Healtier Easter treats

Help yourself to health conscious treats this Easter, marzipan made with only two ingredients, raw almonds and dates. Covered in dark chocolate and some fancy decoration, these little balls of goodness will brighten your day. You can actually indulge in these goodies throughout the year.

The inspiration for these round goodnesses were these energy squares I made a few years ago, recipe in Norwegian HERE. Marzipan as many know is made of almonds, egg white, sugar / glucose and often added a little cognac, sherry or another nice liqueur for flavour. The main ingredients are almonds that needs a binder and sweetener, when I made energy squares I used dates to keep everything together so I thought why not use them to make a healthier marzipan. This is a simple idea and I am not claiming it to be mine.

To get the most out of the ingredients, I did not to blanch the almonds. The date are already dark in color, so you will not notice it when the two are mixed together, pluss you get added health benefits with the skin on.

 

I used:

100 g whole almonds

100-150 g ground/grated almonds

200 g of dates (remember to remove stones)

200 g dark chocolate

Desired edible decoration, I have used gold leaf, rosebud tea and foil with chocolate print..

Rough chop the whole almonds in a food processor. Add the dates and half of the ground almonds and continue to mince the ingredients. When everything starts to come together, add the rest of the ground almonds little by little until you get a nice and pliable dough, see image above.

The amount for the ingredients is just a guideline, the dates and almonds you might use may have a different moisture content than the ones I used this time.

Marzipan, dates and almonds

Roll the almond and date mixture into balls of the desired size.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and temperate th chocolate before use for best results. The chocolate will harden faster and get back its snap back.

Healthy treats

Dip the balls in chocolate and add some decoration for flare.

healthy treats, marzipan made with almonds and dates

HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE !!!

Yummy healthy treats

Crunchy sweet potato fries

Have you tried to make crispy sweet potato fries? No matter how many times you google you can’t seem to find THE right recipe and many of the recipes are almost the same.

Sweet potato fries

When baking or frying sweetpotatoe you might get a stiffer outer layer that soon softens, but it is not crunchy. The reason for this is that sweet potatoes does not contain the same tye of starch as the regular potato does, so to get the strips nice and crunchy you need to cheat a bit.

Continue reading “Crunchy sweet potato fries”

Gold fish, homemade cheese snack

 

I looked troough some old stuf and found this recipe, it must be from my tie in the US.
I’ve never tried to make this myself, but out of curiosity I wanted to try to make them, I remember them as tasty little treats.
The recipe for these snacks are similar to a short crust pastry.
225 g cheddar cheese
4 tablespoons butter
2.5 dl flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cold water

Grate the cheese and combine everything in a food processor/blender except the water,. Blend utill the mixture is like coarse sand, then add the water 1 tablespoon at a time while blending, the dough wil start to come together.

Tip the dough out and wrap the dough and let it rest in the fridge for about half an hour.

Next step is to roll the dough thin and cut out little figures. I made a little fish shape cookie cutter from an old broken one, but you can make any shapes you want.

Put the cut outs on a bakingtray lined with bakingpaper and bake them in the middle of a preheated oven on 180 C for about 15 minutes or untill golden and crunchy.
When done let the finished snacks cool on a “rack”, I put them in a strainer.

To get as much as possible out of the dough it is best to make square or diamonds.

Puffpastry cheese sticks

As ha tummy filler before meals at most restaurants you get nice warm bread or breadsticks.

I made a lot of puffpastry the other day and had a hankering for puff pastry cheese sticks. Making them is very easy, spesially if you have ready store bought puff pastry

You need

Puffpastry


Shredded cheese, cheddar, parmesan, emmenthal or your favorite

butter

salt

1 egg

salt/savory topping

sesame seeds/poppy seeds

Puffpastry ingredients

500 gr flour

200 gr butter

300 g margarine

2,5 dl cold water

If you want a nice flaky pastry, I recomed that you use margarine in between the layers and butter for the dough.

Mix flour, Butter and salt together in a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer that is fitted with a dough hook. When the miks is grainy like sand, gradually stir in water until the dough holds together enough to clean the sides of the bowl. Shape into a flat ball, and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes.

Place the margarine between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound into a flat disc using a rolling pin or other heavy object. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a large rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Place the disc of chilled margarine in the center and fold the two ends over it so that it is completely encased in dough. Roll out the dough again, taking care not to let the butter break through the dough, to about 1/2 inch thickness. Fold into thirds. This is the first ”turn”. Rotate the dough 90 degrees and roll out into a rectangle again. Fold into thirds. By this time the butter is starting to warm up. Place the dough on a baking sheet and mark it with two pokes from your finger (two turns). Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Repeat this rolling, folding and turning two more times, then refrigerate until firm. Repeat two more times for a total of 6 ”turns”. Wrap and refrigerate. The dough is now ready to roll out and use in any recipe calling for puff pastry. Roll the dough out as thin as 1/4 inch to make pastries. Bake in a preheated oven of at least 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) to get the maximum puff from your pastry.

Now you have puff pastry to make chese sticks and other yummy mouth watering treats sweet or savory.

For your cheese sticks

Roll out some pastry.

Spread a thin layer of butter and put some cheese on the first layer. I you want sprinkel salt or some other savory condiment on .

I layered it with four sheets of puffpastry

Roll the lauered dough out to a rektangular sheet and brush some lightly beaten egg on the top.

Sprinkle seeds on cut it up in to strips and twist.

Bake the cheesesticks in the middle of the oven on 400 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until golden.

Frittons de Canard

If you like bacon rashers, you might like this luxury version made of duck skin.

I am making duck rillettes and this is what you get if you heat up the duck skin and fat.

Put the skin and fat in a pot and heat up.
I use high heat in the beginning, but when you hear it sizzling turn the heat down to medium heat.
Then I cut the skin into strips
and put it back into the pot.
let it simmer until it is golden.
When it is done, remove the rashers and let them drain on paper towels
In a mortar I pound a little salt to dust, and then sprinkle a light salt dust over the rashers.

 

Toasted peanuts with garlic

This simple snack bought from street vendors is one of the snacks I remeber from my first trip to the Philipines. Warm and toasty with garlic and salt sold in small paper bags.


First i fried 3 garlic cloves that I had flatend, then added a cup of raw peanuts.

Fried in a pan on little over medium heat until the peanuts star to pop.

salt to taste, I used pink himalayan rock salt that I had to grate and it covered the peanuts in a very light and fine dust layer

Palitaw, fililpino rice duplings

With palm sugar

I learnt how to make these as a child and  it is probably that long ago since I made them. Palitaw is a term used to call a sweet flat rice cake that is eaten in the Philippines as a snack or dessert. Palitaw means to let something float, these little treats is dropped in boiling water and when they float they are done.

I made half of them with coconut sugar and the other with cane sugar,
Coconut Sugar  is produced from the sap of cut flower buds of the coconut palm and has a special aromatic caramel-like taste. Coconut sugar can substitute honey, plain white or brown sugar. Coconut sugar has a l ower glycemic index, GI, than plain white and brown sugar.

I liked the one with coconut sugar the best.

With regular sugar
260 ml water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds
1 cup desiccated coconut
Combine glutinous rice flour with water and mix until a dough is formed.
Boil water in a saucepan.
Scoop about 1 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball.
Flatten the ball  using the palm of your hands and put them in boiling water.
When the float up the are done, remove them from the pot and set it aside allowing water to drip.
Combine sugar and roasted sesame seeds then mix well.
Roll the rice cake in grated coconut then in the sugar-sesame seed mixture,
Arrange in a serving plate then serve. Share and enjoy!

Fruit roll ups

 

I have not been able to find fruit roll ups in Norway, so when ever we are traveling I stack up on these sweets.

One day I was surfing on the net I came across this Norwegian blogger Fleksitarianerliv and she showed how to make fruit roll ups. Hers look alot nicer, mine are to thin, but they tasted good and you can see from my youngest smile she likes it. Next time I’ll make them a little thiker.
When I read her blog, I thought this was a good idea, but the problem was I do not have a dehydretor or an oven that run as low as 140 degrees Farenheit, bummer:(
Yesterday I was looking at this drawer that we put in when we remodeled the kitchen, I was a little irritated “why did we put that in, we never use it” I said to my husband “don’t look at me” was the ansver I got back.
If you are wondering what it is, it is a drawer to heat up plates and sausers befor serving, silly right.
Then I got this brilliant idea that I could use it as a dehydrateor.
I put a baking rack in the drawer so when I put my tray in with the pure it will not come in direct contact with the heat.
Then I did this
I soaked
6 dried apricots 
drained and put them in a blender with
14 oz. berries( used 7 oz strawberries and 7 oz blueberries)
1 banana
 blended to a smooth pure and added
2 tbs chia seeds
I then poured it on a tray with bakingpaper and let it dry for about 1 hour on 140 degrees F, and turned it down to about 104 F. for the rest time between 7 to 10 hours.
after an hour it got a little darker because of the blueberries.
When it is finnished it is a little leathery and you can peel it fairly easy from the baking paper, cut it in to strips and store in an air tight container.