Everything Strawberry S’more Bars

Soon I’ll be headed off back to college so my current goal is emptying out my fridge, freezer, and pantry of anything perishable. It’s taken a lot of self control, but I’ve shied away from the grocery store for the past few weeks. Yesterday was a friend’s birthday, and I wanted to bring something sweet, so I decided to throw together whatever leftover ingredients I could find.

These bars are truly a strange assortment of ingredients . They have graham crackers, speculoos cookies,frozen bread crumbs from making these vegan sandwiches, gelatin-free marshmallows, salted premium butter, earth balance, aquafaba, toasted pecans, frozen Upick strawberries, homemade chocolate shell, flour, brown sugar, and baking powder. Granted, it’s hard to mess up a combination like that. 

The slight acidity of the strawberries brings a welcome freshness to the sweetness of the marshmallows and graham crackers. They’re a little chewy, a little gooey, a little crispy, and tasty all around.

Everything Strawberry S’more Bars 

Crispy chewy soft cracker cookie bars – good enough to make by itself tbh

In a food processor pulse until crumbs:

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 8 oz cookie crumbs (I used 5 oz, aka 1 sleeve, graham crackers, 2 oz plain bread crumbs, and 1 oz speculoos cookies)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Add:

  • 3/4 cup premium salted butter and/or earth balance (I used 1 stick earth balance & 1/4 cup premium salted butter)

Pulse until sandy textured. Add:

  • 1 egg or 3 tbs aquafaba(I used aquafaba)

Pulse until large clumps start to form.

Press 2/3 of the dough into the bottom of an 8×8 pan. I recommend lining the pan with parchment paper by cutting 2 strips of parchment, 8 inches wide and 12 inches long each, and laying them perpendicular in the pan. This prevents the marshmallow filling from sticking.

On top of the batter, scatter:

  • ~1/2-3/4 cup good quality chocolate chips or chunks
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped (I toasted them in a nonstick pan for a few minutes)

Store the 1/3 remaining dough in the fridge while preparing the strawberry marshmallow filling.

Strawberry Marshmallow Filling* 

Note: Alternatively, heat up 2/3 cup strawberry jam and proceed to the marshmallow step.

In a saucepan, combine:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 8 oz frozen or fresh strawberries

Cook until most of the water has been boiled away, about 15 minutes. Stir in:

  • 3/4 cup large or small marshmallows (~6 oz)

Stir until the marshmallows are mostly melted. Little chunks are ok and will add nice variation to the final bars.

Spread the strawberry marshmallow filling over the dough. Scatter the remaining dough on top in ~2 tsp chunks.

Bake the bars at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until the top dough is lightly golden brown. Let the bars cool completely before removing from the pan, and refrigerate before cutting. Enjoy!

 

 

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Sweet Potato Brownie Adventures

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Want a tray of brownies without my delirious rambling?

Click here for my melt-in-your-mouth sweet potato brownies recipe.

Otherwise, prepare to read about my adventure in sweet potato brownies™.

Earlier this year I posted a recipe for Sweet Potato Brownies. It was an on-the-whim type of recipe that I made once, decided was good enough, and posted. They were good brownies, super melty and soft with lots of chocolate flavor, but they had a notable starchiness from the sweet potato that I couldn’t get over. Eventually I put the post on private and forgot about it.

Then yesterday I was hit with an uncontrollable and explainable desire to make the damn best sweet potato brownies, so I picked myself off the couch and went to the store to buy sweet potatoes.

Batch 1:

  • “These taste really good but they’re a bit…I don’t know…gummy?” my mom says

My motivation grows stronger. I decide some kind of fruit puree might add moistness, better yet, carrot puree which I find more mild than applesauce, and that the food processor likely overworked the sweet potato. Fork mashing it is.

Batch 2:

  • Much better texture….but what was that I tasted…..a hint of….gumminess?

They are good, but I am on a quest for the best. By this point I am also running out of maple syrup. I decide to start making half batches.

I go to sleep, dreaming of sweet potato brownies.

The next day I start immediately after work. I double the oil to 2 tbs (1/4 cup if I were making full batches), and mash the sweet potatoes with it, like when making mashed potatoes, thinking this will prevent the starch from “developing”.

Batch 3:

  • The dough has that characteristic starchy pull to it. ‘Oh no’ I think.
  • Maybe there’s too much sweet potato in the batter?
  • I am pleasantly surprised, despite 3.5 ounces of sweet potato in the batter, the final brownies have a great texture: soft, fudgy, and a bit chewy (in a good non starchy way)
  • “Oh I like these ones”my mom says

But I’m not finished yet. I decide to see what happens when I reduce the amount of sweet potato. I reduce it from 3.5 to 1.5 ounces and mash the sweet potatoes with a tsp of oil. I reduce the oil in the batter back down to 1 tablespoon.

Batch 4:

  • The dough is much more liquid-y than the other batches.
  • The middle still looks wet after baking for 10 minutes, so I have to bake it about 5 minutes more.
  • The brownies are just the way I like ’em. Soft, melty, and gooey. Probably too gooey for the average joe. Was it a fluke? Why was the dough so liquidy?

I decide to recreate a new version of Batch 4 to see whether I screwed something up that led to its liquidy batter consistency. I’ve made so many sweet potato brownies that I’m not even sure I remember how exactly to make them.

This time I add 2 ounces of sweet potato, which I mash with 1/4 tsp of oil. Probably not necessary, but who am I to question this convoluted method I’ve developed? I’ve run out of good chocolate chunks and am using shitty chocolate chips. I learn that chocolate quality really matters in brownies.

Batch 5:

  • The batter is liquidy, but slightly less than batch 4. Does .5 an ounce of sweet potato make that much of a difference? Fairly believable.
  • I add 1/4 tsp of apple cider vinegar to the sweet potatoes. I’m not sure why.
  • It’s also 10 pm and I’m too impatient to let the sweet potato fully cool so most of the (shitty) chocolate chips melt
  • I decide to go to Trader Joe’s the next day and buy some chocolate chunks because Nestle chocolate chips taste janky, which I try to rectify by adding a splash of vanilla extract
  • They’re less gooey than the last batch, but still very fudgy…it still might be a bit too much for the average person.

Is this what obsession is? Will I ever make the perfect sweet potato brownie? That day I go to the store to pick up a new bottle of maple syrup. It reads “16 1/4 cup servings”. I read “16 potential attempts at sweet potato brownies”.

I want to determine if 2 tablespoons of oil are necessary for 3.5 ounces of sweet potato, or whether I can get away with only one. But I’m going to be a bad experimenter and reduce the sweet potato to 3 ounces at the same time. I’m starting to think this is a concave problem with no absolute maxima, but I’m still hoping to stumble upon a local maxima. If only I could apply stochastic gradient descent to cooking.

The fridge has been taken over by brownies. I eat sweet potato brownies for breakfast. I’ll probably eat sweet potato brownies for lunch. I get back from work and begin measuring out ingredients. It feels like muscle memory.

Batch 6:

  • I’ve developed a batter intuition. Glossy is good. Dull means too much starch. The thinner the batter, the more gooey the brownies.
  • 3 ounces of sweet potato and 1 tbs of oil gives the most beautiful batter I’ve ever seen. Angels are singing in my head, but maybe that’s from the past restless nights of sleep.
  • After I remove the brownies from the oven (they’ve lost their shine and are matte now, I take a nap to clear the angels from my head. Post nap hunger leads me to the brownies. Cold from the fridge they’ve regained glossiness. I hesitate before I take the first bite, but as soon as I taste chocolate I realize I had been nervous for no reason.
  • The brownies are soft and fudge-y with a complex chocolate taste, and there is exactly zero gumminess to be found. They don’t taste healthy in the slightest, despite being low-fat, vegan, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free.

I’ve found the recipe, the quest isn’t quite over. Perfection is one thing, but repeatability and scalability (I had been working with half batches) is a whole ‘nother beast.

The next day I prepare for the final and most intense battle: baking a full pan of sweet potato brownies.

Batch 7:

  • The batter looks as it should: pourable and glossy, but thick enough that I have to scoop out the last bits of batter with a spoon. The batter is a bit less glossy than batch 6, which I blame on some chocolate chips melting (hey you, let the sweet potatoes fully cool).
  • I bake them for 22 minutes. They’re matte when I take them out of the oven but I’m not too worried. I leave them on the counter to cool and transfer them to the fridge before I go to sleep.
  • The next day I try them. Angels are singing again.

In conclusion, I’m completely nuts, but hey, I have the most incredible tray of sweet potato brownies in the fridge right now. I’m going to go hibernate for a very long time, only waking occasionally to stuff my mouth with brownies (maybe not a good idea considering the instant espresso, but based on what I’ve written, it’s safe to assume my judgement’s muted). Meanwhile, you should go make some sweet potato brownies so we can bask in their glory together.

You can find the full recipe here.

Nutty Apricot Bars

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My latest food stint has been vegan cooking. It evolved out of my desire to reduce the stress of “ahhh what am I going to do with this quickly expiring milk” and “oh my god i have 16 kinds of cheese let me just eat nothing but cheese for the next week” (really, I make this seem like a bigger problem than it is, because cheese is delicious), and has led to a lotta stir fries, smoothies, and pasta dishes.

Despite my growing confidence in plant-based cooking, there are still times when I turn to my dear friend butter, and this, my friend, is one of them.

These bars are so good. Like, bring-to-a-fancy-dinner-and-watch-anxiously-as-people-take-that-first-bite good. The nutty shortbread base melts in your mouth, and the slight tartness of the apricots is a perfect complement to the lightly sweetened frangipane. And this is coming from someone who is way more of a chocolate than fruit dessert person. (On a side note, I believe there are two type of people: people who prefer fruit desserts and people who prefer chocolate. I refuse to believe that there are people who want neither.)

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They’re also incredibly easy to make. Seriously, if you have a food processor (and if you don’t, I highly recommend you get one, because it is one of the few things I am willing to lug across the country to college), all you have to do is throw two sets of ingredients in (at separate times) and whiz away. That, and chop a few apricots, but still, the prep for this recipe is incredibly quick.

My “secret” ingredient for this recipe is premium salted butter. It has a lower water content than regular butter, which makes it perfect for shortbread. Kerrygold butter should be easiest to find, but Trader Joe’s had another brand that was cheaper so I used that. If you can’t find premium butter, don’t worry, regular salted butter works as well.

Nutty Apricot Bars

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen.

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1/2 cup almonds or pecans (I used half of each) [60 g]
  • 1 cup flour [125 g]
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar [50 g]
  • 1/2 cup salted premium butter, or unsalted butter + 1/2 tsp salt [115 g]

Frangipane filling:

  • 1 cup almonds or pecans (I used half of each) [120 g]
  • 1 tbs all purpose flour [10g]
  • 1/4 cup white sugar [50g]
  • 5 tablespoons salted premium butter, or unsalted butter + 1/4 tsp salt [70g]
  • 1 large egg

Toppings:

  • ~6 small apricots
  • 2 tbs sliced almonds

Preparation Process:

Begin by roasting the nuts. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

Meanwhile, line an 8 inch square pan with parchment paper. Cut two ~15 inch long pieces of parchment so they are 8 inches wide. Drape one piece in the pan so that it lines 3 sides, and drape the other piece perpendicular so that all sides of the pan are covered.

Add to a food processor:

  • 1/2 cup almonds or pecans (I used half of each) [60 g]
  • 1 cup flour [125 g]
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar [50 g]
  • 1/2 cup salted premium butter, or unsalted butter + 1/2 tsp salt [115 g], cut into 1 tbs piece

Blend until the mixture is beginning to form large clumps. Press the dough into the pan into an even layer. Bake for 15 minutes, until the edges are just beginning to darken, and then remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. To speed up the process, put the pan in the freezer.

While the crust is cooling, grind in the food processor until sand consistency:

  • 1 cup almonds or pecans (I used half of each) [120 g]
  • 1 tbs all purpose flour [10g]
  • 1/4 cup white sugar [50g]

Add to the food processor:

  • 5 tablespoons salted premium butter, or unsalted butter + 1/4 tsp salt [70g]

Mix until no butter chunks are visible, then while the food processor is still running, add in:

  • 1 large egg

Pulse until just combined.

When the crust has cooled (I recommend letting it cool fully, or else the butter in the filling will begin to melt), spread the frangipane filling over it.

Top with:

  • ~6 small apricots
  • 2 tbs sliced almonds

I cut the apricots in half, sliced each half into thin pieces, fanned out the slices, and then transferred them to the base on a butter knife.

Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the bars should come out clean, and the edges of the crust should be deep golden brown, but not burnt.

For the cleanest presentation, allow the bars to cool on the countertop until warm, and then cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator until cold. Remove the bars by pulling up the edges of the parchment.

Slice into 16* squares**, and serve at room temperature.

*The smaller the slices the more you can eat, right?

**A little tip is to slice off the outer edges of the bars before cutting into squares. The crisp edges are perfect for eating like biscotti, and the squares look more uniform sans edges.

Melt-in-your-mouth Sweet Potato Brownies (gf. vegan. refined sugar-free) 

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7/28/16 edit: I wasn’t kidding when I said I’d make this recipe again. Go read about my sweet potato brownie adventures. It might (will definitely) make you question my sanity, but you can at least have confidence that this recipe is tried and tested.

If you prefer cakey or brownies with a lot of chew, these are not for you. They are so soft, fudgy, and just melt-in-your-mouth, even straight out of the fridge. If you love chocolate and want a damn good brownie that is healthy enough to eat for breakfast, these brownies are your calling.


Today I texted my friend “sweet potato oatmeal cookies, sweet potato brownies, or sweet potato crumble cake?”. Without missing a beat, she replied “sweet potato brownies”. Two hours later, I can confidently say she made the right choice.

When it comes to brownies, I am a firm believer that brownies should be fudgy, soft, and very chocolatey. Little is more disappointing than a dry or cakey brownie. These brownies are equally delicious warm from the oven (soft and melty) and straight out of the fridge (rich and fudgy).

Maple syrup provides caramel undertones that pair perfectly with the chocolate. The sweet potato adds natural sweetness, though its earthy flavor is completely masked by the chocolate.

I was wary while baking these brownies because over the summer I tried to make avocado brownies that were unbearably avocado-y (I keep seeing avocado chocolate cake recipes and even though the pictures look gorgeous, I am so damn skeptical), but I am happy to say that this is definitely a recipe that I will make again.

 

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Sweet Potato Brownies (vegan. gluten-free. refined sugar free)

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz raw sweet potato, sliced in 1/2 inch thick slices*
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbs vegetable or coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup dutch processed cocoa powder**
  • 1/4 cup carrot puree***
  • 40g oat flour (1/2 cup quick oats blended until powdery)
  • 1/2 tsp espresso powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips

Prep process:

To prepare the sweet potato, place in a microwave-safe bowl:

  • 6 oz raw sweet potato, sliced in 1/2 inch thick slices

Fill the bowl with water until the slices are fully submerged. Microwave for 6-8 minutes or until the slices are soft and can be pierced with a fork easily.

Drain the water, add a small drizzle of oil (only 1/4 to 1/2 tsp necessary; I gave them quick spray of cooking oil), and mash with the fork until no chunks remain. Be careful not to overwork the sweet potato while mashing, or the brownies will be gummy. Let the sweet potato cool to room temperature.

In a clean bowl stir together:

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbs vegetable or coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbs dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup carrot puree*

Add:

  • 40g oat flour (1/2 cup quick oats blended until powdery)
  • 1/2 tsp espresso powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips

Stir until smooth and glossy. Fold in in the cooled sweet potato.

Spread the batter into a greased 8×8 inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Allow to cool before cutting into squares and serving. Serve warm with ice cream (soft and melty brownies) or chilled (soft and super fudgy brownies).

One last tip: These brownies are best treated like fudge. They can be kept at room temperature, but for clean cuts I recommend freezing the brownies for several hours and using a well greased knife.

Notes:

*I’ve tried this recipe with 3 oz to 7 oz of raw sweet potato. 3 oz produced super super fudge-y brownies that barely held their shape, which I loved, and 7 oz made brownies with a bit more bite, which was my mom’s preference. I felt the brownies with 6 oz of raw sweet potato was the perfect compromise, but feel free to vary the amount of sweet potato based on how much you available.

**I usually add an addition 2 tbs because I love the taste of dark chocolate.

**To make carrot puree, cover 4 ounces of 1 inch thick sliced carrots with water and microwave for 5 minutes, or until soft. To save time, microwave the carrots in the same bowl as the sweet potatoes and separate after. Strain the carrots, transfer to a blender or food processor with 1/2 cup of water or non-dairy milk, and blend until smooth. Measure out 1/4 cup for this recipe. I suspect pear sauce (the baby food kind) will also work well.

Vegan Peanut Butter Crumble Bars, Two Ways

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Two years ago I posted a recipe for Peanut Butter & Jelly bars.

At the end of the post I wrote: “If you’re gluten free or vegan, I’ll post a similar recipe that you can enjoy soon!”

Tada! It’s here.

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I’ve made these bars three times to work out little kinks in the recipe, and can say that for someone who generally doesn’t love peanut butter cakes or cookies, these bars are good.

One of my latest baking goal is making health(ier) desserts that are good enough to share, and not just something I can enjoy–looking at you super avocado-flavored brownies.–and these fit that criteria.

They’re soft, super peanut butter-y, and melt in your mouth…kind of like a cross between blondies and shortbread. I brought them to a fourth of july gathering with friends and they were all eaten, so that qualifies as a success to me!

Peanut Butter Bars (Vegan)

In a medium bowl combine:

  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • ¼ cup spelt flour (replace with oat flour to make gluten free)
  • 2 tbs sugar or erythritol
  • 1 tbs ground flax seeds
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs peanut flour (optional–can replace with 2 tbs almond flour)

In a small bowl, microwave for 20 seconds and then stir until smooth:

  • 2 tbs maple syrup
  • 3 tbs peanut butter (decrease to 2 tbs if you added peanut flour)
  • 1 tbs melted coconut oil

Stir in:

  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir until combined. They should form a crumbly, but cohesive dough.

PB&J Option: 

Set aside ¼ cup of dough and press the rest of the dough into a small cake pan (about 6″ diameter) or ramekins.

Meanwhile combine in a microwave safe bowl:

  • 1 tbs strawberry jam
  • ½ cup frozen or fresh berries

Microwave, stirring every 20 seconds, until thick and gooey. It should take around 3-5 minutes. Spread on top of the dough, and then sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup dough.

Bake at 350 degrees for 16-18 minutes. The very top of the bars should be lightly golden, but the bars shouldn’t appear totally baked through.

Chocolate Fudge Option:

Add to the dough:

  •  2 tbs chocolate chips

Set ¼ cup of the dough aside, and press the rest of the dough into a small cake pan (about 6″ diameter) or ramekins.

On top of the bars spread:

  • 3 tbs chocolate fudge sauce (I used this sugar free, fat free fudge sauce, but if you’re aiming for a purely vegan recipe, feel free to use otherwise)

Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of dough on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 16-18 minutes. The very top of the bars should be lightly golden, but the bars shouldn’t appear totally baked through.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars

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I’m very particular about peanut butter. Offer me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on honey whole wheat bread and I’ll be unreasonably happy, but offer me a peanut cookie or slice of cake with peanut butter frosting and I’ll be less inclined to accept.

I can never tell if I’ll like a particular peanut butter dessert, so I usually just make recipes and hope I like them.

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The other day I stumbled upon this recipe for peanut butter oatmeal bars while looking for a recipe to make for friends. They looked delicious so I decided to make them, figuring that if I didn’t like them others would.

I didn’t have any Reece’s and planned to add chocolate chips instead, but halfway through making the bars I remembered seeing a recipe for peanut butter jelly bars, and decided that, yes, that was what I needed in my life.

I was right.

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These bars are intensely good. The peanut butter flavor is subtle but still evident, and the jelly adds a delightful gooeyness. They’re soft and buttery and fragrant. Yum.

If you’re looking for a fun recipe to try, I would definitely make these bars (now, optimally). If you’re gluten free or vegan, I’ll post a similar recipe that you can enjoy soon!

Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars

Recipe adapted from here.

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbs vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup peanut butter baking chips
  • strawberry jelly or jam
  1. Cream together the butter and brown sugar.
  2. Mix in the peanut butter.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating the mixture until smooth.
  4. Stir in the vanilla.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, salt, and peanut butter baking chips.
  6. Fold in the wet ingredients until no flour streaks remain.
  7. Pat 2/3 of the dough into a greased 9×13 inch pan.
  8. Spread a layer of strawberry jelly or jam over the dough, using however much desired. (I added just enough so the bottom was completely covered.)
  9. Add the remaining dough to the top of the jam in small chunks.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until golden the top is light to medium golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the bars comes out clean.

Costa Rican Banana Cake

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I’ve been to Costa Rica twice.

The first time was in 2009, when a past Spanish teacher invited some of his other former students to join a group of his current students on a trip there. Most of former students (the people I knew) couldn’t go, which left just my friend Sonia and me.

By that point, even though I had taken Spanish for three years, I would still fumble during simple conversations. My parents allowed me to go on the conditions that I would speak solely in Spanish, but considering I was there with 20 other teens and a close friend, none of whom could speak much better than I, that didn’t happen.

Instead I spent close to a week making new friends (in English) and having fun, not a total waste I think! (Though, if you ask my mom and dad, they grumble and say, “Yeah, yeah.”)

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Me and Sonia in Costa Rica!

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This summer, I lived with a Costa Rican family for three weeks. My days were divided between community service and Spanish lessons, with the occasional excursion on the weekends.

Since I visited with my friend and her sister, I wasn’t completely immersed and did speak some English, but with twenty hours of Spanish classes a week, I definitely improved my conversational skills and learned a lot.

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When I’m at home, I tend to cook most of my meals myself, mostly because I’m impatient and can’t bear the lag between asking for food and actually receiving it.

In Costa Rica, my host mother generously set out plates of food for me three times a day, and for three weeks I happily ate black beans, flavored rice, cabbage salad, and vegetables, with the occasional caramel candy or slice of cake.

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During one of the excursions, I bought a Costa Rican cookbook from a giftshop, already dreading a life without homemade rice and beans at every meal. It’s filled with recipes for savory and sweet dishes, and all the recipes I’ve tried so far have been successes.

I’ll post recipes for rice and beans soon, but they were both devoured before I could take pictures. Luckily, I snapped some shots of this banana cake in time.

This cake is denser than most banana cakes I’ve had, and the recipe called for cloves and nutmeg rather than cinnamon, but it was still delicious.

Costa Rican Banana Cake [Queque de banano]

EDIT: Looking back at this recipe, I’m realizing how crazy its ratio for liquid vs dry ingredients is. I’m not sure how it baked up properly when I made it, but I’ve edited it to reflect this highly regarded recipe, and kept the spices so that it still has that traditional Costa-Rican™

taste.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 1/3 cup mashed ripe bananas
  • ½ cup butter, melted & cooled
  • ¾ cups sugar (the recipe called for twice as much. I think ¾ cup should be fine)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and spices.
  2. In another bowl mash the bananas.
  3. Add the butter, sugar, eggs milk, and vanilla.
  4. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  5. Bake in a greased 9×13 pan for about 40-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Blondies

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Whenever I need a quick dessert, something to bring to a friend’s house or just to eat myself, I make these blondies. They’re EXTREMELY easy to make and don’t require any fancy ingredients. Perfect for when I’m feeling lazy (which is, well, most of the time).

And, they taste pretty awesome.

Blondies

adapted from here

  • ½ cup (8 TBS) butter, melted
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  1. Stir together the melted butter and brown sugar.
  2. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
  3. Fold in the flour until no streaks remain.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Pour in a greased and parchment’d 8×8 inch pan and bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes, or until set in the middle.

Brown Butter Vanilla Rice Crispies

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These rice crispy treats are the perfect thing to make when you’re feeling stressed. They have the same nostalgia attached to them as regular store bought rice crispy treats, but they’re revamped with brown butter, vanilla bean paste, and sea salt. Even if you’re not much of a baker, you should definitely try tackling this recipe.

Brown Butter Vanilla Rice Crispies

 

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 10 ounces marshmallows
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 6 cups rice crispies cereal
  1. Heat the butter in a large pan over medium heat until dark amber colored.

  2. Add the marshmallows, salt, and vanilla bean paste and stir until melted.

  3. Add in the rice cereal and stir until completely combined.

  4. Press into a greased 9×13 baking pan (I’d seriously recommend some parchment paper in the pan too.)

  5. Allow to cool, cut into squares, and enjoy!

Blueberry Crumble Bars

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A quick note from Chomps of Life:

Guess what?  My amazing brother has generously bought me the domain name chompsoflife.com! Yee!  That means that if you want to get to this blog, you can now omit the .tumblr.com. Much easier, amirite?

Now back to the blog:

Today’s recipe is brought to you by the various times my dad’s gone to the Farmer’s Market, and arrived home with a giant paper bag filled to the rim with blueberries.  Although I knew that my family was completely capable of eating all those berries raw, I knew that an even more delicious use of them would be baked, preferably in a pie.  I, being an extremely lazy baker, looked for a recipe that could satisfy my appetite, and my couch-potato personality.  This blueberry crumble is it! It only requires making one simple dough for the crust and crumble, and an even simpler blueberry mixture for the filling.  If you’re a lazy baker, make this today, and if you’re not, make it anyways and realize how wonderful laziness can be.

Blueberry Crumble Bars

adapted from here

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 4 cups fresh blueberries
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  1. In a bowl, combine ½ cup of the white sugar with the brown sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

  2. Blend in the vanilla, butter, and egg to form a crumbly dough.

  3. Pat half of the dough into a greased 9×13 inch pan.

  4. In another bowl, combine the blueberries, other ½ cup of white sugar, and cornstarch.

  5. Sprinkle this mixture on top of the dough, then crumble the remaining dough on top of the blueberry mixture.

  6. Bake for 45 minutes at 375 degrees, or until the top is golden brown.

  7. Cool completely, cut into squares, and enjoy!