Thursday, February 20, 2014

Books & Cookies: Part 3

We just finished another Prime Time Family Reading Time at the kiddies school! You all know how much I love this program. This was our 4th session - and I was hired this session to be a "storyteller," which means I got to read the books :)

Of course, after making treats to go with the books the last two session, I suspect there would be mutiny if I did not keep that up!

The first week I made a sugar cookie bar recipe, with the homemade frosting, and decorated it as a quilt map to resemble to quilt in Sweet Clara and the Freedom quilt. I've gotta say that this recipe is my go-to when I need an easy cookie recipe. It's yummy and way less effort than rolling out sugar cookie shapes.

The second week I broke away from the dessert track I've been in and made cream cheese ball bats for Stellaluna. To make mix 1 block cream cheese with 1 cup shredded cheese and 1 chopped green onion. Roll into little balls and then roll the balls in poppy seeds. You can add green olive eyes, but honestly this was a pain the the behind to get the pimentos in, so next time I may just use black olive eyes. Then add purple/black tortilla chip wings.

The third week we read the book Enemy Pie and I made "dirt" cups. Crushed oreos, chocolate pudding, more crushed oreos and a couple of gummy worms.

For Three Cheers for Catherine the Great I made beet cookies since Catherine has borscht at her birthday celebration. Sadly my original beet cookie recipe is no longer available on-line, but this recipe is pretty close to the original.

The Bat Boy and his Violin required some baseball cookies! I used a sugar cookie recipe that came with my cookie cutters and used the frosting from the bar cookie recipe. At least one person told me this was their favorite cookie so far!

For the last week I made chewy apple cookies to go with Amelia's Road since Amelia's migrant family picks apples throughout the book. Next time I think oatmeal would be a good addition!

This session's theme was Journeys and all the books were great!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sweet Potato Chili Brownies

I ran across a recipe for Paleo Sweet Potato Brownies on Pintrest that looked yummy! But being Paleo, there were some wacky ingredients that even my local Whole Foods didn't have, so I needed to get creative with substitutions. The result turned out good and my picky eater, who I told the ingredients to, loved the brownies made with avocado and sweet potato!

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 cup sweet potato puree
  • ½ cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 4 Medjool dates, pited
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup pecans, coarsely chopped
  • Icing
  • 4 Medjool dates, pited
  • 2 packets (1.15 oz) Justin's chocolate hazelnut butter
  • ¼ cup c0coa powder
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • ½ cup full fat canned coconut milk
  1. Preheat your oven to 375F. Grease a 9” square baking pan.
  2. In the bowl of your food processor or blender, combine avocado, sweet potato puree, unsweetened applesauce, dates and vanilla and process until smooth and creamy. Add cacao powder and again, process until smooth.
  3. Add eggs, one at at time, processing until smooth between each addition.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, add flour, salt, chili powder, and baking soda and stir until well combined then add the mixture from your food processor and mix until smooth.
  5. Add pecans and mix them in.
  6. Transfer to your prepared pan. Spread batter evenly and bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out almost clean.
  7. Set brownies on a wire rack to cool for 15-20 minutes then transfer to fridge to cool completely, about an hour.
  8. Prepare the icing by adding all the ingredients to the bowl of your food processor and process until smooth and creamy.
  9. Pour over brownies and spread evenly with a spatula.
  10. Place the brownies in the fridge and chill completely. Cut into squares. Store in the fridge