Monday, July 11, 2011

Sweet and Spicy Candied Walnuts

Healthy eating: not always very exciting.  I am trying to eat more healthy fats, which includes nuts.  I can't eat some nuts (almonds and hazelnuts, sad right?) so I was eating plain, un-roasted walnuts.  Well, that got boring very quickly, but they were filling and good for me.

I decided I needed to make them more exciting and did a quick search for sweet and spicy walnuts.  This recipe does have a lot of sugar, but you don't add any extra oil and I always feel like homemade is better than store bought.  A quarter of a cup of these is filling, crunchy, sweet, salty, and so yummy!!!  The added cayenne pepper adds a little kick at the end, which you could leave out if you want (bought don't, please!).

Sweet and Spicy Candied Walnuts
by:Smitten Kitchen

  • 1/3 cup dark-brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup white granulated sugar
  • 11/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • Generous pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pound walnut or pecan halves or whole peeled hazelnuts (or a mix)
  • 1 egg white, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon water
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. 
  2. Mix sugars, salt, cayenne, and cinnamon, making sure there are no lumps; set aside. 
  3. Beat egg white and water until frothy but not stiff. Add walnuts, and stir to coat evenly. 
  4. Sprinkle nuts with sugar mixture, and toss until evenly coated. 
  5. Spread sugared nuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet fitted with parchment paper. 
  6. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven, and separate nuts as they cool. 
  7. When completely cool, pour the nuts into a bowl, breaking up any that stick together.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler

I have been trying to eat healthy and make a general lifestyle change lately.  I think I mentioned that in the last post.  It has been going pretty well, but I haven't been baking as much because it is so hard to find light baked goods that taste goods and use good ingredients.

Since I went strawbery picking a few weeks ago, I had an abundance.  I found this recipe from Cooks Illustrated and figured it must be good since it was on their list of best light recipes.  I was right!!  I used rhubarb, but you don't have to.  I forgot to add the cinnamon and sugar to the top of the biscuits, but it was still delish!  Also, I found that I need about double the cornstarch that the recipe called for because the fruit was extremely juicy; you can adjust this after it cooks for a bit in the oven.  I hope you enjoy!

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler
from: Swim Bake Run

  • 1 quart fresh strawberries , rinsed and hulled
  • 10 ounces rhubarb , cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
Biscuit Topping
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (5 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup sugar plus 2 teaspoons
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the fruit filling ingredients together in a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Place the pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the fruit releases its liquid and is hot and bubbling around the edges, 20 to 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, whisk the flour, cornmeal, 1/4 cup of the sugar, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl; set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk, butter, and vanilla together; set aside. In a third small bowl, mix the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar with the cinnamon; set aside.
3. When the filling is ready, stir the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture with a rubber spatula until just combined and no pockets of flour remain. Remove the cobbler filling from the oven and stir. Pinch off 8 equal pieces of the biscuit dough and arrange them on top of the hot filling, spaced 1/2 inch apart. Sprinkle the tops of the biscuits with the cinnamon sugar.
4. Continue to bake the cobbler until the biscuits are golden brown on top and cooked through and the filling is again hot and bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool the cobbler on a wire rack for 15 minutes before serving.