Thursday, January 19, 2012

Cookbook Testing, Sugar Science

Lots of boiling sugar . . . really, I just have to make the recipes my family likes a few more times than I already do - the more I make a recipe, the more it is tested.

When I tripled my basic marshmallow recipe the other day, I think I'd need a industrial mixer for it to hold all of the fluffy-ness. Yes, it nearly over-flowed our KitchenAid (which is big), but I did not get a picture of that.

Boiling sugar, candy making, is very interesting. So many things to learn it seems like, you just have to get down to the science of it - which is fun, and brings many sweet things to my family ;). Bring sugar to a certain temperature, it makes divinity, another temperature nougat, another temperature marshmallows, the list goes on. So, does that mean I can count candy making in my school as science? That's how homeschooling is so practical.

~ Hanunyah

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Happy 25 Anniversary to my Parents and GAPS Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Yesterday, the 17th, was my parent's 25 anniversary. You probably already guessed: we had a party (again) and I made cake. Just another reason for a party, as my dad (Abba, as we call him - means dad in Hebrew) said.

I made 2 cakes - one GAPS one, since Abba is on the GAPS diet, and one chocolate cake. I'm sure you can tell which one is the GAPS cake ;).

Raisins and freshly roasted peanuts on top of a egg white/honey frosting.

Chocolate chips on the same fluffy stuff. I counted 104 chocolate chips, just incase you are wondering :).

Here's the GAPS cake recipe. It is a cinnamon raisin bread, but I doubled it and baked in a round baking pan for the cake above. It is actually fluffy and pretty yummy - it uses a lot of eggs - 10 for the cake above! A big thanks goes to Nourished and Nurtured for the recipe that we adapted - go check out her GAPS recipes, they're awesome!
      So, here it is - this is the recipe not doubled.

Cinnamon Raisin Bread (GAPS legal, Grain, Sugar, Gluten, Dairy, Corn, Soy-Free)
Adapted from Nourished and Nurtured

5 eggs
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup honey, or to taste
3/4 cup almond meal/flour*
1/2 cup raisins**

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease pans (see note below) with coconut oil or other GAPS legal fat.

2. Beat together the eggs, soda, cinnamon and honey to taste. Stir in the almond flour. Fold in the raisins.

3. Bake at 325 degrees F for abou25-35 minutes, until the middle is set and the top is golden brown. (see note below).

*The recipe used 1/3 cup coconut flour and 1/4 cup almond flour, but we use just almond.
**You may substitute safe nuts for the raisins or omit the raisins all together, if desired.

Here are a few of Sarah's notes and tips:
"I used loaf pans that were 7.5X3.75X2.25 inch.  Although the batter would all fit into a larger loaf pan, it will cook better as two smaller loaves so that the coconut flour will not be overcooked before the middle is set."
"I like to cook this bread for a few minutes past when the middle is set so that the bread will be nice and dry for toasting."
"Store in the fridge or freezer.  I like to use a good bread knife to cut each loaf into many slices.  I then place a small square of parchment paper between each slice, wrap it all in plastic wrap, and store it in the freezer.  The parchment paper ensures that I can easily pull out just one slice at a time.  This bread freezes very well, and makes great toast!"

One more thing . . . while I was experimenting with GAPS recipes (which is not very common for me), I remembered a friend who is on a diet for her Lyme disease. She really likes chocolate. So, I created a grain and sugar free recipe for CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES! She was sooooo excited! They are yummy . . . recipe later, Lord willing ;). The base for the recipe for these yummy, chewy cookies can be found at Nourished and Nurtured (I told you she has great recipes!).

~ Hanunyah

Linked to Show and Tell Saturday by Be Different Act Normal

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Dark Chocolate & Strawberry Cream Cake for Hannah

The 10th of this month (a week ago) was a good friend's 17th birthday. We totally surprised her several times - it was great!

Anyway, this is the cake I made. They said it was good (she gave me a "thumbs up") with a nice fruity flavor from the strawberries. They also said it looked fancy, and it was even asked if it was store-bought (no, of course ;) ).

So, here's how it went . . .

Doubled the Oat Flour Chocolate Cake, using dark cocoa powder and not exact measuring ;) - I think it turned out better that most times!

Make some cool, fluffy stuff - beat some sugar syrup, egg whites and vanilla together. I was aiming for a marshmallow cream type thing, but that needs a little more work. So, add some chopped fresh, juicy strawberries to some of that . . . 

and cover it in the rest of the fluffy stuff. Yeah, and add some more chocolate if you want, just to make it a little more fancy.

Go outside to take a picture,

then remember that you had leftover chocolate glaze from the Tunnel of Fudge Cake that you made last week, and take it a step further.

Take it to the birthday girl's house (it survived the bumpy roads).

And watch it dissapear . . . 

in minutes . . . 

until you have a clean plate to take home.

~ Hanunyah

Thursday, January 5, 2012

"3 Musketeers" - sneak preview

So, would you like to have "sneak previews" to my cookbook? Well, I am writing the cookbook. I'm hoping to have several candy bar recipes in there. For now, if you want a little candy bar fun, you may see my recipe for Coconut Candy Bars. And don't worry - I'll still post recipes for you, Lord willing.

Homemade candy bars. Chewy nougat covered in chocolate. Like 3 Musketeers candy bars - only much simpler and better-tasting. These are really rich. Easy to make. No corn-syrup, of course (because it's easier without). The recipe makes . . . 32 candy bars (gasp!) that are roughly 1 inch by 2 inches I'd say.
      If you're on any kind of a diet, you're probably glad I'm not passing out the recipe right now. But surely my family is not on a diet (besides the gluten-free lifestyle). Because there's no reason to go on a diet. This time of the year is the same to us as any other time.

~ Hanunyah

Monday, January 2, 2012

Hey, Hey, It's A New Year!

A "Happy New Year 2012" cake I made.

It's another cool winter day. It's the beginning of January.

There's new life.
New Year's day kids.

It's 2012.

Welcome to the new year ~ I hope you had a good one! Here are some pictures from our party.

The platter that HAD 3 dozen peanut butter cups.

Bean dip.

Coconut Candy Bars

~ Hanunyah

new design + name

As of 1-3-12: I've re-named my blog name (which used to be "Hanunyah's Sweet Creations") to "Ranch Girl's Sweets 'N' Treats". "Sweet Creations" is a pretty common name, so I figured I'd change it to something a little different ;). My URL is still the same, though.

Also, a big thanks goes to my older sister (@ who has re-designed my blog and fixed-up all of the HTML. So, I hope you enjoy the new layout!