EVOO Brownies

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Adapted from Weeknight Baking by Michelle Lopez, this two bowl brownie recipe was the first time I used extra-virgin olive oil instead of butter or margarine. This fudgy brownie takes just minutes to prep and can be made without electric equipment or cooktop.

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup icing sugar
3 cups granulated sugar
1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 tbsp. water
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 325F and line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper sprayed with nonstick spray.

Sift the cocoa and icing sugar over a bowl to remove any lumps. Add the sugar, flour, salt, and chocolate chips. Mix until combined.

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In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, water, and vanilla.

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Pour the dry ingredients over the wet ingredients and fold until just combined.

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Transfer the batter to the baking pan and bake for 40 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature before slicing.

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Sourdough Cinnamon Buns

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I know, you’re over the sourdough trend – but I was out of yeast and have been trying to come up with other uses of my starter. I settled on sourdough cinnamon buns and they were delicious. If you’ve mastered the starter I highly recommend this recipe.

The base recipe comes from the Clever Carrot and the icing comes from Gimme Some Oven.

If you have a cast iron skillet I highly suggest you use it for this. otherwise use a spring form pan or pyrex.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

2/3 cup milk (skim, 1% or 2%)
2 tbsp/28g unsalted butter (+ 2 tbsp/28 g additional)
1 large egg
1/2 cup/100 g bubbly active starter (fed the night before)
2 tbsp sugar
2 1/2 cup/300g all purpose flour
1/2 tsp fine sea salt

For the filling:

1/2 cup sugar
3 tsp cinnamon

For the icing:

:
1/2 cup/4 oz cream cheese, softened
3 tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

Melt butter. Add milk.

Put egg, starter and sugar in stand mixer. Add milk mixture and mix wiht paddle.

Add flour and salt and continue mixing until combined. Cover with towel and let rest for 30 minutes.

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Use dough hook and mix for 5 minutes. Add more flour if dough is sticking to sides.

Transfer dough to bowl coated in oil or butter and cover with towel.

Allow to rest for 30 minutes, perform a single stretch and fold. Cover and let rise overnight (8-12 hours).

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Stretch and fold edges toward the centre to deflate dough. turn over and allow to rest for 15 minutes

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Melt 2 tbsp butter. Combine sugar and cinnamon in bowl.

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Roll out dough out to approx. 16 x 12 inches on a floured surface. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture overtop.

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Roll tightly along the long end. I chose to cut them into smaller buns, approximately 1 inch each. I used a serrated knife. You can also use unflavoured floss.

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Place dough in greased or sprayed pan. Allow to rise for 2 hours.

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Bake for 25 minutes at 350˚F.

Allow to cool.

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Mix all icing ingredients in mixmaster with paddle attachment.

Transfer icing to a ziplock and piped onto the cinnamon buns once cooled.

Cranberry Tahini Brownies

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Adapted from Kitchen Tested, this gluten-free recipe uses fresh/frozen cranberries which I much prefer to dried cranberries.

Ingredients:

1 cups raw tahini paste
1 cup coconut or brown sugar
½ cup pure maple syrup
1 ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1 ½ cups fresh/frozen cranberries, divided
Sea salt flakes to decorate

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350F and line a 9-x13-inch baking pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the “s” blade, combine the tahini, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, eggs, cocoa, baking soda, and salt until smooth.

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Add 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 cup cranberries and fold into batter with a spatula. The batter will be thick.

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Transfer the batter to the baking pan and scatter the remaining ½ cup chocolate chips and ½ cup cranberries over the top of the batter.

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Bake for 33 minutes. Sprinkle sea salt flakes over the baked brownies. Allow to cool before slicing.

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Sourdough Bagels

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Now that you’ve gotten used to working with starter, it’s time to try another sourdough recipe.

Sourdough bagels are the next in our sourdough adventure. They were quite similar to the time I made pretzels! For an active starter – I feed it the night before I want to use it (or the morning of if I’m going to make the dough in the evening)

This recipe comes from Baking Sense, however I altered them to make them multigrain.

Ingredients:

For The Dough:

1 cup/224g active starter
1 1/2 cups warm water
2.5 cups/350g best for bread flour (+ extra if needed)
2 cups/280g multigrain best for bread flour
1 tbsp molasses
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp salt

For The Boiling Water:

1/4 cup/56g granulated sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 egg white, whisked
1 large pot of water

Toppings:

Everything but the bagel spice
Kosher salt
Garlic flakes
Poppy seeds
Sesame seeds

Directions:

Combine starter, warm water and 2.5 cups white flour in mixing bowl. Cover and set aside for 1 hour.

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Add molasses, honey and salt. Use dough hook to combine with remaining 2 cups of multi-grain flour.

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Continue mixing with dough hook for 5-7 minutes. Put dough in lightly oiled bowl. Allow to rise for three hours, stretching and folding the dough every half hour (pull up on one edge, turn bowl, and repeat on all four sides).

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Turn dough out onto floured surface and cut into 12 pieces.

Using cupped hands form into circles, punch hole into centre with your finger and form into a circular bagel shape.

Place dough on floured baking sheet. Put in fridge to rise over night.

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Remove from fridge in the morning and allow to rise for four hours in the morning.

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Preheat oven to 450˚F.

Bring boiling water ingredients to a boil. Boil each side of bagel for 30 seconds and transfer to cooling rack.

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Transfer from cooling rack to baking sheet and top with egg white and desired bagel spices.

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Bake for 20 minutes at 450˚F.

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Brookie Squares

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Brownie on the bottom, chocolate chip cookie dough on top. Say no more.

Ingredients:

For the cookie dough:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted pareve margarine
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. kosher salt
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided

For the brownie batter:

12 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted pareve margarine
1 cup granulated sugar
6 large eggs, room temperature
1 ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. kosher salt

Directions:

To make the cookie dough, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the margarine and sugars until light and fluffy.

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Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla. Scrape down the bowl as necessary.

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Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix until just combined.

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Add 2 cups of the chocolate chips and fold in. Set aside.

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Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 9-x13-inch baking pan with parchment paper lined with parchment paper sprayed with nonstick spray.

In a double boiler, combine the chocolate and margarine and stir until completely smooth and melted.

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Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Add the sugar followed by the eggs, and vanilla. Stir until smooth.

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Add the flour and salt and mix until just combined.

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Transfer the batter to the baking pan.

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Dollop the cookie dough over the brownie batter and cover the brownie batter using an offset spatula.

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Bake for 45-50 minutes.

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Remove from the oven and sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of chocolate chips over the top, gently pressing into batter, and return the pan to the oven for 5 more minutes. Remove and allow to cool before slicing.

Sourdough Bread

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To celebrate being able to eat bread again, I thought I would share this sourdough recipe. This is a higher hydration version of The Clever Carrot’s Sourdough. I’ve been working on perfecting this for the last few months and each time I make it, its slightly different. There are many youtube videos that describe the shaping and stretch and fold techniques. Making the winter version requires about 12 hours to rise, but in the summer it can be done in half the time. I usually prepare my dough in the evening (Saturday night) and then bake it in the morning (Sunday morning).

As for the starter – there are instructions on The Clever Carrot to make your own starter however I got some from a local bakery and have been keeping it alive and feeding it once a week. I feed it the day before I make bread by pouring off 3/4 of the starter and adding 1 cup flour, 1 cup water. I also feed it anytime I notice a liquid build up or it starts to smell a little vinegary.

I also used a scale to make this because it made the process more accurate.

Ingredients:

150 g bubbly, active starter
350 g warm water
25 g olive oil
500 g Best for Bread Flour
10 g sea salt or kosher salt
Flour for dusting

Directions:

Whisk the starter, water, olive oil in large bowl.

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Add flour and salt and squish together. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.

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Once rested work dough into a ball, leave in bowl and cover.

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Perform stretch and folds at 1 hour intervals 2-3 times. Pinch a side of the dough, pull up and fold over itself. Turn bowl and perform on another side until you have moved the bowl 360˚.

Allow to rise for 6-12 hours.

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To shape the dough use a bench scraper to fold the dough over to the centre moving around the dough in a full circle. Flip the dough and cup the sides of the dough rotating in a circular motion.

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Either place in a bannton basket or in the dutch oven for the second rise (1-2 hours).

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Preheat oven to 450˚. Drop temperature to 400˚ and bake covered for 20 minutes. Remove dutch oven lid and bake for an additional 40 minutes.

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Allow to cool for 1 hour before cutting.

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Extreme Lemon Cake

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This nondairy version of a classic Maida Heatter cake has the perfect pairing of lemons and sugar.

Ingredients:

For the cake:

Zest of 3 lemons
3 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. kosher salt
2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted pareve margarine, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup almond milk

For the glaze:

½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup granulated sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F and spray a Bundt pan with cooking spray.

Combine the zest of 3 lemons and 3 tbsp. lemon juice in a small bowl and set aside.

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Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

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In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the margarine and sugar and beat until fluffy.

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Add the eggs, one at a time.

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Alternately, add the flour mixture and almond milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Fold in the zest/lemon juice mixture.

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Transfer the batter to the baking pan and bake for 55 minutes.

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While the cake is baking, combine the ½ cup lemon juice and 1/3 cup sugar in a small bowl.

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Once the cake comes out of the oven, allow to cool for 20-30 minutes and then remove from pan, turning it over.

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Brush the cake liberally with the glaze.

Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

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This recipe comes from BuzzFeed – I started making these when the recipe was initially published and they were an immediate hit. I made a couple small adaptations by simplifying the instructions, adding milk chocolate chips, and decreasing the sugar. I used a scale to simplify the baking process and ensure accurate amounts.

Instructions:

2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar (200 g)
3/4 cup granulated sugar (175 g)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (300 g)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips
flaked sea salt

Directions:

Mix dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda)
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Whisk sugars, and break up well (using fingers if needed)

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Add melted butter and mix well.

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Whisk in both eggs and mix well, scrape down the sides. Add vanilla extract.

Add the dry ingredients and mix well

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Add the chocolate chips and mix well.

Scoop into roughly golf sized balls (I used a small cookie scoop). Place on cookie sheet and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days (wrapped in Saran Wrap). You can also freeze them at this point and remove from freezer to bake (add 4 minutes to bake time)

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Preheat oven to 375˚F. Place dough balls approximately 2 inches apart and top with a pinch of flaked sea salt.

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Bake for 11-15 minutes until golden brown.

Lemon Blueberry Cake

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This fragrant cake is perfect for spring and summer when fresh blueberries are in season.

Ingredients:

For the cake:

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
Zest of 2 lemons
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup grapeseed/coconut/olive oil
1 ½ cups nondairy sour cream (Tofutti)
½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 cups fresh blueberries, tossed in 1 tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour

For the lemon frosting:

2 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tbsp. grapeseed oil
4 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F and line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper sprayed with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.

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In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, pulse the sugar and lemon zest together.

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Add the eggs, oil, sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla.  Process until well combined.

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Add the flour mixture and pulse until just combined.  Gently fold in the blueberries.

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Transfer the batter to the baking pan and bake for 45 minutes.  Allow to cool for 30 minutes while making the frosting.

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Combine the confectioners’ sugar, oil and lemon juice in a bowl.  Stir until desired consistency is reached.

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Spread the frosting as a thin layer over the entire cake and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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Banana Bread with Buttercream Frosting

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This banana bread uses an interesting ingredient to make it super moist. Not one you would expect, but with a little explanation it makes sense. Mayonnaise. Yes it sounds weird, but mayonnaise is made up of oil and eggs, two ingredients that make this banana bread super moist.

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Make sure to use super ripe bananas because they are sweeter and have a better texture. Some grocery stores sell their over-ripe bananas at a great deal so look out of them- I got a massive bag of bananas for 99 cents.

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Ingredients:

For the Banana Bread:

6 Medium Bananas
1 cup mayonnaise
2 egg
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup chocolate chips

For the Icing:

1 cup butter, softened
3 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp milk (depending how thick you want the icing)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line and spray a 9×13 pan.

Mash bananas in a large bowl (or mixmaster). Add mayo and egg and mix well.

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Add flour, baking soda, salt and sugar. Mix until combined.

Add chocolate chips and mix briefly.

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Pour batter into prepared 9×13 pan.

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Bake for 40-55 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

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Allow to cool. Remove from pan.

While cooling prepare icing. Cream butter on medium speed for 3-4 minutes.

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Add icing sugar 1 cup at a time, alternating with milk. Add vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.

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Ice the banana bread and cut into individual slices. I piped the icing on for the pattern here. These can be wrapped individually in Saran Wrap. Store in an airtight container.