Three Recipes

Strawberry and Lemon Bars

I made these last week for the first time and they are delicious. The sour lemon nicely compliments the sweet strawberry jam and powdered sugar glaze.

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Ingredients 

Bars:

1 2/3 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup strawberry jam

Glaze:

6 Tbsp powdered sugar, sifted
1-2 Tbsp  lemon juice
1/4 tsp lemon zest

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F and line an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper.

2. Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl.

3. Beat butter and sugars in a large bowl at medium speed until light and fluffy; add  lemon zest. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture until just combined; dough will resemble a coarse meal.

4. Reserve 1 cup dough for topping; use a sheet of parchment to press remaining dough evenly into bottom of prepared baking dish.

5. Place jam in a small bowl and microwave briefly (about 10 seconds). Whisk to loosen. Use the back of a spoon to gently spread jam over the dough.

6. Toss the remaining dough with 2 teaspoons water to form large crumbs and then sprinkle over jam filling.

7. Bake until top is golden, about 20-25 minutes. Cool completely in baking dish on a rack, then cut into bars with a sharp knife.

8. While the bars are baking prepare the glaze: Whisk together powdered sugar,  lemon juice, and zest in a small bowl.

9. Drizzle glaze over bars and let set before serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge, or wrap well and freeze.

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Super Moist Vegan Chocolate Cake 

This is one of my go to cakes. Super easy and fast. I usually always have all the ingredients on hand and it comes out perfect every time.

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Ingredients

1 1/2 cups flour
3 Tbsp cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt

5 Tbsp oil

1 Tbsp vinegar

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup cold water

Directions

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F and grease an 8×8 inch pan (or pan of your choice – I used my mini loaf pan this time).

2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt.

3. Make three deep holes in mixture, add oil to one hole, vinegar to the next hole, and vanilla to the last.

4. Pour water over the top and mix well.

5. Pour into pan and bake for approx. 20-25 mins. Test using a toothpick and when it comes out clean, remove from oven and cool.

I decided to cut them into little slices and make a cream cheese frosting for on top.

IMG_4795They are the perfect little snack bites of cake.

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Almond and Apricot Bars 

I love Larabars but they aren’t available in Taiwan. Thanks to my recent purchase of a food processor I have been able to re-create a similar bar at home.

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Ingredients
1 1/2 cup almonds (or other nuts, raw or roasted but definitely unsalted)
1 cup Medjool dates, pitted (I used regular dried dates and soaked for a half hour before processing)
1 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup coconut
A pinch of sea salt
Directions
1. Line a baking dish with parchment paper.
2. In a food processor, pulse the almonds until they are chopped (stop before they start turning into nut butter). Pour them into a large bowl.
3. Process the pitted dates, dried apricots and sea salt until forms a paste. (You may need to scrape the sides of the processor from time to time.)
4. Break up the fruit mixture and add the nuts to the food processor. Process until the chopped nuts are incorporated evenly into the fruit mixture. Return to bowl and mix in coconut.
5.  Spread the mixture into to the baking dish, and use your hands to press it into an even layer.
6. Place bars in the freezer for at least 30 minutes, remove, and use a sharp knife to cut into bars.
7. You can wrap each bar in plastic wrap or store the bars together in  tightly for individual servings.  Store them in the refrigerator or freezer.

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I put them in the freezer for a post-baby snack.

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