The bakery

… aka my apartment.

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It’s been a busy couple of days around here since I can’t sit still for more than 3.7 seconds. I have too much on my mind with the end of the semester, the last week of my internship (which will be followed by a three week break before my full-time job there starts), my imminent 27th birthday (doom), oh, and the 10k trail walk run up at Bear Mountain this weekend. Never mind that my hamstrings, glutes, and groin are still shot and I haven’t run more than three miles (at a 15-minute mile pace, mind you) in six weeks …

So, back to the bakery.

Featured Bakery Item #1: Raw Macaroons

On Wednesday, I brought home a hunk of fresh coconut that Jessica gave me at work. Remember this?

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Between having raw coconut in my hands and all the raw talk that’s been going around lately, I had only one thing on my mind: raw coconut macaroons!

IMG_9325I’ve been drooling over Gina‘s Fitnessista macaroons for nearly a decade (ok, maybe only six months), so I was thrilled when Elisabeth at Jogger’s Life posted a similar recipe last week. I followed Elisabeth’s recipe with a few modifications: (1) after shredding my coconut, I only had 1/3 cup … so I halved the recipe and used (2) 1/2 cup almond flour (almonds ground in my coffee bean grinder) and (3) 1 Medjool date, chopped/mashed (I am processor-less) and (4) 1 tsp vanilla extract (I’m out of almond) and (5) nothing else, as the date was plenty sweetener for my minimized batch. (Oh, except I made half of the batch chocolate and mixed in unsweetened cocoa powder there).

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I formed my batter into eight little balls.

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And then, it was time to put them in the dehydrator.

Oh wait, I do not have a dehydrator! And, just as the folks at Turtle Mountain ignored my request for coconut ice cream, the folks at Excalibur ignored my request for a dehydrator. I guess I’m not worth a $300 top-of-the-line kitchen appliance. However, those of you blessed with dehydrators have nothing on me because I have an oven with a pilot light. Jealous?

Here are the little balls of delight after an overnight (nine hours!) in my off oven:

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They don’t look any different, do they? To tell the truth, while the texture was actually different (they were no longer sticky in the morning), the batter tasted just as yummy as (if not better than) the finished product.

Featured Bakery Item #2: Jam-Filled Berry Mini Muffins

Today at work (aka my last day as an intern!), my department was planning to have a potluck staff breakfast. It got rescheduled, but I kept to my original baking plan anyway!

I loosely used this recipe for Jam-Filled Almond Muffins from Eating Well. Changes included: (1) halving the recipe to make 12 mini-muffins instead of 12 regular muffins, (2) using only whole wheat flour, (3) replacing the sugar, buttermilk, juice, and oil with the cup of frozen fruit-on-the-bottom from the four fruit-on-the-bottom hotel yogurts I collected a couple weeks ago, (4) using the homemade black raspberry jam from Wife, and (5) eliminating the almond extract because I didn’t have it.

Here’s the jam-filling in progress:

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Topped off:

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And baked:

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Cross-section:

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Some of them got a little too jammy, but that’s actually a benefit in my opinion.

Featured Bakery Item #3: Carrot-Berry Mini Muffins

I was (probably unrealistically) afraid that I wouldn’t have enough muffins, so I decided to bake a second batch using this recipe for Pineapple Upside-Down Muffins, also from Eating Well. Changes included: (1) eliminating the upside-down topping so the muffins became carrot muffins, (2) halving the recipe to make 12 minis instead of 12 regulars, (3) using only whole wheat flour, (4) replacing the sugar, oil, juice, and crushed pineapple with a 4 oz. Dole tropical fruit cup and 1/4 cup of the homemade black raspberry jam, and (5) putting nuts only on top instead of mixing them into the batter.

They looked a little green after baking:

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But they still tasted yummy!

What’s your stance on baking substitutions?

P.S. First, I was famous for my balls. Now, it’s my eggs. What’s next?

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25 thoughts on “The bakery

  1. janeterin says:

    Damn, I am drooling! You are so creative and everything looks delish!

    I love to use yogurt in place of some of the oil in recipes, like some lemon cupcakes I made once. It adds such a nice flavor, too!

    Like

  2. Krista says:

    I use lots of swaps! Agave instead of sugar, applesauce in place of butter or oil, egg beaters instead off eggs, WW flour in place of white, etc!!!

    Like

  3. Elisabeth says:

    I’m glad you tried the macaroons. If they didn’t make you swoon, then you totally need a dehydrator. I’m taking up a collection in your honor. No, really. Watch me.

    I always substitute in recipes. I generally only use recipes as a guide, and end up with a product that is completely different than the recipe.

    There will be much cooking in my future. I’m hosting the BF’s Mother’s Day dinner in our smaller-than-most-people’s-guest-bath-sized condo. The thing I’m most excited about on my menu: Vita-Mix/blender ice “cream” in banana, vanilla, and peanut butter flavors…made with almond milk. I think that you might need a blender/food processor after those recipes are posted! =) Maybe 2 collections are in order.

    Like

  4. Lauren says:

    Ok, when are you opening up a bakery? Everything looks super delicious.

    I often use substitutions when baking – maple syrup or agave nectar for sugar, applesauce or yogurt for oil, ww pastry flour for all-purpose… the end result is usually pretty good!

    Like

  5. Christina says:

    I kind of live by Bear Mountain, like 25 min away, wish I had heard about the 10k!

    All your baked goods look delicious πŸ™‚ My favorite baking substitutions are applesauce for oil and egg substitute for real eggs.

    Like

  6. Erin says:

    Wow, you have been so busy! Good luck with this trail run and don’t feel bad about walking!
    Substitions? Always. I don’t know that I have ever NOT substituted.

    Like

  7. Melissa @ For the Love of Health says:

    I want to come to YOUR bakery!! Everything looks so good! πŸ™‚

    I will take one of each, please! πŸ™‚

    I am for substitutions and have used them in the past if I am out of something and I know a good alternative *and am in no mood to go to the grocery store. LOL (or dislike the ingredient).

    Like

  8. verbalriot says:

    How nice of you to make all these treats for me and send them to me during my finals week. You’re the best! πŸ™‚

    Like

  9. homegirlcaneat says:

    Dear Expansion, Tales of,

    Can you holla at me with those jam filled muffins?! And carrot cake muffins. Oh and those cocoballs. My stomach would be very appreciative of the newly found baked goods expansion that would take place.

    Sincerely,
    Homegirl Brooke

    Like

  10. Scoop says:

    When it comes to baking, I’m a traditionalist and follow ingredients by the book. Mainly because I don’t know which items can be substituted! I’m really intrigued by the comments I’ve read here and will try substituting to reduce the fat of my baked goods.

    Like

  11. Lara (Thinspired) says:

    This post is igniting my sweet tooth! I can’t believe you left your oven on for 9 hours! I don’t want to see your electric bill πŸ˜‰ I DO, however, want to try one of your macaroons!!

    Like

  12. snackface says:

    Oh my goodness. Stop it with that deliciousness! My PMS is raging and I NEED those baked goods!!! Any way you can get them to Ohio in, oh say, 12 hours? πŸ˜‰

    Honey, I cannot wait for your break! I don’t like seeing my Sarbear stressed and restless. However, you are supah productive! I kinda admire you πŸ™‚ Enjoy your Friday!

    Like

  13. Kristin says:

    These all look awesome!!! Oddly enough, I’m all for baking substitutions if I’m doing the eating and not the baking – but when I’m in the kitchen, I like to use the real stuff. Real butter, eggs, sugar, etc. I don’t know why… ?

    Like

  14. Alison says:

    Wow that looks great!
    I don’t usually substitute much in baking. I’m to nervous it will mess up the exacting science. I should experiment more but I don’t like the idea of wasting food.

    Like

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