Let’s get nutty (nuttier?!)

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Hi friends!

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Time for another installment of bake your pantry (/freezer) – this is a great catchall recipe for all those random things we all have lying around.

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As written, it happens to be grain & gluten free, refined sugar free, dairy free, vegan & paleo! Woohoo! That being said, substitute at will. No coconut oil? Great, use ghee or butter. No pecans? No problem – sub in walnuts, peanuts, almonds, whatever. I love these bars for that reason – they’re infinitely flexible. The fruit can be swapped out for fresh as opposed to frozen, or swapped for different fruit entirely.

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Things here are pretty much same same, though we did do a nearly 11mi hike from C’s place this afternoon and I am POOPED. Thank all that’s holy there was a giant plate of nachos and a quesadilla happening immediately when we got back… I think those lasted all of 10 minutes. Complete annihilation.

On another note, everything is blooming here and it’s beauuuutiful. Springtime flowers are so pretty.

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(particularly proud of that photo!)

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All in all, a good weekend, despite the obviously strange times we’re currently living in. I hope yours were similarly restful <3

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Nutty Berry Crumble Bars

A catch-all for all those random nuts and seeds in your pantry, not to mention the half-empty bags of frozen fruit! Let’s do a pantry clean out, shall we? No pecans? No worries – sub in almonds, walnuts, whatever you have on hand. The fruit is infinitely flexible too, so use what you have! Feel free to riff on this. Gluten & grain free, dairy free, refined sugar free, paleo, vegan.  A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 8-9″ pan; serves several.

For the berry filling

1/2 bag (~1 c) frozen blueberries, or fresh
1/2 bag (~1c) frozen raspberries, or fresh
zest & juice of one lemon
zest & juice of one lime
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tsp tapioca flour
1/4 c chia seeds
1 tbsp vanilla

In a small saucepan, heat berries, lemon & lime zest and juice, maple, sea salt, and tapioca until the berries have popped and the liquid is just barely boiling, 10ish minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in chia seeds & vanilla; let cool.

For the crust & crumble

2.5 c almond flour
1 tbsp vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt, heaping
3 tbsp maple
5 tbsp melted coconut oil
1/2 c chopped pecans
1/4 c unsweetened coconut
3 tbsp black sesame

Preheat the oven to 350 and line some kind of 9” pan with parchment – this is the least fussy recipe ever, so square, round, tart pan, etc – whatever you have is fine! I used an 9” pie plate. In a large bowl, stir almond flour, vanilla, salt, maple, chopped pecans and coconut oil together. Reserve a heaping half cup and stir in the black sesame and coconut (this will be the top bit) – set aside. Press the rest of the dough into the base of the pan, and bake for 12-15 minutes until set. Remove from the oven and top evenly with cranberry chia jam. Crumble the rest of the reserved topping on the berries, and bake for another 23-25 minutes, until the top is lightly golden brown and the berries are bubbly. Remove and let cool completely before serving. It’s also fabulous cold – I made mine the night before serving, refrigerated overnight and served straight out of the fridge – highly recommended. Leftovers keep well covered in the fridge for a day or two but I dare you to have any ;)

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Holiday weekends require dessert!

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Happy Memorial Day weekend!

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This dessert could not be more well timed – of course, holiday weekends call for dessert but more obviously – I inadvertently made a patriotic dessert on Memorial weekend! I love when things like that happen.

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Mostly I got lucky – blueberries and strawberries are amazing (and on sale! woohoo!!) right now, so of course I have those sitting in my fridge in spades. I always feel that tarts like this need some embellishment, and BOOM! Helloooo, berries.

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This is light and fresh – just what you want for a summer dessert.

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We ate it with softly whipped cream for dessert (I haven’t had whipped cream in far too long, I’m glad we fixed that particular travesty) and then again – of course – for our brunch/lunch thing around 1p. Is that lunch? Or could it be brunch since we didn’t eat anything except a bit of chocolate and a banana after sleeping in, before hiking?? Hmm. I think it can still be brunch. Anyway… it tasted especially good the second time around; we’d just finished a great hike up to Twin Peaks – somewhere in the neighborhood of 6 miles and over 1000′ elevation gain in less than two hours. Booyaaah! No wonder we were hungry.

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Hike stats! I am a nerd and as such I find these things fascinating. And pictures, of course.

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The weather was beautiful, with a really nice breeze off the fog (since my body is still having major issues these days, especially with regulating its temperature, cool breezes are a MUST).

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We both loved this tart – it’s delicious on its own, or with whipped cream. Highly recommended – we blew through this thing in two sittings (well, the hike definitely helped the second go-round, ha!) and I think there are about two servings left… although that could have changed since I last assessed the situation.

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Happy holiday weekend! Enjoy the extra day and do some baking :)

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Lemon Ricotta Berry Tart on a Walnut Coconut Crust

Light, lemony and a perfect for a summer dessert: the lemon ricotta filling is tart and creamy, balanced nicely by the walnut-oat-coconut crust. Fresh berries are a must! Gluten free, refined sugar free and whole grain. For those who like their desserts a little on the tart side ;) Yield: 1 9″ tart, serves… several, or else two really hungry people who just took a long hike! A Wait are those Cookies original.

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For the crust:

1 c rolled oats
1 c walnuts
1/4 c shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 c almond flour
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter or ghee, melted
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350.

Add oats into a food processor and pulse until finely ground (you’re making oat flour). Dump that out into a bowl, and add the walnuts into the processor – pulse these until very finely ground, but be careful you don’t end up with walnut butter! Add walnuts to the bowl, followed by the coconut, almond flour, maple, sea salt, melted butter and vanilla. Stir until everything is incorporated, then press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of a 9″ pie or tart pan with a removable bottom. Bake for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool.

For the filling:

1.25 c (9 oz) full fat ricotta
1/2 c heavy cream
scant 1/4 c maple syrup
2 egg yolks
1 egg
zest of 3 lemons
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon juice

This is as easy as it gets: toss ricotta into a large bowl, and stir in the rest of the ingredients: cream, maple, egg yolks + egg, lemon zest, and vanilla. Mixing well to prevent any lumps (heaven forbid).

Tart Assembly:
Pour the ricotta filling into the baked and cooled tart shell. Place in the oven at 350 and bake for 35-45 minutes – the center of the tart should be set when done. Let cool completely before serving. Slide the tart pan ring off before serving if you used a pan with a removable bottom like I did.

Top with berries and shredded coconut if desired! Serve with softly whipped cream – I highly recommend it. Keep refrigerated until serving. Keeps well overnight in the fridge, covered loosely in plastic wrap – arguably it’s almost better the next day, of course for breakfast!

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