Maura Byrne before MIHI

Yesterday’s post was heavy, so before tackling forgiveness I thought I’d lighten it up a bit! I wrote a really good post for tomorrow on forgiveness today while busting out some 7 minute miles at the gym. I credit that to the three shots of espresso I had in the afternoon.

Prior to founding and launching Made in His Image I worked as a baker and pastry chef. If I didn’t learn it from my Mom I learned it from Elisabeth and Chad, owners of Tartine in San Francisco. They are incredible!! Visit their website by clicking here. Someone asked me to post my recipe for croissants. First, it is not mine, but theirs, and exceedingly detailed. Making pastries is very involved, but take your time and enjoy. It might take a few tries to get it right, but don’t be discouraged, as that is normal. The pictures in this post are of my food.

Croissants – from Tartine by Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson

Preferment:
¾ cup non-fat milk (6 ounces/150 ml)
1 Tablespoon active dry yeast (15ml)
1⅓ cup all-purpose flour (6¼ ounces/175g)

Dough:
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon active dry yeast (20ml)
1¾ cup whole milk (14 ounces/425 ml)
6 cups all-purpose flour (28 ounces/800g)
⅓ cup sugar (2½ ounces/70g)
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon salt (20 ml)
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter (15ml)

Roll-in butter:
2¾ cup unsalted butter (22 ounces/625 g)

Egg wash:
4 large egg yolks (2 ounces/60 ml)
¼ cup heavy cream
pinch of salt

To Make the Preferment:

In a small saucepan, warm the milk to take the chill off (between 80° to 90 °F). Pour the milk into a mixing bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the milk, stir to dissolve the yeast with a wooden spoon, and then add the flour, mixing with a wooden spoon until a smooth batter forms. Cover the bowl with cheesecloth and let the mixture rise until almost double in volume, 2 to 3 hours at moderate temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.

To Make the Dough:

First measure out all your ingredients and keep them near at hand. Transfer the preferment and then the yeast to the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix on low speed until the yeast is incorporated into the preferment batter, which will take a minute or two. Stop the mixer as needed and use a spatula to clean the bottom and sides of the bowl, folding the loosened portion into the mixture to incorporate all the elements fully. When the mixture has come together into an even, well-mixed mass, increase the speed to medium, and mix for a couple of minutes. Slowly add half of the milk and continue to mix until the milk is fully incorporated.

Reduce the speed to low, add the flour, sugar, salt, melted butter, and the rest of the milk, and mix until the mass comes together in a loose dough, about 3 minutes. Turn off the mixer and let the dough rest for 15 to 20 minutes. This resting period helps to shorten the final mixing phase, which comes next.

Engage the mixer again on low speed and mix until the dough is smooth and elastic, a maximum of 4 minutes. If the dough is very firm, add a little milk, 1 tablespoon at a time. Take care not to over-mix the dough, which will result in a tough croissant that also turns stale more quickly. Remember, too, you will be rolling out the dough several times, which will further develop the gluten structure, so though you want a smooth dough, the less mixing you do to achieve that goal, the better. Cover the bowl with cheesecloth and let the dough rise in a cool place until the volume increases by half, about 1½ hours.

Lightly flour a work surface. Transfer the dough to the floured surface and press into a rectangle 2 inches thick. Wrap the rectangle in plastic wrap, or slip it into a plastic bag and seal closed. Place the dough in the refrigerator to chill for 4 to 6 hours.

To Make the Roll-in butter:

About 1 hour before you are ready to start laminating the dough, put the butter that you will be rolling into the dough in the bowl of the mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until malleable but not warm or soft, about 3 minutes. Remove the butter from the bowl, wrap in plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to chill but not re-solidify.

Laminating the dough:

Lightly dust a cool work surface, and then remove the chilled dough and the butter from the refrigerator. Unwrap the dough and place it on the floured surface. Roll out the dough into a rectangle 28 by 12 inches. With the long side of the rectangle facing you, and starting from the left side, spread and spot the butter over two-thirds of the length of the rectangle. Fold the uncovered third over the butter and then fold the left-hand third over the center, as if folding a business letter. The resulting rectangle is known as a plaque. With your fingers, push down along the seams on the top and the bottom to seal in the plaque.

Second turn:

Give the plaque a quarter turn so the seams are to your right and left, rather than at the top and bottom. Again, roll out the dough into a rectangle 28 by 12 inches, and fold again in the same manner. Wrap in plastic wrap or slip into a plastic bag and place in the refrigerator for 1½ to 2 hours to relax the gluten in the dough before you make the third fold, or “turn”.

Third turn:

Clean the work surface, dust again with flour, and remove the dough from the refrigerator. Unwrap, place on the floured surface, and again roll out into a rectangle 28 by 12 inches. Fold into thirds in the same manner. You should have a plaque of dough measuring about 9 by 12 inches, about the size of a quarter sheet pan, and 1½ to 2 inches thick. Wrap in plastic wrap or slip into the plastic bag, place on a quarter sheet pan, and immediately place in the freezer to chill for at least 1 hour. If you intend to make the croissants the next morning, leave the dough in the freezer until the evening and then transfer it to the refrigerator before retiring. The next morning, the dough will be ready to roll out and form into croissants, proof, and bake. Or, you can leave the dough in the freezer for up to 1 week; just remember to transfer it to the refrigerator to thaw overnight before using.

Making the croissant:

When you are ready to roll out the dough, dust the work surface again. Roll out the dough into a rectangle 32 by 12 inches and 3/8 inches thick. Using a pizza wheel or chef’s knife, cut the dough into long triangles that measure 10 to 12 inches on each side and about 4 inches along the base.

Line a half sheet pan (about 13 by 18 inches) with parchment paper. To shape each croissant, position a triangle with the base facing you. Positioning your palms on the two outer points of the base, carefully rolling the base toward the point. To finish, grab the point with one hand, stretching it slightly, and continue to roll, tucking the point underneath the rolled dough so that the croissant will stand tall when you place it on the sheet pan. If you have properly shaped the croissant, it will have 6 or 7 ridges.
As you form the croissants, place them, well-spaced, on the prepared half-sheet pan. When all the croissants are on the pan, set the pan in a draft-free area with relatively high humidity, and let the pastries rise for 2 to 3 hours. The ideal temperature is 75 °F. A bit cooler or warmer is all right, as long as the temperature is not warm enough to melt the layers of butter in the dough, which would yield greasy pastries. Cooler is preferable and will increase the rising time and with it the flavor development. For example, the home oven (turned off) with a pan of steaming water placed in the bottom is a good place for proofing leavened baked items. To make sure that no skin forms on the pastries during this final rising, refresh the pan of water halfway through the rising.

During this final rising, the croissants should at least double in size and look noticeably puffy. If when you press a croissant lightly with a fingertip, the indentation fills in slowly, the croissants are almost ready to bake. At this point, the croissants should still be slightly “firm” and holding their shape and neither spongy nor starting to slouch. If you have put the croissants into the oven to proof, remove them now and set the oven to 425 °F to preheat for 20 to 30 minutes.

About 10 minutes before you are ready to bake the croissants, make the egg wash. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, cream, and salt until you have a pale yellow mixture. Using a pastry brush, lightly and carefully brush the yolk mixture on the pastries, being careful not to allow the egg wash to drip onto the pan. Let the wash dry slightly, about 10 minutes, before baking.

Place the croissants into the oven, immediately turn down the oven temperature to 400 °F, and leave the door shut for the first 10 minutes. Then working quickly, open the oven door, rotate the pan 180 degrees, and close the door. This rotation will help the pastries to bake evenly. Bake for 6 to 10 minutes longer, rotating the pan again during this time if the croissants do not appear to be baking evenly. The croissants should be done in 15 to 20 minutes total. They are ready when they are a deep golden brown on the top and bottom, crisp on the outside and light when they are picked up, indicating that the interior is cooked through.

Remove the croissants from the oven and place them on a wire rack to cool. As they cool, their moist interiors will set up. They are best if eaten while they are still slightly warm. If they have just cooled to room temperature, they are fine as well, or you can rewarm them in a 375°F oven for 6 to 8 minutes to recrisp them before serving. You can also store leftover croissants in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day, and then afterward in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you have stored them, recrisp them in the oven before serving.

Kitchen Notes: I have made several different varieties of croissants, including chocolate, cream cheese and almond filled.

“Honey are you married?”

Over the summer, when I worked as a baker, a customer approached me in my flour covered apron and pulled back hair, touched my arm and said, Honey are you married? I chuckled and said no. Well whoever you marry, he better like to exercise because you are going to make him fat with all of this good food. I almost dropped what I was holding, as we both laughed together.

As I was uploading these cookie pictures I thought of her funny remark. Well I don’t think I would ever marry anyone who doesn’t like to exercise and my cooking is good for you, so fear not wherever you are future husband.

The other evening I made some Christmas cookies. Baking is so therapeutic for me and I love to bring others joy through my baking and cooking. My favorite is to make dinner for my roommates and people I love.

This is just the beginning of my Christmas baking because I made these in Nashville.  And next week, I’m going home for Christmas and will definitely bake with my mom and little sister.

Do you want to hear something amazing? Made in His Image got its business debit card today! We are officially a business!! God the Father is breathtaking!! The card is royal blue to honor our Lady and my favorite part is the silver lettering at the bottom that reads “Made in His Image.” WOW!!! I can’t believe our name is on a business credit card. I had tears in my eyes when I held it in my hand. It’s really happening and we are almost an official 501 (c) 3 – non-profit organization!!! All the glory and honor to our Heavenly Father! I know He is going to use this ministry to save lives and show people His love and mercy.

My First Turkey

I’ve watched my mom cook a turkey for years and this year I got to do it. And the fire department didn’t even come, unlike other cooking adventures I have embarked upon. Don’t look at me, it wasn’t my fault that the sugar in the apple turnovers converted to liquid and dripped down the oven to start a fire. Or that pools of butter formed on the cookie sheet when my croissants were cooking to also drip down the oven and start a fire. It only meant I needed new cookie sheets and the fire department keeps me humble.

Let me just tell ya, I don’t think Mom’s get an adequate amount of thanks for what they do. So, if you haven’t thanked your mom for all the hard work she use to do or still does for you, go ahead and give her a call and tell her thanks. My mom always use to tell me, Maura, these are the easiest years of your life, because you are only responsible for you. But when you get married, everything changes. When I was in trauma therapy my doctor always use to say, Marriage is about getting out of yourself. I think I’ll hear his words until the day I die, as they are so firmly rooted within me now. Most mother’s do a phenomenal job at getting out of themselves and I believe it’s important for us to thank them for their sacrifice and witness.

Last Wednesday night I rinsed the turkey in cold water and made the stuffing. A friend had cubed loafs of Tuscan bread, which had been drying out on our counter for the day. I sautéed onions and celery with a dab or two of butter and tossed it with some dried poultry seasoning and chopped apples. Thursday morning I stuffed the turkey and underneath it’s skin I rubbed a mixture of fresh herbs, freshly ground pepper and salt. And in it went for five hours. Nothing burned or blow up, so all was well (not that I have ever blown anything up while cooking. I did all of my “blowing up” in Organic Chemistry in college).

Pinterest anyone?

Kathryn graciously bought these for our house on Thanksgiving!

Gerber daisies are my favorite!

Time to eat!

My beautiful roommate Tala!

I’m sorry I didn’t get pictures of the food, I was to preoccupied with trying to make sure everything would be warm at the same time. And many thanks to Kathryn Baker who took these photos. Kathryn is a second year law student at Vanderbilt, who also loves photography. You should check out her blog cameras & cowboy boots.

So, I Use to be a Pastry Chef

Prior to founding and launching Made in His Image I worked as a baker and pastry chef. If I didn’t learn it from my Mom I learned it from Elisabeth and Chad, owners of Tartine in San Francisco. They are incredible!! Visit their website by clicking here. Someone asked me to post my recipe for croissants for the upcoming holidays. First, it is not mine, but theirs and exceedingly detailed. Making pastries is very involved, but take your time and enjoy. It might take a few tries to get it right, but don’t be discouraged, as that is normal for a beginner. The pictures in this post are of my food.

Croissants – from Tartine by Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson

Preferment:
¾ cup non-fat milk (6 ounces/150 ml)
1 Tablespoon active dry yeast (15ml)
1⅓ cup all-purpose flour (6¼ ounces/175g)

Dough:
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon active dry yeast (20ml)
1¾ cup whole milk (14 ounces/425 ml)
6 cups all-purpose flour (28 ounces/800g)
⅓ cup sugar (2½ ounces/70g)
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon salt (20 ml)
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter (15ml)

Roll-in butter:
2¾ cup unsalted butter (22 ounces/625 g)

Egg wash:
4 large egg yolks (2 ounces/60 ml)
¼ cup heavy cream
pinch of salt

To Make the Preferment:

In a small saucepan, warm the milk to take the chill off (between 80° to 90 °F). Pour the milk into a mixing bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the milk, stir to dissolve the yeast with a wooden spoon, and then add the flour, mixing with a wooden spoon until a smooth batter forms. Cover the bowl with cheesecloth and let the mixture rise until almost double in volume, 2 to 3 hours at moderate temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.

To Make the Dough:

First measure out all your ingredients and keep them near at hand. Transfer the preferment and then the yeast to the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix on low speed until the yeast is incorporated into the preferment batter, which will take a minute or two. Stop the mixer as needed and use a spatula to clean the bottom and sides of the bowl, folding the loosened portion into the mixture to incorporate all the elements fully. When the mixture has come together into an even, well-mixed mass, increase the speed to medium, and mix for a couple of minutes. Slowly add half of the milk and continue to mix until the milk is fully incorporated.

Reduce the speed to low, add the flour, sugar, salt, melted butter, and the rest of the milk, and mix until the mass comes together in a loose dough, about 3 minutes. Turn off the mixer and let the dough rest for 15 to 20 minutes. This resting period helps to shorten the final mixing phase, which comes next.

Engage the mixer again on low speed and mix until the dough is smooth and elastic, a maximum of 4 minutes. If the dough is very firm, add a little milk, 1 tablespoon at a time. Take care not to over-mix the dough, which will result in a tough croissant that also turns stale more quickly. Remember, too, you will be rolling out the dough several times, which will further develop the gluten structure, so though you want a smooth dough, the less mixing you do to achieve that goal, the better. Cover the bowl with cheesecloth and let the dough rise in a cool place until the volume increases by half, about 1½ hours.

Lightly flour a work surface. Transfer the dough to the floured surface and press into a rectangle 2 inches thick. Wrap the rectangle in plastic wrap, or slip it into a plastic bag and seal closed. Place the dough in the refrigerator to chill for 4 to 6 hours.

To Make the Roll-in butter:

About 1 hour before you are ready to start laminating the dough, put the butter that you will be rolling into the dough in the bowl of the mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until malleable but not warm or soft, about 3 minutes. Remove the butter from the bowl, wrap in plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to chill but not re-solidify.

Laminating the dough:

Lightly dust a cool work surface, and then remove the chilled dough and the butter from the refrigerator. Unwrap the dough and place it on the floured surface. Roll out the dough into a rectangle 28 by 12 inches. With the long side of the rectangle facing you, and starting from the left side, spread and spot the butter over two-thirds of the length of the rectangle. Fold the uncovered third over the butter and then fold the left-hand third over the center, as if folding a business letter. The resulting rectangle is known as a plaque. With your fingers, push down along the seams on the top and the bottom to seal in the plaque.

Second turn:

Give the plaque a quarter turn so the seams are to your right and left, rather than at the top and bottom. Again, roll out the dough into a rectangle 28 by 12 inches, and fold again in the same manner. Wrap in plastic wrap or slip into a plastic bag and place in the refrigerator for 1½ to 2 hours to relax the gluten in the dough before you make the third fold, or “turn”.

Third turn:

Clean the work surface, dust again with flour, and remove the dough from the refrigerator. Unwrap, place on the floured surface, and again roll out into a rectangle 28 by 12 inches. Fold into thirds in the same manner. You should have a plaque of dough measuring about 9 by 12 inches, about the size of a quarter sheet pan, and 1½ to 2 inches thick. Wrap in plastic wrap or slip into the plastic bag, place on a quarter sheet pan, and immediately place in the freezer to chill for at least 1 hour. If you intend to make the croissants the next morning, leave the dough in the freezer until the evening and then transfer it to the refrigerator before retiring. The next morning, the dough will be ready to roll out and form into croissants, proof, and bake. Or, you can leave the dough in the freezer for up to 1 week; just remember to transfer it to the refrigerator to thaw overnight before using.

Making the croissant:

When you are ready to roll out the dough, dust the work surface again. Roll out the dough into a rectangle 32 by 12 inches and 3/8 inches thick. Using a pizza wheel or chef’s knife, cut the dough into long triangles that measure 10 to 12 inches on each side and about 4 inches along the base.

Line a half sheet pan (about 13 by 18 inches) with parchment paper. To shape each croissant, position a triangle with the base facing you. Positioning your palms on the two outer points of the base, carefully rolling the base toward the point. To finish, grab the point with one hand, stretching it slightly, and continue to roll, tucking the point underneath the rolled dough so that the croissant will stand tall when you place it on the sheet pan. If you have properly shaped the croissant, it will have 6 or 7 ridges.
As you form the croissants, place them, well-spaced, on the prepared half-sheet pan. When all the croissants are on the pan, set the pan in a draft-free area with relatively high humidity, and let the pastries rise for 2 to 3 hours. The ideal temperature is 75 °F. A bit cooler or warmer is all right, as long as the temperature is not warm enough to melt the layers of butter in the dough, which would yield greasy pastries. Cooler is preferable and will increase the rising time and with it the flavor development. For example, the home oven (turned off) with a pan of steaming water placed in the bottom is a good place for proofing leavened baked items. To make sure that no skin forms on the pastries during this final rising, refresh the pan of water halfway through the rising.

During this final rising, the croissants should at least double in size and look noticeably puffy. If when you press a croissant lightly with a fingertip, the indentation fills in slowly, the croissants are almost ready to bake. At this point, the croissants should still be slightly “firm” and holding their shape and neither spongy nor starting to slouch. If you have put the croissants into the oven to proof, remove them now and set the oven to 425 °F to preheat for 20 to 30 minutes.

About 10 minutes before you are ready to bake the croissants, make the egg wash. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, cream, and salt until you have a pale yellow mixture. Using a pastry brush, lightly and carefully brush the yolk mixture on the pastries, being careful not to allow the egg wash to drip onto the pan. Let the wash dry slightly, about 10 minutes, before baking.

Place the croissants into the oven, immediately turn down the oven temperature to 400 °F, and leave the door shut for the first 10 minutes. Then working quickly, open the oven door, rotate the pan 180 degrees, and close the door. This rotation will help the pastries to bake evenly. Bake for 6 to 10 minutes longer, rotating the pan again during this time if the croissants do not appear to be baking evenly. The croissants should be done in 15 to 20 minutes total. They are ready when they are a deep golden brown on the top and bottom, crisp on the outside and light when they are picked up, indicating that the interior is cooked through.

Remove the croissants from the oven and place them on a wire rack to cool. As they cool, their moist interiors will set up. They are best if eaten while they are still slightly warm. If they have just cooled to room temperature, they are fine as well, or you can rewarm them in a 375°F oven for 6 to 8 minutes to recrisp them before serving. You can also store leftover croissants in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day, and then afterward in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you have stored them, recrisp them in the oven before serving.

Kitchen Notes: I have made several different varieties of croissants, including chocolate, cream cheese and almond filled.

Chunky woolen sweaters from jcrew, warm mugs of cider and cooler weather…

these are three of my favorite things about fall. Oh and I can’t forget my six year old jcrew vest and woolen ski hat. The other day someone asked if I had stopped posting anything baking related on my blog, since I was working full-time with Made in His Image. Good question, and the answer is no, I can’t forget my roots (Hi mom). I still love to eat, cook and bake; I just don’t get to do it as much. And yes mom, I do have money to buy groceries. My mom was a little concerned (as most moms I imagine would be) when I left my job for MIHI. Not because she didn’t believe in the mission, she just wanted to make sure I was provided for. She still asks periodically if I have money for food (thanks mom, I just Trader Joe’s it up).

So, it’s officially fall, and Nashville’s weather is starting to act like it with its crisp evenings and chilly mornings. All of the local cafes’ have brought back their pumpkin spice lattes, spiced apple cider and their assortment of seasonal baked goods. To follow in the festivities of the season I thought I would post a recipe for donuts. Yep, that’s right, that would be homemade donuts. So now you can save that five dollars or more that you would spend on a dozen donuts and make them yourself. Plus if you have children, they will love it! Just don’t let them do the frying, but I think that’s common sense. I made donuts with one of the little girls I tutor and she LOVED it. She went around the block with me handing them out to her neighbors because she was so proud of herself. So, making donuts can also be a confidence builder, even better!

Yeast donut dough
3/4 cup whole milk
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package (2 1/2 teaspoons) quick rise yeast
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
 
Other ingredients needed
Canola oil for brushing and frying
2/3 cup of the best quality strawberry jelly or seedless raspberry, apricot, or blueberry jam. I love the seedless raspberry the best. 
1/2 cup of superfine sugar 
 

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk and butter and heat, stirring, until the butter is melted and the mixture is hot but not boiling. Remove from the heat.

Fit a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. In the mixing bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups of the flour, the sugar, salt, and yeast and beat on low-speed to mix. Add the hot milk mixture, raise the speed to medium, and beat until well blended. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until fully incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining 3/4 cup flour and beat until the dough is well blended and smooth, about 1 minute longer. The dough will not pull away from the sides of the bowl and will still be somewhat sticky.

Scrape the dough into a large bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let stand in a warm place until well risen and increased in bulk (it may almost double in size), about 45 minutes. Use the dough right away.

Alright here we…let’s do this, let’s make donuts.

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper and brush the paper with oil. Line a second baking sheet with paper towels.

Turn the dough out onto a generously floured work surface. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into a circle about 10 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick. Using a 3-inch round pastry cutter, cut as many rounds as possible. Use a wide spatula to transfer the donuts to the oiled paper. Gather up the scraps and repeat the rolling and cutting out donuts. Cover the donuts with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for 30 minutes. The donuts should look soft and puffy, but will not double in size.

Pour oil to a depth of 2 inches into a medium size pot that you would boil water in. Heat the oil until it reads 360 degrees F on a deep frying thermometer. Carefully, lower 2-5 donuts into the hot oil and deep fry until golden in color, about 1 1/2 minutes. Turn over and cook until dark golden on the second side, about 1 minute longer. Transfer to the towel-lined baking sheet. Repeat to fry the remaining donuts, allowing the oil to return to 360 degrees F between batches.

Spread the sugar on a large plate or in a wide, shallow bowl. When the donuts are cool enough to handle, roll them in the sugar to coat on all sides. Fit a pastry bag with a 1/4 inch round tip and spoon the jelly into the bag. Using the tip of a small sharp knife, cut a 1/2 inch slit in the side of each donut. Press the tip of the pastry bag gently into the slits and pipe about 2 teaspoons of jelly into each donut. Enjoy as a perfect fall treat!

Kitchen notes: If you are using raspberry jam it has to be seedless, or the seeds will get stuck in the tip you attach to the pastry bag. Make sure your thermometer is a candy thermometer, a regular kitchen thermometer will not measure up to 360 degrees F.

Granola Bars

Last night Kathleen, one of my sweet roommates showed me this recipe for Granola Bars. It’s from a blog called Homemade Incredible. Check it out homemadeincredilbe.wordpress.com.

This recipe for Granola Bars looks awesome. I’m going to try it tomorrow and will let you know how they turn out. Granola Bars are a good breakfast on the go with a Banana (or any fruit) and make very healthy and delicious snacks. I have made granola before, but never bars so I’m excited to try this out.

Here is the recipe:

  • 3 c oats
  • 1/2 c wheat germ or ground flax seed
  • 3/4 c flour or ground oats
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 c walnuts
  • 1/2 c dried cranberries
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c natural peanut or almond butter
  • 1 c unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 c honey

In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, wheat germ/flax, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, stir together remaining ingredients. Make a “well” in the center of the oat mixture; pour wet ingredients into well and stir together until just combined. Grease a large (13×9″) pan with butter and press mixture firmly into pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool, then cut into bars. I recommend freezing half the batch!

Try it and let me know how you like it!

Tartlet Pans

To answer a few email questions – I bought my tartlet pans in California at one of my favorite stores – Sur la Table. Sur la Table is a baker’s paradise, a store very similar to Williams Sonoma. I will never forget going there with my mom one sunny morning.

The most common type of tart pan is a shiny, tin-lined, removable-bottom pan with a fluted edge about 1 inch tall. It comes in a range of sizes, from individual (4 inches) to bakery-size (12 inches or larger) and in shapes from round to rectangular. Heavy-gauge tinned steel ensures even and gentle heat distribution for consistent baking and professional-quality results.

You can also find tartlet pans in myriad sizes and styles that are great for buffets, teas, and other occasions when a tiny all-to-yourself dessert is just right. Be careful when removing filled tart pans; hold them by the sides, rather than the removable bottom (if they have one).

Ceramic tart pans are a beautiful choice when you want to present your tart in its baking pan, though the tart may need to bake longer than the recipe specifies due to the poor heat conductivity of ceramic.

Sur la Table sells their tartlet pans for $4.00 a piece (for the 4 in.) I checked William Sonoma and they sell a set of 6 (4 in) for $23.00, if you don’t have to pay shipping and can go to a store to pick them up that is not a bad price at all. I would NOT buy these pans at a regular grocery store. I have done that before for other speciality pans and they were not properly made at all and I ended up ruining an entire catering job. And it cost me twice the amount of money in ingredients because I had to remake the dessert.

Here is the link to Sur la Table: http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO-7404/Gobel-Nonstick-Tartlets

And here is the link to Williams Sonoma: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/gobel-nonstick-mini-round-tart-pan/?pkey=cpie-pans-tart-pans

I hope you all have fun with this! Enjoy! And please let me know how they turn out – I know they will be delicious. Send me an email if you run into any questions while making the tarts, I would love to answer any questions at all.