Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal Crumb Bars {vegan+gluten free}

An exhausting work week led to an enjoyable weekend, where, on Saturday, I was able to revive my old tradition of going to the farmer's market and picking up fresh, local fruits and vegetables. Pints of small fresh-picked strawberries have been a regular occurrence at the farmer's market lately, and the sweet smell of berries was just too much to pass up. I bought two baskets; the first for baking, and the second for my face. I had picked up a few stalks of rhubarb the week prior, so of course it was only natural to combine the two. I had been promising my coworkers that I would bring something in on Monday since they have started me a "sweet indulgence" fund whereby they put money into a nicely decorated can and I in turn feed them fresh baked goods. Ignoring their suggestions (though they WERE good suggestions) because I wanted to use seasonal ingredients. Pie is difficult to eat at work and I have already made a strawberry rhubarb coffee cake, so I decided to frankenstein three different recipes to make some fruit filled oatmeal bars with a streusel topping (everything is better with streusel). They were extremely well received, as the empty pan sitting near me is now indicating.


3/4 C. vegan margarine
3/4 C. applesauce
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 C. packed light-brown sugar
1/2 C. granulated sugar
2 tbsp. ground flax seed mixed with 6 tbsp. water
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 c. gluten-free flour blend (I like to use oat flour here, mixed with sorghum, garbanzo, tapioca starch, potato starch, and a little bit of sweet white rice flour).
1 tsp. xanthan gum
2 C. old fashioned rolled oats (not quick cooking)

3 c. diced rhubarb
3 c. sliced fresh strawberries
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp. potato starch or cornstarch starch mixed with a bit of water

1/2 c. vegan shortening
2/3 c. brown sugar
1-1/2 c. gluten free flour blend
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. oatmeal flakes

Make the filling.
In a medium sized saucepan, combine rhubarb and sugar and over medium heat and simmer until slightly mushy. Add strawberries and continue to boil, approximately 10 minutes or more. When filling is to desired consistency (I like to leave a few chunks) and combine the potato starch with water and whisk into the fruit mixture. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13x19 baking pan. In a large bowl, whisk together margarine, applesauce, sugars, flax gel, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla. In a medium sized bowl, combine flours, xanthan gum, and oats. Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just combined. Spread 1/2 of batter in prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes.

Spread fruit filling over the baked oatmeal bars. Using a spoon, drop the rest of the uncooked oatmeal mixture over the fruit filling and spread out to the best of your ability.

Combine the streusel topping ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Using two knives cut the shortening into the dry ingredients. Sprinkle over the oatmeal bars and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Gingered Peach & Apricot Tart {vegan+gluten free}

A bunch of neglected peaches and apricots left in the office fruit-bowl found their way home with me on Friday after work. Apparently, my fruit consumption is rather low on weekends, so instead of finding their way into a fruit salad as I had intended, the sweet fruit made it's way into this delicious tart, and thus back to the office on Monday. Not too sweet and providing the perfect "taste of summer" (as my Creative Director so eloquently put it), this tart pleased all palettes. At the very least I was able to provide one of our interns with "the best thing she has eaten in months" (though if I recall my own income as an intern I'd probably say the same...).

(recipe coming soon!!!!!!)

Peanut Butter "Breastcakes" with Chocolate Buttercream {vegan}

A friend of mine (a worthy opponent in the cake-off 2011) recently asked for my assistance in baking vegan cupcakes for the NYC Dyke March benefit bake sale. So in support of my friends and the March, we came up with these "breastcakes" or "peanutbuttery nipples" (the puns go on and on) to sell at the Punk Rock Dykes show last weekend at Public Assembly in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Though our original plan was to include various flavors and use fondant to make the "nipples" we came up with a much tastier (and less obvious) version of the cakes using melted chocolate piped into circles with a chocolate chip on top. Rumor has it, these tasted great, and I couldn't have had a better time baking them with a friend.

{recipe will be posted shortly}