Homebaked Granola

Granola Image 2

Homebaked Granola

Made in mind for: Cousin Amy

1 C      organic canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
½ C     coconut oil, melted and then measured
½ C     local honey
2 tsp    cinnamon
1 tsp    almond extract (OR 1 TBS vanilla extract)*
generous pinch sea salt

4 C       gluten-free oats (I prefer Bob’s Red Mill)
1 ¼ C   raw nuts, chopped (pecans, walnuts or almonds)
½ C      raw sunflower seeds
½ C      raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

1 C       dried fruit (cherries OR blueberries)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In large bowl, whisk pumpkin, oil, honey, cinnamon, extract and salt until combined into a smooth paste. Stir in gluten-free oats. Add chopped nuts and seeds and stir until evenly coated.

Divide granola onto 3 parchment lined baking trays and spread into single layers. Bake for 25 minutes and remove trays from oven. Shift granola on tray, moving browned edges to the interior and soft granola bits towards the outer perimeter. Bake 15-20 minutes longer until golden brown. (Timing may vary from rack to rack in your oven. I prefer baking to crispy brown as opposed to underbaking). Remove from oven.

Cool completely on trays.  Pour cooled granola into clean large bowl.  Mix in dried fruit. Store in tightly sealed mason jars. Keeps fresh for weeks, if you have that much willpower!

* When adding the extract, I love the simple combination of pairing dried blueberries with almond extract / dried cherries with vanilla extract. Check to ensure your extracts are gluten-free.

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CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN BARS

pumpkin bars

CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN BARS

Made in mind for: Michelle Lazar

1 C white rice flour
½ C brown rice flour
½ C gluten free oat flour
1 TBS pumpkin pie spice (can substitute 1.5 tsp cinnamon, ¾ tsp ginger, ½ tsp nutmeg, ½ tsp allspice and ½ tsp cloves)
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp xanthan gum

1 C Earth Balance (2 sticks), softened
½ C packed brown sugar
½ C raw honey
1 egg
2 tsp gluten free vanilla extract
1 C organic pumpkin puree
2 C chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand are great)

ICING:
4 oz coconut milk, from can
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9”x13” glass baking dish with parchment paper and spray with pan spray.

Whisk together all dry ingredients and set aside. In standing mixer cream Earth Balance, brown sugar and honey until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Add pumpkin puree, mixture will begin to look curdled, this is okay! In three different additions, add dry mixture to wet. Mix on low speed until incorporated.

Remove bowl from mixer. By hand fold in the chocolate chips. Spread into 9”x13” pan and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and inserted toothpick removes clean or with just a few crumbs.

Remove from heat and cool. While cooling, heat coconut milk in saucepan until boiling. Pour milk over chopped bittersweet chocolate. Let rest for 1 minute and then whisk until milk is fully incorporated into the chocolate. Spread in an even layer over the baked pumpkin bars. Let cool at room temperature for a soft icing, or in the refrigerator for a harder icing.

About

I’ve always tried to be sweet as can be…but maybe that is a result of being flat out sugar-crazed.  Sweets have, and continue to, encompass my existence.

As young girls, my sister and I would covet our ‘fudge stripe’ cookies and wear them as elegant rings around our fingers that we slowly munched away on.  Sunday evening dinners with Dad always involved going to Wegmans’ bakery and picking out a special cake to enjoy after dinner.  Weekend drives to Grandma’s always lent themselves to an aromatic greeting and sweaty window panes from a hard day’s work in the kitchen. Whether it was fresh baked rolls, pumpkin pie or halfmoon cookies, the treats were vast and hard to choose which to enjoy first. I would often beg my mom for us to try one of the ‘boxed’ mixes from the store, not realizing how spoiled I was to have a made-from-scratch cake every birthday. Once old enough for working in the restaurant world, I would get excited when my sidework for the night involved cleaning out the pastry case.  You were being paid to closely examine each special cake, with all of it’s hard work, creativity and delicious taste, and wrap them up with the utmost care for the next business day. When I relocated to Colorado, my heart continued to be pastry-centric.  After attending a pastry program at the Art Institute, I was ready to take my passion into a career.

I’ve been honored to work in boutique bakeries and for well established, independent restaurants in Boulder over the past six years. As luck willed it to be, in 2010 I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease (an autoimmune disease caused by ingesting wheat, rye, barley and the many condiments/sauces that contain these hidden glutinous ingredients).  Like anyone who learns of such news, it’s paralyzing, sad and impossible to not alter your lifestyle.  Although my love for the food industry has not faltered, I’ve evolved into different aspects of the business, such as managing the restaurant and catering company, Dish Gourmet in Boulder, CO.

Needing to adhere to a strict policy of no gluten, I also have allergies to dairy and potatoes.  All of the recipes I share with you on this site will include no gluten, no dairy and no potatoes.  While I now bake in a different light, I simply refuse to deprive myself of the confections that I once loved.  I am bound and determined to find creative ways to continue to concoct these great delicacies.  I am confident that you can make these recipes in your own homes and receive astounding reactions from your crowd when they discover that they are enjoying the gluten free/dairy free version as much as the original (whether they have food allergies or not).

I find extreme reward in discovering ways to replicate the recipes I’ve established over the years into tasteful, nourishing and artistic treats.  In the art of replicating, I invite you to share with me what sweets you long for and the food sensitivities that you have to substitute for.  Email me at carly@undergroundpatisserie.com and I’ll work underground to find an alternative and share my findings with you.  Together, we won’t be deserted of dessert!