willandmegan

"Stuart rose from the ditch, climbed into his car, and started up the road that led toward the north…. As he peeked ahead into the great land that stretched before him, the way seemed long. But the sky was bright, and he somehow felt he was headed in the right direction." (from Stuart Little by E.B. White)


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Oatie Nib Cookie (Oatmeal and Roasted Cocao Nib Cookies)

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“Oatie Nib Cookies

– 22 Good Sized Crunches of Heaven-

I love oatmeal. I love a sweet treat. And goodness, I love texture. And suddenly, I had a revelation! Why not use our crunchy, unabashedly enticing leftover cocao nibs to add just the right crunch to cookies?! (Note to readers: before editing this blog I realized I accidently wrote ‘add just the right CRUNK to cookies. These are things no one ever knows).

And thus, the oatmeal nib cookie was born! Before we embark on the recipe (and I know, if you’re like me, you’re ignoring these first few paragraph babbles) but I wanted to give a quick blog to Dandelion Chocolate out in California. While working at a local coffee shop I had the pleasure of encountering these little bits of crunchy heaven. They were so good, Will and I ordered a bag and had it sent to us in the mail. I will spare you my pretending-to-be-super-cool-on-wordpress and quote Dandelion directly on the natural flavor attributes of the bean (and boy is there!), “Our Madagascar bar’s crazy fruit notes are present even straight from the bean, but here they show an acidic bite punctuating the nuttier undertones.” So, there ya have it. And it animates these cookies in a way that no amount of walnuts or raisans can!

Ingredients:

The Big Schtuff

2 cups of oatmeal (some say quick oats, some say regular. I used regular)DSC_0909

1/2 cup of Dandelion Chocolate Cocao Nibs

1 cup wheat flour and 1/2 cup all purpose (variations of this would turn out fine)

1/2 cup ground flax (or not. or more. but it gives you some Omega 3)

1/2 cup butter (that’s a giant stick of fat thrown in a bowl & melted in microwave)

1/4 cup honey (in place of 1/2 cup white sugar)

1 cup raw cane sugar (or brown)DSC_0908

2/4 cup applesauce

1 egg (or eggwhite? haven’t tried that yet)

1 cup peanut butter chips (or whatever you want)

The Not-So-Big Schtuff

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 3/4 teaspoon vanilla (or however much you want it to taste like vanilla)

1/2 teaspoon of apple pie spice (which really means some clove or nutmeg or allspice or pumpin or or or)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:DSC_0931

1- Preheat to 375 (I preheat to 389 because my oven hates me)

2- Grease a cookie sheet or use a super cool silpat

3- Big bowl for the dry stuff: oatmeal, flour, baking soda & powder, salt, flax, spices<–StirDSC_0930

4- Not as big bowl for the ‘wet’ stuff: butter, brown sugar, vanilla, honey, egg, applesauce<–Stir

5-Drop wet stuff into dry stuff and mix

6-Drop them on your baking sheet, however big you want (I made 12 1st round, 10 the second)

7-Service with Almond Milk.

8-Eat them all in one day.

Seriously, the best. I’m gonna fatten’ up William Head.

Cheers,

willandmegan

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Cacao and Coffee – Who Can Boast About Their Roast?

Through the end of summer and into the fall, Meg and I have taken on many late night tastings. Our most recent being a selection of five chocolate bars infused with coffee. Now that we are wrapped up in full time work schedules and grad school, these cute adventures don’t occur so regularly. With a whole slew of costuming and wine making ideas the ol’ taste buds have surely taken a back seat. In fact, I had obtained these little chocolate wonders two weeks before Meg and I ever got around to consuming them. The addictive qualities of cacao for myself is similar to kryptonite for superman. I spent many a night glaring at those 5 bars like a psychiatric patient reasoning with himself.

Much like previous tastings we chose a high quality organic/fairtrade selection. Apparently, the pairing of coffee and cacao is in high demand. America has the desire for a bittersweet kick of caffeine (in bar form). This tasting differed from the previous in that we carried out a blind portion to ensure no biased opinions based on brand, appearance, 1st impressions etc. It was a success!

Below are our results. Each bar/brand is rated 15. 1 being the best and 5 being the worst.

# 1: Equal Exchange Espresso Bean (55% Cacao)

  • Details / florals, tiny crystallized texture, successfully incorporates the coffee through balanced texture and flavor. Rich taste from start to finish.

# 2: endangered species natural DARK CHOCOLATE WITH ESPRESSO BEANS (72% Cocoa)

  • Details / aroma is similar to cheap Easter chocolate, coconut undertones, moist, chocolate cake overtones, fresh flavors in textured beans.

# 3: Salazon Chocolate Co.Organic Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt & Crushed Organic Coffee (57% Dark Chocolate)

  • Details / salt, butterscotch, liqu0r richness, no coffee chunks or texture, consistency similar to truffle with the sweet flavors of toffee and molasses. Very little evidence of coffee. Unique landscape image on bar.

# 4: medecasse CHOCOLATEarabica coffee (44% cocoa) with arabica coffee nibs

  • Details / brown sugar and caramel flavors, textured pieces are rough, dry and stale tasting. Milkiness is evident through creamy consistency. Outer appearance looks crackled, mulch like etc.

# 5 – Green & Black’s OrganicEspresso Dark Chocolate infused with fine Arabica coffee beans (70% Cocoa Content)

  • Details / aroma of old diner coffee, burnt Keureg scent, campfire, smoky, stale cigarette, pine, lasting dryness. Overbearing flavors hide existence of cocoa.