This is my jam.

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Hi Friends!

I bring you the latest edition of baking your pantry! I haven’t actually shopped for baking specific things since the lockdown began in March, which is super fun – it’s giving me a nice excuse to use up the bits of things in my cabinets & also to get creative.

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For instance! I was gifted a jar of the most delicious apricot jam from a camp friend (hi, Doc!) and though I could have eaten it on toast, I wanted to use it in a dessert instead for fun. I’ve been saving it, and am so glad I had it around to use this weekend!

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These bars were actually supposed to be a galette. Funny how that happens… The dough wasn’t going to play nice to roll out – fine by me, since it made an excellent press-in crust for this instead, which is way less fussy. Jam tarts are maaaaybe the easiest thing on this planet, and infinitely adaptable. Out of the flours I suggested, or gluten free? No sweat, just swap in whatever blend of flours you like (highly recommend the cornmeal though, if you can do grains – the texture is phenomenal). Got a bunch of chia seeds and frozen fruit but no jam on hand? Make chia jam! Cook down the fruit for a bit with a bunch of chia seeds, let cool and boom – you’re on the way to jam bars.

Look at this flaky maldon sea salt goodness… it’s next level:

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Not quite sure if this is to be considered a tart, or bars. I’m kind of leaning toward bars since they slice up beautifully and would work well to serve at a – party? Ugh. Social distancing. Okay fine, they’d work well sliced to serve to those who you’re quarantining with! Highly recommend vanilla ice cream alongside, just saying – but they’re equally amazing as breakfast wedges, especially when you’ve just hiked 7 miles.

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C and I did our usual weekend hike today – 7 miles from his place, through the interior greenbelt and up Mount Sutro -> Twin Peaks -> home. It was fantastic, and such a beautiful day. My racerback tan is already aggressive and it’s only May…. I also have a fitbit tan, and a shorts tan, for those of you keeping score at home.

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Want to see what this really looks like?

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Sorry for the feet, hope that doesn’t gross you out. Ha! I promise they’re clean.

I hope you and yours are well! The outdoors is amazing for mental health – fully recommend getting out there (masked when necessary, of course, and observing social distancing rules!) to brighten up your quarantined days. And when you come back in, make jam bars. From my kitchen to yours! <3

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Apricot, Rosemary & Cornmeal Jam Bars

Whole grain (three different kinds!), dairy free and vegan with a refined sugar free option (depends on what kind of jam you use). Super easy to adapt, and comes together extremely quickly when you’re in need of a quick dessert or fun breakfast. Kind of like eating cornbread with jam, a personal fave. Yield: 1 9″ pan of bars, serves several. A Wait are those Cookies original.

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For the crust:
2 cups of flour [I used 1c whole wheat pastry flour, 1/2 c oat flour, 1/2 c cornmeal]
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
⅓ cup cold water
pinch salt

For the crumble and filling:
1/4 c almond flour
3 tbsp oat flour
~1tbsp rosemary, finely chopped (a few sprigs)
pinch of sea salt
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
~1/2 c apricot jam (I used the entirety of a smallish jar) – hopefully homemade but use what you got! Chia jam would be great here too.

maldon sea salt, for sprinkles after

Mix the flours and salt until well combined. Add olive oil and water. Mix and knead into a smooth dough – I used the food processor primarily for this, but easy to do by hand as well. Lightly grease a dish of choice – you could literally do this in anything. I used a 9″ stoneware pie dish, but feel free to use a tart pan w/ a removable bottom, springform, square pan, pyrex dish, you name it. Press the dough evenly across the bottom to form a crust, and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375F. In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 c almond flour, 3 tbsp oat flour, a few springs of rosemary very finely chopped, and a pinch of sea salt. Add in a tsp each of maple syrup and vanilla extract, plus 1/2 tsp of almond extract. Stir until combined and crumbly.

Spread the apricot jam evenly over the prepared crust, followed by the oaty-almond rosemary crumble. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until jam is bubbly and crumble is lightly browned. Remove and let cool completely before serving. Sprinkle a little maldon sea salt over the whole thing to bring it up to the next level. Excellent with vanilla ice cream or in wedges on its own for breakfast. Store any leftovers (who are you?!) in the fridge, covered with foil.

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Confessions of a Hippie-Granola Child

toaster pastriessss!

Okay so. Confession time.

For being such a hippie-granola crunchy type, I had a few less than crunchy incidents in my childhood. Even though I was raised eating lots of mashed up tofu and banana, as I got older, I was allowed to eat significantly more processed food (This was of course before we discovered the evils of hydrogenation and trans fats, at which point my extremely wise mother put the kibosh on eating that kind of junk). Clearly this lapse in taste didn’t affect my gastronomical maturation too much, since after this shortish hiatus I returned to my tofu-eating roots (thank goodness). Anyway. During this small interval of colorful cardboard boxes and “food products”, I developed a liking for… pop tarts. Seriously. What little kid DOESN’T like pop tarts?! Especially the frosted ones with the multicolored sprinkles (we know how I feel about sprinkles!). My favorite were frosted strawberry, but I hated them toasted! Weird, I know… I do realize that they are, in fact, toaster pastries… but for some reason I always liked them cold. I would unwrap that shiny silver package with such anticipation, knowing that I got TWO in one bag. Added bonus. I distinctly remember eating all the way around the edge and saving the middle, since that part was the best: all the filling and frosting!

yum yum yum

Anyway, suffice to say that this infatuation ended sometime during high school, and I decided that kind of processed junk wasn’t worth my taste buds. I occasionally make an exception for the organic, more natural ones, but that’s rare. I much prefer just to make my own! What a concept. They’re really not difficult at all, and I’m sure they freeze wonderfully, which makes them just as convenient as a brand-name toaster pastry. Even better: they’re made with ingredients you can pronounce :) oh yes, and one more thing: they’re beyond delicious! Go appease your inner child and make some toaster pastries for yourself that you can feel good about eating! You can even put sprinkles on them, since you KNOW I would approve of that.

strawberryyyy

Whole Wheat Pop Farts (get it?! Like… fake pop tarts!)

From BabbleFood, here! I’ve made these before but Kira never had, and that was a travesty! They’re deeelicious warm or cold, and are very easy to pull together—the dough is relatively forgiving, in terms of pastry, and you can fill them with whatever floats your boat!

  • 2.25 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar (I used turbinado)
  • 1 stick of butter, chilled, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked
  • 1/3 c cold water
  • fillings of choice! Kira and I used a variety of pumpkin butter, almond paste, jam, and jam + nut butter (which is my favorite)
  • if you want a glaze, powdered sugar and water works well. They’re perfectly good unglazed as well!
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Preheat the oven to 375, and line a cookie sheet with either wax or parchment paper.

In a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Once combined, add in butter chunks, and pulse until crumbly and the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Combine whisked egg and water in a separate bowl, and add into the bowl of the food processor (while running if possible, if not, that’s okay too). Pulse until the dough just comes together.

Toss the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead a few times until it sticks together. Roll out to about 1/8″ thick, and cute out your rectangles! I like to make a variety of sizes to accommodate my snacking needs and the whims of the gremlins…Try to match up the sizes of top and bottom, so that the filling stays contained. Put a couple teaspoons’ worth of filling onto the bottom rectangle, wet the edges, and stick down the top. Crimp the edges with a fork for added cuteness.

Bake on the prepared cookie sheet for 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned. If glazing, let them cool a bit, and then brush with a mix of powdered sugar and water…and add sprinkles if your heart desires it!

Eat. Love. Indulge your inner child :)

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