22 June 2016

two recipes, somewhat adapted.

A while ago I made these "chaidoodles" from Butter Me Up, Brooklyn. They were good, but I don't make many cookies—they always seem like so much effort, and there are so few cookie recipes I really love. The best thing that came of these was that after making them I had leftover chai doodle sugar; I tried it in my tea and fell in love with the result, and though I've never made the cookies again I regularly make a batch of the sugar and keep it in a jar next to the other tea things. We have real chai regularly, but it takes time to make and this is an easier way to get the fix.
  • one cup (220 g) sugar
  • one and a half teaspoons cinnamon
  • one teaspoon ginger
  • one teaspoon cardamom
  • half a teaspoon nutmeg
  • half a teaspoon black pepper
  • half a teaspoon allspice
  • a quarter teaspoon cloves
Those are the basic amounts, and the amounts pictured, but I generally make a double recipe. There's no reason not to make extra, since it lasts forever. Use in any tea in place of ordinary sugar—I'd recommend going for a slightly smaller amount than you usually do since this has a stronger flavor. I'm reliably informed it's good in coffee too, but I haven't tried that myself because coffee is revolting.

The other thing I've been making recently is granola. The base of my recipe is Cookie and Kate's Cranberry Orange Granola, but you have freedom of conscience with regard to basically everything except the oats and the ratio of solids to liquids. And even then—I was making a batch the other day and found that I didn't have as many oats as I'd thought. I made up the difference with powdered milk, whole wheat flour, and cornmeal. A success story! My one dogma is that I disagree strongly with the instruction to use one teaspoon of sea salt or three-fourths of a tablespoon of table salt. I've always used a full teaspoon of table salt; as far as I'm concerned, one of the strengths of this granola is its saltiness and you'd be a fool! a fool I say! if you did anything to compromise that.

Cookie and Kate prescribe orange, cranberries, pecans, and cinnamon; my most recent endeavor, and I think the best I've managed, used lime, apricot, almonds, and cardamom. It works with any citrus (I've also used lemon and tangerine), any nuts (I always use almonds), any dried fruit. The fruit can be increased, reduced, or jettisoned. You can even lose some or all of the nuts if you must, though you'd do well to make up the difference with extra oats. The olive oil could be coconut oil, I guess, if you're into that? The honey could definitely be maple syrup.

All together, now: in necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas. With pleasure I now present In Dubiis Libertas Granola.
  • no less than a tablespoon citrus zest
  • three tablespoons sugar
  • four cups oats
  • one and a half cups raw nuts
  • half a teaspoon cinnamon (or other spice)
  • one teaspoon salt (be generous)
  • half a cup olive oil
  • half a cup honey
  • one cup dried fruit

Preheat to 350 Farenheit. Mix the zest with your sugar, rubbing it with your fingers to release the oils. Then put it into a larger bowl and add the oats, nuts, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well before adding the liquid, and then mix again. Bake for twenty-two minutes on a large baking sheet, and stir halfway through. If you like it clumpy, use the back of your spoon to press it down after stirring, and after removing it from the oven let it cool in the pan before you disturb it. Definitely cool it completely before adding fruit. Eat with yogurt, milk, or in handfuls while wandering through the kitchen. A banana would not be ill-advised.

NB: I bake for twenty-two minutes and it almost always comes out with a few burned bits. I have no idea whether this will happen to you or not, but to be honest I'm kind of into it. I like bitter flavors. If you don't, maybe watch it more carefully than I do? Or line the sheet with baking paper.

(Who thinks I should start a recipe blog called In Dubiis Libertas?)

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