the outer edges are golden and begin to slightly harden, about 15 minutes. Remove and let the cookies cool on the baking sheets.

Banana Carrot Muffins

Banana Carrot Muffins
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 large eggs, separated
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon grated orange peel
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
In a large bowl, combine first seven ingredients, flour through nutmeg. In another bowl, beat egg yolks until light and lemon-colored. Beat in honey and orange peel. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in the bananas, carrots and applesauce.

In a small bowl, beat egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form; fold into batter a third at a time.

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Yield: 9 jumbo muffins.

Orange Italian Cream Cake

Orange Italian Cream Cake
For the Cake:
1/2 cup butter, softened1/2 cup shortening2 cups sugar

5 large eggs, separated

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 c organic all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Fresh Orange Curd
1 cup sugar1/4 cup cornstarch2 cups fresh orange juice (about 10 navel oranges)

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 cup butter

1 tablespoon orange zest

Glazed Pecans
1 1/2 cups Pecan Halves

1/3 cup Light Corn Syrup

Pecan-Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened1/2 cup butter, softened1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 (16-ounce) package powdered sugar

1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut, lightly toasted (optional)


Note: You will want to start this cake a day ahead because the Fresh Orange Curd must chill for 8 hours, then the cake should be chilled for 8 hours before frosting it. Fresh Orange Curd:
Combine sugar and cornstarch in a 3-quart saucepan; gradually whisk in fresh orange juice. Whisk in lightly beaten eggs. Bring to a boil (5 to 6 minutes) over medium heat, whisking constantly.Cook, whisking constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until mixture reaches a pudding-like thickness. Remove from heat, and whisk in butter and grated orange rind. Cover, placing plastic wrap directly on curd, and chill 8 hours.

Italian Cream Cake:
Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add vanilla; beat until blended.Combine flour and baking soda; add to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in 1 cup flaked coconut.Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter. Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cakepans.

Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

Spread 3/4 cup chilled Fresh Orange Curd between layers; spread remaining Fresh Orange Curd on top of cake. (The Fresh Orange Curd layer on top of cake will be very thick.)

For best results, loosely cover cake, and chill 8 hours. The cake may be frosted with Pecan-Cream Cheese Frosting immediately after adding the Fresh Orange Curd, but the cake layers will not be as steady. Chilling the cake with the curd between the layers helps keep the layers in place and makes it much easier to spread the frosting on top.

Spread 3 cups Pecan-Cream Cheese Frosting on sides of cake, reserving remaining frosting for another use (cupcakes, perhaps).

Sprinkle 1/2 cup toasted coconut over top of cake.

Arrange Glazed Pecan Halves around top edge of cake.

Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Pecan-Cream Cheese Frosting:
Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Beat at high speed until smooth; stir in pecans.

For the Glazed Pecans:
Combine pecan halves and corn syrup, stirring to coat pecans. Line a large baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange pecan halves in an even layer in pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Stir using a rubber spatula and bake 3 minutes more. Remove from oven and arrange in an even layer on another piece of foil and let cool completely.

Pomegranate Lemon Bars

Pomegranate Lemon Bars
Blondie Bars
11 tablespoons (150 g or 1 3/8 sticks) unsalted butter, melted2 cups (400 g) white granulated sugar

1/4 cup (55 g) dark brown sugar

zest from 1 medium lemon

2 teaspoon lemon extract

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 large eggs

2 1/4 cup (315 g) organic all-purpose flour
1 cup (140 g) almond meal or flour (see note below)

3 oz white chocolate8 oz (1 brick) cream cheese at room temperature

1 cup (120 g) confectioners’ sugar

Zest from 1 medium lemon

1 teaspoon white granulated sugar

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (from 1 pomegranate)

*The almond meal adds a nice touch of nuttiness and moisture. If you don’t have almond meal or almond flour on hand making it is easy: just throw 1 1/4 cup whole almonds into a food processor and pulse until you have powder. Or, if you don’t have almonds, just add an extra 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour in it’s place.1. Preheat the oven to 325˚F. Lightly spray a 10 x 15 inch rimmed baking sheet and line with a piece of parchment paper with an inch or two of paper hanging over the edge.

2. Pour the melted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the sugars and lemon zest to the butter and mix on medium speed to incorporate. Add the lemon extract and vanilla extract and mix to incorporate. Add the eggs, one at a time and mix to incorporate, making sure that each egg is full blended in before adding the next egg. Add the flour and almond meal and mix to incorporate.

3. Spread the dough (it will be sticky) in the lined baking sheet, making sure it’s evenly distributed to the edges. Bake in the oven 18 to 20 minutes or until the edges of the blondie dough starts to turn golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the blondie cool in the pan on a wire rack completely.

4. Make the cream cheese frosting. Chop the white chocolate into small 1/4 inch chunks and placing them in a metal bowl fitted over a small pot with a little bit of water. Make sure the metal bowl isn’t touching the water and turn the heat on and bring the water to a boil. Turn the heat off and let the residual heat from the water steam melt the white chocolate. While the white chocolate is melting, place the cream cheese in the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat the cream cheese until it is smooth, then sift the confectioners’ sugar over it. Beat until incorporated. Scrape the melted white chocolate into the frosting and beat to incorporate.

5. Place the lemon zest in a small bowl and sprinkle the sugar over it. Let it sit while you frost the sheet cookie completely to the edges over the cookie. Sprinkle the top of the frosting with the sugared lemon zest (it will be moist, as the sugar has dissolved and made it sticky). The lemon zest will stick together so do your best to separate the zest to evenly distribute it over the cookie. Sprinkle the pomegranates over the frosting as well. Chill the lemon cookie bars in the fridge, uncovered for an hour, then cut into squares or triangles, trying not to cut through any pomegranate seeds. Store in the fridge, but serve at room temperature.

Makes 4 square cookie bars or 48 triangle cookie bars.

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

GF PB Cookies
2 c Sugar Cookie Almond Butter or substitute your favorite Blind Spot Nutbutter

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Heat oven to 350° F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. In a large bowl, mix together the nutbutter, sugars, eggs, baking soda, and salt until smooth.

Shape the dough into balls (about 1 heaping tablespoon each) and place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Using the tines of a fork, flatten each ball, creating a crisscross pattern.

Bake, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until puffed and golden, 10 to 12 minutes (the cookies will deflate as they cool). Let cool slightly on the baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Pomegranate-Orange Quick Bread

Pomegranate-Orange Quick Bread
2 c organic all-purpose flour

3/4 c granulated sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

6 oz plain greek yogurt

2 tsp grated orange peel

1/2 c fresh-squeezed orange juice1/4 c butter, melted

2 eggs

1 c pomegranate seeds (1 pomegranate)

1/2 c powdered sugar

1 tbsp orange juice

Heat oven to 350ºF.Grease bottom and sides of 8 1/2×4 1/2-inch loaf pan with shortening or cooking spray.

In medium bowl, stir together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, beat yogurt, orange peel, 1/2 cup orange juice, the melted butter and eggs with whisk. Add to dry ingredients; stir together until just combined. Fold in pomegranate seeds. Pour into pan.

Bake 55 to 65 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean.

Cool in pan 15 minutes. Remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, at least 3 hours.

Mix powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon orange juice with whisk; drizzle over bread. Allow glaze to harden before slicing and serving.